Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Dark Ascension Sealed

Correct? predictions:

Okay, so you guys probably know of my post of the Dark Ascension Spoilers way back when basically nothing was spoiled. (Basically nothing as in four cards, two of which were only names.)

So the first thing is Gravecrawler. I was right about it being cast from the graveyard, but I figured that was obvious from it's name. But remember my comment about Ravenous Demon // Archdemon of Greed, where I hoped it was a Lord? Compare to Lord of the Pit.

I was unfortunately wrong about Nebelgeist, looks like they took that card and made it into the cycle of Drogskol Captain.

Stories from Sealed:

I participated in two sealed events with my friends. In the first sealed I was pretty happy, I felt like I had a good limited deck. It was Green/Black and I splashed all the removal from Red I could get, which wasn't going to be too hard because I had Evolving Wilds. Lolzor had a Blue/White spirit deck, which utilized Flying and Intimidate from Spectral Rider. The two cards at the top are what I pulled. Helvault isn't particularly great but I love the card, and it was actually relevant in three of the four matches I had in the swiss rounds. If you didn't go to the pre-release, one of the "games" that they had was some players were randomly distributed stickers each of them representing a faction in Innistrad: Spirits, Zombies, Vampires, Werewolves. If you were beaten by an opponent, you convert to what they were, unless they didn't have a faction--because in that case they were human. If you were part of the winning faction or remained human for the entire duration of swiss rounds, you got an additional prize.

Pro-plays: Traitorous Blood a Moldgraf Monstosity, swinging and then exiling it with Helvault. Another pro-play was when Young Wolf was tapped down from Burden of Guilt, so I used Altar's Reap, sacrificing it, drawing two cards, triggering it's undying, getting rid of the enchantment and coming back onto the battlefield as a 2/2, blocking his creatures. The other times were the game dragged out longer than it should have and Helvault was exiling things that got in my way of my Briarpack Alpha. Unfortunately despite my good plays I was stuck in the 1-2 bracket. Very high-quality opponents though. There were no misplays, just outstanding games:

First round I actually playing against an amazing deck who had really good removal. It wasn't so great against my undying creatures, but still held me back. I ended up losing from being outplayed. 1-2
Second round I caught a lucky break. Someone did not pull well and I basically stomped them with Vorapede. His only "removal" was Burden of Guilt. He was particularly mad at both Pyreheart Wolf and Curse of Death's Hold--I mean he should be because that wolf is INSANE. 2-0
Third round I thought I did pretty well. The first game I got all my removal, and basically wrecked him with Helvault when I got all the mana. But then he got the godhands of his deck twice in a row consisting of Champion of the Parish and a lot of humans. I didn't manage to draw my removal and was run over. 1-2

To add insult to injury, my fourth round match-up was versus Lolzor, since we were both 1-2. We agreed to split the packs, but I just handed the win to him--Lolzor managed to stay human throughout the three rounds, only losing to other humans, but I had been converted to a vampire after the first round. We still played for fun until time ran out, where I 5-0'd him. Surprisingly, his prize for surviving Innistrad was a Japanese Breaking Wave, which I ended up trading for because Lolzor wanted my Vorapede. From the packs I pulled a Runechanter's Pike and an Alpha Brawl.

Since you aren't able to buy packs yet, we all decided to do another sealed, to get more packs and another promo.

The next sealed I was basically an idiot and panicked because I thought I pulled so poorly. I believed I was going to be playing every color but blue, without evolving wilds. Lolzor called me an idiot and pointed out my black and green were strong. So I re-made the deck having Green and Black but splashing White for Rebuke and Gavony Township.

In the first round I was against a new player. I felt kind of bad. I 2-0'd him but the games consisted of a Black Cat who was a 6/6 first striker. He was playing four colors. I'm glad I didn't do that. He did manage to get Elbrus, the Binding Blade to transform into Withengar Unbound. It was just Rebuke'd.
The second round, I believe I should have won. Honestly. And as much fun that I made out of Fateful Hour, I lost to Clinging Mists; in BOTH games, a Moon Heron pinged me down, because he had two of the mists. I didn't think someone would be playing those. 0-2
The third round I was just completely outplayed. I was versus one of the store owner's so it was a friendly game, but his deck was just absolutely insane. Burning Vengeance managed to see play both games, but the card that really killed me was Gravecrawler. If he swung I took two damage from not blocking it. If I blocked it, he would re-cast it and Burning Vengeance would either kill a creature of mine of hit me for 2 damage regardless. He kept me tapped down with Avacynian Priest and Feeling of Dread. What a nightmare. 0-2.
Fourth round was a snoozefest. Before the game we decided to split the packs. My opponent was playing a bunch of pump of spells and very little creatures. My Black Cat kept getting tapped down, I played a bunch of a lands until I go Briarpack Alpha when he finally decided to swing. He responded by playing Wild Hunger and Ranger's Guile, where I responded to with Moment of Heroism. Then pinged him down over the next 7 turns. I 2-0'd him but we decided to play for fun after until time ran out, where I was 0-3'd unofficially. I'm glad I won the games that counted.

Actually in several of those games I did fairly complicated combo: I used Ghost Quarter on myself, targeting typically a Swamp (or a Plains/Forest if I had two of them.) tapping it in response to my own ability for floating mana, then fetched out the missing White or Green mana used to activate Gavony Township since the basic land enters the battlefield untapped, all before combat damage to pump my creatures. It worked the first time my opponents saw it. Lolzor pulled really poorly and tried a blue/black spirit/zombie deck. He went 0-4. He managed to stay human though and got a Japanese Stag Beetle. I did manage to pull Army of the Damned and Increasing Savagery from my packs though--plus a reward for staying human: Japanese Reverse Damage.

I did like the sealed format though. 3 ISD and 3 DKA. Kind of like the Besieged pre-release. That said I am a little dissappointed with the new sanctioned draft packs: ISD, ISD, DKA. I basically had drafted the crap out of Innistrad and I was looking forward to Dark Ascension. I believe the quality of the drafts have gone up, but I still need cards from Dark Ascension, not Innistrad. But that's just me nitpicking.

Well thanks for reading this article. I've been wanting to talk about my predictions for a while so I just combined the article about the pre-release and my predictions into one lengthly post.

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