Friday was the last FNM before Standard rotates. After my dismal showing with my Thragtusk deck last week, I decided to try my black/white tokens deck again. I'd tweaked it a bit. I added a third Torpor Orb because I thought it was going to be good against a lot of decks. I added a Dismember and another Blood Artist. I threw in the Batterskull I picked up the week before. To make room I cut out a couple of Niblis of the Urn, Mikaeus, the Lunarch, and Gideon's Lawkeeper. I added a third Vault of the Archangel and a second Buried Ruin, cutting the Ghost Quarters. I'm not sure how much it made the deck better, but it didn't help my luck. Match 1, Josh Stepp was playing the Goblins again. Game 1, after I mulled to 5 he rolled me with a turn 4 Hellrider. Game 2, I mulled to 6 and then got mana flooded for a few turns, but he got badly mana screwed and I got him. Game 3, he curved out with turn 1 Goblin Arsonist, turn 2 Goblin Wardriver, turn 3 Goblin Chieftain, turn 4 Krenko. We played a couple more games for fun and he continued to crush me. He drew near-perfect hands more often than I can draw a playable number of lands. Match 2, I think Adam had a mono white deck. He kept hands he should have mulled both games and I rolled over him. Match 3, Chris Manrique was playing his Venser-Stonehorn deck. Game 1, I came out fast and rolled him. Game 2, I hurt him some, then he got control and beat me down, but it took a while. Game 3 went to time, I think before much had happened. Match 4, against Ramsey, I got mana screwed twice in a row. Match 5, against Owen, I rolled over him game 1, then game 2 I couldn't find a creature, and game 3 I got mana screwed.
I skipped the midnight prerelease, because I just can't function staying up all night. I arrived well before 11 for the second event. Looking at the cards on line, it seemed like Rakdos had so much removal available that it had the best chance, so I took it. I had an OK looking deck with a bunch of unleash creatures and a bunch of removal, and I proceeded to get mana screwed 6 hands in a row. After my 6th game, where I kept a 4 land hand and then drew land for literally 10 turns, I looked at the non-Rakdos cards in my pull and decided that the Selesnya deck I could make looked pretty good, so I had it as a sideboard. Match 4, against Kiefer who was also 0-3, apparently the threat of being benched put a little bit of life into the deck, it played sort of effectively and I won. Then in match 5, against Kyle, game 1, I beat him down pretty hard but he had life gain from a Tablet of the Guilds and a Daggerdrone Imp which kept him alive long enough to get me. I switched to the other deck, and held him off for long enough that time ran out, though he was winning at the end with lifegain. 1-3-1, ugh. I got a Japanese M13 pack that I haven't opened -- I'll trade it for a real pack or maybe throw it in the afterdraft prize pool.
I was sufficiently seduced by the new set that I signed up for the third prerelease Saturday evening, even knowing it would run late enough to make going to EFRC Sunday hard. This time, based on what I'd seen in the earlier event, I went with Selesnya. Small creatures with populate and scavenge, the bounce land as a finisher, and Selesnya Charm to kill the opponent's real bombs worked pretty well for me. 2-0 round 1 against Hayden. Round 2, Chris Deri showed me that Pack Rat is pretty scary, but he only one 1 of 3 with it. Round 3, Damien was in Azorius with a Palisade Giant, which just completely shut down my ability to get through. In the second game, I misplayed epicly -- he had the giant out for several turns, keepeing me from swinging. I had a Golgari Keyrune and an Axebane Guardian to make black mana, but it never occurred to me until he pointed it out after the match that all I had to do was swing with it, and unless he fogged it would kill the giant with deathtouch (regardless of how or whether he blocked, the Giant would suck up the deathtouch damage and die).Match 4, game 1, Todd pulled out Trostani. I did well over 30 points of damage, but he still had 10 life. Game 2, I got my Grove of the Guardian off and crushed him. Game 3 went to time. Match 5, Chris Manrique was playing Azorius. Game 1, I got my Grove token out and copied it a couple of times with populate; he had so much detain that he held me off for a while, but multipe 8/8 vigilance guys have to come through eventually and they did. The second game was long and complicated, he was slowing me down and I was wearing him down and we were running out of time. I got my big spider through; he had 12 life and I had a handful of pump spells. No blocks. OK, I cast Giant Growth. No response. I cast Chorus of Might. No response. I cast Selesnya Charm, making my creature's total power 12, no response, it does 12 damage for the win. He had just cast Archon of the Triumvirate, and he had a second one in his hand, so if I hadn't gone for playing my whole hand, or if he'd had an answer, he would have had the game, but he didn't. 3-1-1, I got 4 packs, and then I got my door prize.
I won the From the Vault: Realms in the door prize pool. It's worth $100. Wow.