So our fair city of Ottawa FINALLY got a pre-release, for Planeshift. Now for those of you who don’t know, Ottawa IS the capital of Canada, so WHY they haven’t gotten one until now is beyond me… Kinda like Washington D.C. not getting one or something.
Anyway, when we learned that Top 8 would each receive a box of product, we hatched a devious, if offensive, plan. Basically we wanted to post a person at the door that would let seven of his friends in and tell the other people the pre-release was somewhere else. That way we would be the Top 8, ergo we’d all get product..
But something came in the way: Our consciences. It would have been wrong, even if it would have been a great story around the coffee table. Anyway, the Planeshift prerelease was greeted with excitement by several people, and with ambivalence by me. Don’t get me wrong – I LOVE prereleases, but I ALWAYS get the short end of the stick when I go to one and have to give up my deck.
Also, the tournament organizers announced that since 75 people were present, anyone with eleven points up would get product, which was very sporting of them.
I remember at the Urza’s Destiny Pre-Release, I had a sealed of Saga, and 2 Destiny, and I had amazing stuff like Confiscate, Treachery, Befoul, and flying creatures, but I had to trade…
What do I end up with? Masticore…. And nothing else. Now Masticore was broken in every game I got it, especially since I read it incorrectly and thought it could ping your OPPONENT as well.
Anyway, that’s neither here nor there. Here is the deck I wound up with, and in closing I will expound on the cards I think will be the gems of Planeshift. Oh, and HOW COOL is getting a Questing Pheldagriff in Greek? Or a Raging Kavu in Latin? I really like these. Being a literate person, I truly enjoy reading cards in Latin and staring at the Greek alphabet. Next time, Cuneiform or Hieroglyphics, folks! 😉
So the prerelease started at around 11 a.m., and I was glad that I was passing my deck. Although my rares weren’t horrible, Empress Galina, Death or Glory and Keldon Necropolis aren’t star players. Well, the Necropolis is, but I had so little support that it would have been just good, not excellent.
The packs I received were all over the place in terms of card quality. My White had lots of Disenchants and a flying creature or two, but nothing really remarkable. My Red was solid, with Ghitu Fire, Flametongue Kavu, Magma Burst, etc. Blue was decent, offering Probe, Sleeping Potion, Hunting Drake, and Shoreline Raider. Green was a non-issue, with Tranquility and other Tranquility-type effects. As for Black, it was solid and represented most of my gold card count.
Without further ado, here is the deck I played
2x Lava Zombie
1x Tsabo Tavoc (Incredible in Limited – she won me games single-handedly) (A 7/4 first-striking creature? Ya think? — The Ferrett)
1x Shoreline Raider
1x Metathran Transport
1x Sleeping Potion
1x Hunting Drake
1x Confound (very good most of the time)
1x Ghitu Fire
2x Slingshot Goblin (not nearly as useful as I would have thought)
1x Kavu Aggressor
1x Magma Burst
1x Thunderscape Aggressor
1x Pouncing Kavu
1x Flametongue Kavu (simply amazing)
1x Pouncing Kavu
1x Thunderscape Apprentice
1x Pouncing Kavu
1x Nightscape Familiar
1x Phyrexian Bloodstock
1x Morgue Toad (Incredible – lets you play Tsabo two turns sooner)
1x Phyrexian Reaper
1x Star Compass (excellent for Mana consistency)
1x Urborg Volcano
1x Sulfur Vent
Total 52 cards.
I know some of you are looking at this and wondering, how could this deck do a thing – but it took me to Top 4, so chalk one up for not following Sealed deck rules.
Round 1 vs. Georges Turgeon, playing Green-White-Red
Games 2-0. Matches 1-0
Georges is a local storeowner who runs casual Extended tournaments; I know this will be a fun match more than anything else. The match is kind of fuzzy, but I remember game one being about me coming in with Pyre Zombie (SUCH a beating) and game two being about him not getting the Forest or a Plains that he needed to cast Crimson Acolyte (which would have CRUSHED me).
Georges did manage to stall me for a while by playing a Yavimaya Barbarian, but I managed to eke out a win.
