RtR first draft experience

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I wanted to react on what Sleeping wrote on another post about RtR draft:
137788049 wrote:
The only time the marginal amount of mill is good is if you can stall the game long enough, probably around 30 turns, which I think is unlikely in this format.

Sleeping, I don't know if you got a chance to play RtR draft since the pre-release, but I think you may be surprised and revise your first impression.

I played a draft this week, with the following deck:

Creatures (13)        
Dryad Militant
Centaur's Herald
Drainpipe Vermin
Precinct Captain
Daggerdrome Imp
Grim Roustabout
Centaur Healerx2
Trestle Trollx2
Sluiceway Scorpion
Towering Indrik
Jarad, Golgari Lich Lord

I sided in a Korozda Monitor later on

 
Others (10)
Swift Justice
Soul Tithe
Arrest
Launch Party
Giant Growth
Seek the Horizon
Common Bond
Jarad's Orders
Selesnya Charm
Grisly Salvage

Lands (17)                 
Selesnya Guildgate
Temple Garden
Swampx6
Forestx5
Plainsx4

And I would be happy to get your (or anyone else's) opinion on how it performed, and your guess why...
I don't see the relevance of Sleeping's comment here, you are not playing any offensive mill cards.

This looks like a really solid Golgari/Selesnya deck. Jarad + Orders seems really powerful, I like the Imp and the Trolls a lot. I don't like the Vermin at all, and I think your color distribution makes the Precinct Captain a lot worse, too.
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I'm with Lobster on both counts.  There is no mill here to speak of. 

At first I did not like the imp here, but now I see that you have several ways to build him up.  I think if you can get him up to 3/3 at least, he is fine.   At 1/1 he is not.

This deck looks Horrific.

I mean Terrific.
This deck looks Horrific.

I mean Terrific.



Are you purposefully trolling me with that comment?
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How many limited formats go 30+ turns on average? My guess is none. Is this really an exception?


I found that at sealed, even if a game went on someone would have a turn that just ended the game. Someone would pull their Increasing Savagry or their Goblin Shortcutter and suddenly swing it with a surprising attack. The longest game I had during prerelease was when I was playing against a Golgari deck with my Jund deck. The game could have easily ended in his favor because of specific threats he kepts dropping, but because of my Rakdos removal I was able to deal with those threats and just swing past the rest of his stuff. Azorius has detain and evasion. Izzet has a ton of combat tricks a its disposal. Rakdos has removal. Golgari has scavenge. Selesnya can't do to many surprising things, but it can flood the board to a point where it's hard to deal with what's on it, and bird tokens can get in there.


This deck looks Horrific.

I mean Terrific.



Are you purposefully trolling me with that comment?



Yes.
This looks like a really solid Golgari/Selesnya deck. Jarad + Orders seems really powerful, I like the Imp and the Trolls a lot. I don't like the Vermin at all, and I think your color distribution makes the Precinct Captain a lot worse, too.

It looks nice on the paper, right? Yet, it was totally armless... Frown

You are not playing any offensive mill cards.

In this quote, I was not referring to the mill effect, but to the "stall for 30 rounds" effect.
This was clearly not my plan. And I didn't realize it would be that simple to stall the board. Put 2 Trestle troll on the board (add an Indrik for the color), and your opponent will just wait for his bomb to show up. Besides Rakdos, there are actually few common/uncommons creatures with 4+ power. And even though, if they don't have trample, they are pretty much armless facing the troll.


First round, I lost to Azorius.
First game, I drew 11 lands for 7 cards... He killed me with Skymark Roc in 6 turns with a Soul Tithe on it...
Second Game, He pulled out 2 Azorius Arrester with 2 Ethereal Armor on them. I stopped one with Arrest and the second with a troll. He pulled out Jace, Architect of Thought and I slowly saw it reaching 8, without being able to do much. I played 10+ lands this time again in 10 rounds.

Second round I lost to Azorius/Izzet.

First game took forever, and I almost milled my own deck with Grisly Salvage...
To answer my trolls, he had Concordia Pegasus,Armory Guard, Lobber Crew, Hover Barrier.
He was waiting for his Hypersonic Dragon which obviously didn't like to be arrested next turn, and Archon of the Triumvirate which came very late game, and I had already used all my removals. I turned it around with Common Bond and Selesnya Charm. He exiled both Jarad and the Imp, that became 3/3 in the meantime, populating some pumped (Phantom General) bird tokens. He ended up winning in a 12+ creatures rush against my 5 defenders... while I had 4 cards left in my deck.

Second game he had mana issues. He drew two lands, and gave up turn 5 after I had 2 centaurs with a common bond split on them.

Third game was a copy of game 1... sad!


Third round... I lost to Golgari.

