4/20/2010 LI: "Rising Up"

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This thread is for discussion of this week's Limited Information, which goes live Tuesday morning on magicthegathering.com.
I went to a local prerelease, and confirmed that RoE is a set I simply cannot be any more apathetic about.

Ten rounds of largely nothing followed by "Crusher, go" really doesn't seem to be a good Sealed environment.  However, I did see a guy finagle up a neat aggro-ish build around Siege-Runners and Kiln Fiends. 

This set could end up going horribly wrong, which would be funny as hell to watch.
i had a very similar experience to steve's at the prerelease. i put together a red/white aggro deck and i was consistently crushed by late game finishers. once i got on the bandwagon and ran my own red/green eldrazi ramp deck things went a lot better for me, and i had a lot of fun.
I must respectfully disagree. I think that this set is worth all the insane build-up. Deal with it, Aggro. You had your days - the Eldrazi are here and I am loving every minute of it.

I ended up going forth with a Naya-Eldrazi/Defender deck. I was lucky and pulled several Overgrown Battlements, Vent Sentinels, and Battle Ramparts in my sealed pull (No Wall of Omens, though. Oh, well), along with 5 whopping colorless Eldrazi (Including Emrakul and Spawnsire). Green and Red saw a lot of defenders (7 in total) and a few other spells for making Spawn tokens. When it came to big creatures, I used a pair of Rapacious Ones (vicious little buggers, those), as well as 2 Hands of Emrakul, who were quite easy to get onto the board early on. The card that one me the most games, however, was Hellion Eruption. This card screams "USE ME WITH ELDRAZI SPAWN!" and doing so is highly rewarding. The look on my opponent's face when I turned a Vent Sentinel, a Kozilek's Predator, and 5 Eldrazi Spawn into 28 points of power was a beautiful thing to see indeed.

White was good to me for other reasons. Smite saved me three times, from an creaturized Gideon Jura, a Rapacious One, and a Kozilek. Oust was also useful - I used it on high-level creatures with totem armor more than once, and the result was rewarding. I went 3-1 in the Sealed, and only lost the first round because my opponent managed to get Ullamog out early in both games, and I had no answers to him when he came.
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The following is based off of just one sealed experience, so take it all with a gigantic grain of salt.
And I am by no means a pro, just offering thoughts.

My GRb Token deck (Hooray for Lavafume Invoker and Broodwarden!) got me 4th/33, although it got completely destroyed by fliers, which thankfully people weren't quite savvy enough to play (or perhaps just not enough fliers in their pool). This makes me think Spider Umbra and the 1/5 spider are incredibly important for green decks - at least sideboards.

Creatures that aren't good in the late game or helping you with a plan lose a lot of value. Hill Giant might be good, but Lagac Lizard is not. Kozilek's Predator is Good though if you can use the tokens.

As much as I've heard people whine about the 8/8 common, Eldrazi were never the be-all-end-all of my games. They're really good, but there are plenty of ways to handle them in the set that people just need to pay attention to. Bounce, Oust, Vendetta, Narcolepsy, tokens swarms, and so many other big creatures to double-block them.

The other thing I heard people complaining about was, "Totem armor is so f-ing good!" The one Armor deck I played against showed me that, yup, totem armor is good, but the auras naturally keep themselves in check because they need a creature to be played on. Having too many auras means losing the game, because you need to wait those extra turns for the mana to play your guy and your aura on the same turn and hope they don't have Vendetta in response (which I did).

The last lesson I learned is that having a plan - much like a constructed deck instead of the usual vague "aggro" or "control" archetypes of old limited - and being able to curve into it is very good. Someone on MTG mentioned "having a plan" in Eldrazi limited, and I took that to heart. Instead a WB Leveller deck with the likes of Student of Warfare and several totem armors and lots of removal, I was afraid of having too few creatures and opted for the token deck. Even within my GR options I had to cut good cards (5/3 trample? bye) for more situational or "worse" cards, because I knew I could make them good. Curving into token generators and following that up with a way to use them (Invoker, Hand of Em, Broodwarden, or some other big creature on turn 5) won me all of my games.

The match I lost was to someone curving out with a flying leveler every game that I simply had to remove... then he just replaced it with another one.  Sounds like a good plan to me.

Anyway, looking forward to hearing your thoughts and everyone else's in the weeks and months to come. I've never drafted any set more than a couple times, but I loved my RoE prerelease so much that I'll definitely be back for more, in which case I'll be looking for more advice.


PS. Ditto on Hellion Eruption. I had no idea how amazing that was until I was attacking for 36 damage. During another match my opponent attacked me for 40 with that card; it didn't matter that I lost, that card's awesome whoever plays it!
i played a blue-green sealed deck at prerelease (splash black for removal), it managed to get me to a 3rd place finish. I'd have to say that my MVPs were, bar none, my Aura Gnarlid and my Champion's Drake. I only had 4 levelers but generally my more defensive Halimar Wavewatch was ignored so that the Champions Drake was a Air Elemental most of the late game. The second place finisher of the event also made use of blue beats with distortion smite so I'm thinking blue my be a strong contender for a relatively aggresive color, sheerly because it ignores all of the defenders.

Aura Gnarlid is unblockable by most walls as well and since it feeds off every umbra and aura on the board can make your opponents umbras not as bad. Also the fact some removal (guard duty narcolepsy domestication) strengthens him is gravy.  Also, eel umbra in response to Forked lightning is a blow out on a Gnarlie. As is snake umbra if you can make it stick (or bear if you get one). I expect that if a green midrange deck makes an appearance he will feature a part in it.

And either I dodge eldrazi decks or they aren't that bad (mythic ones not withstanding) because I answered every eldrazi cast by my opponent.

More Generally the level up mechanic worked wonderfully, Every most of them are threats, from the now infamous Student to the lowly Wavewatcher. while the seald format was pretty slow (or would have been for me but evasion trumps) I think there is a powerful aggro deck lurking in the cards. I think it will be very dependent on a certain cluster of card but since draft is triple RoE it can happen.
I saw a lot of decks successfully outracing eldrazi with a U/W leveller-based Skies strategy; I think that deck, not the bomby Eldrazi, is really the format-definer, as you need to be able to either kill them or outrace their air guys to win, and the latter is really tough.

