I’m Sorry I Burned Down Your Village, Here’s Some Gold – The Road to the PTQ Part 2 by Craig Crowe
If you have read through part one of this saga, you will know that I tried some decks out and settled on taking land hate to a competitive event.
What a d**k move that is!
Now in my previous post I had said that the deck was untested, that is slightly untrue, I had managed to play it and tune it against an Esper control deck that I had played so many times before. Also, I had run the list past a few people in the hope they could give me some additional advise for the deck and got some really good ideas.
But I still had no Idea what kind of a sideboard to run with it, I mean I knew what to expect by & large. So in my head I thought there would be 2 flavours of devotion, a couple of control and a good helping of Gruul Aggro/monsters.
My friend Matt (who I tend to run all my decks past before I subject the rest of the world to them) suggested that as my ramp was similar to monsters, just sideboard a chunk of that in. I thought this was a good idea and my sideboard went something like this.
1x Archetype of Endurance
1xBow of Nylea
1x Deadbridge Goliath
1x Felhide Spiritbinder
2x Ghor-Clan Rampager
2x Ogre Battledriver
1x Pithing Needle
1x Polukranos, World Eater
1x Ruric Thar, the Unbowed
2x Zhur-Taa Swine
If you would like to see the main deck, it’s back in part 1.
At this point, I should also note I had figured that the deck may win 1 in 3 games as I didn’t think it was fast enough.
It was a horrible wet start to the day, I had planned to have a hangover to help me focus on the game and I had a fairly decent one. awake at 5am, left the house at 6am and got to Sheffield in time for breakfast at Matt’s sister’s house (big shout out there, I could not have got through the day without that)
I’ll gloss over the bits that happened between that and the first game, because it’s not really anything relevant to the rest of the story so skip to the end…
Round 1 – Mono White Weenie
The game stopped as a judge was called for the oracle text of the tilling as this one was in Japanese. Everyone was happy and the game continued.
I had managed to keep his lands down to 2, and his creatures down to less than that with some really well timed burn spells.
It was after the second land I destroyed when he twigged my chosen strategy. “You’re playing land destruction?” the end of the table momentarily fell silent and everyone looked over. The genie was out of the bottle and it was worth it for that reaction.
After paying the tribute on my Nessian Demolok and my Oracle of Bones game 1 was over pretty quick.
Game 2 he chose to side, his deck got faster and I got beat down very quickly without much chance to fight back.
In game 3 i chose to side into monsters, but the damage was done and I could not work as fast as the weenie deck.
He had won the round, but some people now knew what was coming.
Round 2 – Gruul ramp
There’s no shame in losing to a weakness of the deck, the first game of the match I got so outmanoeuvred my head was spinning. Game 2 went little better.
Once more the game came to a halt as a judge was called due to Frenzied Tilling, this time it was my Invasion printing that caused the issue, my opponent wanting to make sure it had had a recent printing.
Despite this, I managed to keep his lands down to 1 and he managed to get enough critter ramp out to cause me trouble. The game over move came when Domri Rade‘s final ability was used.
Round 3 – Green devotion
More efficient than the red green there was no way of me keeping up with this guy.
Third time a judge was called on my Frenzied Tilling again the Japanese version.
Managed to destroy a Nykthos, shrine to Nyx but his devotion ramp was ridiculous and the game was over as I was just about getting going.
Any deck with the potential to play a Garruk, caller of Beasts on the second turn is OK by me.
If you are wondering how it goes turn 1 Elvish Mystic, Turn 2 drop 3 Burning-Tree emissarys and a Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx using the last 2 mana from the BTE’s to activate the Shrine. devotion to green = 7, Garruk = 6 to cast.
Like I say, Ramp is crazy in standard right now, especially for single colour decks.
This was the point where I started to wonder about my deck, as it had only won a single game all day, but I chalked it up to being matched up against an unfortunate pairing for the first three games and decided to plod on regardless. After all, I was really only there for the fun of it.
