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August 8, 2016

20

2014-15 Precon Championships: Round 5 and the Leaderboard

by Dredd77

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:

PredictionResultsFIXED

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:

Predictions

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!

 

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20 Comments Post a comment
  1. Icehawk
    Aug 8 2016

    1) Will of the Masses. Looks like a fun deck to me.
    2) Speed. Go duel decks go! It’s not the best DD ever, but I always have to back the duels.
    3) Guided by Nature. I think it has a very real shot at beating the intro deck. Can never count out mono-green.
    4) Unflinching Assault ;_; I want Peer through Time to win, but I don’t think it’ll be able to withstand the Assault. Hope I’m wrong, and it kicks its butt.

    Reply
  2. Jeskai Angel
    Aug 9 2016

    Discrepancy alert: https://ertaislament.com/2016/08/01/2014-15-precon-championships-round-4-and-the-leaderboard/ shows that I had 6 points before, and since I correctly predicted all three results this time, my score should now be 9, not 8. Thanks!

    Reply
    • Aug 9 2016

      Similarly, I think I should be an 8. Predictions will be forthcoming once I get a chance to look at the decklists.

      Reply
      • Jenesis
        Aug 9 2016

        Similarly, my score should be 7, not 4. Also the scoreboard is out of order.

        Reply
        • Aug 9 2016

          Yeah, not my finest evening last night, pretty tired but to think I actually do this sort of stuff for a living. Shame!! I’ve fixed it, thank you!

          Reply
      • Aug 9 2016

        Fixed, thank you!!

        Reply
    • Aug 9 2016

      Fixed, thanks for the heads up! NOt only was my formula off, bt I didn’t even sort results. I knew I was tired last night, but not THAT tired. 🙂

      Reply
  3. ubur
    Aug 9 2016

    G1 – Will of the Masses
    G2 – Speed
    G3 – Guided By Nature
    G4 – Peer Through Time

    Reply
  4. Jeskai Angel
    Aug 9 2016

    G1: I pick Will of the Masses to win. There are some really strong cards here. The Green Sample Deck isn’t horrible, really, it just doesn’t have anything exceptional about it.

    G2: I pick Speed to win. It looks like a solid aggro / token deck. Speed does have some weak cards, but they still do something, whereas Power has durdly chaff like Annul and Taigam’s Scheming that does next to nothing. Also, Power Versus Speed totally sounds like the name of a Duel Deck product.

    G3: I pick Guided by Nature to win. I think Guided by Nature is likely to play out as an aggro deck, with more and better sources of ramp and card advantage than the Temur will be able to muster (notwithstanding their cool Morph cards – shoutout to my buddy Woolly Loxodon!).

    G4: I pick Unflinching Assault to win. It’s a decent aggro deck. Peer Through Time is a funky mono-Blue ramp deck, and while I love that WOTC was bold enough to produce such an unconventional build, I’m guessing it will flounder under the 60-card deck’s attack.

    Reply
  5. signofzeta
    Aug 10 2016

    Will of the Masses
    Power
    Temur Avalanche
    Unflinching Assault

    Reply
  6. Insidious
    Aug 10 2016

    Game One: The monogreen deck only has a few good cards but, as a 30-card deck, it will draw them more often. Will of the Masses simply has great synergy, putting out its cards much faster thanks to converge. In one game, I managed Triplicate Spirits on turn 3, followed by a Feral Incarnation on turn 4. If that happens or Will draws removal, Green doesn´t stand a chance. Will of the Masses it is.

    Game Two: Power is the much stronger half of the Poer & Profit package, but it is, essentially, similar to Sultai Schemes and therefore *slow*. Speed has rather mediocre cards, especially creatures, but they can still attack and Speed has cards to prevent blocking. Speed should live up to its name and win before Sultai v1.5 (aka Power) gets iits defenses ready.

    Game Three: This is a tough choice. Both decks follow the tried-and-true game plan of almost every precon that is mainly green: ramp to expensive cards. Guided by Nature, as is typical for a Commander deck, then varies its tactics with some synergy, while Temur Avalanche goes for fatties alone and uses the Ferocious ability and can achieve this as soon as turn 2. Temur can also go wide and simply attack with 2/2 morphs. Both decks have a number of useless cards, designed against fliers or removal, in this matchup, but the Temur, splashing red, again have some cards preventing blocking. In the long game, Guided by Nature definitely is the stronger deck, but here it doesn´t have 40 life to rely on and the 100 cards can be a decisive disadvantage. I´m going against the grain and pick Temur.

    Game Four: Unflinching Assault is a decent aggro deck, especially for an intro pack, if a bit bloated on mana, and reminded me of Conquering Hordes, the KTK Event Deck. Peer through Time has all the typical problems of a Commander deck: 100 cards, all singletons, and dead slow. In commander, this variance is fun, and with 40 life, speed is not essential, but in this pairing… no. I vote for Unfliching Assault.

    Have fun gaming!

