Tuesday, July 10, 2012

[JT] CGC: M13 Pre-Release

Anyone who is into Magic knows that this past weekend was the M13 pre-release.  So I thought for this week's CGC I would do a Tournament Report on the two events I entered.  For those of you that don't know, pre-releases allow you a chance to play a sealed tournament with the new expansion before they are officially released.  You go in, enter the tournament, and you are given 6 packs.  From these packs, you build your deck for the tournament.  This is how any Sealed event is run.  What I love about the Limited format (both Sealed and Draft) is that it removes the money curve that you have in Standard.  Everyone is given a blank slate in the form of unopened boosters and then it comes down to skill in putting together and piloting a deck.

This leads me to something I want to point out before getting into the tournament reports, and that is two weird trends I've noticed.  The first of which is that no matter what I am playing (although this seems a lot more prevalent in Limited events), I always end up in the middle of the final rankings, or at the top of the middle.  It's weird though because my decks always manage to get to the mid- to late-game, but can never close it out.  As a matter of fact, most of my matches end up going to turns, if not drawing.  I'm not sure if this is because of how I build my decks, or how I play, or if it is just luck of the pulls in terms of deck synergy.  

The other trend is that even though I never win a tournament, I still win.  How is this so you ask?  Allow me to elaborate.  Dark Ascension pre-release back in February:  I didn't even top 8 the event.  What did I get from my sealed pool?  Mikaeus, the Unhallowed, Vorapede, Elbrus (foil), and freaking Geist of Saint Traft!  I win.  Saturday's M13 pre-release: again, middle of the pack.  Sealed pool?  Thundermaw Hellkite and Ajani, Caller of the Pride.... FOIL!!!!  I win again.
Look at that kitty shine.

Image from Wizards of the Coast's Gatherer
Speaking of the Saturday pre-release, with my pool, I built a UW deck with a decent number of flyers and an exalted splash (In case anyone has forgotten, W=White, U=Blue, B=Black, R=Red, and G=Green).  Round 1 I play a BW-Exalted deck with Nefarox.  When he dropped the big demon, my chest tightened because I was at a stable board presence, but Nefarox could break that pretty quick.  I was able to stall him with an Unsummon on the big guy though, and he attacked me alone with it only once, so I was able to win in the end.  Round 2 I played another BG deck that splashed W for more exalted.  It was a bit clunky though, and while she had Blood Reckoning to try and slow me down a bit, against another Exalted deck, it doesn't slow down enough.  I'm 2-0 at this point and feeling pretty good, but then my old habit starts to show up again.  Round 3 I'm paired against a Boros (WR for those who don't know) deck, piloted by a guy who always seems to have the Lifelink deck.  Game 1 of this match was no different.  An Ajani's Sunstriker equipped with a Ring of Thune and Divine Favor is not fun to play against when you don't draw your removal.  Game two I was able to over take him before he got his life gain going (Sphinx of Uthuun with a Ring of Evos Isle equipped is SUCH a fun play).  Game 3 was drawn out and he drops a burn spell to win before I could knock him out the next turn.  I saw it coming, but couldn't do anything to stop it.  Round 4 I play a Grixis (UBR) deck that was just able to over take me in game three.

MVP of the day: Sphinx if Uthuun.  Gets you cards while being a 5/6 flying tank.  He pulled a lot of weight on Saturday.

Image from Wizards of the Coast's Gatherer

Image from Wizards of the Coast's Gatherer
Sunday I tried it again.  No big pulls this time (lightning doesn't usually strike twice, ya know).  I did however pull both Odric and Talrand, which was cool to see.  I decided to go with a GW deck thaaaat proceeded to get trounced in Rounds 1 and 2 by THE Exalted deck (as in both Knight of Infamy and Knight of Glory in addition to Sublime Archangel) and a RB burn deck with Chandra.  By the way, here's a nice little thing I founded out during Round 1: A CREATURE CAN HAVE TWO INSTANCES OF EXALTED AT ONCE.  Meaning when he dropped the Archangel with the Knight of Infamy, the Knight read "Exalted, Exalted".  THAT means that when it attacks alone, it gets +2/+2 from himself alone.  Thank Urza he didn't have a way of giving it Trample >.<.  After round 2 I decided I'd have some fun and switched from GW to GU with a W splash for removal, moving from Odric and white creatures to Talrand and more instants and sorceries.  Surprisingly, I was able to win out after that.  Round 3 I played a deck that was very similar to the build I had the previous day, so I was able to play around him, drawing out his Divine Verdicts and winning fairly easily.  Round 4 I played against what might have been my favorite deck.  My opponent actually went with a fun little Door to Nothingness deck, something you won't see a lot of people do.  Game 2 was a nail biter because he was one swamp away from activating the Door, but I was able to kill him off before he could get it.  Round 5 I played another Grixis player, who I was able to play around as well, winning fairly easily thanks to my Pascifism.

MVP of the day: Pascifism.  Had two copies that, even in the matches I lost, did amazing in at least stalling the game out.
Image from Wizards of the Coast's Gatherer
So that was my pre-release weekend in a nutshell.  Saturday was a blast, but Sunday just seemed like a bust.  Oh well.  The one thing I like most about pre-release weekends is that you get to play Magic all weekend, and that by itself was totally worth it.  I'm looking forward to hearing from you all about how your's went.  Or any comments or suggestions you all might have at all about my CGCs.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to build a Simic (UG) deck abusing Sphinx of Uthuun.

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