Okay, I finally did it. I took the time to do a play-by-play; this time with everyone’s friend, Ruhan of the Fomori. I figured I had enough time to write down and watch what the other players were doing (to themselves) without slowing down the game. The other players were more than accommodating in helping me keep up.
I posted the decklist a few months back. I’ve made a few changes, the most significant one being taking out Sunforger due to the lack of commitment to the package (said package ended up in the Oros, the Avenger deck). I’ve added the list at the bottom of the article so you can reference it. The changes are:
I went down one land by taking out the Forge and Orchard but only returning City of Brass. 37 seems like enough. I found that Forbidden Orchard was providing too many Ruhan blockers, so I switched to City of Brass. The damage I take from it isn’t all that bad since there’s a reasonable amount of life gain. Gwafa was kind of interesting, but the Curse of Echoes was really calling my name. Tunnel Ignus wasn’t doing much, and the Mana Crypt was handy (plus it helps with the lower land count). Sunforger got repurposed, and I knew I needed more card draw, so the Zenith seemed like the right call since it’s an instant. Finally, Alpha Brawl is just hilarious. It’s probably less efficient than some other board wipes, but it fits the theme of the deck.
I sat with Adam (Karona, False God), Mark (Kresh the Bloodbraided), and Chris (Skullbriar, the Walking Grave). Adam’s Karona deck has been providing some laughs around the shop for the last few weeks, so I was hoping we’d have some here. I don’t recall playing against Mark’s Kresh before, and Chris’ Skullbriar is brand new. He put the last few cards in and sleeved it up right before we started.
Mark:Â Savage Lands.
Me:Â Â Steam Vents, tapped.
Adam:Â Vivid Meadow.
Chris:Â Swamp, Skullbriar, attack me (39).
Me:Â Â Island.
Chris:Â Beastmaster Ascension, attacks Adam (38).
Me:Â Â Viashino Heretic. This early in the game; the Heretic has to be selective in what he blows up. Ganking a mana rock is probably pretty bad, since the player’s memory will be long.
Adam:Â Mystifying Maze.
Adam:Â Floats mana, drops Azorius Chancery and then does nothing.
Mark:Â Kresh. Swings at Adam (36), who doesn’t block but uses the Wayfarer to get a Mountain. Afterwards, he picks up Wayfarer and says, “Holy crap! I can get any land!”
Me:Â Â Mountain, Morph (which is Quanar).
Me:Â Â No land to drop and knowing the Stone is going, I’m hanging onto everything else, including the Curse of Echoes that I just drew.
Adam:Â Blows the Stone and responds by fetching a land with Wayfarer. Chris puts Skullbriar into his graveyard. Shenanigans predicted.
Chris:Â Dread Return (as predicted) to get Skullbriar, attacks Adam (31).
Adam:Â Austere Command for all creatures.
Mark:Â Lurking Predators.
Chris:Â Skullbriar (Mark whiffs), attacks Mark (31).
Me:Â Â At this point, Adam is quite animated about the fun thing he’s about to do. My only reasonable play then (for the LOLZ factor) seems to be to cast Curse of Echoes on him.
Adam:Â Swamp, Chaos Warp targeting Skullbriar. Lurking Predators and the Curse both trigger. Mark targets his own Forest, Chris his own Bojuka Bog, and me my own Island. I get Boros Garrison (bouncing an Island), Chris gets Caged Sun (naming green), and Mark gets Caldera Hellion, but with nothing to Devour it’s just dead. He then gets Sakura-Tribe Elder off the Predators. Adam casts Collective Voyage, netting Mark’s Greater Gargadon. Adam’s the only one who pays, and it’s two lands for everyone. He then casts Timetwister, with Mark whiffing again on the Lurking Predators. We laugh about copying the Timetwister, but no one does. I bet Time Spiral would’ve gotten copied.
Adam:Â Champion’s Helm, which he equips to the Kobold.
