Draft Simulator Walkthrough #1

This will be my first draft walkthrough in what I intend to be a regularly occurring feature on this blog.  Even though the weekly booster draft simulator will probably keep using M13 all year and I will probably never draft that format again, I think it’s a useful exercise for becoming a better drafter.  I will do this like I usually have seen it done: list the cards, explain my decision process, and announce my picks, with a final decklist at the end.

DailyMTG Draft Simulator 10/1/12

PACK 1

P1:
Cathedral Of War, Elixir of Immortality, Ring of Valkos
Healer of the Pride, Safe Passage
Archeomancer, Hydrosurge, Index
Murder, Mind Rot
Chandra’s Fury, Turn to Slag, Rummaging Goblin
Fog

UGH.  What a terrible pack.  I think the only contenders are Murder or Cathedral of War.  Murder is double black, but Cathedral is weak outside Exalted decks.  I’m taking the Cathedral to keep my options open.

P2: Boundless Realms, Sleep, Farseek, Chandra’s Fury, Servant of Nefaraox, Essense Scatter, Mind Sculpt, Sign In Blood, Naturalize, Revive

Not going to mention the total chaff cards.  I think the descision is Farseek vs Sleep.  Sleep is a great card, but is double blue and I don’t think I’ve ever played blue in M13 (number of Talrand’s Summons I’ve ever seen in M13 draft is also zero) whereas I play green alot.  Farseek wins.

P3: Pacifism, Cower in Fear, Encrust, Captain’s Call, Rumaging Goblin, Ravenous Rats, Ring of Kalonia, Duty-Bound Dead

Three packs, three Exalted cards.  If I’d gone Murder for my first pick I might be tempted by Cower here or if I’d taken the Sleep maybe Encrust.  But free of those temptations, I’ll take Pacifism which may be the second best removal spell in M13.

P4: Redirect, Augur of Bolas, Timberpack Wolf, Mind Rot, Goblin Battle Jester, Vile Rebirth, Negate, Unsummon, Plummet, Pillarfield Ox

Wolf without hesitation.

P5: Giant Scorpion, Arbor Elf, Reckless Brute, Aven Squire, Guardians of Akrasa, Negate, Tricks of the Trade, Wild Guess

Squire has some merit, but at this point I like Arbor Elf more.

P6: Mwonvuli Beast Tracker, Augur of Bolas, Spiked Baloth, Goblin Battle Jester, Tricks of the Trade, Krenko’s Command, Erase, War Falcon

I love me some Spiked Baloth.

P7: Timberpack Wolf, Canyon Minotaur, Silvercoat Lion, Jace’s Phantasm, Mindsculpt, Ring of Evos Isle

Wolf #2

P8: RANCOR, Glacial Fortress, Wind Drake

YES!!!

P9: Fog, Ring of Valkas, Safe Passage

Safe Passage, the only card I might consider playing since I don’t look to be in red.

P10: Warclamp Mastif, Naturalize, Mind Sculpt

Not quite sure about the Mastif’s value and he’d be cute with Rancor, but I’ve never seen one on the battlefield and the Naturalize might be important out of the sideboard.

P11: Ring of Kalonia
P12: Plummet
P13: Negate
P14: Hydrosurge

Relevant Pool After Pack 1
Arbor Elf, 2 Timberpack Wolf, Spiked Baloth, Rancor, Farseek, Naturalize, Plummet
Pacifism
Cathedral Of War, Ring of Kalonia

Solidly in green, but no commitment to a second color yet.

PACK 2

P1:
Jayemdae Tome
Aven Squire, Show of Valor
Wind Drake, Downpour
Duskmantle Prowler, Vile Rebirth
Reverberate, Canyon Minotaur, Arms Dealer, Volcanic Strength
Primal Huntbeast, Vastwood Gorger

Not an exciting pack.  Huntbeast seems mighty good with Hexproof.

P2: Touch of the Eternal, Rise from the Grave, Murder, Crusader of Odric, Elvish Visionary, Divine Verdict

As I’m still not at all committed to a second color and Farseek helps fix me so I could go Murder or Rise but either of those is likely to go next so I’d rather signal black.  I like Crusader.

