The weekend that everyone had been looking forward towards for months! The two week spoiler season was done perfectly right to build up the hype within the community. LSS definitely knows how to structure their spoiler season correctly, keeping everyone guessing and surprised right up until the very last minute. Monarch prerelease weekend is now upon us, and I have got quite a bit to share.
It is currently end of day Saturday, and I now have 3 prerelease events under my belt. Friday was definitely a bit of a gongshow for me. Even though I had seen the preview cards, I still had no idea how to play any of the heroes, and it still took me a great amount of time to just read through the cards and figure out what my pile was pushing me towards. I stated in my last post that Prism was what I was looking forward to playing the most, but I did not open enough of a pool to play her. I ended up going with Boltyn for my pool because of a Spill Blood and a Lumina Ascension. Both amazing majestics for warrior. Our prerelease only had 3 rounds, and I faced against my buddy Eric for the final round to fight for the light playmat (he was playing Prism). The game came pretty close, but he managed to close it out with a well timed dominated Pound for Pound, and I was unable to block it out. What I learned about Boltyn from this tournament was that going first is actually not a bad thing for him. Getting his soul charged and a card in arsenal helps drive the pressure when it comes back to you. Also, Soul Food is not the best card for Boltyn. I had an awkward opening hand of Soul Food and just passing the whole turn and have 4 cards in Boltyn’s soul. Not having the arsenal meant a lack of pressure. What I have come to learn is that it is quite easy to poke in a bit of damage even if you are going first because Monarch has a ton of instant cards and a lot of the cards only block for 2. Congrats to Eric for getting the light playmat! Alan walked away with the shadow playmat, rocking Levia to take the top spot for the shadow players.
And here is the main juicy bit, as Infinity’s prerelease happened just this morning:
As you can probably tell, I’m still trying to figure out how to use OBS/Twitch properly, but at least I was able to figure out how to attach the Infinity logo to my stream. From what I understand, LSS is on the lookout for LGS to send in media regarding the event, so this was a perfect opportunity to make sure of the blog and promote the store! Infinity should be the one store that ended up getting the most or tied with having the most kits for BC. They definitely had the most people signed up, as we were maxed out including all of the out of town people who purchased packs. Our total count for the actual event was 24, which is a very respectable number. If you remember, we used to barely get 8 people for our events in BC (for locals only events). We have come a long way. A major thank you to all the people who went out and promoted the event! On my end, I roped in three friends into the prerelease and the game, and one roped in another friend. I spoke with all of them after the event, and they all had a very positive experience. One of my friends commented on how friendly the community was, which is definitely a major factor to attracting in new players to the game, so another thank you to all the players for being patient to new players and showing them the ropes!
I did a quick meta breakdown prior to the first round (not accurate numbers):
Levia – 3
Chane – 4
Prism – 6
Boltyn – 9
For myself, my packs dictated me to go in the Boltyn direction again because of another Spill Blood and V of the Vanguard. Also just in general, I had way more light and warrior cards than anything else.
I was paired against Sam for the first round (a new player onto the scene) who was also playing Boltyn who managed to pull a Gallantry Gold. I started off with a V of the Vanguard and managed to push in 8 damage on the first turn. I essentially kept the pressure going by popping the Halo of Illumination, Dusk Path and axe swinged heavily on this turn. Boltyn had 3 cards in his soul, and I was able to push damage through with Dusk Path, which meant I swung with the axes three times this turn. Eventually, this game was too hard for Sam to come back into since I was able to consistently pressure him and took the win as Sam was left with only 2 block cards which is a detriment when you are at lethal and Boltyn manages to charge. We spoke after the game, and Sam was a bit demoralized with the loss. @Sam: don’t get discouraged over losses, as you learn the most from these games. With each game under your belt, you will get used to knowing when to take tempo and when to defend heavily. It will come in time with each game you play, and you will know which turns are the ones you make your opponent go on the defensive. I see you improving with every game we play! Just keep persevering bud!
