From the computer to the tabletop, this is all about games. Updated each week-end.
The first draft in store for Dragons of Tarkir did not start well. The event began an hour late with less than 8 people, which is far from ideal. If you turn up 30 minutes early for a draft, stick around! The reason there are no other names on the list is that people leave after seeing there are no other names on the list. Okay, lecutre over.
I was looking forward to my first taste of dragons drafting.
Pack 1, Pick 1: Blood-Chin Fanatic
I chose the stand-out card in the pack first, but wasn’t wedded to the idea of warriors.
The Deck: Impact Tremors!
Okay, so things got a little weird. A few picks in and I felt locked into black/red. Ambuscade Shaman came my way, as did Sprinting Warbrute. So I had a few vaguely aggressive cards, but not much in the way of a plan.
Then in pack 2, I took Impact Tremors around fourth.
I don’t know if this counts as a ‘build-around-me’ card, but once I took the first Impact Tremors I had no issue with deciding on picks for the rest of the draft. I tabled a second Impact Tremors, and even took an Ancestral Statue and meant it.
The deck I ended up with (see below) did not excite me with its raw power, but there was at least a plan.
The result: 2-0
We only played two rounds since there were fewer people, it was late, and after round 2 there was only one 2-0 player, yours truly. So I guess that counts as a draft won?
The matches were interesting learning experiences for myself and my opponent. Each match was 2-1 to me. In each case I won the first game, lost the second, then won the third. Also in each case I had a single Impact Tremors in game 1 and double Impact Tremors in game 3.
Impact Tremors is good. I don’t know that it’s great, but there’s a deck there, and the card is more reliable for the Dash deck than hoping for Ambuscade Shaman and Warbringer to come your way. The damage simply racks up, and if you can get an early Impact Tremors followed by Sprinting Warbrute, your opponent will be looking at half their life quite quickly. Should your opponent stabilise, just keep on dashing, you don’t have to attack. More than once I racked up plenty of damage with Ancestral Statue to bounce a cheap creature that was then replayed.
Results-oriented thinking is something to be wary of when drafting. Just because I won here thanks to Impact Tremors doesn’t mean that Impact Tremors is good, or that it is going to become an archetype. However I will keep a lazy eye on this card, just in case.
Best cards: Impact Tremors was the clear star, and in fact I had difficulty choosing two other cards. This deck had synergy, but not much quality. Individual cards were not great. Both the Fanatic and the Statue finished opponents off, the Fanatic due to its ability, and the Statue by bouncing a cheap creature i could immediately replay into a pair of Impact Tremors.
Lessons Learned: A reminder that having a plan is a must, and then playing to that plan. I’d say my deck quality was low, but playing to a particular strategy paid off. There were cards in my deck, such as Gore Wine, that it didn’t particularly want, but playing them according to the plan meant there was some value to be gained from them. Another lesson is that Dragons of Tarkir is aggressive! In each match there were single combats where I was hit for over 10 life. While I won in each case, it was something to be aware of.
The deck: (organised by converted mana cost (CMC) with lands last.
Hand of Silumgar
2 Impact Tremors
Land: 11 swamp, 6 mountain