one week late is better than nothing?

Last weekend I went to the Guildpact prerelease. I even managed to get up pretty early to get down there in time for the big seven-round flight. Seven rounds is a bit much, it turns out.

While I was waiting for the flight to start, the fire alarm went off and everybody had to be evacuated outside for a while. I took this as a signal to go into red.

The flight finally got underway and everybody opened their packs. Mine contained Birds of Paradise and Temple Garden, which pretty much means that I win the tournament right there. The guy across from me opened another Birds, and the guy next to him opened another one, foil this time. Good times.

Oh, and apparently there were a number of missorted tournament packs being opened with more than the usual number of rares. Like about 10 more than the usual number. This seemed to be an auspicious omen.

My cardpool, sadly, didn't really have anything that looked excellent in one color or another. I decided red/green/blue would be nice, since I had Gruul beatdown creatures that I could back up with some blue control and Leap of Flame for the win. Actually, I could Leap of Flame for the win quite a bit. I even swung for 17 damage in one game, with two 6/4s Leaping along with a 3/5 flyer. Pain!

Unfortunately, my deck would often fold to removal spells and had no draw and no burn. That plus a few silly play errors like attacking with my wurm instead of saving it to win me the game on the next fucking turn meant that I only went 3-4. That only got me four packs, which was kind of too bad, since I was hoping to bring something back to draft with at my cluster.

I moved on to the draft. It seemed like nobody next to me was in green/red, and I was able to build a damned aggressive Gruul deck with only about two spells, a metric fuck-ton of creatures, and two copies of SKARRG, THE RAGE PITS!

Sadly, I got eliminated in the first round by an equally competent Izzet deck that could keep laying out bounce with replicate and picking me off with Wee Dragonauts (easily the cutesiest name in the new set). I didn't lose by much, though, since I went 1-2 and got him down to 1 life in the deciding match. Curse my lack of burn spells.

So I basically managed to lose the tournament and still come out even. I even picked up a bunch of green/red cards I wanted, including probably the most underrated cards thus far: the 4/1 Solifuge and Killer Instinct, the second card to be named after a fighting game.

Oh yeah, plus Birds of Paradise and Temple Garden. Suckas.


Since I got my clustermates back into Magic, one of them decided to find decks online and print them out. He found one that he liked a lot, and I asked what was in it.

"It's got those artifact lands," he said, "and a whole bunch more artifacts."

"Is it Affinity?"

"I don't know. It's got a bunch of artifacts, and a black guy that makes you lose life."

"Does it have Arcbound Ravager?"

So I am playing against Ravager Affinity after Skullclamp, but before the lands/Disciple bannings. I try out most of my decent decks against it. I lose quite a bit, as is to be expected, but my broken red deck can handle him nicely. My Golgari deck also does surprisingly well. It heartens me to see Sisters of Stone Death playing against one of the most broken decks in a long time and formally handing it its ass on a silver platter.

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