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How I placed 2nd at the Shards prerelease

September 29, 2008

1 tournament pack and 3 boosters were sitting in front of me as tables full of people were gawking at the pictures on the front of the boosters and the various Shards of Alara posters on the walls. The judge then told us to commence opening all of our packs and to begin building our decks, we had 30 minutes.

I went into the prerelease wanting to construct a fast based bant/naya/jund mixture with focus on red/green/white mana to maximize on my idea of one of the best cards in Alara, Wild Nacatl. The speed of this cat is nearly untamable and how fast it grows in strength is deadly. The deck I made on saturday luckily had 2 Wild Nacatl in it as well as two Lush Growth and a Rip-Clan Crasher and those would allow me to outrun my opponents in the first three turns while cycling cards like Ridge Rannet. Power-up instants that would grant +3/+3 for two mana were the usual game winners on top of my 5/3 trampling Mosstodon.

My deck was exactly 40 cards to ensure that the cards that I need for victory were coming a lot faster. I also pulled a Sarkhan Vol and only got to use it effectively once due to the speedy reprint of Oblivion Ring and how every person I went against used them wisely. 

The person I went against in the first round eventually got first place even though I had beat him 1-0-1 while running out of time. In the end, when I was awarded 2nd place, I had gone nearly undefeated with only a single loss and one draw.

Grixis was the least popular of the drafted decks, I only saw one person playing it and they got last place. It is probably due to the format in which it is played, it will take many more rare cards like the Prince of Thralls and the Sedraxis Spectre to really kick things into motion for that shard. Bant was very popular as was Naya. Most decks I went against were all colors and two of the decks I went against pulled out an Empyrial Archangel on me which was an unpleasant surprise on the other side of the table.

The part that I enjoyed the most was the atmosphere of shards, it really let people discover a part of a color they normally wouldn’t be playing with. I heard folks saying things like “Wow, Blue and White play absolutely great together. Exhalted and control is a great mix.” and “Jund is exactly what I have been waiting for.” Planeswalkers was the popular part of shards that got people most into going against other decks. Nearly everyone there was unaware of either one or another planeswalker’s existence which made their dramatic entrances onto the playing field even that much better.

Did you go to your local prerelease and what colors did you end up drafting? What did you think of the introduction of mythic rare?


Bon voyage,


One Comment leave one →
  1. October 3, 2008 12:40 am

    I still need to blog about my prerelease report, but I went 5 colors in the first flight and 4 colors in second flight.

    I don’t really like to play so many colors but I had the mana fixers to do so. My first deck was insane with 3 obelisks and 3 fixer lands 🙂

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