Another Tuesday and another 1v1 Duel Commander tournament. We were up to five people this week including a new player who hadn’t played with us before. I stuck with Prossh again this week and I am finding that I really like the deck. It just has so much going for it in our current environment. I am still a little worried about my match-up against aggro decks, but so far they have been absent from out metagame, at least until this week. We had two players bring real aggro decks this week so that is something I will have to consider if I decide to keep playing Prossh in the future.
The following decks were played at the tournament:
* Ezuri, Renegade Leader (Mono-G)
* Karador, Ghost Chieftain (WBG)
* Nekusar, the Mindrazer (UBR)
* Prossh, Skyraider of Kher (BRG)
* Roon of the Hidden Realm (WUG)
* Vendilion Clique (Mono-U)
Round 1: Kyle with Vendilion Clique
My first match-up was against a solid control deck with a great number of counter spells, but an early mistake on his part saved me quite a lot of damage. He played Meekstone in his deck and dropped it on the first turn, but he failed to realize that it effected his own cards, and most relevant for me, it effected Vendilion Clique, keeping it tapped after only one attack.
Early in the game, I had dropped Goblin Bombardment and Beastmaster’s Ascension, both of which got past his counter spells by not appearing very threatening. However, once my Kobolds reached play, even though Prossh was countered, they really began to shine as I used two Kobolds to kill a Venser, Shaper Savant that he dropped to to slow down one of my spells. He then played a Standstill hoping to stop me from playing any more spells without giving him gas, but with Beastmaster’s Ascension already on the table along with four of my Kobolds, I didn’t need anything else to win. My attacking Kobolds got enough quest counters on Beastmaster’s Ascension to activate its +5/+5 condition and that was all I needed to win with his current life total.
Round 2: Justin Brown with Roon of the Hidden Realm
This game was decently long with some interesting plays by Justin where he got tremendous value out of his Jace’s Mindseeker. While I had enough removal to keep Roon off the table, he played the Jace’s Mindseeker, then cloned it, then blinked it twice with Momentary Blink, draining me of 25 cards in the process. Some of his mills from my deck were useless, he milled five cards with one and another the only instant or sorcery he milled was Dismember when he had the only creature on the board. I also did a lot of damage to myself during this game between fetch lands, city of brass, Read the Bones, and similar cards I dealt over 10 points of damage to myself. Fortunately, I was able to control the board enough that Justin wasn’t able to apply too much pressure in the early game when I was digging for lands or in the late games when I had Prossh on the board to block and attack into his Mindseeker.
As the game went on I drew a Mistcutter Hydra, which I dropped with six +1/+1 counters and got one attack in before he dropped a non-blue blocker and then the following turn he top-decked a Day of Judgement to clear my board. He also used a Demonic Tutor that he stole from my deck with Jace’s Mindseeker to get a Supreme Verdict which he used to clear the board again getting rid of my recast Prossh and Kobolds. However, he ran out of gas when Prossh came back again, this time with ten Kobolds. He couldn’t put anything in the way of the card and he had no responses when it attacked into him, sacrificing as many Kobolds as I needed to deal lethal damage.
Round 3: Justin Hebert with Karador, Ghost Chieftain
Justin Hebert and I decided to split the prize, but we still decided to play the game out just to see how his new Karador deck fared. He liked how it played so far this tournament, but he wanted to see how it would play against my Prossh deck. I felt that the match should favour me since without any counter spells I could try to race him to reach my combo and in a pinch I could use my Kobolds as blockers.
He started out with a mulligan down to 5, which is never a good thing for any deck while I kept my whole hand and went first. I curved out nicely while he began to stall for land. He started to drop some creatures, including a Wall of Omens, but I had a Toxic Deluge to clear his creatures, which made Karador cheaper to play, but he never got played, which I was happy about. Eventually I dropped Prossh and his Kobolds and Justin didn’t have a way to clear the board, so I followed that up with Tainted Pact and Justin conceded before I had to find something to play. In this situation though, I should dig for Hit // Run since I had the mana to cast it and any enchantments or artifacts I played could have been destroyed by removal from his hand, whereas the Run spell could not be countered and would give me the win with Prossh and his Kobolds.
Bonus Round: Ephara, God of the Polis in multiplayer action
Everyone from the tournament except Justin Brown decided to stick around for a multiplayer deck and everyone except Andre and I stuck with their tournament decks. Andre went with his Zedruu the Greathearted and I switched to Ephara, God of the Polis. It was a very long game where not much happened in the early parts and eventually people started to concede and leave.
My deck was humming along nicely with both Ephara and Thassa in play, but Justin Hebert was really gunning for me and disrupting my board before he conceded and left. Connor, playing Ezuri, Renegade Leader, dropped some Elves, but he never adopted an aggressive posture and never attacked with his creatures and then they board was wiped and he lost them all without much impact. He conceded and left soon after.
The game completely changed when Andre dropped Mind Over Matter and neither I nor Kyle playing Vendilion Clique could stop it, so Andrew dropped a bunch of enchantments into his graveyard, untapping a bunch of lands and then followed it up with Replenish bringing all of his enchantments back into play, including Zur’s Weirding and two copies of Forced Fruition (one was Copy Enchantment). Unfortunately, with Opalescence in play, Andre was threatening to win on his next turn so I lost focus and became desperate to deal with that, which I hoped to do by drawing into a Wrath of God-type card. Unfortunately, I needed Kyle to deal with Zur’s Wierding first, which he was able to but in the process he drew a bunch of cards and Andre paid some life to get rid of the bad ones, and then Kyle played a Capsize from his hand to bounce Zur’s Wierding.
I played my own Capsize on another of Andre’s enchantments letting me draw fourteen cards, which got me to the Wrath that I needed. After I said I got it, Andre conceded as it was almost closing time. This was all still during Kyle’s turn, so I hadn’t actually played the Wrath of God. Unfortunately, with Andre already gone, a card that Kyle had drawn that neither I nor Andre had really paid attention to came back to haunt me. Kyle had drawn a Runechanter’s Pike and his graveyard was very full. I was tapped out by this point and I couldn’t stop him from playing the pike, attaching it to Vendillion Clique and attacking me for lethal Commander damage.
My plays in this game were not the best, especially at the end when we are trying to rush and I stopped paying as much attention to the whole board in my desire to deal with Andre’s cards. Had I kept my focus properly, I would never have been hit with the Pike since I had a bounce card in my hand and I could have easily used it against Kyle and drawn my 14 cards with Andre’s enchantments. Andre would have still been inclined to concede when I drew the Wrath of God, but I shouldn’t have been in such a hurry. Overall, it was an interesting game and I’m hoping that Connor comes back again with Ezuri and plays more aggressively in a multiplayer game. That style of deck is vulnerable in multiplayer games and he needs to be as aggressive as possible to maximize value.
Report submitted by Kevin Humar-Barrett