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Zendikar Prerelease, part 2

September 30, 2009

Okay, you have now seen the pool I got for the prerelease and now it’s time for me to present my deck and the reasoning behind it.

When I first spread out my pool, it was pretty easy to eliminate black out of the equation. Black had 3 good removals (Marsh Casualties, Disfigure and Hideous End), some okay trixs and a passable guy or two, which was not enough. Then it got harder. Green had a Terra Stomper, Oracle of Nul Daya, a couple of pumps, some mana fixing and/or acceleration and some staple guys, red had Obsidian Fireheart, 2x Plated Geopede, a couple of trix and some fillers. White had Emeria Angel, a Journey to Nowhere and some solid weenies and blue had Living Tsunami, a couple of fliers but not much more to talk about.

At the prerelease, I thought blue was probably the weakest of the 4. It had some quality, but not the bombs like the other colors had and it didn’t really had the numbers either. Then I fiddled around with white. White also looked a little shallow in the sense of number of playables. At the time I didn’t really respect Steppe Lynx for limited (at least for sealed) so that’s why white got the shaft. I ended up playing red-green with a touch of white for the Journey to Nowhere.

// Lands
    1 Arid Mesa
    1 Turntimber Grove
    1 Teetering Peaks
    7 Mountain
    6 Forest
    1 Plains

// Creatures
    1 Oracle of Mul Daya
    1 Mold Shambler
    1 Terra Stomper
    1 Zendikar Farguide
    1 Torch Slinger
    1 Obsidian Fireheart
    2 Plated Geopede
    1 Shatterskull Giant
    1 Turntimber Basilisk
    1 Molten Ravager
    1 Greenweaver Druid
    1 Ruinous Minotaur
    2 Goblin Shortcutter

// Spells
    1 Baloth Cage Trap
    1 Adventuring Gear
    1 Primal Bellow
    1 Journey to Nowhere
    1 Vines of Vastwood
    1 Harrow
    1 Khalni Gem
    1 Unstable Footing

This felt like a safe bet, I maximised the number of individual bombs I could get with my pool and also had a fair amount of trix. Even though my deck was only 2 colors with a splash for a single Journey to Nowhere my deck needed RRRGGGW to work on all cylinders, plus you wouldn’t mind having more sources of red anyways for Obsidian Fireheart, which is pretty steep.

As I said a couple of days ago I ended up going 3-2 and dropped (7 rounds). I lost round 3 vs. a guy who ramped up to Sphinx of Jwar Isle on turn 4 game 1 and turn 5 in game 3 and then I lost round 5 vs. national team member Patrik Thor in the red-green mirror. Game 1 was really tight, at one point we both had a 8/8 with trample in play. He managed to break the stalemate however with a pump spell to take down game 1. Then in game 2 I kept a little to greedy hand that ended up not working out at all. He had a good draw and beat the crap out of me before I could recoup.

The hand that I kept was Obsidian Fireheart, Oracle of Mul Daya, Journey to Nowhere, Unstable Footings, Adventuring Gear, Mountain and a Forest. The reasoning was that, yes while it might misfires, if I do hit 2 lands out of 3 drawsteps my chances to win the game would be very high. From what I had seen of game 1, his deck looked a little more consistent compared to mine and with him being a great player and all I felt I needed to get a little lucky. Anyways, afterwards we looked at each others decks after the match and what I suspected turned out to be true, we had very similar decks but his deck was much more conservative on the mana base.

My prerelease was over there, but before I headed home I got the chance to went through my pool with a couple of local player which I deem to be very good. They agreed with me that RG with the white touch was probably the safest option, but my pool could also produce a very aggressive UW deck, something like this:

// Lands
    1 Arid Mesa
    8 Plains
    8 Island

// Creatures
    1 Cliff Threader
    1 Merfolk Wayfinder
    1 AEther Figment
    1 Sky Ruin Drake
    1 Welkin Tern
    1 Living Tsunami
    1 Windrider Eel
    1 Kor Aeronaut
    1 Kazandu Blademaster
    1 Emeria Angel
    2 Steppe Lynx
    2 Kor Skyfisher
    1 Kor Sanctifiers
    1 Kor Hookmaster

// Spells
    2 Adventuring Gear
    1 Journey to Nowhere
    1 Khalni Gem
    1 Cancel
    1 Whiplash Trap
    1 Into the Roil

The guys that I spoke to really liked Steppe Lynx (even for sealed) and that was probably why I didn’t see this deck when I sat down earlier that day. We also concluded that WR could be an option, but the mana would be not as good as in the UW version. Having a 2-drop for WW and stuff that costs 1RRR isen’t pretty for an aggressive deck. At the end of the day I’m not 100% sure if which build would be better. As pointed out, the RGw build contains more individual power but the UW build does have superior strategy. I guess it’s a matter of taste.

Plated GeoHOUSEpede

Plated GeoHOUSEpede

Even though the day wasn’t so successful for my part, I still learned a lot for the upcoming limited format, both how the format plays out and the value of the individual cards. Steppe Lynx is good in sealed if you have an aggressive deck. I figure that guy will be this sets Wild Nacatl when it comes to draft. Then I got to say that Plated Geopede is a real house. I’m still baffled that a red common creature is this good. 3/3 first strike for 1R essentially that can be even more insane if you just have a Harrow or something like that. Then finally, Kor Skyfisher is also a really powerful common. This wasn’t a surprise for me, but watching games over the day really put that into context.

Now that was my prerelease, how was yours?

One Comment leave one →
  1. October 1, 2009 06:22

    I don’t usually reply to posts but I will in this case, great info…I will add a backlink and bookmark your site. Keep up the good work!

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