From the computer to the tabletop, this is all about games. Updated each week-end.
The latest store draft saw two tables of drafters again, this time in two pods of six. I can only hope this continues through Dragons of Tarkir and into Magic: Origins.
Pack 1, pick 1: Sprinting Warbrute
It’s a fine card, and does solid work in any deck running red. Its ability to spring five damage from your hand is good. Once an opponent has seen it once, they tend to hod back waiting for the next strike, often leaving you free to cast other spells. I was not excited to take this card, but of the pack I opened it was the card most likely to make it to a deck.
The deck: Dash
Sprinting Warbrute was followed by Warbringer and then Ambuscade Shaman. At this point I felt I was living the Dash dream. Creatures with Dash then became higher than usual picks since I was going to get so much value from them with the Warbringer and the Shaman. Potentially.
I had a deck with 17 creatures, 17 land, and 6 removal spells.
The result: 2-1 and third place
My first two matches were 2-1 wins to me, and I was feeling good going in to Round 3. MY first match was against a green/white deck piloted by a player who had defeated one of my Mardu decks some time ago. This time it was my turn to get the win, and while I lost game 1, the next two games went to me. The final game was amusing for both of us as we each kept pulling our bomb cards, then having them destroyed.
I had the dream combo of Warbinger and Ambuscade Shaman powering out a hand of Reckless Imp, Mardu Scout, and Kolaghan Skirmisher, however the presence of Dromoka, the Eternal forced me to the hard decision of wiping the board clear with Deathbringer Regent. My opponent’s next play was Arashin Sovereign, but I had Stormrider Rig and Tail Slash to bring the advantage back to me. It was enough.
The second match was against a red/white player with some early attacks. I held back and dashed in response to his tap outs, and eventually Mardu Scout and Sprinting Warbrute sent him back on the defensive. Reckless Imp did great work for me in the air, and Stormrider Rig is a surprisingly good uncommon to have.
Round 3 was for the win then. Even if I lost, I figured I had a lock on second place at least. In the end, a good opponent with a good green/white deck (splashing black for Kolaghan, the Storm’s Fury) sent me down in two short games.
This was the second time that a solid green deck has given me problems in this format. Green is not a colour I have yet drafted in Dragons of Tarkir, but clearly I need to re-evaluate those green cards as I am passing packs around.
My decisive defeat meant that another player who was 2-1 in matches was in second place, based on results, relegating me to third. I still rate the evening as a successful ride of the Dash wave.
Best cards: Warbringer, Reckless Imp, and Deathbringer Regent
A honourable mention to Stormrider Rig, but the three cards above were decisive in more than one victory in this draft. Ambuscade Shaman simply never appeared enough, but in each case I was happier with Warbringer.
Dash does not have to be super aggro. You don’t have to go ‘all in’ with your dash creatures, playing the maximum every turn. In many cases it is better not to. One dash and one removal spell, or even skipping the dash in order to hard cast a Warbringer or Ambuscade Shaman is generally a better way to go.
sorted my converted mana cost (CMC) with lands last:
Dragon Fodder, 2x Kolaghan Skirmisher, Mardu Scout, Roast, Stormrider Rig
Ambuscade Shaman, Bathe in Dragonfire, Douse in Gloom, Hooded Assassin, Reckless Imp, 2x Tail Slash
Goblin Heelcutter, Sabretooth Outrider, Vaultbreaker, Vulturous Aven, Warbringer
Deathbringer Regent, Gurmag Angler
Lands: 9 Mountain, 8 Swamp