Monday, 23 September 2013

Theros Prerelease

As usual, I picked the Sunday prerelease at the Comic Shop for the Theros prerelease, mainly as it means I don't have to stay up as late (I have a son who is teething to do that...). As a change from my usual preparation, I didn't have time to finish listening to the Limited Resources podcast beforehand. 

I arrived in St Albans fairly early on, so wandered around briefly before waiting around outside for the shop to open. Before registration, I let Kaleb have a wander around before his granddad picked him up to look after him for the day. This did involve a couple of dashes outside to the courtyard (and to some probably wet socks). 

Getting started, I picked the green path. I was considering the black one, but wasn't impressed by the promo. Well, I wasn't blown away by any of the promos really, and green looked interesting, plus I liked the Hero card. 

Opening my pool, none of my colours seemed particularly deep, with a lot of just random bits in all the colours. I was going to be green regardless, just because I had more cards in that colour, most of which were decent enough, so went around narrowing down a second colour. Blue and White didn't seem to have a high amount of playables, and black seemed a little too thin. Some expensive removal and 2 Read the Bones, but nothing that exciting, so I went with red. This choice was helped by a number of removal spells in red.

My deck was fairly aggressive, with a little bit of reach for longer games, and overall I think I was helped by a lot of removal that I could use, and some sizable creatures. 

To be honest, I thought the deck was fairly mediocre. But I managed to go 4-1 (lost in the finals), so it can't have been that bad. 

Here is the deck:

1 Sedge Scorpion
1 Spark Jolt

1 Magma Jet
1 Lightning Strike
1 Destructive Revelry
1 Leafcrown Dryad - I rarely ever saw this one, which is a shame as it looks decent
1 Deathbellow Raider
2 Satyr Hedonist - These seemed to work quite well. Sacrificed for a mana ramp once they were outclassed, or ramp up really early on to get a strong lead
1 Satyr Rambler - Main plan was to put some enchantments on it really
1 Ordeal of Purphoros - Some of my creatures didn't wear this well unless I can play it early too. Didn't see it that often in any case
1 Commune with the Gods

1 Reverent Hunter - I played this once with one other green mana symbol, making a 3/3, and was pleased at the time (I think I was expecting a 2/2 for some reason)
2 Feral Invocation - I like this one, surprise pump that sticks around
1 Fade into Antiquity - Between this and Destructive Revelry, I was worried that they might be dead cards sometimes, but always seemed to find a target (usually an enchantment, but sometimes an artifact). In one game my opponent played the Black God, and I untapped and exiled it :-)

1 Ill-Tempered Cycolps - Solid creature, not too hard to make bigger
1 Borderland Minotaur - If I had both this and the Cyclops, I would play this first as I can be attacking for more, and get my opponent to use resources to get rid of it so the Cyclops is safer when I play that next turn (and hopefully only need to make one more land to make it monsterous).

1 Centaur Battlemaster - Can get big with various cards in the deck
1 Anthousa, Setessan Hero - Promo card. I don't usually like the turn-land-into-creature effects, but the stats are quite good
1 Rage or Purphoros

Nemesis of Mortals - I really liked this card. There was one or two occasions I cast it with three land early on by sacrificing a Satyr Hedonist first (3 red mana plus one creature in the graveyard). Late one game I cast it for two green and made it monstrous for three mana. Sort of has a synergy with Commune with the Gods

I played 18 lands as I wanted to ensure I had enough for the Monstrous abilities, even though I have a really low curve. I had a couple of scry spells so could filter away lands later on if I needed to.

Owing to a mediocre pool, my sideboard was quite small. A Hunt the Hunter being the best card if my opponent was also playing green. Wild Celebrants came in once or twice when there was a particular creature I wanted to be sure I could trade with, and Bronze Sable was there but never used (sorry Bronze Sable).

In the first round, my opponent had a black green deck with some Reaper of the Wilds. My spells were surprisingly better and I was able to win the round. I looked through my opponents pool with him as he was thinking of switching one colour to blue instead as most of his blue cards were quite good. 

In the second round, I played a white blue heroic deck. I had to race in one game and won at 1 life after they had a pumped creature that could only be blocked by walls (which I didn't have). 

The third round my opponent had a Black, Red, White deck, including the Black God and scary Dragon (Stormbreath Dragon). 

In the fourth round, my deck had some fast starts and I used my removal on their early creatures that they were planning on using for ramping, which meant I could get ahead before they could catch up. 

In the final round, my opponent thought it would be fair to play a Prophet of Kruphix, then flash in a Fleecemane Lion at the end of my turn, untap and make it monstrous  Rude, I would say... I played some larger creatures so it couldn't attack, and just powered through to win (a mixture of trample and more creatures helped there). 

I lost the next two games. I was just about able to defeat one monstrous Fleeceman Lion, but couldn't handle two...

Fleecemane LionFleecemane Lion
Not the nicest thing to be sitting across the table from

As I came second, I won 10 booster packs, which is a lot more than I expected. I think I did alright in the M14 prerelease, so maybe I should stop saying that I am bad at Sealed Deck. 

I still prefer draft :-) I said this about RTR, but this set looks like a lot of fun, so hopefully I will be able to get some drafts in this time around.