Apologies if this question belongs in another sub-forum.
I have been looking at the abilities specific to each guild, and as a total noob and consistent loser online to moneyed up decks, this is what I have:
Orzhov extort: Straightforward, I like the life loss to the opponent part. Likelink by itself is a defensive ability.
Dimir cipher: Very difficult to decipher (pun intended). I have read the description available to date continously for 30 minutes and I think I finally have it. You get to play whatever the cipher ability is on top of a creature card in a way similar to an arcane card from the Kamigawa block. I can only imagine the back and forth at the prerelease from those who did not spend a long time reading and re-reading the description of this extremely complex ability.
Gruul Bloodrush: Straightforward, and it can pump a creature well, but you just discarded another creature. It does not sound like a winning strategy unless you pull three of the Gruul planeswalker at the pre-release.
Boros Legion: Straightforward, and does not lead you to discard (bloodrush) or to have to attack for trigger (indecipherable cipher). If you pull a bunch of white weenies at the pre-release this looks like a really playable ability.
Simic Evolve: Straightforward, but highly dependent on card draw probabilities. If you pull too many of your heavy creatures first and don't have any token generators any card with this ability will not use it.
I am for either Orzhov or Boros, and leaning towards Boros.
If you want an aggressive strategy, Gruul or Boros. The difference is basically in size.
All I'll say about Simic is that you should splash black for removal. You'll be splashing a color in each of these, anyway.
Orzhov is a very control-heavy, grindy strategy.
Dimir, look for unblockables. If you have enough of them, cipher can be broken.
I am liking Dimir then....anything that is breakable is very playable.
I wish one of these abilities was something like Mirrodin Affinity. When I read affinity I was like "So broken, awesome!"
Thanks, I wasn't around when Affinity was played. It would suck if every deck played the same cards.
This is a probably wait until the entire set is revealed thing to decide. I mean, if one of these five is your favorite, why not, go for it, but if you're looking to 4-0 your prerelease for value, which some of us are, then you'll just have to wait.
Well, even once we get all the cards in, it may be difficult to figure it out immediately. Case in Point: Return To Ravnica prerelease everybody was thinking Rakdos was going to fail and Azorius or Izzet was going to dominate. And then Rakdos did really well and Izzet flopped (overall).
I might pick Gruul just so my deck can have a higher-than-normal percentage of creatures AND a higher-than-normal percentage of combat tricks.
I think Dimir looks like it might be fun to play, but if we are seriously talking about what is most likely to win, I think it is way to early to make any sort of educated guess. We dont even know what removal is going to be available in the set which could have a big effect on this decision.
While i intend to play 4 different guilds in order to try them out, so far my thoughts go:
Dimir-potentially devastating, but also requires you to get very specific cards to work together, and atm need to go into green for unblockable, but milling is always dangerous in limited since people only play with 40 cards. So far many ciphers are very expensive though.
Boros - Meh, works best with synergy, synergy is unreliable in limited, so this looks to be very hit and miss, not decided yet if I want to go for it or not.
Orzov - My other big doubt. While games can last longer in limited and thus make extort good, the question is if the raised manacosts are enough to pull it off, and we dont know yet if the set has enough removal to stop enemy biggies. I think it will do good, and can potentially outlast the enemy, but lacks potent bombs unless you go for the very expensive black dudes.
Gruul - So, you get both creature AND a combat trick in the same card?! This is insanity. And if you say "meh, i am discarding a card." - yes, you are also discarding a card if you play a giant growth , but that does not make it bad. Here you can basically have your cake and eat it, fill you deck with both creatures and tricks without having to chose. I suspect gruul will be potentially the best prerelease deck simply because of its sheer value and flexibility in limited.
