A couple of weeks ago, a buddy of mine asked if I wanted to attend the Amonkhet prerelease with him. To be perfectly honest, my first reaction was “Nope”, but lately I have been guilty of being anti-social so I agreed. It was my first prerelease so I didn’t know what to expect exactly. I figured that it was just a handful of players cracking five or six packs, eating some free pizza and playing some casual games. I had no idea that it was a tournament and also that there was going to be a fairly large turnout. I assumed that most people are like me and choose to spend their Sunday afternoon silently crying about having to go to the office the next morning.
I was floored when I walked into my LGS,(that’s local game store for all of you not in the “know”), and every table was full of players waiting for the signal to crack their packs. I grabbed my prerelease box, spotted my friend, who had saved me a seat, and sat down with a confused look. He then filled me in on how a prerelease actually goes, which was essentially that it was slightly more competitive than I had thought. I had been doing sealed drafts with Shawn lately (we actually had done one the week before), so I was feeling pretty good about it. We were given the signal to start building our decks and the place went quiet except for the frenzied tearing of wrappers.
My first pack made the choice for me, I pulled a Glorybringer, which had been my personal pick of the set during the Amonkhet spoilers. A 4/4 flyer with haste AND a Mizzium Mortars built in one is a limited bomb and, spoiler alert, it served me well the entire tournament. The other packs were decent, as I also pulled a Hazoret, as well as some other green and red cards that solidified my choice of RG aggro. I decided to splash white for some defense, which was actually a poor choice as I barely played one white card the entire tournament except when I was discarding them to play Bloodrage Brawler (1R, 4/3, Discard a card when it comes into play).
I won’t give a game by game play by play, but I’m proud to say that I represented 2 Generations Gaming the best I could. I lost one game out of the 4 matches, and that was to a mirror-match. I reached the finals and my opponent and I agreed to split the grand prize as it was late and we both didn’t want to sit through another 2-3 games. We then decided to play one game after claiming our prizes (10 packs of Amonkhet), in order to see who was the actual winner. After several turns of us both being flooded, I drew a Glorybringer, broke the stalemate, and on my next turn, played a Scaled Behemoth, pumped it up and used Fling to end the game.
After it was all said and done, I sent Shawn a text letting him know that I had won. He had always said that we could really make some noise in competitive play so it was nice to prove him right. Regardless of winning or losing , I would do a prerelease again, it was fun, and the fact that everyone was on equal footing made the games interesting. With that said, there were some things that could have been improved on. The 50 minutes given to us to construct our decks felt a little excessive. Shawn and I usually construct our sealed decks in 20 minutes so I basically sat around, waiting for people to finish building. The time between rounds waiting for the next brackets to be posted also felt slightly long. I think with slightly decreased wait times, I would try to make every one, but I just don’t have the free time to sit around for 5 hours. To be fair, I did use the wait times to peruse the X-wing miniatures, since I had been talking about the game the night before with Shawn…but more on that later…