Daily Digest: Picture Perfect

This all-time Magic great is very adept at taking pictures of his masterpieces. And this one just might be his greatest yet! Sleeve it up for battle this weekend at #SCGATL!

SCG Tour <sup>®</sup>Atlanta Open Weekend June 4-5!” border=”1″ /></a></div>
<p>Two Grand Prix, two spicy decklists. <a href=Yesterday I covered Martin Muller’s MonoBlue Prison deck from GP Manchester, and today I have an equally spicy U/R deck from Tomoharu Saito, who equaled Muller with a Top 32 finish on the other side of the pond in Minneapolis.

While the deck sort of defies classification, there is one certainty: no higher-finishing deck has ever had a larger number of Welkin Terns. Twelve?! I didn’t even know you could play that many. Call up the folks at Guinness; we have an edit for their records.

Ultimately I would call it a counter-burn deck, even if it doesn’t have too many of either elements. It’s playing a classic U/R-style tempo game, using the combination of flash creatures and counterspells to make sure you are always making your decisions with the best information. If they play something threatening, you can counter it. If they don’t, you can develop your battlefield and start attacking immediately.

Fevered Visions is an all-star against midrange and control decks, since they will always have trouble emptying their hand and your cards are designed to trade at a mana advantage; you can frequently deal with whichever cards they choose to play while possibly adding a 2/1 flier to your battlefield. The best part about Fevered Visions is you always leave your opponent with a loaded hand when they lose, which is sure to both tilt them and give you some delicious salt to feast on before your next match. After all, keeping yourself fed at Magic tournaments is very important.

Goldnight Castigator and Exquisite Firecraft are your heavy hitters, quickly closing out games once you run out of counterspells and your opponent has some dim hope of actually being able to use all the free cards you’ve given them during the game.

Think about it. You get a few chip shots in with your army of Vaporkins, but your opponent thinks they’re safe because you’re playing nothing but draft commons. They play a spell, and for the first time in the game, it actually resolves. They think it’s smooth sailing now, but you go upstairs with Exquisite Firecraft. After the Fevered Visions trigger, they’re at eight. Some more unanswered spells from your opponent and they are way ahead on the battlefield. Little do they know you have another instant-speed Drake Familiar on the way and a timely Goldnight Castigator to finish the job.

Your opponent stares at the board, listless. “I just needed one more turn! I had all these sweet cards in my hand and you are empty-handed!”

You win a lot of these kinds of games with tempo decks. On paper, it’s by a razor thin margin, but in reality it was by design. As such, sequencing is critical, which is why the flash element of the deck is so appealing. You will have enough information to sequence best and thus make the most out of all your cards.

The sideboard lets you shift appropriately by swapping removal for additional counterspells or vice versa. Since extra removal will likely be coming in against creature decks, Goblin Dark-Dwellers comes in for Goldnight Castigator, since the latter’s ability is a huge detriment in those matchups and Dark-Dwellers applies similar pressure while playing good defense, both with its body and its triggered ability recasting a removal spell.

Playing this deck, you will get outclassed in games by the individual power level of other deck’s cards, but tight play will show that your pile of Gossamer Phantasms can compete in a world of Gideons. And isn’t that what Magic is really about? Smugly signing the match slip in your favor while your opponent wonders how they lost to a glorified Sealed deck with their pile of mythic rares?