Pack 1 pick 1:
We’re blessed with two awesome picks. Liliana Vess and Air Elemental are both excellent. We shouldn’t consider Safe Passage or Assassinate because they are only “good”. I actually asked several people about this pick and got mixed answers; the two seem rather close. Air Elemental is a solid evasive finisher that is hard to deal with. It doesn’t require anything to be good. The downside is that it’s a creature, and thus vulnerable to the short list of cards that deal with them. Liliana Vess is slightly more powerful. It provides card advantage through discarding, has a powerful “ultimate” effect, gets rid of tricks in the opponent’s hand, and searches for other bombs that you have. The downside is that for Liliana Vess to be at its best, you need to be able to stall your opponent’s board with defensive creatures and/or removal. Right now I prefer Air Elemental because I know exactly what I’m getting.
My pick: Air Elemental
Pack 1 pick 2:
Our first pick pays off. Truthfully, we’d take the Air Elemental regardless of our first pick. Sure, there’s an Overrun. However, blue is such a better color than green. If no one is drafting green, it’s possible to end up with a fine deck, but that’s rarely the case.
My pick: Air Elemental
Pack 1 pick 3:
Prodigal Pyromancer is the best card by a fair margin. Entangling Vines and Stampeding Rhino are the next options, though they are in an undesirable color and significantly worse than Prodigal Pyromancer.
My pick: Prodigal Pyromancer
Pack 1 pick 4:
Gravedigger, Safe Passage, and Dragon Whelp immediately stand out. All three cards are comparable in power. Considering we already have a Prodigal Pyromancer, taking Dragon Whelp over the other two is a good choice instead of branching into a third color. Seeing good red cards 3rd and 4th pick, it’s reasonable to assume red is open and therefore safe to commit to.
My pick: Dragon Whelp
Pack 1 pick 5:
Our options are not good. There’s nothing on-color for us. Serpent of the Endless Sea and Jackal Familiar are almost unplayable. The best option is to branch out to another color in case we are cut off from blue or red. Stormfront Pegasus is the best (and only) white option while black offers Black Knight and Mind Rot. Both black cards are reasonable with Mind Rot being better. If we end up being forced out of blue and move into red/white, it would be better to have a second color that isn’t an intensive as black. Black Knight, Looming Shade, Drudge Skeletons, Tendrils of Corruption, et al. all require lots of swamps to function well. When combined with red, another intensive color, it’s easy to get into situations where we won’t be able to cast all of our spells. White isn’t as color intensive as well as being deeper overall, making Stormfront Pegasus a better pick.
My pick: Stormfront Pegasus
Pack 1 pick 6:
Goblin Chieftain doesn’t fit into decks that I like. Playing cards that make Goblin Piker “good” isn’t the direction I want to head in. Terramorphic Expanse is the best option. It fixes our mana so we can play Dragon Whelp and Air Elemental more easily.
My pick: Terramorphic Expanse
Pack 1 pick 7:
Viashino Spearhunter is mediocre. It can be good defensively, but is often outclassed by some of the more popular cards like green creatures and Veteran Armorsmith. Stone Giant is much more color intensive but is a much better creature. Stone Giant isn’t as useful in this deck (so far) than when compared to a much more aggressive deck that needs cards to force through the final points of damage. However, a 3/4 for four mana is good enough.
My pick: Stone Giant
Pack 1 pick 8:
None of the cards are very interesting. Lava Axe is okay as a finisher. Sage Owl is mediocre when used with shuffling effects like Terramorphic Expanse. Either card is fine.
My pick: Sage Owl
Pack 1 pick 9:
Trumpet Blast is good in an aggressive deck with lots of creatures. Blue doesn’t usually lend itself to being aggressive. Viashino Spearhunter will serve us better. It can help stop opposing fast draws.
My pick: Viashino Spearhunter
Pack 1 pick 10:
Sparkmage Apprentice is a removal spell that reads “R, sorcery. ~This~ deals one damage to target creature or player. Put a 1/1 red wizard into play.” It’s better than Canyon Minotaur when you consider cards like Merfolk Looter, Drudge Skeletons, Looming Shade, and Prodigal Pyromancer.
My pick: Sparkmage Apprentice
Pack 1 pick 11:
My pick: Serpent of the Endless Sea
Pack 1 pick 12:
My pick: Ponder
Pack 1 pick 13:
My pick: Burning Inquiry
Pack 1 pick 14:
My pick: Shatter
Pack 1 pick 15:
Pack 2 pick 1:
Divination and Dragon Whelp are our choices. Fiery Hellhound isn’t impressive. Raw card advantage is hard to come by in M10 making Divination quite desirable. However, above average flyers like Snapping Drake, Dragon Whelp, and Air Elemental are going to win out over it pretty easily.
