FNM, prerelease edition: Sealed is hard. And luck can be shitty.

That’s about the overall theme of my Dragon Maze (midnight) prerelease.

I still had fun, but I have a hard time controlling my emotions running on no sleep, so I really let my losses get to me. And I lost, a lot. My record was 2-4. I didn’t drop though, mostly because I my two wins were rounds four and five so I had a slim chance of going 3-3 and wanted to give it a shot. So I stayed all the way through until 7 a.m. Luckily, I didn’t have to work until 1 p.m., but it’s still taken me a little while to recover and be able to think about the night without getting a little sad about my record. Sigh.

Since it was only my second sealed experience (the first being the Gatecrash prerelease) I’m trying not to be too hard on myself. I had a really good pool, but had a really hard time building my deck. I chose Orzhov as my guild, and got Azorius as my allied guild. I pulled some really good cards in pretty much all the colors. I ended up going white-black-blue, and just running with my guilds. I had a massive amount of gates and cluestones, but I didn’t run all of them and I didn’t run any cluestones. (I am not a fan of the cluestones.) I also pulled a lot of good red cards, but more on that later.

My deck seemed decent — I had a ton of fliers and a few great bombs (Teysa, Alms Beast and Palisade Giant), so I was fairly confident going into the first match. But things just didn’t go my way: In three of my four losses I got mana screwed for at least one game.  Overall my games were close, but that made losing even harder.

I got dominated my first match, admittedly  The first game I thought I was doing alright: I got my fliers out and was hitting him with a good amount of damage each turn. But then he played his Alms Beast and immediately put Gift of Orzhova on it. The second game he enchanted a 3/3 centaur token with Unflinching Courage  then got Gift or Orzhova on that as well. It was GG pretty fast.

My second match was pretty good. My opponent got me the first game, and then I dominated him with my Alms Beast and fliers the second game. I was feeling good going into game three, and then got totally mana flooded. I had a ridiculous amount of mana out by the end. It was to the point that if I drew any of my bombs I could play them and stabilize really easily. But I never did. My opponent even mentioned it afterwards… he said something along the lines of “your deck is awesome, had you drawn into anything, I was screwed.” Nice to hear, but I still lost.

My third match was also really close, and also went to game three. I dominated the first game, and the second game was really close. I got her down to two life, and thought I had it in the bag, but then she fused Armed and Dangerous and hit me for an absurd amount. Game three was another mana screw… I was stuck on three lands. Curiously, none were basic. Two guildgates and my Transguild Promenade. I had my Ubul Sal Gatekeeper in hand, too. I just never drew that last land. It was painful.

My next two matches were fun, just because I crushed both of my opponents pretty solidly. Both matches were 2-0, and I was feeling really confident going into my last match. It went to game three, though, and I got mana screwed again. This time even worse: I got stuck on two lands. It was terrible. Especially since I crushed him game 2 and game 1 was close, despite me mulling down to five. Cue epic sigh.

Looking back, I definitely didn’t do quite as terrible I thought. I just got very unlucky. I don’t really like to blame all my losses on luck, but it definitely played a part Friday. Luck’s huge role in Magic is something I’m still getting used to. Oh well. I also still make rook mistakes. Like not knowing that I could enchant my creature with hexproof… I was convinced all night that I could not. It was only after the fact when I was talking about it that my friend corrected me. Only my opponents can’t target my creature. Which makes hexproof a much better ability than I thought, and made me kick myself for not enchanting my Ascended Lawmage all night. Oops.

Anyways, after everything was over, I still had a feeling I could make a stronger deck with my pool. I had bombs like Exava, Weapon Surge and Unflinching Courage, some strong creatures like three Riot Pikers and all the mana fixing I could have hoped for. Seriously. I got five of the ten guildgates, Prophetic Prisim and Transguild Promenade.

Yeah, I built a five-color deck. What of it?

Yeah, I built a five-color deck. What of it?

So Monday night I got my pool out, and with the help of my friend Steve (who went 4-1-1 with an intentional draw to place and get lots of packs) we built a new deck. And it’s awesome. I’m calling it my “5-color madness” deck because I’ve never run a five color deck before. It’s really fun. And it’s beaten Steve’s 4-1-1 deck a lot already! Bonus. I’ve only had a couple instances where I couldn’t cast a spell in my hand, but I always had something else to cast so it wasn’t a big deal.

I obviously don’t know whether I would have done any better with that deck at the prerelease, but it’s still cool I could build it! Which deck do you think is stronger? I’m still deciding. I haven’t gotten mana screwed with this deck yet, but I’m sure it’s just a matter of time.

All for now,
Bale

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