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April 4, 2012

28

2005-07 Precon Championships: Round 5 and the Leaderboard

by ertaislament
2005-2007

Welcome back to the biggest ticket in preconstructed Magic, the Championships! We had an exciting second round of Tinsman Division action which left more than a few of our predictors holding ripped-up ticket stubs, but what’s a competition without the occasional upset? We’ve had some twists and turns on the ride thus far, and with plenty of action ahead nearly anything can happen. Congratulations are certainly due to Future Sight’s Fate Blaster, the divisional winner.

In Sunday’s opening tilt, the aura-heavy Custom Creatures squared off with Future Shock, a Red/Green beats deck from an alternative future timeline. Most tabbed Future Shock, but Custom Creatures did have a few rooting for it on the sidelines. Said errtu, “I don’t think that the other decks will be fast enough to deal with card advantage + mana ramp + big creatures (aka everything that makes green so cool).” Only X of our predictors tabbed the Ninth Edition deck to win, but it came through when it counted and left it all on the field. It went to three games, but in the end the quick auras on fast creatures was the difference, and Future Shock didn’t find enough answers.

On the other side of the arena, another Future Sight deck was battling it out. Fate Blaster, a Red/Blue tempo and library manipulation deck squared off against Dissension’s Azorius Ascendant. In a repeat of the previous match, one deck was heavily favoured over the other. The Azorius had the confidence of many thanks to their disruption and aerial aggressiveness, while Fate Blaster had a bunch of tricks and gimmicks. Scorium spoke for many in saying, “Fate Blaster has a lot of cards that don’t do anything, and in the other side, is facing a very good precon with flyers, card draw, and tappers. It’s not to hard to foresee that the Azorius will emerge victorius..” However, Fate Blaster proved surprisingly adept at finding its marquee rare, Magus of the Future, and it made all the difference.

For our final match to play for divisional glory, the storied run of Custom Creatures came to an end. Make as many fat aura-riddled creatures as you want to, that just makes Fate Blaster’s prolific bounce cards go from nuisance to outright threat. It was a tough-pitched battle that went to the limit, but in the end it was Fate Blaster’s day. It was a result that certainly gave the deck a second look from some of the predictors. Said Jenesis, “Is this the part where I shrug and sigh, “You can’t fight Fate”? Once you look past all the gimmicky scry cards, it is quite a solid tempo deck.”

Three-game weeks are always a dicier proposition for predictions, since you have to guess blindly for the third match. That, coupled with some unexpected wins, saw little movement in the standings this week- less than 20% of the possible points available were claimed. Only stric9 and Thewachman picked up two points on the day, and no-one clinched all three. Also of note, league leader Kyle Mueting did not tender any predictions this round, and now has some company at the top of the table! Here are the present standings:

Having settled the Tinsman, we now part ways with the Rosewater Conference, giving its two aspiring champions time to lock their wounds and regroup for their upcoming clash. For now, we’ll be turning our attention to the Forsythe Conference, starting with the Turian Divison. We’ll also begin a slight change to our coverage of the Preconstructed Championships.

Previously, we had given the spotlight to each individual deck in the same article as their opening-round clashes. As a nod to the success of the Prediction League, however, we’ll be running individual deck coverage in this mid-week thread instead, to give Predictors who might not be familiar with all the decks a little additional background information to help guide their choices! Let’s head over and get our first look at this weekend’s combatants.

The Teams to Beat

Beyond the Grave

Colours: Black, Red, Green

Set: Coldsnap

Rares: Sek’Kuar, Deathkeeper, Void Maw

Detail: One of the highest-rated theme decks ever to be featured on Ertai’s Lament, Beyond the Grave is a complicated mix of death triggers and recursive shenanigans. Like any such engine, it’s a virtual sitting target if it doesn’t manage to assemble its engine, but once it does it’s virtually unstoppable! (reviews: deck, play)

