New Matchup Primers and SoLaS Thoughts

My initial experiences on MTGO have been largely very positive. Once I learned the basics of the client and how my deck worked, things were pretty great. On two days in the past week or so, I sat down and played a GP worth of matches from the comfort of my bedroom. I can’t really put a value on the amount of extra testing I’m getting in, but it’s certainly more than the $0 I’m putting into the program now that I have a deck. I’m “going infinite” so to speak in terms of value in the Legacy Leagues, so unless I hit a cold streak or the meta shifts, my practice is paying for itself and slowing saving up for other ventures.

I say my experience has largely been positive because setting up a stream has been a nightmare. MTGO inexplicably stopped connecting on one of my laptops. I followed their recommended fix guide to no avail. Whatever, I have a backup laptop. I ordered a new battery for that and got sent the wrong part. Whatever, that’s annoying, but still fine. OBS (the streaming program) streams everything on my screen except MTGO. *tilt* What I’m getting at is the stream is going to be delayed a bit until my tech issues are resolved. I’m working on them, but Zapdos isn’t going to catch itself… I’ll probably give OBS Classic a shot in a few days and see if that works better.

As my apology for falling behind my anticipated schedule, I’ve vastly updated the matchup section of the site. You’ll now find brand new primers for Grixis Delver, Czech Pile, Sneak and Show, Turbo Depths, and RB Reanimator. Enjoy!

For those of you have been known me for years, my hatred for Sword of Light and Shadow in D&T is pretty well known. I think that card is straight garbage. It usually comes in for the same matchups as Rest in Peace, making it hard to get a creature back. Swords to Plowshares also exiles your critters, which also makes it pretty hard to get something back. That means you are playing the sword almost purely for protection, with the random upside of gaining three life. Cool. There’s a good reason why I pushed Sword of War and Peace so hard during the Miracles era. When I played Sword of War and Peace, that sucker was melting people left and right. SoLaS is just disappointing in comparison.

Andrew Calderon hyped up this card a ton in our interview, as did my friend Don Donelson, so I decided to give it another shot. I stand by all of my statements. Against decks like Czech Pile, Grixis Delver, and Maverick it comes in alongside Rest in Peace, and that was frequently awkward. Against Miracles and other Swords to Plowshares decks, it doesn’t really get critters back as intended either. In all of the games I have played with it, I think I have successfully returned a creature in about 3 games.

I say all of that, yet it’s still in my deck. I don’t think SoLaS is objectively a good card, but it fills a weird set of overlapping roles that no other card really does. Against Czech Pile, it is a really threatening card. It invalidates otherwise useful blockers like Baleful Strix while incidentally getting creatures out of range of red removal and shutting off Fatal Push as an option. Against Grixis Delver, it walls or pushes through Gurmag Angler, who is a problem for cards not named Mirran Crusader. Against Miracles, the mirror, and Stoneblade, despite being very noticeably worse than SoWaP, it still gives protection from white; that matters.

If you are lucky enough to start getting creatures back with SoLaS, you are most certainly taking over that game. Let’s make that clear. Chump blocking with Recruiter of the Guard and redeploying it after a SoLaS trigger does feel pretty great. Bringing back an army of disposable Flickerwisps is disgusting.

Even when SoLaS isn’t firing on all cylinders, the role it plays as a card is probably important enough to keep around. I don’t like this card, but I’m not going to ignore how useful it has been. I board it in very frequently, and I do often fetch it first when I board it in. I want to be playing SoWaP (I miss the OHKO with Crusader and the percentage points against combo), but I begrudgingly admit that SoLaS is probably correct. The board also doesn’t have room for two pieces of equipment, so doing something else like running Sword of Feast and Famine alongside Sword of War and Peace isn’t viable.

About the Author

Phil Gallagher

View Posts →