Pack 1 pick 1:
My pick: Vampire Nighthawk
Pack 1 pick 2:
Gigantiform is the best green card in the set. It usually ends the game within two turns of playing it. Having it passed is a very good signal that green is going to be open (at least for a few more picks) and worth going into. Merfolk Seastalkers is the next best card followed by [card]Steppe Lynx[/card] and Vampire Lacerator. The reasons for not taking Gigantiform aren’t convincing enough. It’s too early to assume that black is open which makes taking Vampire Lacerator a bad pick. It is the weakest of the four cards. Merfolk Seastalkers is a very good late game. Decks without much removal will flat out lose to this card. The problem with Merfolk Seastalkers is that it requires a considerable mana investment which makes it worse than Gigantiform. Steppe Lynx is the weakest nonblack card.
My pick: Gigantiform
Pack 1 pick 3:
Blazing Torch is removal, but mediocre. It’s sorcery speed removal because it requires being equipped to a creature to use it. Oran-Rief Survivalist, River Boa, and Vampire Lacerator are the other choices. There haven’t been any cards yet that indicate that black is open. No Disfigure, Hideous End, Surrakar Marauder, or good uncommons. Vampire Lacerator is good, but I’m hesitant to invest in black when there are better green cards. There is also the problem of when other decks can match your creature drops which makes racing with Vampire Lacerator difficult. Oran-Rief Survivalist is on the same level as Vampire Lacerator; it’s a solid card. River Boa is the best option. It’s good on offense, defense, and is sometimes unblockable. It’s not as good on turn two as Nissa’s Chosen, but after that it’s just better.
My pick: River Boa
Pack 1 pick 4:
Green is definitely that right color to be in. Oracle of Mul Daya is excellent. It gives you the ability to trigger landfall multiple times in a turn as well as draw a spell every time. There’s a lot of red in the pack also which is curious since there hadn’t been any in the previous packs.
My pick: Oracle of Mul Daya
Pack 1 pick 5:
There’s nothing excellent here. Bog Tatters is okay, but not really what black needs when paired with green. Green has plenty of big creatures. Grim Discovery is good with Harrow. Khalni Gem is good with green because it makes kicking Mold Shambler and Oran-Rief Recluse much easier. Additionally, it looks like black may dry up. If we intend on playing Vampire Nighthawk with minimal black cards, having fixing will become more important than it usually is.
My pick: Khalni Gem
Pack 1 pick 6:
There is the aforementioned Harrow. It’s a difficult card to evaluate in the early portion of a draft. Sometimes you won’t have the opportunity to pick up enough cards that have good synergy with it. Sure, if you have a Grazing Gladehart, Harrow lets you gain some extra life, but that’s not going to be good enough. Right now Harrow would accelerate the board, help fix our mana for summoning Vampire Nighthawk, and reshuffle with Oracle of Mul Daya. The other choice is Mold Shambler. It’s not quite Kor Sanctifiers, but still good. Being able to get rid of cards like Adventuring Gear, Trusty Machete, and Journey to Nowhere is a valuable ability. There’s no way to determine how important the Harrow will be. Pack two may yield a lot of black considering the minor amount that was passed to the left.
My pick: Mold Shambler
Pack 1 pick 7:
Savage Silhouette is a good way to make the early creatures break through the creatures that have more than two toughness like Makindi Shieldmate, Kraken Hatchling, and Giant Scorpion. Savage Silhouette makes blocking impossible to be profitable and isn’t easily stopped once it’s on the creature. Kor Sanctifiers, Journey to Nowhere, Paralyzing Grasp, Into the Roil, and Whiplash Trap are the only cards that can do it.
My pick: Savage Silhouette
Pack 1 pick 8:
Vampire’s Bite is okay. It’s a good way to create a significant swing in the damage race. Relic Crush is the only other card to consider. Green’s curve is higher than the other colors which makes Vampire’s Bite set you back more often in terms of being able to play creatures.
My pick: Relic Crush
Pack 1 pick 9:
Another Savage Silhouette will make it very difficult for the deck to stall out against a horde of defensive creatures.