I had two games go drastically different than expected: in one of my sealed matches, an opponent had mnaged to fully level their Transcendent Master and gotten up to 61 life.  But I had enough chumps to stay alive until I fully leveled my Null Champion, and I leveled up a Grul Draz Assassin and Brimstone Mage; between the three (making Master smaller so he only gained 5 life per turn, blocking and regenerating, and then shooting my opponent with Brimstone Mage), I was able to keep the life gain down, and eventually I started getting guys I was able to attack with, and a short stack of Spawn tokens from various little effects.  I ended up finishing the game with a couple of 25-plus point attacks from a team of dorks buffed by Lavafume Invoker activations.

On the other hand, I managed to lose a (draft) game where I cast Kozilek twice; my opponent bounced it the first time, Narcolepsy'd it a second time, and the eight cards didn't bring me the removal I needed to bring down his team (backed by a Time of Heroes that was inordinately awkward for me).

Overall, I'm not sold on sealed (which seems like it'll have a couple of different types of excellent pool and a lot of mediocre pools), but draft looks like it'll be absolutely fascinating; I'm looking forward to it a ton...
My final deck ended up like this:

Colors: Red/Green

2 Naturalize
2 Joraga Treespeaker
2 Kozilek’s Predator
2 Flame Slash
2 Hand of Emrakul
1 Conquering Manticore
1 Snake Umbra
1 Ulamog’s Crusher
1 Awakening Zone
1 Kargan Dragonlord- Foil, lucked out on that one.
1 Beastbreaker of Bala Ged
1 Growth Spasm
1 Spawning Breath
1 Brood Birthing
1 Heat Ray
1 Traitorous Instinct
1 Dreamstone Hedron
1 Forked Bolt
10 Mountain
7 Forest

I would have to say, the two biggest threats here were my naturalizes, my Conquering Manitcore, and a lone Traitorous Instinct. Awakening Zone also seemed to help pull up my resources, with Joraga Treecaller not too far behind on the ramping. Naturalize was important because it allowed me to take out Totem Armored creatures, which essentially made it removal. MVP goes to the Manticore and the Traitorous Instinct, as one game ended with me hard casting a Hand of Emrakul, and also Token Casting the other. My opponent plopped down an Ulamog's Crusher to stall, which I promptly Threatened and swung for the win. Manticore also managed to steal me a Sphinx of Magosi which my opponent had been pumping all game, which hit him back in the face. Kargan Dragonlord found his own moment to shine, with my opponent being at 4 life, which I promptly leveled up and wiped out. Dreamstone Hedron is just that, a dream card. It's what you need it to be when you need it, very similar to the levelers. Kozilek's Predator is a very nasty limited card, and dropping one turn four, and another turn five really applies a lot of pressure. The deck brought me all the way to the final match undefeated, which my opponent and I ended up splitting first. I honestly couldn't have asked for a better pool to build with, as this deck's removal and ramp were very consistent. This format is insanely fun, as there are a lot of options to choose from.
In my prerelease matches, four rounds and nine games, not a single colorless Eldrazi attacked. I went 2-1-1, having been lucky enough to get Sarkhan the Mad and Tuktuk the Explorer in my packs. I played UBR:

1 Sarkhan the Mad
1 Skywatcher Adept
1 Hada Spy Patrol
1 Venerated Teacher
1 Frostwind Invoker
1 Zulaport Enforcer
1 Null Champion
1 Gloomhunter
1 Tuktuk the Explorer
2 Runed Servitor
2 See Beyond
1 Deprive
2 Regress
2 Lay Bare
1 Vendetta
1 Flame Slash
1 Staggershock
2 Heat Ray
1 Prophetic Prism
6 Island
5 Swamp
5 Mountain

I believe I won every game in which Sarkhan the Mad entered the battlefield. In one of my games, my opponent had a Sarkhan the Mad too, in foil no less, but I managed to kill him off before playing my own. I comboed Sarkhan the Mad and Tuktuk the Explorer at least twice. Most memorably, I had Sarkhan the Mad with only one loyalty counter remaining, a single dragon token on the battlefield, and an opponent at ten life. I won by playing Regress on Sarkhan the Mad on my opponent's end step, replaying him, using his ultimate, and attacking with the token.

I might have done better, but I initially did not have See Beyond in the deck. Runed Servitor seems quite good - it gets in for some early damage and then replaces itself when it finally goes. In retrospect, having five card drawers in the deck was key to finding Sarkhan the Mad and winning. The prerelease was quite fun for me - I hadn't been to one since around Lorwyn and was glad to be able to go.
I'm amazed you didn't mention anything about Dawnglare Invoker.  Looks like the best card in the pack to me.  In fact, I have a hard time walking away from white what with that guy, the Student of Warfare and 3 copies Guard Duty in a format that is low on removal.  Except for the Corpsehatch (which looks like the other best card in your pool), your black is just some small fliers.  Consuming Vapors looks terrible for an environment filled with 0/1 tokens.

Especially with the Vent Sentinel I would've gone white/red.  You've got win conditions in the Sentinel, Invoker, several Eldrazi... and lots of removal/defenders to let you live long enough to cast it all.
Goblin Tunneler was house in my pool.  It and Dawnglare Invoker are the two big cards to watch out for at common, I think.  Dawnglare Invoker is simply ridiculous.

I had him with a Valakut Fireboar and 2 Kiln Fiends.

Make them unblockable, then play some spells and swing.  It won me at least 3 games.
I have to say that this is the most fun set I've played in a while. we hear a lot about the eldrazi being the finishers but there seemed to me to be an enormous diversity in plays and wins.
I had an interesting pool and ran a UGR deck that used everything: eldrazi, eldrazi spawn, auras, levelers. And it turned out pretty well. (well as in me losing only one game and tying for second with a draw)

I got some nice pulls like Lighthouse Chronologist and Lord of Shatterskull Pass. BUt to me the single card that seemed to be the most powerful was Distortion Strike. It allowed me to attack for the win with Ulamog's Crusher through am It that Betrays. The worse use it was ever put to was getting me 10 damage and 2 cards with a Kozilek's Predator enchanted with Snake Umbra
An other amazing card I pulled was a Hellion Eruption, which was completely unstoppable. I won every game the turn after I played it. a ..."return CardLinkAction(event, this, 'SameWindow');" href="http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?multiverseid=193607" style="text-decoration: none; color: blue;">Pathrazer of Ulamog doesn't count for much if I have 5 4/4 hellions. 
One of my favorite plays was when I had a fully leveled Lord of Shatterskull Pass with Snake Umbra on it and a Repacious one I attacked twice having my Lord Chump-blocked by two eldrazi, one of them rare. before unleashing Hellion Eruption for 12 Hellions
I've been thinking of trying a multicolor removal deck with lots of card advantage and a slow win condition such as pinging. This pool is perfect for it. Check this out.

