Last weekend was Prerelease time and so I rolled down to my LGS to play some Innistrad: Crimson Vow sealed!
I was really happy with my pull of cards! I didn’t find any Planeswalkers but I was able to find powerful rares, removals and evasive creatures in the Dimir colors; also with some nice synergies between them, like various creature with the Exploit ability and creatures that got benefit me benefit from being sacrificed like Biolume Egg.
Surely, however, what made me lean more into this color combination were powerful rare like Overcharged Amalgam and Bloodvial Purveyor; the Purveyor especially is surely a bomb in limited as it’s not so easy to deal with in the early turns and its downside don’t hinder you so much.
There were 11 players and the tournament began after the announcement that there will be three matches.
Match 1 vs Gruul Aggro
I have a fast start where I’m able to play creatures every turn, dropping Biolume Egg on turn 3, followed by Henrika on the following turn. With Henrika I choose to have every player sacrifice a creature, removing my opponent’s only blocker and by sacrificing the Egg, getting the Serpent. When I also play the Bloodvial Purveyor the turn right after he decides to concede. This first game I played really aggro and I also wasn’t expecting such a start.
I mulligan down to five while he starts with a strong Voltaic Visionary that he is immediately able to flip. He fills his board with creatures and closes the game when he is able to cast and flip a Child of the Pack.
I don’t have a fast start like the first game but with Undead Butler and Rot-Tide Gargantua, I’m able to keep him in check and put him on a quite fast clock. He starts to get dangerous when he has Child of the Pack together with Packsong Pup but this time I’m ready and I empty his board with removals. Free to attack I close the game in a few more turns.
1 win – 0 losses
Match 2 vs Dimir Control
We were playing near during the last match and so we both knew what to expect: a mirror.
He starts with a nice little Mischievous Catgeist but I block him with my Biolume Egg, stopping him from getting the insane card advantage from the cat.
I follow up with a Bloodcrazed Socialite that adds pressure on him, forcing him to commit all his creature to black it when I sacrifice a Blood token to her. After that his board is clean and so I only have to continue to counter his spells and remove his creatures, letting my clock knock him out.
I keep a really good hand but without any Swamps… and I get punished by this choice. I’m able to survive the first turns thanks to my blue spells but, when I start having only black spells in hand, he is quickly able to overwhelm me and win this second game.
I have a really strong start when I’m able to drop on the field and then flip a Desperate Farmer (thanks to the exploit of Overcharged Amalgam that also countered one of his spells. He taps out to put down a blocker and I happily trade with him as like this I’m able to play the Bloodvial Purveyor without having to fear a counter. Luckily he doesn’t have a removal in the turn right after and so I’m able to untap and, by continuously keeping me open to protect my creature, I’m able to put him on a really fast clock and win the game.
2 wins – 0 losses
Match 3 vs Abzan Goodstuff
He has a really nice start by dropping his Sorin the Mirthless, immediately creating a dangerous Vampire token that luckily I’m able to remove by forcing him to block my Overcharged Amalgam. I follow up with my Bloodvial Purveyor and I’m able to kill Sorin. From the rest of the game I only apply pressure with my Purveyor, protecting him with my counters and that is enough to make me win the first game.
Game 2 was something where psychology played a huge part on how it turned out. I started by dropping some small flying attacker like Lantern Bearer, putting him on a really slow clock… but after that I basically got mana screw! I was able to counter one of his spells and that was enough to instill a fear in him that I was in fact keeping my mana open to counter all of his plays… while in reality I was simply not able to cast what I had in hand as I didn’t have enough mana. This fear made him play much more cautiously and slowly that gave me enough turns to recover. I was able to play Undead Butler that actually ended up milling both Henrika and the Purveyor.
He is able to play a Gluttonous Guest giving him some life black but he quickly ends the blood tokens; however he is also able to play Honored Heirloom that he uses to exile my Purveyor from my graveyard. He tries to do the same with Henrika but like this he forces my hand. I have to play Overcharged Amalgam, to sacrifice the Butler and get her back to my hand. I cast Henrika that, with my board of creatures, puts a really nice pressure on his empty one. I swing in and bring him to 5 life. He has an answer to this situation thanks to Path of Peril but I have a Doomed Dissenter on the field that leaves a Zombie Token behind. I have a three turn clock on him and I accelerate it even more by playing a Skywarp Skaab. He isn’t able to find answers and I win the game.
3 wins – 0 losses
After the last match I was the only one at 9 points and so I got first, winning the prerelease! I really enjoyed playing this deck… but I fear that Dimir Combination could be really strong even in Crimson Vow! I said “but” because in Midnight Hunt draft it was really overwhelming with everyone picking those colors because they were completely the best. I sincerely hope it won’t be the same for Crimson Vow… or it is going to be terrible when the two sets are drafted together!