Nothing is more exciting in the Magic community than a prerelease event. For weeks, or even months, the anticipation for the new set builds. Finally, it reaches its boiling point on the eve of the first packs being opened and the first cards being played. Enhancing the Journey into Nyx prerelease is the Hero’s Path side-story. Through this experience, players will get to forge their own godslayer weapon. I had no intention of passing up on all this action.

Journey into Nyx Prerelease

I hadn’t even thought about playing Magic since leaving the Theros prerelease. But, something inside me clicked at PAX East. Maybe it was the impressive trailer video for the expansion. Maybe it was Athreos being spoiled. Maybe it had been long enough since I’d last played.

So I signed up to play in the Saturday morning flight at Twenty Sided Store. Next, it was time to brush up on my knowledge. I may have metaphorically hung up my play-mat but that didn’t mean I wasn’t still going to try to win this thing. I was sitting on 5,599 lifetime planeswalker points, and I wasn’t going to be happy with just some participation points to push me over 5,600.

So I did some homework. I won’t go into detail, but here are the guides and primers I checked out before heading into my Saturday-morning sealed flight:

Melissa DeTora’s advice seemed sound and I opted to go with a weapon Forged in Tyranny for my prerelease experience. This meant I would get to add Lash of the Tyrant to my Hero’s Path collection and possibly add a promo Doomwake Giant to my prerelease deck.


I actually have a full set of Hero’s path cards now, courtesy of Wizards at the MTG Panel at PAX East. So, I’m a bit sad that I won’t be playing in the Launch Party or Game Day events to pick up paths #8 and #9. I’ll have to find a friend to complete my collection. I guess old habits die hard.

I got to the store and met up with recent Pro Tour Qualifier winner Hunter Slaton, along with Pauper professional Alex Ullman, the cool, calm, and collected Rob Kofsky, Hipster’s tech guru Dave McCoy, and Draftasaurus Rex originator Hugh Kramer. We sat down to open our boxes and then the fun began.

Opening packs (more on this later) is a ton of fun that I hadn’t realized I’d been missing for the past few months. Regardless, I definitely tore open all my packs and quickly sorted them by color. Again, old habits die hard. I had a very strong pool, but I immediately focused on the large number of Constellation creatures in white, black, and green. I slapped together a three-color constellation deck with a few other good-stuff cards. Bones looked at it and told me to cut green since you can’t splash your mana fixing color. Out went Sylvan Caryatid and friends and I was left with a solid B/W deck.

Yes, that's a lot of enchantments.

Yes, that’s a lot of enchantments.

In case you can’t make it out, the highlights start with eight Constellation creatures including Underworld Coinsmith, double Grim Guardian, Doomwake Giant, and double Dreadbringer Lampads. Accompanying that impressive cast are Scholar of Athreos and Extinguish all Hope. In total, the deck had 10 enchantment creatures and five enchantment auras.

I suspected that the interactions of all these Constellation cards would be overpowering. It turns out I was more right than I had originally guessed. I went 4-0 in the flight, only losing a single game in the first round when I stalled on land drops never seeing a fifth land. Otherwise, the incredibly valuable efficiency of the Constellation triggers turned over half my deck into very powerful cards.

I got my prize packs, opened a Keranos, God of Storms, an Eidolon of Blossoms, and a foil Dictate of Heliod and then went home. All in all it was a great experience and I’m looking forward to the Magic 2015 prerelease in only a few short months.

On a final note, while I enjoyed picking a color and having a seeded prerelease pack based on it, I hope they come up with something a little different for the Magic 2015 events in July. This is not because I think that the seed packs are a bad idea. However, I don’t want them to start to feel gimmicky. They worked for Ravnica block in pairs of colors due to the nature of the set. They worked in Theros due to the nature of the “Hero’s Path” experience. Hopefully Magic 2015 brings something new and exciting to the table.

God Packs

One of approximately a million similar images submitted to Reddit this weekend.

One of approximately a million similar images submitted to Reddit this weekend.

Speaking of new and exciting, Wizards shocked everyone this weekend when random packs of Journey into Nyx contained a copy of all 15 Theros gods instead of their normal contents. This is another great viral marketing strategy by Wizards. Every few blocks we get something along these lines. It plays to the basest joy of being a Magic player: opening packs.

Opening packs is oodles of fun. Sure, it isn’t very cost effective, but it’s a blast. What’s better than opening a pack?  Opening a pack with a bomb rare. Better than that? Bomb mythic. Sometimes you’ll even get two of them if one is foiled. Some people call this a god pack, but now Wizards has given us a real god pack. All 15 gods lined up in a row. Wow.

Kudos to Wizards brand team and experience teams for coming up with this promotion. It’s a wonderful way to thank players for coming to prerelease events and encourage people to keep coming to find out what other amazing gifts WotC has in store for us.

Pro Tour Update

Top 25 Update



There were no tournaments and nothing changed. Thank god there’s a Pro Tour in a few weeks.

The Quick Hits

  • Mark Rosewater cleared up some of the confusion around Conspiracy when he confirmed that the set will not have a limited print run [Blogatog]
  • The prolific MaRo also presented the first half of his collection of design stories from Journey into Nyx. These are always worth reading [Making Magic]
  • Brian Kibler became the latest in a long line of Magic writers, yours truly included, to address the topic of fitness and health and their relation to being a gamer [BMK Gaming]
  • After a few days of investigating hidden information in a variety of sources, the full Dack Fayden spoiler for Conspiracy is available [Quiet Speculation]
  • Wizards finally put the video of the MTG Panel at PAX East on the interwebs for perusal at your leisure [Magic Arcana]
  • Kelly Ackerman talks about the growth of the Magic community and how there is so much more than just a game going on here [Mana Deprived]
  • Our friends at Brainstorm Brewery landed an interview with Aaron Forsythe. If you don’t know who that is, go to and find out [Brainstorm Brewery]

Wallpaper of the Week

This artwork missed it's calling as the cover of an 80's metal-band's album.

This artwork missed its calling as the cover of an 80’s metal-band’s album.

Athreos is a bad-ass mother-fucker. That’s all.

Grade: A+

The Week Ahead

It’s launch weekend! The cards have all been spoiled and if you’ve played in the prerelease you’ve gotten your hands on some Journey into Nyx cards. This weekend though they finally go on sale and become constructed-legal! In the meantime, I’ll be moving to a new apartment so it’s a good thing there’s no pro-level Magic coverage to watch. Only a few weeks until the Pro Tour!

What We Learned is a weekly feature here at Hipsters of the Coast written by former amateur Magic Player Rich Stein, who came really close to making day two of a Grand Prix on several occasions. Each week we will take a look at the past seven days of major events, big news items, and community happenings so that you can keep up-to-date on all the latest and greatest Magic: the Gathering community news.

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