TBS COMICS will be hosting 3 Pre-Release events this weekend @ both TBS COMICS Pensacola and Fort Walton Beach locations.
11:59pm Friday Night (following FNM)
TBS COMICS will have drawing for fantastic prizes all weekend for players who choose TBS COMICS as their playing field.
4/23/2014 10:01:00 AM
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The Journey into Nyx Prerelease is happening this weekend and today I’m going to talk about the Prerelease packs with the hope that I can guide you in choosing the color that’s right for you. Many of you may know that Prereleases no longer use the traditional Sealed Deck format that is used for Grand Prix and PTQs but instead use a special Prerelease pack that is weighted toward one particular color. This format is now known as “Seeded Deck” because of the special seeded booster pack that is used for the event. These Prerelease packs have been in place since Return to Ravnica block and have been widely popular among players of all types.
In addition to actually playing Magic at the Prerelease, the Journey into Nyx Prerelease also offers a sort of a mini-game. For quest #7 in the Hero’s Path, you get to Forge a Godslayer. The path you choose corresponds with the five colors in Magic and your prerelease pack will contain a new Hero card and an activity card if you wish to participate. It’s pretty fun, even if you’re more of a competitive player. For more information on the Hero’s Path, check out this Prerelease Primer that was published on the Mothership a few days ago.
Before we begin, it’s important to know what’s actually in your Prerelease pack. For Journey into Nyx, each Prerelease pack contains:
2 Journey into Nyx booster packs
1 Born of the Gods booster packs
2 Theros booster packs
1 seeded booster pack
1 promo card
1 Forge a Godslayer activity card
1 Spindown life counter
1 welcome letter
1 Hero Card
For our actual matches, all we care about are our booster packs, seeded pack, and promo card. The rest of the stuff is pretty cool but we won’t need that stuff while playing our games.
The first thing to note is that we will be playing with one booster pack of Born of the Gods and two booster packs of Theros. That means that we will only have three packs of new cards to work with. Opening two packs of Theros is huge and should definitely influence your color decision. Theros strategies such as black devotion or white heroic will be present at the Journey into Nyx Prerelease, so keep that in mind when choosing your color.
We’ll only be using one Born of the Gods pack. Receiving packs from the middle set is something that is pretty new for Prereleases. In the past, the third set of a block would be paired only with the large set of the block and the middle set would be left out completely. For example, at the Dissension Prerelease, we got a starter deck of Ravnica along with three Dissension boosters and no Guildpact boosters at all. The point of the Prerelease was to play with the new cards and giving Guildpact boosters didn’t make much sense. These days, Wizards wants us to play with the entire block as a whole, so they include all of the sets in the Prerelease pack.
The seeded booster will be weighted toward the color you choose, but keep in mind that there will be other colors represented in the pack as well. You will receive an on-color rare no matter what unless you open a mythic in your pack, which can only be a god of your color. Since the gods in Journey into Nyx are multicolored, there’s no guarantee that you’ll even be able to play the god you open. Additionally, your seeded booster pack will only contain about 50% on-color cards, so don’t be surprised if you’re forced to play a different color.
The Prerelease pack will also contain a promo card in your color. Being guaranteed a bomb rare is always nice to have at a Prerelease and a very good incentive to actually play the color you choose. Unlike Prereleases years ago, you are allowed to play with your Prerelease card which may be confusing if you’re an old school player who is just getting back into the game.
So what Prerelease pack should you choose? Let’s go over each color below.
Promo Card: Dawnbringer Charioteers
I think that Dawnbringer Charioteers is great and with the white commons being as deep as they are in Theros Block, white is a very solid choice. You have access to the heroic creatures like Wingsteed Rider and some great bestow creatures like Hopeful Eidolon and Observant Alseid. Born of the Gods won’t give you much besides Akroan Skyguard, and with only one pack of Born to work with, it’s unlikely that that it will be helpful.
There are a lot of great removal options in white, including one of my favorite new cards, Banishing Light.Reprisal is also great and just what white needed in this block. Excoriate and Divine Verdict are fine, butReprisal is half the mana cost and can be cast at any time while the other spells each have restrictions. Compare Reprisal to the unplayable Vanquish the Foul. It’s easy to see that Reprisal is quite the upgrade.Oppressive Rays is a situational removal spell that can give you some great tempo and can be amazing in an aggro deck but terrible in the late game. I’d play it in a very aggressive heroic deck but would cut it if my deck is more midrangey. I think the card is much better in draft than sealed. Armament of Nyx is a pretty good Pacifism-type card, as long as the enchanted creature isn’t an enchantment. Overall, white has a lot of removal for a small set.
While white’s common creatures aren’t all that impressive, the white combat tricks in Journey into Nyx are great. We have Ajani’s Presence at common. It’s a great heroic enabler and good at any stage of the game. The card can be a blowout if you target even two creatures with it, and if you are able to save three creatures in combat, then it will be really hard for your opponent to recover.
Promo Card: Scourge of Fleets
Scourge of Fleets looks kind of bad at a first glance. It’s seven mana for a 6/6 with no evasion of any kind, but it’s triggered ability can win the game on the spot. By turn seven you’re going to have at least three Islands in play and you’re probably going to return most of your opponent’s board to their hand. The 6/6 body can easily deal with whatever creature didn’t get bounced. I think the card is pretty good and if you want to play blue,Scourge of Fleets is the reason to.
I really like all of the blue tricks in Theros and Born of the Gods such as Crypsis, Voyage’s End, and Griptide, but I don’t think blue is a very good main color for the prerelease. Most of the creatures are unimpressive. Blue didn’t really need any more Snapping Drakes or 2/4 creatures for four mana. Blue is super slow and feels like only a support color to me. Two 2/2 flyers for six mana? We were making two 2/2 flyers for four mana in M13!
