Oath of the Gatewatch Pre-release

Oath of the Gatewatch Pre-release

Playing at the Oath pre-release

I have been out of competitive magic for about 2 years now, the last time I played competitive magic before this weekend was when Thragtusk and Restoration Angel were still legal in standard. I was playing a sweet Green/White Blink deck.

I know that playing sealed is very different that playing constructed and that there is a very big difference in power level. In sealed you have a very limited access to cards since you are only given 6 booster packs from which you have to build a deck and in constructed you can  use any number of cards as long as they are legal in the in the format you are playing (Standard in my case)

Looking at the spoilers for Oath of the Gatewatch made me really want to get back in and try my luck at sealed. I started looking at the local stores to see what event I could attend since my schedule tends to be complicated and does not allow me to just go to any event. I did not want to play Friday at midnight and Sunday was already booked so that only allowed me to look into events on Saturday but I had to start after 12:30PM and be done by 6PM so I had enough time to be in the airport by 7. I called Docking Bay 96 and they were starting at 4PM (to late), I called Tate’s and they started at 12PM (to early) then I called Hey Wanna Play! And they were starting at 2PM. It was not perfect since events are normally 4 rounds/hours and you get 1 hour for deck construction. I knew I would be cutting it very close with the time I needed to be out. I decided to play there and if anything I would try to draw the last round or give my opponent the win so I could leave out by 6PM.

Once I got to Hey Wanna Play I see that there was a small crowd of people waiting anxious to start playing with the new cards. Without having to wait long we were able to start cracking some packs. I started with the Battle for Zendikar packs since I knew the cards a bit better and that would give me an idea of what to look for when opening the Oath packs. In the 1st pack I open a Prairie Stream and I think to myself, great I can play a White Blue Control deck or White Blue flyers, in the 2nd pack I opened Gideon, Ally of Zendikar with some small white allies. Once all the packs where opened I started to look for removal spells and noticed that I only had 6 cards that could be considered removal 2 Oblivion Strike, 1 Remorseless Punishment, 1 Oath of Chandra and 2 Outnumber. Looking thought the rest of the cards I notice that I did not have a lot of flyers and my only big creature was Kozilek’s Pathfinder so a control deck was probably not going to work. I started looking to see what creatures I could run that had some evasion to get past the other creatures when I see that I have 2 Mindmelter a creature  that can’t be blocked that allows me to strip cards out of my opponent hand. I figure if I can play them and have some white allies to back them up I might end up with a pretty decent deck.

This is what my deck looked like

Esper Allies

Creatures (15)
x Expedition Envoy
x Cliffside Lookout
x Bearer of Silence
x Blinding Drone
x Benthic Infiltrator
x Kor Skyclimber
x Mindmelter
x Zulaport Chainmage
x Jwar Isle Avenger
x Kor Entanglers
x Kozilek’s Pathfinder

Spells (7)
x Searing Light
x Make a Stand
x Oblivion Strike
x Allied Reinforcements
x Comparative Analysis
x Remorseless Punishment

Plainswalkers (1)
x Gideon, Ally of Zendikar

Lands (17)
x Prairie Stream
x Holdout Settlement
x Mirrorpool
x Plains
x Swamps
x Island

Round 1

I played against a White/Blue control deck that had 2 huge bombs in Linvala, the Preserver and Emeria Shepherd but did not have enough removal to deal with my unlockable creatures, In game 1 I was able to put a lot of pressure early and start striping his hand mid game to make sure he was not able to amount a comeback.. In game 2 he was able to keep my creatures in check with a Blinding Drone and finish me off with Jwar Isle Avenger. In game 3 I was able to put pressure early with my mindmelter. My opponent tries to stabilize with his Blinding Drone but a top deck of Remorseless Punishment lets me take the game for a 2-1 victory

Round 2

I played against a Green/Blue deck that seem to have a lot of ramp and creatures that could get bigger with colorless mana, luckily for me he was never able to find a colorless source of mana and my Benthic Infiltrator ingested about 5 cards before he got to cast his 1st real threat but by that point I already had Oblivion Strike at the ready and Jwar Isle Avenger to start dealing some real damage.. 2 turns later he scooped the cards knowing his deck had no outs to the 3/3 flyer. Game 2 played out pretty much the same way as the 1st game. 2-0 Victory

Round 3

I played against a very aggressive Black/Red devoid deck. Game 1 I started putting early game pressure with Expedition Envoy followed by playing Kor Skyclimber turns 3, 4 and 5 for a close win. Game 2 he was able to play his early creatures and ingest most of my bombs like Gideon, Ally of Zendikar and remorseless punishment and without any way for me to deal with his creatures I see lethal damage on the board and concede. In game 3 it was a great game with early damage on both sides but when get to the mid game I land Kozilek’s Pathfinder which he quickly kills with Demon’s Grasp. I land a Blinding Drone and he slams down a Bane of Bala Ged that I am force to keep taped to make sure I don’t start losing my permanents. We play the top deck game for a while but when I finally get to draw Gideon, Ally of Zendikar and start making tokens he knows the game is over.  2-1 victory

Some of the cards I remember him playing are: Sludge Crawler, Walker of the Wastes, Bane of Bala Ged, Havoc Sower and Demon’s Grasp. I wish I would have asked him to share his list with me since the deck seemed really good and the match up ended up being a lot of fun.




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