My pick: Dragon Whelp
Pack 2 pick 2:
Here’s another pick I discussed with people. Djinn of Wishes and Mind Control are both very good. They each get better as the power-level of cards increase. Good creatures on your opponent’s side make Mind Control better. The value of Djinn of Wishes increases with the quality of other spells in your deck. If the djinn remains in play, over time it will provide four cards assuming there aren’t any whiffs (like revealing a Negate with nothing to counter). At least one spell will be revealed with the djinn’s ability requiring the opponent to use at least two spells to deal with the djinn and the revealed spell if it’s a creature. Similarly, Mind Control uses multiple spells from the opponent. One spell is the creature Mind Control steals and the other is whatever is used to neutralize the stolen creature. Multiple spells may be required to stop the stolen creature depending on its power-level. The main difference between Mind Control and Djinn of Wishes is tempo. Mind Control generates a significant tempo swing in your favor because your opponent loses their best creature and you gain it whereas Djinn of Wishes only puts your best creature in play. If the opponent is ahead on the board, a removal spell will put you in a worse position if you played Djinn of Wishes rather than Mind Control.
My pick: Mind Control
Pack 2 pick 3:
There’s no decision here. Snapping Drake is the only card to play, not that we’re complaining.
My pick: Snapping Drake
Pack 2 pick 4:
Countermagic is awesome in M10. If you can set up the board so that only a few cards matter, the opponent will have a hard time beating you if you have Negate, Essence Scatter, and/or Cancel to stop them.
My pick: Negate
Pack 2 pick 5:
Ice Cage isn’t the best removal spell. It’s still alright. Ignite Disorder has the potential to 3-for-1 the opponent, although that isn’t realistic. If the opponent is blue/white, it’s more reasonable that it will be a 2-for-1 if you manage to get a Stormfront Pegasus or Merfolk Looter in addition to a random creature. Wall of Frost is an excellent card. It’s very hard to beat through. As a pseudo-removal spell, Wall of Frost acts similarly to Blinding Mage with ground creatures in the sense that (as far as combat is concerned), it deals with whatever is the most threatening creature. Ice Cage isn’t as flexible in that regard, although it does stop flyers and creatures with activated abilities so long as the opponent doesn’t have a way to break the Ice Cage.
My pick: Wall of Frost
Pack 2 pick 6:
Lightning Elemental isn’t very good. It requires a deck to be able to heavily control the board with removal to ensure it can hit multiple times. Essence Scatter is a much better option. Similar to Negate, it allows you to blank one of the few creatures that you’ll play against that actually matter.
My pick: Essence Scatter
Pack 2 pick 7:
Horned Turtle is good at stalling the board so that you can outrace your opponent in the air while they bounce off your River Kaijins. Divination is going to be slightly better. We should be more likely to pick up Horned Turtles later on than we will Divination. Other creatures can act similarly to Horned Turtle, but usually not at efficiently. On the other hand, there are very few replacements for Divination.
My pick: Divination
Pack 2 pick 8:
Negate is the only choice for us.
My pick: Negate
Pack 2 pick 9:
Divination is the only choice for us (yea, I know, “rough beats”).
My pick: Divination
Pack 2 pick 10:
The third Divination is going to be better than the third Negate. It would be much harder to justify playing three Negates main. We’d always play three Divinations.
My pick: Divination
Pack 2 pick 11:
My pick: Burning Inquiry
Pack 2 pick 12:
My pick: Yawning Fissure
Pack 2 pick 13:
My pick: Disorient
Pack 2 pick 14:
My pick: Firebreathing
Pack 2 pick 15:
Pack 3 pick 1:
This isn’t the type of pack we want to see. Merfolk Sovereign isn’t good. Coral Merfolk and Merfolk Looter are the only beneficiaries of the tribal lord. Cards that make vanilla 2/1 creatures slightly better don’t impress me. We could take Ignite Disorder as a good sideboard option against blue and/or white decks. We could also splash Harm’s Way with our Terramorphic Expanse. Harm’s Way can often lead to 2-for-1 trades. However, with cards like Dragon Whelp and Air Elemental, stretching our manabase to accommodate a third color is unwise. Horned Turtle would help fill out our ground defense along with Wall of Frost. We don’t have many creatures that we actually want to use to block with besides Wall of Frost and Stone Giant. Cancel is the last option. We already have two Negates and one Essence Scatter. We’d definitely play the Cancel if we take it. However, we’d be better off if we take Horned Turtle.
My pick: Horned Turtle
Pack 3 pick 2:
Berserkers of Blood Ridge is large and expensive, but not very impressive. Cancel is a much better option. We’ll be able to pick up more expensive creatures when the packs wheel.
