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Running the Modern Gauntlet – Next Level Faeries vs. Affinity

Normally, when I battle Owen in Running the Gauntlet, it’s awesome. I beat him soundly, and we go from there. Today, the shoe was on the other foot, and, well, you will see for yourself.

The matchup is Faeries against Affinity, using the same Faeries list:

[deck]3 Spellstutter Sprite
4 Tarmogoyf
2 Thirst for Knowledge
3 Vendilion Clique
2 Venser, Shaper Savant
4 Cryptic Command
3 Engineered Explosives
4 Path to Exile
4 Rune Snag
3 Spell Snare
2 Sword of Feast and Famine
2 Vedalken Shackles
3 Breeding Pool
2 Hallowed Fountain
7 Island
4 Misty Rainforest
4 Mutavault
4 Scalding Tarn
Sideboard
1 Flashfreeze
1 Relic of Progenitus
2 Negate
2 Krosan Grip
1 Glen Elendra Archmage
2 Sower of Temptation
1 Sword of Fire and Ice
2 Timely Reinforcements
2 Kataki, War’s Wage
1 Threads of Disloyalty[/deck]

He was using a mono-red Affinity list, and while I don’t know every number, it had at least 11 [card]Galvanic Blast[/card]s.

Channel LSV: Modern Gauntlet – Faeries vs. Affinity


Channel LSV: Modern Gauntlet – Affinity vs. Faeries


Preboard

This wasn’t pretty. I didn’t think game one would be this bad, but [card]Galvanic Blast[/card] continually ended my hopes and dreams. Affinity picking up a solid amount of reach really changed the dynamic. It used to be that if your U/x control deck could stabilize the board, victory would soon follow. All you really had to do was survive the early rush, and as long as you made sure you didn’t die to a surprise [card]Arcbound Ravager[/card], things tended to go your way. No more. Now, I lost game after game where the board was completely in my favor, solely due to burn spells. Add that to the fact that the counterspells pretty much all suck and most of your cards are on the slow side, and game one is certainly not good.

Sideboarding

After trying a few plans, here’s how I would board:

In

[draft]2 kataki, war’s wage
2 timely reinforcements
2 krosan grip
2 sower of temptation
[/draft]

Out

[draft]4 rune snag
2 sword of feast and famine
2 thirst for knowledge[/draft]

You are pretty close to wanting both the Threads and the [card]Glen Elendra Archmage[/card], but I didn’t want to add another 4-drop or cut any Vensers or Cryptics. Spellstutters are still fine, but Rune Snags are horrible, and Timely seems pretty sweet (plus the obvious Grips and Kataki’s).

Postboard

I really thought this would be favorable, but as well all know, Owen runs like a golden god. That, or it actually isn’t good for Faeries (you decide). In reality, the combination of a fast clock, [card]Blood Moon[/card], burn spells, [card]Blood Moon[/card], and the unfortunate circumstance that all of Faeries’ good sideboard cards are off-color ([card]Blood Moon[/card]), means that this is a tough one. It did feel like he had a lot of [card]Galvanic Blast[/card]s, but my draws were certainly good, and the game where I actually drew Kataki I definitely screwed up by running it out there too early. If you really wanted to improve this matchup, a third Kataki or a [card]Stony Silence[/card] might do the trick, as long as you have three total. [card]Blood Moon[/card] is still annoying, but Venser gives you some outs, and Repeal might be an option as well.

Seeing as how Affinity is definitely going to be a real deck, more work on this matchup is certainly warranted, as today’s games have shown. Tomorrow I get to play against Matt Nass in his element, which is to say playing combo!

LSV

Discussion

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