Doing the digging again

dig through time banner

“All the card-filtering in the world” is what my round four opponent stated this Monday evening. And he was right. Yesterday, I played the very same deck I played last Monday, with no changes. This is rare, but my job has been kicking my ass lately, meaning I haven’t had any time to work on the deck properly.

Last week’s report, “Digging for Gold in Local Tournament

Link to the deck on TappedOut.

Gold Digger, 2014-11-24

4 Flooded Strand
4 Scalding Tarn
1 Arid Mesa
1 Academy Ruins
1 Karakas
3 Tundra
2 Volcanic Island
3 Island
1 Plains
1 Mountain

2 Stoneforge Mystic
1 Baneslayer Angel
1 Batterskull
3 Jace, the Mind Sculptor

4 Brainstorm
4 Ponder
2 Preordain
4 Dig Through Time
1 Treasure Cruise

4 Swords to Plowshares
4 Force of Will
3 Counterspell
2 Misdirection
2 Engineered Explosives
1 Pyroblast
1 Lightning Bolt

Sideboard:
2 Vendilion Clique
2 Flusterstorm
2 Hydroblast
1 Lightning Bolt
2 Pyroblast
2 Pyroclasm
1 Wear // Tear
1 Supreme Verdict
1 Tormod’s Crypt
1 Grafdigger’s Cage

In retrospect, one change I really need to do is to cut the Lightning Bolt for a second Pyroblast. I was scared of running into non-blue decks in the local metagame and didn’t want the two dead cards in the maindeck. Three out of three decks last week was blue, three out of four this week was blue, maybe it’s time to face the facts. Next time. Not sure what I want in the sideboard slots then, since I have a spare if I cut the Lightning Bolts from the list entirely. Containment Priest seems nice.

15 players showed up this Monday, which meant four sweet rounds!

stoneforgemystic.hqRound 1: BW Blade: Man these games are grindy. The player in question has more or less designed his deck to beat up on various Delver decks, meaning I’m happy to not be on BUG Delver. In the first game he comes out strong through the gate and wins quite easily with a Dark Confidant with a Umezawa’s Jitte equipped. I found no removal other than Engineered Explosives which is awesome but too slow in this case.

I board out the Pyroblast and a number of Force of Wills for Pyroclasm, Wear // Tear and the Lightning Bolt. The second game is very grindy, he plays lots of creatures, but I have lots of countermagic and removal, and eventually we’re left with a board of him having only Umezawa’s Jitte and I have Jace, the Mind Sculptor. Guess who won.

We never had time to finish the third game. He was on his way with a turn one Deathrite Shaman into turn two Stoneforge Mystic finding Batterskull. He is left with a single land and the Deathrite Shaman untapped at the end of my turn three, and he tries to activate his Deathrite Shaman by targeting a land in my graveyard. I respond by casting Dig Through Time and eating it all up (remember kids, since Deathrite Shaman’s ability targets something, it uses the stack and can be responded to, contrary to traditional mana abilities.) I find a Swords to Plowshares for his Stoneforge Mystic, the end result being that he can’t play his Batterskull and he’s left with only the Deathrite Shaman in play. The game halts to a crawl, though, and neither of us are capable of winning in time.

0-0-1 (1-1)

sneakattack.hqRound 2: Sneak and Show: These games are rather painful, but I remember them in some detail. In the first game, I kept a hand of four lands, Stoneforge Mystic, Ponder, Force of Will since he took a mulligan. His opening six is the following: City of Traitors, Lotus Petal, Show and Tell, Griselbrand, Force of Will, Ponder. I’m not joking. I did draw the Swords to Plowshares on my first turn, but he found both Force of Will and a blue card on the first Griselbrand activation. Yeah, not winning that one, and not much to do there.

The second game is more even, I keep a hand full of countermagic, but I stumble on blue mana. He wins through Sneak Attack and it’s never really close.

This is the same guy as last week, by the way, putting me at a total of 1-1 against him with this deck.

0-1-1 (1-3)

shardlessagent.hqRound 3: Shardless BUG: This is the same Shardless BUG as last week, and the games were very similar to last week. I win on superior card selection, even through Liliana of the Veil‘s ultimate. It’s never really close, I do think the match-up favors my deck quite a bit. The play of the match was when I got to play Misdirection on his Ancestral Vision that he played the natural way. It was very unfair. I got to win game one with Jace and I won game two with Baneslayer Angel.

This too is an opponent from last week, though I’m 2-0 with this deck against his. I maintain the notion that my deck is very good against his until proven wrong, it’s a shame it has somewhat fallen out of favor lately.

1-1-1 (3-3)

senseisdiviningtop.hqRound 4: Miracles: The Gold Digger thread on the Source would lead some to believe that the match-up against Miracles is highly favorable, but I don’t think I agree just yet. Breaking out of a Counterbalance lock is very difficult, and he runs many control elements as well, and has great card selection in Sensei’s Divining Top. I win the first game on superior card selection, protecting my Jace from his double Pyroblast and double Snapcaster Mage while Jace happily ticked up to 13 and ultimated. He was close to stabilizing at one point, playing a Miracle’d Entreat the Angels for two while I had only Jace in play, with seven counters. I could bounce both of them over the course of two turns, but I’m left with a Jace with only one counter and need to start over, and even then he’s dead to any Flash creature. Like a pro, I topdeck the Engineered Explosives.

Game two, I board in extra Pyroblasts, Flusterstorm and Vendilion Clique and take out the bad removals. Game two is a repeat of the first, I expend my resources keeping his CounterTop lock off the board, including playing Force of Will on his Sensei’s Divining Top on turn 0, which I think is correct, since he mulliganed. My Dig Through Times allow me to pull ahead, and I win a long and grindy game by both playing Baneslayer Angel and Batterskull on the same turn. I had eight cards left in the library.

2-1-1 (5-3)

So, a rather modest, but winning, record this week as well. The deck still feels very solid, I think it’s more about the pilot in this case. I strongly believe I would’ve won round 1 if I had more time, I had stabilized the board and my spells are generally better than his in the long game. Round 2 was against the same guy I won against last week, but sometimes Sneak and Show just gets those freak draws that’s almost unbeatable. I just need to learn to play the deck tighter and quicker, knowing when to cast Dig Through Time for gas and when to save it (and thus see more cards in total) seems key, and I don’t have that down just yet.

MVP of the day was Engineered Explosives, which was slow but great all day. Two in the maindeck feels correct.

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