Envisioning Fever in Santiago *2nd*

After PT Kaladesh, its high number of Marvels decks and its all-control finals, the past few weeks have seen midrange strategies take over in the hands of Luis Salvatto’s Blue-White and Lukas Blohon’s Black-Green Delirium. With that in mind, and after a poor performance at the PT with Blue-Red Zombie Emerge (the deck Raphael Levy did a deck tech on), I wanted to play something that I felt comfortable with and that would not lose to itself. Our deck for the PT was good and I do not regret having registered it, but it isn’t as consistent as I wanted for GP Santiago even though its power level often compensates.

Sometimes you’ll draw the Zombie part without Amalgams or the Amalgams without being able to bring them back, or emerge cards without being able to sac a creature, and so on. Some of those constraints only became clear to me at Kaladesh Game Day, which I played at my store Inside Games.

Yet, I still love the color combination, and some of the cards are really well positioned in the metagame, such as Fevered Visions, which we already had in our sideboard in Honolulu, and instant-speed removal spells that are necessary to beat Smuggler’s Copters and flash creatures from U/W.

I realized that despite Fevered Visions being very good in the current field, it needed a dedicated aggressive deck strategy or it under-performed. Therefore, I took the first deck I built post-Kaladesh and started tweaking it. People kept telling me I was crazy to play Fevered Visions main deck due to Vehicles and Red-Black Aggro, so at first I was running a blue-red prowess version with Bedlam Revelers main deck instead of the enchantment. As I got to Santiago, my friend William Bossanelli told me that everybody was playing either Black-Green or Blue-White Friday at the venue and that if I was bringing Fevered Visions in against them, then it should just be maindecked. So this was the list I registered:

U/R Fevered Visions

The list is basically Pedro Carvalho’s list from PT Eldritch Moon with Spirebluff Canal to improve the mana base and the mighty Chandra, Torch of Defiance. Or as Luis Michielli likes to say: “You forgot about almost a whole set.” Fortunately, others didn’t! The only change I would consider to the main deck is to cut a Highland Lake for an Island, but I’d like to see the math. I guess Frank Karsten is the guy to answer that one.

The sideboard could be improved, especially Nahiri’s Wrath. I don’t think the card belongs there. I was impressed by it in our PT testing, and paired with Fevered Visions you have cards to discard, but if you can’t take advantage of what you are discarding, I’d rather have something else. Moving forward, I would cut them both, 1 Bedlam Reveler, and 1 Lightning Axe, for 2 Tears of Valakut and 2 Weaver of Lightning.

In 18 rounds, I was paired 12 times against Black-Green Delirium (but only played 10 of those to a 9-1 record) and 4 times with U/W Flash (to a 3-1 record). I do think they are both good matchups even though I lost the finals, but there is no such a thing as easy matchup. You have to watch the hands you keep and play tightly, staying aware of some key points: killing Grim Flayer is extremely important, as is not letting your opponent use Selfless Spirit, Spell Queller, and Avacyn to answer your spells. My other 2 matches were against U/W/R Control, Carlos Romão style, and U/B Control from Nicolas de Nicola.

Sideboard Guide

Against Black-Green Delirium

Out

In

Against U/W Flash

Play or draw matters a lot in this matchup.

Out

These are all cards that could come out, depending on your evaluation of how your opponent is sideboarding.

In

These are the cards that could come in. It’s also important that my suggested additions would come in in this matchup.

Note to self: Play each game and each turn in that game from the beginning. Being tired from a long tournament with so much delay every round without any byes was devastating. Thankfully, I was not held back by my own mistakes. There were 2 big ones. In round 13, game 2 against Felipe Archangelo, he played Grim Flayer on the play. For my turn, I drew and played Lightning Axe, discarding Fiery Temper to the face and killing Flayer as it can’t be allowed to connect. The thing is that I had that all thought out before my draw. My draw was nothing less than Incendiary Flow. I only realized on his next turn. It cost me the game, as I couldn’t answer his turn-4 Mindwrack Demon, but it didn’t cost me the match. Also, in the second game of the finals, I played a Wandering Fumarole on turn 3 before attacking with Stormchaser Mage. That left an opening for my opponent to play Blessed Alliance. I also ended up winning this game, but not the match. I didn’t allow such mistakes to bother me too much, but they still were mistakes with devastating potential.

I do think that the dominance of Blue-White Flash and Black-Green Delirium is legit, which makes this deck great in the future, but with better-prepared opponents (as in those expecting the deck), things might get more difficult. My next event is GP Prague just before PT Dublin, but we’ll see how things evolve next week in Madrid.

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