It’s our last look at Gatecrash today, for the next time we break out these decks it will be for the Preconstructed Championship later this year. Joining me at the table this time is Sam, who’s volunteered to give Thrive and Thrash another shot. Will she prove that the previous match was just a fluke, or will the Boros live up to the billing and rout the Simic?
For the most part, the overlap between the competitive world of the Event Deck and the more casual one of the Intro Pack has remained fairly segregated. After all, aside from the set whose banner they are released under, they really don’t have much in common. Intro Packs, aside from being an accessible point of entry for new and returning players, tend to give a fair amount of design space over to showcasing the set’s themes and mechanics. Event Decks, on the other hand, care far less for these things, instead focusing on presenting a valid option in a given competitive environment.
Released in 1991, Morrissey’s Kill Uncle occupies an unusual place in the singer’s discography. Only his second album in four years after the breakup of The Smiths, the album ranged from the deeply sentimental There’s a Place in Hell for Me and my Friends to the quirky and pun-laden King Leer, with stops all over the map in between. Buried almost at the end of the album is a subdued little number called (I’m) the End of the Family Line. What has that to do with Gatecrash? Hopefully, nothing.
The next time we look at a Gatecrash precon, it’s going to be an Event Deck- our review series of the Intro Pack decks draws to a close with our playtest of the much-anticipated Orzhov Oppression. We were much impressed with the execution of the bleeder strategy from the original block. Will the updated version equally impress? To find out, Sam sat down with Simic Synthesis.
In our last review, we took at look at the Gruul and the difference between their first Theme Deck, Gruul Wilding, and their Gatecrash update. As the joint-bottom deck from the original Ravnica block, it’s certainly true that there was nowhere to go but up, but Gruul Goliaths redeemed the guild in a big way. Can a similar magic be worked on a guild who ended their first run near the top?
Primal fury time! Though Jimi’s Dimir Dementia may prefer to keep to the shadows, the Gruul have forced them out into the open for a titanic showdown. Will it boil down to who has the biggest club, or will a knife in the back settle the score?
As we’ve seen both in Gatecrash as well as Return to Ravnica, Wizards felt in some cases that designing new mechanics for the guilds was a chance to do justice to some that may have gotten the short shrift in the first go-around. While there were some obvious hits, such as convoke for the Selesnya and replicate for the Izzet, there were also some that fell somewhat short of ambition. The Azorius Senate’s forecast was deliberately underpowered, the Golgari’s dredge was dancing on the line between fair and broken, and radiance for the Boros was “the big miss of Ravnica block” according to Mark Rosewater. But guild mechanics weren’t the only things getting a second chance.