Insert Column Name Here – Oh, My Weatherlight Plays Are Frightful…

Read The Ferrett every Monday... at StarCityGames.com!It’s Christmas, and the Weatherlight has turned a little chilly. (At least everyone I saw at the Release Events was going BR, BR, BR.) So what do you do with this older set, and what’s the rule? Tune in and find out!

Oh, my Weatherlight plays are frightful

And my deck is not delightful

Forget going five and oh…

Wow I blow, wow I blow, wow I blow!

I should remember that the first rule of Sealed play in older sets is, “If you can go Black and Red, then do go Black and Red.” After all, this was back in the day when Lightning Bolt was still pretty darned awesome, and before the time when Wizards said, “You know, creature enchantments are inherently card disadvantageous, so we should work on making them as awesome as possible.” Oh, and Green sucked.

So what you have is an environment where you have little weenie Blue and White creatures, no massive Green to balance it out, and common removal in the Black and Red slots that haven’t quite been balanced out (and won’t be until, arguably, Invasion). So where do you go?

Oh, it’s not an ironclad rule. If you get two copies of Empyrial Armor, suit up! But given the sea of BR I saw at the Masters release party, and the sea of BR I saw at the Weatherlight release, all the BRRing is making me feel a Christmas cold.

So what’d I get?

Solid Playables: Femeref Knight, Guided Strike, Healing Salve, Heavy Ballista, Noble Elephant

Is Benalish Missionary any good? It seems like an okay ability, but not necessarily one I’d want to spend two mana for every turn. Particularly in this new backwards age of flanking and whatnot.

Hi, Master at Arms, good to see you. You realize that for years, you were completely useless as written thanks to the massive Sixth Edition rules changes, right? Right? Well, now they’ve made you, well, kind of sort of playable. I guess. It’s kind of hard reading all your text, and I fall asleep in the middle of it all. But like Benalish Missionary, you might be good. I guess.

Okay, so the White here is really light. We get one awesome, if predictable, combat monster in the form of Heavy Ballista, another less-good-but-less-foreseeable trick in the form of Guided Strike, and then we have weenies with abilities. (Oh, and Healing Salve.) Not the strongest color in the pool.

Solid Playables: Azimaet Drake, Cerulean Wyvern, Cloud Djinn, Dream Cache, Dream Fighter, Ophidian, Sapphire Charm, Shaper Guildmage

There are two cards I’m putting in the “Solid Playables” pile that I may be blinded by. Ophidian was so dominant in Constructed for awhile that I may be making the mistake of thinking that a dominant Constructed card is dominant in Limited — which wasn’t true of, say, Psychatog. But at the very least it’s a 1/3 for three, which isn’t the worst deal in a color that often needs early blockers (though considering this set is packed with 2/2 flankers, maybe not).

I like the idea of Dream Fighter as an endless blocker, but as a 1/1 he’s destroyed by anything that looks at him sideways. He probably shouldn’t be on the list.

Then we have Dream Chains and Abjure, which look bad but might be better than I think. I don’t think so for either, since Chains is too slow and Abjure too expensive… But Abjure, coming in a format with Kaervek’s Torch as a common finisher, might be worthy in some decks and/or matches.

Manta Ray and Kukemssa Serpent are both decent blockers in a pinch, but getting them to go on the offensive is difficult considering, as I said, nobody’s playing Blue.

I will, however, be incredibly strong in the skies with this pool with Cerulean Wyvern, Cloud Djinn, and Azimaet Drake (along with the marginal Bay Falcon). This isn’t a flat-out terrible color.

Solid Playables: Choking Sands, Enfeeblement, Fatal Blow, Feral Shadow, Fetid Horror, Fledgling Djinn, Grave Servitude, Hidden Horror, Razortooth Rats, Shattered Crypt

Again, the endless wondering: Hey, how’s Ravenous Vampire? Practically every time I saw him, he was tapped (except for that one deck packing Strands of Night). But maybe he’s better than I know. (The same could be said of Agonizing Memories, which I suspect should be The List.)

Fatal Blow may not seem awesome, but in a set with so many pinging effects (thanks to the Guildmages) and in a set that is so combat-reliant, it’s often your best bet for getting rid of that 5/5 monstrosity.

Aside from that, we have a lot of solid, if not awesome, Black cards. It’s got the usual slew of removal (even if there are no flat-out Terror effects in the pile), and a bunch of weenie guys.

Solid Playables: Armorer Guildmage, Blistering Embermage, Bloodrock Cyclops, Chaos Charm, Incinerate, Kaervek’s Torch, Lava Storm, Thunderbolt

Between Incinerate and Kaervek’s Torch, I’m at least splashing Red. Lava Storm is also nice, but at five mana it’s a little hard to set up, and sometimes doesn’t get the job done if they have a counter-trick — there are just a lot of 3/3s and 4/4s running amuck.

Thunderbolt is irritating me more and more, since the inability to hit groundbounds often leaves me with a dead card in hand — okay, I can dome them with it, but if I’m not killing them with my Thunderbolt (or removing their options and forcing them to play more defensively), then I don’t wanna.

*stomps feet on ground*

What we don’t have here are good creatures. Bloodrock Cyclops, the Guildmage, and the Embermage are about it. That’s troubling.

Solid Playables: Armor of Thorns, Choking Vines, Wild Elephant

Wow. So much of Green is conditional. Do I want the early drop that completely dies to Islands, or the 0/1 flier that might tap things? Howzabout the Wurm that gets stuck in my hand if I can’t drop a land, or the wurm that gets smaller if people gang up on it?

No beef, all enchantment removal. I shall pass.

And The Rest
Solid Playables: Horrible Hordes, Kaervek’s Purge, Sky Diamond

Not that I think Horrible Hordes is awesome, mind you, but a morph guy with a mild ability isn’t terrible. Kaervek’s Purge, on the other hand, smarts ‘cause it isn’t an instant, but it definitely can take down creatures quite well.

So How’d I Do?
Three and two, sadly, and I had to fight to get that. The problem was that I erred in building the deck not once, but twice.

My initial instinct, go U/R, didn’t work because I wound up with this low-creature deck with a lot of small guys who I couldn’t protect, because everyone was playing Red or Black or both. And then I got swarmed by their greater beef, which I couldn’t fend off. When I got to the sky I was fine, but when I wasn’t, then I died.

Then I said, “Screw it!” and went B/R, which didn’t do much better because, again, my creatures kind of stank. I could destroy with the best of them, but my big guys weren’t big enough.

What I probably should have done — and boy howdy, I’d like to tell you about it now, but MODO’s connection just went down again — is to go B/U/r, splashing for the Kaervek’s Torch and Kaervek’s Purge (and possibly the Incinerate), thus keeping the best of both worlds.

But you know what? I have some Christmas shopping to do, and I hope you’ll understand if I kick off a little early this article. I have a Mom waiting, and a Dad who wants to go shopping with me, and so I’m not going to wait for MODO to come back.

Happy holidays to you and yours.

Signing off,
The Ferrett
[email protected]StarCityGames.com
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