06/14/2011 LI: "The Moment of Truth"

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

Honestly, those drafts were not really what you would expect from the top table at a PT.  3 people passed Shrine of Loyal Legions for inferior cards.  First picking a Razor Swine.  Refusing to change colors despite getting great cards extremely late.  Refusing to commit to a strategy even into the 3rd pack.

Of course, some of them were great.  You can't blame Jeffrey Chan for taking Elesh Norn and it wasn't his fault that people passed him insanely good R/W Cards then decided they wanted them after all.  Fabian Thiele did a great job of taking the best card but being open to other options if presented to him.

Sadly, like most SOM Block drafts, what REALLY matters is what you open, not what you're passed.   In a fair world, people forcing R/G Infect wouldn't open Viridian Corrupters.
This was a fairly useful article, I would like to see more examples of real drafting to support talk about signals and identifying colors and whatnot.  This was ok for one article, next time I would like to see more in-depth discussion of picks for one person.  Steve could have had a lot more voice in this article; particularly with hindsight of how the draft went for everyone, it would have been nice to see some recommendations like "At this point, I would have done such and such..."
A more interesting article than previous weeks, thank goodness.

I think Steve overates triumph of the hordes. Its good, but its not that good.
Somehow the author considers Triumph of the Hordes some kind of a bomb? It is quite bad. Like 23rd card at most cases.

This was a fairly useful article, I would like to see more examples of real drafting to support talk about signals and identifying colors and whatnot.  This was ok for one article, next time I would like to see more in-depth discussion of picks for one person.  Steve could have had a lot more voice in this article; particularly with hindsight of how the draft went for everyone, it would have been nice to see some recommendations like "At this point, I would have done such and such..."



Ditto.  This was a good start, but I kept thinking Steve would weigh in with some actual advice, which never came.  Just a recap of how the draft went, which I could have done myself through the draft viewer, which he linked to like a college student qouting an "expert" for 90% of a term paper.

Anyway, I do think there was some key points here: 1) What you open has a lot to do with your success rate, good drafting can improve your win percentage over time, but in the short run what you open/are passed has a lot more to do with how you do in that particular draft than anything else (getting passed one bomb rare in white, then one in red was very fortunate); 2) Probably the best strategy is to remain open, but once you get strong signals, commit aggressively.  All of the players who went 1-2 or worse either committed too early, or failed to commit at all.  The person who waited until he saw RW was open, then aggressively pursued it went 3-0.  It seems like there is a critical moment in the draft, where it becomes clear that two colors are open, and if you commit to them at that precise moment, you win.  Committing too early or too late will cause you to lose.  I wish I could identify that moment in all my drafts.  Alas, if I could I would be a pro, or at least much better lol.

Anyway, there were many points you can get from this draft viewer, but those were the two biggest ones.   

Somehow the author considers Triumph of the Hordes some kind of a bomb? It is quite bad. Like 23rd card at most cases.



I think he is valuing it at the same level as Overrun, which it really isn't unless you are really building around it.

Lucas got things started with a Razor Swine over Impaler Shrike, Brutalizer Exarch, and Suture Priest. This is a pick that few players would ever consider making,



Wait, what??  Have you seen that thing in combat?!  It's a friggin miniature Phyrexian Crusader!  You don't even need to be looking to win through infect to top pick this guy, where he really shines is when he is in combat with another creature.

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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.

I had the opportunity to draft triumph of the hordes recently.  If you are playing infect it's pretty much a first pick bomb (+1/+1 and trample on all your infect dudes is HUGE, especially since your opponent started at 10 "life".  Also the ability to make your one or two non infect dudes have infect makes it pretty nuts.)  However, in anything else it's pretty much your 23rd card.  If you have enough on the board to make this thing win you the game, why haven't you won through normal damage already?  Yes there are some cases will it will pull out a win but so will fog and that card is almost unplayable in draft.  If Steve just assumes everyone should go infect then I suppose his assesment of the card is acurate but otherwise it seems very wrong.

As for razor swine I'm only going to add another voice in the mix that says how nuts that card is.  If your opponent doesn't have an answer or some evasion it stops their attacks immediately.  The worst I have ever seen happen when a razor swine hits play is it eats up a removal spell.
I agree that Triumph of the Hordes is definitely not Overrun, and that Razor Swine seems like a perfectly fine early pick.  I wouldn't want to first-pick it if I could avoid it, but it certainly seems better than Impaler Shrike, Brutalizer Exarch, and Suture Priest.
Blind Zealot was probably the best card in that pack, but an argument could be made for Suture Priest.  Razor Swine would be a great card if it had the proper support, but you're not going to get any more red infect after pack1.  Normally, picking razor swine is going to do 1 of 2 things: tempt you into infect and then you end up playing 3 or 4 color infect or be a good blocker in a non-infect deck.  I don't know about you, but I don't care for 4 color decks with no fixing or 3cc 2/1 walls.