It’s a wild (not really, in fact, not at all) wednesday night, I’ve popped down to the Darkbear bar in Bridport for their monthly MTG night, I sat down at a table with Luke from Beacon Games over in Axminster and a fairly new commander player, we were all playing precons. I pulled out the Virtue and Valour (I will put the U in valour, I’m british damnit.) deck, one of the two new precons from Wilds of Eldraine. I’m a sucker for enchantress decks, and even though the precon is less enchantress than, perhaps the previous enchantress precon, it scratched that itch, that’s for certain.
What I will say immediately, is that Virtue and Valour is a strong precon, very decent power level, TONS of card draw, it can go both wide AND tall, and in a game of all precons, ends up being the arch-enemy more times than it doesn’t. But, with my dark and stormy cocktail in hand, having forgotten all my role tokens at home AND my playmat. Doh. We settled in for three games of Commander. The first game, all three of us mana flooded, this isn’t uncommon in precons, which tend to always run mana heavy, and my default to upgrading them is just to switch some lands out in exchange for good cards. However, in a full table mana flood, the player with the card draw engines wins, which was the Virtue and Valour deck, Azorious (Blue/White or U/W) flyers tried, but had to hold up chumps to block my score of Virtue token 15/15’s and so couldn’t really ever swing in for card draw, and the Maelstrom Elf player (Which, I’ll add was a slightly upgraded precon, not base) just couldn’t draw an answer to save his life (Literally in this case).
Game two was definitely a bit of a switch up, after my dominant game one I became a target, and the Maelstrom player, who got Maelstrom out on turn three with the help of a sol ring and some mana dorks (Maelstrom is eight mana, for clarity) took me out with commander damage before I could draw any answers, well, that’s a lie, I drew an answer, but I was dead before I had the untapped mana to cast it. Speaking of answers, Virtue and Valour runs FOUR board wipes. I was seriously impressed by the contents of this precon, the power level really was up there.
It wasn’t long before the Maelstrom player just full gassed into victory either, which, is what that deck is supposed to do, the Azorious player just couldn’t find his answers. Game three was the real fight, all the decks came online at about the same pace, and between the Azorious player both Aetherize’ing my full board, and then time wiping it a few turns later, and myself using my own Austere Command and Realm Cloaked Giant to keep the Maelstrom player in check, everyone ran out of gas, well, except me, because Sun Titan. I slapped it down, fantastic 6/6 that recurs cards from the graveyard when it swings, I just started swinging in, bringing my enchantresses and auras back into play and ran away for a second victory of the night.
All in all, I’m incredibly impressed with Virtue and Valour. It is an indication of how power level is climbing in commander precons, but the deck didn’t feel too complicated to play, apart from tracking all the roles from both Gylwain and Ellivere, and knowing when to hold up mana for answers and when to go all out, the deck ran very smoothly. The Draw engines of enchantress decks are really new player friendly, I feel, as it forgives a lot of card advantage misplays. BUT, on top of that it can be piloted with some serious skill and go up against some power 6, even power 7 decks and not shy from the fight.
I had a fantastic night, and am already excited for the next night over at Darkbear, I might bring one of the doctor who decks to the next one, as they’ll be released by then! Stay tuned for more ramblings here on the Dumpshock Games Blog, but for now. Go enchant some cards. Peace Chummers!