Scent of a Gamer

From the computer to the tabletop, this is all about games. Updated each week-end.

Draft of a Gamer: Sultabzan

I won’t make it to my local store for the draft this week, so I decided to fire up Magic Online instead. Sure, I don’t get to keep the cards I draft as they are only digital objects. However at this stage I pretty much have every card I want in the set other than a few Mythics. The ability to draft at a moment’s notice is very tempting and this time I gave in.

I’m missing the draft due to a dinner date to celebrate my 16th wedding anniversary. I suggested a romantic early dinner followed by a romantic watching me draft for three hours. “You’re funny,” was the comment, and I wisely dropped the subject!

As I am unfamiliar with MTGO’s interface there are no screenshots to accompany the article. I understand the games can be recorded and screenshots made, but I have my hands full remembering whether or not to click ‘ok’.

Pack 1, pick 1: Debilitating Injury

My first pack was a fairly lacklustre display of cards, and this common removal spell stood out. The rare was Villainous Wealth, and I wondered idly if I would see it again when the pack came back round. I didn’t.

The deck: Sultai-Abzan

Okay, so here’s what happened. Pack 1, I picked up three copies of Debilitating injury and a few green and black creatures, plus Abomination of Gudul. So I felt I was in Sultai and would look out for Delve cards. I had taken a Rakshasa Vizier in the middle of the pack, and if I’m honest it was for the art more than the card. I mean, who wouldn’t want this on their side of the table?:


Pack 2 continued this as I was passed a Murderous Cut for my second pick. Then I was passed Armament Corps, and that seemed too good to let go. The next pack had an Abzan Guide so I took that, and then another in the next pack. And then a third. At that point I started looking for mana fixing.

The third pack gave me the choice between my fourth Debilitating Injury and my fourth Abzan Guide. I took the enchantment. Mana fixing did not come my way, and I ended with just three dual lands for my four-colour deck.

The result: 2-1

I find that result flattering, and mainly due to ‘cornered rat’ syndrome.  Match 1 wasn’t especially close, losing to a more focused Abzan deck. I was happy I’d joined the Swiss queue rather than single elimination.

The next match was 2-1 to me, and I won with less than two minutes on my clock, while my opponent had maybe 5 seconds. Slow play is one of my MTGO weaknesses. The final match saw me up against another Abzan player. No, I don’t know how that works either.

With the games even at 1-1 we went into the third match and my opponent must have felt confident with his opening hand.

A turn 2 Rakshasa Deathdealer (debilitating injury), followed by a turn 3 morphed Abzan Guide (debilitating injury) followed by Siege Rhino (Murderous Cut). After handing out the removal I attacked with a 7/7 Rakshasa Vizier and won handily. So it goes.

Best cards: Debilitating Injury and Archer’s Parapet


The parapet won me the of the five games I took out. The others were won by Rakshasa Vizier and by Jeskai Windscout with Armament Corps’ counters on it.


I don’t know, fix your mana early? There’s a lot of Abzan at the table? Both are correct.

No, the lesson here is ‘never give up.’ I was in a losing position in a lot of games, but held on, used my opponent’s turn to do my thinking (watch that clock!), and simply waited for my mana and cards to come good. The late game was very good for my deck, I just had to get there.

One comment on “Draft of a Gamer: Sultabzan

  1. Pingback: Draft of a Gamer: delve deep (but not too deep) | Scent of a Gamer

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This entry was posted on December 20, 2014 by in Card Games, Computer Games, Magic the Gathering and tagged , , , , , , , .
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