Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Halloween Game Day

Yesterday, on Halloween (Monday 31st October), I went to the Game Day that a nearby shop (Chaos City Comics) was running. It was a standard tournament, so I took along a deck I had already made: Mono-Black Infect [1]. 

I had updated it quite a bit since the last time, and was taking a few things of the  evolving metagame into consideration (when I first made the deck, it was mostly for fun, and the only thing to really play against was Caw-Blade). I had taken out the battlecry aspect because, although it had a nice synergy with the deck, wasn't always going to come together (as I would need a creature with infect in order to make the battlecry relevant, so I decided to instead focus on cards that are good or at least alright on their own, as well as with others). 

Here is the deck as I played it on the night, plus a bit of commentary as to why I played the card:

4 Inkmoth Nexus - Great card, either to get some early damage in if you don't have a card to cast, still a creature in the late game, lives through sorcery speed removal, and a blocker in a pinch
20 Swamp - Need Swamps fer ma spells!

4 Plague Myr - Acceleration - if you can't make a turn three Crusader, some of the things that cost four are good to play on turn three. 
4 Phyrexian Crusader - Best card in the deck. So good against a lot of decks, and really hard to beat in creature combat (first strike an infect is very powerful, ignoring the protection)
4 Hand of the Praetors - I quite liked it, it was often the target of a lot of removal, but that sometimes let other creatures fly under the radar. Handy to play when you already have a creature to attack that turn, to get the benefit of the boost
4 Corpse Cur - Currently undecided on this - handy in the late game, but there might be better things. It gets something back, but often when I was playing yesterday, I didn't recast the spell I got back, usually because I was able to win the next turn, or had a better play

4 Contagion Clasp - As there are a lot of small creatures in the format, this is helpful. Plus the proliferate is handy in the late game
3 Sword of Feast and Famine - Great card, amazing when it hits, and in this deck, can usually end the game just with the power boost, not needing the extra abilities. I only own 3, but don't think I would play a fourth if I had one as I think 2 or 3 is the right amount for the deck
2 Lashwrithe - Massive power boost in an almost-all-Swamp land base. Handy for a blocker for a turn until you re-equip it, or a massive boost to one of your creatures

4 Mutagenic Growth - Instant speed, and free, power and toughness boosting. Very helpful
4 Virulent Wound - There are a lot of X/1's in the format, and this spell really shines: kill a creature and get them on their way to being poisoned
2 Doom Blade - Killing creatures is always helpful. This can kill Wurmcoil Engine and Inkmoth Nexus, so I prefer this to Go for the Throat
1 Go for the Throat - Still playing a Go for the Throat as there might be some Germ tokens going around that you can't target with the Doom Blade, so variety in removal spells is handy (but still giving a preference to killing artifact creatures)

4 Hex Parasite - This was my most side-boarded card - handy for killing Planeswalkers, also good against creatures that have +1/+1 counters
4 Nihil Spellbomb - Didn't see any graveyard focused decks, but this is a nice pressuve valve as Innistrad is graveyard themed
2 Bonehoard - Again, a slight different take on the graveyard focused decks, that I might be able to use to my advantage
2 Tumble Magnet - Colourless control, plus handy with proliferate
2 Black Sun's Zenith - Mass removal. Didn't play it main deck as I was hoping to be able to just use my creatures to remove opponents creatures if I needed to
1 Tribute to Hunger - A way to get around non-targeted removal. I'd probably prefer another Zenith here, but don't have any, and this seemed interesting

In the Games Day tournament, there were four rounds (we got to the end of round three and I wasn't sure how many rounds there were as we looked like we were running out of time, but did play four rounds). 

Round 1
As is my usual luck when playing tournaments (this happens a lot when I draft), I get the round one bye. 

Round 2
My opponent is playing mono-red (which I am happy about as I used to play mono-red a lot, goblins in particular). I win the first round as I am able to gain advantage of the game with Phyrexian Crusader. In the second round, they play a Koth of the Hammer and use its second ability to play Chandra, the Firebrand in the same turn. That and their Shrine of Burning Rage that was able to kill my Phyrexian Crusader, and eventually burned me out. The third game was very close, I won as I was able to play and equip a sword in one turn to win. 

Round 3
In this round, my opponent is playing Mono-White. So my turn three Phyrexian Crusader was very helpful, although their Mirran Crusader was something I wasn't overly happy about seeing. I was able to win the round though, with a lot of help from my Crusader. 

Round 4
In the final round, my opponent is playing a white-green deck that makes creatures with lots of +1/+1 counters. The protection from White from Phyrexian Crusader is again handy, although they still have a few creatures to block with. In one game, I get two poison damage dealt, then, at 4 land, attack with an Inkmoth Nexus pumped with three (!) Mutagenic Growth to put them on 9 (they were tapped out), and used the remaining two mana to play Contagion Clasp so I could untap, proliferate and win. 

This meant that I won the tournament, so got the full art zombie and full art shiny white dude, and a few booster packs that the store owner gave out which was great. Overall, I was happy with the deck, it was fun to play with. 

I think the best card in the deck is Phyrexian Crusader, not close. So versatile and powerful, and hard to remove. If equipped with the sword, it is protected from all colours but blue, and is incredible in creature combat. 

I may have a think about a few changes to make; I had previously had been recommended to take out the Corpse Cur, and might think about doing that. The sideboard could also do with a little bit of tweaking. I had hoped there would be a bit more Zombie related boosts in Innistrad (as Phyrexian Crusader is a Zombie, so something that benefits that is going to be welcomed)


[1] Technically, around when M12 came out, I de-constructed the deck in preparation for Zendikar rotating out, then re-constructed it a bit later to be Innistrad-Standard legal.