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LSV’s Play – GB Elves

Welcome back!

Last time, we found ourselves in the midst of a critical attack step, during a match of Origins draft sent in by Paul Jordan.

The Situation

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Keep in mind that we saw multiple copies of Disperse in game 1.

This scenario seems simple, but I picked it because it illustrates a very important lesson.

At the base level, we are very far ahead this game. We actually just have lethal in play, assuming the opponent doesn’t do anything, and vastly outnumber the opponent on board regardless. Still, there’s a lot to be aware of here, and figuring out how to play optimally while ahead is very important.

The most important thing to think about is:

How Do I Lose?

When winning, this question should always be at the forefront of your mind (and when losing, you should be pondering the reverse). In this case, there are some main standouts when it comes to finding ways to lose. The first is to simply attack with everything. If the opponent does have Disperse, they bounce Leaf Gilder, and then survive at 1 life. They can then play any creature to trigger Sigil, and we lose to the Ramroller.

Another way to lose is to not attack with everything, letting the opponent live even if they don’t have Disperse, and for them to have a Mighty Leap on their turn. Forcing the opponent to use a Disperse is another goal, as you pick up a win if they just don’t have it.

I think it’s prudent to assume the opponent does have a Disperse, and given that assumption, there’s one line I like above the rest.

My Play

This also happened to be one of the top answers, with variants posted by a number of astute readers.

Attack with Thornbow Archer and one Eyeblight Assassin. Tap the Leaf Gilder to cast Titanic Growth on the Thornbow Archer.

If the opponent doesn’t have a Disperse, they are dead. Hooray!

If the opponent does have a Disperse, you get to replay whatever they bounce, and have two blockers back. That plays around Disperse + removal + a creature for Sigil. Hooray!

If the opponent has Disperse and Mighty Leap—well, you weren’t winning this game. Boo!

Even in a situation that looks very good, like this one, figuring out what the opponent needs to win the game and how to best counter it should always be on your radar. Here, Disperse is a key factor, and putting the opponent on Disperse definitely informs our decision. It is worth noting that you should force the opponent to actually have the card here (though that won’t always be true), because being too timid and playing around too much is also a risk. Luckily, this spot lets us play around Disperse while still making the opponent have it, and we end up in a decent spot no matter what.

Discussion

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