Simic - Potentially the most underrated deck. Yes it requires some thinking, but in limited the ability to grow your critters out of reach of the enemy is pretty big, and anyone playing limited knows how a simple 3/3 flyer can be a pain to get rid of. It also features card draw and control, while being open to certain ciphers and having big creatures that grow, and unblockable creatures, that grow. This is the other deck that could be insane in limited, but unlike gruul it really requires good card synergy and some luck to get right, so will put it less powerfull than gruul. Again, we are talking limited, since in constructed it could be beastly. This is the deck i will play with my dimir buddy in the two-headed giant part of the event, and I am even considering picking it twice, but mostly because it also has the best promo in my opinion, while the others are kinda meh.
May actually end up skipping dimir, will have to see how it performs though.
Saw the Gruul charm, and I take back what they said about them being strong.
I imagine that Gruul and Boros are going to be the most forgiving guilds of a not-spectacular card pool, as they're aggressive color combinations with aggressive guild mechanics. Orzhov isn't far behind; while bloodrush has more upside than extort, extort isn't going to yield you card disadvantage, and extort doesn't require the sometimes awkward attacking that you might see with batallion (ie. having to attack with a 2/2 into a 3/3 just to get your batallion trigger).
Dimir and Simic are more controlling guilds from what we've seen so far, which means that they're more reliant on a better card pool.
Yeah, but red and black have things that you need in limited. Green? Not so much.
I mean, I know I haven't seen all the set yet, but I said Trestle Troll was bad, sage kindly reminded me of the "walls matter" subtheme, and...it was only on two cards, so I'm in three colors just to take advantage of it if I use the (appropriately-typed) troll.
While chosing a guild, just remember that it doesn't lock you into building a deck of any specific colors. The guild determines just a sixth of your card pool, and you could easily just splash for any really good ones. As such, you should probably base your choice on the only guaranteed advantage that it could give you: the promo card.
I, for example, am chosing Dimir for my guild. I have no plans to run a Dimir deck, given that the guild has yet to show anything that will be particularly powerful in limited. However, the promo is an absolute bomb and can mill out a 40 card deck extremely quickly. Thus, the logical choice would be to build a deck that contains either blue or black as a primary color and splash the other just for that card. This is possible for any guild promo, so that should be your primary incentive when chosing a guild.
I had picked Boros but later switched to Gruul. I think bloodrush is very good for limited since it turns every creature into a giantgrowth. It forces your opponent to play defensively if you have any cards in hand, because that 2/2 swinging at them could easily jump to a 6/6 or higher. I also like the Gruul promo better than the Boros one for limited play.
And now that all the cards have been spoiled:
Maybe its my noob mind thinking overtime but running through the mono-colored cards I did not see any card that even closely resembled a Thragtusk or a Snapcaster Mage . We did get another rat, even if its a vanilla 2 drop 2/2. There are a couple of 'graveyard helps' black cards.
For the guilds, Boros Charm looks like the best one.
My first impression is to build me a two-color deck with black and whatever I pull that is best in the other mono-colors and avoid most of the multicolored cards in the set, unless I pull a bomb like Aurelia's Fury
I'm thinking it will be easiest to put together a decent Gruul deck but the best decks will probably be Simic and Dimir. Setting up a good cipher combo could be tricky without the right cards and while it doesn't look hard to get something out of evolve, getting a perfect evolve curve will require some luck. If you pull either one of though you'll become some sort of untouchable golden god.
I should probably nmote that my research is less than extensive and based more on guild mechanics than a wide spread look at every card in the set.
I am sort of new, so I might be way off, but I think the best way to go at this sneak is to go white and then either red and splash black, or black then splash red. This will give you the best creature and removal options.
Of course, it all depends on what is pulled....
Yeah, I was talking about which colors to play to effectively use the Dimir promo card. I'm already thinking of picking Boros for my first event and I hope to be able to splash black for removal but we'll just see what's in the packs.
Maybe with the Dimir promo, play W/B and splash U. Or W/U and splash B. Oh, heck, who knows?!?
White and green are both in guilds that share a color with dimir, and have deep pools of playables. White is better I think, since orzhov is stronger than simic imo and white is deeper than green.
