After some rough weekends of bad beats, we’re back with Friday Morning Magic. Today, we’re discussing the Shadows over Innistrad pre-release.
This is a special time in the Magic calendar when players get their first hands-on with all-new cards in a formal format. Many competitive players, myself included, have been testing decks for the upcoming Standard season, but pre-release is the official beginning of the new set in sanctioned (legal) play. It’s a great time because many people, most of which don’t come out for local events, join together to open packs, check out new cards, and cast new spells.
It’s also one of the few times players get to experience the Sealed Deck format, a personal favorite of mine.
Sealed is a limited style format in the sense that the cards you can use are the ones you open in packs. For some, this “evens the playing field.” Others will gripe that “my card pool is so much worse than everyone else’s and I never stood a chance.” To be fair, there’s some truth in both of these arguments, but at the end of the day, everyone is on equal footing. Hopefully I can pass along some of these tips for you to use this weekend to perform at your very best at the Shadows over Innistrad pre-release.
Read the Darn Card
RTFC, a common and beloved acronym amongst Magic fans, is also known as “Read the (expletive) card.” It seems harsh, yes, but there are so many circumstances were players lose because they didn’t read the, erm… card. To be fair, all of these cards are new. Many of the players at a pre-release events aren’t seasoned veterans. That’s all okay! Stay calm, read the card as many times as you need to, and stay relaxed. Most of all, though, be patient with people who misinterpret cards, especially since you can very easily do the same.
This Is Not A Competitive Environment
This goes in with my last point. Again, a lot of people aren’t veterans to all of the local (or maybe even regional) tournaments you’re cashing out in. Magic pre-release events are meant to not only introduce new players to a new set of cards, but also newer players to the game. Therefore, it’s important to relax, take a deep breath, and have fun with the game. If you want to be competitive, though…
Have A Proper Mana Curve
The most important thing in a sealed format is not necessarily the quality of your cards, but the quantity of playable cards. Some of your threats won’t blow you away on paper, but that’s okay because your opponent is dealing with the same thing. The best way to win games at a sealed event is to provide a steady amount of creatures and removal, along with the occasional combat trick.
Most importantly, though, is to have fun. Pre-release events are meant for Magic players to remember why they fell in love with the game in the first place. So go to your favorite local game store this weekend, open up some packs of Shadows over Innistrad, and cast some new spells!