Wednesday, March 13, 2013

BG Infect

“What if we didn’t go the PTQ this weekend?”
I about threw my phone across the room. I had been practicing for that PTQ for an entire week. Every day, for one hour, I played against myself; Splinter Twin versus any Modern deck I could mock-up. I put hours more thought into the cards, playing out various scenarios in my head, and going over and over the interactions in my head. Now it was Friday, the day before the tourney, and Mike doesn’t want to go!
I spent the next minute slowly realizing that I was actually totally fine with that. I was extremely nervous about it anyway. I’ve been playing competitively for almost a year, but I still have a long way to go when it comes to understanding triggers, timing, and etiquette. Not to mention that it would be surprising to find another English speaker at the tournament, and given that this would be my first Modern event, I was behind the eight ball when it came to knowing and understanding what a particular deck does. So, I texted him that it was fine and that I could play his Goblins deck.
Then it hit me. I have a mostly built BG Infect deck! After the stress of learning Splinter Twin, playing a deck that I not only knew well but was also actually mine was a relief. I spent Friday re-acquainting myself with the deck.
It seems that people usually play Infect as a turn two combo deck. I tried that out and felt that the combo was just way too unstable. Without counters, it was incredibly susceptible to, well, everything. So, we decided to make it a mid-range deck. We kept in Invigorates, Mutagenic Growths, and the Duresses, but also added things like Deathrite Shaman and, my favorite card in the deck, Virulent Wound to kill those pesky unflipped Delvers, Goblin Lackeys, and anything with x/1.
That Saturday morning I went to his apartment to put together a side-board, an experience worthy of its own article. It was far from a perfect side-board, but it worked. We had the ubiquitous Pithing Needle, but we over-loaded on graveyard hate because we were both afraid of Dredge and Reanimator.
So, then it was off to the tournament.
Our metagame favors lots of brews. A few net decks can be found here and there, but it’s mostly guys testing new stuff out, so you never know what you’ll find. Case in point, I never went up against anything that cast from the graveyard. Nothing. I met up with four combo decks and BUG. I crushed BUG, did okay against one combo deck (it was three games and I won the second), and not so well with the others. Tendrils was difficult since it’s essentially a race. Two of the decks played Dark Depths and then sac’ed Vampire Hexmage to put a 20/20 Indestructible Flying face-smasher into play.
The biggest problem I had, though, was against Cloudpost. I lost the first game because he Show and Tell’ed an Emrakul. Then, in the second game, he side-boarded in Glacial Chasm, which made my turn essentially Draw-Go. I lost both those games.
However, all in all, a 2-3 record isn’t bad for a deck’s first rodeo and a side-board that, until that morning, had contained a one-of Appetite for Brains.
For the next one, my side-board will contain more buffs so that my clock is faster. I think that’s the best way to handle comb and Red. Creature decks aren’t really a problem yet. We might add some Abrupt Decays, but the mana is a little heavy, since I’m playing four Inkmoth Nexuses, but might be doable.
Mainboard, I’ll be taking two Mutagenic Growths out, since they take Life to cast, and will be putting in two Pendalhavens, which will save my 1/1’s from Lightning Bolts and will also speed the clock up again.
All things being equal, I like Infect as a deck. It still has a ways to go, but it’s fun playing the cards no one ever really plays.