Hobbit Hole Ixalan League Night #1

Last night was the start of the MtG Ixalan League at my FLGS The Hobbit Hole (link on the right hand side of the page).

For an entry fee of £10, you get three Ixalan booster packs, a league deck box (cardboard), a tracking sheet, and the opportunity to play MtG on a regular basis.

Before I go on and talk about my experience of the nights playing MtG in this league. I should point out I have signed up to one previously, however didn’t really get any games because it clashed with game night. And that I have been running an Amonhket one for The Fenland Gamers over the last couple of months or so (it’s taken longer than four weeks due to various factors).

I think that the League format is a great way to get new and old players playing together on a more even playing field. It removes the card pool advantage a long time player has. There is also the affordability of it. You don’t have to buy lots and lots of boosters to play. It limits that to an initial three, then one a week after that, plus you may buy an additional pack for every three loses in a row you have. The fact you get a rather nice looking cardboard deck box as well for that tenner makes it that you are getting a little bit more value for your money. Remember my FLGS sells three boosters for a tenner. Plus you are getting that deck box.

Then you need to factor in that for participation (after playing 10 games) you get a promo Unclaimed Territory land card. Plus if I’m remembering right we are also going to get an additional foil card from the shops foil card folder of our choice!

That takes the vfm (value for money) by the end of the league to way over the initial tenner. I’m not counting in the extra boosters you can buy during the league to strengthen your deck. They are what they are, boosters bought at £3.50 a time.

Now we are talking about boosters how did I do with my three for the league?

Well I pulled the foil Vanquisher’s Banner below. I’m really chuffed with that. I had target bought the regular version at the weekend. But to now have the foil, super cool.

Spoiler alert but I did lose three games last night. So that will explain to the observant and those that care why there are four cards in the following photo of the rares that I pulled. I got the chance to buy an extra booster to help improve my deck (possibly, maybe).

I played John the owner of The Hobbit Hole for my first two games. Our first game was over quickly, I was not drawing well, and John just destroyed me. Our second game I lasted longer, but the end result was the same. Maybe my decision to go with a green/blue (simic) dinosuar merfolk deck was a mistake?

My third game against Mark, a player returning to Magic was just as bad as the first two. But this third loss did mean I could get another booster to try and make my deck stronger. Yay!

I tweaked my deck, added in a couple of mountains, so now the deck was going to become blue/green/red (temur). Took out a couple more lands ( I was sure I had too many lands in my deck). They were replaced by a couple of red removal cards, and a red dinosaur.

Mark and I then had a rematch. This time the deck was working better, and I got the win.

My final match was against Kath. This was a bit of a slow game, with a lot of build up, getting our forces into place. Then we started trading blows. This sort of game was ideal for me. I was able to get my dinosaurs and merfolk into place. I had been frustrating Kath with some of my blue control cards early on that stopped her using her creatures to attack.

But our game came down to one play. I was on 11 health, Kath was on 7. She swung in with everything on her battlefield. 12 points of damage coming in. A killing blow. Unless…

I played Fiery Cannonade. A card that had been sitting in my hand for most of the game, waiting for the right moment. It’s time had come. One of the cards Kath was attacking with was not a pirate. It was an unblockable merfolk (can’t remember which one), a 3/2. It was gone. Only 9 damage delivered. I was still alive just. The big play had failed, leaving me able to swing in with my dinosaurs (yeah they all had more than 2 health) and deliver my killing blow.
So for the evening my record was 2 wins, 3 losses.

Next week I get to buy another pack, and hopefully pull some great cards to make this an awesome deck.

A great evening of playing Magic at my FLGS.

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