(Editor’s Note: We promised two new articles and Episode 7 of the podcast a week or so ago. This article was supposed to be 2 out of 3 ain’t bad, but it never happened. If that didn’t implant an earworm firmly into that part of your brain, enjoy the following video.)
I finally broke down and joined a an Origins simulated sealed pool. I know, I know. I have said a few times (once on the upcoming podcast) that I’m just not that into the set. However, unable to afford the prerelease events this weekend because I didn’t get paid until the week after, and having scrubbed out of my last two three Cube events, I decided to give Origins a try. Maybe I’ve misjudged it and it really can be fun. My first impression is an emphatic repeat of my initial thoughts through spoiler season.
This is not bitterness. If I’m writing an article about how the new Holiday cube is not as good as last year’s–and I could–you would have a case. I’ve had an insanely bad experience with the 2015 cube events. Not with the Origins sealed. I won my first match in pretty convincing fashion and had to drop from the rest of the event to bring the boys for lunch. It’s not sour grapes. I simply did not have that much fun.
Nevertheless, I am a professional (not a journalist, but still), so I will give my thoughts on the set. Remember that this is only after one sealed match, so have that grain of salt at the ready. I may put together some standard decks and join a few drafts to see if they offer a more fun experience. Hell, at the least, it will be a way to cheat two more articles.
Now, finally, for my thoughts:
- They are selling the core set as mono. I don’t have a problem with that. They seem to oscillate between mono and multicolored. However, I had to build my deck with three colors to get enough playable cards. Look, I understand that you won’t usually get a sealed pool that allows for a mono deck. Ideally, you want to stick to 2 colors since mana and mana fixing (especially in a mono set) can be tough to accomplish with more colors. The lack of playables was a bit of a turn off. Maybe it was just a weak pool. No matter what they say, it is a core set after all and the power level of core sets is usually lower.
- Elves are going to be a thing in standard. I’m not sure how much or what kind of thing, but they are definitely pushing elves in this set. I only had a limited amount of the little tree huggers, but the synergy was amazing. Building a deck to exploit that specifically will be easy. If it will be good remains to be seen.
- White aura enchantments are very strong. I know that auras are a part of white’s repertoire, but there are some really good ones in this set. Along with elves, I thought that white weenies could make a come back. The auras don’t necessarily that confirm that. They do give me some ideas for a deck or two.
- Nissa’s Revelation is expensive, but it is a powerful spell. I only got to see and cast it once. When I did, I was able to set up my deck and hand to close out the game very quickly. With mana ramp and fixing, the card can absolutely affect games in a big way.
- I never thought much of renown, but it is a cool mechanic. +1/+1 counters are always fun. I didn’t like the condition of having to damage the opponent. Honestly, I never had any problems satisfying the condition and getting the counter.
- I hoped that the focus on mono might break some of the Abzan this and Sultai that decks, but they’re still around for the foreseeable future. I wend Abzan colors for playables and the deck was stronger than it probably should have been.
Well, I suppose that the experience wasn’t all bad. As I’ve said, I’m not a huge fan of sealed. Maybe that’s why I didn’t have fun. That, along with my unfavorable initial impressions of the set, wasn’t exactly a great start.
I did a draft while writing this. That went much worse than the sealed. The deck was blue/red and heavy on counterspells and removal as blue/red should. Even so, I can’t yet judge the format as a draft format. I got mana screwed in the first game and misplayed the second game horribly.
PS – I got blown out by WG renown, so that strengthens my earlier argument. I will draft more and probably write that article in a couple of weeks. Chris and I recently did a live sealed and that article is coming later this week. I’ve got some standard ideas. If I get a chance to test them, I will write about that next week. There may be hope for this set after all.