How'd the pre-release go?

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Im in day two, so how'd it go for you folks in day one? did you win, what where some good deck types you saw?


edit:
The rares I pulled were
* Master Biomancer
* Mystic Genesis
* Realmwright
* Spark Trooper
* Clan Defiance (Guild pack) + Rubblehulk
* Duskmantle Seer
I went RUG

I went 2-2,
First match I won against a simic (2-1),
second match I lost against a Borros, but got him down to 1 life the last round (1-2),
Third match I lost against a Simic... mainly do to bad suffling, also got him down to 1 life on the last round. (1-2),
Last match I won against an Ohrzav  (2-1) (Dutiful Thrull's annoying)
Boros looked very powerful, and both of the Green guilds seemed good. I saw one person open a nice (but not amazing) Dimir pool, but that was the least popular guild by far so perhaps it was just under-represented. Orzhov was okay but not as good as it looked to most people.
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Went Gruul, placed 4th out of 50 with a 4-1 record(Beat by a guy who did not lose a single game the entire night), losing to Boros with a very solid pool, albeit *very* closely in all games. 

What I've learned about Gruul:

First and foremost, it is not a beat your face in guild with the largest creature until the opponent dies deck.  It is an extremely finicky guild that takes a lot of patience of knowing when to play what.  It was a bit surprising, really.  I had what seems like an "average" deck with two notable bomby cards: Legion Loyalist and Rubblebelt Raiders.  The rest was decent but not particularly amazing, and I only managed 3 removal spells (Mugging, Ground Assault, and Massive Raid).

Still, what I've learned:

Madcap Skills is amazing in this environment.  There actually isn't a great deal of targetted removal that can deal with it, and in Gruul it often means that you can very often 2-for-1 if they do double block (As you will often have a Bloodrush on hand).  It also leads to huge damage swings.  The only time it ended up being a bad situation for me was a double block that lead into a Smite.  Most of the time, if you can draw removal there is simply no way to deal with any creature that has it.

Disciple of the Old Ways is an absolute necessity, and is amazing in gruul.  I was lucky enough to snag 4, ran 3, and was not dissappointed.  The threat of bloodrushing a first-striker is enough to keep most people from blocking it. 

Wasteland Viper is solid as well, and I was running 2.  It's a great turn 1 drop against any deck, as it makes an amazing wall that you can stabalize around.

Scab-Clan Charger is also an amazing card in the environment.  As a play, it's a decent wall.  As a bloodrush, I found many instances where the difference between removing my creature and not was due to an insurmountable boost to toughness.  Several times Aerial Maneuver was used to try and pick off my creatures, however suddenly the damage was either out of reach or they needed to drop 1-2 more cards to remove it.

Ground Assault is extremely solid removal.  It can remove pretty much anything the turn it is cast, with few exceptions. 

Rubblebelt Raiders is awesome.  Always.  The only time it did not win me the match was against a Dimir deck running Mortus Strider.  I coudn't draw into any evasion enablers, and the player had locked me down from playing anything else.  That said, this card becomes ridiculous and fast. 

Legion Loyalist is also incredible in limited with Gruul and bloodrush, to the point of being almost impossible to remove.  Added bonus for adding Madcap Skills to it.

The one card that dissappointed me a great deal was Zhur-Taa Swine.  I don't know why, but I just never really felt like it impacted the game as much as it appears it would.  Still, might have been the situations I was in when I drew into it, but it just didn't seem like it had a huge impact on the board.

As for the other guilds, here's what I noticed:

Boros was the strongest, however not nearly as dominating as it seems.  That said, Skyknight Legionaire will carry the day.  The difference I found between Boros decks was how many legionaires they had.  If you only had one, you were screwed.  If you had a three or more, you were a force to be reckoned with.

As I expected, Orhov underperformed.  Simply put, it couldn't keep pace well enough and I never saw Extort come online soon enough to matter.

Dimir was suprisingly good.  I was milled out once simply due to having no answers to their mill strategy, although this was *not* the main problem.  The main problem came from how heavy they could control the board.  Which is was impossibly heavy. 

Simic could do some ridiculous things, however was incredibly swingy from what I saw.  Only played against one, and beat it, but from other matches I watched it was just a swingy guild.  Sometimes it fired and others it didn't.

Gruul did mediocre for the most part (I was the only one in the top 10), but I think this has to do with playstyle over actual guild strength.  Bloodrushing at every turn is a trap and mistake, and those who did poorly in this guild did just that.  Rather, board presence was very important, and you shouldn't hold onto creatures specifically so you can bloodrush them(Still, you should always keep one bloodrusher in your hand for good measure).  Further, you should know when is a good time to bloodrush to save a creature or not.  It was a very tricky mechanic to work with, and required a surprising amount of thought.

One card that I think was much better than it first appears is Millenial Gargoyle.  These games are decided by flyers, and this is a very nice and easy to cast flyer to have around.



Ended second at the 2 heads event playing Dimir-Boros.


I was the Dimir side and filled my deck with some counters (Spell RupturePsychic Strike) control cards (Hands of Binding, Dimir Charm) and cheap evasive/annoying to block creatures (Deathcult Rogue, Cloudfin Raptor, Slate Street Ruffian) and ended up being a HUGE success alongside my friend's Boros deck, that was stuffed with sick things like Clan DefianceAssemble the LegionRubblebelt Raiders etc.. All in all, we rolled over most decks until we lost to a Simic/Boros in the final. 


