10/3/2012 LI: "Colorflux"

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This thread is for discussion of this week's Limited Information, which goes live Wednesday morning on magicthegathering.com.
So for pre-release I picked Rakdos. I really wish I had chosen Selensya or Azorious, but I can't take it back now. I ended the 6 hour tournament 1-3-1. This was my first tournament so I wasn't completely upset about the outcome. In fact, I expected to do worse and end last. I ended next to last, so I'll count this as a win!

1 Ash Zealot (foil)
1 Dreadbore
1 Carnival Hellsteed (promo)
1 Cryptborn Horror
1 Tavern Swindler
1 Bloodfray Giant
1 Blistercoil Weird
1 Guttersnipe
1 Dead Reveler
1 Bellows Lizard
2 Drainpipe Vermin
1 Viashino Racketeer
1 Gore-House Chainwalker
1 Ogre Jailbreaker
2 Splatter Thug
1 Spawn of Rix Maadi
1 Daggerdrome Imp
1 Rakdos Charm
1 Auger Spree
1 Cremate
1 Racecourse Fury
1 Deviant Glee
2 Stab Wound
2 Rakdos Guildgate
7 Mountain
7 Swamp

I really wish I would have pulled better B/R cards for this, but I can't say I was disappointed in how I did with what I had.
I went with Golgari in my pre-release. I finished in a closely knit top 5 with a deck I was pretty proud of. I wanted to go straight Golgari so cards like the foil Temple Garden and Niv Mizzet just weren't going to do it for me. I was lucky enough to pick up 3 Golgari Guildgates and 2 Deadbridge Goliaths so I had a fairly good Scavenge theme going for me. Here's the decklist:

3 Golgari Guildgate
1 Transguild Promenade
7 Swamps
6 Forests 
1 Grim Roustabout
3 Trestle Troll
1 Rubbleback Rhino
1 Daggerdrome Imp
1 Stonefare Crocodile
1 Aerial Predation
1 Pack Rat
1 Ultimate Price
1 Perilous Shadow
1 Grisly Salvage
1 Sluiceway Scorpion
1 Slitherhead
1 Cremate
1 Ogre Jailbreaker
1 Axebane Guardian
2 Deadbridge Goliath
2 Sewer Shambler
1 Deathrite Shama
1 Corpsejack Menace

Essentially, the plan of this deck was to pop out a bunch of creatures and get them to go toe to toe with Rakdos' baddies and such. When they died, they would simply rejoin the Swarm and arm lifelink creatures like Daggerdrome Imp and Stonefare Crocodile (to an extent) with obscene amounts of counters (thanks Corpsejack) in order to extend my clock while simultaneously pushing my opponent down into the single digits with ease.

The Deathrite Shaman, while already a favorite of mine, proved to be even better than I had anticipated, especially in the mirror match. It proved to be invaluable to be able to make some use of the cards I had Grisley Salvaged away but either gaining life, lowering the opponents live or fixing my mana in the few times that it happened to be off. In the mirror match especially, the dark little Shaman emptied both of our graveyards and Shocked my opponent every turn, or counteracted his scavenges.

You may have noticed that I also have a rather large amount of Flyer-hate for a sealed deck. I assumed, correctly I think, that many players would snatch up Azorius boxes little RHCP tickets and send in damage over the top while they detained their opponent's creatures. 3 Trestle Trolls with regenerate seriously threw a wrench in that mess. Even when they're dealing with grounded creatures they're a bargain, 4 toughness for 3 mana! Yes please!

Pack Rat was another card that I knew beforehand due to Top8Magic with BDM and Mikey J Flores. I could discard cards from my hand with ample mana and not really worry about "wasting" card advantage as Deathrite Shaman would make use of them in some way or another. Pack Rat and his usual support of 4 or 5 copies acted as a physical and mental barrier to my opponents. From across the table, they would see half a dozen big rats with nasty-looking teeth and suddenly go on the defensive EVEN when they had ample reason to attack. I don't think there's anything quite like putting out an army of rats while at the same time gaining 2 life per turn while your Shaman does his work.

