A Colorized Memory

Game time, the final set of games. Both of us finalists were playing really good decks that beat out our competition. It was time for one of us undefeated to be defeated.

Let me back up. It was my birthday in the year 2014, September 25th. For my party, a couple of my friends and I went to our local gaming store to participate in this prerelease event in hopes of winning and experience the new set about to release. All signed up, we grab a table and begin the wait for our kits to be handed out. I remember clearly that I signed up to receive a Mardu pack, but no one else was. I thought though that it would help me win while the others were messing with me because of it.

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Our packs came in, and we all opened ours in the same area. I opened my pack to reveal my promo Bloodsoaked Champion. This card fits my fast paced playstyle well, and I was ecstatic to open multiples of him. With many other Red and Black cards, I was ready to build a deck. It took a great deal of time for me to decide which individual cards I wanted to include, but I feel like I chose some of the best, when I realized one thing I completely forgot before, one more booster pack. Confused, I began to count my Rares only to realize that yes, I screwed up. Quickly, I opened it up to see none other than a Sarkhan, the Dragonspeaker lying there for me. Making a few modifications to deck to play him, I was ready for game one. Below are some cards that I played in my prerelease deck.

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Game One: I sat down across the table from my opponent to see none other than my friend Soren Conley as my opponent. After greeting each other, we agreed to play fair and square and that neither one of us was to have an advantage. Well, I drew my opening hand only to find that I had no Mana. I desperately needed to take a mulligan, so I went down to six cards in hand. All lands this time. Frustrated with my deck, I gave it one extra shuffle, and when I went down to five cards in hand, it seemed just perfect. I even won that game against an opponent who had a seven card hand, and I even won the second game too. After a nice handshake, we reported our score, and played some more games of Magic with our own Magic decks.

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After winning by a variety of either using burn spells, human warriors, or a Planeswalker who turns into a dragon, I made it to the final game. My opponent was the only other person in a store of 30 competitors who voluntarily chose the Mardu box like I did. Shuffling each other’s decks, we stared into each other’s eyes. This was my first time even coming this close to winning an event before, so naturally I was nervous. The store worker called out that the winner would receive a whopping sixteen booster packs and second place gets eight. Determined to win, I brought my A game to the table. We each won a game of our final match. He beat me with an army the first time, and I killed him with fire the second. We were about ready to play. People who’s games were over watched as we were said to be ready for a great game of Magic. Shuffle, cut, draw an opening hand. “I keep” I told my opponent as he kept as well. I went first, expecting one more Mana to pop up in due time. However, I was stuck at three for a while. Despite this, we managed to get each other down to two life points left. With a significantly larger sized army than my opponent, I passed him the turn. I had a card that could deal two extra damage to him if I could survive until the next turn. My heart pounded, time slowed, eyes excited, the crowd watched as my opponent drew a card. “What could this be?” I questioned myself. “He has had no direct damage this entire game, and an army half my size. Without playing that last card in his hand, he attacked me with the three 1/1 goblin tokens. I blocked accordingly to take no damage. He passed me the turn. I drew another land, completely useless to me at the moment. I attacked with only my Bloodsoaked Champion promo card in case he had a way to block me and win the next turn. I should have attacked with more though, as he used a Deflecting Palm to redirect the damage to me. Game over, I lost.

Screenshot from Bad Day [Live In Vienna]

We ended the game with a nice firm handshake. Neither of us were necessarily better than the other, just the cards were not in my favor. I enjoyed every second of it though, as I still won a majority of my games. In my booster packs, I opened nothing of value at the time, but Siege Rhino was one card that I opened which gained some value as the next few months went on. This experience is meaningful to me, as now I know what I am capable of and how I can do better at future prereleases. My goal now is to win the sixteen packs. However, what are some of your stories about games that you lost out of nowhere like that? What about some games that you didn’t deserve to win but won anyway? Please leave stories like that in the comment section down below.

Top 5 Worst Magic the Gathering Sets

Sometimes, Magic the Gathering has some pretty awesome sets such as Return to Ravnica, Innistrad, Alara. But other times, they instead have lackluster sets where nobody enjoys the format at all. Sometimes the meta is determined by three or less decks which have solved the format. Other reasons for hate would be such as lackluster cards, bad story, and no value. Today I’ll try to figure out which is actually the worst set in all of MTG.

#5: Champions of Kamigawa

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So, just a little disclaimer this choice is simply because I don’t want too many people getting angry at me for not putting this set/block in the top 5 because it is so universally hated, but I still do think that it was bad. I mean, just look at the first Iteration of transforming cards. There’s like too much too look at, and it’s quite confusing when that creature attacks and you have no idea which way it should return to as it untaps. Also, with a set value of like just Kiki Jikki, its no surprise that people didn’t like the set even upon release. Some people have forgotten this set, but the one good thing about it is that we finally got the ninja creature type.

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#4: Dragons of Tarkir

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There may be a little bit of bias here, but I can’t be alone believing that there would be a really cool set coming where dragons would be everywhere and all powerful, but was let down. I can safely say that after the hype build up ever since Khans of Tarkir I wanted some really awesome set that would shatter the expectations of any set before, but it didn’t. I guess the one good thing we did get out of it was some cool dragons in every color, but just that. Well, time to start brewing an Abzan Dragons commander deck.

#3: Eldritch Moon

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The supposed plot twist that we were supposed to discover was rather unexciting. I know that the eldrazi are a cool creature type, but as players we were exposed to enough eldrazi before that with a Zendikar return. Plus, cards were pretty lackluster and only around five cards ever saw actual play. Honestly I forgot about this set until I had to do my research for this blog post. I guess the good thing about this set was that we got to see Nahiri get an actual Planeswalker Card, and some new vampires were added to a fun casual build.

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#2: Dragon’s Maze

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Man, I must really hate the last set in each block. This is the fourth one on this list so far. Normally the first few sets a person sees are their favorites because of how memorable they are, and every creature was great back in the day, but that wasn’t how this set went for me. I was a player who genuinely hated this set. Maybe it was because of the ridiculous number of cluestones, maybe the feeling that there was way too many multicolored cards in the set, but I don’t know. I guess the card Maze’s End was kind of cool and the commander deck that went with it. Either way there wasn’t too much going for it, so I’ll pass.

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#1: Conspiracy 2: Take the Crown

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Oh my gosh, this set was god awful. Even in the title of the set there had to be a colon. Why Wizards of the Coast? It has almost no bad cards at all, and it like was creative enough to justify tons of reprints yet give no reprints to others. Like, why did they only have to reprint Show and Tell and not something like Zedruu the Greathearted. I guess the only good thing about it was that it only had two weeks in FNM. Those were the worst two weeks of drafting. However, I’m just messing with all of you guys. I actually did like the set, and think of it as my favorite set of all time in a draft environment. I really do think Wizards of the Coast did a good job designing and balancing this set.

Overall, some sets are good, and some are bad. However, all of them will be remembered somehow, and that’s what matters. Please leave a like if you enjoyed this style of top 5 list, and please tell me what you’d like to see next.