Last week’s scenario was sent in by Brad Nelson, and it’s from a game that you definitely have a fighting chance of winning.
There are plenty of ways this turn can play out, but focusing on what you want to accomplish is the most efficient way to narrow the options down. In this case, I think that killing Thunderbreak Regent is the most important goal. Not only does that ease the pressure on your life total, but it also is important to use Dromoka’s Command while the opponent is tapped out in order to guarantee that the fight mode works.
Playing more heroic creatures is just not necessary, as all of them are fairly mediocre until you start buffing them, and if you cast both Dromoka’s Commands, you will have a substantial amount of power on the board.
Lastly, in order to kill the Thunderbreak, you have to cast both Commands, so that’s all I’m going to evaluate. I also think you can rule out any play that starts with attacking, because no sane opponent will make any kind of blocks.
After cracking Windswept Heath for Forest, my first instinct was to check if Battlewise Hoplite could take down both opposing creatures. There’s more of a reward for targeting it because of the scrys you get, but it doesn’t survive multiple battles. It would be wise to avoid this line.
My next inclination was to have Hoplite fight Soulfire Grand Master, making Hoplite a 3/3 to win the fight while giving the Trailblazer a +1/+1 counter (which is really two because of heroic). You can then have the Trailblazer get a second counter and fight Thunderbreak. Both enemy creatures are dead, and you end up with a 3/3 Hoplite and a 4/8 Traiblazer.
The actual best line was what Grand Prix Las Vegas Top 16 competitor Pat Cox told me to do, which involves the max number of +1/+1 counters generated. The key is to target your creatures the most times, which almost feels like something this deck was built to do.
With the first Command, target Battlewise Hoplite and Thunderbreak Regent with the fight mode and Lagonna-Band Trailblazer with the +1/+1 counter mode. Let both heroic triggers resolve, but don’t let the Command resolve. Once the heroic triggers have resolved, use the second Command to target the Hoplite with the +1/+1 counter mode and the Trailblazer with the fight mode, targeting Soulfire Grand Master.
The Hoplite becomes a 5/5, then defeats Thunderbreak Regent. The Trailblazer becomes a 3/7 and defeats Soulfire Grand Master. Your opponent goes to 23 and you go to 10 after lifelink and the Regent trigger, but you then get to attack for 8 and you have two legitimate threats in play (plus you got to scry twice).
I’ll be back soon with another scenario!
I’m now offering $25 in Channelfireball store credit to anyone whose play I use, so please send me screenshots from interesting play decisions at [email protected]