So because of pre-release, I was thinking of adding a little section of this blog to talking about one of the games that has taken over my life, Magic the Gathering. If you’re new to the game, you can read about it on the various sites, like the “New to Magic” section on the MtG website, and the different MtG forums, like reddit’s subreddits for magic, like this intro post here. About half of what I’ll be posting about assumes a fairly deep knowledge of the game. Now, back to the updates.
Flying through pre-release
Pre-release for the new Fate Reforged set, the second set of the Khans of Tarkir block, was this weekend. I played in one of the local game stores’ pre-release tournaments. To those unaware, you can read all about pre-release events, and what goes on in one here. With the release of a new set comes the choice of picking a clan to play! So I picked Jeskai like…well…it seemed everyone. I got there almost a minute late, and the guys at the store said people were asking for the pre-release pack I had reserved, if I wasn’t going to show. I did end up getting my pack, and when the deckbuilding started, I went through the usual motions, trying to apply my deckbuilding skills from the Constructed formats (Standard, Modern, Legacy) to a format I don’t really play that often. Apparently it’s quite the different beast. I got destroyed 0-2 in the first round. But silver lining, my opponent showed me a few tips, helping me take my deck from Jeskai stuff, to a lean, mean 4-color beast. I ended up top 8-ing for this pre-release! Only got one prize pack, but I did make an awesome pull!
Treasure these moments
So today at 9 am Central, Wizards of the Coast updated the official ban and restricted list for all formats. To no one’s surprise, Treasure Cruise was banned in most formats, and restricted in Vintage. To my surprise Birthing Pod was banned in Modern. Granted, it was quite the format dominating deck, prevalent in most tournament top-8’s I’ve seen, but I thought it was going to be like Deathblade in Legacy, or Metalworker in Vintage. An archetype that’s major in the formats, but can still be beaten. This kind of leaves a hole in modern. No Treasure Cruise means that the Delver decks that have been on the rise are now going to go back to maybe Tier 1.5/2, and no Pod means that GBx decks will be on the rise, maybe making the meta being Affinity, GBx, and UWR control at the top, until the lists settle down from the aftermath of the TC ban.
Along with the bans came some unbans, Worldgorger Dragon in Legacy, and Golgari Grave-Troll in Modern. I honestly thought we’d see an unbanning of Bloodbraid Elf, and I know it was not really probably happening, but I was hoping for an unbanning of Deathrite Shaman too. I’m personally not a big fan of banning overpowered cards, I’d rather see the unbanning of answers, but I can definitely understand why they’d ban a card that’s pretty much in every deck, including a strange burn deck I saw once that splashed blue just for the Treasure Cruise. So interesting things shaking up the current Modern meta, and hopefully we’ll see some new decks taking the meta by surprise!