Innistrad Draft (Swiss), 16/10/2011
I made a couple of mispicks in this draft, but not a whole lot, I think. Blue was pretty open from the beginning, with a reasonable amount of black and white coming around, but black just had the better cards. I first picked Cackling Counterpart over Murder of Crows, which has to be wrong, but I wanted to try out the rare (edit: actually now that I realise it has flashback, there’s no way Murder of Crows is better than that). I wasn’t sure how many things like Moon Heron (which don’t play into the themes of the deck, but are solid cards) versus things like Think Twice (which are pretty good if they get milled, but don’t have a whole heap of impact) I should play, and I think I might have erred too much on the side of synergy. Maybe having solid creatures like Moon Heron or Markov Patrician is just better? You will notice that the manabase for this deck does not include any plains despite the fact that the mana requirements aren’t that onerous (aside from Reaper), and Unburial Rites is great when you can flash it back. That is because I am a moron and forgot to add plains when I was adding land. I switched two plains for two islands after the first game of every match.
Match one was against a pretty aggressive red/green deck. In game one he hit me down to 1 life, but then I played my demon and a bunch of zombie dudes and stabilised. Game two I F6ed through my first turn because I’m a moron, and then lost. Game three I played my demon which he killed, and I then got it back with Unburial Rites, and then played Cackling Counterpart on it, with a plains in play to Unburial Rites it a third time if he killed it again. I won that game.
Match two was against blue/green werewolves and zombies. I got pretty badly manascrewed both games (in game one I was on three land while he was on 7-8), and in game two I finally managed to get out the Reaper (with the help of two Deranged Assistants), but he played two Grasp of Phantoms (sorcery that puts a creature on the top of its owner library) on successive turns, and then played that red Devil that gets back sorceries at random, and replayed his Grasp of Phantoms, and then the newt turn got to eight mana which let him flashback Grasp of Phantoms. It is very hard to win when you get time walked four times, and so I didn’t.
Match three was against red/white humans. Game one my deck did exactly what is was supposed to do. I had Deranged Assistant, Armored Skaab and Forbidden Alchemy to get a bunch of stuff in my graveyard, zombies to cast and to exile from my graveyard, and a bunch of flashback cards to get value. I also had a Reaper of the Abyss and Cackling Counterpart to copy it. He Fiend Huntered my Reaper, but it didn’t really matter. I won before I was able to flash back Cackling Counterpart in order to have three demons on the battlefield :( Game two I mulliganned to six and then got stuck on three land. I played Armored Skaab and milled four land, which made me very sad. I ended up having to Forbidden Alchemy for a land. I eventually drew another couple of land, but all his stuff got bigger when I killed something (like Thanben Sentry and whathaveyou), which prevented me from stabilising. Game three I had a turn one Delver into turn two Vampire Interloper. The Delver flipped on turn four or so, so I was beating down pretty hard. He eventually got Markov Vampire and Silver Inlaid Dagger, so was able to gain a bunch of life. I killed his vampire… somehow, and then he ended up with a 5/5 Juggernaut and a 5/2 equipped human that dies and gives +1/+1 counters. I was on five, but luckily had a Markov Patrician to chump with, leaving me at three. I swung in for the win the next turn.
I feel like this was a really good deck, but I played a lot of pretty aggressive decks, and found myself winning at pretty low life a lot of the time. I’m not sure if I built this wrong, if the quality of archetypes are really close in Innistrad, or just if everyone in the draft opened very well. I think maybe the fact that I picked up a lot of synergistic cards led me to play too many do-nothing cards like Think Twice, whereas if there had have been less graveyard-centric cards, I maybe would have been happy with playing more solid creatures.