We do get a new bounce spell, Hubris, and even a pseudo-removal spell in Pin to the Earth. I also think thatWar-Wing Siren is pretty good and Triton Cavalry can be great in the right deck, but that’s still not a reason for me to choose blue at the Prerelease. I’d rather choose white and hope to open the blue heroic creatures.
While I do like Scourge of Fleets, I’m not very impressed with blue overall. It’s really sad too because blue was my first choice in Born of the Gods. While I would absolutely play blue cards at the prerelease, I’d rather not choose it for my Prerelease pack.
Promo Card: Doomwake Giant
I think that Doomwake Giant is awesome and even has potential to see constructed play. Giving your opponent’s team -1/-1 whenever an enchantment comes into play is very strong and can even be a mini Wrath of God in some decks. There are lots of ways to make Enchantment tokens in Born of the Gods and in Journey into Nyx, so this guy can do some work in the right deck. He’s also a 4/6 creature for only five mana which is quite sizeable.
There is a lot of black removal in Journey into Nyx. Spiteful Blow, Nyx Infusion, Nightmarish End, and Feast of Dreams are just some of the ways that we can kill creatures in black, and that’s not even counting the rares! Theros and Born of the Gods also offer plenty of ways to destroy creatures in Pharika’s Cure, Asphyxiate, andLash of the Whip just to name a few. If you want to play a removal-heavy deck, black is the color to be in.
Black is very deep in this set. I really like most of the creatures including Grim Guardian and Thoughtrender Lamia. My vote for sleeper card of the set for limited is Tormented Thoughts. It may look bad because you have to spend two cards to cast it but it can make your opponent discard their entire hand! A three mana Mind Twistis a limited bomb and I’ll be definitely playing it in my deck if I open one.
Promo Card: Spawn of Thraxes
We were really spoiled back in 2001 when were able to play with Flametongue Kavu. Flametongue Kavu was so good that most creatures with four or less toughness were unplayable because they just died to it. These days, we have to pay seven mana for our Flametongue Kavus and we need to control a bunch of Mountains to kill something relevant. Don’t get me wrong, Spawn of Thraxes is still very good. The flying makes this guy a bomb but even without it, it would still be very playable.
Red is a very aggressive color in Theros and Born on the Gods draft, which makes it a weaker color in sealed compared to the other colors. You really don’t want to be playing too many 2/1s for two in sealed, and unfortunately that’s what red is all about. I do like a lot of red cards in Journey into Nyx however.
First, I really like Flurry of Horns. It provides four power with haste for only five mana in the form of two creatures. They are also minotaurs which can provide some synergy with Kragma Warcaller or Rageblood Shaman from Theros. I also like Magma Spray a lot and I think it’s just the card that red needed. Forgeborn Oreads is another excellent card. I wish it was a 3/3 instead of a more fragile 4/2, but its ability is quite powerful. Of course it’s not as good as Doomwake Giant, but this guy definitely has the potential to Pyroclasmyour opponent’s board which is very strong in limited. Riddle of Lightning is a reprint but it was amazing in Time Spiral block and I’m sure it will be just as good in Theros block. Finally, I think that Lightning Diadem is pretty good. It’s no Galvanic Arc but it is a removal spell nonetheless and can make one of your little 2/1s into an actual threat. Red also has some really nice finishers such as Rouse of the Mob and Blinding Flare.
Red is not the strongest color in the set in my opinion but it’s a great support color and pairs very nicely with green or white. I would fault no one for choosing red at the Prerelease.
Promo Card: Heroes’ Bane
Heroes’ Bane is an upgraded version of Chameleon Colossus. It gets the +1/+1 counters permanently unlike the Colossus which only got bigger until end of turn. Heroes’ Bane will get out of hand very quickly and will have to be chump blocked the second time you activate him. There really isn’t much removal that kills him either outside of white and black. I think this guy is great and I would be more than happy to have him in my Prerelease deck.
As I was looking through the green cards in the spoiler, I was very impressed. Nearly all of the cards are good. That definitely says a lot about a color if practically all of your cards are playable. The strive mechanic really shines in green. Colossal Heroics, Consign to Dust, and Nature’s Panoply all provide card advantage which is something that green usually lacks.
Journey into Nyx also gives green two forms of mana acceleration, Font of Fertility and Golden Hind. Combine that with Voyaging Satyr from Theros and you can build a really good ramp deck. There are lots of strong creatures to ramp into and playing your slow creatures a turn earlier will gain you a huge advantage in a game.
Green has a lot of good creatures at common and uncommon in Journey into Nyx, the most impressive beingGoldenhide Ox, Oakheart Dryads, and Humbler of Mortals. All of these guys make use of the constellation mechanic and can make combat really tricky for your opponent. Nessian Game Warden is also really good and is another way to gain card advantage in green.
I like green a lot in this set. Green was already strong in Theros and Born of the Gods and is therefore a great choice for your Prerelease pack.
I think the best choice for the Journey into Nyx Prerelease is probably black, with white and green not too far behind. Red and blue are pretty weak in my opinion but each have their strengths and are still good support colors. Regardless of which color you choose, with five random booster packs in your pool there is no guarantee that you will even be able to play your color. I am going to be playing in two prereleases this weekend and will be choosing black for the first one and green for the second. I think these colors are very deep and both have excellent, hard to deal with promo cards.
Good luck at your Prerelease this weekend no matter what color you choose!
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