Today we have a blog post from Flippin' Orbs host Seb Celia where he tells us about 4 very special cards that he has had the "honor" of winning during the last couple of years. Each card comes with its own stories and lessons that have made Seb a wiser man, and a better player, or at least we hope so. /Gordon
Lesson I – The Rag Man
It’s a card right? I mean, you win when you play it … sometimes. Blood Moon is a deceptive card though, it gives you that warm fuzzy feeling but you are a blind fool. And a deception that elevates us is dearer than a host of low truths. Let’s lay down some of those truths.
I sometimes use Fog as an example of a deceptive card that lets you really remember winning. You won that one time when all the stars aligned and, clearly, should’ve died that very turn if it were not for this and that. It does not, however, remind you of all the times you sat with the card in your hand, doing nothing. Cards need to do things for you to win, we could probably agree on that right? I think in many ways Blood Moon qualifies here. Sometimes it just flat out kills all opponents’ upcoming plays. Other times they have a Fellwar Stone when you decided to play with plains in your Blood Moon deck. Other times you slam it when you have an opening around counterspells and whatnots but strand a bunch of your own cards in hand due to playing three colors in your Blood Moon deck.
So for the tournament where I won the Rag Man (A price given out to last place in all our tournaments, Ed.) I played a Blood Moon deck with Savannah Lions, splashing for blue power (because I am not a peasant by position, nor by nature). To make a long story short, it did not go well. I even met a Merfolk deck where my Blood Moons just did everything that is close to nothing.
Lesson II – Sorrows Path
I did not plan claiming all these trophies, to aquire them you have to be ready to be beaten a lot, like a lot a lot. But it’s also a bit like in that Fight Club scene where they are told by Tyler Durden to go out and get beaten up by complete strangers. It’s not as easy as it seems. I claimed this little gem by coming 5th place just out of range for the top4. I actually won the Sorrows Path in the raffle just before the top4 and it seemed fitting to say the least. Råberg signed it when he beat me in the win and in. Anyway, I played this:
Arabian Aggro is a great deck. Recently we have seen a lot of creature based decks popping up and in that meta, you probably win playing Swords over Lightning bolts but hey, I feel that if you put a lion and a gorilla in a cage fight… the monkey will beat the shit out of the cat. I did try playing three sylvan in the sideboard in this event because I had seen “Farsan” go unbeaten in the swiss at n00bcon, and he won against like, at least two-three The Decks (including mine) with them, as a sort of Ancestrals. But they did not serve me that well, and I don’t like that card as much as other people do. I think I had control a bit too much in mind building my deck and let that be a lesson to you all, you probably will never meet the decks you plan to meet anyhow.
Lesson III – The Fallen
So, if you play Eureka, you lose. At least that’s what LSV says, but let’s not delve too much into what’s good or bad with the deck in general. I did some very sweet plays and that’s what you want, slinging the most badass creatures in the game, like playing a turn one Lord of the Pit. There got to be some kind of achievement unlock just doing that, right? I had a real blast the whole tournament … but I lost. I like the possibility to ramp out big dudes and to be able to live the magical christmas land from time to time playing eureka. Unload your hand, slam Concordant Crossroad and hitting for a ton. Moat is a problem though… and a bunch of other crap are problematic too, but who the fuck cares when all you want is to win more, rather than win?
(The Fallen was also the price for a last place finish, Ed. )
Lesson IV – Blaze of Glory
I can’t really complain that much about coming 9th place in this year’s n00bcon. The deck felt solid, I got mind twisted three times in the games that I lost that eventually put me outside of competition and that is a crappy feeling. I remember when I played against Olle Råde for the win and in and had a Library in my starting seven. “This is the first time I get to play library turn one!” I declared. Olle mind twisted me the following turn for a bunch. The bigger picture of the whole tournament for me was a bunch of really fun games and I try to keep that in mind going forward.
I love playing Atog decks. The main problem with Atog is that you really only need one, that’s true for a bunch of cards, like the ones I’ve mentioned earlier (Blood moon and Sylvan Library). But you need to make it stick which means you have to bait out a counter or two and/or keep it around. The reason why I think small creatures are, and have been good lately is that all the control decks skimp with their removal. Right now, in the age of lions, I’m playing at least 2 bolts with my 4 swords in my The Deck because those small lifepoints add up. U/R has like 8 creatures, and 4 of them are Flying Men. They are really, really good. Especially if they bait out swords so you can slam your Serendibs. And even though you might feel that the Lions get smashed by Mishras, white has both Disenchant and Swords so those factories have to dodge a lot to stay alive