Removal  (16)
1 Puncturing Light
3 Guard Duty

2 Flame Slash
1 Forked Bolt
2 Staggershock
1 Narcolepsy
2 Mnemonic Wall ... gets back removal so I count it as removal
1 Totem-Guide Hartebeest ... gets Guard duty or Narcolepsy so I count it as removal
1 Rage Nimbus ... repeat removal with so many good walls
1 Magmaw

1 Consuming Vapors

Creatures (2)
1 Stalwart Shield-Bearers
1 Soulbound Guardians

Card Draw (1)
1 Survival Cache ... its hard to take damage with so many walls and low-cost removal, should be able to draw

Win Conditions (3)
1 Lust for War
1 Vent Sentinel
1 Pathrazer of Ulamog

Mana (19)
7 Plains
7 Mountain
3 Island
1 Swamp
1 Prophetic Prism

I seriously have no idea how to beat a deck like this if I faced it. Neither flyers nor mana ramp fatties stand a chance against it. Only an Emrakul could beat it, in which case the colors have to be changed to somehow bring in Virulent Swipe, Vendetta, Reality Spasm, and Lay Bare.
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Went fairly well, only lost one match of six (he started both games with T1 Guul Draz Assassin) to a one game loss - draw.
Played a full Jund color suite, mana worked out well, color screw in only one game.
I found bomb creatures to once again be very powerful.  Tuskcaller and Shatterskull singlehandedly won many games, Revenant usually ended up getting chumped every turn, so I was able to use the double swamp mana to other effects or saved to save her.  Actually only ended up casting an Eldrasi all of once.  Sarkan only turned my own spawn tokens into dragons.
1 Kazandu Tuskcaller
2 Nest Invader
1 Nirkana Cutthroat
1 Bloodrite Invoker
2 Kozilek's Predator
1 Wildheart Invoker
1 Lord of Shatterskull Pass
1 Broodwarden
1 Emrakul's Hatcher
1 Nirkana Revenant
1 Artisan of Kozilek
1 Hand of Emrakul
1 Prey's Vengeance
1 Prophetic Prism
1 Perish the Thought
2 Staggershock
1 Induce Despair
1 Sarkhan the Mad
1 Heat Ray
7 Forest
7 Swamp
4 Mountain
This build suffered from lack of knowing the format, which Steve admits. Soon, people will understand that Eldrazi decks being three colors is probably wise, and he had some of the tools to make it not a problem.

I would have gone with

Black spells

1 Consuming Vapors
1 Corpsehatch
2 Gloomhunter
1 Inquisition of Kozilek
1 Last Kiss
1 Null Champion
1 Perish the Thought
1 Vendetta
1 Virulent Swipe

Red Spells

2 Flame Slash
1 Forked Bolt
2 Staggershock

Green Spells

2 Daggerback Basilisk
1 Growth Spasm
1 Kozilek's Predator
1 Ondu Giant

Colorless Spells

1 Pathrazer of Ulamog
1 Ulamog's Crusher
1 Prophetic Prism

Lands

8 Swamp
6 Forest
4 Mountain

The format is slow enough to allow you to miss an entire color until you hit your 5th land drop or so. Prophetic Prism is amazing in this format, and should be gobbled up because of that. Since it cycles, and this is a super slow format, it's almost an auto-include in every deck. At the worst, you can cycle it and sacrifice it to an annhilator attack later in the game. At best it allows you to cast spells when you want to.

Pathrazer of Ulamog is a game ender. Your deck has enough removal that it should be able to stay alive long enough to get this fatty on the board.
Here's how I'd build Steve's pool:



(Edit: swapped out Vent Sentinel for Kiln Fiend.)

I actually lost my first match at my prerelease to a deck very similar to this one. (That deck also splashed white for card draw, bizarrely enough: Wall of Omens and Survival Cache.) I believe the key to this sort of pool is to actually be as aggressive as possible.

Among the cards here, I definitely underestimated Lust for War initially because of how bad many similar auras have been; Lust for War is incredible in any aggressive deck since it both forces your opponent into a race and puts you in a position to win it. Your opponent is usually forced to get rid of the creature somehow, which often involves you two-for-oneing them. This card should turn out to be a sleeper hit. Some other cards of note are Suffer the Past (an excellent finisher) and Consuming Vapors (even though it's quite bad against Spawn.dec, it's insane enough against many other strategies to be worth maindecking).

Apart from that first match, I had the fortune of playing a lot of different decks. There was another Lust for War deck that boarded into UW defense, a blisteringly fast spawn deck, and a sick G/W lifegain deck that abused Hedron-Field Purists and Soul's Attendant + Awakening Zone before winning with Keening Stone. I still don't think I really had a chance to win against that one.


I'm also posting my own pool here because I think it's a pretty interesting one with a lot of options:

Show
[deck]
White (16):
1*Dawnglare Invoker
1*Harmless Assault
1*Hyena Umbra
1*Ikiral Outrider
1*Kabira Vindicator
2*Kor Line-Slinger
1*Knight of Cliffhaven
1*Makindi Griffin
1*Oust
1*Puncturing Light
1*Soulbound Guardians
2*Stalwart Shield-Bearers
1*Totem-Guide Hartebeest
1*Wall of Omens

Blue (15):
1*Deprive
1*Distortion Strike
1*Dormant Gomazoa
1*Fleeting Distraction
1*Frostwind Invoker
1*Jwari Scuttler
2*Merfolk Observer
1*Mnemonic Wall
1*Reality Spasm
1*Sea Gate Oracle
1*See Beyond
2*Shared Discovery
1*Unified Will

Black (11):
1*Cadaver Imp
1*Corpsehatch
1*Nighthaze
1*Nirkana Cutthroat
2*Null Champion
1*Pawn of Ulamog
1*Vendetta
1*Virulent Swipe
2*Zulaport Enforcer

Red (16):
2*Battle Rampart
1*Brood Birthing
1*Disaster Radius
1*Emrakul's Hatcher
1*Explosive Revelation
1*Goblin Arsonist
1*Grotag Siege-Runner
1*Heat Ray
1*Kiln Fiend
1*Lavafume Invoker
1*Ogre Sentry
1*Rage Nimbus
1*Rapacious One
1*Staggershock
1*Wrap in Flames

