Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Drafting with Wagz #4 - With added Fu

By Wagz

Tonight's draft was in conjunction with Fu. It is a good idea to draft with other people because you get to discuss picks and plays. If you cannot justify your pick/play to another person then maybe it isn't the best idea anyway. It also means you both might find new cards you otherwise wouldn't play with and such. I have drafted with Rik, Joe Churcher, Martin, Ben Heath, Andy Edwards and Mick Edwards at various points and it's always more fun in numbers :). Note that this is illegal in real life Magic but unenforcable online. Onto the picks:

------ ALA ------

Pack 1 pick 1:
Sigil Blessing, Court Archers, Viashino Skeleton, Call to Heel, Excommunicate, Viscera Dragger, Carrion Thrash, Vithian Stinger, Gift of the Gargantuan, Outrider of Jhess, Blood Cultist, Dragon's Herald, Corpse Connoisseur, Tezzeret the Seeker, Mountain

We take the Mythic Rare. Online you are more prone to take cards worth Tix since you can more easily get your money back, but Planeswalkers are nearly always great anyway. Tezzeret is IMO by far the weakest Planeswalker, at least in Draft, but you can build a deck around him and is an excellent start to an Artifact deck.

Pack 1 pick 2:
Cancel, Obelisk of Jund, Volcanic Submersion, Rakeclaw Gargantuan, Onyx Goblet, Spell Snip, Guardians of Akrasa, Goblin Mountaineer, Shore Snapper, Qasali Ambusher, Demon's Herald, Sangrite Surge, Quietus Spike, Island

I am always happy to abandon Tezzeret after picking him and want to take Qasali Ambusher but Fu convinces me to go with the Quietus Spike since UB and UW have good fliers you can equip it to. I don't like paying 3 to equip stuff unless it's a Hammer since it is not good tempo until late late game.

Pack 1 pick 3:
Viashino Skeleton, Call to Heel, Excommunicate, Viscera Dragger, Druid of the Anima, Thorn-Thrash Viashino, Soul's Grace, Mosstodon, Waveskimmer Aven, Elvish Visionary, Jund Battlemage, Angel's Herald, Forest

The green drafter in me again wants me to take Waveskimmer Aven but we take the Viscera Dragger. It's a fairly solid card anyway and helps us to pass a lot of Green cards for signals.

Pack 1 pick 4:
Kederekt Creeper, Resounding Roar, Jhessian Lookout, Welkin Guide, Undead Leotau, Obelisk of Grixis, Blister Beetle, Cavern Thoctar, Angelic Benediction, Sphinx's Herald, Gather Specimens, Swamp

Still good Naya cards in here, but Blister Beetle is good - better than it used to be even, so we take the little critter. We are wary of having too few artifacts - not many getting passed is not a good sign.

Pack 1 pick 5:
Tortoise Formation, Coma Veil, Sanctum Gargoyle, Etherium Sculptor (FOIL), Outrider of Jhess, Grixis Panorama, Obelisk of Bant, Seaside Citadel, Bant Battlemage, Scourge Devil, Mountain

Or is it? We obv take Sanctum Gargoyle but are not sure what's going on. Was there a better artifact in there? We just need to buckle down and cut our colours heavily now since there's not really anything to move into.

Pack 1 pick 6:
Thorn-Thrash Viashino, Yoked Plowbeast, Banewasp Affliction, Rakeclaw Gargantuan (FOIL), Soul's Grace, Kathari Screecher, Scavenger Drake, Dawnray Archer, Immortal Coil, Plains

I convince Fu to take the Kathari Screecher now as it curves well and has Unearth but he wanted the Scavenger Drake. I like that guy as well but it just doesn't do enough quick enough any more.

Pack 1 pick 7:
Steelclad Serpent, Marble Chalice, Viscera Dragger, Obelisk of Grixis, Resounding Scream, Bloodthorn Taunter, Cavern Thoctar, Sunseed Nurturer, Plains

A second Viscera Dragger is much better than a Steelclad Serpent and gives us a better Black deck. We are losing the artifact focus and may just be splashing Sanctum Gargoyle, we'll see.

Pack 1 pick 8:
Goblin Mountaineer, Carrion Thrash, Glaze Fiend, Gift of the Gargantuan, Obelisk of Bant, Esper Charm, Cunning Lethemancer, Forest

Esper Charm isn't a bad pick here, it means the guys a couple to our right probably aren't in Esper, or that the shard is under-drafted around the table.

