9/28/2012 TWTW: "Re-Yearning for Ravnica"

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This thread is for discussion of this week's The Week That Was, which goes live Friday morning on magicthegathering.com.
"It is a very small sample size but Rakdos and Golgari were unclaimed by any of the game's top players who I spoke to via Facebook and Twitter. What are you playing and why?"

That's what you get making a horrible mechanic like Unleash.  lol




 
Depending on how you go about ranking them, I dont feel that Azorius is at the top.

The mechanic is about 3rd, the guildmage is probably 4th, the keyrune is third, the rare is second or third depending on the rest of what you get in the packs, and the charm hovers between 3rd and 4th....

There are just a lot of ways that Golgari can mess with peoples day to not put them at first (or even second)....

I think what will really do good is Jund.... Early/Late Unleash mixed with Mid/Late Scavenge....

A broken foot is nothing.  I remember judging when one of our attendees had a broken foot.  We made some reasonable accomodations and it worked out just fine.


Of course, now that the pre-release is "just another tournament", it's not quite as important or exciting to be there.

I for one will be choosing Rakdos. Not so much in belief it is the most powerfull guild but more because I feel most comfortable with being as aggressive as possible. I also like to burn things. And this will be my first tournament ever so basically I am just going with what seems most fun for me (and quite excited too since I started playing around ice age/4th edition, but never had any tourneys nearby or time or money to attend, now it finally comes true)
There is a point to be made for choosing Selesnya, just because the prerelease card is the only one that will be worth something for sure. That land is gonna be played in all the top decks, the others we don't know yet.

In other news, I feel bad because I'm completely broke at the moment. Hopefully I'll be able to get into the next prerelease
I haven't been playing Magic very long, less than a year actually, but I've grown to love the game.  While the pros that BDM seem to think that detain is going to be the best mechanic to play with, it brings up the only thing I don't expect to enjoy about the pre-release: waiting for every pairing of Azorius vs. Azorius to go to time every single round (like every other blue-white game in every other event I've ever attended).  I can see it now; detain, detain, conterspell, detain, counterspell, detain...  Sure, it wins games (against me in particular, irritatingly enough), but in the most boring and Azorius-like manner possible.  Fine, let the bureaucrats lock down a couple of my creatures, but nothing deals with the red-tape paperwork like the libral application of fire.  Burn for Rakdos, baby!
I've asked this before, but I'll ask again: is there anyone out there who is genuinely excited for the Unleash mechanic? If so, can you post why it excites you so much?

I just can't understand for the life of me why anyone would choose Rakdos in the prerelease outside of trying to win the lottery with some of the decent rares and uncommons; almost all the rest of Rakdos seems like jank outside of a hyper-aggressive draft deck. This is especially noticable to me when I can see all of the rest of the mechanics being used in constructed.

I hope that Rakdos players do well in this weekend's events. The packs they win might make up for having such a useless mechanic on so many of their creatures. Look at the alternatives: easily "flicker" detain creatures with AVR cards, put +1/+1 counters on other critters without a drawback, copy any creature tokens (sometimes at instant speed!), or have extremely useful flexibility in one-sided spells.
I am running Azorius this weekend.  It is the guild I am most aligned with and has a pretty neat ability.
IMAGE(http://pwp.wizards.com/1205820039/Scorecards/Landscape.png)
im playing azorius. flyers + detain. there are a couple of decent common cheap creatures for the early game and the promo just flips a mid-game. at first i wanted to play golgari, but damn its to slow and expensive for limited. rakdos is completely broken in limited if your luck isnt insane, izzet offers no real threads... selesnya is also good in my eyes. but i dont like the hippie-flavor ;)
It's not surprising to me that the pros tend towards the controlling decks, that's where they can make the most advantage of their skills.

