A Win with Orzhov in Amonkhet Draft

I’m aware that posting screenshots of decks that won a draft (or, more precisely, went 3-0 in a draft league) is one of the cheapest ways to produce content for a Magic blog, but that’s just why I do it – the alternative at the moment would be to stop posting altogether.

I think this was my 9th Amonkhet draft overall, and I’ve yet to draft one deck that turns out the way I want it too.  I’m not sure what happened to signalling, but I never get a clear impression of the colors open for me until it is too late – if at all. I find that very strange – shouldn’t leagues incentivize players to signal more clearly than in pods, because hate picks have less value?

Be that as it may, I have now achieved my 2nd 3-0 result, and this time with a deck that I would categorize as aggro, although a bit on the slower side of that strategy. I found myself unable to decide between Orzhov and Boros until the middle of pack two, and I did not manage to get more than just a few zombie synergies.

Interestingly, all three of my opponents this time had decks which fell into the aggro part of the spectrum, although only one of them tried to be hyperaggressive. In two of those matches I decided that I had to bolster my defenses (albeit not giving up on the option to go on offense) and sided in the Ruthless Sniper package. Against the Izzet Drake Haven deck however (yes – it was otherwise pretty aggressive), I decided I needed to be faster and just put in Throne of the God-Pharaoh and Forsake the Worldly. The Throne was satisfactorily good and allowed me to push through the last points of damage when my opponent just begun to stabilize behind his Haven. (Fan Bearer was a lot of help there!)

Although they were technically aggro mirrors, none of those matchups made for really fast games, especially not the ones where I went for the Sniper strategy (not that I ever got to use its ability – I think I drew it only once and then without cycling cards). While I beat my finals opponent in three games, I was also close to winning against him on time.

Dusk / Dawn, which is a great card in many matchups, was extremely disappointing this time. I sideboarded it out every match. The card which felt most powerful to me was Oketra’s Monument – it seems really hard to lose if you play it on turn three with a few creatures in your hand, and I didn’t.

Let me, for the umptieth time, reiterate this truth about draft environments: Being curve-conscious and tempo-based is not the same as being fast.

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3 Comments on “A Win with Orzhov in Amonkhet Draft”

  1. Simon Rau Says:

    Oketra’s Monument is easily first pick able. The green one is also very good and I want one in nearly every green deck.

    As with most draft environments, I think Wizards should put in a few more maindeckable answers to artifact and enchantments. I do appreciate that those Card types are hard to remove, but they shouldn’t be unremovable most of the time. Turn 3 Nest of Scarabs or Oketras Monument is just too annyoing to overcome most of the time.

    As for signalling: I have the same Impression. Sometimes I wonder how people draft in these leagues…I get more chaotic drafts then ever before.


    • Well, answers to artifacts are plenty in this set, and most are maindeckable, although you usually prefer not to. Enchantments are very hard to get rid of, though.

      I just realized how rarely my deck did the things you’d expect it to do from looking at its contents. In addition to never triggering Ruthless Sniper, I

      never drew more than one copy of either Fan Bearer or Gust Walker;

      never brought back one of my creatures with Supernatural Stamina;

      never triggered my Binding Mummy;

      never pumped more than two creatures with In Oketra’s Name;

      never used Mighty Leap to give one of my creatures evasion;

      never had the ability of Vizier of Remedies do anything;

      never had Plague Belcher trigger from one of my zombies dying;

      never attacked with Tar-Crop Elite;

      never had Soulstinger put counters on an opponent’s creature;

      and never cast either Dusk or Dawn.

      In hindsight, I wonder what my deck actually DID…

  2. Simon Rau Says:

    It’s just a very very solid deck at every spot on the curve. Sometimes this is just good enough even without some spectacular play sequences. Fan Bearer + only good/solid creatures + some small combat tricks is enough some of the time, as is outnumbering with 1/1 Tokens and nagging damage turn after turn.

    “In Oketra’s Name” never did much for me either, but of course you will play it in a deck with Oketra’s Monument, the B/W Split Card and many 1 and 2 drops.

    Some of the games in AKH limited are just about racing and I guess black Cartouche is not the worst card in such a deck.

    Overall it is a okay draft set in my opinion. I’m somehow not that much excited as I could be, given that I’m a fan of Egyptian flavour.


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