Innistrad Draft (Swiss), 5/1/2012
I was sick of losing so I switched it up to swiss so that I could at least get some games in. This deck felt decent but not amazing. Plenty of removal and some okay early plays, but if I never draw the Skirsdag High Priest then I have no real way to win.
I won the first match against a fairly mediocre blue/white deck, lost the second match by a mile to a very sweet deck with a million werewolves I couldn’t do anything about, and then absolutely crushed my third opponent by combining the High Priest with removal and morbid guys to get a million demons and kill his entire board. That made me feel a little better. Never got to play Devil’s Play despite it being in my hand for the entirety of three separate games and me siding in a second Shimmering Grotto after every game one, which was pretty annoying.
Innistrad Draft (8-4), 5/1/2012
My deck after pack one was looking to be a bit of a crap blue/black monstrocity, so I just decided to go all in on mill. I picked a Curse of the Bloody Tome P2P1, so let it never be said that I am not committed. Anyway this deck sucked and I made terrible mulliganning decisions in my first match (didn’t mull a five-lander or a one-lander) so I was put out of my misery pretty quickly.
Innistrad Draft (8-4), 3/1/2012
After a very long time playing Skyrim, I decided to get back on the drafting horse in preparation for Dark Ascension. Of course I immediately draft red/green mono-durdles. It started off well with Kessig Cagebreakers and then Brimstone Volley and two Geistflame, but went downhill from there. I really really hate red/green as a colour combination in this format, and I would have splashed just those three removal spells, but I didn’t really see anything in the first pack in the way of green, and the best other colour was black, which was offering me the stellar pickings of Typhoid Rats and like three Manor Skeletons (which I took anyway). I then took a Darkthicket Wolf over a Slayer of the Wicket P2P1, which is maybe wrong given I basically only had Cagebreakers and that’s easy enough to splash. Although I’m not sure my deck would have been too stellar if I had have gone into white, given both of my later opponents were also white/red. Luckily I got passed a Falkenrath Marauders in the next pick (although I had to take it over a Brimstone Volley that I think would have made this deck pretty good). I opened horribly in my third pack, first-picking a Clifftop Retreat despite having no white card to splash because there were legitimately no good cards in the pack. All in all this deck seems pretty sucky. I hate all of the three and four drop creatures, and having to play Rangers Guile and Furor of the Bitten (which are fine cards I guess, but not at their greatest in this deck) through lack of playables is bad, but Marauders and Cagebreakers can just win on their own, and any deck with a semblance of a curve has the potential to get there on the back of a manascrewed opponent.
Match one against a reasonable red/white deck I tried to punt in five different ways, but won on the back of Marauders in game two and Cagebreakers in game three to squeak past. Round two was against a much better version of the same deck. I mulled to five game one and then got stuck on four land with three 5-drops in hand while he murdered me with his Elite Inquisitor that basically shut down my entire deck. Game two started much better, but I again stumbled a little on mana, only having one forest and needing to cast Lumberknot. In the turns I was waiting for a second green, like five creatures died, so it would have been a reasonable force. As it was I never drew the forest and I died a bunch of turns later to his Elite Inquisitor and spirit tokens that I wasn’t able to answer.
Innistrad Draft (4-3-2-2), 13/11/2011
This is basically why I don’t like drafting blue/black decks in Innistrad. Everything needs everything else, you have way too much top end and not enough one or two drops (but you can’t really justifiably cut your five-drop flyers otherwise you have nothing to win with), and it is very hard to make cuts. I ended up having to cut a removal spell here, and I feel like the deck also wanted a second Crab, but I couldn’t fit it in. I did get to play Army of the Damned (mainly because I wanted to cast it at least once in this format), and picked up two other mythics to help with my set redemption, though.
My first game was with an equally slow red/white deck. Game one it didn’t seem to register when I clicked “yes” for whether I wanted to play first, so I clicked it again, and it mulliganned what was a perfectly fine hand. Then I drew into a one-land hand, and had to mulligan again. Despite that, I drew pretty well, while he got kind of flooded, and killed him with Army of the Damned. Game two I had a very good start with Deranged Assistant, but he neutralised all the threats I ramped into and I milled ALL of my flyers with Deranged Assistant and Armored Skaabs. My game plan was then to get to eight mana to cast Army of the Damned to finish him off, but before I could he cast TWO Rolling Temblor to wipe the board, meaning I couldn’t even cast it and then flash it back to kill him. I drew a million removal spells while he played some Village Bellringers. I attacked for a few every turn with Armored Skaabs and Fortress Crabs, but it wasn’t fast enough to kill him before I decked myself. Game three I again found none of my flyers (which should have been enough to kill him) and instead drew my ground zombies, which couldn’t block his best dude due to his Blazing Torch. I eventually drew enough for Army of the Damned, forgetting that he had (one of his three) Scourge of Geier Reach out. All the zombies gave it a million power, he used the Blazing Torch and some other spell to get rid of my blockers, and then swung for the win. Pretty frustrating, because my deck should have been very well set up against him. All of his dudes were big dumb ground guys that my high toughness creatures should have been able to hold off, and then my flyers should have been able to kill him without fuss, but unfortunately I never got to cast any of them in three games.
