Data from a Scrub: Day Three (Swordcraft)

Took a break for the weekend, but I'm back to finish the rest of things off.  Fair warning, I fucking face planted today.  There aren't any cool miracle stories, just a series of Ls.

I left YuGiOh and yet NOW is when I run into Burst Stream of Destruction.

Match 1: VS. Dragoncraft.
Opening Hand: Odin, Jeno, Maid Leader.
Mulligan: N/A. Draw: Veteran Lancer, Lyrial.
Went: 2nd.
Result: Loss.

So, I made a HUGE mistake with this game.  I saw Odin and realized how useful he'd be against some of Dragoncraft's creatures and that I didn't wanna fish for him later, so rather than put him and Jeno back in the hopes of getting a hand that'd be useful early game, I just figured I'd rely on Maid Leader and whatever I drew between T1-T3 to make a board.  It's not that this was a BAD idea, it's just not a good idea against a deck that's your natural enemy.  I summoned Maid Leader while my opponent went: Unica, Grimnir, then Rahab and suddenly I was staring down a field of three wards with no monsters of my own.  From there it was all downhill--I tried to summon Floral Fencer to even things up but the best it could do was take out Grimnir, while they summoned Sybil and handed out more work than the unemployment office.

Even when I finally felt like I had my footing by Turn 9, they just tossed out Lightning Bolt and banished my entire field. I tried setting up wards to protect my life for a bit, but by then they had Grimnir, which took me from 9 life to 5 in a single move.  After that, despite summoning back to back Alberts I just got washed by a sudden Forte drop.  I felt like I didn't take the deck seriously enough as a threat to try and Mulligan for a stronger hand, and I didn't put creatures on the field worth trading with so they didn't respect them and just went to face.

Match 2: VS. Swordcraft
Opening Hand: Albert, Tsubaki x 2
Mulligan: Whole Souled-Swing x 2, Jeno.
Went: 1st. Draw: Veteran Lancer.
Result: Win.

Early game was just a bunch of trading--they were running more of an aggro build with a lot of Pompous Princess, Oathless Knight, and Quickbladers, so while at first I was upset I didn't have a decent curve by Turn 4 I was actually glad I had a bunch of two-drops so I could effectively keep their board pressure down. 

Mirror matches are always fun/funny to me, just watching how different players react in situations.  We both played Floral Fencer on evolve (because so often it's the best move), but while he traded only when he literally had no choice, I was focused on keeping his creatures down and only went face when I didn't have any other option.  His turn 6 was Alwida's Command and even though I had creatures on board he just left them there to burn his last evolve to swing 5 at face with the pirate.  This forced me to burn my last evolve on an "early" Albert and kill their Pirate/Viking board and leave them mostly defenseless.

This is why I switched from Aggro to Midrange honestly.  'Cause we kept going back and forth but it rarely ever felt like I had completely lost control of the match, though late game had a bunch of momentum shifts as we tried to outdo each other.  But I had a ton of wards like Roland and Veteran Lancer that slowed him down.  Finally it came down to him having an evolved but weakened Luminous Knight, Mage, and Floral Fencer on board while I had nothing...but it was Turn 10 and I had Grimnir in hand.  It wasn't enough to put him away, but he'd basically threw his entire hand out there in an attempt to wipe me out, so after that it was all she wrote.   If the whole "winning by Grimnir" leaves a bad taste in your mouth, don't worry...I get mine later.

Match 3: VS. Bloodcraft
Opening Hand: Albert, Odin, Grimnir.
Mulligan: Floral Fencer, Albert, Grimnir.
Went: 1st. Draw: Odin. 
Result: Won.

Re-drew my whole hand in the hopes of having an actual early game, but got both cards I traded away back anyway.  Anyhow, Bloodcraft matches are always tricky. I'm not sure what the percentages are, but for me it always feels roughly 50/50 if a bit slightly in my favor.  For instance here things were pretty straightforward--it's not that they didn't have cards to play on curve, it's that they never had the right cards.  A lot of Vampiric Kiss and Razory Claws instead of Vania and Veight, which stopped them from getting any worthwhile field presence until a Turn 4 Uriel was played...and I realized this was probably a budget build of the deck.   He didn't even touch my life until a Turn 8 Azazel reduced his life to 10...but without anything else to back it up, I followed up with a Turn 9 Albert and ended the game.  Wow, I sure hope ALL my matches are this easy!

Match 3: VS. Swordcraft
Opening Hand: Jeno, Floral Fencer, Albert
Mulligan: Jeno, Frontguard General, Luminous Mage
Went: 2nd.  Draw: Floral Fencer, Veteran Lancer
Result: Won.

