Down And Dirty – Whine, Women, and FNM *1st*

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Usually, I fill the beginnings of my articles with vivid stories of past nights or awkward occurrences. This time, however, I’m going to cut to the meat of the article… so, without further ado, I present a deck of my own creation: Touched by a Sanchez.

Usually, I fill the beginnings of my articles with vivid stories of past nights or awkward occurrences. This time, however, I’m going to cut to the meat of the article… so, without further ado, I present a deck of my own creation: Touched by a Sanchez. (TBAS for short)

It’s the U/W/B Touch Blink deck minus the bad Black cards, plus the explosive Red cards, and much better options post board. I really liked the idea of a Touch Blink deck, but Skeletal Vampire is about as bad as they come nowadays, with Incinerate running around.

Round 1 – Mono Green Aggro

Game 1

He gets a quick Gaea’s Anthem out via a Llanowar Elves and drops Force of Savagery on turn 3. I had a Court Hussar in play, and when I went for the trade he used Stonewood Invocation.

Eleven to the dome. Nice deck.

Luckily, I had an Aethermage’s Touch into Bogardan Hellkite to kill that pesky 9/1 and his Elves. From there I had a Momentary Blink to seal the game.

Sideboard: +4 Lightning Helix, +4 Aven Riftwatcher, -3 Grand Arbiter, -4 Remand, -1 Aethermage’s Touch

Game 2

This game went a little differently: turn 1 Elves led into a Troll Ascetic this time. All I had was an Azorius Signet on turn 2, and he got in for 6 with Troll Ascetic and Llanowar Elves after playing a Gaea’s Anthem. At this point I have my pick of several four-drops including Grand Arbiter, two Aethermage’s Touch, and a Lightning Angel, along with a Remand. I chose to put Arbiter in play, as that way next turn I can cast both Touch, along with Remand if necessary.

On his turn he dropped Force of Savagary again and attacked with Troll Ascetic, putting me to 10. On my turn I drew a land, played it, and crossed my fingers that the top eight cards would contain a Bogardan Hellkite. On his turn he attacked with Elves, Force, and Troll Asectic. I cast Aethermage’s Touch, and he responded by playing Giant Growth on his Force of Savagary.

Hallowed Fountain
Izzet Boilerworks
Aethermage’s Touch

Whiff on the first four, which made my opponent chuckle a bit. When I cast the second, he sat up in his chair and yelled out “Miss!”

Bogardan Hellkite
Court Hussar
Bogardan Hellkite
Bogardan Hellkite


I put a Bogardan Hellkite in play, killing his Force and blocking his Troll Ascetic with my dragon, and Llanowar Elves with Arbitor. He regenerated and passed the turn, tapped out. On my turn I drew Momentary Blink and killed him.


Round 2 – Dragonstorm?

I roll 12.

He rolls a 13.

Story of my life.

Perhaps some foreshadowing?

Game 1

On his first turn he suspended three Lotus Blooms, and made a Mishra’s Bauble to sneek a peek at the Hallowed Fountain on top of my library. On his next turn he played another Bauble and snuck a peek at another Hallowed Fountain on top of my library. A turn 2 Signet accelerated me into Grand Arbiter Augustin IV, and things were looking good since my opponent still hasn’t played a land.

The three Blooms come in, and he plays a freshly drawn Shivan Reef… and has exactly 10 mana for the Dragonstorm in his hand.

Sideboard: ?

Game 2

Turn 2 signet, turn 3 Lightning Angel, turn 4 Lightning Angel. In the meantime my opponent played 3 Mishra’s Baubles, Compulsive Research, and suspended a Lotus Bloom on turn 4, and used Dizzy Spell to fetch a Rite of Flame.

On his turn five, with him 5 life, he played 2 Rite of Flame to ramp up to nine mana, and played Dragonstorm for three Hellkites, shooting me for 15, putting me to 3. Luckily I had a Venser and a Momentary Blink to bounce two of his three Dragons and attacked for lethal on the next turn…

Then out of nowhere he casts a foil Tenth Edition Unsummon on one of my Angels. Luckily, Venser was still in play, and I had a Momentary Blink in the yard to bounce his last Hellkite before blockers, putting him at two. On his turn he ran a Hunted Dragon out there, which I chump blocked with my Lightning Angel. On my next turn I killed him with the soldiers from Hunted Dragon.

