Magic 2013 Release Primer
by Ronnie McNuttThe release of the annual Core Set is an exciting time. This weekend is the release of Magic 2013, the fourteenth core set of our beloved game, Magic, and from a Limited perspective this is an exciting one. After the pre-release event this past weekend, and a few additional opportunities at practicing sealed with a friend, I have a few pointers for those heading to the release this weekend. I won’t be going into detail about specific cards, instead I will be going over general strategies that are wise to look for in this set when drafting or examining your sealed pool.
ExaltedExalted is extremely good in this set, and you should be looking for every avenue to exploit it, especially if come across cards to support it, such as Angelic Benediction, Sublime Angel, Nefarox, or Tormented Soul. Attacking with a creature with some form of evasion can quickly become deadly if you have enough creatures with exalted. The only downside for this strategy is the presences of Fog Bank. Except in the case of attacking with Tormented Soul, a Fog Bank or two can completely shut down your single creature assault, so if you run into it sideboard appropriately with kill spells such as Murder or Divine Verdict. Also, if you are drafting exalted and you see one or more Fog Banks pass you, try to grab a couple of the appropriate answers as soon as possible, as direct kill is very limited in this environment.
Synergies AboundI had two cases this weekend where I constructed decks that had cards that were underwhelming alone, but together the deck begin to come a monster. When I was drafting I was able to pick up an early Master of the Pearl Trident, which led to me being able to scoop up all the merfolk that people were passing as “trash.” The second time was during a sealed where I ended up with six goblins and a Krenko in my pool. Both of the decks I concocted were mediocre when browsed through, but were machine like in their consistency. This is a Limited environment were you should be taking advantage of the synergies available to you. Whether you go tribal like I did, or you are able to pick up a few Mind Sculpts and Jace’s Phantasms, be aware of the cards your end up with can do in tandem with each other.
If You Like It, Put a Ring on ItWhile the cycle of equipment rings (Ring of Evos Isle, Kalonia, Thune, Valkas and Xathrid) may seem gimmicky, they are actually really strong in this Limited environment. If you have them, and your deck is creature heavy (as it will be most of the time) it is almost always a good thing to include the rings of your colors. In draft I wouldn’t first pick one by any means, but if you are in your second or third pack, and one comes across in your colors, grab it. I won more games, and saw more games won, by those cards then by any other card in the field. The white one in particular is really good and does a lot of work with the other white cards in the set.
Remember the BasicsFor the most part sealed and draft are won by playing creatures and turning them sideways. You always want find creatures that are awesome at mana value. In almost all cases your non-creature cards should support your strategy of playing creatures and attacking. Look out for the bombs in your colors. Whether it’s a Serra Avatar or a Slumbering Dragon, these cards can win games if played correctly.
Whether this is your first time playing Magic or the Limited formats, or you are experienced at both, I believe that if you follow this advice, you will find yourself being successful in M13’s Limited environment. This set has a surprising amount of depth for a Core Set, and if this is the shape of things to come in the future, then I am excited for where Magic is going.
Find out more from Ronnie McNutt on Twitter (https://twitter.com/Spurds), the Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/Thecomicguy), his blog (http://rishadanport.wordpress.com/), as well in the justusgeeks.com Forums.