The End of Tebow Time

Like the real Tim Tebow, my aptly named RUG deck, ‘Tebow Time,’ failed to win this weekend. It was a hell of a ride though, and all 40some entrants had tons of fun battling for a Mox Pearl. Kyle Stewart, after beating me not once, but twice, took it down. Grats to him! I ended up with a modest 5th-8th finish, and snagged a load of store credit I promptly blew through drafting bad decks and yelling about it. All in all, it was a great time, one GG hopes to repeat several times a year. Hey GG, don’t schedule any during my honeymoon k thx.

Since I already decided I’d reached the end of my RUG run for a while, I won’t be talking much about the deck, at least in terms of how I would change it. When I initially built it, it was well positioned in the meta. The decks it enjoyed playing against(Solar Flare, W/G tokens, older builds of U/W humans) have fallen by the wayside, replaced by challenges this deck can’t beat reliably (Infect, Red, Wolf Run Red/White, Illusions).  In the event, I played Wolf Run Red, two Infect decks, U/W control, U/R Delver, and Red twice. Not exactly the dream meta for a deck full of one toughness creatures and little real finishers. Chapin said yesterday that since the season is over, it’s a great time to brew a little and prepares for Dark Ascension, and I couldn’t agree more. Coming soon to this blog, crappy graveyard decks abound!

In case you are curious, this is what I played Saturday:

  • 4 Delver of Secrets
  • 4 Snapcaster Mage
  • 3 Mayor of Avabruck
  • 2 Phantasmal Image
  • 4 Desperate Ravings
  • 4 Mana Leak
  • 4 Galvanic Blast
  • 3 Vapor Snag
  • 3 Brimstone Volley
  • 2 Cackling Counterpart
  • 2 Dissipate
  • 1 Devil’s Play
  • 1 Gitaxian Probe
  • 4 Copperline Gorge
  • 4 Sulfur Falls
  • 4 Hinterland Harbor
  • 8 Island
  • 3 Mountain

Sideboard

  • 4 Whipflare
  • 4 Ancient Grudge
  • 2 Spellskite
  • 2 Sword of War and Peace
  • 1 Flashfreeze
  • 1 Negate
  • 1 Surgical Extraction

There is a single, dominant reason why this deck does not function in the current meta. Decks present too many must counter threats for this deck, making a card like Desperate Ravings useless since mana must be spent turn after turn dealing with these threats. In the end, Ravings is the card that made this entire deck possible. It lets a pilot keep a mana light or mana heavy hand, relying on the four new cards Ravings grants to steer away from the smaller percentage hands into stable, more likely hands. It also turns land into spells in the mid to late game. Pretty much, it held the entire deck together. Now that there is no time to cast it, the entire deck seems to fall apart. I often said that when playing this deck, it felt like I was just ‘drawing to a flush,’ and that I felt lucky when I did have a comeback. The truth is though, that Ravings really stacked those odds in my favor. Instead of just a flush, I have top set drawing to fill up, AND I’m drawing to a flush as well(Omaha before anyone yells at me). I don’t really like using these poker analogies, but they really describe the feeling of piloting this deck very well. Nothing is certain most of the time, and fluidity of thought is essential.

I wish I had a new brew ready to talk about already, but be patient. It will come. Or I’ll MODO draft a bunch. Whatever.

In unrelated news, the Commader league yesterday reached 16 entrants, yet another all time high for us. With that many people, we gave out a $20 prize for the week’s top performer(myself excluded of course since I make the rules and usually end up as the final interpreter of the points system). Nathan earned it after Bloodcranking out his table in the second game, but the game went very long beforehand, and the other players in that pod earned more on average than the other table even after being comboed out. I ran my third different deck of the season in Wort, the Raidmother. I was skeptical since I sorta just threw it together, but I mashed both my pods with explosive late games. In game one, I Devil’s Played for 12, copied it twice, targeting two opponents and myself, earning two kills, and Exactsies, Intention, and I’m Da Best all at once. In the second game, I went nuts with many copies of Rude Awakening, generating a ton of mana, and decided to Inferno four times with Vicious Shadows on the table instead of thinking about how to really point farm. Judge Steve pointed out I could have used one of the copies of Rude Awakening to Animate all my lands, then Inferno, killing everyone and giving me an Exactsies, AND snagging least lands in play when the game ended, but that sort of stuff is just unneeded, and I’m glad I just blew everyone up the ‘normal’ way. Despite next Monday being the day after Christmas, the league will still be on, so come on out and battle!

Wish I had something a bit more substantial to post today, but really, the Magic season is on break. I’m certainly going to shift gears and explore a brand new Modern format. Punishing Fire and Wild Nactal were both banned today, and all kinds of crazy stuff is on the horizon for Modern. I’ll be posting stanky brews within the week.

Nigel H

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