The odd thing about the War of the Spark prerelease in the Philippines was that it was made available for sale to the public a day after the actual set release. These prerelease events usually take place a week beforehand to let players feel how the set plays, like a teaser of sorts. Wizards of the Coast’s decision to reschedule was mainly caused by the recent earthquake that happened in Manila and the extended Lenten holiday season. Store stock distribution was delayed due to the disaster’s effects on shipping logistics. Most players were disappointed but still understanding of the situation. Thankfully the amount of saltiness was minimal, probably because the War release date wasn’t moved.
I already got myself a WotS bundle, but kind of wanted to experience a prerelease event myself. I wasn’t exactly keen on spending more on MTG this week, but I ended up biting the bullet after “thorough” internal deliberation. The worst thing that could happen is that I simply got myself a few new booster packs, right?
The prerelease pack was smaller and less intimidating than the bundle. It included a compartmentalized box with six set booster packs and a d20. The box itself can be used as a deck box if you’re being particularly stingy about buying something sturdier. Although not as robust as the bundle, the prerelease pack still offers good value – specially if the player chooses to join the event. Taking part in the series of matches will give them a chance to win more booster packs for each victory achieved. Assuming, of course, that they don’t suck as much as I did.
I ran a black and red deck like my daily driver because the key to learning is being rigid and refusing to try out new things, right? I’d like to think that it was formulated around the new “Amass” effect instead of just being a mishmash of marginally related cards. Questionable card composition and land variation led to a series of losses caused by flooding and erroneous/missed trigger calls. I almost conceded a round to penalize myself, but I was glad my opponent just calmly told me that the sequencing wasn’t possible or legal and allowed the game to continue. Lesson learned, kids – this was the consequence of me always running basic 2 for 2/2 creatures and single effect sorceries/instants.
I’m glad I got to play with people outside my usual group because I haven’t dived too deep into the set (or even the real meat of the game itself) yet. The veteran players and the event coordinators were happy to help explain spell triggers and effect chains, saving me from going through some weird mental gymnastics. It’s nice to see how the MTG community in general is nurturing instead of condescending, which in turn helps the player base grow.
I had a lot of fun with the event even if I got my ass handed to me in spectacular fashion. I even forgot to get myself my body’s mandatory headache-preventing dose of coffee because of the immersion. Maybe one day, I’ll stop being a newbie who can’t keep track of mana expanding creatures and turn into someone who can play with flawless technical execution. Just one day though, because I’ll probably just relapse into being too overeager to properly read card text.