My pick: Savage Silhouette
Pack 1 pick 10:
My pick: Joraga Bard
Pack 1 pick 11:
One Relic Crush is going to be enough against most decks.
My pick: Zendikar Farguide
Pack 1 pick 12:
My pick: Khalni Heart Expedition
Pack 1 pick 13:
My pick: Relic Crush
Pack 1 pick 14:
My pick: Kabira Crossroads
Pack 1 pick 15:
Pack one didn’t go exactly as planned. Black was cut off, but fortunately we were passed some good green cards. Ideally, we’ll be able to get enough black in pack two to play the Vampire Nighthawk and fill up the rest of the slots with green from pack three.
Pack 2 pick 1:
It seems unlikely that we’ll be able to support playing a kicked Gatekeeper of Malakir. Hideous End is a better card in general because it is going to kill the best creature on the board rather than the creature of the opponent’s choice. Gatekeeper of Malakir is a better play on turn three or four. After that, Hideous End is going to be superior because there will be too many creatures in play.
My pick: Hideous End
Pack 2 pick 2:
Bloodchief Ascension isn’t very good. It’s fine in decks with lots of one/two-drop creatures because it will flip quickly and help finish off the opponent once they start summoning 2/3s. However, this deck shouldn’t have a problem attacking through 2/3 creatures because of the Savage Silhouettes and Gigantiform. Vines of Vastwood is the best card. It will help ensure that the deck’s creature enchantments connect by acting as a counterspell against removal as well as a way to break through in combat.
My pick: Vines of Vastwood
Pack 2 pick 3:
Crypt Ripper is better suited for heavy-black decks. The same is true with Primal Bellow and green decks. A second Mold Shambler seems unnecessary considering we also have a Relic Crush. Oran-Rief Recluse is the best option. The deck doesn’t have many ways to beat flyers beyond the one Hideous End and Vampire Nighthawk.
My pick: Oran-Rief Recluse
Pack 2 pick 4:
A third Savage Silhouette isn’t necessary. Giant Scorpion is the best card. It’s very problematic for many decks and will give this deck the time it needs to summon bigger creatures. Hagra Diabolist doesn’t have any synergy with the deck’s other cards. It’s worse than Bog Tatters right now.
My pick: Giant Scorpion
Pack 2 pick 5:
A second River Boa this late is a nice gift. There isn’t anything else to be considered.
My pick: River Boa
Pack 2 pick 6:
I don’t like Explorer’s Scope much in green decks because the creature curve is usually too high. Vastwood Gorger is big and slow. It doesn’t have much synergy with Savage Silhouette and Gigantiform because it’s already enormous. Blood Seeker is the better alternative. It complements an aggressive version of this deck.
My pick: Blood Seeker
Pack 2 pick 7:
Timbermaw Larva is another card that excellent in mono-green. It’s only okay in decks that are closer to half green because it’s hard for it to be larger than a 5/5. Nissa’s Chosen is the best card because it beats nearly every other two-drop. The manabase of the deck will need to be closer to eleven Forests to support a consistent turn-two Chosen which means that supporting black will become much harder with only seven Swamps.
My pick: Nissa’s Chosen
Pack 2 pick 8:
Oran-Rief Recluse and Grazing Gladehart both help win the race against flyers. Additionally, Grazing Gladehart helps win the damage race against everything else which makes it a better choice than the Recluse.
My pick: Grazing Gladehart
Pack 2 pick 9:
My pick: Harrow
Pack 2 pick 10:
Another Zendikar Farguide will be a good sideboard option.
My pick: Zendikar Farguide
Pack 2 pick 11:
A second Mold Shambler is going to be better than a fifth creature enhancer (Gigantiform, two Savage Silhouette, and Vines of Vastwood) because if there are too many cards that make creatures better, it becomes more likely that you’ll have to take mulligans because of getting draws with no creatures.
