Monday, November 8, 2010

Draft Report - Nov 6, 2010

7 people came over for my birthday draft. We missed some matches, but by the end of the night the standings were:

- UB Aggro (4-0, 8-4)
- Bw Control (4-2, 10-6)
- WRG Midrange (4-2, 10-7)
- UG Midrange(3-1, 7-5)
- WUG Midrange (1-3, 4-6)
- UR Aggro (1-5, 5-11)
- WU Control (0-4, 3-8)

Again there was balance, given that 4 out of 7 people were serious contenders for 1st place. Green seemed to pull people towards midrange, so maybe I should improve its early early drops to strengthen aggro and its defense to help control. Also, we used 16-card boosters instead of 15, with one nonbasic extra land in each. The rationale behind this change is that nonbasic lands help multicolored decks and reduce mana screw, some aspects in which I'm trying to improve my cube.

Bw Control

10 Swamp
5 Plains
Grand Coliseum
Thawing Glaciers

Dauthi Horror
Nezumi Cutthroat
Kitsune Blademaster
Hypnotic Specter
Murderous Redcap
Extractor Demon
Ascendant Evincar
Oona, Queen of the Fae

Innocent Blood
Last Gasp
Night's Whisper
Doom Blade
Hymn to Tourach
Sword of Light and Shadow
Cage of Hands
Oblivion Ring
Phyrexian Arena
Icy Manipulator
Faith's Fetters
Diabolic Tutor

I started drafting a monoblack control deck, but I realized any anti-black creature would ruin my day by itself, and since I was lacking removal anyway, I added a bit of white. The final deck had great disruption capabilities in discard and versatile removal, but lacked efficient creatures. Dauthi Horror and Nezumi Cutthroat were not at their best here, I'd rather have defensive guys in those slots, but they were my only 2-drops. Oona, Queen of the Fae and Sword of Light and Shadow, however, stole some games that seemed unwinnable, like one in which I had a starting hand comprised of 5 lands and Duress, and hit nothing with the Duress. I was being beaten by a Great Sable Stag when I found a Diabolic Tutor which fetched me Oona, stalling the rest of my opponent's offense long enough to mill him, who had overwhelming card advantage.

UG Midrange

9 Island
8 Forest
Treetop Village

Birds of Paradise
Great Sable Stag
Wall of Blossoms
Ohran Viper
Lorescale Coatl
Boggart Ram-Gang
Wickerbough Elder
Phantom Centaur
Meloku the Clouded Mirror
Spectral Force
Draining Whelk
Phantom Wurm

Ancestral Vision
Scythe of the Wretched
Memory Lapse
Remove Soul
Puppet Strings
Frantic Search
Paralyzing Grasp
Mystic Melting
Control Magic
Stunted Growth

Apparently UG is the combination of brute card advantage. This deck has the capacity to overwhelm the opponent by casting a neverending stream of threats. The four counterspells (Remove Soul, Memory Lapse, Condescend and Draining Whelk) buy time and protect board position, and the filtering, drawing and scrying capabilities make sure the deck finds answers when needed. Control Magic, Ancestral Vision and Ohran Viper are powerful card advantage engines, glueing together a great deck.

UB Aggro

5 Swamp
5 Island
Dimir Aqueduct
Faerie Conclave
Jwar Isle Refuge
Crumbling Necropolis
Rupture Spire
Soldevi Excavations
Gemstone Caverns

Flying Men
Lurking Informant
Merfolk Looter
Cabal Interrogator
Dusk Urchins
Phyrexian Rager
Dauthi Marauder
Undead Gladiator
Plague Sliver
Fallen Angel

Dark Ritual
Inquisition of Kozilek
Mana Leak
Chainer's Edict
Compulsive Research
Rend Flesh
Psionic Blast
Panoptic Mirror
Living Death

The first thing that stands out here is the mana base: 10 basic and 7 nonbasic lands. This helped the deck's mana base immensely, while also providing utility effects via Faerie Conclave and Soldevi Excavations. The creature suite is great, mixing aggressive staples like Fallen Angel and Dauthi Marauder with hand and library manipulators, like Cabal Interrogator and Merfolk Looter. Actually, I believe this deck to be aggro, but it stands on the fine line between aggro and aggro-control because of its disruption elements: Brainbite, Mana Leak, Repeal and Inquisition of Kozilek.

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