I attended this event at my local game store Firestorm Games in Cardiff, and I wanted to share my thoughts on the event and the new set with you.
First, let me give you an overview of the event. When I arrived, I purchased my pre-release kit, which contained a spindown die, six Draft booster packs and a promo booster pack. Then, I sat down to open my booster packs and build my deck.
There is always something special about opening booster packs that gets me excited to play, and the Promo cards this set were Team-up legendries, that we unfortunately were not able to draft into our games (But do make for really interesting commanders). I got a Goro-Goro and Satoru card that will create dragons on turns my creatures enter the battlefield if they deal damage, it also enables me to give my creatures haste!
I was excited to see what new cards I would get, and I was pleasantly surprised by the variety of cards in the set, although I was hoping for more White cards as I had been eyeing up a White/Green Deck. In the first hour we were to build a 40 card deck from these cards , with advice being to have 17 lands and 23 non-lands of which 15 should be creatures.
I promptly ignored this and built a deck with only 13 lands. I went with a Green/Red deck that I built about the idea of boosting creatures with +1/+1 tokens, with an “Ozolith, the Shattered Spire” and “Kami of Whispered Hopes” making it so every token I add to a creature, I would add three. The ideal combo would be to get these in play then use “Storm the Seedcore” to give up to four creatures three +1/+1 counters each, tripling the effectiveness.
Once I had built my deck, it was time to start playing. This event ran a three round Swiss-style tournament, with each round consisting of a best of three match, and I had a lot of fun competing against other players. The new battle card mechanic was something that was fascinating to play around especially with Portent Tracker’s interaction enabling me to delay opponents battles flipping and speed mine up.
In my first round I came up against a White/Green deck built around making the most of the Backup mechanic, with each creature buffing something on entry and giving it other card effects based on the card text below the Backup keyword. I struggled with mana in the first game, but I swung back in the second game bringing that round to a tiebreaker. Unfortunately I couldn’t deal with the Angels and other flying creatures in game 3 and I lost that round 2-1.
In the Second round I was paired up against a black deck that played heavily into sacrificing its own creatures to give itself lots of buffs and damage. My deck just couldn’t keep up with the amount of play it had in and around its graveyard. and I lost 2-0.
Going into my Third round I was pretty sure that I was going to end up in the bottom of the table, sitting down opposite a Blue/White/Red deck that frustrated my slow building of huge creatures with enchantments that made my big creatures 0/2 defenders. I did however manage to get enough damage output in both games to win that round 2-0.
At the end of the tournament, prizes were awarded based on how well players did. Unfortunately my 20th place position with 3 points didn’t perform well enough get get a prize, needing 4 points to get the lower end of the prize table. 4 points got 1 draft pack, 6 points got 2 draft packs 9 points got 3 draft packs. Honestly I’m a touch disappointed I missed out but the people at Firestorm did give all participants a Draft Booster pack and a Eternal Witness Promo Card as an extra reward during the tournament.
In conclusion, I had a great time at the Magic the Gathering pre-release event for March of the Machine. The event was well-organized and provided a fun and competitive environment for players to test out the new cards. (And the on-site café was a great place to grab a pizza during the event). I highly recommend attending pre-release events if you’re a Magic the Gathering player, as they are a great way to meet other players, test out new strategies, and have fun playing the game.
Let me know in the comments if what you would have drafted out of my pool and how stupid it was to have too little mana!