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.

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