2005-07 Precon Championships: Round 3 and the Leaderboard
Magic players and sports fans of all ages, welcome back to our Prediction League update for the 2005-07 Preconstructed Championships! It’s been a week of highs and lows, but above all we at last have a champion for the Nagle Division. Of the eight decks to start in the Nagle, it was down to a field of four that had only one thing in common: they had eliminated another theme deck to get there. But as is so often said, there can be only one, and so one and only one deck had to emerge from the fray.
In our first pairing, Time Spiral’s Hope’s Crusaders took on Unraveling Mind, the madness-themed deck from Planar Chaos. Although Unraveling Mind was a crowd favourite as expressed by the comments, it was tabbed to win by only about half of the predictors. Tony picked it to go all the way, relating some personal successes in piloting the deck against Lorywn’s theme decks. “I have witnessed amazing wins with this deck, he notes, “but have also seen horrid defeats thanks to bad draws.” On the other hand, more than one reader was skeptical of flanking carrying the day. “An unraveling mind,” quips last season’s champion Icehawk, “tends to be more dangerous than a cavalry charge.”
Of course, once the die is cast it can be anyone’s game, and the variance built into Magic ensures that on any given day the least has a chance to overcome the best. Although it was pushed to three games thanks to a game-ending Disintegrate, Hope’s Crusaders speed bookended victories and saw it advance to the next round.
On the other side of the arena we found Izzet Gizmometry taking on the Endless March of Planar Chaos. Most predictors felt that the Izzet had spent all of their luck getting out of the first round. d00n, noting the imbalance between the Izzet’s bounce effects and its opponent’s comes-into-play creatures, said “when Endless March lands some creatures, what is Izzet going to do? Bounce them?” Said stric9, skeptical from the start, “I really have a hard time thinking Izzet is an effective deck that can make it further.” Although the Blue/Red Ravnican guild had pipped a win thanks to a blown referee call in the opening round, it got no such breaks here. Although it pushed the game long in Game Two, which played into its hands, it owed a lot to Rain of Embers to wipe the opposition’s board as a way of answering the problem posed by Stormfront Riders. Still, even finding a Rain in its opening hand for the closer wasn’t enough- the Izzet’s luck had run out.
For our Nagle Division final, we had very few correct predictions. As we noted last season, final matches are the hardest to predict, because you don’t know who is going to be in it when it comes down to it. You have to call the previous two matches, then make the best guess possible. d00n again had a detailed prediction: “Endless March wins with Soltari shadow, Scary Dust and super-useful Pro-Black Knight token off of a suspended Riftmarked Knight. Easy choices to pump with Brute Force and/or ghetto-Berserk.” It might not have gone down exactly like that, but Endless March wasn’t fooling around- it won in two straight.
We were delighted to see some new faces this week, and after two rounds the Prediction Leage table is as follows:
Now for the Next Round
We’re back to kicking off a new division next week, and you’ll have until Sunday to tender your predictions. Let us know who you see winning!
If you’d like to do some scouting prior to making your picks, here are links to our reviews (or the decklists, should reviews not be available).
Aurochs Stampede (CSP)
Azorius Ascendant (DIS)
Custom Creatures (9ED)
Fate Blaster (FUT)
Future Shock (FUT)
Ixidor’s Legacy (PLC)
Selesnya United (RAV)