Both rounds, he had Korozda Guildmage and Desecration Demon out. If the Demon didn't go through even once in both games, the Guildmage turned it into 6 1/1 tokens each time, and had enough mana to pump them either to beat my centaurs, or to go through with intimidate or Rogue's Passage. Both games went on after turn 25. 


So, to answer the first comment from Sleeping, it is fairly simple to stall the board, and you don't have to be playing Azorius for that. Out of 7 games, 4 of them passed turn 25, and that was clearly not my original intention.

I don't think I played my deck badly, I simply build it wrongly. But it is also good to learn from your own mistakes.



    
Where my deck felt short:
-Lack of creatures. 13 is clearly not enough, even with combat tricks. My opponent round 2 might have 20+ creatures in his deck and being rolled over by outnumbered 1/1s and 2/2s is frustrating.

-Lack of strong bodies/serious threat. My most powerful creature was a centaur! without counting Jarad, which was the designated target of all the removals... Having something that can hit for 4+ is essential in RtR.

-Lack of Removal. Unfortunately, I didn't get a chance to grab more. And splashing red only for 1 Augur Spree was not an option.


A few (early) conclusions now:
- If you can grab 1 or 2 trolls, you'll have all the time you need to play Horncaller's Chant.
- Building a stall/mill deck with a few Doorkeeper is not that silly and I wouldn't be surprised to see some going 3-0.
- If I was really unimpressed by Scavenge at the Pre-release, I must give it some credit now and recognize it can win you games once the board is stalled.
- It is pretty hard to build a decent unleash deck since there are not that many unleash creatures and you need the full deck to go that way to be efficient. Having 2+ persons at the table going this direction will ensure 2+ average decks.
- Selesnya without Vitu-Ghazi Guildmage, Trostani, Selesnya's voice or Growing Ranks won't have so much success in drafts since it's difficult to grab both several token and populate cards.


If you have other opinions based on your personal drafting experience on RtR, I would be happy to discuss it. Smile
I 3-0'd with Jund. 6-7 removal. rest creatures, i'd say 5-6 with scavenge? Curved up to 7 mana. My 6 and 7 were both red with haste, and haste/first strike, with the terravore? 5/5 garbo guy.

It pretty much went exactly how i figured it'd go. The first draft would be the easiest to win, due to so little knowledge of what's "good" and what's "bad" in the format. A different pod had a 2-1 mill deck, and a 3-0 discard deck.
I don't know, I feel like there's a large number of ways to deal with the Troll (e.g., Auger Spree, Arrest, detain, etc.)  Sure, it can slow things down, but I don't know if you can rely it to do so to the extent of playing a card like the chant, and certainly not to the extent of milling somebody out 1-2 cards at a time.

Maybe the Doorkeeper deck could work in the right build?  But I wouldn't expect that to be a consistent option for 3-0.  It could happen I suppose.

I think my experience with this set so far has been, bomb v. bomb, if I hit my land drops and play my bomb, and it's more bomby than your bomb, I got it. 
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Where my deck felt short:
-Lack of creatures. 13 is clearly not enough, even with combat tricks. My opponent round 2 might have 20+ creatures in his deck and being rolled over by outnumbered 1/1s and 2/2s is frustrating.

-Lack of strong bodies/serious threat. My most powerful creature was a centaur! without counting Jarad, which was the designated target of all the removals... Having something that can hit for 4+ is essential in RtR.

-Lack of Removal. Unfortunately, I didn't get a chance to grab more. And splashing red only for 1 Augur Spree was not an option.



I think your second point sort of overrides your first.  You didn't have too few creatures, you just had creatures that die too easily. 
I went 3-0 in a draft last night where I only played 10 creatures, 3 of which had defender (plus 1 Horncaller's Chant).  I had a ton of removal though, and my top end of creatures were all x/4.  I've found that 4 toughness is a huge advantage in this format, mostly because of Centaurs but also a lot of 3 power creatures in general.  Augur Spree does kill things, but due to being multi-color it limits the number of people who can run it.
I think your second point sort of overrides your first.  You didn't have too few creatures, you just had creatures that die too easily. 
I went 3-0 in a draft last night where I only played 10 creatures, 3 of which had defender (plus 1 Horncaller's Chant).  I had a ton of removal though, and my top end of creatures were all x/4.  I've found that 4 toughness is a huge advantage in this format, mostly because of Centaurs but also a lot of 3 power creatures in general.  Augur Spree does kill things, but due to being multi-color it limits the number of people who can run it.



Just curious, what removal were you running?
I can just put the decklist here, since the removal is a lot of it.



Savage Surge was used primarily to block and kill things, so I count it almost like removal.  The only time it didn't kill a creature it untapped my Demon after his trigger to swing in for the kill.
Rix Maadi Guildmage and Desecration Demon were both creatures that function as removal.

My sideboard had Avenging Arrow and Trostani's Judgment.  If I had got more mana fixing I would have tried to fit them in.