From the computer to the tabletop, this is all about games. Updated each week-end.
This would be one of my last drafts with Khans of Tarkir, given the imminent release of Dragons of Tarkir. In case you are wondering, yes this is sooner than usual. They are clearing the decks for Modern Master 2015, so sets are coming out earlier so the reprint set doesn’t interfere with the new set, as I believe the first Modern Masters did to Dragon’s Maze.
I’d realised that I have never taken Mardu before, so I started the draft with that in mind. A first pick Archfiend of Depravity started me in that direction. The deck was black/white until Mardu Scout wheeled. I looked at Dash. I looked at Orc Sureshot. This seemed like a good plan.
Pack 1, Pick 1: Archfiend of Depravity
The Deck: Mardu
I took some advice after my last couple of drafts, and that advice was basically ‘learn how to build draft decks.’ It seems 18/22 is the default land/non-land split for this format, while I was one my usual 16 or 17 land decks. This time I drafted with the 18/22 split in mind. I would have liked one less four drop and one more three drop, but I was otherwise satisfied with the deck.
The result: 1-2.
My first match was a blowout from a Jeskai deck. Honestly I was never in either game. If I had a decent creature, he had an immediate answer. I never had the mana to cast and protect a good creature, plus I was always on the back foot in both games. Each time, Citadel Siege finished things in emphatic style.
The second match was a lot closer, but I won because my opponent mis-clicked in a more damaging way than I did. With two creatures in play he didn’t choose any for Archifiend of Depravity’s Trigger, giving the field to me. This was game 3, he conceded in the next turn.
Match three was closer but ended poorly. After two close matches, I drew land, land, land, land, land, war flare, land, and lost to Torrent Elemental. And this is why I don’t like 18 lands in a 40-card deck. You flip enough coins, you’ll get tails five times in a row. Not a fun way to play.
Best Cards: Archfiend of Depravity, Crater’s Claws, Abzan Battle Priest
I almost regretted first-picking Abzan Battle Priest, but it turns out that card doesn’t need much in the way of “synergy” to be good. With Honor’s Reward, Swarm of Bloodflies, and Feat of Resistance, there was plenty to go round.
Crater’s Claws gave me two of my three wins, so you have to respect that. Archfiend gave me the other one, with a little help from the UI.
Lessons Learned: I you aren’t drafting a certain deck, there’s probably a good reason for that. I didn’t really get Mardu before this draft, and I don’t think I get it now. There were enough decent cards in my deck, but I was unable to get results. It happens.
The deck list: (organised by converted mana cost, with lands last)
Feat of Resistance
Sultai Emissary x2
Watcher of the Roost
Abzan Battle Priest
Smite the Monstrous
Archfiend of Depravity
Swarm of Bloodflies
Land: Nomad Outpost, Bloodfell Caves, 16 basic land