I’ve documented the brainstorming behind my Sisters Of Stone Death creature-less list in past posts, and I thought I would finish up the series today with a decent play-by-play of the deck in action. Last night’s game did not disappoint in the slightest; I would count this game among the top five games of EDH I have ever played. Let’s dive right in, shall we?
I sat down last night at Worlds Apart with the deck as I last posted it; I did not find the time or space to wedge in Life’s Finale, Ancient Craving, or Ambition’s Cost, and I decided I wanted to really run the deck through its’ paces as it stood before doing any final fine-tuning. (Hang on until the end for some final notes on the deck and what might be changing.)
The four-person table, in order:
-Myself with Sisters
For reference, we used the points system from Tuesday’s post.
I started off strongly, tabling a Sensei’s Divining Top turn one, but making it obsolete turn two with Sylvan Library. Oros landed an early Oath Of Lieges to ensure the table would be seeing constant land drops, and followed it up with a Sol Ring. Things stayed mostly quiet for a few turns, until Mayael played In The Web Of War. I drew into Relic Crush and immediately destroyed it, keeping the dream alive of scoring a point for “first blood” with a creature with a converted mana cost of eight. Dromar quietly played Night Dealings, following up with a Sword Of Light And Shadow.
The dream was crushed when Mayael found Fires Of Yavimaya and Eternal Witness, getting back a cycled Krosan Tusker and hitting me with a hasty two points of damage for a point. I had to settle for the non-combat damage “First Blood pt. 2” variant, wasting a Soul Burn on the Mayael player directly in retaliation and playing Hunting Wilds for Bayou and Overgrown Tomb. I finished my turn by playing Harmonize to refill my hand. Oros made a statement with Death Pit Offering and Precursor Golem; Dromar arguably then did one better by targeting him with Bribery and grabbing Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite, but I promptly Putrefy-ed it during his end step.
When my turn hit, I played out Mimic Vat and followed it with Consume Spirit on the Eternal Witness Mayael had, imprinting it and immediately using it to get back the Putrefy. Mayael played Root Greevil and passed. Oros decided my board position was too threatening, and played Bojuka Bog targeting my graveyard to shut off my Vat shenanigans. He finished up by sending his Golem team at Dromar for ten points of damage. Dromar transmuted Tolaria West to find High Market, then equipped his general with the Sword and swung at me; in response, I Putrefy-ed the Sword and took six. I drew and passed, and Mayael then popped the Greevil to kill black enchantments. Dromar activated Night Dealings in response to find Austere Command before sending it to the graveyard. Mayael played his general and Garruk, Primal Hunter before using it to make a beast token, and then swung his team at Dromar.
Oros untapped and sent his Golem team back in, directing one at Dromar, and two at Garruk to attempt to kill it off , but a block saved the planeswalker. He followed up with Homura, Human Ascendant before targeting my Mimic Vat and Library with a main-phase Return To Dust. I responded by using the Vat one last time to get back Putrefy again, and then played Necromancy at instant-speed, targeting the False Prophet that had worked it’s way into Oros’ yard. The end of turn trigger sent the Necro to the yard, and the Prophet trigger wiped the board. Best instant-speed exile wrath ever.
Dromar set to immediate work rebuilding, finding a Mulldrifter and Solemn Simulacrum. I drew and passed, and Mayael went promptly nuts, dropping Rampaging Baloths and Skaarg, the Rage Pits. He made another beast and sent attackers at everyone; I decided to play the spoiler and aimed my Putrefy at the Baloth to prevent him from receiving two points for dealing us all combat damage in one turn. (To be fair, I also was itching to play the Rise From The Grave that was in my hand, and needed a good target…) Mayael played his general again and passed.
Oros simply drew and passed to Dromar, who was able to sneak an aerial attack in to kill off Garruk, and followed by playing a Rune-Scarred Demon. I was now kicking myself for wasting the Putrefy, but had to settle for Explosive Vegetation and (finally) Sisters into play on my turn.
Mayael then played Venomspout Brackus. (Go ahead…look it up. I didn’t know what the hell it did either.) He sent his new team out for payback. Dromar took a beast hit, but Oros dropped a timely White Sun’s Zenith to block Mayael and the other beast. On his turn, he played his general out to join the new team of cats he had, and passed to Dromar, who drew from Tidings, evoked a Shriekmaw to kill the Venomspout, and sent in his team for ten damage to Mayael.
I finally got to use Sisters, luring and removing Oros from the game. I played Rise From The Grave and grabbed Mayael’s graveyard, intent on the Baloth, but found a Spearbreaker Behemoth he’d somehow binned earlier in the game. That seemed much better. I passed to Mayael, who didn’t disappoint by following up with a Drumhunter and a Laccolith Titan. (By now, the Mayael player is winning all sorts of awards for “Cards I’ve Never Seen In Play Anywhere Ever Before.”) He sent the Titan at me, knowing that the Spearbreaker block would allow him to get rid of Dromar’s Rune-Scarred Demon, but the plan was foiled with a timely Momentary Blink on the Demonic Tutor on legs. (Er…wings?) Oros replayed his general and passed on his turn.
Dromar decided to go for position, playing Crucible Of Worlds and Swiftfoot Boots and swinging with the Demon to keep it tapped and out of Sisters range. I untapped and sent Ashes To Ashes at Oros and the Demon, trying to bait out the Momentary Blink flashback. It worked, but he sacrificed it to High Market to prevent Sisters from taking the Demon home anyway.