I highlighted a few of my favorite and most successfull cards during the pre release but in all honesty, every card was great and more improtantly, fun to play! All in all, I walked away with 4 more packs than I had gotten with the box and had a blast with the Swarm and all the sneaky little things it could do. I would have loved slipping in a Dreg Mangler or a Lotleth Troll but hey, that's what Constructed is for.
implejr's Return to Ravnica Pre-Release Deck

I played Selesnya, since green/white are my colors and, rather than building a deck that focused on populate as the center of its focus, I worked with my potent three turn drops to build an aggro deck that gave me the advantage on most decks I ran up against. I beat two Rakdos Decks and a Jund Deck by keeping ahead of their creatures by putting down and protecting bigger ones; 3 toughness or greater made my creatures tricky for red to remove. My down fall came up against the deck's Achilles Heel, which my card pool could do little against, in the form of flying creatures and heavy bounce/control. I ran up against two Azorius Decks that were able to lock down or bounce all my big creatures consistantly. The best deck I lost too belonged to the guy who got the #1 slot; it was a golgari deck with pretty much the perfect golgari creature pool and support that allowed him to get down and buff up his creatures faster than I could handle them.


So, I kept up my record of going break even; going 3 wins in a row followed by 3 losses. The good news? I placed 14th out of 39 and, being in the top 16, got awarded two extra boosters. I got no Guild Mages, Mythic Rares, Shock Lands, Prominades, or Legendaries, but I was still able to build a pretty effective deck.

As for what I liked about my deck, my favorite cards were Loxodon Smiter, Grove of the Guardian and Rogue's Passage. Here is my decklist:

Creature Spells:

2 Axebane Guardian
1 Azorius Arrester
1 Brushstrider
4 Centaur Healer
2 Drudge Beetle
1 Loxodon Smiter
1 Risen Sanctuary
1 Wayfaring Temple

Non-Creature Spells:

1 Avenging Arrow
1 Call of the Conclave
1 Civic Saber
1 Druid's Deliverance
1 Eyes in the Skies
2 Giant Growth
2 Rootborn Defenses
1 Selesnya Keyrune
1 Sundering Growth
1 Trostani's Judgment

Lands:

6 Forest
1 Grove of the Guardian
5 Plains
1 Rogue's Passage
2 Selesnya Guildgate

Results: 3 Losses & 3 Wins

Secound Thoughts

Perhaps splashing a third color would've given me the support I needed to win; I experimented with splashing blue, but the results were not as effective as I might've liked. In the end, I think I built the best deck I could with my card pool and had a blast. If you have any thoughts, please check out the article below to read a deeper analysis and leave a comment. I love advice. Thank you.

dumbledoreshotfirst.blogspot.com/2012/09...

I don't remember my decklist for the event (and can't really re-create it since I then played two-headed giant and another sealed pool the next day and the cards are mixed up) but I do know I picked Selensya so that I could have green for manna fixing... and ended up playing RUBw. Almost all of my green and white cards were unplayable. Thankfully, Izzet, the guild I wrote off the most for sealed, came to my rescue in a huge way with Niv himself. I went 3-0-1, my only tie being against a mill deck that I *just* couldn't kill in game 3 before time was up. I was a tad disappointed that I didn't get to play Selensya though... the decks I tend to draft are boros, UW fliers, and BR control. My standard deck this past year was a Wb tokens deck...and my favorite color is green. It's had to sit out on the sideline that is tabletop magic for me (my favorite casual deck is a crazy elf deck that's more convoluted and math intensive than any control or combo deck I've ever played... but boy is it cool!).
Despite not being able to play my guild or even my beloved color, this sealed event was by FAR the most fun I've been a part of. Not because I did well... I really didn't enjoy myself in one sealed event where I went 4-0 back in scars: my deck was so slow and inevitable that I beat three rounds as 1-0-1 and I didn't get to play round one, talk about boring! I had more fun losing 1-3 in the Avacyn pre-release with a totally jank deck Four color Izzet was just so awesomely spiffy to work with though, and I couldn't help but grin every time I did anything trixy.



TLDR: yay Izzet.

This is the deck I built from Steve's cards:

This Deck was built in 0:16:47

Total Deck Size: 40
18 Lands
---------------
6 Forest
1 Island
2 Mountain
2 Swamp
1 Golgari Guildgate
2 Izzet Guildgate
1 Rakdos Guildgate
1 Steam Vents
2 Transguild Promenade


13 Creatures
---------------
1 Axebane Guardian
1 Batterhorn
1 Deadbridge Goliath
1 Drudge Beetle
2 Gatecreeper Vine
1 Golgari Decoy
1 Golgari Longlegs
1 Hypersonic Dragon
1 Korozda Guildmage
1 Ogre Jailbreaker
1 Trestle Troll
1 Voidwielder


8 Other Spells
---------------
1 Auger Spree
3 Explosive Impact
1 Slime Molding
1 Street Spasm
2 Thoughtflare


1 Planeswalkers
---------------
1 Vraska the Unseen

Not entirely different from Steve's. Most notably I chose not to include white to improve my mana base slightly.

