Friday, March 06, 2020

February Arena Progress Update

At the beginning of February I talked about how I was trying two new decks, the UW Dream Trawler control and the mono Red Embercleave decks. I also decided to tip my toe into Best of Three ladder climbing instead of Best of One. Here is my report.

First off, by the end of the month I made Platinum again. Considering I was not trying to aggressively climb I was happy with that result.

Secondly, Best of Three is exhausting! I found it a lot more stressful trying to figure out what to swap in and out for matches two and three, and the time commitment against a slow control deck could be as much as 30 -50 minutes! Also, I discovered that there were a lot more control decks in Bo3 compared to Bo1 where aggressive decks seemed more prominent. Over time I found myself drifting back to Bo1.

Thirdly, my early success rate for both decks was not great. My mono-Red was 59% (23-16) and my Trawler deck was an abysmal 42% (11-15). This might have been compounded by being in Bo3 and not being experienced at sideboarding for the UW deck. Halfway through the month I switched to another version of the mono-Red embercleave deck and focused on Bo1 and was much more successful, going 23-9 for a 72% win rate.

Deck
4 Runaway Steam-Kin (GRN) 115
4 Light Up the Stage (RNA) 107
4 Scorch Spitter (M20) 159
4 Bonecrusher Giant (ELD) 115
3 Embercleave (ELD) 120
4 Fervent Champion (ELD) 124
4 Rimrock Knight (ELD) 137
4 Robber of the Rich (ELD) 138
3 Torbran, Thane of Red Fell (ELD) 147
4 Castle Embereth (ELD) 239
4 Anax, Hardened in the Forge (THB) 125
18 Mountain (THB) 285
Sideboard
1 Experimental Frenzy (GRN) 99
3 Lava Coil (GRN) 108
1 Tibalt, Rakish Instigator (WAR) 146
2 Chandra, Acolyte of Flame (M20) 126
4 Unchained Berserker (M20) 164
3 Redcap Melee (ELD) 135 
It felt competitive in every match when I was not mana-flooded and could steal the occasional match with a surprise Embercleave. If I was solely interested in climbing the ranks I would probably use this deck in Best of One matches.

But we're in March and I wanted to try something new. I wanted to really push into Best of Three and mean in and I wanted a deck that could go toe to toe with the control decks there. One of the latest hotness around is Temur Clover and since it uses a few cards I have and I needed to craft only a handful of rares, I decided to try it out.

The basic idea is run them over with Lovestruck Beast, Bonecrusher Giant, and Beanstalk Giant and everything else is support to get you there. Lucky Clover is a force multiplier for the spells on the Eldraine cards, Escape to the Wilds is surprisingly a "don't always need it" card to search for things you need. Fae of Wishes is the big value even by themselves but really is game winning when combined with 1-2 Lucky Clovers. Excuse me while I get from the sideboard two cards I need to dismantle you.

Eight matches in and I'm only 50% win rate but I'm still getting the hang of this deck so I'm not worried yet. A good thing about this deck is I don't really need to sideboard between games as they are better off in the sideboard where the Fae can fetch them.

I'm really liking this deck as I learn it. Will report on my progress with it in a couple weeks.

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