Dragon's Maze Pre-Release

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Posted on Feb. 10, 2013, 10:40 p.m. by nwalden

My First Thoughts On The Pre-Release :

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1oQwUjq4zUmrAfs57EhrIJXZpA_Tii09qlJQcok19WCw/edit?usp=sharing

based on this, top guilds to consistently do well would be:

1) Rakdos

2)Golgari

3)Simic or Boros

5)Gruul

comments/ideas?

There is no best guild to play at the prerelease. Every combination of guilds will be entertaining based solely on how wonky it can get.

Personally, I think I'm going to pick one of the 5 guilds that guarantee I won't have a Dimir booster.

February 10, 2013 11:28 p.m.

AstroFalcon751 says... #2

Lol (previous comment) If I go I will probably go Boros. However it doesn't matter which guilds have great synergy on paper. Somebody could get 2 guilds with horrible synergy and open some great packs and make the guilds work. Someone could get 2 guilds with great synergy and get the worst packs ever and lose. It is all about luck.

February 10, 2013 11:39 p.m.

nwalden says... #3

@AstroFalcon

of course there is a huge amount of luck in magic. even constructed formats have a large amount of luck. my point was that you are statistically likely to do better with some than others. based on the random chance of getting each card, i went with the ones that would usually have more synergy. we will also have to wait and see what dragons maze cards come out and weather that pushes the format it in favor of aggro or control. any other thoughts?

February 11, 2013 12:45 a.m.

I'm excited to see how the maze works. I've been reading the books, and being more Izzet than anything, feel very excited to be presented with a puzzle like challenge, and will make the prerelease stand out. I'm sad to lose the playable prerelease cards, but hopefully that means this promo card is actually good.

February 11, 2013 4:46 a.m.

ChiefBell says... #5

There's absolutely no statistical base to your document, it is just speculation and opinion. It's an interesting idea but that's all it is - just an opinion (some of which I would question anyway).

Generally guilds do better at a pre-release if -

1) They have access to powerful creatures.2) They have access to evasive creatures.3) They have access to at least some removal.4). They have a high quality of common and uncommon cards.

This explains why Dimir did pretty awfully because as a set of cards they primarily had sorceries and instants but no solid creature basis to use them with. If we then look at Boros you can see they have really solid common creatures like Wojek Halberdiers and Foundry Street Denizen and some good uncommons as well like Truefire Paladin and Boros Elite . This would explain why in a limited situation they're great and Dimir really isn't. You can see the same pattern for Gruul and Orzhov - good creature basis to work upon. Obviously because limited events have far less scope for weirdness than constructed all the combat tricks, cipher cards, crazy instants etc just aren't as useful as solid creatures. That's my opinion on how to choose a guild anyway.

February 11, 2013 4:56 a.m.

nwalden says... #6

@ChiefBell- i completely agree with what you said, just wanted to put it out there that something such as, say Boros, while it has the things you said to look for, it also has a %50 chance of being paired with Izzet or Azorius, which do not meet your guidelines very well. therefore Boros has a %50 chance that one of you precious packs will be largely useless. the guilds will consistently do well be the ones where they meet the guidelines, and most of their possible pairs meet the guidelines (preferably even offering what the first is weak in).

February 11, 2013 5:49 p.m.

acbooster says... #7

Chances are they'll pair guilds with another guild that has synergy with them. Otherwise a lot of games would drag on, with no one getting what they can use.

February 11, 2013 5:52 p.m.

nwalden says... #8

@acbooster- maybe, as i have not seen official conformation of what i'm about to say yet. BUT, i have heard from my friend (who will remain anonymous) who works for wizards of the coast, that you have an equal chance of being paired with any one of the four guilds that share one color with your guild and are from the opposite set as your guild.

February 11, 2013 6:01 p.m.

ozzynomicon says... #9

i see his views towards to the value of cards. i believe gruul is th best in first position. cuz you could go aggro, midrange and control if you pull bue or white and then midrange with black. 1 gruul,2 golgari,3 selesnya,4 boros,5 rakdos

February 11, 2013 6:11 p.m.

nwalden says... #10

@ozzynomicon- not really seeing this gruul control, what cards would it use? I'm assuming you mean to run Golgari for the midrange and Rakdos for the aggro, both of which would work well. the problem, and why i think Gruul will be less consistent than other guilds, is if you pull Izzet. also, you would have to get the right Selesnya to make it work, and that worries me as quality token gen was hard to come by in Selesnya. (i'm assuming you would get lots of tokens then bloodrush the one that gets though or get out fast with Gruul weak stuff and give time to build an army of tokens). still, i guess it might do better that Simic or Boros, due to the fact you could still take advantage of an ok Selesnya pack and not lose the option to play strong boros cards

and i think Selesnya will be ok due to the fact there is no guild it could be paired with that would be too bad (except mabey Orzhov, as the two guilds have a tendency to lose to aggro) but i don't see a single pair that would work outstandingly well. the best you could hope for would be Simic with lots of evolve and populate, which would get run over by a rakdos-gruul/rakdos-boros aggro, and would not be able to handle a strong Orzhov-Azorius control. Selesnya is a safe bet, it will have very few 4-1 or better and very few 1-4 or worse.

