We veered back into Standard with the latest scenario, which you can tell because of how many Dragons are in play.

The Situation

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First, note that we are quite ahead. We have two Stormbreaths against a Stormbreath and a Thunderbreak Regent, and given that monstrous is now on the table, that’s a sizable edge. Our opponent is also at 7 to our 16, firmly putting us in the driver’s seat.

There are a lot of options here, so let’s start whittling them down:

The Options

Attack with Both Dragons

If you attack with both Dragons, your opponent is presumably blocking both, at which point things branch again. If you pass without using monstrous, your opponent can do the same, and everything trades. That’s not great for you, since trading Stormbreath for Regent is a poor trade, and you have a Stoke in hand that is now lacking in targets.

If you monstrous the Dragon blocked by Stormbreath, your opponent does the same (assuming the card in hand isn’t a relevant spell), and all four Dragons trade. This is still bad.

If you monstrous the Dragon blocked by Regent, your opponent also uses monstrous, and you effectively trade a Stormbreath for a Regent, leaving a monstrous Stormbreath on each side of the board. Again, this isn’t a trade you want to make.

Attack with One Dragon

If you attack with just one Dragon, the opponent will either block with Stormbreath or block with both. You can order Stormbreath first either way, and if you monstrous, the opponent does as well (though in the case of a double block, doesn’t have to). If you don’t monstrous, the opponent likely will, forcing you to spend seven mana. This lets you trade one Dragon for a Stormbreath, which isn’t the worst, but I think you can do better.

Pass the Turn

By passing the turn, you open up a lot of good possibilities. If the opponent chooses to monstrous Stormbreath at the end of turn, which is very likely, just cast Stoke on the Stormbreath and set yourself up to win next turn (and be very advantaged either way). If the opponent just untaps, you should just do nothing until the opponent does. If they cast something on their turn, react accordingly, and if they just pass, you can start making your Dragons large. Once one of your Dragons is monstrous, you can attack with both, as you end up in great shape no matter what (barring some very unexpected card). You are also close to killing the opponent off monstrous damage plus Stoke, especially if the opponent doesn’t play whatever they drew.

My Play

Pass the turn, planning to Stoke the opposing Stormbreath if it goes monstrous, and using monstrous at the end of the opponent’s turn if it doesn’t. Kill the opponent with giant Dragons.

There were a lot of options here, but I think it’s fairly easy to rule out attacking, which makes passing the turn the best way to go about things. There are a few unknowns here, but not so many that it changes what we should do.

Don’t forget, I’m always on the lookout for interesting play decisions. If you think you’ve got one that could stump the readers, send it to LSV@channelfireball.com, and if I feature your submission you’ll win $25 store credit!

LSV