Sometimes, bombs are enough to win games. Oftentimes, though, they are not. I was passed a pretty bomby pool, playing 5 rares in my deck, but I was incredibly light on removal, so I had to manage my creatures and spells well to make them count. Here’s the pool I got, and this is the deck I made:
Shimmering Grotto, Plains x8, Forest x7, Mountain
Avacyn’s Pilgrim, Caravan Vigil, Ranger’s Guile
Gatstaf Shepherd, Ambush Viper, Spectral Rider x2, Unruly Mob, Travel Preparations, Bonds of Faith
Daybreak Ranger, Orchard Spirit, Voiceless Spirit, Rebuke
Lumberknot, Thraben Sentry, Mikaeus, the Lunarch, Abbey Griffin
Somberwald Spider, Grizzled Outcasts, Manor Gargoyle, Kessig Cagebreakers, Devil’s Play
Match details after the jump!
The first two rounds I was able to win through tight play, with my bombs mostly getting removed immediately.
Round 1: My opponent got down a turn 2 Mindshrieker, but I was able to fend it off with an Abbey Griffin. He also got an Avacyn’s Mask and an Inquisitor Flail down, though, and equipped them both, so I wasn’t in a good spot. However, I was holding off his ground with a Manor Gargoyle and I had a Ranger’s Guile in hand. I made the hilarious mistake of thinking Mindshrieker’s ability only gave it +X/+0, so when he triggered it 3 times and got a total of 3, I was thinking it was a 5/3, and blocked with my Abbey Griffin and Ranger’s Guiled it. Funnily enough, it still worked out since I forgot Inquisitor Flail also makes it take double damage, so, it being a 5/6, it still died to my 3/3 griffin. *Whoops* Game 2 was kind of a beating with me curving out.
Round 2: Game 1, my opponent mulls to 6 on the play, but lands a turn 2 Mayor of Avabruck. I have nothing, so I die slowly to the ever-changing 3/3 wolves or randomly larger humans whenever I’m able to flip him back. Definitely didn’t help that he was able to Fiend Hunter my Mikaeus. It did make my Unruly Mob bigger when I was able to kill it with a Rebuke, though (it had a Butcher’s Cleaver on it… gross). Game 2, I keep a hand with a Mountain + Devil’s Play. He once again gets a turn 2 Mayor, which I snap Fireball it for 1. Meanwhile, I got an Unruly Mob and Spectral Rider down with double Travel Prep, along with Mikaeus, and he doesn’t have a Fiend Hunter this time. Meanwhile, he’s got a Voiceless Spirit but no other creatures. I just keep bashing with my 2 creatures, alternately going +1 and -1 on Mikaeus. After the match, my opponent tells me he was waiting for me to attack with Mikaeus, since he had double Rebuke in hand. Game 3, he keeps a ballsy 1-lander, but doesn’t draw a second land. He said his hand was Plains, Ambush Viper, Ludevic’s Test Subject, Fiend Hunter, and felt that drawing any land gets him there. Unfortunately, the only thing he draws in the first 4 turns is Traveler’s Amulet, by which time it’s too late as I’ve gotten a turn 2 Spectral Rider, turn 3 Voiceless Spirit, turn 4 Daybreak Ranger, Travel Prep, etc.
Round 3: Random deck check time. Sadly enough, we both get game losses; I had written down 8 Plains, 7 Forests on my reg sheet, but had 8 Forests and 7 Plains in my actual deck. I grabbed 8 of each and probably forgot which one I had less of. This is why them requiring deck reg turnins prior to getting lands is stupid. It was a Legion event, but the head judge was one of the Minnesota ones (I forget his name; he plays at FNM at Legion Games). When Jordan was head judge, he had judges sitting at/near the land tables and asked you to hand them in at the same time as getting your land. This makes more sense to me. Anyway, my opponent also got a game loss because he counted his Shimmering Grotto and Traveler’s Amulet as “lands” and forgot to mark them on his sheet period (he told me this after the game). So, he had to replace them with basic lands. Good for me, I thought. Not so. He was on the play, and gets his Grixis domain on turn 3. Shaky manabase my ass. You know what else is pretty retarded? Turn 1 Delver of Secrets. Turn 2, flip a Geistflame, 3 in the air. Play another Delver. Turn 3, no flip, take 4. I got a turn 3 Daybreak Ranger and sit there waiting for the Brimstone Volley, but apparently he doesn’t have it. What *does* happen is turn 4, flip Desperate Ravings, 6 in the air. Yes, I just got aggro’d out by Delver of Secrets. He declines a play, flipping my Ranger. I shoot one of his flyers in response to the trigger, play a land, and pass. He attacks again for 3, but I have a Rebuke. Good, I think, I stabilized, I actually have a shot. I get him to 8 with my Nightfall Predator before finally getting a second creature. However, this is apparently my undoing, as he Victim of the Nights it, then Brimstone Volleys me, putting me to 2. Next turn, he lays a second mountain and has double Geistflame to kill me. Pretty retarded way to lose, both from the deck check perspective and from holy shit lucky Delver of Secrets flips.
Round 4: I’m playing another UR deck. I win game 1 with good stuff, he wins game 2 with good stuff. Game 3, there are only 2 noteworthy things. One is that he sits there and keeps sulking about all the bombs I opened. I start tilting too, because, you know what’s better than bombs, in this case? The fact that all my bombs are in the graveyard, because he killed them all. I should have won the game, but I unthinkingly Bonds of Faithed his Rage Thrower, forgetting to check its creature type. I don’t have enough to also Ghostly Possession it, so it whacks me for 6 next turn. If I hadn’t done that, I could have still been getting in for 4 with my Spectral Rider + Travel Prep (my Orchard Spirit wouldn’t get in, but it wouldn’t have mattered at that point). The difference is that his Pitchburn Devils would have Bonds, which would have kept me out of Brimstone Volley range. Anyway, due to my huge mistake, I lost the match. However, Adam and Matt are still 3-1, so I stay in.
Round 5: My opponent is playing UW splashing G for a Garruk. Gross. Helpfully, he’s forced to reveal this game 1 when he uses it to kill my 3/3 Mikaeus, causing it to die as well. I win game 1 due to flyers and Spectral Rider + Travel Prep after hitting his Avacyn Priest with Devil’s Play. Game 2, he gets off an early Garruk, killing my Spectral Rider and pumping out Deathtouch wolves for the rest of the game. I scoop after he Dissipates my Devil’s Play to kill Garruk. Game 3, he gets off an early One-Eyed Scarecrow, rendering my Voiceless Spirit and Abbey Griffin mostly null. I double Travel Prep them, but he hits my Voiceless Spirit with Sensory Deprivation. For the first time all day, I get my Grizzled Outcasts down, but he follows up with Creepy Doll. I draw a Bonds of Faith, but he has Dissipate for it. We both get Thraben Sentries, but he Deprives mine’s Sensories. Finally, I land a Manor Gargoyle and get enough reach to put the game away in short order.
After we fill out the results slip, Matt and Adam come up to me and say “You should drop; we’re both 3-2.” I feel a little bad, since my opponent said his driving buddy was 4-0, so he was probably staying for a while longer. I’d have liked to give him the win, so he has a higher chance at pack prizes… but I won’t say no to more Planeswalker Points!
In closing, lessons of the tournament: don’t screw up your deck registration. Write down what lands you need if you’re asked to hand in the registration sheet before you’re allowed to get basic lands. Also, remember that Bonds of Faith isn’t Pacifism. Reading/knowing creature types is key!