Mokeying around at local FNM

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I’m currently coming down with a cold, and the cold forced me to cancel my much-anticipated Magic-related plans, which sucks, however, it did allow me to play in the local FNM this week, which happened to be Legacy. At first I was excited to try Canadian Threshold with Hooting Mandrills, but I got cold feet and was about to sleeve up Team America instead. Fortunately, my friend saved me when he texted me and asked to borrow my Underground Seas and a few other cards, which settled me on Canadian Threshold. My list mirrored the one I proposed when I discussed adding Hooting Mandrills to the deck, and it can be found in this post. I ended up playing three monkeys and a Fire // Ice in the flex slot.

Eight people showed up, which meant three rounds of sweet Legacy. The metagame breakdown was as follows:

1 Canadian Threshold (me)
2 Elves
1 Merfolk
1 ANT
1 Punishing Jund
1 DeathBlade
1 Grixis Delver

Round 1: Grixis Delvergurmagangler.full
I first thought I was up against Sneak and Show, since that is my opponent’s usual deck, though he has played both RUG and BUG Delver in the past. I keep a disruption-heavy hand to be able to counter his early bombs, but with no beater. His first land is a Volcanic Island, but quickly followed by a Delver of Secrets. I deny him mana while I cantrip into a removal for his threat, and I win on the back of my own Delver of Secrets, after drawing like three Stifles.

I board out Force of Will in favor of Pyroblasts.

In game two, he Thoughtseizes me and takes a Tarmogoyf while leaving Hooting Mandrills in hand. This comes back to bite him, quite literally, when I cast the monkeys on turn three, for a single mana, while leaving up mana to Stifle his stuff. The monkeys go all the way. Woo!

1-0 (2-0)

After scooping, he reveals his secret tech – Gurmag Angler! Clearly, the inferior Delve creature compared to its monkey cousins, but still very respectable.

 

Round 2 – Merfolktrue-namenemesis.full
I think this match-up is pretty unfavourable. but in game one, I get a pretty good start. I drop a Delver of Secrets who flips instantly, and I play a second one on my third turn. Meanwhile, he has a Master of the Pearl Trident, and a couple of Mutavaults. He also casts a Phantasmal Image and copies my flipped Delver of Secrets. I cantrip looking for removal for his flier, but find none, and reason that I’m the beatdown since he has all the inevitability in the world. I offer the trade and he takes it. My second Delver of Secrets refuse to flip, showing a Polluted Delta twice in a row, and after he casts both a True-Name Nemesis and a second Master of the Pearl Trident, he swings for 16 in a single turn. Ouch.

I board in Pyroblasts yet again, along with Krosan Grip in case he has Back to Basics.

I get a great start in the second game and he stumbles a bit with what looked like a clunky draw. I win quite quickly with Hooting Mandrills. Woo!

In game three, he keeps a greedy one-lander, and I again get a pretty damn good start, and win with Hooting Mandrills again. Woo!

2-0 (4-1)

Round 3 – Punishing Jund
Okay, yet another quite miserable match-up. Games one and two are fairly uneventful, I open a hand of two removals and five lands and ship it, find no lands in either my six or five, and he wins the first game with little struggle. I board in Submerge, and win game two fairly easily on the back of a good draw and some monkeys. Woo!

Game three is very grindy, and grindy games favour him a lot. I probably make a mistake when I let Abrupt Decay destroy my last threat, a flipped Delver of Secrets, while sitting on two Submerges and no cantrips. Using one of the Submerges to keep the pressure up seems like a really bad idea, but on the other hand, I had no other out to win the game. A few turns later, after some more grind, he drops Choke, with no response from me. I have to topdeck into more lands to cast creatures, and after he trades down 2-for-1 twice against my Hooting Mandrills with block + burn, I’m out of gas and he wins through a Deathrite Shaman.

Losing such a close game is always a bummer, but it was a very close game with some very exciting final turns. He was down to less than five life when I died.

2-1 (5-3)

2-1 meant second place, and after two fairly difficult match-ups and a Delver mirror, I can’t be too sad. The MVP for the night were definitely Hooting Mandrills, and I think I will try the full set over True-Name Nemesis next time. Multiples were never an issue, and it’s a very good beater.

Monkeys for life.

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