Another Saturday, another event. Which means, another review for all you lovely folk! This time I was able to rock up to my LGS at Gauntlet in Wynnum to cover the Magic: the Gathering M14 Pre-release. I noticed the event was a sellout as soon as I got their as it was packed to the walls with many keen players waiting to get their hands on some fresh cards (and some old favourites) and put their deck building skills to practice.
I got to chatting with a few local faces and even caught up with some others I hadn’t seen in a while which is always the case with Gauntlet. After a quick chat, I myself got excited and ended up jumping into the event as well to put my luck to chance with everyone else. Eleven o’clock rolled round and it was time to get underway!
Round one underway!
For those who have previewed the cards before the release you would know that Slivers have made a return this year and in a big way. Even if you didn’t like Slivers, you’d be hard-pressed to avoid including them in your deck. This was very much evident as the games played on from round to round and players cheekily (or not so cheekily) dropped a Groundshaker Sliver alongside a Blur Sliver or Quicksilver Sliver to get a quick, big-hit advantage on their opponent and get them on the back foot.
Between rounds I was able to cruise around to other matches and take a few notes on the cards drafted and see what strategies were coming out of the woodwork. I saw a few Seraph of the Swords, Dismiss into Dreams (which was causing much frustration), and there was also an Elite Arcanist in combo with an Essence Scatter (!!!). That game didn’t take very long. Two people were lucky enough to draft the new Chandra, Pyromaster which came in handy in their matches being able to cast multiple copies of Chandra’s Outrage, Demolish, or even Lava Axe for a decisive win. I also saw one of the players had invested in one of Rule & Make’s Tournament Card Cases and was putting the inclusive playmat to good use with nothing but praise for it. Definitely going to grab one of these soon!
Rule & Make’s Tournament Case – perfect for card games!
As the rounds progressed, and my ranking sunk, it was beginning to become clear who would take out the top position for the day and it all came down to the final match between Michael Hart and Matthew Dean. In the end Mike took out the match in a clear and solid 2-0. With the final round score Mike went 4-0 for the day winning every match 2-0. That’s a pretty sure-fire way to win.
I caught up with Mike after the match for a quick Q&A:
Kuso: Firstly, congratulations. Knowing you from Gauntlet, this wasn’t your first pre-release. So tell me, what was the style of your deck and had you pre-planned any of it going into the event?
Michael: No, I reckon pre-release is my favourite part of a new block. As soon as I saw the cards I knew intimidate was the best choice plus buffing the creatures with enchantments was a strong play. Going blue/black allowed plenty of control along with enough removal to get my creatures through. I never make my mind up before going into a pre-release as I never know what cards I will pull.
K: After you checked out all of the cards before the day, did you have any cards in mind you were hoping to draft? Any favourites of the ones you did draft?
M: Yes! I really wanted to draft Awaken the Ancient with the Fireshrieker equipment that grants double strike.
K: Nice. Fireshrieker was one card I saw a lot of which caused quite a bit of damage. Were there any cards in particular that won you matches?
M: Water Servant and Mark of the Vampire were my win cons. And Liliana’s Reaver was fun with Fireshrieker.
K: Awesome! Well, thanks for taking the time to chat with BTGN. Now, just one last question. Slivers: love ’em or hate ’em?
M: Hate them! I went in to the pre-release absolutely swearing to never use them and I won the day without touching them.
Now that’s some dedication. That’s all for this event. Thanks for reading and keep tuning in to BTGN!
Oh almost forgot! Here’s a sneaky picture of our Editor-in-Chief trying his hardest not to lose.
Editor-in-Chief Toby – you can do it!