Author’s Note: I couldn’t find a high quality image of [casthaven]Bile Blight[/casthaven] 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 [casthaven]Bile Blight[/casthaven] 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 [casthaven]Eater of Hope[/casthaven] would be chewing on was your own bitterness and regret. And anyone that got [casthaven]Mindreaver[/casthaven] 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.

[casthaven]Fall of the Hammer[/casthaven] and [casthaven]Scouring Sands[/casthaven] 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 [casthaven]Asphyxiate[/casthaven], [casthaven]Excoriate[/casthaven], and [casthaven]Bile Blight[/casthaven] are available at common/uncommon.” Tempo play is still relevant, although I’d rather bounce that [casthaven]Nessian Asp[/casthaven] into my opponent’s graveyard than his hand. Instead of bashing your opponent’s face repeatedly, your precious [casthaven]Nemesis of Mortals[/casthaven] 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 [casthaven]Mutavault[/casthaven]s, 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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