Inthe long history of Magic: the Gathering, few colour pairings have gone together like chocolate and peanut butter to quite the extent of Red and Black. Indeed, their iconic stature is rivaled perhaps only by White and Blue. This may not be a coincidence- if you plot the game on an axis with control and one side and aggression on the other, looking at colour combinations you tend to find both these two pairs on opposite extremes.
Moreso than any other preconstructed product in recent memory, the Event Decks have become a lightning rod for attention and criticism amongst the Magic community. To be sure, there isn’t a thing that Wizards could issue that wouldn’t have a Greek chorus of detractors, bemoaning some or other aspect of the release- some of it fairly, some of it not. But perhaps because of the unique intersection that the Event Decks product line inhabits it finds itself much more squarely in the community’s sights.
It’s our last go with the latest Duel Decks release, and thus far the Izzet are leading the day. Can I turn around the Golgari’s fortunes? I’m joined at the table by Sam, in what turns out to be a surprisingly swift affair.
With the decks reviewed, it’s time to get down to business! Sam’s eagerly awaiting me at the table as she shuffles up the Golgari deck, while I’m about to find out what the Izzet are made of!
It was very clear from going through the Izzet deck that there was a certain continuity in the guild’s mechanical identity between its original Theme Deck, Izzet Gizmometry, and their construction in the latest Duel Decks release. The original deck, of course, was constrained by the customary rationing of rarity, so there was only so much that it could do. The Duel Deck, on the other hand, was the same built writ large. Gone were the shackles of Ravnica-block-only cards, and in were some of the more instant/sorcery-reactive options from across the span of the game. When you guild’s signature mechanic revolves around playing two of the game’s most fundamental card types, you have a template which is widely applicable.
To find out what happens when this is not the case, we now turn to the other guild, the Golgari.
We might think it an act of the most extraordinary genius, but the Izzet would tell you it was quite simple, really. Combining their knowledge of interdimensional conduitotics with brainwave impulsion neuropathy and rigging up an compulse impeller to a hyperstatic mana battery, they were able to reach across the very fabric of time and space. Their goal was simple and singular: to manipulate events to ensure that their guild was given a sequential, double-dose of coverage on Ertai’s Lament.
In case you haven’t caught it yet, there’s a treat waiting for us over at the mothership. Trick Jarrett, founder of GatheringMagic.com and now running the show over at Wizards’ official site, takes a copy of Duel Decks: Izzet vs Golgari to a few of his coworkers, and writes up the results!
This is it, our final game for Magic 2013- the next time we touch these decks will likely be in the Preconstruced Championships next Autumn. We found the two Event Decks to be great fits and foils for one another… would the same hold true with the decks having changed hands?