When being Red my two favorite archetypes are WR and Mono Red. There are two very good White cards (out of which the rare is a bit more powerful) but no significant Red card making the pick quite easy. Also getting the Pledge so fast I should be able to get one or two good combos to go with it.
I know the pick may seem a little weird but in my opinion Kalitas is better in ZZW than it was in ZZZ. With the format getting slower the card went from good to excellent and there are no commons I would pick over it. On the other hand I’m far from convinced it’s a signal as the two guys on my right may not share my opinion but still Mark of Mutiny or Teetering Peaks (which I would both pick over Cliff Threader as WR rarely lacks two-drops) are not cards I’m willing to take over a card of this level. What does this pick imply for the rest of the draft? I can’t draw any conclusion yet I’ll just have to be open-minded from now on.
I feel much more comfortable with being RB or WR than WB so if I were to choose a White a Red and a Black card I’d go with the Red one anyway. But here the pick is pretty clear as the 4/3 is clearly the best card in those three colors.
It’s now almost sure the Kalitas pick only came from a difference of perception between the opinion I have of the card and that of my neighbors.
I may not be a huge fan of the card in general but it should be pretty good in a deck using Steppe Lynx Plated Geopede and most importantly Conqueror’s Pledge.
I almost hate drafted Seismic Shudder here as the card is extremely annoying to me but Bold Defense is pretty good in an “all in” type deck.
I think Boar and Sanctifiers are about as good and I’d tend to pick the 2/3 in a more controlling deck and the 3/2 in a more aggressive one. And this one is made to be very aggressive.
Pack 2 pick 3:
Tuktuk Grunts and Zektar Shrine Expedition would be good too but I like the Cartographer’s ability to take the best of the Landfall guys as well as to get me closer to kicking Bold Defense.
Pack 2 pick 4:
I don’t think I’d be running two Kabira Crossroads in such an aggro deck so then the question is to know what is the best card for me to counterdraft. The one I want to face the least and I believe that’s the Trap which shouldn’t be hard to cast for U against me.
Pack 3 pick 1:
How a decent deck becomes a very good one in two picks.
Pack 3 pick 3:
In Limited just like in Constructed you must have a strategy in order to win and determine your curve and the spells you will play depending on it. My curve is getting much higher than expected with these three first picks but I don’t mind much as my deck now has several bombs and flyers to finish the job if my first wave of assaults were to be stopped.
A good link between the aggro guys (as it supplies lands for Landfall and supports the beating) and the bombs (which it helps casting).
An extremely underestimated card. The 4/3 is a 1st to 3rd pick in any Red deck.
My curve has gotten a little too high lately; this should help.
I didn’t really try to pick the card earlier on as it doesn’t fit my curve so well but there is not much else.
I’m intending on running one equipment which shouldn’t be enough for Kitesail Apprentice to make the cut.
Pack 3 pick 9:
Walking Atlas was almost the pick here but I don’t really need to accelerate into my bombs. My game plan is not to use them to win on their own but to put my opponent under so much pressure that they have they have to use their removals on my early drops in order to survive and if they manage to do so to finish them with a bunch of tokens a big flyers or a kicked Deathforge Shaman. A two-mana 1/1 just doesn’t serve that plan.
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3 Kabira Crossroads
2 Goblin Bushwhacker
1 Steppe Lynx
1 Skitter of Lizards
1 Slavering Nulls
1 Akoum Battlesinger
1 Kor Skyfisher
1 Plated Geopede
1 Pilgrim’s Eye
1 Kor Sanctifiers
1 Shatterskull Giant
1 Kor Cartographer
1 Bladetusk Boar
1 Lightkeeper of Emeria
1 Deathforge Shaman
1 Archon of Redemption
1 Mordant Dragon
1 Adventuring Gear
1 Shieldmate’s Blessing
2 Crusher Zendikon
1 Conqueror’s Pledge
1 Seismic Shudder
1 Mold Shambler
1 Bold Defense
1 Noble Vestige
1 Whiplash Trap
1 Slaughter Cry
1 Spidersilk Net
1 Timbermaw Larva
1 Crusher Zendikon
1 Lethargy Trap
1 Perimeter Captain
1 Piranha Marsh
1 Kalitas Bloodchief of Ghet
1 Veteran’s Reflexes
In the end the fact that I end up running two Zendikons pushed me to play all of my Crossroads in order to have a possibility of doubling them up to gain me four life.
I have the start I feared with a Crossroads/Lynx opener. With my 0/1 coming up on turn 2 he barely stops my beatdown while standing on 4 life. He now has control of the game but he can’t beat me down too quickly as his life are pretty low which leaves me quite a lot of time to draw one of my bombs. At some point I find Deathforge Shaman and kick him for the win.
In the second game my opponent takes a pair of mulligans and my good hand makes me pretty sure I have the game. Until he plays turn 5 Ob Nixilis with Ruin Ghost. Luckily I follow up with Mordant Dragon and win the race by a slim margin.
I may have won thanks to a rare and a double mulligan but it still feels good to play against WB. I just can’t remember the last time I lost to that archetype. Once again I can only advise not drafting it unless you get bombs in both colors (which could have been my opponent’s case here). It is just a waste of tix and packs.
The first game of my semis is interesting as it is a battle of bombs which ends up being decided by a frequently thirteenth pick. He has a Seagate Loremaster and a Living Tsunami along with many guys including another flyer and ally – Umara Raptor – while I’m holding the board with Mordant Dragon. At some point I find Shieldmate’s Blessing attack into his two flyers kill them both for one White mana and win the game on the following turn as the sixth extra card the 1/3 provided him still can’t deal with my Dragon.
In game 2 he makes one pretty big mistake as I have two guys including only one threat (Archont of Redemption). He plays Journey to Nowhere on it then passes and ends up playing Into the Roil with kicker during my turn on my other guy. As a reminder if you bounce an O-Ring type permanent (or make it leave play in any way) when it’s effect is still on the stack the removed permanent will never come back to play. Here he just chose to bounce one of my guys instead of killing it one turn later. The game was close from then on but he drew a little better afterwards and took me to game 3.
In game 3 he makes another mistake which will this time cost him the game. I’ve one card in hand which he knows is a spell as I would have played a land and attacked with Geopede otherwise. He has 2 Fledging Griffins and a Living Tsunami on the board. I’m on 6 and I win if he attacks with everything and if my card in hand is Shieldmate’s Blessing. He jumps right into the trick he had already seen earlier and I just swing for the win on the following turn. If he had waited for one turn and I hadn’t draw one of my two big flyers or a removal spell he would have taken the match.
I wish I could tell you about the final but I’m currently staying at a friend’s place and she’s sick today. She has a kid who needs to be bathed and fed so I’m glad my finals opponent agrees to draw the third round.
Until next time…