January 14, 2012

Black Blue Control FNM Evaluation - January 2012


With the current Meta game both in online and my local store, I shifted from solar flare to UB control. By studying the Meta game last week and finding out that around 75% of the decks were using Delver of Secrets aggro (some were UW and some were UR), I was able to come up with a list that might be able to deal with these types of decks effectively.

I would like to discuss my deck techs. The first card is Curse of Death's Hold. This card might only be a $1 rare BUT this card is very good in the current Status of standard. This goes in the board in almost all aggro match-ups. This is good against token decks, as tokens basically die. This answers Moorland Haunt (this card single-handedly killed control decks) and kills the spirits. This is also good against red decks. Snapcaster mages will die the moment that they enter the battlefield. Since the meta game for our local store is mostly aggro, I placed 3x in the Main board. Yes! THREE! and looking at the decks in magic online, it seems that these will stay in my main deck for quite some time (considering Dark Ascension seems to have more tokens).

And since I am expecting more aggro match ups, a good 1st turn removal can save you tons of damages from possible Delver of Secrets and Stromkirk Nobles. Of course, in black blue decks, I think it is logical to run a set of Doom Blades nowadays. Then I run 3x Wring flesh main deck.

Then, I think my MVP or MVC (Most Valuable card ^_^) for the tournament is Despise. This card hasn't seen much play nowadays. BUT in an aggro-filled environment and the coming of Sorin, Lord of Innistrad in Dark Ascension, Despise should be a staple in black decks. This card saved me many times as it can basically remove a Mirran Crusader, or any planeswalker early on and you may be able to use Surgical Extraction to remove the threats that you can discard.

Those are my techs. You guys can actually follow my suggestions or you can basically put in Go for the Throat or Dismember based on the meta game of your local stores. I finished top 4 last FNM with a record of 2-1-1. This was the list that I ran:

3 Snapcaster Mage
2 Grave Titan
1 Massacre Wurm

2 Despise
4 Mana Leak
3 Dissipate
3 THink Twice
3 Forbidden Alchemy
3 Wring Flesh
4 Doom blade
2 Black Sun's Zenith

3 Curse of Death's Hold

3 Ghost Quarter
2 Nephalia Drownyard
4 Drowned Catacomb
4 Darkslick Shores
7 Island
6 Swamp

Sideboard: (depends on your Meta)
2 Ratchet Bomb
3 Surgical Extraction
2 Negate
1 Despise
1 Volition Reins
1 Wurmcoil Engine
1 Batterskull
3 Geth's Verdict
1 Black Sun's Zenith


Round 1 vs URb Olivia Control WIN (2-1) : 1-0
Both of us were running maindeck Curse of Death's hold for aggro but Curse basically dictated the game as the -1/-1 is very important in our match. In a matchup against control, Despise can give you the upperhand to not only remove potential threats in your opponent's hand but also give you the idea of what is in your opponent's hand. So you can have the hint to cast Grave Titan in the 6th turn because he doesn't have answers or stock counterspells in your hand to stop his spells. I won game 1 and both of us sided in Surgical Extractions to remove each other's counterspells and threats. In control match-ups, milling your opponent out is a way of winning and I needed a third Nephalia Drownyard in the sideboard, and so maybe I will add that in the next FNM (but again, I wasn't expecting control). In the third game, I was able to play 2 Nephalia drownyards and milled him out, in the process, using surgical extraction to remobve his threats like Olivia Voldaren, and Liliana of Veil.

Round 2 vs RGW Wolf-Run LOSS (0-2) : 1-1
I had no answer to Thrun (aside from black sun's zenith) and he already had Wolf-Run online so it's a total game loss. Game 2, this is when the geth's verdicts will save you. So I sided them in, added more Zenith. However, luck was not in my side in this one, I mulligan and I was playing that turn and my opening hand was not very good either but I had a removal and mana leak, so I played it. I had no luck as he didn't miss a land drop and dropped threat after threat such as Hero of Bladehold, Gideon Jura, Titan, and Thrun. I had removals and counter spells in the game but he simply had too much beaters and I wasn't able to have a single draw spell in the game.

Round 3 vs UB control DRAW (1-1) : 1-1-1
This round is pretty much fifty-fifty. And from what I have learned in the past, you need to be more patient in these match-ups. A simple advise, if you have a threat in hand, do not cast it as soon as you can. You can use despise to scout your opponent's hand and count his counter spells and removals, if you have more counterspells then you cast your biggie. In mirror-matches, what wins the game is an unanswered resolved Grave Titan OR Nephalia Drownyard. So again, I needed a third Nephalia drownyard. I was pretty confident in Nephalia wars since I had 3 Ghost quarters in the deck. I was able to mill my opponent out in game 2. We didn't have enough time to finish game 3 and so it was a draw. Just a note, in control vs control matchups, you should always remember that the one who casts a big creature (say grave titan) taps more mana than the defending player; meaning the defending player can cast more counter spells that you. So unless you are sure (or you think) you have more counterspells or an advantage, hold your threats until you opponent casts his own, the you go into counter wars, then you play your threat (that time, he has already exhausted his mana and counter spells) in the next turn.

Round 4 vs Green-White Tokens WIN (2-0) : 2-1-1
I came in prepared for this type of deck. The only problem for me was basically Mirran Crusader and Garruk Relentless. I won game 1 pretty easily since he played a hand with less lands and relied in Birds of Paradise and Avacyn Pilgrims in hand to support his mana. In game 1s with this type of deck, I basically kill the mana-producing creatures in the first few turns just to see how he reacts. If he needed that for mana, then he had lesser lands in hand. If he didn't need that for mana, then he has lesser threats in his hand since he may have more lands. Game 2, I sided in surgical extractions, additional despise and Black sun's zenith. I removed and used surgical extraction on his mirran Crusaders. The black sun's zenith and Curse of Death's hold held off his creatures. When I cast Massacre Wurm and followed with Grave Titan in the next turn, the game was over.

Thank you for your time in reading this post. Viva Pit Senyor!


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  2. I haven't joined any FNM for a while. :(

    So, how's your PR?

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