I attended two prerelease events this weekend. And I have to admit the first one did not go great at all. My Selesnya (green/white) was missing a ton of key commons and did not have any finishers. The deck had insane gas and card draws, just no finishers.
My last round opponent was playing Dimir (blue/black) and since we were both playing for nothing (only 3 wins and higher get prizes), we were both lamenting the terrible pool we opened to each other. I asked if and what he was playing in the evening event and he replied, “Dimir again. But it is so grindy!” Sensing an opportunity I offered to trade guilds. The store had all the guilds available for the evening event except Dimir. He accepted the trade, asking me to snag Selesnya for him.
This was the Dimir I put together for the second event:
Usually I am very happy with just one bomb or two. But this pool contained 3.5 bombs. If it had Dimir Spybug and Artful Takedown, this might as well be a constructed deck.
The beauty of Dimir is the the options it give you through surveil. Surveil makes your deck smooth and consistent. It just feels so good to surveil and bin two useless lands and draw into threats and answers.
Etrata never came out once. Thief of Sanity was killed immediately whenever it showed up on the battlefield, but cleared the way for Darkblade Agents. Laza paired really well when Nightveil Predator was in the graveyard.
Connive // Concoct was another card that gave you flexibility and options. Mind controlling Aurelia (twice!) or bringing back a bomb creature from the graveyard.
I know opening a stacked pool trivializes the competition but that is one of the reasons to play sealed!
Prerelease is the only time I play paper Magic. I was feeling very good entering the fourth and final round of the day with my Dimir deck. However, as soon as I sat down my opponent asked if I wanted to split. I declined, opting to play. I knew splitting was a common habit, I even thought about it beforehand – maybe counter offer that we can split but play for 2 packs instead of 6. Keep some stakes to keep it exciting.
He said if that is the case then he will just concede since he did not have time to play the fourth round.
“I hope you’re a nice guy and will split the prize.”
Now, I’ve split prizes at tournaments before. No one is going to be thinking straight by the time you’ve reached top 4 at the end of a 100 person tournament. The atmosphere and mental concentration is just totally different than a casual prerelease event. You just want to take your box prize, chow down some food and pass out. Or go home early before the wife and family aggro meter really builds up. But a prerelease is different – I just want to play with the new cards (and my busted deck)!
I was not happy that my opponent waited till the start of the fourth round, hoping for a split (so you can get a whole 3 extra packs), drop regardless, and screw your opponent out of playing a match of Magic on prerelease day.
Luckily, those around us noticed that I was struggling to decide. I am a online limited player, so the packs does not matter to me. No matter what I say, my opponent is not going to play our match.
“You don’t have to split if you don’t want to.”
“People should make sure they can finish the event.”
“That’s why judges always tell people to drop if they can’t finish. Not hope for a split, but drop anyway regardless.”
I decided not to split and accept his concede. He snatched the match slip, signed it and stomped off to the cashier to his collect his prize.
Free Sealed Entry on Magic Arena
I was still feeling pretty good about my Dimir deck when I got home. I wanted to keep playing, especially after not playing the fourth and final round at the store. I decided to use the promo code from the prerelease and play some more Magic. (Yes, I know I said I won’t be playing sealed on Arena anymore but this was a free entry. A potential opportunity to get 2,200 gems for free!)
So that’s my weekend prerelease report. Hope you enjoyed it. I’ll be diving in the competitive draft event on Monday!
PS: Be sure to use your free sealed entry promo code! It’s found on the back on token card in your sealed guild kit.