I'm bad at Magic the Gathering.
I want to get better, though. So I play. But I need to think more about my play. So I’m going to do that. And I’m going to try to be as honest as I can about my playing. That will be the hard part.
Ah, a Tuesday of Modern. Which I would prefer on Monday because of alteration. But this is Japan. It’s on Tuesday.
I moved some cards around to play Grixis Delver better. Less Bloodstained Mires and more Polluted Deltas. Fulminator Mages and Engineered Explosives to deal with a variety of things. Tokens and Tron which I was expecting. I saw none of this.
Well, some of it. The tokens, that is. Plus the guy sitting next to me wsa playing Tron. He died. He needed an Island one game. But that is another story that someone else should tell.
Round 1: Burn?
Okay, so this guy is running a version of burn I’m not too familiar with. Lots of artifacts, lots of goblin token making. Monastery Swiftspear, Goblin Guide, Atarka’s Command, Signal Pest. It was fast. Game one I’m down to under ten life before I stabilize and my playing Tasigur makes him upset.
I have trouble trusting people. He could have been realizing he was about to lose, but my mind tells me he is playing tricks and is going to win. Tasigur plus a soon flipped Delver take the game.
Game two I mulligan twice and as I draw my third hand I make a note that I had done so. “I won't need a third mulligan!” I think as I draw no lands. Going down to two fetches and two Serum Visions seemed okay enough. Then he turns a Mox Opal into three Goblins turn 1. I just cannot find an Engineered Explosive or anything to take over the board again. Game three repeats the first one. Delver plus Tasigur. I’m feeling good. I win.
I’ve noticed people often write down how many times they mulligan. And how many times their opponents mulligan. This seems like useful information. I decide to write it down.
Round 2: Grixis Control
Only one mulligan this match. Game two for my opponent. Game one he rips my hand with three discard spells. Then it is back and forth with land drops until he starts putting out creatures and a Bedlam Reveler sticks. I dig for answers but I can't find them. Trying to reflect upon this game, perhaps I kept an opening hand that didn't do enough. Both of us played land after land. He just had a threat that stuck.
Game two I do what Delver decks do. I play a threat and protect it. I regret not remembering much about this match.
Game three I learn again that having three Lightning Bolts is not impossible in Modern. I have a Fulminator Mage with Snapcaster Mage in hand and Lightning Bolt in the graveyard. He swings with Tasigur while I’m at 13. I let it through. He drops three bolts and I look at my Snapcaster Mage and Mana Leak and sigh. Why didn't I kill Tasigur? It wasn't just a Gurmag Angler. He was going to get Tasigur activation value each turn I let it pass. My only outs were battle tricks. I wasn’t going to double Bolt Tasigur. Maybe I could dig out a Terminate. Maybe he had enough counters. But I didn't try. He did.
Round 3: Kiki Chord
I had never played against this deck before and was not sure what was going on. Kiki never showed up. Except for when I used Kolaghan’s Command to kill his Eternal Witness and make him discard his one card in hand. My siding was bad. For some reason I thought taking out Tasigur, Gurmag Angler and the Thought Scours was smart. I replaced them with Fulminator Mage and more counters. Disrupt his mana base! Counter that shit! Perhaps somewhere in my brain I thought I was running Young Pyromancers like in my Legacy Deck. Perhaps I thought Delver and the Mages, Snapcaster and Fulminator, would be enough. I was wrong, and he beat me with creatures while I had plenty of counters to stop things.
What I needed to take away from this was to jot down more notes, perhaps sooner after the tournament. I need to play slower. Or at least look at the board and my opponent’s hand before just saying “Okay”.