Wearing dice on my head since 2008 Programmer, engineer, scientist, critic, gamer, dreamer, and kid-at-heart. Randomly amazed.

Conflux Prerelease

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magic-the-gathering

It’s my first Magic outing after more than a month of hibernation. Hopefully Conflux shakes up standard and makes Magic more fun again. Let’s go!

Usually I have to register an awesome pool and then get passed a mediocre one. I knew it was different this time around when the guy two seats to my right announced he was able to form a good Naya deck from the Shards of Alara packs alone! As fate would have it, we passed pools two seats to the left and I got that pool, which mostly built itself:

_I need to find a way to format these decklists better… _

The deck’s plan was basically early game skirmish with small exalted guys, use [Wall of Reverence][1] to survive midrange before I let loose with huge 5-power and up fatties. Oh, and hitting a turn 3 Woolly Thoctar is pretty good too – which I managed to do in all of the rounds I won. I really wanted to use the [Maelstrom Archangel][2] but sadly there was not enough support.

Round 1

Game one we play draw-go for a while and trade creatures unless I go with [Spearbreaker Behemoth][3] into Godsire which earned the concession.

Game two I keep a hand with six lands and a [Woolly Thoctar][5]. The third-turn beast pretty much went all the way!

1-0 matches, 2-0 games

Round 2

I’m playing the guy who was two seats to my left during deck registration, and my lifetime match record against him is somewhere in the range of 1-20 in his favor. This round is no exception to the trend, as my deck fails to perform. I sandbag an [Oblivion Ring][6] for too long instead of using it to take out his [Scepter of Dominance][7]. I was holding it back for any super bomb creatures, but I remembered that I was the one who registered his pool. I should have known he had no super bomb creatures!

1-1 matches, 2-2 games

Ah, the elusive 4-0. When will I taste it again?

Round 3

Game one goes long, as we both have answers to each others threats, and I had gained around 30ish life from my [Wall of Reverence][1]. While my wall is holding him back, he gums up the board with [Vithian Stinger][8] and [Scattershot Archers][9], preventing me from playing my hapless 1/1 exalted dudes that just hang around in my hand. Eventually, he shows me Malfegor from his hand and discards four lands, wiping my board. He doesn’t manage to kill me, but between cyclers and card drawers I ran out of cards in my library before I could push through the last few points to win.

I hated having the stupid 1/1s stuck in my hand so I sideboarded with: -2 [Aven Squire][11], -1 [Sighted-Caste Sorcerer][12], -1 [Akrasan Squire][13], +2 [Celestial Purge][14], +1 [Savage Hunger][15], +1 [Dark Temper][16], going into a more controllish build.

Game two, I have a forest and a plains and a [Woolly Thoctar][5] in my opener, and I dutifully play plains and forest on the first two turns. On the third turn, I announce “Mountain” before ripping it off the top and playing the third turn Thoctar. He eventually manages to wipe me with Malfegor again, but I was too far ahead and managed to eke out the win anyway.

Game three, I know we’re short on time so I try to play quickly. We’re trading creatures again, but I manage to stabilize with [Wall of Reverence][1] and [Exuberant Firestoker][17] in play. I need to make a crucial decision when he plays out [Fleshbag Marauder][18] with around two minutes left on the clock (the flight judge was sitting beside us showing us the timer). Keeping the wall helps me live longer, but I had Godsire in hand and the Exuberant meant I just needed to wait for two more lands, so I sac the wall, playing to win.

Sure enough, with barely seven seconds left on the clock, I rip the seventh land, play the Godsire and say “End of turn, you take two from Exuberant, go!”. That drops him to 15 and gives me three extra turns to end it with the Godsire. He thinks real hard on his turn, then lays down [Spearbreaker Behemoth][3] to stand in the way. I untap in the first extra turn and show him the last card in my hand – [Oblivion Ring][6]. His Behemoth goes bye-bye and I deal nine damage in the red zone, plus two damage from the Exuberant, dropping him to four. He untaps, draws his card, shakes his head and offers the handshake.

That game was a rush…

2-1 matches, 4-3 games

Round 4

Game one he leads with [Rip-clan Crasher][19] into [Dragon Fodder][20], but I stabilize with third-turn Thoctar (again) and take control of the game from there, despite getting wiped by [Volcanic Fallout][21]

I board the same way I did in round two. I don’t want to give too much card advantage to [Volcanic Fallout][21]!

Game two goes by quickly in his favor, as he starts with Rip-clan and Goblin tokens again but this time I don’t draw the needed lands to stabilize.

Now, I’ve been choosing to draw instead of play all this time, and I stick to that decision in game three, despite the mad aggro rush I got hit with in the second game. We both mulligan to six, and he keeps his hand. But I see only one land in my six-carder so I send it back. Five cards yields no lands at all, and finally I keep 2 plains, [Oblivion Ring][6] and [Savage Hunger][15]. This was not a good way for me to end the day!

Fortunately, he had kept a subpar six, drawing his red mana only on turn three, giving me time to cycle into more lands and business spells. I eventually manage to hit [Woolly Thoctar][5] and [Wall of Reverence][1] together, stabilizing the board with an extra five life gained per turn and eventually manage to eke out the win. Winning from a mulligan to four is always nice!

3-1 matches, 6-4 games

Wrap-up

Not a bad prerelease, and Conflux looks fun, but I’m not too sure how good the five-color cards will be once Alara Reborn comes out. [Celestial Purge][14] is pretty awesome and I think it’s even better than [Path to Exile][22] which is really bad in the early turns. I would have maindecked it if not for the possibility of being a dead card against Bant decks. If only it had cycling! Sad that we did not open any Banefire.

Still not sure if I’ll be playing constructed again anytime soon…

[1]: http://magiccards.info/autocard.php?card=Wall of Reverence [2]: http://magiccards.info/autocard.php?card=Maelstrom Archangel [3]: http://magiccards.info/autocard.php?card=Spearbreaker Behemoth

[5]: http://magiccards.info/autocard.php?card=Woolly Thoctar [6]: http://magiccards.info/autocard.php?card=Oblivion Ring [7]: http://magiccards.info/autocard.php?card=Scepter of Dominance [8]: http://magiccards.info/autocard.php?card=Vithian Stinger [9]: http://magiccards.info/autocard.php?card=Scattershot Archers

[11]: http://magiccards.info/autocard.php?card=Aven Squire [12]: http://magiccards.info/autocard.php?card=Sighted-Caste Sorcerer [13]: http://magiccards.info/autocard.php?card=Akrasan Squire [14]: http://magiccards.info/autocard.php?card=Celestial Purge [15]: http://magiccards.info/autocard.php?card=Savage Hunger [16]: http://magiccards.info/autocard.php?card=Dark Temper [17]: http://magiccards.info/autocard.php?card=Exuberant Firestoker [18]: http://magiccards.info/autocard.php?card=Fleshbag Marauder [19]: http://magiccards.info/autocard.php?card=Rip-clan Crasher [20]: http://magiccards.info/autocard.php?card=Dragon Fodder [21]: http://magiccards.info/autocard.php?card=Volcanic Fallout [22]: http://magiccards.info/autocard.php?card=Path to Exile

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