Monday, February 7, 2011

First Impressions: MBS Prerelease, Booster Box, Draft. In that order.

So the new set is officially out, and I've had the chance to play a few games with the new cards. I attended the prerelease last weekend, and though I didn't perform nearly as well as I typically do, it was quite a lot of fun, and I am glad I went.

Midnight Friday I fought for the Mirrans and opened a Hero of the Bladehold (in addition to the promo handed out!) and went 3-1. Not bad, really, but that only got me three packs. Other than the hero my pulls were all less than stellar, but I traded for a Consecrated Sphinx, so that made up for it.

Saturday afternoon, I turned traitor and played Phryexia (mostly to get the other promo, now that I had two Hero's already). I ended up opening the Massacre Wurm and a Koth of the Hammer, so I was utterly thrilled with that, even though I walked away with a single pack in winnings after an abysmal 1-3 record.

This weekend, depsite Snowmageddon I was able to acquire a booster box of MBS, and had a few friends over for a casual draft. Before hand, I sat aside the 12 packs we'd need for draft purposes and cracked the other 24... I was quite happy with the results.

Four Mythic pulls including: Thrun, the Last Troll, Consecrated Sphinx, Praetor's Councel, and Hero of Oxid Ridge. Thrun and the Hero are pretty exciting constructed cards, while the EDH player in me was super-happy to get a second Sphinx and the Councel. And despite my rather "meh" opinion on the red Hero, I have revised my opinion somewhat, but more on that later...

As for the rest of the box, I managed to snag two Phryexian Rebirths, two Black Sun's Zeniths, a Mirrorworks, a Phryrexian Revoker (I dislike it, but it should be good trade fodder), Creeping Corrosion, Slagstorm (another card that will likely be sought after by Type 2 players here), and a Phryexian Crusader! Not too shabby at all. Regardless of the street value of some of these cards (Phryexian Rebirth is a $1 card? Really?!) many of them will either be very playable EDH cards, and if I can't find some other deck for the rest, they will be decent trade fodder.

As for the set itself, it doesn't really bring alot of new ideas to the table, mostly just expanding on ideas presented in Scars. It has a couple new mechanics, one of which is Battle Cry, which I like quite a bit, but isn't really all that new. It's a combat mechanic in the same vein as Exalted, so it doesn't really feel that new or exciting. That said, I got to play some Battle Cry in my Mirran deck at the prerelease.

It was rather fun, I admit, even if it wasn't an entirely new or unique experience. Oh, but I was going to talk about Hero of Oxid Ridge...

In my EDH review I kinda dissed it, saying I didn't understand why it was a Mythic. Well, I still think the guy is pretty unplayably for EDH, but I can at least see why he's a Mythic. In my sealed deck, every time I cast any creature with Battle Cry, I was wishing like hell that it had Haste. So many times getting that +1/+0 bonus right off the bat would have been amazing. Hero of the Blade Hold is still quite a bit better, but I now understand what Haste means on the Oxid Ridge hero. So I might have underestimated him a bit, at least for non-EDH purposes.

BTW, I have a Koth of the Hammer and a Hero of Oxid Ridge for trade if anyone is interested - as good as they are I don't really play mono-red, so I'd be happy to swap them for something more EDH worthy.

So, the draft... it was fun, at least for me. I pulled two shitty blue rares, but got passed a Victory's Herald (ok, it's crap elsewhere, but it's a Limited HOUSE!) and a Sangromancer. Both were great life-gaining flyers, so that coupled with the fact that I was the only player with any real amount of Infect in my deck meant that I had a HUGE life advantage over my opponents. They were all attacking my 20 life, while I was effectively only trying to deal 10.. so when one of my lifegainers came down it was even more of a one-sided battle.

In my third pack, I cracked a Green Sun's Zenith, so holy shit 2x Black and 1 Green? Fuckin' A! Got a Red one as well, but that one isn't as exciting.

Other players opened, among other things, a Mirran Crusader (so one of each in the box, nice) a foil Myr Welder, a Shimmer Myr (which I wanted for my Sharuum deck for a minute, then realized I kinda hated the deck, so never mind) the Sangromancer (which I ended up with), a Galvanoth and another Mirrorworks, so it was a fantastic box overall.

My deck was basically a black/white deck with a handfull of Infect guys, a few bomb-ass flyers, and so much goddamn removal I actually had to leave some in the board. In fact I had more non-creature spells than creatures in the deck, which is not something I'd normally do, but it worked amazingly well this time. It was a fun deck, and I hope I can draft something like it in a real tournament sometime.

So with an influx of new cards, hopefully I can start building and playing more, thus generating new content for the blog, but there weren't really too many cards that would inspire whole new decks - that's typical of a second set, so no biggie, but Scars of Mirrodin had me just bursting with ideas, while this set is more about "What can I use to beef up existing archetypes". Third sets usually have a bit more of a twist to them, with more unique cards to build around, so hopefully whatever the next set turns out to be will get my creativity flowing a bit more.

In the mean time, I have decided that neither the Sharuum deck nor the Sek'Kuar deck are really my cup of tea, so I need to dismantle them and rebuild. I was hoping not to do that until the EDH precons come out, but it seems unavoidable at this point. I just don't like them much.

Now I just need to figure out what to do: I could rebuild one of my old decks, taking a proven list and updating it with new goodies, or try something totally new. Or maybe rebuild one old deck, and one totally new deck... choices, choices!

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