P3: Quiron Dryad, Flinthoof Boar, Vastwood Gorger, Aven Squire

Flinthoof Boar is really tempting, but now I’m tilting white for my second color.  Yet another Gorger, but I’ve see those table alot.  I think I finally pick up a Squire here.

P4: Searing Spear, Bloodbound Crag, Deadly Recluse, Kittesail

Ouch.  I just passed that Boar and now I wish I didn’t.  Searing Spear should be gone, but I have zero red cards at this point.  If this pack and the last pack are reveresed then I go Spear-Boar, but now?  Kitesail is pretty tempting, but Deadly Recluse isn’t too shabby.  I’m going to grab the Equipment, but I’m not sure how good that choice is.

P5: Slumbering Dragon, Pacifism, Titanic Growth

I’m not sure about the Dragon, but if I’d gone red the last two picks that’s who I’d grab.  But I went white and I’m loving that late Pacifism which would clearly suggest the player to my left is NOT in white.

P6: Crusader of Odric, Rancor, Pacifism

OMGWTFBBQ?!  I HATE packs like this because this is an excruciating choice.  None of those cards feel like they should still be there at this point and I want them all.  I’m going to go Rancor, but I’m really not certain.

P7: Attended Knight, Yeva’s Forcemage, Spiked Baloth, War Priest of Thune

More choices.  Knight seems the best, especially with Rancor and Crusader.

P8: Naturalize, Pillarfield Ox, Safe Passage, Bond Beetle

I consider Bettle unplayable unless you have Roaring Primadox.  I have a Passage and Naturalize so I’m going with the Ox to ensure I have enough creatures.

P9: Reverberate, Vastwood Gorger, Plummet, Show of Valor

Did I mention Gorgers tend to table?

P10: Elvish Visionary (over Prey Upon)
P11: Flinthoof Boar (waaaay late – over Plummet)
P12: Mind Sculpt (hate draft over Fog)
P13: Smelt
P14: Smelt

Relevant Pool After Pack 2
Arbor Elf, Elvish Visionary, 2 Timberpack Wolf, Flinthoof Boar, Primal Huntbeast, Spiked Baloth, Vastwood Gorger, 2 Rancor, Farseek, Naturalize, Plummet
Aven Squire, Attended Knight, Crusader of Odric, Pillarfield Ox, 2 Pacifism
Cathedral Of War, Ring of Kalonia, Kitesail

PACK 3

P1:
Odric Master Tactician, Attended Knight, War Priest Of Thume
Scroll Thief, Rewind, Watercourser
Essence Drain, Giant Scorpion
Turn To Slag, Fire Elemental, Torch Fiend, Reckless Brute
Centaur Courser, Arbor Elf

Odric without hesitation.

P2: Planar Cleansing, Searing Spear, Timberpack Wolf, Attended Knight, Griffin Protector

I can see some merit in Cleansing, but I want Wolf #3.

P3: Titanic Growth, Divine Verdict, Guardians of Akrasa

Nothing exciting.  I have some pump already with Rancor and Ring, but only the Pacifisms for removal.  My curve is fairly low and I’m not really hitting the Exalted theme so Guardians doesn’t seem imporant.

P4: Timberpack Wolf #4

P5: Farseek, Guardian Lions, Plummet, Angel’s Mercy, Bladetusk Boar, Rewind

I’d normally take Farseek here, but I don’t think my deck needs it.  I guess I’ll take Plummet as sideboard.  I think Lions is pretty bad.

