Friday, July 17, 2015

Magic Origins Draft #1: You're Going to Put *What* in Your Deck?

My daughter was so eager to draft Magic Origins that she practically ran the half-mile to the game store.  Truth be told I may have been nearly as excited - but alas, when you're a parent, sometimes you just have to restrain yourself.

The Draft and the Decks

Thirty-one people showed up, which worked out to three pods of 8 and one pod of 7.  My daughter and I ended up in separate pods, and the draft began.

Much of my initial excitement waned during the draft; after M15, there is nothing quite so disheartening as opening two painlands as your rare (the third rare was even less memorable).  My first pick was an Unholy Hunger, my next an Undercity Troll.  Then two Ghirapur Gearcrafters were passed to me, and I decided to go in on Red.

Here's the deck I ended up with:

  CREATURES (15)  
Boggart Brute
Elvish Visionary
Firefiend Elemental
Ghirapur Gearcrafter x2
Hitchclaw Recluse
Pharika's Disciple
Prickleboar x2
Seismic Elemental
Separatist Voidmage
Skyraker Giant
Undercity Troll
Vastwood Gorger
Volcanic Rambler
Throwing Knife
  INSTANTS (6)  
Fiery Impulse
Might of the Masses
Ravaging Blaze x2
Send to Sleep
Lightning Javelin
  LANDS (17)  
Evolving Wilds
Forest x6
Island x2
Mountain x8
Anointer of Champions
Deep-Sea Terror
Eyeblight Assassin
Macabre Waltz
Maritime Guard
Nivix Barrier x2
Possessed Skaab
Rabid Bloodsucker
Scrapskin Drake
Swift Reckoning
Thunderclap Wyvern
Totem-Guide Hartebeest
Unholy Hunger
Veteran's Sidearm
Volcanic Rambler

"You went three colors again?" my daughter exclaimed disapprovingly when she came by to check out my build.

I explained to her that the Blue was more of a splash, meant for the late game when I needed to temporarily remove a particularly problematic threat or blocker.  I also noted that if  I had seen better threats in Red or Green, I would have taken those instead and happily remained in two colors.  But I am of the philosophy that staying two colors for the sake of staying two colors is not the best idea, often leading to slogs of a game where an opponent plays a bomb and you just stare at it with a sinking feeling in your stomach, knowing that there's no way you can deal with it.

My daughter seemed unconvinced by my explanation.

I started looking over her deck.  And then, in my finest hour as a father, I persuaded her that putting The Great Aurora in her deck was not the best idea.  If she didn't care about winning, I wouldn't have mentioned it.  But although my daughter is very gracious when she loses, I know her heart, and I know that she lives for a chance at victory.

Here's the deck that she ended up using:

  CREATURES (15)  
Conclave Naturalists
Embermaw Hellion
Goblin Glory Chaser
Leaf Gilder x2
Pharika's Disciple x2
Rhox Maulers
Seismic Elemental
Timberpack Wolf x3
Vastwood Gorger x2
Sigil of Valor
  INSTANTS (4)  
Chandra's Fury
Might of the Masses x2
Titan's Strength
Dragon Fodder
Gather the Pack
Wild Instincts
  LANDS (17)  
Foundry of the Consuls
Forest x9
Mountain x7
Akroan Jailer
Call of the Full Moon
Chandra's Fury
Cobblebrute x2
Evolving Wilds
Heavy Infantry
Infectious Bloodlust
Jayemdae Tome
Kytheon's Tactics
Maritime Guard
Prism Ring
Send to Sleep
Smash to Smithereens
The Great Aurora
Totem-Guide Hartebeest
Undead Servant

Round 1

My opponent played a Red-White aggro deck.  He combined efficient creatures with devastating combat spells that could turn fearsome attacks into lethal damage.  In game 1, he brought me low with a Titan's Strength on Iroas's Champion, followed by Pia and Kiran Nalaar throwing a thopter in my face to finish me off.  Game 2 went better with me, as I was able to stabilize early and eventually wear him down.  Sadly for me, game 3 was much like the first.

In the meantime my daughter defeated her opponent, a young boy without much Magic experience.

  • Me: L (1-2)
  • My Daughter: W (2-0)

Round 2

In round 2 my opponent's deck - Green-Black - was nowhere near as fast as my round 1 opponent's.  In both games I was able to establish an early board presence, and then use my removal and combat tricks to swing in for huge chunks of damage at a time.

My daughter did not fare so well this round.

  • Me: W (2-0)
  • My Daughter: L (0-2)

Round 3

Round 3 played out similarly to round 2 for both my daughter and me.  This time my opponent played Green-White.  He also played a lot of early weak threats that pinged me early but could do nothing in the mid-game.  Once I got my beefier creatures in front of his, there wasn't much he could do.

  • Me: W (2-0)
  • My Daughter: L (0-2)


Although I was a bit saddened that I didn't get a chance to draft a beefy rare, I felt that my deck still performed well.  It was competitive in my one loss, and excelled in my wins.  Playing three colors was never an issue, and I never drew a blue spell I was unable to play.

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