The girlfriend went to Rome today so we had to get up at half 5. Having got a taxi back to mine I figure I'll check what Premier Events are on so I can spend all day with a Sealed Pool. Online Champs today?? Bawww :(. So, I intrepidly enter an Alara Block 4-3-2-2 draft and here's what happened:
Pack 1 pick 1:
Druid of the Anima, Thorn-Thrash Viashino, Courier's Capsule, Yoked Plowbeast, Banewasp Affliction, Deft Duelist, Windwright Mage, Executioner's Capsule, Volcanic Submersion (FOIL), Outrider of Jhess, Fleshbag Marauder, Exuberant Firestoker, Topan Ascetic, Hell's Thunder, Island
I pick the Fleshbag Marauder. I was torn between it and the Executioner's Capsule. The Topan Ascetic is a close third but there are a few other Naya-type cards in there and Removal is goodness. Also, potential wheelers are the Druid, Firestoker and Volcanic Submersion so I'm setting myself up alright.
Pack 1 pick 2:
Ridge Rannet, Steelclad Serpent, Excommunicate, Banewasp Affliction, Jungle Weaver, Knight of the Skyward Eye, Cavern Thoctar, Cancel, Obelisk of Jund, Volcanic Submersion, Woolly Thoctar, Seaside Citadel, Puppet Conjurer, Forest
Woolly Thoctar all the way!! There's a rare missing but nothing comes close to this guy. Currently I might splash him in a Jund deck or give up on Black altogether, have to see what I get passed. The key is to take powerful cards but be open to not using them if you can get passed 22 other powerful cards.
Pack 1 pick 3:
Hissing Iguanar, Steelclad Serpent, Marble Chalice, Viscera Dragger, Resounding Roar, Viashino Skeleton, Coma Veil, Mountain (FOIL), Jund Charm, Scavenger Drake, Jhessian Infiltrator, Brilliant Ultimatum, Swamp
Keeping my options open I take the Jund Charm. It's a powerful card and between a wrath and a giant growth, I pick Wrath. Iguanar is good too but I don't want to take it.
Pack 1 pick 4:
Call to Heel, Kederekt Creeper, Savage Hunger, Ridge Rannet, Obelisk of Bant, Wild Nacatl, Incurable Ogre, Windwright Mage, Grixis Battlemage, Rockcaster Platoon, Hell's Thunder, Plains
Wild Nacatl is a solid card that is highly pickable. He makes for retardedly busted starts and pushes me towards RG splash white and black maybe.
Pack 1 pick 5:
Sighted-Caste Sorcerer, Bloodpyre Elemental, Tortoise Formation, Branching Bolt, Jund Panorama, Obelisk of Bant, Hindering Light, Incurable Ogre, Puppet Conjurer, Behemoth's Herald, Island
Branching Bolt? It must be my Birthday! So, solidly RG now 'cos the guys on my right are definitely not... or don't like killing dudes.
Pack 1 pick 6:
Blightning, Naturalize, Obelisk of Grixis, Resounding Scream, Bloodthorn Taunter, Soul's Grace, Lush Growth, Fire-Field Ogre, Swerve, Plains
I consider the Fire-Field Ogre but that's just too many colours. Blightning just isn't good enough any more as you can't pick up multiples and people get their hand down quite early nowadays. With this in mind I take the Naturalize as a solid sideboard card.
Pack 1 pick 7:
Skeletal Kathari, Tortoise Formation, Gift of the Gargantuan, Outrider of Jhess, Windwright Mage, Jund Panorama, Relic of Progenitus, Cradle of Vitality, Island
Jund Panorama helps muchly if I'm to splash Black.
Pack 1 pick 8:
Savage Hunger, Ridge Rannet, Jungle Weaver, Obelisk of Bant, Incurable Ogre, Mountain (FOIL), Scourge Devil, Island
Scourge Devil is the man, he swings for lots.
Pack 1 pick 9:
Thorn-Thrash Viashino, Yoked Plowbeast, Banewasp Affliction, Deft Duelist, Volcanic Submersion (FOIL), Outrider of Jhess, Island
Submersion tabled. Always welcome for the board and potentially the main deck.
Pack 1 pick 10:
Steelclad Serpent, Banewasp Affliction, Jungle Weaver, Cancel, Volcanic Submersion, Forest
Jungle Weaver is a late big guy. Looks like I'm in the right colours now but haven't seen much White. I'm happy to bang down on RG and splash for what I can using basic landcyclers (you can get lots of the green one in conflux easily) and borderposts. I always consider my manafixers to come during pack 1 because it is important to know what you can and can't do in a deck.
