The Joshua Claytor Prerelease

May I have your attention please? Will the real Josh Claytor please stand up? I repeat. Will the real Josh Claytor please stand up? Introduction Late Friday evening, I was online visiting my MIRC channels. While talking with Omeed, a friend came online and asked me if I would like to come to the prerelease…

May I have your attention please? Will the real Josh Claytor please stand up? I repeat. Will the real Josh Claytor please stand up?


Late Friday evening, I was online visiting my MIRC channels. While talking with Omeed, a friend came online and asked me if I would like to come to the prerelease in Indianapolis with him. This was at 3 a.m. After a nice waking shower and a cup of coffee, I told Shane Adams (read his report, it is very very good) that I would love to go – the thing is, he would have to come forty miles south to get me. He left his dorm room, and we were on our way to Indianapolis at 6 a.m., fresh with NO sleep.

Two hours later, we arrive and park in the garage across the street of the convention center. As we are getting out, the artist (Arnie Swekel) and his friend pull up. All four of us walk to the center, and we find out that we are early. After getting my Coffin Puppets signed, I looked at the exhibits, and joined former Kentucky State Champion Ben Stoll in breakfast at McDonald’s. Shortly after the filling burrito, I went back and met up with Jared Burt, Robert Knecht, LT Utes, Ben Bell, Ricky Atwood, Justin Atwood, and Shane Adams. I got registered, got my cool foil prerelease card (which was signed shortly thereafter) and sat down to do some trades.

I got ripped.

Space to think…

I traded a whole lot of Saga rares, for Donate, Necro, Illusions. Oh, I got a Lin-Sivvi in the deal as well. For future reference, decks that get key parts banned usually do not succeed.

Close to an hour after I register, we finally get down to building our decks.

I opened up decent stuff. I did not get any game breaking cards in my opinion, but I opened TWO Soul Burns and a Bog Initiate. It seemed natural to play black, but I needed a second color. My red was unplayable. I got Zap as my only burn spell, and the creatures I got were very very weak Kavu. White was weak and most of it cost double to play, so it was out. Green was horrible. I got the treefolk lord, and traded it after I dropped. Harrow was included, and if I was Rochestering I would have picked it. My blue was pretty solid. Traveler’s Cloak, Faerie Squadron, Metathran Zombie (The Arnie Drowned; drop this card have a blocker for LIFE!) all made the cut into my deck. Gold was really playable, and I considered splashing in white for a Wings of Hope. In the end my gold was a Vodalian Zombie, Barrin’s Spite, Recoil, Lobotomy, and Seer’s Vision. I was very doubtful of my deck. This was my first sealed and I would have been happy to win one game. I playtested it against Shane’s deck and he romped me. Things looked bad, but it got better.

This is what I played.



Seer’s Vision

Barrin’s Spite


Vodalian Zombie


Alloy Golem

Rith’s Attendant (never got sacked; he was a stick)


2x Soul Burn

Annihilate (has to be the best targeted removal in Invasion Sealed)


Bog Initiate

Phyrexian Reaper

Ravenous Rats

Exotic Curse (Used mainly to kill Apprentice critters)

Urborg Skeleton

Phyrexian Reaver (I don’t think this is the name, but is the one that returns critters to play from grave yard at the cost of life equal to the mana cost)


Metathran Zombie (When I played this card, I won the game)

Faerie Squadron

Tolarian Emissary

2x Vodalian Serpent

Dream Thrush (really helped out with my serpents)

Tidal Visionary

The Propaganda Enchantment (I traded it, I forgot the name)


8x Swamps

8x Islands

It looked like a pile, but it reminded me of my MBC deck, Nether Go! I felt it had answers to most everything, and I had a capable kill card in the Burns. Sorry for such a long rambling, on to the report.

I purchase an Eric Cartman card, and he was my mascot along with Pikachu

Round One- Jervona (I know this wasn’t her name)

Game One: I was getting used to the environment. I had to ask what a lot of cards were, as did she. This game lasts forever, as she drafted more than one Hero’s Reunion and pushed her life total up. After an eleven-point Soul Burn and a seven-point burn she was within range, and I was able to outrace her in creatures. Recoiling an Armadillo Cloaked enchanted critter helped as well.

Game Two: I lose horribly. I needed black mana; my Pikachu-enchanted deck gave me blue. If I needed blue mana, I would get a spell. And so forth. After a great game one, she beat me in three minutes, and I was wondering if I really would be happy with my one win.

Game Three: She gets hosed. During the game I find out she is very close with one of the judges. He sat there and watched the final game, and even asked what the game count was. We replied 1-1. Time gets called with four critters on my side and one land on hers. On the sixth turn I have enough to kill her.

This is when it got weird. The judge runs off with our score sheet. He never gave us the time to rerecord our match. I get credited with one point and I am off to round two.

