A winning Gatecrash deck list (I’m not using Couchdraft anymore)

I know – that draft environment is near dead. Actually, that is exactly why I convinced myself to give it a shot before that chance would pass. Before, I had been really busy with other stuff, and the Gatecrash draft environment also didn’t seem very attractive to me – it reminded me (and still does) of Rise of the Eldrazi, where you were forced to commit to an archetype before you could be sure it was open for you, and where your success largely depended on seeing enough key cards for your archetype during the draft, and then drawing them. Gatecrash is in the same vein, although not quite that extreme, but also a lot faster (but not nearly as fast as Zendikar, because this time, you CAN block).

I did two drafts so far, as alyways joining whichever draft would start first. So, my first draft was swiss. I was tempted into Simic with a first pick Master Biomancer and never saw good reason to deviate from that plan. A few guildgates made a splash of Black possible, which would consist of Dinrova Horror and Killing Glare. I missed my two opportunities at Shamblesharks for an Experiment One and a Simic Charm, but still got a reasonable curve with 2 one-drops and 4 two-drops. I had as little removal as you would expect in Simic, though (I had taken the Killing Glare over the only Pit Fight I saw), but a pair of Spell Rupture, a Gridlock and a Totally Lost. It was not a bad deck, but nothing great, either. I decided I wanted 19 creatures and left one Spell Rupture and the Totally Lost in the SB – the latter proved to be a mistake. I won two matches against at most mediocre decks and lost without a chance with underwhelming draws against an excellent Gruul deck which would go on to win the draft.

My second draft was an 8-4. I started with a Sepulchral Primordial over commons of Shambleshark quality. My 2nd pick was Guardian of the Gateless, and I considered myself 90% on the way to Orzhov. Over the next few boosters, Boros seemed open, though, but I decided to stick to my plan by chosing Daring Skyjek over Wojek Halberdiers (and either Massive Raid or Martial Glory) twice. In the next two packs, it got clearer and clearer that Boros was underdrafted, but it was always just a little too late for me to profit from a switch. In the end, I had a mana curve a bit too high for my taste, and a bit too few removal, and I maybe missed a gate to make my splash of Blue (again, for Dinrova Horror, which is everything Voidwielder wasn’t) really effortless, but was satisfied overall. (I think I drafted that Devour Flesh over a 2nd Sepulchral Primordial!) Here is the list:

9 Plains
7 Swamp
1 Island
1 Dimir Guildgate
1 Thrull Parasite
3 Daring Skyjek
2 Syndic of Tithes
1 Wight of Precinct Six
1 Vizkopa Guildmage
1 Basilica Guards
2 Syndicate Enforcer
1 Guardian of the Gates
1 Dinrova Horror
1 Sepulchral Primordial
1 Shielded Passage
1 Smite
1 Devour Flesh
1 Grisly Spectacle
2 Angelic Edict
1 Debtor’s Pulpit
1 Knight Watch

Used SB cards: (another) Knight Watch, 2 Zarichi Tger, Purge the Profane.
Usable, but unused: Nav Squad Commando, Shadow Slice, Corpse Blockade, Shattering Blow, Riot Gear, Skyblinder Staff.

During the first two rounds, I was badly colorscrewed in one game, but in the other games I managed to get to the lategame without difficulty and win with my high-impact spells or a couple hits with multiple Skyjeks after softening my opponent up with extort. In the finals, I met a Gruul ramp deck, against which my sideboarded Purge the Profane did wonders. I think I won both games (after losing the first to a barrage of critters for 6+ mana) on 1 or 2 life, both times barely stabilizing with my Primordial, crossing my fingers that my opponent was out of gas, and realizing both times that he actually was. This is certainly not a great deck, but I believe it is perfectly serviceable.

Oh, as you will have noticed, I did not put this draft up on Couchdraft. It didn’t seem to work for me this time – there were cards missing in the packs of the walkthrough, and the deck itself didn’t load up at all due to having the wrong size – whatever that means. I could possibly find out what the issues are and correct them or have them corrected, but the whole point of using Couchdraft was that it was an easy way to share drafts. If it is no longer for me, I won’t use it anymore. Simple as that.

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