Thursday, 8 October 2009

Shiny New Zendikards!

By Wagz

Hi all! I haven't written a column in a long while. Mostly the reason for this was a) going on holiday, then b) helping run WNM having passed my level 1 judge test. Under the previous tournament rules if you are judging an event then you cannot play in it. This rules makes obvious sense at high-level events, but at low-level events such as WNM it is a little annoying to not be able to get in on the action. Thankfully, as of October 1st this rule has been altered and I can take part in drafts. Yay for me! With that in mind, I took part in last night's draft, the first with Zendikar, and the biggest draft in a very long time - 26 players making 3 pods.

Before I got through my deck I'll mention some of my picks. My first pick was Kor Hookmaster. I got some criticism for this from people who haven't yet worked out how good this guy is. The booster was fairly shallow anyway without any removal spells so I was basically taking the best creature and hopefully one without too much of a mana commitment. This guy is the nuts, helping to race, helping to stay in the game. He does so much for so little. Anyway, I then got passed 2 Burst Lightning and Errant Ephemeron.. I mean Windrider Eel. So I felt pretty committed to Red Blue at this point. The Lightnings can be easily splashed, but I was getting passed them and most of the colours in this set want a good commitment to those colours - so if you can just run them as part of your colour that is better than splashing them. I went for a good tempo deck with a hint of Landfall going on, probably not taking the best use of the mechanics in the set but getting a deck which was likely to get there a few times:

2x Plated Geopede
1x Goblin Shortcutter
1x Welkin Tern
1x Tempest Owl
1x Torch Slinger
1x Ruinous Minotaur
1x Gomazoa
2x Shatterskull Giant
1x Bladetusk Boar
1x Windrider Eel
1x Merfolk Seastalkers
1x Living Tsunami
1x Sky Ruin Drake
1x Trusty Machete
2x Burst Lightning
1x Ior Ruin Expedition
1x Magma Rift
1x Paralyzing Grasp
2x Spire Barrage
1x Khalni Gem
2x Teetering Peaks
7x Mountain
7x Island

This is a good deck. Some notes on the play: I didn't kick Torch Slinger, instead running him out on turn 3 just to get a guy on the board. Limited is about getting guys down and beating face, or making sure your opponent can't do that. You don't want to skip your turn 3 to have a slightly better turn 5. Khalni Gem was solid, not for the mana fixing, but to reload on landfall and Teetering Peaks. The Peaks were good for pumping my blue fliers - it is wasted on red creatures mostly. I also had 4 Faceburn spells, which help seal the deal if my evasive and massive guys don't get me there.

In the event I went 2-0-1, ID-ing with Mick in the final (he likes to keep his rating and I like to keep my winning record against him :p) though he looked at my deck and reckoned I'd have won anyway. I heard a lot of people saying they just didn't know what to draft in this format. I think it's basically like a normal format - if you can "theme out" your deck then that can help but just make sure you have good creatures and removal as always. Don't confuse your deck's aim by playing off-theme cards (my Gomazoa was good on the day but doesn't beat so was probably the wrong card for my deck) and make sure you have a good curve but something to use the excess mana in the end (Kicker is good here). Thanks for reading, see you next Tuesday for Standard.

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