I always look forward to prerelease time for MTG. It is so much fun to play with old friends and new players that show up for the first chance to crack the new boosters. It is a pretty much even playing field and you never know what you are going to open. I usually have a routine when it comes to prerelease. Play the first one close to my home at Spanky’s in KC and then wake up the next morning and play at the noon prerelease at Collector’s Cache in Lenexa. These are my two favorite shops in the area, and I want to support them both. For Theros Beyond Death my plans had to switch.
I have lived in the Kansas City, MO area for almost decade but I am from a small town in Southeast MO about six hours away. My grandmother still lives there, and we are very close. I had to make a deal with her, not come Christmas but come during MLK weekend. I agreed to that not knowing it happened to be prelease weekend. This through off my normal routine but it does allow me to play Magic with my childhood friend who also still lives in the area, so not all together a bad thing.
Friday January 17, my friend, a few other, and I loaded up and drove about thirty minutes to the closest pre-release. It was a much more laid back and casual experience than what I was used to. The tables did not have numbers on them, you just had to yell the name of the person you were paired with and find a place to play. There were also only about 30 people there in total. A good thing about this was when we were opening our packs there was no assigned seating, so I got to open packs with all my friends I had not seen in several months and revel in the glory of opening bombs. Unfortunately, I did not open any as you can see.
Black was an easy choice here with ok creatures and tons of removal. I always go for removal first when it comes to prerelease. I know it goes against the BREAD (bombs, removal, evasion, aggro, duds) but I love the safe feeling of being able to have answers over bombs myself. I look at it this way, I can kill them with a good curve and smaller creatures if I can answer most of the things they are doing. My tough decision here was to go blue or red. I believe red was the stronger color, but I did not have any amazing creatures, which I really needed. The main reason I ultimately decided to go blue was because of Nadir Kraken. I played some with it on Arena and it can take over a game quickly. I did not have many cuts playing these two colors, so this is what I went with.
I normally like to play seventeen lands in a forty-card deck but I did not have a lot of top end so I figured it would be ok. There were many times where I flooded out instead of being mana light, so I think that was a good decision. I wish this deck had a little more draw, especially being in two draw heavy colors but I did not think it was an awful sixty. I did not have a lot of confidence going in since I did not have a great pull, but I usually find myself at a little advantage since I study the game and consider myself a slightly about average player.
I am not going to go into the nitty gritty of my matches like I normally do since it was a prerelease and it is a little harder to tell what my opponents were playing
specifically. My overall record was 3-1. This store ran things a little different than what I am used to and cut to top 8. Since my first lost was in the first round my tie breakers were not great so I just missed out at ninth overall. In the game I lost I misplayed in game two using Stern Dismissal too early to try to win the aggressive match. My opponent played Hydra’s Growth on a creature and I never drew another answer to it. Other than that, I think I played well.
One of the sleeper cards in the deck was Sleep of the Dead. See what I did there? There were many times I was able to tap down the opponent’s creature repeatedly and swing for lethal damage. It won me many more games than the Kraken.
I was disappointed that I just missed out on the top 8 but my friends that I went to the prerelease with represented four of the players in the top 8. I was happy for them and glad to see them do well. They are great MTG players and people in general. I will try to make it a goal to play in at least one prerelease a year with them.