For the first time ever, this weekend I made it to the top 4 of a magic tournament. But this time was even more extra special…It was a sealed deck pre-release!
In case the reader is unfamiliar, Sealed Deck is a limited form of MTG that requires you only play with cards you open. Generally, you get five booster packs, open them, and build your deck from those cards and those cards only. The Pre-Release is just a little different, because you get to play with a promo card and an extra “seeded” pack, which is meant to support your strategy. You choose a color when you sign up, and your seeded pack will contain cards of that color and with synergy with your strategy. (was that redundant?)
This time was different, I believe, because I studied for the event well ahead of time. And I went into the event with a plan in mind.
But it didn’t hurt that my cards worked really well together!
Here are pics and commentary!
I crafted this deck from my card pool. Green and Black were my star colors. I felt very comfortable playing these two colors together. I splashed a little red and white for added removal.
These one drops really didn’t do that much. They became targets for Yisan, who I will be discussing shortly.
Satyr Wayfinder and Black Cat are old friends of mine. They accomplished their jobs well. The Satyr Wayfinder made sure there were things in my graveyard to use as resources. This was one of my goals.
Now for the good stuff. Netcaster Spider was a star at blocking flyers. In limited formats, such as sealed deck, people choose flyers when they can. The Necrogen Scudder is an old friend. He hurts you when he enters the battlefield, though. And then there is Yisan.
Yisan deserves his own paragraph. Yisan the Wanderer Bard is a music card. Right up my alley! Never once was he removed. I guess my opponents didn’t think him that big a threat. But guess what? Oh yes. He was the secret to winning most of my games. You pay his ability cost, onc green and two others, and then tap him. You get a “verse counter.” Then you get to find a creature from your deck with the Convereted Mana Cost of the number of verse counters he has on him. SICK! As mentioned already, the one drops were usually elvish mystics. The two drops, well they were the Satyr Wayfinders usually. The three drops were the only two possibilities. And the four drops were the next card I want to discuss.
Undergrowth Scavenger. His power and toughness are equal to the number of creature cards in the graveyard. And I scored two of these guys in my sealed deck! He was almost always a 6 or 7 power and toughness and demanded an answer from my opponent, that they usually wouldn’t have.
Other cards that took advantage of the graveyard were Rotfeaster Maggot, and Lilliana Vess. Have I ever Mentioned that Lilliana is my favorite Magic card ever? (I actually have a top three. All black. Lilliana Vess, Grave Titan, and Elbrus the Binding Blade/Withengar Unbound.)
Once during the evening I got to ultimate Lilliana. My opponent just scooped right away!
The Rotfeaster Maggot was included to help me recoup life loss from Necrogen Scudder and from a few other cards that had me paying life.
Ah, the promo of the evening. If he wasn’t answered, GG. Usually my opponents wouldn’t sac someone or pay three life right away. But card advantage is one secret to winning in Magic. It didn’t usually take but two card draws and them being hammered a couple of times with him for them to pay the life.
One more worthy mention. I actually got Soul of Innistrad. One of the cards I had my eye on since it was previewed. The Soul was a star if I ever got him out. at 6/6, he’s hard to kill. In the graveyard, he can get creatures into your hand from your graveyard. On the battlefield he can too. Only once was he removed. (Pillar of Light. A white exile spell with the condition that the toughness of the creature must be 4 or greater.) Exiling him is just about the only way to deal with him.
Onto my removal. I passed up a few cards in my card pool. Festergloom and Crippling Blight, as well as Covenant of Blood. All black spells that should have worked. But I opted for the better options in other colors instead. This was a critical choice, especially with the splash of red. Heat Ray and Lightning Strike were just too good to pass up. Oppressive Rays is a star in sealed deck limited. It rarely got used during this event, however. Ulcerate was one of those cards that penalized my life total. But it is so powerful at one drop.
There were three other spells. I thoroughly enjoyed playing Necrobite. I would surprise my opponent…he would think he was trading creatures with me, then, BAM. I got one over on him. Stab Wound was cited as putting pressure on one opponent. And I was able to finish off two opponents with Sign In Blood. This card was also useful in getting me cards a couple of times.
Now for the boring part. LANDS. I didn’t get any pain lands. I did get two Radiant Fountain. But in the end I thought it better to just run one copy.
So my deck did several things well!
Graveyard Digging. Check!
Life Gain. Check!
Card Advantage. Check!
I may never be so lucky with a set of cards again!
