Feb 22, 2011
Okay, so I picked up the Into the Breach event deck today and tested it at Gotham Comics today. So far, it held its own in multiplayer but suffered burn deck weakness against more than one player. One on one, it was excellent! Very useful sideboard included. My friend and I will test it against the Phyrexian event deck this week and officially rate the two in contrast. But I am very pleased with this purchase. Once I've played with it awhile, it will break down easily into suppliments for three different decks I'm currently using.
And gotta add, the deck box sideload design, with divider and room for counters, is the slickest packaging ever. Nice bonus to have upon opening.
John Avon's first sketch nailed it. Maybe creative needs to be canned and replaced by him. Sad day that they tell him he doesn't know what he's doing.
Mar 16, 2004
Well, I preferred his first sketch as well. Just like with the sketches of Radha, Heir to Keld
: the first version of the art was much more visually appealing. The second one fits the storyline better.
In both cases, I would have much rather had the prettier card to put in my decks, but I suppose I can see why the creative team tell the artists not to do the beautiful thing but the in-set flavour thing.
In this case, though, I think they should have gone with his first sketch, reconcepted Mirrorworks as a Mirran card (the mechanic is pretty flavour-neutral which side it's on), and moved some other Mirran rare artifact over to Phyrexia.
The first sketch was awesome; the second version has ended up not looking creepy but just grubby. It doesn't look "ichor-stained"; it looks muddy. The most damning indictment of all: I hadn't realised it was a John Avon piece. And when art direction hides John's awesome style like that, it's a sign something's wrong.
Aug 25, 2003
For me, the Mirrorworks card is just far too dark. You can barely even see the mirrors. I also agree with alextfish: you barely notice the fact that it's a John Avon piece (unlike, for example, Bant Sojourners
Zindaras' meta is like a fossil, ancient and its secrets yet to be uncovered. Only men of yore, long dead, knew of it.
Ajani vs Nicol Bolas: another auto-buy for me.
Knights vs Dragons: did anyone really think it was a joke? Seriously people, get with the program...
Aug 29, 2009
I agree with the above statements. The artist turned in a stunning piece of artwork and they had him make it unappealing.
Mar 22, 2009
Having looked at the Mirran event deck "Into the Breach", I gotta say, this is the most solid pre-con deck I've seen in a long time. This is a deck that if you're a new player, you'll look back a year later and say, "this was an awesome investment!"
I agree that it is a solid deck (IMO 2 of them put together would make a good deck - which is unheard of with other precons), but lets not forget that a number of the cards in it will only be Standard legal for another 7 months ( Goblin Guide , for example, and Leyline of Punishment if it isnt reprinted).
Not bashing it though!
Props to Wizards for making this deck - Im glad they didnt shy away from releasing a precon that is actually competitive. If I didnt already have all the cards, I would have bought 2 of these the moment they hit the shelves.
Reached DCI Rating 1800 on 28/10/11. :DSig
That makes no sense to me.
If they spelled the ability out on the card in full then it would not be allowed in a mono-black Commander deck, but because they used a keyword to save space it is allowed?
Yup, just like you can have Birds of paradise in a mono green deck but not Noble Hierarch . YAY COLOR IDENTITY
Is algebra really that difficult?
Survey says yes.
You want to make a milky drink. You squeeze a cow.
I love this description. Like the cows are sponges filled with milk. I can see it all Nick Parks claymation-style with the cow's eyes bugging out momentarily as a giant farmer squeezes it like a squeaky dog toy, and milk shoots out of it.
Jun 21, 2010
As you know, the preconstructed Event Decks for Mirrodin Besieged have been released. I checked them out and was amused. They were actually about worth what you were getting. Not only that, but Into the Breach wasn't BAD. It IS Kuldotha Red with all the fixings and tricks short of basically a set of Mox Opals. But overall, it fills out the correct slots and puts emphasis on what wins.
Infect & Defile however... Not so much. It is a huge disappointment compared to this accomplishment. It's teeming with the contradiction of softcore aggro and hardcore control. And what you get is basically nothing. Some turns you make little forces and some turns you just get your hands on extra copies. So overall, your goal is to make a small force of okay guys... And then suppose in the late game your opponent will care about that force and try to use up all their mana to clear them away so that you can Mana Leak it. Yeeeeah, good luck with that. There's a reason Star City Games is selling Into the Breach for $24.99 and Infect & Defile for $19.99.
