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Q&A with Friday Night Magic Winner Peter Bloomingdale.

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Hi Everybody! I’m Bill Carrig, Gaming & Entertainment Product Manager here at Dave and Adam’s Card World. I’m new here. Just joined the company a month ago. I’m a Level 2 Magic Judge. I’ve been judging since 2010. Blaine Campbell and I have been running Friday Night Magic tournaments at our Transit store for a little while now. We are going to make it the best FNM in the area. Your destination of choice on a Friday night! We have free pizza, a free pack just for showing up, a huge raffle at the end of the night, and huge cash prizes! I got in touch with our winner from this past Friday, Peter Bloomingdale, for a few questions about his deck and how the event went for him. Peter ran a black, white, green deck called Junk Midrange. For reference, his list is below. Hope you enjoy it!

Decklist

17 Creatures
1x Obzedat, Ghost Council
3x Thragtusk
4x Restoration Angel
3x Desecration Demon
2x Disciple of Bolas
2x Lifebane Zombie
2x Scavenging Ooze

4 Planeswalkers
2x Liliana of the Veil
1x Vraska the Unseen
1x Garruk Relentless

14 Spells/enchantments
1x Sever the Bloodline
2x Putrify
2x Sign in Blood
2x Oblivion ring
2x Tragic Slip
2x Doom Blade
3x Abrupt Decay

25 Lands
4x Godless Shrine
4x Isolated Chapel
4x Overgrown Tomb
4x Woodland Cemetery
2x Temple Garden
2x Sunpetal Grove
5x Swamp

Sideboard
1x Obzedat, Ghost Council
2x Blood Baron of Vizkopa
2x Lifebane Zombie
2x Sin Collector
2x Doom Blade
2x Ratchet Bomb
2x Duress
1x Pithing Needle
1x Underworld Connections

Q – Thragtusk, Restoration Angel, Scavenging Ooze, and Obzedat are all pretty understandable choices. Obviously good creatures. But desecration demon has a drawback; does that ever affect your ability to win?

A – Desecration Demon does have its limitations, but it is a very strong card and will see a lot more play post rotation. Desecration demon was easily manipulated by my opponent during my last match up. I was faced against a B/R Zombie deck. My opponent was able to sacrifice his Gravecrawler in order to tap down my Desecration Demon and swing through. Also he was able to recast Gravecrawler from the graveyard during his second main phase, which allowed him to tap down my Desecration Demon during my attack phase. Although the demon is easily manipulated, in some match ups, I would say that it doesn’t affect my ability to win, it is just something you have to play around.

Q – How has Disciple of Bolas been for you?

A – Disciple of Bolas is one of the key components of this deck. The interaction that this card has with either Desecration Demon or Thragtusk is very strong. Being able to play Thragtusk, gain 5 life, and then next turn play Disciple of Bolas, gain 5 life and draw 5 cards AND get a 3/3 creature AND a 2/1 creature, is just unstoppable. Although this card is very good, I wouldn’t run more than 2 because you never want to see more than one of them in your hand.

Q – Is Lifebane Zombie the real deal?

A – Lifebane zombie is good broken, lol. Lifebane Zombie shines in some matchups and is just average in others. If you play this card, you need to know when to side them in and when to side them out. It offers potential card advantage, knowledge about your opponents hand, and it often is a 3/1 “unblockable” creature. The reason I run Lifebane main board is because there are so many heavily played green/white creatures in standard right now, Thragtusk, Restoration Angel, Voice of Resurgence, Scavaging Ooze, just to list a few. Game 2 I will either sideboard in 2 more Lifebanes or side them out, depending on the matchup. One of my hardest matchups is G/R aggro/midrange, I always sideboard in my Lifebanes, hoping to catch a Ghor-Clan Rampager, trade with a Flinthoof Boar, and give me a heads up of what my opponent has in store. This card will see a lot of play post-rotation and will likely go up, so get your playset now. Theros has a lot of strong green/white creatures, in my opinion, and there are a lot of strong green/white creatures that are not rotating (Voice of Resurgence/Loxodon Smiter/Ghor-Clan/Scavaging Ooze/Archangel of Thune/Kalonian Hydra).

