From the computer to the tabletop, this is all about games. Updated each week-end.
My second Oath of the Gatewatch draft was an interesting one. First I realised I am now a store regular. There were 11 people in the draft and I recognised 9 of them by face if not always by name.
11 in the draft meant there would be 4 rounds with a bye in each. I joked with the players around me that someone would look at the first round pairings and say “who am I playing? …dammit!”
The store has dropped the price of drafting by 20% and uses a keep what you draft, one prize pack per player structure. This is impressive especially given the price they are charged for cases by their distributor has risen to the point where OGW boosters are now more expensive than other sets.
Pack 1, pick 1: Endbringer
In an otherwise underwhelming pack, Endbringer stood out strongly. Could I make the colorless thing work? Maybe, and with a card like this I felt it was worth trying.
Two things I had walked away from my first draft with were that flyers are great, and colorless must be treated like a colour.
The deck: black/colorless
I took my own lesson to heart and made ensure to draft plenty of colorless sources, and also to stick to only one other colour. That turned out to be black, as a second pick Oblivion Strike was followed by a third pick Essence Depleter.
I ended up with a deck that had some threats at the top and bottom of the mana curve, but not much in between. A late Bone Splinters helped the deck as I new some of my early creatures would be outclassed.
The pairing were pinned above us as we finished deck building, so I looked up. “Who am I playing? …dammit!” Yes, the bye was mine. A free win at the cost of doing nothing for the entire round. Well, hello there, Facebook feed.
The second round promised to be more interesting, since I would actually get to play. My deck was also prepared to play nice, giving me hands with a decent mana curve and plenty of land.
Walker of the Wastes came down with 2 Wastes and a third was soon drawn from my deck. Endbringer’s appearance sealed the deal.
In the second game I got to see the great synergy between Malakir Familiar and Essence Depleter. Draining your opponent for 3 and then swinging for 5 in the air is a thing to behold.
On to round 3 and a match against a player with 2 actual victories. His was a red/green deck featuring Mina and Denn, who appeared on turn 4 in both games. My early Sludge Crawler exiled some key creatures in the first game, but with only one Oblivion Strike and no sign of my larger creatures I soon fell.
The second game was even faster as I stumbled on creatures (only 17 in the deck!) and died to Mina with some chunky allies. Ah well.
I had a 2-1 record, but really it was 1-1 with some inactivity. Overall I was happy with the deck I drafted. Could it be better? Of course, some more removal would have been especially useful, but you only get to choose one card per pack.
Best cards: No surprises here. Endbringer was great, and I always felt better with Oblivion Strike in my hand. Walker of the Wastes was great even with 1 Wastes in play, and I never had it with less than 2.
Lessons Learned: Colorless makes for hard decisions. I found myself having to choose colorless mana sources over cards that would have been fine additions to the deck. However when you commit to colorless, you must also commit to drafting a mana base.
CMC 1: Bone Splinters, Reaver Drone, Sludge Crawler, Unnatural Endurance
CMC 2: Culling Drone, 2xSky Scourer, Slaughter Drone, Spatial Contortion
CMC 3: Dominator Drone, Essence Depleter, Grave Birthing, Kozilek’s Shrieker, Malakir Familiar
CMC 4: Oblivion Strike, Warden of Geometries
CMC 5: Kozilek’s Channeler, Kozilek’s Translator, Walker of the Wastes
CMC 6: Endbringer, Grip of Desolation, 2xKozilek’s Pathfinder
Land: Blighted Gorge, 2xHoldout Settlement, 3xWastes, 11 Swamp