Pack 1 pick 9:
Viashino Skeleton, Carrion Thrash, Gift of the Gargantuan, Outrider of Jhess, Dragon's Herald, Corpse Connoisseur, Mountain

Corpse Connoisseur is not as good as he used to be. Having said that, we have 3 Unearth cards already so we do take it.

Pack 1 pick 10:
Volcanic Submersion, Onyx Goblet, Shore Snapper, Demon's Herald, Sangrite Surge, Island

Onyx Goblet might combo with Tezzeret?

Pack 1 pick 11-15
Excommunicate, Undead Leotau, Coma Veil, Soul's Grace, Plains

Leotau is fine, not much to see here.

------ CON ------
Pack 2 pick 1:
Esper Cormorants, Unsummon, Rhox Meditant, Vedalken Outlander, Absorb Vis, Brackwater Elemental, Suicidal Charge, Maniacal Rage, Rotting Rats, Goblin Outlander, Vagrant Plowbeasts, Gluttonous Slime, Esperzoa, Rakka Mar, Island

I have come to the conclusion that Esperzoa is a trick, he's far too slow in real life. Doesn't work without several Moxen. Esper Cormorants is obviously fine but I make us take Rakka Mar. She is an absolute bomb if we are willing to splash Red and it doesn't look like artifacts are working out for us.

Pack 2 pick 2:
Matca Rioters, Darklit Gargoyle, Wretched Banquet, Esper Cormorants, Quenchable Fire, Tukatongue Thallid, Lapse of Certainty, Rupture Spire, Suicidal Charge, Ancient Ziggurat, Nacatl Hunt-Pride, Viashino Slaughtermaster, Exotic Orchard, Plains

Shame to pass a second Esper Cormorants, but Exotic Orchard is really great in the format.

Pack 2 pick 3:
Dark Temper, Frontline Sage, Aven Squire, Wretched Banquet, Sylvan Bounty, Canyon Minotaur, Constricting Tendrils, Tukatongue Thallid, Asha's Favor, Corrupted Roots, Spore Burst, Dreadwing, Island

Dark Temper is a fine removal spell if we are increasing our Red quotient with so many Black creatures already.

Pack 2 pick 4:
Pestilent Kathari, Valeron Outlander, Armillary Sphere, Aven Trailblazer, Brackwater Elemental, Exploding Borders, Maniacal Rage, Nacatl Outlander, Sludge Strider (FOIL), Cumber Stone, Reliquary Tower, Plains

Armillary Sphere will obviously help our mana, but Sludge Strider is what we take, hoping to revive our artifact theme.

Pack 2 pick 5:
Bone Saw, Sedraxis Alchemist, Vedalken Outlander, Rhox Bodyguard, Wandering Goblins, Valiant Guard, Salvage Slasher, Jhessian Balmgiver, Nacatl Hunt-Pride, Elder Mastery, Mountain

We take Sedraxis Alchemist, and excellent creature in UB.

Pack 2 pick 6:
Absorb Vis, Valeron Outlander, Sylvan Bounty, Aven Squire, Pestilent Kathari, Asha's Favor, Grixis Illusionist, Lapse of Certainty, Shard Convergence, Forest

We'll need this Absorb Vis to cast our splashed spells.

Pack 2 pick 7:
Darklit Gargoyle, Wretched Banquet, Quenchable Fire, Tukatongue Thallid, Lapse of Certainty, Rupture Spire, Suicidal Charge, Gluttonous Slime, Mountain

Ditto about Rupture Spire

Pack 2 pick 8:
Absorb Vis, Unsummon (FOIL), Asha's Favor, Grixis Illusionist, Lapse of Certainty, Ancient Ziggurat, Controlled Instincts, Swamp

I think I put together a decent case for Ziggurat but we go with the more consistent Absorb Vis, which will help cast any Thopter Foundries or Terminates we see in pack 3.

Pack 2 pick 9:
Unsummon, Rhox Meditant, Vedalken Outlander, Brackwater Elemental, Rotting Rats, Goblin Outlander, Island

Can't argue with an Outlander. We take the Goblin one but I can see Fu's not keen. Probably should have taken the artifact one as it's fetchable, but pro: white is much more relevant in shards limited.

Pack 2 pick 10:
Wretched Banquet, Quenchable Fire, Tukatongue Thallid, Lapse of Certainty, Ancient Ziggurat, Plains

Wretched Banquet is a removal spell, which we sorely need.

Pack 2 pick 11-15:
Corrupted Roots, Cumber Stone, Salvage Slasher, Asha's Favor, Mountain

Cumber Stone is a good sideboard card. I like to play it main if I have 2 or more.

