I have not blogged for some time now. I have been very busy with work that playing magic seems near to impossible so for today I am not blogging about FNM tournaments as I have not joined one in a while… probably two to three weeks. And also, we haven’t play tested a lot lately. I’ve played an experimental post-rotation deck UWB which focuses on creature control and disruption three weeks ago in an FNM tourney and went 2-2 again. I lost to an Infect deck and a Monored Goblin deck. The deck seems ok but without the M11 and Zendikar components, it lacks something. Maybe I have to wait for Innistrad to come. We may never know what it will bring us. So far, 99 of 264 cards have been spoiled and some there are some cards that caught my attention – primarily blue cards. Anyways I went back and revisited my post-banning CAW Blade deck and thought about what it might looked like post-Zendikar/M11 rotation. There are a couple of cards it will lose and a couple that might replace it but here are my thoughts about those cards:
Squadron Hawk to be replaced by Invisible Stalker.
First, CAW-Blade can’t be called CAW blade if it doesn’t have the hawks. I don’t think the Invisible Stalker “caws” for that matter. The good thing about Squadron hawks is that when you cast it, it calls the other hawks. And based from my playtesting and tournament plays, I survive early beatings because I can let the hawks fight one to one against my opponents’ early beats confident, I have another one to play later. Plus, it “thins the deck”. Moreover, it is “flying” – so in reality, it rarely gets block when it attacks with the swords making sure damage comes through. That’s a hell of an advantage. Losing it post rotation deals pain in the deck. Although, Invisible stalker may provide some advantage over the hawks. They walk, but they are unblockable and they have “hexproof”! Meaning, you can attach your swords, attack and get the damage through nice and easy without your opponents playing any shenanigans over them like Into the Roil. This almost guarantee you get the damage delivered. But the thing is, the hawks can trade with other guys and you still have the guarantee you have another hawk in your hand. The invisible stalker doesn’t do that. When you trade a fight and lose, you lose them. So I am partial with this replacement.
Celestial Colonnade replaced by Inkmoth Nexus entirely
Well, Celestial Colonnade and Inkmoth Nexus can both be Tectonic Edged or Ghost Quartered. They both turn to flying creatures but Colonnade is a 4/4 that doesn’t tap and Inkmoth is a 1/1 infect that taps. When you attack with Colonnade, you still have 1 mana to spare on counterspell whereas Nexus doesn’t give you that. The only advantage I can see with Nexus is that it kills your opponent quicker and it activates really cheap. Other than that, there really isn’t anything I can tell. Hopefully in the next few days, Innistrad would give us a man-land (or I may be dreaming)
Preordain and Ponder
Preordain – I don’t know really what can this be replaced with. I mean, yes we have Ponder, but what I don’t like about it is the shuffle effect if you don’t like what you saw. Preordain gives us the benefit of choosing between the cards before we go random. Ponder,doesn’t. What will replace this? I don’t know yet.
Tectonic Edge replaced by Ghost Quarter
To be honest, the reprinting of Ghost Quarter excited me. Now, the wait for the 4-land requirement is no more! I can destroy my opponent’s land immediately. Yes, the search a basic land card seems like a draw back, but having destroyed an opponent’s dual land and having him search for the basic land of his choice tells you what colors he rely heavy on. Information is power. Plus on the up side, if you need another color you can trade of your land with another land that provides you with the color you need. In most cases this may be a bad idea but if you really need that colored mana, why not?
Jace Beleren to be replaced by Azure Mage
Hmm… not really sure about this.Yes, Azure mage lets you draw repeatedly but a planeswalker is still a planeswalker. No matter how easy Jace dies, he let’s you draw cards and sometimes provide you a fog effect against attacks. Azure mage doesn’t do that and it dies easily to any removal spell like Incinerate or Dismember. Anyway, I have to playtest with this first. And yes, don’t talk to me about using the new Jace…. 1UU is very far from 3UU.
So to conclude, I honestly don’t think CAW-Blade will survive. But it will transform into a new deck. Remember, we still have the swords, Gideon Jura, Timely Reinforcements, Dismember, Day of Judgment, Oblivion Ring and other cards that are not rotating. We just have to think hard on how this deck will tranform. Until all of Innistrad is revealed, we can never tell how far this deck will transform. For now, I am just content that blue has a new ally in the form of:
We will talk about this when I get my hands on it. So stay tuned.