My pick: Mold Shambler
Pack 2 pick 12:
My pick: Savage Silhouette
Pack 2 pick 13:
My pick: Vastwood Gorger
Pack 2 pick 14:
My pick: Carnage Altar
Pack 2 pick 15:
Pack two yielded far less black than expected. What is likely to happen is there will only be a few black cards to play. Mana fixing is going to be important. Harrow and Khalni Gem should be sufficient along with a manabase of eleven Forests and seven Swamps. The deck doesn’t need too many more playables to be good. An average pack three will be more than sufficient at meeting those needs.
Pack 3 pick 1:
Surrakar Marauder and Heartstabber Mosquito are the best cards. A third Mold Shambler is unnecessary. Oran-Rief Recluse is going to be worse than Heartstabber Mosquito almost every time. The exception is when the opponent gets a very fast start and a cheap 1/3 body is needed. There are already quite a few creatures that the deck has that fit that role (Nissa’s Chosen, 2 River Boa, Vampire Nighthawk, Giant Scorpion, and Oran-Rief Recluse). Surrakar Marauder would compliment the beatdown theme with the Savage Silhouettes and early creatures. A major concern is the lack of creature removal in the deck. It’s true, we passed up on a Blazing Torch earlier, but that was for a River Boa (a better card). At the beginning of the draft, Surrakar Marauder is the better choice because it’s important to have early drops that attack well. Later on, it becomes clear what a deck needs. Right now, it’s removal.
My pick: Heartstabber Mosquito
Pack 3 pick 2:
Hideous End is the best card by a mile.
My pick: Hideous End
Pack 3 pick 3:
There are a few options. Hagra Crocodile is unexciting because it’s slow and can’t block. Soul Stair Expedition is good when a deck has good creatures/creatures that “do stuff”. Vampire Nighthawk, Oracle of Mul Daya, and the kicker creatures are quite good with Soul Stair Expedition. Stonework Puma would allow the deck to be able to deal with Bladetusk Boar more easily. There haven’t been any Bladetusk Boars that have passed through, so it’s less likely that this point will come up during the rounds. Quest for the Gravelord is another overrated card. It can be difficult to trigger. The last option is to hate-draft the Merfolk Seastalkers because it’s one of the more problematic cards that we’ll have to deal with. Considering the quality of creatures in the deck, Soul Stair Expedition seems like a valuable card to have.
My pick: Soul Stair Expedition
Pack 3 pick 4:
Turntimber Basilisk is the only card to take.
My pick: Turntimber Basilisk
Pack 3 pick 5:
Summoning Trap is okay in a deck with lots of large creatures, Allies, or bombs. Oracle of Mul Daya, Vampire Nighthawk, and Vastwood Gorger are the only creatures that this deck would want to put into play which isn’t that many. Nissa’s Chosen is going to be much better because of its efficiency. Zendikar is too fast for cards like Summoner’s Trap to be taken over Nissa’s Chosen. Much of the game is already decided before a player can get to six mana.
My pick: Nissa’s Chosen
Pack 3 pick 6:
Harrow is the only card to take.
My pick: Harrow
Pack 3 pick 7:
My pick: Territorial Baloth
Pack 3 pick 8:
There are more options left in this pack than would be expected. Timbermaw Larva is going to be worse than Nissa’s Chosen and Grazing Gladehart because there are already a number of creatures in this deck that fit the same role: a big creature that costs at least four mana. The main problem with Grazing Gladehart is that it doesn’t help as much as Nissa’s Chosen if you’re behind on the board. It’s much easier to play a Nissa’s Chosen and block with it a turn earlier than it is to play a Grazing Gladehart and not be able to block and survive. You can play lands to negate a bear’s damage each turn, but Nissa’s Chosen already does that. Grazing Gladehart is better once you’ve stabilized, but not before.
My pick: Nissa’s Chosen
Pack 3 pick 9:
Oran-Rief Recluse is the only card to take.