What I've learned about Gruul:

It is not a beat your face in guild with the largest creature until the opponent dies deck.  It is an extremely finicky guild that takes a lot of patience of knowing when to play what.

As for the other guilds, here's what I noticed:
-Boros was the strongest, however not nearly as dominating as it seems.
-As I expected, Orhov underperformed.
-Dimir was suprisingly good.
-Simic could do some ridiculous things, however was incredibly swingy from what I saw.
-Gruul did mediocre for the most part, but I think this has to do with playstyle over actual guild strength.




I agree with what you stated for the most part. Boros was pretty good but way overhyped. I had a feeling walking in that it would be above average, but not god teir and maybe not the best guild. I still don't think it was the best guild. If you were in green the 1/3, evolve, reach creature was a giant roadblock for them it seemed. Red had some burn and act of treason, blue had counter, steal and destroy, white and black had some answers as well. I played simic splash red for act of treason, the vanilla 7/6 or whatever, and the rampager (4/4 trample bloodrush for RG). Then again I also had the agoraphobia/ simic manipulator combo in deck too which was REALLY powerful when I got it online. Sure, I'll pay 5 mana every turn and tap one creature to steal virtually anything I want each turn. When you're stealing creatures, countering them, and have the reach creatures Boros wasn't ever really a problem for my deck. Generally it seemed good but not exceptionally powerful.

Orhov seemed to be trash. I actually lost 0-2 but that's a very different story. Match basically wasn't played because (100% serious) game 1 I kept a 3 land hand and when the game ended I had 23 cards left in my 40 card deck and only two of them were land. Yeah. Game 2 was similiar but only 95% as bad. I think I had 5 spells the entire game. **** probablity. I've been seeing this stuff for the past month and honestly it's getting to the point that I'm tired of playing with cards and dice. They just don't like me. Anyways, that's how most of the night went in a nutshell but I did win my 6th die roll in my entire career so I guess that's something. Anyways, enough bitching and back to the point of this whole thing. Orhov just didn't seem to be able to play enough threats to contend, but I feel that had something to do with most black cards being overprice so extort couldn't stack as easily. At least that's the general feel I got from my limited contact.

Dimir was definitely underrated. I felt consuming abberation was the best promo for limited. If it unleashed an uncontested bomb then it was gg and the control aspect was good for keeping the game going until that happened I felt. I beat dimir pretty easily because my counterspells drew cards, I was generally pretty mana flooded most of the games (meaning I can pay 2+ for pseudo mana leak), and (not trying to sound cocky or anything like that) but my deck was more than pretty solid as long as I didn't have a GIANT problem with law of averages) pretty good because of my pool.

Simic I though was above average as well. If you were able to play a longer, more control oriented game then it was a great guild. I didn't think it would be going into it. I thought it would be average or maybe slightly above. Turns out it's pretty good. The commons in cmc 2-4 were just so good by themselves and extremely synergistic. I guess I really overlooked that when I first analyzed the guilds.

I had a feeling gruul wasn't going to be that great. Pump spells are pretty good in the format, but not when you creatures are primarily higher cost because of it. Don't get me wrong, the red and green creatures outside of the guild weren't terrible but I felt it really needed a strong splash to maximize the effectiveness of the machanic which I felt was weird. 
Didn't exactly get a good feel for the guilds, as I went Simic... and played three of my four matches against Simic as well. Against Boros, the player was mana-hosed first game, and second game I locked down the board with evolving fliers plus Hands of Binding for a fairly rapid win. Against Simic, things tended to stalemate as both players hold back and evolve to try and get the upper hand.

All-star cards from my games- Cloudfin Raptor, which would regularly reach 2/3 or 3/4. Drakewing Krasis as an evolve enabler. The above-mentioned Hands of Binding. Ivy Lane Denizen, Fathom Mage, and Simic Fluxmage work well together. Rapid Hybridization salvaged what would otherwise be the loss of a creature (usually from direct damage) into an evolve plus a 3/3. And the Skyblinder Staff came in very handy, especially when equipped on fliers.
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I went Boros and opened a pretty bad pool, overall. When the deck worked it just blew out of the gate and wrecked people, but that was the exception rather than the rule.

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After hearing from and talking to people at prereleases all over the world the general concenus seems to be that most people's guildpack didn't really have useful cards in it. I seem to remember most people feeling that their RTR prerelease was really easy to build off one guild. As opposed to this release where people are splashing because they HAVE TO.

Several Gruul players (incuding myself )had to rely on battalion and evolve triggers because we didn't get much bloodrush at all.