February 11, 2013 6:52 p.m.

nwalden says... #11

upon reconsideration and updating the Google doc. i now think that Golgari and Gruul will consistantly do well, with Selesnya not far behind.

the ones that are more of a gamble are Rakdos (which will do VERY well or fail), Boros (which has the ability to do as well as Rakdos (but less of a chance) and a then the option to do fine, and the same chance to pretty much fail (though not quite as badly)), and Simic which wont do quite as well as boros when at their bests and a chance to fail (though not as badly as boros).

this being said, if you are a risk taker who MUST HAVE THE BEST DECK IN THE ROOM, then you should GO RAKDOS.

if you want to DO WELL but DON'T need to be THE BEST in the room, a choice of Golgari or Gruul would be wise.

in other words, Rakdos-Gruul or Rakdos-Boros is the best combo, but there are other strong combos that don't require such a high a risk of a useless pack.

i plan to go three times, once as Rakdos, once as Gruul and once as Either Gruul (again) or Golgar.

thoughts?

February 11, 2013 7:38 p.m.

Cirdan13 says... #12

Back when I first heard about how the Dragon's Maze prerelease was going to go, I came to the conclusion that Boros would be the best option as I didn't really see any pairing that was bad, where many of the others had at least 1 bad pairing that could be made. Here are my reasons for Boros being best. (BTW, not a biased opinion, I am not a fan of Boros and refuse to even build or play a standard Boros deck no matter how dominant they may become. I would rather stop playing standard until the meta equalizes some than play a Boros deck like everyone else.)

Boros/Azorius = Battalion with Detain to let you attack with more of your creatures without fear of losing them sounds pretty solid. In addition, Azorius had many good creatures in common and uncommon to add to Boros.

Boros/Selesnya = Populate to fill those Battalion triggers, also provides good common and uncommon creatures for aggro and lifegain with Centaur Healer and such. Also remember that (I'm sure) we will be getting more populate and token producing cards with Dragon's Maze.

Boros/Rakdos = Infernal merger of two insane aggro guilds. Can't go wrong here.

Boros/Izzet = There are a few decent common and uncommon Izzet creatures but not as many as the other matchups. However, Izzet brings additional fire to the table which can help remove obstacles to smashing in with your army or to do that last bit of damage to your opponent. It also provides some control if desired to protect your army from removal and can also clear the way for an attack as well. (tap or bounce)

Obviously some of the guild matchups are better than others but I don't feel that any of them are really weak so I say that Boros gives you the best chance of a fair matchup. Also, keep in mind that you will also have a 3rd guild available from the pairing of the unmatched colors. (i.e. Boros/Rackdos also includes Orzhov)

February 11, 2013 11:23 p.m.

nwalden says... #13

@Cirdan13- sounds reasonable, although i don't entirely agree with your Boros/Azorius theory. when i played boros at the Pre-Release, i found that i usualy had 3-4 creatures on the battle field at any one time, even against other aggro decks where neither of us were blocking. now, you add in detain spells over some creatures, and you could miss you Battalion triggers. while i will admit the some creatures in Azorius could mesh well with Boros (such as Azorius Arrester or Skymark Roc ) many others seem to just be weaker versions of boros cards (Vassal Soul and Skyknight Legionnaire or Concordia Pegasus and Daring Skyjek ). so while this second catagory of cards may seem to mesh well, they may in fact just not make the cut to have a great deck. then with Izzet, you are banking on getting stuff like Annihilating Fire and Blustersquall and Dynacharge and Teleportal , and while there is plenty of stuff like that, you don't want to run more than a couple or you start to lack in creatures. still, i agree that no matter what you have a shot at an ok deck.

February 12, 2013 1:11 p.m.

nwalden says... #14

Question: Does anyone know if the promos are different because you can't play them at the release?

February 12, 2013 6:47 p.m.

I have a feeling they're going to do a completely new, universal promo card for all the guilds, but that you can't use, like they usually do with sets that don't have the whole guild thing going for them.

February 12, 2013 7:10 p.m.

There's going to be one promo card. Nobody knows what it is yet, but it probably won't be associated with any guilds.

It will not be playable at the prerelease.

February 12, 2013 7:56 p.m.

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