Battle For Zendikar Pre-Release
Battle for Zendikar has come and gone, and with it, some very great experiences, and some fun deck ideas. Our Midnight Pre-Release saw a lot of G/B Eldrazi Decks, but there were three Expedition Lands pulled, and a few players got to try out the new Ob Nixilis, and Kiora Planeswalkers. Our Saturday events saw more of a mix of decks from rally, to ramp with Omnath, and even more Eldrazi fun.
The following is my own personal experience with one of the events, and the deck I chose to play from pre-release pack that I opened. My seeded card was Lantern Scout, which told me right away that I should probably play Ally's if I pulled enough of them. I had been telling my friends all day that I was probably going to force an Ally deck just because I wanted to try out the mechanics. Lantern Scout is 2W; Rally - Whenever Lantern Scout or another Ally enters the battlefield under your control, creatures you control gain lifelink until end of turn.
Some other key allies I pulled that solidified the deck for me; Zulaport Cutthroat, Ruinous Path, Ondu Champion, Grip of Desolation, Reckless Cohorts, and Inspired Charge. Normally I try not to go three colors in a 40 card deck, but I was very fortunate to pull three Evolving Wilds. Some cards that went into the deck that I initially put in for fun, but ended up relying heavily on them; Retreat to Valakut, Akoum Firebird, and Breaker of Armies. Breaker of Armies was hard to play with only 16 land in the deck. When he did make it to the battlefield though, I won the match every time.
I played three of the four rounds. I faced a similar R/B ally deck, Green Ramp Eldrazi, and G/W Eldrazi. I lost only one round to the Green Ramp Eldrazi deck. I can see where allies will be a very formidable standard deck with the various ally triggers possible, some very great viable low cost creatures. Tajura Stalwart fits very nicely into Abzan Elves decks. I really enjoyed all the Eldrazi creatures with the BFZ version of 'Annihilator,' especially Breaker of Armies which I used a few times. "All creatures able to block Break of Armies do so," and he's a 10/8. The new Landfall enchantments are very nice, Retreat to Valakut helped me a few times get around chump blocks. Retreat to Kazandu is a viable replacement for Courser of Kruphix in the new standard; not ideal replacement, but viable.
Battle for Zendikar will be a great set, and we look forward to see some the great new deck ideas at our next Friday Night Magic.