Dimir FNM Draft post mortum

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First off, I have only been reading this forum for a couple weeks, but I like it a lot.   Apparently,  I still have lots to learn.

So went to my second Gatecrash draft, and did very slightly better than the first time.   As in I won a couple games this time.
Now, I *played* very bad, but not really looking for advice there.  Just have to recognize the misplays and correct them.  In my defense, I had a bike crash on Wed. afternoon and was still a little concussed.

p1p1 was... well, the money card, Godless Shrine.  I think I passed up a Burning Tree Emissary.  Given the state of my head, getting a "free" draft out of the night was probably a wise move.  I would have just skipped but my kid was looking forward to it for 2 weeks (he did a little better than me, but he's not even 9 yet).

After that I moved into Dimir which seemed OK... except... no removal.  Half way through the second pack I realized (yay me) that a couple guys on my left must be drafting Black, but  there didn't seem to be much to shift into.  The only pucker moment was passing on an Elusive Krasis, probably to take Dimir Charm or Dinrova Horror

I was pretty happy post pick with this deck:


I went with the shrine, 2 plains, 6 islands, and 8 swamps.   (possibly this should have been 1 plains 7 island)

But either I screwed up the picks, screwed up the deck building or simply did not play well.  It was extremely slow, but did not have a huge amount of stalling power.   After 2 excrutiating games against a good player with badly designed deck (I almost milled him out once, but literally could not damage him), I popped in the guildmage to see if I could grind a little (never worked) and I popped in the broker because I thought I could use it to "bank" my splash cards until I had the right mana.

I think the biggest problem was the lack of removal.  This lead me to use devour flesh as erzatz removal, but I only used it properly once (like a turn 2 play against a Boros).  

Is there a playable deck in here?  I mean like something a decent player could eek out a 2-1.   The way I played it, if I Wrathed the board I won (but I only played it once) 
 
rstnme: "Everything looks good when your opponent passes 4 turns in a row."
BUMP... c'mon guys is this that bad?  Or are you avoiding telling me that it's a fine deck but I cannot play my way out of a paper bag?   
 
rstnme: "Everything looks good when your opponent passes 4 turns in a row."
My thoughts

Paranoid delusions is bad. It doesn't effect board state and therefore does nothing at all until / unless you can win by milling. Put differently, even in dedicated mill I don't think this is the way to do it.
Gutter skulk is better than slate street ruffian.
Bane alley broker is very good and should have been main-decked.
Mortus strider is not good.

You have fine removal. The problem is you lack quality creatures. Vampire screecher, hands of binding, balustrade rogue, wight are good ones.

I recognize you were trying to mill but I don't think you got the good mill cards: mind grind undercity informer mindeye drake.

It looks like you need to put a greater emphasis on drafting creatures. You have very few creatures that are larger than 2/2 or 2/3, which means that a reasonably aggressive deck (as is often the case with Boros, Gruul, or Simic) will quickly outclass you. I was looking at the Clinging Anenomes to help stem bleeding until your unblockable or evasive creatures come out, but they wouldn't evolve more than once, twice tops. That's a problem. 


I definitely would have played the Keymaster Rogue. It's the second largest creature you drafted; it's unblockable, which helps with your cipher spells; it's a two-card combo with your Sage's Row Denizens - 4 mana to mill two cards isn't great, but it might finish an opponent off who has already been milled with other effects.


I also would have gone with the Gutter Skulk. It's not a great card, but it is more aggressive than the Metropolis Sprite. If you play it on turn 2, it can stop a pre-battalion Wojek Halberdiers, as an example, while the Sprite would need another turn to be able to get to power 2.


While removal is important to decks, you already have a lot of it. I'm not sure what you're expecting. I count 6 removal spells (Lashes, Eviction, Charm, Spectacle, and 2 Devour Flesh), and the Dinrova Horror will often be removal if your opponent isn't holding back lands. Devour Flesh isn't ersatz removal. No, it's not targeted, but if it comes out early, or after the opponent is recovering from Eviction, or after your creatures trade with your opponent's creatures, then it can get the guy you want. The key is that you need to have creatures big enough to trade.


As a note, I agree with your changes after the first match. More creatures is better, and even if the guildmage was never better than a 2/2 for 2 mana, that's still sometimes what you need. The cards you removed are a mediocre combat trick and a tempo card, neither of which help your deck very much. They're better in more aggressive decks which try to punch through the last damage with them.

