Hey, been a while since I posted some MTG content. Blame my good buddy and round 4 opponent Eric Searfos-Miller for telling me I need to post specifically about our match. I’ll get to that later. Anyways this IQ was kinda special for us since the greater Dayton, Ohio area normally doesn’t actually host Star City games events. We as the players kinda talked the host Epic Loot Games & Comics into hosting the event and it turned out to be a pretty sizeable success from what we could tell.
Anyways here’s the decklist.
Round 1 Jeskai Tempo 2-1
I watched my opponent kill all my nice things with lightning bolts and Spell Queller my Master of Etherium. on my last turn I was looking at a Blinkmoth nexus ready and willing to carry a couple Cranial Platings and I could’ve drawn a Galvanic Blast to get the Queller (who was an untapped blocker) and have lethal damage on board.
I drew a Springleaf Drum…. Deck sucks, I hate you.
Thankfully my opponent gave me all the information i needed to know when he played Geist of St Traft game 1 and played out 4 lightning Helix over the course of the game.
Out: -3 Steel Overseer, -1 Ornithopter
In: +2 Champion, +1 Bitterblossom, +1 Ghirapur Aether Grid
Jeskai Tempo maxes out on Lightning Bolt and Lightning Helix to play a more aggressive plan. Which basically means I hate Steel Overseer as a card and Ornithopter is the 2nd worst creature in the match up. I like the Etched Champions, The Bitterblossom gives me a free flying Memnite every turn and Grid to hedge vs Stony Silence and honestly I highly doubt I’m going to get a lot of creature beats in this game if I don’t have it.
Opening hand: Darksteel Citadel, Springleaf Drum, Mox Opal, Vaultskirge, Signal Pest, Spire of Industry, Ghirapur Aether Grid. #SnapKeep
The hand needs help, but I can’t really pass up a turn 2 Grid on the play vs a potential Stony Silence especially when I have a Spire of Industry to allow me access to colored mana.
Safe to say i don’t think my opponent has ever played against Aether Grid before since he was being aggressive by casting Snapcaster mages, Staticasters on my end step to get something going. The game was truely a grind in the way that only a Control mirror specialist would enjoy but in the end I came out on top.
Out: -1 Welding Jar
In +1 Steel Overseer
Overseer is much better on the play than the draw.
Opening Hand: Darksteel Citadel, Mox Opal, Mox Opal, Ornithopter, Memnite, Master of Etherium, Cranial Plating. #SnapKeep #Yolo
Changed my mind deck is awesome. This hand is one of those that basically proves just how powerful the cards in Affinity are as I run out a turn 1 master of Etherium and piratically tell my opponent “Answer Me or Die”
He, uh… Didn’t have his Path to Exile to “Thanos” my Master of Etherium away (Conflux art).
Round 2: Mono Green Tron 2-1
This guy is a local, not the worlds greatest Tron player, but damn does he top deck like gas sometimes. He was also kinda salty to play against me, but when the IQ is 20 minutes away from the LGS you normally play at. It happens.
I continue with the nut hands and got a turn three kill on him
Out: -2 Champion, -1 Galvanic Blast
In: +1 Blood Moon, +2 Thoughtseize
Sideboarding is fairly straightforward as my main game plan is so effective, that said Etched Champion doesn’t do much when it comes to actually racing into Colorless Blockers and from there I trim Galvanic Blast to fit other cards in since, it’s honestly just a racing card in a deck that’s already faster than Tron anyways.
I misplayed my way into losing a Helmet wearing Signal Pest to a Spatial Contortion and watch my world get crushed by Tron finally deploying it’s things. Safe to say UI stuck in the game to figure out his board plan and hope i top deck an Inkmoth Nexus to race his Wurmcoil Engine.
I learned a few things. He likes his Thragtusk as he played 3 of those, he boarded in at least 3 Nature’s Claim, and he kept Ulamog in. Now I know exactly what to play around.
Out: -2 Galvanic Blast
In: +2 Ancient Grudge
Ancient Grudge is just better on the play to answer an early Map or a late game Wurmcoil Engine or even a devastating Oblivion Stone.
I don’t have the world nuttiest hand, but I do have a plating and a bunch of little dudes. So I guess it’s fine. Safe to say he stumbled on Tron deployed the world’s fairest turn 3 Oblivion Stone into my Ancient Grudge topdeck. While I sealed the game up quite handily with a lethal Infect one shot he wasn’t prepared for the following turn.
Safe to say: When in doubt if you have a Plating in play with an Inkmoth Nexus, just start counting.
Round 3: GR Ponza 2-1
Ponza is a super solid game 1 match up. Their deck gets flooded with Land Destruction and we honestly don’t need much mana to get going. Two attacks he’s dead on turn 3.
Out: -1 Steel Overseer, -1 Welding Jar
In: +2 Thoughtseize
Steel Overseer can kinda get a little slow to get going vs removal and Welding jar doesn’t do much vs a deck known to play Shatterstorm. Every Ponza list I’ve seen just happens to have six to seven cards in the sideboard that they can go right into to help them out vs other aggro decks ours isn’t much different.
