From the computer to the tabletop, this is all about games. Updated each week-end.
I looked forward to my next opportunity to draft after last time. The Oath/Oath/Battle format is quite diverse, with a lot of different viable strategies even within colours. I opened up the first pack and began looking through. I tend to follow the LRCast way of starting by looking at the commons in a pack before moving to the uncommons and then the rare. When I got to the rare in my first pack, I saw his guy looking back at me:
I mean… come on!
Pack 1, pick 1: Eldrazi Displacer
This turned out to be a good decision as I was passed an Isolation Zone as my second pick, while Wall of Resurgence tabled.
The deck: white/green/colorless
Early on I thought I might go just white and colorless cards. Having received three Isolation Zone and two Relief Captain I was feeling pretty good. However there simply weren’t the cards to support what I was doing, so green creatures rounded out the deck. I was unhappy with the mana though.
In hindsight I should have dropped Retreat to Kazandu for a fourth Forest, but on the night I couldn’t see things quite so clearly. With four cards requiring double-white all the the four mana cost I was unwilling to drop a Plains or have fewer than five colourless sources for the Displacer. However going to 18/22 would have worked better. We live and learn.
Still, with double Relief Captain and triple Isolation Zone I was feeling good coming into match 1.
My first match was against a green/white player who spent the first game searching for green mana. His first Forest was his sixth land and by that time I was beating hard. Two Isolation Zones took out the two blockers he was able to muster and I crashed through for the win. The second game saw the first Eldrazi Displacer combo, with Wall of Resurgence coming in repeatedly to create a single large land. Once again, Isolation Zone removed blockers and the land crashed through for the win.
On to match 2.
The first game here look a while but I was never really in it. We both built walls of creatures, however his combination of Serene Steward, Ondu War Cleric, and Zulaport Chainmage was simply too much. The constant life loss combined with growing threats to make my board position worse by degrees. Removal took out my key creatures until eventually I was out of defenders. Wall of Resurgence and Eldrazi Displacer did not make an appearance.
For the second game I decide to take out Searing Light for Walker of the Wastes. He wasn’t attacking with low power creatures, and an additional creature for me would lessen the effect of his removal. I also decided to be more aggressive, and try to prevent the wall of allies being constructed this time.
Ondu War Cleric and Zulaport Chainmage again appeared, and Eldrazi Displacer and Wall of Resurgence remained absent for me. However my opponent drew less removal and so I was able to gain the beneift of my many support cards, with Saddleback Lagac, Relief Captains and Expedition Raptor all coming down to help grow the team. The second game was mine.
As we shuffled we looked at the clock for the round and saw 40 seconds remaining. The round would be a draw. Afterwards we thought back over the games, but neither of us were slow playing, the turns went quickly enough, but there were a lot of them in both games.
I was out of contention for the win, and my final opponent had a 1-1 record with his green/red deck. Eldrazi Displacer again failed to appear for me, but Wall of Resurgence came back and proved very valuable at slowing or stopping the aggression. I had neglected to take Walker of the Wastes back out, but having a trampler down before my support creatures was great. In both games I used support to its full effect to build my side up before crashing through any defenders for a win.
My final record was 2-0-1 which comes to a 5-0-1 record with this deck across two drafts. It cannot be usual to get to play the same combination of rare, uncommon, and common across two drafts in a row, but I was happy to have been able to bring out Eldrazi Displacer, Relief Captain, and Isolation Zone.
Best cards: For the second article in a row I have to nominate Eldrazi Displacer, Relief Captain, and Isolation Zone. This time an honourable mention has to go to Wall of Resurgence.
The window for Oath of the Gatewatch drafts is closing fast, so I hope to get another raft in before Shadows over Innistrad comes along. Hopefully with a different deck!
Lightning strikes twice: I took the card and fought for white. The player on my left took the Isolation Zone I passed but then gave up the fight and moved into red. He won the draft.
Mana bases matter: I definitely played with a sub-optimal man base and looking back there was no reason not to go 18 lands in what was effectively a three-colour deck, since it required three specific types of mana.
sorted by converted mana cost (CMC) with lands last
CMC1: Searing Light
CMC2: Fortified Rampart, Gideon’s Reproach, 2x Loam Larva, 2xStalking Drone
CMC3: Affa Protector, Eldrazi Displacer, Retreat to Kazandu, 2xWall of Resurgence
CMC4: Hedron Archive, 3xIsolation Zone, 2xRelief Captain, Saddleback Lagac, Smite the Monstrous
CMC5: Expedition Raptor
CMC 6: Angel of Renewal, Tajuru Beastmaster
Land: Blighted Steppe, Holdout Settlement, Tranquil Expanse, 3x Wastes, 3x Forest, 8x Plains