Pre-release review

Pre-release weekend is over and I hope everyone had a great time. My pre-release was cut short by illness but I managed to get one event in, so lets have a roundup.

Deck Opening

So the first thing I see is my pre-release promo. The massive Aetherwind Basker. As I mentioned in my Mythical primer this is the kind of bomb you hope to get. I was just hoping my green was deep enough to help support the card. I began cracking packs.

My rares were:

Aethertide Whale
Herald of Anguish
Lifecrafter’s Bestiary (Pokedex)
Metalwork Colossus
Skyship Stalker
Spire of Industry

The best card I opened in my packs was by far the Herald of Anguish. I was super excited to open the two mythics I rated as the best bombs in the set. Unfortunately my black was extremely poor, few creatures and mediocre to poor spells. My green on the other hand had very good cards that I was super happy with. My blue and red and some good finishers in Aethertide Whale and Skyship Stalker respectively. Both of these colours had some good creatures as well, blue probably being the strongest, but neither had good removal. This left white, a deep colour but with no big bombs except Airdrop Aeronaughts. This colour did have great removal in Caught in the Brights, Thopter Arrest and Revoke Privilege. The colourless was good, I had a Renegade Freighter and the Pokedex works so well in green. I did not have enough artifacts to run Metalwork Colossus though. After about 20 minutes I finally decided the white removal was more important than the things blue and red could offer me. My deck ended up as a Green White good stuff deck.

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Round 1 – Matt

Round 1 was against one of my best friends and we both knew what the other was playing as we built next to each other. He was on a UB artifact build with Tezzeret. In the first game I ramped out with threats and won early with the Renegade Freighter (CHOOO CHOOO). Game 2 my opponent managed to get his defenses up and was looking steady at four life. He proceeded to get out the Rhino train and beat me down. CHOOOO CHOOOOO!!!! Game 3 the Renegade Freighter made another appearance which lead to another beat down as we traded blows. CHOOOOO!!!!! Result: 2-1 thanks to the Kaladesh train.

Round 2 – Ashley

Round 2 proceeds with my opponent winning the die roll and going first. We are both playing green white and he has some very good artifacts including the new train. My Pacification Array and white removal manage to keep him at bay, but he has two flyers that are slowly beating me down. He also has the green automaton that can add counters to itself. The automaton was under a revoke privileges, so it wasn’t doing much except for being buffed with spare mana each turn. With my Pokedex I manage to turn the game around and I am looking good to win with some big flyers, stabilising on two life. My opponent finds Monstrous Onslaught and manages to wipe my board with his giant automaton, I believe it was a 22/23 or something along those lines and the swing kills me. A very tilting set of events. The next two games I manage to get good draws and just curve out for swift beat downs. Result: 2-1

Round 3 – Jeremy

Not much to say about this other than my opponent didn’t find the colours he needed and I managed to just curve out and beat down. Game 1 I only had green mana and green cards, which was quite lucky. Game two my opponent didn’t find his third colour in time and I had won. This match felt a bit unfair but variance can be a killer in magic. Result: 2-0

Round 4 – Richard

Prior to this match I had heard my opponent had the Demon, Herald of Anguish, that I couldn’t make work in my deck, which was a big worry. The first game went back and forth with both of us removing creatures, including him destroying my Aetherwind Basker, which sucked. I eventually find enough removal and damage to get through and win. Game 2 I kept a greedy one land hand and got extremely punished. In Game 3 I had an amazing curve and just beat down with Airdrop Aeronaughts. Result: 2-1

Round 5 – Owen

Into the final round and I was feeling good about my deck. I had some information that my opponent was on a black red deck that was insanely heavy on removal. I felt confident that if I could get out my Pokedex I would have a good chance of winning. Game 1 was brutal, I managed to get my opponent to three life even through the removal but then it was too much. I lost my last creature and drew three lands in a row. This was enough for him to get some fat creatures down and beat me down. Game 2 I had a few creatures and Airdrop Aeronauts in my hand. I baited multiple kill spells with my less promising creatures until I thought the coast was clear for the Aeronauts to airdrop in for the win. The 4/3 flyer then beat down. Game 3 my opponent got stuck on one colour for long enough for me to get the Aether Basker out and swing for exactly lethal with a 9/9 trampler. Result: 2-1

Conclusion

The deck went 5-0 which, obviously, I was very pleased with. The Basker was threatening and had to be dealt with but the two real standout cards for me was the Pokedex and Airdrop Aeronaughts. The card advantage and a 4/3 flyer were game winning. Another combo I enjoyed was the Bandar into Maulfist Revolutionary that allowed for two 3/3 creatures attacking on turn four. I did notice that revolt isn’t as easy to trigger as you might think. I did end up running creatures into the enemy to try and trigger revolt on multiple occasions. White’s removal is premium in this set and so is Natural Obsolescence. The deck wasn’t flashy but it had a strong curve with good synergy.

Thank you for reading, thank you to my opponents and I hope everyone had a good time at their pre-release.

Now pre-release is over I will be delving in to standard with some spicy brews. Stay tuned.

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