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Subject: Innistrad Prerelease Sealed Deck Report rss

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Stephen Coney
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This Saturday I went to my first Magic event - the Innistrad Prerelease in Zagreb, Croatia. There were about thirty of us there. It was a lot of fun and the set is a great one. It's a little slower than some others, which I think is good. I have composed a list of my card pool (this was a sealed deck tournament), and will put it towards to bottom of this post, since its pretty long - the set is new and so I'm including card descriptions as well as names (modified from delirimouse's great set review here: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/702088/innistrad-limited...)

My newbieness showed up in that I hadn't even decided on my colors when I heard that I had only ten minutes left. I went with green and white. Here is the deck:

Creatures: 15
2 Ambush Viper 1g 2/1 Flash Deathtouch
Darkthicket Wolf 1g 2/2 (pay 2g: gets +2/+2 til end of turn)
Festerhide Boar 3g 3/3 Trample (if creat. died this turn, gets 2 +1/+1)
Grizzled Outcasts 4g 4/4 transforms into a 7/7
2 Chapel Geist 1ww 2/3 Flying
Doomed Traveler w 1/1 when dies, put a 1/1 flying spirit token into play
2 Elderr Cathar 2w 2/2 when dies, put a 1/1 on creature, in creature is human, put 2 +1/+1
2 Thraben Sentry 3w 2/2 Vigilance, transforms into 5/4 Trample when one of your creatures dies
Unruly Mob 1w 1/1 When creature you control dies, put +1/+1 on U. Mob
Geistcathcer's Rig 6 4/5 When enters BF, may do 4 damage to flyer

Other: 8
Prey Upon g Sorcery Creature I control fights creature I don't control
Bramblecrush 2gg Sorcery destroy noncreature permenant
Moment of Heroism 1w Instant Target creature gets +2/+2 and lifelink till end of turn
2 Rebuke 2w Instant: Destroy target attacking creature
Demonmail Hauberk 4 Artifact: Equipped creat. gets +4/+2 to equip, sac a creature
Blazing Torch 1 Artifact: Equipped creat. can't be blcked by vamps or zombies and has "tap and sac Blazing Torch to deal 2 damage to creat or player.
Gutter Grime 4g Enchantment: Whenever a nontoken creature you control dies, put a slime counter on GG, then put a green Ooze creature token with "this creature's power and toughness are equal to the number of slime counters on Gutter Grime."
Lands: 17

For those who are just skimming to get a general picture of what the set was like I’ll say this about the flip mechanic. I enjoyed it and didn’t see any problems caused by it. However, I had little problem with flip cards. Keeper of the Bloodline (of which I faced 2), wasn’t as game-ending as I had feared, but this was mostly because my opponents didn’t always use him properly – one forgot to tap for his free Vampire several times and the other attacked because I lacked fliers and was killed when I played Spidery Grasp on one of my defenders. The werewolves I found easy to keep flipped to their human side. I was only attacked by a werewolf one time. That time I looked at my hand and saw that I had a pair of spells that I could play to flip them back (Moment of Heroism and Corpse Lunge), but while I was playing them I realized that I would kill both of them anyway, so it didn’t matter! Playing against Ludevic’s Abomination was fun. I just reserved Victim of Night and waited until it had 5 counters on it, then buried it. Ah, satisfaction.

My first match was against a serious player who went on to do well in the tournament. I lost two in a row, but had had some mana problems (way too much) and felt okay about the loss. He looked at my deck and said that it looked pretty good. He suggested an alternative consisting of black and blue if I wanted to change. I didn't. He also suggested a few minor changes, such as putting Spidery Grasp, Somberwald Spider 4g 2/4, and Make a wish into the deck and removing Bramblecrush and something else, it didn't matter because of the nature of the next match.

