M13 prerelease report:
No FNM this week due to the M13 pre-release.
This was my first 'sealed' event, and I have to say, it was a lot of fun, certainly a lot more fun than drafting (which I never really liked but did a lot anyway for some reason that escapes me now).
My pool was pretty well balanced. The only thing resembling a 'bombshell' would probably be the one Vampire Nighthawk
, I also got a Sands of Delirium
which I like a lot in theory, but it didn't get much play.
I could have easily gone Green/White (and in fact, built a deck on that basis out of my pool, but never used it), but the combination of Nighthawk and 2x Essence Scatter
(and possibly my own personal bias) pushed me into Blue/Black control style, supported by Mind Sculpt
some Mind Rot
, a Jace's Phantasm
and the Sands to make mill an alternate win-con.
Probably would have been better off ditching the mill which never actually went off, and maybe splashing some red (the Red in my pool didn't really have enough substance to play in a two-color deck).
I did get four rings, two black (Xathrid Ring
) and two Green Ring of Kalonia
and in hindsight, i should have gone Black/Green purely on the strength of those four rings.
Anyway, had a good time, went 1 and 2 in the first three matches.
I took match 1 pretty handily against the only deck I saw running white but no exalted. the other two matches were white + something and all of it exalted. Match 3 was close, but I lost in game 3 when I swung with everything to get my opponent down to 1, reasoning that there was pretty much no way they could get lethal on the board before I could swing again, and then out came Sublime Angel
, which put their attack at exactly
lethal damage when the exalted from Sublime Angel stacked with the exalted already on the board (somebody tell me why the hell multiple instances of exalted on one creature stack!?).
It was the only game I was able to get my Nighthawk out and still lost.
Match 4 was insane. My opponent was playing Blue/white with only a little bit of exalted. In two games, we managed to fight each other to a standstill. Game 1 went normally for the first few turns, until we were each at about fifteen life or so. Then it deadlocked, in the course of two turns, the field was reduced to a Fog Bank
and an attacker stacked with enchantments on each side. After that, we were each mana flooded and ended up having to top-deck for something to break the stalemate. After an unbelievable number of turns of that, with maybe two or three spells played total, none of which managed to break the stalemate, he pulled a Stormtide Leviathan
And since we had spent ten to fifteen minutes playing out all of our lands, he was actually able to play the thing and run me over. I kept expecting to hit my Sands of Delirium to deck him out with all of my
mana, but after the game I found it on the bottom of my library.
Game 2 was even more epic. He started off strong with an Ajani Sunstriker
and the White ring
, which proceeded to beat me down for several turns. I got a few hits in, but just couldn't touch that Sustriker, and about ten minutes in, he had me at 2 and was at something ridiculous like 36. At that point, I got a small break in the form of Fog Bank which was able to block any further hits. I got a few swings in, but it was clear that I was just stalling and the game would be over soon. after a few turns of that, a minor miracle, one of my black rings. Not enough to get me off the defensive, but it gave me heart and a little bit more of a fighting chance. I got a few more swings in but it still wasn't looking good. Then got a much bigger miracle in the form of Vampire Nighthawk. I quickly stuck the ring on the Nighthawk and suddenly it was a whole different game. As I clawed my way back up, the Nighthawk gained a few more augmentations as Tricks of the Trade
and Dark Favor
Even then, the comeback took time and turns, and he managed to get his Leviathan out again, but it was too little too late (hard to imagine an 8/8 unblockable leviathan being 'too little), the Ring had pushed Nighthawk over the edge into ludicrous territory. I managed to win game 2 with 19 life at almost the instant the clock ran out on the match.
Since we were both 1-2, and prizes were assigned by record, so that finishing 2-2 earned two prize packs (while 1-3 got nothing) He opted to concede game 3 to me (he said out of respect for my comeback in game 2) and I gave him one of my two prize packs.
All in all, tons of fun. This event made me long for Blue/Black control even while infect is still in standard, so it looks like I will be going back after-all. With luck I can swing some black infect and make a real go of combining my two loves for a brief period, but if not, I may have to start switching out decks every week to get my fix of both.
After the event I got a Rancor in trade, still shy of a playset, but I think the two green rings make up for it, possibly more than. Those things are seriously powerful, and I really wish I could have snagged some blue rings (Ring of Evos Isle
) to go with my Blighted Agents, growing those things and being able to give them hexproof as needed is completely bonkers. I can only imagine what Blue/Black Control/Infect style with the rings and proliferation would look like.
There's another pre-release tomorrow with some slots still open that I may attend. This one will be a sealed two-headed giant which sounds like a lot of fun. If I do that, I'll probably skip out on the 'release' draft event next Friday. Actually, even if I don't make tomorrows event, I may skip the draft anyway (I am so done with drafting) but I would like one more chance to get a nice chunk of new cards without just forking out cash for a bunch of packs.