Sunday, December 17, 2017

Ancient on december the 16th

We had to reschedule our latest Ancient event of the year, due to the gathering of the knights of the thorn, which was planned on the same day we had originally planned our ancient gathering and some of our players would like to attend the other event as well. To not make them choose, we rescheduled to the 16th. That was a bit too close to Christmas for some, so the gathering was a little smaller than intended, but it was fun none the less. 

Because this was the last time we could play mirage (we decided to end the mirage experiment by the end of the year because most in the core player group think it does not add that much to the gameplay), I decided to go pretty much all in on mirage, making the core of my deck out of mirage cards. When you think about it, you probably don't think there are that many interesting cards in mirage. The 93/94 players all shouted: "fetch lands!!" so I decided to give that a try at first, even though I haven't been a real fan of the mirage fetches in anything resembling a serious deck. I went with a UWG deck with some brainstorms to make the fetchlands worthwhile. After being utterly crushed (I think it was about 10-2 in playtesting) by Peters deck with blood moons in it, I was even less convinced. Back to the drawing board. 

So, fetch simply to slow for this format. Even when I didn't get crushed by the blood moon, most of the time the fact they end up in play tapped makes them pretty bad in this format. There are some pretty fast decks out there, and winter orb is also played pretty regularly. So what would I play that is very mirage?

I made a list of cards I had played in serious decks long, long ago and had some fond feelings about:

Dwarven miner
Frenetic Efreet
Foratog (okay, this was not in a serious deck, but I tried :))
Forsaken wastes
Forbidden Crypt
Goblin tinkerer
Granger Guildmage
Hall of Gemstone
Hammer of Bogardan
Infernal Contract
Jolraels centaur
Mist Dragon
Phyrexian Dreadnaught
Political Trickery
Preferred selection
Rampant growth
Sacred mesa
Savage twister
Shallow grave
Skulking ghost
Spirit of the night
Suqata firewalker
Tombstone stairwell
Waiting in the weeds
Wall of roots
Wildfire emissary

I decided I wanted to play frenetic efreet, because I still have some good feelings about a nationals qualifier I ended up winning because of the efreet. It has a 50% chance of surviving a creature elimination spell and boy, did it defy statistics that day. I remember one game in which my opponent wasted 3 terrors on the efreet, and it still lived. My opponent was going almost insane when he didn't kill it with the 3rd one :) I ended up winning that game. So, the efreet it was. What else? Not wanting to be crushed by a blood moon again, I decided to go 2 color this time. So, blue and red it was. I added Wildfire emissary, which cannot be killed by bolt or swords to plowshares  and went from there. A couple of dwarven minders, some incinerates (technically bolts would be better most of the time, but I wanted to play mirage, so maybe I would get lucky and play a troll disco. I didn't, by the way, but who cares :)) a tutor, a political trickery (would be great if I got to take a library with that, which I didn't. But i did get a kjeldoran outpost, which was also nice) and a hammer of bogarden. And a mist dragon and a dream cache. Not the best of cards, but not so bad I did not want to add them to this mirage nostalgia. The dragon and the efreets would do well with disks, so I added those and ended up with this:

with mirage mountains and islands, of course. And no moxen, as they would not combine well with the disks. A nice core of mirage cards, and hopefully not so bad that it would fail miserably. Yes, I could have made a better deck in the format, but saying goodbye to mirage in a good way was worth something.

So how did it play out? Well, I got to destroy somem non-basic lands with my miners, phasing out my efreets when some of my opponents wanted to kill them and played some dream caches, which weren't too bad for the games I was in. I never played the mist dragon (the format is a bit too fast for that) or got to get my hammer from the graveyard. But I did tutor for a anarchy and made some problems for Arno's mono white deck with the wildfire efreets, so all in all it was a worthwhile goodbye to mirage. Oh, I didn't win, of course. The deck does seem to have a knack for drawing (a lot) more mountains than islands, even though there are 4 islands more in the deck. One game, I had all of my mountains, but none of my islands :) And it does not do well against first turn big creatures, as it turnes out. Marco's first turn Serendib efreet ended up killing me because he put an unstable mutation on it before I could get to enough lands to fireball it, so I ended up just above average. Not a bad performance for a deck like this, I think. As always, the games where in good spirits with nice people. Thanks for all who came!

Here's some pictures of the day:

 something my deck also was not very good against: fairies with protection from red.. :)

When it's not so bad ifhyppies attack you :)