My second match was against a guy with a blue and black deck. He had both a Undead Alchemist and a Bloodline Keeper. The Undead Alchemist meant that the damage from his zombies was replaced by me discarding a card from my library and exiling all creatures discarded. He put a 2/2 zombie into play for every creature exiled. He eventually milled me. It was painful to watch. This is why it didn't matter which cards had been added to the deck, because they got milled. However, I was able to destroy the Undead Alchemist using Moment of Heroism and the Bloodline Keeper with Spidery Grasp. I still lost.

Going into the third match, I was unsatisfied with the deck. I found the Ambush Vipers useful, but the Morbid trigger was harder to achieve than I had expected. My biggest problem was getting and keeping creatures in play long enough to get some synergy because even though the games were lasting quite a while, my opponents could often pick off key creatures with removal, or I had to block using my better creatures in order to kill his good ones and stay alive. Why I couldn't get Morbid to trigger, I don't know. Either when my creatures would die I wouldn't have enough mana to cast anything, or I would attack with the guys I could afford to lose and the opponent would let them through, then I had to decide if I should cast the creature that turn, without the bonus, or wait. I suppose that the biggest problem, now that I think about it, is that most creatures died on my opponent's turn. I changed out for the black and blue deck my first opponent had suggested. Here it is:

Creatures: 13
Screeching Bat 2b 2/2 Flying; for 2bb transforms into a 5/5
Walking Corpse 1b 2/2
2 Village Cannibals 2b 2/2 Whenever human dies, put +1/+1 on VC
Typhoid Rats b 1/1 Deathtouch
Battleground Geist 4u 3/3 Flying; Other Spirits you control get +1/+0
2 Lantern Spirit 2u 2/1 Flying; u: Return LS to owner’s hand
2 Moon Heron 3u 3/2 Flying
Selhoff Occultist 2u 2/3; Whenever creature dies, target player mills 1
Stitcher’s Apprentice 1u ½; 1u tap to put a 2/2 token, then sac a creature
Geistcathcer's Rig 6 4/5 When enters BF, may do 4 damage to flyer

Other: 10
2 Corpse Lunge 2b Instant; exile creature from your graveyard, deal damage equal to its power to target creature
Tribute to Hunger 2b Instant; Opp. Sacs creature, you gain life equal to its toughness
Victim of Night bb Instant; Dest. Non-vamp, non-zomb, non-were creature
Dissipate 1uu Instant; Counterspell, exile countered spell
Think Twice 1u Instant; Draw a card, Flashback 2u
Silent Departure u Sorcery; bounce creature back to hand; Flashback 4u
Spectral Flight 1u Enchantment-Aura; gains +2/+2 and flying
Demonmail Hauberk 4 Artifact: Equipped creat. gets +4/+2 to equip, sac a creature
Blazing Torch 1 Artifact: Equipped creat. can't be blcked by vamps or zombies and has "tap and sac Blazing Torch to deal 2 damage to creat or player.

Armed with this new deck I went into my third round and faced an opponent who also was playing blue/black. I had mana problems again – having to mulligan several times and then still having only one land in hand – I needn’t have worried, since I ended that game with 10 lands in play. I was surprised that, given such a slow start, I was able to survive as long as I did. My opponent’s deck was developing very slowly as well. Again, my problem was keeping creatures in play long enough for some synergy to develop. Villiage Cannibles hit the table many times, but not once did it get a counter placed on it - ever, all day long. Corpse Lunge, Blazing Torch and Silent Departure were very useful and I was able to win one of the games.

I came out of that match-up frustrated because I felt my opponent’s deck was pretty slow and I was still not able to take advantage of it. I decided to change everything again and went for a White/Black deck. Here it is:

Creatures: 14
2 Chapel Geist 1ww 2/3 Flying
Doomed Traveler w 1/1 when dies, put a 1/1 flying spirit token into play
2 Elderr Cathar 2w 2/2 when dies, put a 1/1 on creature, in creature is human, put 2 +1/+1
2 Thraben Sentry 3w 2/2 Vigilance, transforms into 5/4 Trample when one of your creatures dies
Unruly Mob 1w 1/1 When creature you control dies, put +1/+1 on U. Mob
Geistcathcer's Rig 6 4/5 When enters BF, may do 4 damage to flyer
Screeching Bat 2b 2/2 Flying; for 2bb transforms into a 5/5
Walking Corpse 1b 2/2
2 Village Cannibals 2b 2/2 Whenever human dies, put +1/+1 on VC
Typhoid Rats b 1/1 Deathtouch

