And so it comes that the newest Magic: The Gathering set is upon us, completing the very atmospheric Innistrad block.
I went to play in both pre-release days at my local `card fixer` store, Outpost Gamecentre in Antwerp. My plan before those two days where to play two colours and throw in as much Soulbound and Miracles as I could get, just to find out how the mechanics went, it was a pre-release after all.
Choice would depend on colours Rare, and day 1 I picked my beloved Blue and filled out with White, as I had the Silverblade Paladin. This bloke gives Double Strike is Soulbounded to both creatures, and is a very good card, potentially game winning.
I went a very decent 3 wins 4 losses, and apart from one game where I had complete manascrew (I laid off 5 lands combined over both rounds...) had a fighting chance in each and every round. The other rares I fielded where the Blue Deadeye Navigator to blink my biggies, and the Angel of Glory`s Rise, not to exile zombies (which will become rare I fear these days with the mass of anti-zombie stuff) but to bring all my by then died humans back on the battlefield.
84 players on day 1... and still that ain`t much, because if Return to Ravnica is going to prove to be as popular as it`s predecessor, people are estimating numbers around the 200 - 300s!!!!! Remember GP Hasselt where WotC needed to go shopping around locally for booster displays because they just didn`t brought enough product for the unseen 1600+ players that set...
Second day I decided to go green / red no matter what, and as I received my pool I had no less then 3 rare reds (Vexing Devil, which will be getting pricey due to his sheer power for standard format. A 4/3 for one red mana which your opponent can only counter by paying 4 life if you have him in your opening hand, the Burn at the Stakes, whom I like but didn`t got a chance to play, and the 4/4 Flying Haste bounce back Archwing Dragon - another card which for it`s 4 mana cost is going to get mighty popular) coupled with the Moonsilver Spear.
Day two was a bit calmer with around 50 players, due to the Outpost quiz having taken place the night before and RL obligations do rear up some times...
After two rounds (I wanted to do it after the first, but didn`t have time) I threw out the green again and cycled in my beloved Blue, as I didn`t even get a chance in those first two rounds, and since that point it went more uphill, resulting still in a decent (for my doing) 2 / 4.
Didn`t get to play any Miracles though, as over none of the days I had one in my pool.
So what did we learn of the new set? Soulbound makes that you don`t have to search for the particular synergy between colours, as you pass on abilities to each other, making even mono colour AND triple colour perfectly viable. It where a 4 colour and a 3 colour decks competing top places over both days in the end.
People can think what they want, but Blue is by far the best colour in this expansion in my opinion. You don`t have the fast attack of red, the big nasties of green or the legion of flying angels of white, but you can alpha strike like hell with the huge amount of bounces and blinks in their range. You will need a second colour for good creatures unless your a purist, but like `in the good old days`, blue is once more the number one pick for secondary colour, they even have a counterspell again for 2 mana for the mid-game in Second Thought.
My plan this whole set is already made up now, I`m drafting blue no matter what, filled out with the colour of a decent rare or uncommon that opens up in the boosters.
And as an extra bonus, the Library of Blue has already 1/3rd of the new cards in it, and I managed to stroke of about a dozen more of the wanted list since pre-releases are a lot of new faces and potential trade exchanges.
So the Hellvault opens....
... and what a disappointment it was. You got a 20-sided dice, a flip token Angel / Demon, and an oversized card of one of the 5 angels. Well, it`s nice promo stuff just `to have`, but they hyped it WAY to much compared to the actual contents.
My loot after the weekend as such where two dice, 3 tokens, and the red white and blue white angels, both donated to a mate`s girlfriend as she is designing a sleeve tattoo using Magic angels.
But I did find and buy this neat little thingie. It`s a special version of the Japanese edition of Jace vs Chandra duel deck... with anime style artwork. I`m still indecisive wether to actually open it or not (yeah yeah, I`m gonna open it, who am I kidding), and I think I might play an `Anime Jace` in my Legacy deck, just because he looks so bloody cool that way...
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