1/25/2013 LD: "First Impressions"

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This thread is for discussion of this week's Latest Developments, which goes live Friday morning on magicthegathering.com.
When I went to the Return to Ravinica prerelease, I didn't get to choose a guild. They were randomly given out and no one wanted to trade away the one I wanted. It was still a good experience, but it was annoying reading on this site that we got to choose our guild and then being told at the tournament that no actually, it's pot luck.
If you're going to tell us we get to choose our guild, make sure you sufficiently oversupply ALL the tournaments so we do actually get to choose our guild.
Perhaps it's going to be different for Gatecrash, but I have seen nothing on this site acknowledging that this has been a problem, so I'm not expecting much...
Haven't seen the Stasis argument in a while.  Figured you'd have given up on it by now, considering the design of Hexproof as an evergreen mechanic.

I'm as big a proponent of auras as you'll ever find, but Hexproof is profoundly unfun, and has been since before it was keyworded.  Find a fun way to enable aura play, and stop randomly ruining games with unbelievably swingy cards.  Skill-tester "hate" like Glaring Spotlight is not the answer, nor is printing increasingly bad versions of the swingy cards so that they ruin fewer games.  Just stop.  It isn't a balanceable mechanic.
When I went to the Return to Ravinica prerelease, I didn't get to choose a guild. They were randomly given out and no one wanted to trade away the one I wanted. It was still a good experience, but it was annoying reading on this site that we got to choose our guild and then being told at the tournament that no actually, it's pot luck.
If you're going to tell us we get to choose our guild, make sure you sufficiently oversupply ALL the tournaments so we do actually get to choose our guild.
Perhaps it's going to be different for Gatecrash, but I have seen nothing on this site acknowledging that this has been a problem, so I'm not expecting much...



At my prerelease, you got to choose in order of signup. I'm quite pleased I signed up early for Gatecrash so that I'm pretty much assured of being able to play Simic, even though I think I probably shouldn't (I fancy Boros or Orzhov as the best choice). On the more positive side, I think they did a lot better than at Return to Ravnica. Selesnya was insane there. Grove of the Guardian was miles above the other prerelease cards (though I think Corpsejack Menace was also a pretty good one).
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.
I'm conflicted. I'm not sure if I should play Sealed like normal (which by its nature lends itself to 3+ color decks), or just go straight Gruul for the full flavor of it.


Haven't seen the Stasis argument in a while.


I don't think the Stasis argument has anything to do with Hexproof. I think you're saying the similarity is that both you can't really interact with, but that's not what Stoddard is talking about. I think what he means by people don't enjoy Stasis is that Stasis slows down the game to a grindy hault; the reason you get angry by this is not exactly because you can't play around it, but because you pretty much can't do anything at all. You just sit there while the Stasis player sets up for dozens of turns. In contrast, IStalker + EArmor ends the game quite quickly.


When I went to the Return to Ravinica prerelease, I didn't get to choose a guild.


I would complain heavily to the TO. I wouldn't even play to protest such a policy by the store. I understand it's the owner's decision how he wants to distribute, but he seems to have missed the point. I also understand that he wants to avoid not having enough of one guild, leading to bad feelings. So to answer that... he attempts to make sure everyone has bad feelings? Very unpopular move.

The better option is called "first come, first serve". Somebody signed up 2 months ago for Gruul, he should get Gruul. Somebody that walked in 50 min. during rolecall to play because he got a call 2 hours earlier that there existed a pre-release that day, and hasn't ever even given a thought to what guild he likes... that's the guy who should get whatever is left over. Which is all fine and well, because he didn't care which guild he got anyway.
When I went to the Return to Ravinica prerelease, I didn't get to choose a guild. They were randomly given out and no one wanted to trade away the one I wanted. It was still a good experience, but it was annoying reading on this site that we got to choose our guild and then being told at the tournament that no actually, it's pot luck.
If you're going to tell us we get to choose our guild, make sure you sufficiently oversupply ALL the tournaments so we do actually get to choose our guild.
Perhaps it's going to be different for Gatecrash, but I have seen nothing on this site acknowledging that this has been a problem, so I'm not expecting much...



That is the fault of the store, not Wizards.  Wizards intended for you to be able to choose your guild.

As far as the number of guild packs, those are intended to be a one time use pack.  They don't want to have such an overflow that they just sit on store shelves well after it's intended event.  They aren't like booster packs or theme decks which are intended to be in bulk and sold in stores.
IMAGE(http://pwp.wizards.com/1205820039/Scorecards/Landscape.png)
At my LCS's RTR prerelease, we also got to choose our guilds (mmmm, Azorius), provided you weren't late to the party.  People who preregistered and prepaid got to pick first, which seemed to work well.
my store doesn't allow preregistration, so its just "in order yo pay".

