07/19/2011 LI: "Damage Control"

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

The first ("parse through a Sealed pool") and the third ("evaluate the worth of an opening hand") links are broken.
I ran into a version of this at an FNM draft this past weekend; I drafted a slightly clunky UGr deck (splashing Flameblast Dragon - but packing 2 Merfolk Looter and 3 Mind Control!), played a turn 2 Looter vs. a fairly-good opponent packing WR aggro and rode it to a long victory.  At the end of the game he showed me the Fireball that had been in his hand since the opener and bemoaned having never had the opportunity to cast it for value; 'I like to save my Fireballs for 2-for-1s'.  I just couldn't make him understand that I'd effectively 10-for-1ed him with Looter and that nuking it on sight with any tool available would have been a reasonable plan for him...
I'm just excited for M12 to come Online so I can actually try drafting it (and playing more Sealed, a single tournament isn't nearly enough!). I'll try keeping this in mind... Bloodthirst really pushes the relative value of creatures when attacking/blocking.

It'd be interesting to hear things from the other side of the table; How to evaluate creatures etc. when playing Bloodthirst. It's obvious you'll want to do your best to do damage... No doubt you'll feel fine attacking with a Coral Merfolk into an Azure Mage, but how about the opposite? Would you attack into Coral Merfolk with an Azure Mage? Seems a pretty poor play since the block is almost guaranteed.
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Wow. Quite an excellent article for a change. And not a single "pretty" to be found!

Thumbs up.
The first ("parse through a Sealed pool") and the third ("evaluate the worth of an opening hand") links are broken.

Now the first link is fixed, and the third link is "fixed" but still broken.
If I'm at 20, I'm more than fine with my opponent playing a 6-damage lava axe + crappy verdict effect if it means my draw 3, deal 4 damage lives, thanks. Attacking with Coral Merfolk into Azure Mage isn't exactly telegraphing an aggressive follow-up, and I'll always have the option of doing it next turn if they do drop a skywind drake or something. Definitely do it if they have mountains and you don't have the Amphin Cutthroat or whatever, but against Blue/Black (for example)? Let 'em drop a Bloodrage Vamp. I'll block that with my Azure Mage.

Note that if the Coral Merfolk were a Goblin Piker, I'd pretty much always do it, barring a hand of Island, Island, Plains, Amphin Cuthroat, Belltower Sphinx, Siege Mastodon or something equally contrived. Red is both generally more aggressive and has better follow-up plays than blue, so blocking is enough better that I'll ususally do it.

I understand what you were going for, but the example seems really contrived. Who, exactly, keeps a hand that has no follow-ups to Azure Mage until turn 5? No good player I know, unless they've already mulliganed and know that the 5-drop is going to stabilize them. Goblin Piker VS Stormfront Pegasus is much more reasonable.
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I played through that very Azure Mage v Coral Merfolk scenario myself, and learned the lesson the hardway.

Great read.