Pack 1 pick 11:
Marble Chalice, Viashino Skeleton, Coma Veil, Mountain (FOIL), Swamp
I consider the Mountain, but mise well get rid of removal.
Pack 1 pick 12:
Call to Heel, Savage Hunger, Grixis Battlemage, Plains
People don't like looters? I take it out.
Pack 1 pick 13:
Tortoise Formation, Behemoth's Herald, Island
Pack 1 pick 14:
Lush Growth, Plains
Pack 1 pick 15:
------ CON ------
Pack 2 pick 1:
Canyon Minotaur, Traumatic Visions, Rhox Meditant, Zombie Outlander, Kaleidostone, Wandering Goblins, Might of Alara, Valiant Guard, Salvage Slasher, Goblin Outlander, Dragonsoul Knight, Reliquary Tower, Fleshformer, Scepter of Dominance, Swamp
How boring. I think whoever packed this booster is in the same colours as me. I take the Might of Alara because it's fine in an aggro deck that can get up to 4 basic lands in play but I'm only expecting the Canyon Minotaur back.
Pack 2 pick 2:
Faerie Mechanist, Absorb Vis, Valeron Outlander, Sylvan Bounty, Matca Rioters (FOIL), Vectis Agents, Molten Frame, Rhox Bodyguard, Scattershot Archer, Infectious Horror, Nacatl Hunt-Pride, Fusion Elemental, Elder Mastery, Forest
Rioters is a solid dude. I have a lot at 3 mana at this point but he's badass. And shiny.
Pack 2 pick 3:
Pestilent Kathari, Dark Temper, Parasitic Strix, Matca Rioters, Bone Saw, Worldly Counsel, Rotting Rats, Asha's Favor, Ignite Disorder, Voices from the Void, Viashino Slaughtermaster, Worldheart Phoenix, Plains
Bleurgh. Erm, take the Shock. The Slaughtermaster can be tops with pump spells and is good against non-levelled-up Blades, but I can't reliably use his ability and removal is removal.
Pack 2 pick 4:
Canyon Minotaur, Rhox Meditant, Vedalken Outlander, Nacatl Outlander, Grixis Illusionist, Exploding Borders, Lapse of Certainty, Scattershot Archer, Dragonsoul Knight, Manaforce Mace, Skyward Eye Prophets, Mountain
Nacatl Outlander. Stupid Conflux... *grumble*. He's in my colours and fills my curve nicely, but where's the Banefire etc??
Pack 2 pick 5:
Zombie Outlander, Matca Rioters, Darklit Gargoyle, Wretched Banquet, Exploding Borders, Maniacal Rage, Nacatl Outlander, Nacatl Savage, Valiant Guard, Ignite Disorder, Plains
Ignite Disorder is a card I love nowadays. With Reborn in the mix this is a Branching Bolt usually. Yesterday I drafted with Rik and we splashed one in our Esper deck (:D). It killed a Tidehollow Strix and the Sewn-Eye Drake he had just cast on turn 4. We were worried he was going to get too far ahead of us ...
Pack 2 pick 6:
Frontline Sage, Wretched Banquet, Sylvan Bounty, Court Homunculus, Molten Frame, Infectious Horror, Filigree Fracture, Grixis Slavedriver, Soul's Majesty, Island
Bad Harmonise for me. Card draw is card draw and you don't get much in RG. The Filigree Fracture is also completely pimp right now with Borderposts and the fact that Esper got even better with Reborn (it was kinda poo in triple Shards unless you got like double Tower Gargoyle). The Sylvan Bounty will nearly always table from here because people don't like fixing their manabase consistently.
Pack 2 pick 7:
Bone Saw, Gleam of Resistance, Tukatongue Thallid, Lapse of Certainty, Constricting Tendrils, View from Above, Unstable Frontier, Telemin Performance, Plains
Unstable Frontier will help with the splashes but I'm starting to hate the deck a little bit. Can't see another open colour though so I'm in the right place I'm sure. Bet the dude to my left took the two Hell's Thunders and thought they were good.
Pack 2 pick 8:
Frontline Sage, Pestilent Kathari, Suicidal Charge, Maniacal Rage, Rotting Rats, Court Homunculus, View from Above, Plains
Maniacal Rage? People like to stick this on early drops but I'm too scared to 2-4-1 myself. Not that it doesn't ever work out, but I'm a control player and I don't like sending dudes to their doom or throwing away cards very much.
Pack 2 pick 9:
Canyon Minotaur, Kaleidostone, Wandering Goblins, Valiant Guard, Salvage Slasher, Reliquary Tower, Swamp
Canyon Minotaur is my first 4 drop apparently (I remember now that there were none in Shards of Alara - check the spoiler, you won't find any). He's also a creature and not terrible which my deck needs right now. By the way, Wandering Goblins is terrible and not a creature. I errata'd it to help people out.
