L.A. Dreams: Anyone spare some change?

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

A line we often hear but seldom remember. Maybe not that we forget but more like we hope. We hope that our Goblin deck isn’t going to be crushed like last week. Hope that people won’t have all the flashfreezes against our valakut deck. That cawblade will die.

Well the sad truth is that things aren’t always that easy. The biggest mistake I think people made in thinking cawblade was dead is that they forgot that Stoneforge Mystic may have been an issue, but it was the equipment she was getting that was giving a huge advantage. If she was getting trusty Machete’s and Accorder’s shield I think we might have been a little less angry. Sword of feast and Famine made her into a ridiculous tutor. Batterskull just nailed the coffin shut on the bannings.

Even then we all had hopes of a balanced format when Splinter Twin combo came to the forefront of discussion. That hope was quickly shattered when CawBlade players realized they could just play Splinter Twin combo themselves and have the most consistent deck with a way to win the game out of nowhere.

The BanHammer came down on what I will now refer to as MysticBlade to not confuse people with current CawBlade. Mystic and Jace were gone. How could anyone ever hope to smash with a sword now! Even I was a bit heartbroken losing those cards and thought I could never play any of the cards in that deck again.

I should have realized myself that the sword had just as strong an affect when you cast it as when you cheat it into play. With cawblade coming back it was such a shock that again people forget lessons of the past. It was a very weird series of thoughts that got me to the following position.

Tectonic edge is just not doing anything big in this format. It does nothing against splinter twin. Valakut doesn’t care all that much if you can’t back it up with counters. What tec edge targets do you have against mono red? Tempered steel has inkmoth nexus and contested warzone but you don’t really have time to be screwing around. So your only targets are the control decks, but there’s still nothing to really make it worth losing the mana when you can be gaining a board presence.

The card draw in this format is so narrow. It’s more of filtering than any sort of drawing. We have ponder and preordain? Jace Beleren is hard to keep around in an aggressive format. Divination doesn’t do it. Jace’s ingenuity doesn’t work the way we want. The closest I can imagine is foresee since it digs so deep.

The common trend about these card draw spells is that they’re good against control decks, bad against the agro decks, and can be the death of you against combo decks. So if card selection is much more prominent than card draw then how can we abuse this fact?

We play with cards that we want to find.

The more things change the more they stay the same.

3 Celestial Colonnade

3 Glacial Fortress

4 Seachrome Coast

4 Scalding Tarn

3 Arid Mesa

3 Mountain

3 Island

4 Plains

26 Land

4 Preordain

4 Ponder

3 Mana Leak

3 Spell Pierce

1 Day of Judgement

2 Splinter Twin

2 Dismember

3 Sword of Feast and Famine

22 Spells

4 Deceiver Exarch

4 Squadron Hawk

2 Spellskite

2 Emeria Angel

12 Creatures


This list is still pretty rough. I have taken a previous version of the list to FNM and I took 1st place. I went 5-1 losing in 3 to a Mono Black deck after I mulliganed to 5.

The big difference between that list and this one is I ran only 6 cantrips, 2 swords, no day and no emeria. I ran some Timely Reinforcements and Mirran crusaders because our metagame is very agro and black centric. I overestimated the chance of running into an agro deck that would need Timely Reinforcements in the main. At the same time I made a mistake of preparing for too wide a metagame.

I had chosen sideboard slots to fight birthingpod, valakut, and cawblade when none of these decks exist in my local game store. While we might have cheap aggressive decks we hardly have things along the lines of B/r Vampires or Tempered Steel. Because I misread the meta and wasted sideboard slots I couldn’t deal with my Mono-Black opponent properly. I could have easily packed 4 Celestial Purge into the board and wrecked him.

There was another mistake I made. I under estimated the power of having as much card filtering as I do. 

My opening 7 was Celestial Colonnade, Seachrome, 2 Fetchlands, 2 Squadron hawks, and a ponder. I mulliganed thinking I was already down a card and that I had nothing powerful to do during the game. This was wrong since I had a curve that let me ponder, shuffle off(or not) the cards I don’t want, then do stuff and have another chance to shuffle cards off.

When I was at 6 cards it was almost the same hand minus the colonnade.

My opponent kept at 7 and is playing back. If I mulligan again it will just make his discard event more effective. I should have kept since there’s no 4 card(Since he will cast a discard spell) hand that would be worth it.

I did mulligan to 5 and with 2 land, 1 hawk, a purge and an oblivion ring. I lost the oblivion ring the next turn, drew 6 lands and lost to 3 lashwrithes and a vampire nighthawk. I had no card selection and was losing a card no matter what. It’s a lesson to take to heart. Black is a tricky enemy to face with this deck.

I believe it can be a heavy contender since it has diverse threats, can run singletons easily, and has the chance to just win outright. Maybe I will be able to convince Jason aka @realevilgenius to run this at nationals. I will play this deck more and figure out a tighter list.

Posted on August 1, 2011, in Articles, L.A. Dreams. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I was just starting to wonder if TwinBlade could survive through the bannings. Glad to see I’m not the only one, but sad that this is now out in the world.

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