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Apr 25 2017

Amonkhet 2-Headed Giant Prerelease

I had a pretty busy weekend, but I was going to try as hard as I could to attend a Prerelease somewhere. Halfway through the week I had made plans with some friends to go camping Friday night, which ruled out a midnight event. I wanted to attend a single player event, but as I was calling around Saturday it soon became clear that probably wouldn’t be an option. With no small amount of hesitation I signed up for a 2-Headed Giant Prerelease at a small store in Spanish Fork called Gameland World- without a partner!

Prerelease Weekend

Two of my friends from high school in Minnesota are out here in Utah going to school in Provo. We occasionally get together on weekends to catch up. I took the train down to Provo Friday evening and we stopped for dinner then headed to the Uintas to go camping. We set up camp about 8:30, got a fire going, and chatted and played with fire. Good times. The next morning we got up at about a quarter to 10 and somehow were out of there by 10. Let me tell you, that’s the fastest I’ve ever seen a tent taken down.

As we headed back to the apartment, I told them I was trying to go to a prerelease today. One of my friends plays Magic and one doesn’t. Both of them have finals this week, so neither of them could go as they had to spend the day studying. We lazed about at their apartment as I made phone calls to card shops in the area.

Gameland World

Gameland World is a hobby shop with locations in Spanish Fork and Payson. I arrived early to the Spanish Fork location and sat there playing 3DS, waiting for the Prerelease to start. I let the Tournament Organizer know I didn’t have a partner and it turns out I wasn’t the only one, because sure enough another loner showed up and we got paired for the event.

In case you’re wondering, I definitely would recommend Gameland World for an LGS if you’re ever in the area. The staff was super great, plenty of people showed up, the atmosphere was friendly, and it didn’t smell bad at all. I think it was a smidge more casual than I’m accustomed to, but 2HG is a casual format to begin with, so I can’t complain.

I chatted a bit with my partner and he seemed to be a decently competitive player, which I have to admit made me feel a bit better about going to 2HG. He said he had been playing 4c CopyCat in Standard but was getting bored with it. As I came back with the prerelease packs, I told him, “I don’t care what we open, but whichever pack has a Nissa in it, that’s the one I want.” Sure enough, not only did he open a [card]Nissa, Steward of Elements[/card], he also opened an Invocation [card]Daze[/card]. I did get a foil [card]Drake Haven[/card], but that was it for me.

Deckbuilding

We quickly identified that green was our best color, followed by white or blue, followed by black, which had absurd removal. Our red was completely unplayable. My partner played a Green/White deck with [card]Honored Hydra[/card], [card]Prepare // Fight[/card], [card]Dusk // Dawn[/card] and [card]Mouth // Feed[/card]. With two [card]Naga Vitalist[/card] and a [card]Painted Bluffs[/card] he was able to splash [card]Spring // Mind[/card] (the Mind half) and Nissa.

My deck was not nearly so bomb-laden, but it was very sweet indeed:

[Deck]
[Lands]
*9 Swamp
*8 Island
*1 Grasping Dunes
[/Lands]
[Creatures]
*2 Seeker of Insight
*1 Wasteland Scorpion
*2 Baleful Ammit
*1 Pitiless Vizier
*1 Aven Initiate
*1 Horror of the Broken Lands
*2 Shimmerscale Drake
[/Creatures]
[Spells]
*1 Essence Scatter
*1 Never // Return
*1 Splendid Agony
*1 Hieroglyphic Illumination
*2 Final Reward
*1 Stir the Sands
[/Spells]
[Permanents]
*1 Drake Haven
*2 Faith of the Devoted
*2 Lay Claim
[/Permanents]
[/deck]

In case it isn’t obvious, the durdle happening here is the real deal. Opening Drake Haven was a dream and I got to live that dream in Match 3.

Playing the Matches

Nissa, Steward of Elements Amonkhet
We sat down for our first match. I suddenly realized I didn’t know the rules to 2HG that well. I bravely (or stupidly) carried on without asking anyone for a rules sheet. Match 1 was scary as one opponent played a [card]Gideon of the Trials[/card] on Turn 3. We took a decent amount of damage from him while all I was doing was screwing around with [card]Faith of the Devoted[/card]. On Turn 5 I used one of my two [card]Final Reward[/card] and Faith of the Devoted took them out 4 life at a time.

Feeling pumped after that, we began Match 2 on the back foot as our opponents’ turn 5 was [card]Glorybringer[/card] and [card]Decimator Beetle[/card] followed by an [card]Electrify[/card] and yet another Decimator Beetle! Things weren’t looking good when suddenly, off the top appeared [card]Dusk // Dawn[/card]! He played that and I played my Drake Haven. Winning from there was a breeze.

Both matches had started out very intense and my partner still hadn’t drawn Nissa. I yelled at the gods of Amonkhet to give us the nut draw one time, and they obliged. I had a hand chock full of removal and my partner had Nissa, [card]Naga Vitalist[/card], and [card]Spring // Mind[/card]. Simply put, we were “doin’ it”. That was a perfect way to finish off the event and I was rewarded seven packs for my effort. Included in those seven packs was yet another foil Drake Haven! Hopefully that becomes a deck.

What Worked and What Didn’t

Faith of the Devoted is definitely good enough to build around. I don’t think my deck would have performed so well in a 1v1 but a similar one would have. I had built it with our “good” deck in mind and tried to complement that. Lay Claim is absurdly powerful and I was never unhappy to see it.

On the other hand, [card]Seeker of Insight[/card] was much less impactful than I originally thought it would be. It was still good; I just realized it’s not going to be an early pick in drafts. I could have used nearly any other 2 drop to similar effect if I hadn’t had quite so many playable noncreature spells. There was a bit of tension between wanting to cycle some spells and wanting to cast them to get a loot effect but sometimes I was choked on mana and couldn’t trigger my [card]Drake Haven[/card] if I did so. [card]Splendid Agony[/card] is pretty mediocre and kind of matchup dependent. It’s not a very reliable removal spell, but it’s still playable. It’s more of a combat trick than a hard removal in practice.

I currently have plans to attend Grand Prix Las Vegas, so I’ll be getting as many Sealed pools in as I can. Amonkhet is a super fun format and I can’t wait to go. Until next time!

1 comment

  1. Wally D.

    Great read Mike. Sounds like some epic Two-Headed Giant battles and awesome pulls!

    BTW… It was awesome to hear you mention Provo, UT. I used to live in Hinckley/Delta Utah many, many years ago and we used to drive up to Provo from time to time.

    Enjoy reading your aritcles. Keep up the fantastic work!

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