Sunday, December 26, 2010

Parallel Winston Draft Report - Dec 16, 2010

We intended to do a Winston draft with 3 or 4 people last Thursday, but since we had 5, we thought Winston would be too slow (it doesn't scale well). We invented, then, a weird process of drafting: it's like Winston, except there is a set of 3 piles for each player. Each round, a player does what he would do normally in a Winston draft with the piles in front of him (take a pile or a random card from the top, adding a card to each pile that was looked at but not taken). Then, everyone walks one position around the table (we did it anti-clockwise, but that's irrelevant). This is repeated until all piles are taken.

There was a concern that this would be confusing, but it wasn't as long as we kept all players synchronized. In the end, there were some great decks and some bad ones, and I'm not sure why there was such a high variance in power level. It was a very fun draft though, as there was a lot of tension in the choice of taking a pile of not. I should also mention that we used 4 boosters per player, instead of 3, as Winston tends to create less powerful decks. The final results were:

- WU Control (3-0, 6-0)
- WR Aggro-midrange (3-1, 6-3)
- BG (1-1, 3-2)
- BR (0-2, 0-4)
- UG Aggro-control (0-3, 0-6)

WU Control

7 Island
7 Plains
Soldevi Excavations
Seaside Citadel
Celestial Colonnade

Wall of Glare
Halimar Wavewatch
Swans of Bryn Argoll
Serra Angel
Oona, Queen of the Fae
Eternal Dragon
Ith, High Arcanist

Force Spike
Prophetic Prism
Into the Roil
Recumbent Bliss
Solemn Offering
Wing Shards
Serrated Arrows
Fact or Fiction
Faith's Fetters
Kirtar's Wrath

This deck felt awesome to play, it had a wide array of answers to everything, resilient finishers, powerful removal and card smoothing. Wall of Glare and Halimar Wavewatch helped early defense, the several spot removals controlled the game which creating card advantage and then Eternal Dragon, Oona, Queen of the Fae, Swans of Bryn Argoll and Celestial Colonnade took the game. Actually, I quickly milled one opponent with Swans and Oona combined in a game, which was a quite weird way to kill.

WR Aggro-midrange

9 Plains
10 Mountain

Boros Guildmage
Blood Knight
Hand of Honor
Fire Imp
Aven Mindcensor
Stillmoon Cavalier
Galepowder Mage
Coal Stoker
Brion Stoutarm
Rakka Mar
Stormfront Riders
Crater Hellion
Butcher Orgg

Lightning Greaves
Zektar Shrine Expedition
Grafted Wargear
Crystal Ball
Oblivion Ring
Puncture Blast
Glorious Anthem
Story Circle
Sulfuric Vortex

A deck that's aggressive yet develops later than aggro usually does, gaining long term power. Its aggression comes not in tempo, but in sheer power of the threats, combined with cards that build a great late game as Crystal Ball, Earthquake, Stormfront Riders and Story Circle. I don't think Pandemonium was ever cast though, which is sad - I'm curious about how it'll work.

UG Aggro-control

9 Island
8 Forest

Scythe Tiger
Simic Guildmage
Coral Merfolk
Spiketail Hatchling
Vinelasher Kudzu
Wake Thrasher
Omnath, Locus of Mana
Great Sable Stag
Calcite Snapper
Aether Adept
Ninja of the Deep Hours
Precursor Golem

Dolmen Gate
Sword of Light and Shadow
Elephant Guide
Call of the Herd

An aggressive UG deck that consistently drops several threats in the early game then goes on to guarantee board position with counterspells, auras and disruption. Although the deck didn't do well, I played some matches with it some days later, and I guess the bad result was due to some combination of bad luck and little sleep.

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