Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Retrospective: The Dragons-Dragons-Fate Draft Format

I've recently started listening to the Limited Resources podcast, hosted by Marshall Sutcliffe and Luis Scott-Vargas.  Their most recent episode was the Dragons of Tarkir Sunset Show, where they evaluated the Dragons-Dragons-Fate draft format based on a variety of factors.

Sounds fun! I want to try!  But first, a warning: I am not a pro Magic player by any stretch of the imagination, so my evaluations are almost certainly surface-level and a bit... unique.

  • Favorite common in each color
    • White: Misthoof Kirin. I grew disenchanted - perhaps overly so - with Pacifism after a few initial drafts. There were just so many Dash and Exploit decks running around that Pacifism almost always felt like a dead card! On the other hand I never got tired of putting down Morphs on turns 3 and 4, and flipping them both up into Misthoof Kirins on turn 5. That always felt good.
    • Blue: Gurmag Drowner.  I didn't really love Blue this format. Gurmag Drowner was a nice blocker that had the fun side effect of causing your opponent to make the O_o face when you kept one card while discarding a Death Wind, Butcher's Glee, and Ojutai's Breath. That was always amusing.  And that one card you kept?  Hopefully a...
    • Black: Flatten. There's nothing quite so wonderful as smushing an opponent's shiny new dragon.
    • Red: Atarka Efreet. Red had a lot of good draft commons, but Atarka Efreet gets my vote because it FIRED (get it?) my imagination the most. Play it turn 3, then on turn 4 nuke your opponent's one potential blocker (who conveniently only has one toughness) before swinging in for six. On turn 5, add in a Dashed Goblin Heelcutter with a Temur Battle Rage!  Yeah, okay, it almost never happened like that. But still... !
    • Green: Glade Watcher. Green for me was a solid and unspectacular color. Dropping a Glade Watcher on turn 2 was always delightful, helping to stall my opponents while I built up my board. And I never felt bad trading it off if needed. I guess what I really mean here is: I'm picking Glade Watcher because it never made me feel terrible about my life choices.
  • Favorite uncommon: Rakshasa Gravecaller. It's a powerful card, and the art makes me think of a cat-demon leading a chorus line of zombies.
  • Card I liked better than anyone else: Myth Realized. I don't know what it is about this card, but I can't help picking it up whenever I see it. I love cards that cause both you and your opponent to spend five extra minutes thinking about potential board states, and it's a one-drop to boot!
  • Overall impression: I liked this format, especially as a palate cleanser after the multi-colored insanity that was Khans of Tarkir.  In contrast Dragons-Dragons-Fate felt a bit more... traditional, with increased emphasis on staying true to your colors and reading table signals.

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