I am struggling with this Limited format. I thought I had a handle on things about a week ago, but things fell through the floor recently. However, I thought I would take this opportunity to discuss one of the most important concepts in Magic: improvement.
In the last week, I’ve lost hundreds of Magic Online tickets in Theros Beyond Death Draft. It’s easy to get frustrated when losing that much, but honestly one of the best ways to improve at Magic is to lose. It’s extremely important to recognize when you’re wrong. If an opponent beats you with a card you believe is bad, it’s in your best interest to re-evaluate. If you believe a card is bad, you won’t play it, and this is your only opportunity to get data to evaluate the card.
It’s easy to blame losses on variance. But the majority of losses contain something to learn from, even if you were on the wrong side of variance. So far, in all my losing, these are my biggest takeaways:
- This format really contains the full spectrum from hyper-aggressive, to normal midrange, to minimal-win-condition control. It’s hard to prepare for it all, so sideboard slots are valuable.
- Removal is plentiful. Assume your opponents can interact more often than you usually would.
- There is an abundance of Divination-like cards. Escape turns self-mill into card advantage and can push cards like Relentless Pursuit and Funeral Rights into quite a lot of value. Be careful if your gameplan is to out-resource an opponent, because the commons in the format can play at a much higher level in that camp than they usually can.
- Games seem to boil down to attacking, even though the average pace of a game is fairly slow. Slow formats often reward decks without many creatures. This isn’t the case with Theros Beyond Death. With so much removal, especially the ones that exile, it’s crucial to have enough ways to win in your deck.
I’m still learning, and haven’t gotten over the hump yet. These are my first attempts at understanding what went wrong, and re-evaluating. I’m sure there’s more to why I’m losing, and I hope I fully understand this soon. For now, let’s jump into a draft!
Pack 1, Pick 4
The Picks So Far:
Wow. What a disappointing pack to follow up an extremely strong start.
Pack 2, Pick 1
The Picks So Far:
Out of all the color combinations, Boros does feel the most open. But is that enough to deviate from extremely powerful cards that could go with my Polukranos?