My pick: Oran-Rief Recluse
Pack 3 pick 10:
My pick: Gomazoa
Pack 3 pick 11:
My pick: Zendikar Farguide
Pack 3 pick 12:
My pick: Spidersilk Net
Pack 3 pick 13:
My pick: Frontier Guide
Pack 3 pick 14:
My pick: Turntimber Grove
Pack 3 pick 15:
Considering the way black was cut off, the draft went quite well. Green was constantly pushed at us starting with an excellent card: Gigantiform. The deck is above average and should be able to 2-1 the pod without much trouble.
Deck: (41 cards)
There are a few different ways to build the deck because there are so many playables:
41 cards/2 Harrow: The main problem I see with the deck is not having the proper mana. Harrow has enough synergy with Oracle of Mul Daya, Turntimber Basilisk, Grazing Gladehart, and Soul Stair Expedition to play both. There’s also the benefit of being able to cast the black spells in the deck. The 41st card is Khalni Gem which is there for two reasons. It makes sure that you can always kick Mold Shambler, Oran-Rief Recluse, and Heartstabber Mosquito as well as making the colored mana work.
Soul Stair Expedition: There are so many value cards in the deck. Turntimber Basilisk, Oran-Rief Recluse, Mold Shambler, Heartstabber Mosquito in addition to Vampire Nighthawk and Oracle of Mul Daya. The creatures that the deck is working with are powerful which makes Soul Stair Expedition quite much better than if there were only Mindless Nulls.
Giant Scorpion: This guy always makes the cut. Whenever Giant Scorpion comes into play, the other side usually won’t be able to attack. When you consider the three Nissa’s Chosen and two River Boas along with the two Oran-Rief Recluses, then it’s easier to understand why this is in the sideboard. It doesn’t seem likely that the average aggro deck will be able to overwhelm the two-drops. Giant Scorpion will be better than Oran-Rief Recluse in the case of playing against a black deck with Surrakar Marauder or one that doesn’t have flyers. However, there are more decks with flyers than there are decks with Surrakar Marauder.
Territorial Baloth: This guy is fine. It’s on the slow side, but is a fine beater. The problem that I have with him over something like Mold Shambler is that many times, I’d rather be able to blow up a flyer with Oran-Rief Recluse or a Journey to Nowhere/Adventuring Gear with Mold Shambler. It’s easy for the green decks lose to those cards. A Territorial Baloth isn’t going to help you beat a Malakir Bloodwitch or Journey to Nowhere
Savage Silhouette: I like this card and could play more. It would be very easy to make this deck much more aggressive by adding two Savage Silhouettes and a Blood Seeker by cutting a Harrow, Soul Stair Expedition, and Mold Shambler. However, playing Gigantiform and three Savage Silhouettes would leave us very vulnerable to bounce spells, Paralyzing Grasp, and Journey to Nowhere. The other problem is the black splash. Nearly all the spells require double black. If a Harrow gets cut, then it becomes much harder to support the black. More Swamps would have to be added which decreases the chances of a turn two Nissa’s Chosen. Those are the reasons why I am going with only one Savage Silhouette.
We lose the roll while Evil chooses to play first. He keeps his opening hand as do we (2 Forest, Swamp, Oran-Rief Recluse, Savage Silhouette, Hideous End, and Heartstabber Mosquito). Evil plays a Teetering Peaks [d: Swamp] while we play a Forest. Nothing continues to happen as we both play more land. Evil has a Mountain [d: Gigantiform] while we play a Swamp. Evil plays an Island and summons a Gomazoa. Our plan of Oran-Rief Recluse plus Savage Silhouette is going to change now that we know that we’re playing against Islands. It will be better to summon the Recluse with kicker later on to get more value out of it.
[d: Mold Shambler] We play a Swamp and pass. Evil misses his fourth land drop but is still able to summon a Plated Geopede. At the end of Evil’s turn, we use Hideous End to destroy the Geopede [E: 18]. [d: Mold Shambler] We play our second Forest and summon a Mold Shambler. Evil plays an Ior Ruin Expedition and passes again with no land drop. [d: Nissa’s Chosen] We attack with the Mold Shambler [E: 15] and summon a Nissa’s Chosen. Evil plays an Island and passes.
