December 1, 2015

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Commander Play by Play #AtTheTower!

Welcome back everyone! This week we’re going to be doing something a little different by observing a play by play of Commander between four very varied decks, notably Ken’s Arcum Dagsson deck, Ben’s Kaho, Minamo Historian deck, my Horobi, Death’s Wail deck and Nathan’s Kalemne, Disciple of Iroas deck. While the power levels of the deck varied greatly, we all managed to get a few licks in before the inevitable happened.

For the purposes of this article, use the following legend:
Ken = Ken, Ben = Ben, CP = Crazy Pierre, Nate = Nathan, TX = Turn X, (-X/+X, Y) = (-Life/+Life, Current Life).

As I had to transcribe manually, and my handwriting is the equivalent of chicken scratches under the influence of delirium tremens, some portions may be enhanced for your reading pleasure. With that said, on with the play by play!

(The die roll gives Ken the play, he begins.)

Ken: (Free Mulligan) Mishra’s Workshop, Metalworker, go.
Ben: (Free Mulligan) Island, Serum Visions, go.
Nate: Wind-Scarred Crag (+1. 41), go.
CP: Swamp, go.
(One of these turn one plays is not like the others, not like the others...)

Ken: Tap Metalworker, revealing Scuttlemutt, Unwinding Clock, for 4 colorless in pool. Island, use 2 colorless to Fabricate for a Gilded Lotus, tap Workshop and use remaining 2 colorless for Gilded Lotus, tap Gilded Lotus for Scuttlemutt, go.
( >_> )
Ben: Island, Sol Ring, Vedalken Shackles, go.
“Pierre, can you please kill Ken’s stuff before we all explode?”
“I’d love to but my two swamps on turn two won’t likely clear his board...”
Nate: Mountain, cycle Secluded Steppe, go.
CP: Swamp, go.

Ken: Unwinding Clock, tap Gilded Lotus for UUU, tap Island for U, Arcum Dagsson, go.
Ben: Tap Sol Ring to activate Vedalken Shackles to steal Arcum, play an Island, play Lightning Greaves. Ken casts Counterspell, targeting Greaves, Ben with Brainstorm to find an answer, casts Counterspell on Ken’s, to which Ken Thirst for Knowledge, discarding a Seat of the Synod. Greaves resolves, Arcum equipped, go.
Nate: Ancient Amphitheater, revealing Magma Giant, play an Iroas’s Champion, go.
CP: Swamp, Forsaken Wastes, go.
(Everyone reads first the Wastes, then the rules on Enchant Worlds. The thousand cuts have begun!)

Ken: (-1, 39) Metalworker, revealing Sculpting Steel to transmute Tolaria West into a Hangarback Walker, play the Walker for 4 counters. Go.
Ben: (-1, 39) Island, Ponder, electing to shuffle, Ashnod’s Altar, go.
Nathan: (-1, 39) Cast Crib Swap on the Hangarback Walker, at which point grumblings ensue that perhaps trying to hit the Metalworker, or waiting for a better target. Attack Pierre with Champion for 4 (-4, 36), go.
CP: (-1, 35) Swamp, Leyline of the Void, go.

Ken: (-1, 38) Island, play Sculpting Steel, copying Vedalken Shackles[/mtg_card], go.
Ben: (-1, 38) Island, Treasure Cruise using Delve to reduce cost, go.
Nate: (-1, 38), Firehoof Cavalry as table peers to read the card, Thought Vessel, attack Ken with Iroas’s Champion (-4, 34), go.
CP: (-1, 34) Swamp, Liliana Vess, target Ben with the discard (+1, 6 Loyalty), as Ken had few cards in hand and Nathan didn’t seem super threatening at the moment. Ben seems I wrote “glow” on my transcript, so we’ll call it a Glowing Anemone and say go.

Ken: (-1, 37) Play Memory Jar and Voltaic Key. Ben points out the black Leyline and asks if Ken wants to get Spine of Ish Sah if he uses Arcum on Scuttlemutt. Ken agrees to get Spine, but targets the Lightning Greaves, forcing Ben to sacrifice Arcum to the Altar. Arcum goes to command zone, to be replayed shortly.
Ben: (-1, 37) “Unfortunate about the Spine Ken, we’re going to lose 7 cards to the Jar now.” Ken shrugs his disinterest by flashing the Karn, Silver Golem in his hand. At this point we know the game will end in the next two turns as Ken will get the Mycosynth Lattice, Darksteel Forge and Nevinyrral’s Disk combo, but hope remains.
Nate: (-1,37) No notable plays besides attacking Ken for 4 with Kalemne (-4, 33).
CP: (-1, 33) Play Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth, Necropotence, use Lily to tutor for Oblivion Stone (-2, 4 Loyalty), roll a die to target someone with Mind Twist, which proves to Nathan, who discards two plains and pass turn. Ben casts Fact or Fiction end of turn, targeting me to split, which gives him Island, Grim Monolith and exiles Time Spiral, Island and Turnabout. Ken cracks the Jar and a whole ton of stuff gets exiled.
CP exiles: Strip Mine, Swamp, Oblivion Stone (misplay tutoring for that with Jar and Leyline out, and obviously forgetting to Necro for some reason...sigh), Sol Ring. Night Dealings, Cabal Coffers and Endless Whisphers. Sadness on the stack, sadness resolves.
Ben exiles: Islandx2, Mystical Tutor, Rewind, Preordain, Eye of the Storm and Rings of Brighthearth.
Nate exiles: Angel of Serenity, Gisela, Blade of Goldnight, Swiftfoot Boots, Brave the Sands, Stoneshock Giant, Magma Giant.
Ken exiles: Trinket Mage, Islandx2, Junk Diver, Etherium Sculptor, Scarecrone.

The penultimate turn, where Ken starts getting his lock pieces while we scramble in vain for answers.
Ken: (-1, 32) Play Karn, Silver Golem, add UUU from Gilded Lotus, turn into a creature and sacrifice it to get Mycosynth Lattice. Destroy Ben’s Islands, go.
Ben: (-1, 36) Play Grim Monolith off Sol Ring. Ken’s stuff untaps and he fetches Darksteel Forge to turn his entire board into one large, overpowered, indestructible mess. Ben concedes.
Nate: (-1, 36) Has lands blown up by Karn’s ability, vainly tries to push through some damage, but Ken fetches Nevinyrral’s Disk and untaps it with Voltaic Key.
This is done like dinner. I vainly peruse Wizard Tower’s website for available Null Rods. The one in stock exceeds my available store credit. Frustration on the stack, frustration resolves. I concede prior to my turn. Yes, a tuned Arcum deck does really, really dumb things. To be fair, so could Ben’s Kaho deck and so on. While it might not seem like the game was super fun, if any of us had had a better draw, and with some better decision making on my part, we might have survived that mess. It wasn’t a total loss though as we adjourned to a nearby eatery for Modern and Legacy testing.

Thanks for reading, and until next week, may annoying artifact based decks be met with a Stony Silence from your playgroup.

(Dave) Eastern Egg: Use the code "Null Rods" to get 10% off your MTG singles at before December 3rd.