I managed to carve out some time to go down to my (not-so) local game store and join the Ravnica Allegiance Pre-Release.
I hadn’t preregistered, and of the remaining guilds, I chose the Simic Combine.
Here’s the pool I opened:
I ended building a straight Simic deck as none of my splashes seemed impactful enough to warrant a worse mana base.
The two big questions to me were Growth Spiral and Wilderness Reclamation. They both seem good, but I worried about not being proactive enough in my games and decided not to run them.
ROUND 1: 2-1 vs Esper (Azorius)
My first round opponent had chosen Azorius and splashed into Esper. In the first game I failed to draw a fourth land and didn’t really play much magic. In games two and three I side-boarded in two Faeire Duelist‘s to block his numerous spirit tokens and a combination of tempo and my larger monsters gave me the win.
ROUND 2: 2-0 vs Esper (Azorius)
My second opponent had also chosen Azorius and also splashed into Esper. My mana worked out better this game and I tempo’d my way to victory. Chillbringer was instrumental, especially against my opponent’s Lumbering Battlement.
ROUND 3: 1-2 vs Orzhov
My third opponent was running Orzhov and boy was it rough. It seems this format has tons of deathtouch, lots of removal and those spirit tokens from afterlife really mess up combat math. The Civic Stalwart allowed my opponent to attack back for huge chunks of damage after blocking through an alpha-strike.
Going 2-1 before I had to leave was a pretty good record for me, and all the games felt really tight. While I only have a few games in the format, so far the game play is shaping up to be as much fun as Guilds of Ravnica.
The combination of Zegana, Utopian Speaker and Biogentic Upgrade was sweet and quite effective, but with all the spirit tokens and small death touch creatures, the upgrade by itself seems more marginal.
Applied Biomancy and Aeromunculus felt really solid, but the Combine Guidmage felt under-powered.
Overall I had a fantastic time playing sealed, and I can’t wait to draft this set.
If you have any comments on my deck build, especially if you would have done differently, I would appreciate the feedback.