Posted tagged ‘Magic 2013’

Revisiting the Daily MTG Booster Draft Simulator

September 29, 2012

I know, it’s Return to Ravnica which is on every Magic player’s mind right now – the second part of my limited preview for that set (in German) just went up on PlanetMTG – but I found myself busy listening to an audio tape for hours in front of my computer screen, requiring my full attention only every few minutes, and after durdling around a while on LeBestiare with the new set and realizing that there is something wrong with their card collation, I spontaneously decided to make a mock Magic 2013 draft on Daily MTG (I would link the draft simulator dircetly, but for some reason, this doesn’t work).

This is what came out of it:

Kraken Hatchling
Master of the Pearl Trident
Silvercoat Lion
War Priest of Thune
Aven Squire
Welkin Tern
Welkin Tern
Scroll Thief
Scroll Thief
Wind Drake
Watercourser
Captain’s Call
Captain’s Call
Talrand’s Invocation
Pillarfield Ox
Clone
Archaeomancer
Healer of the Pride
Unsummon
Pacifism
Pacifism
Essence Scatter
Ring of Evos Isle
9 Island
8 Plains

Sideboard (best of):
Hydrosurge
Negate
Encrust
Encrust
Tricks of the Trade
Tricks of the Trade
Rewind

I feel that is a very reasonable deck, although I would prefer the Hatchling and the Ox to be a Show of Valor and a Guardians of Akrasa, and the Healer to be a Griffin Protector. A Glorious Charge in the sideboard would be nice, too.

Does anyone else do those mock drafts anymore?

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Another win in M13

September 4, 2012

Well, these are not exactly back-to-back wins, but the frequency with which I win drafts in M13 is still quite satisfying to me. Before this new victory, I dropped a  first round with a nearly mono-black deck (featuring a mini-splash of Searing Spear very well supported with the help of Dragonskull Summit and Evolving Wilds) to a Knight of Glory I couldn’t handle (although I had hate-drafted another exemplar of those) in conjunction with, of all things, a Downpour, and in the second game, mulliganed myself into oblivion, once again facing that stupid Knight. I really don’t like what protection and hexproof do in Limited (well, okay, unless I’m on the winning side at the moment, of course). For my Next Level Cubes, I forswore hexproof completely and use protection from a color only very sparingly and consciously – but, most importantly, never on creatures which do more than just attack and block!

So, of course, I couldn’t let this stand and joined another 4-3-2-2 queue. This was the deck:

8 Mountain
8 Island
1 Plains
1 Chronomaton
1 Jace’s Phantasm
2 Welkin Tern
1 Mogg Flunkies
2 Arctic Aven
2 Scroll Thief
1 Wind Drake
1 Bladetusk Boar
1 Firewing Phoenix
1 Talrand, Sky Summoner
1 Unsummon
3 Krenko’s Command
2 Searing Spear
1 Divination
1 Trumpet Blast
2 Turn to Slag

The Plains “splash” worked out very well for me, although the Avens were also completely serviceable as 2/1 flyers, and Talrand usually drew a concession with the production of his second token.

I once sided Trumpet Blast out for an Archaeomancer, and once for a Volcanic Strength. I didn’t feel I ever needed the second Archaeomancer, Negate, Downpour, Fire Elemental, Canyon Minotaur, Goblin Battle Jester or Kindled Fury (I had an additional six or so more far-fetched options).

In the finals, I found myself in the position of needing to control out a lightning-fast RW deck – Reckless Brute, Kindled Fury and all – which reminded me that in M13, my build is actually already a midrange deck.

Oh, and my new rating peak is 1845. I strongly doubt I will get much higher. Anyway, I SHOULD draft a little less than in the last few days, maybe even make a longer pause again – but, then again, it is SO much fun right now!

Aaaaaand back to M13!

September 3, 2012

After my third won RAV draft in a row, I was finally hit by fate, flunking out of a tournament in round 1 due to color screw – ironically, with the possibly most consistent mana base I had drafted so far in this format, and of course against a 4-color deck without mana problems. I let that spell the end of my return to Ravnica, because I didn’t want to buy more boosters (so far I had only invested in a single draft set), and because I realized that I was actually paying THREE tix for entry, not the usual two, which explained why I was also out of tix earlier than I had calculated. I sold my superfluous RAV boosters and got into M13 again, going 1-1 in an 8:4, once again being color screwed with an excellent mana base (really, 8 Mountain, 7 Forest, 1 Rootbound Crag, 1 Hellion Crucible should work for a deck mainly consisting of Mogg Flunkies, Flinthoof Boars and Timber Wolves – shouldn’t it?). I reloaded on M13 boosters and tried again. This is the deck which made it (sadly, only in a 4-3-2-2):