After seeing the promos, looking at the whole set, and doing a few sealed sims, Orzhov is looking pretty good. Plenty of removal at common (though, admittedly, two of those clash - the 'sac a creature' instant and the 'pacifism' aura), and one of their better removal spells - the one mana black aura - would combo very well with Treasury Thrull, the promo.
Of course, there are drawbacks I also noticed when playtesting one of those sealed tests. First, you have to actually get creatures in the bin - which would be easy enough as Dimir, but as Orzhov it encourages early trades, just to start using your cheapest removal. Secondly, you'd need to do something to make the Treasury Thrull's attack 'safe'; trading your 4/4 repeatable recursion for one removal spell doesn't seem worth it.
Beyond that, every guild seems pretty playable. Boros is also in 2 removal colors, their promo is removal + card advantage (as well as being a bomb), and RW decks are usually aggressive and pretty easy to form. Gruul with bloodrush pretty much gives you access to a plethora of combat tricks - you've got a deck which has way more Giant Growth / Titanic Growth than you'd usually get without sacrificing creature slots. Dimir has fliers and removal, awesome card advantage in Cipher (Hands of Binding has so much potential at common), and their promo, if it doesn't beat them to death, can mill them out (not to mention it turns on that 1 mana removal aura which is a big plus).
Simic, actually, I think looks like the hardest guild to pull. Evolve has a lot of potential, but it feels like you'll need to pull a really good pool to do well with it. The issue, of course, being that neither color has the strong post-spell removal offered in WRB, so you're pretty much going to be relying on trades - which will be tough if your opponent drops a bomb. I love Simic, so may still play them yet, but the difficulty compared to the other guilds isn't helping my decision.
I originally signed up for Orzhov a couple weeks ago and was beginning to have doubts. I started to lean toward Gruul or Boros, but after looking that the whole set, I feel good about Orzhov. Hopefully I'll get a few relavent Gates to splash some red or blue.
To put into perspective how a non-bonkers Orzhov deck would look, I'll post the list I've been using a bit since one of my sims.
// Lands - 17
1 x Watery Grave
1 x Orzhov Guildgate
1 x Island
8 x Swamp
6 x Plains
// Nonlands - 23
1 x Soul Ransom
1 x Treasury Thrull
1 x Vizkopa Confessor
1 x Wight of Precinct Six
1 x Thrull Parasite
1 x Syndicate Enforcer
1 x Basilica Screecher
1 x Vizkopa Guildmage
1 x Orzhov Charm
1 x Grisly Spectacle
1 x Angelic Edict
1 x Corpse Blockade
2 x Assault Griffin
2 x Slate Street Ruffian
2 x One Thousand Lashes
2 x Devour Flesh
3 x Death's Approach
Might not win a prerelease against a deck with some legitimate bombs, but even without any really bomby rares it has enough removal that it should be able to beat face without issue. And if you're able to land Treasury Thrull and get in an attack without it dying... yeah, you should have more than enough removal for the rest of the game.
Also, Grisly Spectacle is just awesome removal, especially at common. Kills most creatures that might matter, and then mills - meaning it helps enable Death's Approach
If you think you repeatedly attack with treasury thrull, you haven't played enough sealed sims. Your game plan goes something like this:
1: Play thrull
2: Suicide him in if you have a bigger bomb in the yard.
3: If you don't, just sit back with your 4/4 blocker and drain them to death.
>.> You're not exactly supposed to rely on actually getting bombs for limited. If you're picking a guild because Deathpact Angel or Diluvian Primordial are good, or whatever cards you're thinking of, you're probably doing it wrong. I was simply highlighting that Orzhov has access to fantastic cards even if you don't get a great pool, and because one of the common, decent removal spells is an enchantment the promo card is probably going to be relevant even if you don't crack any bombs.
Oh, haha, not at all. I mean, it's nice to have bombs and makes it easier to win matches, but they're by no means necessary, and the majority of any deck is going to be not-bombs.
