booster draft deck critique

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Hi Folks,  I haven't played magic for about 10 years (until Wednesday night that is).  After reading a bit about Return to Ravnica, I got pretty interested in playing again, studied up on the cards using the interweb and went to a booster draft.  I think I drafted "ok", but I was wondering if anyone had any feedback about the deck I put together.  The group was small, so I only played a couple of matches with it, but it won all so I didn't get to see where it's weakspots lie.  Here it is:

Creatures:
Trained Caracal
Centaur's Herald
Keening Apparition
Vitu-Ghazi Guildmage
Azorius Arrester
Loxodon Smiter
Stonefare Crocodile
Sunspire Griffin
Wayfaring Temple
Vassal Soul
Skymark Roc
Towering Indrik
Armory Guard
Bazaar Krovod

Other Spells:
Avenging Arrow
Horncaller's Chant
Trostani Judgement
Knightly Valor x2
Sundering Growth
Druid's Deliverance
Psychic Spiral
Giant Growth

Lands:
8 Plains
7 Forests
2 Islands


 
Hi Folks,  I haven't played magic for about 10 years (until Wednesday night that is).  After reading a bit about Return to Ravnica, I got pretty interested in playing again, studied up on the cards using the interweb and went to a booster draft.  I think I drafted "ok", but I was wondering if anyone had any feedback about the deck I put together.  The group was small, so I only played a couple of matches with it, but it won all so I didn't get to see where it's weakspots lie.  Here it is:

Lands:
8 Plains
7 Forests
2 Islands


 







Well it seems like you've got a good curve and some evasion creatures which I would consider to be the strength of the decklist. The weaknesses are the blue splash which I think hurts your mana base more than it helps the back end of the decklist with skymark roc and psychic spiral and the lack of token creators. If you don't get centaur's herald then you'll have nothing to populate. You've got a lot of really good populate cards from wayfaring temple to trostani's judgment but a real lack of early token creators.

In draft you take what you can get and you don't always see call of the conclave or seller of songbirds. I don't know if that was the case and you just got unlucky. Maybe someone started cutting all the token generators, I can't say that you made any bad decisions without going through the draft pick by pick. It's a pretty aggressive bunch of creatures and it curves out pretty well so I can see you winning against slower decks that take their time to set up. In addition you've got a pretty decent end game if you can get to 5 mana + then you've got a few options for token creators knightly valor, and horncaller's chant. So you can put up a fight early on with your aggressive creatures and win late with populate. The weakness is that if you don't pull ahead early then you'll find yourself blowing your populate spells before you can even get a token to populate.

Only two removal spells is another weakness. arrest would look really good but again  you don't always have that option.
Don't be too smart to have fun
Thanks morticianjohn,  that was a very helpful critique.  It was definitely a combination of options and choice.  I'm pretty sure I had the option of more removal, but I don't remember what I picked instead.  I don't fully remember what else was available, but I don't think I was looking at mana cost when trying to identify token sources... I didn't really notice how much they actually cost until you pointed it out.  I appreciate the feedback, thank you!
The first thing we usually tell new players in draft is the BREAD acronym.

Bombs
Removal
Efficient spells
Aggressive spells
Dregs

If you see a bomb in the colors you're drafting like hypersonic dragon if you're drafting an izzet deck then you ALWAYS want to take that spell. It has top priority. Next up is removal. Because every deck needs some good removal spells to deal with your opponent's threats and because there are a limited number of removal spells in a given draft you need to prioritize these highly. Of course there is a limit to how valuable a given removal spell might be. For example if you're drafting a G/W aggro deck you might rather have centaur healer than trostani's judgment, of course there are less agressive decks which prefer the 6 mana removal spell, just understand that you want to prioritize removal without going overboard and passing up bombs or cards which fit your deck better.  In the case of your above decklist there is literally no card I'd rather have than call of the conclave, I would pass up any bomb, or removal spell because to make the deck run smoother you need early tokens. Even a spell like centaur's herald for me would be picked ahead of avenging arrow in this decklist. It just fits the deck better.

Efficient spells could mean different things for different decks. For example if you're drafting a populate deck eyes in the skies will be an efficient spell but in a decklist that doesn't have 3/3 centuar tokens when eyes in the skies is merely two 1/1 fliers for 4 mana at instant speed it becomes much less efficient. If the focus of your deck is to put out a lot of creatures for dynacharge or something then two 1/1 fliers is still a good option but you have to consider how that spell will fit into your list at the end. In some cases a card like eyes in the skies will be too clunky and not efficient at all.

When in doubt get aggressive. A big mistake that players make in draft and limited is building decks that are too slow. Just because rubbleback rhino is bigger than centaur courser doesn't mean that he will actually be good in your deck. A card like centaur courser will almost always be played in limited but a card like rubbleback rhino is only good in certain decks and certain situations. So you can almost never go wrong by taking bears or centaurs.

When drafting dregs keep in mind many of these cards are useful out of the sideboard. For example naturalize is not a card I typically use main deck but if the opponent has a reliance on artifacts or enchantments game 1 then I'm not afraid to use any naturalize I might have picked up along the way. There are always going to be some useless cards you pick up toward the end of a pack but think about how you can hurt the opponent also. For example you never know when someone might be drafting a mill deck and so if there is nothing in your colors towards the end of the pack it might be better to take the mind sculpt than the shatter (unless of course you're playing artifacts in which case you take shatter).
Don't be too smart to have fun
Take out psychic spiral-its worthless in this deck, put in ANY other green or white card you drafted.

Take out horncaller's chant and try to add either removal, another cheaper creature, pump or another effectful mechanic.

Otherwise nice job in your first draft!
bulletd Guidelines: 5.0: I will take this card no matter what. Creature 1 or playable 1 or hate 1.Archangel of Thune 4.5: Bomb and splashable. Creature 1-2, playable 1-2, removal 1. Jace, Memory Adept 4.0: Excellent first pick first pack, will sway me into same colors. Creatures 1-4, removal 1. Haunted Plate Mail 3.5: Excellent first pack pick two, will confirm colors or possibly sway into second color. Doom Blade 3.0: Good in-color addition, or splashable removal/creature. Creatures 3-9, removal 1-3. wall of Frost 2.5: Solid pick in-color; creatures 5-12, removal 3-5. Dark Favor 2.0: Creatures 10-16; removal 6-7. Elvish Mystic 1.5: My 23rd or 22nd card, depending on removal. Act of Treason 1.0: 23rd card if I don't maindeck an additional land. Lay of the Land 0.5: This card will sometimes be sideboarded in. Brave the Elements 0.0: I will shred this card for counters. Darksteel Forge
Thanks!  I put both Horncaller's chant and psychic spiral in because I imagined some ultra-specific, and I guess rather unlikely, situations where they would be helpful... but I totally see how they actually detract from doing what the rest of the deck does.  Doing it again, I would add in the other giant growth I drafted and gate creeper vine instead.  Thanks for the feedback!!