Green (17):
1*Ancient Stirrings
1*Bear Umbra
1*Boar Umbra
1*Broodwarden
1*Growth Spasm
1*Jaddi Lifestrider
1*Joraga Treespeaker
1*Kozilek's Predator
2*Leaf Arrow
1*Might of the Masses
1*Naturalize
1*Nest Invader
1*Overgrown Battlement
3*Sporecap Spider

Colorless (9):
1*Eldrazi Temple
1*Enatu Golem
1*Hand of Emrakul
1*It That Betrays
1*Reinforced Bulwark
1*Skittering Invasion
3*Ulamog's Crusher
[/deck]


I went with boarding between RG and RB versions against fast and slow opponents, respectively, and ended up with a 3-2-1 record. The highlight play was undoubtedly casting Disaster Radius for 12 (revealing It That Betrays) at least four times (!). Still managed to lose one of those games (against my first-round opponent above). Since the tournament, though, I've been experimenting with a lot of other potential builds, and I still don't know what the optimal build is - any input is welcome!
Fun story from the prerelease

Me and my opponent both had green-white decks. We started to go long in the first game. We had both cast the soul wardens early, but I had been very successful in attacking and dealing with his creatures. Then he cast Spawnsire of Ulamog. I had the guy that taps opponent creatures for 8. I also had him enchanted with Bear Umbra. So we ended up in a stalemate that lasted until time, at which point I was at 138 life and he was at 18. I eventually drew my Gideon, and blew up his Spawnsire, which didn't do anything because it had an umbra on it. Next turn, he cast another umbra on spawnsire. I blew that up, too. Next turn turn, I blew up spawnsire a third time, killing gideon. He had also splashed black and was able to recur Spawnsire his next turn. And so I kept swinging and he kept making tokens and gaining life. And then we got to turn four of time, and he had 24 life at that point. I decided to just swing. I beefed my flyer for +10, attacked, untapped lands, beefed another +10, along with all my creatures, with his all tapped. He sacrificed a bunch of tokens (he had 52) to make more, then did that again and again. He ended up at 18 life at the end of my attack. I didn't think he could kill me anyway. Tapped out. He swings back, all his tokens beefed with the leveler that beefs other creatures. He looks like he's going to hit me for 110 out of my 138 life. But then he casts might of masses... game over!
I was very satisfied during my local sealed event with what my friend entitled Wall.dec:



Lost one match to Transcendant Master. Card is unbelieveable in this format. Would have won the rest of my matches but for one draw with lethal damage ready and time over in the round. Blast of a deck to play. I was removal-light in my pool, but I'm curious if others had the experience of Annihilator being a non-issue if you produced enough permanents. I deliberately built this deck with that in mind, similar to the Mythic deck in standard that runs virtually no removal to make room for threat after threat that gasses out an opponent's hand. I had 6 levelers with no strong synergy in blue, some reasonable black creatures, but nothing exciting. Thoughts?

Also:
The highlight play was undoubtedly casting Disaster Radius for 12 (revealing It That Betrays) at least four times (!). Still managed to lose one of those games (against my first-round opponent above).


My girlfriend and I played 2HG on Sunday in an 8 pack sealed pool and that card won us our games. Amazing board sweeper!
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Ugh. Stupid boards. Long post typed up disappeared to the forum demons. This is the short version:

Me 4-1 sealed, 1-1-1 first draft, 3-0 second draft.

Green = best color. Black = worst color.

Aggro = plausible, but needs a green and/or blue base. Favorite is RU aggro with tons of unblockable effects.

Dawnglare Invoker = Best common in the set. ": Kill me or die."



Anyways, these are the two decks I'd consider:



The black and red in this pool, working together and without the aid of other colors, can only form an aggro deck IMO. Steve noted some reasons why his deck didn't work out; he couldn't match decks that survived into the late game. One of the reasons is because he was playing aggro critters along side defenders. In some decks this works fine, but not with the black and red he opened. Sucking it up and going aggro was the better option.

Sadin Splashes
[deck]
1*Nest Invader
2*Ogre Sentry
1*Rage Nimbus
2*Daggerback Basilisk
1*Kozilek's Predator
1*Ondu Giant
1*Vent Sentinel
1*Akoum Boulderfoot
1*Ulamog's Crusher
1*Pathrazer of Ulamog

1*Vendetta
2*Flame Slash
1*Forked Bolt
1*Prophetic Prism
2*Staggershock
1*Growth Spasm
1*Last Kiss
1*Consuming Vapors

2* Swamp
7*Forest
9*Mountain[/deck]


This is the deck I probably would have built. It has good defensive capabilities, the ability to accelerate, plenty of removal, big beaters, and decent mana. I may or may not add a Hand or Emrakul; it's been underwhelming in play. A deck spitting out spwan tokens would love it, but I haven't been able to form one yet.
This is definitely a format you should feel comfortable playing 3 colors in, especially if green is one of them.  I think green is gonna shape up to be the powerhouse color in this limited format, because of it's mana fixing and acceleration, as well as it's lifegain, which won several games for me.  I went G/R/b and finished 5-1.  The card that stood out the most to me was Mul Daya Channelers.  It's incredibly flexible, and helps accelerate really nicely into your eldrazi.
The card that stood out the most to me was Mul Daya Channelers.  It's incredibly flexible, and helps accelerate really nicely into your eldrazi.


I guess it depends on the deck, because Mul Daya Channelers wasn't really consistent enough for me. Perhaps I was just unlucky to see the removal spells and Invasions that I couldn't play without the Channelers seeing a land.
It's still good, just not first-pickable or anything. Just my opinion though.
Oh man, I had a great time.  I ran GB and came in first.

