2014-15 Precon Championships: Round 4 and the Leaderboard
Four games down, and the Tinsman Division is more than halfway there to determining its champion for the quarterfinals! For our Prediction League, the results are a little less clear, as there’s still so much to play for!
In the first match, the mighty Power and Profit took down the cunning plan of, well, Cunning Plan. Jeskai Angel, who’s taken sole custody of second place this week, had some trouble picking this one, but ended up fairly close to the mark:
I think this is the hardest-to-predict matchup of the day and I could easily see it going either way. The Jeskai wield nice arsenal of evasive creatures, tricksy Prowess dudes, and a surprisingly deep supply of burn / removal spells. Unfortunately (since I love the Jeskai Clan), I think the Sultai are a just little bit better. They’ve got strong “destroy” removal spells, big creatures that will resist burning, M. Siege’s Dragons mode to greatly hinder burning, value-giving Whip of Erebos that the RU can’t remove, Wayfinder / Commune / Font to ensure the mana flows free, etc. I won’t mind be wrong about this one, but I think Power and Profit defeats the intro pack here. #Step1PowerStep2Profit
In the end, the humorous hashtag called it, and the Clash Pack lives to fight another day.
The next matchup was Mardu Raiders, an Intro Pack from Khans of Tarkir, versus the Magic 2015 Player’s Guide deck for Red. Although refresh_daemon ended up opting for the Red deck, the analysis for Mardu was sound.
Mardu can put up a fight thanks to its removal options, but I like red deck’s focus better. Mardu will at least be glad that its red creatures can block those Krenko’s Enforcers though, because I’ve lost several limited games to them during M15’s days.
This game was almost everyone’s bogey- only three people correctly picked the Mardu to prevail.
The opposite was the case with the next game, which pitted a different Khans of Tarkir Intro Pack (Sultai Schemers) against another Magic 2015 Player’s Guide deck (Green). Prediction League-leader Icehawk gave some insight that not every analysis has to be a tactical one.
I’m a sucker for decks with cool names and not having one hurts a lot.
Nearly every predictor thought that Green couldn’t get the job done, and Green didn’t let them down.
For the final match, it was a clash between the White M15 Player’s Guide deck and the M15 Black Sample Deck. This matchup showed the value of doing a card-by-card comparison, succinctly put by Jenesis summing up thoughts that were on several folks’ minds.
4 triplicate spirits by itself should slaughter an average Limited deck. Add in the 3 paragons and Black’s Festergloom isn’t even an answer
And that’s exactly how White ended up winning it.
Here’s a look at the Prediction League table, updated with the weekend’s action.
As always, if you notice any discrepancies, please don’t hesitate to make mention.
Next, here are this week’s matches. Please leave your predictions in the comments below, and the results will go up Saturday. The official deadline for predictions is 11:59PM on Friday, but we’ll take them up until we post the results.
We’ll need the predictions for the following games.
Game One: Power and Profit versus Mardu Raiders
Game Two: Sultai Schemers versus White
Game Three: Winner of Game One versus Winner of Game Two
Hi, back from two weeks of cycling… I´ll open this round of predictions.
Game One: Two three-coloured decks, one with ten rares and the other with two… easy choice. While I do not really like the Clash packs, they tried to be both a Duel deck and an Event deck at the same time and neither really worked well, I still go for Power and Profit. That said, I have been wrong before…
Game Two: Difficult choice. The white deck is more cohesive and has more aerial presence, plus three Paragons and a mythic, but a Necropolis Fiend in play with lots of cards in the graveyard will kill the white deck. I have played Sultai Schemers before and often ended up mana flooded with either few cards in the graveyard or no delve cards in hand, so I choose white, being the “lesser of two evils”.
Game Three: Power and Profit, for the same reasons as above, although the white deck can give P&P a problem in the skies.
1: Power and Profit.
We could all use some guides in our lives, and clashes just get in the way. Let’s just hope wisdom trumps greed.
G1: Power and Profit. Reasons: higher average card quality, less chance of mana flood, and the fact that I believe Mardu’s win last round over the Red deck was a lucky fluke. #Step1PowerStep2Profit
G2: White Player’s Guide. Similar reasons as above. We have a deck I believe is genuinely pretty good versus a deck a I think is pretty bad. The Sultai won last round because Green was a flubbery deck, not because Sultai was a powerful one. #WhiteOut
G3: Power+Profit versus White Player’s Guide! Ready? THINK!
