Friday, 1st of December, 2006
The dark sky flashed and the clouds became illuminated as bolts of lightning struck down across my precious city.
I had a date with Eli, and I couldn’t disappoint. I’d had power problems the entire day, but the battle must go on.
I logged onto Magic Online two full hours before the battle was scheduled, to round up whatever cards I needed to complete the Slivers deck. My Internet was moving slower than a Stuffy Doll in a snow storm, and I lost the connection several times before I even acquired my first Sedge Sliver. Each trade took literally ten minutes to complete. The first five minutes was spent waiting for all of the other person’s cards to load, then the next was spent waiting for the cards I clicked on to pop up in the trade section.
This frustrated some of the people I was trading with and they actually closed the trade on me. Thankfully a bot doesn’t get frustrated so I did most of the trading with them. After an hour and 45 minutes, and after my Internet had gone down twice, I had about half the deck complete – the rares and uncommons – but I was still missing all of the commons and snow-lands. I started to panic worse than a Stuffy Doll with a Night of Souls’ Betrayal on the stack
I had planned to get the commons from whoever on my buddy list was online… I forgot that Worlds was happening so my only option was the unreliable Brett Blackman. He blocked me. Thanks bro.
I felt like I was drawing dead. It was two minutes past battle time, but I had outs… I went to the one person in the World who should not lend me cards…
Antonious Elious Kaplanious VII
I begged him, I groveled, and I had to walk around in a giant hot dog costume yelling “Ask Me About My Weiner!”
He didn’t have it all though. He was short on twelve of the snow lands and Firewake Slivers. So I did what any desperate man would do and went to the SCG chat room and asked if anyone had any snow lands or slivers.
Flawed Paradiagram came to the rescue, and the battle was underway only twenty minutes behind schedule.
He said he had tested the matchup and I was a 70% favorite after board. I obviously didn’t test, but I did theorize the match up a lot. I didn’t think it would be that drastic, but I did know I was a slight favorite, and winning the dice roll would be very important. Usually he will not have a play until turn 3, unless he has Remand or a Signet. So I figured that Cryoclasm would be very good on the play, and not that hot on the draw.
I had a lot of sideboarding options: I could go for the land permission route and play both Cryoclasm and Hit / Run to restrict his mana. One problem with that is that Fathom Seer can basically counter Cryoclasm, and give him an excuse to draw cards. Hit / Run really didn’t seem very exciting, unless paired with Cryoclasm, so I boarded all four out to bring in three Putrefy, which could disrupt his combo (I respond to Shapeshifter’s triggered flip ability by killing the Brine Elemental). Putrefy can also double as artifact removal for his Signets, so I was happy with the trade.
From there on the deck gets really tight. I concluded that I would board 1 Rift Bolt, one Spinneret Sliver, and one Bonesplitter Sliver out in favor of Cryoclasm on the play. On the draw I would leave a Rift Bolt in over the Cryoclasm because the LD isn’t as disruptive once he has Fathom Seer in play.
Willbender was a big card that I needed to be aware of if I was going to play correctly this match, but if I had a two-drop, he really doesn’t have enough time to wait to play it with two mana up, since I will have a bunch of creatures in play already. Repeal was another card that I really had to be careful with, since he could make my Slivers lose abilities at instant speed. Other than those two cards I really was just goldfishing for the most part.
For reference, here are the decks:
- 4 Spined Sliver
- 3 Bonesplitter Sliver
- 3 Firewake Sliver
- 4 Sedge Sliver
- 3 Spinneret Sliver
- 4 Two-Headed Sliver
Yah! I won the die roll!
The hand played out just as good as it looks and I got in a lot of damage early while he played Signet and Compulsive Research. He used Remand and Gigadrowse to stall off some beats but didn’t have an answer for my creatures in play or the Stormbind I had just cast. On turn 6 or so he cast his first morph of the game, which he couldn’t even use to chump block since I had a Two-Headed Sliver.
I mulliganed to five; he mulliganed to six. Mulligans hurt me a lot more than him, since I’m so light on land and he has card advantage to make up for it.
My five-card hand was four lands and Bonesplitter Sliver. On turn 3 I go for a Cryoclasm, which gets Remanded. Next turn I try again and it gets Remanded again. I pretty much gave up from there since he already had five lands in play along with a Storage land. There was no possible way I could win this from here, especially since he has seven cards in hand. He eventually gets the combo on line and I concede on the spot.
I suspended Search on turn 1 and didn’t play a Red source so he Remanded it on turn 3. I cast it and went for a Mountain. I drew into a Terramorphic Expanse and played a Sedge Sliver. He flipped Fathom Seer during his turn which put him down to three lands, so I moved in on my next turn by playing Spined Sliver and attacking with my 3/3 Sedge Sliver. On my next turn I attack out to put him to eleven and played a Stormbind with two mana open. On my next turn I played Two-Headed Sliver and attack out, and he concedes.
Mulligan to six.
Not too exciting, but I can’t see myself mulliganing that… maybe I should have done so.
I play Spinneret Sliver on turn 2. On his turn he drops the bomb – Mark of Eviction, and then uses Remand on my Two-Headed Sliver. On his next turn all I have is Two-Headed Sliver and Spinneret Sliver in my hand, along with all the lands I’ve been drawing for the past few turns – it wasn’t looking good. After a few more turns of me attacking and him using Mark of Eviction, he stabilizes at fourteen life when he uses Spell Burst with buyback on my Sliver. My Firewake dealt with the Mark of Eviction by sacrificing himself, but I still didn’t have an answer for Spell Burst.
I had seven mana in play at this point along, and he was playing draw-go. I was able to get a Sedge Sliver to stick since he used Spell Burst with buyback and Spell Burst again on Spined and Two-Headed Sliver.