I am going with Gruul personally.
Having a ton of creatures AND combat tricks taking the same card space is slick. There is a certain level of economy there, and it appeals to me. With red, I can potentially run some of Boros' good burn. Also, running more creatures than I normally would means I potentially can still be dropping bodies when my opponent runs out of removal. I should be able to tromp other creature based strategies, forcing blocks or making the opponent eat huge chunks of pain.
It's not flashy, it's pretty straightforward, down, and dirty -- and honestly? There's nothing wrong with that.
I'm going with Boros. Being able to splash into Gruul or Orzhov seem like a good deal, and I'm guaranteed at least one piece of removal with the promo guy.
I looked through the one-drop and two-drop commons and uncommons (the cards we have a much higher chance, even certainty to get at the prerelease), and black is surprisingly strong, especially if you are able to pull some cantrips and go Dimir-even with what I think is too complex a mechanic. Its true that it will be nearly impossible to pull a mono-color deck out of the six packs, but Orzhov or Boros are still what I am thinking of going with. Orzhov because of strong black cards, and Boros because of the straighforward ability that does not depend so much on card draw.
Simic because they have what you need for limited, and becuasw I can spalsh either dimir or gruul if needed.
I wish I rarely needed removal in sealed. Unfortunately, sometimes they have bombs that just mandate removal.
Well I have blue, so aetherize and pongify and stuff, and in my experience I can just use strong blockers as my removal. Sure its not that good, but it does work well enough. In sealed I tend to spalsh for all my removal anyway.
after spending some hours with sealed simulators, I have to say i expected Orzhov to be good, but it completely dominated as consistently one of the best decks almost regardless of pool. The sheer amount of removal, combined with a nice balance of creatures, big bombs and access to Boros tech really makes for a truly solid deck!
Dimir could make nasty thigns happen, but were very reliant on getting the right cards, not as safe, but definetly deadly if you get lucky.
Boros was also a fairly solid choise, with some good fast creatures and nice removal, but they mostly suffered in lategame and walked an extremely fine balance between being great and being....not so great....again, if you get the right cards they are awesome, but more luck-reliant than the orzhov.
Which brings us to the losers, I rarely saw the cards for a truly good simic deck, mostly due to reliance on getting the evolve creatures to work together, and I think they are more suited for constructed than sealed. Just a pity then that I want 2 fathom mage promos for my constructed deck :P
Gruul was suprisingly the big loser, effective creature curving and bloodrush were suprisingly few and far between, and while they had some nice cards here and there, they often felt fragmented and unable to present a deck that could realibly carry out it's strategy or deal with enemy threats. I think I only once opened a good Gruul deck, and that was mainly because everything ended up fitting together! Unlike Dimir, Boros, and Orzhov, you really had to struggle here.
So, those are my impressions. I think Orzhov is going to dominate, with Boros coming in second, and that one Dimir player being almost invincible :P
If anyone ends up playing against Gruul, just keep bloodrush in the back of your minds. They have plenty more Giant Growth than usual, so at the tail end of the game you may just need to chump block to ensure you don't get Tainted Strike d all over again.
I'm still looking heavily at Orzhov, but Dimir has started looking good... cipher is such a good mechanic, especially when you look at their promo, Consuming Aberration . If the creature is connecting each turn, you're getting the cipher spell + the mill. That's value, and could potentially lead to mill victories right there. Not to mention the Aberration will get very fat.
I won't lie; part of my affection for the Aberration has to do with Death's Approach - a potentially fantastic card as common, 1 mana removal, but requiring a creature to hit the opponent's bin before it does anything at all. I know in Orzhov I got 3 of these, and while they do eventually pull their weight I did have to try and get early trades as well as hope for Grisly Spectacle and Devour Flesh also coming out early so that the Approaches would start doing their job. Dimir gets access to all 3 of these cards, and while they can't recur it like Treasury Thrull can, their bomb gets much fatter, and they get access to cipher.
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