So last weekend, Stew, Szpirs, Mark, and our friends Mike and Devon met up to draft some cards. Drafting is a style of play where each player builds a new deck by drawing cards from booster packs. We also happened to be playing on the release weekend for Aether Revolt, so we worked some AR packs into our draft. Who won? Who lost? What (if anything) did we learn? What is the correct beer to drink while you draft? Read on, Geeks, and be horrified.
Szpirs: so how about that draft we did?
Stew: It was fun, nice to get together and just enjoy some gaming.
Szpirs: Seriously. I got home at like 2:30am…been paying for it ever since…
Stew: LOL yeah. I have to say those were the worst packs ever. I got us each one booster pack from Battle for Zendikar, Oath of the Gatewatch, and Aether Revolt. They’re great sets but my pulls were garbage.
Szpirs: So it wasn’t just me…
Stew: Nope. We did a regular draft where each player opens a pack, picks a card, then passes it around the table. Once all three boosters are finished, each player has enough cards to build a 40 card deck.
Szpirs: It might be my favourite way to play. It more or less nullifies card advantage between players…
Stew: True…but then the advantage goes to people who know the sets in play. They can predict which cards might come up, know about combos and synergies within each set…
Szpirs: It’s a big advantage. I looked at the boosters and was like, “OK, I don’t really know BfZ or OotG…so I’ll just stay clear of Eldrazi and whatnot, build fundamentals into energy or vehicles….then in my first pack, I pull a Desolation Twin.
Stewie: So then you’re kinda bound to get into Eldrazi-town…good ol’ colourless craziness.
Szpirs: Ugh. I totally misplayed a bunch of cards because of this. I put in a handful of Eldrazi cretures and Devoid spells not realizing you needed “colourless” colourless mana to play them.
Stew: LOL. Colour is not a colour until it’s a colour…
wait, no… colourless is not a colour until it’s a colour…
Szpirs: Stupid, stupid Eldrazi! It really only messed up one or two cards in my deck but it was an annoying surprise. Weird that there would be a “colourless” state that’s distinct from, say, artifact colourless.
Stew: Well, here’s the thing; Sol Ring taps for 2 colourless symbols, not 2 colourless.
Stew: It’s not that bad. All artifacts now produce the colourless “colour” mana
unless they tap for a firm colour like Orzhov Signet.
Szpirs: Ok…what about something like Lotus Petal that makes a mana of any colour…can you choose colourless as a colour?
Stew: The judge would have to make a ruling. The concept makes a kind of sense….like sometimes colourless means “mana of any colour” and other times it means “mana of no colour”.
Szpirs: …BUT THE CARDS HAVE WRITING ON THEM! Why can’t they just say what they mean?
Stew: …because of cards like this:
Stew: When I would play vintage people had to carry around their rulings page for chains.
Szpirs: You’re a monster. So, my Eldrazi complaints aside, how’d the draft go for you?
Stew: Went in with a solid green/black deck. I had some control and removal along with some quick creatures. All in all, not bad. You?
Szpirs: After drawing that gorram Desolation Twin, I knew it was gonna be all mana ramp which meant green…also a good colour for some other big swingers (although none came up in the draft…it’s a damn conspiracy)…I tried to round it out with Red for control/direct damage. I ended up with solid ramp; I was getting the Twin down by turn six…a few bears…some cheap equipment to pump them up… one or two more big creatures and some artifact-based direct damage.
Stew: I guess that’s why you were my only loss…
Szpirs: LOL You were my only win. I probably should’ve gone blue for control/bounce….
I was lucky in our game. My mana ratio was a little too high and I didn’t have a good answer for flyers.
Stew: Hindsight is 20/20. With draft, it takes time to get used to what cards you want to build with…plus when someone might be brewing the same sort of deck as you, it can screw up your pulls.
Szpirs: See, that’s why I didn’t go Black…I thought Devon would be reaching for it..and probably you and/or Mark.
Stew: I only went for it as no one else seemed to be. I knew Devon would go blue and Mike, even though he’s a wild card to me, I thought would go red.
Szpirs: Wanna test your theories? I asked the others to chirp in about their decks and what their MVP card or combo was.
Devon: I played Sultai Control….went with the three colours because I drafted all the mana fixing it could: Holdout Settlement, Natural Connection, and Renegade Map. Star of the deck was probably Ice Over and Containment Membrane which both lock down creatures. Then I just swooped in with flyers. Any thing else on the board, I picked off with Bone Splinters.
Mark: I played white with a splash of black as it’s usually a colour combo people will leave behind, so I had a better chance of getting decent cards…especially in White. My super star would be the Solemn Recruit, who also gains +1/+1 tokens when your other creatures go to the graveyard. Mostly she worked for me as a decoy, as some players actually burned multiple removal cards trying to keep her off the board, which left my Battle for Zendikar and Oath of the Gatewatch vampires to do the damage for me.
Mike: I played Green / Red as those tend be straightforward colours and I was trying to keep it simple. Best card was probably Mina and Denn, Wildborn. It combo’ed with Valakut Predator. Also Jaddi Offshoot and Elemental Uprising both had some play for me. I also liked Aether Chaser combo’ed with Outnumber. That worked out pretty well for me for the cost.
Szpirs: Yeah, she’s awesome. What were you using the energy for?
Stew: She was the only energy card I had. Every time I had enough energy to user her draw ability, someone killed her so I kept putting her out as bait.
Szpirs: That’s cold. She has a family somewhere, Stew.
A Glint-Sleeve Family.
Well, that’s it, Geeks. Anyone else doing any drafting? Share your (horror) stories in the comments!