Before jumping into the continuing adventures of the FNM Hero, I wanted to take a moment to reflect on the availability of local Magic tournaments compared to events over a decade ago. I distinctly remember there was a point in time in which stores couldn’t even get eight people to fire a Friday Night Magic. Of course, this lack of tournament attendance was on the heels of one of the most damaging Standard formats of all time for the game: Mirrodin/Kamigawa. Now, you can throw a dart at a calendar and find a Magic event to play on any day. Standard, Modern, Legacy, Commander and Draft events abound, offering players a plethora of choices to play. It’s really awesome to see how big the community is, and how much so many people love playing Magic today. It is, after all, one of the best games ever.
With a decent finish after my first FNM with my newly acquired deck, it was time to participate in my first Standard Showdown at the Game Grid in Layton. This is another free event offered by Game Grid, with exclusive Showdown boosters. These boosters contain rares, mythics and foils from the current Standard sets.
This could be a great chance for me to improve my collection as well as continuing to put my deck through its paces.
Round 1: Clint w/ RUG Dynavolt Tower
Clint is a Game Grid regular playing the version of the Dynavolt Tower deck splashing green for Attune with Aether and Lumbering Falls. Bastion Inventor pulled his weight again in this match, providing an incredibly difficult to deal with threat. Hexproof is an incredibly powerful mechanic. It’s actually surprising to me that Wizards is still willing to put hexproof on creatures in new sets. Granted, Bastion Inventor isn’t going to be making waves at any point, but putting it on just the wrong creature could potentially lead to unfun formats. Design musings aside, I’m not one to turn down a creature that ignores a lot of what my opponent may be doing in any given game. Metallic Rebuke is also good against these decks, in particular at being able to stop a Torrential Gearhulk from resolving. Countermagic and untargetable threats provide an excellent combination of cards for fighting control decks. Clint couldn’t find an answer for my Inventors once they were in play, allowing me to win the match.
Round 2: Danielle w/ BR Aggro (Vehicles I guess)
Even though Danielle was playing Heart of Kiran and Unlicensed Disintegration in her deck, I hesitate to call this a Vehicles deck. Actually, can you really call the current versions of Mardu aggressive decks Vehicles? They usually only contain a playset of Heart of Kiran. I suppose if we are to be consistent with our naming conventions, then B/R Vehicles it is. Danielle got off to an early start with a Bomat Courier and an Inventor’s Apprentice along with a few more cheap aggressive creatures. I got beat up a little bit before casting a Kozilek’s Return to wipe up her board, Inventor’s Apprentice included since her only artifacts were creatures that got swept up by the red Mythic. I boarded in some Shocks for early interaction. Danielle managed to get me to 3 life before I stabilized this game. She had a Shock for her last card before I ended the game and match with an Elder Deep-Fiend.
Round 3: Matt w/ Colossus-Improvise
Matt got off to a fast start in game 1 with early mana and artifacts, while my mulligan to 5 meant I didn’t have much to pressure Matt’s life total. He was able to get 3 Metalwork Colossus in play on turn 5, and my lack of Metallic Rebukes and Elder Deep-Fiends meant I was dead very fast. For Game 2 I boarded in Negates and Release the Gremlins. Early pressure from a Sweatworks Brawler coupled with a few early counterspells allowed me to prevent Matt from getting his game plan rolling. Game 3 I was able to get an early Maverick Thopterist that got swept away by Yahenni’s Expertise, and followed this up with a Sweatworks Brawlerand Bastion Inventor. Matt’s endgame consisted of a Herald of Anguish, but I had an Inventor’s Goggles for my Bastion Inventor, and the Menace on Sweatworks Brawler proved to be relevant as well, giving Matt no good blocks on either creature as my untargetable Inventor was a 5/6 with the Goggles. On the next turn he was forced to chump block the Inventor with the Herald, and when he still couldn’t find an answer to the hexproof creature, he scooped up his cards.
With an undefeated record, I claimed two of the Showdown packs available to the winner. I asked Clint to open my packs, the highlight being a Lumbering Falls. Despite being a consistent card showing up in many Standard mana bases, the land was only worth about a dollar. Still, I can’t complain as these packs are given out for free by stores as part of their Standard series every Saturday.
As for the deck, I was enjoying it so far. It certainly felt like the style of deck I liked to play with aggressive creatures backed up by a few counterspells to disrupt my opponent’s game plan. The Kozilek’s Returns and Elder Deep-Fiends provided another angle of interaction with my opponents. I was looking forward to playing with the deck more to see if I could continue to improve upon it with my tournament winnings and trades.