Oh mine guttes! GP Charlotte…
Friday – Getting there
Leading up to the weekend I was suffering from one heck of a head cold, but I’d lived through worse and, as always, paid the illness no mind. Left on Friday around noon after picking up a couple of other players from The Pillage. The route we drove took us down 81, through the mountains. Had I know what I do know, I would have suggested 95 a bit more strongly. Thirty minutes into the drive, just past Front Royal, I felt like my head was being stuffed with cotton while also being clamped down on. Right after, my hearing went all wonky and I developed quite the headache. This is the state I played in all weekend–and that very well might be a major contributing factor to my subpar GP experience.
We got to Charlotte just after six, just enough time to check in to the hotel and get to the hall for Foiled Again.
Friday – Foiled Again
In my mind a super-sized FNM , there were about 250 people playing Standard, where playing got you an FNM promo and each round you won garnered another. Played Life Bomb after managing to find the last two Sorin’s I needed for the deck. Match One, I drew with UWr Tempo after assembling the combo game one and losing game two. That put my win by combo count to two out of nearly 20 games at that point. Not a good sign, but I’ll get to that later.
Even so, my other two matches were pretty solid outings with Obzedat/Sorin wins. I lost to RDW in the final round to end 2-1-1 after running over to register for the next day. I couldn’t hear shit with the noise from the grinders going on by the main event stage, but eventually the judge and I synced up and I got signed up.
Though I was a bit sad that my 2-1-1 finish meant I only got three foils, I finally have a playset of FNM Gitaxian Probes now and the pack I got for being top 64 had a Domri in it. This was the high point of the weekend, if I’m honest.
I got in three flights of Return to Ravnica pre-release goodness over the weekend, I even took top 8 at the midnight (which is sadly absent from my history on PWP…). I played Rakdos both at the midnight and in Two-headed Giant with Renee and Azorius the other time. I’ll get to my guild impressions in a moment, but first I want to take a moment tosay that this was probably the best pre-release I have ever gone to. Granted, I’ve not gone to many, but the guild centric theme was an amazing kick start to the immersion and perhaps by accident, gave me a solid focus for my sealed deck. I can not wait for Gatecrash, which i suspect will be the same format, and am really interested to see what they do with Sinker when the time comes. I’d love to see all ten guilds being a viable option with a guild pack from Sinker, two packs of Sinker and Three packs of the large set your guild was in. That’s such a straight forward idea that I would be surprised if that isn’t the plan–especially considering the goal is RTR-GTC-Sinker drafting until M14 hits next August.
Anyway, the games and guilds are after the break!
I really want to shake my GW Flicker into a Naya Flicker. Sadly there weren’t a lot of ETB creatures in RTR and my biggest problem at the Hexproof Open was dealing with creatures. So a splash of red and some populate will probably give the deck the boost it needs–I just don’t know what to cut out. I’m at 62 cards right now and there isn’t even any red.
|4x Sunpetal Grove
4x Temple Garden
4x Restoration Angel
4x Champion of Lambholt
4x Strangleroot Giest
3x Giest Honored Monk
3x Fiend Hunter
2x Arbor Elf
2x Avacyn’s Pilgrim
2x Vitu-gazi Guildmage
2x Tostani, Voice of Selsnya
4x Selesnya Charm
|2x Garruk, Primal Hunter|
As before, the goal is a solid couple of swings with a buffed Champion letting my whole wave through. I guess the Monks could go, but its hard to cut three bodies for five (two of which are populate targets). I really want to run Makeus, Lunarch of Avacyn for (nearly) free +1/+1 counters. There’s also parallel lives which would be a huge boon to the deck’s overall strength.
If you have any suggestions, I’d happily listen to them and go to your LGS’ events this weekend! A big turnout at the pre-release lets wizards know we like all the goodies they’re giving out this time. Oh? you didn’t know about the goodies? Well, listen up then! Not only do you get five RtR packs early, you get a guild pack that’s only the cololrs of the guild you choose for the event. You also get a sticker of the guild emblem, a letter from your guild’s leader, a spin down dice (which is hopefully also the guild symbol, but is likely just the set symbol) and a promo for your guild.