Pack 2 pick 10:
Sylvan Bounty, Molten Frame, Scattershot Archer, Fusion Elemental, Elder Mastery, Forest
Manafixing woo! Molten Frame used to be good but now I hate to cascade into it - Leave them out of the main but be happy to get them late. There aren't any bad cards in here though, puzzling.
Pack 2 pick 11:
Bone Saw, Worldly Counsel, Rotting Rats, Voices from the Void, Plains
Voices is strong but unplayable for me so I take it.
Pack 2 pick 12:
Canyon Minotaur, Grixis Illusionist, Scattershot Archer, Mountain
Hill Giant yay. By the way, you may have seen me pass a few Scattershot Archers. Well noticed.
Pack 2 pick 13:
Darklit Gargoyle, Valiant Guard, Plains
No happy last pick for lefty.
Pack 2 pick 14:
Sylvan Bounty, Island
But happy last pick for me, super yays.
Pack 2 pick 15:
------ ARB ------
Pack 3 pick 1:
Winged Coatl, Lorescale Coatl (FOIL), Putrid Leech, Qasali Pridemage, Colossal Might, Jhessian Zombies, Demonic Dread, Offering to Asha, Firewild Borderpost, Naya Hushblade, Marrow Chomper, Tainted Sigil, Anathemancer, Necromancer's Covenant, Island
2 drop please. Naya Hushblade is absolutely fine. Any draft deck in Alara block needs to be capable of busted starts. This will be happy after a Wild Nacatl. Colossal Might is also pimpy. I leave the RG Borderpost because I'm a 2 colour deck and I need 2 drops.
Pack 3 pick 2:
Jhessian Zombies, Grixis Grimblade, Ethersworn Shieldmage, Wildfield Borderpost, Crystallization, Architects of Will, Violent Outburst, Naya Hushblade, Vectis Dominator, Firewild Borderpost, Thopter Foundry, Bituminous Blast, Mind Funeral, Swamp
Cascade woo. Bituminous Blast is a slam-dunk.
Pack 3 pick 3:
Esper Sojourners, Vengeful Rebirth, Giant Ambush Beetle, Nulltread Gargantuan, Swamp, Naya Sojourners, Singe-Mind Ogre, Deadshot Minotaur, Bant Sojourners, Sigiled Behemoth, Putrid Leech, Colossal Might, Pale Recluse
I love Vengeful Rebirth. Get other removal spells back, kill a guy, dome you for lots. Love it.
Pack 3 pick 4:
Leonin Armorguard, Architects of Will, Fieldmist Borderpost, Crystallization, Demonic Dread, Magefire Wings, Sigil of the Nayan Gods, Arsenal Thresher, Offering to Asha, Ardent Plea, Wall of Denial, Forest
Crystallization means I do have to splash white and black but it's so strong. I'm gonna look for WG and RB Borderposts now but I have some fixings already. Oh yeah, note the synergy of Vengeful Rebirth and Sylvan Bounty. I can get one back, cycle it next turn and then cast the other one the turn after *evil laughs*.
Pack 3 pick 5:
Winged Coatl, Putrid Leech, Colossal Might, Demonic Dread, Offering to Asha, Firewild Borderpost, Naya Hushblade, Demonspine Whip, Unbender Tine, Dragon Appeasement, Mountain
Hushblade 2-drop please. These guys' abilities obviously makes them best in multiples. Also, is that 3 RG Borderposts and 3 Colossal Mights going round? Some have to table so I won't pick them until they do.
Pack 3 pick 6:
Monstrous Carabid, Talon Trooper, Deadshot Minotaur, Godtracker of Jund, Igneous Pouncer, Esper Sojourners, Grizzled Leotau, Vithian Renegades, Nulltread Gargantuan, Swamp
Vithian Renegades should be called Filthy Renegades, very strong card in this block and a 3/2 for 3 on-colour and another badly needed dude. I considered the Minotaur too but I need a lower curve, and the Igneous Pouncer isn't gonna get cast in this deck so I'll wait for my fixings.
Pack 3 pick 7:
Leonin Armorguard, Fieldmist Borderpost, Demonic Dread, Magefire Wings, Sigil of the Nayan Gods, Offering to Asha, Shield of the Righteous, Dragon Appeasement, Swamp
UW Borderpost was a bad pick. I should take the Cycle of the Nayan Gods or the Leonin Armorguard if I'm taking a card I won't play.
