In this new series “What’s the Play?”, I will be looking in depth at different mulligans, board states, and more from the Team Disastra internal #what-do-i-do-here channel, screenshots from my own games, and screenshots from Twitter.

This time I will be featuring 2 screenshots from my own games played on stream at potwasher.

Game 1: Mid Sword Mirror

You’re in a Mid Sword mirror going 2nd on Turn 2. What do you do?

If you play out your own Hedgehog in response, you instantly lose the board to Lancer of the Tempest. If the opponent plays a Holy Bear Knight, you cannot full clear the board with just Lancer of the Tempest + Hedgehog next turn.

If you play out Holy Bear Knight, the opponent is likely to have a rush follower to clear it, and you are able to empty the board turn 3 using Lancer of the Tempest.

If you pass the turn and the opponent does not have Holy Bear Knight, Lancer of the Tempest will be able to value trade over a 1/3 Hedgehog and contest the opponent’s 3 mana play.

If the opponent has a Holy Bear Knight, Lancer of the Tempest must remove the ward and this leaves a 2/3 Hedgehog in play and Valse evo + 1pp Spellbomb is likely forced out on turn 4. Any of Luminous Mage, Frontline Cavalier, Gawain on turn 5 is likely a loss.

Play Holy Bear Knight.

In this situation, I always recommend playing out the Holy Bear Knight turn 2. You’re likely to be able to neutralize the board turn 3, and turn 4 going first the opponent usually only plays out 1 follower that Valse can evo over. If the opponent evo’s over Valse, you may be able to find tempo with 1pp Fatal Spellbomb + evo on turn 5 or 6.

In the unlikely case that the opponent does not play a rush follower or Holy Bear Knight, simply value trade Lancer of the Tempest over the 1/3 Hedgehog.

If the opponent plays Mars, you can ignore it and still value trade Lancer of the Tempest into the 1/3. Mars on 3 going first is not scary unless they played Chromatic Duel on turn 1.

Holy Bear Knight on 2 will always let you play out a game without significant disadvantage going into the mid-game, and the best case scenario for Lancer of the Tempest is not significantly better than the typical result when going for Holy Bear Knight. You still take an average of 2 damage from the opponent’s 3 mana card going face. 2 damage might be worth more than being able to keep an additional Holy Bear Knight in hand.

Game 2. Portal vs Ramp Dragon

The game went as follows:

Turn Dragon (First) Portal (Second)
2 Dragon Oracle Magisteel Lion
3 Roy, Blazing Breath on Lion Fervent Machine Soldier
4 Dragon Life Blade (+1pp), Whitewyrm

I’d like to draw as many cards as possible, put more Analyzing Artifacts into my deck, and try to find important value cards like Deus ex Machina and Hakrabi.

The most important thing to consider is what kind of board clears dragon can have on 7pp. Possibilities include 5pp Wrath Drake for 1 damage, Conflagration, Force of the Dragonewt, Zirnitra. All of these cards typically don’t see play as more than a 2-of in Ramp Dragon lists, so it’s important to set up a wide board to push a lot of damage if they don’t have one of these cards and instead ramp more with something like Sybil or Aiela.

Play done:

1) Biofabrication Analyzing Artifact
2) Hamelin Analyzing Artifact
3) Acceleratium
4) Analyzing hit into 2/2 (drew into Analyzing Artifact)
5) play Analyzing Artifact, evo Icarus over 2/1 (drew into Analyzing Artifact)

End state:

The most important part of executing this turn was to identify what you could fit into the turn using the pp-cheating effects of Biofabrication and Acceleratium and ordering the start of the turn correctly using Hamelin and Biofabrication. Icarus evo must be at the end of the play in order to fit in everything this turn.

Possible variations on the play:

Because I was fortunate enough to draw into another Analyzing Artifact before using the Icarus, another option would have been to hit into the Whitewyrm using Analyzing Artifact. This could open up the possibility of drawing into a different 2pp 2/2 follower, after which it was possible to go for Fervent Machine Soldier evo face setting up a 5 health follower that would withstand Conflagration. The next turn could then start with Icarus evo.

With this line of play without drawing into another 2pp 2/2, Icarus evo in place as a 4/4 follower over 4/2 is better against Force of the Dragonewt, 2nd Blazing Breath, 2nd Roy, Star Phoenix, or if the opponent turned out to be PDK dragon.

However, I chose this line of play as it kept artifacts in hand for removal or filling the board the next turn. It’s also important to note that if the opponent played any of those cards, it would make it more difficult to fit in Sybil or Galua and Dragon’s Nest.

The 2 unplayable Magna Legacies in hand also incentivized squeezing out as much value as possible from the hand.

In the open decklist format incorporated in most big Western tournaments, play around what your opponent is running in their deck.