Other: 9
Moment of Heroism 1w Instant Target creature gets +2/+2 and lifelink till end of turn
2 Rebuke 2w Instant: Destroy target attacking creature
Demonmail Hauberk 4 Artifact: Equipped creat. gets +4/+2 to equip, sac a creature
Blazing Torch 1 Artifact: Equipped creat. can't be blcked by vamps or zombies and has "tap and sac Blazing Torch to deal 2 damage to creat or player.
2 Corpse Lunge 2b Instant; exile creature from your graveyard, deal damage equal to its power to target creature
Tribute to Hunger 2b Instant; Opp. Sacs creature, you gain life equal to its toughness
Victim of Night bb Instant; Dest. Non-vamp, non-zomb, non-were creature


I thought that this deck might work well – It had more creatures and plenty of removal, however, in my first game I looked at a hand of 4 swamps, two Chapel Geists and Corpse Lunge – only black mana, and the only black spell depends on exiling a creature, but the only creatures I had were both require 2 white mana! I decided to mulligan, and drew a hand with no land at all. I ended up with a 5 card hand which included only one land. Missing your second land drop is not a good thing, but I then went on to draw land after land, and the game lasted a long time. I spent the next game with only 4 lands for almost the entire time, but the battle lasted quite a while, meaning that my death was slow and painful rather than swift and brutal. In the second game I saw the handwriting on the wall, but decided to stay in the game in order to give my opponent, who was a very friendly and nice guy, the full pleasure of victory. This came out in conversation and on the last turn he was able to play his Balefire Dragon for the only time in the tournament. He thanked me for hanging in there.

After that loss, I am ashamed to say that I started to gripe about my land issues. It’s a poor general who blames his dice, but I couldn’t believe how many times I’d been forced to mulligan, etc. I was fully aware that one of the functions of mana screw is to give the loser an excuse to massage his ego and keep tempers down (this has been publically stated by Wizards). So I see that losing does reveal the holes in our character. I need to grow.

Anyway, I thought about what was happening and realized that my deck(s) clog up the board and keep me alive for a very long time, even in the face of mana screw. What I couldn’t do was put it to the enemy and knock him out. In many of the games I lead in life total in the beginning, but lost the lead about half-way through. I looked through my cards again and found one I had forgotten. Army of the Damned – I had taken one look at that 8 mana cost and tossed it out, but now I realized that I could actually have played it in almost all of my games, so I took out the Demonmail, and replaced it with Army of the Damned. My last games could both be summarized thus: I held up the game until my 8th land drop, then dropped Army of the Damned. My opponent looked at the 13 zombies and conceded. So I ended on an up note and even got a booster as a prize for being a first-time player.

Here is my post-tournament analysis of my deckbuilding. I think that I underestimated the slowness of the format and didn’t value some cards as I should have. My examples include Army of the Damned, and Gallows Warden (4w for a 3/3 flyer with: “other spirits you control get +0/+1”). As a result, I didn't have a finisher. Perhaps I should have splashed red in order to play my Instigator Gang.

I see also (and saw at the time, but didn’t act on) that I could have gone with a white/blue deck built around spirits, since I had 8 spirits, including two minor Lords. I also had several effects that combined to make or boost counters, but thought it unlikely that I would be able to get and keep them in play together – I’m guessing that in Limited combos may win some games, but they don’t win tournaments.

White Creatures
[2]Chapel Geist Cost: 1{W}{W} 2/3 Rules Text: Flying Type: Creature – Spirit

Doomed Traveler {W} 1/1Type: Creature - Human Soldier Rules Text: When Doomed Traveler dies, put a 1/1 white Spirit creature token with flying onto the battlefield.

