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November 15, 2012

25

2011-12 Precon Championships: Round 7 and the Leaderboard

by Dredd77

We’re rounding the bend with the home stretch before us as we move closer each week to crowning a Champion from the 2011-12 season! We’ve had some exciting matches, filled with the sturm und drang we have come to expect from these competitions season after season, year after year. Thus far, we have not been disappointed!

This past week-end’s action was expected to be brutal, with a pair of Event Decks, a Duel Deck, and a Commander deck mixing it up for the right to lay claim to the Turian Division. The readers in the Prediction League were right in the thick of it, and scooped a ton of points this week off of some good calls.

The first match up saw Illusionary Might take on Heavenly Inferno. Although a couple readers hoped to see the Commander deck carve out a victory, it simply was not to be as the last of the muiltiplayer casual decks crashed to the earth, battered and bloodied. The Illusions of the Magic 2012 Event Deck ran right over them. Said Diannea, “I continue to believe Commander deck too inconsistent to play well against more focused products like event deck.” Sadly for Commander fans, it was indeed so.

Next up was another highly anticipated clash which saw Dark Ascension’s Spiraling Doom Event Deck locked horns with Koth himself from Duel Decks: Venser vs Koth. Let it not be said that the predictors don’t know a sure thing when they see it, for not a soul staked their fortune to the mono-Red deck. The heavy favourite, Spiraling Doom siezed its chance and left no mistake as to its intentions. “Birthing Pod and undying will flood the field,” predicted Jon S… and that’s precisely what happened.

For the final battle, the two Event Decks left it all out on the field in a match that went the full three games. Mcc1701 said that the match “will be close, and I wouldn’t be too surprised if it goes the other way. It all depends on if Doom can find a Birthing Pod and resolve it. If not it will be a tough fight to beat Might.” But fortune was with the toolbox deck, as it advanced past the fallen bodies of its seven rivals and finds itself the last deck standing. Now it can rest and recover as we move on to the final division, the Lauer.

Here’s the updated leaderboard for the Prediction League. Jenesis is on top, but only by the slimmest of margins. Not only is Jenesis in pole position on the day, but there’s the chance at setting a League record for points if fortune breaks the right way. For the 2010-11 season, winner Icehawk won the league with 20 points, a feat matched by Gobias when we went back in time for the 2005-07 season. Can this season’s winner leave their mark with a new record? Only time will tell…

As always, if there are any discrepancies between our table and what you have, just let us know and we’ll be happy to revise! And now, here are this week-end’s clashes, as we begin the final Division of the Forsythe Conference.

To help with your predictions, here’s a brief summary of each of the eight players.

Angelic Might

Colours: White, Green

Set: Avacyn Restored

Rares: Angel of Glory’s Rise, Herald of War

Detail: Throughout the course of Innistrad we saw some lesser-known tribes come to the fore, and when the third set of the block rolled around it was time for the Angels to get involved. The last time we saw an Angels-centered product it was a Duel Decks release, and the presence of Green in Angelic Might gave it ramping options its predecessor lacked. Will it have the luxury of time against its opponents to bring its bombs online? (Reviews)

Dark Sacrifice

Colours: White, Black

Set: Dark Ascension (DKA)

Rares: Champion of the Parish, Fiend of the Shadows

Detail: Hobbled by the usual lack of removal in the Innistrad block environment, Dark Sacrifice nevertheless plunges in full-bore to the sacrifice theme we often see with Black and White decks. Although we noted its “unreliability,” is has a number of synergistic effects that can be quite potent when chained together. Will it be feast, or will it be famine for its opening matchup against Nicol Bolas? (Reviews)

Fiery Dawn

Colours: White, Red

Set: Avacyn Restored

Rares: Cathars’ Crusade, Zealous Conscripts

Detail: The Human tribe started out rather meekly in Innistrad, being represented as they were by Repel the Dark. By the time Avacyn Restored launched, Avacyn herself had returned to lead the peoples of the benighted plane to reclaim their homes and lives. This was well represented by Fiery Dawn, a deck which lashes out with Boros-flavoured fury. With a solid burn suite and some superb combo-esque interactions, this is surely one to watch! (Reviews)

Grave Power

Colours: Blue, Green

Set: Dark Ascension

Rares: Ghoultree, Splinterfright

Detail: We were absolutely blown away by this deck, being a much more exciting Intro Pack version of the Deathfed Event Deck. As a result, it received one of the highest scores we’ve given an Intro Pack, and was a joy to play in a way that few Blue/Green precons tend to be. Can it harvest the power of the graveyard when it counts, or will it be doomed to remain a lingering- if pleasant- memory. (Reviews)

