Return To Ravnica – Sunday Prerelease

After yesterday’s prerelease I was sorely tempted to play Azorious again, but I wanted to experience the format from another perspective via one of my other favorite guilds so Izzet it was.  As expected, today’s sealed pool was not as nutty as yesterday’s.

My Deck (Grixis)

LANDS (17)
1 Izzet Guildgate
7 Mountain
5 Island
4 Swamp
1 Grim Roustabout
1 Frostburn Weird
1 Nivix Guildmage
1 Goblin Electromancer
2 Stealer of Secrets
2 Dead Reveler
2 Splatter Thug
1 Viashino Racketeer
1 Voidwielder
1 Hypersonic Dragon (promo)
2 Spawn of Rix Maadi
1 Tenement Crasher
1 Skyline Predator
1 Dynacharge
2 Annihilating Fire
1 Paralyzing Grasp
1 Essence Backlash
1 Street Spasm


Round 1: 2-0 vs GWu

Multiple mulligans Game 1.  Game 2 I was looking good until he dropped Isperia while I was tapped out.  I forgot about Backlash in my hand and almost blew the game when he played  Isperia’s Skywatch, but I nailed a second Skywatch to win.

Round 2: 2-0 vs GB

Stab Wound is nasty.

Round 3: 0-2 vs UW Auras

My opponent had an odd  deck with lots of Auras, but they added up to big creatures that crushed me both games.  Game 1 it was T4 Skymark Roc T5 Righteous Authority.  Game 2 I got stuck on five land with no blue mana and got chewed up by Trained Caracal with Ethereal Armor and Knightly Valor.

I seriously considered switching out black for white for Game 2, but did not.

Round 4: 2-1 vs UWg

Game 1 I lost 4 of 5 Islands to Constant Flooding and nearly lost the game because of it.  Hover Barrier is a nasty wall.

Round 5: 0-2 vs RB

Got dominated by removal Game 1.  Rakdos himself came down T4 in Game 2 and was followed by 3 creatures and a removal spell to kill me on Turn 5.  I don’t know if my deck was capable of winning this match, but in retrospect I think I sideboarded inadequately.

Final Standings: 3-2 (8 of 21)

MVP:  Spawn of Rix Maadi.  6/4 beats hard.

Street Spasm:  It had to get sideboarded for Rounds 3 and 4 because my opponents played almost zero non-Flyers.

Paralyzing Grasp : Grasp was significant on a couple occasions, but more often seemed desperately needed against a creature with Vigilance or an untapped creature who either hadn’t attacked yet or was being held back to block.  I wouldn’t consider it unplayable, but it is frustrating as hell.

Dynacharge: I think I cast it exactly once, to kill off a Trestle Troll when the opponent was tapped out.  It was a 23rd card because I thought the deck would be more aggressive and thus I didn’t want another maindeck Predator.  I think that was a mistake as my deck was usually not as aggressive as hoped.

Changes & Sideboarding

I had a second Skyline Predator that came in when Spasm went out.  I also removed Backlash for Catacomb Slug against Rakdos.

As mentioned, I think I needed to sideboard more against Rakdos.  Other options:

Mizzium Skin, 2 Downsize, Chemister’s Trick

He had enough removal that I think Skin would have been significant.  I’m not sure about the Downsize and ChemTrick.  Right now I’m thinking I should have gone…
Out: Tenement Crasher, Dynacharge, Viashino Rackateer, Essence Backlash
In: Catacomb Slug, Mizzium Skin, 2 Downsize

Alternative Build (URW)

LANDS (18)
1 Izzet Guildgate
6 Mountain
7 Island
4 Plains
1 Frostburn Weird
1 Nivix Guildmage
1 New Prahv Guildmage
1 Goblin Electromancer
2 Stealer of Secrets
1 Vassal Soul
2 Splatter Thug
1 Viashino Racketeer
1 Skymark Roc
1 Voidwielder
1 Hypersonic Dragon (promo)
2 Skyline Predator
2 Annihilating Fire
1 Avenging Arrow
1 Paralyzing Grasp
1 Essence Backlash
1 Fall of the Gavel
1 Street Spasm

This deck doesn’t try to be aggressive and makes better use of Nivix Guildmage and Electromancer.

Rest Of My Sealed Pool

White (9): 2 Trostani’s Judgement, Palisade Giant, Bazaar Krovod, Selesnya Sentry, 2 Eyes in the Sky, Etheral Armor, Knightly Valor

I’m not sure about Judgement and if 6 mana to exile a creature is worth it.  Against the Auras deck I think they would have been worth it, but probably just sideboard.

Blue (2): Psychic Spiral, Crosstown Courier

Izzet (1): Firemind’s Foresight

Black (7): Pack Rat, Zanikev Locust, 2 Terrus Wurm, Cremate, Drainpipe Vermin, Deviant Glee

Red (6): Cobblebrute, Electrickery, Dynacharge (2nd), Bellows Lizard, Pursuit of Flight, Survey the Wreckage

Selesyna (6): Dryad Militant, Armada Wurm, 2 Centaur Healer, Call of the Conclave, Growing Ranks

Green (9): Gatecreeper Vine, Towering Indrik, Giant Growth, Chorus of Might, Savage Surge, Seek the Horizon, Axebane Stag, 2 Centaur’s Herald

Golgari (5): Dreg Mangler, Korozda Guildmage, 2 Grisly Salvage, Slitherhead

Other (6): Golgari Guildgate, 2 Selesyna Guildgate, Pithing Needle, Civic Saber, foil Plains

Upon Further Review

Looking over my pool now, I think I need to reconsider whether GWB was an option.  I certain had the mana (3 Guildgates), some bombs (Armada Wurm, Palisade Giant, some removal, and a good number of cards.

LANDS (17)
1 Golgari Guildgate
2 Selesyna Guildgate
5 Forest
5 Plains
4 Swamp
1 Dryad Militant
1 Gatekeeper Vine
1 Call of the Conclave
1 Grim Roustabout
2 Dead Reveler
1 Vassal Soul
1 Korozda Guildmage
1 Dreg Mangler
1 Selesnya Sentry
1 Towering Indrik
2 Centaur Healer
1 Bazaar Krovod
1 Palisade Giant
1 Armada Wurm
1 Giant Growth
1 Savage Surge
1 Avenging Arrow
2 Trostani’s Judgement

I’m not real sure about the exact cards here.  This seems more like a ‘good stuff’ deck that a Populate deck, hence the Centaur’s Heralds, Eyes in the Sky, and Growing Ranks not making the cut.  It does seem like the overall card quality here might be better.

I’d be interested to hear thoughts on which of the 3 builds I’ve posted seems best.


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