M10 Prerelease

I just got back from the M10 prerelease and am writing this article in spurts in-between resting while practicing tuba. This really has nothing to do with the class, but now that I have a magic blog, I figured I’d write about it anyways.

My prerelease was a 6-pack sealed, and I ended up going 1-3. Yeah, it was bad. I put together a W/U deck that was relatively quick. It had a soldiers sub-theme with 4 soldiers, which actually appeared a couple times and worked pretty well. I had mid-costed fliers, with my most expensive creatures being 2 serra angels. I think it was an okay deck, and I think I picked the right colors. I had 6 green creatures, 7 red creates, 6 black creatures, 7 blue creatures, and 10 white creatures, so I had to play white. After that, my green and black were the first ones cut (which is a little sad, since green is really good, but I’ll get to that). In the end, I didn’t have enough depth in red, so I went blue. I 2-0ed in my practice. I won my first game decisively, lost my second game to an overrun, and lost the third game to another overrun where he would’ve been dead had he not killed me with exactly 19 points of damage. It was unfortunate, but definitely my fault, as I made a very serious play mistake in forgetting what I saw with a sage owl. So lost 1st round and then lost both games in my 2nd round to overruns. Third round, I had to mulligan to 5 for having no lands, then didn’t get my colors right, and lost the 2nd game in a pretty good fight. 4th round, I won the first game decisively, lost the second game decisively, and won the third game decisively. So green is very good. Each of my opponents played some green, so it’s good

So with that overview, here are some comments on specific cards:

– wall of frost: very good. I didn’t get to play him a lot, but he’s good like wall of denial.

– rod of ruin: also good. There are a lot of 1 toughness creatures around, and repeatable removal is good

– terramorphic expanse: good, but not really necessary. Not once was I in color trouble that I needed it to save me. On the otherhand, it was never a drawback. I never wished I had a real land on a turn I dropped it. Middle to low pick

– serra angel: it’s amazing. At uncommon, you’ll see a lot of these floating around, and if you’re playing an aggressive white/X deck, this is a great card to have at the top of the curve. Only deadly recluse and another serra angel were good enough to intimidate it into not attacking. Very high pick

– blinding mage: good, but not what I was hoping. I know it should be good, but it didn’t get me out of trouble as much as I was hoping. My deck had a very good curve, so I often didn’t have the mana open to use it, but I’d still draft him high

– righteousness: much better at uncommon than rare. It worked a couple times, so I believe in it

– rhox pikemaster: a lifesaver. This card is great. I saw a lot of deathtouch and mid-sized creatures, and this makes all your soldiers so much better than them. High pick

– veteran swordsmith: very good, but not quite what I was hoping. Of course, if you’re going for a soldier theme, use it, but the 1 power generally didn’t matter that much. I think the 1 toughness would’ve been much better.

– safe passage: fantastic combat trick. Get it while you can

– elite vanguard: very good. Not surprising that savannah lions is good, but I got him 1st turn a couple times, and quite a few of my opponents didn’t have plays until turn 3. He’ll get in some damage, and if you have other soldiers to boost him, it can still be useful midgame

– ice cage: I thought about crystallization when I saw this card. It’s like crystallization, but so much worse. With blinding mage, prodigal pyromancer, and rod of ruin around, it just always feels delicate. Against green, they’re going to cast giant growth or oakenform on their creatures anyways, so that’s no help. The removal in other colors is just much better (I would’ve absolutely taken pacifisms had I opened any), so use that instead.

– mind control: very good.

– sage owl: amazing. It seeemed like I always wanted to smooth out my mana draws, and that’s exactly what the owl can do. But you should really take notes about what you see, or like me, you’ll make a mistake because of what you think you have coming up

– illusionary servant: see ice cage. It’s good, but not as good as some people I’ve heard talk about it. It did win me one game because my opponent didn’t understand it, but otherwise, it sat in my hand a lot because I knew it was dead on arrival

– sleep: It’s all that and more. Take it and play blue just to use it. This was the best finisher ever. In a lot of games I played, the board just got swamped as no one wanted to attack into the other, hence why overrun crushed me a couple times. On the other hand, sleep can do it, too. If you have 10 power of creatures, it’ll go all the way for you. Especially combined with…

– silence: mostly not a good card, except for the turn before you’re going to alpha strike. Especially played during upkeep after you play sleep, it can be useful.

– time warp: meh. It was good with sleep as well, netting you 3 free attacks, but that’s hard to do, since you need a lot of mana. Cool card, not amazing.

– solemn offering: didn’t need to use it, or naturalize. I didn’t play a single game where I needed artifact/enchantment destruction. Good to have in the board, and not worthy of a slot.

– overrun: better than sleep. This card just destroyed me each time. This will win games for you, so draft it when you see it and use it often. Combine with howl of the night pack for a really dirty win.

– deadly recluse: awesome. It stopped me a lot from attacking with my much more valuable fliers. And that 2 toughness is actually a lot. I see this as a solid middle pick.

Hope it helps.

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