Dimir Intrigues

Colours: Blue, Black

Set: Ravnica

Rares: Dream Leash, Szadek, Lord of Secrets

Detail: We always felt that Wizards missed an opportunity by making the “secret guild” one of the first four released, but the Dimir aren’t worried about it. Armed by a host of milling effects and their signature transmute mechanic, they’re a slower deck that looks to begin taking control in the later stages of the game. Will they be able to manipulate the outcome of the match, or will they, like their secrets, be broken? (review: deck, play)

Fun with Fungus

Colours: Black, Green

Set: Time Spiral

Rares: Thelon of Havenwood, Verdant Embrace

Detail: One of the game’s more unusual tribal decks, the humble Saproling of Fallen Empires finally got its due in Time Spiral, and it’s a doozy! Fun with Fungus abuses the spore counter mechanic, growing Saprolings left, right, and center and cashing them in for all sorts of nifty tricks and bonuses. (review: deck, play)

Gruul Wilding

Colours: Green, Red

Set: Guildpact

Rares: Borborygmos, Wurmweaver Coil

Detail: The originator of the bloodthirst mechanic, this is a Red/Green aggro/stompy deck that looks to race off the blocks at the starting shot and never look back. Just in case a stream of beaters isn’t enough, it also packs in a few auras- and as Custom Creatures has shown, when facing a removal-light opponent those can be a beating unto themselves! (review: not available)

Lofty Heights

Colours: Blue

Set: Ninth Edition

Rares: Archivist, Mahamoti Djinn

Detail: Blue fliers paired with countermagic and card draw… what else would you expect from a mono-coloured Core Set deck? Of course, both Ninth Edition decks seen thus far in the competition have given at least a fair accounting of themselves, showing they’re not hindered by their simple design. Will Lofty Heights soar over the accomplishments of the earlier 40-card contestants? (review: not available)

Reality Fracture

Colours: Blue, Red

Set: Time Spiral

Rares: Deep-Sea Kraken, Pardic Dragon

Detail: At the intersection of suspend and storm lies Reality Fracture. Play powerful cards early with suspend, then when they ‘hatch’ capitalise on an increased (and ‘free’) storm count! Like any combo-style deck it is only as effective as its engine, but will it have enough gas in the time-tank to claim its division? (reviews: deck, play)

Rituals of Rebirth

Colours: White, Black, Green

Set: Planar Chaos

Rares: Jedit Ojanen of Efrava, Teneb the Harvester

Detail: A bona-fide reanimator deck, Rituals of Rebirth is another of the more critically-acclaimed theme decks we’ve covered on Ertai’s Lament. Dipping into three colours, the deck has plenty of fat and lots of ways to cheat them into play! (reviews: deck, play)

Suspended Sentence

Colours: Blue, Black

Set: Future Sight

Rares: Nihilith, Shimian Specter

Detail: The Turian Division might just be the most densely-packed division this season with one quality deck after the next! Another constructon that abuses temporal tricks to get ahead, this one embraces vanishing and suspend. A personal favourite here at Ertai’s Lament due to its intricacy, it will be up against mindless aggression with the Gruul in its opening bout. Will it have what it takes to survive? (reviews: not available)

This gives us a weekend bracket of:

For those participating in the Prediction League, kindly leave your picks for these four matches in the comments below. Best of luck! And let us know if you prefer the change this week with the deck breakdown here, or if you preferred the old way (on the weekend match report), too.

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28 Comments Post a comment
  1. Icehawk
    Apr 4 2012

    By Garrus! I’m near the top. Really am shocked. Especially given how little if anything I know about these decks. Anyway, my non-scientific predictions are as follows. I ramble a “little.” So much so I’ll throw a TLDR section in here.

    9: First glance, tri-color vs mono-blue. Then I see a few cards I know quite well in said blue deck. I see a lot of control. Don’t see nearly as many cards I know in Grave, but I’m seeing enough I like.

    Lofty Heights all the way. If I didn’t see the name or the box for it, I would swear this is the Jace style Duel of the Planeswalker deck that came out a while back and was the basis for my psuedo-MUC.