Im wondering what they'll do for dragon maze, prob not guild packs again.
I'd imagine to make it easier to play a specific guild, maybe they'll allow: "have three RtR, and DGM", or "have three GTC and DGM"
"Players also shouldn't need to choose which guild to play simply as a meta-consideration for power. A lot of work went into balancing the guilds against each other and making sure that no one guild has an overwhelming advantage over the others. I can't guarantee that you will open five other rares to go with the guild-aligned one in your Prerelease kit, but no matter what guild you choose, your guild pack should give you the resources to play that guild and a strong enough pool to have a good time."

It's probably too soon to come to definitive conclusions about the powerdistribution for the guilds, but my first impression at the prereleases I attended was that Boros outperformed pretty much every other guild by a large margin.

I am certain however that people did choose Boros because of the perception it was the strongest guild. The prerelease weekend started with a lot of people wanting to play Dimir (probably because it's the most popular guild historywise of this set), but at the second and third prerelease Boros was by far the most popular guild. At the third prerelease, so many people wanted to play Boros that it was distributed by somekind of lottery. This wasn't because of the overabundant affinity for the Red-White menace, but for it's perceived powerlevel.

Okay that being said, as the weekend went along I myself started to learn the strategies behind the different guilds better, and developing better strategies to fight them. It very well could be that the guilds aren't as imbalanced powerwise as my first impressions left me to think.

A 2/2 haste flyer for 3 mana and a 3/2 with an upside for 2 mana aren't very difficult to evaluate. These cards are good, and everybody knows it. I think because of this kind of simplicity in power Boros was a very good choice. I really liked Shambleshark, but it wasn't immediately obvious what it's implications were before playing with it. 

I am looking forward to draft the set. 







boros saw heavy play and much win during my prerelease experience
gruul was both under-represented and underperformed. I expected to learn the power of bloodrush during the prerelease (because right from the cards, I didn't deem the ability very powerful) but I only got reinforced in my initial evaluation. I'd rather play a creature than use it as a two-for-one opportunity for my enemy.
dimir was brutal, especially their promo card
simic was too slow to be anywhere near competitive
I went orzhov, although I feared that they would be too slow, too, but I didn't want to play the fast guilds and also because I'm a benedictine monk and playing something church-related felt more appropriate.
I went 3-1 which was two wins better than expected. my deck played rather aggro-ish, although it had 6 removals for backup. I only had 3 cards with extort. I had some fatties (the 6/6 guy who gave lifelink to opponents, the 4/7 white multiplayer guy, the 4/4 that fetches cards from the graveyard, the 3/3 flying guy who shrank enemy fliers, but even when they saw play, they usually didn't impact the game in any meaningful way. my games were won by my small creatures and that guild enchantment that gives flying and lifelink.
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I signed up for both pre-release events at my local gamestore.  I enjoyed the 1st event (won 2 lost 4) with the Dimir kit, and didn't play past the 2nd round at the second event with the Boros kit.

The first event was fun as there were lots of people so even though I didn't draw enough Dimir colored cards to make a Dimir themed deck I didn't have to play against a lot of power gamers who had much more experience than I did with making a 40 card deck on the fly.  Same with the 2nd event, I just didn't have the experience (the 2nd event being the 3rd of all the events I ever attended, the 1st one being way back in an Ice Age Torunament.

The 2nd day I pretty much sat there trying to survive while playing various Battalion creatures while the power gamer wheeled out his machine and just chewed me up.  Since mostly the hard core guys showed up on Sunday after the late night Saturday event I didn't get to play against people that just wanted to play for fun.  Both of my 1st opponents also had traded around with their fellow power gamers to make their machines run as well as they could.  I personally didn't have any friends there to trade with.

So overall, I don't think I will just whip out money for any more pre release events anymore, I'll wait till I can gather enough cards to make actual guild decks and not the mishmash decks I made.
I signed up for both pre-release events at my local gamestore.  I enjoyed the 1st event (won 2 lost 4) with the Dimir kit, and didn't play past the 2nd round at the second event with the Boros kit.

The first event was fun as there were lots of people so even though I didn't draw enough Dimir colored cards to make a Dimir themed deck I didn't have to play against a lot of power gamers who had much more experience than I did with making a 40 card deck on the fly.  Same with the 2nd event, I just didn't have the experience (the 2nd event being the 3rd of all the events I ever attended, the 1st one being way back in an Ice Age Torunament.

