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PostPosted: Sun Apr 23, 2017 8:00 am 
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Had my prerelease yesterday and had a blast with the new set. Here's my decklist and my pool:
Creatures
1 x Dread Wanderer
1 x Gravedigger
1 x Greater Sandwurm
1 x Honored Hydra
2 x Initiate's Companion
1 x Naga Vitalist
1 x Pouncing Cheetah
1 x Soulstinger
1 x Watchful Naga

Non-Creatures
1 x Cartouche of Ambition
1 x Cartouche of Knowledge
1 x Cartouche of Strength
1 x Cruel Reality
1 x Destined // Lead
1 x Dissenter's Deliverance
2 x Final Reward
1 x Honed Khopesh
1 x Mouth // Feed
1 x Splendid Agony
1 x Trial of Ambition
1 x Trial of Knowledge

Lands
7 x Forest
2 x Island
1 x Painted Bluffs
7 x Swamp


Total card pool


Green quickly figured to be my strongest colour, so it was mostly a question of what to combine it with. White had some strong creatures if I wanted to rush them, and blue had some powerful spells and evasion with card draw... so that was a nice option. Red had a few fun cards, but nothing too great. Black had a ton of removal though, so I figured that'd be the safest route. After putting it all together, I noticed I had a ton of Pitiless Viziers, but almost no cycling, which seemed to be a requirement for the card to be anything more than a 4-mana 4/2. I decided to cut them and the Oshra Cultivator from my deck (I had a pretty solid curve on creatures otherwise), in exchange for card draw provided by a splash of blue for the Cartouche and Trial of Knowledge, and brought in Dissenter's Deliverance as a cheap cycler that just maybe would have use.

The deck worked REALLY well. I almost always cycled my cycling cards to help me hit my removal, card draw, and lands. I was worried I had way too many non-creature spells, but the control route worked perfectly, allowing me to either swing in with my creatures (Initiate's Companion with cartouches can be pretty powerful), and Cruel Reality was the effective death of my opponent in a few rounds. I only got to bounce my Trials a couple of times during the day, but when I bounced them for a replay it was pretty devastatingly effective, as it furthered my card lead. Having Naga Vitalist with Painted Bluffs was pretty effective, though oftentimes I had my colours naturally it did save me once. Painted Bluffs was important for me for my blue splash. I only had to use it once for the splash, but was very very happy that one time to do so.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 23, 2017 1:35 pm 
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Blue splash seems super greedy. Probably just would have played random cyclers or Dune Beetle to block or something. But repeatable sift is probably worth it. I guess I would have played the Culivator instead of the equipment.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 23, 2017 1:53 pm 
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Yeah, I really should have looking back on it. That said, the Khopesh DID help out each and every time I played it. It let me save my removal a bit better, since I could throw it onto a creature so it would survive a fight or attack/block. That said, I can think one 1 game where I was desperate for another land. It worked out for me, and I didn't draw the Khopesh that game, but I can definitely see myself having wanted the Cultivator.

The blue didn't feel greedy at all. I never had a single issue with it. At 4 mana, needing a single blue was never a problem. Every time I cast the Trial I ended up getting more of everything; the card quantity and selection was huge. The evasion onto the Champion's Companion from the blue Cartouche was pretty stellar in letting me hit for 4 a turn, untapping either the Companion, a land, or another creature as necessary.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 27, 2017 6:50 am 
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I don't have a problem with the splash, it's sealed after all, you almost never have a perfect two-color deck. But ten creatures? A deck with a lot of removal might have run you over. The little Mummy one drop looks fine to me as an early deterrent.

How was Trial of Ambition? I'd probably leave it out, but I wonder.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 27, 2017 7:48 am 
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It was stellar, but only because I had crazy removal. I did live the dream with it too; I killed a creature with it when it came out, then in a later turn he had Grim Strider and some other creature, and I used Cartouche of Strength to fight and kill one of them, bounced the Trial to my hand, then cast it again, effectively clearing 2 of my opponents' creatures and gave me a swing in for the win (I was almost dead too). If my opponent had lots of removal and we were stalemating, then Cruel Reality would just finish them off. There's almost no enchantment-removal in the set, and lots of people's pools didn't have any (my own included), which made the big-cost enchantments way safer to play.

In any way, I probably cast the Trial in only 4 of my 10 games (3 games was 2-0, the others were 2-1), but that's only because I didn't draw it too often. It was absolutely never a dead draw. Now, partially this is because once you already have tons of removal, your opponent doesn't really have a choice in what they sacrifice, but partially it was also because none of my opponents went with a go-wide strategy. Hardest was against Samut, Voice of Dissent, but I was able to keep him off his game, and in one match a flying, lifelinked Initiate's Companion just raced him.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 29, 2017 2:09 am 
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Well, some of you have to work had, and some of us open pools with these four in them:

Image

My first pool was a RB agro that went 6-1 and then lost the last two matches, one to Gideon and the other to Liliana. The next was a disaster which I tried to turn into a UG ramp for Sandwurm Convergence. Went 0-3 drop, hit join league immediately, and bam! The fourth mythic in the pool is As Foretold.

I have a RW build (what else?) splashing blue for the Cartouche and Trial, and a BW build splashing red for Hazoret. Interestingly, I lost a game to Sandwurm Convergence backed with Cruel Reality.

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