For me, I had an absolute blast! Preregistered at my LGS the week before, and chose White as my colour. Chose it on a whim to be honest, I felt like playing a weenie deck revolving around Heroic and maybe Bestow. Eventually found out that you can actually get the God cards and their weapons from the seeded booster, and immediately regretted my decision as I had wanted Purphoros and his mighty hammer. Oh well. Arrived on the day, and was very surprised to see that my LGS was fully packed! At least 100 people squeezed into a not-so-large game store. I can tell you, there was plenty of shuffling and nudging past other people throughout the whole day. In fact, there were so many people that there weren’t even enough chairs for everyone to build their decks and a few had to make do on the floor. Anyway, I bought some new sleeves and a deck box and met up with a few of my friends. It turned out we all chose different colours. Except for green. Nobody was playing green.
The Prerelease packs finally arrived and I opened them all. Rares were Mistcutter Hydra, Soldier of the Pantheon, Chained to the Rocks, Anax and Cymede, Thassa, God of the Sea, a couple of jank rares and of course, Celestial Archon. Pretty stoked with them actually, especially the awesomeness that is Mistcutter Hydra. Been hoping to crack once of those ever since it was previewed. No Fleecemane Lion but that would be being greedy. Was thinking W/R but the the bulk of the red commons/uncommons were poor, and the rest of my card pool screamed “PLAY GREEN WHITE”. The random thought of splashing blue just for Thassa, God of the Sea (Scry every turn!) and a trio of Agent of Horizons was tempting but wisely decided against it. G/W it is!
|G/W Weenie Heroes DeckMagic OnlineOCTGN2ApprenticeBuy These Cards|
1 Mistcutter Hydra
1 Soldier of the Pantheon
1 Leonin Snarecaster
1 Phalanx Leader
1 Guardians of Meletis
1 Nessian Courser
1 Wingsteed Rider
1 Nessian Asp
1 Centaur Battlemaster
1 Nemesis of Mortals
|Enchantment Creatures (5)|
1 Hopeful Eidolon
1 Leafcrown Dryad
2 Observant Alseid
1 Celestial Archon
1 Flamecast Wheel
1 Gods Willing
1 Savage Surge
1 Battlewise Valor
1 Ordeal of Heliod
1 Chosen by Heliod
1 Feral Invocation
1 Divine Verdict
So I ended up building a fairly fast weenie-dominant deck that came out early to deal quick damage, with a plethora of Bestow cards to make them larger and more threatening later on. Almost all of my spells triggered Heroic, and a couple of green Fatties were shoved in for good measure to finish things off. Didn’t look half-bad at a glance. Hopefully if the gods are willing (sorry, pun intended), then I might do okay with this deck. Not that the result mattered or anything, as the 4-round casual flight I had entered had fixed prizes (all participants get 4 packs at the end).
Round 1 – Opponent was playing a G/R deck. Game 1, I plopped down a Turn 1 Soldier of the Pantheon, followed by a Leonon Snarecaster, Bestow’d them and chipped away at my opponent’s life total with little to no resistance ‘cept for a Defend the Hearth and a Portent of Betrayal that grabbed my 3/3 Nessian Courser that delayed my inevitable win. Second game was a better match, with both of us having a slow start. A Polis Crusher came down on my opponent’s side of the table to ruin the Aura party that I had planned with my similar hand to the first game. Gained 1 life with Soldier of the Pantheon (the only time it did anything other than being a reskinned Savannah Lions). Eventually plopped an Observant Alseid on my Guardians of Meletis, which would normally be a bombo, but my 2/8 held out the monstrous 7/7 Polis Crusher before the flying cavalry Wingsteed Rider and Celestial Archon soared me to victory. 1-0.
Round 2 – My opponent was a young-ish bloke who had only been playing for a year. His deck was mainly blue, with a mix of black. First game was a long one, with both players amassing a whole of bunch of creatures and no one looking to break the stalemate until I played a 5/5 Mistcutter Hydra. It proved to be impossible to deal with at first in the face of my opponent’s blue creatures including Wavecrash Triton, Triton Fortune Hunter, the latter enchanted with a Baleful Eidolon, and my opponent chump blocking my Hydra with a Opaline Unicorn. Next turn, I attacked again, thinking that the end was near for my opponent. Nope. What I witnessed was a fantastic play from the other guy, as he proceeded to play Rescue from the Underworld, sacrificing his Triton Fortune Hunter, allowing Baleful Eidolon to come out as a 1/1 black creature with Deathtouch, which proceeded to block my Hydra, while also bringing both the Triton Fortune Hunter and Opaline Unicorn back into play the next upkeep. Great combat trick, totally unexpected and I was almost in shock watching it unfold. Unfortunately, my opponent’s life total was close to 0, and after a few more turns, he scooped as the monstrosity-activated Nessian Asp and Nemesis of Mortals (played for 2 mana!) proved to be overwhelming and there wasn’t much time left in the round.