My pick: Cancel
Pack 3 pick 3:
Polymorph isn’t very good. Sure it removes the opponent’s scary monster, but then it gets replaced by something else. Depending on the composition of their deck, it could be another scary monster. If you knew that the opponent had mostly terrible creatures and a Baneslayer Angel, then it would be fine to play Polymorph; otherwise, it wouldn’t. A second Terramorphic Expanse would be good, but it looks like our mana is going to be split almost evenly which minimizes the chances that we’ll need the fixing. Ice Cage is the best option. As a removal spell, it’s fine. It’s not spectacular like Lightning Bolt, but it gets the job done.
My pick: Ice Cage
Pack 3 pick 4:
Most of our creatures fly which makes Levitation unnecessary. Berserkers of Blood Ridge defaults to the only card we’d play.
My pick: Berserkers of Blood Ridge
Pack 3 pick 5:
Flashfreeze shouldn’t be necessary considering we already have four counterspells. Polymorph will be a fine sideboard card if we play against the deck with sixteen Silvercoat Lions and one Baneslayer Angel.
My pick: Polymorph
Pack 3 pick 6:
We could hate the Giant Spider. It’s only problematic for our Snapping Drake. Our other flyers break through it. We wouldn’t play Ponder because we have three copies of Divination. We can’t dedicate spell slots to low-impact cards like Ponder. Viashino Spearhunter is the next option. It’s ok against certain colors, like black.
My pick: Viashino Spearhunter
Pack 3 pick 7:
Unsummon is a fine card against certain situations. Against removal-heavy decks, it saves your creature. It’s decent against problematic auras like Armored Ascension and Mind Control. It’s also good against Ice Cage and Illusionary Servant because its other applications are very relevant opposed to cards like Firebreathing.
My pick: Unsummon
Pack 3 pick 8:
Tempest of Light
What a pack. Merfolk Looter and Wind Drake are still in it. Merfolk Looter is the better choice by far. Even with three Divinations, the extra card filtering will prove invaluable especially after we have six or seven lands in play.
My pick: Merfolk Looter
Pack 3 pick 9:
Ignite Disorder will be a better sideboard card than Cancel will be in the maindeck. We already have two Negates, one Essence Scatter, and one Cancel. We wouldn’t play much more than that.
My pick: Ignite Disorder
Pack 3 pick 10:
My pick: Berserkers of Blood Ridge
Pack 3 pick 11:
My pick: Goblin Piker
Pack 3 pick 12:
My pick: Levitation
Pack 3 pick 13:
My pick: Burning Inquiry
Pack 3 pick 14:
My pick: Fog
Pack 3 pick 15:
Game 1: Evil takes the initiative, choosing to play first. Our hand needs blue mana to stay in the fight. With ten sources left to find it, we are not worried (Berserkers of Blood Ridge, Horned Turtle, Sparkmage Apprentice, Air Elemental, Merfolk Looter, and 2 Mountains). A pristine isle comes into view on our first draw. It is a sign of victory. Plains and Islands compose Evil’s domain. A Coral Merfolk surfaces from the deep blue sea to fight against us. We can summon our Sparkmage Apprentice to shower it with sparks of doom, but such a lowly creature is not worth our attention. Our Horned Turtle is the natural predator of these lowly merfolk. It will protect us from the assault. Our best plan is to summon the only true merfolk: Merfolk Looter; with it we shall find all the cards we need to route Evil.
Evil wastes no time and summons a Wind Drake as his Coral Merfolk impales us with its trident; the razor-sharp tines draw first blood. Our Horned Turtle enters the field of battle, protecting us from the Coral Merfolk. However, its efforts are spoiled. Evil crystallizes the turtle within an Ice Cage. The maneuver leaves us defenseless as we are attacked for four more damage. All the while, our Merfolk Looter is searching the bottom of the sea for answers. We shall soon be able to summon our mighty Air Elemental and quash Evil’s feeble assaults.
Stone Giant picks up the slack where our Horned Turtle failed. The giant can’t reach high enough to stop the Wind Drake as it sails over for another attack. Short on good options, Evil seeks answers with Divination. We take advantage of the sudden break in Evil’s offense. Stone Giant attacks and we summon a Viashino Spearhunter. We have not drawn the mana necessary to play our Air Elemental. The Wind Drake assaults us again. Evil leaves much mana unused as he enlists Veteran Swordsmith. He must have some sort of trick.
Without knowing what kind of trick Evil has, we test the waters with Sparkmage Apprentice. The wizard successfully kills Coral Merfolk. We have suffered enough from the Wind Drake. With the aid of the Stone Giant, our Viashino Spearhunter will be thrown into the air to slay the drake. Evil is ready with Harm’s way; Merfolk Looter is its target. We are not ready to have it die. We use our Negate to stop Harm’s Way. Evil is crafty too and has a Negate of his own. Wind Drake survives the battle and our Merfolk Looter and Viashino Hunter perish. Excommunicate prevents us from drawing a land next turn to cast any of the three cards in our hand: two Air Elemental and Mind Control.
