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Zendikar Prerelease and Limited Impressions

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As you might have heard, there was a helluva storm in the Philippines yesterday, and I was pretty much stuck at the Titan Hobby Shop for most of the day. Luckily, that meant I get to play in the Zendikar prerelease.

My Zendikar prerelease record: 1-3 =/ I had a decent pool and went with a UW build, but I played too loosely and the stars just weren’t aligned. My pool was very bad value-wise as well, having mostly “nice” rares like [Lullmage Mentor][2] and [Lorthos, the Tidemaker][3].

My sealed pool had [Blade of the Bloodchief][4], which I was a bit skeptical about, but it’s pretty good in a situation where you’re always trading creatures or you have lots of removal. It would probably be lots better in a vampire deck though. The Legendary Octopus was pretty good if you got to untap with it, obviously. I also had [Sphinx of Lost Truths][5] but it was never able to save me in time. The “loot 3” ability isn’t very good when you only have one card in hand, so you better make sure you have a lot of guys to hold the fort while you wait for the seven mana to kick it. [Sphinx of Jwar Isle][6] is a lot better.

I had to face [Sorin Markov][7] in one game, and although he costs six, that first ability is a game breaker, especially against my U/W sealed, which had tons of small guys that easily get eaten by his vampire abilities. I lost that game T_T

I won only one pack (actually I won off a BYE >.<), and the pool was so bad, I sold off the pool and the prize pack (contained Bloodghast) so that I could join a booster draft. Nothing else to do anyway!

I first picked a [Verdant Catacombs][9], but couldn’t get heavily into black. I got some late pick [Bladetusk Boar][10] and found myself settled into RG. I won the draft on the back of my special ability to mana screw opponents, and thus managed to salvage some prize packs from nowhere.

As for Zendikar, I’m still not sure what to make of Zendikar limited. If you get enough cheap allies you can make a blazingly fast deck. The best common ally is in white ([Kazandu Blademaster][11]), but I think it’s possible to build good curves using any color combination of allies, except possibly black which has no 2 or 3-drop ally. I had the red Ally that makes all your guys FTKs, but he never became relevant, six mana may be too high.

[Spire Barrage][12] was a nice late game finisher, obviously way better than [Lava Axe][13]. Red seems ok in Zen limited as there’s a lot of common removal [Burst Lightning][14], [Inferno Trap][15], [Torch Slinger][16] and of course the aforementioned [Spire Barrage][12].

Sealed is a lot slower than draft as usual; I was watching one sealed game where one guy managed to kick [Rite of Replication][17], but he targeted [Shoal Serpent][18] and hoped for the land drop next turn rather than target [Kor Hookmaster][19] to win the game on the spot. I wouldn’t count on the big kicker spells for draft though, they might be too slow.

[Baloth Cage Trap][20] is pretty good; people like to play their [Trusty Machete][21]s and [Expedition Map][22]s early so you have a good chance for early beats. I had a [Scute Mob][23], but never had a good chance to play him. Maybe if I had a [Vines of Vastwood][24].

Okay, enough rambling now. Let’s see if I do well in the release events next week.

[2]: http://magiccards.info/autocard.php?card=Lullmage Mentor [3]: http://magiccards.info/autocard.php?card=Lorthos, the Tidemaker [4]: http://magiccards.info/autocard.php?card=Blade of the Bloodchief [5]: http://magiccards.info/autocard.php?card=Sphinx of Lost Truths [6]: http://magiccards.info/autocard.php?card=Sphinx of Jwar Isle [7]: http://magiccards.info/autocard.php?card=Sorin Markov

[9]: http://magiccards.info/autocard.php?card=Verdant Catacombs [10]: http://magiccards.info/autocard.php?card=Bladetusk Boar [11]: http://magiccards.info/autocard.php?card=Kazandu Blademaster [12]: http://magiccards.info/autocard.php?card=Spire Barrage [13]: http://magiccards.info/autocard.php?card=Lava Axe [14]: http://magiccards.info/autocard.php?card=Burst Lightning [15]: http://magiccards.info/autocard.php?card=Inferno Trap [16]: http://magiccards.info/autocard.php?card=Torch Slinger [17]: http://magiccards.info/autocard.php?card=Rite of Replication [18]: http://magiccards.info/autocard.php?card=Shoal Serpent [19]: http://magiccards.info/autocard.php?card=Kor Hookmaster [20]: http://magiccards.info/autocard.php?card=Baloth Cage Trap [21]: http://magiccards.info/autocard.php?card=Trusty Machete [22]: http://magiccards.info/autocard.php?card=Expedition Map [23]: http://magiccards.info/autocard.php?card=Scute Mob [24]: http://magiccards.info/autocard.php?card=Vines of Vastwood