In other news…
I really need to figure out what I want to do with this column. I can’t imagine this is really all that entertaining for most people (judging by the fact that no one ever wants to discuss decks) and its not like I’ve ever been one for super involved meta gaming.
Anyway, Catch ya’ll next week!
Its here folks! Return to Ravnica Spoilers started dropping on Saturday and now the mad dash of card reveals has begun. The updating list is on the Wizards site and I’d love to talk about all of them, but I just want to focus on the new guild mechanics in this week’s column.
For those not in the know, RtR will feature five of Ravnica’s ten guilds. (For those even less in the know, don’t worry, it’s okay. All you need to know is that Ravnica plays using all ten two-color combinations, each represented by a guild.) The guilds featured will be Azorius, Golgari, Izzet, Rakdos, and Selesnya. With that, lets talk mechanics.
The Senate’s return brings with it the mechanic of Detain. Fitting for a host of bureaucratic might. However, compared to Forecast, Detain has a totally different feel. It’s not so much a threat of action now as much as it is a halting of it. I like the flavor, but I’m not sure what effect it’ll have on game tempo. I mean yeah, it’ll feel great playing it, but playing against it will definitely have an un-fun factor to it.
That said, I’m not sure where it’ll go aside from limited and block constructed. The staples of the current competitive scene that will remain don’t rely on extra creatures, so unless there are instants and sorceries that will also have detain, I don’t see this fitting in with anything built. That said, the mechanic is fairly strong and I could see constructed working around it, especially if there’s an enchantment for “When a creature ETBs, detain.”
The Swarm’s return brings with it a mechanic that’s appeared before, though in smaller form, on the infamous Scavenging Ooze. Scavenge puts a number of +1/+1 counters on a target creature, making Golgari a strong late game competitor. It also works marvels when paired with Dredge, and I wish they were printing both mechanics and not just the new one.
That said, I’m really looking forward to seeing it in action. I just wish other passive abilities were also granted. Like with this spoiler card, I wish Scavenging it also granted Deathtouch.
The League’s new machanic, Overload, converts any single target spell with the keyword into a board hitting spell blast when more mana is pumped into the spell. Flavor wise, its very them. Gameplay wise, it allows early spells to be late spells. Between these two points, I don’t really see a downside to it beyond the absurd mana costs. It’s certainly more accessible than Replicate was and its got some real applications.
I’m looking forward to seeing what some of the permanents are like and seeing how they make the flavor spread around.
The cult of Rakdos had an odd mechanic in Hellbent, and Unleashed is equally interesting. Throwing away defense for more offense works very well flavor-wise, but I’m not sure how strong the mechanic is, especially when compared to Selesnya’s ability to make lots of creatures with Populate. However, a couple of cards spoiled out of Golgari, along with staples like Doubling Season, it might see some very focused constructed play in modern. If there are lots of state altering enchantments based around +1/+1 counters I can see the guild doing well in limited, but otherwise I don’t see much application to the current Standard scene.
Then again, there could always be another Rakdos Pit Dragon and all of it is worth one bad-ass card.
The Conclave’s new mechanic is Populate. Populate is simple and straight forward. Make a copy of a creature token you have in play. From a flavor standpoint, it really fits with the guild’s concept of a growing army that wins by overwhelming numbers and it’s a lot more balanced then Convoke was.
Coming out of Innstrad and M13, tokens are a pretty big way of doing things right now and Green/White is the king of token generation. With the ability to make copies of tokens, I can see some white splash becoming a real boon for Red/Black vampire decks or there being some fun interactions with Seance, Cackling Counterpart, and other make a token copy of a creature cards in the Standard pool right now.
I will say that it’ll make limited play particularly fun and I’d like to see it get play in Modern.
All in all, I really like the mechanics and they all work really well for limited. I can not wait for the 29th and these next few weeks are going to be super exciting. Catch ya’ll next week!