Thursday, 26 March 2009

Drafting with Jim - #2

By Jim Marlow

As most of you at TLM will know, i have returned home for the Easter holidays for a few weeks. My usual haunt for midweek drafting is Inner Sanctum Collectables, a fantastic shop in Cambridge, roughly 30 minutes drive from mine. The crowd at Inner Sanctum (both staff and players) are both friendly and very good magic players, and i certainly struggle against some of the better players. However, another shop has opened in the last six months, in my town no less! Bury St Edmunds does not strike me as a niche market for CCG players, but i welcomed it all the same, because i had been known to return from cambridge as late as 12.30am, which is a tad late for me.

Anyways, it felt good to be able to walk to Runik Games, Symon Rose's newest branch following the success of his now well established Ipswich store. The store in Bury is quite small, but is more than enough space, toilets, food and drink on sale, and Symon boasts what i believe to be one of the most comprehensive and well priced selection of single cards i have seen, especially given the size of the shop.

The gaming community in Bury is only just coming out of the woodwork, following the opening of the store, and from speaking to most of the players, they were either new to the game entirely, or the store had prompted a return from a long absence. The draft therefore was a tad unorthadox, with land being taken out of boosters before 1st pick, and of course ridiculous late picks, not uncommon with new players at a draft. One thing that did strike me was that the players did not review after each pack, and it really dawned on me both that the review period is just, if not more important than the actual draft (it tells you what your deck is currently lacking), but that i dont use the review to full effect, (usually i just caress the bomb rare i hope to open, and think how many games i can win by flipping it on to the table turn 6, yippee!)

Onto the draft, which was in fact a triple conflux draft, due to a lack of Shards supply to the store. I was partly glad of this because i still think my card evaluation of conflux leaves a little to be desired.

Im afraid with this odd draft i was unable to keep track of my picks, and so i simply have my completed decklist, it is fairly strong, but lacks early blockers, and so i think it is vunerable to quick weenie (particularly aerial) attack.

3 x brackwater elemental
3 x grixis slavedriver
2 x fusion elemental
1 x dragonsoul knigh
1 x macta rioters
1 x worldheart phoenix
1 x charnelhoard wurm

3 x drag down
2 x fiery fall
1 x absorb vis
1 x traumatic visions
2 x exploding borders
1 x spore burst

1 x nicol, bolas, plainswalker

1 x rupture spire
6 x mountain
4 x swamp
3 x forest
2 x island
1 x plains

I was really happy with the deck, its got bombs and removal, plus other fatties, which is pretty cool i guess. Im not sure about the mana though, i was kind of rushed to build, so it was a little thrown together, so that might be something worth commenting on

Round 1 - Darren

Darren told me he had been in and out of the game since he was young, and the store had prompted him to start. We both kept both games, and in both my deck made pretty light work of his, sadly for him. It was mainly a case of dragging down a guy, whilst fixing toward a turn 5 fusion elemental, or in game 2 a turn 6 charnelhoard wurm, getting back my exploding borders for the win next turn.

Round 2 - Rob

Rob was a very enthusiastic player, and he had only played for as long as the store was open. I thought it was great that the store was causing new players to start, and although i took this round home too, it was a complete washout. In game 2, Rob played turns 1 and 2 court humunculus' (humunculi?) and soon after flopped a whole army of dudes out, all off of 4 lands. Without any mass removal, i was dead very soon.

Round 3 - Dave

Dave seemed like a competant player from watching him in other rounds, and he had also drafted a solidly themed esper deck, with plenty of flyers and triple parasitic strix to go with at least one esperzoa. Despite overwhelming Dave in game 2 with my far larger creatures, Dave took the round 2-1 from me with his army of flyers that my deck simply had no answers to.

I want to congratulate Dave on his win this week at Runik Games, and i think the night went to show that the best decks were made by people who drafted with a specific strategy, and came out with decks brimming with not just raw power, but synergy. Some of the other players, who were perhaps not as experianced at magic, seemed to be learning very fast and picking up new strategies for both limited and constructed play, and i look forward to seeing the progress of the less experianced players over the next couple of weeks.

Overall i had a great night, got a booster for my troubles (shadowmoor?!?), and met some really friendly players, both experianced and less so. One of the best things about my night at Runik Games was listening to the 8 man chaos multiplayer game going on behind me around a large table. It was great to see the guys and girls playing casual really enjoying magic, and it very much so reminded me of why i started, and continue to invest my time and money into the game, which i think can often be forgotten once you begin to enter the realms of more competative play.

Finally, it was really cool of Symon to give out a Conflux intro pack as a random prize on the night, based upon us all rolling a die. How cool is that?

Anyways, i hope to have a more detailed account of my draft, and will hopefully play some more interesting games next week, although i am lead to believe it may be vintage constructed (?) at Runik, so i may go to Cambridge to draft, or i may simply skip a no tears from the fans when it doesnt go up next week ok, promise?


If you have any comments you would like to make regarding this article or any other on the Team Leeds Magic blog, please feel free. If you would like to contribute an article to the TLM blog, please send it to, thanks!

1 comment:

  1. Sounds as though you had a great time Jim, glad to see a store thriving in the face of the dreaded recession.
    Shame you didn't get the results on the day, but at the end of the day, Magic isn't about results, it's about having fun :)