I feel like the guildpacks should provide several commons and at least two uncommons that really represent the guild. My guildpack had no charm, no keyrune and no guildmage FINE....but then only one bloodrush creature besides the promo in the ENTIRE pool???
bulletd Guidelines: 5.0: I will take this card no matter what. Creature 1 or playable 1 or hate 1.Archangel of Thune 4.5: Bomb and splashable. Creature 1-2, playable 1-2, removal 1. Jace, Memory Adept 4.0: Excellent first pick first pack, will sway me into same colors. Creatures 1-4, removal 1. Haunted Plate Mail 3.5: Excellent first pack pick two, will confirm colors or possibly sway into second color. Doom Blade 3.0: Good in-color addition, or splashable removal/creature. Creatures 3-9, removal 1-3. wall of Frost 2.5: Solid pick in-color; creatures 5-12, removal 3-5. Dark Favor 2.0: Creatures 10-16; removal 6-7. Elvish Mystic 1.5: My 23rd or 22nd card, depending on removal. Act of Treason 1.0: 23rd card if I don't maindeck an additional land. Lay of the Land 0.5: This card will sometimes be sideboarded in. Brave the Elements 0.0: I will shred this card for counters. Darksteel Forge
After hearing from and talking to people at prereleases all over the world the general concenus seems to be that most people's guildpack didn't really have useful cards in it. I seem to remember most people feeling that their RTR prerelease was really easy to build off one guild. As opposed to this release where people are splashing because they HAVE TO.

Several Gruul players (incuding myself )had to rely on battalion and evolve triggers because we didn't get much bloodrush at all.

I feel like the guildpacks should provide several commons and at least two uncommons that really represent the guild. My guildpack had no charm, no keyrune and no guildmage FINE....but then only one bloodrush creature besides the promo in the ENTIRE pool???



I felt like my Guildpack supported my Guild fairly well (Dimir).  I remember getting a Deathcult Rogue and Keymaster Rogue in there, which were fairly essential.

I know that removal was fairly lacking in my entire pool, and basically why I had to go into white.
I actually did go straight Simic. I could have splashed a bit of black or white for some more removal, but didn't feel the risk of shorting a color was worth it.

One other card that surprised me in its effectiveness (especially when used against me) was Totally Lost. That will wreck havoc on a creature with counters, despite its high CMC. 
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After hearing from and talking to people at prereleases all over the world the general concenus seems to be that most people's guildpack didn't really have useful cards in it. I seem to remember most people feeling that their RTR prerelease was really easy to build off one guild. As opposed to this release where people are splashing because they HAVE TO.



If you look at the card gallery, the SET is designed to force you to splash.  That's why I went Simic, they are a solid core to splash Gruul or Dimir around.

My release went mostly as expected, only Boros performed better than I thought.  

Boros was powerful.  I agree with I-rock's Legionaire assessment, the only games I lost were when the guy had two legionaires and a bomb (Firemane/Legion Loyalist).

Gruul was powerful, but too tricky for most players (again, I-rock's assessment is on point).

Orzhov performed well at my release, especially against Gruul (remember the above comments though) and ESPECIALLY when splashed with Boros.

Simic was solid if you got a good curve and still above average if you didn't.

I didn't actually get to see any Dimir games, but I'll stand by my assessment that if you don't draw the perfect mill set, then they are just a splash guild best supported by Simic.

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After hearing from and talking to people at prereleases all over the world the general concenus seems to be that most people's guildpack didn't really have useful cards in it. I seem to remember most people feeling that their RTR prerelease was really easy to build off one guild. As opposed to this release where people are splashing because they HAVE TO.



If you look at the card gallery, the SET is designed to force you to splash.  That's why I went Simic, they are a solid core to splash Gruul or Dimir around.

My release went mostly as expected, only Boros performed better than I thought.  

Boros was powerful.  I agree with I-rock's Legionaire assessment, the only games I lost were when the guy had two legionaires and a bomb (Firemane/Legion Loyalist).

Gruul was powerful, but too tricky for most players (again, I-rock's assessment is on point).

Orzhov performed well at my release, especially against Gruul (remember the above comments though) and ESPECIALLY when splashed with Boros.

Simic was solid if you got a good curve and still above average if you didn't.

I didn't actually get to see any Dimir games, but I'll stand by my assessment that if you don't draw the perfect mill set, then they are just a splash guild best supported by Simic.




Boros terribly under-performed at our prerelease. Orzhov, Gruul and Simic were all very  well represented.

bulletd Guidelines: 5.0: I will take this card no matter what. Creature 1 or playable 1 or hate 1.Archangel of Thune 4.5: Bomb and splashable. Creature 1-2, playable 1-2, removal 1. Jace, Memory Adept 4.0: Excellent first pick first pack, will sway me into same colors. Creatures 1-4, removal 1. Haunted Plate Mail 3.5: Excellent first pack pick two, will confirm colors or possibly sway into second color. Doom Blade 3.0: Good in-color addition, or splashable removal/creature. Creatures 3-9, removal 1-3. wall of Frost 2.5: Solid pick in-color; creatures 5-12, removal 3-5. Dark Favor 2.0: Creatures 10-16; removal 6-7. Elvish Mystic 1.5: My 23rd or 22nd card, depending on removal. Act of Treason 1.0: 23rd card if I don't maindeck an additional land. Lay of the Land 0.5: This card will sometimes be sideboarded in. Brave the Elements 0.0: I will shred this card for counters. Darksteel Forge
I played in two prereleases. In the first I went Boros and ended up 4-2 with both losses being in 3 games. I would say my deck was decent but not amazing. I think the best card I saw in action, in another better Boros deck, was Assemble the Legion which is insanely good in limited.

My second time through I decided to go Gruul and I ended up 3-1, losing to a very good Boros deck. I have to agree with the sentiment that the guild packs had very little that helped me in my Gruul deck. I ended up with a total of 4 bloodrush creatures and ended up having to rely on evolving green and some battalion red creatures to make it work.

