Ah, exhaustion. It’s what happens when you discover potentially catastrophic hardware failure about to happen on a Sunday afternoon, leading to a full-scale preventative maintenance come Monday morning. Sorry about the mess yesterday, folks, but trust me when I say it was a necessary evil to keep things humming smoothly here.
Speaking of necessary evils, let’s talk about something you have to do sometimes: the triple-[NEW SET] draft.
I hate the prerelease draft. Three packs of the same cards, and everyone trying to kype the same dang rares out of them. At any given prerelease table you have two rare-drafters and one kid going nuts out for his terrible strategy of choice, making signaling impossible.
The end result is that I wind up as a terrible player, because I’m drafting these awful decks and trying to play them. These triple-set drafts make me feel bad, because when you’re not good at reading signals and nobody’s giving them, you wind up with heaps that make the Swamp Thing look well-organized.
Alas, that’s what you get the opening weekend. Nobody wants to play Sealed — I’m apparently the only person in the world who likes it — and since everyone’s hoping to crack the Golden Ticket of whatever mega-rare is going for sale then (I got no Chameleon Colossi, Taurean Maulers, nor any of my other choices for top Multiplayer cards), if I want to play any of the new Limited, I have to be in.
And then I’m out.
I got in two drafts on opening weekend (I was going to go this Sunday as well, but hey! Hardware issues!). One went well, and the other one…
…well, the other one made the Titanic look like a waterskiing championship match.
My first deck was awful. So awful, in fact, I don’t even want to show you. But part of my schtick is blunt honesty, so let me show you what is the worst deck I have without a doubt ever drafted.
To be fair, it was difficult. I’m not a draft expert to begin with, and then the Morningtide class shift left me trying to figure out which way I wanted to go. (They were all so new.) And then there was the guy two seats down merrily rare-drafting, making signaling all but impossible, and bang. A train wreck deck.
As an opponent later said to me, “It doesn’t look like a bad deck. It just looks like you didn’t draft it in Morningtide.” Which is true; it has a curve, it has some efficient creatures, it has some tricks.
But, uh, what does the Bramblewood paragon enable? One other card. (The Hunting Triad.) The Ink Dissolver has a total of three targets to mill over. (I think. It’s late. I’m tired.) The Lys Alana Bowmasters work well with Greatbow Doyven, but they don’t do anything most of the time. And we have all of these flying faeries, but they don’t trigger.
Synergy, people. This deck has none. As a result, I lost horribly to decks that did have them, dying quickly in terrible ways. I got my men out and they were just, you know, men. Standing alone. Waiting for other Merfolk or Wizards or Elves to come along, and they just didn’t.
When I went back on Sunday, I said, “I am learning my lesson. I don’t care how substandard that card is, if I see any hope of staying in my class, I’m doing it.” And I got a pretty solid Rogue deck that went 3-1 before I got tired and had to go home. (Superbowl, people.)
Cloak and Dagger
This was a nice deck, mainly off the power of Notorious Throng and Oona’s Blackguard. There was one occasion where my opponent had twelve power on the table by turn 5, thanks to Ambassador Oak and Heritage Druid. I thought I’d started with a good hand, and I did have three creatures out (having burned a Disperse and a Violet Pall in a frantic attempt to stay alive), but I was about to die.
He attacks, putting me down to two. I declare no blockers, hoping he has no trick, because an Earthbrawn means the end of me… Then again, blocking means that I have no hope, either, since I’d lose a creature. And then I hope I rip a land, since I haven’t touched him; he’s still at twenty.
Thankfully, I do rip a land. GG.
How? Attack for six in the air, which I can do because I didn’t block with anything… Then Notorious Throng with Prowl, giving me six 2/2 tokens and an extra turn to kill him. With eighteen flying damage, it’s over.
My opponent was a little cheesed off. Can’t say I blame him. I liked the Prowl archetype so much I’m trying it out for multiplayer on my group tonight… But don’t tell them that. I want them to be surprised.
The thing about it is, I kind of wish I could get good at Morningtide draft, because the all-Red path seems to be some good. I was at twelve life when I got attacked by a Fire Juggler and a Brighthearth Banneret, which seemed safe — but then Shard Volley, Shard Volley, Shard Volley, GG. That was particularly ugly. It may be that Red was chronically underdrafted at our store, but I saw it happen twice in two separate drafts, and those decks were devilishly quick. Which is fitting, because the devil is Red and, well… You know.
But alas! Triple-Morningtide isn’t worth analyzing. Hopefully, next week I can get to draft a real set, like a real boy.
And that’s it. Short article, but when you’ve spent like eighteen hours restoring and tweaking, you want short. Consider it the inverse of the ten-hour video articles I put up recently, so bear with me.
I know I promised you my thoughts on the Players’ Union last week, but I think that’s going to be closer to a full-blown article. So I’ll get to it next week. I promise.