I went 3 and 1. The only loss for the night was against a mirror. The guy had more Sign in Blood than I had. He told me I dumped the game against him by playing cautious near the end and not swinging all out.
Other people I played didn’t hardly stand a chance. I played one White Weenie guy. The flyers took him out. I played a guy who played control. But he couldn’t respond to the graveyard strategy or to Yisan the Wanderer Bard’s ability. One guy was trying to take advantage of Convoke. (Bad idea.)
I saw almost no one else play a planes walker, or a Soul. Wonder why I was so lucky?
In the end, I won TEN PACKS OF M15 cards! (The top four were tied at 3-1. We all voted to split the box.) My winnings netted me an Avacyn, Guardian Angel, and a Chord of Calling, as well as a black-green pain land and a red-blue pain land. I also traded for Ob Nixilis, Unshackled, and Scuttling Doom Engine. Not bad! I even traded for a Jace, the Living Guildpact!
Compared to M14, M15 is THE BOMB. The power level here is similar to what was in M13, with all those legendary creatures. The Soul cards also sort of remind you of the Titans. (M14 was a dud. It just couldn’t cut it. The slivers were lame. Red was good. Mutavault and Doom Blade were good. But other things really weren’t so good in the end.
I rate M15 based on my Sealed Deck experience at 5/5. How did your experience go? Do you feel the same as me? Let me know in the comments!
What did the SpartanNerd do on his vacation to North Myrtle Beach??? Here is a list, with notes…
1. Swimming…Everyday. I got the SpartanSmurfs input on a name change for them for this blog. SpartanSmurf #1 will now be called SpartanTeen. And SpartanSmurf #2 will now be called SpartanKid.
See. That swimming time was a great time to discuss the important things in life. I also spent the time to discuss Nature vs. Nurture with them, as well as the idea of Predestination vs. Free Will…and Plato’s Cave!
2. Fishing…I have had a good run of fishing lately. Mostly with rubber worms. But they didn’t work in the marsh at the RV Resort where we were staying. But the frozen shrimp did!
3. Nerd Stuff Hunting….I was looking for a few specific things…6-Inch Darth Maul Star Wars Black Figure…Marvel Select Thanos…DC Comics from November 1982…and Spawn #10.
of these, I found two. Thanos wasn’t costed cheapskate enough for me at $30. But I found Spawn #10! For $4.25!
4. Magic The Gathering Core 2015 (M15) Set Pre-Release…This was a seeded sealed deck tournament. Normally I don’t do well with sealed deck. But this time I crafted the greatest deck! I will get to the specifics in my next blog entry, but I made it to the top 4 and we split the winnings!
5. Masters of the Universe Comics Marathon Reading…25 comics in 6 days. Ka-Bamm! (Except issues 7 and 8. the art is really bad in those two.)
6. Cable TV Watching. There really isn’t anything on, is there? Good thing I just have NetFlix at home!
7. Aquarium…We visited the NC State Aquarium at Fort Fisher. It was…OK. Really the best part was the Butterfly Bungalow. Fort Fisher was a complete DUD, however. The best part was riding on the ferry from Southport to Fort Fisher and back.
8. Eating at restaurants…The Biscuit Shack…ahem, The Shack is great food. We also ate at…Becks Calabash, K&W Cafeteria, Big Daddy’s (In Fort Fisher…Ewww), and IHOP.
9. Eating at Home…We shopped at the Wal-Mart so fiscally responsible that we had exactly enough food to eat seven breakfasts and lunches/dinners.
10. Not playing guitar, recording music, singing, leading worship, blogging, or teaching… It is good to take a break for awhile. It helps you get refreshed. Now I will try and finish my album before school starts back!
I am so glad to see a high-powered set coming out for 2015!
The new Garruk is a cool incentive…
Since I have recently delved into “junk” and “dredge” territory, this guy will be a welcome boost of power!
Then there are the “Souls.” These guys are reminiscent of the “Titans.”
“Soul of Innistrad”.. I have to get this card!
The other thing I am really excited about is the return of Affinity! I have been building an Affinity modern deck. With the reprinting of Darksteel Citadel and Shrapnel Blast, this will be even easier. Oh yes, there is also a new card, (as far as I know,)
Soak this in. Here is an idea…Play four Darksteel Relics, (indestructible free artifacts.) Hit them with this on turn two. You have a 5/5 indestructible! I have to get one of these!
Needless to say, I am excited!
How excited are you? Send me a comment and let me know!