The Mulligan Show: Episode Seven
It’s happening again folks. I can feel that familiar mix of hype and dread shimmering through the community. Seasonals is just a week away and the age-old plaintive call is going out. “What do I play for my third deck?” Today we’re going to look at some of the matchups and mulligans between the top contenders of the current meta, and maybe that’ll give you some ideas. If you’re new to this series, hit that first spoiler, otherwise let’s get straight into stage one.
Here’s how this is going to work. For each stage I’ll be the one setting it. I’ll describe our deck, our opponent’s deck, our opening hand, and any other factors that I find relevant to the decision making process. Then you try to decide what you would mulligan, and more importantly why you would do so.
After you’ve got that answer, or if you just want to watch instead of participating, go ahead and pop open the spoiler tag underneath and see if we agree. At the end hit me up in the comments or drop by my stream later if we have conflicting opinions and you think I got it wrong. I am always down to learn new things.
Also take note that these scenarios will often intentionally be designed to be at least a little bit tricky. Don’t just go with your gut reaction but take at least a few seconds to think through the ramifications before you decide. Ready? Let’s jump into it.
This is a matchup I expect to see a lot of on the main stage of seasonals. We’re going to be playing Sion with the attack token against an opponent whos plan is nothing but Plunder. Our first four cards are Mystic Shot, Get Excited!, Zaunite Urchin, and Sump Dredger. What are we keeping and what is going the way of the dodo?
Against the plunder deck our number one priority, especially with the attack token, is to keep them off their triggers. If we can make it to turn seven without letting them level their champions then our big overwhelm units will have a serious chance to take over the game without getting frozen out.
What that means is that while in many situations keeping removal in a proactive aggressive deck that generally wants to use it as burn is wrong, in this specific case I think Mystic Shot is an important keep. Since our opponent doesn’t have the turn one attack token their options for how to get their trigger on turns one and two are quite limited. We can limit those further by not allowing cards like Parrrley or and untriggered Jagged Butcher to get value.
If we keep our Mystic Shot and decline to play Zaunite Urchin on turn one unless our opponent makes a play first, then they only have a couple of sequences that will give them their turn one and two triggers which is very good for us.
The other two are a little bit over-comittal and we need to find things that can be discarded for value so they are headed back. Hopefully we’ll find something that the urchin synergizes well with so we don’t have to discard any real cards when we drop her down.
Now we’ve brought our trusty Radiant Sivir deck, but the enemy has the attack token and Poppy/ Ziggs which is a pretty scary prospect. Our first four cards are Treasure Seeker, Sharpsight, Sivir, and Concerted Strike. What lines do we need to look at to figure out our keep?
To win against our opponents value heavy aggressive burn deck we’ve really got two options. We can either trade down extremely aggressively and hope to out tempo them in the midgame turns, or we can get a Radiant Guardian online and protect it. Treasure Seeker fits both of those gameplans beautifully so it’s a snap keep, the rest are tough.
Sharpsight is a good card to have if you already have a couple of early plays, as in this matchup it effectively functions like a two mana removal spell. However, with only a one drop I think it’s got to go back. Concerted Strike while amazing is simply too expensive and is also going to go in the nope pile on this particular go around.
Sivir is tough though. In many of our plan-A gameplans she is extremely important, pivotal even. However she does nothing really to help our Radiant Guardian plan. I think in this matchup we win significantly more through that plan than the other, so we should mulligan for it as heavily as possible unless we already have a fully made hand for our plan-A. So the only keep here is our treasured lass, everything else is getting thrown away.
For our last today we’re going to play Poppy/Zed rally. We’ve managed to snag the attack token and our opponent is on Lee Sin. Our deck offers us Poppy, Fleetfeather Tracker, Brightsteel Protector, and Nopeify! What are we keeping to turn the pressure up on our control/combo opponent?
This is a favorable matchup for us, but don’t let that make you sloppy. Even things that are supposed to be good for us can swing harshly if we play or mulligan incorrectly. Our first two feel pretty solid. Our opponent isn’t likely to pressure us that hard and Poppy and the bird is good ways to start our gameplan rolling so let’s hang onto those.
Brightsteel Protector is very solid. However, it’s generally better used as either a defensive tool or a tempo tool when we don’t have the attack token so it can help out a challenger unit or a champion. In this matchup, I would throw it back.
Our last card looks like it wants to get thrown back as well, given that we usually want to use it to stop removal spells and our opponent’s deck is notoriously short on those. However, looks can be deceiving. In this case Nopeify! is *our* removal spell, stopping a Crescendum and potentially ending the game on the spot. Given that we already have a creature or two I will keep this and be happy with it.
... how did your decisions match up against mine through it all? You with me, learned something, maybe think I am crazier than Bandle City’s mayor?
I’m always interested to hear feedback in comments so hit me up here, or on my stream or Twitter at twitch.tv/xxwhatamixx or @xxwhatamixx respectively. And as always, I’ll see you out there on the ladder.