How did you do at the Prerelease?

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50 people showed up last night, and I managed to make it to the top 16 fer sum boosters :P

Lost the first one to a horrible deck, the guy ran 60 cards including Dreadwaters. Got horrible draws. I one the other 3 Rounds, including a match up where I went 2 - 0 with a guy who people claim is the 2nd best player in the store.

This is what I ran:



The deck played very well, I had some great synergies. Dark Impostor is so strong, but I would have to give the mvp award to Predator's Gambit, I saw it in almost every game, and it really wreaked havoc in this removal light set. Biggest surprise was Ghoulflesh. Against the player I mentioned who people label the 2nd best in the store, it completely stole the win. It was 8 him, 7 me, my turn. I had just finished my combat phase. He had a Latch Seeker with 4 +1/+1
counters. Cast the ghoulflesh, next turn he brought me down to 1, I was able to snag the win the following turn.

I did manage to pull a Demonic Taskmaster and Demonic Rising combo in one of the matches. This was so strong, allowed me to freely attack with the taskmaster and leaving a 5/5 Demon token with flying on the field to block. 

Shortened session for midnight madness. I opened a foil Sigarda, Host of Herons and Entreat the Angels and couldn't play either of them. White just wasn't good enough. On the other hand, red/green worked out for a 2-1 record, and in my three prize packs, I got Silverblade Paladin, Deadeye Navigator, and Tamiyo, the Moon Sage, so I'm ok with it.


My first round loss was to a guy who ended up going 3-0, and I got severely mana-screwed (drew five lands over two games). I still held on for a while in the first one thanks to a Borderland Ranger getting me to 4 mana, but he had multiple "bounce your creature and your opponent's creature" blue spells and multiple "haste/can't block" red guys, so I failed to race. It was still close - I had more creatures than he did, and if I had drawn a Thunderous Wrath, it would have brought him into alpha strike range. Still very disheartening at the time. The other two matches, I had enough mana to play my creatures, and my opponents either got too many expensive cards early or color/mana screwed. I did manage to pound out a win against a 5/5 Silverblade Paladin. Even though he had the enchantment which gives all your creatures +1/1 counters when a creature enters play under your control, he got a bad mana pocket and I was able to stabilize.


Deck looked something like this:


Land (17)
9 x Mountain
8 x Forest


Creatures (19)
Hanweir Lancer x 2
Somberwald Vigilante x 2
Kruin Striker (Great when paired with the Lancer)
Heirs of Stromkirk
Gang of Devils
Hound of Griselbrand
Kessig Malcontents
Mad Prophet
Tyrant of Discord (Stupidly good luck with this guy. 16 permanents, 13 of them land, and he kills my opponent's last creature)
Nightshade Peddler
Timberland Guide (Always dropped his counter on another 1 or 2-drop I had)
Borderland Ranger
Wolfir Avenger
Druid's Familiar
Wandering Wolf
Howlgeist
Pathbreaker Wurm (Paired him with a Lancer to stop a double-striking monstrosity)

Tricks/Removal (4)
Snare the Skies (Never needed the reach, but +1/+1 ended up with some good trades, including an unpaired Silverblade Paladin)
Thunderous Wrath x 2
Dangerous Wager


The only sideboard card I used was Eaten By Spiders against any deck running white. Tons of Angels make this a good card. I always pulled out Dangerous Wager, and never regretted it.

What archetypes did you run up against that were surprisingly good?
I don't know if I got lucky with my pool, lucky with my draws or what, but I managed to get 3 wins and a draw with an aggressive RG deck.  Honourable mentions have to go to:

Conjourer's Closet with Timberland Guide as a late game trick and
Blessings of Nature for finishing power,
but the star of the show for me was 2xThatcher Revolt which comboed well with
Riot Ringleader
Banners Raised
Bloodflow Connoisseur and
Champion of Lambholt
for most of my wins. 

I will post my pool and decklist in a separate thread so as not to clutter this one too much.

Cheers

EDIT: Deck and pool posted here:community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/758...
 
land (17)
10x Plains
6x Forest
1x Heiligtum der Seraphe

creatures (15)
Haunted Guardian
Heilige Justiziarin
Pilger aus Heidenau
2x Midvast Protector
Heiligmacherin der Kathedrale
Moorland-Inquisitor
Engel der Wiederherstellung
2x Seraph of Dawn
Erzengel
Jubilierender Engel
Mauer der Engel
Trusted Forcemage
Borderland Ranger

spells
Anrufung der Engel
Defang
Vessel of Endless Rest
2x Opulentes Wachstum
Eaten by Spiders
Segen der Natur
Weg der Nachfahren

I play only once or twice during the whole span of an expansion, so I severly lacked play experience. I went 2-3, which are two wins more than I expected. I had much fun. the wins I pulled were usually impressive and the games I lost were usually close. Weg der Nachfahren won games on its own. Anrufung der Engel was in my opening hand half of the games and I got to cast it for its miracle cost ONCE. two games I finished with 35 life left and one with 41 (I thought the corresponding achievement was ridiculous and unachievable before ^^)
helvault was even more a dud than expected.