Humanity’s Vengeance

Colours: White, Blue

Set: Avacyn Restored

Rares: Blade Splicer, Divine Deflection, 2x Glacial Fortress, Mirran Crusader, Moorland Haunt, Phyrexian Metamorph

Detail: One of the premium decks in this Intro Pack-heavy division, as the name implies this is another tribal Human deck. Unlike Fiery Dawn, Humanity’s Vengeance isn’t hampered by a tightly-controlled rare quote, having range to the full seven available to Event Decks. Although three of them are lands, the deck has no shortage of powerful synergies that can overwhelm a weaker opponent. Will it be the 800-lb gorilla in the room, or just another footnote in another deck’s Cinderella story? (Reviews)

Mystical Might

Colours: White, Blue

Set: Magic 2012

Rares: Lord of the Unreal, Sphinx of Uthuun

Detail: We’ve already seen the power of the Illusions in the Magic 2012 Event Deck, Illusionary Might. Can the depowered Intro Pack version follow in its footsteps? Filled with efficient beaters in the form of the Illusions, Mystical Might will look to take full advantage of a removal-light environment. Of course, with a poor suite of its own, it could be anyone’s game. (Reviews)

Nicol Bolas

Colours: Blue, Black, Red

Set: Duel Decks: Ajani vs Nicol Bolas

Rares: Blazing Specter, Cruel Ultimatum, Dimir Cutpurse, Nicol Bolas Planeswalker, Profane Command, Undermine

Detail: What’s worse than the aforementioned 800-lb gorilla? Howabout a dragon? One of the game’s greatest villains was back for an encore performance in this Duel Deck release, and he’s brought with him all of the might of Grixis. The deck has a number of threats at its disposal as it bounces, burns, and kills what stands before it. If Nicol Bolas is for you, who could stand against you? (Reviews)

Relentless Dead

Colours: Blue, Black

Set: Dark Ascension

Rares: Endless Ranks of the Dead, Havengul Runebinder

Detail: We’re back on familiar tribal ground with the last deck of the division: Zombies. Innistrad cannily broke them out into two colour-based types, with the traditional necromantic Black Zombies being joined with the equally ghoulish Skaabs, undead stitched together like Frankenstein and given the horrifying semblance of life. Can this classic tribe show the others the reasons for its longevity? (Reviews)

And there you have it! The stage is now set for this weekend’s matches, and as ever we’ll accept predictions up until the write-up posts on Sunday. Good luck to all predictors!

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25 Comments Post a comment
  1. Jay Chong
    Nov 16 2012

    Fiery Dawn – I gamble on speed
    Dark Sacrifice – Although Bolas has lots of removal, the mana base will hobble the dragon
    Humanity’s Vengeance – Solid removal and the mirran crusader will be a pain if cast
    Grave Power- Because its more fun than illusions 😛

    Reply
  2. servant of yawgmoth
    Nov 16 2012

    angelic might
    bolas
    humanity’s vengeance
    grave power

    Reply
  3. Nov 16 2012

    Angelic Might
    Nicol Bolas
    Humanity’s Vengeance
    Mystical Might

    Reply
    • ilarson94
      Nov 16 2012

      I wouldn’t be surprised with a 4/4 or a 0/4 to be honest. I’m not sure if I’ve said this yet, but this round determines winner in my opinion.

      Reply
      • Icehawk7
        Nov 16 2012

        I think it’s going to go down to the wire based off what’s made it through so far. Could really go any which way. Keeps it exciting!

        Reply
  4. Varo
    Nov 16 2012

    Game 13: Fiery Dawn
    Game 14: Nicol Bolas’ deck
    Game 15: Humanity’s vengeance
    Game 16: Grave power

    By the way, the meddling of the izzet intro pack written by Jay is up at gatheringmagic.com, go take a look!

    Reply
  5. Nov 16 2012

    Game 13: Angelic Might
    Game 14: Nicol Bolas
    Game 15: Humanity’s Vengeance
    Game 16: Grave Power

    Reply
  6. tenthtechpriest
    Nov 16 2012

    Game 13: Angelic Might (isn’t this a rematch from the AVR reviews?)
    Game 14: Nicol Bolas
    Game 15: Humanity’s Vengeance
    Game 16: Grave Power

    Reply
  7. Icehawk7
    Nov 16 2012

    I’m going by what I want to win. Sort of what I did when I won this shin dig ages ago.