[2]Elder Cathar 2{W}Type: Creature - Human Soldier 2/2
Rules Text: When Elder Cathar dies, put a +1/+1 counter on target creature you control. If that creature is a Human, put two +1/+1 counters on it instead.

Gallows Warden 4{W} 3/3 Type: Creature – Spirit
Rules Text: Flying
Other Spirit creatures you control get +0/+1.

Selfless Cathar {W} 1/1 Type: Creature - Human Cleric
Rules Text: {1}{W}, Sacrifice Selfless Cathar: Creatures you control get +1/+1 until end of turn.

[2]Thraben Sentry // Thraben Militia 3{W} Type: Creature - Human Soldier // Creature - Human Soldier
Pow/Tgh: 2/2 Vigilance that tranforms into // 5/4 Trample when “another creature you control dies.”

Unruly Mob 1{W} 1/1 Type: Creature - Human
Rules Text: Whenever another creature you control dies, put a +1/+1 counter on Unruly Mob.

White other

Moment of Heroism 1{W} Type: Instant
Rules Text: Target creature gets +2/+2 and gains lifelink until end of turn.

Nevermore 1{W}{W} Type: Enchantment
Rules Text: As Nevermore enters the battlefield, name a nonland card.
The named card can't be cast.

Paraselene 2{W} Type: Sorcery
Rules Text: Destroy all enchantments. You gain 1 life for each enchantment destroyed this way.

[2]Rebuke 2{W} Instant
Rules Text: Destroy target attacking creature.

Blue Creatures

Battleground Geist 4{U} 3/3Type: Creature - Spirit
Rules Text: Flying
Other Spirit creatures you control get +1/+0.

Lantern Spirit 2{U}2/1 Type: Creature - Spirit
Rules Text: Flying
{U}: Return Lantern Spirit to its owner's hand.

Stitcher's Apprentice 1{U} ½ Type: Creature - Homunculus
Rules Text: {1}{U}, {T}: Put a 2/2 blue Homunculus creature token onto the battlefield, then sacrifice a creature.

Moon Heron 3{U} T3/2 Type: Creature - Spirit Bird
Rules Text: Flying

Selhoff Occultist 2{U} 2/3 Type: Creature - Human Rogue
Rules Text: Whenever Selhoff Occultist or another creature dies, target player puts the top card of his or her library into his or her graveyard.

Blue Other

Silent Departure U Type: Sorcery
Rules Text: Return target creature to its owner's hand.
Flashback {4}{U}

Spectral Flight 1{U}
Type: Enchantment - Aura
Rules Text: Enchanted creature gets +2/+2 and has flying.

Think Twice 1{U} Type: Instant
Rules Text: Draw a card.
Flashback {2}{U}

Frightful Delusion 2{U} Type: Instant
Rules Text: Counter target spell unless its controller pays {1}. That player discards a card.

Hysterical Blindness 2{U} Type: Instant
Rules Text: Creatures your opponents control get -4/-0 until end of turn.

Curiosity {U} Type: Enchantment - Aura
Whenever enchanted creature deals damage to an opponent, you may draw a card.

Black Creatures

Brain Weevil 3{B} 1/1 Type: Creature - Insect
Rules Text: Intimidate
Sacrifice Brain Weevil: Target player discards two cards. Activate this ability only any time you could cast a sorcery.

Ghoulraiser 1{B}{B} 2/2 Type: Creature - Zombie
Rules Text: When Ghoulraiser enters the battlefield, return a Zombie card at random from your graveyard to your hand.