I had two Snow-covered Swamp in play, along with two Putrefy in hand. I was holding back the Forest in case he Gigadrowsed all my Mountains and Forests in fear of Putrefy and Skred before he went off. A couple of turns later he did Gigadrowse everything, and tapped out to play Brine Elemental and flip it. I was kinda surprised that he raw-dogged it out there and happily played my Forest and Putrefied it.
Next turn he played two more morphs. I didn’t want to use my removal since I still had Sedge Sliver in play and I couldn’t regenerate it if it got re-directed. On his turn he attacked and flipped another Brine Elemental, which I chumped and regenerated and passed. I drew into another Sedge Sliver, so I played it with three mana up to use Putrefy. Eli attacked again with Brine Elemental, so I blocked with my 4/4 Sedge Sliver and regenerated. He used a Momentary Blink to save his Brine then played and flipped Shapeshifter.
I was locked, so I conceded.
Probably one of the best hands possible for this match up. I had to hope he didn’t have a Remand.
I opened up with Spined Sliver and he had an Azorious Signet. I used Cryoclasm #1 on my next turn, and he responded with a much needed Court Hussar on his. I cast Cryoclasm again, and he was suddenly at ten. My draws up to this point had been Rift Bolt, land, land, so I used my Rift Bolt on his Morph creature because if he was manascrewed I wanted to save my Putrefy for his Signet.
My next attack was Gigadrowsed, along with some of my lands. I merely played another land and cast another Spined Sliver. After attacking for a turn I used Two-Headed Sliver to make blocking complicated for his Court Hussar and Morph creature. I attacked out on my next turn and Rift Bolted him for the crown.
It was a shame the games really weren’t close on either end. It always seemed like one person had a bad draw, or mulligans became a big factor. Eli is the true champ here though – without him there probably wouldn’t have been a battle.
If I was going to actually consider playing the deck in a real Standard event, and had an unlimited budget, I would definitely take the snow cards outs in favor of Stomping Ground, Blood Crypt, and Overgrown Tomb. This would solidify the manabase, which would allow you to cut Search For Tomorrow and the clunky Terramorphic Expanse.
Char and Seal of Fire would replace Skred and Rift Bolt. I think Hit / Run is still very good in the deck, even though I sideboarded it out in every match. You can’t really touch the creatures since there are no better options in terms of Slivers, so they would stay the same.
I’m looking forward to my next opponent… I’ve already got a little something in the works. I’d like to talk about it, but then my future opponent could use it against me…
In my last article I talked about Heroes, and seeing as the last episode of the year was just on, I’ll talk about it again.
A lot happened in this episode, but the most disappointing part is that Ali Larter’s character did not die. I mean, I love Ali. She gorgeous, perfect teeth, she looks better in jeans than anyone I’ve ever seen, but she really needs to die soon. Her character really dumbs down the show. This episode was a testament to that. She went psycho and shot her husband, chased him in the woods, then as quickly as you can turn on and off a light she was hugging and kissing him. I understand her powers are what is causing this, but I feel like going to the restroom whenever her scenes come on and stick around for the commercials. It’s that bad… but man, those jeans…
Issac might be my new favorite character. Okay, he’s obviously not better than Hiro, but the scene when his eyes go white and he starts drawing the future was wicked sweet.
Peter has been the catalyst for all the Heroes so far up to this point. I had a theory that he was going to screw up something big for this very reason. They make him out to be this nice guy who does nice things in a nice way, and he always has the be the underdog hero who saves the day. My theory after the first five or so episodes was that because he has been so obsessive he was going to cause the accident in New York. In this episode, after his brother gets him out of jail, he faints and has a weird dream sequence when all the Heroes are in New York running away from him until he starts to glow and eventually blows up.
This could mean a couple of things.
1) He absorbs the radioactive guys powers and loses control.
2) He feels that he has to blow himself up to kill Sylar or save the World.
The whole dream-like sequence was really weird. Where did it come from and how did it happen are questions almost as prudent as what the dream was about. It’s fairly obvious that he isn’t going to blow up since Hiro from the future mentioned that he had a scar on his face, meaning he is alive in the future.
I can’t believe the the cute emo girl died! I call her the cute emo girl because in every other movie she’s done she’s been a… cute emo girl. It was so clutch to shoot herself in the head so Sylar couldn’t take her powers though, shes gets a golden star for that one. Also, Sylar is just the nuts. It’s fairly obvious that he has been slow-rolling his powers. I honestly have no clue how they are going to kill him.
MAAAAN!!! I’m so upset about Claire’s Dad wiping Jack’s memory. They were so cute together, and definitely on the road to being “more than friends.”
Speaking of “more than friends,” I know I wasn’t the only one who saw that look Claire gave Peter when she was leaving his jail cell. Rethinking it, I think its good Jack’s memory was zapped; this makes room for Peter to come and sweep her off her feet, and they’d be a pretty cute pair. So what if she’s in high school, she’s much cooler than that scary-looking girl Peter has back home.
Some of the Heroes cast were actually on the Ellen Degeneres show today (don’t act like you don’t watch it from time to time). Ali Larter was also there, wearing a little black dress that showed off her fabulous legs. Claire was also there, looking magnificent, although I was looking at Ali Larter’s legs for the majority of the time. Hiro also made an appearance. He really reminded me of the Japanese Magic players… really bubbly and fun to be around, just like he is in the show.
Did I mention Ali Larter’s legs?
Thanks for reading,
Top 5 Picks
1) “Anthem For The Earnest” by Bad Plus
2) “They Are Zombies!! They Are Neighbors!! They Have Come Back From The Dead!!” by Sufjan Stevens
3) “I Didn’t Understand” by Elliot Smith
4) “December 4th” by DJ Danger Mouse
5) “Unchain My Heart” by Ray Charles