Rending worlds at DTK prerelease (not really)

dragons of tarkir banner

And so, it was finally time for the much-anticipated Dragons of Tarkir prerelease, and though I planned to win this tournament, I was thwarted by a few things, mainly the fact that the TO had decided that the tournament is to begin at 1 PM, even though we were 40 players and six rounds of swiss awaited us, and the date coincided with the anniversary of my engagement, meaning I had less time than some at the tournament to finish.

In either case, I had preregistered Atarka way before the set was spoiled and I was pleased to see the spoilers dropping in. Paulo Vitor Damo da Rosa writes in his prerelease primer that Atarka is the best clan of the bunch, another thing I was very pleased to see.

denprotector.fullThe pool I opened wasn’t very exciting, however. It wasn’t bad per-se, but I’ve opened much better ones. Den Protector was my prerelease rare, not the best of the bunch, but certainly better than for example Atarka’s Command. What struck me about the pool is that it contained only a single dragon, a Belltoll Dragon. This is the set that is supposed to have a higher as-fan of Dragons than any other before it, and I couldn’t really see that. I got some dragon tribal cards, like Dragonlord’s Servant, and Draconic Roar but nothing near any on-colour dragons.

I built a pretty straight-forward RG Aggro deck, but since I opened both Reach of Shadows and Tasigur, the Golden Fang in my Fate Reforged pack, I splashed black for those two cards. Notice how the only mana-fixing I opened was the R/G gain land in the same pack. Fate Reforged was good to me!

The entire deck with the pool, minus the basic lands I opened, can be found here. I won’t go into much more detail, white had an excellent rare, but was too shallow to begin with. Black had a couple of good cards and was the deepest of the three non-Atarka colours, but lacked the good creatures to be viable as a second colour over green (red was already decided given the burn spells I opened), and blue had a bad Mythic Rare and some of the worst commons in the two sets.

In my first game, I played against another Atarka player and my mana curve’s wonkyness came back to bite me hard. I got stuck on four lands for a long time in both games one and two, with multiple five-drops in hand. For game three, I mulliganed to five before seeing two lands, and kept a pretty bad hand, but my opponent was playing cards like Sight of the Scalelords and Sheltered Aerie so I won anyway.

In the second game, I faced off against Silumgar splashing white for Pacifism, and won very quickly since he had some issues with his mana in the second game. My mana was perfect in both games, thank Atarka.

illusorygains.fullThe third game was the most exciting by far, again against Silumgar with a bunch of annoying 3/6’s and the ever annoying Illusory Gains (which he drew in all three games). I won a very tight first game through Salt Road Quartermasters moving both his counters onto Stampeding Elk Herd and Hardened Berserker and hitting him for exactly lethal through his blockers thanks to Formiddable, while he had me on lethal with fliers. Phew. I scooped a rather close but clearly in his favour board state in the second game to make time for the third.

I drew a great opener in the third game, but time was running low and time was called after just a couple of turns. We had had a lunch break of an hour before the third round, meaning the time was now like 5:30, and I was already late for dinner with my better half. As such, I scooped to my opponent even though there was no way he could get the win.

He eventually went on to win the entire tournament, going 5-0-1, which was all well and fair since he probably had one of the best decks in the room. 2-1 for myself isn’t stellar, and I wish I had had the time to play the deck for a few more games, but I got jealous seeing everyone else opening their shiny Dragonlords. The guy opposite me during deckbuilding was Kolaghan and opened Atarka in one of his boosters and elected to not even splash her. How rude!

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1 Comment

  1. Grim Lavamancer

     /  March 25, 2015

    Sounds like a fun prerelease! Well, apart from you not being able to finish it (but at least you would have won against the guy that claimed the trophy). I’m hoping to be able to draft the new set soon.

    I hope you had a great anniversary dinner! Something I bet you wouldn’t have had if you had stuck around to finish the tournament. Won the prize, lost the girl and so on.

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