Well, this was the second event for Magic that I had ever been to and the last time I got card was when I was in middle school and I think that was the odyssey block. I picked up again during restored recently and my first event was the Magic Celebration. At 12:01 am saturday I picked Golgari as I felt that I would most like having those cards in the future and the friend I brought with me decided to go Selesnya so I figured I would go halfsies green with him in order to help him out a bit more (he actually managed to place high enough for boosters and prizes even though he intentionally was going against all of my advise, generally screwing around, and playing a 53 card deck which "stalled out until the end game where other decks fell apart" due to sheer luck as he admittedly had very little to nothing end game related. Anyways, that is a completely different story and this is supposed to be about my Golgari deck. I managed to get some very good cards for sealed in my pack. The deck has been completely ripped apart since then as it gave me a good base for a new standard deck. I managed to place 5th out of around 80 (someone who was still competing at the end was rank 67 so we're guessing that's about accurate) which I'm very happy about considering I'm very new to the scene and I lost one match 0-2 wherein I mulliganned down to 4 both games without ever seeing a land until reducing till 4 (and I was playing 17/40). Even with artifact fixing and a decent (I still believe 17 to be a solid) number of lands I still never made it off 2 mana in the whole match. Actually game 2 was dreaded for me each game as I was getting particularly mana screwed. I became known as the rookie who feared game 2 and had slick sleeves (Guy Fawkes masks... think V for Vendetta). Outside of that I managed to take every match I played. Some of the games were very close and I'm a bit surprised I did as well as I did. Well, here's my deck!:

Land: 17
2x Golgari Guildgate
1x Selesnya Guildgate
1x Transguild Promenade
1x Rogue's Passage
3x Plains
4x Swamp
5x Forest

Creatures: 14
2x Slitherhead
1x Korozda Guildmage
2x Lotleth Troll
2x Dreg Mangler
1x Trestle Troll
2x Corpsejack Menace
2x Sluiceway Scorpion
1x Gobbling Ooze
1x Zanikev Locust

Spells: 9
1x Slime Molding
1x Druid's Deliverance
1x Ultimate Price
1x Soul Tithe
1x Abrupt Decay
1x Golgari Keyrune
1x Selesnya Keyrune
2x Common Bond

Mana Spread: 17x land, 3x (1), 7x (2), 7x (3), 4x (4), 1x (5), 1x (6)


I think this goes without saying but the 4 copies of Corpsejack Menace and Lotleth Troll were insanely high targets for opponents in my games and represented some of the keystones to my engine here. All in all I thought this was an AMAZING deck for sealed. I got really luck with all of my rares being in my guild and some amazing cards to put in my deck. I felt like I was able to toss out some cards which other people were still playing. I didn't really need to include any "bombs" as corsejack menace basically function as a way to turn everything else into bombs themselves with 2 slitherheads, 2 lotleth trolls, and 3 common bonds. I actually had 24 +1/+1 counters come in to play in one turn once. It got rediculous when both corpsejack menaces managed to stay on the field. Let me say though if there was more bounce I feel this deck wouldn't have been nearly as good in sealed. Either way though, had a TON of fun playing in this even and I felt like this deck caused me to do more mental math between turns than I've had to do for any other in the past month and a half of rejoining mtg. Amazing experience overall and hey, took home a Vraska the Unseen, Rakdos's Return, Terminate, and another Abrupt Decay among other great cards in the boosters I won! My friend said he was glad I managed to drag him along as well and will be returning to the scene. We got back after 9am and were still playing some magic after that. What a great start to a weekend :D
I played Azorius for the prerelease but I also had a decent Selesnya build.  I opened some decent white and got Isperia as my guild rare and got Supreme Verdict.
IMAGE(http://pwp.wizards.com/1205820039/Scorecards/Landscape.png)

This Deck was built in 0:10:21


Total Deck Size: 47 18 Lands --------------- 5 Forest 3 Island 2 Mountain 1 Swamp 1 Golgari Guildgate 2 Izzet Guildgate 1 Rakdos Guildgate 1 Steam Vents 2 Transguild Promenade


16 Creatures --------------- 1 Axebane Guardian 1 Deadbridge Goliath 1 Doorkeeper 1 Drudge Beetle 1 Frostburn Weird 2 Gatecreeper Vine 1 Hypersonic Dragon 1 Isperia's Skywatch 1 Korozda Guildmage 1 Ogre Jailbreaker 1 Runewing 1 Trestle Troll 1 Voidwielder


7 Other Spells --------------- 1 Auger Spree 3 Explosive Impact 1 Inaction Injunction 1 Slime Molding 1 Street Spasm


1 Planeswalkers --------------- 1 Vraska the Unseen


Not a million miles from Steve's. I figured there was more potential for running blue, and cut all white.  I reckoned the red 3 drop looter was probably the card I most wanted to include but didn't. With more time I'd probably have played around with the mana base.

