The Winter War – Mirran vs. Phyrexia, Invasion

A few weeks back we had our annual meeting of the Guild. That meant about twenty people gathering together for a weekend of gaming, imbiding, bonding, and randomly annoying the neighbours by being way too loud. I like to use this opportunity to do something different, so I copied an idea by PoroMagia, but went a step further and made this a team sealed event, with each side getting six Scars of Mirrodin packs and six Mirrodin Besieged prerelease faction packs of the proper faction.

I’ll be talking about this from our (mostly my) perspective as a member of the Phyrexian Invasion, whereas Lauri will hopefully get around to talk about this from the Mirran Resistance perspective, if he ever recovers from his carpal tunnel syndrome (send all masturbation jokes straight to him, I bet he hasn’t heard enough of them yet).

Note: Its possible I mixed up the pools somewhat after the event, so they might not be quite right, but they are mostly right.

The packs

The packs

For foreigners, the Winter War might not be familiar. It was a small conflict within WWII, but its a pivotal moment in the Finnish history and a huge part of our national identity. The name PoroMagia used for their event just stuck and we used it as well.

Our rules where pretty freeform: Each team of three made three decks, sideboards weren’t allocated to different players like they would normally be (of course, there needs to be some trust in this, so that I don’t “sideboard” into the best deck we have once its player was done with his matches), each member of the team played a match against each player of the opposing team.

Deck Construction

After opening the 12 packs we had, one deck was immediately pretty obvious. Four copies of Rot Wolf was just too good to pass up on. A bunch of other Infect-creatures and this deck pretty much built itself, although I would have missed the Bellowing Tanglewurm, which Mikko picked up on and added to the deck. It was an excellent addition.

I like to see decks, that work without being relient on bomb rares. This one is clearly like that. It does have one rare, though, but lets not hold that against it. This was clearly and easily our number one deck.

The other two decks were a bit more problematic. I suggested we try to make another black-green deck, because we had Glissa, the Traitor and a bunch of artifacts. I knew immediately that mana in this deck would be awkward and it would be difficult to construct. Not sure we got it right, but we were trying to do the decks under a time limit (although there wasn’t officially one, but we didn’t want to leave our opponents waiting).

Finally, my deck.

I took the rest of the cards we had, and made a pretty basic limited deck: When in doubt put in plenty of fliers and hope they’ll get you through. Gladly, I had a couple of bomb fliers I could abuse: Indomitable Archangel and Consecrated Sphinx. I didn’t have any artifacts to protect (well, two, but they are both spells in artifact form), so Archangel’s Metalcraft ability was just some meaningless lines of text, but 4/4 flier for four mana is still a bomb. There are actually only two of them without a drawback in the game (this and Tower Gargoyle).

On top of the fliers, I had plenty of creatures to clog up the ground. 1/4s and 1/5s might not be very good against Infect-creatures, such as Rot Wolf, but we were pretty sure we wouldn’t have to face those, because our opponents wouldn’t have very many. Priests of Norn was especially good, since if my opponent could gather some forces with a Toughness of 2 or more, he could attack pretty freely and not lose anything, but the Priests could stop that by themselves.

The rest of our pool still included some bomby cards and we left red totally out. I would have liked a couple of combat tricks for my deck, but the wasn’t much room and the ones we had were very situational, and thus not very good.

Sure, we could have made our decks better, but on the other hand, this was supposed to be fun.

The Games

I’m going to only write about my games, because I didn’t get to see most of the other games.

Match 1 – White-Green Aggro

First I played Lauri. He was playing mostly white, with a green splash, although I don’t remember seeing any of the green splash besides activation of Wall of Tanglecord. Lauri had fast starts, but that wasn’t enough. In the end his offensive was not enough to kill me before I managed to get enough blockers on the ground and could then eventually take him down with my fliers.

He did have a couple of scary cards, but they weren’t scary enough and I was able to figure out how to block without dying.

(He probably shouldn’t have played the Wall, though).

Match 1 – Blue Mill

I don’t think it was supposed to be a mill-deck, but it ended up as one, as the main wincon seemed to be a Grindclock. We were pretty evenly matched, but after I couldn’t find my bounce in the third game, I ended up losing this match. Either a Disperse or a Steel Sabotage would have won me the game, but it didn’t work out that way.

Match 3 – Red Aggro

My third match was against a red aggro. It wasn’t as fast as it needed to be and just like the first match, I was able to gum up the ground with my 1/4 and 1/5 blockers.

So, I went 2-1. On the whole, our team went 6-3, so Mirrodin fell and became New Phyrexia, just like in the flavor.

We probably should have put more work into Peetu’s deck. It was clearly the most difficult to construct and it went 1-2 in the end. I don’t know if we could have made it better with the tools we had available, but I guess there could have been a good mostly red deck in our pool, with Ichor Wellsprings and artifact saccing.

The Infect deck went 3-0, apparently pretty easily. They did have some anti-Infect cards, but those didn’t really help against FOUR Rot Wolves.

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