Ugh. My oppnent opened up with Front Lines and I was immediately upset because I knew it could only be Ambush Frog.  I know this is a cute meme deck for everyone but there actually aren't that many ways for me to fight this deck besides rushing them really quickly.   The sad thing is, I honestly should've lost this game--my draws were terrible, as I failed to get a 1 or a 3 drop and saw my Lancer get popped by Whole-Souled Swing after and they backed up their 1/1 knight with a second Front Lines.  With no way to fight back, by Turn 5 they'd successfully gotten me down to 9 life via an Evolved Albert.   Unfortunately it seemed like they either drew poorly as well or they just didn't have a plan to fight against wards because after getting the Frog out on their Turn 7 and backing it up with a pair of Forge Weaponry and raising it's ATK to Alwida's Command caused them to just surrender.  Makes sense--they'd emptied their hand just to set up and unless their top deck was a Dance of Death they would've just had to run the Frog into my ward and lose him.  Meanwhile I had a T9 Albert coming up and a Frontguard General in hand for T8 just in case.

Still, as excited as I was for my three game winning streak, it was basically all downhill from here.

Match 4: VS. Shadowcraft
Opening Hand: Alwida's Command, Tsubaki, Floral Fencer.
Mulligan: Quickblader, Luminous Mage, Frontguard General. 
Went: 2nd.  Draw: Novice Trooper, Jeno.
Result: Lost.

Before Shadow got these buffs, Sword vs. Shadow used to be a fairly easy match up unless something went awry, generally always involving Death's Breath.  It's a bummer, but they outvalue you unless you curve out perfectly.   Here the lack of a 2 drop leads to them getting ahead of me in the trading game, as back to back Skull Beasts followed by a Catacomb on curve gave him the lead in terms of both creatures on field as well as shadows.  Having said that, I was still managed to keep things even between us as far as life for most of the mid game.  I wiped out Catacombs and its minions by putting Jeno on the board, which I kind of regret in hindsight since I had Floral Fencer in hand and didn't bother to use it to generate creatures to either go face or force them to trade.  I'm not sure what I was thinking there, since I just played Floral the following turn anyway.  

But overall the game actually went great all the way up to Turn 7, where they played Immortal Thane and I countered with an on-field Luminous Knight + Quickblader + Steelclad Knight from the turns prior to wipe their board clean.  Things were actually close until they put Wight King on board and blew up my Frontguard General with a boosted Zombie Party.  After that it was basically all downhill.  I responded by using Odin to banish Wight King, but they stopped me from nailing game on Turn 9 with my inhand Albert and remaining evolve by playing Spartoi Soldier.  Backed by an evolved Cerberus and the three zombies they got from Zombie Party the previous turn, they knocked my life down from 11 to 3 and there was nothing I could do to clear the field enough to save myself.  I was so close to winning that this actually got under my skin.  It's not even a card Midrange Shadow runs usually, so basically I lost to a perfectly played tech.  Which is fair play to the guy who did it but I was pissed.  I can take a loss on the chin, but this kinda left me tilted so instead of getting another few matches in and getting myself back in the groove I left for a bit.

Match 5: VS. Bloodcraft.
Opening Hand: -
Mulligan: -
Went: -
Result: Loss.

Another game that won't replay.  But remember how I said these games generally come down to who's curve is off more often than not?  Yeah.  Mine was trash, and so by the time I got things together they'd put me down. 

Found this on the SV reddit, actually!
Match 6: VS. Bloodcraft.
Opening Hand: -
Mulligan: -
Went: -
Result: Loss.

Another replay error.  This one was a much closer game but the end result was an L. I'm pretty pissed at this point because my lose streak is longer than my win streak.

Match 7: VS. Shadowcraft
Opening Hand: Luminous Mage, Jeno, Odin.
Mulligan:  Fangblade Slayer x 2, Albert.
Went: 1st. Draw: Alwida's Command.
Result: Loss.