edit: exchanged german cards that didn't work due to spelling with english ones
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I was very pleased with my pull in the sealed. I had great luck playing Hound of Griselbrand along side Call to serve and Slayers' Stronghold. Another really fun combo was Zealous Conscripts with Cloudshift. I lost my first match due to a gamble I took and lost after clearing the board and not coming up with creatures. Then went 5 straight wins before facing Sigarda and not having an appropriate answer to it.
I played a midnight event where I went 3-2 with a R/u Humans deck with good synergies in the red, but really nothing in the blue but some flyers which weren't very impressive. It's possible I should have just been RB for another couple pieces of removal.
I got a couple Turn 5 kills with Kruin Striker into Riot Ringleader into two turns of Thatcher Revolts and noticed those cards are all common so I would like to see how that plays out in draft where I can better tune my deck.

I played another event in the evening and went 4-2 with a WB deck with double Human Frailty, and random black and white creatures, beat all the Humans decks but felt like I didn't have a way to beat Angels.dec which I ran into twice. Even if I did steal their angels with Unhallowed Pact they would just put them on top of their library or have so many other angels it barely mattered. I wasn't impressed with my pool and think 4-2 was a huge success with the pile, my general dislike of WB decks may even have hindered me from doing better with it.
The end is always nigh.
I opened a truly rubbish pool with no bombs or remoal.  I ended up human/angel soulbond and went 2-2-1 (both my losses were 2-1 to legendary angels!).  I had 16 humans and angels with 9 soulbond guys and silly lifelink combos.  I think the format is not as slow as people thought as I saw at least one turn 4 win in a sealed deck.
I opened a truly rubbish pool with no bombs or remoal.  I ended up human/angel soulbond and went 2-2-1 (both my losses were 2-1 to legendary angels!).  I had 16 humans and angels with 9 soulbond guys and silly lifelink combos.  I think the format is not as slow as people thought as I saw at least one turn 4 win in a sealed deck.


It appears to me it's actually mixed. It's either fast or slow. It seemed people, myself included, were either nabbing really quick wins, or pushing the timer. I lost one of my matches (won the round 2 - 1) to a deck that got it's perfect hand, just about.

T1 Stonewright
T2 Kruin Striker
T3 Riot Ringleader

Ya, that was lame... LOL!
I opened a truly rubbish pool with no bombs or remoal.  I ended up human/angel soulbond and went 2-2-1 (both my losses were 2-1 to legendary angels!).  I had 16 humans and angels with 9 soulbond guys and silly lifelink combos.  I think the format is not as slow as people thought as I saw at least one turn 4 win in a sealed deck.


It appears to me it's actually mixed. It's either fast or slow. It seemed people, myself included, were either nabbing really quick wins, or pushing the timer. I lost one of my matches (won the round 2 - 1) to a deck that got it's perfect hand, just about.

T1 Stonewright
T2 Kruin Striker
T3 Riot Ringleader

Ya, that was lame... LOL!



Those are fairly easy to block, and worth tradig with. Though if you have noting in play until turn 3 or 4....


I found the format to be generally slow. And I really dislike it. It's centered mostly on big creatures or bombs., with few ways to deal with them.
Well, I was pretty happy with how my pre-release went.  It is certainly true that there is very little removal in the set, which was reflected in my card pool.  I went with WGu.  The light splash of blue was because it was basically a free splash given that I had 2 Abundant Growths and 2 Borderland Rangers causing me to only need a single island in the deck (that I ended up drawing naturally half of the time anyway).  Captain of the Mists and Amass the Components were very worthy splashes.  My deck was extremely top heavy, with 7 or so cards that cost 6 or more, although two of those were Banishing Stroke and Terminus (which, btw, I never got to play for the miracle cost despite playing them several times).  I did have some early creatures to slow down the game, including 2 Dawn Seraphs that were very valuable when I got them down early.  But dang, when I hit 6 mana, the beats started.  I just played flier after flier after flier (with maybe a Howlgeist thrown in there).  I'm pretty sure big evasive dudes won me all of my games, since I wasn't nearly aggressive enough to beat someone in a fast game.