Mayael continued to vomit out massive amounts of threats, playing Rakeclaw Gargantuan and sending his team back in. Again, my Spearbreaker blocked the Titan, which blew Dromar’s Mulldrifter out of the sky. Oros untapped and opted to pass rather than pay the inflated tax on his general again. Dromar took the opportunity to play his own Sol Ring, following it up with Archon Of Justice, equipping the rattlesnake with his Boots to keep it out of Sisters’ grasp. With no plays, I untapped, drew and played Mystifying Maze, and passed.
Mayael managed to resurrect his Baloth, and added a Copperhoof Vorrac to his ample team. All-in again, the Baloth, Titan, and Vorrac headed in my direction, and beasts charged at Dromar. At low life, Dromar played Quicken into Austere Command to clear the board of creatures. My trusty Spearbreaker saved Sisters before heading off to exile, courtesy of the Archon trigger. At the end of the turn, Oros Enlightened Tutor-ed up Sacred Mesa, which was played as soon as he untapped.
Dromar hit the ground running again, rebuilding with a Sun Titan targeting his Sword of Light And Shadow. I responded with Suffer The Past targeting his graveyard, which was countered with Draining Whelk. It resolved, leaving Dromar with a 15/15 Whelk that promptly grabbed the Sword and Swiftfoot Boots and hammered Oros for eighteen points of damage.
At this point, I decided to try to go for it. I untapped and targeted the Dromar player with Corrupt, which was enough for lethal thanks to the Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth that he had played a few turns back. I then fired off a Profane Command, forcing Mayael to lose fifteen life and giving my Sisters fear; they swung at Oros, who was at six and couldn’t block, and I ended my turn with two eliminations and two more points.
Mayael untapped and activated his general’s ability, summoning Phantom Nishoba. Thanks to the Fires Of Yavimaya that somehow was still on the table, I took a solid fourteen points of damage, and he went up to twenty-two in the exchange. I untapped and drew Demonic Tutor. I sent Sisters in for seven, and weighed my options; my Tutor could find me Exsanguinate, but I would only be able to deal fourteen damage with it, two short of lethal after he sacrificed something to his High Market. I believe this is where the wheels fell off for me, as I opted instead to grab and play Plague Wind.
Mayael untapped and re-played his general to summon Meglonoth, which grew to a 7/7 due to Oran-Rief, the Vastwood and swung in to drop me to ten. I untapped and drew land. Luring the Meglonoth, I attacked, removed and reanimated it, but not before taking seven damage in the process. I dropped to three and passed. Mayael drew and played Breath Of Life, getting back an Ashen Firebeast and sitting back to play defense.
I again drew a blank, and sent in Sisters and Meglonoth, with my gorgon first luring Mayael and the Firebeast. He had the mana to use the Firebeast to deal five damage, killing Sisters and Mayael, but still took six from Meglonoth. I replayed Sisters and passed, banking on him drawing a blank to keep the numerical advantage on my side.
Mayael untapped, realized he had a Strip Mine in play and took out my Maze, and activated the Firebeast to kill off Sisters before passing back to me. At this point, I punted the game completely. Untapping and drawing Abundance for no immediate help, I Strip-ed his Skaarg and swung in with Meglonoth, thinking I could pin him for six and replay Sisters, putting him in range of a lethal attach from either creature the following turn.
Now, astute readers will immediately note that when you forget about Fires Of Yavimaya’s second ability, you end up running your 6/6 Meglonoth into a now 8/8 Ashen Firebeast, who can then simply deal five to Sisters on the following turn and open a path for lethal combat damage. Go me.
Had I instead held back on the attack, I would have forced Mayael to play defense by continuing to kill Sisters with the Firebeast, hopefully buying me a critical turn or two to find more removal; as it turns out, naming “non-land” with Abundance the following turn would have netted me this:
C’est la vie, je suppose…
CLOSING THE CHAPTER
I simply don’t have a deck that can match Sisters in sheer ‘fun-to-play’ value. In practice, the lack of creatures doesn’t seem to hurt the deck at all, and it demonstrates a surprising ability to keep the board clear of threats. Sisters herself is also a surprisingly-strong threat despite costing eight mana to play; she comes down and immediately affects the board, forcing people to attack left and right with everything they have to prevent her from stealing anything. She’s a fantastic game motivator, for those of you who appreciate full-on aggro. The deck is built to accelerate mana as well, so I had no trouble playing and replaying Sisters four or five times over. Pretty fantastic.
The only particular weaknesses that I can forsee for this deck would be dedicated combo builds, and focused token lists; to that end, I might consider going slightly heavier on tutors (I could add in things like Beseech The Queen or Diabolic Tutor) to be able to dig out answers a bit better. As I said above, some extra draw wouldn’t hurt, and I’m considering upping the mass-removal count too; I think this deck would love Overwhelming Forces. (I’m fully accepting late Christmas presents, FYI…)
Otherwise, I think I’m perfectly happy closing the door on this chapter at this point and giving my beloved gorgon sisters a permanent home in my quiver. Good times.
I also had a pretty epic experience with my revamped Kresh list last night, so we’ll need to take a look there sometime very soon. We’re also going to look at a ‘Deck Doctor’ challenge from fellow EDH blogger Viperion; I enlisted our resident friend-to-GDC and EDH mad scientist Patrick to give me a hand tearing down Viperion’s Isperia list, and we’re (ahem) scrutinizing as we speak, so stay tuned. (Yeah, yeah…shaddup.)
Thanks for dropping by, everyone!