I'm back with my week 2 write on up the Venus and Mercury League tournament! For my week 1 recap, check my post here. Last week, I played my match off stream again, and since I ended up scheduling it late in the week with my opponent, I didn't get a chance to stream the replay of it either. So this is the only place you can find out how the match went!! KEEP READING FOR INTRIGUE, MYSTERY, SURPRISE, AND SUSPENSE!
So for week 2, we had to submit decks that were standard legal before the release of Zendikar Rising and rotation. Thankfully this was the last week of old Standard! I ended up playing Rakdos Sacrifice again, but a slightly different deck than week 1, taking out Rankle and adding
Bastion of Remembrance, and
Tymaret Calls the Dead. If you can get Bolas's Citadel out fast, this deck can really pop right off!
My opponent for week 2 was playing Sultai Control (cry), so I was hoping for the most perfect opening hands and draws! Not too much to ask, right??
My opponent went first. I was nervous. I was sweaty. Knees weak, arms are heavy... okay sorry, I'll stop. Initially, I didn't like my opening hand, but with 5 lands, Kroxa, and Bolas's Citadel, I thought better of it and realized that maybe I could just get the citadel out super early and just start playing lots of stuff with it!
Welp, my opponent started out hard with a turn 2
Thought Erasure and my Bolas's Citadel got discarded. There goes my plan! I'M DONE. IT'S OVER! But I kept going, and cast my Kroxa to make THEM discard. I had drawn
Claim the Firstborn and
Woe Strider, so I was actually okay for now despite my slight breakdown after having to discard Bolas's Citadel. I cast my Woe Strider and my opponent Thought Erasured me AGAIN. This time a
Mire Triton got discarded and that didn't really upset me. My opponent didn't have anything out on the battlefield, so I was attacking with Woe Strider since it was all I had at the time.
After a couple turns, my opponent cast Eliminate after my combat to destroy Woe Strider. Why after combat, I'm not really sure? Maybe they were waiting to see if I was going to cast a different creature and keeping mana up for a counter spell? Not really sure. I used Woe Striders ability to scry, keeping another Woe Strider on top of my library. On my turn, I cast the one I had drawn because I didn't want to have to exile Kroxa to escape the Woe Strider in my graveyard. My opponent passed turn and they only had 4 lands out, so I assumed they were holding a counter spell for me. I drew Tymaret Calls the Dead next turn, and it came right out. No counter spell! This gave me a Zombie, put cards in my graveyard, and allowed me to escape Kroxa! Just kidding. Here came an
Aether Gust to get rid of my sweet Kroxa who had obviously done nothing wrong. I chose to put it on top of my library, but no longer had anything in my graveyard except for a Woe Strider.
At this point, my opponent was at 9 life and I was at 20. It went to opponents turn and they cast an
Extinction Event which I assumed they would use to get rid of my Woe Strider. I didn't use Woe Strider's ability because I already had that Kroxa on top of my library. Go to my turn, and Tymaret Calls the Dead put more stuff in my graveyard and I made another Zombie. I cast Kroxa again, my opponent had to discard (a Nissa... HAHAHA!) and they were down to 2 cards in hand. I sent a Zombie in for 2 more damage! On my opponents turn, they cast Uro, so got some life back, but I ended up drawing another Kroxa on my turn, so this was turning out very nicely!
I cast Kroxa and then decided to escape Kroxa so my opponent was really getting their discard on! Opponent finally played their fifth land and used
Heartless Act to get rid of my Kroxa, but they still didn't have anything out on the battlefield. They escaped Uro on their turn, got back up to 5 life, drew their card, and then conceded realizing they couldn't do anything else at that point.
I won game 1!!!
Here we were again, trying to sideboard stuff in that I thought would be helpful, yet having no idea what I'm actually doing!
I wanted removal for planeswalkers, so I added
Noxious Grasp and
Angrath's Rampage and went with it!
Opponent was first again and I had to mulligan to 6, which always makes me very nervous! I did have a scry land, so while it wasn't ideal, it also could have been worse!
