After missing the Journey Into Nyx prerelease, there was no way I was going to miss the M15 core set event. Pre-releases are one of the few events that I really enjoy outside of Commander/EDH. Prior to missing the JOU release, I have had some really great finishes… 11th at Born of the Gods, 4th at Theros, 3rd for M14 and 2nd at Dragon’s Maze. I chose to play on Sunday this time around. Reason being, my son had the day off of work and this would be his first pre-release and very first limited event.
Magic M15 Core Set Prerelease Results
I did quite a bit of research, looking at the commons and uncommons of the core set and evaluating what I thought would be the best overall color choice. For the first time ever, I chose Green. Excited to get started, I ripped open the booster packs and swiftly divided my cards by color. Black was easily eliminated as I had the least amount of this color. White was next as it had poor creature support and only two conditional removal spells. I had my green beasts ready to go with a Charging Rhino, Soul of Zendikar and Chord of Calling but couldn’t decide if I should align it with red or blue. In fact, I even considered splashing a color and going Green/Red/Blue. What to do, what to do?
I pondered over my Green support spells and seen absolutely nothing intimidating. Then something clicked. I moved my green cards out of the way and put on my old school 3D glasses… suddenly I was seeing everything in BLUE and RED! With a chunk of 2 & 3 drop red beaters, about 8 pieces of removal and a few pieces of pseudo removal, I was on my way. What resulted was one of the best Sealed decks I ever created. It was a lightning fast mix of early game aggro and late game control. Without further ado, I introduce you to my undefeated, 4-0, Izzet deck built from my card pool:
Frosty Aggro M15 Izzet Sealed Decklist
Magic M15 U/R Sealed Decklist Primer
We only had four rounds on the docket for the Sunday afternoon prerelease with 29 players participating. Game 1, Round 1 was painful for my Izzet build as the game itself lasted 30 minutes. I found myself in an uphill battle that had me cursing for not playing green. I was up against Ajani Steadfast, Resolute Archangel and Ancient Silverback and found myself on the losing side of life totals. However, I stayed calm, focused and, interestingly enough, didn’t lose another game all day. I finished the Round 1 match in record time as my Blue/Red Frosty Burn came to life and smoked my opponent the next two games within a 15 minute span. Rounds 2 and 3 were blazing fast, as I went 2-0 in both matchups in approximately 5 minutes of play. In the final match I was pitted against a very good player that had already won a Saturday prerelease. Again, my deck refused to let up and after 10 minutes of gaming, my end-of-day results was 4-0 and a tie for first place. Reward? 10 Booster Packs of M15, one of which contained an Ajani Steadfast. Hooray!
Frost Lynx: Although I had some good cards in my M15 Sealed Deck, the card that came through for me time and time again was Frost Lynx. With three (3) copies of the “Frost Kitty” in my 40 card deck, I was able to play one at least every game. My mana curve was phenomenal and the Lynx was always hitting in stride with my attack plan. Most games I would cast a turn two creature and then have a Lynx waiting for my opponent as soon as they put a blocker onto the battlefield. Check out this play by play that drew a “are you freaking kidding me” response from my opponent:
Turn 2 me Borderland Marauder
Turn 2 them: Swamp
Turn 3 me: Swing for 3. Play Torch Fiend
Turn 3 them: Witch’s Familiar
Turn 4 me: Frost Lynx tapping their Frog. Swing for 5
Turn 4 them: Witch’s Familiar #2.
Turn 5 me: Frost Lynx #2 tapping their other Frog. Swing for 7
Turn 5 them. Swamp
Turn 6 me: Frost Lynx #3 tapping Frog #1. Opponent Scoop.
BEATERS. Borderland Marauder leads a group of undersized brutes, as my two copies did the grunt work all day long. My deck curved just right to drop this guy on turn two and then if my opponent played a creature, my turn three was a Frost Lynx so the Marauder could bash for three. If my opponent didn’t put a blocker out there then I held the Lynx and put out utility guy Torch Fiend to join in on the thumping. By turn 4 my Hill Giant, aka Scrapyard Mongrel joined the team as I continued to use removal or a Lynx to clear the path for my 3 and 2 power win conditions. My mana base consisted of a Darksteel Citadel and I had amazing luck having both the artifact land and the Mongrel out at the same time. 5/3 Trampler my friends. Heck ya. Finally there was Thundering Giant. The Giant was a great finisher thanks mostly to the fact that he has Haste. With haste, opponents were caught off guard almost every time and he would help push the final points of damage through.
MEH. There were a few occasions where Research Assistant helped me dig through my deck faster looking for answers. Other times, with my early 2 and 3 drops, I was unable to activate him due to lack of cards in hand. Research Assistant was, however, a great chump blocker. Speaking of chump blockers, that is the only thing Coral Barrier and the squid token were able to do all day. I never had an opportunity for my 1/1 islandwalker. Finally there was Miner’s Bane. I was hoping for this dude to be my finisher, but that 3 toughness just hurt. A couple of times, however, activating and giving him trample was a bit handy.
REMOVAL! To recap on my sealed pool, I picked GREEN as my color for the day but after seeing a TON of removal in my Red/Blue piles I had no choice but to go Izzet. At six mana Blastfire Bolt may seem like a lot and maybe even a dead draw, but in my deck this sat at the top of my mana curve and usually helped seal the deal. By the time I was able to reach six mana I usually had already exausted my Frost Lynx or other removal and just needed to blast one final creature out of the way to get the remaining damage through for the win. The fact that this could be cast at Instant Speed was also extremely fabulous! Speaking of instant speed, Heat Ray took out it’s fair share of creatures for me at the prerelease. The flexibility was awesome for late game removal as well as melting the occasional Elvish Mystic at the end of their turn. Into the Void was money and game-breaking every time I played it. I wish I would have drew it more throughout the day. Polymorphist’s Jest was okay and served it’s purpose. It didn’t do as well as I thought it would, I may have overhyped it in my head. It did have it’s moments of awesomeness, however, and I was glad to have it in my deck. Encrust was awesome with a Frost Lynx. Put this on an opponents dude and then use Frost Lynx to tap them… forever!
AND THEN… Quck shout out to my buddy Jace and his Ingenuity. Seriously though, I have never played card draw in my sealed deck before and having Jace’s Ingenuity and Divination to refuel my hand helped gain me momentum to tilt the game heavily in my favor. One of my favorite plays was discarding two of my three cards to an oppenent’s Mind Rot and then casting Jace’s Ingenuity to draw three cards. Negate was another card that kinda under performed. However, there was a game saving moment when I was able to counter a Spectra Ward – a game saving moment that solidified its spot in my 40 card deck. The final card I would like to mention in today’s article is Lava Axe. I only drew this card twice out of 9 games, but both times resulted in epicness. One instance was a turn six attack that resulted in an opponent being at 5 life. Lave Axe. Win. The second was when Ajani Steadfast was on the battlefield. Redirect to Ajani? You freakin’ bethca. Hey Ajani! Catch!.
In conclusion, I was super stoked that I did so well at my local M15 prerelease and will be looking forward to Khans of Tarkir pre-release in September 2014.
How did you do at your Prerelease event? Would love to hear your feedback or stories, please post them in the comments below. 🙂