It’s a new set, and with it comes a new metagame. I don’t often follow spoiler seasons too heavily, but I gotta say, Strixhaven looks pretty cool. Over the weekend I laddered a bit with a cheap Prismari Flash deck, and it performed surprisingly well. However, with the end of the month drawing closer, and the next CFB Pro Showdown only five days away, it’s time to pull out the big guns. I’ve decided to try out Reid Duke’s Gruul Fury, a twist on Naya Fury that removes the boring White cards and replaces them with Green cards that do the same job only better! I’m excited to try out the Dragonsguard Elite, as they look like they’re gonna be pretty powerful. Time to run a few games!
First match, 1-2 against Boros–err, I mean Lorehold Aggro. They pack quite a few punches, and have a wide variety of tools, making good use of the new cards like Blade Historian, Elite Spellbinder, and Professor of Symbology. First game I kept a hand that was very all-in on the Unleash Fury Combo. I immediately regretted my decision once I learned they were playing aggro, and they even used Elite Spellbinder to effectively remove my Goldspan Dragon from my hand. Second game went better, as I was able to match their creature count with three Dragonsguard Elite and a couple removal spells. Third game was rocky, as I didn’t have anything to remove their T2 Luminarch Aspirant until T6 with a second Shatterskull Smashing, after the first one took out their Selfless Savior. By that time, they had enough creatures with +1/+1s that I was already in trouble, so their Blade Historian instantly ended the game. It certainly looks like a powerful aggro deck, but with the right sideboard and mulligan decisions, that matchup will get a lot better.
Second match, 1-2 against Rakdos Sacrifice. They haven’t got too many new tools that I saw, but maybe my opponent just hasn’t crafted many new cards yet. Both losses were right down to the wire, but in the end, I just couldn’t deal those last few points of damage. I don’t know exactly when I should be using Unleash Fury — obviously use it when it’s gonna kill them, but what if they’ll survive? Do I save it until it’ll kill, or perhaps try for something spicy with a Kazuul’s Fury? What if they have hand disruption, like Kroxa? The answer is most likely that I’m being too greedy and should play it the first chance I get, but it’s something to pay attention to going forward.
Third match, 2-0 against Sultai Ultimatum. The first game confirmed my suspicions about Dragonsguard Elite being quite powerful in this deck. T2 Dragonsguard, T3 Unleash Fury, in response they play Heartless Act, in response I play Snakeskin Veil, buffing Dragonsguard up to a 10/5, dealing 10 to their face. T4 I play yet another Unleash Fury, and we go to game two. Game two I got to Unleash Fury a 7/7 Kazandu Mammoth, but they almost managed to stabilize on –I kid you not– 1 HP. They countered two Kazuul’s Fury until I finally finished them off with a Stomp. The deck feels really good against Ultimatum, which isn’t really a surprise given how fast it can go.
That’s all I’ve got time for tonight. Overall, despite going 1-2, I’m pretty happy with the deck, and I’m probably going to keep playing it tomorrow. I’m not sure whether I’m going to make these posts a daily thing, but honestly, they’re kinda fun to write and it forces me to reflect on how each match went after I play. I’m pretty sure I read somewhere that taking a minute to reflect after any game, win or loss, is one of the best ways to improve. Something to think about. I’ll see you next time, if there is one.