Siege Rhino is Bullshit

Siege Rhino

Siege Rhino is the new Thragtusk. Remember Thragtusk? Remember how fun it wasn’t? Welcome to our new standard with 18 months of Thragtusk V2.

I get that Wizards wants to nerf aggro but goddamn. Theros block already gave us Sylvan Caryatid and Courser of Kruphix. Those get in aggro’s way plenty by themselves. Mono green dropping turn two Courser of Kruphix was bad enough. But now junk decks get to drop turn three “here’s a huge wall that stops your dudes, smashes through your dudes, and undid some of the work your previous dudes did”. It’s a great wonderful world for aggro. Except it’s not. And that’s what Wizards wants because they’re assholes who don’t like it when I’m having fun. I don’t care if my definition of a fun match is 10 turns over three games under 10 minutes. That’s my tolerance for tournament Magic. I want to win the match quick so I can go do things that aren’t tournament Magic.

 

 

They’re also pushing green really hard. Please stop. Green sucks, always sucked, and always will suck. Just eliminate it from the color pie long with blue. Then Magic will be a fun skill intense game for scholars such as myself. But now every deck is green. Even mono red aggro is green. Even Jeskai burn is green. It’s all green all the time. Green’s really been green with envy over the other colors like red being the best. It’s so bad that it had to team up with black and white to get its most relevant ability. Without them, it would just be a 4/5 trample for 3G.

In closing, get green out of Magic and take blue with you.

 

SLIGH DA BES

Good news, everyone. Red deck and its variants like Sligh are still very real decks. Wizards did their damnest to kill the red deck but even in a Standard full of Courser of Kruphix and Siege Rhino, it’s still making top tables. Just this last weekend, two red aggro variants topped Grand Prix Los Angeles and one topped SCG Worcester with both tournaments having a red deck in the finals.

Living the dream with Sligh:

T1 Monastery Swiftspear, T2 double Swiftspear, T3 triple Titan’s Strength = 24 damage by turn three.

T1 Akroan Crusader, T2 Akroan Crusader and Swiftspear, T3 triple Coordinated Assault = 17 damage by turn three.

T1 Foundry Street Denizen, T2 double Akroan Crusader, T3 triple Coordinated Assault = 21 damage by turn three.

Also basically any combination of these is also good.

The gist of playing Sligh is not drawing more than three lands while also drawing an adequate amount of creatures and spells to pump them. That’s a little oversimplified but I’m no expert. If you want expert analysis look up Tom Ross.

Why play this deck? It can get blown out by control and even just Anger of the Gods. Because it’s quick and relatively easy. Sequencing your dudes and spells correctly is basically all you need to know. Other than that it doesn’t really matter what your opponent is playing, especially in game one. Game one you apply pressure until someone loses. Game two/three you play it like you would almost any other aggro deck. Put on pressure but don’t exhaust your resources. Commit 1-2 creatures to the table and smash. They’ll be forced to get mediocre value on their removal and you can keep pumping out creatures so the pressure never subsides. Worst case scenario in any game you still have a chance in is getting the damage in, getting blown out by removal, then topdecking burn to get the last few points.

Also it’s only like $20 in paper which is good for people like me who never want to invest heavily into Standard.

Anyway, here’s the list I like right now:

 

Regional PTQ Locations Announced

US PTQ Locations

So here’s the US regional PTQ locations. Every single regional PTQ will take place on April 25 2014.

Anything in particular standing out? Like the fact that twelve states get PTQs and two of them are in California? 38 states don’t have a PTQ. Hawaii and Alaska don’t have PTQs. Hawaiians and Alaskans are straight fucked by this. I’m upset that I have to fly a couple hours. They’ll have to fly across an ocean or Canada. I don’t know why I expected most players to reasonably be able to get to a regional PTQ without having to fly. I mean, really, flying to a goddamn PTQ. I barely justified $50 and two hour trip for the current system of PTQs. But now I get to make that two hour trip then if I win, pay for a roundtrip flight and two hotel nights just for the opportunity to play an actual PTQ. The way a lot of people got to PTQs was splitting costs but if only one person in your circle of friends is gonna be able to go, looks like you get to basically fund a GP trip on your own. And how does Wizards justify this? They’re gonna pay for our flights, right? Nah. Nah, man. They’re gonna give us a promo Liliana of the Veil.

Liliana of the Veil Regional PTQ Promo

This better pay for my flight and hotel, WotC.

I guess they’re doing it this way for tax reasons or something instead of paying for our flights. They could’ve picked a much better card for it though like judge foil Force of Will. This Liliana is gonna maybe pay for the flight. Maybe. But then we still need cash up front to even get there and have to find a buyer after getting it.

So MTGO V4 is garbage and couldn’t even handle a PTQ recently. Regional PTQs require flying for a lot of players. Why couldn’t we have just had state tournaments? And for the bigger states, have more to make up for the size. Like Maryland gets one, California gets two. Might’ve been cool. But nah, let’s force players to take off an extra weekend of work and pay $500+ to have a slim chance of qualifying for the PT and give them some shiny cardboard for their trouble.

 

Khans of Tarkir Draft Strategy 101

I’ve done two Khans of Tarkir drafts and have officially labelled myself an expert on the subject.

1. Take all the mana fixing.

Just do it. Mana fixing above all else. Especially banners. Those things are really good. Sure, it’s a format where you can be playing morph creatures on turn three instead but fuck that. Go for the shitty mana rocks. Also the life gain dual lands are way better than the tri lands. Never take the tri lands unless there’s no banner or refuge. The life gain is extremely important in this format of Cold War style board states.

2. Pass the fetchlands.

They’re bad. I don’t know why people keep saying they’re good. They cost you a life just to get a basic land. Just give them to me. I’ll take the proverbial bullet for you. You want to take good cards like Woolly Loxodon. It’s a common so you can probably get like 15 of them and have a deck just chock full of loxodons. Unlike fetchlands, Woolly Loxodon will be sought after for years to come.

3. Flyers are awful.

Flyers, much like fetchlands, are worthless. Just pass them to me. Give me all your Alabaster Kirins. Flying is terrible in a format where there are cards like Sagu Archer. That two power with reach is going to ruin every flyer you even try to play and all your opponents will have like five of them.

4. Don’t even play.

It’s not a good format. It’s only the most fun I’ve had playing Magic in the last year. It only rivals triple Innistrad draft. It’s not like the only thing missing from it being better than Innistrad draft is Spider Spawning. Man, I miss Spider Spawning. Anyway, if this format had Spider Spawning it would be my favorite draft format ever.

So there you have it. My expert take on the worst draft format of all time.