I have been reading and listening to everyone talking about how slow game play was in AVR. They have also grumbled about how swingy the big bombs were and how so many games were stalemates until bombs.
Well that may have been true Friday and Saturday. But, by the Sunday's prelease, people have clearly figured out aggro.
I took 1st in sealed (5-0-0) with a U/G and every other deck from 2nd-8th was some version of an aggro deck. All of our decks were successful largely through commons and uncommons. Most of the others were R/W though some put green in with the red (and one did it with R/B).
My two bombs were Champion of Lambholt
and Tamiyo, The Moon Sage
. When active, the Champion definitely helped end the game but ate removal most of the time. Tamiyo was a great. But, most of my games were so fast that she only served as a 5 CMC single target Frost Breath
for the final turn of the game. My MVPs were 3 Wingcrafter
s as they comboed nicely with 2 Trusted Forcemage
s, 2 Tandem Lookout
s (an absolutely sick card!!) and 1 Druid's Familiar
. I was extremely removal light (not surprising in my colors) with only Vanishment
(always paid full cost), Crippling Chill
(I was always happy to have this card) and sideboard Eaten By Spiders
. My most consistent removal was my 1 Wolfir Avenger
(as good as expected in this format). I had some green pump and counter placement. My creature high end was 2 Gryff Vanguard
s and they often served as late game blockers as my wingcrafters and partners got in for the kill.
The suprise of the day for me was how much I ended up valuing my Haunted Guardian
. Since the R/W decks were the only decks fast enough to beat me the Guardian was critical in holding off their agro rush. Another card I ended up valuing very highly despite tossing it in at the last minute was my Terrifying Presence
. It proved to be incredibly effective!
The wingcrafter/tandem lookout was probably the most broken combo and guaranteed me very consistent games. Then green pump coupled with my blue evasion brought the kill.
The most cripplying plays against me were R/W decks playing Thatcher Revolt
with a Goldnight Commander
on the field. Usually these agro players had 2-3 other early creatures including very painful Kruin Striker
s (8/4 tramplers on the Goldnight led Revolt turn). These decks had already gotten 5-10 damage in on early turns (as I was generally unwilling to block with my wingcrafters until their green buddies paired with them) so the Thatcher Revolt was an easily way for them to finish the game.
I enjoyed myself at prerelease and while I was impressed with the big angels, they were surprising not relevant for most of the top 8 decks.
Agro was the winner (with my evasive deck somehow squeezing in on top in some very close matches).