From the computer to the tabletop, this is all about games. Updated each week-end.
In my first Kaladesh draft I built an unexceptional deck with a good mana curve, and I think this was the key advantage of my deck over others at the table with a superior roster of cards.
Pack 1, pick 1: Cataclysmic Gearhulk
No, not the invention, just(!) the normal version. However this white mythic stood out in the pack as offering some real power. My next few picks were white, and by the end of the first pack I felt that white/red was my deck.
The deck: white/red
And so it proved. It turned out there were two other drafters at the table in this colour pair, which perhaps explains my total lack of vehicles, but they weren’t high priority picks for me anyway.
What I did have was a large number of cards at CMC 3, along with a reasonable dose of removal. I was two creatures short of what I would have liked though, so I made up the numbers with a Decoction Module and a Fabrication Module.
My first match was against a blue/red player, which made for four red players at the same draft table. Note to self: red is popular! In the first game we both played aggressively, and after eight turns both of us were on 3 life, well in range of burn of a haste creature. I managed to squeak the victory thanks to the combination of Reckless Fireweaver and Fireweaver’s Puzzleknot. It’s possible those cards are related somehow…
In the second game my opponent stumbled on playable cards in spite of the blue card draw, and lagged behind my creature count. I was able to remove his blockers and charge through with a combination of creatures and servo tokens.
The second match saw me playing one of the other two red/white decks, and things looked grim after my opponent played a Skysovereign, Consul Flagship, immediately killing my Fairgrounds Warden and releasing a previously exiled creature. I still had my Whirlermaker though.
This game turned out quite grindy as I held of the Flagship with the threat of Welding Sparks, all the while producing a thopter token per turn. With my opponent unwilling to activate the Flagship as a blocker I attacked with 2, then 3, then 4 thopter tokens before laying down Fireweaver’s Puzzleknot for the kill.
In the second game my opponent didn’t get the Flagship but managed to lay down Renegade Freighter and Fleetwheel Cruiser. At this point I decided my task was to remove any creature he played to avoid any crewing options. In the end I finished him off with Snare Thopter and Propeller Pioneer, while keeping the vehicles unable to be crewed profitably.
On to match 3, against an interesting mono-black deck I had seen laying down some smack in the second round, though their match went to time. With other players fighting over red and white, this player had made the smart decision to scoop up all the black cards that came his way. For a Kaladesh deck it was maybe lacking some artifacts, but enough creatures had Fabricate to make up for that omission.
The deck turned out to be very good at life gain, with cards like Aetherborn Marauder and Rush of Vitality doing good work there. The first game went to me after some very aggressive attacking followed by the final points of burn.
The second game went a lot longer and eventually saw me on 5 life with my opponent on 3. This game was unique to the draft in that I had cast Cataclysmic Gearhulk for the first time all night, though its ability did nothing as we each had one creature and one artifact creature on the board. Effectively it was a fancy Bastion Mastodon.
I had the creatures to kill him… unless he had a Rush of Vitality in hand, in which case he would survive and kill me on the return with his Ambitious Aetherborn. My opponent had one card in hand. I attacked, and the card turned out to be a Swamp. We had a laugh then about how many times he’d read the line ‘Basic Land – Swamp’ to make it appear as though he had something usable!
A 3-0 draft win is a great way to start Kaladesh, and the set looks very interesting. My initial thoughts were it will be important to remember to draft sufficient creatures, and this seems borne out so far.
Welding Sparks, Whirlermaker, and Chandra’s Pyrohelix were consistently useful, and consistently came into my hand. Cataclysmic Gearhulk may be better, but the only time it came to my hand, casting it did not punish my opponent at all. Decoction Module and Fabrication Module were more useful than I had initally though, but I’d still rather have had two more creatures. Also being able to play a 3/3 Glint-Sleeve Artisan before boosting it the following turn with Herald of the Fair turned out to be a decent play.
Creatures count, and curve counts more.
I was able to defeat superior decks by simply being more consistent through the mana curve and laying creatures from turns 2 to 5. Having Whirlermaker or a Module also meant that lands in excess of six had a use for me, so I wasn’t fuming at drawing a eighth land instead of another creature as I could simply make one, or boost one, depending on what I had out.
CMC1: Built to Last, Ruinous Gremlin
CMC2: Chandra’s Pyrohelix, Decoction Module, Fireforger’s Puzzleknot, Harnessed Lightning, Impeccable Timing, Reckless Fireweaver
CMC3: Fabrication Module, Fairgrounds Warden, Glint-Sleeve Artisan, 2x Herald of the Fair, Salivating Gremlins, Spireside Infiltrator, Welding Sparks, Whirlermaker
CMC4: Propeller Pioneer, Snare Thopter, Thriving Ibex
CMC5: Bastion Mastodon, Cataclysmic Gearhulk, Wayward Giant
Land: 10 Plains, 7 Mountain