Welcome back to Make the Play Monday!
It's been awhile since we've had a Make the Play Monday, with detours to luck, how to get luckier, and other people's plays; but we're back to tactics, at least for this week.
Me? I have a Pro Tour -- my first Pro Tour in years and years -- later this week, and as such, I've had to work on 40-cards more, rather than my usual preference for Constructed decks. I played in my first Friday Night Magic ever (I have been playing for twenty-one years, including playing on Friday nights more than once, but I had never played in an actual Friday Night Magic) two weeks ago to get some 40-card reps in; and played again last week.
A pair of alternate art versions of Path to Exile (so far). I might end up liking this Friday Night Magic thing!
Then this past weekend Magic Origins became available on MTGO. So I have been taking the opportunity to get more Draft practice before I leave for Vancouver on Wednesday.
For the purposes of this Make the Play Monday, this is our deck:
Shadows of the Past
Grasp of the Hieromancer
Chief of the Foundry
Knight of the Pilgrim's Road
Aven Battle Priest
Aven Battle Priest
1 Evolving Wilds
1 Rogue's Passage
I screwed up on the screenshot a little bit (note the font on the land column!); there is actually one more Rabid Bloodsucker in the sideboard.
This is certainly not the ur-BW Enchantments deck; there is a Blightcaster but not an Overabundance of enchantments. I was originally trying to draft red, but at the end of the first pack I had relatively few red good cards but managed to pick up a Topan Freeblade with only six cards left in the pack; then I got passed a second pick Tragic Arrogance in pack two. That put me solidly into white.
Like I said, I screwed up on the screenshot originally; that is because after some deep consideration I elected to play an 18th land in consideration of my powerful five and six mana spells. If I had been a green deck with cards like Leaf Gilder or Nissa's Passage that probably wouldn't have happened, but I didn't have so much as a Read the Bones to get ahead on cards. That meant tipping my hat to the sixes. On balance, with both an Evolving Wilds to help fix my mana and a Rogue's Passage to give me a mana sink (and spell-like ability coming off of one of my land slots), I felt like 18 lands made sense for this deck.
Ultimately we have a deck that, while it isn't the best BW draft in even the short history of Magic Origins on Magic Online, had great expensive cards and solid two-drops; that can get the initiative, drop the hammer late, or win with tricks, removal, or a powerful two mana enchantment.
Anyway: our deck.
It's been a while so I'll go over the rules of Make the Play Monday before offering up this week's scenarios.
I am going to put up some in-game situations with the above deck, and ask you all, the TCGplayer.com community, to offer up what you would do in any of them in the comments below.
Then, on Friday we will revisit the positions and discuss what I did (or should have done); typically I bring along a Celebrity Guest (you know, the odd luminary, PT Champ or Rookie of the Year) to weigh in on the plays as well.
We will pick two lucky responders from the community who picked answers that match mine and / or the Celebrity Guest's...and each will win a $25 TCGplayer.com gift certificate!
Okay, let's go to the scenarios:
The opponent started this one with an Enlightened Ascetic that didn't really light anything up (that's great for a deck like ours, which actually has some powerful enchantments, by the by); he followed up with Guardians of Meletis (which is a spectacularly annoying defensive creature), but has stumbled on mana since.
Our side has been not super exciting. Our only play was a turn three Knight of the Pilgrim's Road, but not much beyond triggering renown. Despite declaring a mulligan we are about to hit our fifth land on turn five (yay!).
We've got several options here. Many of our potential plays do about the same thing(s), but one of them probably comes out ahead of the others.
● 17 life● Six cards in hand● Notable Permanents: Island, Plains, Plains; Enlightened Ascetic (tapped), Guardians of Meletis
● 19 life● Five cards in hand - Aven Battle Priest, Tragic Arrogance, Enshrouding MIst, Unholy Hunger, Swamp (aka "land number five" and freshly-drawn)● Notable Permanents: Plains, Plains, Rogue's Passage, Swamp, Knight of the Pilgrim's Road (renowned)
It's our Draw Step: Play Turn Five
Same deck, different matchup.
We're in the middle of a game two fistfight. The opponent overpowered our mana flooded draw in game one despite messing up the timing on his Hixus, Prison Warden.
It's looking pretty good for us here, though.
We traded off an Enshrouding MIst to take out his Watercourser. He came back to take out our Fetid Imp (on a 1/1 Faerie Miscreant block) with a mid-combat Thunderclap Wyvern (maybe we should have planned for that? taken the one? at least left up b?)...which is obviously filthy.
Nevertheless, we're currently ahead on the race, and can't imagine his three cards are better than our three cards (though it bears mentioning that we've missed a few land drops). What to do, what to do?
● 11 life● One card in graveyard - Watercourser● Three cards in hand● Notable Permanents - Island, Island, Island, Plains, Plains, Plains, Faerie Miscreant, Thunderclap Wyvern + Suppression Field (on our Knight of the Pilgrim's Road)
● 12 life● Two cards in graveyard - Fetid Imp, Enshrouding MIst● Three cards in hand - Plains, Aven Battle Priest, Tragic Arrogance● Notable Permanents - Plains, Plains, Swamp, Swamp, Chief of the Foundry, Blightcaster, Shadows of the Past, Knight of the Pilgrim's Road (renowned, currently enchanted with Suppression Field)
It's our Draw Step: Play Turn Seven.
That's it for our scenarios. Let fly your plays in the comments below. We'll be back around Friday. Maybe you will win $25!