Monday, July 13, 2015

Magic Origins Pre-Release #5: ... or White and Red?

The title of this report probably won't make sense unless you've read my previous pre-release report which covers a pre-release where I went Red-White.

In my final Magic Origins pre-release, I chose White, and after opening Rhox Maulers, Undercity Troll, Citadel Castellan, and two copies of Managorger Hydra, I started sleeving a White-Green deck.

And then while I was sleeving up my Forests, I found my eyes constantly sliding back to my Red pile.  The problem with my Green creatures was that they could be big but little else, and I started worrying about ways to break through, say, a board full of deathtouch creatures (a prescient sentiment, as it turns out).  And my Red cards offered ways around issues like that in the form of Akroan Sergeant, Seismic Elemental, Volcanic Rambler, and Lightning Javelin.

So I unsleeved my Forests and Green cards and replaced them with Mountains and Red cards.

  CREATURES (17)  
Akroan Sergeant x2
Ampryn Tactician
Anointer of Champions
Blessed Spirits
Consul's Lieutenant
Ghirapur Gearcrafter
Knight of the White Orchid
Prickleboar x2
Seismic Elemental x2
Topan Freeblade
Totem-Guide Hartebeest
Volcanic Rambler
War Oracle
Suppression Bonds
  INSTANTS (2)  
Celestial Flare x2
Lightning Javelin x2
Swift Reckoning
  LANDS (17)  
Mountain x7
Plains x10
Aven Battle Priest
Cleric of the Forward Order x2
Enshrouding Mist
Heavy Infantry x3
Kytheon's Tactics
Mighty Leap
Yoked Ox
Artificer's Epiphany
Bone to Ash
Calculated Dismissal x2
Dreadwaters x2
Faerie Miscreant
Ringwarden Owl
Send to Sleep
Skaab Goliath
Soulblade Djinn
Sphinx's Tutelage
Stratus Walk
Talent of the Telepath
Turn to Frog
Dark Petition
Deadbridge Shaman x2
Fetid Imp
Read the Bones
Reave Soul x2
Shambling Ghoul x2
Undead Servant
Weight of the Underworld
Dragon Fodder
Titan's Strength
Aerial Volley
Caustic Caterpillar x2
Gather the Pack x2
Llanowar Empath
Managorger Hydra x2
Nissa's Pilgrimage
Rhox Maulers
Timberpack Wolf
Titanic Growth
Undercity Troll
Vastwood Gorger
Vine Snare
Citadel Castellan
Shaman of the Pack
Bonded Construct x2
Runed Servitor
Throwing Knife
Veteran's Sidearm
War Horn
Yavimaya Coast

Cobblebrute was a mistake (I put it in with the idea that it could trade with bigger threats).  I always ended up siding it out for Mighty Leap.

Round 1

My first round opponent had just come back into the game, and had a tendency to play a bit slowly as a result, taking minutes at a time to ponder the cards in his hand.  That's not entirely unreasonable, but it was admittedly a bit frustrating.

He had a ton of good cards - multiple copies of Topan Freeblade to start things off, Gilt-Leaf Winnower and  Kothophed, Soul Hoarder for later in the game - but the ones that really stopped me cold were Fetid Imp and Graveblade Marauder, which made it extremely difficult for me to trade profitably.  And just when I got rid of them... he played Macabre Waltz to start the deathtouch dance all over again.  Argh.

And so he grinded me out the first game.  I played far more aggressively the second game, and only managed to swing through to victory due to a well-timed Seismic Elemental.  At that point there were only five minutes left in the round; we started our third game, but there was no way either of us could win by the time the game went to turns.

Result: D (1-1)

Round 2

My opponent played Blue-Red... spell mastery?... using Jace's Sanctum to annoy my creatures while scrying.  For what?  I wasn't sure the first game, as I won with little difficulty.

The answer became clear the second game when he played Flameshadow Conjuring and used it to create an army of thopters that pecked me to death.  Ouch.

The third game was closer in style to the first than the second, and I got the match victory.

Result: W (2-1)

Round 3

My opponent this round played mono-White... at least that was my impression the first game during which she played Plains after Plains after Plains, and not much else.  She finally drew a Forest on turn 8 or so, but by then it was too late.

She was not so unlucky the next two games, putting down a good mix of her two colors and quickly flooding the board with cheap efficient creatures like Topan Freeblade and Undercity Troll.  And when I tried to trade with her growing army, she pulled out Titanic Growth and Might of the Masses to keep her creatures alive while mine went howling into the nether.

Result: L (1-2)

Round 4

My opponent played a Red-White deck with an extremely low curve... for the most part.  The first two games were quick affairs, with both of us trading threats and victory depending on who had drawn better removal.

I had thought that the rubber game would be more of the same... until he played a turn 4 Archangel of Tithes.  Er.  I built up my board, hoping to build enough mass to do... something... and then he played a Sentinel of the Eternal Watch and my "plan" went up in smoke,

Result: L (1-2)


With a final record of 1-2-1, my final Magic Origins pre-release was by far the worse.  I'm not sure why - the deck seems decent enough, although there are no real bombs, and perhaps that's the problem.  Or maybe I should have played Green-White after all!

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