From the computer to the tabletop, this is all about games. Updated each week-end.
This was a disappointing Magic Online draft that at least paid for itself. That is the silver lining though as this draft reminded me yet again that I still have a way to go to improve both my drafting and my playing. Magic Origins is as basic as Magic sets get these days, so in many ways drafting this is like getting back to the core of Magic. Turns out, I am better off with all the cruft that comes with ‘expert’ level sets, as my record in this set is far worse than my record in Dragons of Tarkir.
Pack 1, pick 1: Skaab Goliath
This was an interesting pack, with an irrelevant rare, but some interesting uncommons. In the end I picked the gigantic zombie over the Sigiled Starfish, and noted the only white card I was passing was Healing Hands.
In later picks I managed a duo of Swift Reckoning along with a Sigiled Starfish (not wheeled though) and made a somewhat shaky blue/white deck. I had the ability to stall the ground and then bring down my two Skaab Goliaths to finish things, but would my opponents allow the games to go that long?
The deck: blue/white
There was plenty of repetition in this deck, which I hoped would lead to consistency, and in a way it did. I had pairs of Maritime Guard, Watercourser, Swift Reckoning, Stalwart Aven, and Skaab Goliath. I felt that the plan of stalling and eventually chumping with the little guys to bring out Skaab Goliath could work, with a backup plan of simply winning in the air with some help from Angel’s Tomb.
My first match was against a blue/black deck that was slower than mine, but had a pair of Unholy Hungers sitting at the top of its mana curve. The first game was long, but eventually went my way. My opponent cast Dreadwaters on me to help bring out my first Skaab Goliath, which in turn met a hunger. Victory went my way thanks to my second Swift Reckoning (the first fell victim to Dreadwaters) and some attacking from Angel’s Tomb and Stalwart Aven. The backup plan worked nicely! The second game last less than a minute. My opponent mulliganed to six, missed a land drop, and conceded when I cast Angel’s Tomb onto an empty board.
On to match 2, where I played a red/blue deck made up mainly of cards I would rate as 5-8 n a pick order. The first game saw me smashed over by Cobblebrute combined with Chandra’s Fury after being unable to block due to Seismic Elemental, and then a Rogue’s Passage to ensure the final five damage would get through. Drawing zero removal didn’t help.
In the second game I had the early blockers to hold my opponent off, and Angel’s Tomb to strike through… until Smash to Smithereens came out. My sideboarded Guardians of Meletis met their end due to a second smash. I was on 14 despite holding off every attack so far! A Fiery Impulse with spell mastery took care of Stlawart Aven and I was able to again cast a Skaab Goliath… only to again fall victim to Seismic Elemental and drop to 3. Lightning Javelin sealed the deal. My opponent had done a far superior job of making cards that aren’t necessarily outstanding hang together well in a deck that had a plan.
Onto match 3 I went, to be playing a red/green deck. In the first game the early turns were uneventful. I got through for a few points in the air while holding off the ground. However things soon swung against me when my opponent cast four creatures over two turns and simply overwhelmed my deck, which again drew none of its removal.
Okay game 2, and time to focus… on a fairly horrific land run. Four land in a row and I was thankful the only card in my opening hand I couldn’t cast was Skaab Goliath. My opponent took full advantage, using Subterranean Scout to get his Goblin Glory Chaser past my Maritime Guards. Together they could still killed the menacing goblin, but not after Wild Instincts was cast.
The land run started to bite once I was additionally facing a pair of Timberpack Wolves, but still I was able to get Skaab Goliath down with my remaining Maritime Guard for some semblance of stability.
Then my old friend showed up…
…and it was all over.
Angel’s Tomb was always a threat once I played it. Swift Reckoning was never seen again after the first match, and cards aren’t good if you don’t draw them.
A bad plan is better than no plan, but it’s still bad.
What I think really hurt here was the lack of card draw. Even with a full starting hand I felt like I was in topdeck mode for most of the games, and other than scryfish there was no way to dig deeper. Naturally both Skaab Goliaths came to my hand in every. single. game.
The deck (sorted by converted mana cost with lands last)
CMC 2: Celestial Flare, 2 Maritime Guard, Mighty Leap, Negate, Sigilled Starfish, 2 Swift Reckoning
CMC 3: Angel’s Tomb, Claustrophobia, Guardians of Meletis, Knight of the Pilgrim’s Road, 2 Stalwart Aven, Veteran’s Sidearm, 2 Watercourser
CMC 4: Guardian Automaton, War Oracle
CMC 5: Meteorite, Ringwarden Owl
CMC 6: 2 Skaab Goliath
9 Island, 7 Plains
Draft view: You can view my draft picks here. Thanks to those behind Mythic Spoiler!