8 Forest
8 Swamp
1 Cathedral of War
2 Duty-Bound Dead
1 Tormented Soul
1 Elvish Visionary
1 Ravenous Rats
1 Walking Corpse
2 Mwonvuli Beast Tracker
2 Primal Huntbeast
1 Spiked Baloth
1 Bloodhunter Bat
1 Acidic Slime
1 Rancor
2 Titanic Growth
1 Cower in Fear
1 Murder
2 Mark of the Vampire
2 Essence Drain
1 Rise from the Grave

Yup, those are two Beasts able to search out two Huntbeasts and two Mark of the Vampire to go with them! I obviously had a clear path to victory…

…which failed to materialize even ONCE. I cannot complain, since I won anyway, but I was really astonished that the obvious way to win just didn’t happen! Well, Mark of the Vampire also worked well on Walking Corpse, Tormented Soul and Acidic Slime.

In the finals I won against a player who started with 2 Welkin Tern both times, and I had Cower in Fear in my opening hand both times… which would explain why I won these games, but in both I never got to double-black mana… I put out a few creatures, put Mark of the Vampire on them and raced, using an Essence Drain here and there, and one time reanimating a Duskdale Wurm which had been discarded to my Ravenous Rats. Well, I doubt my opponent would accept the fact that I actually drew mediocre in these games…

My sideboard held, among other things, a third Titanic Growth (really didn’t imagine it wouldn’t make the cut when I drafted it), Fungal Sprouting, Bond Beetle, 2 Dark Favor, a Vile Rebirth and a Mind Rot, as well as an Oblivion Ring I could have splashed if my need was really dire. I actually never sideboarded anything – the deck was perfect as is; it just needed to draw a reasonable mixture of lands and non-lands.

The lesson to be learned here is: Combos in limited come to pass only erratically (in other words, only when your opponents play them), so you shouldn’t include them unless all parts of them are already useful. That was certainly the case here!

(Oh, and I reached a new limited rating peak at 1840. I know it doesn’t mean anything, but I’m still curious to see how high I can go before I’ll make my next dive again.)

SDW (stupid deck wins)

August 28, 2012

Okay, I’m really tired, and this will be short, but I will fulfill my duties as chronicler: After my last won draft, I went 1-1 in an 8-4; 0-1 in a 4-3-2-2; then lost two times back to back in the finals of two more 8-4. It seems my birthday luck had already deserted me, because the decks I had really deserved better, but okay. Then I entered a swiss draft (I know, I really shouldn’t, but it started first) and won it with the following deck:

13 Mountain
4 Swamp
3 Goblin Arsonist
2 Crimson Muckwader
2 Mogg Flunkies
1 Dragon Hatchling
2 Reckless Brute
2 Rummaging Goblin
2 Goblin Battle Jester
1 Bladetusk Boar
1 Firewing Phoenix
1 Furnace Whelp
1 Ring of Valkas
3 Searing Spear
2 Turn to Slag

Why, yes, I might have been the only red drafter at the table… It certainly felt that way! Just to show you the options I had when building my deck, a few cards from my sideboard:

Ravenous Rats
Knight of Infamy
Giant Scorpion
3 Bloodhunter Bat
Zombie Goliath
Duress
Murder
2 Canyon Minotaur
Smelt
Wild Guess
Mark of Mutiny
Craterize
Cleaver Riot

Obviously, the hard part was to decide how much Black I wanted…

I won the first round against a really bad player with a BW deck featuring Mutilate, a boatload of exalted creatures and a lot of lands, which allowed me to make a recovery from 9 life to 42 (there had been a Zombie Goliath with TWO Mark of the Vampire!) with just a Rummaging Goblin against Duty-Bound Dead and Angelic Benediction. Ring of Valkas was really helpful here, especially in conjunction with Furnace Whelp and a two-digit number of lands in play…
Second round I beat a B/g deck, and in the finals I knew (I finally found the option to replay my opponents’ games – I’m SO slow!) I would face a monster of a deck: The game I replayed it went Arctic Aven, Sublime Angel, Sublime Angel! But luck had returned to me: In the first game he only drew the Aven (which I could kill with a Searing Spear), and in the second game, after I had frantically sideboarded into a RB version of my deck with all the removal I could muster – I submitted the deck with 3 seconds left on the clock! – he drew only Islands and died really fast.

You wouldn’t believe it, but I do actually NOT draft ultra-aggressive decks every time (although I always value a good curve highly) – but my slower decks, even though they usually look better even to me, just fail to win consistently enough. I’ll leave it to you to draw any further conclusions. It’s time to go to sleep now.