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Taking on a Standard RCQ with Atraxa Reanimator


I have been on fire this Standard qualifier season. Two tournaments, two Top 8 finishes and I was one match away from qualifying. With the new set, Murders at Karlov Manor (which could be better), I decided to play something new as opposed to my tried and true Four-Color Control deck featuring Up the Beanstalk, and Chrome Host Seedshark.

I grabbed a reanimator list that I really liked and switched out three enabling cards (Otherworldly Gaze and Fallaji Archaeologist) for The Ancient One. Thanks to Jim Davis for covering this.

Unfortunately, I got destroyed. I will go over how it happened after the deck list. With many locals in Denver for the Regional Championship and another RCQ that day we had 11 people for a 2-slot qualifier. I went 0-3. This was the first RCQ event after the new set came out, and the field was dominated by aggressive decks. At least seven decks were Aggro with two being Boros and two being Mono-Red.

My deck was well positioned against the midrange that had been showing up in high numbers previously. Next week I will be playing a Orzhov (bw) aggressive deck stuffed with life gain with cards like Preacher of the Schism, Amalia Benavides Aguirre, Voice of the Blessed, and Deep-Cavern Bat. The goal is to keep up with the high speed while having enough life gain and creatures to grow large to out compete what the field was playing.

Round 1 - Against Cauldron Combo

I really like the deck that I came up against here. As I read that sentence back, I really don't like how the person playing the deck is removed from the equation and how at times Magic: The Gathering removes the player when we say things like "I came up against this deck." /rant off. I would play and try this deck myself if Agatha's Soul Cauldron wasn't so highly priced. Dropping $220+ on four copies just to probably not play it seems excessive.

Anyways, I won the die roll and chose to draw. I figure that turn three or turn four Atraxa will just win so many games that I would prefer to have the extra card to try and get there. With playing consider, and having the card draw, it makes keeping some one-land hands viable, and I did that in this game. With my card draw and the one land + Consider + goodies in my hand, I would have 4 opportunities to draw a second land to not miss a land drop. Quite the unlikely scenario.

So, I missed my second land drop and discarded One with the Multiverse. I still would have had a turn five reanimation which would set me up to win most matches, but he combo killed me on turn five.

In Game 2, I was able to establish some control thanks to drawing 2 Negates, the first of which I used on Tyvar, Jubilant Brawler and the second I used on an Agatha's Soul Cauldron. I was able to do the normal thing that I do to win, but I screwed up. The correct play would have been to attack with my Atraxa, then Terror Tide (he had lethal combo capability on the table) and play another Atraxa. Instead I did my combo to mill his entire deck, and as I was passing the turn, I realized that his combo didn't require him to leave his upkeep. In this game, I went through about two-thirds of my deck before seeing a Squirming Emergence.

Squirming Emergence



Round 2 - Against Dinosaurs

Intrepid Paleontologist is a major problem for me since it can remove cards from my graveyard. In Game 1, that combined with a fast clock thanks to big dinos led to a loss.

Game 2 went a little bit better, but it was strange as I utilized squirming emergence to bring back The Ancient One despite having a filled graveyard. The Ancient One was delayed by a Paleontologist dropping my descend level below 8, but then it was able to survive the -7/-7 Terror Tide.

Game 3 I just got run over. Demolished.


Round 3 - Against Boros Aggro, matched up against somebody 1-1

Game 1, I was overrun getting down to 8 until Atraxa hit the table.

Game 2 and Game 3 are a blur, but the Boros deck was too consistently fast for me to deal with.

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