Decklist:

Creatures:
1 Vengevine
1 Tajuru Preserver (Holo)
2 Overgrown Battlement
1 Daggerback Basilisk
1 Haze Frog
1 Kazundu Tuskcaller
1 Wildheart Invoker
1 Sporecap Spider
2 Cadaver Imp
1 Dread Drone
1 Drana, Kalastria Bloodchief
1 Nirkana Revenant
2 Gloomhunter
2 Null Champion
1 Skeletal Worm
2 Zof Shade

Instants:
2 Induce Despair
2 Living Destiny

Sorceries:
2 Perish the Thought

Enchantments:
1 Awakening Zone
1 Curse of Wizardry
1 Eldrazi Conscription

All my games went something along the lines of Battlements out quick to pay for the Revenant by turn 4, and on turn 5 I'd summon the Preserver.  Turn 6 I cast Conscription.  Turn 7-8 was game.  I'd play Drana to stop Dawnglares.  I finished 6-0.  First place is FUN.
Went 5-1 with a R/B aggro deck - my one loss was when I had back-to-back mana issues - one game getting stuck on the two lands (one of each) from my opening 6-card hand, then the next drawing, literally, nothing but land for something like 6-7 turns and then failing to get one of my few really-swingy cards to turn things around... My curve topped out at 5 mana and the deck would run with 3 mana.

MVP was my double Raid Bombardment, with double Staggershock a close second - it doesn't matter that your opponent has finally found his blockers when you can finish him off just by attacking with a bunch of Eldrazi spawn tokens.

The biggest hole in my sealed pool was a lack of both colourless Eldrazi creatures and spells that could deal with them (apart from a single Heat Ray) so I pretty much had to go aggro and hope to either punch through before my opponent established himself, or have enough reach to get the last points through despite interference...
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I think that green was definately playable in this pool with nest invader, growth spasm, kozilek's predator, and ondu giant add in the good black stuff like corpsehatch and you've got your self a ramp that can reliably cast ulamog's crusher turn 6-8. Oh, and not to mention that two of those are mana fixing plus you've got prophetic prism in your pool so splashing red for staggershock at that point would have been easy. Or better yet splash the white for the THREE guard duty and dawnglare invoker. Or add in realms uncharted and play 4 color G/B with two splashes. Also I think you overlooked a wonderful card in vengeful strike. This uncommon is amazing when trying to punch through damage. Either they have to block with their newly created hand of ulamog or let the damage through. Or if you're needing to kill one of those ulamog's crusher you talked about then vengeful strike serves as pseudo removal. Deathtouch is amazing in this format and I think you also under rated the 2 daggerback basilisk in your pool.

There are so many better ways to build this I wish you would have given your opinion of how to better the build because obviously you left something out there to be had. I also think R/W/u walls was a possibility with this pool. Anyway nice article. I did play a G/B/r deck which spawned into eldrazi creatures. I got 4th but the guy who won was able to make a R/B aggro deck work so aggro decks are out there to be had but I just don't think you had the right stuff for it.

Key cards in my deck were

grul-draz assassin
lord of shatterskull pass
and the spawn creators which turned into any of my 3 eldrazi creatures or skeletal wurm
Don't be too smart to have fun
In my sealed, I was able to cobble together a U/B "aggro" deck whose curve stopped at 5. Some quick hits:

-Null Champion is the black Beastbreaker of Bala Ged...wow!
-Drake Umbra is completely and utterly ridiculous. The only time I lost after I played it was against a Drana with double Giant Growth backup.
-If you can get a faster deck with blue, always play all of your counterspells- the big clunky spells of this format make them huge blowouts, especially when they try to double up to kill an umbra'd creature. If they're on the back foot, counterspell -> Mnemonic Wall is soul-crushing. Also, countering a rebound spell like Staggershock when you have 2 2-toughness dudes on board is pretty bad for them.
-My favorite play of the day: Consuming Vapors/rebound, Mnemonic Wall returning Vapors, cast/rebound, Regress my Wall, return Vapors, cast/rebound.

The one draft I did, I first and second picked Dawnglare Invoker. He makes so much lategame just not matter, and at the very least makes them use primo removal on him- and when I'm curving out with a flyer (or soon to be leveled flyer) at every CMC from 1-5, removal is at a premium. This early in the draft season, everyone seemed to be overvaluing Eldrazi-related goodness, and I had so many playables that I just started hating out anti-flyer cards like the 1/5 spider and Shrivel.
Red/Green has excellent Eldrazi potential, from what I've seen. With a turn 2 Nest invader and a turn 3 Brood Birthing, sac the four spawn for a Hand of Emrakul. 7/7 Annhilator on turn 3 is a wonderful thing, and I saw it happen a LOT in the prerelease I went to.
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3-2 at a local store prerelease playing the following list:

2x zulaport enforcer
1x arrogant bloodlord
1x cadaver imp
1x gloomhunter
1x last kiss
1x nirkana cutthroat
1x corpsehatch
1x pestilence demon


1x prey vengeance
1x nest invader
1x beastbreaker of bala ged
1x mul daya channelers
1x ondu giant
1x wildheart invoker
1x kozilek's predator
1x broodwarden
1x pelakka wurm


1x hand of emrakul
1x skittering invasion
1x pathrazer of ulamog
1x ulamog's crusher
1x reinforced bulwark


1x eldrazi temple
8x swamp
9x forest

sideboard:

Show

1x demystify
1x emerge unscathed
2x glory seeker
1x knight of cliffhaven
2x lone missionary
1x mammoth umbra
1x smith
1x stalwart shield-bearers
1x student of warfare


1x champion's drake
1x coralhelm commander
1x deprive
1x distortion strike
1x domestication
1x eel umbra
1x nacrolepsy
1x regress
1x shared discovery
3x skywatcher adept
1x venerated teacher


3x death cultist
1x demonic appetite
1x nighthaze
1x perish the thought
1x shrivel
2x zulaport enforcer


1x battle rampart
1x conquering manticore
1x devastating summons (foil)
1x goblin arsonist
1x grotag siege-runner
2x lagac lizard
1x lust for war
1x spwaning breath
2x staggershock
1x traitorous instinct
1x valakut fireboar
1x vent sentinel


1x ancient stirrings
1x irresstible prey
3x living destiny
1x naturalise
1x nema siltlurker
1x stomper cub


1x dreamstone hedron
1x pennon blade
1x prophetic prism
1x reinforced bulwark
1x ulamog's crusher





originally splashed blue for the blue levelers and venerated teacher but cut it in the end for better consistency.. pretty sure it's misbuilt somewhere though..

pretty much every winning game ended with either ulamog's crusher or pelakka wurm.. either that beating down with the levelers played early and leveled up..

lost to a deck playing 3 copies of knight of cliffhaven and another deck with aura garlid+bear umbra+Hedron Matrix..

overall it's a interesting set to play with.. draft should be interesting.. early defenders/levelers ending with eldrazi, beatdown with spawn tokens..
I ended up 1st w/ 4-0 at a local prerelease w/ a jund-colored list. The only games I lost within the matches were
1) a game where I completely changed my deck to a 5-color list in an attempt to abuse echo mage and training grounds and of course lost to mana screw--and--
2) a game where I drew nothing but ramp and token makers and was down to 4 life when I hardcast Emrakul. I got swung at after my attack for exactly lethal b/c he had 2 removals for my blockers.

