Mirrodin Besieged “Event Deck” – Review
So, this past week I finally recieved the two new Mirrodin Besieged Event Decks. For those of you not in the know about these, they are essentially tournament competitive decks right out of the box. Wizards has promised to release at least two of these per set release. As a general fan of theme decks and decks that require the least amount of work possible for me to pick up and play, I am way more interested to see how this particular line of product panned out.
Magic is in a great financial position at the moment. We are seeing record numbers of people at competitive events that range from the Pro Tour, all the way to your local Friday Night Magic. To help with player retention one of the biggest issues facing most players is both monetary investment as well as time. The event decks are a way to help people who want to play in small, local events but may not always keep up with Standard. This gives them a decent competitive deck right out of the box as well as good ideas to take further. The Besieged versions come with an aggressive combo deck (called “Into the Breach”) that relies on cheap, effective damage dealing creatures. That can essentially win the game on turn four. The deck relies on a new mechanic called “Battle Cry”, which gives each of your attacking creatures an additional point of power to sneak in the most damage as possible. It combos well with cheap or free artifact creatures as well as cards that use lands and artifacts to make more tokens. I was regularly beating opponents on turn four. I was really impressed by the quality of the cards in decks. It seems from the outside looking in that you need a lot of Mythic Rare and other high priced staples to play well. You won’t find any Mythic Rares in either of the two decks and they hold their own really well against decks that do use them.
While not as potent as “Into the Breach”, “Infect and Defile” takes on the classic Blue – Black control archetype and wins with very powerful creatures. I’m not a real big fan of Infect (or using poison counters to win the game) because the creatures usually cost more mana then they seem to be worth. Anytime you are rolling a deck that uses a lot of effective card draw and counter magic you’ll have ways to deal with many opposing decks. In my testing with this deck however, is that it needs a lot of things to go right for it. For example, you really need to hit that sweet spot of four mana. With lands that predominately come into play tapped, this can be a real challenge when your opponent is dropping far better cards on you on turn three.
So as for the bullet list:
– Cheap way to break into competitive Magic – the decks can hold their own pretty well in an unknown environment.
– Come with multiple staples – Each deck offers up several cards most players wouldn’t mind having extra copies of like Lightning Bolts and Dual mana lands. As well as it is a first in types of products, that we see multiple rare cards included.
– Nice Deck Boxes – This is one innovation I hope to see repeated on more products. Previously the deck boxes you get with these kinds of products cannot hold sleeved cards, these side loading deck boxes have enough room in them to not only hold a fully sleeved deck of cards, but also dice or counters making them great to carry your deck around in for tournament play.
– Comes with a “spindown” D20 – You have no idea how handy having extra spindown life counter dice can be.
– Mixed bag – While the “Into the Breach” deck fared fairly well and was really consistent with most of the competition, I felt I had to get extremely lucky with “Infect and Defile” to win.
– Decks are good, but not that good – They still want you to go out and buy cards. I would have liked to see less singleton copies of cards and just more two ofs or three ofs.
– May not always be available – Sometimes with products like this you are at the beck and call of the local game store. Which in the future if they hold any kind of valuable, sought-after card these will be quickly gobbled up by store owners and cracked for singles.
In conclusion, I was really impressed by how well each of the decks performed right out of the box. I loved that each came with it’s own sideboard (that really made sense) and each of the decks includes a handout outlying how one should play the deck and how to sideboard. After playing with them for a good long while, as well as going 3 -1 in a tournament last Friday (with my only match loss coming after a hard fought third game), I feel pretty confident about keeping them and playing with them casually with random people. I haven’t been this impressed by a preconstructed Magic product in quite some time. And I generally always purchase the theme decks on any given set release. The MSRP is roughly $19.99 for one Event Deck. Looking online it seems they usually sell them in pairs. So, expect to spend $39.99 if you want them. I looked at a few other budget options when looking for a cheap tournament deck that would be competitive and the best I found was roughly $40 for the deck. This option gives you two ready-to-play decks for the same cost and I’m not sure if you wouldn’t fare at least the same or better.