    Angelic Might.

    Bolas. It won’t be easy, but he is the master.

    Humanity’s Vengeance

    Mystical Might, because when their powers combine, here comes Captain Planet!

    Reply
  8. mcc1701
    Nov 16 2012

    Angelic Might. This matchup is similar to Repel the Dark and Carnival of Blood, but Dawn lacks the evasion of the vampires but the same unreliability of that deck.

    Bolas: Mana will hurt the dragon less against a deck like Dark Sacrifice. I don’t see a quick game, and if Bolas can compete with the speed of Ajani then I see it winning here.

    Humanity’s Vengeance. Zombies are good, but not event deck good.

    Grave power: Unless it mills all it’s powerhouse creatures, it can stall well, last long, and has a little a evasion to get through.

    Reply
  9. Nov 16 2012

    Game 13: Angelic Might. Boros might come flying out of the gate in one or two games, but it will be the flying Angels that carry the day.
    Game 14: Dark Sacrifice. Just because I want to see Bolas go down.
    Game 15: Humanity’s Vengeance. Not betting on a worse version of the Zombies deck.
    Game 16: Mystical Might. I would not be surprised to see a reprise of the Spectral Legions v. Deathfed game, except that Grave Power doesn’t even have Spider Spawning to fall back on.

    Reply
  10. Grue
    Nov 16 2012

    13 – Angelic Might : Angelic Might won the last time these two faced off, but they were close matches. A bit unsure on this one, but I think I’ll give AM the nod.
    14 – Nicol Bolas : Enough removal to carry it. I think. Maybe.
    15 – Humanity’s Vengeance : I think this one is closer to a sure thing (famous last words…)
    16 – Mystical Might : Another one I’m not sure of, but we’ll see what happens.

    Time to roll the dice…

    Reply
  11. Jacopo Sassi
    Nov 16 2012

    13) Fiery Dawn
    14) Dark Sacrifice
    15) Humanity’s vengeance
    16) Grave Power

    Reply
  12. stric9
    Nov 16 2012

    1. Angelic Might
    2. Nicol Bolas
    3. Humanity’s Vengeance
    4. Grave Power

    Reply
  13. Diennea
    Nov 17 2012

    1) Fiery Dawn
    2) Nicol Bolas
    3) Humanity’s Vengeance
    4) Mystical Might

    Reply
  14. Nov 17 2012

    1) Angelic Might: Its cards at all stages of the game involve lots of lifegain, which is a nightmare for aggro decks. I’m not counting on Dawn to draw its choice power cards or a ‘combo’ kill twice in a row, but who knows.

    2) Nicol Bolas: Both of these decks are slow as all hell, but Bolas seems like it trumps most of Sacrifice’s themes. Sacrifice’s lifegain isn’t anywhere near Ajani’s level, tokens and +1/+1 counter creatures are nerfed by bounce, and it lacks the haymakers that Bolas has.

    3) Humanity’s Vengeance: spoiler alert: the humans win in the third set

    4) Mystical Might: This one seems about as strong as Spectral Legions, while Grave Power is a far less focused Deathfed.

    Reply
  15. Nov 17 2012

    Angelic Might
    Nicol Bolas
    Humanity’s Vengeance
    Mystical Might

    Reply
  16. Nov 17 2012

    13) Angelic Might
    14) Dark Sacrifice
    15) Humanity’s Vengeance
    16) Grave Power

    Reply
  17. errtu
    Nov 17 2012

    1. angelic might
    2. dark sacrifice
    3. relentless dead
    4. grave power

    Reply
  18. Nov 17 2012

    1- fiery dawn
    2 – nicol bolas
    3 – humanity’s vengeance
    4 – mystical might

    Reply
  19. DomaDragoon
    Nov 17 2012

    Fiery Dawn
    Nicol Bolas
    Humanity’s Vengeance
    Grave Power

    Reply
  20. Jon S
    Nov 18 2012

    Hope I’m not too late! 11:22 on Sat. here we go!
    Firey Dawn I think the angels cost to much to win
    Nicol Bolas – it’s going to ake an event deck to take out the dragon.
    Humanity’s Vengeance -Event deck Vs Intro deck. Intro doesn’t have a chance
    Grave Power- It will be a close but I think this one will take two out of three games.