I was paired up against Chris for this one, who is actually one of my buddies that I roped into playing FAB, so I was quite excited when I saw his name for my matchup. He is also the one who helped me with all the pains of setting up this blog, as I am very website noob (thanks for teaching me!). Chris was running Levia and this game basically came down to me getting lucky with the 50/50 random picks, and Chris not getting lucky with finding his brute cards that banish cards in his graveyard for bonuses. I did take a notable misplay in the first round where I mischarged and caused me to miss arsenaling a card on my first turn (lost the roll and Chris chose to go second). I managed to come in on my second turn with a double axe swing after taking a straight 6 to the face, and I arsenaled Spill Blood. The next turn, I started with Cross the Line (charged) which Chris blocked (reacted with Boltyn to give go again), and then another two axe swings. It is definitely a game changer to be able to swing with both axes in a turn. Having the upper hand in life, I took another 8 to the face from Chris because I knew I could keep threatening damage to make him block. The following turn, I used Seek Enlightenment to pump my Cross the Line for 8 (charged) and swung in with another axe. On Chris’s following turn, a 50/50 went awry for him, and he was not able to trigger his Hooves of the Shadowbeast, which ended with me finally using my Spill Blood from arsenal to dominate my axe attack for the win. A fun game against my buddy (who actually ended up walking away from the tournament with the raffle mat win). Hope to see you play in more events, Chris!
For Infinity, we also opted to just play 3 rounds for the sake of time, so this game was basically the decider to see who would get the light mat. I was paired against Alan, who is somewhat a newcomer to the scene, but has been playing a lot and has basically become very well versed in the game in such a short amount of time. Alan is a great community member, as he created the Monarch tokens for everyone in case they were missing what they needed in their pack openings and often teaches new players. He also hosted a “how to play sealed” event in the week leading up to the prerelease. Alan was playing Boltyn as well, which is definitely out of his comfort zone since he doesn’t like aggro decks. He is the type of player who likes to play the big hit heroes, like Runeblade (more or less OTK style), Guardian (fatigue), and now Kano. This game was a very tight one, and we both fought for tempo continuously. On a dangerous turn that he charged, he managed to bring me down to two life because of two Courageous Steelhands. My Spill Blood turn was also rendered mute as he cracked his armor and a Rally the Rearguard to block out everything. At this point, we were at 5-2 life totals. I eventually was able to eek out the win as I started my turn with a Take Flight (charged) and come over the top for exact lethal with a Courageous Steelhand. For this game, I realized I had too much charging done, as I ended the game with still four cards in Boltyn’s soul. Definitely need to manage this better in the future! All in all, it was a great last game, as it came right down to the wire. GG Alan!
Final standings for the event:
Very happy to have won a mat, as now I could worry less and just have fun for my remaining events. Nathan walked away with the shadow mat, rocking Chane to be the top shadow player. My friend Ian didn’t know that you didn’t need to pull the hero token in order to play them, so he thought he was forced to play Prism. We spoke afterwards about his first-time FAB experience, and he mentioned to me that he pulled a Carrion Husk. The funny thing is that he didn’t even really process that he opened this card since he was on a time crunch with deck building. But I basically hyped him up about this card, so he’s going to treat it like a baby. Congrats on the pull bud! Also very proud for Wilson for coming away with a draw and two wins on his first FAB event. I am glad you all had a great time! Hope to see all of you around in our events in the future!
I had one more event today, which was the Mostly Games where I ended up giving shadow (Chane) a try. Went 2-1, but my loss was to the eventual shadow winner, Vincent. Our game came down to 1 life each, but I got unlucky with all my blood debt cards coming out at the end with no way of playing them, causing me to die. But I definitely like Chane’s design, and he is fun to play. Just one more event tomorrow with Magic Stronghold to close out this weekend full of FAB!
I wanted to give a final shoutout to Dillon and Infinity Cards. This guy has been working his butt off for the BC community. His store being in the middle of nowhere (sorry Dillon, Aldergrove is pretty much like, in the middle of nowhere =P), he came over to the lower mainland Friday afternoon to meet up with players and hand out packs since that is where most of us live. He barely made it back home in time to play in Treasure Chest’s prerelease. Time and time again, he goes out of his way for the community to help grow the player base and make life easier for everyone. LSS, if you are reading this, please note that we would not have the player base we currently have in BC, if it wasn’t for Dillon’s efforts. Without Dillon, BC likely would not have a FAB player base post-covid, as there would not be much support for in-person play, which in turn would mean I would have to quit the game without people to play. Also a shoutout to Eric for always hosting the events and being the middle-man with prize handouts too!
*Header image: Monarch key art by Carlos Palma Cruchaga