I'm a bit surprised that nobody went for Golgari, but the mechanic seems so powered down compared to Dredge that I think it just may not excite people very much.
Greetings from Costa Rica. I am going Rakdos, but my plan is to have a solid jund. I think rakdos with lots of haste and first strike along with some trample and deathtouch (even lifelink) can benefit a lot from scavenge. Pack rat comboes well with scavenge and  you can also use hybrid spells from izzet, rakdos and golgari to combo with guttersnipe, pyroconvergence and lobber crew. This is going to be so much fun!!!
Well, maybe is just me. But I'm choosing Rakdos only for the fun of it (and because I really loved the promo Carnival Hellsteed art!).

In fact none of these guilds really interests me, I'm waiting to Gatecrash and play for the Dimir (hail Lord Szadek!  lol). But, I think that I'll make the same as everyone who attain to play as Rakdos, and splash for some Golgari/Izzet cards as they have some handy resources that can help the guild to be strong.

But, as I read here... it will probabbly to se a lot of "Azorius vs Azorius", I just don't know if it's because they really have something to do with the guild or because most of people are choosing the one that's most likely to win the battles.

Anyway... I really hope Wizards do smoething to turn Rakdos better at Sinker. One of the things I really would like to see (even thought I'm no pro player) is 10 tier 1 decks with different mechanics rule the Standard and finish this "monopoly".

Mean, Magic must be fun after all... and everyone must have the chance to play with the colors/guild/shard/whatever they want and still have a chance to win some tours!

I really hope to not be the only one to think this way. I'm blue/black allinged, but it doesn't mean I want to see ONLY blue deck winning games...it's quite unfair and boring.

Everytime I go to the store where I play and see the tours... 8 of 10 people are playing blue/white or something like that. It's stupid to see everyone playing with the very same deck...  -.-"

 

Was I the only one deciding based on the ability to build a cohesive deck ideally from 2 colors with a small splash?


For instance blue/white has 34 commons, 18 of them creatures (counting the bird token maker), 3-4 of which are far from something you want in a deck. Another 3-4 that are marginal.


Removal is scary; EDIT: 6 7 removals spells at common and thats reaching pretty far: counting Cancel, a bounce spell, a +1/+0 first strike trick, a highly situational removal, an expensive one, and finally the -4/-0 combat trick. I forgot the doesnt untap aura; it stops an attack after it attacked, so it seems situational at best.


Uncommon removal is 2 counters and a crappy enchantment one (the repay the creatures mana cost or sac each upkeep) and the only decent blue/white removal of Arrest.


Rare has a sweeper and one removal, mythic has one very strong removal, but it is conditional and well, mythic.


So as blue/white base you have to lean heavily on detain, counters, and expensive creatures. It just seems extremely weak to fast decks (Rakdos) or swarms of creatures (Selysnia).


I don't think detain will be as strong as some apparently feel, its usually a one shot effect, and if it's not it's expensive.


I won't be izzet because the creature count is so low it would seem you would need another color just to fill in creatures.


I haven't decided between Selysnia Rakdos or Golgari yet, though Radkos is leading with Golgari unlikely.


One a different note: I will assuredly play Orzhov at gatecrash because I have always loved playing black white.

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Rakdos doesn't seem too bad. Unleash may have very little constructed playability and all of the unleash creatures scream 'use unleash or I'm an overcosted jank card', but in a limited format? It might work.

That said, Azorius seems strongest to me. Detain is a removal mechanic of sorts, and depending on the card, it's semi-permanent (as in, some are triggered by attacking or the beginning of your upkeep rather than a one shot ETB effect or somesuch). The Azorius also have plenty of fliers.
Removal (of sorts) and Evasion? In limited? Sounds good to me.

Selesnya seem second best. Populate can get out of hand very quickly.

The rest is somewhat up in the air, although Paulo's list seems okay to me.


Thank you.  I'm glad that some people think that Rakdos is a good way to go for the prerelease.  Honestly, detain will be good once RTR hits standard, but as mentioned above, Azorious is too slow for Limited.  I'm not saying I'm right, and Ill happily be proven wrong, but Rakdos splashed with some green for mid-late game Golgari threats seems like a good idea to me.  That's definitely what I'll be using this weekend. 
I'll be at the Enchanted Grounds event!


