I haven’t written a tournament report in a while (maybe because I’ve been playing rather poorly lately? =/), but Prereleases are always fun right? Here’s my Scars of Mirrodin prerelease report!
The first hour was spent waiting in an unbearably hot basement area for the 8th player on our table to register his sealed pool. What? yeah, he was late, and the event started early so the airconditioning was not yet on. Sad face.
The pool I registered was terrible, no money rares and felt a bit short on playables, but the pool I got passed was better (not really in terms of constructed “value” cards, but pretty good in terms of playability). I think Scars limited lends itself well to monocolor decks with vast majority of the support provided by artifacts, but I couldn’t just had dragon-class bombs in separate colors, so black-red it was. Here’s my list:
- I should have probably just maindecked the above listed sideboard cards in the first place, not sure why I didn’t, it’s not like I was drunk.
Regarding Bleak Coven Vampires – these guys are great, top-notch. Together with the Galvanic Blasts, I had to reliably trigger Metalcraft, I think the 12-14 artifact count is sufficient to provide the needed consistency.
Regarding Skithiryx, the Blight Dragon, I’m going to misspell that all the time, so from hereon, he’s called “Skittles”.
Round one: I lost the first game to mana screw, as if the gods of magic were punishing me for playing two colors in the format; I drew all swamps and no mountains, losing access to half the spells in my hand. I lost that match 1-2, the game three loss to an infectious Blight Mamba given intimidate by that evil green uncommon (Bellowing Tanglewurm). I kept drawing lands while it slowly bled me to death with it’s evil poison. My last-ditch blocker met a shattering end! At least I can say this was the first time I lost a tournament match to poision counters.
Round two was a breeze, and marked the first time I won a tournament match using poison counters. And I did it with Skittles, the only Infect guy in my deck. Hey, my opponent kept gaining life, luckily I had a viable alternate plan of attack. Won 2-0.
Round three, the guy was all cool and had three colors of basics, plus a bunch of mana myr, it’s like he was doing nothing exciting, then all of a sudden brings out a Liege of the Tangle on me! Luckily I had the double Galvanic Blast with metalcraft active and he groaned. I lost game two to a quick Tangle Angler with Darksteel Axe after stalling on lands due to a poor keep (True Magic Confessions episode 17: I don’t mulligan aggressively enough). In game three I drew the Flesh Allergy I boarded in for the Liege of the Tangle and just slowrolled that bad boy until he drew and played the Liege. Ha! Sacrificing Perilous Myr to Flesh Allergy is awesome when your opponent is at four life. Won 2-1.
Round four, my opponent was UR. In game one neither of had much gas and had to resort to trading blows with our 1/1 mana myrs, but I pulled out ahead after he drew too many lands and I had 3 mana myrs to clock him with. Game two, he tapped out for Saberclaw Golem and I was thinking of taking it out with a non-boosted G-Blast, but for some reason thought it would be better to do so on his turn. Of course when he untaps he already has Stoic Rebuttal ready, a card I already saw in game one and hence should have been aware of! I went on tilt a bit and subsequently blocked the Golem looking to trade creatures, but then he just smiled and paid the red mana to give it first strike. Facepalm!
I did the mental Saito faceslap and toughened up my focus for game three. I stayed in control all game, making only a minor mistake of unnecessarily untapping the Rust Tick at one point, but was well ahead in life totals anyway and finished him off with 2 Galvanic Blasts.
So anyway I fail to make 4-0 for the nth time in a row. I haven’t 4-0’d since Time Spiral I think. It’s fine, Prereleases should be very casual events anyway so I have a tendency to maybe play a bit looser than I would at a PTQ for example.
Prize packs did not contain anything exciting. Well, a Genesis Wave but that’s more of a fun, casual card.
TLDR; Went 3-1 at my local Scars of Mirrodin Prerelease.
Extra discussion topic: A friend and I were talking about how newbie-unfriendly Prereleases can be, even though it’s supposed to be pretty much a “casual affair”. There are always a bunch of guys who are at their first sealed event and they take a while to register, and a lot of them don’t know that the registered pool won’t necessarily be the one they’re going to play and get to take home. And where I play, most of the Prereleases will have the local “sharks” playing, they will usually play multiple flights. I try to keep a friendly atmosphere, but many of them are always dead serious even though it’s just a prerelease, making new tournament players or young kids a bit nervous. Of course it has to be that way because there are prizes on the line, right?
My friend suggested a separate type of prerelease event where entrants are guaranteed some small token prizes (maybe two packs), regardless of their win-loss record, and some trophy prize (like a t-shirt) for going undefeated. Rules enforcement might be looser – maybe no longer requiring deck registration or pool swaps. This would make it more casual and less appealing to “sharks”, but I’m not sure how popular it would be. I’m thinking maybe we need some more casual events here like gunslinging or Intro Pack duels thing that WOTC staff sometimes talk about – we don’t usually have that sort of thing in local events.
Of course, we couldn’t come up with a clear solution to make Prerelease events easier for new guys, but it’s worth a thought, right?