I played in two prereleases. In the first I went Boros and ended up 4-2 with both losses being in 3 games. I would say my deck was decent but not amazing. I think the best card I saw in action, in another better Boros deck, was Assemble the Legion which is insanely good in limited.

My second time through I decided to go Gruul and I ended up 3-1, losing to a very good Boros deck. I have to agree with the sentiment that the guild packs had very little that helped me in my Gruul deck. I ended up with a total of 4 bloodrush creatures and ended up having to rely on evolving green and some battalion red creatures to make it work.




Consider yourself lucky. i had 2 bloodrush (one was promo), that guild is good in sealed even without bloodrush, but probably murder in draft!

bulletd Guidelines: 5.0: I will take this card no matter what. Creature 1 or playable 1 or hate 1.Archangel of Thune 4.5: Bomb and splashable. Creature 1-2, playable 1-2, removal 1. Jace, Memory Adept 4.0: Excellent first pick first pack, will sway me into same colors. Creatures 1-4, removal 1. Haunted Plate Mail 3.5: Excellent first pack pick two, will confirm colors or possibly sway into second color. Doom Blade 3.0: Good in-color addition, or splashable removal/creature. Creatures 3-9, removal 1-3. wall of Frost 2.5: Solid pick in-color; creatures 5-12, removal 3-5. Dark Favor 2.0: Creatures 10-16; removal 6-7. Elvish Mystic 1.5: My 23rd or 22nd card, depending on removal. Act of Treason 1.0: 23rd card if I don't maindeck an additional land. Lay of the Land 0.5: This card will sometimes be sideboarded in. Brave the Elements 0.0: I will shred this card for counters. Darksteel Forge

Boros terribly under-performed at our prerelease. Orzhov, Gruul and Simic were all very  well represented.



Yeah, Boros performed much like I thought it would (poorly) unless you had a very low curve and quick deck.  All my games were against Boros, if they didnt have Legionaire or Madcap Skills, they lost, plain and simple.  Boros had access to a TON of removal though, especially if they splashed Bloodrush.  And if they had Rubblebelt Raiders you should have just picked up your deck and walked away lol.

Again, I really think Gatecrash is all about the splash.  None of the mechanics (save MAYBE evolve) can stand alone without a REALLY good open.  

Cipher is too expensive so it needs extort to stay alive or evolve for board stability

Battalion is too fragile so it needs Bloodrush to sneak in damage or extort to stabilize

Bloodrush is too gambly and could use Battalion for some predictable damage or Evolve for some stability if their opponent has lots of walls.

Extort is pretty situational, but at least it doesn't really have a weakness...outside of the fact that it doesn't really affect much unless you've managed to stall the game (Dimir) or had an aggressive start (Boros).

Evolve is much like Extort, except that the guild makes use of the counters, which makes it more independant than the other four.  While Cipher and Bloodrush can make it more deadly, it doesn't really change the effectiveness of Evolve.

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Here's what I came away with after a pretty large prerelease event: I saw examples of each guild performing impressively, most of the best decks were because of a really good card-pool, many of the top players splashed a third color (this was also true for RTR). My guild was simic and my entire pool was awful, I basically walked away with one card I was happy to get that night (Boros Reckoner). After my first match with a shoddy simic deck, it was too slow and I switched to gruul (mostly mono red). My off-guild mono red bloodrush and battalion deck was way better than my simic deck and it was still garbage. Dimir was the guild that was the inherently strongest with evasion, counterspells, removal, milling and some seriously amazing cipher cards. Doesn't mean every Dimir player was guarenteed a good deck, but a Dimir player with two or more unblockable/evasion creatures and one or two cipher cards and their guild promo can be a scary thing.

Take away message: Any deck with enough cards dedicated to its quild's keyword seemed to work really well, so just have faith that evolve, extort, bloodrush, cipher, and battalion will perform well. The guilds seem pretty well balanced. Build a smart deck and be sure to examine your entire pool for other options for another deck or possible splashing. Above all have fun and be willing to change your deck throughout the night.
I won my event.  Went orzhov for the pack, splashed Dimir.  I pulled solid limited cards for the most part, and only lost two games out of the three matches going 6-2 w/l (it was a small event at my local shop).

Boros was a tough matchup at mine, as well as one well built dimir deck.  The grull decks I went against seemed to get lacking in either draws or lack of support for bloodrush or attackers.  There were two other Orzhov decks, but I never faced them.  I watched a game, though, and they didn't have the support for Extort (one pack had a total of five extorts, the other six, both excluding the Thrull).
I got lucky at my event going 4/0/0 overall and only losing 2 games. I went for dimir and splashed orzhov for removal and a deathpact angel. I ran 8 removal spells with 3 of them being grisly spectacle which won me tons of games. overall i found that white/black/blue just had answers for everything and combined with 4 bombs(Consuming aberration, Nightveil specter, Duskmantle seer, Deathpact angel) overall though i didnt bother running any cipher cards.
I went Gruul and had immediate buyer's remorse. I think I would've had more fun with Simic or Boros. As mentioned above, Gruul is a very skill-intensive guild because of all the decisions, completely opposite its flavor (though this isn't why I didn't enjoy it as much). I got a good number of bloodrush cards, including a second Rubblehulk and two Scorchwalker. Being able to add 10-12 power with six mana if they decide not the block won a couple games. Didn't play against Boros, but the main problem I ran into with Gruul is that there are few ways to push through the last damage or deal with opposing evasion. The later is especially annoying against Dimir and cipher.