I'll be playing THG with my daughter. She's Azorious and I'm going Rakdos. She can detain while I unleash. Quit hating on Rakdos, it's definitely a red/black suicide player's mechanic and I know that's now everyone's thing. This is her first tournament so I figure we will play together while she learns the ropes.


My son will be in sealed running Selesnya. He likes the populate mechanic, which does seem good if it can get rolling.
I chose to play Rakdos at my pre-release today and won followed up by 2 other Rakdos players.
You want creatures to deal damage, lots and fast so unleash works well as it puts your guys out of reach of a lot of other creatures. And you want to kill guys to stop your opponents/clear the way or just get that last bit of damage burnt from their face. That's why I chose Rakdos. Fast and hard to kill from blocking creatures with a touch of control.
In related news the black and red +2/+x enchantments are amazing and should not be left out of the main deck in this format if you're in those colours
Went to the midnight prerelease so here are the results we saw:
1st: Golgari
2nd: Izzet (myself)
3rd: Rakdos
4th: Selesnya (splash black)

For everyone undervaluing the board control izzet has, my first three rounds were all against token massing selesnya decks and i won all of them. Hypersonic dragon along with full board tap control and on the reverse making all your creatures unblockable makes for a good bit of aggro in what would seem like a less than stellar aggresion deck. The only match i lost of the 5 matches was to the guy who placed 3rd as rakdos because he managed to get rakdos out a turn before i got my dragon. (game 3)
I know that a lot of people have already played at their prelease, so I'm a little late.  I think the fact that you get to choose your guild (and hence your promo card) changes things a good deal.  Choosing the best guild really changes on what you're asking.  UW is one of my favorite draft archetypes and fits in well with my style.  On top of that, Azorius looks to have some of the better cards with enough creatures and detain to break stalls.  The problem is that I think they have the worst promo card, 7cc and not incredibly powerful.  Izzet isn't a draft archetype that I like because I dont think it has enough threat density, but I also think that it has some of the better cards in the set, and my favorite promo card.  A 4/4 flying haste for 3ur is reasonable and the ability strikes me as a very powerful one.  Rakdos isn't a guild that interests me in the slightest.  I don't think unleash is a fun or powerful mechanic and I just don't think it is a very strong guild.  Seleynya is also a guild I'm not interested in, although I think it will do well.  A lot of drafts come down to who has bigger, better, or more creatures and Selesnya will probably lead in that department.   

All that said, I'll probably go Golgari.  Call me foolish, but I think Rock style decks do well in limited because they have big threats and coveted removal.  On top of that, I think Scavenge will very good in limited.  It's a bit slow in constructed, but in limited it will ensure your creatures are bigger than that of  your opponents, and it sort of turns all your creatures into two-for-ones.  On top of that, I think Corpsejack Menace will actually be a real card in limited.  A 4/4 for 4 is reasonable and the ability can get out of hand quickly.  For example, it means scavening a simple Dreg Mangler puts a whopping 6/6 onto a creature, which means it will be very difficult to deal with.  It gets out of hand quickly.  I think people are underestimating how good the scavenge mechanic will be in limited.  Golgari just seems like it does a lot of things that you want to do.
Some thoughts from the prerelease:
Azorius was very popular. So popular in fact, that the store sold out on them on the first day of the prerelease and didn't have enough left for the second day. White has very bomby rares and mythics, so this isn't too surprising. Detain is good, especially if it's reusable like on the New Pravh guildmage or Martial Law.

Izzet got absolutely destroyed at our prerelease. They have a lot of cute tricks, but just run out of steam due to a shortage of actual threats. Splashing for blue or red works pretty well, but you probably don't want the meat and bones of your deck to be izzet-based.