Screeching Bat // Stalking Vampire 2{B}
Type: Creature - Bat // Creature - Vampire
Pow/Tgh: 2/2 // 5/5
Rules Text: Flying
At the beginning of your upkeep, you may pay {2}{B}{B}. If you do, transform Screeching Bat.//

Typhoid Rats {B} 1/1 Type: Creature - Rat
Rules Text: Deathtouch

[2]Village Cannibals 2{B} 2/2 Type: Creature - Human
Rules Text: Whenever another Human creature dies, put a +1/+1 counter on Village Cannibals.
Walking Corpse 1{B} 2/2Type: Creature – Zombie
Army of the Damned 5{B}{B}{B} Type: Sorcery
Rules Text: Put thirteen 2/2 black Zombie creature tokens onto the battlefield tapped.
Flashback {7}{B}{B}{B}

[2]Corpse Lunge 2{B} Type: Instant
Rules Text: As an additional cost to cast Corpse Lunge, exile a creature card from your graveyard.
Corpse Lunge deals damage equal to the exiled card's power to target creature.

Gruesome Deformity {B} Type: Enchantment - Aura
Rules Text: Enchanted creature has intimidate.
Maw of the Mire 4{B} Type: Sorcery
Rules Text: Destroy target land. You gain 4 life

Tribute to Hunger 2{B} Type: Instant
Rules Text: Target opponent sacrifices a creature. You gain life equal to that creature's toughness

Victim of Night {B}{B} Type: Instant
Rules Text: Destroy target non-Vampire, non-Werewolf, non-Zombie creature.

Red Creatures

Ashmouth Hound 1{R} 2/1 Type: Creature - Elemental Hound
Rules Text: Whenever Ashmouth Hound blocks or becomes blocked by a creature, Ashmouth Hound deals 1 damage to that creature

Bloodcrazed Neonate 1{R} 2/1 Type: Creature - Vampire
Rules Text: Bloodcrazed Neonate attacks each turn if able.
Whenever Bloodcrazed Neonate deals combat damage to a player, put a +1/+1 counter on it.

Hanweir Watchkeep // Bane of Hanweir 2{R} 1/5 // 5/5 Type: Creature - Human Warrior Werewolf // Creature Werewolf
Rules Text: Defender
At the beginning of each upkeep, if no spells were cast last turn, transform Hanweir Watchkeep. //
Bane of Hanweir attacks each turn if able
At the beginning of each upkeep, if a player cast two or more spells last turn, transform Bane of Hanweir.

Instigator Gang // Wildblood Pack 3{R} 2/3 // 5/5
Type: Creature - Human Werewolf // Creature - Werewolf
Rules Text: Attacking creatures you control get +1/+0.
At the beginning of each upkeep, if no spells were cast last turn, transform Instigator Gang.//
Trample
Attacking creatures you control get +3/+0.
At the beginning of each upkeep, if a player cast two or more spells last turn, transform Wildblood Pack.

Night Revelers 4{R} 4/4 Type: Creature - Vampire
Rules Text: Night Revelers has haste as long as an opponent controls a human.

Pitchburn Devils 4{R} 3/3 Creature - Devil
Rules Text: When Pitchburn Devils dies, it deals 3 damage to target creature or player.

[2]Rage Thrower 5{R} 4/2 Type: Creature - Human Shaman
Rules Text: Whenever another creature dies, Rage Thrower deals 2 damage to target player.

Riot Devils 2{R} 2/3 Type: Creature - Devil

Stromkirk Noble R 1/1 Type: Creature - Vampire
Rules Text: Stromkirk Noble can't be blocked by Humans.
When Stromkirk Noble deals combat damage to a player, put a +1/+1 counter on it.

Red Other

Traitorous Blood 1{R}{R} Type: Sorcery
Rules Text: Gain control of target creature until end of turn. Untap it. It gains trample and haste until end of turn.

Vampiric Fury 1{R} Type: Instant
Rules Text: Vampire creatures you control get +2/+0 and gain first strike until end of turn.

Brimstone Volley 2{R} Type: Instant
Rules Text: Brimstone Volley deals 3 damage to target creature or player.
Morbid - Brimstone Volley deals 5 damage to that creature or player instead if a creature died this turn

Burning Vengeance 2{R} Type: Enchantment
Rules Text: Whenever you cast a spell from your graveyard, Burning Vengeance deals 2 damage to target creature or player.

