Welcome all to the Daily Dose of Core 2019, where it’s the start of prerelease week!
This week I’ll be taking about some of the cards you’ll want to open in your Core 2019 booster packs. When I talk to new players, the cards they’re often most excited about seeing are rare or mythic cards. Don’t get me wrong, I’m excited about those as well. But, when it comes to Prerelease deckbuilding, I want to make sure I open some playable common cards as well. After all, you’ll only have seven to eight rares to choose from, but you’ll have around 60 common cards.
So, without further ado here are some of the top commons from Core 2019 that you’ll want to see this Prerelease:
Angel of the Dawn – If you’ve played a Prerelease before, you’ve probably seen a scenario in which both players have a lot of creatures, but neither want to attack for fear that their opponent could deal lethal. This card lets you attack first without fear of having no blockers for your opponents’ combat phase the following turn. Throw in the fact that it is a 3/3 flying creature and you have a winner.
Gallant Cavalry – If any of you have ever played the spell Call the Cavalry in Dominaria draft, you’ll love this card. You get the same power and toughness for the same price with a bonus of being able to recur the enters the battlefield ability of Gallant Cavalry if you can cast it again later in the game.
Luminous Bonds – There is a good chance you will be facing down a large Dragon at some point during your Prerelease. This card ensures that you don’t get beaten down in the air with repeated attacks from them. It’s a good card in the early, mid, and late game, so don’t hesitate to use it on anything that your creatures can’t handle.
Pegasus Courser – This reprint from Dominaria was one of my favourite cards to play in limited formats. Being able to give another attacker evasion will help in getting in some quick damage. Flying is still a great ability, so don’t underestimate its power.
Take Vengeance – You might have to take a hit before being able to use this card, but that’s why they always say that your life is a resource. There could also be times when you draw it and your opponent already has a creature tapped that you want to kill.
Anticipate – It’s great to see this card draw/selection reprint back in Core 2019. Anticipate allows you to smooth out your draws and search for either a land you need or potentially a removal spell. It’s also a great spell to keep until the end of your opponent’s turn so that you can pretend to have a counterspell or combat trick with your available mana.
Essence Scatter – In Limited formats like the Prerelease, creatures are normally what win the game. Core 2019 specifically has a lot of bomb creatures, like the Elder Dragons. This card will give you the chance to make sure those creatures never hit the battlefield.
Salvager of Secrets – Usually you’ll only get one copy of a great removal spell in your prerelease deck. Salvager of Secrets lets you can re-cast that spell later in the game. Being a 2/2 creature for five is expensive, but it’s worth it if you can get back a way to remove a troublesome permanent, or reuse a counterspell you cast earlier in the game.
Abnormal Endurance – I treat this as a combat trick that basically makes my creature indestructible. The added power boost helps you trade up if you need to. Plus, having it return to the battlefield lets you trigger any enter the battlefield abilities that creature might have.
Hired Blade – This is basically a colour shifted reprint of Pouncing Cheetah from Amonkhet. I loved having that at my disposal during Amonkhet Limited, since it allowed me to keeup mana up for other spells. It can also be used to instantly block an opponent’s creature. You can also play it at the end of their turn to gain a surprise attacker for your turn.
Macabre Waltz – Card advantage is always key in grindy games, which is what most prerelease games are. This card means you can get two of your best creatures back, while discarding a card that you might not need – like an extra land, for example.
Catalyst Elemental – if you haven’t figured it out by now, there are some large creatures in Core 2019. Catalyst Elemental acts as a ramp spell to help you have six mana by turn four to cast that big Dragon you’ve been holding in your hand. If you don’t need the mana right away, you still have a solid 2/2 creature to work with.
Electrify – Instant creature removal is rare, so having this at your disposal is huge. Being able to break up a pair of blockers or just get rid of a strong threat makes this card a must play in your deck.
Goblin Instigator – This little Goblin is great to put two 1/1 creatures onto your side of the battlefield. Having two separate creatures with two power and toughness combined instead of one creature can have advantages if you have something that pumps all your creatures. They can also be used to block two separate attacking creatures if needed.
Goblin Motivator – This is one of those creatures with a big target on its back. The ability to make any creature you cast have haste is a strong ability. Even if your opponent uses a rare removal spell on this early in the game, that’s one removal spell not aimed at your larger creatures later.
Colossal Dreadmaw – Yes, I know this has been reprinted many times recently, but there is a reason for that. This is a solid Limited creature. A 6/6 creature with trample is extremely difficult to remove from the battlefield. Even if your opponent sends chump blockers to intercept it, they’ll still take damage making it a big threat when attacking.
Daggerback Basilisk – This 2/2 for three is the ultimate stopper for your opponent. Having it on your side means that most times if your opponent wants to attack into it, they will be losing a larger/better creature than this. It can also be used to get through damage, as your opponent won’t want to lose any creatures by blocking it.
Druid of the Cowl – This isn’t your everyday Llanowar Elves like we saw in Dominaria, but mana ramp is still important in Limited. Druid of the Cowl will help you get your game changers out early. Being a 1/3 creature will also help as an early game blocker as well.
Talons of Wildwood – To me, this card is pure card advantage. You can use it early in the game to make one of your creatures a strong offensive threat, or bring it back to cast again and again and again later in the game.
Manalith – With so few mana fixing cards in the set, Manalith will become an all-star for any deck looking to splash a third colour. It can also be used simply to help you ramp if you have some large spells or creatures you are looking to cast.
I hope that this has been a helpful guide on what you’ll see in your Core 2019 booster packs. Thanks again for reading the Daily Dose of Core 2019. Join me tomorrow as I shift my focus to those three cards you see before the rare or mythic card, the uncommons!