I started out 4-0, took a draw with the only other 4-0 player in round 5, and then played out round 6 for an opportunity at taking first place, which would happen if I won and my friend who played against the person I drew with won.  My friend won, so I was very happy there.  Unfortunately, I was in the middle of a very tough game.  My opponent played a turn 3 Somberwald Sage that led into a turn 4 Vorstclaw and a turn 5 Pathbreaker Wurm.  Can somebody say, "Ouch"?  I grimaced when he played those two guys in succession and I figured my only real shot at winning was to draw removal, which I did not.  I attacked him with a Moonlight Geist 3 times before I starting leaving my creatures back on blocking duty and I started to wonder how I would win this game.  Staring down at a 7/7 and 6/4 trampler, I looked at my hand trying to figure out what would cause me to not die and still manage to poke through enough damage to beat him down as well.  My answer was Goldnight Redeemer to gain me 4 life back, who teamed up with my Spectral Gateguards to take down his wurm.  I was relieved to get rid of that guy, but then he dumped two more creatures.  Great.  I still couldn't attack, so I threw down a Howlgeist with the intention of blocking.  I chumped the 7/7 and traded with a 4/3, leaving me with a 5/3 Howlgeist.  I then played an Archangel and once again left my creatures back because his forces were too big.  This attack, I threw away the Moonlight Geist as a sacrifice to his 7/7.  After drawing another creature, I started to feel a little more confident.  I attacked with my Archangel and Howlgeist, knocking down half of his life total in one swing.  I threw down my two creatures and passed, ready to take the game.  He stalled me out a couple more turns with a Gloomwidow chump block and a Geist Trappers, but after he double blocked my Archangel in an effort to kill it and I had the Joint Assault, there were no more answers for him.  5-0-1 was good enough for first, so I had taken down the first place prize and my friend took second.

I received 31 packs for my efforts, although 12 of those were Innistrad and Dark Ascension.  I was extremely happy to have earned a booster box worth of cards for the price of a pre-release and also very happy to open a Temporal Mastery and Cavern of Souls as my most valuable rares.  That was a nice, well-fought pile of packs indeed!

Now to shove all of those commons I opened in a box that I will surely ignore for several more months.
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Lousy, 2-4 a weird pool indeed, it contained exactly zero Angels out of six packs... (I later opened 2 more packs, neither of which had Angels either)
no Death Wind or Bone Splinters. Blue creatures started at 4 drops, in a set with no counterspells. Green had 4 creatures, 3 of which were soild. would have had no two drops with a removal spell and a bounce spell and would have been creature light with one removal spell.

Thraben Valiant
Moorland Inquistor
Nearhearth Pilgrim

Soulcage Fiend x2
Hanweir Lancer
Moonlight Geist
Silverblade Paladin
Bloodflow Connoisseur
Demonic Taskmaster

Undead Executioner
Corpse Traders
Demonlord of Ashmouth

Renegade Demon
Dread Slaver

Tormentor's Trident

Righteous Blow x2
Pillar of Flame
Thunderbolt
Necrobite
Zealous Strike
Banishing Stroke

Mountain x2
Plains x7
Swamp x8

Round 1 (1-2) Lost to Wild Defiance ... all three games. Turn 3, games 1 and 3, and topdecked the turn after I Banishing Stroked turn 6 or 7 during game two.

Round 2 (1-2) Opponent wins game 3 off the back of a miracled Banishing Stroke on my Tormentor's Trident, after quickly putting it into his hand and saying "oops", and being the nice guy and letting him have it since it's a prerelease and we're supposed to be "nice"

Round 6 won the first, lost the second, decided to side in a deck I built out of boredom, since we were playing for one pack at that point. Opening hand was 3 forests and all blue cards, so I mulligan. Next hand was... all land, mulligan again. At five, cards and on the play I keep. What followed was fun... opponent slowly, slowly whittles me down to 14. Borderland Ranger followed by Mist Raven, miracle Devastation Tide replay Borderland Ranger, then Mist Raven and Ghostly Flicker flickering both. This was followed by another Mist Raven eventually he burned me out with the ": Ping" Devil, before I could draw into Wolfir Silverheart or Blessings of Nature
This is my first post btw, anyways at my pre-release I went 5-1( 6 rounds total since we had a lot of people) and I got 12 prize packs placing 4th. I opened 3 mythics including a foil Temporal Mastery[/C]. I played a blue green deck splasing red with no real bombs but generally good cards and good synergy. I lost one round to an opponent with a really good white blue deck with Tamiyo.My Decklist:Land8x [c]Island
7x Forest
2x Mountain

Creatures (15)
1x Gryff Vanguard
1x Misthollow Griffin
2x Mist Raven
2x Pathbreaker Wurm
1x Druid's Familiar
2x Alchemist's Apprentice
1x Latch Seeker
1x Trusted Frocemage
1x Wolfrir Avenger
1x Nephalia Smuggler
1x Howlgeist
1x Geist Trappers

Non Creature Spells (8)
1x Temporal Mastery(Foil)
1x Pillar of Flame
1x Thunderous Wrath
1x Terrifying Prescence
1x Blessings of Nature(Foil)
1x Joint Assault
1x Into the Void
1x Ghostly Flicker




Man to be honest I am surprised you went 5-1 with this. Everything is so expensive. You have 3 cheap creatures? I am not saying anything negative, but i feel that you either got EXTREMELY lucky or the people you played against were running Red Spells with Islands as a form of mana.
Artsy_Wumpus, the reason you did not do well was because you were running three colors and had 2 (total of 5 creatures that required double of one type mana to cast) noted creatures that required 2 of one type of mana in its cost. They were three cost creatures so essentially if you had both in hand your 3 cost creature may require turn 4 to cast. This can slow you down greatly (reduce the effectiveness too). I know your only splashing Red, but you would have done better to just avoid red all together. I like where you were going with your build, it had a solid base. But I feel that the choice to splash a third color with the fact you had several creatures that required double mana to cast, it is what slowed you down. Check out my thread and look at the deck i ran and you can see what my deck looked like. I went undefeated and yes i did have 2 creatures that required double mana, but one was a late game creature so that was not an issue and the other was too good to not have in the deck. I also had ways to fix my mana to make casting my spells worth while. I did a three color deck also.




