I went to the launch today as I said I would. First off, I didn't realise that faction packs were prerelease ONLY, so I didn't even have to decide. I ended up being mostly Phyrexian anyway, and made a pretty sweet Brg infect deck. In case you've never played with the new set, infect is a keyword that gives a creature the ability to deal poison damage (10 poison counters kills a player), as well as making the creature deal damage in -1/-1 counters to other creatures like wither.
So a few of the major players in my deck, and some of my thoughts on the cards that won me games.
It's been clear for a while now that these two cards are good in limited games. Both of these just happened to be in my sealed deck, and neither one let me down. I never cast arc trail without gaining significant card advantage and tempo, and plague stinger was the number one cause of death for all of my opponents. Flying with poison is still good, nothing has changed there.
This is another card that's been around awhile, but probably hasn't seen as much play as the other two due to rarity. I've got to say, I always knew this guy was good, but he's never blown me away before, until today. I never lost a game that I got him out (except for the game against the mortarpod deck *grumble*), and he often times did 6-7 poison damage without ever connecting with the opponent himself. You need a lot of infect guys to make the lord of infect good, but when you do, he's insane.
This is the first of the impressive cards from the new set that I had in my deck. It's good in a very similar way to how arc trail is good (destroying two cards with one), and I was lucky to have both of them in my deck. While it is similar to arc trail, it has very different conditions to making it good. With the burn spell, they need small butted creatures, with this, their good cards have to be artifacts. I actually ran into a situation where I could have used either Into the Core or arc trail to kill the same two creatures, I went with arc trail thinking it was more likely for my opponent to play more artifacts than small creatures. I'm still not sure if I made the right move, but in the end it didn't make a difference, as my opponent's next two creatures were a 4/2 artifact and a 3/1 artifact.
The last of the crazy good cards from my deck is another of the new cards, and man is it crazy. Before now the only way to get an infect guy into the air without using equipment was to play plague stinger, a 1/1 that packs a punch but a 1/1 no less. That's not true anymore, as there is now an flying poison imp, who sits in the air as a 2/2... 3/3... 4/4? Oh wait they're dead you win. Seriously, if they don't kill this guy or set up a series of flying blockers, they will be dead in a few turns. Just don't play dumb, instant speed removal does exist, and if your opponent goes for your imp's throat after you sacrifice all your creatures, you will probably lose that game. My only problem with this guy all day was that he seemed to like the bottom of my deck, i only drew and cast him once, and he didn't even have to pump himself by that point to finish my opponent off.
Apart from these VIPs, my deck contained a lot of infect burdles, a few good removal spells, and a couple equipment to give me reach. I ended up coming second with a near undefeated record, tied for first in match wins and losing by a tiebreaker of 0.1%. The guy who ended up coming first was the only guy who beat me in a single game (he destroyed me 2-0, and then again in the friendly between rounds), and he did it with this card:
The bane of my decks existence, and the latest card I've developed an irrational grudge against (the previous one being Lighthouse Chronologist, damn thing won my opponent two games when I was a turn or two from winning and I had nothing in my deck to kill it with.) As for Mortarpod, well if you take a quick survey of all common and uncommon black infect creatures in Scars and Besieged you'll very quickly see a trend in toughnesses that looks like this: 1, 1, 1, 1, 2, 1, 1, 2... and as you can imagine, a card that gives your opponent the ability to sacrifice his far inferior dudes to destroy your entire army is not going to be your best friend. I even got the Praetor out to pump my team, and my opponent played a little idiot, sacrificed it and one of his germs and my army was back to being defenceless.
But despite this utter destruction, I still ended up thrashing my other opponents, awarding me a very close second place. Now to go open my prize packs and see how many Tezzerets I can snag. Until next time,