If you open the stone nuts - undercosted hasty dragon, planeswalker, best guildmage, 5 removal spells, insane mana fixing including shockland, uber synergy with defenders, then yeh you better do well. 

I played in 4 different prerelease sealed events this past weekend and I felt that Selesnya was the best option.  I chose Selesnya 3 times and proceeded to get 2nd (4-1), 1st (4-0), then 2nd (4-1) with it.  In the 4th event I went Azorious and got 5th (3-0-2).  The third time I played Selesnya I played against a Rakdos opponent every round, which worked out well for deck tuning
I went Rakdos, and I got really lucky because 3 of the rares I pulled in the 5 booster packs were for Rakdos, including a Blood Crypt. Anyway, I ended up going 4-1, losing only to a Selesnya deck. I was top of my guild, and Rakdos ended up being the top guild at the event, so that was pretty cool. Overall, I was really happy with how the deck worked, and I filled it out to 60 cards afterwords and have been stomping my casual friends with it.
For steve's pool I went oversized and 4-colors (well...sorta 5.  Transguild Promenade gives me the option of cracking the Grove of the Guardian for an 8/8).  I didn't feel a significant need to run white.  And to be honest, blue was just a small splash anyway, but highly supported by the R/U dual lands.

This Deck was built in 0:27:25

Total Deck Size: 46
20 Lands
---------------
5 Forest
1 Island
2 Mountain
4 Swamp
1 Golgari Guildgate
1 Grove of the Guardian
2 Izzet Guildgate
1 Rakdos Guildgate
1 Steam Vents
2 Transguild Promenade


17 Creatures
---------------
1 Axebane Guardian
1 Daggerdrome Imp
1 Deadbridge Goliath
1 Drudge Beetle
1 Frostburn Weird
2 Gatecreeper Vine
1 Golgari Decoy
1 Golgari Longlegs
1 Gore-House Chainwalker
1 Hypersonic Dragon
1 Korozda Guildmage
1 Nivmagus Elemental
1 Slitherhead
1 Trestle Troll
1 Viashino Racketeer
1 Zanikev Locust


8 Other Spells
---------------
1 Auger Spree
3 Explosive Impact
1 Horncaller's Chant
1 Skull Rend
1 Slime Molding
1 Street Spasm


1 Planeswalkers
---------------
1 Vraska the Unseen


Personally for my prerelease I went twice and picked Izzet both times.  First event (Friday Midnight) I had lots of color fixing and so I went 4-color WURG, ended that night 2-1.  Second event I had a mean Grixis deck that ended up 4-0.

Both of those decks were oversized too.  47 @ the first event and 46 @ the second event.

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From Mark Rosewater's Tumblr: the0uroboros asked: How in the same set can we have a hexproof, unsacrificable(not a word) creature AND a land that makes it uncounterable. How does this lead to interactive play? I believe I’m able to play my creature and you have to deal with it is much more interactive than you counter my creature.

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Post #777

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MaRo: One of the classic R&D stories happened during a Scars of Mirrodin draft. Erik Lauer was sitting to my right (meaning that he passed to me in the first and third packs). At the end of the draft, Erik was upset because I was in his colors (black-green). He said, "Didn't you see the signals? I went into black-green in pack one." I replied, "Didn't you see my signals? I started drafting infect six drafts ago."

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MaRo: I redesigned him while the effect was on the stack.

My guild at a 32 person midnight pre-release was selesnya, but I packed a lot of golgari and went selesnya/golgari. I ended up getting second. My deck performed wonderfully and I feel that I got extremely lucky with my card pool. It was very consistent with all my multiple copies of many cards. The deck had first strike and deathtouch, it had lots of life gain from Trostani, a little bit of control, mana fixing and ramping, an 8/8 vigilance token i kept populating, and of course two trolls!!

