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Which way to go?
Going in to Dallas, I knew that I wanted to play B/R Devotion. Mono Black has been a front-runner in the format for so long. I felt that splashing Red for two Dreadbores in my main deck would help with all of the Planeswalkers running around in the format and as a general catch-all spell. In addition, I felt I should run two Rakdos Returns in my sideboard for Mono Black and Control.
But then came Wednesday and Brian Braun-Duin posted a Reanimator Deck, and anyone that knows me knows it’s one of my favorite decks to play. As I read his article (http://starcitygames.com/card14226), he said that he felt the deck was just a couple of cards away from being great.
So, I looked over his deck list to see what might've been missing. Well, right before Born of the Gods came out, I was trying to run Reanimator and one card that I was running that was great for me was not in his list: Pharika's Mender. Not only can it get a creature from your graveyard into your hand, but you can also get a Whip of Erebos from your graveyard after you Grisly Salvage it. It's great to get a Whip of Erebos and then use it to get another creature out of your graveyard. So, I cut one Elspeth, Sun’s Champion out of my main deck, and brought the deck Wednesday night to Gamers Paradise to try it out.
I made top eight and had to play against Mono Black, a great way to judge how the deck performs. In game one I ended up coming back and beating him after an early whip and fighting through twelve pack rats to end up winning the game. After sideboarding the game was not even close. I felt that Reanimator would be a strong deck for me to take and play as long as I got enough play testing in with it.
Well, during play testing with Tony (playing a deck close to Reid Duke’s junk midrange deck) the games were mostly even. However, if he got a Scavenging Ooze out that I couldn’t answer, it was game over. I was very scared of that card.
So, on the day of the tournament, I was undecided which deck I should play. As I walked around the tournament hall, I looked to see what decks people were planning on playing. I figured that I could play which deck that I felt I had the best chance at winning with. As I was looking, I saw a good number of Scavenging Ooze as well as a card I had not seen in decks for a long time. A card that I was very scared of: Jace, Memory Adept. And I saw a lot of them. It would be just my luck to be matched up against them and after a couple of Grisly Salvages they land Jace and mill me out in two turns. So, I felt like my best bet was to go back to B/R devotion.
Well, it ended up not working in my favor. Round one I lost to Mono Black. In game three, I kept a hand with one Scry land, two Swamps, a Pack Rat, a Hero’s Downfall, an Underworld Connections, and a Gray Merchant. I kept, played my Scry land and passed turn. He played Swamp and Thoughtseized me and ripped my Pack Rat right out of my hands. I was ok, I still had Underworld Connections to help me out, or so I thought. On his second turn, he Duressed me, taking it and then Thoughtseized me again to take the Hero’s Downfall. Then he proceeded to Nightveil Specter me right out of the game. It was a very brutal beating, but I was positive I could come back.
In the second round I played against White Weenie and could not beat his curve. So, my tournament ended there. I still feel the deck is good, but luck was not on my side that day. But as the day went on, some spoilers for Journey Into Nyx came out.
One card that caught everyone's eye was Athreos, God of Passage. First off, another aggressively costed god is great. Then his ability to get a creature that dies back into your hand or lightning bolt your opponent is a very powerful ability. Everyone was talking about him, and I feel that he will be a god to be reckoned with in standard as well as other formats.
Speaking of spoilers, they are all out, which means that Prerelease Weekend is coming up. I will be attending a few events at Gamer’s Paradise, and I suggest you do the same. I can't wait to crack some packs from the new set. Plus, it's a great way to get cards for the Playset tournament the following weekend.
What's that, you ask? It just happens to be the highest value tournament around. Not only can you win a complete playset of Journey into Nyx, but you get additional value from it being a SCG Super IQ. Which gives you the option to take cash instead of the normal prize!
But what if you can't get all the cards you need from the pre-release? You can preorder them from Gamers Paradise and they will have them pulled and in your hand before the tournament starts (http://www.gamersparadisela.com/catalog/journey_into_nyx/853) . I hope to see everyone this weekend cracking some packs!