I have been playing 4C Dreadhorde in Standard recently and been having, well, decent success. Winning lots of games. Feeling confident. Loving the decision making of deciding what card to name with Tamiyo, Collector of Tales.
But Command the Dreadhorde is a hell of a card. Mirror matches can come down to who can “combo off” first, and milling with your Tamio can help your opponent.
Round five in this Sunday’s MCQ I was looking to go to time for the second round in a row. I try to play at a decent speed. I might play too fast. But this was the mirror match, and while I quickly scooped game one and game two did not take that long, game three was an absolute mess.
Getting a draw was looking to be the “best” outcome for me. I might have just scooped to my opponent. Judges were watching us and this makes me nervous. I don't know why it makes me nervous, but it does.
The round ends. I finish turn zero, not accomplishing much. My opponent takes turn one and gets a Command the Dreadhorde. I untap and try to find a Duress. No such luck. I pass the turn.
My opponent casts Command and looks through our graveyards to decide what to take. I think about my options. Maybe if I get Tamiyo then I can get back a Ritual of Soot, clear the board and not die. Maybe. I’m half tempted to ask the judge if I can look at the top card of my deck to see if I should just concede or not. I know I can’t, but my opponent was taking quite some time. I don't blame him. It's complicated.
The judge tells him it's about time to make a decision. My opponent has a number of cards selected. The judge asks if those are his targets. My opponent says yes. I say it resolves. (I don't have counterspells, anyway.)
My opponent counts the converted mana cost of the cards. Twenty one. He looks at his life total. Twenty one.
I put my face down on the table, trying not to laugh. I’m beet-red. I feel like shit. This is not how I want to win, but I did win. A friend congratulations me. My opponent did make a mistake after all.
It didn't feel good, and my opponent likely would not have made this mistake if not under pressure of time. Then again some people make this mistake on Arena because they miscount. I probably will do it too sometime.
I did go on to lose the next three rounds. So, karma?