Author’s Note: I couldn’t find a high quality image of Bile Blight and wasn’t able to resist the opportunity to use this card art.

After my extensive preparation* for Born of the Gods prerelease, it’s only fitting that I get knocked out by a flu and spend the better part of last week sleeping or wishing I was asleep. Turns out a real life Bile Blight is more than enough to keep me away from MTG for a week.

Knowing I’d be short on actual content, I immediately began drafting a list of bad puns. But because the editors probably wouldn’t take too kindly to three pages of Magic-themed poop jokes, I went and asked some friends how their prerelease went.

The response was an overwhelming “meh.”


A Whelming Wave of mediocrity, if you will.

Most people (ie. everyone except me) aren’t fans of the prerelease format. But I kind of like the idea of seeded packs. It gives new players a much-needed sense of direction, and probably helps to reduce incidences of “I got 0-2’d before the player sitting next to me played his second color.” (To be fair, it was M14 prerelease, I was playing mono black, and my opponent fielded three-color Slivers and had a four-digit DCI number.)

But I could see how promo cards can be limiting or boring. My friends and I came to the consensus that the only thing Eater of Hope would be chewing on was your own bitterness and regret. And anyone that got Mindreaver probably deserved an booster pack for compensation, or at least a cheap beer.


This is literally a guy with a feather cloak shouting at water. I don’t know what you expect from him.

Fall of the Hammer and Scouring Sands were lauded as “really good low rarity cards.” The former kills big things and allows for cute double-Heroic triggers. And I’m all for cheeky interactions, especially when they make me feel like a better player than I actually am. Scouring Sands is apparently a small blowout against UB Heroic decks. I suppose it’s hard to amass counters when half of your adorable 1-drops just keel over and die to quickly moving sand.


Pictured: Pompeii, Mount St. Helens, and Beijing air pollution.

The main aftershocks of Born of the Gods’ drop? A lot more Limited removal. As Steven “Turn Three Ashiok” Shen notes, “it’s a lot more dangerous to go all-in with a voltron strategy when cards like Asphyxiate, Excoriate, and Bile Blight are available at common/uncommon.” Tempo play is still relevant, although I’d rather bounce that Nessian Asp into my opponent’s graveyard than his hand. Instead of bashing your opponent’s face repeatedly, your precious Nemesis of Mortals will probably just swing once and immediately die to removal, making Limited a far more accurate reflection of MTG as a whole.

As I (hopefully) settle back into a routine of Sunday night drafts, I figure now would also be a good time to move into standard. A few months ago, I tried to pull together the strands of a UR Blitz deck, but that plan fizzled when I discovered that my Paypal account contained the healthy balance of $1.55. And small packages kept getting lost in the catacombs of my university’s mail system. But I really like Shawn’s Orzhov Aggro list, and I’ll probably build it slowly over the next few weeks. Minus the shocklands and Mutavaults, of course. We’re trying to build a deck here, not go bankrupt. And I’ve already spent $30 on flu medication this week.

*I separated my pocket change into pennies (+1/0 counters) and dimes (0/+1). I understand that you can also use gum wrappers as bird tokens.

Tony is the Hipsters’ sickly resident scrub. He lives and studies in Philadelphia. Find him @holophr.

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