Our Stone Giant is summoned for a second time only to be stolen with Mind Control. The traitorous giant has left us defenseless save for our feeble Sparkmage Apprentice. Veteran Swordsmith and Wind Drake charge at us. We do not defend. The blocking would not be productive. Instead we are beaten down to five life. We finally draw a fifth land and summon our first Air Elemental. Hopefully the airborne behemoth will manage to half Evil’s offense. The hope is short-lived. A second Ice Cage captures the Air Elemental as we are overwhelmed.
Game 2: Our hand is laden with resources and powerful spells (2 Islands, 2 Mountains, Divination, Dragon Whelp, and Mind Control). Hopefully misfortune will not show her face. Once again, Evil is the first to act as he summons his mighty steed: Stormfront Pegasus. We thirst for knowledge and use Divination to draw more cards. Likewise, Merfolk Looter joins Evil’s growing army as his Stormfront Pegasus is issued an order to attack.
The armada in our hand is beginning to be deployed onto the battlefield. Dragon Whelp is the first into the fray. Evil is ready with an Ice Cage that stops the hatchling from defending us against his Stormfront Pegasus. We are not concerned with such a minor setback. Air Elemental is the next creature to help us. Evil tries to buy more time with an Excommunicate as his pegasus continues its attack. We have the same play as on our last turn.
Evil shows his mental power with Mind Control. Our Air Elemental is overcome by the mighty Planeswalker. Stormfront Pegasus attacks us for the fourth time. Evil may possess a sharp wit, but it is not as strong as ours. We take back what is rightfully ours with our own Mind Control. Air Elemental is back on our side. Evil can only use his Merfolk Looter in response to search for yet another answer to our superior forces. He finds a second Ice Cage to continue the back-and-forth dance of death we’re performing.
We find a sixth land to play a second Dragon Whelp and have either Negate or Essence Scatter ready for whatever mischievous plays Evil has in store for us. Evil’s Merfolk Looter betrays its master. We see Harm’s Way discarded at the end of our turn. Evil’s hand must certainly be stocked full of good spells. We see yet another as he tries to send our Dragon Whelp into the Blind Eternities with a Celestial Purge. With only one mana left to use, we know that our Negate will be successful at stopping Evil’s attempt.
With our hands exhausted, a brief respite takes place. Evil seeks answers with Divination, but finds only a Coral Merfolk. We are not as fortuitous and can only play a Horned Turtle. Evil summons a Snapping Drake. We cannot let that resolve and use Essence Scatter to disperse the threatening drake. The time is right to begin our offensive. Dragon Whelp unleashes its pent up rage as it engulfs Evil in a blaze of flame. The Planeswalker suffers five damage. To follow up the attack, we summon a Snapping Drake of our own. Evil can only use his Merfolk Looter to search for an answer. He finds it with Lightwielder Paladin. We must plan our attacks carefully and not let the paladin damage us or else we will lose our dragon whelp.
Our draws have been land and we have no Merfolk Looter to turn them into more useful cards. Evil takes advantage of our situation and attacks us with his Lightwielder Paladin. We consider all possible options and defend with all three of our creatures (Snapping Drake, Horned Turtle, and Dragon Whelp). Evil has no tricks and only Dragon Whelp perishes to slay the knight. We consider ourselves lucky. Evil summons a Wind Drake afterwards as we draw yet another land. Our position has been severely weakened. We cannot defend the skies with Snapping Drake. The ferocious creature is fragile and doesn’t have the toughness of a dragon’s scales.
Evil’s pegasus and drake soar over our Horned Turtle in an attack. We acknowledge the fate of our drake as it blocks his. The two magnificent creatures plummet into the sea, never to be seen again. Merfolk Sovereign surfaces where the two beasts fell. Suddenly Evil’s Coral Merfolk becomes much more of a threat. Our next turn yields an amazing trick: Ignite Disorder. The options available to us are overwhelming. There are so many points to consider. Negate is a trick we’ve seen from Evil. He has not used it yet and has only ten cards left in his deck with an additional two in hand. He may have another trick we haven’t seen yet, but playing around that is not something we can do unless we act on our turn. Our Air Elemental must surely be one of the targets. We will be able to free it from its Ice Cage and possibly ambush the Stormfront Pegasus. If we want to do that, we must wait for Evil to attack. He will have seen two more cards though. If he has the Negate, we will not be able to outrace his evasive Coral Merfolk thanks to the help of Merfolk Sovereign. Assuming that one target is our Air Elemental, we must choose to target his Merfolk Sovereign or Coral Merfolk. We could take two damage from the Coral Merfolk (going to six) and kill the Merfolk Sovereign or take nothing and kill the Coral Merfolk. Merfolk Sovereign seems to be the more threatening creature. We will kill that or at least try to.