    10: That’s a lot of suspend in Fracture. Quite a few storm spells too. Then my gut sees all the power ups and removal in Fungus.

    I have to go with Fungus.

    11: Gruul. Talk about a beatdown deck. Wow. I bet whoever pilots Suspended will be super glad they only have one Death Rattle.

    I’m going with Gruul. I’m sort of getting a slivers vibe from it. Can just see it dropping creature after creature and overwhelming any removal light deck that gets in its way.

    12: Rebirth: First thing I see is Harmonize and dread return. Then I see some ramp and a dribble of counterspell action. Dimir has some discard action going on and milling. I can’t help but wonder if that’s going to bite it in the butt.

    I’m siding with Rebirth.

    TLDR:
    9: Lofty Heights.
    10: Fungus
    11: Gruul
    12: Rebirth.

    Though I wouldn’t be surprised if half or all those matches go the other way. It’s going to be an exciting weekend for sure!

    Reply
  2. d00n
    Apr 5 2012

    9: Lofty Heights
    10: Fun with Fungus
    11: Gruul Wilding
    12: Rituals of Rebirth

    Reply
  3. Jay Chong
    Apr 5 2012

    Beyond the Grave
    Reality Fracture
    Suspended Sentence
    Rituals of Rebirth

    It should be noted that reality fracture and fun with fungus have already been pitted against each other. The results seemed quite even, so experience disagrees with Icehawk ;)

    Also, for the final match up, reanimation with flashback > milling/discard. Just saying.

    Reply
    • Icehawk
      Apr 5 2012

      I was 50-50 with the Fungus vs Fracture. Just something about Fungus nudged me that way.

      Reply
  4. Varo
    Apr 5 2012

    Game 9: Lofty Heights (9ED)
    Game 10: Reality Fracture (TSP)
    Game 11: Suspended Sentence (FUT)
    Game 12: Dimir Intrigues (RAV)

    Reply
  5. Apr 5 2012

    Lofty Heights because beyond the grave has no way to defend against flyers
    reality fracture
    suspended sentence
    rituals of rebirth

    Reply
  6. Grue
    Apr 5 2012

    Game 9: Lofty Heights
    Game 10: Reality Fracture
    Game 11: Gruul Wilding
    Game 12: Rituals of Rebirth

    Reply
  7. Kleber
    Apr 5 2012

    Game 9: Lofty Heights
    Game 10: Fun With Fungus
    Game 11: Gruul Wilding
    Game 12: Rituals of Rebirth

    Reply
  8. tenthtechpriest
    Apr 5 2012

    Let’s see…
    Game 9: Beyond the Grave
    Game 10: Reality Fracture
    Game 11: Suspended Sentence
    Game 12 Rituals of Rebirth

    Reply
    • tenthtechpriest
      Apr 5 2012

      On an unrelated note, intro/event deck pics for AVN have hit the internet.

      Intros:
      WG Angelic Might feat. Herald of War (3WW angel)
      UB Solitary Fiends feat. Lone Revenant (3UU most likely a human wizard)
      BR Slaughterhouse feat. Harvester of Souls (4BB, most likely a demon)
      RW Fiery Dawn feat. Zealous Conscripts (4R human soldier)
      GU Bound by Strength feat. Wolfir Silverheart (3GG werewolf, hot damn)

      Event Decks:
      Death’s Encroach- Mono-black, box art seems to be a zombie
      Humanity’s Vengeance- White/Blue, box art has a human with a fancy avacyn’s collar symbol on his hat

      Reply
      • Varo
        Apr 5 2012

        Woah, thanks for that!

        Interesting, another GU, and packed with the (now) good-aligned werewolves it seems! And a mono black event deck promises good things too, although i don’t like zombies too much.

        Reply
      • Apr 5 2012

        Thanks for updating these here! I was excited to see them this morning, but of course couldn’t update from work.

