Ice Age/Alliances/Coldsnap Draft

21:56 Thu 03 Aug 2006. Updated: 12:47 27 Jun 2013
[, , , ]

We played this somewhat bizarre format at draft last night, and overall people seemed to dislike it.

It’s a strange environment, as Ice Age and Alliances were printed over ten years ago, before draft was really a serious consideration for set design. Coldsnap was printed this summer, ostensibly to “complete” the Ice Age block. But since Ice Age and Alliances are long out of print, Coldsnap was designed to be drafted on its own. So the format consists of two very old sets that aren’t designed for draft at all, and a modern set that wasn’t designed to go with the first two. The snow theme is a key indicator of this: if draft had been a consideration for Ice Age, they would have printed snow lands in the boosters, not just in the starter packs.

We should have marked 16 lands as “snow”, and distributed them as the 16th and 13th cards in the Ice Age and Alliances boosters.

Most of the other players considered this the worst draft format ever. I’m not sure I agree, because I think I preferred it to triple-Coldsnap, which annoys me greatly. Probably because of the Ripple mechanic, which depends on luck in drafting it and luck in playing it.

It seems certain that we won’t be trying it again…

I actually enjoyed it, despite placing dead last in my draft. I thought I had a strong deck, with Ray of Command, Illusionary Forces, Rimescale Dragon, Balduvian Horde, 2x Storm Shaman, 2x Martyr of Ashes, Vexing Sphinx, Meteor Shower, and other cards that I thought were reasonable. Most of my games were close, and I won one game in all my matches, losing two and drawing one. I suspect that a big part of the reason I did poorly is that Red and Blue are both rather snow-dependent in Coldsnap, but there’s no way I could have gotten enough snow lands to support that theme. So while everyone else was picking up good removal, fatties, and swift beaters in Coldsnap, I didn’t get much that was helpful beyond the Dragon and Sphinx and Martyrs—all good, but not enough to compete with the 9+ cards other people brought in. A shame I didn’t think that through in advance…

That poor performance ended my recent good run at the Canvas drafts, and since I’ll miss a bunch in a row now, I’m going to drop well out of the seeding top eight. Hopefully I’ll be able to finish out the Ravnica/Guildpact/Dissension block with some strong results to get back to the top table before Time Spiral comes out.

« (previous)
(next) »

Leave a Reply