Our plan goes through just like we had hoped. Evil doesn’t have Negate to thwart our maneuver. Suddenly the battlefield has been reclaimed. We have freed our Air Elemental and still have a Horned Turtle to defend against Evil’s creatures (Merfolk Looter and Coral Merfolk). Evil finds a Gorgon Flail with his Merfolk Looter and gives it to his Coral Merfolk after attacking.
The time is ours. We need to end the battle now. Our Air Elemental stabs at Evil, sending him reeling in agony. Our second Air Elemental joins us. Evil has few resources left with only four cards left in his deck after using Merfolk Looter and playing Divination. He finds nothing to cast and can only attack with his Coral Merfolk. The poisonous Gorgon Flail cracks the shell of our Horned Turtle as it blocks.
The two Air Elementals are out for blood. They reduce Evil down to three life. Berserkers of Blood Ridge are seen on the horizon as they wander into our camp. Our forces are great. Evil plays a Stormfront Pegasus and Djinn of Wishes as he prepares for the battle on our turn. We have but one option: ATTACK! The mighty Djinn of Wishes collides with one of our elementals as Stormfront Pegasus is run over by the other. Merfolk Looter has outlived its usefulness and shares the fate of the pegasus as it engages the berserkers. Having no follow-up, we are forced to pass the turn. Evil sends his Coral Merfolk into battle one last time before he concedes.
Game 3: Evil begins the final game of our epic battle with a mulligan. Our hand is laden with mana and a few powerful spells (2 Mountains, 2 Islands, Divination, Sparkmage Apprentice, and Mind Control). This time, we take the opportunity to kill Evil’s Coral Merfolk on our second turn. The presence of Merfolk Sovereign lurking somewhere in the depths of Evil’s domain makes the normally irrelevant 2/1 a potential threat. Sure enough, Merfolk Sovereign surfaces on Evil’s third turn. We might have been in trouble had we not been so cunning.
Our Divination is matched by Evil as his sovereign comes over for first blood. We have no creatures to enlist and can only hope that Evil summons Djinn of Wishes next turn so we can Cancel it. He does not have a fifth land and we are left with the option of using our Cancel on a Wind Drake which we accept. The pesky flyer would prove quite deadly if Evil has enough tricks to stop our Mind Control and Air Elemental.
Excommunicate sends our Air Elemental back to the top of our deck as Merfolk sovereign attacks for a third time. We decide to summon our Berserkers of Blood Ridge instead of the Air Elemental again. We’d like the opportunity to find a Negate to save our precious flyer should the situation arise. Unfortunately, Evil has a solution yet again. Celestial Purge exiles our berserkers and Merfolk Sovereign attacks us down to twelve life. We are ready with the Air Elemental. Certainly the majestic creature will be able to finish the race before the sovereign.
Evil matches our Air Elemental with his Djinn of Wishes. We are ready to overpower it with Mind Control as our Air Elemental attacks. Evil is down to twelve life as well. Ice Cage stops any shenanigans from our stolen djinn. Merfolk Sovereign continues its assault as Stormfront Pegasus joins it on the battlefield. We are not impressed by his puny flyers. Air Elemental and Sparkmage Apprentice team up and fight through the pegasus. Our second Air Elemental threatens to end the game.
Evil is not worried about the second Air Elemental. In fact, he is overjoyed to see it as his turn begins and finds himself the will to Mind Control. We are set back considerably by this maneuver. Merfolk Sovereign and Stormfront Pegasus attack. We are bludgeoned to six life. We find Merfolk Looter to help us search for an answer to our predicament. Hopefully it will not take long or else we will surely perish. Our Air Elemental collides in the sky as Merfolk Sovereign takes us down to four. Snapping Drake joins Evil’s forces, threatening to finish us off.
Our Merfolk Looter finds a Dragon Whelp as we freeze the Snapping Drake in an Ice Cage. We are beginning to stabilize. Evil builds his forces up with Merfolk Looter and Horned Turtle. The tribal lord makes the looter even more threatening than it already is. We can do nothing on our turn. We can’t search with Merfolk Looter because our forces are too greatly outnumbered.
Evil uses his sovereign to make his looter unblockable. The evasive merfolk swims deep beneath our forces to bring us close to death at a mere two life. Our Merfolk Looter digs for an answer before our turn starts. We find divination and use it on our turn. The mental boost yields an Ignite Disorder. The trick that was so crucial in our last battle proves its usefulness yet again as we free our stolen Djinn of Wishes from its Ice Cage and kill the Merfolk Looter. Dragon Whelp and the djinn fly into combat. Evil has no choice but to defend with his Stormfront Pegasus. He is down to four life.
