Sunday, 27 September 2009

Zendikar Prerelease - Leeds 26th September

By Jim Marlow

Hey everyone,

In my last article i discussed how wizards often make sets that contain plenty of money rares but are not so great in limited play. Well zendikar is certainly not one of these. Sure, the enemy fetchlands are serious money cards, and will be staple in any and all formats which they will be legal in forever, but Zendikar limited, or what i have seen so far, looks insane!

My sealed pool was pretty average. I had decent removal in the form of 2 x burst lightning, 2 x arrow volley trap, a journey to nowhere and 2 x goblin torchrunner. However, my creatures were all a bit pants, most of them 3 mana 2/2's, i think i may have had 3 guys which had more than 2 power.

Sadly (well not really i suppose), i manage to organise a draft afterwards with prize boosters we all got, so i managed to mix my deck and pool into my draft wares so i cant give an exact list of my pool and deck.

I was pretty happy with my deck, most creatures were 2 toughness so i could easily deal with most guys, but i knew i would have a problem against any of the green landfall fatties.

I ended up 2/3 before i dropped to try and do some trading (trust me, im not protecting any kind of rating), which was awesome, except i didnt have any fetchlands and everyone else did.

My 3 losses were kind of annoying, 1 match i totally punted game 1, making a ridiculous error where i thought i was burning my opponant out only to realise i had a teetering peeks, and not a mountain, and then game 2 my opponant topdecked a removal spell when i had fought back from near defeat, but with him threatening a 7/1 hastey elemental trampler. I had decided to keep back a goblin torchrunner to remove any creatures he found....sadly he found gatekeeper of malakair.

Another game i lost to a better deck, piloted by Rob Catton, no slouch at magic, and certainly someone who i seem to not be able to beat right now. I seem to have random bogey opponants (mostly people who are better than me!), and he seems to be one, beating me with his 5/5 shroud flyer sphinx, which got the job done despite my arrow volley trap and journey to nowhere in hand. To be fair, in the funzies game we played his landfall guy got in for 16 in one turn, so i wasnt annoyed at losing this one.

My other loss was single handedly caused by the 8/8 trample green guy. Both games my opponant found it, immediately halting my attack, and although he was cautious attacking with it because i had some threats down, i could even find removal to create a 2/3 for it soon killed me.

Anyway, the draft afterwards was awesome, it looks like a really cool set to draft, i already have some limited favourites from what i have played with....although due to my pool this is mostly the bad cards in the set.

Anyway, here are some cards i really like in the set so far.

1) Journey to nowhere - obv, really nice

2) Kor shyfisher - one of my favourite creatures in the set so far, its good at any point in the like tarmogoyf yeah?

3) Torch slinger - really good guy who can also be a removal spell, i like.

4) Steppe Lynx - sick beater, it seems like its a slower set than some, so this guy can easily get in for 6-8 without fetches/harrow

5) Harrow - probably the best mana fixing and combat trick in the set, i wouldnt count on seeing these in draft later than pick 2, they really are that good.

6) windrider eel - solid guy, as are most with landfall. I also like the green guy who gains 2 life. Its less amazing than the gets +10/+10 or whatever, but the life gained from 1 or 2 of these and lands is really important in the race.

7) Expeditions - The two green ones (one gets lands, other gives counters), the red one who makes a 7/1, and the blue one who draws cards are all really solid.

In the draft i managed to make turn 2 khalni heart expedition, turn 3 land then end of turn harrow and break the expidition.....turn 4 - untap with 6 lands in play! (who says you need a lotus cobra for turn 4 ultimatums!)

8) Vampire Hexmage - 2 power and first strike means he can rumble with about 75% of the creatures in the set.

9) Marsh casualties - sick

10) traps - i had two arrow volley trap, and it was activated approximately zero times. However, fire at will was awesome, so 5 damage for 5 is pretty hot two, and if you ever pay the alternate, you are really shitting one someone.

Anyway, im not trying to say these are the best 10 cards in limited, just some great cards to watch in the common and uncommon slot, because early on in the format you can get some late picks when people havent realised how good cards are....(for reference, i am the worst player ever at evaluating new sets, so i will probably be badmouthing every one of the aforementioned cards in weeks to come)

As for my current favourite card in the set.... it has to be Kor Skyfisher. I really love this guy.

Anyway, its unsanctioned planechase multiplayer this wednesday as a bit of funzies before the release, and my deck is HOT!. Watch out tomorrow, as i may post it.

Untill then,


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  1. I look forward 2 seeing your deck..from all you've said 2 me so far...should be awesome funzies and massive plays

  2. I managed to take down a Dragon with my Arrow Volley Trap, despite him starting the turn with 3 small guys to my one and me being stuck on 4 lands... he just played hasty dragon and turned everything sideways. Thank-you Magic gods xx