Curse of Stalked Prey 1{R} Type: Enchantment - Aura Curse
Rules Text: Enchant player
Whenever a creature deals combat damage to enchanted player, put a +1/+1 counter on that creature

Curse of the Pierced Heart 1{R}
Type: Enchantment - Aura Curse
Rules Text: Enchant Player
At the beginning of enchanted player's upkeep, Curse of the Pierced Heart deals 1 damage to that player.

Harvest Pyre 1{R} Type: Instant
Rules Text: As an additional cost to cast Harvest Pyre, exile X cards from your graveyard.
Harvest Pyre deals X damage to target creature.

Green Creatures

[2]Ambush Viper 1{G} 2/1 Type: Creature - Snake
Rules Text: Flash
Deathtouch

Darkthicket Wolf 1{G} 2/2 Type: Creature - Wolf
Rules Text: {2}{G}: Darkthicket Wolf gets +2/+2 until end of turn. Activate this ability only once each turn

Festerhide Boar 3{G} 3/3 Type: Creature - Boar
Rules Text: Trample
Morbid - Festerhide Board enters the battlefield with two +1/+1 counters on it if a creature died this turn.

Grizzled Outcasts // Krallenhorde Wantons 4{G} 4/4 // 7/7
Type: Creature - Human Werewolf // Creature - Werewolf
Rules Text: At the beginning of each upkeep, if no spells were cast last turn, transform Grizzled Outcasts.
---
At the beginning of each upkeep, if a player cast two or more spells last turn, transform Krallenhorde Wantons

Name: Kindercatch 3{G}{G}{G} 6/6 Type: Creature - Spirit

Name: Somberwald Spider 4{G} 2/4 Type: Creature - Spider
Rules Text: Reach
Morbid - Somerwald Spider enters the battlefield with two or +1/+1 counters on it if a creature died this turn.

Green Other

Name: Spidery Grasp 2{G} Instant
Rules Text: Untap target creature. It gets +2/+4 and gains reach until end of turn.

Caravan Vigil {G} Sorcery
Rules Text: Search your library for a basic land card, reveal it, put it into your hand then shuffle your library.
Morbid - You may put that card onto the battlefield instead of putting it into your hand if a creature died this turn.

Make a Wish 3{G} Sorcery
Rules Text: Return two cards at random from your graveyard to your hand

Naturalize 1{G} Instant
Rules Text: Destroy target artifact or enchantment.

Parallel Lives 3{G} Enchantment
Rules Text: If an effect would put one or more tokens onto the battlefield under your control, it puts twice that many tokens onto the battlefield instead.

Prey Upon {G} Sorcery
Rules Text: Target creature you control fights target creature you don't control.

Artifacts

Blazing Torch {1} Artifact - Equipment
Rules Text: Equipped creature can't be blocked by Vampires or Zombies.
Equipped creature has "{T}, Sacrifice Blazing Torch: Blazing Torch deals 2 damage to target creature or player."
Equip {1}

Demonmail Hauberk {4} Artifact - Equipment
Rules Text: Equipped creature gets +4/+2.
Equip - Sacrifice a creature

Geistcatcher's Rig {6} 4/5 Artifact Creature - Construct
Rules Text: When Geistcatcher's Rig enters the battlefield, you may have it deal 4 damage to target creature with flying

One-Eyed Scarecrow {3} 2/3 Type: Artifact Creature - Scarecrow
Rules Text: Defender
Creatures with flying your opponents control get -1/-0.

2 Shimmering Grotto
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John W
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wow - i'm just shocked at all that copy-paste rules text you must have done to type this all out.

Impressive effort, and my sympathies with the mana screw. It happens, and I have been incapable of being gracious about it in a competitive play environment.
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Royce Banuelos
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Sounds like a rough first time out but hopefully you gained some good experiences from it.
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Stephen Coney
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roaranimation wrote:
Sounds like a rough first time out but hopefully you gained some good experiences from it.


Thanks. I think that I would do better next time. I do understand Limited much more now and see many of the cards in a new light. So many cards that I would never use in my decks are there for the Limited environment.
 
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