Scent of a Gamer

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

Draft of a Gamer: delve deep (but not too deep)

In my first ‘real’ draft since my foray online and travel over Christmas I drafted a true Sultai deck. The mana was certainly a lot easier with just three colours to worry about!

Pack 1, pick 1: Polluted Delta

I simply said thank-you and took the money card. This almost pays for the draft. While I felt the first pick was not going to dictate anything, I ended up in Sultai with this card in my deck.

In pack two I opened a Narset, Enlightened Master, a card which would never make my deck. I passed it in favour of a Sultai Scavenger. Naturally I did not see the Sultai Scavenger in any of my matches!

The deck: Sultai

I used four delve cards in the deck. Using delve in Magic is like mining in Moria; if you dig too greedily and too deep, it will go badly for you. Four seemed to be nudging the limit. This Sultai deck had four mana-fixing lands, all of which generated blue. This meant I could get away with running one Island. Less would have been possible, but with delve I often wanted to cast two spells with blue in the mana cost per turn, so having five mana sources worked fine.

There was one decision to make during deck building: did I want to go all in with Empty the Pits, or would I rather stick to what I had drafted? I could switch out my cheaper creatures and two of the delve cards for this and cards that might support it. In the end I decided against Empty the Pits. Instead I had a deck with some early aggressive creatures, and the removal to get them through. The late game was not especially strong, but hopefully that would not be an issue and early aggression backed by decent removal would see me through.


The result: A 2-1 record and third place.

It was an issue in my first match, which I lost 2-0. Each time I managed to get my opponent down below 8 life before he stabilised, removed my threats, dodged my removal with protection, and then began laying creatures I couldn’t deal with. So it goes.

The next two matches I stuck with my initial build and it worked fine. When your first creature is a morph that is then removed by Debilitating Injury, all while Temur Charger and Highland Game are doing their thing, it becomes difficult to recover. So it proved for my second two opponents. The key different in my opinion is they lacked the ability to dodge my removal. Also each opponent fell into the trap of blocking a harmless looking Highland Game, only to regret that choice post combat when Debilitating Injury came out.

Best cards: Debilitating Injury and Highland Game (and Murderous Cut!)

The first two cards added up to a one-two punch in my second and third matches. In each case, I attacked with Highland Game into a four-toughness creature, which blocked. Post-combat, I enchanted the blocking creature with Debilitating Injury, making it a x/2 creature with 2 damage marked on it, causing it to die.

Casting Murderous Cut for one mana is always a pleasure.

Lessons learned: Stick with it.

I could have panicked after the first match and tried again to build around Empty the Pits, but I believe I was better off sticking with my original build, understanding its limitations, and playing to its strengths.


This entry was posted on January 4, 2015 by in Card Games, Magic the Gathering and tagged , , , , , , .
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