M14 Release Day @ Gauntlet

After the success of the pre-release last Saturday 13th July, I trundled on down to Gauntlet again on Friday 19th July to cover the release day mania that ensues with any new core set release.

Ratchet Bomb - So shiny!

Ratchet Bomb – So shiny!

Once again, there were many familiar faces from the pre-release event who had lined themselves up for the event of the evening, FNM Draft, after cracking all of their boosters from their booster box purchases. For this core set, Wizards had selected a sweet foil version of the Ratchet Bomb reprint from the Scars of Mirrodin set which was a nice little incentive to make the purchase.

All of the buzz, as usual with any new core set, was on hoping to pull the new Planeswalker which was Chandra, Pyromaster this time round. Much like the pre-release, there were two Chandra’s pulled, one by the pre-release winner Mike and another by Gauntlet local Connor. At the end of the day they both went to Mike after some good, friendly trading to add to his Planeswalker collection.

After all the boosters were opened, trades completed, and drool wiped up, the FNM Draft got underway. Once again, this reporter jumped in on the action to get that first-hand experience for all you faithful readers. Round One I got matched up against Barnet and his Blue/White Mill deck with the key components being his Jace, Memory Adept he drafted out of his first booster, and the Millstone he was lucky to nab as well. A very dangerous combination against a 40-card draft deck that not even all of the Spell Blasts and Disperses I managed to draw could stop.

Beast booster, Primeval Bounty

Beast booster, Primeval Bounty

The course of the event went very similarly with myself picking up the wooden spoon after facing three other very well drafted decks and Gauntlet local and crowd favourite Ben Francis taking top position with his winning deck. Ben drafted out of his first booster pack one of the new cards out of the core set, Primeval Bounty. This put his focus on drafting as many low-cost Beast creature type cards as he could as well as many instants and sorceries to aid his beats and gain the buffs from Primeval Bounty. A nice strategy that worked well in his favour and thoroughly annoyed the opponents he faced.

The spoils for the night included, as mentioned before, a Jace, Memory Adept, a foil version of Liliana of the Dark Realms, new core set cards including Pyromancer’s Gauntlet, Ajani’s Chosen, Awaken the Ancient, and of course we can’t forget the Slivers, Sentinel and Thorncaster were up for grabs. All-in-all, the night was a great success with everyone enjoying themselves and having the first chance to play with the new cards in a draft format, the first of many to come I’m sure. Being the release day event as well, all participants walked away happy with the Release Day Promo, Colossal Whale, brand new from the M14 core set.

Release Day Promo - Colossal Whale

Release Day Promo – Colossal Whale

Well, thanks for reading once again, and keep your face glued to BTGN for all your tabletop gaming news.

– Kuso

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