Friday, May 20, 2011

Winchester Draft

Today Tom LaPille posted at Daily MTG a new 2-person draft format, similar to Winston but faster and more intense. It sounds like a good upgrade to our default small group draft format:

Winchester Draft

Basically it's Winston but with 4 face-up piles instead of 3 face-down ones, so that instead of looking sequentially at the piles, you look at all of them, pick one, replace it with a card and add a card to each other pile. It's more skill intensive because choices are more informed.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Draft Report - May 14, 2011

- Naka (WU Control) 4-1, 9-4
- Thomas (BG Control) 4-1, 9-4
- Kamila (WU Control) 3-2, 6-5
- TBT (R Aggro) 2-3, 6-7
- Érico (BG Midrange) 1-4, 4-9
- Vitinho (WG Midrange) 1-4, 3-8

In a metagame heavy on control, midranges suffer and the slowest control wins. This time theory and practice agreed, in a draft where decks were exceptionally powerful after my recent changes in the cube.

It's worth noting that WU and BG were each drafted by 2 people, R was given all to one single person and WG stayed out of this mess. Therefore, only 3 of the 10 two-color combinations were used, leaving most multicolored stuff and several nonbasic lands sitting uselessly in sideboards.

Intesting fact: R Aggro was defeated twice by poison, and by different opponents. BG Control killed with an unanswerable Phyrexian Crusader, while Kamila's WU Control stole a Taurean Mauler with Corrupted Conscience.

WU Control

6 Plains
6 Island
Mystifying Maze
Faerie Conclave
Celestial Colonnade
Evolving Wilds
Seaside Citadel
Urza's Factory

Oona's Gatewarden
Goldmeadow Harrier
Azorius Guildmage
Darksteel Myr
Wall of Frost
Meloku the Clouded Mirror
Archon of Justice
Oona, Queen of the Fae

Ancestral Vision
Swords to Plowshares
Curse of Chains
Icy Manipulator
Control Magic
Wrath of God
Day of Judgment
Phyrexian Rebirth

An old school control deck, resembling a lot legacy's Landstill - mass removal, counterspells, resilient victory conditions in the lands (in constructed Kjeldoran Outpost, Mishra's Factory and Faerie Conclave, here Celestial Colonnade, Urza's Factory and the Conclave itself). Most importantly, Standstill, which present the lose-lose choice to the opponent of accelerating the game or allowing card disadvantage.

An interesting aspect of this deck was that with Icy Manipulator, Darksteel Myr and Mystifying Maze, I could force the opponent to overextend, while slow-rolling my three Wraths. This was great both in terms of card advantage as in tempo, causing the game to drag for long enough for me to accumulate 10+ lands and take it with manlands and token generators.

The deck's weakness became obvious in the match I lost, against R Sligh. With only Goldmeadown Harrier and Swords to Plowshares to defend against bloodthristy Genju of the Spires, Jackal Pup and Hellspark Elemental, my life total very quickly in two games, one closed by Manabarbs when I tapped out to block lethal.

BG Control

11 Swamp
5 Forest
City of Brass

Twinblade Slasher
Wall of Tanglecord
Dauthi Horror
Dauthi Marauder
Phyrexian Crusader
Silent Arbiter
Throat Slitter
Sapling of Colfenor
Nath of the Gilt-Leaf

Raven's Crime
Inquisition of Kozilek
Doom Blade
Chainer's Edict
Living Wish
Moment's Peace
Hymn to Tourach
Kor Dirge
Krosan Grip
Sudden Death
Soul Foundry
Mystic Melting

Relevant Sideboard:
Ob Nixilis, the Fallen
Acidic Slime
Vampire Hexmage
Silklash Spider

BG is an atypical color combination for control (I wanted a Pernicious Deed to change that). Despite this, the deck worked pretty well in disrupting the opponents' plans with lots of discard, versatile removal and card advantage engines like Nath of the Gilt-Leaf, Sapling of Colfenor and Soul Foundry. Living Wish gives access to silver-bullets out of the sideboard.