    Reply
  21. Limbonic_Art
    Nov 18 2012

    Game 13: Fiery Dawn. I believe that both decks are nearly equal in power level, the angel deck is at a disadvantage. Boros colors with an agressive curve and some Pillar of Flames to remove troublesome roadblock like Gideon’s Lawkeeper and finish off some Angelic Walls. The early game will be harsh for Angelic Might, but if it can survive the onslaught with a big Angel then attacking will become unprofitable for Fiery Dawn. Zealous Conscripts will be a critical and game-changing card. I expect the games to be close, as they were in the Angelic might review, but anything can happen. This matchup is tough to predict, but Might is at a slight disadvantage, agrro might just win it.
    Game 14: Nicol Bolas
    Although Dark Sacrifice has some compelling synergy in the self-sacrifice strategy, it is in the feast or famine camp of decks. Without much removal, Bolas’ deck can steal a game with a specter or another evasive hand destroyer like Dimir Cutpurse. Nicol Bolas duel deck has a manabase problem and there is little that can be done to fix that, but dark sacrifice isn’t blindingly fast. It might be a tough matchup, but Nicol Bolas is capable of winning, it has a much better lategame. Fiend of Shadows and Skirsdag Flayer are 2 creatures to strongly watch out for, as Nicol Bolas’ removal can’t touch black creatures. It does have bounce to deal with them. The matchups could even go to game three, but I have faith in Nicol Bolas having a better lategame and overall better card quality.
    Game 15: Humanity’s Vengeance
    Aside from the rare occurance with Innistrad’s Spectral Legions, an intro pack beating an event deck will rarely happen. Legions had a decent removal suite to back it up, with fliers. Relentless Dead is interesting, but will have a hard time establishing a horde of zombies. Being an event deck, humanity’s vengeance has a strong removal suite- 3 oblivion rings, 2 Dismember, and 3 Righteous blow. Thats enough to deal with most of the team players relentless dead will bring out.
    Game 16: Mystical Might
    Both decks use the sky as a secondary win condition, and that might hurt Grave power a bit. However, Mystical Might will be a formidable opponent due to it having access to 4 large fliers (2 Phantasmal Dragons, Serra Angel, and Sphinx of Uthuun). The 3 Skywinder Drakes will be troublesome for grave power to deal with as well, since Grave power only has 2 Chasm drakes and 2 Moon Heron for the flying suite. Additionally, even the small pair of stormfront pegasus will be an early threat, since grave power cannot deploy its fliers until turn four. If Mystical Might is to win, it will do so in the skies. As far as removal, Mystical Might gets the upper hand having 2 unsummons, 2 Oblivion ring, and a Mind control. Grave power has sadly no direct removal except for 2 Ambush vipers and an acidic slime for deathtouchers, which are all less effective against a deck that will do its most damage in the air. An Aether Adept will be the only way to dispose of the 4 huge fliers that Might has.
    Against decks outside of the Innistrad environment, Grave power’s effectiveness will diminish. It relies on air to give its beaters some reach, otherwise they will be chump blocked as they lack trample except for Spliterfright. The abscence of spiwer spawning that was present in Deathfed is critical, as that card could potentially have stalled the air force enough to let the ground beaters through. I really can’t see Grave power getting a win here, its construction was genius in innistrad block, but against other types of decks its advantages are mitigated.

    Reply
    • Limbonic_Art
      Nov 18 2012

      Another thing I forgot to mention in game 13. The removal suite for Angelic Might is 2 Defang, 1 oblivion ring, and 2 Righteous blow. Fiery Dawn has Pacifism, 2 Incinerate, Fireball, and Pillar of Flame. Both have 5 pieces of removal, however it is important to note that Dawn will need work to remove the angels. Fireball is the only card that can deal enough damage to the big angels without tricks. Pacifism will equally deal with the angels. Incinerate, Pillar of flame and Vigilante Justice can be used with the aid of aggressive attacks to put a dent into angels and finish them off. Fiery Dawn can spend its early game using removal to destroy the walls that will hold it off, or it can save its removal to kill the angels in the mid and late game. If Dawn is able to deal enough damage before Angelic Might can establish a strong board presence, then it will fall even with big angels in fear of a counterattack. I feel like this is the closest matchup here. going purely on instinct that aggro theme will develop fully.

      Reply
  22. level7
    Nov 18 2012

    13: Angelic Might
    14: Nicol Bolas
    15: Humanity’s Vengeance
    16: Grave Power

    Reply

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