Plainswalkin’ #2: Blood Hunger Guide (Part 2 of 3)
Hello all, and welcome to another edition of “Plainswalkin”! Hopefully the picture didn’t burn your eyes. Today I’m going to show you a few matchups that I’ve scoured while playing this deck. Some match-ups I’ve lost and some I’ve won. Also, please note that I was taking some sloppy notes during the matchup, so if I made a mistake in noting or due to play errors (which happens sometimes) please contact me in the comments. Thanks!
Game One: Guardians of the Wood
For those of you don’t know, this is Nissa’s elf deck, toned down in power from the original. Two swarm decks… Let’s see if I can keep my opponent on the edge.
At the beginning, I draw a no-land hand, so I mulligan (note that in Duels you get a free mulligan) into a hand with four lands, a Ruthless Cullblade, a Captivating Vampire, and something else that slipped my mind. Anyways, my opponent is on the play, so he plays a Forest and passes. I draw.. I think a Gatekeeper of Malakir, play a Swamp, and pass. Turn 2 he routines into a Forest and an Elvish Visionary, the first critter we’ve seen so far. He then passes, while I play a Swamp and the Cullblade, then I pass.
Next turn, he goes aggro with the Visionary, getting the first hit, and I go down to 19. He plays a Forest and a Titania’s Chosen (deadly card in this deck). He then passes. I continue to hit the land drops and play my Captivating Vampire, and buffs my Cullblade to a 3/2. I then attack with her, and he takes the damage, my opponent going down to 17. I then pass the turn, and he plays a Nissa’s Chosen and an Ezuri’s Archers, buffing the Titania to a 3/3. He then attacks with the chosen, and I decline to block. I have 16 life now.
He then passes, and so I play a Swamp, cast a kicked Gatekeeper, taking out the useless Visionary. I then attack with the Cullblade, and he trades with the Nissa’s Chosen One. I then pass. Turn 5 he does something fierce. He plays his forest, and he gets out a Heedless One. The Heedless One is 3/3. He then attacks with his Titania’s Chosen (being a.. 5/5?) I decline to block, and now I’m at 11 life. He then passes. I then proceed to play a Swamp, attack with my 3/3 Gatekeeper, and he doesn’t block. I then play my two Duskhunter Bats I must have drawn, making them each a 2/2, and I pass.
Turn 6 he plays a Swamp, casting Nath of the Gilt-Leaf (scary), attacks with Titania’s Chosen (6/6 now), getting down to.. 5 life I suppose. My memory right now is a bit hazy so please bear with me. He then passes, I attack with the Bats, taking him down to 10 life, then I play the Vampire Aristocrat. I pass.
Turn 7 he uses Nath’s discard spawned a 1/1 Elf. I discard a Tormented Soul (the other card in my hand was Sangromancer) and swings with his dudes – a Nath, an Ezuri’s Archers, a Heedless One, and the Titania’s Chosen. I block the Chosen with my Gatekeeper, block the Heedless One with my Aristocrat, and I block the Archers with Captivating Vampire. He then Stops Timer, and finds a Might of the Masses to put on Nath. I sac my bats to kill the Heedless One, but it’s futile. I lose.
Game Two: Ancient Depths
Once again, for those of you in the know, this is Kiora Atua’s deck. It’s a G/U deck that focuses on ramping and drawing until you find a Kozilek, an Ulamog, or some random fatty, like Lorthos. Then you crush the opponent. This deck doesn’t really have an early game except for Coiling Oracles and Kraken Hatchlings. Lets see – do I overrun him in the early game, or do I get mauled by a fatty?
First turn, I’m on the play, and I get my god-hand – three swamps, a Quag Vampires, a Duskhunter Bat, a Vampire Nighthawk, and a Mirri the Cursed. I feel good right now. I lead with a Swamp, and get a Quag Vampires going. I pass. For the most part, my opponent goes Forest and passes – for a minute, I thought I would be playing another elf deck, so I was a bit scared. Turn 2, I swamp and I go straight to the battle phase, where my Vampires delivers a little lash. He goes down to 19. Then play my bloodthirsty bat, now a 2/2, and pass. He plays an Island and does nothing. That proves to be his downfall.
Next turn I swing with both guys again, lowering my opponent’s life total to 16. Then I play my trump card (but I’m already trumping already), a Vampire Nighthawk. I then pass. He plays a Forest, and he does his first real thing this game – he plays a paltry Explore, playing another Island, and he passes. For the most part, next turn I play a recently drawn Swamp, and play Mirri the Cursed. She has haste, so I can lash out with everybody that turn, draining my opponent’s life total to 8. I pass. After that, my opponent plays Æther Mutation, bouncing my Mirri and putting four useless Saprolings on the battlefield. He passes.
On Turn 5, I play Mirri again, and around this time my opponent leaves. When an opponent leaves, he or she gets taken over by the AL. Anyways, I swing with everybody but the Quag Vampires, making my opponent’s life total 1. Next turn, OMG Near-Death Experience and Time Warp! I lose.
Just joking. The AL actually plays Tidings, drawing four cards, and passes. I see that the AL discards a Kozilek due to max hand size, but no matter. I draw and play a Corrupt, giving a very Phyrexian-esque way of winning.
Game Three: Realm of Illusions
(Author’s note: Sometimes, there are actually no players at all in the game lobby, something I find quite hard to stomach. Due to me staying around like 15 minutes and not having a game, I will instead be going up to a hard AL. Thanks!)
Illusions! I’m actually looking forward to building a Standard deck around these guys, but for now I can sample their… umm, flavors before I actually buy the deck (around $90 or so). Let’s see what they have in store. Will they get stalled mid-game? Or will my Vampires cry at their worst nightmares?
Turn 1 I mulligan a slow hand (with Vampire Outcasts my first play) into a strong but still kinda-slow hand (Vampire Nighthawk my first play). Jace goes first and plays an Island, and instead of the expected Bear, he passes. I also lay down the land (a Swamp) and pass. Turn 2 sees Jace playing another Island, and plays Krovikian Mist, his first creature. He passes. I then do the usual (starts with an s), and pass.
Turn three, things start to get interesting. He plays the customary Island and finds a Blind Phantasm to cast, and then he attacks with the Mist (now a 2/2). The Mist makes a small dent in my life total, down to 18. We shift over to my turn, and I play the Nighthawk. I pass. His next turn consists of him casting Phantasmal Bear in his second main phase (?) and does nothing else. I play a Swamp and a Sangromancer. Not wanting to lose the Nighthawk, I pass the turn.
Turn 5 he’s stuck on three land and does absolutely nothing. I then play a Swamp and use Spread the Sickness on the Mists, which dies and lets me gain three life (Sangromancer). I swimg with my dudes. Jace goes down to 15 life, and I let him resume his turn. Now seeing his chance, he swings with everyone (the Bear and the Phantasm) I’m down to 19. He then casts another Bear, and passes the turn to me. I Swamp myself, swing with the ‘mancer (down to 12) and play a bloodthirsted Vampire Outcasts. It’s his turn now.
His next turn he does nothing but play a Mind Spring for 1. That makes my cringe at how bad that play is but that shows that he really is desperate for more land. He passes, while I go all-aggro on him and swing with everyone. He takes 5 from the ‘mancer and the ‘hawk (going down to 7) but he gang-blocks my Outcasts, killing the Blind Phantasm. I play a Skeletal Vampire and pass. He’s weak now, and finally plays an Island, with a Phantom Beast seeing the battleground. But too little, too late. I once again swing with all my flying dudes, and he goes down.
Thanks for reading! Next article will be some analysis and some deck-building, so make sure to tune in.