After coming off a 10th place finish at last weeks pre-release, I wasn’t too hopeful going into the release party. It was my 5th Sealed event so I have very little experience compared to Constructed. I had a very similar sealed pool compared to the pre-release with a few notable additions that changed my results dramatically.
It’s been a while since I wrote an Act of Reason article, but I’ve been waiting on the Scars of Mirrodin spoilers before I write about my opinions on the new cards. Wizards of the Coast has been doing a fantastic job with keeping things under wraps, and today with only 4 days left until the Pre-Release. The pace at which cards have been spoiled has been just enough to keep you interested, but not so many that we are able to scheme and plan way ahead of the curve. Without any more blathering, let’s go!
This past weekend I attended my first pre-release (and Limited) event at my local shop, Numbskullz. I am usually a Constructed player so switching gears to Limited was a challenge. No longer could I build a deck and test it for weeks before I brought it to FNM, I was on the spot and I had to get a deck together within 30 minutes. 24 players showed up and the event lasted about 5 1/2 hours. We played 5 rounds and then the top 4 decided to split because of the time. Over all I went 2-3 which I consider to be fair since I never attended a Limited event before. My deck started out as a tri color (black, blue, green) that won me round one. Drana, Kalastria Bloodchief was hands down the key card for me both of the games we played. I used her ability to kill off all the creatures my opponent had out and attacked for 10+ two turns in a row. With no creatures to block, thats game over. I only had one copy of this card, but I managed to draw it both games. Round one was the highlight of the day unfortunately, with things going downhill fast. Rounds two and three I lost 0-2, both within 15 minutes. I kept drawing single color land which totally crippled my hand. After the third round I decided to switch my deck completely. I ended up with a white green deck that was smaller (45 cards) and faster. I won round four 2-1 and lost round five 1-2. Round four was somewhat frustrating to me because the player I was facing jumped down my throat over every little thing I questioned. I have been playing for many years but I do not consider myself all knowing when it comes to the rules. Factor in the new set with new mechanics, I was questioning/reading every card in play. Just because you thought out the card and what you are going to do with it doesn’t mean I will as soon as it drops into play. Overall the event was a great learning experience and I am considering attending the release event as well.
As for the new set itself, it plays very slow in Limited. It seemed to be a race to see who can get out the first Eldrazi and attack with it. I don’t remember a player who lost a match with an Eldrazi on the table first. Ironically, I never played a single Eldrazi (I had 3 in my deck) so maybe that was a flaw in my deck building. I am looking forward to seeing what impact this set makes on Standard. I have a few ideas floating around for my Jund deck (Vengevine anyone?) and I also am thinking about changes to my Vamp/Mono White decks. Green seems to be the big gainer with ROE so I might start a Mono Green Eldrazi deck. I have most of the cards already and a deck like that is dominating FNM week in and week out. I have 2 booster boxes pre-ordered so I should get some good pulls.
I hope everyone likes the new theme and good luck with your release events this weekend!