So I went to the Star City Games Standard Open earlier today. It was a wild road that started at 4 AM and took a 3 hour car ride. I carpooled with 2 friends who also were entering the event. Of course I played Mono-Red Aggro, though my build was more or less thrown together in the car on the way there.
I played a Dash build with 3 borrowed Lightning Berserkers (not pictured). The deck was fun, but there was a lot of obvious shortcomings that really hammered me in the rounds.
My Side Deck
My sideboard was geared more toward the Jeskai Match-up (as I have a healthy fear of Monastery Mentor). However, the MVP of my side was Searing Blood.
I resolved this spell once all day, but given the match-ups I had I was wishing for it almost every game. Anyway, before I pass out I’ll discuss my match-ups, what I’ve learned and how I’ll move forward.
Round 1: Mono Red Mirror
The Mono-Red Mirror is very fast and very messy. My opponent was a nice guy playing a far more diverse (albeit bizarre) red deck than mine. He was running Goblin Rabblemaster, but he fell to my Wild Slash consistently. However, he beat me Game 1 after I got him to 1 life. Game 2 he used the Khans effect of Outpost Siege to out advantage me (I should also note he hit me for 7 damage with Mob Rule). Anyway, I lost to him in 2 very neck and neck games.
Round 2: Vs UB Control
My opponent had the name as my round 1 opponent, however he was playing the exact opposite deck. I wish I could describe his build more, but I 2-0’ed him before he could drop whatever his control finisher was. I saw alot of cards like Anticipate, Negate and of course Dissolve though.
Round 3: Vs Esper Control
This guy seemed really nice granted he was playing Esper Control, which I thought was a match-up in my favor until he dropped Dragonlord Ojutai against me on curb (turn 5). Ojutai then proceeded to beat me single-handed. So my sideboard seemed pretty prepared for this.
I boarded in all 4 Rending Volleys for this match-up. I thought and still think this card is an amazing sideboard option. Essentially, my thought process was to use it to kill Ojutai after he attacked me with it. However, that was when he brought out Silumgar, the Drifting Death against me. Now I actually did beat him despite Silumgar showing up. I burned him out Game 2, but ended up losing Game 3 when he attacked with Ojutai after dropping Silumgar (and killing all my tokens in the process).
Round 4: Vs Jeskai Tokens
Ok so this is first game that made me want to board additional Searing Bloods (and maybe also Scouring Sands). My opponent kept playing Hordeling Outburst, but I still reduced his life to 1 relatively quickly. He tried to use Seeker of the Way to heal himself, but what gave me the game were my main boarded Impact Tremors. Game 2 I opened into 2 Impact Tremors on curb before dropping Dragon Fodder to burn for 4 damage. I closed out the game soon after that.
This got me thinking about the above 4 cards (which I lovingly referred as the “cute techs”). I only cast each in 1-2 games apiece today and I boarded out Break Through the Line and Outpost Siege literally every game. Impact Tremors put in work Round 3, but failed against the 4 turn Ojutai clock. It won me Round 4 almost by itself, but I dead-drew it late into Round 5. I won Game 1 of Round 5 using Outpost Siege and Break Through the Line appeared and failed only once during Round 1. Now I understand that including these cards at such a low ratio is why I didn’t open them frequently. The real issue is I’m not sure if I should add more or less of them. Outpost Siege and Impact Tremors were very good, but dead drawing them or not being able to cast them really hurt. Anyways, let’s wind this up.
Round 5: Vs Jeskai Ascendancy Combo
If I just had some more Searing Bloods, I think I could’ve held my own against this guy. As I said I took Game 1 with Outpost Siege. I boarded out my own hordeling outbursts Game 2 and lost after getting him down to 5. I did kill each and every one his Soulfire Grandmasters before he could resolve them though (one of which was killed by Searing Blood). I lost Game 3 when performed an amazing combo with his Jeskai Ascendancy (hitting me for 18 total in 1 turn).
By this point my friends were all also X-3 so we all dropped and left earlier.
So I’m going to keep working with Red. I’m not sure how many copies of each enchantment will stay in at this point (if at all), but that’s a matter to figure out through play-testing. All in all it wasn’t a bad day though 6 hours of driving to spend a decent amount just to lose at Magic is probably something I won’t due again until I’m confident in my build (i.e. crack and I finish my Rabblemaster playset).
Also this pile of cards is why I should never be allowed near the $1 Magc bulk rare box. It never ends well. Though I am taking a new plunge and making a Tiny Leaders deck using Jaya Ballard, Task Mage as Commander. Why? Because I’ll never have enough Red in my life. Thanks for reading.