I’ve taken it upon myself to take the decisions made my Magic and change them for the better. I believe the ball was dropped, and if I would have been given the job Wizards had, I would have made a better product. I understand the rules: 0 Mythics, 7 Rares, and an aligned deck (a rule which we both break, and admittedly isn't important. More on that later). I picked this over Into the Breach because of my core love of midrange, and my evaluation that Infect is highly a midrange beast. Colors don't matter to me so much honestly as opposed to that wonderful fill of dropping sizeable chunks of cards that are worth their cost, turn after turn after turn.
I also saw how wonting Infect & Defile is. So I'll fix it. Not as a player (who obviously can fix a deck as their only limitation is capital), but as a designer. And as a designer, there's a massive chunk everywhere that needs to be changed with this deck in my opinion compared to the maybe 2-3 cards from Into the Breach that are out of place totally. There's a lot to cover.
Lets start with the initial rares I decided exactly to pick:
2 Phyrexian Vatmother
2 Hand of the Praetors
1 Consume the Meek
1 Consuming Vapors
1 Inkmoth Nexus
And what got replaced overall?
-2 Drowning Catacomb
+1 Inkmoth Nexus
+1 Hand of the Praetors
-1 Consuming Vapors
+1 Consume the Meek
while the lands were “nice”, they were unnecessary, and Wizards might know it. They saw 2 color and got stuck on including a dual because dual color runs special lands, but if you investigate the deck overall, it’s not necessary. Look at the mana more intensely; you need BB for Phyrexian Vatmother third turn (ramping with Plague Myr) and arguably U first turn for Preordain. (which by the way Drowned Catacombs does nothing to help alleviate ANYWAY.) That’s about it. There's tons of early game colorless. Some quick perfect scenario math says you want 1 Blue source in every seven cards so you open with it, and 2 Black sources every nine cards so you can pay for that Phyrexian Vatmother.
So 1/7th of your 60 card deck (9 rounded up) needs to be Blue sources that you can tap turn one for Preordain (so Jwar Isle Refuge doesn't count), which basically turns you to 9 Islands. For Black, you're saying you want 2/9ths of 60 (14 rounded up) to help your Black out for turn 3 rampage. Of course this doesn't necessarily need to be Swamp, but just like with Island, there's little resource (or need for that matter) to work outside of Swamp, however we can be a little nicer with it because we can run taplands. Cut out 2 Jwar isle Refuge, because this is aggro, we can't afford wasting a turn being tapped down, so go to 2 as well as 12 Swamp. Don't forget to add in Inkmoth Nexus, and you honestly have a solid 24 manabase. No real need for Drowned Catacomb.
In real play, you can't hope for true randomization and ideal perfection. However, do take notice that we rounded up on the mana needed, not to mention running Preordain as well as Plague Myr. the Mana is actually almost there and varies from keepable to miniflood (instead of keepable to flood).
Hand of the Praetors:
This guy does work all day long. He's phenomenally useful to the niche of Infect, so I suited him up again. Solid lord even if it is slightly more expensive. Way better than the mana-intensive options the deck originally had where you used all your mana on 2/2 for 4's with Disentomb. Actually, now I just tech a copy of Disentomb. The idea is solid. With Corpse Cur you give up a ton of mana for something good (you're gonna get something good, right?) that you can't play then. So it'll be two turns before you're swinging with whatever you got back. Disentomb just works more sound. It replaces itself with a creature, and then instead of requiring 8 land to pull of the play, you need as little as 3-4 and still get to replay one of the few copies of your most powerful dudes. Shoot, get 1 of your 2 Hand of the Praetors back with it, AND cast it!
Consume the Meek:
To pair with Consuming Vapors. Notice the huge creatures 4CMC creatures.
1) Able to sweep the board against Into the Breach and
2) actually let Consuming Vapors get a chance to shine. Sweep then Keep. 2 of either I believe work less than one of each. Side appropriately as always.
Seriously, it’s not THAT expensive. Originally, I thought I could get by without it, but it’s SO GOOD. Even a One-Of guarantees a sneaky finish; or use as an early game start when you've got nothing early, etc. It’s too good, and it costs… What? Roughly 1 Goblin Guide? How dare you give Kuldotha Red everything but Mox Opal, even Contested War Zone and not give us our Phyrexian stuff );. It even makes more sense to put Inkmoth Nexus in Infect & Defile than Contested War Zone in Into the Breach.
Find goals for your colors to make them actually sensible. I decided to make Black my power color with Blue on the back in making sure that power does its job. An example of what I'm talking about can be flavorfully expressed by a card in my mind right now, Tibor and Lumia, of Guildpact. One part of the duo is concerned with aggression, while the other half is concerned with making that aggression effective. The art of aggro/control is unique. You want to deal damage, but your method is fragile and breakable, so reinforce it.