I started w/ essence feed in the deck but ended up switching it out for flame sash every game. The list I ended up running is the following:

Red:
1 Spawning Breath
1 Emrakul's Hatcher
1 Flame Sash
1 Heat Ray
1 Raid Bombardment
1 Soulsurge Elemental
1 Wrap in Flames

Black:
1 Corpsehatch
1 Induce Despair
1 Vendetta

Green:
1 Ondu Giant
2 Growth Spasm
2 Nest Invader
1 Pelakka Wurm
1 Beastbreaker of Bala Ged
1 Broodwarden

Artifacts:
1 Dreamstone Hedron
1 Prophetic Prism
1 Pennon Blade

Eldrazi:
1 Emrakul, The Aeons Torn
1 Skittering Invasion

9 Forest
5 Swamp
4 Mountain

With the extra swamp just b/c of corpsehatch. I only ever cast emrakul once (and lost that game) but I revealed him for induce despair at least 4 times. MVPs were Pelakka Wurm, Broodwarden, and Raid Bombardment. Making my skittering invasion tokens hit for 1 each directly completely ruined several opponents. I did spend the entire night wishing I had pulled any eldrazi other than emrakul, but I can't reallly complain. Dreamstone Hedron and Prophetic prism were really good for me as well.
I know this is probably coming across as a real jerk thing to say, and I don't want it too, but Sadin really didn't have any idea this is how the format would work? Really? All anyone has said about RoE is "LIMITED = MUCH MUCH SLOOOOOOOOOOWER". And I don't mean on the forums. I mean the Wizards people themselves were saying it. It played almost exactly how I expected it was going to. I feel "I haven't figured the format out" is kind of a lame excuse. I'm not doubting his talents, but it really seems like he ignored all the things that were being said about the format, and got punished for it.

Got into top 8 with this deck, woud've done better but got manascrewed in my last match. I wasn't able to get the last land to use corpsehatch, twice. 

Lands
4 Forest
6 Swamp
6 Mountain
1 Evolving Wilds

red:
1 Flame Slash
1 Lord of Shatterskull pass
1 spawning breath
1 staggershock
1 goblin arsonist
1 heat ray

Black:
2 Last Kiss
2 Corpsehatch
1 Nirkana Cutthroat
1 induce dispair
1 suffer the past

Green:
2 Kozilek's Predator

Eldrazi:
2 Hand of Emrakul
1 skittering invasion
1 Kozilek, butcher of truth

Artifacts:
2 Reinforced Bulwark
1 Dreamstone Hedron
1 Prophetic Prism

Multicolored:
Sarkhan the Mad

Got into top 8 with this deck Smile I was only playing green because i needed the predators to power out the eldrazi. Sarkhan was sick with sacking reinforced bulwarks and tokens to get giant flying dragons (won me several games). Unfortunately i only drew Kozilek twice and was only able to play him once, but won the game instantly with him. I won 3 packs and opened Ulamog, the infinite gyre so with the prerelease card i now have all three legendary eldrazi

This format is so much more fun than any other i've played Smile

Something I noticed was that green was pretty weak, everyone who used green as a main color lost pretty badly. the two main deck type were red/black/splash green (like mine) with eldrazi or Blue/White/splash green (for the totem armors) 

I live in Quebec City, 2 hours and a half from Montreal, and I did feel like going there to shake Steve’s hand and have some cards signed by Mark Tedin. I would have if a group of local players went and shared gas costs, but almost none were planning to go… So I decided to save and just play in the local Saturday prerelease, organized in a hotel by Spellkeeper Events like Montreal’s, which I thought would also be large and interesting. Turns out I was wrong : the event was only 32 players, and the prize support was awful. It was something like 24 packs to the first, 18 to the second, 5 packs to 3rd and 4th, 3 packs to 5th-8th, and one pack to 9th-16th. I really should have been to Montreal! I ended up 3-2 in matches and won a pack. Better than nothing I guess (and I would have got nothing if there were prizes to Top 8 only, which would have been a better structure even if it meant only 8 more packs to distribute among 3rd-8th) but still, it left a bad taste in my mouth.

Fortunately, the local store prerelease I went on Sunday was much better on all counts. While there was around the same number of players, the prize support as well as the overall feel were much better. I went 4-1 and finished in 3rd.

I had a lot of fun with the new set overall. My Saturday pool was pretty easy to build : the deck had to be red-black Eldrazi. I had two Ulamog’s Crusher and two Hand of Emrakul, along with an EldraziTemple, and a slew of Spawn producers and good removal (including Consume the Meek) in these two colors. The only change I made during the day was splashing blue for Regress on the back of my Evolving Wilds, as I realized bounce is just too good to pass on in this format. On Sunday, however, my pool pulled me in every direction except blue. I thought at first that my green was a must, with Pelakka Wurm, Joraga Treespeaker, two Kozilek’s Predator and an Overgrown Battlement. I paired it with my white for the first round, because the pull of Deathless Angel was great, along with Smite and Wall of Omens, but I was tempted by my red too, which had a lot of good burn (but no Heat Ray). I decided against it because it had no Spawn production and no way to deal with Eldrazi. After the first round, I realized that my black offered more than my white to my green base, with Pestilence Demon, one of the clear best rare bombs of the format, and Skeleton Wurm (black fatties rock the format hard, as all black hard removal has the nonblack clause). I had no hard removal of mine, but I figured my two Virulent Swipe could take care of most Eldrazi I would face. After the second round, I noticed that I could also build a black-red beatdown deck that I tried in the third round. That’s three decks in three rounds! But I should have kept my black-green for this one, or sideboarded back to it after game 1, as he had removal for all my little men in games 2 and 3, and could stabilize and finish me off with Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre (Virulent Swipe cannot deal with this one :P). In round 4, I faced a black-green build with a lot of early game and Totem Armor auras, which my slow black-green build couldn’t beat game 1, so I used the black-red one in games 2 and 3 to burn all of his small creatures in response to auras being cast. Staggershock 3-for-1 for the win ! My black-green build handed me the fourth round easily, with help from my opponent's mana problems.

