Magic Game Day: Dark Ascension and the current Nagoya Metagame
Another Game Day is upon us. This weekend Magic Game day will be happening all over the world. In Nagoya, all of the shops are participating. Last time Magic Game Day Innistrad was a booster draft, but this time it is a standard match between players. I believe that those that participated in MGD also received a limited edition Garruk card container, and the top players won a special edition card (Elite Inquisitor). I believe that the same thing will happen this weekend as well. Bring your best deck if you hope to win big. I called a few of the shops and found out their start times if you are around Nagoya and want to play.
- Card Brunch Kanayama – 4pm game start, register anytime before, and games can last up until 9pm depending on the turn out.
- Amenity Dream – 12pm registration time, 1pm game time
- Hobby Station Osu– 1pm registration time, 2pm game time.
- Hobby Station Meitetsu Eki– 1:30pm registration time, 2pm game time
- Big Magic – 10:30 am registration time, 11am game time.
What can I expect to play against this weekend?
Well, I’m not sure what decks are currently popular in the USA, but I’ve played against quite a few people in the Nagoya area these past few weeks and I can tell you from my experience which decks you can bet will appear during game day. With Pro Tour just a few weeks ago, as well as a Grand Prix in Kobe last weekend, you can be sure that some people will be running those decks.
- Spirit/Captain is still kicking ass, running over people with tons of spirits, making people unable to target them with triple Drogskol captains, and throwing in a Phantasmal Image or two. It’s fast and hits hard, can be undone with mass kill spells like Black Sun’s Zenith, Blasphemous Act, etc.
- Wolf Ramp still has quite a following in Nagoya as well. People are using mana acceleration, Primeval Titans, and Inferno Titans to name a few key cards, as well as Birthing Pods/Green Sun’s Zenith to get those creatures out quick.
- Zombie/Undying has a few hardcore players using it as well. Playing against Undying creatures can be a pain, especially against Geralf’s Messenger and Gravecrawler. Exiling creatures will be key in this game (Red Sun Zenith anyone?)
- There are still some people using Tempered Steel as well, with nasty cards like Inkmouth Nexus and Signal Pest making this deck really hard to deal with right out the gate.
- A friend of mine has been running W/G Tokens still with cards like Gavony Township, Knight of Bladehold, Mirran Crusader, and Blade Splicer and has been getting awesome results from it. Countering key cards and blasting the others are the only way to beat this deck (I’ve managed to do it before, but the first 6 turns are essential!)
- I’ve also seen some interesting B/U/W control decks, using cards like Frost Titan, counter spells, and also the nasty combo of Curse of Exhaustion/Knowledge pool. If you don’t get rid of that Curse, you are DONE for. The only way to take that out is through flashback after the Curse is in play. Don’t let it hit the battlefield!
- I did run into a Human deck two weeks ago as well, but managed to beat it with well timed counters and red damage spells.
This is just a small list of possible decks you might see, and it’s impossible to prepare for all of them. I’ve learned you shouldn’t be making decks that react to what other people are playing, but rather you should make a deck that has a purpose/goal and many ways to achieve that goal. Don’t base your decks around just one or two cards, because your plans can easily be upset by a counterspell or Oblivion Ring.
I recently took apart and consolidated all of my cards and made 4 brand new decks. I don’t have the cash to buy tons of singles, so these are mostly incomplete decks and some of them probably won’t get past the casual for fun play. On Game Day I’m planning on running my usual U/R Titan deck, but this time it’s a lot more burn than before. I have ponders and Think twice’s, along with a Snapcaster for blue, and for red I’m running 3 Titans, incinerates, 3 Phoenix’s, and a variety of direct damage spells. One thing I’ve learned is that many of these decks don’t have life gain. If you can blast them first down to zero, you’ll win. This deck also has some Shrines and some ways to gain life with artifacts like Wurmcoil and Batterskull. There are also ways to keep your creatures perpetually alive with Mimic Vat, and some Ratchet Bombs to take care of tokens and anything else I don’t like.
The other decks I made for fun are a Burning Vengeance (not only fun but actually quite effective!), W/R Circle of Steel (Circle of Fire to take out small attackers, Tempered Steel, and a butt load of artifacts), White Human Token deck (very low mana curve, lots of battle boosters, a splash of green), U/B library destruction with artifacts, and my last deck is a B/G sacrifice deck (Lots of creatures with Undying, lots of cards to get things from the graveyard).
I hate trying to run what everybody else is playing with, and with my budget it’s usually not possible anyways. I’ll play to my strong points and hope for the best. I wish you luck this weekend if you play. Be sure to let me know how you do!
Quick update: The promo card for Game Day DKA will be Strangleroot Geist! Hope I can get my hand on of those.
Another Update: Played some FNM tonight and saw some people playing with B/R Vampires and B/G undying. The more dangerous of the 2 was the Undying deck, which focuses on birthing pod to both search for new creatures and bulk up the undying creatures. After taking out the Strangleroot Geist and Young Wolf it really slowed down their deck though. Mimic Vat is also effective against it because it removes the creature from the game as soon as it hits the graveyard.
I also played against Humans, and that deck just destroyed me. If you aren’t playing a Black Sun or Whipflares, it can get nasty really quick.