Demidracolich - I failed to put this in my quote. I am happy you did well and am not calling you a liar at all. I am just surprised. In future drafts/sealed i would recommend on focusing a nice base of cheaper creatures, have more turn 3 creatures with great abilities than any other. I would only recommend 3 end game creatures (big cost/expensive abilities) per 40 card deck (unless you have the ability to mana fix). I tend to run several turn one and two spells and creatures, Most of my creatures will be turn 3 cost based on their abilities. I generally only have 3-6 heavy cost spells, purely on what they offer me. I will have atleast one or two Big creatures even if they dont have an ability because you need something that can change the game. Please look at my thread and see what I did to go undefeated. I Know your decks will be based on the cards you draw, I ask you look at my mana spread. I tend to do very well in Draft/seal because I follow this mana spread. It garentees i do something each turn. 
I took 3rd yesterday with a G/W/r deck.  My two bombs were Avacyn, Angel of Hope and Cathar's Crusade.  Both of which were amazing!
I went 5-2 with the following decklist. 


A pretty good selection of aggro creatures with soulbond and Angel of Glory's Rise to return my humans if the game goes on long. Scalding Devil was surprisingly good. Just sat on the field pinging my opponent. Think I did like 8 damage one game with it and basically won a game with it alone by pinging for 2 and then 3 a turn while my opponent and I had tons of creatures out but no profitable attacks. That +6/+6 trample and lure miracle card is a pain. Loss two games because my opponents miracled it.

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Artsy_Wumpus, the reason you did not do well was because you were running three colors and had 2 (total of 5 creatures that required double of one type mana to cast) noted creatures that required 2 of one type of mana in its cost. They were three cost creatures so essentially if you had both in hand your 3 cost creature may require turn 4 to cast. This can slow you down greatly (reduce the effectiveness too). I know your only splashing Red, but you would have done better to just avoid red all together. I like where you were going with your build, it had a solid base. But I feel that the choice to splash a third color with the fact you had several creatures that required double mana to cast, it is what slowed you down. Check out my thread and look at the deck i ran and you can see what my deck looked like. I went undefeated and yes i did have 2 creatures that required double mana, but one was a late game creature so that was not an issue and the other was too good to not have in the deck. I also had ways to fix my mana to make casting my spells worth while. I did a three color deck also.



It was a toss-up, splash to have more early removal to clear the way or play things like Spectral Gateguards and Hunted Ghoul

I went in thinking this was a "slow" environment, but time and time again was eaten alive by 1 and 2 drops. If I had to do it again, I probably would have gone but I really would have liked a Nightshade Peddler... instead of a Diregraf Escort
I went 4-0 at our local prerelease (20 people playing), but got 2nd since we had another undefeated guy who had better breakers than me. I opened a pretty sick pool and ended up playing a removal-heavy red-black aggressive deck with Treacherous Pit-Dweller, Zealous Conscripts, Blood Artist, two Thunderous Wraths, Barter in Blood, Bone Splinters and two of the -X/-X instants. In two of my match-ups I boarded into a slower deck topped out by Sigarda, Host of Herons and Entreat the Angels. That deck was much slower but ultimately more inevitable.
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Lobster, it seems that the good decks can be divided into 2 types:
1:  Bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb.  This is what you play when you open a mythic.
2:  Aggro, usually red, often with cards that can even exploit thatcher revolt.
Is this correct? 



You have some blink abuse builds that work. Takes some luck though.
Went 3-3, and finished just a couple spots below prizes.  Got really discouraged, winning my first match, and then losing the next three, but won my final two to end up sort of respectable.

Turns out that Burn at the Stake and Divine Deflection are awesome.

I also opened Gisela, Blade of Goldnight, but never got to play her, and Malignus whom I was able to play several times.  He's really good for getting back into the game from behind.

Overall, not too bad, but some of my matches were not all that fun.  Sometimes I blame the format, other times, the opponent (e.g., rules lawyering is kind of annoying at pre-release, IMO).
Went 3-3, and finished just a couple spots below prizes.  Got really discouraged, winning my first match, and then losing the next three, but won my final two to end up sort of respectable.

Turns out that Burn at the Stake and Divine Deflection are awesome.

I also opened Gisela, Blade of Goldnight, but never got to play her, and Malignus whom I was able to play several times.  He's really good for getting back into the game from behind.

Overall, not too bad, but some of my matches were not all that fun.  Sometimes I blame the format, other times, the opponent (e.g., rules lawyering is kind of annoying at pre-release, IMO).