P6: Ring of Thune
P7: Yeva’s Forcemage (over Show of Valor)
P8: Ajani’s Sunstriker (over Ring of Kalonia #2)
P9: War Priest Of Thune (over Arbor Elf)
P10: Erase
P11: Door To Nothingness
P12: Naturalize #2 (over Safe Passage #2)
P13: Angel’s Mercy
P14: Serpent’s Gift

Relevant Pool After Pack 3
Arbor Elf, 4 Timberpack Wolf, Elvish Visionary, Flinthoof Boar, Yeva’s Forcemage, Primal Huntbeast, Spiked Baloth, Vastwood Gorger
2 Rancor, Farseek, 2 Naturalize, 2 Plummet
Ajani’s Sunstriker, Aven Squire, War Priest Of Thune, Attended Knight, Crusader of Odric, Odric, Pillarfield Ox
2 Pacifism, Divine Verdict, Erase
Cathedral Of War, Ring of Kalonia, Ring of Thune, Kitesail

The Simulator tells me the bot to my left drafted W/B and the bot to my right went G/B (with Nefarox, Thragtusk, and Nighthawk – sick!)

DECK

LANDS (17)
8 Forest
8 Plains
1 Cathedral of War

CREATURES (16)
Arbor Elf
4 Timberpack Wolf
Elvish Visionary
Aven Squire
Ajani’s Sunstriker
Yeva’s Forcemage
War Priest Of Thune
Attended Knight
Crusader of Odric
Odric, Master Tactician
Spiked Baloth
Primal Huntbeast
Vastwood Gorger

SPELLS (7)
Ring of Kalonia
Ring of Thune
2 Rancor
Kitesail
2 Pacifism
Divine Verdict

RELEVANT SIDEBOARD
2 Naturalize
2 Plummet
Erase

Let me know if you disagree with any of my choices.

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Return To Ravnica – Sunday Prerelease

After yesterday’s prerelease I was sorely tempted to play Azorious again, but I wanted to experience the format from another perspective via one of my other favorite guilds so Izzet it was.  As expected, today’s sealed pool was not as nutty as yesterday’s.

My Deck (Grixis)

LANDS (17)
1 Izzet Guildgate
7 Mountain
5 Island
4 Swamp
CREATURES (17)
1 Grim Roustabout
1 Frostburn Weird
1 Nivix Guildmage
1 Goblin Electromancer
2 Stealer of Secrets
2 Dead Reveler
2 Splatter Thug
1 Viashino Racketeer
1 Voidwielder
1 Hypersonic Dragon (promo)
2 Spawn of Rix Maadi
1 Tenement Crasher
1 Skyline Predator
SPELLS (6)
1 Dynacharge
2 Annihilating Fire
1 Paralyzing Grasp
1 Essence Backlash
1 Street Spasm

Results

Round 1: 2-0 vs GWu

Multiple mulligans Game 1.  Game 2 I was looking good until he dropped Isperia while I was tapped out.  I forgot about Backlash in my hand and almost blew the game when he played  Isperia’s Skywatch, but I nailed a second Skywatch to win.

Round 2: 2-0 vs GB

Stab Wound is nasty.

Round 3: 0-2 vs UW Auras

My opponent had an odd  deck with lots of Auras, but they added up to big creatures that crushed me both games.  Game 1 it was T4 Skymark Roc T5 Righteous Authority.  Game 2 I got stuck on five land with no blue mana and got chewed up by Trained Caracal with Ethereal Armor and Knightly Valor.

I seriously considered switching out black for white for Game 2, but did not.

Round 4: 2-1 vs UWg

Game 1 I lost 4 of 5 Islands to Constant Flooding and nearly lost the game because of it.  Hover Barrier is a nasty wall.

Round 5: 0-2 vs RB

Got dominated by removal Game 1.  Rakdos himself came down T4 in Game 2 and was followed by 3 creatures and a removal spell to kill me on Turn 5.  I don’t know if my deck was capable of winning this match, but in retrospect I think I sideboarded inadequately.

Final Standings: 3-2 (8 of 21)

MVP:  Spawn of Rix Maadi.  6/4 beats hard.

Turkeys
Street Spasm:  It had to get sideboarded for Rounds 3 and 4 because my opponents played almost zero non-Flyers.

Paralyzing Grasp : Grasp was significant on a couple occasions, but more often seemed desperately needed against a creature with Vigilance or an untapped creature who either hadn’t attacked yet or was being held back to block.  I wouldn’t consider it unplayable, but it is frustrating as hell.