Chris:Â Does so. Profane Commands Sheoldred, gets back Regal Force. Everyone’s tapped out, so there’s no downside (except maybe tipping my hand, preventing a blowout play later) to casting Reiterate with buyback. I double kill Sheoldred and get back my Michiko Konda.
Adam:Â Selesnya Sanctuary.
Mark:Â Casts Genesis Wave for ten. Had I made the right play the turn before I could Reiterate with buyback, but I now can’t. It’s still worth it, although since this deck plays less permanents than others I have, it could be awful. It’s not. I get Command Tower, Darksteel Ingot, Karmic Justice, Powerstone Minefield, Phyrexian Metamorph (which copies the Intimidator), Azorius Chancery, Mountain, Island, Grand Melee, and have to pitch Blasphemous Act. Mark gets Increasing Ambition (pitch), Mountain, Wurmcoil Engine, Braids, Cabal Minion, Attrition, Molten Slagheap, Fungal Reaches, Forest, Violent Ultimatum (pitch), Far Wanderings (pitch). He has to attack with the Wolf token, and the Minefield kills it. He makes another.
Chris:Â During his upkeep he Krosan Grips Karmic Justice. I blow up the Regal Force. He sacrifices a Swamp to Braids and then casts Praetor’s Grasp on Mark, getting Garruk Wildspeaker which he casts. He untaps two lands and casts Gaea’s Blessing, shuffling back in Praetor’s Grasp, Eternal Witness, and Profane Command.
Me:Â Â Sacrifice the Metamorph to Braids, cast Sun Titan fetching back Karmic Justice. Island, Acquire Mark for Eldrazi Monument. Michiko battles Mark (22), Intimidator crushes Garruk. Adam makes a Kobold.
Mark:Â Sacrifices a Wolf token to Braids, since it’s going to die to the Minefield when it attacks. Maelstrom Pulse takes out Karmic Justice, which takes out his Kessig Wolf Run (I know how bonkers that card is in Kresh). Casts Butcher of Malakir. Battles with Braids and Wurmcoil Engine Chris’ way. The Braids dies. I sacrifice Michiko, Adam the Kobold. Chris to (22).
Me:Â Â Sacrifice Intimidator to Eldrazi Monument. Mark sacrifices a Wolf token to Attrition to kill the Battlesphere. Chris says, “It’s an artifact,” then reads Attrition and frowns. I have to sacrifice Sun Titan. I Knowledge Exploitation Adam. The only reasonable card is Archangel’s Light, putting me to (53). I Telemin Performance Mark, hoping to lucksack into Avenger of Zendikar. I get Fauna Shaman. Guess that’s what I get for trying to lucksack.
Adam:Â Howling Mine. Equips the Helm to a Kobold, swings at me and I block with the Shaman, whose life I know is going to be short anyway.
Mark:Â Skirsdag High Priest. Evolving Wilds and makes another Wolf token. Attacks me with Wurmcoil Engine, which I block with Fauna Shaman, and Chris with Butcher of Malakir (17). Mark goes back up to 34.
Chris:Â Drops two lands and activates Terrain Generator for a third. Casts Beastmaster Ascension and Kamahl, Fist of Krosa, which is a really scary cardâ€”especially since it can take out lands if someone casts a Wrath of God.
Me:Â Â Another Morph. At EOT, Adam makes another Kobold.
Mark:Â Arena (the landâ€”techy!). Doubling Season. Uses the Arena to battle the deathtouch token with Kamahl. Kresh gets +14. He attacks me with it, and Adam uses Mystifying Maze, he says more to get rid of the counters on Kresh than to help me. Fair.
Mark:Â Massacre Wurm. I unmorph Chromeshell Crab, donating Thada to Mark to take the Wurm. Chris goes to (15), me to (51), Adam to (20). Chris’ Puppeteer Clique trigger gets Jens. Mark then casts Mortify on Wound Reflection. Casts Parallel Lives and Journeyer’s Kite.
