Welcome back!

The scenario you have found yourself in is as follows:

The Situation

It’s SOI draft, and you are playing with this deck:

image (1)

You are getting smashed by flyers, but have amassed a sizable board presence. Unfortunately, the webs are being watched very closely, so you can’t get damage through this turn. You do have your choice of what to attack with, and that’s going to be the key decision to make.

None of your creatures can block flyers, so the default is to attack.

You can also crack a Clue or use Duskwatch Recruiter pre-attacks in case you draw a card that changes your decision. Of these options, activating the Recruiter is better. The live cards you have left in your deck are Stitched Mangler and Press for Answers. Cracking a Clue gives you 1 shot at both of them, whereas Recruiter gives you 3 shots at one, which is higher odds. If you hit on Mangler, you win the game by tapping down the Watcher.

But activating Recruiter comes with a big drawback: the opponent doesn’t have to block everything. If you activate Recruiter and miss, your all-out attack gives the opponent the option of blocking two 2-power creatures and taking 10 damage. That leaves them at 3, but critically, means they have a Watcher alive, which can then block everything next turn.

As a result, here is my play:

My Play

Play Forest. Attack with everything, and the opponent is forced to block enough creatures to kill the Watcher. If the opponent chooses to put Quilled Wolf first, let it die. Activate Recruiter, then play Illuminator post-combat (assuming a Recruiter miss). Even if the opponent chooses to damage Recruiter first, you get an activation.

Plan on blocking a Spirit token or the Reaper with Illuminator, then winning via alpha strike on the next turn.

My Actual Play

When I encountered this actual situation, I made a critical error: I didn’t attack with enough creatures to force the Watcher to block so it died. Instead, my opponent blocked two 2/2s, kept Watcher around, and I was unable to force through enough damage the turn after.

This was an interesting situation, even if the final answer was “attack with everything.”

I’m always on the lookout for more, so please send me screenshots at LSV@channelfireball.com. If I use yours, you even get $25 store credit!