Breaking the Cycle: Guilds of Ravnica Prerelease

I’m going to start off today’s article with a bit of a confession. Recently I have been having a run of bad luck when it comes to playing Magic. I have always seen myself as a slightly above average player, but in the last month or so I have been on a bit of a losing streak when it comes to organised events. I can still win the odd game or two, but when it comes to Leagues and PPTQ’s I’ve been getting my butt well and truly kicked (as any of you who watched my sealed performance during the Guilds of Ravnica preview event will know). However, a new Standard season brings with it new possibilities and hopes. Therefore, I have resolved to bring an end to my losing streak once and for all. And where better to do it than with the Guilds of Ravnica Prerelease.

Now I would have loved to get in and play as much Guilds of Ravnica over the last weekend as I could. However, I had drawn the short straw at work and had to work a 24 hour shift over Prerelease weekend. This left me with only one option for playing with actual people. A 5pm event on Sunday at my local game store, Patriot Games Sheffield. What’s more, when I called the venue and tried to book my place I discovered there was only one Guild left with any packs. Luckily for me the Guild in question was one of my favourites, The Boros Legion. So, with high hopes (and very little sleep) I set my sights on having some fun and hopefully breaking my losing streak.

My pool was very good to me (thanks in no small part to the seeded Boros booster I got), and I quick set my mind to the task of building a deck the would make Aurelia proud. What I ended up with was the following configuration of cards.

Creatures (15)
Healer's Hawk
Hunted Witness
Skyline Scout
Goblin Cratermaker
Goblin Locksmith
Ornery Goblin
Fresh-Faced Recruit
Wojek Bodyguard
Hammer Dropper
Parhelion Patrol
Arclight Phoenix
Barging Sergeant
Garrison Sergeant

Sorceries (1)
Deafening Clarion

Instants (4)
Justice Strike
Command the Storm
Inescapable Blaze

Artifacts (1)
Boros Locket

Enchantments (3)
Conclave Tribunal
Candlelight Vigil
Lands (16)
Boros Guildgate

The deck had a little bit more removal than one would expect from a traditional aggro deck, but I decided to play as much good removal as I could muster and try and control the board a little more than I usually do. Call it Boros tempo if you will. I was also looking forward to giving Mentor a good try and hoping I could live the dream of super-buffing a turn one Healer’s Hawk to comical degrees.

So, how did I do in the end? Well with only three rounds to play (the downside of such a late start on a Sunday) I shuffled my deck and awaited my first-round opponent.

Round 1-Izzet Spells

My opponent got the play and spent turn one and two playing a Thoughtbound Phantasm and a Wall of Mist, looking pretty happy with themselves. I played a Goblin Locksmith, and they seemed less keen on that. I was able to get through for quite a bit of damage before they were able to get enough blockers to slow me down. I then proceeded to wipe the board with a Deafening Clarion and a Goblin Cratermaker activation. I finished off game one with Arclight Phoenix for the win.

Game two went much the same way, with Deafening Clarion again proving to be the MVP. My opponent did nearly get themselves back into the game when they began pumping up a Wee Dragonauts. But luckily for me a Justice Strike made short work of that. After resolving a string of creatures, my opponent conceded the game.

Result: 2-0

Round 2-Selesnya Tokens

Game one of this round was a fairly quick affair. After spending the first couple of turns resolving threats, I swung through for lethal thanks to a well-timed Demotion on a Ledev Guardian. Game two was far more back and forth, I started off very well, with a Skyline Scout and Wojek Bodyguard making short work of my opponents’ life total. I had the game all but won, until they resolved a Sworn Companions. The lifelink messed up the math a little, but I could still win this. Then they played a Trostani Discordant. It quickly went downhill for me and we moved on to game three.

We quickly found ourselves in a board stall, with nether of us wanting to commit to an all-out attack. I had my Deafening Clarion in hand, but didn’t want to sweep away my board too considering it had a double striking Garrison Sergeant. Luckily for me, a top decked Barging Sergeant was able to pump him up just big enough to avoid the sweeper. After a 16-point life swing I had the game all but won and my opponent conceded.

Result: 2-1

Round 3-Naya Good Stuff

Game one was again another quick affair, this time thanks to my opponent having little or no way of handling flyers. As a result, I was able to win with the aid of my Healer’s Hawk and Parhelion Patrol. Game two however went to my opponent who simply out-sized me with much larger creatures. I, on the other hand, could draw nothing but lands and we moved on to the final game.

This went much better for me as I was able to quickly put on the pressure with my flyers and early game creatures. My opponent however got stuck with no green mana and a full grip of cards. They were eventually able to dig there way into a better mana base, but by then it was too late, and I took the game.

Result: 2-1

Success. The curse is lifted, and I can win again.

In all seriousness though, I had an absolute blast during my Prerelease and it had very little to do with the winning. Sure, winning felt great. But it was the people and atmosphere that truly made my day. Prerelease’s are some of the best events that happen across the entire Magic calendar, and if you don’t currently attend them I would highly recommend that you do. Not only do they give you a chance to try out the newest cards, but they provide a fun and enjoyable environment for players of all skill levels to mix and chat about the game they love.

I also wanted to mention that even though I went undefeated during the event, I did not ‘win’. That honour goes to Patriot regular and fellow Modern Burn player Laura Bagley. Not only did she manage to get some pretty sweet pulls over the weekend, but she also opened up not one but two copies of Assassin’s Trophy in the same Prerelease pack (one of which was a foil). I might have to get her to open all my packs in future.

I hope you have enjoyed todays article, and the Prerelease weekend in general. I am pretty tired out, what with last week’s Guilds of Ravnica Preview Stream and a full weekend of work and play. However, we have no time to stop. New deck techs and content will be coming thick and fast, so if you don’t want to miss out on all we do here at Master of Magics please like and subscribe to keep up to date. Until next time though, Good Luck and Have Fun.

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