Chris:Â Upkeep puts Regal Force, Acidic Slime, and Kamahl on top with Haunted Crossroads. Casts Acidic Slime to take out Doubling Season. Bramble Crushes Ghostly Prison. Clique attacks me (49), and he sends Jens at Mark, who blocks with the life gain token (23). Chris goes to (13) on the Massacre Wurm trigger.
Mark:Â Gets Karona. Fleshbag Marauder, Chris going to (11), Mark (21), Adam (18), but costing me the Wurm. Kresh +9. Yavimaya Elder. Karona and Kresh attack me along with the life gain token, but Lightmine Field kills it. Kresh +10. I cast Reverse Damage on Kresh and end up at (62) after all the damage. At EOT, Chris puts Puppeteer Clique on top.
Me:Â Â Get Karona, take no damage from Crypt. Attack Mark with Karona (15). Cast Chain Reaction. Adam responds by sacrificing his Walls, which keeps Karona alive (I had forgotten about the Wall of Mulch, quite honestly). Cast War’s Toll.
Adam:Â Gets Karona. Floats all 22 mana. Casts Oracle of Mul Daya, Martyr’s Bond, False Prophet, and then Collective Voyage, paying in seven. Mark decides to pay all twelve he has untapped. In the end, I get twelve lands, Mark two, Adam ten, and Chris ten. No one has basics left in libraries. Adam attacks me with Karona (56).
Chris:Â Gets Karona, says he won’t kill me with it (although I don’t know whyâ€”seems like the good play). Taps everything, casts Terastodon, taking out Martyr’s Bond and Mind Cage. We all sacrifice two enchantments. Casts Puppeteer Clique, getting Thada Adel. Casts Decree of Savagery and after it resolves, Overwhelming Stampede. Sends Thada (19/19) at me and Karona (22/22) at Adam. Adam blocks with False Prophet (16), and I go to (27). Creatures are now gone, but I can only eat one more Karona attack. Without much else to go, I put Jens back on top with Academy Ruins.
Adam:Â Says, “Let’s do this,” and casts Skyscribing for twenty. I have been waiting for this kind of moment. I ask Armada main man Todd Palmer, who is watching, what the five words are. He immediately replies, “You did this to yourself!” I cast Parallectric Feedback, killing Adam good. Big roar from the spectators.
Chris:Â Eternal Witness gets back Regal Force. Casts Yavimaya Elder first and then the Force. Profane Command kills the Broodmother, getting back Acidic Slime. Elixir of Immortality. Lightning Greaves. Greaves up the Force, battles me, I block with Jens (24).
Me:Â Â Crypt finally bolts me (21). I Treachery the Hamletback Goliath. I Clone Eternal Witness to get back Chromeshell Crab, cast it as a Morph, and drop Reflecting Pool. I figure if a scary creature comes at me, I can at least Fog it with Chromeshell.
Mark:Â Savage Twister for 25 wipes the board.
Chris:Â Sanguine Bond. Beacon of Creation for thirteen guys. Sculpting Steel Elixir of Immortality. Skullclamps a token. At EOT, I regrow Jens again. Sanguine Bond looks a little scary with two Elixirs on the board.
Me:Â Â I get Bolted again (18) and cast Jens. EOT to (17).
Mark:Â Sacrifices Brawn to Magus of the Abyss. Attacks Chris with Magus and Spearbreaker (12). Before EOT, Chris gives him a Spirit with Forbidden Orchard. You can see the !!! over Mark’s head. He casts Primal Growth kicked, sacrificing the token and living another day. I tell Chris that the tech would’ve been to wait for the Trumpet trigger to go on the stack and then give him the token (so there’d be no sorceries). He gives me a, “Yup, I sure should have.”
Chris:Â Evolving Wilds (which is useless since he knows he has no basics). At EOT, I Oblation my Mana Crypt. I wanted to save the Oblation for something that would attack me, but I figured getting some cards right now (especially with Mark at one and Chris with an empty hand) would be the better playâ€”not to mention avoiding the Crypt bleed.
