Turning the Tide: The Japan Meta Game 6/15/12

Hey. You guys. Yes, you, the ones reading this blog.


Thanks for helping me to hit 10,000 hits in less than a year! Here’s to hoping for 10,000 more! 

I feel like rocking this song right now.

Yeah, my deck feels like Optimus Prime. It’s red, it’s blue, and it’s able to make even the most desperate situations winnable. My current build has gone undefeated this last week, winning 4 times and drawing 2 times.  Devastation Tide has just been awesome for me. I’ve been running 2 main and 2 in the side, and it’s been able to deal with all sorts of decks. It’s great against Token decks. It’s great against Frites/Reanimator decks (let them use Unburial Rites then return it to their hand where they won’t be able to cast the card). It’s great against Planeswalker control/Esper Frites.

Zealous Conscripts has also been dominating for me, stealing Tamiyos, Giselas, and Griselbrands. Snapcaster Mage has been clutch for me as well, letting me stall for a few more turns by flashing back Devastation Tide or bringing back a desperately needed counter spell. Jace has also been seeing some play, dominating control decks once he gets out into play. I no longer have to fear Oblivion Rings, and with my lack of creatures, cards like Day of Judgement are nothing to me. This deck has been very versatile for me.

But enough about my current win streak (the previous build of my UR Titan control deck is here: http://www.starcitygames.com/magic/standard/24228_The_Japan_Metagame_Diaries_Game_Day_Blues.html). It’s been a while since I’ve posted about the metagame in Japan. I was still struggling a little bit last week, but like I said above, this week has been really good for me.

Here’s a look at a slice of the meta game in Nagoya, Japan since the start of June.

Monday, 6/4 (0-3) – BR suicide, UB zombies x2, UW Miracle control, UW delver x2, WR Human haste, GUW spirits

Today I tried playing with my BR suicide deck, but went 0-3. I played against a Zombie deck, a Delver deck, and a WR Human haste deck. I learned that my deck was far too heavy and had no way to deal with fast, small threats.  Since then I’ve taken out some of the bigger creatures and replaced them with smaller ones such as Pyreheart Wolf and Hound of Griselbrand. These creatures work better with Blood Artist and because they have undying it lets me save those Undying Evils for my Titans and the artist. This deck still needs some fine tuning, but it’s getting there!

Friday, 6/8 – (1-1-1) BWR frites, Naya pod, GR Kessig, WR Humans, UW Miracle, BG Pod

I used the BR Suicide deck again, and did a little better. I beat the BG Pod deck by getting lots of Blood Artists out early and before he knew it he was down into the single digits because he kept sacrificing his creatures. I ended up losing to the Frites and tied against a Naya Pod deck. Nothing really different from this weeks Monday Night Magic actually.
Monday, 6/11 (2-0-1) – Solar Flare Venser, Esper Planeswalker Control, Naya Pod, UB control, Mono black demon sacrifice

Geezus there were a lot of control decks on this day. Aside from the decks I was playing (and using), I’d said that 65% of the people were using control on Monday. I tied against the Solar Flare deck, my first opponent. They were able to win the first game thanks to Blade Splicers and Phantasmal Images, but I managed to hold him back with a full play set of Devastation Tides and then mill him to death with Jace that 2nd game. The 3rd one went to time.

I also played against an Esper Planeswalker Control deck, and again my combo of Devastation Tide/Snapcaster Mage/Negate served me well. Once I took out Gideon and Tamiyo, there was nothing else he could do. I totally shut down this player. The last match I played was against a Mono Black Demon sacrifice deck, and by far it was the most interesting. It used a lot of cards I never saw in Standard before like Pierce Strider and Soulcage Fiend. He also had Scroll of Griselbrand, and the idea behind the deck was to get the player to block and kill his creatures like Soulcage find so they would lose life, while also putting Pierce Strider into play to cause the player to lose life. With Scroll of Griselbrand, he could also make the person discard a card while making them lose 5 life (if a demon was in play). It was a rather cheap deck, made of mostly commons and uncommons, and rather effective. I lost one game before throwing in all of my Pillar of Flames to remove his creatures from the game instead of killing them with my creatures. By taking them out of the equation, it was really easy to just mill him with Jace or take him down with a Dungeon Geists or Inferno Titan.

Friday, 6/15 (2-0-1) – WGR primal surge, WRB frites, WU artifact control, UB zombies, Grixis control, UR Titan Control, UW miracle planeswalkers

The first deck I played against (and won) this Friday was a Primal Surge deck, and if you remember my story from the first week of play after Avacyn Restored, you probably know how much I hate them (I lost in one turn to an army of Zealous Conscripts). This deck used a lot of mana creatures to get started, and also had cards like Stonehorn Dignitary and Conjurer’s Closet to keep creatures from attacking the player. It seemed good on paper, but in execution it didn’t go so well. I managed to counter his first Surge, and the next time he did it it only netted him 3 permanents before he got rid of the 3rd Primal Surge. I used a Devastation Tide the next turn and afterwards overpowered him with Titans and my Wurmcoil. He had rotten luck in his next game, getting his Surge out early but his very next card was another Primal Surge, netting him absolutely nothing. The deck needs some work, but it definitely seems powerful.

My next opponent was a WBR Frites player that I’ve played against before, and I anxiously watched his graveyard fill up. Once he used Rites on his Gisela, I happily threw down my Zealous Conscripts and that was it. Game 2 he got some shitty draws and I was able to handle him pretty easily with 2 Devastation Tides, a Z. Conscripts, and a Snapcaster in my hand. He wasn’t able to get any creatures out at all. I finally got my revenge!

My final opponent was one that I played against during game day (you can see the deck in my Star City Games Game Day article) who used a UW Miracle deck. I lost my first game, but afterwards I went into full counter spell mode, using all the Negates at my disposal. His Entreat the Angels never stood a chance. I didn’t change my sideboard at all after that. The last game should have been mine (I had him down to 2 life on the last extra turn), but we ended up tying. A little disappointed, but I came in 2nd place and got another Acidic Slime promo and a free pack.

After this week of wins I’m feeling a lot more confident and I’m hoping to make it out to Big Magic (where the real competition is) this Sunday to test my mettle. Can my deck stand up to the big boys? We’ll see.

As far as blog posts next week, I’ll be working most of the week, but I hope to have another article up by Friday about M13. There are now about 160/249 cards posted on the MTG Salvation forums, and the bigger picture of what is and isn’t coming back is coming into focus. The Legendary creatures are looking great, as well as the big nasty hitters like Thragtusk. I’m also looking forward to using the 5 rings. They seem like great ideas and will be a lot of fun to play with. By 6/23, a majority of the set will have been spoiled by then, Duels of the Planeswalkers 2013 will be out, and we might also be reacting to a banning in standard by then as well! Which card will be banned? Delver? Ponder? We’ll find out soon enough.

Good luck in your gaming and I hope to see you back here for the next post.