The deck's offense is varied: Dauthi Horror and Dauthi Marauder are virtually unblockable and can end long games by themselves. Nyxathid and Nath of the Gilt-Leaf will beat down crippled opponents quickly. The most reliable win condition is Soul Foundry, however slow it is. Hatred could steal games out of nowhere, forcing the opponent to play around it when he had a similar life total.

WU Control

11 Island
8 Plains
Halimar Depths

Isamaru, Hound of Konda
Kor Skyfisher
Kami of Ancient Law
Wake Thrasher
Ninja of the Deep Hours
Grand Arbiter Augustin IV
Harvest Gwyllion
Conundrum Sphinx
Djinn of Wishes

Force Spike
Lightning Graves
Raise the Alarm
Mana Leak
Sword of Light and Shadow
Paralyzing Grasp
Solemn Offering
Prison Term
Faith's Fetters
Corrupted Conscience

Another WU Control deck which plays quite differently than mine. I've seen the same archetype be possible with cardlists with little overlap, but since this one was created in the same draft as mine, the card lists' interesection was restricted to the basic lands.

The plan for this deck is to grind down the opponent with removal and counterspells while beating with a finisher or anything equipped with Sword of Light and Shadow. With only Conundrum Sphinx and Djinn of Wishes as fatties though, frequently Confiscate and Corrupted Conscience need to be used to steal a win condition.

The big merit of this deck is how broad the removal suite is. Problematic enchantments, artifacts and obviously creatures are shut down easily with Solemn Offering, Faith's Fetters, Chastise, Prison Term and Confiscate, among other options.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Historical Draft Report - Dec 18, 2010

Sorry, this one is a little late. I found it an old shoebox and just wanted to register.

- TBT (W Aggro-control) 5-0-1, 11-2-1
- Naka (BG Aggro) 4-2, 10-4
- Zaca (UG Aggro) 4-2, 8-6
- Érico (RG Aggo) 3-3, 7-7
- Kamila (UG Midrange) 2-4, 7-9
- Vitinho (UB Artifact-Control) 2-3-1, 5-8-1
- Camila (WU Control) 0-6, 0-12

W Aggro-control

15 Plains
Dread Statuary
Emeria, the Sky Ruin

Suture Spirit
Youthful Knight
Kor Skyfisher
Kami of Ancient Law
Wall of Glare
Galepowder Mage
Archon of Justice
Jareth, Leonin Titan

Temporal Isolation
Wing Shards
Oblivion Ring
Solemn Offering
Refraction Trap
Elspeth, Knight-Errant

BG Aggro

9 Swamp
7 Forest
Strip Mine

Twinblade Slasher
Golgari Guildmage
Child of Night
Fallen Askari
Oona's Prowler
Nezumi Graverobber
Hand of Cruelty
Putrid Leech
Hypnotic Specter
Ohran Viper
Howling Banshee
Vulturous Zombie

Mox Diamond
Chainer's Edict
Bad Moon
Night's Whisper
Rend Flesh
Phyrexian Arena
Ashes to Ashes
Living Death

New Card Batch 6

This time I'm not adding cards from any order or booster pack, just bringing back ones I had removed from the cube and a few from my collection.

The main points in this update were:

1. Taking out things that weren't played often.

2. Kicking out my rules of "no functional reprints" that was keeping Terramorphic Expanse and Elite Vanguard out because of Evolving Wilds and Savannah Lions.

3. Try out some stuff I have a good feeling about:

4. Bring back those cards we've missed:

5. After so much discussion, put Equilibrium in.

In: Kabira Crossroads, Rustin Clachan, Terramorphic Expanse
Out: Safe Haven, Mikokoro, Center of the Sea, Sejiri Steppe

In: Synod Sanctum, Trip Noose, Darksteel Myr, Whispersilk Cloak, Worn Powerstone, Orochi Hatchery
Out: Shriekhorn, Scuttlemutt, Portcullis, Clone Shell, Panoptic Mirror, Triskelion

In: Elite Vanguard, Sunlance, Raise the Alarm, Burrenton Bombardier, Kor Aeronaut, Renewed Faith, Celestial Crusader, Catastrophe, Revoke Existence, Mighty Leap
Out: Aven Mindcensor, Leonin Skyhunter, Temporal Isolation, Embolden, Myojin of Cleansing Fire, Guardian of the Guildpact, Shining Shoal, Refraction Trap, Blade of the Sixth Pride, Sunspring Expedition