Dynacharge: I think I cast it exactly once, to kill off a Trestle Troll when the opponent was tapped out.  It was a 23rd card because I thought the deck would be more aggressive and thus I didn’t want another maindeck Predator.  I think that was a mistake as my deck was usually not as aggressive as hoped.

Changes & Sideboarding

I had a second Skyline Predator that came in when Spasm went out.  I also removed Backlash for Catacomb Slug against Rakdos.

As mentioned, I think I needed to sideboard more against Rakdos.  Other options:

Mizzium Skin, 2 Downsize, Chemister’s Trick

He had enough removal that I think Skin would have been significant.  I’m not sure about the Downsize and ChemTrick.  Right now I’m thinking I should have gone…
Out: Tenement Crasher, Dynacharge, Viashino Rackateer, Essence Backlash
In: Catacomb Slug, Mizzium Skin, 2 Downsize

Alternative Build (URW)

LANDS (18)
1 Izzet Guildgate
6 Mountain
7 Island
4 Plains
CREATURES (15)
1 Frostburn Weird
1 Nivix Guildmage
1 New Prahv Guildmage
1 Goblin Electromancer
2 Stealer of Secrets
1 Vassal Soul
2 Splatter Thug
1 Viashino Racketeer
1 Skymark Roc
1 Voidwielder
1 Hypersonic Dragon (promo)
2 Skyline Predator
SPELLS (7)
2 Annihilating Fire
1 Avenging Arrow
1 Paralyzing Grasp
1 Essence Backlash
1 Fall of the Gavel
1 Street Spasm

This deck doesn’t try to be aggressive and makes better use of Nivix Guildmage and Electromancer.

Rest Of My Sealed Pool

White (9): 2 Trostani’s Judgement, Palisade Giant, Bazaar Krovod, Selesnya Sentry, 2 Eyes in the Sky, Etheral Armor, Knightly Valor

I’m not sure about Judgement and if 6 mana to exile a creature is worth it.  Against the Auras deck I think they would have been worth it, but probably just sideboard.

Blue (2): Psychic Spiral, Crosstown Courier

Izzet (1): Firemind’s Foresight

Black (7): Pack Rat, Zanikev Locust, 2 Terrus Wurm, Cremate, Drainpipe Vermin, Deviant Glee

Red (6): Cobblebrute, Electrickery, Dynacharge (2nd), Bellows Lizard, Pursuit of Flight, Survey the Wreckage

Selesyna (6): Dryad Militant, Armada Wurm, 2 Centaur Healer, Call of the Conclave, Growing Ranks

Green (9): Gatecreeper Vine, Towering Indrik, Giant Growth, Chorus of Might, Savage Surge, Seek the Horizon, Axebane Stag, 2 Centaur’s Herald

Golgari (5): Dreg Mangler, Korozda Guildmage, 2 Grisly Salvage, Slitherhead

Other (6): Golgari Guildgate, 2 Selesyna Guildgate, Pithing Needle, Civic Saber, foil Plains

Upon Further Review

Looking over my pool now, I think I need to reconsider whether GWB was an option.  I certain had the mana (3 Guildgates), some bombs (Armada Wurm, Palisade Giant, some removal, and a good number of cards.

LANDS (17)
1 Golgari Guildgate
2 Selesyna Guildgate
5 Forest
5 Plains
4 Swamp
CREATURES (16)
1 Dryad Militant
1 Gatekeeper Vine
1 Call of the Conclave
1 Grim Roustabout
2 Dead Reveler
1 Vassal Soul
1 Korozda Guildmage
1 Dreg Mangler
1 Selesnya Sentry
1 Towering Indrik
2 Centaur Healer
1 Bazaar Krovod
1 Palisade Giant
1 Armada Wurm
SPELLS (5)
1 Giant Growth
1 Savage Surge
1 Avenging Arrow
2 Trostani’s Judgement

I’m not real sure about the exact cards here.  This seems more like a ‘good stuff’ deck that a Populate deck, hence the Centaur’s Heralds, Eyes in the Sky, and Growing Ranks not making the cut.  It does seem like the overall card quality here might be better.

I’d be interested to hear thoughts on which of the 3 builds I’ve posted seems best.