        Reply
  9. Tony
    Apr 5 2012

    Just got the Morningtide decks in the mail today… nostalgia from a couple years back. Gotta love all those cheesy poses on the pro-tour cards that came with these

    I’m liking the decks in this round

    9. Beyond the Grave
    10. Fun with Fungus
    11. Gruul Wilding
    12. Rituals of Rebirth

    Reply
  10. stric9
    Apr 5 2012

    1. Beyond the Grave
    2. Reality Fracture
    3. Gruul Wilding
    4. Rituals of Rebirth

    Reply
  11. Apr 5 2012

    Game 9 – Lofty Heights
    Game 10 – Reality Fracture
    Game 11 – Gruul Wilding
    Game 12 – Rituals of Rebirth

    Reply
  12. Jacopo Sassi
    Apr 6 2012

    Game 9- Lofty Heights
    Game 10- Reality Fracture
    Game 11- Suspended Sentence
    Game 12- Rituals of Rebirth

    Game 9 is the one I’m less sure about, but BTG doesn’t seem to have any serious answer to an army of fliers

    Reply
  13. ddaroo
    Apr 6 2012

    Game 9: Lofty Heights
    Game 10: Reality Fracture
    Game 11: Gruul Wilding
    Game 12: Rituals of Rebirth

    Reply
  14. scorium
    Apr 6 2012

    Game 9: Lofty Heights, with no real reason to say that.
    Game 10: Fun with Fungus. I bought both decks 5 years ago! A good and in the storm deck is unbeatable, but that deck is too ‘feast or famine’. Plus, the lovely fungi are too lovely to lose.
    Game 11: Suspended sentece. Gruul has some minor aura sub-theme, but its auras are not so powerful as the Custom creaures auras were, and also, Suspended Sentence is a deck full of bounce effects with lots of funny interactions. Bouncing back a Reality acid four and five times in the same game while slowy chipping away the opponent’s life is wonderful.
    Game 12: A mill deck against a reanimator deck! And the main reanimator card in the reanimator deck has flashblack! Simply put, Rituals of rebirth cannot lose unless the Dimir player tries to control the game and win by little flyers, once in a blue moon.
    My vote for the Rituals.

    Reply
  15. Apr 6 2012

    9. Lofty Heights
    10. Reality Fracture
    11. Suspended Sentence
    12. Rituals of Rebirth

    Not very familiar with any of these decks, though fat lot of good “familiarity” did me with Azorius last round, haha… :)

    Reply
  16. Athena
    Apr 6 2012

    Game 9: Lofty Heights (9ED)
    Game 10: Fun with Fungus (TSP)
    Game 11: Gruul Wilding (GPT)
    Game 12: Rituals of Rebirth (PLC)

    The new deck descriptions are fabulous!

    Reply
  17. Yawgmoth
    Apr 6 2012

    I like the new format, thanks!

    9. Lofty Heights (9ED)
    10. Reality Fracture (TSP)
    11. Suspended Sentence (FUT)
    12. Rituals of Rebirth (PLC)

    Reply
  18. gobias
    Apr 7 2012

    Game 9: Lofty Heights (Though I would not be surprised if the Coldsnap deck proves me wrong)
    Game 10: Reality Fracture
    Game 11: Suspended Sentence
    Game 12: Rituals of Rebirth

    Reply
  19. servent of yawgmoth
    Apr 7 2012

    beyond the grave
    fun with fungus
    gruul
    rituals of rebrith

    Reply
  20. errtu
    Apr 7 2012

    1. Lofty Heights
    2. Fun with Fungus
    3. Suspended Sentence
    4. Dimir Intrigues

    Reply
  21. Blaven_blave
    Apr 7 2012

    Game 9: Lofty Heights
    Game 10: Fun with Fungus
    Game 11: Gruul Wilding
    Game 12: Rituals of Rebirth

    Reply
  22. Apr 7 2012

    I hope I’m not too late:

    Lofty Heights
    Fun with Fungus
    Gruul Wilding
    Rituals of Rebirth

    Reply
  23. fillip
    Apr 7 2012

    1. Beyond the Grave
    2. Fun With Fungus
    3. Suspended Sentence
    4. Rituals of Rebirth

    Reply

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