My first few turns, I drew Noxious Grasp and Claim the Firstborn, so I was just hoping for no Thought Erasures! I got
Gutterbones and Woe Strider out pretty early but along came another Extinction Event! I used Woe Strider to scry getting rid of some lands that I didn't need, and getting Gutterbones in my graveyard instead of in exile. On my turn, I drew Bolas's Citadel, so I was quite pleased with that! My opponant cast
Nissa, Who Shakes the World and got a 3/3 land elemental out before I could use Noxious Grasp to destroy Nissa, but at least she was gone! SHEW! I drew another land, so I just needed to hold out until I cast Bolas's Citadel next turn. My opponent cast ANOTHER Nissa. Ughhh. I had nothing in hand to deal with this one, unfortunately. My turn, I drew a
Fabled Passage, played a land, and finally cast Bolas's Citadel.
I'll bet your wondering what the card on top of my library was, aren't you?
A Swamp. sweating increases
On my opponent's turn, they cast Uro, made another 3/3 elemental, attacked me with all and I was down to 3 life. OUCH. It went to my turn, I drew the Swamp on top of my library and the next thing there was a Woe Strider, so like the absolute normie that I am, I cast it with Bolas's Citadel using 3 life and KILLED MYSELF.
I lost game 2 ... TO MYSELF. The absolute humiliation. Honestly, I just hoped my opponent had thought I did it on purpose since I had no way to win anyways.
Here we are again at game 3. It all comes down to this one! I kept my sideboard the same and jumped right in! I was playing first this time and had a decent opening hand! I COULD DO THIS!
We both just played lands the first few turns until I tried to play a Tymaret Calls the Dead which immediately got denied with a
Negate. Can you believe that?! I was drawing plenty of lands to be able to get my Bolas's Citadel out as soon as possible, but my opponent was playing a lot of lands as well. They dropped a terrifying
Elder Gargoroth , so I used a Noxious Grasp to destroy it.
Next turn I was able to get my Bolas's Citadel out! There was a
Priest of Forgotten Gods on top, so I cast it! Next was a
Village Rites which I didn't need (I had one in hand already too), so I just passed turn. On my opponents turn, they brought out the big baddies,
Casualties of War and destroyed my
Castle Locthwain, Priest of Forgotten Gods and Bolas's Citadel. UUUGGGHHH. I decided to use the Village Rites on top of my library to sacrifice Priest and draw some cards before the Citadel was gone. I drew a Swamp and a
Mayhem Devil. I also had Woe Strider, Village Rites, and Claim the Firstborn in hand, so while I wasn't thrilled about losing my Citadel, I was okay for now.
It went to my turn, I drew another Village Rites (that's enough of them, okay?) and was able to cast Mayhem Devil and Woe Strider! Go to opponents turn and out comes Extinction Event. Let's all say it out loud now: UGH. I used Woe Strider to sacrifice the Goat token and Mayhem Devil to get some damage in, but it was all I had. I kept another Woe Strider on top of my library from the scry. My opponent cast a
Hydroid Krasis making it a 2/2 and it was on to my turn. I cast Woe Strider, used Claim the Firstborn to get the Hydriod Krasis, then sacrificed it with Village Rites and drew another Mayhem Devil and Angrath's Rampage. Okay, this is pretty good! On my opponent's turn, they cast Uro for it's escape cost and used Eliminate on my Woe Strider. I sacrificed my Goat token to scry first, kept a Bastion of Remembrance on top of my library and then cast a Village Rites on my Woe Strider to draw cards! This time, I drew the Bastion of Remembrance and another Woe Strider. My hand was looking real nice!