This was also the point that I realized I had become infamous, I stepped out side to phone my fiancée and not long after hanging up to her, someone mentioned that someone was running an “A**hole” deck, aka land destruction.
I smiled, made my introductions and had a bit of a chat about why I had come to a PTQ with land hate.
Round 4 – Izzet Elemental
The moment my opponent dropped a Izzet Guildgate as his first land I could not help but smile. I was under the impression that this gent would be playing a Maze’s End deck having heard about three of them doing the rounds on the day.
Turn 3 is my golden turn in so much as I can play my land destruction from here, if I drop a Elvish Mystic turn 1 or 2, it is a good bet I will be able to play Bramblecrush or Demolish on turn 3. If I play the Satyr Hedonist turn 2, there is a good chance a tilling will come their way.
This was a slow and drawn out couple of games, I kept his sources of blue under control but he still seemed to be able to spit out a decent amount of Elementals with Young Pyromancer, as well as give me a bit of damage from Guttersnipe.
I really enjoyed playing against that deck.
The first game of this round was a complete write off, Got Pummelled quite early by a Loxodon Smiter and an Unflinching courage, just could not get anything off quick enough, but that was OK because my opponent was lulled into a false sense of security.
Game 2 was just as quick but very much went in my favour. typical story, turn 3 started wiping out his sources of green mana and chucking down Demoloks and bone-casters. Also Xenagos, the Reveler helped with his ability to churn out satyrs and be a target for big attacking creatures.
I got a little worried in game 3, I had sided out all of my destruction in favour of the aggro, but all I seemed to pull was manadorks (2 Satyrs 1 Mystic) and a couple of bloodrush critters.
I had swung a couple of times and knocked him down to about 15 he then played an Advent of the Wurm and I decided to swing at him for 5 with the Satyrs and the elf. He blocked the elf, I bloodrushed a Ghor-Clan Rampager onto it, they traded, both died but it was worth it as he could no longer populate the token.
The following turn he had nothing, I swung with everything, bloodrushing two Zhur-Tar Swine onto one of the Hedonists.
Round 6, Scoop with a mutavault
Seriously, I really do not know what this chap was playing. He was on the draw so my turn 3 he only had
2 land one land whilst I was sitting on four after the tilling. Next turn played Demolish. He had no lands so he scooped.
Next game pretty much the same apart from the fact this time he dropped a Mutavault, and I think I Bramblecrushed turn 3 instead.
Round 7, I think it was control, but I really cannot be sure
See the problem with control decks is they take a little while to get going. I think this round may have been against an Azorius deck, although it could just as easily have been Esper. The most this opponent seemed to be able to do was Detention Sphere one of my Demoloks.
That sphere was dispatched in a turn and they had to then face the idea of paying tribute on it again.
Game one, I had all of the aggro and a burn spell to finish (even though I was in full destruction mode). Game two didn’t side because my opponent still thought I was playing monsters.
It was a fast win, and one I was quite pleased with.
Round 8. C-C-C-C-Combo Breaker
This was a White Weenie deck with a little black for flavour. They did a number on my deck and I just wasn’t pulling the burn spells as fast as I would have liked.
I lost 2-0, but as I was playing for boosters I was happy to stay and try for one more.
It was getting late, but on the plus side my hangover was all but gone by this point.
And no boosters either, seriously, anyone who can drop a pair of Phoenix against my deck in a timely fashion can completely demolish my deck.
I was completely in a Red Deck Wins state, no defence vs flyers and no burn spells to pop them. I was completely outmanoeuvred in that game. But fair play to the guy, he was going home with 5 boosters and a placement quite a bit higher than mine.
Still, 178/298 isn’t bad for a deck I pretty much took for a laugh and I took home four boosters– and I did have a lot of fun. So I really cannot complain.
I’m also quite impressed (and I am easily impressed) that other people wanted my deck list to take to their local FNM.
So If you have been subjected to this list, or a deck like it…
“I’m sorry I burned down your village, Here is some gold!” I will try my best to make Reparations