The 2nd day I pretty much sat there trying to survive while playing various Battalion creatures while the power gamer wheeled out his machine and just chewed me up.  Since mostly the hard core guys showed up on Sunday after the late night Saturday event I didn't get to play against people that just wanted to play for fun.  Both of my 1st opponents also had traded around with their fellow power gamers to make their machines run as well as they could.  I personally didn't have any friends there to trade with.

So overall, I don't think I will just whip out money for any more pre release events anymore, I'll wait till I can gather enough cards to make actual guild decks and not the mishmash decks I made.



Were you playing sealed or draft?

Also, trading cards is usually prohibited during these events.  Sometimes people will trade cards they aren't using for other cards other people aren't using but the traded cards aren't allowed to be put in the decks at any point after the trade. 
IMAGE(http://pwp.wizards.com/1205820039/Scorecards/Landscape.png)
boros saw heavy play and much win during my prerelease experience
gruul was both under-represented and underperformed. I expected to learn the power of bloodrush during the prerelease (because right from the cards, I didn't deem the ability very powerful) but I only got reinforced in my initial evaluation. I'd rather play a creature than use it as a two-for-one opportunity for my enemy.
dimir was brutal, especially their promo card
simic was too slow to be anywhere near competitive
I went orzhov, although I feared that they would be too slow, too, but I didn't want to play the fast guilds and also because I'm a benedictine monk and playing something church-related felt more appropriate.
I went 3-1 which was two wins better than expected. my deck played rather aggro-ish, although it had 6 removals for backup. I only had 3 cards with extort. I had some fatties (the 6/6 guy who gave lifelink to opponents, the 4/7 white multiplayer guy, the 4/4 that fetches cards from the graveyard, the 3/3 flying guy who shrank enemy fliers, but even when they saw play, they usually didn't impact the game in any meaningful way. my games were won by my small creatures and that guild enchantment that gives flying and lifelink.



Hehe, the Orzhov thing probably felt right at home. >.>

I played Simic and had a pretty hard time at it, which I kind of expected (I picked Simic because it's my favourite guild and had the best art, not because I expected to win with it). I had a lot of problems with speed and actually winning and eventually felt forced to add double Forced Adaptation to actually have a way of winning games. I got 2-for-1'ed a couple of times, but it still went a lot better. I got absolutely slaughtered by Dimir, though. My first round against Dimir was pretty close, but the second was no contest.

My opinion of Bloodrush went up, though. I didn't play against it, but I did play with it in a lone 2HG game in which we pushed through 15 extra damage thanks to bloodrushing an Elusive Krasis. Fun times.



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.
Boros was too powerful, I think. At my store, I played in the 4th "flight" (first Sunday one). On Saturday, there had been a total of 7 undefeated players across the three events - all 7 playing Boros. In my event and the third one Sunday, Boros was 8 of the first 10 guilds picked, because they were clearly winning everything.

I picked Orzhov, and I 4-0ed, but it was just because my deck had crazy stupid bombs (Obzedat and Angelic Skirmisher mostly) and a lot of removal and some solid guys. After facing a Simic player who was clearly new to Magic in round 1, I faced three consecutive Boros players, all of whom suffered their only loss to me.

Boros, man, too strong. Orzhov is also a clear second and Dimir/Gruul/Simic were all non-entities in the "top tables," basically. I expect things to be different without the guild pack around (for instance, it made Selesnya somewhat weaker in RTR compared to its prerelease), but Boros being the best SEALED deck when it's the guild most suited to aggro drafts? I dunno how that's going to go.  
Boros was too powerful, I think. At my store, I played in the 4th "flight" (first Sunday one). On Saturday, there had been a total of 7 undefeated players across the three events - all 7 playing Boros. In my event and the third one Sunday, Boros was 8 of the first 10 guilds picked, because they were clearly winning everything.

I picked Orzhov, and I 4-0ed, but it was just because my deck had crazy stupid bombs (Obzedat and Angelic Skirmisher mostly) and a lot of removal and some solid guys. After facing a Simic player who was clearly new to Magic in round 1, I faced three consecutive Boros players, all of whom suffered their only loss to me.

Boros, man, too strong. Orzhov is also a clear second and Dimir/Gruul/Simic were all non-entities in the "top tables," basically. I expect things to be different without the guild pack around (for instance, it made Selesnya somewhat weaker in RTR compared to its prerelease), but Boros being the best SEALED deck when it's the guild most suited to aggro drafts? I dunno how that's going to go.  



I faced two Boros decks: one had mana problems in two games and beat me in the other one, but I soundly beat the other deck. Both posted losing records.

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.
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