What rules came into effect? Here it was mostly soulbond stuff.
Went 2-3 at my prerelease, mostly because of my beautiful (un)luck, plus, I choosed to go with my blue pool, and it was simply horrible, sould have taken black for additional enchants and removal, but hey, deck was hilarious, never thought I'd saw a 9/10 Midnight Duelist. Oh, and Divine Deflection is serious table flipping.




So, yeah... Red and Blue was simply awful. White had the most potential, so I went along with it, green was second. Thought blue was good, but it wasn't, draw power wasn't really needed in my deck. I pretty much like what I had.

Pool:
Show

Rares
Herald of War
Divine Deflection
Cathars' Crusade  
Arcane Melee   
Demonic Rising   
Dual Casting 
^ That's... just... awful. Makes me sad. 
  
[deck]
1 Farbog Explorer
1 Spectral Gateguards
1 Holy Justiciar
1 Moorland Inquisitor
1 Seraph of Dawn
1 Archangel
1 Midnight Duelist
1 Voice of the Provinces
1 Herald of War
1 Cursebreak
1 Angel's Mercy
1 Zealous Strike
1 Banishing Stroke
1 Divine Deflection
1 Righteous Blow
1 Call to Serve
1 Cathars' Crusade

1 Gryff Vanguard
1 Wingcrafter
1 Galvanic Alchemist
1 Havengul Skaab
1 Rotcrown Ghoul
1 Amass the Components
1 Ghostly Flicker
1 Crippling Chill
3 Fleeting Distraction
1 second Guess
1 Outwit
1 Arcane Melee

2 Bloodflow Connoisseur
1 Demonic Taskmaster
1 Polluted Dead
1 Hunted Ghoul
1 Evernight Shade
1 Marrow Bats
1 Driver of the Dead
1 Corpse Traders
1 Mental Agony
1 Death Wind
1 Human Frailty
2 Predator's Gambit
1 Homicidal Seclusion
1 Unhallowed Pact
1 Demonic Rising

1 Vexing Devil
1 Hanweir Lancer
2 Mad Prophet
1 Raging Poltergeist
1 Fervent Cathar
1 Thatcher Revolt
2 Demolish
1 Banners Raised
1 Dangerous Wager
1 Dual Casting
2 Guise of Fire

1 Wildwood Geist
2 Nightshade Peddler
1 Howlgeist
1 Pathbreaker Wurm
1 Druid's Familiar
2 Timberland Guide
1 Blessings of Nature
1 Rain of Thorns
1 Natural End
1 Triumph of Ferocity
1 Bower Passage
1 Grounded

1 Haunted Guardian
1 Angel's Tomb
1 Scroll of Griselbrand
2 Scroll of Avacyn
1 Bladed Bracers
1 Vanguard's Shield

1 Seraph Sanctuary
[/deck]

I may have forgotten one or more cards, just posting those by memory.
Went 3-3, and finished just a couple spots below prizes.  Got really discouraged, winning my first match, and then losing the next three, but won my final two to end up sort of respectable.

Turns out that Burn at the Stake and Divine Deflection are awesome.

I also opened Gisela, Blade of Goldnight, but never got to play her, and Malignus whom I was able to play several times.  He's really good for getting back into the game from behind.

Overall, not too bad, but some of my matches were not all that fun.  Sometimes I blame the format, other times, the opponent (e.g., rules lawyering is kind of annoying at pre-release, IMO).



What rules came into effect? Here it was mostly soulbond stuff.



Well, maybe it wasn't even rules lawyering, but I thought it was a little strict for a PR.

I wanted to loot with my Mad Prophet at the end of turn, but forget and turned one of my lands just a little and then asked if I could loot and he said no.  Just left a bad taste in my mouth, even though it would not have changed the outcome of the game.

Other than that, yeah, mostly Soulbond.

I opened a pool with no bombs cards, but a decent amount of "good" cards. I ended up making a BG deck with some early drops, a couple pieces of removal, and lots of discard. I also built a RU aggro/tempo deck. With a couple of minutes left in the build time I had tested the BG deck a couple times and it just wasn't quite clicking so I started with the RU and went 2-2. Bouncing creatures was pivotal to the deck - either my own creatures or my opponent's.

Some thoughts:

Nephalia Smuggler + Kessig Malcontents + 7 other humans is a nice combo.

Despite the CCC cost, Burn at the Stake is crazy good.

Creatures that can give first strike (or double strike) are very good

Soulbonding is huge, since it can create some crazy combos. First strike/deathtouch or Lifelink with +2/+2 or first strike + flying.

Desolate Lighthouse is very useful. I played out at least two games where I started with this and 4 lands along with 2 good spells, because I knew that I could loot away things if I drew any more lands.

This format is not nearly as slow as people have been supposing, it's just deceptive. When you can drop a creature that gives +2/+2 to another creature from the previous turn, which is already able to attack, it makes things go faster.

