Hello, and welcome to a Magic: the Gathering prerelease report. For this report, I'll be discussing my deck used for the Shadows over Innistrad prerelease on April 2nd. (Well, at least the one I went to.)

In case you're in the dark, a prerelease event basically involves you opening up 6 packs, and making your best 40 card deck out of your draft. This particular event was a four round round-robin tournament, with placing determined by your overall record. So, here we go.

The Deck
Creature (14)

1 Avacynian Missionaries
1 Convicted Killer
2 Dauntless Cathar
1 Devilthorn Fox
2 Ember-Eye Wolf
1 Emissary of the Sleepless
1 Gibbering Fiend
1 Harvest Hand
1 Odric, Lunarch Marshal
1 Pious Evangel
1 Topplegeist
1 Wolf of Devil's Breach

Sorcery (3)

1 Angelic Purge
1 Avacyn's Judgment
1 Declaration in Stone

Instant (3)

1 Inner Struggle
1 Puncturing Light
1 Strength of Arms

Artifact (1)

1 True-Faith Censer

Enchantment (1)

1 Bound by Moonsilver

Land (18)

8 Mountain
9 Plains
1 Westvale Abbey

The Build

Man, was I excited as I got to my local card shop and plopped down in a chair. It's been a while since I've been to a prerelease, and I was hoping to get some good results. Obviously, this couldn't go badly...

As a player that tends to steer towards white, I was hoping to see a large bomb. Say...Archangel Avacyn?

Unfortunately, that didn't happen. However, there was enough usable white cards to start building in it. Mainly, the Bound by Moonsilver and Declaration in Stone served as good hard removal.

However, this left my early game and late game creatures rather lacking. My blue, aside from Geralf's Masterpiece, wasn't that strong. Likewise, my black creatures weren't terribly strong. Normally, I'd choose green here. However, there were two red bombs that changed my mind; Wolf of Devil's Breach and Avacyn's Judgment.

Wolf of Devil's Breach Avacyn's Judgment

I knew Wolf of Devil's Breach would put in work, and if I got the wombo combo with Avacyn's Judgment, it would be a massive tempo swing. Even without the combo, Avacyn's Judgment is flexible removal, and Wolf of Devil's Breach is a 5/5 body with pseudo-evasion. As well, Ember-Eye Wolf filled out my curve at the 2-drop spot.

I added a few Equipment cards to strengthen my somewhat weak board, as well as to synergize with Avacynian Missionaries . Harvest Hand was useful as a 3-drop body, and True-Faith Censer was just generally solid, especially with vigilence.

The Games
Round 1: Justin

My first opponent was against a blue/black deck. He managed to drop Geralf's Masterpiece on both games. Fortunately, it was dealt with by Bound by Moonsilver in the first game, and Puncturing Light in the second game. Ember-Eye Wolf proved its worth, hitting early and often for 3 to 5 damage consistently.

Avacyn's Judgment managed to push for just enough damage in the first game, and Wolf of Devil's Breach cleared the way in the second game.

1 - 0

Round 2: Tyler

Feeling good after my color choices, I went into the second game against one of two Tylers at the prerelease. He ran a primarily white deck, with some green thrown in there. He who managed to put down a very scary Always Watching both games.

My removal was invaluable in the first game, but he countered with a Descend upon the Sinful. Wolf of Devil's Breach and Odric, Lunarch Marshal came down onto the board. Odric managed to give all of my creatures flying, first with a clutch Topplegeist, and second with a 1/1 from Dauntless Cathar's ability, and swung for the win in the first game.

The second game was quicker, with Ember-Eye Wolf pushing for early damage. Avacynian Missionaries managed to transform, paving the way to hit for more face damage. It was another hard-fought game, but the removal was too good.

2 - 0

Round 3: Will

Round 3 was unfortunately quick. Will played a more midrange white/black deck that just couldn't get the mana he needed to play out the early game. Ember-Eye Wolf and Devilthorn Fox pushed hard for early damage. By the time Will stabilized, it was too late.

3 - 0

Round 4: Darcy

Since Darcy and I were guaranteed a 1-2 finish, we decided to draw. However, we still played out our games for funsies.

Darcy played a very strong white/green deck, packing threats such as Archangel Avacyn and Solitary Hunter. Solitary Hunter turned out to be a huge factor in both games.

In game 1, I played out my cheap cards, only to be stymied by his Solitary Hunter and Watcher in the Web. By the time Solitary Hunter transformed, I had no hope of casting two spells to put it back into its weaker form. Onwards to game 2.

Game 2 was a bit better. My removal managed to come up, with Puncturing Light and Declaration in Stone clearing the board in the early game and paving the way for a Wolf of Devil's Breach on an empty board. However, he managed to put down his Archangel Avacyn, equipped with a True-Faith Censer. The wombo combo appeared when I drew the Avacyn's Judgment. Activating the ability of Wolf of Devil's Breach, I discarded Avacyn's Judgment and cast it for enough to kill Avacyn. However, my Wolf went down to double blockers on a later turn, and Solitary Hunter and Thornhide Wolves cleaned up the game for my opponent. I was fortunate to have agreed on a draw.

3 - 0 - 1

The Conclusion

In the end, it was the best I had ever done at a prerelease. Looking at the deck, I realize that my late game was painfully lacking in power, with only my Wolf of Devil's Breach having anything above 5 power. As well, I only had one discarding engine, in Wolf of Devil's Breach. I couldn't consistently pull off delirium, and Avacyn's Judgment didn't live up to its full potential.

However, the deck was a joy to pilot. It turned out to be a lot more aggresive that I originally thought, and there were a few standouts in the deck. Obviously, by the number of times I typed it in the article, Wolf of Devil's Breach was a major threat, like most people expected it to be. However, Ember-Eye Wolf also put in a lot of work, which was nice, given it was put it almost grudgingly.

Overall, I fully enjoyed the Shadows over Innistrad prerelease. Big thanks to Tyler (the second of the two Tylers, and the one I...know) for helping with my draft. Hopefully you enjoyed the deck tech as much as I enjoyed writing it up. Maybe I'll write up another one in a few months.


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