The Rotters Don’t Stand a Chance: JayBoosh at the Prerelease
Best known for his outsize personality on The Eh? Team Podcast, Jay “JayBoosh” Tuharsky has been a longstanding reader and friend of the Lament. On today’s guest piece, he decided to share his thoughts and experiences from the Mirrodin Besieged prerelease weekend and thoughts on some of the new cards.
For those of you that dont know me, why the hell dont you know me? Whats wrong with you? My name is Jay, I’m part of a great Calgary Magic community, and an awesome podcast (the Eh Team!). I have been proclaimed the Limited Champion (Ed. note: *cough* casual flight *cough*), and I’ve been known to voice my opinion without filter. Today I wanted to show my support for one of my favorite MTG websites (this one!) and give you guys some insight on how my prerelease experience went.
As a quick preface, I wanted to mention that I went Mirran both days. There is one simple reason for this: consistancy. I am in favor of Phyrexia winning (who cheered for Luke Skywalker anyway?) and yes, im aware that the “power” of the Phyrexian packs was “higher” or “better”. That being said, i am in no way in favor of playing an all in or nothing format in limited. The format is frustrating enough as it is, why would i pay 60 dollars (30 each day) to potentially open a pile of unplayable crap? I personally know more than enough people that can attest to this being how their prerelease went, needless to say they didnt have any “fun.”
On Saturday, while I was trying to finalize my choice, I was sitting next to my good Canadian pro friend Paul “Bird Sh*t” McKinnon (SP) and I asked him which faction I should pick. He said he was equally conflicted, and he said he was leaning towards Mirran for the same reasons as I mentioned. Just as he said that, a loud voice in my ear shouted “FACTION?!” I was so startled and with the conversation that I had with Paul less than seconds over, I snap picked Mirran. As I sat there thinking about my choice, I started to second guess myself. In my negativity I decided to call out my packs. I deduced that I would open Shape Anew, Etched Champion, and probably a rare land. I open my packs, nothing too exciting, rare 1…SHAPE ANEW. Everyone around me laughs. Rare 2….ETCHED CHAMPION everyone around me nervosly laughs, some calls of bs until proven wrong go about, shocked faces, disgust on my own. Rare 3….FOIL SKITTLES! oh even better, GO MIRRAN GO! Kuldotha Phoenix in pack 3, I guess thats alright.
My deck ended up being pretty good, and I took it to a 3-1 finish. I felt it should have been a good enough deck for a 4-0 finish, but sometimes you mull to 5 both games and keep a 1-lander with a mana Myr, in the first round. As you can see my day was off to a great start. I did get a Thopter Assembly and a Myr Turbine in my MBS packs, but apparently so did Indiana Rob (he was one of those guys that wear an Indiana Jones hat every prerelease, and I assume other places). He also didnt mull, and as such was way ahead, so far ahead in fact that I didnt do anything to him, either game. 21 mana sources. Yeah.
ANYWAY smoked my other opponents, no contest, and won 6 packs. Casual flight, and I was done by 3, way better than done by 8, no packs. At that point I didnt feel like doing anything but going home to sleep for the sunday prerelease, which is where I’ll be taking you next!
First off, this prerelease is done out of my friend Zak Pashak’s Bar/lounge/karaoke/patio/awesome place. It started a little over a year ago as a cool casual hangout for anyone who wanted to play and party at the same time. During the day kids are allowed, which helps with Sunday tournaments and prereleases, and this particular Sunday we had 82 people sign up for the pre release (the actual number of people that showed up is somewhere between 72 and 77 I believe)! A pretty good number for a place that isn’t a store, and operates solely on word of mouth and good experiences! I would also like to take a quick oppourtunity to thank the TO Shawn Petsche and the Sentry Box card desk manager Brandon Muir for the great event!
Here’s the deck I built, I chose to go Red/White.
2x Leonin Skyhunter
White Sun’s Zenith
Turn to Slag
2x Burn the Impure
Koth of the Hammer
Glint Hawk Idol
2x Loxodon Partisan
2x Master’s Call
2x Rally the Forces
2x Goblin Wardriver
A bunch of Blue, Black, Green, and artifact chaff.
Now I’m told this deck is insane, I dont know how insane it is but I liked the way it went. If you would have built it differently, let me know, that might be fun! I can tell you with 100% certainty that my Green, Blue, and Black pools are not playable vs Red and White, and I’m the limited champion, so just dont argue, ok?