Evil sees his position and attacks with his Merfolk Sovereign and Horned Turtle. We fear Harm’s Way and defend with our Sparkmage Apprentice and Merfolk Looter. On our turn we have three opportunities to find a Negate if Evil does indeed have the deadly trick. He doesn’t and falls defeated as we attack. We are victorious.
Game 1: Not only do we lose the die roll, but we also have to mulligan an awkward hand (4 Islands, 1 Mountain, Stone Giant, and Air Elemental) down to five cards (2 Islands, 2 Mountains, and 1 Merfolk Looter). We are the first to act with Merfolk Looter on turn two. Hopefully we’ll be able to use it to dig out of this mulligan hole. Evil is a pure green Planeswalker. He summons an Elvish Archdruid on turn three to help fuel his power. We have drawn Divination and Cancel while we wait for his next play. Cudgel Troll falls into our Cancel trap as we are punished by the Archdruid.
We find a Wall of Frost to defend against the Archdruid. Our hand is not in need of repair so Merfolk Looter’s duties shift to the battlefield. At the sight of the Wall of Frost, Evil can do nothing but play another large monstrous creature. Bramble Creeper lurks into view. Without help, not even it will be able to break through our defenses. We have found time to seek Divination. The sudden burst of knowledge fuels our hand with Prodigal Pyromancer and Air Elemental. If fate is on our side, these powerful spells will ensure we defeat Evil after having taken two mulligans at the start of the battle.
Evil sends his Bramble Creeper to attack. We are not in the position to play around Giant Growth. Wall of Frost defends and Evil does indeed have it. The boost in strength given to the Bramble Creeper is enough to overwhelm the wall, though not without consequence. As strong as the Bramble Creeper may be, it will take an entire turn to untap after colliding with the icy defender. A Stampeding Rhino lumbers out of the foliage to aid Evil’s offense.
We are not in the best of situations. We need help and summon our best creature. Air Elemental joins the ranks of our meager defenses. With the help of the airborne elemental, we shall be able to fend off the Stampeding Rhino. The rhino does indeed crash in against our front lines. We defend with our Air Elemental; the two creatures perish together. Evil wishes to hinder our resources as much as possible and summons an Acidic Slime. The ooze lays waste to one of our pristine Islands. We replace the desolated isle with another land to summon both Horned Turtle and Prodigal Pyromancer.
Not even the use of all our spells is enough to stop the onslaught of the green Planeswalker. Bramble Creeper and Acidic Slime attack us. We have no good blocks and must take seven damage, leaving us at eleven. Evil’s last move requires the help of his Elvish Archdruid. The two chant together with Howl of the Night Pack. The dirge calls forth six wolves. We are overridden with fear and concede.
Game 2: Fortune is on our side. We are able to keep our hand of seven (2 Mountains, Terramorphic Expanse, Divination, Negate, Merfolk Looter, and Viashino Spearhunter). Terramorphic Expanse forms into an Island as we summon Merfolk Looter and Viashino Spearhunter to stop Evil’s Runeclaw Bear. Divination allows us to draw into more cards as we are content with leaving the Viashino Spearhunter on defense. Evil can only summon a Centaur Courser as he fails to find a fourth land.
We have failed to draw a fifth land. However, we have a second Divination to find a land and an Ice Cage for the Centaur Courser. Entangling Vines traps our Merfolk Looter. Its job is done though. The card selection provided by it proved invaluable. We have enough resources to summon our Air Elemental. The game will surely be over soon. We have two Negates to make sure no tricks will stop us.
Evil finds a fifth land and summons a Giant Spider. He is done with his turn as he attempts to lure us into a false sense of security regarding his lack of Giant Growth. We are not concerned about that small issue. Air Elemental soars high to attack, but is entangled in the web of Evil’s Giant Spider. Sure enough, a Giant Growth is attempted. We are ready with Negate to stop Evil’s plan. Essence Scatter takes care of his Cudgel Troll. Furious, Evil curses at us.
We are immune to Evil’s taunts. Coolly, we plan our turn. Our Viashino Spearhunter and Air Elemental begin their assault. Evil chooses to not defend with his Runeclaw Bear. Afterwards, we summon a mighty Dragon Whelp. Evil tries one last desperate attempt to climb back into the game with Howl of the Night Pack. At the sight of our Negate, he concedes.
Game 3: Our hand for the final game isn’t as impressive as the previous one, but it’s good enough to keep (2 Islands, Horned Turtle, Wall of Frost, Mind Control, and 2 Berserkers of Blood Ridge). Deadly Recluse is the first creature summoned. The distant cousin of the Giant Spider is not as dangerous to a Planeswalker. However, its venom is deadly to the creatures they summon. We find Merfolk Looter lurking on the top of our deck for turn two. We thankfully accept the sight of it as a boon of hope. We will be able to filter our draws to ensure we don’t falter.
