1/27/14 - Draft Simulator

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This thread is for this week's Draft Simulator on magicthegathering.com

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From Mark Rosewater's Tumblr: the0uroboros asked: How in the same set can we have a hexproof, unsacrificable(not a word) creature AND a land that makes it uncounterable. How does this lead to interactive play? I believe I’m able to play my creature and you have to deal with it is much more interactive than you counter my creature.

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Post #777

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MaRo: One of the classic R&D stories happened during a Scars of Mirrodin draft. Erik Lauer was sitting to my right (meaning that he passed to me in the first and third packs). At the end of the draft, Erik was upset because I was in his colors (black-green). He said, "Didn't you see the signals? I went into black-green in pack one." I replied, "Didn't you see my signals? I started drafting infect six drafts ago."

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MaRo: I redesigned him while the effect was on the stack.

Well, this had lots of options, but I am a sucker for the Primeval Light

 

 

Creatures (15):

Elvish Mystic x 2

Festering Newt

Tenacious Dead

Predatory Sliver x 3

Voracious Wurm

Deadly Recluse

Syphon Sliver
Giant Spider

Sporemound x 2

Vampire Warlord

Sengir Vampire
 

Spells (6):

Ranger's Guile

Wring Flesh

Into the Wilds
Diabolic Tutor

Enlarge

Primeval Bounty

 

Artifacts (2):

 

Bubbling Cauldron

Elixir of Immortality

 

Land (17):

Shimmering Grotto x 2

Forest x 10

Swamp x 5

 

 

Faster than I thought it would be, but then I also have late game options too.  Only saw three removal spells, but early in packs when batter choices were there... maybe you could argue with the Liturgy of Blood I passed on in pack 1, but the others were much better options.  Given how enchantment heavy this set is, maybe playing one or both of the Naturalize might have been better, but I like this one, hits fast and if you can ramp up quickly and rip off a Primeval Bounty it typically is game.

 

 

Ok, this is a cool feature I never knew about before. Here's what I picked:

 

Round 1:
Syphon Sliver
Millstone
Seacoast Drake
Deathgaze Cockatrice
Divination
Cancel
Rod of Ruin
Tenacious Dead
Angelic Accord
Armored Cancrix
Cyclops Tyrant
Undead Minotaur
Merfolk Spy
Spell Blast
Mountain


Round 2:
Rise of the Dark Realms
Scroll Thief
Tome Scour
Seacoast Drake
Seacoast Drake
Blood Bairn
Wring Flesh
Negate
Claustrophobia
Hive Stirrings
Shimmering Grotto
Undead Minotaur
Fog
Zephyr Charge
Plains


Round 3:
Sengir Vampire
Negate
Air Servant
Archaeomancer
Tenacious Dead
Diabolic Tutor
Artificer's Hex
Wring Flesh
Tome Scour
Naturalize
Shrivel
Accorder's Shield
Show of Valor
Glimpse the Future
Swamp

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We have a pretty odd Black/Blue deck here. First, let's remove the colors that I'm not running. Next, let's see what we have that we can just accept we won't ever play. The Syphon Sliver and the Rise of the Dark Realms are powerful cards in different archetypes. We just don't have the mana ramp to make playing Rise of the Dark Realms a good idea, and the sliver is the only sliver we've got. Now, let's look at the things we just don't need. Artificer's Hex is a good sideboard card, but not main deck material. Glimpse the Future would be good, if we didn't have Divination and a Tutor to pick from. Likewise, the Merfolk Spy doesn't give us much, so we can just cut him since we've got three Seacoast Drakes we'll be playing. Speaking of which, so much of our deck flies, that Zephyr Charge is safe to chuck.

 

That leaves us with:

 

Artifacts: Millstone, Rod of Ruin, Accorder's Shield [Total: 3]

Blue Creatures: Seacoast Drake x3; Armored Cancrix; Scroll Thief; Air Servant; Archaeomancer [Total: 7]

Blue Spells: Divination; Cancel; Spell Blast; Tome Scour x2; Negate x2; Claustrophobia [Total: 8]

Black Creatures: Deathgaze Cockatrice; Tenacious Dead x2; Undead Minotaur x2; Blood Bairn; Sengir Vampire [Total: 7]

Black Spells: Wring Flesh x2; Shrivel; Diaboloic Tutor [Total: 4]

 

That gives us 29 playable cards right now. With only having 14 creatures, so that's a spot we really can't cut from, and I think we want to run 17 land here. Divination and Diabolic Tutor are going to help us out, but what we're really relying on is having consistency. We're looking to cut six cards. Shrivel only knocks out our Tenacious Deads, but that's really not a big deal, as by the time we're casting Shrivel, they've done their job. Wring Flesh is a combat trick and removal. Tome Scour, Millstone and Archaeomancer also serve as a way to slide in a win if things stall out. Accorder's Shield gives vigilance, letting us swing in the air while still being able to block, or we can drop it on a Tenacious Dead to spare it from Shrivel. We have four counter spells, but really, the Negates that are here are just going to keep us from drawing cancel or Spell Blast [or the Archaeomancer to get those back]. We'll want to board it in for the people who picked up the big enchantments, but for our main deck, Cancel and Spell Blast hit the things that are most likely to be threats: Creatures.

 

Likewise, the Rod of Ruin is generally a nice card, and we'll probably want to board it in at times. For our main deck though, we've already got plenty of ways to put our opponent on a clock, so we can take that out as well. That still leaves us with 26 cards, and we need to now cut three more. Here's where it really comes down to preference; Claustrophobia is pretty weak removal, but it can lock down anything. Wring Flesh is only going to kill small things [or gum up combat and let us cheat to kill a bigger thing.] Since we have to cut things, let's focus on our deck's strengths: high toughness creatures to gum up the ground until we can fly or mill for the win. That means that both the Wring Fleshes could safely go and not hurt us too much.

 

Here's where we have to go back and look at our previous decisions. To bring you up to speed, the deck right now looks like this:

 

Artifacts: Millstone, Accorder's Shield [Total: 2]

Blue Creatures: Seacoast Drake x3; Armored Cancrix; Scroll Thief; Air Servant; Archaeomancer [Total: 7]

Blue Spells: Divination; Cancel; Spell Blast; Tome Scour x2; Claustrophobia [Total: 6]

Black Creatures: Deathgaze Cockatrice; Tenacious Dead x2; Undead Minotaur x2; Blood Bairn; Sengir Vampire [Total: 7]

Black Spells: Shrivel; Diaboloic Tutor [Total: 2]

 

Twenty-four spells, 17 lands puts us at 41 cards. That's one card too many! Claustrophobia and the Accorder's Shield both do things we need to do, which is hold off giant wurms, dragons, angels and other unpleasant things. Hordes of small creatures are not really that big of a concern to us, so let's take another look at Shrivel. That -1/-1 will clear a bunch of tokens, but we can also just block or race them. I feel fairly confident that we can strike Shrivel from the deck, though it can probably be sideboarded in.

 

So, the first Draft Simulator deck I've made looks like this:

 

Artifacts: Millstone, Accorder's Shield [Total: 2]

Blue Creatures: Seacoast Drake x3; Armored Cancrix; Scroll Thief; Air Servant; Archaeomancer [Total: 7]

Blue Spells: Divination; Cancel; Spell Blast; Tome Scour x2; Claustrophobia [Total: 6]

Black Creatures: Deathgaze Cockatrice; Tenacious Dead x2; Undead Minotaur x2; Blood Bairn; Sengir Vampire [Total: 7]

Black Spells: Diaboloic Tutor [Total: 1]

Basic Lands: Islands 9; Swamps 8.