Also, Rapid Hybridization bothers me. As a sorcery it would be tolerable, but instant-speed creature destruction for just U is wrong.

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I went Gruul and had immediate buyer's remorse. I think I would've had more fun with Simic or Boros. As mentioned above, Gruul is a very skill-intensive guild because of all the decisions, completely opposite its flavor (though this isn't why I didn't enjoy it as much). I got a good number of bloodrush cards, including a second Rubblehulk and two Scorchwalker. Being able to add 10-12 power with six mana if they decide not the block won a couple games. Didn't play against Boros, but the main problem I ran into with Gruul is that there are few ways to push through the last damage or deal with opposing evasion. The later is especially annoying against Dimir and cipher.

Also, Rapid Hybridization bothers me. As a sorcery it would be tolerable, but instant-speed creature destruction for just U is wrong.



Pit Fight is amazing against evasive creatures, Ground Assault is fantastic, forcing them to blood with massive pressure is another way. Making them fear bloodrush (you know this), you can use Rapid Hybridization if you have a Simic Guildgate or Prophetic Prism.

bulletd Guidelines: 5.0: I will take this card no matter what. Creature 1 or playable 1 or hate 1.Archangel of Thune 4.5: Bomb and splashable. Creature 1-2, playable 1-2, removal 1. Jace, Memory Adept 4.0: Excellent first pick first pack, will sway me into same colors. Creatures 1-4, removal 1. Haunted Plate Mail 3.5: Excellent first pack pick two, will confirm colors or possibly sway into second color. Doom Blade 3.0: Good in-color addition, or splashable removal/creature. Creatures 3-9, removal 1-3. wall of Frost 2.5: Solid pick in-color; creatures 5-12, removal 3-5. Dark Favor 2.0: Creatures 10-16; removal 6-7. Elvish Mystic 1.5: My 23rd or 22nd card, depending on removal. Act of Treason 1.0: 23rd card if I don't maindeck an additional land. Lay of the Land 0.5: This card will sometimes be sideboarded in. Brave the Elements 0.0: I will shred this card for counters. Darksteel Forge
I went Gruul and had immediate buyer's remorse. I think I would've had more fun with Simic or Boros. As mentioned above, Gruul is a very skill-intensive guild because of all the decisions, completely opposite its flavor (though this isn't why I didn't enjoy it as much). I got a good number of bloodrush cards, including a second Rubblehulk and two Scorchwalker. Being able to add 10-12 power with six mana if they decide not the block won a couple games. Didn't play against Boros, but the main problem I ran into with Gruul is that there are few ways to push through the last damage or deal with opposing evasion. The later is especially annoying against Dimir and cipher.

Also, Rapid Hybridization bothers me. As a sorcery it would be tolerable, but instant-speed creature destruction for just U is wrong.




I think this sums up GTC rather well:  Forget what the guilds are "supposed" to do.  Gruul looks like a straight forward style of play:  Get good creatures, beat face.  And for all I know it may draft like that.  The cards for Gruul seem to even show this.  The flavor of the guild is "GRUUL SMASH!".

And yet it was the most mentally taxing series of games I have ever played.  Bloodrush, and gruul, turned out to be far less straight forward than it appears, and utilizing the guild effectively is incredibly difficult.  You are often dealing with far more efficient creatures, and need to plan several turns in advance, expect what your opponent has in their hands every step of the way(And into the future), know when to attack and when to hold back, figure out when bloodrushing is the best alternative (There are several situations where bloodrushing a target was a bad idea, even to save board position). 

Hi guys,


So at my prerelease, I decided to go Boros as my guild choice.  I managed to open a pretty sick pool. 


I opened up a godless shrine, a dormi rade, the giant adephage green mythic bug, firemane avenger, and angelic skirmisher.


Here’s my decklist:


Creatures (14)


Foundry Street Denizen x1


Sunhome Guildmage x1


Bomber Corps x3


Ember Beast x1


Skyknight Legionnaire x2


Warmind Infantry x1


Knight of Obligation x1


Firemane Avenger x1


Nav Squad Commandos x1


Angelic Skirmisher x1


Foundry Champion x1


 


Spells (9)


One Thousand Lashes x2


Killing Glare x1


Holy Mantle x1


Madcap Skills x1


Massive Raid x1


Mugging x1


Knight Watch x2


 


Lands (17)


Mountains x7


Plains x6


Swamps x2


Boros Guildgate x1


Godless Shrine x1


 


Angelic skirmisher was such a good card.  It single handedly brought me back from a game I should have probably lost to a simic opponent who was beating me down with a couple of drakewing krasis and other random dudes, but I was able to stabilize.  Being able to pick and choose what “buff” to give my guys was so good.  Lifelink, vigilance, or first strike.  Bananas!


 


Firemane avenger was also very good.  I was fairly impressed with bomber corps.  The skyknight legionnaires were amazing all night, when they would suddenly turn on battalion.  Knight Watch was also very impressive, having more guys to stabilize and potentially get me back to activating battalion was pretty good.


 


Opening two lashes and a killing glare made such a huge difference in me comfortably winning all night long to a perfect record 8-0, 4-0 matches.


 


Round 1 I played a simic opponent who had to mull to 5 first game on the play.  Game 2 was a bit closer, but angelic skirmisher aided me in coming back for the win.  I chose lifelink when he had previously swung aggressively, then used first strike to protect me from the counter swing.  The two vigilance knights from Knight Watch helped A LOT here.