Golgari did good. Scavenge, although slow and often expensive, can turn utility creatures into semi-fatties and midrange beasts into genuine monsters. Scavenge and evasive beaters is also clearly good. Once you get to five or six mana, you can easily adapt to most board states as you see fit. Golgari aggro also seems to work okay, but you'll need the right cards for it. Corpsejack Menace never seemed to deliver, although this is probably in part because some people at my prerelease seemed to think Corpsejack Menace's mere presence made cards like Slitherhead playable all of a sudden.

Selesnya is solid, if a bit hit-or-miss. Populate is a great mechanic, but you really need to get the token-producers to get your engine going. If you have too few of them in your pool, focusing on populate can easily become a trap. The promo land is amazing whenever you draw it, possibly the best promo card of the lot. In all likelihood, the strength of your white will decide how well you do with Selesnya. White shores up your weaknesses by providing cost-efficient fliers and very strong removal.

Rakdos has a bad rep and seem quite unpopular, but more than anything, they feel like a metagame choice or sorts. They provide little value card-wise but it's really strong in limited. Don't underestimate the value of curving out perfectly with a 2/2 on turn one, a 2/3 or 3/2 on turn two and a 3/4 on turn three. Three-color decks aided by CITP gates are common, and punishing slow starts is what Rakdos does best. Picking Rakdos wasn't a bad choice in my mind. Most of those who picked them, won the vast majority of their games. Having a slightly lower valued guild booster isn't too bad when you're that more likely to get some prize boosters at the end.

Other thoughts:
- The guildmages are awesome. Not bomb-awesome, but pretty close.
- While there's very little in the format that Gatekeeper Vine can block and still survive, they're still good. If you can't get your hands on any in-color bombs and -have to- branch out, these are worth their weight in gold.
i like azzorius as well.  i prefer rakdos however.  there is potential for really great decks from the rakdos guild. i dont like izzet very much. golgari is actually kinda cool. but it does have a few weakesses. selsayna is my least favorite. i dont care for the populate mechanic at all.
I've asked this before, but I'll ask again: is there anyone out there who is genuinely excited for the Unleash mechanic? If so, can you post why it excites you so much?

I just can't understand for the life of me why anyone would choose Rakdos in the prerelease outside of trying to win the lottery with some of the decent rares and uncommons; almost all the rest of Rakdos seems like jank outside of a hyper-aggressive draft deck. This is especially noticable to me when I can see all of the rest of the mechanics being used in constructed.

I hope that Rakdos players do well in this weekend's events. The packs they win might make up for having such a useless mechanic on so many of their creatures. Look at the alternatives: easily "flicker" detain creatures with AVR cards, put +1/+1 counters on other critters without a drawback, copy any creature tokens (sometimes at instant speed!), or have extremely useful flexibility in one-sided spells.

Because they're are all those 3/2s for two and 2/2s for one. plus the rare is easily one of the best (sixpoints of first strike haste that most of the spells in the set can't kill). they're very aggressive and one of the best for limited (sadly i couldn't go). I wouldn't go rakdos (you're looking at a vorthos nut) but i think for spike, you should.
I just got finished with my prerelease and went golgari. I finished with a 3-1 record. I faced "golgari" decks all day because they were the only ones winning. I also put the guild in quotes since everyone did exactly what I did: play jund. Rakdos was busted strong and only the golgari decks that splashed red won consistently. I had no mana fixing outside of my single golgari guildgate and still managed to wipe the floor with most people. My lone loss was to the "golgari" player that acually got good golgari cards and mana fixing for jund. Had I acually had a curve or mana fixing I might have gone 4-0 instead. Rakdos still is a limited trap for worthwhile 60 deck cards, but I managed to pull exceptional cards from nongolgari guilds, that I did notuse, so I still managed to get good value regardless.
I played in two prereleases. The results were basically this, from those and all the ones around those.

1. Top-end Rakdos pools (these were the best possible decks)
2. Average Selesnya pools
3. Everything else