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Shards of Alara Prerelease Approach

September 24, 2008

This saturday I will be attending the Shards of Alara prerelease at a near-local card shop (40 minutes away) and I have been trying to figure what approach would be best to succeed in it. The format will be set up with the Single tournament pack (which is interesting because every rare inside has a 1 in 8 chance of being a mythic rare) and some boosters, so you will have a nice base for your deck. An interesting part of Shards of Alara obviously is the heavy hitting gold cards that you will need to utilize if you want to have a glimmer of hope for winning. Tri-lands and good mana producers will be the cards to sway your path. Getting to play those heavily overpowered gold cards will be your path to victory. The way you will be seeing cards is either two colors or three colors, but those two color cards are the versatile ones that will more reoccurring. A card with RG casting cost will be able to fit in Jund and Naya themed decks and that is what you should be looking for as a base. Rip-Clan Crasher is a must card for your prerelease needs. Each of the five shards have interesting casting cost cards for beating down your opponents and doing so without any trouble in the mana department. Lets take a look at these two cards 

(click on cards to enlarge them) Each shard has an obelisk and a tri-land that assists the mana curve very well so getting out something like a Godsire isn’t as difficult as you would have originally thought. Also playing those ‘ultimatum’ cards aren’t extremely tedious either. Each shard is very similar yet very different and choosing which shard you want to play with is usually up to the luck of your packs, but when I say ‘Wild Nacatl’ and the rest of the Naya herd is a force to reckoned with, you better believe it (especially with ‘Lush Growth’).

       I have been racking my brain over this set and everything that has been going on inside of it. I would like to say that my previous thoughts on Bant’s mechanic ‘exhalted’ has changed. While focusing on attacking with only one creature, may not be white’s style of play, it is actually very defensive in a way, which is white’s style. Imagine this: You control 5 creatures and an enchanment

The Waveskimmer Aven, Akrasan Squire, Angelic Benediction and Sigiled Paladin with exhalted will give a lone attacking Jhessian Infiltrator +4/+4, and will hit for 6 damage unblocked. Now think about how many blockers you will have during your opponent’s turn. The Deft Duelist and Sigiled Paladin will be intimidating first strikers, and having a flier ready for combat isn’t bad. It is essentially a really great wall that will assault together the moment they can get their opponents life into the red zone.

I also got the Guide to Alara in the mail last week but haven’t had the time to scan in pictures or anything. I have been quite the social butterfly lately and I also got a job at a museum along with being a college student, oh the grandeur! Also if you are into music at all I suggest you check out Department of Eagles and their new album “In Ear Park”.

Coming soon, I have interviews with Gabriel Nassif (2004 magic player of the year) and Jacob Van Lunen (writer of the building on a budget column for the magic site) on the way for you with their thoughts on Shards of Alara and other little magic/non-magic related stuff!

Bon Voyage,

Dillon

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