Thursday, May 2, 2013

TABLETOP TALES: DRAGON'S MAZE PRE-RELEASE! PT. 1 "NAYA WAR CHANT!"

TABLETOP TALES PRESENTS
MY DRAGON'S MAZE PRE-RELEASE PT. 1

To check out my other decks, hit the link below:


This article serves two purposes: To share the nerd entertainment around with anyone who might find it interesting and, in this case, to share my experiences with my fourth pre-release.


You can find Magic Cards in super stores (Ex. Walmart, Target) but the best place you can buy your cards, meet other players, and play in events is at your local comic book store or hobby shop. I buy most of my cards at The Comic Cellar. Here is a link to its Google Maps location at 3620 Austin Peay Highway #2 Memphis, TN 38128.

And here is a link to Comic Cellar's Website


I took part in my first of two Dragon's Maze pre-releases on April 27th, 2013, at The Comic Cellar. It cost me $30 ($25 if I had signed up earlier) to sign up and, for that fee, each player recieved 6 boosters packs, including a special booster pack for a chosen guild, as well as a secret guild pack that shares a color with the chosen guild from the other set. For example, if you pick Selesnya, as I did for my first event, I got a Selesnya (Green-White) Return to Ravnica guild booster and my options for a secret guild were from the second set, Gatecrash, and could have been Orzhov (Black-White), Boros (White-Red), Gruul (Red-Green), or Simic (Green-Blue). I ended up with Gruul in my pool. With these packs I had to build a forty card deck (no less than forty cards), with as many basic lands provides as I needed, and then try to win my 5 one-on-one matches, each a best of three rounds, and try to make a ranking that netted me extra packs. Players who participate to the end, even if they didn't place highly, were given a "pity" pack and other prizes. All in all, the event was well worth the admission fee for 6 hours of entertainment and yet...

Everything didn't exactly go according to plan. I am stuck in a rut and actually paid twice for this event with the same result both times-- 2 wins and 3 losses. Netting me no extra packs. As if an insult to injury, I also didn't really net any money cards. Sorry to grief, but I was a little bummed out by the end of Sunday's event. But, that doesn't mean I wouldn't do it again and don't plan on going in the future. I plan to keep on going and maybe my luck/skill will improve. I still got a Gruul and Selesnya pin...so that's something. Back to discussing the vent, sorry about the vent, but I gotta be honest-- I was disappointed in my results. Maybe looking at what I played will show the problem in the first part of my coverage of my pre-release...

On the plus side, my guild did win the maze the first day. So that's something.

Anywho, Dragon's Maze is the third and final set in the Return to Ravnica block. The machinations of the ancient dragon Niv Mizzet have been revealed-- he has discovered a maze that the solution of which will determine the future of Ravnica. In order to win, each guild has chosen a champion to complete the maze and create a new order/disorder in the City of Guilds. A fairly fun-themed small set, Dragon's Maze has all ten of the new mechanics of the set return, alongside a new mechanic that capture the flavor of the guilds and their conflicts. Let's give a short breakdown of it before we move onto talk about my deck...

FUSE- Found on split cards, cards that are technically two cards that can be cast on their own, Fuse allows them both to be cast and resolve from left to right, rather than just casting one of the spells on the card.

MY 1ST DRAGON'S PRE-RELEASE DECK
GREEN-WHITE-RED NAYA WAR CHANT DECK

This was an easy choice, but I wish I had better stuff to work with in my pool (got hosed on my creatures, both days). I chose Selesnya as my primary guild for the first day and was ecstatic to find Gruul as my secret guild. With that in mind, I hoped my non-creature spells would do enough to get my creatures through to killing blow and win me the day. I even splashed blue at one point, something I might talk about in another part of this coverage because there are some things I would've changed (could've used more creatures and less spells, I reckon).

Anywho, let's get to breaking down my first event's deck...

Here are links for the following sections:

Part 2: "AMERICAN DRAGONS"

Part 3: "HINDSIGHT IS 20/20 BUT..."

Part 4: "...LEARNING FROM YOUR MISTAKES I GOLDEN!"

Contains 40 Cards
CREATURES
(12 Creatures: 4 Green, 2 Red, 3 White, 2 Green/Red, & 1 Green/White Creature)

Deck contains. 1.
Reasons? Everybody should know by now that this is one of my favorite commons in standard (if not all time). I run a full set in my current standard deck and ran a buttload in the Ravnica Pre-Release. A 3/3 body is no joke and, with the entrance effect of gaining 3 life, he is a real bargain of a creature.