This format is not nearly as slow as people have been supposing, it's just deceptive. When you can drop a creature that gives +2/+2 to another creature from the previous turn, which is already able to attack, it makes things go faster.


Indeed.  I played in 3 prereleases this weekend, all of my decks were aggro.  With people underestimating the speed you can get in this format, I won a few games before the other player was ever really doing anything.  In two different pools, I was attacking once for 8 on turn 4 and a different time for 11 turn 4.

This weekend was the first time I've placed in the prizes at a prerelease, and I placed 1st, 2nd, and 5th over the weekend.  I went X-1 twice saturday, playing RBw and then BWr.  Both of those pools had good removal - 1 Bone Splinter, 1 Death Wind, 1 Thunderous Wrath, 1 Righteous Blow and 1 Banishing Stroke in both.  1 Defang and 2 Thunderbolt in the first, reverse those numbers in the second, and also a Ghoulflesh and Undead Executioner in the first.  The second pool also had triple-Demonic Taskmaster and a Silverblade Paladin.
Sunday's pool I played RG aggro, very tempted to splash white.  This pool had 2 Joint Assault, 2 Pillar of Flame, and Thunderous Wrath for removal, plus 2 Righteous Blow and a Terminus if I played white.  I had Somberwald Sage, Soul of the Harvest (and used them together for a turn 4 Soul once), and Hound of Griselbrand (once paired with a Stonewright). 
Against one slow opponent, I was able to win purely off a turn 1 Stonewright, turn 2 pairing and keep pumping mana into the attack without playing anything else.  This was the pool with the turn 4 swing for 11: random 1 drop human, had no 2-drop or it would have been a turn 4 kill, turn 3 Riot Ringleader and turn 4 Thatcher Revolt to swing with battle-cried humans.  My opponent hadn't played a single creature yet. 
This pool had 2 Joint Assault, 2 Pillar of Flame, 2 Righteous Blow, and a Thunderous Wrath and Terminus

Soulbond will be a very real archetype, especially in green.  My turn 4 Gloomwidow into turn 5 Druid's Familiar was a beating, even though I missed a land drop and played nothing else before that while my opponent had the 3-drop angel.  Even the commons make some great pairings.

I almost never payed the miracle cost on anything, except when Thunderous Wrath was going to the face to make/allow the kill.  In almost every possible case, it was better to wait and play them as instants so I could mess up combat, especially messing up Soulbond pairings.  Even with Terminus, I wanted to get my attack in before casting it.
There's a difference between "Slower" and "Aggro not valid".  Aggro is absolutley valid, but the backbone of a good aggro strategy is going to be in the 4-drops, not the 2-drops (like Scars).  It changes the dynamic significantly and makes control actually capable of functioning more often than once in a blue moon.

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THE COALITION WAR GAME -Phyrexian Chief Praetor
Round 1: (4-1-2, 1 kill)
Round 2: (16-8-2, 4 kills)
Round 3: (18-9-2, 1 kill)
Round 4: (22-10-0, 2 kills)
Round 5: (56-16-3, 9 kills)
Round 6: (8-7-1)

Last Edited by Ralph on blank, 1920

Green is the best colour. It does Soulbond well, and has enough humans to make it worthwhile for Tribal purposes (with a lot of Humans having Soulbond). Big creatures and mana fixing help round it out.

After that, I'd go for Red. Lots of good cheap aggro creatures. Blue is decent enough, probably higher than White. And Black is in the basement. No soulbond, no humans, generally inferior to other colours.  

"Ah, the age-old conundrum. Defenders of a game are too blind to see it's broken, and critics are too idiotic to see that it isn't." - Brian McCormick

i played in two prereleases.  the first pool i opened up alot of blue bombs, dead eye navigator, lone revenant, and infinite reflection backed by solid blue cards, 3 mist raven....1 amass the compound, 1 into the void (bounce up to two target creatures), 1 vanishment and decided to pair blue with white, which gave me silverblade paladin archangel and banishing stroke.  Was very happy with the deck, ended up placing 5th.  Made a play mistake that cost me a game.  round 4 i ended up having to draw due to time. 

second prerelease i decided to go red/green aggro.  all i have to say is either hanweir lancer ot trusted forcemage turn 3 followed by druid familiar is op.  combine this with curving out with any two drop and it's pretty nasty.  add in an instant joint assualt and thats also dumb.  opened up vexing devil (4 dmg to the fact everytime early) and tamiyo.  could have gone blue with my pool, but decided to play green for the two druid familiars and the aggro common red humans.  i made another misplay that cost me a round, and had horrible luck in my last round, drawing lots of lands (game 2) and/or drawing all my tricks and very little to no dudes to use them with.  overall had a blast, placed 9th out of 40+ players still, and learned alot about the set, which isn't as slow as I initially thought. 

Looking forward to drafting this set and going big on the red aggro.