Round 2 vs. Chris Degrandpre
Games 4-0, Matches 2-0
Chris is playing Black/Red with the Nightscape Apprentice and a whole bunch of Kavu; this bodes poorly for me, as he effectively has infinite blockers as long as the Apprentice is on-line. In game 1, I play a Phyrexian Reaper and Lava Zombie, but he has Kavus to block with, and the Nightscape Engine as well. I play the Deadapult and manage to sling his Nightscape Apprentice when it is tapped, and come in for the kill.
Game 2 was not much fun for either of us. He is stuck on one land for most of the game while I combo him out with Morgue Toad turning into Tsabo Tavoc – the 7/4 machine goes all the way.
Round 3 vs. Tim”I’m in the” House
Games 6-0, Matches 3-0
Tim and I have had a friendly rivalry going for several years, which usually results in each other throwing chairs and other blunt objects at each other whenever we enter the room. We set aside our considerable differences for the time being and began to rumble.
Game 1 was pretty back and forth. Tim had some nasty Green stuff, but I managed to get the Hunting Drake to put one of his key Green creatures on top of his deck, and I came in with the Bloodstock and crushed.
Game 2 Tim, like every opponent until the end of the day, got mana-screwed. Thank all the powers that be that he did, because he has SUCH nasty green-red stuff that he easily would have finished me in short order. The move of the game was when he tried to Magma Burst my creatures, but I Confounded it and won.
Round 4 vs. ? I’m sorry but I don’t remember your name. Games 8-0, Matches 4-0
This gentleman was playing Black/Red. One of his key cards was Planeswalker’s Scorn, which actually terrified me due to the fact it could easily have killed any one of my creatures. Thankfully, I was holding mostly lands in my hand so the Scorn was nothing but a mana sink for the gentleman. Game 1 I get Flametongue Kavu, Morgue Toad, and other assorted goodness and win.
Game 2 goes back and forth, mostly in his favor. The deciding moment in when he plays a Halam Djinn, tapping out. At that point the most common colour was Red, so I sacrificed the Morgue Toad for UR, tapped four more mana, and cast Ghitu Fire as an Instant, killing his Djinn. I then sent in the troops and Magma Bursted for the win.
Woo hoo! I’m 4-0, I jump out and scream it across the room – never have I played so well.
Here I am, a total scrub with a pile guaranteed fourteen packs of Planeshift due to my having two points! Obviously I want MORE PACKS. MORE WINS. MORE VICTIMS! MWAHHAHAHA.
Round 5, Mark Dabreu> Games 9-2 Matches 4-1
Well, it was bound to happen sooner or later, but Mark was my match. He had several Kavu… And a SHIVAN WURM! Let me tell you, my deck of Morgue Toads and Slingshot Goblins was not going to stand very well in front of that thing, Mark crushes me into a small pulp.
Game 2 I believe he did not get that silly Wurm out, and I prevailed after removing some of his creatures with Deadapult and Magma Burst, and we go on to game 3….
Where I lose horribly to the Shivan Wurm and smaller creatures. That Wurm is just BRUTAL in Sealed. A game-winner if I ever saw one.
So it all ended well for me, 14 packs of Planeshift and lots of friends made….
Before I leave, I’d like to list my picks for top 5 Planeshift cards in no particular order.
1. Orim’s Chant, White Rare: Well, Abeyance was pretty good and this is, too. It’s better in that it can remove an opponent’s attack phase. It basically stops Fires from doing anything. I am running four of these in Extended and they are quite good.
2. Doomsday Specter, Gold Rare. Not Blazing Specter, not Hypnotic Specter, but better in a way. You can get him out as soon as turn 2 with Ritual and Phyrexian Battleflies, and believe me, permanent Coercion is SOME BAD.
3. Gaea’s Herald, Green Rare. Perhaps not a gamebreaker, but clearly a signal from WotC that people should play decks with several colours. This guy is just death for Control if they don’t counter him.
4. Phyrexian Tyranny Gold Rare. This card is good. REAL good. And since there ARE ways around it affecting you (in Extended, anyway) expect this to show up in some crazy combo deck.
5. Star Compass. Not amazing, but it is a sleeper pick. A diamond that gives you any colour you want is something to consider, even if it does come into play tapped.