Seeded packs (ie., the one guild-focused booster pack in every Prerelease pool) are the best thing to ever happen to Prereleases. They steer beginners in the right direction, which is super important because, let's face it, sealed deck is just a bunch of hornet's nests for players to stick their arms in, so I'm in favor of anything that makes that process as painless as possible. They also make nerds like me that take the wizards squares way too seriously feel like they actually have a functional deck.

That's all I got. Seeded packs are cool and they do cool things to prereleases. On Saturday I think I experienced the seeded pack worst-case scenario—chose Gruul, ended up playing Rakdos splashing Clan Guildmage and Savage Smash—and I still had a great time. Opening Rix Maadi Reveler and Skarrgan Hellkite helped a lot there.

#10: Pteramander

Hello, new Delver of Secrets! Pteramander probably isn't going to do anything in Standard, but has massive upside in Modern Death's Shadow or Arclight Phoenix decks. Basically, if your deck has Thought Scour, Pteramander is on the menu.

#9: Growth Chamber Guardian

Is this card constructable? It's a tough call. It gives you something to do with your mana on turns two and three, but will probably end up trading with a Jadelight Ranger for its trouble. I'm not sold on this one.

#8: Wilderness Reclamation

Sorry not sorry

— Bryan Gottlieb (@BryanGo) January 19, 2019

#7: Rhythm of the Wild

One of the perks of my job at TCGplayer HQ is that one of the company's cofounders, Ray, can be relied on to walk up to my desk at least once a day during a preview season and say something like "[card x] is good, right?" Ravnica Allegiance season was no exception.

Ray was convinced Rhythm of the Wild was going to be awesome because it's a better Fires of Yavimaya and Fires of Yavimaya was the lynchpin of a competitive Standard deck in its day. However, Fires of Yavimaya, Birds of Paradise, and Llanowar Elves powered out Saproling Burst and Blastoderm. This time around, it appears that Rhythm of the Wild and Llanowar Elves (RIP BOP) will facilitate some dinosaurs. I like Rhythm of the Wilds, but its impact is contingent on the creatures that exist alongside it.

#6: Mirror March

lol ok

#5: Light Up the Stage

My experience with Light Up the Stage: I was watching Michael Jacob's stream on Saturday. One of his opponents tapped out to cast Light Up the Stage, exiled a spell and a land, and passed the turn. On that opponent's next turn, they played the land and the spell.

I did not know you could do that! A one-mana Divination seems really good.

#4: Growth Spiral


Does a density of Explores do anything in Modern? Who knows?

#3: Charnel Troll

I suppose Charnel Troll combos with cards that move +1/+1 counters around, right? Right?

#2: Skewer the Critics

I chose to draw first at the Ravnica Allegiance prerelease. My curve was low enough, I didn't think any of my opponents' decks would be able to reliably pressure me, and maybe most importantly, I believed that spectacle cards would help me get back some of the tempo I gave up by going second. In hindsight, that all feels right, especially when you have weird cards like Spear Spewer and Footlight Fiend that basically do nothing but allow you to trigger spectacle at will.

When Skewer the Critics showed up in the Top 10 last week, I noted that I was skeptical that what Modern Burn needed to put it over the top was another Lightning Bolt. I still feel that way, but Skewer the Critics is going to be great in Standard. It's really strong.

#1: Persistent Petitioners

They are *buying* Persistent Petitioners for $1.00 at the prerelease 😳

— Marshall Sutcliffe (@Marshall_LR) January 19, 2019

What a world.

Jon Corpora
(pronounced ca-pora)