[d: Forest] We attack with the Shambler and Chosen. Gomazoa blocks the Shambler and both get reshuffled into our decks. Then he plays Into the Roil with kicker to bounce the Chosen. We don’t know why Evil didn’t bounce the Gomazoa in response to the reshuffle ability. He would have been able to keep the Gomazoa in his hand while our Mold Shambler would still be reshuffled. Afterwards we play our Forest, summon the Nissa’s Chosen again, and put Savage Silhouette on it. Evil has another Into the Roil with kicker to bounce our Chosen. He plays an Island afterwards.
[d: Soul Stair Expedition] We summon the Nissa’s Chosen again and cast Soul Stair Expedition. Evil summons a Merfolk Seastalkers. [d: Turntimber Basilisk] We put Gigantiform on the Chosen and bash with it [E: 7]. Evil plays a Mountain, draws two cards with Ior Ruin Expedition, and summons a Gomazoa. He uses Merfolk Seastalkers to tap our Chosen during our upkeep. [d: Forest] We play the Forest and summon Mold Shambler with kicker which destroys an Island.
Evil plays a second Teetering Peaks (pumping the Seastalkers) and summons a Highland Berserker. [d: Forest] We play the Forest and summon the Heartstabber Mosquito with kicker which destroys the Seastalkers. Evil taps our Nissa’s Chosen in response. We attack with the Mold Shambler [E: 4]. Evil plays a Mountain and summons another Merfolk Seastalkers. [d: River Boa] We summon the Oran-Rief Recluse with kicker. Evil doesn’t reshuffle his Gomazoa in response which would have made us target our Heartstabber Mosquito. Instead, Evil lets the Recluse target the Gomazoa, then shuffles it away. Before we can attack, Merfolk Seastalkers taps the Nissa’s Chosen. We attack with the Mold Shambler and the Heartstabber Mosquito. Evil blocks the Shambler with the Seastalkers and Highland Berserker. We kill off the Seastalkers [E: 2].
Evil does nothing on his turn. [d: Swamp] We attack with everything. Evil plays Whiplash Trap to bounce the Chosen and Heartstabber Mosquito [E: 1]. We play the Swamp, and summon Nissa’s Chosen and River Boa. Evil has run out of tricks. Looking at his depleted hand, he finds no satisfactory options and concedes.
With Whiplash Trap, two Into the Roil, and two Merfolk Seastalkers at his disposal, Evil is well prepared to fight Savage Silhouette and Gigantiform. We could sideboard Spidersilk Net in. However the bounce spells would set us back far behind if used to bounce an equipped creature. Giant Scorpion and Blood Seeker are options, but don’t fit well enough into the way the game is going to play out. Blood Seeker would be better if we were racing. Frontier Guide will be another source of mana to allow us to summon our kicker spells.
Evil chooses to play first and keeps his hand. We keep our seven as well (2 Forest, Swamp, Frontier Guide, Harrow, Oracle of Mul Daya, and Mold Shambler). Evil plays an Island [d: Territorial Baloth] while we play a Forest. Evil plays a Mountain and summons a [card]Plated Geopede[/card] [d: Swamp] while we play a Swamp and summon the Frontier Guide. Evil plays an Island, attacks with the Geopede [G: 17], and summons a Reckless Scholar. [d: Nissa’s Chosen] We play a Forest and attack with the Frontier Guide [E: 19]. Afterwards we play Harrow (sacrificing a Forest and finding two Forests) and summon Nissa’s Chosen.
Evil loots with Reckless Scholar (discarding Sky Ruin Drake), plays a Mountain, and attacks with the Geopede [G: 14]. He summons a Merfolk Seastalkers after combat. [d: River Boa] We play a Swamp and summon the Territorial Baloth. Evil uses Into the Roil with kicker to bounce the Baloth. He plays an Island and attacks with the Geopede [G: 11]. [d: Swamp] We play the Swamp and summon Mold Shambler with kicker which destroys one of Evil’s two Mountains. Evil loots at the end of the turn (discarding Ior Ruin Expedition).