Game 3

He got another explosive draw with two Lotus Bloom on turn 1 again, and followed it up with three Rite of Flame on turn 4 after Transmuting for one, and naturally had the Dragonstorm to seal the deal.

I guess Dragonstorm works without Seething Song and Sleight of Hand…?


Round 3 – Coalition Victory

My opponent was 12 minutes late for this round. Luckily for him I’m a nice guy.

Game 1

This guy knows how to accelerate. Turn 1 Birds of Paradise, turn 2 Rampant Growth, turn 3 Coalition Relic and another Rampant Growth, and on turn 5, just when I thought things couldn’t be accelerated any more, he whipped out a pair of Search for Tomorrows.

Meanwhile, I was busy doing some accelerating of my own, with a pair of Azorius Signets, a Court Hussar, and an Arbiter one turn too late to make any sort of an impact on my opponent’s now empty hand and board full of land.

On his next turn he cast Transguild Courier, and I started to piece things together… a five-color creature? All five land types out? This had to be one of those legendary Coalition Victory decks! Complete with Coalition Relic to balance things out. At the end of his turn I used Aethermage’s Touch, and sneaked a Lightning Angel into play.

After a few turns of playing draw-go and taking Lightning Angel beats to the face, my opponent finally tried for a Scion of the Ur-Dragon, I Remanded it, and he played it again, so I used Venser to bounce it and sealed the deal with my Lightning Angels on the next turn.

“GOD! I HATE ANGEL!” my very upset opponent proclaimed.

Sideboard: +4 Avalanche Riders, -4 Riftwing Cloudskate

I’m not sure if this is right, but his mana is so awkward I had to give it a try.

Game 2

The acceleration was toned down this game. Instead of the nut draw, he simply had a turn 1 Search for Tomorrow, and a turn 3 Coalition Relic which met a Remand. On my next turn I landed an Avalanche Riders and destroyed his only Forest and got in for two, with two Momentary Blinks in my hand.

After he replayed his Relic on his turn I used a Blink during my upkeep on my Avalanche Riders to take out his only Island, and then another Blink after combat to take care of a Mountain. At this point his only permanents were a lonely Plains and a Coalition Relic that he forgot to put a counter on at the end of my turn.

He slammed his fist into the table and passed the turn in an apparent display of frustration.

I continued blowing up his permanents on my upkeep when I flashbacked a Blink on the Riders. He sighed, got up, threw his deck in the trash, and stormed out. Never to be heard from again.


Round 4 – SLIVERS!!%@)*#%

Nothing like a Sliver deck to put you on the ropes for Top 4.

Game 1

Turn 1 Sidewinder Sliver meant that the two Court Hussars in my hand weren’t going to be very effective blockers, and when a turn 2 Spined Sliver came down I had pretty much given up hope of any neat combat situations. Luckily he didn’t have a turn 3 play, and my Court Hussar found a much needed Aethermage’s Touch to provide some potential interactions. On his turn 4 he summoned a Bonesplitter Sliver and bashed in with seven power. I played Aethermage’s Touch, getting a Riftwing Cloudskate, which bounced Spined Sliver and traded with Sidewinder.

My next play was a Grand Arbiter, with Remand and Momentary Blink backup in hand. I Remanded his Spined Sliver, and traded Arbiter for his Bonesplitter. On my next turn I played the second Court Hussar, which found another Remand. This was used on his Firewake Sliver after he summoned Spined Sliver again.

I drew Lightning Angel on my next turn, which gave me some offense to start racing him. He’d taken a bunch of damage from all of his lands so far, and the Angel’s attack dropped him to 11. On his turn he attempted a Char on my Angel, which was saved by the aforementioned Momentary Blink, and I had him right where I wanted him.

After a few more turns of attacking and using Venser with flashbacked Blink to hold off his troops, he eventually succumbed to the Lightning Angel.