Deck contains. 1.
Reasons? Remember what I just said about a 3/3 body? Well, this is a kind of crummy way to get one on the battlefield but, with my creature pool, getting Centaur's Herald out on turn one and sacking it on turn three to get a 3/3 body is a fair deal.

Deck contains. 1.
Reasons? The Disciple is pretty dandy in this format with its situational first strike that makes opponents think twice about swinging into it or blocking it. A simple pump of red and a trick will demolish many creatures in early game.

Deck contains. 2.
Reasons?  And here is the heart of my creature base-- a four body is great and being able to tap potential blockers makes the difference.

Deck contains. 1.
Reasons?  And here is a great bear with the added utility of being able to destroy a target enchantment.


Deck contains. 1.
Reasons?  And here, unfortunately, is the buffest creature I was able to muster for my deck (I really had a mehsome pool). Ripscale is able to get damage through to the endzone with ease, especially when combo'd with Haazda, and when pumped can end out games.

Deck contains. 1.
Reasons? I'm not sure I was really excited about this guy-- yes, he is decent removal, but for six mana there is a mess of creatures I would've preferred to find in my boosters. Like Ruric Thar!

Deck contains. 1.
Reasons? Yes, he has a whimpy body, but he is a decent glass cannon. He can take out most creatures with a block, hit for a healthy five, or be used as a pump to take you over the top. I stand by this creature's limited potential.

Deck contains. 1.
Reasons? Even better than Scorchwalker, Slaughterhorn is cheaper, tougher, and tends to be more useful to saving a creature's life.

Deck contains. 1.
Reasons?  And here is one of the best value commons in the set. A 3/3 with reach for four that can become useful again after taking a block is definitely worth a slot in your deck.

Deck contains. 1.
Reasons? Zhur-Taa Swine is great. A 5/4 is pretty decent in this format and, in a pinch, you can use him instead to pump out for the win. This is another great creature common I pulled off and I love his utility.

NON-CREATURE SPELLS
(11 Non-Creature Spells: 1 Green Sorcery, 1 Green-Red Enchantment, 1 Green-Red Instant, 1 Green-Red Sorcery, 1 Green-White Instant, 2 Red Instants, 1 Red Sorcery, 3 White Instants)

Deck contains. 1.
Reasons? This card says, "Excuse me, good sir, can I borrow your creature for an alpha strike? Or may I borrow your multicolor creature and then use Renounce the Guilds to sack it and your other multicolor creature?" And that's awesome, frustrating, and fun.

Deck contains. 1.
Reasons?  Clan Defiance provided me with a winning bomb, but it ended up as removal more of the time to try and survive long enough to get more creature out than an opponent (especially against flyers). I'm glad I got Clan Defiance, but I still would've preferred a big creature in it's place.

 
Deck contains. 1.
Reasons? Removal and evasion on one card? Gruul Charm helped me a great deal to get in alpha strikes and take down nasty flyers (even ones with hexproof).

Deck contains. 1.
Reasons? This card rolls faces! If I got this on the battlefield, I was pretty much guaranteed the win because it makes my deck rock socks. In this format, being able to get in a blow every round is more than enough to win. If I had more creatures, this card would've been a blown out every time.

Deck contains. 1.
Reasons? This card would be undervalued in any other format but, combined with my evasion and tapping, this card is enough for me to get across the battlefield to deal a killing blow to most opponents.

Deck contains. 2.
Reasons? Perhaps too expensive, this bit of removal was definitely helpful in closing the gap for a win and removing threats. I was glad to have some solid burn packaged in my deck, but against a better creature pool (especially Orzhov) burning one creature didn't seem enough.

Deck contains. 1.
Reasons? I feel pretty lucky getting one of the best removal spells in the format. I only ran four multicolored permanents, so this spell was excellent at forcing opponents to destroy their own hexproof multi-color flyer or other obnoxious threat.

Deck contains. 2.
Reasons? This card was too good to be true. Yes it could stall a turn and yes it could net me life or an alpha strike, but it wasn't putting boots on the field. If there was any cards I should've replaced with creatures, it would be riot control.

Deck contains. 1.
Reasons? I basically used this to put down a 2/2 knight with vigilance and, occasionally, pump a creature. I rarely ran into creature power 5 or greater in the format and was far more likely to need a cheap block. Still the versatility makes this one of my favorite charms.

LANDS
(17 Lands: 5 Forests, 5 Mountains, 4 Plains and 3 Others)

CONTAINS: 1

CONTAINS: 5

CONTAINS: 1

CONTAINS: 5


CONTAINS: 4

CONTAINS: 1

IDEAL 1ST HAND


And that's it. Leave some recommendations and comments, as I take my adventure to build my next deck. Suggestions?

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