Some Thoughts on the Gatecrash Prerelease

I played two Gatecrash Prereleases this weekend. I was Dimir for one and Boros in the other.

Dimir is probably almost unanimously deemed the weakest guild in Gatecrash going into the prerelease but I played it and won 3-0-1. It is vastly underrated as is the Dimir mechanic cipher. I was actually quite surprise how powerful the cipher mechanic is. But with that being said, I would probably only play Hands of Binding, Last Thoughts (as a one of) and Stolen Identity (insane bomb in the right deck). I might play Call of the Nightwing in a control mirror but I won’t be happy with it. Here is the list I played.

1 Shadow Alley Denizen
2 Duskmantle Guildmage
1 Metropolis Sprite
2 Corpse Blockade
1 Bane Alley Broker
1 Deathcult Rogue
1 Nightveil Specter
1 Keymaster Rogue
2 Consuming Aberration
1 Smog Elemental

1 Glaring Spotlight
1 Killing Glare
2 Hands of Binding
1 Agoraphobia
1 Paranoid Delusions
1 Prophetic Prism
1 Psychic Strike
1 Aetherize
1 Last Thoughts

8 Islands
8 Swamps
1 Dimir Guildgate

Sideboard cards:
1 Millenial Gargoyle
1 Call of the Nightwing (The Gargoyle and them come in against control for the 2 Corpse Blockade.)
1 Scatter Arc (Never came in)
1 Totally Lost (Never came in)

I went into the first round as a mill deck but with 2 Hands of Binding and a 1 Last Thoughts, I found that I winning by grinding out damage and maintaining a superior board position much quicker and that is with two Consuming Aberration in the deck. With this list, I draw a ton more cards in control mirrors and I can stabilize against the aggro decks like Boros until they gas out. Again Hands of Binding is just insane and I am thinking of picking it very high in future booster drafts.

As for Boros, it was probably deemed the strongest guild in Gatecrash but I think it is vastly overrated. I rather be playing Dimir 9 times out of 10. I went 2-2 it but honestly I could easy have been 3-0-1. I mulled to 5 twice in the first round and it was against my weakest matchup Simic. Here is the list.

2 Foundry Street Denizen
1 Sunhome Guildmage
1 Firefist Striker
1 Wojek Halberdiers
1 Skinbrand Goblin
1 Syndic of Tithes
1 Frontline Medic
2 Warmind Infantry
1 Armored Transport
2 Skyknight Legionnaire
1 Cinder Elemental
2 Assault Griffin
1 Fortress Cyclops
1 Towering Thunderfist
1 Foundry Champion

2 Martial Glory
1 Act of Treason
1 Arrows of Justice

9 Mountains
7 Plains
1 Boros Guildgate

Sideboard:
1 Warmind Infantry (late cut for the Armored Transport)
1 Furious Resistance (For aggro mirrors on the draw.)
2 Towering Thundeerfist (I sided these in a lot for the 2 Foundry Street Denizen to become more of a midrange deck.)

This is a decent Boros deck, maybe even a good one. Frontline Medic is great in draft and won me about half the games I won. Boros looks real good when your opponent slips up or has a durdly deck. It is quite fast and the curve is great up to 3. But I think any well constructed draft deck can hold of the Boros swarm and it can’t really recover after it gases out. I especially hate Boros because it can’t react to many cards that you just lose to like say Gift of Orzhov or the infinite blocker especially with the aura that gives protection from creatures. Also just a early 2/2 bear or even 1/4 a can make attacks unprofitable very early on since you need every creature you can get for Battalion and later on Boros deck has problems with beefier creatures. This is because the removal for Boros is pretty weak. Almost all of them are situational or too expensive. You can’t race everything.

I overheard a lot of people in both hobby store saying things that Boros is unbeatable and that aggro is the way to go. But I won with Dimir and my brother won the other one with a Orzhov deck splashing red only for Boros Charm and Assemble the Legion.

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