Q – Tell me about Vraska the unseen. Just a catch all? Have you lived the dream if killing someone with an assassin token?

A – Vraska is a strong 5 drop and just fun to play, probably one of the most underrated planeswalkers. She creates a huge board presence when she enters and her second ability is very useful because it destroys a nonland permanent. When I play her, my intentions are to just use her 1st and 2nd abilities. I rarely go for the ultimate.

Q – Why just 3 Thragtusk? Isn’t he the best? Why not 4?

A – I could easily run another Thragtusk, the best 5 drop in standard. Initially I built the deck with 4x Desecration Demons and 4x Thragtusks, but I cut one of each for 2 more removal spells. If I lose it is often before I can play a Thragtusk. Even though I play him, I am kind of glad he is rotating. I have seen that card way too much, lol.

Q – For your sideboard. R/G is a problem, so how do you make it better?

A – My deck is set up to face midrange (jund/grull/naya). If I face an aggro deck I usually take out Oblivion Rings, Vraska, and Garruk for more Doomblades/Lifebanes. Sometimes I will take out Obzedat for a Blood Baron and sometimes I take out Sign in Bloods for Ratchet Bombs. The only thing I could change to my side board is maybe add in one more Abrupt Decay. I considered putting Voice of Resurgences into my side for the matchup against aggro, but my mana base is not reliable enough to hit a turn 2 Voice (I run 5x Swamps).

Q – Is Lingering Souls a problem for you? Seems like it would be good against Liliana of the Veil.

A – Lingering Souls is strong against me, because all of my removal is spot removal and the tokens can manipulate Desecration Demon easily. Even though Liliana of the Veil is a very strong card, I would probably side her out against someone who is playing Lingering Souls and throw in Sin Collectors. Sever the Bloodline, Sin Collectors, and Scavenging Oozes seem to be my only answers to Lingering Souls. I could also side in Ratchet Bombs, if the tokens get overwhelming, especially against W/B humans.

Q – Who do you want Sin Collectors against?

A – Sin Collectors are useful against control decks, such as esper control. I usually replace them with Lifebane Zombies if my opponent is not running G/W. If my sideboard was unlimited I would definitely have 4x Sin Collectors, just for the matchup against esper control. Hitting Lingering Souls with Sin Collector is very nice because it exiles the card. Plus Sin Collector’s interaction with Restoration Angel is great, I am going to miss that.

Q – So walk me through your FNM from this past week. Any particularly close games? Any interesting plays?

A – Round 1: R/G Aggro. Round 2: Golgari Control. Round 3: G/W Enchantments. Round 4: R/B Zombies

My hardest matchup was either round one or round four. The first game (I was on the play) he played turn 1 Rakdos Cackler, turn 2 was 2x Burning Tree Shaman into a Flinthoof Boar, turn 3 Boros Reckoner, turn 4 Ghor-Clan Rampager + Searing Spear. That was too much for me to handle, I lost that game. The second game was a lot slower. I removed his creatures 1 by 1 until I stabilized with Thragtusks. The last game, my opponent was on the play, but he mulliganed to 5. My starting hand was 2x Abrupt Decay, 1x Doom Blade, and 4x lands. I knew I had the game from the start as long as I didn’t flood out.

My matchup against G/B is strong. The deck is very similar to mine, but the fact that I have access to Restoration Angel, Obzedat, Blood Baron of Vizkopa, and Oblivion Ring made me pull out on top. Blood Baron and Obzedat are tough cards for a black control deck to handle. Vraska the Unseen also shinned in this matchup. I remember taking out my Abrupt Decays for 2x Blood Baron and 1x Underworld Connection. I kept the Doom Blades in because he ran strong green cards such as Scavenging Ooze and Wolfir Silverheart. A turning point in one of the games was when I Doom Bladed his Wolfir Silverheart and followed it up with a Tragic Slip on his Desecration Demon. Next turn I played Obzedat. The following upkeep he tried to Putrefy Obzedat, but in response I bounced him with Restoration Angel. Obzedat then carried the game to a victory from that point.