Innistrad Draft (4-3-2-2), 13/11/2011
This deck was crazy. It didn’t seem like anyone else at the table wanted werewolves at all, so I picked up a bunch. This could have been insane if I was able to get more Moonmists or some of the really good werewolves, but alas it was not to be. I did pass on the enchantment that pumps werewolves in the middle of pack 1, which I kind of regretted at the end of the draft, but I am not even sure if I would have run it. This deck was a little weird in that there wasn’t much going on after turn three until I got to 7 mana, but I thought it was reasonable enough.
In the first match I played against a black/red semi-aggro deck. Game one I drew a million forests and only one mountain, so I wasn’t able to cast my Kruin Outlaw or Crossway Vampire in my hand until quite late in the game. By then, he had cast and flipped a Screeching Bat, so there wasn’t a whole lot I could do to avoid dying. Game two I played a werewolf on turns 2, 3, and 4, and then turn five attacked with everyone and played Moonmist after he declared blockers to kill his entire board. I won the next turn. Game three I mulliganned a double-Monstrocity hand, and then possibly mulliganned again? In any case he got down Bloodline Keeper on turn three and I died. Boo.
Innistrad Draft (4-3-2-2), 12/11/2011
The programming experiment turned out to be a massive bust because I don’t understand computers properly, so I figured I’d do another draft. I opened a Mentor of the Meek, and then picked some decent cards for green/white humans (after second-picking Geistflame), so I cemented myself pretty quickly. I was hoping to get a bunch of flyers and the dudes that make flyers, which led me to take Demonmail Hauberk fairly early in pack one, but unfortunately I got too many cards that need dudes to be good (Travel Preparations, Prey Upon, Blazing Torch, Mentor of the Meek), and too few dudes. I don’t think I ever saw a Midnight Haunting or a Mausoleum Guard, which would have both been crazy in this deck.
A combination of Blazing Torches, drawing a bunch of cards off Mentor of the Meek, and turning my Abbey Griffin into a Serra Angel with Travel Preparations got me through my first two rounds. Unfortunately both games in the final I got a combination of pretty land screwed and drawing too many enablers and not enough creatures to use them on, while my opponent had things like Skirsdag High Priest which I was unable to do anything about.
Innistrad Draft (8-4), 12/11/2011
I first-picked Rolling Temblor in a fairly weak pack, and then picked Brimstone Volley over the clearly more powerful Daybreak Ranger in P1P2 in order to keep my colours open. Of course, I then ended up in green/red anyway, which made me feel pretty bad. I got Moldgraf Monstrocity fourth or fifth pick, which seems pretty late considering how great it was for me. Enough aggressive cards were coming that I didn’t even end up running the Rolling Temblor for fear of destroying my own force. I ended up with a decent but not amazing deck, and wasn’t feeling too confident.
Luckily, I ended up running pretty well! Match one was against a black/blue durdle deck, and it just messed around not really doing anything for a few games, so I ran it over. Match two was against a pretty insane red/black aggro deck, with multiple Reckless Waifs and a million removal spells. Game one I curved out pretty well with Stromkirk Noble into Wolf into Spirit, but he just killed them all. Luckily he got stuck on lands and had no creatures to play, so I got a Boar down and hit him a bunch. Eventually he stabilised with some big dude I don’t remember right now, and started hitting me a bunch. We ended up both at less than five or so life, and both just top-decking, with him having a Bump in the Night in his graveyard. I had drawn all but one of my mountains, plus my plains, and only had two forests, with Moldgraf Monstrocity in my hand, which made most of the cards in my deck pretty good. He kept playing dudes, and I drew a dude every turn to trade off with them, until eventually I drew my Traveler’s Amulet, got a forest, slammed the Monstrocity, which he couldn’t answer. I brought in Rolling Temblor for game two. This time he got off to a more aggressive start with Reckless Waif and a bunch of x/2s. I played Hamlet Captain or something to trade, which he used a removal spell on, and so I untapped on turn four and Rolling Temblor to get a 3-for-1. We both hit each other a bunch until we stabilised with Rage Thrower a piece. I flashbacked Rolling Temblor which killed five things, and let us deal 8 damage to each other. We were both again on very low life, which was scary as he hadn’t yet played his Bump in the Night or Geistflame, but the next turn I played Moldgraf Monstrocity which he again couldn’t answer. I think I got pretty lucky in this game because his deck was very nice, but I’ll take it! I split the finals because I wanted to get back at
bashing my head against a wall attempting to learn programming (note: I am very bad at programming).
