Sunday, June 17, 2018

Should you play around pump spells in Limited?

Let’s say my opponent attacks a 1/1 into a 2/2 in Limited. Can I play around it? I can just not assing blockers and take 1 damage. But, should I do it? Usually not. If you take a hit now your problem will not vanish - in next turn you probably will have the same dilema. The threat for you, that your opponent is holding a Giant Growth is worth less, than actually casting it and loosing your creature. You need to ask yourself a simple question - is this possible threat going to hurt you more now or later. Force your opponent to cast it in a less profitable scenario for him. In most early-game situations, you want to make them cast it as soon as possible. What it is killing now is less important than what it would kill in the future. Remember, this card is not going away, if it is not used now, it will be casted later.

To sum up, if my opponent attacks their 1/1 into my 2/2, I’ll usually block, because the Giant Growth is going to get roughly average value in this exchange—I can’t stop it from getting the same value later on or potentially more value.

However, if I have an instant-speed removal spell in my hand or a trick of my own, then I might not block because I know the Giant Growth is going to be worth less in the future as I have ways to deal with it.

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