Posted tagged ‘Orzhov’

Another Win with Orzhov in Amonkhet Draft

May 27, 2017

I’m drafting a bit more again the last couple of days, and consequently I get 3-0 results more often, which I will keep referring to as “drafts won”, even though technically they aren’t, since they happen in leagues. It has become a habit of mine over the years to post screenshots of all my winning draft decks as small data points for other drafters with a few comments, so here we go again:

I firstpicked Liliana’s Mastery, followed it up with Fan Bearer, and then somehow stubbornly forced Orzhov zombies, ignoring that Blue was wide open for me, counting on my persistence to pay off during the second half of the draft – which it did, although not quite as much as I had hoped for, but I got a Gust Walker and the Final Reward pretty late.

I realize the irony that, when finally getting those clear signals I had been missing in earlier drafts and complaining about it, I did not heed them, but I weighed the power of my early picks and the quality I would likely get in those colors during the rest of the packs against the likely rewards of switching to Blue, and at any point of the draft it seemed to me that I would likely still end up with a stronger deck if I stayed on course, carried by the high power level of my early black picks, the amounting mass of my playable white picks, the expection to push another drafter or two further down the table out of my colors by completely blocking them, and the strong synergies between Black and White in Amonkhet draft.

As you can see, I got there. This is now my 3rd win in 12 drafts (most of the others I went 2-1, although I had a couple of 1-2 results as well), and I have reclaimed a decent, while not spectacular overall win percentage in this format. (It also helped that, for a change, I did not play against Glorybringer several matches in a row lately.)

Two observations: My games took long or even extremely long to finish again, no matter what I played against; and this was the third time out of three that I went 3-0 playing Black. While with this sample size, one obviously cannot infer anything definite from the fact, I do believe that Black is just a good color to be in when aggressive decks are still overdrafted.

A Win with Orzhov in Amonkhet Draft

May 26, 2017

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.