In terms of not recognizing the insane-ness of this pool, I feel that I just may not be good enough at sealed to recognize insane vs good enoug. Draft is my biggest format, so I apologize if me not realizing it makes you mad (ahem, Brian Ziemba). Now originally I was playing an 8-8 split on lands, but that was a mistake- as you can clearly see by my need for White mana sources. That being said there were multiple times when I wanted a second Red source and I didnt get it. Also, I originally didnt have Golem Artisan in and had a Goblin Wardriver instead. The reason for this is twofold. First, I don’t think that Golem Artisan is that good. WAIT BEFORE YOU START SHOUTING. That’s because I’ve never seen him do anything. There are lots of so called “good” cards that when put into testing turn out to be mediocre, and my bias is of that fashion in this sense. The other reason is that because everyone thinks hes so awesome, they kill him on sight, which can be good or bad depending on what kind of player you are etc blah blah blah. That being said, I played Goblin Wardriver both days, and I can safely say that I find him very underwhelming, so I took him out after round 2. Also, I know a lot of you think that Kuldotha Flamefiend is an auto-include, I didn’t think I had enough artifacts to support a 4/4 for 6, and I was trying to keep my curve low and aggro them out. Yes, I realize its a Wrath (almost)- I’m not an idiot, in this deck I thought his role was on the bench.
The prerelease went well, there were about eight “nut draw” Phyrexian decks I saw floating around, and two of which (Nick in 3rd place and Ben in 1st place) were the stone blade highlander chocolate sunday with a cherry on top porno nut busting NUT draw. Thankfully I never had to play any of them. In fact, I played all Mirran decks except for one (my only loss) and that was a FOUR-colour deck. It had some good cards, some bad, and was four colours, somehow I lost to this you ask? Drawing six and then seven Plains in a row games two and three will get you like that. My opponent is a good player, make no mistake, but you get my drift.
This has lead me to a startling conclusion: aside from a couple cards, it appears that the Mirran cards and thus the decks they form are pointed at beating other Mirran decks, and the Phyrexian decks are pointed in that same direction. I spoke with a couple of people about this, and they came to the same conclusion. VERRRRRRRRRY INTERESTINGGGGGGGGGGGG.
My first opponent was a nice guy, who has a small son who also plays at pre releases, named Ron. Sadly for ron, I curved out perfectly from Myr, Blightstick, Scrapmelter, Slag to kill everything he played. The game was short, and I ended it with no life lost, only 4 gained from a Divine Offering. His life went 20-18-13-8-0, in that many turns. Game two was no more fun for him, although he did manage to get a few points of damage in, he couldnt compete with my removal suite, and when i dropped a Victory’s Herald he scooped. My life 20-19-14, his life, surprisngly was the same as game 1: 20-18-13-8-0. Total match time, six minutes.
Match 2 was against Adrian, he’s a character. In light of my 2011 New Year’s resolution I am trying to be more positive and less judgemental, and thus will not voice anything personal about Adrian here. We played, he got color screwed (I think), and I won two games. He was unhappy and asked to play a third game “for fun,” but then added “because my deck is better than yours and i think i can win”. He didn’t. We did have almost the same deck, turns out mine was better, three times.
Match 3 was against a relatively new (to some, established to others) guy at Broken City, Nick Something. I always enjoy playing against Nick. In this instance, he got mana screwed and I beat him soundly. In game two, we traded blows. We played a real game of magic, it was really really fun, and I came out on top. WOOHOO 3-0!
Match 4 was against my good friend and local celebrity gunslinger Tyler Frasier. Game one wasnt even close- blown out, I didn’t see more than four cards of T-Fraze’s so I didnt know how to sideboard (not that I had any secret sideboard cards anyway, but whatever). Game two and three both went the same way: I get tyler to 10 and 11 life, he has nothing on board, and I draw 7/9 plains in a row allowing him to build a board pressence and poison me out. Frustrating. 3-1. Tyler played well, we were both sweating, and playing as tight as we could. Tyler is always a formidable opponent, and I’m glad he was my loss, and not anyone else.
Match 5 vs Myles Smith, a good friend and all around nice guy. Game one I ended at 20 life, game two was a little closer. Myles could have Turned to Slag my 2/2 Skybear, chose not to, and lost to a timely and exact for lethal White Sun’s Zenith at the end of his turn. Myles as always was a gracious loser- we talked for a long time after that match, and it was probably one of the most fun all day. 4-1!
Match 6 ended up being against my good friend and local troll “Easy BZ” Brian Ziemba. I was not happy about this because I had shown Brian my entire deck twice before this match, and had heard that he had the Mirran chocolate nut. Brian joked about drawing, then decided that he wanted to play so he could “smoke my ass!” Turns out Brian can’t smoke me, nor can he sideboard; bringing in 2 Crushes against my deck ended up being useless. While yes, that would normally be a safe bet vs Red/White, Brian had seen my deck three times at this point… MISPLAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY. The games were fun, and he got me to 7 game one and 10 game two with that new hasty dragon.
I ended the day at 5-1 and had a great time. My voice was a little hoarse from being the MC, but I wouldnt have it any other way. Nobody had a “bad” time as far as I knew, my friend Adam Hunter finished top 10 for the first time ever and his babe wife even played all day! All in all it was an amazing time, and I wouldnt miss it for the world!
Thats it for me today, I’m sure youre tired of hearing me ramble on, feel free to comment/ask me anything you want, and please tune in to the Eh Team Podcast, you’ll love it, I swear!