At last we have arrived at the final match for the 7th Edition reviews, one which sees me pitting the mono-Red Infestation against the mono-Green Wild Way. As you might expect, Wild Way is filled with fat Green beaters, making it the perfect deck to put into the hands of Sam. Would Infestation have what it takes to secure the early advantage? Or would it wither before a massive beating dealt out by a stompy deck given too much time and space to establish itself? With only one way to find out, we sat down for our customary match and took the following notes.
Although we’ve enjoyed our trip back in time to 7th Edition, I can’t say that collectively we’re not looking forward to returning to stronger fare. There’s a certain innocent charm about these 7th Edition decks, but by the same token it’s also a bit like looking at Magic’s fossil record. They’re very simple creatures, devoid of much of the intricacy and splendour that characterises its more developed kin. White swarms, Black kills, Green stomps, Blue flies and counters… and now, unsurprisingly, Red burns.
Oh, and Goblins.
With our recent holiday behind us, it was time to get back into the routine again, and that included testing Magic: the Gathering precon decks. Jimi and I cleared off the dinner table, brewed a kettle of tea and laid out the playmats to pick up right where we left off with 7th Edition. For my part, I was taking the recently-reviewed Bomber into the field, while Jimi opted to challenge with the mono-Black Decay. Here are the notes from our matchup.
In our last review- Green’s Way Wild- we discussed how each of the five 7th Edition decks looked to distill the core essence of what each of the five colours was about. White’s Armada, for instance, was a quintissential White weenie deck, while Way Wild ramped into fat creatures to smash face in the red zone. Ignore the bellicose name of today’s deck, the mono-Blue Bomber- instead, what we have here is Blue’s specialty, the classic permission-based control. Because of the entry-level nature of these decks, and because it must hold its own with what it’s given in a more aggressively-minded field, Bomber still finds itself a bit heavier on the creatures than you might expect, but its framework is unmistakably permission.
We’re now officially halfway through our 7th Edition coverage as we head back through time to the advent of the Core Set precon deck. To mark the occasion, I’ll be giving Way Wild a spin- a mono-Green stompy construction with a touch of ramp to help smooth out the curve. Playing against me is Jimi, piloting (fittingly enough) Bomber, the mono-Blue counterpart. With a few fat beaters of her own (and some countermagic to back it up), we sat down to see how the decks would fare against one another. Here are our notes from the match!
If the monochromatic and simplistic decks of 7th Edition are all about introducing novice players of the day to the feel and philosophies of each of the game’s five colours, any discussion of ‘best-in-show’ on this basis alone would need to consider Way Wild. To be fair, Green isn’t the most sophisticated or complicated colour at the best of times, so perhaps tipping the cap to a simple deck for a simple strategy isn’t much of a stretch, but that isn’t to say that playing Green stompy and smashing face with fat beaters isn’t fun… and at the end of the day isn’t that what the game’s all about?
And that, in a nutshell, is Way Wild. Introducing your enormous creatures to your enemy’s face, repeating over and over again until one or the other raises the white flag. Let’s take a look at the deck and see how its gets us there.
So far despite the actual card not appearing in the mono-Black intro deck, we’ve heard quite a bit about this Western paladin whose theme and flavour suffuses his 40-card deck. After the hype, would the deck have what it takes to overpower its opponent and clinch victory? Would its mix of disruption and aggression prove the winning formula, or would it be spreading itself too thin against a more focused opponent? To find out, Jimi snapped up the mono-White Armada and looked to put me to the test. Here are the notes from this matchup of opposites.
In our last review we introduced the concept of the four Paladins that infuse the 7th Edition Core Set with something not-quite-a-storyline, but not-quite, well… not, either. Call it an ‘open-ended story,’ a loose interconnection of otherwise unrelated cards. Although both ‘good’ Paladins are in White, naturally enough, their imprint was barely felt at all in Armada- they’re in the flavour text of one card (Spirit Link) and featured in another (Glorious Anthem). Perhaps its simple humility that compels them to take a back seat to their soliders and healers, but whatever it is the Western Paladin has little interest in it. Indeed, you’ll find him gracing both art and flavour text of a good deal more of the contents of the mono-Black deck, Decay.
With our opening review under our belt, it’s time to crack open the deck and see how it manages in the field. My opponent for today is Jimi, and naturally enough she has selected the mono-Red Infestation. Will my Soldiers and Knights have the staying power to outlast the Goblin horde? As aggressive as my deck seems to be, hers will be moreso. Can I survive the initial surge to emerge triumphant? Here are our notes from the clash.
Look to the North, look to the East, look to the West and South
On all horizons storm clouds loom and roll across the sky
So sang the crust punk band Amebix in 1985, but they might just as well have been singing about 2001’s Core Set release, 7th Edition. Although generally not well-regarded by today’s standards, the 7th Edition did have within it a surprising amount of innovation, some of which the like has not been seen since. Every card in the set was granted new art, the first time this had been done since the beginning of the game.