Testing with RUG Updates

I had the chance to attend a couple Magic the Gathering Legacy format events in the last week with my updated RUG Delver deck. For the uninitiated, the name of the deck is simply descriptive of its colors (Red, blUe, and Green), plus its signature creature, Delver of Secrets. My current list:

4 Delver of Secrets
4 Tarmogoyf
4 Nimble Mongoose

4 Force of Will
4 Daze
4 Brainstorm
4 Ponder
3 Spell Pierce
1 Spell Snare
4 Stifle
4 Lightning Bolt
2 Chain Lightning

4 Wasteland
4 Misty Rainforest
4 Scalding Tarn
3 Tropical Island
3 Volcanic Island

I have had the good fortune to play in two different Legacy events in the last week here in the area. My results below:

June 2, 2013 at ComicTown

First round I played against a G/W/B Junk good stuff deck packing Dark Confidant, SFM with equipment, and discard and removal. The first game was not close, as I was able to out-tempo him with key creatures and spells even after he made me discard Mongoose and burn. Second game he got me on the back of Dark Confidant advantage, Liliana, and two Perish for my Goyfs. Last game he wasn’t even in it, as I was able to burn his first-turn Deathrite Shaman, waste his dual land, and get off to the races with a first, second, and third threat. He wasn’t able to recover, having to discard due to being unable to cast spells, and I finished with a full hand of cards and way ahead on board.

Second round I played against 12-post deck that basically used Cloudpost, Glimmerpost, and Vesuva with City of Traitors and Ancient Tomb to make a ton of mana, plus Metalworker and Grim Monolith, to cast huge creatures like Steel Hellkite, Sundering Titan, or Wurmcoil engine as early as turn 2. First game he had a pretty great draw and I was only able to bolt and stifle his first two Wurmcoil Engines, and then Steel Hellkite finished me off. Second game he almost did more damage to himself than I did using Ancient Tomb, and I was able to tempo him out, after countering an early Chalice of the Void and flipping a first-turn Delver to Ancient Grudge, a real kick in the nuts for his deck. Third game was very close, I had him down on life with an early Goyf taking chunks of 4 over three turns until he was at 8, and then at 3 the turn after he tried to cast Metalworker, which I killed via Dismember, a key sideboard entry. The final turn he was at 3 and cast a Wurmcoil Engine and sent it after me hastily. He wanted to gain life since he was at 3 and a burn spell would have killed him, and I had 8 damage on the board with Mongoose and a 5/6 Goyf. I flipped over a burn spell and it was game.

Third round I played against a combo deck using Show and Tell into Omniscience and then cast Enter The Infinite, drawing his entire library minus one card, and then using Research // Development to get Laboratory Maniac out of his sideboard, draw it with a free spell in his 50 card hand, cast it for free, and then win via Brainstorm or something else similar. I let him do this the first game because I didn’t have a threat until the fourth game. That was a bad idea on my part. Second game I had a first turn Mongoose, second turn Delver which flipped, followed by a third turn Mongoose. He tried to cast Defense Grid, but I countered that, and he didn’t have his combo the turn after, so I won. The fourth turn I got him to 11 but gave him too much time. He resolved Defense Grid and I had no way to interact.

June 6th, 2013 at Fog of Dusk

Round one I was paired up against Tim, who after playing Turn 1 City of Traitors into Grim Monolith I figured was playing Mono-Brown Artifacts. The first game he tried to cast three subsequent creatures in the form of Lodestone Golem on turns 2, 3, and 4, and each of them met with either counter-magic or burn. I had him on a decent clock and was able to win handily. In game two, Tim got off to a much quicker start and I was stuck short on lands. He Wastelanded my third land just after casting Trinisphere, and locked me out of the game although I had plenty of removal in my hand. A Lodestone Golem plus a Steel Hellkite finished me off. In the third game, this time Tim was stuck on lands, and my timely Wasteland on his second land after a first-turn City of Traitors greatly slowed him down, and he never recovered.

In the second round, I played Eric, playing a very powerful but manabase-stretching Red/Blue/Green/Black deck with some very powerful cards like Dark Confidant, Deathrite Shaman, Liliana of the Veil, and Jace the Mind Sculptor. However, you actually need mana to cast those spells. fight through countermagic to resolve them, and let those things live through burn to actually do anything. I had a first-turn Delver after I saw him fetch an Underground Sea and play a Deathrite Shaman, so I knew I had a race on my hands to get threats down early and try to counter his bigger business spells. I was able to play out a second creature while I Wasteland’ed one of his lands and kill his Deathrite Shaman, slowing him down, and countering Hymn to Tourach with Spell Pierce to keep my hand full of good stuff. I was able to finish him off before he was able to get a critical mass of mana sources to cast troublesome planeswalkers. Game two, I had ever answer ever for everything Eric played. His Baleful Strix met with Pyroblast, I Wasted his second land, killed on of a pair of Deathrite Shamans, and over two subsequent turns I Submerged his first Deathrite Shaman to stick him on draws and lock him out of the game. I had him on the double-Delver clock and he couldn’t find anything to cast spells.

In the third round, I played against Reed piloting a combo deck, Ad Nauseum Tendrils, that aims to cast a bunch of cheap draw or mana-producing spells in one turn like Gitaxian Probe, Dark Ritual, Cabal Ritual, Lotus Petal, and then use search spells like Infernal Tutor and Ad Nauseum to cast Tendrils of Corruption to kill your opponent in one turn. They can be difficult decks to fight because of their resilience and inevitability, given that ever spell you cast in response during their critical turn increases the storm count and makes their work easier. It makes it difficult for a deck like RUG that relies on counter spells to stop your opponent doing thing.

Our game 1 was pretty close. I knew what he was playing after he played Ponder and Brainstorm early, and fetched both Underground Sea and Volcanic Island. I was able to land an early threat, Wasteland a land, counter a couple search spells, and I was too quick and he didn’t have the critical mass to complete his combo. In game two I made a couple play mistakes that cost me the game. Although I got him down low in life, he was able to start his combo. I used a Stifle on a fetchland in the hopes I could prevent him from entering his combo, but I should have saved it for his Tendrils of Corruption. He was able to combo and kill me. The last game was very disappointing. I mulliganed to six cards and kept a hand of four lands, Stifle, and Lightning Bolt, and proceeded to draw more lands than spells and never cast a creature the entire game. I ended up with 10 lands out of 18 in my deck, and he killed me easily because I had neither a clock or counterspells.

In the last round, I played a young guy who was playing a 12-post plus blue deck designed to either cheat in via Show and Tell or hard-cast huge monsters like Emrakuhl. In the first game, I was able to put him on a good clock, and even though he was able to gain life from Glimmerpost, I was able to finish him off before he cast a huge creature. In the second game, he was able to gain too much life from Glimmerpost, and was able to ramp up to hard-cast Emrakuhl, and kill me. In the last game I had a super-fast start, and he had no ramp lands, so I was able to keep him of huge mana, and attack with multiple creatures for the win.

Really happy with the deck overall. 5-2 in matches in those two events. I like the addition of Nimble Mongoose, and Stifle was pretty good as well. The deck has a good shot against many decks in the very diverse Legacy metagame, and the aggro-control