Aether Revolt Prerelease Week: What To Expect

Welcome back to the final day of our Aether Revolt Prerelease Week! Today we’ll be going over the event itself, and what you can expect. For those of you who are familiar with prereleases, it’s fairly in-line with what you already know. For those of you who are not, read on!

First, what should you bring? We’d recommend that you bring along some new sleeves for your deck, some dice (there’s a lot of +1/+1 counters and Energy in these sets, remember), and a pen and paper. You can keep track of life totals with a Spindown (which we’ll get to), but dice can get bumped; it’s a lot better to keep track with pen and paper, to avoid disputes and confusion. Next, what you get: you’ll be given a nifty little box with everything else you need. Inside are going to be 4 packs of Aether Revolt, 2 packs of Kaladesh, a nifty little Spindown 20-sided die, and a stamped Prerelease Promo. Now, that Promo can be literally any Rare or Mythic Rare from Aether Revolt (totally random), and the best part is that you’re 100% allowed to play it in your deck if you want to! You don’t need to worry about a deckbox, either, because the prerelease pack you get will function as a deckbox.

Speaking of your deck, how do you turn 6 booster packs and a shiny promo into one? Well, this will be a Sealed event. Out of those 6 boosters worth of cards, you will be constructing a deck that is at least 40 cards. Basic Land will be provided by your Tournament Organizer, so don’t sweat that! You’re going to want to stick to right at 40 cards, usually going for about 23 or 24 creatures and spells to 16 or 17 lands; everything you opened that you aren’t running in the deck becomes your sideboard. How much time you have to build is up to the TO; it’s usually around 30 to 45 minutes, but make sure you ask the TO if they don’t announce it! You can’t trade your cards until the event is over, so you’re only building with what you’ve opened- but, this is intended to be fun and community-focused, so feel free to seek advice from the players around you (or offer advice to those less experienced) when you’re deckbuilding, or even after you finish your matches. Prereleases use “continuous construction” rules, meaning you can freely change your deck between games and rounds, without having to reset it; if your Round 1 opponent gives you some really good tips on what you ought to change, you can change your deck and keep it that way for the rest of the day.

“But Judge!”, you might say- “What about Inventions? How do those work?”. For those unfamiliar, Kaladesh and Aether Revolt both have what’s now known as a ‘Masterpiece Series’: Inventions. Every pack of Kaladesh and Aether Reborn has a small chance to contain a really rare, really awesome foil artifact card with a special frame, called an Invention. Some of them are cards from within the set (like the Gearhulk cycle in Kaladesh, or Ornithopter from Aether Revolt), but the majority are awesome artifacts from Magic’s past. Now, the Masterpiece Series cards aren’t legal in Standard or Modern unless they’re reprints of cards that already are (again, like the Gearhulk Cycle or Ornithopter)… but they’re all legal in Limited events. Like, oh… a prerelease? If you’re lucky enough to open up a Masterpiece, it is 100% legal (and probably 100% bonkers) for your deck, so sleeve that bad boy up and smash some faces in the best way possible: with immaculate style.

So, you have your deck built; now what? Now you play! You’ll be playing several rounds of Magic; some TOs keep their events capped at 4 rounds regardless of attendance, some of them do rounds BASED on attendance. If they don’t announce the number of rounds, please ask. You’ll be playing however many rounds, which should be 50 minutes long, and Modified Swiss like all Sanctioned Magic events. Once your rounds are over, the TO will hand out prizes in whatever manner they’ve decided- again, check with them for details, because it’ll vary from store to store!

Some of you may be going to Two Headed Giant events during your prerelease; those are a bit different. You and your teammate will each get a Prerelease Pack, and from this pooled amalgam of 8 Aether Revolt and 4 Kaladesh boosters, you’ll build two decks. The same Continuous Construction rules apply, and you’ll have longer to build since this is more complicated (usually an hour, but check with your TO). You also don’t play the usual ‘first to 2 wins’ rounds that you do in most Magic events! 2HG games tend to take longer, so each match will be “first to one win”. You and your teammate can share all information you’re privy to (that is, you can’t show your teammate the top card of your library if you can’t see it, but you CAN show them your hand), and you take your actions together (so you’ll both draw before moving to your Main Phase, you declare attackers together, all that jazz). Since it’s multiplayer, everyone’s first mulligan is ‘free’ (as in, you mull from 7 cards to 7 cards, instead of to 6; after that you get 1 fewer card each time as normal), but remember that you only get the post-mulligan “Scry” if you’re holding fewer than 7 cards after you keep! If you take your free mulligan and keep that grip of 7, you don’t get to Scry.

Finally, remember a few things: First, if there’s anything wrong in your game, call a Judge. If you think something’s fishy, if you’re not sure how an interaction works, if you and your opponent can’t agree on something, anything like that, please just raise your hand and call “JUDGE” nice and loud (keep your hand up, though- only a few of us can echolocate). This doesn’t make you a jerk, or a tattletale, it just means you want things to be handled properly, so do not be afraid to call for a Judge if you need our help. Next, remember to take care of yourself! Get enough sleep before you go into the event (unless you’re jamming a Midnight event, in which case get plenty of sleep tonight!), make sure you’re not going in with an empty stomach, remember to get up and stretch your legs between games, and stay hydrated. If you don’t take care of your body, it’ll get grumpy with you and that’ll put you on tilt. Finally, and most importantly: This is a game, and we’re all heading to these events to have some fun! It’s fine to want to play your best, but remember at the end of the day that this is a game, and games are supposed to be fun. If you’re not having fun, what’s the point, neh?

Today’s Prerelease Primer was written by Trevor Nunez

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