Again, Evil has Elvish Archdruid on his third turn. The powerful old druid will be crucial for Evil to be able to accelerate his more expensive creatures onto the battlefield. We must not fall behind. Deadly Recluse attacks us without opposition. Wall of Frost solidifies our defense. On his turn, Evil attacks again with his spider. We would rather endure one damage than sacrifice our Wall of Frost. Its survival is crucial to our own. He follows up the attack with Bramble Creeper. This looks disturbingly familiar to the first game. However, we are short on lands this time.
Merfolk Looter continues its search for lands. It finds a Terramorphic Expanse as we begin our turn. Divination fuels the card selection for Merfolk Looter as we can only play the Terramorphic Expanse and pass the turn. At the sight of the massive amounts of cards we’re drawing, Evil launches a full out assault. Everything he controls is sent into combat. We defend against the Bramble Creeper with Wall of Frost and take three from his Elvish Archdruid and Deadly Recluse. Thankfully Evil doesn’t have the Giant Growth this time. He bolsters his forces with a Stampeding Rhino afterwards.
We manage to find a fifth land for our Air Elemental after having missed for some many draws. With his presence on the battlefield, it will be much harder for Evil to break through our forces. Evil attacks with his Deadly Recluse and Stampeding Rhino. Wall of Frost is defending valiantly. We let the spider through but block the rhino. Acidic Slime is summoned from Evil’s hand. The destructive ooze lays waste to our lone Mountain. Suddenly, the two Dragon Whelps in our hand have become almost uncastable.
Merfolk Looter provides a use for our uncastable Dragon Whelps. Divination lets us see more cards, giving us enough resources to play both creatures and countermagic. Evil plays a Borderland Ranger and Centaur Courser after attacking with his two deathtouch creatures. We still can afford to no block. Sacrificing our Air Elemental would be a bad maneuver on our part. We enlist the help of Snapping Drake in preparation of Evil’s next turn.
Evil is unhappy with how the battle is turning out. Frustrated with the superiority of Wall of Frost and Air Elemental to his forces, he attacks with his entire army. The battle is furious. In the end, we lose our Snapping Drake while Evil’s Centaur Courser and Borderland Ranger perish. Our wounds were severe as we were reduced to four life. Thankfully, Evil had no other plays afterwards. Mind Control steals Acidic Slime. We are beginning to stabilize for sure now. Our resources are in much better shape than Evil’s.
We spend our next turn using Merfolk Looter. Unfortunately, we are only drawing Mountains; each one mocks us as we stare at our discarded Dragon Whelps. We are ready for anything that could be thrown at us. We have many spells in hand waiting to be used (Polymorph, Negate, Sparkmage Apprentice, and Essence Scatter). We begin a standoff. Air Elemental cannot attack just yet because of Deadly Recluse. We decide to metamorphose the recluse with Polymorph. The evolutionary change creates a Cudgel Troll. What an ironic outcome. Still, we have Wall of Frost to defend against the troll.
Evil is out for blood. He sends his troll in and uses Giant Growth when we block with Wall of Frost. We use one of the Negates in our hand. Dejected, he can do nothing else. It is time for us to attack. We are getting low on time because our library is low on cards. Our Air Elemental attacks for the first time after having been on the battlefield for eight turns. Sparkmage Apprentice is summoned to ensure we are not overridden. The red wizard deals one damage to Evil.
Giant Spider finds its way to Evil’s side, but we are not happy to see it. Essence Scatter prevents the arachnid from complicating the board. Evil attempts to trap our Air Elemental with Entangling Vines. Fortunately, we have Negate. Furious, Evil curses at us again. Ignoring the Planeswalker’s cries of frustration, we send in Air Elemental to attack once again. The floating behemoth cannot be stopped by Evil’s forces. Stone Giant solidifies our board as we pass the turn.
Evil senses that he is almost out of time. Frantically, he bolsters his Stampeding Rhino with Oakenform. Evil’s four creatures attack (Elvish Archdruid, Stampeding Rhino, Borderland Ranger, and Cudgel Troll). We defend against everything but his Borderland Ranger. Wall of Frost and Acidic Slime block the gigantic rhino, Sparkmage Apprentice sacrifices itself to the Cudgel Troll, and Stone Giant makes a meal out of Elvish Archdruid. Wall of Frost dies and Acidic Slime lives. After the great battle, all Evil has is his Borderland Ranger and Cudgel Troll. We have been dropped to two life, but have Cancel and Ice Cage in hand.
We counterattack with our Stone Giant and Air Elemental. The attack reduces Evil to four life. Afterwards, his Cudgel Troll is frozen alive inside of our Ice Cage. Out of options, Evil makes us wait a pleasant ten minutes before victory is ours. We are victorious.