I I have to say what happened here?  My hand was all late game cards, which really makes me wish I had Gawain and could test out his power. My first drop was Novice Trooper at 3, on a turn where I drew Frontguard General.  I basically had no curve until Turn 5, and while if I was up against a slower deck that would've been fine, this guy wasn't really going for it.  I dropped an evolved Albert at Turn 5, but they just popped their onfield Lurching Corpse with Soul Conversion and immediately got rid of the guy.  No matter how much I tried to place on field to wipe them out it never seemed to matter, there was always a counter.  Alwida's Command on Turn 6 got me hit with a Deathbrand and an evolved Grimnir.  Which reminds me--this wasn't even a proper Midrange Shadow deck.  It was Nephthys, so he got back to back Khawy, once through playing it and the other through a Nephthys drop. The first drop wiped my Frontguard General on Turn 8 when I killed it with Fangblade Slayer, then the Nepthys drop ruined what damage I managed to drop Turn 5 through 9.  His Turn 9 basically made it hopeless, with an active Nepthys and Mordecai, he countered my on field Roland and Fortress Guard with Deathbrand and Necromancy.   If Khawy hadn't boosted his life then I probably could've made things a bit closer but ultimately by that point it was too late to do anything else. 

This is probably the worst beatdown I've ever gotten.  Did you know if Urd pops Mordecai it actually creates TWO Mordecai?  I didn't, because I've never let it get this bad before.  Ugh.

Match 8: VS. Runecraft
Opening Hand: -
Mulligan: -
Went:Draw: -
Result: Loss.

I would have said that I stood a good chance of beating this guy, but as I recall a late game Arriety plus a boosted Blade Mage gave this guy the win at the last second when I was about to take him down.  At this point I'm not sure if I'm playing upset or if I've just got trash luck today.

Match 9: VS. Dragoncraft
Opening Hand: -
Mulligan: -
Went:  Draw:
Result: Loss.

I don't have this replay, but it was honestly just me getting stomped out by Dragon's ridiculous late game since early and mid game I can't put enough damage on the board.

Match 10: VS. Shadowcraft
Opening Hand: Albert, Frontguard Genral, Maid Leader
Mulligan: Fangblade Slayer, Odin, Maid Leader
Went: 1st.  Draw: Veteran Lancer.
Result: Loss.

Y'know, a lot of my losses lately have been coming from having shit draws and just as bad/worse redraws.  That tells me there's something wrong with my build, so starting from Day 5 I'll have made the necessary dust sacrifices to craft Gawain and see if that strengthens my midgame and makes late game a bit more tolerable. 

This game started out tolerable enough when I drew Veteran Lancer; I figured I'd pass on my first turn but by T2 and T3 my curve would've fixed itself.  But no, Turn 3 I just drew Alwida's Command and placed the start of when I could actually drop creatures at Turn 5 thanks to Maid Leader adding Luminous Mage to hand.  (My Turn 4 draw was Albert, so don't think it ever got better.)  They managed to put Shadow Reaper and Prince Catacombs on field on their turns 3 and 4, so despite putting Luminous Mage/Knight on field, I couldn't really clear their field how I wanted.  I couldn't get to their life since I was so busy trading, but by Turn 7 it didn't matter; I made the fatal mistake of placing Frontguard General on the field...and running into their Immortal Thane.  From there they just used the two wights to chip away at my life with the skeletons they generated from a Bone Chimera and the Prince Catacombs.  They started their eighth turn with me at six life...and just played Phantom Howl to get me down to 3 life, then backed that up with a Wight King and an Elta so none of my effects would trigger on Turn 9.

Match 11: VS. Shadowcraft
Opening Hand: Novice Trooper, Whole Souled Swing, Palace Fencer.
Mulligan: N/A  Draw: Odin
Went: 1st
Result: Loss.

An extra match to make up for the fact that 4 of them didn't replay.  I'm actually not too upset by this loss.   For one thing, it's just one L stacked on top of a day of them.  For another, I actually gave him a run for his money since we both kinda went aggro for much of the mid game so we finished up at Turn 7.    We had a slow enough opening that just had a bunch of trading, but eventually I just had Palace Fencer and Novice Trooper to his Bone Chimera and I just said fuck it and went face.  From there we just started trading.  He played Orthrus and blew up my Trooper then evolved his Chimera and swung for  damage and we were off.

Eventually it got down to the wire, with both of us keeping the other's field just clean enough to stall off lethal while inflicting damage.  By Turn 7 I made an arguably fatal mistake and played Tsubaki to destroy a buffed up, evolved skeleton instead of Frontguard General.  His field had the skeleton, two Orthrus, and another skeleton so I just decided to pop it and risk him having Eachtar or Cerberus. Of course, on his Turn 7 he had Cerberus and I just had 8 life left.    Four 1/1s plus Coco and Mimi wrapped things up.    I can't get too mad at this because he didn't really play much aside from Catacombs that he couldn't have pre Tempest.

And so that's how I finished my day...on a 3-9 losing streak.  It's not my finest hour by any means.


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