In: Waterfront Bouncer, Esperzoa, Equilibrium, Cryptoplasm, Thrist for Knowledge, Darkslick Drake, Arcanis the Omnipotent
Out: Vedalken Engineer, Clone, Merfolk Looter, Sejiri Merfolk, Boomerang, Rhystic Study, Reality Strobe

In: Befoul, Persecute, Phyrexian Rager, Ostracize, Death Denied
Out: Barter in Blood, Measure of Wickedness, Night of Souls' Betrayal, Demonic Collusion, Decree of Pain

In: Fireslinger, Acidic Soil, Torchling, Chandra Ablaze, Blaze
Out: Pandemonium, Demolish, Ricochet Trap, Kazuul, Tyrant of the Cliffs, Fireblast

In: Llanowar Elves, Sylvan Safekeeper, Viridian Shaman, Acidic Slime, Deep Reconnaissance
Out: Bestial Menace, Krosan Tusker, Evolution Charm, Garruk's Packleader, Genju of the Cedars

In: Woodwraith Corrupter, Agony Warp, Simic Guildmage, Quicksilver Dagger, Order/Chaos
Out: Golgari Guildmage, Lim-Dûl's Vault, Temporal Spring, Inside Out, Fight to the Death

Friday, May 13, 2011

Draft Report - Apr 21, 2011

- Jão (BG Aggro-Midrange) 4-0, 8-3
- Érico (UR Counterburn) 2-2, 6-4
- Eric (WUG Aggro-Control) 2-2, 5-5
- Naka (WR Control) 1-3, 3-6
- Kamila (BG) 1-3, 3-7

I can't comment much about these deck because mine was pretty crappy and I did not last long in most games. The lists and their outline are below anyway.

BG Aggro-Midrange

7 Forest
8 Swamp
Tainted Forest

Birds of Paradise
Vinelasher Kudzu
Dauthi Horror
Wall of Blossoms
Nezumi Cutthroat
Fallen Askari
Nirkana Revenant
Great Sable Stag
Phyrexian Crusader
Murderous Redcap
Vulturous Zombie
Nath of the Gilt-Leaf
Steel Hellkite

Brittle Effigy
Dolmen Gate
Last Gasp
Chainer's Edict
Elephant Guide
Helm of Possession

A BG deck with lots of raw power all over the mana curve, putting pressure from the beginning and clearing the way for Nath of the Gilt-Leaf and Steel Hellkite. Helm of Possession was great backup in a deck with so many creatures.

UR Counterburn

9 Island
8 Mountain

Magus of the Scroll
Kjeldoran Marauders
Hellspark Elemental
Palladium Myr
Wake Thrasher
Razormane Masticore
Precursor Golem
Draining Whelk

Mox Diamond
Flayer Husk
Flame Slash
Lightning Bolt
Lightning Greaves
Mana Leak
Sword of Light and Shadow
Psionic Blast

A more aggressive build of counterburn, with Kjeldoran Marauders, Hellspark Elemental and Chronozoa to get in some damage quickly and lots of the spell that name the archetype.

WUG Aggro-Control

4 Plains
3 Island
Graypelt Refuge
Mosswort Bridge
Rupture Spire
Halimar Depths
Sejiri Refuge
Jungle Shrine
Krosan Verge
Jwar Isle Refuge

Enclave Cryptologist
Flying Men
Wall of Omens
Leonin Skyhunter
Coiling Oracle
Azorius Guildmage
Pianna, Nomad Captain
Lorescale Coatl
Soltari Crusader
Wall of Frost
Serra Angel
Tolsimir Wolfblood
Platinum Angel

Infiltration Lens
Mesmeric Orb
Legacy's Allure
Glorious Anthem
Squirrel Nest
Prison Term
Dismal Failure
Wrath of God
Phyrexian Rebirth

A deck which is interesting because of its mana base - the huge amount on nonbasic lands allow playing three colors with lots of double colored costs. Besides that, it puts pressure early with Pianna, Nomad Captain, Soltari Crusader and Leonin Skyhunter then switches to control mode until it can win with fatties or Phyrexian Rebirth.