For the first time in I don't remember how long I had a block of time to play a Daily Event and one that lined up with this freedom. So of course I was going to play.
The past few days had been filled with e-mails between myself, Jason, and Eric about the state of affairs in Pauper. This all started because I had been an advocate for Hopeful Eidolon in White Weenie and Jason took a list that featured the spirit to 3-1. I am a huge believer in Bestow for Pauper and was happy to see my thought exercise pan out for Jason. In that same chain we were discussing the recent dearth of Stompy decks placing in the Daily Events. Once a powerhouse the green machine is standing in the redwood shadow of its one-time greatness. When we examined why this was the case, I concluded that since Pauper had lost a step and gained a turn the fragile creatures of Stompy were more vulnerable than ever. Natural enemies such as Mono-Black Control and Dimir removal decks have littered the landscape which spells doom for a deck loaded with efficient creatures. My solution was to go bigger and slower with Leafcrown Dryad.
Jason whipped up a list for "Big Stompy" which gave up on the Sligh curve aspect of the deck in favor on accelerating out big monsters such as Imperiosaur. Leafcrown Dryad was a key player in this deck as a way to make monsters even bigger and block flying enemies. Alas, Big Stompy suffered against removal based attrition decks so I decided to go back to the drawing board. But I kept the name:
4 Arbor Elf
4 Skarrgan Pit-Skulk
4 Nettle Sentinel
4 Garruk's Companion
4 Silhana Ledgewalker
4 Leafcrown Dryad
2 Drudge Beetle
4 Vines of Vastwood
4 Gather Courage
4 Hunger of the Howlpack
3 Prey Upon
3 Young Wolf
3 Sundering Growth
3 Moment's Peace
2 Drudge Beetle
1 Nylea's Disciple
This deck was still Stompy but it definitely wanted to go larger and longer. Leafcrown Dryad and Drudge Beetle provided the late game mana sinks the deck wanted while also making my creatures too large to handle. Oh, they also provided a serviceable body on curve.
My soundtrack for this Daily Event included: Bangers, Crazy F**king Dreams, Dear Landlord, Dream Homes, and DIRECT HIT!, DOMESPLITTER
It all makes sense now - I was messed up in the head. I ended up 1-2 and dropped after the third round.
In round 1 I was paired up against Eye Candy. My opponent stalled on mana but I was not able to apply enough pressure. The enemy go Kiln Fiend online and made it unblockable, then gave it double strike.
Game two I kept a fine hand for an unknown opponent. In hindsight, I should have mulliganed aggressively into either Prey Upon or Moment's Peace
At 0-1 I won a hard fought three games against an opponent on White Weenie. Game one was awesome - full of back and forth. It got to the point where I win if my opponent wasn't holding Prismatic Strands. They weren't.
Game two I mulliganed to five and was never in it. Game three I led with a Nettle Sentinel while the enemy led with Icatian Javelineers. I played a second land, cast Prey Upon, swung in for two then cast a Pit-Skulk. On two lands my opponent tried to brick my Pit-Skulk with Kor Skyfisher. I had Rancor and kept a Forest untapped to protect my investment with Vines of Vastwood. I cracked in, knocked the enemy to fourteen, and passed. White Weenie had Bonesplitter and equipped it to, once again, stop my Skulk.
At this point I have two Forests in play and two Vines of Vastwood (and other two drops) in hand. I decide to go for it and on consecutive turns cast main phase Vines of Vastwood on Pit-Skulk to crack in for victory.
And it tasted so sweet.
That taste lasted shorter than Juicy Fruit. Round three I go up against a Delver pilot. My first play is Dazed and I never get back into it.
One reason Delver continues to put up such great numbers is that there is no consensus on the right build. Because of this, a card like Daze goes way up in value since it has a huge amount of surprise value.
Game two I kept a hand full of threats but only one land. Any Forest in my first two draws puts me in great shape. But since I went 1-2, you know how this ends (hint: not well).
I'm not about to give up on Big Stompy. I think I am going back to Quirion Ranger and dropping Arbor Elf, since it did very little all day.
And maybe I'll play in another Daily, if I find the time.