So I haven’t really talked about the blue. First take out most of everything, the deck’s not control. 3 Preodains stayed to help an inconsistent deck more consistent. It turns out to be quite the fixer, especially when you're dual color and running tons of basics, but I already said that.
2 Mana Leak to help force your moves and check opponents, aka., Aggro/Control. A lot of your strategy is having evasion, but trying to get through removal and preventing your evasion from losing purpose. The way out is through.
I've decided to also try out 1 of those Foresees. My idea is that lategame, you really need to stop seeing lands. So look at the top 4 Islands, and for godssakes toss'em to the bottom for two!
The last 3 Blue manas? 3 Distortion Strike. Like I said, you have beats, so make them hit. Make them effective. This card is practically THE reason to try blue. Make the colors of the deck worthy of actually combining to do something in unison. Don't combine white and black stereotypes just to have a lifegain deck with removal just for the sole purpose of removal. That's my issue with the original deck. The Blue counters and draws, but it didn't necessarily benefit heavily from it.
Anyway, this card makes your regular chumps become unstoppable. Two turns in a row in fact. Back it up with counters to push it through, make it happen with Preordain, and give power to fatties who already evade some removal and push them through combat. Much of this format is based around racing, so let them.
I kept the feel for what they tried to do with Consuming Vapors, but overall I still don’t like it at all. It's variable and just not reliable as a mainboard option. At least for now. I see the idea behind it and the flavor of it, but feel we've let feeling get the best of us over solid logic.
I think we should move closer to the aggro and try and fill it out. Let's try 2 Phyrexian Crusaders instead of the yes/no removal. We've got plenty of removal anyway. I didn’t like them at first, but 2/2 Infect First Strike can do battle with ANYTHING 3 or less Power and come out achieved, as long as they don't also have First Strike. Of course, I can't forget to mention he evade 2 particularly aggro deck colors that contain cheap spot removal that you don't particularly want to have to Mana Leak. Seems like a really solid rare.
Also, I feel like there's another hidden rule that goes: "the deck itself must be affiliated." Which means no opposing affiliation cards and at least 10 of your faction's cards. Even Wizards broke this rule, though, and points it out. The sideboard of both decks contain opposites. It's strange, too, because they broke the rule and then didn't put any in the mainboard either... Even though Go For the Throat is excellent compared to Doom Blade (the card is Uncommon for a reason).
What this seems to suggest to me is that they also didn't want opposing factions in the mainboard. If I would've considered a policy, I wouldn't have adhered to such an idea. I would've just made two good decks where factional influence would have come naturally. By the way, MAINBOARD 2 Go For the Throat (also, keep all your various tricks/removal/counters in the sideboard). If I would have cared about that one day in existence called Mirrodin Besieged Game Day, and wanted an affiliated deck, I would have mentioned it in the Event Deck pamphlet and offered suggestions for correct alignment.
What this affects in my deck is 4 cards. 2 Go For the Throat and 2 Piston Sledge. I wouldn't replace these cards, but if I had to adhere to their rules, I would use... I don't know, Doom Blade and Trusty Machete? Then suggest the better cards from Mirran that would help the deck. Or do as I have done, and put in the good cards, and offered information about how downgrade to be suited for Game Day.
2 [ZEN] Jwar Isle Refuge
1 [MBS] Inkmoth Nexus
12 [MBS] Swamp (2)
9 [MBS] Island (1)
2 [MBS] Phyrexian Vatmother
2 [SOM] Hand of the Praetors
2 [MBS] Phyrexian Crusader
4 [MBS] Plague Myr
4 [SOM] Ichorclaw Myr
4 [SOM] Necropede
1 [M11] Foresee
2 [MBS] Piston Sledge
2 [MBS] Go for the Throat
2 [M11] Mana Leak
1 [SOM] Contagion Clasp
3 [ROE] Inquisition of Kozilek
3 [ROE] Distortion Strike
3 [M11] Preordain
1 [M11] Disentomb
SB: 2 [M11] Doom Blade
SB: 2 [MBS] Corrupted Conscience
SB: 2 [WWK] Smother
SB: 2 [ROE] Deprive
SB: 2 [M11] Flashfreeze
SB: 2 [M11] Negate
SB: 2 [ZEN] Spell Pierce
SB: 1 [ZEN] Disfigure
May 18, 2002
Into the Breach is so good, I may distill two of them together and actually show up to a Standard tourney for the first time since 1997.
Mission accomplished, Wizards.