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Subject: Suggestions for my first Prerelease rss

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Cyrus the Great
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I'm going to my first Prerelease Saturday at my FLGS. It's M12 Sealed Deck. Any tips for me as I'm going to my first tournament-style event or cards/decks to look out for in M12? I'm familiar with the format and in terms of general MTG experience, so I don't need any basic tips on how to play. Thanks!
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Chris Stanton
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Find a spoiler list online somewhere & have a good read through.
Main things to pick out from there are- Typical casting cost per colour, Typical P/T in the set, Any evasion & which colour dominates that (Flying, Landwalk etc) & where/how much removal is there.
You'll want to focus attention on the Commons & Uncommons- be aware of bomb Rares without worrying about them overly- there won't be that many in the field.

Take with you pen & paper & some (preferably new) sleeves

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Cyrus the Great
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I've given it a good look, and I will some more. I would not have known to bring sleeves-I will definitely do that, thank you.
 
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Jeff Wiles
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Toc13 wrote:


Take with you pen & paper & some (preferably new) sleeves



+1

Despite all temptations to do otherwise, build a 40 card deck.
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Eric Jome
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jeffwiles wrote:
Despite all temptations to do otherwise, build a 40 card deck.


2 colors
17 land
15 creatures
8 other cards
average converted mana cost about 3
creature removal and creatures with evasion
avoid cards with more than 2 mana symbols in their cost
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Daniel Gonzales
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Don't go over 40 cards no matter what, and try to avoid playing three or more colors (it's doable, but more consistent the less colors you have).
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J A
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cosine wrote:
jeffwiles wrote:
Despite all temptations to do otherwise, build a 40 card deck.


2 colors
17 land
15 creatures
8 other cards
average converted mana cost about 3
creature removal and creatures with evasion
avoid cards with more than 2 mana symbols in their cost


The above bolded is of course wrong if you open a Garruk, Overrun and a bunch of good green stuff.
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Chris C.
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It's a pre-release and not a draft format so do not get too excited about one good rare. There will always be the person who gets the phenom packs and will smack u down with his 3 mythic rares. Its nice to win, but I usually go just to get the foil promo and to feel out the set.

Bring a book!
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Andy Stout
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Biggest uncommon bombs are Overrun, Mind Control, and any of the three 4/4 fliers. Core sets typically are pretty bomb-oriented formats, as there's less opportunity for synergy and the commons tend to be a little weaker than for expansion sets, so stuff like Distress and Negate (especially if you're facing an Overrun, Mind Control, or planeswalker) is significantly better than usual.

Anyway, unrelated to all that: be aware that there are a lot of jerky Magic players out there, and I say this as a huge fan of the game and tournaments. You're bound to face at least one asshole and one fun guy; focus on the fun guy.

Do NOT assume that your opponents read or play cards correctly. Or that they won't cheat. Watch them like a hawk, and verify everything they do.

Good luck!
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Simon Tan
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The spoiler list will give you an edge, though you're probably still going to be surprised from time to time. The list is more to help cut down deckbuilding time and give you a quicker idea on which ones are good and which ones are not. Try not to worry too much about what your opponents might have; rather, worry more about what you have as that is in your control.

Complete card list here.

Forty cards, including 17 lands, is pretty much de facto here. You'll want to stick to two colors as much as possible, though you might want to be open to the possibility of 2-3 cards of a third color if the cards aren't exactly what you want.

Finally, if you open two or more planeswalkers, ask if you can drop before having to pass the cards.
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Angelo Nikolaou
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1) You will need about 45 sleeves, 40 for your deck and 5 for your often-used sideboard cards. No lands are required, they keep stock. Also, take with you a way to count life totals (paper and pen, dice) and a few counters if possible.

2) You will open 6 boosters. Sort them by color. Then from each color take out the 'wow' cards and consider which colors to play, based on what you see and what you want to play.

'Wow' cards are, in the following order:
a) Big, powerful creatures that can win the game by themselves if not dealt with (bombs)
b) Planeswalkers, they are great in any deck
c) Cards that get rid of opponent's creatures, either by damage, destroying, exile, permanent tapping or stealing (removal). Returning to hand doesn't count
d) Creatures with flying, unblockability or fear (evasion) or first strike
e) Any instants that can give you the edge in combat, such as +x/+x, sudden first strike, protection etc (combat tricks)

3) Once you decide the colors you want to play, make a preliminary deck by putting cards in front of you that you are considering playing.

Make several rows of creatures for each casting cost so that you can see each card. Also a row for noncreature spells. Something like this:



4) Now, decide your deck's main strategy, attack or defense. Do you want to go full out aggressive, attacking early and killing defense to win early? Do you want to slow down until you draw your bombs and evasion creatures? Once you decide what you want to do, it is easier to decide what cards you want to play. For example, a 1/4 creature for 2 mana or a 2/1 for 2 mana?

