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Alara Reborn Release

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Alara Reborn is finally available locally! For a while I thought about heading to Baguio for the King of the North tournament, but the fact is I have no standard deck ready at the moment. Besides, I wanted to practice sealed deckbuilding for the upcoming Bangkok GPTs, so this morning I was sleeving up a 40-card deck at Robinson’s Galleria.

And the rest of the pool:

After the debacle with last week’s manabase during the prerelease, I was more conservative with the colors. I resisted the urge to go for the additional removal offered by red and Terminate. [Lord of Extinction][2] and [Behemoth Sledge][3] were very tempting though, since they’re outright bombs.

My only two-drops were 2 [Grixis Grimblade][4]; based on some of my math analysis during the past week I would need at least 6-7 of each mana source for a 2-color card to have a 70% chance of being able to cast it on turns 2-3, so I went with 6 islands, 5 swamp and the borderpost. Between the [Jungle Shrine][5], the [Obelisk of Bant][6] and the [Wildfield Borderpost][7], I figured I had enough green sources to support the 2-card splash, especially since both cards don’t need to be played early. I put in plains for the remainder of the lands and felt quite satisfied with the mana.

Round 1

I open with [Grixis Grimblade][4] into [Grixis Grimblade][4]. I see [Spellbreaker Behemoth][8] and [Madrush Cyclops][9] but I have removal and the Grimblades go all the way. Second game went even faster.

2-0 games, 1-0 rounds

Round 2

Game one I take an early lead and lay down Scourglass for security. He shows me [Karthus, Tyrant of Jund][11] taking me to six. During my upkeep, I wipe with the Scourglass then lay down [Lord of Extinction][2] and [Master of Etherium][12] to go for the kill next turn. He untaps and shows me [Vengeful Rebirth][13] and we’re shuffling for game two.

Game two I have a 12/12 [Lord of Extinction][2] and he eventually runs out of chump blockers.

Game three, we’re trading on board, but I get a slight advantage with Shieldmages and he’s down to seven. I have [Cloudhearth Drake][14] and [Glassdust Hulk][15]. Eventually I go [Lord of Extinction][2] into [Sharuum the Hegemon][16] bringing back [Ethersworn Shieldmage][17], then declare combat. He thinks about hitting the Drake with [Intimidation Bolt][18] but realizes the Shieldmage protects the Drake so he tells me to swing and moves to block…

… but I point out the Glassdust Hulk is 5/6 and unblockable due to Sharuum. He can’t block either the Hulk nor the Drake so I take the win.

4-1 games, 2-0 rounds

Round 3

His deck is quick and aggressive, and we exchange close games one and two. However, in game three he curves out with [Goblin Deathraiders][19] into [Hissing Iguanar][20] into [Sewn-Eye Drake][21]. I put up some token resistance but in the end may hand was just too slow.

5-3 games, 2-1 rounds

Round 4

First game was [Glassdust Hulk][15] into [Behemoth Sledge][3] ftw!

Second game was [Grixis Grimblade][4] into [Grixis Grimblade][4] into [Tower Gargoyle][22] into [Behemoth Sledge][3] for another quick win.

7-3 games, 3-1 rounds

Didn’t get the 4-0, but still in terms of deck building this one was a lot better than what I did with the prerelease sealed pool. I’m thinking more clearly in terms of how to allocate the mana and how I’m going to play the early drops.

Next week is constructed (Regionals), but I don’t have any deck lined up yet and will most likely cook something up the day before. I’ll probably be playing something simple, aggro, red or all of the above. We’ll see next week.

[2]: http://magiccards.info/autocard.php?card=Lord of Extinction [3]: http://magiccards.info/autocard.php?card=Behemoth Sledge [4]: http://magiccards.info/autocard.php?card=Grixis Grimblade [5]: http://magiccards.info/autocard.php?card=Jungle Shrine [6]: http://magiccards.info/autocard.php?card=Obelisk of Bant [7]: http://magiccards.info/autocard.php?card=Wildfield Borderpost [8]: http://magiccards.info/autocard.php?card=Spellbreaker Behemoth [9]: http://magiccards.info/autocard.php?card=Madrush Cyclops

[11]: http://magiccards.info/autocard.php?card=Karthus, Tyrant of Jund [12]: http://magiccards.info/autocard.php?card=Master of Etherium [13]: http://magiccards.info/autocard.php?card=Vengeful Rebirth [14]: http://magiccards.info/autocard.php?card=Cloudhearth Drake [15]: http://magiccards.info/autocard.php?card=Glassdust Hulk [16]: http://magiccards.info/autocard.php?card=Sharuum the Hegemon [17]: http://magiccards.info/autocard.php?card=Ethersworn Shieldmage [18]: http://magiccards.info/autocard.php?card=Intimidation Bolt [19]: http://magiccards.info/autocard.php?card=Goblin Deathraiders [20]: http://magiccards.info/autocard.php?card=Hissing Iguanar [21]: http://magiccards.info/autocard.php?card=Sewn-Eye Drake [22]: http://magiccards.info/autocard.php?card=Tower Gargoyle