This was my second prerelease of my weekend and was easily my favorite. Getting to play 2 Headed Giant is one of my favorite things in Magic, and for a set as cool as Eldraine, it was very exciting to get to do it again. 2HG prerelease works a little differently than a normal prerelease. You get two prerelease kits and then combine the pools and make two 40 card decks from them. Any effects that say each opponent are doubled, you start with 30 life instead of 20, and you play only one game per round. It’s a lot of fun and is a great date for any couple who is both into Magic.
Starting off the night, the owner of the store Jordan Bird, donned some chainmail and stood on a table to tell us the rules of the event. It was really fun to see, and he had a lot of energy even though this is probably the 15th time he has done it. After he was done explaining everything, the table started to buckle and fall out from him and he was able to gracefully jump off in time. It almost looked like it was staged. Then we were allowed to open our packs.
Something I noticed with my normal Eldraine prerelease (which you can read more about here) was that I was heavily encouraged to play one color but didn’t have quite enough support to do it and had to splash for 2 colors. Opening up 2 kits at once meant that we could both play single color decks really reliably, and have them be very strong. Knowing that going into the event gave me an advantage as I knew that we wouldn’t have to splash for another color for our decks to be good.
For our promos, we opened up Oathsworn Knight and Once Upon a Time. Oathsworn Knight is amazing flavor but ultimately isn’t that good, whereas Once Upon a Time was a crazy good foil to pull and was easily the most expensive card we pulled that night. With our other rares it’s clear to see that Green was far and away the best color in our pool with 6 rares! The only other color that comes close is Red with 4 rares. However, looking at the commons and uncommons, red had a surprisingly small pool of cards, which meant that the rares we did get were going to be supported by a sub-par deck. (Green, fortunately, did not have that problem).
After looking more closely at our pool, I noticed that there were quite a few cards that milled the opponent. 2 Merfolk Secretkeeper and 3 Didn’t Say Please was an amazing base of cards that could mill the opponent and double duty as control. The rares for the color weren’t as great, but seeing that the power lied in the commons helped me to build a better deck. With how deep our pools were, it was incredibly easy to assemble 2 mono-color decks and be on our way. We also pulled a foil Tuinvale Treefolk which was absolutely gorgeous. For our team name, we decided to go with Dragon’s Pie as Shepherd’s Pie is one of our all-time favorite meals, and we both wondered what it would taste like to eat a dragon.
Round 1: RB and GU
With 2HG matches only lasting one game, the pressure was on to do well. Playing 2 mono-color decks meant that we were very unlikely to get mana screwed, which gave us a huge leg up against our competition. We start off with a turn 1 Once Upon a Time (turns out the card is pretty insane in multiples) and we both have some solid keeps. They are playing RB and GU get out of the gates very quickly and deal 15 damage in the first few turns of the game. With a couple of timely counterspells, big creatures from Emily’s deck, and baking a dragon into a pie we would have been toast. (Technically, we use Fell the Phesant on it, but it died and made a food token so close enough). The board state eventually started to fall in our favor as we outclassed all their creatures, and we decided to swing with most of our creatures. They block, 17 damage is able to get through and they are at 19 life. Emily sacrifices 2 food tokens to her Wicked Wolf and we are able to secure the win.
Round 2: GU and WB
They were playing a GU control deck and a BW knight deck. Just like our opponent’s before us, they are able to deal a ton of damage to us in the early game and bring us down to 12 life. (I’m starting to notice a theme here). We start to stabilize and go back up to 18 life but Smitten Swordmaster is able to deal 6 damage to us with only 3 knights on the board. (I had 4 of those in my pool, wish I had read the card better). They go really wide and tall with a Stonecoil Serpent. We do our best to get some good trades in and swing with Rampart Smasher and a Fierce Witchstalker in an attempt to cast a fight spell post-combat to kill it. They block our Rampart Smasher and when I ask to confirm that 5 damage was marked on their Stonecoil Serpent they say that it has protection from multicolored which really sucks. Then on their turn, they decide that it’s time to kill us and bounce a few of our creatures and go for the flunge. We flash in creatures and instants to try and hold off their horde when they go for a counterspell. I counter their counter and our creatures and removal are able to get through. After setting up blocks we are able to kill most of their creatures and lose only 6 life going to 6. From there, Emily is able to grow the Wildborn Preserver to be super huge and we are able to deal massive damage to them each turn as they keep on top-decking lands. Close game, but we secured the victory.
Round 3: WB and GU
We knew that this game would be interesting as soon as Emily cast a turn 1 Once Upon a Time that revealed 5 lands. Then on turn 2, our opponent played a Hushbringer. Not having any ETB’s or LTB’s for the rest of the game completely changed all of our decks, both for the better and the worse. For example, on turn 5 he was able to cast a Clackbridge Troll that made 0 goats! After playing with Clackbridge Troll in my previous prerelease, I knew that the correct answer was to take the 8 damage rather than let them draw more cards. Eventually, I draw a way to turn it into a 1/1 and she tells me that I forgot to say please. The problem is, she didn’t say please for her counterspell and I am able to turn it right back around and turn their Clackbridge into a 1/1. After dealing with the Clackbridge Troll, we find that the rest of their board isn’t that scary and we slowly build up our large creature suite. Then the WB player draws a card and convinces his partner to bounce the Husbringer so that he can get the etb value. She does, bouncing my Hypnotic Sprite because it’s a flyer. He then casts Charming Prince and as he goes to scry I remind them that they bounced my counterspell and I stop him from doing that. We all laugh, and then next turn we are able to swing in for 21 damage and kill them. This was a really fun game and the highlight of our night.
Round 4: Draw
We had school early in the morning and wanted to go home. We decided to draw with our opponents and each team got 14 packs. Highlights of our final pulls include Murderous Rider, foil Stormfist Crusader, and foil Happily Ever After. The night was a lot of fun, and even though it was the last prerelease event, I could tell that the Game Grid Lehi staff were still giving it their all. I’m really happy I got to spend my weekend here, and have a ton of fun with Eldraine. Thank you all for reading, I hope you have a great week and an amazing Tuesday!