Monday, January 19, 2015

Why do people say "sorry" while smiling and laughing?  Is it just them being nervous?  A reaction to being embarrassed about their mistake, trying to play it off as something not so serious, so they can laugh at themselves with everyone else?  Or do they just not understand what it means, to be "sorry"?  To feel regret and guilt over your actions, because you realize that they hurt someone else.  It's not something that you would really smile about.


Fate Reforged prerelease was this weekend!  I went to Game Kastle yesterday (Saturday) and ended up 3-0, and apparently my tiebreakers were good so I ended up getting 1st place!  Woohoo~  Me and my brother were going to do 2-headed giant today but I keep forgetting about preregistration for these things and it ended up that we weren't able to get a spot.  Oh well...2HG is really fun, so that's a bit disappointing, but can't really be helped, I guess.

I picked Jeskai, along with a slew of other people, since that was the crowd favorite (last time's crowd favorite was Abzan, but I went Temur and cleaned house with a great, consistent UG tempo deck while everyone else was being greedy with manabases).  White and Blue have a lot of solid stuff in FRF, and red has some nice removal and support spells (though its creatures seem to need help in order to function well).  In addition, prowess seems to be much better in FRF, both because of the prowess creatures themselves as well as more good instants and sorceries running around, especially the U/W untap/tap cantrips at 2cmc, as well as all the manifest cards working to trigger prowess.  Something to note is that there are actually not many cheap/good combat tricks in FRF...there are actually not that many in KTK to begin with (with some notable exceptions, including Feat of Resistance), and FRF doesn't really add too much.  There are still definitely tricks you can do still, with morph/manifest (much much less important in the prerelease than in KTK since FRF has a dearth of morphs) as well as things like Hooded Assassin, but no stuff like Giant Growth (Awaken the bear costs 2G for the same effect!), Martial Glory, Smite, etc.  So it feels like the aggro decks with red 3/1s and 4/1s and 4/2s need to find other ways to get in (removal, bounce, tap effects) past your opponent's 2/2s and 2/1s (or 0/5s).  Otherwise you will just be trading all your 4/1s with their 2/1s and that's just not good.

Anyways, here's the deck I built out of my pool:
If you want to view it with card thumbnails (recommended), you can view it on instead:

Soul Summons
Sultai Skullkeeper
2x Sandsteppe Outcast
Dragon Bell Monk
Watcher of the Roost
Write into Being
Efreet Weaponmaster
Alabaster Kirin
Abzan Skycaptain
Aven Surveyor
Torrent Elemental
Warden of the Eye
Ojutai, Soul of Winter

Valorous Stance
Reality Shift
Mastery of the Unseen (promo)
Bathe in Dragonfire
Crippling Chill
Enhanced Awareness
Will of the Naga
Channel Harm

Tranquil Cove
Wind-Scarred Crag
Mystic Monastery
7x Island
6x Plains
1x Mountain

Relevant sideboard cards:
Mardu Woe-Reaper
Abzan Skycaptain
Collateral Damage
Cunning Strike
Marang River Prowler
Jeskai Ascendancy
War Flare
Highspire Mantis
Rush of Battle
Pressure Point
Enhanced Awareness
Monastery Flock

Overall it was super solid; the only thing really missing was some removal and instant speed ways to interact.  Sandblast would have been great great great here as that's the main hole in the deck -- it's hard to remove their game-ending threats if they come out, and similarly it's hard to have good combat against the prowess decks that have lots of tricks and removal.

My manifest creatures were for the most part, just 2/2s, which is going to be the case most of the time, though manifesting Watcher of the Roost was always nice since I got to turn it into a flier and gain 2 life for "free".  Abzan Skycaptain was a downgrade from Alabaster Kirin, I have to say.  It was still fine, but a little tricky to use.  I think ideally you want to play him, block with him (hopefully trading), and then bolster something, as opposed to just using him as a 2/2 flyer for 4 which is inefficient.

Sandsteppe Outcast was great, as expected.  I don't really see why you'd ever choose the 3/2 option, ever, as a 2/1 + 1/1 flyer is just so much better against basically everything.  I chose to keep my splash relatively safe since I didn't have that much fixing.  I threw in Warden of the Eye since it comes down late, and I have a bunch of great spells to pick back up with it.  Channel Harm was a blowout every time but that's only because I played against people who didn't know about it.  It's not -that- bad to play around if you know they have it.  Mastery of the Unseen wasn't unbeatable as it is a bit slow and does take a lot of mana, but infinite 2/2s at instant speed is definitely something that can win you the game easily.  Torrent Elemental is crazy, although if you are racing you need to have something else that can get in together with it.  Reality Shift is...alright.  Sometimes you just have to remove their bomb no matter what, but the 2/2 it leaves behind is pretty relevant.  I guess things may turn out slightly differently in FRF/KTK/KTK drafts, though.  FRF felt like 2/2s and 2/1s running around everywhere bashing in against each other.

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