Scent of a Gamer

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

Draft of a Gamer: Learning Curve

My first draft with Magic Origins did not go so well. After my lessons learned in Khans of Tarkir and Dragons of Tarkir, I found the return to mono-colour action in Origins to be quite jarring. No doubt there will be a few more learning experiences to come before I get the hang of the new format.

Pack 1, pick 1: Whirler Rogue


This first pick pulled me into blue, but it was not a difficult choice per se. This card offers four power for four mana and a way of making an attacker unblockable. It’s a good card.

The deck: Blue/green

I followed Whirler Rogue with an Evolutionary Leap. Adding green I figured would give me some early creatures and give sacrifice outlets to let me find my better creatures as I needed them. However a complete lack of mana fixing or acceleration bothered my. The creature and land count were both 17, and the deck topped out with a pair of Ringwarden Owls and a single Rhox Maulers.

A lack of real removal also bothered me. As did a lack of any compelling creatures at the lower end of the mana curve. I figured this would be a learning experience. I wonder though if it was simply a poor draft.

The result: 1-2

My first match was against the player at the opposite side of the table from me, who was also in green/blue! He however had drafted competently as was able to win 2-0 without too much difficulty. My lack of compelling early plays was compounded by his pair of Separatist Voidmages, who were gainfully employed bouncing my Rhox Maulders and Ringwarden Owls to cement his board superiority. I certainly gained improved respect for the voidmage. After the match we looked through my deck and made a couple of changes. In both games my mana was such that my opponent thought I was green splashing blue, though in fact it was the other way round. I’d had two islands precisely once, at turn 7 in game 2, shortly before I died. So it goes.


The second match was against an Esper player, though in truth the deck was white splashing for both blue and black. A full playset of Cleric of the Forward Order was duly drawn and played in game 1. I wasn’t too worried by the life total disparity, and felt i was regaining board control, then a double tap down followed by a flying swoop finishing me off.

In the next game my Thopter Spy Network made short work of my opponent, aided by my Chief of the Foundry. Finally my poor deck design paid off!

Game 3 was started with about five minutes remaining on the clock. We shrugged and figured why not keep playing, and I was soon down to 5 life, then 3, then 1.

On 1 life I stayed, clawing back my board position until time was called during my opponent’s turn. In my final turn I cast Titanic Growth on an unblocked Ringwarden Owl, with both attacking. This added up to just enough damage to take my opponent down, after spending abut 9 turns at 1 life. Never give up!

I gave up in the first game of match 3, to a flipped Liliana. She was ready to bring creatures back from the graveyard, including my flyers, and I had no way of getting through to her, so I scooped. This is my first scoop in as long as I can remember and I didn’t care for it, but I felt the situation was truly hopeless.


My last opponent, as well as being fortunate in opening a Liliana, Heretical Healer, had drafted a solid black/red deck. His pair of Eyeblight Assassins made short work of my thopter tokens. In the second game I was able to hold on thanks to my use of Evolutionary Leap, but in the end I was defeated.

Best cards: None

There were good cards in the deck to be sure. But I rarely saw more than 1 per game, and this simply wasn’t enough for victory. There were too many second-rate cards in my deck, and I felt I was always playing catch up to my opponent.

Lessons Learned

It is often easier to learn form defeats than from victories, but I did not feel that was the case tonight. While one or two picks could have been better made, ultimately I simply did not do well enough in the draft portion to compete in the games.

The main lesson learned is a change to token cards. Look at this Thopter token:


See the difference? They are now writing ‘Token’ on the type line, which I had not noticed before. They started doing this in Khans of Tarkir, so I really haven’t been paying as much attention as I like to think.

Decklist – sorted by converted mana cost (CMC) with lands last

CMC 1: 2x Bonded Construct

CMC 2: Evolutionary Leap, Maritime Guard, Runed Servitor, Titanic Growth

CMC 3: Chief of the Foundry, Claustrophobia, HItchclaw Recluse, Jhessian Thief, Scrapskin Drake, Watercourser

CMC 4: Aspiring Aeronaut, Llanowar Empath, 2x Pharika’s Disciple, Thopter Spy Network, Whirler Rogue

CMC 5: Rhox Maulers, 2x Ringwarden Owl

land: 10 Island, 6 Forest, Foundry of the Consuls

One comment on “Draft of a Gamer: Learning Curve

  1. Pingback: Draft of a gamer: a better blue/green | Scent of a Gamer

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This entry was posted on July 19, 2015 by in Card Games, Magic the Gathering and tagged , , , , .
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