Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Draft Report - Oct 2, 2010

This Saturday we had a 4-person draft with my cube, with the same group from Friday. It's remarkable how harder it is, in smaller drafts, to take the deck in the direction you want. They end up less cohesive because the card pool is smaller.

I started drafting WG control, which I want to try badly in my cube, but green stopped coming at all. I had to switch to WB control, after a while trying to get fixing for a WGB deck, and failing. Half of my deck was creature removal, which turned out to be too much. The other players had BR burn, WUG control and WRG aggro, so all my removal was only effective against the aggro deck.

The final standings were:
- WB Control (3-0, 6-2)
- WUG Control (2-1, 5-3)
- BR Burn (1-2, 3-4)
- WRG Aggro (0-3, 1-6)

After the 3 rounds we played a 2-headed giant game which was quite boring. My WB control paired with the WRG aggro, while the BR burn was with the WUG control, so there wasn't much creature action as there was a lot of removal on everyone's hands. The game became nearly locked on the 4th turn when I imprinted Bone Shredder onto Soul Foundry, but since they had a lot of removal as well, we didn't manage to do more than ping them with Shredder copies each turn. Realizing this game was going to be like that until they drew artifact removal and overwhelmed us with creature quality, we held a few lands and then I cast Catastrophe destroying all lands. They had a Junktroller refueling their libraries with lands though, and the burn player was digging towards them with Crystal Ball, so we were on a clock despite a small initial advantage. We dealt a lot of damage with a Goblin Balloon Brigade enchanted with Boar Umbra, and just after they got enough mana to cast Chandra Ablaze and kill it, we got through the last 4 damage with Dread Statuary.

My deck was just a standard WB control with too much creature hate for the environment, so nothing very interesting about it. The WRG aggro didn't work very well. The other 2 decks are interesting, so I'll analyze them further.

WUG Control
7 Island
6 Forest
4 Plains
Graypelt Refuge
Simic Growth Chamber

Odious Trow
Arbor Elf
Surveilling Sprite
Frontier Guide
Thalakos Scout
Yavimaya Elder
Calcite Snapper
Ninja of the Deep Hours
Juniper Order Ranger
Overbeing of Myth
Arcanis the Omnipotent

Pendrell Flux
Mana Leak
Legacy's Allure
Paralyzing Grasp
Armadillo Cloak
Mystic Melting
Overwhelming Stampede

This control deck is a bit slow at the beginning, but it's filled with card advantage everywhere. It plays a lot of creatures, which is atypical for control, and they serve defensive and offensive purposes. The defense is characterized by the hard to kill blockers Odious Trow, Junktroller and Calcite Snapper. It does well on the offense as well, with Ninja of the Deep Hours, Rhox, Armadillo Cloak and Amugaba, frequently ending games sudddenly via Overwhelming Stampede. Counterspell and removal support complete the package.

On the long run, this is the most balanced and powerful deck of all four.

BR Burn
7 Mountain
5 Swamp
Akoum Refuge
Tresserhorn Sinks

Child of Night
Reassembling Skeleton
Ironclaw Orcs
Skirk Shaman
Noggle Bandit
Flametongue Kavu
Heartless Hidetsugu
Jiwari, the Earth Aflame
Kulrath Knight
Vampiric Dragon

Mox Diamond
Voltaic Key
Guerrilla Tactics
Fellwar Stone
Puncture Blast
Arc Lightning
Grafted Wargear
Crystal Ball
Coalition Relic
Darksteel Ingot
Lightning Blast
Solar Blast
Panoptic Mirror
Chandra Ablaze
Slice and Dice

This deck plays 14/42 lands, much much less than the default 17/40. It makes up for it, however, with a lot of acceleration artifacts. Its main plan is to hit the opponent relentlessly with direct burn and aggressive creatures. It has a good midgame with Crystal Ball, Panoptic Mirror and the three 5cc creatures, Heartless Hidetsugu, Jiwari, the Earth Aflame and Kulrath Knight. It's a very unusual deck for this cube, and it worked well sometimes, racing fast when it had a powerful damage engine going on like Panoptic Mirror + Arc Lightning, Heartless Hidetsugu or a creature with Grafted Wargear. It suffered against control decks when they had time to stabilize though.

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