2014-2015 Precon Championships: Turian Division (Part 2 of 2)
Welcome back to the 2014-15 Preconstructed Championships! With the conclusion of the Turian Division today, we’ll be three-quarters of the way through our competition.
Last week eight contenders squared off for their shot at glory. Today, three of those winners will be sent to the showers, with the last deck going on to represent the Turian Division in the semifinals. The action is ready to go, let’s head to the arena!
Game One: Will of the Masses (Magic 2015 Intro Pack) versus Speed (Duel Decks: Speed versus Cunning)
Will has a promising hand, but after playing a Midnight Guard it runs into a bit of mana screw. Against a deck called Speed, that’s a lethal slip.
A War-Name Aspirant drops first, followed by a Goblin Roughrider. After that, Speed doubles down with a raid combo of Mardu Warshrieker and second War-Name Aspirant. By the time Will of the Masses finds land for Nissa’s Expedition, it has to tap the Guard for convoke, leaving itself wide open.
Speed hammers in as expected, but the following Arrow Storm to the face robs Will of whatever time it might have had to stabilise. It scoops
Speed has to get tricky. When Will attacks, it uses Raise the Alarm to bring in some ambush blockers, forcing Will to pop the Cathar to prevent the blowout. It then sends the other token on a suicide run to enable raid, deploying a War-Name Aspirant, Goblin Roughrider, Borderland Marauder, and Mardu Skullhunter in short order.
Will has some convoke cards in hand, but dares not commit its forces to mana when they’re so desperately needed on defense. It takes some hits, but then snaps the trap shut with a Sanctified Charge after losing the Wall to a Mardu Charm. Speed melts the Guard with a Heat Ray in response, but loses half its army. It loses the other half next turn when Will takes the trades, leaving an empty battlefield. But that simply lets Speed rebuild with a Mardu Warshrieker and Carrion Crow.
Will delays the inevitable with a Raise the Alarm for a couple turns, but has no answer to the Crow.
Game Two: Guided by Nature (Commander 2014) versus Peer through Time (Commander 2014)
Nature rolls like a snowball downhill: a first-turn Sol Ring, followed by a Seer’s Sundial, Hunting Triad, Priest of Titania, and Immaculate Magistrate (though it almost immediately dies to the unmorphing Parasite)
Nature Overruns in for 16 damage out of nowhere, and takes the first game on strength of numbers.
It’s a stall in both directions as there’s little ground game to pursue, after Peer morphs a Shaper Parasite and sticks a Sphinx of Jwar Isle. Nature counters with Predator, Flagship. Thanks to shroud, though, it can’t pick off the Sphinx, but it can float enough guys into the air to trade it out. The stall continues!
By now Nature is drowning in tokens. It pops a Gargoyle Castle, knowing it’s coming right back with Titania, Protector of Argoth. A Reclamation Sage smashes Peer’s Dreamstone Hedron. But it hasn’t found a breakthrough card, with both decks instead being happy to build up.
Peer moves for the kill after playing Lorthos, the Tidemaker, when next turn it summons the Breaching Leviathan. With the defenses down, Peer hammers in hard. Nature scrambles for chump blockers- another mana dork, a Gargoyle Castle token, a 5/3 Elemental from Titania… but Peer’s Distorting Wake opens the way for an alpha strike, right down the middle of a throng of watching, helpless Elves.
Nature is slow to develop, with a hand of bombs that need time to grow. It finds a Seer’s Sundial and Silklash Spider, but by then Peer’s on a roll. An early Azure Mage puts pressure on as in game one, followed by Stitcher Geralf (who draws an immediate Song of the Dryads). But when a Stormsurge Kraken lands, and is then doubled with a Rite of Replication, Peer has an almost unstoppable momentum.
WINNER: Peer through Time
Divisional Final: Speed (Duel Decks: Speed vs Cunning) versus Peer through Time (Commander 2014)
Speed comes off the blocks like a shot, chaining War-Name Aspirant, Hordeling Outburst, and Mardu Warshrieker. Devoid of cheap creatures, Peer buys time with a Cyclonic Rift, and Dismisses a Necrogen Scudder that would have finished it off outright. A Riptide Survivor comes out far too late to make a difference, and Peer is simply overrun.
It’s as good as it’s ever going to get for Peer through Time, with Speed stumbling in the absence of a third color. It loads up on trinkets: an Everflowing Chalice, a Sapphire Medallion, a Mind Stone. It even plunks down a morphed Willbender. Brace for impact!
But there isn’t much of one, not right away. A Carrion Crow first, then a War-Name Aspirant. A Mardu Banner opens up White, and a Mardu Hordechief joins the team. A Crackling Doom picks off the Willbender, letting Speed run through unopposed.
Peer weathers some hits- then hits the side with an overloaded Cyclonic Rift, buying it precious time. A morphed Brine Elemental promises that one thing Peer has lacked- a defense.
Unfortunately, Speed’s cheaper creatures repopulate almost immediately, and Flesh to Dust blasts the Elemental before it can block. Peer had its best shot- and came up short.