Feature: Big Plays on Campus

Posted in Event Coverage on June 10, 2011

By Josh Bennett

There are a lot of haymakers being thrown in Block Constructed this weekend. The field seems to be tilted towards big, splashy cards, resulting in a lot of monstrous affairs.

There are equal amounts of hype and hope out there for Birthing Pod decks, but I saw one player working both ends of the life-cycle by throwing Mimic Vat into the mix. Even better, he'd stuck a Phyrexian Metamorph underneath, so he had a steady stream of exciting copies to ramp all the way up to Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite.

Metamorphs are everywhere this weekend, although I haven't seen anyone brave enough to sacrifice space in their White Weenie deck for the three-card combo of Suture Priest, Leonin Relic-Warder, and Phyrexian Metamorph for infinite life. Kenny Öberg, however, has been using it to stunning effect, copying Spine of Ish Sah. He can blow up a permanent, sacrifice the Metamorph-Spine to Phyrexia's Core, return it to his hand, and then either pull off Spine recursion at a discount or copy something else, as needed.

Two-for-ones (or better) are the order of the day. Whether it's Blade Splicer, Elspeth Tirel, and Hero of Bladehold for beatdown decks, Skinrender and Oxidda Scrapmelter as removal, or even Ichor Wellspring, Mycosynth Wellspring, and Phyrexia's Core to grind out card advantage, everyone's drawing cards. Of course, at the value buffet no one's deck is more stacked than Tsuyoshi Fujita. He's all Trinket Mages, Horizon Spellbombs, Entomber Exarchs, and Black Sun's Zeniths, topping out on everyone's favorite draw engine, Consecrated Sphinx.

In a Keystone Kops sequence that's bound to come up more than once this weekend, I got to witness a game of Consecrated Sphinx Chicken. Unable to remove his opponent's Consecrated Sphinx, one player was forced to play his own and pass the turn. His opponent untapped, and drew his card for the turn.

The first player decided to draw two. The other got two triggers, and resolved the first, drawing two more cards. Now they went back and forth, stacking up unresolved triggers and drawing more and more cards. They hit up to more than twenty-five in hand before the untapped player put a stop to things. He had finally drawn his Dispatch. Now they just needed to resolve the twenty or so Sphinx Triggers still on the stack and make sure they each had exactly the cards they wanted.

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