Sideboard: +4 Lightning Helix, +4 Aven Riftwatcher, -4 Grand Arbiter, -4 Remand

Game 2

Turn 1 Sidewinder, turn 2 Two-Headed Sliver, turn 3 Spined Sliver and Virulent Sliver, turn 4 Bonesplitter.

I had a Helix and a Court Hussar, but I just got completely destroyed.

Game 3

This is for all the marbles. If I win here, I advance to Top 4 and all the glory of the day will be mine. If I lose shame will plague my families name for all time to come, and I’ll be known as the guy that lost to an awkward Sliver deck.

My opening hand was Sacred Foundry, Hallowed Fountain, Plains, Lightning Helix, Lightning Helix, Court Hussar, Lightning Angel.


Unfortuneately, his first play of the game was a Cautery Sliver on turn 3, and thanks to his awful mana all his Green slivers were stuck in his hand. My turn 4 Lightning Angel met a Char, which slowed the game down for me tremendously, as all I could do was play some Hussars and hoard several copies of Lightning Helix in my hand.

The Sanchez Gallery

Target aquired


On turn 7 or so he finally drew into a Green source – a Treetop Village – which was bounced to his hand courtesy of a Riftwing Cloudskate. A few more turns passed with him playing Village and me bouncing it via Momentary Blink on the Cloudskate until he finally drew into a Stomping Ground. At this point it was way too late, and I actually got to hard cast a pair of Bogardan Hellkites and ride them to victory.


Semifinals – Solar Flare

Finally, a matchup I can talk about.

Game 1

A turn 2 Castigate stripped an Arbitor from my hand, and a turn 3 Lightning Angel on my side got in zone. On his turn he just played a Court Hussar and passed the turn. I have Venser, Aethermage’s Touch, and Momentary Blink in my hand, along with a Court Hussar of my own, so I shipped the turn after attacking him down to 12.

At the end of his turn I cast Aethermage’s Touch, which he responded with a Mortify on my Angel. I flipped a Hellkite into play and blinked it on my turn after attacking.

Sideboarding: +4 Avalanche Riders, +3 Cryoclasm, -3 Lightning Angel, -1 Aethermage’s Touch, -3 Bogardan Hellkite

No clue if the sideboard is right, but the main goal in this matchup is to play the mana denial role and ride it to victory on all the 2/2s.

Game 2

He Castigated into a hand of Aethermage’s Touch, Momentary Blink, Avalanche Riders, Azorius Signet, Grand Arbiter, Sacred Foundry, Island, and took the Arbiter. I drew into a Court Hussar and played the Signet, and passed the turn. He accelerated a little, playing two Signets before passing the turn. An Avalanche Riders took out his only Black source, and on his turn he used a Wrath of God to stop any Blink nonsense on the next turn.

Court Hussar came down on my side, giving me a Remand to stop whatever he played next turn. He didn’t play a land on his turn and was stuck on five mana, and I Remanded his Nightmare Void back to his hand. A Cryoclasm took care of his Watery Grave. A Dimir Aqueaduct came down on his side, and I saw a very good target for the Riftwing Cloudskate in my hand.

He tried another Wrath, and I responded by Blinking my Cloudskate, bouncing itself, and continued to go to work on his mana on my next turn by bouncing one of his Signets. On his turn he took two to play a Godless Shrine and attempted a Mortify on my Cloudskate. Luckily I had another Blink in hand, and bounced the Signet back to his hand again.

He tried Nightmare Void on his next turn. I responded with Aethermage’s Touch, and had the choice between Venser and Avalanche Riders. I put the Riders into play since he was probably planning on playing his Aqueaduct this turn after Nightmare Void resolved, and he was still really short on lands. On my upkeep I flashbacked Blink on Mr. Kastle, and his only permanents in play were an Orzhova and two Azorius Signets, so the game was all but over at this point. He conceded a few turns later when I flashed him a Venser from my hand for whatever out he might have.


Finals – Dragonstorm!

Time for some payback!

I rolled a 12 again, but this time he could only muster a measly 4… chump.

Game 1

I mulliganed this game into an awesome hand of Sacred Foundry, Island, Signet, Grand Arbiter, Aethermage’s Touch, Court Hussar.

