It has been a while since I put up a post here at cmdrshenanagins.wordpress.com, and I apologize for that. It’s kind of what I do, get into something for a little while, hit it hard and heavy then back of dramatically or completely. But I do enjoy writing this blog and so I will come back from time to time, hopefully on a more regular basis. I have an idea for a new deck which is really a re-work of an old deck, though you haven’t seen the original yet. It is a 5-color planeswalker themed deck using Cromat as the commander. I’ve been wanting to re-build it for a long time, but I’ve been having so much fin with my Ghave and Dakkon Blackblade decks that I didn’t want to retire either of them in order to have the cards to re-make the planeswalker deck. However, Dakkon is a little bit too much in the one-trick pony category, and with the release of the new Planechase products I have a new approach to the Planeswalker deck… Cascde! Stay tuned for my next article which will be all about this new deck!
The topic du-jour however, is the pre-release of M13 which happened over this past weekend. Lately I haven’t been playing in pre-releases. I felt that the money was better spent directly on product. However, with M13 I am very excited about the set, and the opportunity presented itself, not just to play the pre-release, but to play on at a store I’ve never played at before, since we were down at the in-law’s condo for the weekend and being nearly albino, my sense of fun does not usually entail sitting on the beach all day which was the plan for the family.
Anyway, Pair-A-Dice games in Vista, CA is a very nice store and they run a pretty tight ship. They ran two flights, one with 32 players (I was in this one) and one with 16 or so players.
My pool was decent, but it took a while to find the deck that I wanted to play out of those cards. Half of my rares were useless, but in the end I was able to squeeze my two mythics; Chandra the Firebrand and Akroma’s Memorial into the deck as well as one other rare Predatory Rampage. In the end I went W/G/r with one mountain and an Evolving Wilds to splash for Chandra and two copies of Searing Spear. I had a small Exalted sub-theme with 4 or 5 exalted cards (I had zero black exalted cards or I would have tried to make the B/W exalted deck.) I also had a couple of great 5-drops in Serra Angel and Acidic Slime, and a couple of large beaters to fill in the high end of the curve (A Duskdale Wurm and the Memorial at 7 cmc, and a Vastwood Gorger at 6.). I also had a ton of 2-drops with three copies of Ajani’s Sunstriker. They were tough at WW, but still managed to do some work.
My other rares included Dragonskull Summit, Mutilate, and Sands of Delirium. I later traded the Mutilate and a few random foils for the last card that I really wanted from Avacyn Restored, Temporal Mastery!
I went 4/1 for the day ending in 4th, probably because my loss was in round 4, and maybe I had too many 3-game matches where others had more 2-game matches to get 3rd. I really don’t know how all that calculates out. I won four packs and (gasp!) opened them to find another Memorial and Nicol Bolas, Planeswalker. I also bought the B/W exalted pre-con and between the Xathrid Gorgon promo card, the one in the pre-con, and the one that I opened in one of the packs in the pre-con, I now have almost a playset. Sadly I don’t think I’ll ever play that card in anything but Commander, so I have two for trade if anyone wants one!
In round 5 I was playing against another G/W deck (seemed popular) and the guy actually asked me “with that deck how the heck have you made it this far?” Well, I had a decent curve, I was running enough mana (17… I almost ran 18 with the tri-colors, but thought better of it in the end,) and I had a great suite of creatures as well as answers… oh, and I wasn’t playing cards like Angel’s Mercy which he was running. (Thank you Limited Resources for helping me with my card evaluation!) I won the first game and he won the second. In the third game I had a decent start, then I kind of stalled and he was able to stabilize, but I was doing ok holding him off. I was holding one card in my hand, Akroma’s Memorial and he wasted his Naturalize on my Angelic Benediction when it wasn’t going to do me any more good. Sweet! I was able to cast the Memorial and attack, bringing him down to 3. I pass turn and he says, “so you lose right?”
“Why is that?” I asked.
“Because I can just fly over and hit you.”
“Sorry, all my guys are flying as well, and first strike, etc…” And with that he conceded the game.
I find with Akroma’s Memorial the opponent often doesn’t keep in mind everything that it does. I caught several people attacking in with red creatures or trying to hit my creatures with instant damage when my guys are pro-red, or attacking in with their first strike guys, forgetting that mine are first strike as well. People made massive play mistakes that probably cost them the game against that card all day long.
Serra Angel as always is a house, especially with one or two instances of exalted on the board. Exalted was simply incredible. I think no matter what I was able to attack into most boards 90% of my attack steps with whichever of my creatures was the most appropriate at the time. And the Angelic Benediction really did some work as well, tapping down that best blocker and leaving the opponent with no good blocks.
I found that the Ring cycle is not that great. I didn’t play them at all, but most of my opponents had at least one on-color one in their deck. It just didn’t do enough work. Most of the time I was holding an answer to kill the creature or the artifact when it got to the stage of being troublesome… and that’s the problem, the impact of the instant effect (trample, hexproof, etc…) is so minor that it really gives you several turns to find an answer as they try to build up counters.
Chronomaton was better than I thought it would be. I didn’t run one, but I played against a couple. It’s hard to attack into that if he has 1 mana up and the thing untapped, as he can block, then tap it to add a counter and trade or maybe even survive the attack. It was more annoying to me than anything though.
In the end I really like the set, and I had a great day at my pre-release! I would love to read in the comments from the readers about their pre-releases as well! I can’t wait until next weekend when I get to rip into my box (or boxes if I get enough value in the first.)