Before Replenish splashed big in the metagame for Regionals, I was sitting in Neutral Ground playing a few friendly games of Type Two against Christopher Robin Senhouse. Breaking out a number of decks, I found myself constantly amused and annoyed at what I was losing to.
Down went the life to 9.
"Cast Veiled Sentry."
I glumly looked over the Arc Lightning and Wildfire in my hand. Last turn I’d tried to Arc Lightning his creatures, hoping to mount stop his beatdown, but he had the counter in hand. I looked at that two open blue mana and knew I was in trouble.
"Counter the Arc Lightning. My turn, untap, upkeep, draw, attack for 6."
People are laughing now. I’m pretty sure that this is pretty much over. I need things to change quickly though. A Shock would be good…
And there it is, the top-decked Shock.
"In for two," says Chris. I’m at one.
This was one of my first experiences playing against Faeries of the Coast, originally designed by Team Diesel’s Chris Senhouse. Faeries of the Coast is very much like a combination of the RBC Deck "George" by Mike Donais and Cabal Rogue, and various different Fish or Merfolk decks. George would win by protecting a Curiosity on a Manta Rider, and Fish would win by trying to mount an aggressive, often mana-curved offensive, with a few counterspells to keep the opponent from surviving. One of the big reasons that a Fish deck would do well would be based on the metagame. Fish tends to appreciate combo-heavy fields, or simply, fields that are reactive to a combo field. Control decks are often a natural reaction to combo, and a Fish deck can exploit this situation. George would win in a field where targeted elimination was slightly less common, simply because the extra card drawing would allow George decks to stop true threats, and any small (even piddling) amount of protected damage could finish an opponent.
Faeries of the Coast – original design, Chris Senhouse; modified by Adrian Sullivan
4 Veiled Sentry
4 Cloud Sprite
4 Cloud of Faeries
4 Rishadan Airship
3 Coastal Piracy
4 Rishadan Port
4 Faerie Conclave
The deck’s initial design was against Sabre Bargain. Who better than the designers of Sabre Bargain to make a blue deck that just beats Sabre Bargain? According to Chris Senhouse, the deck was one of the few blue decks that could put up enough of a significant offense for Bargain to even care that it was being attacked. It didn’t really matter if the clock was small, just the ability to bring in a clock and immediately have counter backup was significant. This explained odd card choices like Cloud of Faeries.
Of all of the typical opponents in the metagame, it is mono-green that provides the greatest problems. Able to be even more aggressive than FotC. After sideboarding, Submerge, Treachery, and Masticore really make things almost pleasurable, however. Green really doesn’t have very much to bring in, and FotC can often afford to try to trade spells early.
"So many of the decks in this metagame just can’t deal with it. They have no removal. Replenish can just not ever get to the land they need." Mike then waved his hands about a bit in excitement. Besides Adept, the extra Annuls are quite significant.
While the deck tends to do well versus a lot of decks, it can find itself under significant duress versus Red. The ability of Red to Shock and Stone Rain is devastating. However, nearly all of Red’s truly good cards in the matchup are single-target spells. Misdirection can be amazing here. Misdirecting a third turn Stone Rain is almost a game win by itself, sometimes.
After Chris reviewed my version of his deck, he had only a few comments:
offNet: Adrian Sullivan @#$ Web Consultant – Game Theorist $#@
EFNet: Corrupter @#$ Writer – Eccentric – Hedonist $#@
USENET: The Corrupter @#$ Geek – Coffee Addict – HSTHSTS $#@
"heroicus nihil attinet"