------ ARB ------
Pack 3 pick 1:
Vithian Renegades, Meddling Mage, Mountain, Bant Sojourners, Sigiled Behemoth, Etherium Abomination, Esper Sojourners, Enlisted Wurm, Marrow Chomper, Sewn-Eye Drake, Mistvein Borderpost, Glassdust Hulk, Bant Sureblade, Terminate, Igneous Pouncer

A quick check reveals Meddling Mage is going for 1.2 Tix, so we take the Terminate.

Pack 3 pick 2:
Sanity Gnawers, Sages of the Anima, Forest, Godtracker of Jund, Igneous Pouncer, Esper Sojourners, Grizzled Leotau, Stun Sniper, Singe-Mind Ogre, Deadshot Minotaur, Talon Trooper, Grixis Grimblade, Soul Manipulation, Offering to Asha

Grixis Grimblade is one of my preferred Blades and is welcome in our early-drop-light deck.

Pack 3 pick 3:
Colossal Might, Jhessian Zombies, Ethersworn Shieldmage, Naya Sojourners, Gorger Wurm, Vedalken Ghoul, Violent Outburst, Naya Hushblade, Vectis Dominator, Firewild Borderpost, Demonspine Whip, Etherwrought Page, Plains

We want to take the Shieldmage, but Fu's brother (a national team member) won a draft with 3 Etherwrought Pages so we take it to try it out.

Pack 3 pick 4:
Fieldmist Borderpost, Putrid Leech, Colossal Might, Pale Recluse, Naya Sojourners, Demonic Dread, Magefire Wings, Sigil of the Nayan Gods, Arsenal Thresher, Unbender Tine, Dragon Appeasement, Mountain

Fieldmist Borderpost helps us a lot.

Pack 3 pick 5:
Singe-Mind Ogre, Soul Manipulation, Stormcaller's Boon, Veinfire Borderpost, Jund Sojourners, Breath of Malfegor, Etherium Abomination, Gloryscale Viashino, Mage Slayer, Anathemancer, Island

As does Veinfire Borderpost.

Pack 3 pick 6:
Gorger Wurm, Leonin Armorguard, Architects of Will, Fieldmist Borderpost, Arsenal Thresher, Demonic Dread, Offering to Asha, Firewild Borderpost, Morbid Bloom, Mountain

As does Fieldmist Borderpost. We now have good mana, possibly.

Pack 3 pick 7:
Swamp, Godtracker of Jund, Igneous Pouncer, Esper Sojourners, Grizzled Leotau, Zealous Persecution, Singe-Mind Ogre, Jhessian Zombies (FOIL), Offering to Asha

Fu wants Esper Sojourners, I want Igneous Pouncer. We take Zealous Persecution as it is really strong.

Pack 3 pick 8:
Jhessian Zombies, Ethersworn Shieldmage, Naya Sojourners, Vedalken Ghoul, Violent Outburst, Vectis Dominator, Fight to the Death, Mountain

I think we just got flashed by a Shieldmage. This guy is the nuts.

Pack 3 pick 9:
Mountain, Bant Sojourners, Esper Sojourners, Mistvein Borderpost, Glassdust Hulk, Bant Sureblade, Igneous Pouncer

The good thing about few people drafting Esper is that you get stuff like Glassdust Hulk tabling.

Pack 3 pick 10:
Sages of the Anima, Forest, Godtracker of Jund, Igneous Pouncer, Esper Sojourners, Offering to Asha

Got my Igneous Pouncer. I love this guy. I've swung for the win out of nowhere for no reason with him a few times.

Pack 3 pick 11:
Ethersworn Shieldmage, Vedalken Ghoul, Violent Outburst, Vectis Dominator, Plains

2nd Shieldmage is very welcome.

Pack 3 pick 12-15:
Unbender Tine, Etherium Abomination, Demonic Dread, Swamp

We won the draft with more than a bit of luck. We didn't play optimally (I had the mouse, so it was mostly my fault) but curved out pretty well and didn't get manascrewed. We managed to Shieldmage our opponents first guy game one all 3 matches, but one of them had Call to Heel for his own guy. We never did draw Rakka Mar but always had the mana for her, which never interfered with playing our other guys. Tezzeret was less than awesome for us, getting us 3 Borderposts and 1 Etherwrought Page. He did save us some damage and fix our mana though, so he was probably worth it. I drew the right lands at the right time a lot too, Fu had a face of disbelief :).

Anyway, the moral is: draft with other people because you will get a new experience out of it. If anyone wants to draft with me (and has a draft set on MTGO) then let me know and I'll try to find some time. Cheers guys, Wagz

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