Remember, though, that defensive decks need a few cheap creatures to block against fast decks, and aggressive decks need a few expensive cards as backup plan if the original plan doesn't work

5) Start removing cards from your deck until you reach the magic number 23. Preferably 15 creatures and 8 spells, as another suggested, but that is a general guideline, you can go +2/-2 depending on the cards you choose

In some cases you won't be able to reach 23. At worst case scenario, stay at 25

6) Add 17 lands. If your deck is very cheap (nothing costing more than 4) you can add 16. For every 2 spells that produce mana you can remove 1 land

After these steps, you should have a 40-41 card deck ready to compete
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Cyrus the Great
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I should have been more clear-I have drafted Sealed many times before, and I know how to build a deck. Don't worry-I've seen plenty of "accidental" cheating by the Magic-only players at my weekly boardgame groups, and I will be watching as closely as I can. Will there be a judge present or not? Looking at the spoiler, there doesn't seem to be a whole lot of junk rares-should I go with my rares/mythics if I'm lucky and build from there, or should I be looking for strong commons/uncommons? (All my Sealed experience has been from drafting a common and uncommon cube, so I know how to build a deck but not how to handle bomb rares.)
 
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Cyrus the Great
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One question-what did you mean by "Finally, if you open two or more planeswalkers, ask if you can drop before having to pass the cards."?
 
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Simon Tan
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Renaissance Man wrote:
I should have been more clear-I have drafted Sealed many times before, and I know how to build a deck. Don't worry-I've seen plenty of "accidental" cheating by the Magic-only players at my weekly boardgame groups, and I will be watching as closely as I can. Will there be a judge present or not? Looking at the spoiler, there doesn't seem to be a whole lot of junk rares-should I go with my rares/mythics if I'm lucky and build from there, or should I be looking for strong commons/uncommons? (All my Sealed experience has been from drafting a common and uncommon cube, so I know how to build a deck but not how to handle bomb rares.)


There will probably be more than one judge present.

Bomb rares are, well, rare. I would probably use it in conjunction with strong uncommons and commons; see if there are enough playables to go along with the bombs. If you have to choose between a bomb rare that is not splashable and three or four decent cards, and seven or eight good commons and uncommons, I would go with the latter, then see if the former can be made into a splash or third color; if not, I would save it for the trade binder.

Renaissance Man wrote:
One question-what did you mean by "Finally, if you open two or more planeswalkers, ask if you can drop before having to pass the cards."?


This was meant to be a sort of joke, but from where I usually play, most players have a good grasp of which cards sell the most on pre-release day. Usually, the judges present will ask players wanted to drop from the pre-release (and keep the cards they opened) before exchanging sealed pools, then the guy who drops will either sell off the expensive stuff and join the next pre-release pod, or keep the stuff for himself since he "broke even."

With the possible exception of Sorin, the planeswalkers will sell pretty well, as will the Titans. This is only from a purely selfish monetary standpoint...
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Pete Lane
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Renaissance Man wrote:
One question-what did you mean by "Finally, if you open two or more planeswalkers, ask if you can drop before having to pass the cards."?


Some places make you open up the packs you are given, register the deck, then you pass those packs to another player. You then build the deck from what is passed to you. So what he's saying is "you open money cards, drop."

BUT, many shops don't do this, as prereleases have basically become very casual events. It's a way to prevent cheating more than anything, but I've only seen one shop locally that even bothers with deck registration. They also get 100+ people playing so that's likely why.

In fact, you really only see registration/passing happen at pro level events around here anymore. I wouldn't be shocked if some cities see it happen more often if they've had issues with cheating.
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Chris Stanton
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There should be a judge available- even if it's just the store owner & they'll have the set FAQ & any other necessary documents. Don't be afraid to call on them if you feel the need.

If you get a bomb rare, have a check what supporting cards there are in it's colour(s). If there's enough support (or you have enough in your secondary colour) then by all means run it. If you'd be making your deck weaker overall, don't be afraid to leave it out.
Rares aren't necessarily the most powerful cards- they're the most complicated (well, that's the design intention anyway)

The main thing is to relax & have fun- that's mostly what the pre-release is about.
 
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Cyrus the Great
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I went and had a great time. I went 3-2 with a UB deck, mostly on the back of a Grave Titan (without it I probably would have gone 1-4 or thereabouts, as my other rares included Scrambleverse, Warstorm Surge, Monomania, and Chandra's Pheonix with only two burn spells.) I played one "fun guy," three perfectly nice (and mostly oderless) people, and one absolute class-A jerk. The guy who ended up winning had a similar UB deck, but with (get this) Djinn of Wishes, Royal Assassin, Vengeful Pharaoh, Drowned Catacomb, and Rune-Scarred Demon. Yeah. He went 5-0 (and 10-2 in individual games.) I was happy to beat him once. Overall, I was happy with my record and had a great time. I will definitely be going to more Prereleases (especially since this store starts theirs at 11 AM, not midnight.)
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