From the computer to the tabletop, this is all about games. Updated each week-end.
Pack 1, pick 1: Ovalchase Dragster
The first pack had no ‘wow’ factor at all. A few smiles from other players around the table told of more impressive cards opened (a couple of Planeswalkers and a foil Smuggler’s Copter, I learned later).
I took the colourless card to keep my options open, and my next two picks were also colourless; a pair of Chief of the Foundry. Whichever colours I chose would be ones to support an artifact creature deck.
The deck: red/black artifact
Red and back were the open colours to support my artifact theme. I would have preferred white, but had the luxury of looking at signals rather than trying to stake a claim. It turned out fully four of the drafters were in white, so I’m glad to have had the luxury of waiting.
The deck was creature heavy of course, with 17 creatures, 17 lands, 2 vehicles, and a small amount of removal. After last week’s experience, I was careful to match to the cards to the type of deck I was drafting, and this way not end up with some fancy cards that don’t actually work together. I felt I’d achieved that.
Match 1 was against a Bant deck which turned out to be splashing blue for Dovin Baan. Both games went quite similarly for me as my early creatures traded, and then my deck ran out of steam while an army of fliers attacked for the win. The first match was over quickly and left me wondering if I’d repeated my mistake and drafted an inconsistent deck.
The second match told me I was on the right track. Against a red/blue deck built around Saheeli Rai, the first game saw my lay down a decent field of creatures, with Salivating Gremlins being powered up by a string of artifact creatures. The first game also saw a turn 2 Reckless Fireweaver rack up a lot of damage and end up closing out the game. I was able to recur Scrapheap Scrounger for three turns running, each time pinging until there was no life left to ping for. The second game saw a similar early Fireweaver but the appearance of Cultivator’s Caravan and Foundry Screecher, with the screecher’s +1/+0 bonus from an artifact being in play making it able to crew the caravan, really sealed things. A appearance from Chief of the Foundry put the matter beyond doubt.
I had a 1-1 record, and it was on to match 3. Pairings were all over the place as the player who defeated me in the first round drew his second match. I could have been paired with anyone, and ended up against a white/blue deck that featured a non-foil Smugglers Copter.
Smuggler’s Copter duly came down on turn 2, and began smashing in the air. A couple of rounds later I was under half my life, but had assembled a reasonable counterpunch. Chief of the Foundry came down to make it a lethal swing for 14. In the second game we both mulliganed, with my initial hand consisting of 6 swamps and a Tidy Conclusion. I kept a much better 6-card start and was able to kick off with a Thriving Grubs. This play isn’t really what the deck is looking for, as an artifact or something that works with them is best. But in draft you make the best of what you have, and the grubs were able to get in twice for some nice early damage. Weldfast Monitor took over, its Menace ability being very useful. In the end I was able to keep up a steady rate of dropping a creature per turn to overwhelm my opponent.
I’d finished with a 2-1 record and second place overall, with my first round opponent winning with a 2-0-1 record as the only undefeated player at the table.
Stick to the script! This deck was superior to last week’s simply by being more focused on doing its job; laying down an artifact creature each turn where possible. Once a Chief of the Foundry was down, it makes sense to always Fabricate a Servo token. I also had plenty to do with two or three mana, which also made double plays on turn 5 quite possible.
I was much happier with the results of my drafting this time, and we’ll see how things go at the next draft. Kaladesh is still looking like a very interesting format with a lot of deck diversity.
sorted by converted mana cost (CMC) with lands last.
CMC2: Chandra’s Pyrohelix, Reckless Fireweaver, Scrapheap Scrounger, Subtle Strike, Thriving Grubs, Underhanded Designs
CMC3: Brazen Scourge, 2xChief of the Foundry, Cultivator’s Caravan, Foundry Screecher, 2xPrakhata Pillar-Bug, 2xSalivating Gremlins, 2xWeldfast Monitor
CMC4: Furious Reprisal, Iron League Steed, Ovalchase Dragster
CMC5: Ambitious Aetherborn, Tidy Conclusion
CMC 6: none!
CMC 7: Accomplished Automaton
Land: 9 Mountain, 8 Swamp