Evil plays a Mountain and attacks with the Geopede. We block with Mold Shambler, Nissa’s Chosen, and Frontier Guide. Evil has the second Into the Roil with kicker to return the Nissa’s Chosen before damage. Our Mold Shambler dies. [d: Forest] We play the Forest and summon Nissa’s Chosen and Territorial Baloth. Evil loots with the Reckless Scholar (discarding Kraken Hatchling) at the end of the turn. Evil plays a Teetering Peaks, attacks with his 5/3 Plated Geopede [G: 6], and passes.
[d: Forest] We play the Forest and summon Oracle of Mul Daya. The top card is Vines of Vastwood. We summon River Boa and pass the turn. Evil taps our Territorial Baloth with the Seastalkers. Evil summons Roil Elemental and plays an Island. The Elemental steals Oracle of Mul Daya. He plays the Mountain off the top of his deck which steals River Boa. Afterwards he attacks with the Plated Geopede. We block with Nissa’s Chosen. During our upkeep, we use Frontier Guide to find a land and shuffle the Vines of Vastwood away. [d: Swamp] That was not Hideous End. We lose this game.
We are on the play for this final game. Unfortunately our hand of seven (Forest, Soul Stair Expedition, Vines of Vastwood, Nissa’s Chosen, Oran-Rief Recluse, Mold Shambler, and Territorial Baloth) isn’t quite good enough. We mulligan and Evil keeps his hand of seven. We see an even worse hand looking back at us (River Boa, 2 Oran-Rief Recluse, Hideous End, Khalni Gem, and Heartstabber Mosquito). Our hand of five cards is finally something to work with, barely (2 Forest, Nissa’s Chosen, Oran-Rief Recluse, and Hideous End).
We play a Forest while Evil plays an Island and summons a Kraken Hatchling. [d: Forest] We play another Forest and summon the Nissa’s Chosen. Evil plays a Mountain while [d: Forest] we play another Forest. Evil plays an Island and passes again [d: Vines of Vastwood] while we play our last Forest. Evil plays an Island and summons a Gomazoa. [d: Swamp] We play the Swamp and pass. Evil does nothing on his fifth turn [d: River Boa] while we summon the River Boa. At least Evil’s deck is slow enough for us to turn this into somewhat of a game.
Evil summons Merfolk Seastalkers. [d: Swamp] We play the Swamp and immediately play Hideous End to destroy the Seastalkers [E: 18]. Then we attack with River Boa [E: 16]. Evil plays an Island and summons Sky Ruin Drake. [d: River Boa] We attack with the River Boa [E: 14] and summon the second one. We hold onto the Oran-Rief Recluse because the Sky Ruin Drake isn’t going to matter this game. It won’t be able to pace the two [card]River Boa[/card]s. It would be better to save the Recluse for Roil Elemental should it make an appearance.
Evil plays a Mountain and attacks with the Sky Ruin Drake [G: 18]. He does nothing afterwards. [d: Swamp] We attack with the two River Boas [E: 10] and pass. Evil uses Whiplash Trap to bounce both of them at the end of the turn. He attacks us with Sky Ruin Drake [G: 16] and summons a Reckless Scholar on his turn. [d: Nissa’s Chosen] We summon both River Boas again and pass. We could also summon Nissa’s Chosen, but there isn’t a point. The play would leave us tapped out of green mana. Additionally, we won’t be able to beat through the Kraken Hatchling and Gomazoa.
Evil uses the Reckless Scholar on his turn (discarding Inferno Trap). Then he plays an Island, attacks us with the Sky Ruin Drake [G: 14], and summons a second Reckless Scholar. [d: Mold Shambler] We attack with both River Boas. Evil plays Into the Roil with kicker to bounce one. However, we are ready with Vines of Vastwood with kicker to stop his efforts [E: 2]. We summon a Mold Shambler and pass (one Forest untapped).
Evil loots twice in his turn (discarding Island followed by Torch Slinger) and passes. [d: Oran-Rief Recluse] We summon Oran-Rief Recluse with kicker and destroy the Sky Ruin Drake.
