Hey everyone! I hope you have been having fun watching me stumble my way through the epic punts and terrible plays that I have been subjecting you all to for the last few weeks. I had a lot of fun last week beating face with the Bloody Zoo list, and all that red mana made me want to play something a little different. I really wanted to just let the sky fall on my opponents’ heads, and wanted to cast an old favorite of mine:
RG Scapeshift by Scott MacCallum
This is based loosely off a list I got immediately after the Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle unbanning from noted Valakut enthusiast Phil Samms. This list doesn’t do anything fancy like its RUG counterpart; it is designed to ramp right into the “kill you” threshold and basically ignore your opponent. We have twice as many must-counter cards as the controlling version, because we run the full set of my old standby from Commander days gone by, Primeval Titan. Few things in Magic are as instantly rewarding and provide as much satisfaction as resolving Prime Time. I have been feeling down about my play quality lately, so I decided it was time for some feel-good spellslinging. Manamorphose helps filter mana for your green spells, as well as making your deck functionally four cards smaller.
I decided to try our hand at two-mans exclusively to see if we could up the expected quality of our opponents and prey on players unprepared for our game plan. Let’s see what happened.
The first thing I have noticed is that I am running too quickly on MTGO. I am accustomed to a lot of paper shortcuts that I don’t pay attention to on MTGO, like redirecting damage to planeswalkers and automatic yields to permanent-generated effects. This, of course, cost me some games in rather spectacular fashion much to everyone else’s joy and my own shame and frustration. Let’s just say that I REALLY hate Liliana of the Veil and leave it at that.
Special mention to @Krevvymtg for battling me with his standard Fognibor deck, a Travis Woo special outlined in great detail here. I was grateful to witness the power that variance can have on a game of Magic: the Gathering. Make sure you watch this.
I ended up making a couple of changes to the list during the show, because a couple of the things I was trying were just too cute and not strategies that would be applicable to the current Modern format. I cut the Inkmoth Nexus and added another Misty Rainforest, and after the ranching I received at the hands of those pesky robots, I ended up finding some space for copies of Shatterstorm that I had on hand for that very match.
In hindsight, I think the mana is a little off and merits some tweaks; adding more Fetchlands has to be correct. I suspect two Scalding Tarns and another Misty Rainforest are the best additions. Another card I didn’t like was Oracle of Mul Daya. Even though she was so important to the deck’s success in Standard, she just doesn’t do enough in this deck for a four-CMC creature. I suspect I would have better luck with a Khalni Heart Expedition, or just the fourth Scapeshift. I plan to tweak this a bit to make it a lot smoother, and also plan to practice a bit more before the stream to get readjusted to the critical mass numbers, such as number of lands required with and without a Prismatic Omen in play when resolving Scapeshift to hit different damage outputs.
Apologies for the short article this week, but I assure you there are many lessons to come out of piloting this deck, and some pretty major mistakes made last week to try to come back from. In the spirit of self-improvement, I’d like to try something: Please leave a comment about one specific play that I made during the stream in which I made a strategic mistake. Please do not confuse this with a misclick. (I don’t need to hear anymore about the Liliana mishaps.) The one that best rings true and I didn’t already catch myself while watching replay will get the credit this week.
As announced on the show, please congratulate John Clayton Butler for his second win for his astute observation about my preferred deck types and how they clash with my natural instincts about this game. I have noted this and am committed to trying out some new things. Thanks John. Please email email@example.com to collect!
Thanks everyone. See you next week!
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