 


Round 2 I played against an orzhov opponent.  Game 1 I get him down pretty low, I have a good board presence but the board gets wiped by merciless eviction.  We go back and forth for a bit.  We go into top deck mode, and I manage to do the last points of dmg thanks to massive raid after stabilizing with knight of obligation and nav squad commandoes.  The next game, towards the end, he’s at 2, I play one thousand lashes, activate extort from one of my dudes, and have the enchantment finish him off next turn. 


 


Round 3 I play against dimir.  He’s able to combo the black cipher spell that returns a creature from his gy to his hand with the faerie rogue evasion guy.  I have removal in hand, but am kept off black for quite awhile.  He slowly whittles away my life.  I draw into angelic skirmisher, and am able to stabilize a few turns until I draw into black mana that I need to stop the chain.  My angel dies to a black –x –x enchantment based on dudes in my gy.  The game ends shortly thereafter.  Game 2, it’s a pretty close match, he ends up top decking and playing his black primordial, and steals my angelic skirmisher from my gy.  He’s at 2.  I once again manage to cast one thousand lashes paired with an extort effect to win the game before he’s able to swing in for lethal. 


 


Round 4 I played against another boros deck that has aurelia’s fury and some other solid creatures.  Game 1 I have a pretty slow opening hand, but have removal to deal with the opposing creatures, mugging the opposing truefire paladin.  I one thousand lash her 3/2, and have that eat away at her life while I swing in with my skyknight legionnaire.   I eventually take game 1 by swinging for 8 and having my two one thousand lashes finish the job on her turn.  Game 2 I should have lost, my opponent made a play mistake and I’m able to capitalize on it.  She has the veteran 3/1 battalion that gets double strike enchanted with +2+2 pro creatures.  But decides not to swing a turn.  If she had attacked, she would have won in two turns, me being low at 8 her being at 13.  On my first turn turn following this, I use map cap to swing in with my 2/4 vigilance guy with +2+2 pro creatures enchantment.  2 extort triggers later, I manage to top deck the removal to kill her enchanted creature and swing in for exactly lethal despite her last blocker held back.



I take first, winning 10 packs, and a bunch of other goodies.  I trade away 5 packs for two breeding pools.  He opens up a dormi rade, in the packs I trade him.  All in all a very fun night.  I’ll be playing as gruul in the last flight later today J    

I went Gruul and had immediate buyer's remorse. I think I would've had more fun with Simic or Boros. As mentioned above, Gruul is a very skill-intensive guild because of all the decisions, completely opposite its flavor (though this isn't why I didn't enjoy it as much). I got a good number of bloodrush cards, including a second Rubblehulk and two Scorchwalker. Being able to add 10-12 power with six mana if they decide not the block won a couple games. Didn't play against Boros, but the main problem I ran into with Gruul is that there are few ways to push through the last damage or deal with opposing evasion. The later is especially annoying against Dimir and cipher.

Also, Rapid Hybridization bothers me. As a sorcery it would be tolerable, but instant-speed creature destruction for just U is wrong.




I think this sums up GTC rather well:  Forget what the guilds are "supposed" to do.  Gruul looks like a straight forward style of play:  Get good creatures, beat face.  And for all I know it may draft like that.  The cards for Gruul seem to even show this.  The flavor of the guild is "GRUUL SMASH!".

And yet it was the most mentally taxing series of games I have ever played.  Bloodrush, and gruul, turned out to be far less straight forward than it appears, and utilizing the guild effectively is incredibly difficult.  You are often dealing with far more efficient creatures, and need to plan several turns in advance, expect what your opponent has in their hands every step of the way(And into the future), know when to attack and when to hold back, figure out when bloodrushing is the best alternative (There are several situations where bloodrushing a target was a bad idea, even to save board position). 



Bloodrush is fun because it's a thinking man's guild. You are constantly under pressure to get board control and either get through some big damage or deal to the grill, this format has many easy to use and common level answers to our plans which make it really risky to do things, hence making the game play tense and exciting.

Much different than cast your evasive creature and try to get a cipher on it!

bulletd Guidelines: 5.0: I will take this card no matter what. Creature 1 or playable 1 or hate 1.Archangel of Thune 4.5: Bomb and splashable. Creature 1-2, playable 1-2, removal 1. Jace, Memory Adept 4.0: Excellent first pick first pack, will sway me into same colors. Creatures 1-4, removal 1. Haunted Plate Mail 3.5: Excellent first pack pick two, will confirm colors or possibly sway into second color. Doom Blade 3.0: Good in-color addition, or splashable removal/creature. Creatures 3-9, removal 1-3. wall of Frost 2.5: Solid pick in-color; creatures 5-12, removal 3-5. Dark Favor 2.0: Creatures 10-16; removal 6-7. Elvish Mystic 1.5: My 23rd or 22nd card, depending on removal. Act of Treason 1.0: 23rd card if I don't maindeck an additional land. Lay of the Land 0.5: This card will sometimes be sideboarded in. Brave the Elements 0.0: I will shred this card for counters. Darksteel Forge
Everyone bet on Boros.

Orzhov (or Borzhov) topped both.

I went Gruul and got slapped hard 1-4. I pulled nice bombs, quite a bit of green/red removal, but very few usable creatures and almost nothing with bloodrush.