1-0, 2-1 Games with Zombie on table 2-0

Round Two: Chatwood

I look at the sheet and see I have one point. I go ask the judge what happened, he said I drew; I explained what happened and he gave me two points, plus I got to play a guy who drew.

Game One: He plays some early critters and chooses not to attack me. I build up a small army and start swinging with removal in my hand. He played the new Story Circle, which pretty much still lost his life and then I cast an Alloy Golem, naming Black. He couldn’t prevent the damage and I win.

I stand up with Pikachu and start making him talk, much to the liking of the trash-talking guy sitting next to me.

Game Two: We have a rules question between a Horned Cheetah and a Vodalian Zombie. While I hear that cats like fish, he just couldn’t eat this one. I eventually get enough critters and enough removal to make his guys useless. This game ends with a sixteen-point Soul Burn, because I toyed with him. My bad.

2-0, 4-1 GwZoT 4-0

I keep telling Arnie that the Zombie is the best card in the format. He gets a kick out of that. He autographs four for me before I leave that night.

Round Three: I think his name was Justin.

Game One: I am terribly pissed off. A lack of food, sleep, and Magic is getting to me. In between rounds we have to wait while the organizers pick some fool to play "Who Wants to be a Planeswalker?" What a bunch of dumb questions. I would have ripped them for every box they had.

We have a tight game, I hold a Soul Burn all game long. I attack with enough to bring him down to five life while he has a Dragon Legend out. My mind is flippin’ on me. I need one more land to kill his Dragon, but I then remembered that he was at five life, and I burned him out.

Game 2. In all honesty, Metathran Zombie is my favorite creature. He has some green, non-trampling fat; I block, regenerate, and keep swinging in for creature kills. I later found out he was pissed off because I was able to Soul Burn him twice that game.

3-0, 6-1, GwZoT 6-0

A bunch of my friends have really good records. I’m 3-0, Robert is 3-0, Shane is 3-0, Ben is either 2-1 or 3-0, as are Jared and Dan Litner. Ricky and Justin and both 2-1, and I beam with pride. These guys have not been playing too long; Justin is ten, and Ricky is his father. I like them a lot, and try to teach them all I know. Ricky really reminds me a lot of my late father and that is the reason I respect him.

Round 4: Some guy in a Mirror Match, with his deck being different in three (!!!) cards.

Game One: I keep a land-light hand and pay for it. He drops islands, critters, swamps, more critters. He gets out a Zombie. I lose. First loss since round one.

Game Two: More of the same. This is the point where I start losing interest and want to sleep.

3-1, 6-3 GwZoT 6-0

Round Five: Mike

He is sitting next to a friend, and they’re both contemplating going to Indiana States. They have really good ratings and want to get byes for GP Phoenix. I tell them a 1584 Constructed will not be enough to get me in. They laugh.

Game One: I think he was underestimating me. I stomp him very quickly and he sideboards much hate for my goodness.

Game Two: He gets many Pro Blue and Black creatures, which he enchants with Armadillo Cloaks. I lose.

Game Three: We both start off hot. Eventually he gets out too much fat, I stop finding answers, and I lose in a close game. He was very nice and I dropped.

3-2, 7-5, GwZoT 7-1

After this round, several of the Louisville crew drop and leave, while my ride Shane ended up 6-1 and got some packs. Another L-ville crew guy got packs. I think we all did really well.

I stop playing, and talk to Reese from 7towers. He is a great guy and I cannot wait to get my shirt and start writing more for them. A funny conversation starts up about a rather large writer, and laughter is shared with the two of us, another 7towers guy, and a random attractive chick who I thought looked like Bill Clinton’s daughter, Chelsea. She’s hot.

I had a good time, learned a lot, and I will never discount Prerelease tourneys again.


The L-ville crew. Every one of us did fairly well.

Shane Adams. Thanks for the ride. It was good times shared by the both of us.

Ricky Atwood. For reminding me of an important part of my past – my father. Thanks.

The 7Towers crew. For supporting Imagic, the best little online place to play.

Arnie the Artist and his friend. Thanks for listening to my stories of glory with the Metathran Zombie.

Brandt. For buying cards when I needed food money. I owe you one.

The hot chicks on the Staff of Simply Magic. You guys rocked, and one of you laughed at my rants of fat foreheads.


The coordinator. Why for the love of Claude did we take so long to get started?

Who Wants to be a Planeswalker? What a stupid game. However, many people learned how many phases are in a turn from it.

The Hot Chicks’ Boyfriends. Damn you guys! Why do you have to take my play?

Adrian Sullivan. I respect you a lot. You were cool when I met you at Minnesota. I just wish you didn’t discount a format that had a lot of fun involved.

The city of Indianapolis. Please buy a huge air freshener and place it downtown. It stinks worse than a pile of rotting cow field in that area. 🙁

Joshua Claytor

D-lo on Mirc

[email protected]

Playing with Metathran Zombies at KY States!