I made it out to Friday Night Magic last night for the first time in weeks. I decided to play my tweaked version of Firemane Control:
4 Lightning Helix
2 Rise // Fall
4 Wrath of God
2 Adarkar Valkyrie
1 Akroma, Angel of Wrath
1 Angel of Despair
4 Firemane Angel
2 Orzhov Signet
2 Rakdos Signet
1 Debtors’ Knell
1 Faith’s Fetters
4 Phyrexian Arena
1 Blood Crypt
1 Caves of Koilos
3 Flagstones of Trokair
2 Gemstone Mine
4 Godless Shrine
1 Orzhov Basilica
1 Rakdos Carnarium
1 Rix Maadi, Dungeon Palace
2 Sacred Foundry
1 Sulfurous Springs
1 Urza’s Factory
4 Circle of Protection: Red
3 Sacred Ground
2 Shadow of Doubt
The two Shadow of Doubt in the board are for Dragonstorm but they need to come out for something else. This build does pretty well against Dragonstorm anyway with the main deck Castigate, Rise // Fall and Persecute and the COP: Red out of the board really help as well, especially if they’re not running Gigadrowse.
Round 1 - Russell Persons - UR Stuffy Doll combo
Russell had a horrible draw in game one. We both mulliganed once and then he literally drew nothing but land and Signets. All I knew at the end of game one is that he was playing red and blue. I played an Angel and he scooped.
Game two was much faster. I started playing Angels and he had a Stuffy Doll in play. I knew he had one Skred from an earlier Castigate but I hadn’t taken it out of his hand. Big mistake. He cast two Skreds and another burn spell on his Stuffy Doll and killed me in one turn.
Game three was closer to game one. He played some creatures but I got Debtors’ Knell in play and stole the Fortune Thief out of his graveyard. I know he had at least one Skred in hand but I attacked with Angels to win.
Round 2 - Stephen - Solar Pox w/Hakkon recursion
Stephen and I had a great time, cracking jokes and making obscure references throughout our match. He even knew who originally sang “Detachable Penis.” Don’t ask how that came up.
Game one I was stuck on three land and he eventually killed me with Court Hussars and a Hakkon. Game two—well, game two was an epic. It went back and forth for a long, long time. Every time one of us did something the other counteracted it. I got an Angel of Despair into play but I couldn’t get the Condemn out of his hand so I couldn’t attack with it. He found his own Angel of Despair and blew up my Debtors’ Knell, then I Wrathed both Angels away. He had three Court Hussars and a Hakkon to keep bringing them back but I Condemned Hakkon. I had two Phyrexian Arena’s in play and three Firemane Angels in the graveyard and was ripping through my graveyard. I eventually got enough mana out that I was bringing Firemane Angels back out of the graveyard but he found ways to kill them.
Eventually they called time in the round just as I was untapping. I drew my card. Akroma! He was at 8 life. I hard cast Akroma and attacked, then used the Helix I’d been saving forever to finish him off. I think the entire store was watching by then and there was much rejoicing when that crazy game finally ended.
Round 3 - Vikram - UR Suspend
Vikram admitted as we shuffled up that he was playing a preconstructed deck and said “You should have a good chance against me.” I told him not to be too sure.
By turn two of the first game he had suspended a Riftwing Cloudskate and a Keldon Halberdier. They both game into play on the same turn and he cast Clawss of Gix, then Empty the Warrens which created eight 1/1 tokens. I couldn’t find a Wrath of God in time and he crushed me without taking any damage.
I was a bit nervous after that showing but I figured with all the removal and hand disruption I could handle Empty the Warrens. I didn’t board anything although COP: Red was tempting. Fortunately I got off to a fast start and played a Phyrexian Arena. He looked at it and said, “Hmm, one life for one card. Seems like an OK trade but not great.” He was feeling his oats after that first game. I didn’t respond, I just let the card advantage power out some Angels and they killed him. Game three was much of the same, an early Arena followed by Rise // Fall and Castigate followed by Angels.
Round 4 - Jesus Molina - Magnivore
Every other time I’ve played against Jesus he’s been playing Boros so as we shuffled I was already thinking about how I was going to board for game two. I figured game one was a loss. When he played a turn one Island after we both mulliganed once I was quite surprised. He started blowing up my land on turn three and I never had much of a chance.
Game two, out went the discard and a couple of the more expensive Angels for COP: Red and Sacred Ground. I got Sacred Ground into play on turn two and COP: Red soon after and that shut off most of his deck. Unfortunately I couldn’t find any win conditions so we played a lot of “draw, go.” I eventually found a Firemane Angel and he Remanded it at least three times if not four. Eventually it stuck and then he started Wildfire’ing it away. Finally it stayed on the table and I beat him with a 13 point Demonfire while I was at 30 life.
Game three I kept a hand with five lands and two Mortify’s. I’m not sure keeping was the best decision but I figured some of the land would get blown up anyway and that would give me time to draw into something better. I was right. He destroyed three of my lands before I found Sacred Ground and a source of white to cast it with. I eventually found the COP: Red to top it off and started building to six mana. It took awhile but I got the mana and the Firemane Angel and started hitting for four a turn (with a Helix thrown in toward the end).
I wound up finishing second (there was one 4-0) out of 18 or so players. The deck did well but I think it would have more trouble in a faster environment. There were at least two other Solar Flare/Solar Pox type decks and at least three total Magnivore decks. Most of the decks were slow, controllish builds. One guy who went 3-1 had main deck Blood Moon and he laid waste to much of his opposition just by playing Blood Moon on turn three. Seeing that in action I decided to take out the Shadow of Doubt’s and put the fourth Sacred Ground and third Disenchant in the board for the next version of this deck.