Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Dragons of Tarkir Prerelease

I did really well at the Dragons of Tarkir prerelease, not only winning the tournament but winning all games I played (6 rounds, so 12 games in a row with no losses). I can't remember getting a Game Win Percentage of 100 before, certainly not in a tournament lasting longer than 3 rounds. 

While I don't have a chance to play Magic as often any more, I generally try to make it along to the prerelease events. I usually prefer draft to sealed, but they are a nice way to just have some fun with the new cards. 

I've been going to a new venue as well after I found out a prerelease is now being held on Saturdays down the road from my Dads house (which makes it easier to find someone to look after the kids). 


The Dragon I picked was Kolaghan (Black Red). I think it was the mechanic that interested me the most as it seemed fun - I had played against it at the Fate Reforged prerelease only so far. 

I didn't think so at first, but the deck came together very well. No huge bombs and maybe one less creature than I'd like in an aggressive deck, but there was a good range of different removal spells, and a couple of late game reach spells. The curve was very low, with lots of things to play at both 2 and 3. Plus the mana colours were almost perfectly split, so I had a great mana base. 

1 Kolaghan Stormsinger - Usually megamorphed so it was a 2/2, sometimes in the same turn if I had the spare mana (I say spare, it is only 4 total to do it). I did play this turn 1 once when I had a lot of other cards in hand, and it did get in a fair amount of damage

1 Coat with Venom - Interestingly the one time I played this it was for the toughness boost to survive an opponents damage spell and not for the deathtouch

1 Ire Shaman - At least twice I turned this face up in response to a removal spell to get the effect

1 Blood-Chin Rager - Good for the aggressive deck, needing to be blocked by two creature was occasionally relevant. 

1 Kolaghan Aspirant

1 Dragon Fodder

1 Twin Bolt - I found both two damage to a single target and one damage to each of two targets equally useful

1 Roast

1 Defeat

1 Temur Battle Rage - I used this once to finish a game after a creature went unblocked, and once to help trade in combat. Quite versatile

2 Reckless Imp - Cheap flyer, very helpful

1 Hooded Assassin - Early game it was often a 2/3 to get a good creature count, later on it would help get rid of problematic creatures if needed

1 Screamreach Brawler

1 Kolaghan's Command - I think I actually used all modes on this one. Main mode was two damage, as apparently 8 other spells that can be used for removal wasn't enough

1 Douse in Gloom

1 Tail Slash - I had two more copies of this, but only played the one as I had a lot of removal and wanted a range of spells. Nice synergy with the Coat with Venom and two creatures that naturally have Deathtouch

1 Ukud Cobra - Held off attacks if I needed, but attacked equally well

1 Sprinting Warbrute - Very powerful. I probably should have dashed it more as sometimes I'd play it for it to eat a removal spell or Pacifism

1 Sidisi, Undead Vizier - Good stats, the deck is full of small creatures so I'd often have something small to trade for something useful

1 Atarka Pummeler - Big, and if I could activate the ability it meant I was doing really well

Swift Warkite - Decent size, aggressive ability with some possible card advantage

Death Wind - Being instant was useful

1 Evolving Wilds
8 Swamp
8 Mountain

While I had an extra Coat with Venom, and extra Defeat and two extra Tail Slash, I never sideboarded for the entire tournament. The deck was well balanced as it was. 


Round 1
I played against another B/R deck - I had a very aggressive first game which included a big swing thanks to Atarka Pummeler, and a closer second game. 

Round 2
Playing against a W/U deck, I spent the games playing cheap creatures and removing the few they played. I did get hit by a couple of Pacifisms, but just had more creatures to come. I turned up an Ire Shaman about to be put on the top of my library to get an extra card (otherwise I would be a card behind as I would draw it again). 

Round 3
Playing against W/G, I was able to get out more creatures quicker than my opponent. I think I used Kolaghan's Command here to destroy an artifact (it would have been one of the dragon monuments), but it may have been at the same time as dealing the last two points of damage to my opponent. In one game I cast a Swift Warkite after combat, but that was because the creature I returned was Hooded Assassin to kill their big creature that had chump blocked that turn (so had been dealt damage). 

Round 4
Playing another B/R opponent, we both had aggressive starts, but I made a very favourable trade with Twin Bolt that allowed me to take the advantage and push through damage continually (my Blood-Chin Rager was blocked by two Goblin tokens, I was going to allow the trade, but one was about to be given +1/+0 and First strike, so I pinged it and my opponent, allowing me to destroy the other goblin and keep my creature). In the second game they had to mulligan a couple of times and I played an early Kolaghan's Command to kill the one creature they had out and make them discard their last card. A brutal play they were unable to recover from. 

Round 5
A very close first game. I was dead on board next turn so attacked with my last creatures to get them down to 2 with one card in hand. They let it through so they would have more creatures to attack back with as they had two out and was worried I was going to either cast or return a creature from my graveyard as a blocker. After combat I cast Twin Bolt to end the game. 

The second game had me facing a Dragonlord Ojutai, which was then given Vigilance. However I had a larger number of creatures and surprise deathtouch to get around being unable to target the dragon itself. 

Round 6
In the final round, I played against a W/G deck. Both games I could consistently get out multiple creatures early and keep the number of creatures my opponent had down. In the second game I played the Kolaghan Stormsinger turn one as I had a near perfect curve in my opening hand that I'd have other things to play on turns three and four anyway. It was still attacking for one until the end - it got a few attacks in and then it was always attacking with something a little bigger that prompted more attention. 

I don't think I could have asked for a better tournament really. Most importantly my deck was fun to play but still had a couple of little tricky interactions that I could benefit from. Not only winning but being literally undefeated was great. It's always good to know that I've not completely forgotten how to play after not playing as often as I used to (a recurring reminder that I should try and get out to play more often). 

Plus I got a new Planeswalker Points achievement:

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