Hoping for a quick match, we sped up our play and life totals dropped quickly as my white weenies like Wingsteed Rider and Leonin Snarecaster, and his blue fliers (Vaporkin, Nimbus Niad, Shipwreck Singer) had a race to see who could deal more damage first. I top-decked a Mistcutter Hydra and played it a 4/4, and it was quickly looking like I was going to win when I followed that with an Ordeal of Heliod on my Hydra and attacked, immediately triggering its activated ability and I gained 10 life back to 21. Woot, combo! That is, up until my opponent played a Prescient Chimera and Prognostic Sphinx on successive turns and my life total plummeted faster than it rose. Uh-oh. Things weren’t looking so good now, and the tides began to turn even after I sac’d a Flamecast Wheel to kill off a Nimbus Niad and remove a threat. I can’t remember how, but my Hydra again met its end after my opponent read the bones, went down to exactly 1 life, and did another instant-speed combat trick with his newly drawn card. Eventually the fliers were all too much for me, and my opponent won a game with minutes to spare in the round. 1-0-1
Round 3 – Was up against this really nice American dude with what was mainly a mono-black deck with a splash of white. Can’t remember much from this round, except for this one time where my opponent played multiple Gray Merchant of Asphodels on successive turns, first draining me for 4 life, then another 6 life for a 20 point life swing! I joked that I hoped he didn’t have a third copy in his deck, and to my relief my opponent confirmed he only had two copies. Phew! Anyway, my fliers dominated the two games we played, with an Archon as a creature bestowed with Observant Alseid proving to be an absolute beast as a 6/6 flier with first strike and vigilance. Akroma, eat your heart out! 2-0-1
Round 4 – Last round was with this Asian dude with this really cool hairstyle that would put Korean pop stars to shame. He was playing green-black, with some sort of ramp deck using Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx and Burnished Hart. Game 1, I didn’t play anything early on as everything was 5+ to cast. Thankfully, my opponent’s deck was slow enough for me to recover in time. Got out my Nessian Asp eventually and that was doing okay until a Keepsake Gorgon made an appearance. Thinking it’ll kill my 4/5 snake, I played a 5/5 Mistcutter Hydra (you can probably tell it’s my favourite card at the Prerelease!), attacked to bait out the block from the Gorgon and both creatures did hit the graveyard. My opponent looked at me quite confusingly like that was a bad play or something (who knows, maybe it was) and expected me to have some way of bringing it back. He latter killed the Nessian Asp anyway, and then played an Arbor Colossus. Sigh, reach? That made the Celestial Archon in my hand half as useful. Flopped down the Celestial Archon as an Aura on one of my weenie creatures the turn after that, swung with the bestowed creature for a single turn before Monstrosity was activated on my opponent’s next turn and whatever creature I had came crashing down. Having used up a Divine Verdict earlier in the game, I top-decked a Plains and died shortly at the hands of a 9/9 Giant that was bigger than any single creature I had on the battlefield.
The second game was won by me, or more specifically lost by my opponent by what seemed like a trivial decision at the time, but on hindsight contributed to his downfall. I mulligan’d down to 4 cards with nothing much more than a Nemesis of Mortals and three lands. My opponent plays a Returned Centaur on his fourth turn, targeting me. So far, so expected, right? I flip over Mistcutter Hydra, Nessian Asp and another creature among the four cards. Minor grumbling by me as I watch my win conditions get milled away. But then I realised what just happened. Keep in mind I have not drawn any more lands at this point, have not played anything at all and I am stuck on 3 mana with what looked like a six-drop in my hand. By milling me, my opponent actually helped me as it allows me to play Nemesis of Mortals as a 5/5 for 1GG on my fourth turn! Got some early momentum after that, triggered Monstrosity on the snake at a bargain price of 3GG, and survived for long enough to eventually win the game with a 3/5 Wingsteed Rider who had been chosen by Heliod himself.
Last game of the Prerelease I attended turned out to be a one-sided affair. My opponent remained on only a few lands for much of the game and didn’t play much other than my good pal, Returned Centaur (my opponent targeted himself this time, haha!). In what was a clinical showing of the power of the synergy between Bestow and Heroic, I got out my Centaur Battlemaster, and targeted it with Gods Willing on my opponent’s next turn to make it a 6/6 when it untapped on mine. I then bestowed it with an Leafcrown Dryad and I swung with my 11/12 Reach and it got chump blocked. Next turn, I bestowed my centaur with an Observant Alseid and at this point all the maths I had to do is hurting my brain, but I think it came to a 16/17 with reach and vigilance and a couple of swings later, that was the end. 3-0-1.
So as you can probably tell, I had a fantastic time at the Theros Prerelease. And I’m happy to say that white was the right colour to choose after all. Everyone had a good time, the cards were SO much fun to play, Bestow and Heroic are brilliant mechanics (at least in the Limited environment) and I am already looking forward to the next set. Sure, I didn’t see any Gods or Planeswalkers in action and there was no sign of Fleecemane Lion (I’m keeping my packs for a future Booster draft, so fingers crossed it’s in one of them!) but as I’m typing this, I’m still feeling the buzz from the great day I had.
So how did you all go at the Theros Prerelease?