M15 Prerelease: “Pooling it” together
Sealed events are often the most challenging. They are one of the most random ways to play magic and playing prerelease can be one of the most fun experiences you might have, especially now that Wizards of the Coast has decided to push for seeded packs.
Now before I begin with my experience, I will vent a little about my frustration with these seeded packs. For Return to Ravnica, I thought they were a welcome experience because they guaranteed some mana fixing and with all the color combinations, it wasn’t too odd to splash into your chosen color. However, with the recent sets (especially this core set), I prefer the freedom you had making your own deck out of six packs. I feel like I forced myself into white because of the prerelease card. The seeded pack itself, wasn’t that “seeded” and I would have personally rather have had a fresh pack with a better chance of opening a planeswalker or a random rare.
That said, the event was incredibly fun and I do understand Wizard’s push into taking complete randomness out of the events as this is geared as a fun way to grab casual players.
Now, coming into the event, I was mostly unaware of any of the new cards. I went into the event thinking the blue prerelease rare worked like a clone. I wasn’t the only person who thought this as well. This issue was made worse as I decided to go with a Korean prerelease pack. Even with a tablet with visual spoilers at my disposal, it left me incredibly unprepared. As I was opening my packs, I didn’t really notice the great blue pool I was getting:
I mostly ignored how some of these cards would have worked really well with either Invader Species (if I chose to go with green) or with a lot of the white weenies I had (if I chose to stay with my prerelease color). I was mostly distracted by these guys:
The whole prerelease was centered around one of my favorite planeswalkers and I had nostalgia feels from playing a beast from one of my favorite blocks. In sealed, however, both can’t hold a deck together unless there is enough synergy. While Garruk did ensure my victory if I was ever able to cast him in time (7 mana felt impossible to get to), Soul of Zendikar merely felt like a nice fatty. Five mana is a huge investment to put out a 3/3. Most of my opponents had faster, more evasive creatures that didn’t care about a turn 7 overcosted Centaur Glade machine.
Both white and green felt mediocre. I didn’t open any removal in either of those colors except a six mana cost Banisher Priest. While Spirit Bonds was great when it got online, it merely offered chump blockers. Since I was playing the card in Korean, I also kept paying 1W to activate the abilities instead of W. As my mistakes grew, my sloppiness also increased and if I make it to the next prerelease of Khaan, I will need to learn these lessons:
1) Learn the language or know the cards:
Having a tablet or phone helped translating some of the text, but having to do this for several cards while you open packs is time consuming and eats away at myself creating my own deck. I like to approach deckbuilding in a holistic approach; I like to see what sort of options I have and then start dwindling my options from there.
2) Don’t rely on those power rares:
It was a George Michael song that said “Sometimes the clothes don’t make the man.” Similarly, rares and mythics don’t make the deck. While green did offer Garruk and Soul of Zendikar, I do think having a deck with better removal would have helped. Blue didn’t have much, but it was sure better than a 7-drop murder.
Had I followed those rules, I might have ended up with a better deck. Heck, I may not have included a seven drop overrun that did nothing for me in any of my matches (I thought it was instant speed). Regardless, the Timmy player in me was absolutely thrilled at throwing down Garruk, Apex Predator, even if it got countered.