 
Artsy_Wumpus, the reason you did not do well was because you were running three colors and had 2 (total of 5 creatures that required double of one type mana to cast) noted creatures that required 2 of one type of mana in its cost. They were three cost creatures so essentially if you had both in hand your 3 cost creature may require turn 4 to cast. This can slow you down greatly (reduce the effectiveness too). I know your only splashing Red, but you would have done better to just avoid red all together. I like where you were going with your build, it had a solid base. But I feel that the choice to splash a third color with the fact you had several creatures that required double mana to cast, it is what slowed you down. Check out my thread and look at the deck i ran and you can see what my deck looked like. I went undefeated and yes i did have 2 creatures that required double mana, but one was a late game creature so that was not an issue and the other was too good to not have in the deck. I also had ways to fix my mana to make casting my spells worth while. I did a three color deck also.



It was a toss-up, splash to have more early removal to clear the way or play things like Spectral Gateguards and Hunted Ghoul

I went in thinking this was a "slow" environment, but time and time again was eaten alive by 1 and 2 drops. If I had to do it again, I probably would have gone but I really would have liked a Nightshade Peddler... instead of a Diregraf Escort




The white/red Humans in this set are extremely fast. It allowed people to build fast decks with a low mana cost. I posted what i used in a thread that went undefeated. It was green/red humans with a splash of white. But I can understand where you came from, about thinking it would be slower moving. 
Guys, I am seeing a lot of this happening. Over/under mana usage for decks.


Everyone has their own way of building decks. This is perfect and I support building your own deck instead of net decking.  (but regardless of how you get the deck, i want you to play =) So I say this based on my experience with draft/sealed. I have been playing MTG many years and have participated in many many draft/sealed.


On AVERAGE a 40 card deck should run roughly 13-16 lands depending on the curve of spells you have.
(Of course, if you have a lot of expensive spells then you will need to ensure you get the mana so of course going toward the higher side of mana is expected. Decks with alot of cheap 2 & 3 cost spells can get away with lower cost)  

.
A rule of thumb i use is to start with 15-16 lands (depending on my curve). For each card I have in my 40 card deck that has a mana fixing effect (fetch land, produce mana of any color, produce a mana in general, etc) i can reduce the amount of mana in the deck via 1:1 (so one land per one card). I never go below 13 lands.

I also never keep a starting hand with less than 2 mana.

By following that simple strategy I garentuee you will see yourself doing a little better in draft - Now of course you have to pay attention to your mana curve. If you have a deck with lots of big costing spells and 3 mana producing cards and 13 lands and you lose... Dont set me on fire, you should not have a 40 card deck full of heavy costing spells especially when there are so many powerful weenie humans like now. (Souldbound is unbelievably broken in draft - But soooooo fun )     

There is an article on the Daily MTG webiste (ya know the wizards of the cost website with producers and designers writing articles) that actually goes into alot more detail about this mana break down for 40 card decks. It is essentially what i said, but much more detail.

You can also read a few post on Star City written by the guys from their group. They also follow this. --- I made this post because seeing some of the above decks have 20 lands and such. This is just to much, but then again everyone has their own play style. I just recommend trying to adapt a bit.

Another big tip: Dont go over 40 cards!!!! I know it can be tempting to put that one extra card, come on right? whats 41 cards gonna do.... It changes your entire draw ratio!! One card will change it!!! So please, try your best to keep it at 40! I promise the individuals that do run 40 card decks will do better than the ones with 43. (in the long run that is) -- Before you jump on me there is a degree of luck in any card game.

Everyone will get bad luck and have horrible draws. Or games with 5-6 turn mana pockets (drawing nothing but lands for that mana turns will kill you) - You can greatly reduce the chances of doing this by shuffling extremely well - I see to many people doing a pathetic shuffle then wondering why they are not getting any lands - Please Shuffle!!!!!!! If you even think you need to shuffle again then shuffle two more times! Then one more time after that! This will help reduce the chances of mana pockets happening.

I hope you guys try my tip and get success, i have years behind this. I hope it helps you all! Good Luck with your next sealed/draft!!!!!!!! Also, check my post to see what i went undefeated with. I was a green/red human weenie with a splash of white and I ran 13 lands!! (I had 2 mana fixers and my base was 15 so i dropped it by two). It went perfect!


P.S. Never go less than 13 lands in a 40 card deck.
Catowner: That is mostly correct, although I would add these:
U/R/G (any two) soulbond tempo/midrange beatdown. The scarcity of removal means that soulbond is really powerful, and especially the green guys are good at this.
U/W control skies. Blue has two fabulous flying beaters in Mist Raven and Gryff Vanguard, and cards like Angelic Wall and Serap of Dawn can help you race better. Flicker effects work great with the blue cards mentioned to gain advantage or push through.
B-based Loner: Cards like Bone Splinters and Barter in Blood mean that black-based cards can keep opponents as reduced as them, and uncommons like Evernight Shade and Homicidal Seclusion break that symmetry. This is rare in sealed but can come together in a draft if Black is open (which seems like something that could happen quite often as few cards actively pull you into black).
Preparing for the M14 Prerelease - New article up! IN THE TANK - my very own blog for rambling about Magic!
I played in 4 events.

