RPTQ RECAP - FLAME OF KELD
Now let's go over a few of my PPTQ successes, and I'll break down some of my matches!
The successes were any time I played Red/Black. I didn't drop a full match. I went 2-1 with both of them, but somehow on the first game I got under them, but whenever they played a Chainwhirler, I just felt like I couldn't’ win it was just so awful. That was usually the ones I lost. So right after game one if I didn’t win it, I sideboarded out every one butt creature. That means Bomats left, that means Earthshakers left, that means Viashino left, that's ten cards. That's a lot of cards!
So what came in was ten cards from the sideboard. The 3 Chandra’s defeat, 2 Fight with Fire, 2 Chandra, Torch of Defiance, the Hazoret, Kari Zev's, the Cuts, virtually everything but the Insult to Injury came in, and sometimes I didn’t bring the Fight with Fire, it just depended on how big their deck was. Sorcery speed removal isn't always the best, so that’s why the Cut was there.
The first round I played, I played this Green/Black deck that was specifically built to beat these Flame of Keld decks, so I started my day really hot with an 0-1. So that was one big thing where I was like, well, I can’t beat this one where you have a Harvester, and you play a Gearhulk and put counters on it, it's just too much life gain.
The next two games I actually won! I played that Sai deck, so the blue artifacts, and that deck really wasn’t much of a game because they take so long to set up and they missed a ton of land drops so I got that one 2-0. The third game that I played was a Red/Black deck, and I won the first one, then sideboarded the way I discussed earlier. I ended up the more controlling deck after sideboarding because he brought in so much removal and I had taken out a large portion of my creatures. The fourth match I played for that day ended up being another turbo fog matchup, which should have been good but the second game I hit three Flame of Keld that matchup and drew 7 extra lands. I got him down to three and lost that game, and then in game three I had to mulligan to four and lost that one as well.
That left my record at 2-2. The next matchup I played was Red/Black again, and I ended up going 2-1. It’s still a close matchup, and winning the die roll really helped! I drew a Soul-Scar off the top, and had a Chandra’s Defeat in hand, right after he played his Hazoret. I was able to give it five -1/-1 counters which won me the game! Sometimes you do just need a little luck in these matchups.
The last match was one of my favorite matches of the day. I played against Turbo Fog, and the guy had a really unique version of it! I actually lost the first game, which my deck is tuned to try to win the first one, so that was wild, but he had things like main deck Lyra, so it was almost like he was preboarded. I lost that one, but on the second one it was one of my favorite plays of the whole weekend! He played a Spring to Mind which lets you search for a land on turn 3, and he didn’t hit his land drop so he put it in to play. Come back to my side and I had a Chandra and a Soul-Scar Mage on the battlefield, with two Lightning Strikes in hand. I drew an Insult to Injury, I played it, triggered Soul-Scar prowess, I played a lightning strike, another prowess trigger, I plused Chandra for two mana and played another lightning strike for another 6, so we’re at 12, third prowess trigger and swing for 20!
I ended up 4-2 for the day, which I’m happy about! I wish I had spent more time with the deck beforehand - to be honest, I’d only had about two days of practice with it before I chose it.
So, let's go over post rotation and what's going to happen. I don't think this deck is dead, I do believe this deck changes. I’m excited about shocks and getting to play my original ones! I could see this deck changing to wizards because you’re losing the crasher. You lose Earth Shaker and Bomats, and Hazoret. Which are huge. There’s some tasty red stuff coming out now though, so I think we’ll be okay! Losing Abrade and Chandra's Defeat in the side will be rough, but from what I’m seeing spoiler-wise we should have at least something to work with!
SNAP KEEP: ON THE PLAY
We're on the play. Just taking the look at this, if it were an unknown opponent on the draw, this would be a Snap Keep. The reason why is you have a first turn play with Soul-Scar, and since there is so many 1 and 2 drops, there's a good chance of drawing into them. Soul Scar on turn 1, turn two draw something like a Lavarunner, then depending on your draws you're all set to play Hazoret on Turn 4. I did some draws, and the hand was indeed all gas like I thought!
SNAP KEEP: ON THE DRAW
We're on the Draw, and looking at our hand we wouldn't touch this with a ten-foot pole. If you drew another land, it could just be disastrous. You'll just be behind the whole time if you don't topdeck anything worthwhile. You should keep a hand with some more consistency, even with the burn spells. Four lands will almost always be a mulligan. This is NOT a Snap Keep.