I don't feel bad since I cracked open an Aurelia's Fury, Stomping Ground, Spark Trooper, and Legion Loyalist


Bloodrush is fun because it's a thinking man's guild. You are constantly under pressure to get board control and either get through some big damage or deal to the grill, this format has many easy to use and common level answers to our plans which make it really risky to do things, hence making the game play tense and exciting.

Much different than cast your evasive creature and try to get a cipher on it!




Pretty much this.

I can honestly say that although a couple of my games *Were* decided by my two bombs (Rubblebelt Raiders and Legion Loyalist), they still did not provide an insurmountable obstacle, and I lost a couple games even with both out.  And I can honestly say that my match-wins were not because of those cards in the least. 

I had several solid commons (Scab-Clan Charger and Disciple of the Old Ways in droves, as well as double Madcap Skills), a few decent uncommons (Wasteland Viper proved invaluable), and that was a bout it that was note-worthy. 

I was fighting the uphill battle all day long, and more than a few the games I won were by the skin of my teeth(Or vice-versa for losses).  The only match I lost, to the #1 boros deck, was exceedingly close in both games I lost(I went 0-2 against him, but so did everybody who played against him).  The first game was due to an incredibly lucky Skyknight Legionnaire top-deck that hit was able to push the damage thresh-hold over the edge and hit me for lethal in a single combat.  Next turn I would have had him, as I managed strong board position, a point he even conceded as he had no answers for my Legion Loyalist, and he was down to 1 life.

The next game was won by mid-game Firemane Avenger with a Halbierders, Ember Beast with Aerial Maneuver and a Skyknight.  I was stuck on 3 lands, had a Scab-Clan and a Disciple on the field, Slaughterhorn, Legion Loyalist and [/c]Rubblehulk[/c]. and he was at 10 life, me at 12.  Played the Loyalist hoping to coerce a block from the Halbierders, knowing that I would have my board position decimated anyway.  He did not.  *Instead* he took the 6 damage, leaving him at four.  I had 2 untapped lands, and nothing I could do about it.  If I had 1 more land out, I could've rushed the Hulk out, dealing lethal to the dome.  As it stood, if I tried to block at all, my board position would be completely wiped out anyway. 

Later he said that this was the only match-up he didn't breeze through.  So I'll take that as a complement. 

I took 8th out of 90 people going 4-1 and my buddy took 3rd going 5-0. Both of us went boros, neither of us got aurelia or gideon, and neither of us even needed to splash another color at all.
Pit Fight is amazing against evasive creatures, Ground Assault is fantastic, forcing them to blood with massive pressure is another way.


I had two Pit Fights, but two spells that are conditional and might still cost you a creature didn't cut it.

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Pit Fight is amazing against evasive creatures, Ground Assault is fantastic, forcing them to blood with massive pressure is another way.


I had two Pit Fights, but two spells that are conditional and might still cost you a creature didn't cut it.



I also had 2 Pit Fights and a Ground Assault and some combat tricks. My Pit Fights were probably used 10 times over the course of 11 games and they always killed what I wanted them to kill. This wont always happen, but I was using them on my opponet's turn when he was low on mana, or no cards in hand, or just got lucky a couple times.

bulletd Guidelines: 5.0: I will take this card no matter what. Creature 1 or playable 1 or hate 1.Archangel of Thune 4.5: Bomb and splashable. Creature 1-2, playable 1-2, removal 1. Jace, Memory Adept 4.0: Excellent first pick first pack, will sway me into same colors. Creatures 1-4, removal 1. Haunted Plate Mail 3.5: Excellent first pack pick two, will confirm colors or possibly sway into second color. Doom Blade 3.0: Good in-color addition, or splashable removal/creature. Creatures 3-9, removal 1-3. wall of Frost 2.5: Solid pick in-color; creatures 5-12, removal 3-5. Dark Favor 2.0: Creatures 10-16; removal 6-7. Elvish Mystic 1.5: My 23rd or 22nd card, depending on removal. Act of Treason 1.0: 23rd card if I don't maindeck an additional land. Lay of the Land 0.5: This card will sometimes be sideboarded in. Brave the Elements 0.0: I will shred this card for counters. Darksteel Forge
I went Orzhov and felt that my pool didn't really have any bombs on color.  I did build a very consistent deck and took first at the prerelease going a perfect 6-0.  Second place also went Orzhov and I actually played her round 2 and we had pretty much the same deck.  I had great removal and had 4 [C]Kingpin's Pet[/C].  I often on average would extort for 8-10 life a game which was like net 16-20 life!  So I had no problem racing Boros or Gruul.  I just thought that extort was really powerful.  Though I think you have to have a certain number to make it effective.  Its like a threshold, once you are above that number then extort will work consistently.  I think you need at least like 8 but maybe more for it to be effective.  A more detailed analysis can be found here.
Nice to hear that everyone took first place at their prerelease.
bulletd Guidelines: 5.0: I will take this card no matter what. Creature 1 or playable 1 or hate 1.Archangel of Thune 4.5: Bomb and splashable. Creature 1-2, playable 1-2, removal 1. Jace, Memory Adept 4.0: Excellent first pick first pack, will sway me into same colors. Creatures 1-4, removal 1. Haunted Plate Mail 3.5: Excellent first pack pick two, will confirm colors or possibly sway into second color. Doom Blade 3.0: Good in-color addition, or splashable removal/creature. Creatures 3-9, removal 1-3. wall of Frost 2.5: Solid pick in-color; creatures 5-12, removal 3-5. Dark Favor 2.0: Creatures 10-16; removal 6-7. Elvish Mystic 1.5: My 23rd or 22nd card, depending on removal. Act of Treason 1.0: 23rd card if I don't maindeck an additional land. Lay of the Land 0.5: This card will sometimes be sideboarded in. Brave the Elements 0.0: I will shred this card for counters. Darksteel Forge
Nice to hear that everyone took first place at their prerelease.