Mark:Â Upkeep sacrifices the Magus. Casts Garruk, Primal Hunter, and digging for answers, draws five. Bojuka Bogs me, and I put Jens back on top. Mistveil Plains is tapped, so it’s no help. Casts Momentous Fall on his Spearbreaker, taking him to (6), so it looks like he’s drawn some help. Casts Eternal Witness, which regrows Violent Ultimatum, blowing up my three relevant permanents:Â Karmic Justice, Moat, and Angel’s Trumpet. I blow up Shinka, EWit, and Arena. He Dust Bowls my Academy Ruins and casts Druidic Satchel.
Me:Â Â Jens.
Mark:Â Mark has a really good turn. At least it starts that way. He casts Minion Reflector. Viridian Emissary (and a copy). Farhaven Elf (and a copy). Fertilid (and a copy). Someone remarks that they all can get him exactly zero lands. He removes counters from Molten Slagheap to cast Mycoloth, copying it, devouring all other creatures, giving him +12/+12. The copy doesn’t devour anything. I think the play there is to have the token do the devouring since it’s hasty. He swings at me, and I block with Jens. He casts Soul’s Fire, targeting me. I ask Todd to once again say the words, and he shouts them. I cast Reflect Damage.
Chris:Â Predator Ooze, which he Greaves up and battles me to (15).
Me:Â I peel Bribery off the top, cast it, and copy it with Reiterate. I’m starting to see serious value in this card’s buyback goodness. I get his Woodfall Primus, blowing up the Greaves, and his Massacre Wurm, killing the Ooze and taking him to (10).
Chris:Â Peels the top card, shows us Eternity Vessel, and extends the hand.
A long, fun game where a fair amount of Chaos was Embraced. Ruhan did exactly what it was designed to do (despite my ham-fisted handling of it a few times) in making it painful for players when they do things to excess, like trying to draw twenty or fling giant things at my head.
Writing down the play-by-play was a little less painful than I had imagined. I got back into the swing of it pretty quickly, so we might see a little more of it in the near future. As promised, here’s the decklist:
- 1 Solemn Simulacrum
- 1 Mischievous Quanar
- 1 Viashino Heretic
- 1 Aura Thief
- 1 Sun Titan
- 1 Phyrexian Metamorph
- 1 Boros Reckoner
- 1 Burnished Hart
- 1 Dualcaster Mage
- 1 Illusory Ambusher
- 1 Magus of the Balance
- 1 Truefire Captain
- 1 Thought Sponge
- 1 Land Tax
- 1 Sol Ring
- 1 Reverse Damage
- 1 Darksteel Ingot
- 1 Desertion
- 1 Repercussion
- 1 Gilded Lotus
- 1 Reflect Damage
- 1 Aether Flash
- 1 Mind Stone
- 1 Honorable Passage
- 1 Reins of Power
- 1 Acidic Soil
- 1 Rhystic Study
- 1 Mirror Strike
- 1 Powerstone Minefield
- 1 Radiate
- 1 Boros Fury-Shield
- 1 Copy Enchantment
- 1 Sunforger
- 1 Cerebral Vortex
- 1 Parallectric Feedback
- 1 Reiterate
- 1 Coalition Relic
- 1 Chain Reaction
- 1 Lightmine Field
- 1 Blue Sun's Zenith
- 1 Blasphemous Act
- 1 Blind Obedience
- 1 Deflecting Palm
- 1 Jeskai Banner
- 1 Comeuppance
- 1 Day's Undoing
- 1 Hedron Archive
- 1 Thought Vessel
- 1 Dazzling Reflection
- 1 Refuse
- 1 Settle the Wreckage
- 1 Trove of Temptation
- 1 Coveted Jewel
- 1 Azorius Locket
- 1 Solar Blaze
- 1 Winds of Abandon
- 1 Arcane Signet
- 1 Leadership Vacuum
- 1 Mandate of Peace