He drew his turn 3 Shatterstorm to wipe my face away and seal up the game quite solidly with a Kitchen Finks and Bloodbraid Elf afterwards. Once again i stuck in the game to take the time to figure out how my opponent boarded. As always I get rewarded for it as my opponent deploys (assumably) his entire sideboard plan against me of 2 Shatterstorm, 1 Ancient Grudge, 3 lightning Bolts and an Inferno Titan (where I finally conceded).
No board changes
While the extra Etched Champions might be useful I don’t really think I want them when I’m on the play. I probably should work out a proper board plan for this match up though.
I keep a shaky 1 mana source hand on a mull to 5 ready to confirm that variance is a thing in magic the gathering. Thankfully I survive the Shatterstorm since I didn’t really have enough mana to deploy the things that mattered and my opponent gave me plenty of time to find what i needed. There was no real skill plays here i just got lucky I didn’t topdeck Springleaf Drums.
Round 4: Mono Red 8 Wack Goblins 1-2
Yeah this guy didn’t drop a game in the first 3 rounds and basically wrapped them all up in the first fifteen minutes of each round. Thankfully I know this guy loves his Goblin Bushwacker aggro brews and sicker alters (I’d take pictures for you guys if I had them)
I didn’t really keep detailed notes on this match because we spent a lot of time joking around, but he kept a pretty shaky fair hand. So I had plenty of time to just random killed him out of no where with Infect, after he swung out with some Goblins and a Smuggler’s Copter.
Out: -1 Welding Jar, -1 Overseer, -1 Memnite
In: +2 Whipflare, +1 Ghirapur Aether Grid
Not 100% on my board plan, but I know what I wanted to bring in. I considered trimming Master of Etherium to help with the colors but 9 colored spells isn’t the worst in the world.
This game had a situation in it I’m sure i screwed up on. I deployed an Arcbound Ravager and attacked with a Vault Skirge, 2 Ornithopters and a Signal pest. He went to bolt my Vault Skirge and I sacced it to Ravager and sacked the ravager to put 2 counters on an Ornithopter. The rest of my board consisted of a Darksteel Citadel and an Inkmoth Nexus
Realistically what I should have done was take the risk and sac the board to make a 6/6 Vault Skirge and basically force him to either have 2 more bolt effects or top deck his Smash to Smithereens before I ran away with the game.
I couldn’t get anything going vs his timely removal and he just killed me #Punished
Round 5: BR Hollow One 2-1
Another friend, another local, as well as a team mate.
His Burning Inquiry didn’t get the stuff i needed which i was thankful for and I out aggro him and mop it up with a Galvanic Blast for lethal.
Out: -2 Champion, -1 Memnite, -1 Arcbound Ravager
In: +2 Whipflare, +1 Rest in Peace, +1 Grafdigger’s Cage
Honestly I don’t like Etched Champion here since it’s not hard for my opponent to find a blocker for it. Memnite was kinda just a flex cut, and Ravager doesn’t interact with Rest in Peace all too well nor is he good at racing since the 2008 rules chance.
I had the Grafdigger’s Cage in hand but never found a time to deploy it until turn 3 and after that he had good enough draws to beat me down with Anglers and Hollow Ones.
I get some good attacks in and manage to clean up his early Hollow One with a Galvanic Blast which allowed me plenty of time to attack him down.
Round 6: Infect 0-2
I’m placed at 6th, but due to breakers I need to play it out to make sure I’m a lock. Safe to say I’m not sure how I play against infect other than just hope I draw a Galvanic Blast.
I blast a turn 1 Hierarch because I thought my opponent was the counter’s company player. Oops, lost on turn 3.
Out: -2 Etched Champion, -1 Ravager, -1 Overseer
In: +2 Whipflare, +2 Thoughtseize
Pretty shaky plan going to 10 colored spells, I don’t like it in hindsight.
I got a turn 1 Thoughtseize and looked at 2 Glistener Elves, a Blighted Agent, and a lethal amount of pump spells paired with a Rancor and I didn’t have Galvanic Blast this game.
I still suck at playing Affinity. I ended the day in 10th place and watched a fellow X-2 make it into top 8 who beat me by 1% on Game Win percentage.
If i were to redo my list for just that even i probably would replace the Hazoret for a Dispatch in the side, but the LGS needed 50 players to break even and we scored 53 entries which isn’t really a bad turn out for a small event like a SCG IQ.
Affinity is still a stupid powerful deck and if I managed to beat the infect player in the last round I likely would’ve done well in the top 8 as well. But, variance is a thing in MTG and that’s the best part of the game. i was just simply (like always) not prepared enough.
Thankfully this time I had the insight to have a detailed sideboard plan written down I’ll share it here on this Spreadsheet for any prospective players. Bear in mind I’ll only ever keep it updated for my current list which you can always view here on MTGGoldfish.
In the meantime here’s the biggest lesson I learned today as I typed this out:
When in doubt, just kill your opponent.
Not literally of course.