First event:  R/G/w Super Aggro

I don't remember the exact list, but I had 10-12 Soulbond creatures, something like 6-8 2-drops and a few 1-drops.  Splashed white off 2x Abundant Growth and a Plains for Restoration Angel.  Had Champion of Lambholt and Zealous Conscripts.    Pretty much just bashed away.  Went 3-1 (7-2 in games), typically winning before turn 6.

Second event:  W/B/g Mid-Range (?)

Again, I don't know the exact list.  Was very controling (i.e. I actually had 5-6 pieces of removal).  Most of the creatures were expensive, but all of my cheap guys were very good defensively.  Had a lot of life gain as well.  Featured Sigarda, Host of Herons and Dark Impostor.  Went 0-2 (1-4) and dropped.  Was way too slow, and did not have enough removal to keep the board under control.

Third Event:  R/G Mid-Range Aggro

No list again.  Very similar to the first deck, but I didn't have nearly the same amount of soulbond and early plays.  Instead, I had Wolfir Silverheart, Tyrant of Discord and Soul of the Harvest as the top end.  Had a ton of card draw in 2x Abundant Growth and Triumph of Ferocity.  Went 2-2 (6-4 in games), but played poorly a lot.  The deck was just a little too slow against some of the white Angel based decks, but easily went over the top of aggro decks.  The deck probably should have been a 3-1 deck.

Fourth Event:  W/G/b Jank

Slower build, but had decent removal and plenty of early action in the form of defensive blockers.  Highlights include Avacyn, Angel of Hope and Killing Wave.  Went 1-0-1 in a shortened late-night event (and that was overperforming, as my opponents mulled to 5 or 6 in every game).  Way too slow to be really viable.  I found out that when the deck drew really well, it could beat down fairly well early, but the list's mid-game was horrendous.  Basically, once I got the opponent under 10 life through 2-4 point chunks, I didn't have any way to punch through the last bit of damage.  I'd have my creatures easily outclassed and their bombs came online faster.  If it was a longer event, the deck probably would be a 1-3 list.

Overall, I think there is a big disconnect in the format.  You can have the really fast aggressive decks or the really slow "control" decks (well, as controlling as it gets with very little removal).  However, if you're on the control side, you better have things to do early and some kind of life gain or your late game is not going to matter.
I played in two events and went 5-1 in both.

First event I was GW soulbond guys, I think out of the 17 creatures I played 9 or 10 of them had soulbond. I mostly won off the back of Wandering Wolf and other soulbond guys like Druid's Familiar. This pool also had a Moonsilver Spear that I would often attach to soulbonded death touch guys. I lost in a game 3 to Gisela, Blade of Goldnight and some burn.

Second event I was RG with an Ulvenwald Tracker big dudes like Tyrant of Discord, that pool also had a Vexing Devil that was always 4 to the face.
I went 3-2.  It was my first pre-release, and I'm pretty sure I made the best deck out of my pool.  I used G/W angels and humans with Sigarda, Host of Herons, Descendants' Path and Herald of War.  I lost against R/W humans (super fast), and G/B soulbound (came really close though).

I had a blast and was stoked for the contents of the Helvault.
Fear Of The Dark, Fear Of The Dark, I Have A Constant Fear That Something's Always Near; Fear Of The Dark, Fear Of The Dark, I Have A Phobia That Someone's Always There- Iron Maiden Fear of the Dark shall be feared no longer! Let him be praised instead! (Many, many thanks for all your hard work!) - darkwarlock I am Red/Green
I am Red/Green
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I went 2-1-1. There were a lot of drawn matches at my event, because the store was a little impatient on time, but my U/B/g control deck did very well. Undying creatures+Bone Splinters, Unhallowed Pact, and a Tamiyo that I ulted twice led to a lot of silliness. I won a lot of games through mill, and Dread Waters was great every time I dropped it (especially with 12 lands and a Tamiyo emblem for an unnecessary 36 mill).
Etiamnunc sto, etiamsi caelum ruat.
I went to my first prerelease event & I somehow did good... Here's the deck I was running at the Avacyn Restored event:

White

x2 Cathedral Sanctifier
x2 Cloudshift
x2 Defang
x1 Divine Deflection
x1 Moonlight Geist
x1 Holy Justiciar
x1 Builder's Blessing
x1 Restoration Angel
x1 Spectral Gateguards
x1 Cathars' Crusade

Red

x1 Stonewright
x1 Pillar of Flame
x1 Somberwald Vigilante
x1 Lightning Mauler
x1 Battle Hymn
x1 Hanweir Lancer
x1 Tibalt, the Fiend-Blooded
x2 Heirs of Stromkirk

Artifact

x1 Scroll of Avacyn
x1 Angelic Armaments

Lands

x9 Plains
x7 Mountain

13 White Cards
9 Red Cards
2 Artifacts
16 Lands 

I am Blue/White
I am Blue/White
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