I only got 4th.  *sigh*.  Would have 3rd if 2nd and 3d places hadn't drawn in their match (I had much better tie breakers than either), but NOOOOO.  They had to go and draw out.
I went 6-1-1 (drew into top 8) to win a box at a 128 person prerelease to come back from a first round loss to someone who didn't win another match. I played a very low curve (2x boros elite and ~8 2 drop creatures) boros deck and many combat tricks, no splash.

Very few people went dimir and I didnt see any at the top. Overall simic (typically splashing gruul) got crushed. Top tables were dominated by boros, oros (BWR), and orzhov.

The addition of the guild pack and speed of the format made it seem much more like draft than sealed. madcap skills was an MVP, as expected from some online testing before the event.   

Overall the cards played pretty much as expected, no surprises. Its of course important to not have to suicide to get battalion, which means evasion in the form of madcap skills or flying is very important. 

Overall, the format did not feel overly bomb oriented, but it did feel like everyone had a very aggressive deck and it often came down to who stumbled in their draw, due to an overall lack of removal.
       
I took 48th place. And 38th place, too, apparently, at another event halfway across the state. I think someone else used my DCI number by mistake- something wonky's going on, anyway. I'm kinda sad, I think he did a lot better than I did.
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I went 4-0 with Gruul. Dimir and Orzhov didn't make it to the top 4 or 5, but maybe top 8. Simic just was awful, evolve is a much worse mechanic than I originally thought.

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Went 5- 1 with Dimir. I thought I was going to be out gunned by Boros all day, but played mostly against Orzhov. Pulled 3 Cloudfin Raptor 2 Sage's Row Denizen and a Leyline Phantom which work well together. Highlight though, was -TWO- Domri Rade in my Dimir box
Went 4-0 with boros each match going 2-0. Pulled 4 Halberdiers which were just insane. Had 6 removal spells and 17 creatures, didn't bother with Madcap or anything like that. Didn't open a single combat trick either. Spark Trooper was great, my second Foundry Champion was great and my Rubblebelt Raiders wasn't. For some reason they always had an answer for him.

Boros and Orzhov did the best of course though my friend also went 4-0 with Dimir. Turns out Cipher and two Increasing Abberation works out.
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Played Boros. Went 2-2.  All of my matches went to three games.  Each player had a blow-out in each match, and the decider was one really tight game. Lost one match to Simic.  Split with Orzhov.  Won one match with Gruul.  





Still trying to figure out how I pulled this god-likeness and pulled first place! ;) Simic ftw! Foil crypt ghast and beckon where nice...got one of the manipulators in a prize pool....
Went 5-1 with Boros deck. Only played against other Boros players the whole tournament as it did very well at ours. Happy with my result in my 2nd ever prerelease until I opened my 8 booster prize and got not one decent rare
I went Simic and thought, looking at my pool, that I was toast -- pulled an Ooze Flux, but not muche else in the "synergetic rares" department.  Only one Drakewing Krasis, no Elusive, and no Nimbus Swimmer.

First mach was a Simic mirror, and a total blowout in my favor.  Game one dragged, but then I brought out the Ooze Flux and started making an endless stream of 5/5 tokens.  I actually had to stop drawing cards off my Fathom Mage to avoid decking myself.  Game two was just a total simic aggro blowout with the Cloudfin Raptor into Shambleshark opening that usually meant doom.

Second match was against Boros.  I out-aggroed him game one, lost game two to Legion Loyalist, and saw him slightly behind on mana game 3, which was enough to kill.

Third match was also boros.  I was torn apart game one when I took a hand with five lands and two turn 5 plays (Totally Lost and Urban Evolution, then didn't draw any of my ample supply of cheap creatures.  Game two, my opponent mulligained to 5 then got stuck on one swamp, while game three was nice and even -- He had the advantage until I Aetherized his one real creature and two tokens.  After that, the simic outgrew his little attackers and stomped flat.

Final match was, then, playing for overall first, and was another Simic mirror.  Game one went to me with overwhelming aggression, game two went to him via three critical countered spells.  Game three was one of the closest, most tense games of Magic I've had in ages: In the end, I got destroyed by a Drakewing Krasis that I never drew any of my answers to, despite manafacturing several extra turns for myself and resolving urban evolution.  All the same, I had big angry things on the ground, and the life totals at the top of his last turn were him at 4 and me at 2, holding a card but no answer to the Krasis.

Final result: 3-1-0 and overall 4th place.

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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)

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Got my usual 5-2 win/loss record. I went with gruul and opened a Clan Defiance, Signal the Clans, and Rubblehulk so my deck ended up pretty good. Got an Aurelia's fury in one of my prize packs. Had a good time playing my stupid ramp deck against omnidoor before the event started.

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