I haven’t drafted the set yet, but I look forward to it.

Magic The Gathering DCI Lvl 1 Judge Don't hesitate to post rules question in the Rules Q&A forum for me and other competent advisors to answer : http://community.wizards.com/go/forum/view/75842/134778/Rules_Q38A

I have been very disapponted by the sealed environment. I am trusty that the draft will be better, even though I haven't experimented it yet.

I don't think to be a sealed expert, probably this is the second prerelease in which I play knowing what I am doing. I was expecting actually people playing bombs, and so I did. I had 4 Eldrazi, but after having them stuck in my hand in the first game, I changed my build limiting the bombs to Pelakka Wurm, Deathless Angel and Tuskcaller.

Well, I DID NOT draw the angel in a single game!!! And the games lasted A LOT. To clarify the "a lot":

1st match: ended 1-1 for lack of time. The opponent was a novice, but he won the game because I got screwed (I drew only mountains in a mainly green deck) after mulliganing to four.

2nd match: the only match in which I played 3 games. He was an experienced player, and it ended 2-1 in his favor. In the 2nd game I made some mistake, in the 3rd probably I should have mulliganed, but I preferred keep more lands in hand, given the format. It was a long match, anyway.

3rd match: ended 0-1 after additional turns. In the 1st game I had got an enormous advantage smiting my opponent's two eldrazi, when he topdecked Keening Stone. Obviously I haven't found a single naturalize in my pool and I was decked 2 turns later. (My opponent was disappointed that he couldn't mill me twice in a row because of the tap cost...). Oh, the angel was the last card in the deck! The game that ended at turns I was again in board advantage, and he fell in my bluff of staggershocking a spawn to remove a blocker, without him sacrificing the token in response. But time was out and to add insult to injury, he topdecked a overgrown battlement to limit my damage. My angel was on the top at the last turn. -___-"

4th match: Incredibly, I won. And no, I didn't draw the angel even this time. Simply, his deck was not that good. His best combination was Knight of Cliffhaven and Kor Line-slinger, but I could manage them with my burn spells. The tuskcaller dominated the 1st game alone, simply awesome!

5th match: Another long game with a player that seemed to have very confused ideas...he was very slow, while I had still the Keening Stone in my eyes, so i was very annoyed. He had built a deck full of spawns with Raid Bombardment, but my Reinforced Bulwark wasn't worried. However, I couldn't draw a single bomb against him, and he dropped 2 Eldrazi (sacrificing just a spawn for each one, nothing ecitingly rapid). The second game went absurdly , with me flooded while he did absolutely nothing...I was forced to deal 3 damage a turn, because I drew my only two walls and I had even sided in two eldrazi! Then he got time to play his first eldrazi, which got killed; his second eldrazi, with he enchanted with a boar umbra, and finally he drew a Masticore. I still got lands. I think I had something like 14 over 18. Very frustrating. Maybe I should have mulliganed my 5-land hand, or maybe sided in some more aggressive card, but the end of the games has been too much draw dependent.

I agree with what The Ferret has written on SCG (www.starcitygames.com/magic/misc/19186_I...)

Probably this applies only to sealed, which is very bomb-oriented for nature, but the fact that the first one drawing a bomb (because anyone has got some) wins is quite disappointing. Most removals can't deal with the bombs in sealed, even if you keep them for the late game.

Maybe this way anyone has a chance to win and more players are satisfied. Many casual player will have epic, splashy victories. This could happen even against a pro, once in a blue moon, and you should EVER be fair-playing. But almost every game not ending for playing ability seems bad to me, on both sides. I mean, I would be happy if in an important match I drew the exact card that makes me win, but how many times this could happen? I prefer to know that I have lost for my mistakes, or won for my good play, after having played the 3 games. Many players more experienced than me have been disappointed by the sealed, too.

I think that probably this format is Timmy-oriented because Zendikar has proved very technical.

Although this complaining, I think that draft will be a different monster. At a first glance, I see many viable strategies, that maybe would not make the Eldrazi so determining, in the sense that you will be using them in a well-oriented strategy. I am going to draft this week, and I hope to have good time, because I have not been very inside the zendikar (zendikarian?) aggressive strategies, which, on the other side, have been a good way to practice with a quickier tactic.

I had a great time a the prerelease. i was really suprised that nothing costed over 5 in my deck. i went with a r/w aggroish and went 3-1. it was a pretty solid deck and had multiple ways to win later in the game. here is my deck

Lands:

10 plains
7 mountain

White:

Caravan Escort
Hyena Umbra
2 Knight of cliffhaven
2 Repel The Darkness
Stalwart Shield-Bearers
Emerged Unscathed
Kabira Vindicator
Soulbound Guardians
Gideon Jura
Student Of Warfare

Red:

Battle Rampart
Heat Ray
Ogre Sentry
2 Vent Sentinel
Wrap In Flames
Lust For War
Soulsurge Elemental
Valakut Fireboar
Magmaw

Artifact:

Pennon Blade

Gideon was definately the standout of the deck and won me half of my games. The synergy between gideon and repel the darkness is great. i was able to kill an eldrazi before it got to attack and a deathlace angel before its ability could be used. soo amazing. and of course the first turn student of warfare is nice another standout for me was lust for war. it single handedly won me one of my games. if the game drags on later than expected then i also have plenty of defence along with 2 vent sentinels to end the game with. wrap in flames and magmaw are also nice cards to push through the last bit of damage. not the eldrazi deck i was expecting to build when i went to the prerelease but a very amazing deck indeed. i was confidant that i could go 4-0 when i looked at the final deck. i started off winning 9 straight games then lost my last 2. ended up 5th of 48
I know this is probably coming across as a real jerk thing to say, and I don't want it too, but Sadin really didn't have any idea this is how the format would work? Really? All anyone has said about RoE is "LIMITED = MUCH MUCH SLOOOOOOOOOOWER".


Funny thing is that Mr. Sadin himself said it all a couple of weeks ago, and then he goes down with exactly that kind of deck he told us not to build. Four 2-damage spells? I was wincing from looking at the deck list alone.

First subpar article from Steve.
I know this is probably coming across as a real jerk thing to say, and I don't want it too, but Sadin really didn't have any idea this is how the format would work? Really? All anyone has said about RoE is "LIMITED = MUCH MUCH SLOOOOOOOOOOWER".


