2014-15 Precon Championships: Round 5 and the Leaderboard
Two down, two to go- divisional champions, that is! The Rosewater Conference is down to just two decks, and the winner of the conference finals will advance for its show to win it all. Honor, glory, and bragging rights at stake, let’s take a look at this past weekend’s action!
First, Power and Profit (Fate Reforged Clash Pack) took on Mardu Raiders, the Intro Pack from Khans of Tarkir. This prediction was almost unanimous, with only Signofzeta backing the Intro Pack- because, laudably, he consistently backs Intro Packs.
The predictors were quite certain of the Clash Pack’s success. Said Insidious,
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.
The predictors were right, as Power and Profit cruised to victory.
Next up was Sultai Schemers, another Khans of Tarkir Intro Pack, taking on the White Player’s Guide Deck from Magic 2015. Here’s refresh_daemon offering some insight:
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.
The White deck prevailed, setting up a showdown with Power and Profit. Some of our predictors went into a deep analytical mode, which ultimately provided prescient.
Here’s refresh_daemon again:
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.
And this from Jeskai Angel:
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
Congratulations in particular to those who got all three predictions correct: Jeskai Angel, Scott Mazurek, refresh_daemon, Jenesis, and Insidious. Well done indeed!
With Power and Profit ultimately prevailing, here’s the current Prediction League standings:
As always, if there’s any discrepancy, please don’t hesitate to let us know.
Here are this week’s predictions, as we move over to the Forsythe Conference. The Turian Division is up first, and here are the four matches that will be posted this Saturday. For those participating in our Prediction League, please leave a comment below with your picks from each of the following:
The Turian Division had a huge number of byes in the qualifying round, and only two decks had to earn their place by defeating another deck. The Green M15 Sample Deck defeated the Blue Player’s Guide Deck to take its place, and Power squared off with Profit in an exciting draw, each deck being one-half of a Clash Pack deck.
Best of luck to all predictors!