Hello, faithful readers!
Okay, okay…let’s take a rest on the Sharuum thing.  Enough of you are telling me that things are a little too fast and furious at this pace, so we’ll take the day off today to look at some other odds and ends.
Mostly, anyway…
PRERELEASE PREFERENCES
The results of the Prerelease poll were a bit more balanced than I thought, although things are still about where I expected them to end up:

67% of you prefer the now-defunct large regional prereleases over the rest of you, who like the current local shop prereleases.
While I was expecting the regional prerelease experience to come out on top, I was not expecting it to be as close as this ended up.  It looks like quite a few of you are willing to sacrifice multiple events per day in favor of a local play environment.  
As far as the specific formats:

40% of you go for the Sealed Deck Events.
27% of you prefer the Booster Drafts.
27% of you go for other reasons, such as Trading and Casual Gaming.
6% prefer 2-Headed Giant.
Interesting.  I think I had blinders on here ; I was firmly prepared for drafting to come out on top, because that’s my particular flavor du jour; I guess it stands to reason that Prereleases have always been about the Sealed Deck events; really, how often do casual players get a chance to experience one?
Sorry, 2HG.  No one likes you… 

FROM THE VAULT: THINGS THAT HOPEFULLY DON’T SUCK

So it’s that time of year again, and Wizards has tossed out the press release about this summer’s From The Vault release – From The Vault: Realms


Lands are the flavor of the summer.  At first glance, this seems like a great choice; lands tend to be the cards that hold their value on average the best in every released set over time.  Some of the most beloved cards in EDH (and some of the most hated ones) are lands as well, so it seems like a natural fit.
The inherent problem is the Reserve List.  As Wizards Of The Coast closed the loophole allowing promo and special set foils to be reprinted around the time of From The Vault: Relics, we’re stuck without a good chunk of the iconic selections we’d all like to see, ranging from Gaea’s Cradle to the all-important and oft-speculated upon original dual lands. 
Does this doom From The Vault: Realms to follow in the footsteps of last summer’s less-than-exciting From The Vault: Legends release?  It certainly could.  Wizards seemed to have gotten off to a strong start with FTV: Dragons, Exiled, and Relics, but Legends seemed to slide a bit too far into “Let’s play it safe and not anger collectors” territory; Progenitus ended up taking the “money” slot in the release, a far cry from Berserk, Mox Diamond, and Nicol Bolas.  The quality fell off sharply from there to boot, with a pretty unexciting promo (Mikaeus) and mostly all recently-printed generals from there.  (Sharuum, Kresh, Rafiq, Doran…it goes on and on.)  I think we can pretty much pretend that there were no Portal inclusions as well…
I’m of the opinion that Wizards needs to tread carefully on Realms.  Another weak release could signal the way for things to come, and interest will surely wane.  What needs to happen is another statement along the lines of the recent inclusion of Entomb in the Premium Deck Series: Graveborn release; drop in a nice chase card like Wasteland in the money slot, and fill in from there with some reasonable strong inclusions like Vesuva and Urborg, Tomb Of Yawgmoth.  Sure, there will be some necessary low-yield choices from current sets, but with some work, it could be offset with some solid choices that will reinstate the release to the level that it once enjoyed.  (For example, how many of you would like to get your hands on a foil CommandTower?)
For now, here’s the discussion on the Official Forums.  As cards are spoiled, we’ll take a closer look on how things are shaping up.

SHARUUM COMMUNITY PROJECT- Part 4.1: Signature Beatsticks!

Yeah…I couldn’t quite let it slide until next week.  I’m all about immediate gratification.
This one is simple: I want to know what your single choice is for the flagship beat-down creature to be included in this deck.  I don’t care about removal.  I don’t care about recursion.  I’m not looking for utility.  I want to know what one creature would be your go-to creature for getting into the red zone with if you were playing this deck.  I’ve already told you Sphinx Of The Steel Wind is the reason I’ve started the project to begin with.  From there, my all-time all-star choice for an artifact beater in general is Colossus Of Sardia.

E-Mail me here with the subject: Sharuum Community Project Part 4.1 – Beats!    

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Have a fantastic weekend, everyone.  Thanks again so much for dropping in, and thanks to everyone who has contributed to the Sharuum project so far.  You’re all incredible!

àDJ