Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Pre-release Weekend

By Jim Marlow

Hey everyone,

The worldwake pre-release is in the books and despite a decent pool i managed to once again pull a 0-2 drop....o no wait i was judging. This weekend i managed to get the best of both worlds, by judging my first magic tournament at the Leeds prerelease on saturday, then got the train to York to play on Sunday in their event. I cant remember a prerelease event being as fun as this one, and considering that i dont think much of the set, i think this speaks volumes for the work of the TO's in York and Leeds in putting together a couple of amazing events.

Saturday - Leeds.

Rob had managed to get a really cool room booked for the pre-release, and i really hope we get to go there more often, it was just the right size to offer enough room but not be too big and empty.

Being almost nocturnal, particularly if there is a magic event looming, i hadnt really had enough sleep for this event, but still managed to meet Rob at the required time to get stuff set up for the day. I was a bit nervous to be judging in my first magic tournament, not only because i was unsure whether i knew the rules well enough, but more because i didnt want to make mistakes that affected the players of Leeds, who are all good friends of mine.

Anyway, the whole day went as smooth as i had hoped. I did shit a brick when the first hand went in the air but to my complete surprise i knew the answer. Apparently this was the case for almost every question throughout the day, which felt pretty good. For those people who dont realise how cheaty judges are, they tend to just read the card aloud back to you, at which point you realise how simple the question you are asking is, tah-dah!. It seems judging is about 40% having confidence in yourself that you know the answer, 55% telling the player confidently that this is the answer and about 5% knowing the rules (approx). Anyway, it was pretty awesome to be judging my first event, Rob, Ben and I seemed to keep everyone happy, and i managed to keep the DQ's to an absolute minimum (things got pretty hairy when i started getting tired)

Anyway, a couple of drafts fired that i was lucky enough to watch over, which was really awesome. Triple small set drafts are always hilarious, and worldwake is a pretty weak, so i have no idea if any of the 12 drafters had any idea of what they were doing - or if they did, they managed to hide it very well when drafting. The players seemed pretty content to rare draft and be done with it, and i cant really blame them.

I know the hardcore among you will be amazed that i managed to survive an entire magic tournament without scrubbing....well luckily for me the chance arose late in the day when we mustered 8 players for a ZZW draft in the adjacent room. With my veins now carrying more red bull than blood i mercifully did not miss my cue to scrub and lost to Colin in the first round, although he did have a pretty good deck.

Sunday - York

I got to York a little bit later than expected because apparently of the half dozen trains leaving Leeds for York within a half hour period i managed to hop on one that went via Wakefield and Doncaster - which im pretty sure are quite a way away from York right??. Anyways, got there on time and caught up with some of the people from York, many of whom i had spent some time with at Nationals last year but it was awesome to see them again.

Shame on no other Leeds players going though.

My pool was ok, but i didnt have any particularly deep colours, and my better cards were awkwardly costed. I ended up playing a G/r/b deck splashing for disfigure and tomb hex of a verdant catacombs and pilgrims eye. My deck was powered by a wolfbriar elemental and a terastodon, which were pretty good all day, and leatherback baloth was pretty awesome.

I managed to Win my firsttwo rounds pretty easily, roudn 2 i got troubles with some flyers including the huge sphinx guy. Luckily i managed to fetch, tomb hex and kill it with baloth in combat, and that was about all she wrote.

Round 3 went to 3 games, and a greedy 2 land keep on the draw against the eventual winner was my downfall. I kept swamp mountain and 5 spells including the 2/1 discard guy and burst lightning and tomb hex, but didnt draw lands and he was pretty aggresive. To be honest i dont think i could have won if i had drawn the lands i wanted.

Round 4 i lost to Chris Vincent playing a very similar r/b deck, which apparently is the best colour combination, who knew. My draws were too slow and too bad to get in either game, although i felt better when Chris said he had not lost a game all day.

Round 5 put me back in a far more managable bracket, and this round was pretty straightforward. 3-2 on the day, i think i ended up 4th or 5th for my troubles too, which was nice.

So i didnt do badly at the prerelease, wow, guess i really am a changed man. Well i packed my thigns and felt pretty good that i hadnt scrubbed today.

.....Then i found out there were 7 people in a WWW queue.

So my deck was ok actually, some fool passed me a basalisk collar p1,p2. I had first picked talus paladin on the rare grabs, but felt he was pretty busty if i can grab some join the ranks or any allies. Luckily for me the guy across the table voiced out loud how he was annoyed at the lack of allies because he had decided to draft them before the draft....and i hadnt been getting any, urgh.

So my deck ended up u/w with a tiny black splash which was pretty awkward. I knew i was definately playing white because i got 3 apex hawks pack 1, and then got 3 ionas jugement pack 3. My blue was ok too with some other flyers, but i was short on playables because blue somehow got cut pack 2 ridiculously and after feeding black and green i got 2 wasp lancers, or whatever the snapping drake guy is called.

I ended up scrubbing in 3 games to a guy who made turn 1 arbor elf every game. His deck idea wasnt to bad to be honest, he had a couple of the multikicker bear that he could make big with all his mana. Basically he won games 1 and 3 by casting beastial menace on turns 3 and 4 respectively. I could stall but his deck made a creature a turn, and eventually lots of bad green guys got there.


Anyway, lets hope the new draft format proves to bring life to triple Zendikar, which is starting to get a bit stale i think.

See you all soon.

Until then,


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1 comment:

  1. Talus Paladin looks good. You would have won if you Hada Freeblade :)