05/31/2011 LI: "Getting Crafty"

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This thread is for discussion of this week's Limited Information, which goes live Tuesday morning on magicthegathering.com.

Quoting:

I will similarly work hard (though not quite as hard) to draft white if I end up grabbing two Suture Priest</a>s in my first few picks.

Really? Really? Has Suture Priest been this good for the rest of you out there?

I started by playing Suture Priest main in the prerelease, but ended up delegating them to the status of sometimes useful sideboard cards, where they have pretty stayed. They can help off-setting phyrexian mana use, or aid you in some races, but even then only against a subset of the decks that you might end up racing against. The 1/1 body just rarely does anything useful on the board, and the overall impact seems to lie only marginally higher than something like Syphon Soul, which most would not play. If I am already white, I'll take these at the end of the pack if there are any, hoping that I'll get enough playables so that I don't have to play them main. This evaluation seems to have worked fine so far. Am I completely off my mark here?

Perhaps it has been because I have played fast-curved mostly ground-based aggro (and done well). I guess Suture Priest could trade with some X/1 dude and get a little life for you while at it if you played a more controllish deck, helping you make the late game. But so far he's been a let-down for me.
Suture Priest is definitely not a sideboard card. You either play it, or not. I don't see in what kind of games it's supposed to improve a deck in draft/sealed.

If you played it and didn't enjoy it, well, you must have forgotten a loads of trigger, because it's definitely a good card.
It's obviously a terrible topdeck in late game, but SS is right on saying you should pick it quite high.
I've done well with Suture Priest.  Granted, I managed to get two copies during the launch party and three in my previous draft so they helped more than a single one would do.
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Well, perhaps it's just my experience then. I have to admit that I've top decked Suture Priest quite late a few times (curses, curses!) and the couple of times that I have had it early, well either I was facing my opponent's turn 4 Thundering Tanadon followed by turn 5 Slash Panther, or something equivalent, or then I have myself been playing something more along those lines: where a couple of points of lifeswing and a chump blocker are far less relevant than a creature that might actually be capable of trading or bashing through. Maybe that example was just bad luck, but, I would certainly have preferred in the above case a two-drop with 2 power (such as an off-colour Gust-Skimmer that SS dissed) that could trade with the panther (or then trade with pump or removal or something). Likewise on the attack, well, Suture Priest just doesn't attack. Ok, it does damage without attacking, but quite a bit slower.

Overall for me it's been about equivalent to a 1/1 unblockable vigilance lifelinker that can't be targeted by yourself (i.e. can't be pumped or equipped for more damage) and that can only attack roughly every other turn or so (i.e. creatures are not played every turn, especially once hands run low). It's certainly not a Vault Skirge.

So far my experience has been that playing Suture Priest has almost always been card disadvantage as far as any relevant board position is concerned. But now that you Niks, GreenBuster and SS have said that it is a worthwhile card, it'll give it another go and see for myself. Like I said, maybe I was just unlucky. I guess it is a question of the deck you play and play against.
Training Drone is not a bad card!
Only if you draft a fair chunk of equipment.
IMAGE(http://pwp.wizards.com/1205820039/Scorecards/Landscape.png)
I found Suture Priest was great, although I admit I've only actually played with it in Sealed at the prerelease. It can easily give you a 10-point swing in life if your opponent doesn't remove it (and if they do, well, that's one less removal spell destined for your bombs). Even if your opponent and you each play just two creatures before it chump blocks or gets removed, that's a four-point swing. That might not sound like much, but it's pretty good for a two-drop that never went into the red zone. Sure, you don't want to top-deck it late and you might side it out against a creature-light deck, but few cards are good against everything. For what it does it's very good. And remember, it's white, just like Master's Call, Shrine of Loyal Legions, Myrsmith and White Sun's Zenith.

I think lifegain effects are often used as an example of a "good bad card", like Dragon's Claw (and that's probably the least bad card of that cycle; at least it can be sideboarded against red, which tends to cast lots of spells and then run out of steam). And that's true; lifegain by itself doesn't actually improve your board position or anything. By itself. On the other hand, lifegain tied to something else, like on Suture Priest, both gives you that something else and gives you breathing room.
I like Suture Priest quite a bit.  The life gain offsets using phyrexian mana, while the life loss means phyrexian mana hurts your opponent more.  Plus, combined with some attacking, you can really make your opponent feel his options are limited.  And in the pretty common stand off situations you get, where maybe a creature or two with evasion is swinging, both the life loss and life gain can be relevant.

Of course, I'm sort of biased to liking it due to the first NPH allowed draft at the store I played at.  New set, so everyone went with 3 packs of NPH.  I managed to draft 7, yes, 7 of them.  And then backed it up with 5 mortis dogs, 1 Norn's Annex, and the white shrine, as well as various bits of black removal.  Went 4-0, won the thing.  Most common phrase uttered by opponents?  "Really?"  The guy I felt for the most was the one who had drafted lots of splicers.  I had 3 priests down when he played his first splicer, and on my turn, I dropped a fourth.  Another guy even sideboarded in Torpor Orb against me.  Luckily, the puppies got the job done there.
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