2 Axebane Guardian
2 Gatecreeper Vine
2 Lotleth Troll
1 Dreg Mangler
1 Trostani, Selesnya's Voice
3 Centaur Healer
2 Sluiceway Scorpion
1 Stonefare Crocodile
1 Thrill-kill Assassin
1 Slum Reaper
1 Terrus Wurm

2 Ethereal Armor
2 Knightly Valor
1 Launch Party
1 Druid's Deliverance
1 Rites of Reaping

1 Selesnya Guildgate
1 Golgari Guildgate
1 Grove of the Guardian
1 Overgrown Tomb
1 Transguild Promenade
4 Forest
3 Swamp
4 Plains
Here was the deck I played at the prerelease.  I went 3-1 and had an absolute blast unleashing mean Rakdos dudes.  The deck actually posed a lot of interesting choices to me in playing it.  I had to make the awkward decision to use Ultimate Price on Daggerdrome Imp several times throughout the day, just because I needed a clear battlefield to attack on.

Lands
8 Mountain
8 Swamp
1 Rakdos Guildgate

Creatures
2 Rakdos Cackler
Gore-House Chainwalker
1 Grim Roustabout
1 Thrill-Kill Assassin
1 Rakdos Shred-Freak
1 Viashino Racketeer
1 Guttersnipe
1 Dead Reveler
1 Slum Reaper
1 Rakdos, Lord of Riots
1 Spawn of Rix Maadi
1 Batterhorn
1 Golgari Longlegs
2 Carnival Hellsteed

Non-Creatures
1 Cremate
1 Electrickery
1 Ultimate Price
1 Auger Spree
1 Rakdos Keyrune
1 Traitorous Instinct
1 Assassin's Strike
Picked Izzet, but ended up playing G/w/r. I figured that I was going to end up in three colors. Really, I was hoping for more of a Rakdos or Azorius pool where I could splash blue or red for the guild cards. However, I ended up opening mostly Selesnya and green in my five general packs. I pulled a lot of good cards. I think all of my rares and uncommons were quality cards that will be useful in Constructed, but there was no synergy. I heard a lot of "Oh man, that's a nice card" or "I can't believe you got two of those" as I was losing. Seemed like the players who were doing well were those lucky enough to open cards in their guild pack colors in the general pool.
Went Rakdos and got got plenty of support. Was hoping that was the case because it's my guild and I wanted to play it. Ended up going 3-1, my loss was becuase of mana flood. Here is what I ended up running:


1 Minotaur Aggressor
2 Carnival Hellsteed (1 promo)
1 Spawn of Rix Maadi
1 Rakdos, Lord of Riots
1 Viashino Racketeer
1 Splatter Thug
1 Grim Roustabout
1 Gore-House Chainwalker
2 Rakdos Cackler
1 Drainpipe Vermin
2 Bellows Lizard

1 Stabwound
2 Mind Rot
1 Auger Spree
1 Annihilating Fire
2 Dreadbore (1 from my guild pack)
1 Cremate
1 Rakdos Keyrune

1 Rakdos Guildgate
8 Mountains
8 Swamps

This Deck was built in 0:31:53


Total Deck Size: 40
19 Lands
---------------
8 Forest
4 Plains
3 Swamp
1 Golgari Guildgate
1 Grove of the Guardian
2 Transguild Promenade



15 Creatures
---------------
1 Axebane Guardian
1 Axebane Stag
2 Azorius Arrester
1 Bazaar Krovod
1 Deadbridge Goliath
1 Drudge Beetle
2 Gatecreeper Vine
1 Golgari Decoy
1 Golgari Longlegs
1 Korozda Guildmage
1 Ogre Jailbreaker
1 Selesnya Sentry
1 Trestle Troll



5 Other Spells
---------------
1 Arrest
1 Call of the Conclave
1 Horncaller's Chant
1 Mind Rot
1 Slime Molding



1 Planeswalkers
---------------
1 Vraska the Unseen

Mana and Bombs is the name of this deck :D

I chose Selesyna, planning to splash whatever colours I could. I was delighted to see a Transguild Promenade and an Axebane Guardian. But... I didn't have anything worth splashing for! I had a couple of double-off-colour cards like Auger Spree, the 1RR burn spell, and a couple of double-black bombs like Desecration Demon and Jarad, Golgari Lich Lord. But nothing single-colour splashable that was remotely exciting. My white and green were so, so solid, that every splash option I looked at would have been worse than one of my Selesyna cards. I could have splashed for a 3/3 flyer with ETB detain, maybe? At 6 mana? But my deck was pretty focused on populate - something like 11 populate cards and 4 other token makers - so I don't think there was anything to be gained by diluting it.

And I ended up doing very well - 5-2 in a marathon 7-round Sealed, better than I normally do - so I still think it was the right call. Loads of populated 8/8s (or 11/11s thanks to Collective Blessing), loads of "Fog and make a 4/4 Slime" or "Fog and make an 8/8" moments for 2 mana... yeah, it worked very well.
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