Funny thing is that Mr. Sadin himself said it all a couple of weeks ago, and then he goes down with exactly that kind of deck he told us not to build. Four 2-damage spells? I was wincing from looking at the deck list alone.

First subpar article from Steve.

I think you guys are being a little too harsh here. I realized during the prerelease that an aggressive deck was something entirely possible for the format, even if it is not the norm, and that if it seems the most efficient deck your sealed pool can produce is that kind of deck, you can go for it. Such a deck can more easily be halted in its tracks that in most formats, however, so I think that whenever possible you should also build a "side" deck that is maybe less efficient, but better tailored for the late game and combating eldrazi, so that you can sideboard into it if you think the aggro deck won't work for games 2 and 3. The other way around can be wiser if you can do it : build a slower deck as your g1 deck, but have the option of an agressive deck to sideboard in. That's what I did in my Sunday event : I built a red-black beatdown deck halfway through the tournament, and I am gald I did, because it was much better against my two last opponents than my slower green-black deck, since they had a lot of early game low-thoughness creatures that my burn just pwned. 
Magic The Gathering DCI Lvl 1 Judge Don't hesitate to post rules question in the Rules Q&A forum for me and other competent advisors to answer : http://community.wizards.com/go/forum/view/75842/134778/Rules_Q38A
Here is my pool: 
Show



[deck=Blue]
1* Cast Through Time
1* Drake Umbra
1* Aura Finesse
2* Jwari Scuttler
1* Hada Spy Patrol
1* Unified Will
1* Distortion Strike
2* Mnemonic Wall
1* Deprive
1* Enclave Cryptologist
1* See Beyond
2* Regress
1* Reality Spasm
1* Lay Bare
1* Guard Gomazoa
1* Fleeting Distraction
[/deck]

[deck=Black]
1* Vendetta
1* Zulaport Enforcer
1* Corpsehatch
1* Virulent Swipe
1* Dread Drone
2* Null Champion
1* Drana, Kalastria Bloodchief
1* Skeletal Wurm
1* Zof Shade
2* Contaminated Ground
2* Bloodthrone Vampire
[/deck]

[deck=Red]
1* Battle Rampart
1* Ogre Sentry
1* Staggershock
1* Disaster Radius
1* Soulsurge Elemental
2* Wrap in Flames
1* Heat Ray
1* Goblin Tunneler
1* Rage Nimbus
1* Emrakul's Hatcher
1* Spawning Breath
1* Legac Lizard
1* Grotag Siege-Runner
1* Kiln Fiend
[/deck]

[deck=Green]
1* Sporecap Spider
1* Snake Umbra
1* Daggerback Basilisk
1* Irresistible Prey
1* Boar Umbra
1* Nest Invader
1* Overgrown Battlement
1* Nema Siltlurker
2* Growth Spasm
1* Broodwarden
1* Haze Frog
1* Might of the Masses
1* Leaf Arrow
1* Naturalize
[/deck]

[deck=Gold or Colorless]
1* Sarkhan the Mad
1* Ulamog's Crusher
1* Artisan of Kozilek
1* It That Betrays
1* Dreamstone Hedron
1* Evolving Wilds
[/deck]


Here is the deck I made: 
Show

[deck=ROE Pre-Release]
1* Zulaport Enforcer
1* Vendetta
1* Virulent Swipe
1* Ogre Sentry
1* Goblin Tunneler
2* Null Champion
1* Battle Rampart
1* Rage Nimbus
1* Staggershock
1* Soulsurge Elemental
2* Wrap in Flames
1* Sarkhan the Mad
1* Emrakul's Hatcher
1* Dread Drone
1* Corpsehatch
1* Dreamstone Hedron
1* Disaster Radius
1* Ulamog's Crusher
1* Artisan of Kozilek
1* It That Betrays
1* Heat Ray
1* Evolving Wilds
8* Mountain
8* Swamp
[/deck]

I had a blast and my deck played really well.  I went 4-0 before ID'ing the last round to split prizes with the other 4-0.  I only lost one game the whole tournament.  Here is the funniest thing though.  Somehow I missed that Drana, Kalastria Bloodchief sitting in my pool!  I didn't play the 4/4 flying bomb and still went undefeated.  I never even looked at my sideboard all day because my deck was doing so well or I might have noticed her.  Crazy.

I spent the day swinging with 5/5 Zulaport Enforcers, 0/1 Spawn tokens pretending to be 5/5 dragons, and massive Eldrazi.  With all of the Spawn tokens and Dreamstone Hedron, I didn't have any problem getting my Eldrazi out. Virulent Swipe is one of the best removal spells in the format.  I never hesitated to wipe out three Eldrazi Spawn with one of my Wrap in Flames.  If your opponent is playing with spawn, he is going to use them.  Battle Rampart is great fun with Eldrazi.  Disaster Radius with an Eldrazi in your hand is just sick.

Like Wizards warned us, this is not Zendikar/Worldwake.  You can compete, but you have to learn how.  "First to draw a bomb wins" is not true.  I survived a couple of games where my opponent laid the first Eldrazi.  You could have said "first to get off to a good start wins" in Zendikar also. The pros will show us that skill is still important.

I posted a journal of my prerelease day in the General forum.  Here it is:


community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/758...

My deck:



I rather disappointingly went 2-0-3 with the deck (but 7-6 in games). It was a blast to play though. I got off a turn 5 It That Betrays (turn 1 Treespeaker, turn 3 Predator, turn 4 Hatcher), I played Gelatinous Genesis for 6 6/6 Oozes, I got to use Might of the Masses for +19/+19 with 9 Elephants on the table (and once a double Might for +20/+20 on a final-level Beastbreaker), I smacked somebody's face in with his own Ulamog and with an army of Eldrazi Spawn after stealing his turn 5 Broodmother. Essentially, it was an awesome amount of fun.

While I agree the format is somewhat short on specific answer-cards, I think the best answer is just another bomb. I lost horribly to Drana and a bunch of levelers over the course of the day, but if I had drawn my own bombs in those games, it probably would've ended better for me, and I do feel that the format rewards skill level. There were several games where using my mana optimally and having a plan won me the game.
76125763 wrote:
Zindaras' meta is like a fossil, ancient and its secrets yet to be uncovered. Only men of yore, long dead, knew of it.