Game 1: Evil mulligans to six cards after choosing to play first. Our hand is land-heavy, but fine considering his mulligan (3 Mountains, 2 Islands, Viashino Spearhunter, and Snapping Drake). Evil is the first to act with a Black Knight. The knight is a formidable adversary, but not against our Wall of Frost. Evil continues summoning small aggressive creatures. Silvercoat Lion and Relentless Rats team up with his Black Knight, but they cannot beat through our Wall of Frost. We have since formed an offense (Snapping Drake) and added the additional defense of Viashino Spearhunter.
Evil is stuck with only three lands to cast his spells. A second Relentless Rats joins his team. Despite his larger ground army, Evil’s forces are simply outclassed by our superior creatures. Divination is cast and Prodigal Pyromancer deployed to the battlefield. Evil decides the time to attack is right. His four creatures charge at our front lines. Viashino Spearhunter and Wall of Frost defend. A sound can be heard afterwards. Glorious Charge boosts the morale of the attacking army. We can only watch as our Viashino Spearhunter falls in combat to the Silvercoat Lion. Evil uses his will to Duress us after the battle. He sees a Sparkmage Apprentice staring back at him; waiting to team up with our Prodigal Pyromancer. We shall recover quickly and quash the opposition.
Our turn is more productive that Evil’s. Sparkmage Apprentice and Prodigal Pyromancer join together and burn Evil’s Black Knight alive. The smoldering corpse can be seen from far above in the air as our Snapping Drake attacks Evil. Afterwards, the Berserkers of Blood Ridge can be seen coming towards us in aid. Evil does nothing on his turn as he waits in anticipation for our attack. Our berserkers and drake charge forth. Evil uses his Safe Passage to prevent our attack from accomplishing anything. Additionally, his forces become immune to our offense and our berserkers are slain. We replace them with a furious Stone Giant.
Evil has yet to play a fourth land. Like in the previous turn, he has no creatures to summon. Instead, he waits for our attack to play some sort of trick. Sure enough, Harm’s Way is used to deal with our Snapping Drake. We have drawn Air Elemental and are not concerned. The combination of it and Prodigal Pyromancer will ensure our victory. Too soon to speak, we see Pacifism enchant our Air Elemental. We still have Prodigal Pyromancer and are not worried. The wizard is sure to finish him off.
The board is cluttered with irrelevant creatures; Undead Slayer and two Drudge Skeletons join Evil’s forces. He has been brought down to six life by the pyromancer. All is soon over. A Dragon Whelp swoops down from its high aerie nest to slay the Planeswalker. Evil has no solution to the mighty flyer and concedes.
Game 2: We both keep our hands (3 Island, Mountain, Sparkmage Apprentice, and Berserkers of Blood Ridge) as Evil chooses to go first with his aggressive forces. Drudge Skeletons is the first creature out of the gates. Our eyes gleam as we summon Sparkmage Apprentice to deal with the pesky skeleton. Evil replaces it with a Veteran Swordsmith, but it pales tactically with our Viashino Spearhunter. Evil throws a Duress at us, but finds nothing to steal from our mind. He only sees creatures and lands. Soon his forces will have to deal with Wall of Frost and Berserkers of Blood Ridge. He summons a Warpath Ghoul. The wall forms itself on our turn.
Memories of the impassable Wall of Frost haunt Evil and his forces. Elite Vanguard joins the side of darkness as a Doom Blade takes care of the wall. We replace the wall with our Berserkers of Blood Ridge. Evil can’t attack but adds another small creature to his side; Undead Slayer is recruited to fight for Evil’s cause. The berserkers charge into combat. The Undead Slayer and Elite Vanguard trade their lives to disband the attackers. We make use of the Divination we’ve drawn to find more spells. We draw another Divination and another Viashino Spearhunter. Our thirst for knowledge is again satisfied with the second Divination. Snapping Drake and Unsummon will be useful to us.
Evil attacks with his Warpath Ghoul and Veteran Swordsmith. We know he has a trick. We defend against the Veteran Swordsmith with Sparkmage Apprentice and Viashino Spearhunter. We are sure his trick is Glorious Charge and not Safe Passage. Using Safe Passage here would be a waste. Sure enough, the sound of a horn bellows across the battlefield. Glorious Charge emboldens Evil’s forces. However, our forces have maneuvered well and slay his Veteran Swordsmith.
We replace our fallen Viashino Spearhunter with a second one. Cancel is waiting for Evil’s next play, but it is only a Drudge Skeletons. We would rather save our trickery for cards that matter. Our turn yields Air Elemental. At the sight of the mighty beast, Evil recoils in absolute fear. The sky demon is too much of an adversary to combat. Defeated, Evil concedes despite being at full health. Victory is ours.