On my turn, I decided to cast Mayhem Devil and then Angrath's Rampage to force my opponent to sacrifice Uro. They did have some mana up, so I worried about the counter spell, but they ended up casting Heartless Act on my Mayhem Devil instead and still having to sacrifice their Uro. My opponent drew a card and passed turn. Does this seem worrisome? Yes. Yes it does. It was my turn, and I cast my Bastion of Remembrance, Woe Strider, and then a
Serrated Scorpion with no resistance! My opponent was using their Castle Vantress at the very beginning of their turn, before their draw step, to scry 2 and got out an
Enter the God-Eternals targeting my Woe Strider. I wanted to sacrifice some stuff with my Bastion of Reemergence out and wanted to scry, so I sacrificed the Goat token, Serrated Scorpion and human token. I kept a Castle Locthwain on top of my library for card draw since I was running out of things to cast.
It went to my turn, and I cast a Woe Strider for its escape cost since I had plenty of cards in the graveyard at this point and needed something that could kill the 4/4 Zombie army my opponent had amassed. My opponent was still scrying every turn before their draw step. They ended up casting Uro for its escape cost next turn and attacking with the 4/4 zombie army. I used my Goat token to block and then sacrificed it with Woe Strider to scry another Bastion of Remembrance which I cast on my turn. I was able to cast another Woe Strider in my graveyard for it's escape cost, so now I hoped I had shut down Uro from attacking for the time being.
Next turn, my opponent cast
Narset, Parter of Veils (NOOO), and used her -2 to get an Extinction Event. HOWEVER, if they wanted to kill Woe Striders they would have to kill Uro too, right? Well, they went to combat and attacked with all. I did some blocking and sacrificing to scry and do damage with my Bastion's of Remembrance. I kept a THIRD Bastion of Remembrance on the top of my library from scrying and was hoping this would be enough to kill my opponent BECAUSE OUT CAME NISSA.
On my turn, I cast the third Bastion, and escaped a Woe Strider that died from blocking the 4/4 Zombie army. I decided to just go for it and attacked Narset at 3 loyalty with a 5/4 Woe Strider and 1/1 human token. They blocked Woe Strider with a 3/3 land and Narset was down to 2 loyalty. It went to my opponents turn, and they used Narset's -2 to get an Eliminate, but it also destroyed Narset, so was it worth it? For them, yes I'm sure it was. cries
They went to combat and attacked with Uro again. I was conflicted about blocking with a Woe Strider and human token to attempt to kill Uro, but I ended up chump blocking with a Goat token and sacrificing it to trigger my three Bastions of Remembrance. Before that resolved, my opponent used Eliminate targeting THEIR OWN URO. Okay, this is bad news for me. I knew that the Extinction Event was coming next. My scry showed me a Tymaret Calls the Dead and I didn't exactly want it, but I kept it on top because it was better than a land. Then came the Extinction Event. I was able to sacrifice one of my Woe Striders so that it didn't get exiled, and Bastion was popping off nicely. My opponent was at 11 life and I was at 41, but they were able to get Uro back out on the battlefield for its escape cost, AND use Nissa to create a 3/3 elemental. So while I had a lot more life, I was not feeling great about my board state.
It went to my turn and I drew my Tymaret Calls the Dead, attempted to cast it and it got Negated. How my opponent even still had untapped lands, I have no idea! WAS THIS EVEN LEGAL!? I didn't have enough cards in my graveyard to escape my Woe Strider, so I just had to pass my turn.
This was the beginning of my down fall. My opponent cast an Elder Gargaroth, made lots of 3/3 elementals, and I tried desperately to cast things like Kroxa, Mire Triton, and Kroxa escaped, but my opponent had removal for all of them. My three Bastions of Remembrance worked very hard for me and really tried to keep me alive, but eventually the big creatures just become too much and I succumbed to the warm, familiar embrace of my week 2 loss.
Just last last week, I wasn't terribly upset even though I lost my round. I did win game one and felt like I didn't make any terrible misplays that cost me any of the games. If you'd like to watch the entire match, it's uploaded on my YouTube channel:
For week 3, we are into the new Standard, so hopefully things will be less Sultai! Who am I kidding, Uro is still out there. I will be playing a Gruul landfall deck and hoping that some good old aggro can win me a match!
I'll be back here again next week with my Week 3 updates! In the mean time, you can follow me on Twitter for nonsense of all kinds!