This was a bad play for a few reasons:
1. Removing the Sky Ruin Drake from play wouldn’t change our decisions in combat.
2. If Evil has a second Whiplash Trap, then we can’t summon the River Boas this turn.
3. If we won’t be able to regenerate both River Boas if Evil has Seismic Shudder or a combination of removal spells. This seems like the least likely. However it is still a possibility.
For whatever reason, I thought that destroying the Sky Ruin Drake would allow Nissa’s Chosen and Mold Shambler to attack which wasn’t the case.
We attack with both River Boas and Evil points a Burst Lightning at one. We regenerate it (tapping out). Evil has another one to kill our other River Boa. We pass. Evil loots on his turn (discarding Teetering Peaks). Evil loots again (discarding Scalding Tarn). Having found no solution to the River Boa, he concedes.
We win the role and play first. Our seven cards are good enough (2 Swamp, Forest, Vines of Vastwood, River Boa, Hideous End, and Gigantiform). Evil keeps his hand as well. We play a Forest. Evil matches us with a Forest as well. [d: Forest] We play a Swamp and summon the River Boa. Evil plays a second Forest. [d: Nissa’s Chosen] We play our second Forest, attack with River Boa [E: 18], and summon the Nissa’s Chosen. Evil plays a Swamp and summons Grazing Gladehart. [d: Oran-Rief Recluse] We play our second Swamp, destroy the Grazing Gladehart with Hideous End [E: 16], and attack with the Boa and Chosen [E: 12].
Evil plays a Forest and summons a Mold Shambler. [d: Grazing Gladehart] We attack with the Boa and Chosen again. Mold Shambler blocks the Chosen and we pump it with Vines of Vastwood [E: 10]. Evil plays a Forest, casts Bloodchief Ascension, and summons a Timbermaw Larva. [d: Khalni Gem] We cast Khalni Gem (returning Swamp and Forest) and reply the Forest. Then we attack with River Boa and Nissa’s Chosen [E: 6]. We summon the Grazing Gladehart after combat. Evil plays a Plains and summons a Baloth Woodcrasher. [d: Swamp] We play a Swamp [G: 22] and cast Gigantiform on the Grazing Gladehart. Evil realizes that he can’t survive the attack and concedes.
We know that Evil has Malakir Bloodwitch from his previous round so it would be unwise to sideboard out both Oran-Rief Recluses. We could and it would leave us with Vampire Nighthawk and Heartstabber Mosquito to deal with the Bloodwitch, but that isn’t much help. Nissa’s Chosen isn’t very good against Mold Shambler and Baloth Woodcrasher. Savage Silhouette also becomes weaker if the early creatures get taken out.
Evil chooses to play first, but isn’t satisfied with his hand of seven. He mulligans while we keep our hand (2 Forest, Swamp, Vines of Vastwood, River Boa, Hideous End, and Zendikar Farguide). Evil is more content with his hand of six and keeps. He plays a Forest [d: Swamp] while we match him with one. Evil plays a second Forest [d: Forest] while we play a Swamp and summon the River Boa. Evil plays a Swamp and summons a Grazing Gladehart. [d: Turntimber Basilisk] We play a Swamp, kill the Gladehart with Hideous End [E: 18], and attack with the River Boa [E: 16]. Evil sighs expresses his disapproval.
Evil plays a Forest and summons a Mold Shambler. [d: Forest] We play a Forest and summon the Turntimber Basilisk. Evil plays a Forest and summons a Surrakar Marauder. [Grazing Gladehart] We summon Grazing Gladehart, play a Forest [G: 22], and lure the Mold Shambler with the Turntimber Basilisk. Then we attack with the River Boa and the Basilisk. Evil doesn’t block at all with the Surrakar Marauder and we pump the Basilisk with Vines of Vastwood to make it survive. [E: 14]. Evil plays another Forest and passes with six mana up.