Pros for P+P: generally bigger creatures match up well against tokens; Doomwake Giant a potential reusable board wipe; strong spot removal to deal with the Paragons; Scuttling Doom Engine hard to block; ways to gain card advantage in Eidolon, Whip, Courser, Soothsayers, Wayfinders, and Weavers.
Cons: slower deck; risk of getting stuck on a color.
Pros for White PG: fast, low mana curve; reliable density of token makers & mass pump effects; potential for huge swarm of flying tokens; devastating one-sided board wipe; and reliable mana due to being mono-color.
Cons: few forms of card advantage (aside from Mass Calcify and sort of / kind of Spirit Bonds), limited spot removal (only three pieces and only against attacking / blocking creatures).
It’s interesting that one of White’s wins last round came from decking Black – it wasn’t able to finish the job through the power of its cards and instead ended won by just letting game drag on long enough. That hints at White’s lack of long-game finishing power. So, White is the beatdown and P+P is the control in this matchup. If White comes out of the gate at full speed while P+P stumbles on a hand of slow mana, missing colors, and durdly enchantments like Sultai Ascendancy, White can win. But I’m going to bet on P+P. It might go to three games, but Power and Profit has the right mix of tools to endure the early onslaught and take over in the late game. I admit also want P+P to win because it’s part of a real precon product, unlike fake “precon” PG deck lists. 😀 #Step3MorePowerStep4MoreProfit
Game One – Power and Profit will crush the Mardu in 2 ( yeah I did that on purpose )
Game Two – The White Deck will take down the Sultai in 3.
Game Three – Power and Profit take down the White Deck!
because intro pack
1) Power and Profit
3) Power and Profit
G1: Mardu Raiders’ ascendancy was quite the upset, but as much as I want to root for the clear underdog here, the three color mana base tied together with the aggressive approach is not inspiring. Power and Profit has got an even more focused approach, a great capacity to improve card quality in addition to just having better card quality, a much better mana base as well as being a slower deck, for which the mana base is more appropriate. If MR takes P&P, then it will be as impressive a feat as Iceland making the quarter-finals of FIFA this year. But I’m not going to bet on it. The scrappy deck might put up a fight thanks to its removal options, but P&P will probably take it in the end.
G2: Green deck has particular weaknesses to Sultai Schemers. In this case, White has more options and a much more adept approach. What’s more, while Schemers’ single target removal was good for green ramp-to-fatties strategy, it’s much less good against white’s go-wide strategy. Even Dead Drop will simply trade for a single two mana Raise the Alarm, which simply mana inefficient. Even white has a sweeper and a one-sided one in that. Schemers bombs, the Vizier and the Fiend can be chump blocked if they attack, leaving the Schemers vulnerable to an Inspired Charge counter assault not to mention being able to be devoured by light. I think Schemers’ best chance would be to blowout a Paragon with removal for favorable trades, but I think White’s just a bit more together and will take the win.
G3: This is tough–white’s got its swarm, but P&P has as much focus in what it wants to do and unlike its sibling Schemers, it’s got significantly better card quality and several really impressive cards including the Doomwake Giant as a board clearer against white’s tokens and those tokens can’t even stop a Scuttling Doom Engine, meaning that P&P simply has to hold out until it gets its answers and as long as W doesn’t Mass Calcify (a blowout for sure), it has the advantage. And I think white’s list might be just a touch too slow to get there with the Paragons as four drops and P&P able to dig for its answers and even the whip, which could be brutal for White, eroding its advantage via lifelink and returning-from-the-grave creatures, some of which (like the aforementioned Doomwake as well as the Eidolon of Blossoms) will give P&P additional benefit for their short return. I think it will be contentious, but a slight edge I’ll give to P&P for the division.
The dream for P&P vs. W would be, of course, to bestow either the Nighthowler or the Herald of Torment on the Scuttling Doom Engine for enormous nearly unblockable beats, especially if the Doomwake Giant is already out. Yikes. Of course, W would dream of Raise the Alarm x2, followed by Triplicate Spirits x2, drop a Paragon or an Inspired Charge for the win around maybe two fat blockers (or just nuking P&P’s board with a Mass Calcify in general).
G1 – Power and Profit
G2 – Sultai Schemer
G3 – Power and Profit
G1: Power and Profit
“[Insert insightful and quotable commentary].” Power and Profit seems to have the advantage, but I have a feeling that it’ll get mana screwed.
G1: Power & Profit
G2: White (M15 Guide)
G3: White (M15 Guide), purely because I’m starting to root for Power & Profit.
G1 – Power and Profit
G2 – White
G3 – White
Power and profit
Power and profit
Power and Profit
Power and Profit