sfmagic Draft Report, Wed 14 Mar 2007

23:50 Thu 15 Mar 2007. Updated: 22:00 26 Jun 2013
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I drafted Red/Blue (again) last night, and managed to place 2nd out of 7 (losing to Seth in what was effectively the “final”).

In the pack I opened, I took Sulfurous Blast out of a pack that was spread across most of the colors. For my second pick I took Pardic Dragon over Crookclaw Transmuter and Riftwing Cloudskate. Red looked open… but it wasn’t really, with my upstream neighbor being James—Red was one of his four colors. Still, a fair amount of it showed up. I picked Blue as my second color mainly on the strength of some Fathom Seers, which are rather strong in my opinion. I also got a Wildfire Emissary, which I think is a rather strong card.

After two packs I was solidly in Blue/Red, with two Snapbacks for bounce, two Fathom Seers, and a couple of other morphs, plus the Sulfurous Blast and the Dragon and a single Empty the Warrens. For pack three, I wanted some Shaper Parasites, Stingscourgers, and Dead/Gone. Of those, I only saw Stingscourgers—but I picked up three of those. I also took some Aquamorph Entities, which didn’t turn out to be great. I thought I’d be able to use them as my main attack while bouncing things, but that didn’t work out.

Overall the deck was solid, with good tempo, reasonable card drawing, but not enough evasion.

My first round was against Quyen playing Black/White. I managed to win this despite playing terribly, completely spacing on the fact that Spirit and Vampiric Link do not protect players from lethal damage, and thereby leaving the win on the board for several turns against him. But I’ll take whatever wins I can get.

My second round was against Jim, playing Green/Red. He had some excellent green fat, including Timbermare, and I thought he was going to win those games. Timbermare is pretty damn good against me, especially since bouncing it just makes it a guaranteed hit the next turn. The critical mistake in this match might have been his forgetting to activate the Protection from Red on his Thick-Skinned Goblin, and losing the card to Wildfire Emissary for no gain. I think he might have recovered otherwise.

The final round against Seth was extremely close. He squeaked by in the first game, helped by Aven Riftwatcher, which gained him enough life to stay out of my range. He also needed to draw land, I’m pretty sure, to cast Ivory Giant to get in for one more than my life total… I think I could have survived by being more aggressive. In game two, he had a lot of 1-toughness creatures, and I had Flowstone Channeler. I also had lots of Stingscourgers, so it was rapid beatdown followed by game three.

Game three went to extra turns, and again Seth was able to gain ridiculous amounts of life with the Riftwatcher, life that kept him just out of range. I drew far too much land in this game, at one point in the midgame seven of my eight cards were land. That didn’t help. Nor did drawing Sulfurous Blast the turn after he dropped me to three life—a turn before and I would have wiped his board. In the end, I got him down to four—one away from the lethal Sulfurous Blast that would have made the game a draw. He won the group, and I placed second. Sadly, the difference in value between his first pick (Damnation, $16.30) and mine (Torchling, $2.97) was rather significant.

I’m pretty sure I could have won that match had I played better. I’m not really playing enough, and too many mistakes are creeping in. On the other hand, it’s still fun, and I don’t really have the time or inclination to make a big push towards improvement. So I’ll have to accept the mistakes (and losses) as they come.

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