I’ve have good prereleases – Scars of Mirrodin, Gatecrash, Dragon’s Maze – and bad prereleases – Mirrodin Besieged and “clearly God hates me” Avacyn Restored – but I’ve had few that were quite as much of a mixed bag as yesterday’s Born of the Gods prerelease in Chichester (big shout-out to my Chi homies and the Tozer Way Massive!).
Don’t get me wrong, I had a great time, and some excellent games against friendly, lovely people. I played some of the closest games I’ve had in a very long time of playing Magic, didn’t get mana-screwed or mana-flooded once, and missed making Top 8 by a whisker. My packs? Yeah, they were okay. Better than okay really. I went red-green in the end, though that was hardly a difficult choice. My white and black were garbage, and blue was average. Generally, when you open stuff like Sylvan Caryatid, Hammer of Purphoros and Destructive Revelry, that’s basically the decision made for you.
Here’s what I opened. The cards highlighted in red are what made it into my Sealed deck, along with ten Mountains and eight Forests.
How did the deck do? Eh. It was okay. The lack of any real burn hurt. I would’ve given anything for a few Lightning Strikes. I feel that Fated Conflagration is overcosted at 4 cmc anyway, but to make it triple red? Urgh. Time to Feed was okay; I had enough fatties to pull it off, but again, urgh; I like Prey Upon, but I don’t like paying triple the cost for some marginal life gain. Rise to the Challenge was sub-par too; I would’ve preferred Titan’s Strength, or Savage Surge, but hey-ho. That’s Sealed for you I suppose; take what you’ve got and try and turn it into something that works!
So, armed with my Sealed deck, I was ready to take on the world! Or at least some of the other players at the Prerelease.
Game 1 : Green-White Heroic
The first game went smoothly; Centaurs and Minotaurs came down and smashed face in quick order. The next game got a little bit hairy, as he loaded up an Akroan Skyguard with all sorts of goodies and gave me a few turns of kicking. I was able to bestow a Nessian Courser with Leafcrown Dryad, which he attacked into. We traded, but then I was able to come back and clear out his remaining weenies with Forgestoker. If he’d buffed the Skyguard one more time it would’ve been game over for me.
W: 2 L: 0 D: 0
Game 2 : Red-White Heroic
Another Heroic deck! I was envious of all these cheap heroes and buff spells while I had to make to with clunky Centaurs. First game went to me thanks to a boring but effective endless wave of Centaurs and Minotaurs. In the second game, I just didn’t draw the stuff I needed, and everything I played got taken out by removal; sad times. In the decider, we went back and forth for a while, trading and taking hits, until he ran out of steam and I was able to win with a horde of hasty Golems which I banged out with my Hammer of Purphoros!
W : 4 L : 1 D : 0
Game 3 : Black-White Heroic/Enchantments
A third half-white Heroic deck, which got me worried; I’d already learned to fear white’s cheap heroic flyers, and apart from my Leafcrown Dryad and terrible pseudo-burn, I had nothing to deal with them. First game was the worst kind of Magic game; the curb-stomp, where one player gets his or her god hand, while the other player is mana-flooded or mana-screwed. Unfortunately that’s just how the game goes sometimes, and I got my stomp on. Little did I know it was then my turn to get stomped, as I lost the next two games back-to-back due to heroic flyers and Whip of Erebos shenanigans.
W : 5 L : 3 D : 0
Game 4 : Blue-Green Goodstuff
Finally, an opponent not running white! Again, I had a relatively painless first game; Minotaurs and Centaurs came down and got turned sideways and took him from 20 to 0 in short order. The next game, he managed to get an Aqueos Form down on a Pheres-Band Tromper, and with nothing to deal with the fat horseman made of water, it was a clock that I couldn’t stop. The third game was a slow affair of stalemates and tentative back-and-forths, until my Forgestoker came down, stayed down, and ended the match in a few swings.
W : 7 L : 4 D : 0
Game 5 : Black-Red Aggro
The final match, and against a brutal black-red beast of a deck packing all manner of removal, Minotaurs, and tribute creature nasties. Oh, and Mogis. You may have heard of him.
Guess which card came out every game! With Mogis hacking away at my already rapidly-decreasing life and creatures, I managed to scrape a win in the first game, but my shambles of a deck couldn’t stand up to the barrage of burn and angry hungry bull-people; the second game was a narrow loss for me, and the third game was just crushing.
W : 8 L : 6 D : 0
So that’s my prerelease tale of woe, victory, defeat, and… other stuff. Hopefully I’ll do a little bit better when we Journey Into Nyx in a few months…