The new Set of magic was out and with the Manchester Grand Prix coming up it was our first chance to see the cards which we will add to existing decks or build new ones.
The first day I opened an absolutely insane pool with 5 Blue/Black cards, a temple and a Keranos which I splashed for. The deck I came up with was this:
With a new plugin which displays cards on hover here’s the Sealed Pool Day One:
2 Rotted Hulk
1 Crackling Triton
2 Crystalline Nautilus
1 Servant of Tymaret
1 Siren of the Silent Song
1 Sealock Monster
1 Disciple of Deceit
1 Doomwake Giant
1 King Macar, the Gold-Cursed
1 Master of the Feast
1 Keranos, God of Storms
1 Read the Bones
1 Lash of the Whip
3 Pin to the Earth
1 Traveler’s Amulet
1 Temple of Mystery
1 Sea God’s Revenge
1 Oracle’s Insight
1 Thassa’s Bounty
2 Dark Betrayal
1 Retraction Helix
The removal was pretty sweet so I was looking forward to running it.
Round 1 vs Tom Bull
After a long weekend I can’t remember the details of this match and didn’t write down their decktype so can’t remember it. They mulled in first game and I win 2-0. In game one they scooped on 12 when I had a massive board presence and had cleared theirs.
Round 2 vs Craig Low (Black White), 1-0 (2-0)
Round 3 vs James Bulloch (Red White aggro), 2-0 (4-0)
James is a frequent visitor through to Dundee for events so we chatted a bit before playing and then got it started. I had the nut draws and just dealt with every threat he made once I was on 10 life. On game 2 I managed to stabilise on 11. Pin to the Earth is just so damn good. Sure your 3 drop hasty guy can hit me once and then He’ll be useless. It does miff me that it doesn’t remove flying as that’s the damn name…
Round 4 vs Andy Davies (Black Red), 3-0 (6-0)
Andy is another regular at Highlander so I was pleased one of us would make it through to the final.
Game 1 we slowly beat down at each other and I was finally the victor on 5 life. The Master of the Feast really did the work despite allowing him to draw more cards. Holding him off until I could take control. The dark betrayals immediately came in from the board.
Game 2 he goes up to 26 life with me on 12 and losing control. I manage to topdeck removal and stabilise on 1 life with him on 27. That single point that changes every combat calculation and is the only one that matters. I get out King Macar, the Gold-Cursed and a combat trick allows him to get through and then Inspired on the untap step. I remove his big threat and he’s left with a load of small creatures, the same number of dorks as me and 2 guys pinned to the earth. I exile each guy he drops and slowly grind down until I have a board of 6 creatures to his 2 pinned to the earth. The removal suite in this deck is insane and once I stabilised it was all over. An epic two matches. I’m up against Charlie in the final. His game was next to us and finished early and I just see his horrified looks at what my deck is able to do if it runs right.
Round 5 vs Charie Grant (Blue White flyers), 4-0 (8-0)
I go into the final without dropping a single match and an opponent who is scared of my deck. I try not to be too confident though as if he gets his flyers out before I can deal with them I’m toast.
The first match is an absolute grind fest with him recovering his life and slowly eating away at mine. A chump blocker who regains 1 life every turn is pretty good but I just can’t cope with the amount of flyers he has. Bouncing them just delays the inevitable and he wins through.
In game two I keep a hand with two swamps, a load of Bx cards and 2 bounce spells. The next land I draw is a mountain. Then two more swamps and another mountain. The splash for Keranos kills me by colour screwing me. A sad end to an epic match with a pretty insane sealed pool. Charlie deserves the win as his deck is superb and he plays it really well.
I end up in 3rd due to tiebreakers with 4-1 (8-2) being the record.
Sealed Pool Day Two
1 Cavern Lampad
2 Pharika’s Chosen
1 Sigiled Starfish
1 Servant of Tymaret
1 Squelching Leeches
1 Cloaked Siren
1 Mnemonic Wall
1 Rotted Hulk
1 Chorus of the Tides
1 Shipwreck Singer
1 Whitewater Naiads
1 Doomwaker Giant
1 Viper’s Kiss
1 Bile Blight
1 Pharika’s Cure
1 Feast of Dreams
1 Font of Fortunes
1 Fate Foretold
1 Pin to the Earth
2 Silence the Believers
1 Hour of Need
1 Feast of Dreams
1 Viper’s Kiss
Round 1 vs Steven Clark (White Black)
In the first match against Steven he said this was his 10th ever match. After we started I felt pretty bad as he was making a few obviously less than optimal plays and my deck was pretty decent. I pointed out his triggers and ability to drain me life at the end of my turn and so on. I also suggested he not play his new creatures before attacking tapped out etc (a bad habit I had from a Portal Starter set until someone pointed it out). This is what pre-releases are for though. New players playing with new sets and learning the new mechanics.
Round 2 vs Fraser Madden (Red Green), 1-0 (2-0)
I win the first game with my two deathtouch snakes holding off the aggro attack. A 2-0 win from some topdecking where I get every answer when I need it.
Round 3 vs Ray Doyle (Red White), 2-0 (4-0)
Great, up against one of the best players in the shop and I expect to lose badly. You know sitting down he will make no misplays. Ray also scoops his cards when he knows it’s done to quickly move onto the next game.
Ray keeps a poor hand and scoops on 16 after I lock his board down. He smashes through me in game 2 when I get mana screwed and draw nothing but fat. Game 3 is a bit more even but then he controls the board and I have nothing.
Round 4 vs Robert Meek (Green Black), 2-1 (5-2)
A decisive win in game one with some fat just blocking his board until I can get through. Get the Exile cards and can wipe it all and smash through.
Game two is a slow one with Servant of Tymaret eating away at live.
Round 5 vs Simon Larg (Red White), 3-1 (7-2)
Simon playing an aggro deck is a bit of a worry. In game one I hold him off before defeating him with the fat. Game two he smashes through my defences before I can stabilise at all ending on 23 life himself.
It’s all down to game three. A few turns in I get out Shipwreck Singer and his eyes pop open looking at his field of X/1s. I slowly grind away forcing his guys to attack and either reducing toughness to 0 or blocking with fat to kill whilst holding back bounce spells in case he does shenanigans. By the end of the game his graveyard is massive and when checking he only had 5 creatures left in his deck. A 2-1 win puts me in contention to top 4.
Round 6 vs Fraser Lawson (Black White), 4-1 (9-3)
Fraser has the advantage of me having watched the end of the game. He doesn’t have much to worry about in game one. He kills me in blobs of five ending on 20 life having wavered a bit.
Game two I get some damage in but he get’s 2 final points of damage in before I can get in the 3 I need against him.
Some awesome games and I finish 7th with 4-2 (9-5) record. The deck was nowhere near as good as the previous one and so it seemed a decent finish with it.
Apparently some unlucky chump also opened a pack they dubbed
The ByeDeck.dek and scrubbed out only winning the bye. The shop owner looked over it afterwards declaring
There’s not 5 playables in any colour. It would suck to be that guy.