Thanks for your comments, guys.
I agree i way overrated Mortus Strider as permanent chump blocker, but costs oh so much.  I think I so wanted to run sage/mortus/corpse blockade.

I also think I should have put in the skulk for sure.  I thought the Keymaster was too expensive so I left him off.  I think that's another error.    I think my hope was that I would get the delusions on a sprite, but they are real fragile.

You have fine removal. The problem is you lack quality creatures. Vampire screecher, hands of binding, balustrade rogue, wight are good ones.


I recognize you were trying to mill but I don't think you got the good mill cards: mind grind undercity informer mindeye drake. 


None of these cards passed my vision or I would have snapped them up.   When I drafted the anemones I was thinking to main deck them for sure, but I guess I put in mortus striders instead?  I blame the blunt trauma.


Part of my problem is that I love trickery control decks but I am not good enough yet to play them.   I think I also almost always foolishly take something in color rather than the best creature. 
rstnme: "Everything looks good when your opponent passes 4 turns in a row."
Mortis Strider in a vacuum is pretty bad, but definitely has a place, but in my experience, that place is part of a combo with Undercity Informer.  It definitely does combo with Sage's Row Denizen, but it's a little clunky and takes time.  Overall, I'm not sure you have enough mill support.  I thought as far as Dimir decks go, I've seen way worse.

I would like to see more evasion for your cipher cards, and I think Gridlock is not very good.  Actually, since you are trying to mill (are you?), Shadow Slice does not fit in very well.  I think Paranoid Delusions is actually pretty good for you, but again, not enough evasion.

I thought you did fine, just a few places to tweak.  I am usually in that boat.
Well, I moved into dimir pretty fast - except for the Eviction (P2P1?) and the lashes.   I was not really trying for straight mill or straight evasion cipher... but I didn't end up with good cards either way.    I was basically just "draft best black or blue card in pack".   I was sure Orzhov was closed to my left, but I didn't realized how shut Dimir was as well... I ended up with all the mediocre dimir cards pack 2.

I think the toughest decision I had to make was early pack 2 or 3 taking the Broker or Horror instead of switching to Simic via Elusive Krasis.  It must have been pack 3, because it would have been quite a switch.  

Gridlock I thought was barely playable.

I think I mostly just made enough mistakes deckbuilding (strider > skulk??) and in play to get creamed.   Will be at it again in a couple weeks. 
rstnme: "Everything looks good when your opponent passes 4 turns in a row."
The deck looks okay to me and is solid with its colours of Dimir splashing for the very strong eviction and lashes.

In terms of what you drafted, I would have made the following changes

-1 plains
+1 island

-Shadow Alley Denizen (this is a fairly weak card except in some Orzhov aggro decks)
-2 Mortis Strider (I know these are cute with Corpse Blockade but where they really shine is with Undercity Informer as IYankem said)     
-1 Paranoid Delusions (you are not running a mill deck so this card is a bit redundant)
-1 Gridlock (this is an aggro card for fast Simic decks and isn't a card you need here)  

+1 Gutter Skulk (a straight up better card for this deck than Denizen)
+1 Duskmantle Guildmages (as a general rule, always play as many guildmages as your draft)
+1 Bane Alley Broker (the ability to sift through your deck is great)
+1 Clinging Anenome (I am not the biggest fan of this card but your deck needs to find a little bit of time before it can play its bigger creatures)
+1 Sapphire Drake (a 4/4 flyer is a great finisher)        
Well, I moved into dimir pretty fast - except for the Eviction (P2P1?) and the lashes.   I was not really trying for straight mill or straight evasion cipher... but I didn't end up with good cards either way.    I was basically just "draft best black or blue card in pack".   I was sure Orzhov was closed to my left, but I didn't realized how shut Dimir was as well... I ended up with all the mediocre dimir cards pack 2.

I think the toughest decision I had to make was early pack 2 or 3 taking the Broker or Horror instead of switching to Simic via Elusive Krasis.  It must have been pack 3, because it would have been quite a switch.  

Gridlock I thought was barely playable.

I think I mostly just made enough mistakes deckbuilding (strider > skulk??) and in play to get creamed.   Will be at it again in a couple weeks. 



This is where you "level up" as a drafter.  You learn to build a deck as you're drafting.  I'm in this phase now, still not there, but getting closer.  The sooner you realize what kind of deck you want to build (aggro, control, mill, combo), you can then go for that plan instead of just "good stuff."  The learning curve is steep but you'll get there!  (I am still not close)