So, more tweaks to the elephants deck, mostly to the sideboard, and some actual good results to report! Here's where I'm at:
4 Elvish Mystic
4 Sylvan Caryatid
4 Voice of Resurgence
2 Scavenging Ooze
4 Loxodon Smiter
3 Polukranos, World Eater
3 Stormbreath Dragon
1 Aurelia, the Warleader
1 Chained to the Rocks
1 Selesnya Charm
1 Magma Jet
4 Mizzium Mortars
3 Domri Rade
1 Chandra, Pyromaster
3 Unflinching Courage
1 Assemble the Legion
1 Hammer of Purphoros
2 Wear // Tear
3 Mistcutter Hydra
1 Boon Satyr
1 Selesnya Charm
Basically, I wanted more game against Aggro. Unflinching Courage was matchups against removal-light decks and/or where life totals matter. Shock is to help stem early aggression, and wanting to make sure that I always drew at least one in those matchups. So how'd it go? Read on!
Round 1: vs. Rakdos Midrange Brew. I played against a friend and fellow L1 Judge, and though I appreciated his brewer's spirit, it didn't seem to work out that well for him. In Game 1, he kept a bad hand (one land). In Game 2 I kept a bad hand and got my one threat Thoughtseize'd out. In Game 3, he just had way too many top-end things to do, and I had enough early aggression to knock him out before he could mount anything. Win, 2-1. Record: 1-0.
Round 2: vs. Mono-Blue Devotion. In the first game I got beat up pretty bad when he had enough unchecked early flying critters to fuel a huge Master of Waves. The second game, he overextended and allowed me to swoop in with (I believe) a Dragon and a hasty Mistcutter. Third game, he mull'd down to five, kept a hand with two Mutavaults, a Nykthos, and some blue action, but never drew an Island. He was dead by turn 4-5 after I curved out pretty well. Win, 2-1. Record: 2-0.
|Attack for a million? Attack for a million again?|
|Choose your master. Some ethereal ghost priest thing, or ELEPHANTS.|
So, yeah! 4-0! My Round 4 opponent was a worthy opponent, though, so I offered him the prize split, even though tournament math prevented us from being able to intentionally draw. I think I ended up with something like 21 or 22 packs, which I banked in store credit. Not bad!
Yup, I'm still enjoying the deck. It's pretty satisfying when all my tweaking and philosophizing and practice pays off like this. Of course, if I'm honest with myself, I think I may have lucked out on a few things from my opponents: bad draws, play mistakes, unproven deck brews. But I'm still pretty happy with where the deck is at. I'm having lots of fun playing it. So I think I'll continue to do so.
With that, here's the obligatory philosophizing:
- I'm sold on the Unflinching Courage. Suiting up some random dooder and tromping through for mega lifelink damage is pretty sweet.
- I'm not as sure about Voice of Resurgence anymore. In theory, it's a no-brainer 2-for-1. But in practice, people are learning to play around it. I usually get a free dooder once every tournament, but I can't really rely on that. Answers like Last Breath don't make it as wrath-proof as it would otherwise be. Several of the best decks in the format don't really care about it. Maybe it's better as a sideboard card.
- I've been siding out Elvish Mystics a lot lately. At least when I'm on the draw. It seems like curving out is much more important than slamming down a turn-two Elephant or Domri. But the Caryatids are awesome. They fix my otherwise very awkward mana, and turn-three Polukranos is VERY sweet. Also, +1'ing Domri and finding an Elf .... not that exciting. If I keep him in, I should also have something like Boon Satyr to make him not terrible.
- Aurelia. Card is such a blowout when I can set it up. So much damage out of nowhere. "What's your life at? 18? Okay, I think I got this one." Maybe I should go up to two. But I never want to see more than one, and I never want to see it in a hand with a bunch of other big stuff and no way of casting it.
- S-Charm works as a spicy 1- or 2-of. In the mono-green matchup, I completely messed up his combat when he swung in with Arbor Colossus, Nylea, and Mistcutter, and I exiled his Colossus to turn off devotion and just take 4 from the Mistcutter. I feel like I should have it in against other big threats, like Desecration Demon and the Gods. I do look forward to Revoke Existence once BNG drops, though.
God of the Elephants! This could actually help shore up my game one against Control somewhat. Making a topdecked Smiter a 8/8 with haste? Seems pretty good. I bet in other matchups, I could turn on his devotion once in a while too. Also works with Domri's +1. Pretty much an auto-include.
Utility Elephant. A 2/4 body on turn three isn't the worst. Blocks most aggro creatures pretty effectively. Gaining life against them isn't the worst either. It also has possible interesting connotations with Domri, Chandra, and the scrylands. I like the intangibles on this one. She'll be in my 75 somewhere. Might even be 4-of maindeck.
Tribute Elephant? This guy looks great, if only the choice were mine. However. He's always going to be a 4/4 for three mana at some point. I guess the question is, am I okay having a 3/3 if a 4/4 with haste isn't what I want on turn three? But then there's another question. What if I cut white, and run this guy instead of Smiter?
King of Elephants? This guy is obviously awesome on his own. But does he fit in my deck? I suspect not. I suspect most of the time the cat tokens are going to be just random dorks that sit around and don't do much. They'd work well with Voice tokens, but I can't really count on that happening much. I think I'll pass for now.
I'll probably tweak a few other slots, like utility spells and whatnot. Probably Revoke Existence. Maybe another Chained to the Rocks. Between that and with Temple of Plenty coming, I can probably phase out the singleton Magma Jet. We'll see.
So what else is going on? I brewed up a sweet Dimir Control deck for Pauper, but it didn't do great this last weekend. So I'll wait until I shore it up a little better before I unleash it to this here blog.
This weekend is the BNG prerelease, which I'm going to be very active at. I'm playing in one, and judging at three others. I'm pretty excited for it, but I think I'll be exhausted by the time Sunday evening rolls around. But I'm looking forward to it. We'll see how this Limited format plays out. It'll be interesting, for sure. I just kinda wish I had more time to be able to play Theros Draft more. I only did one draft, and it was pretty casual. Oh well.
Well, that's it for now. Thanks for reading!