From the computer to the tabletop, this is all about games. Updated each week-end.
Following the previous write-up and some discussions around that, I realised in no uncertain terms that while I need to look at my focus on the game state, I really need to look at my approach to deck construction, specifically the number of lands.
This draft was done on Magic Online, as family commitments meant I was unable to make the FNM store draft.
Pack 1, Pick 1: Channel Harm
After reading a lot of comments about how the high quality rares in Fate Reforged are ‘spoiling’ drafts these days, I eagerly awaiting my first packs riches. I found… Scroll of the Masters. Oh well, they can’t all be game-breaking. Channel Harm was a decent first pick, and the Lightform that followed put me in white.
The deck: Abzan
I started with white, moved to take some black cards, and picked up green as my final colour to put me in Abzan. Really it was a black/white deck with a green splash.
The cards I drafted were functional but not spectacular, the challenge would be to get the best out of them. Making good plays would be the key to this deck as the cards weren’t going to make it easy for me.
One big problem – I had neglected to take any mana fixing. This proved uneventful but is not something I intend to repeat.
The result: 2-1 and second place.
After brushing side my first opponent my second game me a challenge. He had an Abzan deck too, but splashing blue for Whisk Away and presumably other cards I didn’t see. I lost the first game after being unable to deal with his high toughness creatures, but I noted his game didn’t get going until after turn 3.
In game 2 I mulliganed down to a hand with three land, 2 mardu hateblade, and a typhoid rats. It was on. My creatures came rushing out the gate, enabling Mardu Hordechief on turns 3 and 4. By the time he was laying creatures he was down to 8 and Alabaster Kirin was in the air to complete the job. Nice work, team!
Game 3 was similar but at a slower pace. Alabaster Kirin did most of the work this time, with the smaller creatures holding back larger attackers or sneaking through for extra points of damage. I was in the final.
My opponent’s first move was to play a mountain. “That’s the first one of those I’ve seen all game, I wonder if he has a strong red deck?”
Turns out he did, but really I got a reminder about how awesome Rush of Battle is. I held up reasonably well but in each game could not finish off my opponent after reducing him to 5 life. Cards like Herald of Anafenza, Dragon-Style Twins, and Sarkhan Dragonspeaker(!) turned the tide against me in each game.
Still the games were a lot of fun, and I was able to keep an eye on my own play and note the occasional mistake, without getting annoyed by making them. First, spot your mistakes, next spot them before you make them.
Coming second in the Swiss means my next draft will cost one pack and two tickets, just like this one, which is the good thing about Magic Online.
Best cards: Alabaster Kirin, Channel Harm, and Smite the Monstrous
The above is hardly a list of spectacular cards to play. I have to give it to Alabaster Kirin though.
This unassuming creature proved difficult to answer for all my opponents. Smite the Monstrous, despite being utterly outclassed by Valorous Stance, still destroyed the creatures I wanted gone.
The decklist (organised by converted mana cost, with lands last.
 Disowned Ancestor
 Mardu Hateblade
 Typhoid Rats
 Debilitating Injury
 Arashin Cleric
 Pressure Point
 Douse in Gloom
 Dragon-Bell Monk
 KIll Shot
 Mardu Hordechief
 Alabaster Kirin
 Return to the Earth
 Smite the Monstrous
 Ivorytusk Fortress
 Abzan Guide
 Channel Harm
 Gurmag Angler
Lands: 7 Plains, 7 Swamp, 3 Forest