    Reply
  7. Jenesis
    Aug 10 2016

    G1: Will of the Masses
    G2: Power
    G3: Temur Avalanche
    G4: Unflinching Assault

    G1: Green has individual giant fatties, but Selesnya has tokens. If Selesnya can keep Green’s Terra Stomper in check it should be an easy game.
    G2: So I’m going against the grain here, and I’d like to explain why. These decks are very similar. Both three colors, both largely composed of singletons. While Power has more dead cards, it also has card draw and card filtering, letting it sift through clunky draws while Speed is forced to play off the top of the deck. Power also has a full eight fixing lands to Speed’s four (plus two Fiery Fall), making it much more likely that Power can play its multicolored cards on curve. Power’s removal suite is less situational than Speed’s. While Power is lacking the repeatable lifegain from its sister deck Profit, it still has an early ground game, and can even “ramp” to giant delve creatures early to put some serious roadblocks in Speed’s way. Lastly, I’ll point out that not a single Sultai deck has failed to advance past the opening round thus far, with Sultai Schemers even defeating Cunning from the same Duel Deck product. If Power can play it safe early, victory should eventually come its way.
    G3: I’ve never been impressed by Guided by Nature as a Commander product, and in this format the odds are even more stacked against it (opening hands especially). Besides, Temur Avalanche has two copies of BEARPUNCH. How can I vote against BEARPUNCH?
    G4: I’ve never been impressed by Peer Through Time as a Commander product, and in this format the odds are even more stacked against it (opening hands especially). Besides, Unflinching Assault has two copies of…uh…okay, it’s Orzhov, how can I vote against my colors?

    Reply
  8. G1: Will of the Masses.
    G2: Power. For the hell of it.
    G3: Temur Avalanche. It is the year of UG!
    G4: Unflinching Assault. Commander decks never do well here.

    Reply
    • Aug 10 2016

      Got it! Are you posting from different devices, perhaps? Your other posts didn’t disappear into the aether, but rather were in my “pended” folder.

      Reply
      • Aug 16 2016

        Seems to be something to do with logging in via Twitter, through Safari, on a Mac. Works fine on a Windows box for some reason.

        Reply
  9. Aug 10 2016

    G1: I think green’s got the typical green thing down with its ramp to fatties plan and possible blowouts with Joraga Invocation, but Will of the Masses has a similar one with its tokens to convoke theme. Where Will of the Masses has the advantage is that it can simply do more. It can go wide and it can also push out a big fatty. It even has a couple pieces of removal where green only has the single combat trick. I think the sample deck has the same single-minded weakness as the Player’s Guide sibling and this will leave Will of the Masses the win, unless green can get out its Terra Stomper while Will of the Masses stumbles on draws.

    G2: I’ve been down on three color aggro (Mardu Raiders) before and it’s going to be no different here. Without a good opening hand and strong draws, Speed can really be hurt when getting out of the gate and playing its cards on time and that’s what it needs in order to beat the more controlling Power, which also has the benefit of more fixing and draw shaping tools to help it get its answers and remove dead cards. I don’t think it will necessarily be an easy victory Speed has ways of getting past blockers and a removal suite of its own, but the core of its identity as a three color aggro deck simply has too much fragility for me to support it without a more focused decklist.

    G3: While I like a game of Commander, the one hundred card singleton deck, despite its focus on elves, just doesn’t seem to be as consistent or as fast as Temur Avalanche, which isn’t necessarily a “fast” deck, but it’s designed for the right format, whereas Guided by Nature just won’t have the benefit of the forty life and politics it’s supposed to support its slow build to a massive elf army with. Also, having been on the wrong side of a flipping Woolly Loxodon and Savage Punch one too many times, means that I have to respect it more. I think only Lady Luck can guide nature’s elves this time and the Temur will bury them in its avalanche.

    G4: Same deal regarding Commander decks but Peer Through Time has even less viable early game and again no benefit of forty life and politics to protect it. I’m not saying that Unflinching Assault is an amazing aggro deck, but unlike its Mardu predecessor, it’s not going to struggle as much with its mana base and being an aggro deck, it’s going to be even faster to run its war engine and Peer Through Time doesn’t even have many turn two plays in its decklist to talk about, so it would need incredible draws not to collapse to its significantly faster opponent. Unflinching Assault is the clear favorite here and so goes my vote.

    Reply
  10. Scott Mazurek
    Aug 10 2016

    Game One – Will of the Masses
    Game Two – Speed
    Game Three – Guided by Nature
    Game Four – Unflinching Assault

    Reply
  11. Grue
    Aug 11 2016

    G1 – Will of the Masses
    G2 – Speed
    G3 – Temur Avalanche
    G4 – Unflinching Assault

    Reply
  12. westbrook57
    Aug 12 2016

    Oh my god I nearly forgot about this:

    G1: WIll of the Masses.
    G2:Speed

    G3: Temur Avalanche, because Bear Punch.

    G4: Unflinching Assault.

    Reply
  13. Aug 12 2016

    G1: Will of the Masses
    G2: Power
    G3: Temur Avalanche
    G4: Unflinching Assault

    Reply

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