Sunday, 8 July 2012

M13 Pre release Write Up

I don't really get around to writing up that many events these days, except for the Digital Dragons ones as they are more relaxed and about fun more than winning.  I thought I'd make an exception for this one, even though I only managed to take one picture all day.  This is the picture.

That's 8 boosters, one Xathrid Gorgon Promo and a BIG Planeswalkers mug - and it comprises the winners prize that I got to take home with me!  No one was more surprised than me, as I didn't originally think my card selection was that exciting.  I had a big Green Mythic & Jace Planeswalker card in my pool so people were telling me that I had a good pool, but the fact is I played neither for the majority of the day.

Here is the deck that played Round 5:

Sunpetal Grove (rare 1)
9 Forest
7 Plains

2 x Bond Beetle

Flinthoof Boar (u)
Timberpack Wolf (which I never drew in the tournament!)
Aven Squire

Attended Knight
Crusader of Odric (u)
Centaur Courser

2x Roaring Primadox (2u)
Primal Huntbeast
Griffin Protector
Healer of the Pride (u)

Silklash Spider (my other rare)
Serra Angel (u)

Other Spells
Prey Upon

Giant Growth

Oblivion Ring (u)
2x Safe Passage

2x Captains Call
Divine verdict

Thats a main deck with 16 basic lands, 2 rares (one of which is a dual land), 7 uncommons and 15 commons.  Hardly a bomb filled deck!

Sideboard cards over the matches included:

2x Ring of Thune (started round 1 with one in the deck - after game 1 round 2 I never played them again)
Glorious Charge (flirted with this one - I never drew it so was hard to evaluate)
Plummet (goodbye nighthawk!)
and my other Mythic Elderscale Worm (I planned to put him in for long matches, after siding in and casting him in game 2 round 1 he never found my hand again.  He didn't really combo with much in my deck really).

Round 1

This was against our buddy Phil who was playing Black and Red and I think Blue too.  Game 1 he overwhelmed me with nighthawk so I sided in all the killing it tools meaning he never found nighthawk in game 2.  He got out his Xathrid Gorgon and began to destroy me - and if he had the day would have been very different, but I pacified and then Oblivion ringed it.  Unfortunately I blocked something I didn't need to and lost my Primadox so couldn't slow flicker the Mythic that had turned to stone. Luckily I just kept hitting him with other things so got my first win to take it to 1-1.  Game 3 was all about playing too many colours and I won with a combination of my 3/3 and 4/4 buddies.

Round 2

This was against my friend Rob who I really respect as a player and have lost to in constructed a very large number of times.  Fortunately I seem to have the edge in limited.  Round 1 I found myself with gear and no creatures and a lack of answers to a flyer with enchantments and artefacts on it.  As my sideboard shows I was ready for this and switched gears to punish the single creature focused strategies.  Combo decks can play control pretty easily and then flick back to aggro as needed.  This worked pretty well although mainly because he didn't find his Hydra to stomp me with.  I won 2-1 and pointed out that the Rancor in his sideboard was worth playing.  He still played a big fat deck full of all the fun spells, which I think cost him wins but won him friends and a little cheer when he got the random prize of the Primeval Titan Playmat at the end of the night.

Round 3

This was played against Don - one of the talented Magic playing students.  This is the match I remember least about - I do remember a sleeping dragon that I had to keep an eye on and strategically timed my attacks so I could blow it up on the first turn it was useful to him.  I'm evil like that.  I do think the card is important in limited as most people played a lot less answers than I did.   This was the first point at which I felt my deck was truly working.  No 7 cost creatures, no clunky equipment that is only useful to half my deck, and only siding in and out things that influenced the battle.  It was at this point I settled on 41 cards too - frankly the two bond beetles meant that the chances of getting land screwed were minimal, and the extra removal spell helped a lot.

I'd built a blue black control mill deck out of the remaining cards, mainly to relax me.  I played this against Don and lost in short order - one card away from finding Jace.  I'd managed to unsummon his sleeping dragon at a couple of perfect opportunities but he had tokens and pressure which I lost to.  I really want to fix this deck and play it again though.

Round 4

This was against one of the best regular players that the store Jamie, who played a similar deck to the one in the last round.  There were lots of mana problems and inconsistencies here too, and I think I was the only person to beat all three of the players I played in the last three rounds.  He seemed to have mana problems round 2 I think and I got my slow-flicker the bond beetle combo going making Crusader of Odric something like an 11/11 taking out a creature per attack. I was also gaining at least 2 life per turn due to this.  I think that a different draw on his part would have made this a much harder game.  The luck was with me.

Round 5

This round I faced down Alex, probably the best of the local student players.  I'd beaten him at the last pre-release 2-1 and was convinced he'd get his revenge on me but it wasn't to be.  Game 1 was fairly fast and I didn't really know how to sideboard.  Game 2 I thought I had him on a couple of occasions and I just had to keep attacking all out as I had both of my Safe Passage in hand meaning if the blocks turned out bad for me I could prevent them.  In the end after two of them he conceded having just drawn three blank turns.

I was a bit emotional at this point and had to go outside...

Aftterwards I looked at Alex's deck and he had a couple of massive cards like Krenko, Mob boss that could have easily swung either game.  His deck was also as consistent as mine and as we both table shuffled it was just pure random unluckiness of the draws that saw me getting my first Pre-release victory and not him.  He's the kind of player I expect to see doing well at the PTQs pretty soon and I felt honoured to have beaten such worthy players on the way to my win.  My overall game win percentage was in the 86% region which is amazing for me.

I had to check the stats page - 34 players, only one was undefeated.

I haven't opened my 8 prize packs yet - yesterday was also my 33rd birthday so was rather busy.  Pretty memorable though - I think you'll agree!


  1. open your packs man, i want you to pull Ajani so that i can have it :P