Innistrad Draft (8-4), 5/11/2011
White seemed pretty open with decent but not amazing cards. I was pretty open on a second colour going into pack two, but the best thing I opened was an Invisible Stalker, so I figured I would try for the human equipment deck. Unfortunately the only thing I found was one Spectral Flight and a Dagger. Overall I think this deck turned out pretty well; no bombs but pretty consistent.
Unfortunately I lost a pretty close match in the first round. Game one I stomped all over him, game 2 was pretty close and I got him down to around 3 life before flooding out and letting him stabilise, and game 3 I should have won, but I clicked through the beginning combat phase without tapping one of his dudes with my Priest, which let him deal me lethal. I obv was going to draw the Fiend Hunter that should have let me attack for the last few damage the next turn. Unfortunately I only played Mindshrieker once and he killed it almost immediately, but it would have won me either of those games.
Innistrad Draft (8-4), 4/11/2011
I first-picked Garruk Relentless, so I figured everything after that was a bit of a free-roll. I took Brimstone Volley and then two Murder of Crows next, and then got excited and took Burning Vengence. The red/blue Burning Vengence deck seems pretty fun to play, and it wants a lot of spells that other decks don’t, so I figured it might be worth a try. Plus, thinkgs like Murder of Crows are crazy good in that kind of a deck. I think took some fixing so I could splash Garruk. Unfortunately, not much in the way of flashback spells were coming around. I picked up some Skaab guys (who also seem good in that kind of deck), but not much else. I did end up seeing a reasonable amount of flashback cards in late pack 2/pack 3, but by then the ship had kind of sailed, and I would rather take some creatures that did something over spells that would only be good if I reached a critical mass. Maybe I just needed more commitment :( Overall though, I thought this deck wasn’t bad. I felt like it had enough dudes to stall them in the early game, and then some great spells to win in the late game.
Unfortunately, match one didn’t go my way. I stumbled on three mana for about three turns in game one, while he got out some Cloistered Youths and started beating down. By the time I was able to draw my fourth land I was already too far behind. Game two went much better, as I got some early dudes out, and then played Ludevic’s Test Subject and just leveled a bunch until I was able to kill him with a 13/13. Game three was pretty close, but unfortunately he played a bunch of flyers along with Silver-Inlaid Dagger. I dealt with most of them, leaving him with a 1/1 spirit, and then played One-Eyed Scarecrow. I just needed to draw my sideboarded Naturalise to take care of his Dagger and I hopefully would have stabilised, but unfortunately a couple of draw steps and a flashbacked Think Twice didn’t get me there. I felt I got a little unlucky in this match, but I got very lucky in my previous draft, so I suppose I can’t be too upset.
Innistrad Draft (8-4), 4/11/2011
I can’t say this is the greatest deck I have ever drafted. I was looking to go into red/black aggro after picking Skirsdag Cultist and Falkenrath Noble as my first two picks, but I don’t think I saw a single playable black card out of my first few picks in each pack. It felt like green was open in pack one, but I wasn’t sure about the other colours. I got a couple of good picks early, but then red kind of dried up, and blue wasn’t good enough for me to want to go into a fifth colour. I ended up with some decent cards (Elder of Laurels, Spider Spawning, and Balefire Dragon), but I have very little removal, and my manabase is terrible. I played so many mountains because I feel it’s important to get the Crossway Vampires online as soon as possible, but the consequence is playing not nearly enough forests to play my green one or two drops, and only playing two swamps means I will likely never get to flashback Sever the Bloodline, and rarely play Falkenrath Noble particularly early.
This deck did surprise me, though! I ran very well in mana, and basically always had the right lands to cast my spells. There were a tonne of cards that worked very well together, including Rakish Heir, Crossway Vampires and Falkenrath Noble, and having Elder of Laurels and Spider Spawning in an 18 creature deck doesn’t hurt, either. I won both of my first rounds 2-1, with each match being very very close. My first opponent had a pretty good blue/white deck with Grimoire of the Dead. Unfortunately most of his white spells kind of worked against him, and weren’t great on the battlefield or in the graveyard. My second opponent was playing a green/black/white deck with Skirsdag High-Priest. Game one he managed to get the High-Priest going, whereas game two I had turn 3 Rakish Heir turn 4 Falkenrath Noble turn 5 Crossway Vampire. In the last game he got the High-Priest going, but I was able to get the Skirsdag Cultist out before he could start making demons. It turned into a race with his flyers against my Rakish Heir that was growing every turn, but luckily I had Spider Spawning to fog for a turn, and then had a Harvest Pire to get rid of his chump blocker and swing for the win. I feel like I was pretty lucky to get to the finals with this deck, but as long as the mana was okay, the deck plays pretty nicely! I split the finals BTW, I didn’t want to push my luck.