Pondering—In Which the Commies Prevail

I had a blast at the prerelease. I correctly predicted that Wind Drakes would be huge role-players in the durdly, get-handed-a-deck format that RTR block prereleases have come to be, and built a deck loaded with two-power flyers and finished at a respectable 3-1. I was taken down in the second round by Hunter. We had three exciting games, but in the end, I had the cards but not the lands to deal with Rolex’s Master of Cruelties, and he got me.

A few quick notes:

  • I was on the receiving end of not one, but two fused Beck//Call. Turns out, casting and flashing back a Lingering Souls and stapling a Tidings to it is insane in Limited. Who would’ve guessed?
  • Haunter of Nightveil and Jelenn Sphinx are near-bomb-level cards in uncommon. Anthems/reverse-anthem effects are every bit as good as advertised.
  • Boros creatures, with the exception of Skynight Legionnaire, got a severe downgrade (as expected) due to the availability of 2/4s.

For Two-Headed Giant, Hunter and I teamed up to form Team Commie Hunters. We intended to go with some Orzhov-based combination, but the players ahead of us in line swiped up all the Orzhov packs, and we were out of luck. We decided to go with Dimir and Boros to see if we can piece together an Orzhov deck from there. Hunter ended up with a durdly Esper deck with some impressive finishers, namely a Teysa and two Debt to the Deathless. I went with an aggressive Naya build, with four Viashino Firstblade, two of the new Armadillo Cloaks/Unflinching Courage, an Aurelia, a Ruric Thar, and plenty of action in between.

And then we promptly 1-2ed the fucking thing.

While our losses were understandable (round two to Hugh/Jason with Jason having a nut Boros deck, and round three to Hunter’s mull-to-five all-lander and drawing five more lands), a big question came up multiple times of whether we should play or draw. Hunter’s deck clearly wanted to draw, whereas mine wanted to play. If Hunter can get to enough mana to cast Debt to the Deathless, that’s usually game (especially if powered up by my Zhur-Taa Ancient); but on the other hand, my Viashino Firstblades were usually shitty Grey Ogres on the draw, especially if our opponents got off to an aggressive start and racing was a non-option. The format was actually very tempo-oriented as opposed to durdly, which seemed counter-intuitive given that Orzhov extort was still clearly the busted deck.

Luckily, this was—and probably will be—the only time any of us have to play the format, so no real use in further conjecture.

All in all, our performance was a little disappointing, but the prerelease as a whole was awesome. I can’t wait to start playing the actual Limited formats, without the “assistance” of guild packs.

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2 Responses to “Pondering—In Which the Commies Prevail”
  1. Hunter Slaton says:

    We’ll get those commie bastards yet, Li.

    It’s an interesting discussion RE: whether we should have played or drawn. After all, if you can reliably bash in w/ the lizard warriors, that is sort of a defensive play as well—given that, if you can stop the opponent from being able to attack, well, that’s good D. On the other hand, drawing two cards is amazing as well. I dunno. It’s a really hard decision. I think the main problem was how different our decks were. Also, I’m sure we could have beat our last-round opponents if it had been anything of a game—and Jason and Hugh’s deck was just nuts; they beat Zach B. and Sean in the finals, and their decks seemed absurd. I dunno, variance.

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  1. […] The Dragon’s Maze prerelease this past weekend at Twenty Sided Store was pretty dope. I played in the Saturday 3pm sealed flight, and the evening 2HG event as well—this time with fellow Hipster (and, I have recently learned, Sagat player) Li Xu. (You can read more about our miserable 2HG run in Li’s Pondering column from this week.) […]



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