[d: Forest] We play a Forest [G: 24] and attack with just the River Boa [E: 12]. We know Evil has Summoner’s Trap. It seems better to not attack with the [card]Turntimber Basilisk[/card] this turn because it would be better to save it for something big like Malakir Bloodwitch. Evil could simply trade his Surrakar Marauder for it and we would be in a weaker position. After combat we summon the Zendikar Farguide. Evil plays a Swamp and summons Malakir Bloodwitch [G: 23, E: 13]. [d: Khalni Gem] We play Khalni Gem (returning Forest and Swamp) and replay a Forest [G: 25]. Turntimber Basilisk forces the Bloodwitch to block it and we attack with it, River Boa, and Zendikar Farguide [E: 8]. Evil draws for the turn and concedes.
Sadly Magic Online ate the replay for this game so we’ll be working with my steel trap of a memory.
Evil wins the roll chooses to play. We both keep our hands of seven. Evil summons a Kor Skyfisher on turn two after playing a Kabira Crossroads on turn one. We take two from the Skyfisher before playing a Vampire Nighthawk. Evil doesn’t attack into the Nighthawk. We follow it up with Oracle of Mul Daya which gets killed with Punishing Fire (the Oracle revealed Oran-Rief Recluse). We begin bashing with the Nighthawk, but Evil has Paralyzing Grasp to stop it.
We know that Evil has Cancel and begin baiting him with smaller creatures. He is leaving his mana open while we summon Nissa’s Chosen followed by Nissa’s Chosen and Grazing Gladehart. All of our creatures make it through his Cancel and he is forced to summon a Windrider Eel. At that point we summon the Oran-Rief Recluse and destroy the Kor Skyfisher. Evil isn’t able to recover. Leaving mana open for two turns set him back too far. He is soon overrun by our army of bears.
Evil chooses to play and mulligans. We keep our hand of seven (Forest, 3 Swamp, Soul Stair Expedition, Mold Shambler, and Oracle of Mul Daya). Evil keeps his hand of six and plays an Island. [d: Swamp] We play a Swamp and cast the Soul Stair Expedition. Evil plays a second Island and passes [d: Khalni Gem] while we play a Forest. Evil plays a Sejiri Refuge that he drew [E: 21] and passes [d: Gigantiform] while we play a Swamp. Evil plays a Mountain and summons a Windrider Eel.
[d: River Boa] (That was an awkward draw for the turn) We play a Swamp and summon Oracle of Mul Daya. We play the Forest on top of our deck (Harrow on top) and pass. Evil plays an Island, attacks with the Windrider Eel [G: 16], and summons an Umara Raptor. [d: Harrow] (Turntimber Basilisk on top) We play a Forest and a Swamp. At this point we know that we won’t be able to race Evil unless we put the Gigantiform on the Oracle now. Evil has an untapped Mountain and Sejiri Refuge but we must take the risk of him having Punishing Fire. We make the play with no responses and attack with the 8/8 Oracle [E: 13]. After combat, we summon the River Boa.
Evil summons a Stonework Puma and attacks with the Windrider Eel and Umara Raptor [G: 11] After combat, Evil plays a Kabira Crossroads [E: 15]. During our upkeep we play Harrow to reshuffle the Basilisk away. [d: Swamp] (Hideous End on top) We play the Swamp and attack with the River Boa and Oracle [E: 5]. Then we summon a Mold Shambler with kicker and destroy Evil’s only Mountain. Evil plays Inferno Trap in response to kill our Mold Shambler. Evil draws for his turn and concedes.
We didn’t know about the Inferno Trap, but in hindsight, it would have been better to summon the Mold Shambler before attacking. If Evil had Into the Roil, Punishing Fire, or Burst Lightning, he would have used them on his turn while we were tapped out. Since we know (by his play) that he doesn’t have any of the cards mentioned above, we can’t possibly be punished for summoning the Mold Shambler before attacking. There are only benefits for doing so. The only difference that is that Evil might have decided to block with Stonework Puma which would have put him to seven instead of five. However, that doesn’t seem like a likely play. His plan was to use the Inferno Trap to kill whatever we summoned, play a land, and kill us exactly. Had he not misplayed the turn before with the Windrider Eel/Kabira Crossroads, then it would have worked.