Hi there everyone! Bill Carrig here in the Winner’s Circle with your weekly FNM winner interview. Robert Imbs got the big 4-0 and 1st place finish last Friday using the Green White list below. Robert is a regular at our events, a super nice guy, and a pretty good Magic player too. We are fortunate to have players like him frequent our store.
4x Experiment One
4x Voice Of Resurgence
4x Fleecemane Lion
4x Loxodon Smiter
3x Sylvan Caryatid
2x Elvish Mystic
2x Scavenging Ooze
2x Kalonian Hydra
1x Nylea, God of the Hunt
2x Bow of Nylea
3x Unflinching Courage
1x Gift of Immortality
2x Ajani, Caller of the Pride
4x Temple Garden
3x Selesnya Guildgate
1x Nylea, God of the Hunt
1x Kalonian Hydra
1x Mistcutter Hydra
3x Selesnya Charm
3x Kalonian Tusker
2x Boon Satyr
1x Gift of Immortality
Bill: So Rob, can you tell me how it wins? What cards are important to insure the victory? Particularly what Theros cards were really good for you?
Rob: This deck wins by hammering opponents with high value 2 and 3 drops. Cards like Voice, Witchstalker and Smiter can overrun and win on their own. My big win condition though is a well placed Unflinching Courage, and my biggest target for Unflinching Courage is a THEROS card… Fleecemane Lion! Fleecemane can easily become an unstoppable game ending threat when combo’d with Unflinching Courage. There are few cards in the format that can answer a 6/6 hexproof, indestructible, lifelink, trample creature. The deck also has a lot of green devotion which made me decide to put in Nylea, God of the Hunt. I think Nylea compliments a mono green deck more than mine, but she becomes a worthwhile win condition in most of the games that I drop her. Ajani, Caller of the Pride is actually a nice win condition in this deck. Using his -3 to throw Smiter into the air with double strike is big damage. I’m very happy to make use of Ajani, I think that he is an undervalued Planeswalker. I included Kalonian Hydra because it can win you the game on its own if it goes unchecked. Bow of Nylea’s life gain helps stabilize against aggro and the +1/+1 counters are particularly effective with an evolved Experiment One and Kalonian Hydra. Sylvan Caryatid does double duty as mana fixer and an extra blocker that can’t be spot removed. Gift of Immortality combos very well with Voice of Resurgence. Opponents can’t kill the Voice for fear of an army of elemental tokens.
Bill: How did FNM go for you? Obviously, you won all your games, but were any of them particularly close or memorable? Any cool plays you’d like to share with us?
Rob: The deck performed far better than I had expected, because I really hadn’t finished building it prior to FNM. The night of the event I only had 1 Fleecemane Lion, but I was able to trade for 3 more and finish up my playset minutes before round 1 began. If hadn’t done that, I wouldn’t have done as well.
Round 1 I faced another selesnya deck. I had a little bit of trouble in game 2 because of well placed Pacifism’s on my Voice and Smiter. But I managed to eek out a win in game 3.
In Round 2 I faced my friend Brett, he was running a Boros deck. It was a great deck that featured a lot of powerful new THEROS cards like Chained to the Rocks, Purphoros God of the Forge and Hammer of Purphoros. In Game 1 I couldn’t keep up with his creature removal. Late game Brett was able to stabilize with an Warleader’s Helix and then bash me for the win with Assemble the Legion. Game 2 I took out all of my high cost threats and brought in Kalonian Tuskers and Boon Satyrs. My plan was to just keep flooding the board with creatures until he burned out. Luckily I was able to avoid his Purphoros God of the Forge/Assemble the Legion combo and win the series 2-1.
For Round 3 I faced a homebrew control artifact deck. It’s primary win condition was a Supreme Verdict/Haunted Plate Mail combo. Game 1 I was able to keep bashing through his Trading Post goats and Elixir of Immortality life gain for a win. Game 2 I swapped in 3 naturalize to deal with all of his artifacts. I was doing well, but I mistakenly removed his Haunted Plate Mail, and he was able to bring it back from his graveyard to his hand with Trading Post. Then after he wiped my board with a well timed Supreme Verdict, I lost Game 2. Before Game 3 I just said screw it! I took out all the Naturalizes. I boarded in 2 Ajani, 2 Bow of Nylea and 2 Nylea, God of the Hunt. All of these cards would give me staying power because they couldn’t be removed by his Supreme’s. I kept an opening hand that included Ajani, Elvish Mystic, Smiter and Unflinching Courage. On turn 4 I swung in with a flying double strike Smiter thanks Ajani’s -3, and on turn 5 I put the Unflinching Courage on the Smiter. I won Game 3 and I was off to the finals.
Finally in Round 4 I faced my friend Andy who was playing a super fast Selesnya aggro deck. He was running cards like Call of the Conclave, Experiment One, Voice of Resurgence, Dryad Militant and Soldier of Pantheon. Game 1 was back and forth, but I managed to hold on until I could put an Unflinching Courage on a monsterous Fleecemane Lion,.. he quickly scooped. Early in Game 2 Andy put an Unflinching Courage on a centaur token, but I was able to kill it by double blocking with a Voice and a Smiter. This was a key moment because I would have almost certainly lost if his centaur was able to go unchecked. Later that game things weren’t looking very good for me; I was down to 8 life and Andy was up to 25. I was holding an Ajani and I top decked an Unflinching Courage. I knew that Andy was running Selesnya Charms, but I decided to take the risk to get back into the game. With 6 mana available and 5 devotion on the board I cast the Unflinching Courage on Nylea, God of the Hunt. Then I cast Ajani and used his -3 on Nylea, which allowed me to fly in for 16 lifelink. Thankfully Andy wasn’t holding a Selesnya Charm, so my life shot up to 24 and he went down to 9… EPIC! I passed the turn, Andy drew a card and then shook my hand and conceded.
Bill: Awesome! Very nicely done, Rob. Some risky plays, but they paid off for sure. Any shout outs or parting comments for us?
Rob: It was a good night, I won 30 dollars and an Experiment One FNM promo, woo-hoo!! Dave and Adam’s allowed us to take packs instead of the cash, so I opted for 10 packs of THEROS instead of the money, because I love me some THEROS! ;D I want to give a shout out to everyone at Dave and Adam’s for consistantly running great MtG events. I also want to give a shout out to my friend Shawn Orrange, my entire L1M2(Life First, Magic Second) gaming group for helping me proxy this deck prior to the first THEROS FNM, and a special thanks to my MtG coach Buddy Ammerman. I wouldn’t be as good at this game if it wasn’t for your direction.
PS: RIP Thragtusk , I’ll never forget the time we spent together ;D
Bill: Thanks Rob and congratulations on the big win! I hope to see you all again on Friday for another great FNM. Do well enough and maybe I’ll see you in the Winner’s Circle too!