From the computer to the tabletop, this is all about games. Updated each week-end.
While the second Kaladesh draft was less successful than the first, the lessons were more apparent. This format is fast. Vehicles are good – but in the right deck at the right time.
Pack 1, pick 1: Longtusk Cub
I took an aggressive card from a fairly uninspiring pack, not knowing if I would end up in that colour, or even going for energy cards. A few picks later and I had a green/blue deck with an energy theme coming together.
The deck: blue/green energy
The deck was not well put together, and I found myself scrabbling for playables above 20 cards. It turned out I had passed too many two-drop creatures. I had plenty of three-drops, but little to create momentum for those three-drops to build on. Being blue and green, removal was also an issue.
This was revealed starkly in my first match against a more aggressive black/white deck which had removal to support its attacking creatures. My Sky Skiff and Wind Drakes were of little use when I was battling to hold back 4/3 and 4/2 attackers. A preference for Servo tokens on my opponent’s part alerted me to the possibility of Inspired Charge, but there was little I could do when it came down to settle the second game and the match.
The second match started slowly as we each had the creatures to hold off the other’s attack, but nothing to break through with. I thought things had swung my way after my star card, Verdurous Gearhulk, came down and gave me a large creature and also a large Wind Drake. However these two were forced to block a 10/7 Demolition Stomper. Only once I had traded my creatures with counters on them did Armorcraft Judge come into my hand. I held off the inevitable for only a few more turns before the tide of Construct tokens from Oviya Pashiri overwhelmed me.
In the second game I got the aggressive, energy-based start I’d thought I was drafting. Thriving Turtle into Longtusk Cub into Thriving Rhino into Glimmer of Genius. My opponent was taken back as I simply rolled over everything he was able to put in my way and finished things off with Riparian Tiger.
The match went to time and ended as a draw. This was probably good news for me as my deck stuttered again in game 3, and did not replicate the aggressive start I wanted.
The third and final match my deck behaved and I had two fast, aggressive starts, which simply overwhelmed my opponent’s green/white deck. A Longtusk Cub followed by any card which gives me energy before the Cub attacks is a hard thing to hold back, especially when backed by Nature’s Way. Hunt the Weak on a Vedalken Blademaster also proved to be a good way of removing blockers.
The result was an even 1-1-1 as I lost the first match, drew the second, and then won the third.
Pay attention! Ultimately I had passed creatures which would have helped my deck perform more consistently. I had overrated Wind Drake. It’s a fine card, but wasn’t really helping my deck. Ultimately I was attempting to perform with a poor mix of spells and creatures, the deck could never hope to perform consistently. Choosing whether to add Dynavault Tower, Take Down, or Select for Inspection as the final card was not a pleasant experience.
CMC1: Blossoming Defense, Select for Inspection, Thriving Turtle
CMC2: Aether Theorist, Longtusk Cub, Nature’s Way, Sky Skiff
CMC3: Appetite for the Unnatural, Janjeet Sentry, Thriving Rhino, 2x Vedalken Blademaster, 3x Wind Drake
CMC4: Armorcraft Judge, Dukhara Peafowl, Glimmer of Genius, Hunt the Weak, Wild Wanderer
CMC5: Riparian Tiger, Verdurous Gearhulk
CMC 6: Elegant Edgecrafters
Land: 10 Forest, 7 Island