It was a difficult evening of Magic, from a gameplay level. I lost most games and while I had some decent cards the deck did not come together the way I hoped.
Here's what I built, choosing Black as my starter:
Valor in Akros
3x Topan Freeblade
Cleric of the Forward Order
Knight of the Pilgrim's Road
2x Cruel Revival
2x Weight of the Underworld
The premise was: get out early beaters, use the removal to clear the way in the midgame.
I got out a lot of early beaters...only to have them removed and then find nothing else to continue the pressure or remove other creatures. I spent a lot of games drawing land.
Match 1 vs mono-white. Orb of Warding and Hixus blew me out both games. Both! Sigh. In a pickup game after the match, Hixus almost had me again but I was able to use Cruel Revival to get my creatures back and win. Not that it mattered much but those games suggested I was mana flooded so I tweaked the land down a Plains.
Match 2 vs G/W. Game one I overran him. Game 2 though, he had a renowed
1/3 flyer and got me to 5 life. I had the removal for it and a Valor of Akros out so I figured I could keep the pressure up to win. I thought I had a
turn but I should've killed the flyer, then played two creatures next
turn and swung through. Not being aggressive enough killed me, as he attacked and then cast Titanic Growth. Game 3 I won by default, as he had to leave. So huzza, default victory? Sure, huzza.
Match 3 was against another BW deck and...it ran over me. What I was
hoping to do with enchantment recursion, this deck was actually
doing, killing multiple creatures of mine with Weight of the Underworld and Auramancer.
Sigh. My biggest mistake(s): Casting Unholy Hunger on my opponent's turn, while he had a Nantuko Husk out. Both times, he was able to use the Husk's ability to deny me life--and usually thwack me for an extra 2 damage. It was not my finest game.
This is in addition to my opponent saying that I was mana flooded in game one. I don't exactly recall, so much as I remember being thrashed like wheat.
I took the extra time I had to review my cards and upon reflection, I
should've gone U/B. This lead to asking some questions about my tendency to shy away form Blue in sealed or draft formats. I
always see the color as lacking what it does best in constructed:
consistency. That ability to reliably draw cards and always have the
denial you want is what is prized in constructed.
But looking over what I had, there were some decent combat tricks and
creatures with evasion. I needed to set my notions aside and actually
evaluate what was there. Sigh.
Here's the Blue I should've run:
2x Harbinger of the Tides
Turn to Frog
This would've given me a bit of early game and some really good tempo tricks, along with more evasive creatures, to help my game along. I chose poorly and I paid for it.
I always get so anxious playing against strangers. I can feel a stitch
in my side, as though I've been running. And it's all just stress, the
tension that comes from knowing I didn't so something correctly. But on the up side, the foil Chandra I opened recoups a big
chunk of my play costs. Doesn't suck!
Still, as a Magic playing experience...it was just there. I didn't feel
like this set brought me a different or interesting experience than
other games and sets I've played. It didn't suggest new or strange ideas or worlds to play it. It just seemed pretty high on the