In the third round I played against G/W enchantments. Bant enchants is probably a lot stronger, but this deck wasn’t something to overlook. Game one he came out with a turn 2 Fencing Ace. As soon as a saw that, I realized that this was an enchantments deck. Therefore I did not waste a removal on the card while he was tapped out because I wanted to catch a Rancor. His turn three he played a Rancor onto the Fencing Ace, in response I casted tragic slip and he then played Ranger’s Guile to give his guy hexproof, he also attached an Ethereal Armor to his guy which made him swing for 7 double strike. I lost the first game. I won the second game because of Ratchet Bomb, clearing his board of Gladecover Scouts and Fencing Aces. The last game I won because my Duress allowed me to get rid of his only Ethereal Armor and my Lifebane Zombie exiled a Gladecover Scout when it came into play and traded with another Gladecover Scout that attacked.

The final round was tough. I was not expecting to see a B/R zombie deck, a very strong deck that had lost popularity. My Doom Blades were almost useless and my Lifebane Zombies were totally useless. The first game he started out with a Gravecrawler turn 1, Diregraf Ghoul turn 2, turn 3 Geralf’s Messenger, and turn 4 Falkenrath Aristocrat. My Doom Blade was a dead card in this situation. I had a Scavenging Ooze on the board and a Desecration Demon. My opponent’s Doom Blade took care of my Scavenging Ooze. He repeated to sacrifice his Gravecrawler to tap down my Desecration Demon, followed by beats to my face. I lost the first game. The second game, I sided out 2x Doom Blades and 2x Lifebane Zombies for 2x Blood Barons and 2x Sin Collectors. The second game was very close. There was a point where I was at 8 life and my opponent had a Falkenwrath Aristocrat and a Geralf’s Messenger on the field. It was my turn, I swung with Blood Baron of Vizkopa followed up by a Thragtusk to put me at 17 life. Next turn I took 7 damage and dropped to 10. On my turn I swung with Blood Baron and Thragtusk. I then cast Disciple of Bolas and sacrificed Thragtusk. I gained 5 life and then drew 5 cards. One of the cards was an Oblivion Ring, which allowed me to answer the Falkenwrath Aristocrat. The life gain and card advantage allowed me to win game 2. Game three, we were both stuck on mana. It was still a good game, but I saw my mana before he did which allowed me to win.

Q – Awesome. Thanks, Peter. Tight play pays off. Good job, man! Just one last question before I let you go. What cards from Theros are you most excited about?

A – Thoughseize, Stormbreath Dragon, and Fleecemane Lion.

Sounds good. I’ll see you and everyone else this Friday at Dave and Adam’s on Transit for another great Friday Night Magic.

Directions to the Store:

The Dave and Adam’s Gaming room is located behind our Transit Rd. Store. There is parking behind the plaza – so you can enter directly into the Gaming Room. The store is located in the Transitown Plaza – 4235 Transit Rd., Williamsville NY 14221 (Corner of Transit and Main St.)

If you have any questions about the events you can email either Bill at b.carrig@dacardworld.com or Blaine at bcampbell@dacardworld.com– you can also check out gaming updates on Twitter @dacwgaming and on Facebook daveandadamsgaming

For complete information check out the official Friday Night Magic event page from Wizards of the Coast.

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Looking to turn your Magic Single Cards or Unopened Boxes into Cash? Bring your cards to Friday Night Magic! Bill and Blaine will be on hand to pay cash for your single cards and sealed boxes (not buying bulk).

Bill Carrig

About Bill Carrig

Bill Carrig is the Gaming & Entertainment product manager for Dave and Adam's Card World. Bill is also a Level 2 Magic: the Gathering Judge and has been judging since 2010.
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