He had two Lotus Blooms to suspend on his first turn, and another on his third turn, so things were getting pretty tense. There was a crowd and the room slowly become more and more humid as greasy Magic players surrounded us in the small but quaint Heroes & Fantasies shop. Some of the people standing behind my opponent chuckled a bit when they snuck a peek at his hand, so I knew things couldn’t be good.

On my turn 4 I played Court Hussar for the discount price of two mana, after my turn 2 Signet and turn 3 Arbiter. This yielded a second Remand. On his turn both of the Blooms came in, and he had the Dragonstorm to go with it. I Remanded two of the copies, and the other dragon dealt five to my face, putting me to fifteen. On my turn I used a Riftwing Cloudskate to bounce it, and things were looking good for him.

His other Lotus Bloom came in and he tried to cast Hellkite for eight mana, forgetting that I had Arbitor in play. Instead he just cast a four-mana Compulsive Research and passed the turn. On my draw phase he tried to cast Peek with the one mana he had left, but again forgot I had Arbiter in play so he took it back.

I attacked, putting him to fifteen. On his turn he sacrificed his Bloom to put a Hellkite into play. I responded with Aethermage’s Touch and found a Venser, and he scooped up his cards.

Sideboard: !

Game 2

My hand was pretty stacked this game, with 3 lands, Grand Arbiter, Court Hussar, Aethermage’s Touch, and a Blink. His turn 1 play was a Peek with a Mishra’s Bauble, with the top card being another Aethermage’s Touch, so he knew what I was about to unleash.

His turn 3 saw him Transmuting Grozoth to find his Dragonstorm, and the people standing behind him were chuckling… so its pretty likely that he had some number of them in his hand already. When turn 4 rolled around for me, I had two Aethermage’s Touches, a Remand, and a Momentary Blink in hand, along with a Grand Arbiter, four lands, and a Signet in play. He didn’t have a play for his turn so I cast both Aethermage’s Touches at the end of his turn, finding a Bogardan Hellkite and a Court Hussar. He tried to Lightning Axe the Bogardan Hellkite (it was a one-of, since he could transmute for it with Dizzy Spell), but I had the Momentary Blink to seal the game.

4-1, FNM Champion.

Ship it to papa.

Although my matchups at this FNM were pretty random, and I got pretty lucky with Hellkite always being on top of my library, I still think this deck is pretty good. I’m probably going to end up playing it at Nationals this weekend, since I don’t like any other deck in the format nearly as much.

The best part about this deck is its good matchups versus both the traditional versions of Solar Flare and Angelfire, which seem to be the most popular choices, next to Gruul, in the current environment. I was testing on MWS a few nights ago, and kept losing to Magus of the Moon post board versus Gruul and B/R, so I’m probably going to include some number of Pyroclasms in ths sideboard. I just have no clue what to cut. I guess Cryoclasm isn’t all that great, but I really doubt I will need eleven cards versus Gruul after boarding.

Thinking about it, Pyroclasm is a perfect fit. It doubles against Bridge from Below as a two-mana Wrath of God, and triples against the R/B deck that won Austrailian Nationals. Every time I actually analyze this deck I fall more and more in love with it. I’m also super-lucky, so its a perfect fit.

Thanks for reading,

Zany Heckles*

Top 5 Picks

1) Texas Country Maid by Brandon Rhyder
2) Nynphomanic by Cross Canadian Ragweed
3) My Ring by Bart Crow Band
4) Renegade by Texas Renegade
5) Dazed and Confused by Led Zeppelin

* It’s an anagram for Kyle Sanchez… cute, huh? Seventeen cool points and a pack of Fallen Empires to anyone who guesses who “Limber Loony,” “Mean Tit,” and “A Vaporous Matador Idol” are.

HINT: One is a Grand Prix champion.
HINT: None currently reside in Europe or Asia.
HINT: All have been drawn or talked about in one of my articles this year.

Also, while we’re on the topic of anagrams, whats up with Wizards replacing Extended with freakin’ Legacy at Worlds this year?!? Does anyone really freakin’ care about Legacy?!? I didn’t even know it freakin’ exsisted ’til they had a freakin’ GP for it a couple of freakin’ months ago…