Pack 3 pick 8:
Colossal Might, Pale Recluse, Naya Sojourners, Bant Sojourners, Etherium Abomination, Reborn Hope, Mind Funeral, Plains
A Might! This one hasn't even tabled. Naya Sojourners and Pale Recluse are also good cards but Might is Right.
Pack 3 pick 9:
Winged Coatl, Demonic Dread, Offering to Asha, Firewild Borderpost, Marrow Chomper, Tainted Sigil, Island
*sigh*, take the dual land.
Pack 3 pick 10:
Architects of Will, Violent Outburst, Vectis Dominator, Thopter Foundry, Mind Funeral, Swamp
My 2 drops are good so the Violent Outburst isn't terrible. Cascade makes it okay. I get closer to a removal spell this way but have to be careful with the Ignite Disorder. Probably shouldn't go in the same main deck.
Pack 3 pick 11:
Nulltread Gargantuan, Swamp, Naya Sojourners, Bant Sojourners, Putrid Leech
Late Leech or what? I take the Naya Sojourners. I might pay the kicker someday and get a 5/3 on it.
Pack 3 pick 12:
Fieldmist Borderpost, Magefire Wings, Offering to Asha, Forest
Pack 3 pick 13:
Unbender Tine, Dragon Appeasement, Mountain
Pack 3 pick 14:
Godtracker of Jund, Swamp
Pack 3 pick 15:
So the deck looked a little light on dudes but had solid solid spells and a good curve. Decklist:
2x Naya Hushblade
2x Canyon Minotaur
2x Sylvan Bounty
Solid deck with a solid curve and a good manabase. How did it fare?
Match 1 vs. Grixis:
Game 1: I fix my mana and get some beatz down. He stabilises a Spellbound Dragon which I have to Crystallize. I have 3 Forests, Plains, Mountain, Swamp in play, Mountain and Bituminous Blast in hand. He has 7 lands and the Dragon. He untaps, lays a land and plays Nicol Bolas. I consider conceding but that's sissy stuff. In response to his attempt to kill my Mountain (bad - I would kill the Crystallize) with Bolas (Bolas up to 8 counters) I Bituminous Blast the Dragon to rfg it, the cascade giving me a Wild Nacatl. I untap, lay a mountain so the Nacatl is once more a 3/3, unearth my Scourge Devil and attack Bolas for 8. Woot, as they say. He gets a Tezzeret and another Spellbound Dragon into play but I'm swinging a lot and pull it off.
Game 2: I draw all the manas and he gets the 2 walkers into play.
Game 3: I keep Forest, Mounain, Unstable Frontier, Wild Nacatl, Nacatl Outlander, Branching Bolt and Naya Sojourners... of course. Turn 1 Nacatl, turn 2 make another Nacatl and swing for 2, turn 3 swing for 4 and Branching Bolt the Pestilent Kathari he made (I could use Unstable Frontier to make my Wild Nacatl bigger but I had nothing to do with 2 mana so I was saving my mana for if he did nothing to cycle the Sojourners to pump my guy. The Sojourners is also a good answer to Wreched Banquet here). Turn 4 I draw Mountain, cycle sojourners and use Unstable Frontier to swing for 6, puts him on 8. He untaps and plays a Vedalken Outland. I have drawn the Colossal Might by this point so with him having Red and Black untapped I goes for the win on my Wild Nacatl, Might it and use Unstable Frontier, swinging for exactly lethal. Busted starts I tells you.
Match 2 vs. Bant:
Game 1: I get a few dudes and he gets a Topan Ascetic so neither of us swing. He makes Pale Recluse and then Knight of New Alara. He swings with the 6/7 Reculse and I block with a 2/2, a 2/2 and a 3/3 since he is tapped out. He assigns 4 damage to the 3/3 and 2 damage to the Wild Nacatl 2/2 so I cycle Naya Sojourners to save it. I have a Colossal Might in hand I can pump the Minotaur with but I want to save a trick to try to deal with that stupid Liege. I make a guy and he makes Skyward Eye Prophets and a Naya Hushblade, which are both silly big. I make a Matca Rioters and pass. He plays Cycle of the Nayan Gods (you can hardcast it?) on his Knight of New Alara and swings with all 3 multicolour guys. Seizing the opportunity I block with enough to keep a 4/4 in play and kill his dudes after the Liege has gone away. "Oh, I'll know that for next time" he says.. I can't draw many more dudes so I lose after my 2/1 races his 2/3 flier and 2/4 ground guy but it was a close one after his big mistake.
Game 2: I mull to 5 and keep a 1 land, landcycler, cycle hand but don't draw anything relevant (a land) so he wins.
I'll probably do another couple of drafts today but don't expect reports. See you on Wednesday