Monday, January 21, 2013

A Look at Booster Drafts

Okay, so Monday I was a bit bored, so I took a couple of minutes to use the booster draft simulator that Wizards of the Coast has. (NOTE: You'll need flash enabled!)

If' you've never played with the draft simulator before, I highly recommend it. I played around with it when it was on M12, and just decided to try this one out. Drafts are pretty much the same (packs you see, the computer AI players draft a certain way, etc.) so if you follow the order I did this in, you'll probably get all the cards in the list, so check out each list and see why I chose what I did (it will be analyzed below each round).

Round 1:
Vampire Nighthawk
Tormented Soul
Bountiful Harvest
Deadly Recluse
Sign in Blood
Elvish Visionary
Titanic Growth
Arbor Elf
Dark Favor

Okay, so the cards I look at the choose from are okay... A Cathedral of War (Rare), two artifacts for uncommons, and a Vampire Nighthawk? One of my favorite black cards to play in Standard? Something that could keep me alive and instill fear in my opponents? Hell yes. So I have a Nighthawk. Good start. Next pick was a Tormented Soul. One drop 1/1 unblockable. Still fitting with the black theme. I like it! Then I see Rancor after that. If my Junk deck (It's coming soon, I swear!) pairs Nighthawks and Rancors well, this will just go from good to awesome. Bountiful Harvest was just a "there is nothing here that fits my game plan. I'll just take something that will give me life. Plummet, perfect flyers control. And no one takes it to drop my Nighthawk. Next was another Plummet (didn't need another, really...) or a Deadly Recluse. Reach and Deathtouch for 2 mana. I couldn't resist. Sign in Blood. I'm gaining life, let's draw some cards with it. Honestly, what am I going to do with Farseek without shocklands? And in a draft, no less. Elvish Visionary. More with card draw. Titanic Growth for that pump spell I may need (+4/+4 to a Nighthawk? Yes please!). Disentomb so I can get some creatures back... Arbor Elf because there isn't much left, and a mana dork can't hurt (3 mana on turn two, essentially). Dark Favor was really the only option here. I lose one life and pay two mana for +3/+1 permanently (unless countered or destroyed) to a creature. I was drafting for keeps and not simulated, I would have taken then Reverberate, but I went with the Swamp. And another Swamp. And an Island.

So what am I looking at so far out of these 15 cards? Well, 3 land for starters, but I've grabbed some creatures with Deathtouch, life gain, and pump spells. See the theme? Good! Keeping with that theme/mindset, I go towards the next round...

Round 2:
Tormented Soul
Garruk's Packleader
Blood Reckoning
Silklash Spider
Fungal Sprouting
Vile Rebirth
Acidic Slime
Bond Beetle
Elvish Visionary
Spiked Baloth
Serpent's Gift
Timberpack Wolf

I went with another Tormented Soul because sometimes you can't do much about unblockable creatures in limited. And because it was cheap. Garruk's Packleader for more card draw. And maybe some creatures with power 3 or greater could show up. I chose Blood Reckoning because it dissuades opponents from attacking. I chose Silklash Spider next because it is essentially a 2/7 wall with reach, and I can drop some flyers. I'm not quite sure why I chose Fungal Sprouting. Maybe because it meant more creatures, maybe it made sense. I guess it was better than Vastwood Gorger... Next, I went with Vile Rebirth. I can exile a creature from an opponent's graveyard or mine and get a 2/2 zombie. Why not? I chose Acidic Slime purely for the destruction ability. Now that I look back, it fits the Deathtouch theme too... Bond Beetle because it was the only card of one of my colors. and the ability of putting a +1/+1 counter on something didn't hurt either... Elvish Visionary, again, for card draw like last round. I chose Spiked Baloth next as a trigger for Garruk's Packleader and because of Trample. Serpent's Gift was purely for the Deathtouch aspect. Having a Fog never hurts... Forest because there wasn't much else to choose from. Same thing goes for Timberpack Wolf. Then I was handed an Island.
Okay, so now I've added Trample, more card draw, and more Deathtouch and reasons for opponents not to attack or block stuff I send their way. And if that doesn't work, then Silklash Spider will be a nice wall. Next round!

Round 3:
Primal Huntbeast
Liliana's Shade
Rise from the Grave
Vampire Nighthawk
Yeva's Forcemage
Vile Rebirth
Mwonvuli Beast Tracker
Veilborn Ghoul
Phylactery Lich
Bloodthrone Vampire
Sign in Blood
Crippling Blight
Crippling Blight
Faith's Reward

Primal Huntbeast for Garruk's Packleader's trigger, of course... Liliana's Shade for getting the land out and for the pump ability. Rise from the Grave was chosen because I could kill off something awesome an opponent has, and then get it back. Or also just bring back my Nighthawk. And then I see another Vampire Nighthawk. I can totally make this work. Two of them in one limited deck? That definitely helps the game plan of hitting them with deathtouch/lifelink and keeping them from swinging back. I chose Yeva's Forcemage for the pump spell aspect. A 2/2 that gives +2/+2 until end of turn to another creature is definitely powerful in limited. Vile Rebirth was chosen for the same reason as in Round 2. Now I have way too many Mwonvuli Beast Tracker's in my collection. I think 10 or something. By far my most pulled uncommon, and I hate it. Yet in this deck, I think I found a niche for it. In limited, when I have all these creatures with deathtouch, trample, and reach, this is perfect. Let's me find a Nighthawk, which I could have by turn 4 (assuming land is played right) and hopefully played that turn (essentially I'd need two forests and one swamp by turn three, then play a swamp on turn four so I can play the Nighthawk). I chose Veilborn Ghoul because i could keep bringing him back hopefully. Of course, I don't have to use him, but still a good option. Honestly, Phylactery Lich came back to me (was the rare at the beginning of the round), so I took it, especially since it was the only color of mine... I chose Bloodthrone Vampire because I could sacrifice a 1/1 Saproling from Fungal Sprouting to get a 3/3... Not too bad... Chose Sign in Blood for the same reason as in Round 1. Gaining life and then trading it for cards... Okay, I got Crippling Blight and Crippling Blight because they were the only cards left of my color. But it does control opponent's creatures and keep them from blocking... When I got to Faith's Reward, it was the last pack, and I figured I might as well take a rare that was rotated around. I mean, why not? Then last, but not least, an Island.

So I have Green and Black cards, which I have creatures with Reach, Trample, and Deathtouch. The Vampire Nighthawks round out the deck perfectly.

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