Archive for December 2011

A Very Quick ISD Block Constructed Peek   Leave a comment

Thought this may be worth sharing- while trying to decide what the best deck to play in Innistrad Block Constructed is, I decided to go the statistical route- tallying up 4-0 and 3-1 finishes over the last couple days and going from there. I just thought I’d share the results.

Format- Deck (4/0s / 3-1s.) The total is the combined amount of Booster Packs won from Daily Events, with a 4-0 paying out 11 Boosters and a 3-1 paying out 6. Not statistically robust I daresay, but gives some ideas. Anyway, here’s the list:

R/W Aggro: (5/34) 259
G/W Gavony: (5/19) 169
Jund: (5/5): 85
UG/w Self-Mill: (2/8): 70
Gargoyle Control: (2/7): 64*
U/R Aggro: (5/1) 61
Burning Venegance: (0/4): 24
U/W Delver/Stalker: (0/3): 18
4c Control: (0/3) 18*
BUG Bloodgift: (0/3) 18
RUG Daybreak: (1/0): 11
WBG Geist: (1/0) 11
Grixis Control: (0/1) 6

*Includes both 3 Colour and 4 Colour variants.

**Those 4 colours being BURG.

Read into that what you will!

Advertisements

ISD/ISD/ISD Draft #1: In The Christmas Spirit   1 comment

Pack 1 pick 1:

So looking at this pack, the only two cards I’m looking at are the Mirror-Mad Phantasm and Mausoleum Guard- While I do like a good aggressive deck in Innistrad, Reckless Waif.dec isn’t what I want to move in on with the first pick of the draft. I decided to go with the Mausoleum Guard here, as it’s just the best card and has a huge amount of versatitlity. He can block and attack profitably and there are a lot of sacrifice outlets so you can cash him in for two tokens as you wish. Guard’s also in the deepest colour in Innistrad, which is White. Phantasm is a card I try to avoid unless I’ve a very heavy self-mill deck. While it is 5 power in the air, it’s miserable to play this and then have it Geistflamed, Dead Weighted or Prey Uponed before it has a chance to do anything.

My Pick:

Pack 1 pick 2:

We get the perfect follow up here- Slayer of the Wicked is the same colour as the Guard and is very solid removal on a decent body. No other cards really come close here, although if there was no Slayer in the pack we would probably have a tough choice between Avacyn’s Pilgrim and Geistflame.
My Pick:

Pack 1 pick 3:

Well, this is a pretty miserable pack with the exception of Chapel Geist, Orchard Spirit and Moment of Heroism. Chapel Geist is in our colours and clearly the best card, so that’s the pick.

My Pick:

Pack 1 pick 4:

Seeing two playable white cards in the Fox and Gallows Warden is a positive sign. Festerhide Boar and Harvest Pyre are good cards but they’re not worth jumping into a second colour for just yet- particularly when Gallows Warden is in the pack- a 3/3 flyer that boosts our Geist and Mausoleum Guard tokens.

My Pick:

Pack 1 pick 5:

Not much to mull here- we have a minor Spirit theme going already and Chapel Geist is a very solid card. Worth noting that there is a Silent Departure in the pack as we try to discern what other colours are open.

My Pick:

Pack 1 pick 6:

For me this pick boils down to Makeshift Mauler vs. Abbey Griffin. I do like Mauler, but we’re not in Blue and it really is more suited to a deck where you can fill the graveyard- an ability that doesn’t appear in White at all. Abbey Griffin is unspectacular, but it is another flier. It also will help us in the next pack if we cut off white entirely, which taking Griffin does, so it gets the nod.

My Pick:

Pack 1 pick 7:

It seems that Blue may be being passed to us and is slightly open here, with a fairly late Think Twice in the pack. However, there is also Silverchase Fox which is a very good card which can nab a lot of problematic cards (Bonds of Faith, Claustrophobia, Heretic’s Punishment) in the bud. Again, this will allow us to give the person next to us no white cards this pack, setting us up for Pack 2 nicely.

My Pick:

Pack 1 pick 8:

That’s a lot of black cards! However all of them aren’t close to Prey Upon, which might be nice to have incase we can move into the G/W Humans Deck.

My Pick:

Pack 1 pick 9:

I think this a very clear sign that Blue is open with both the Apprentice and Alchemy wheeling from this pack which I personally would not have expected- now seems the time to move in, although there is a chance we’ve passed enough Blue that it may come too late. Of the two cards, I prefer Alchemy in this deck. I do like Apprentice, but it seems that a 1/2 for 2 is very underwhelming when we have no real way to take advantage of it’s ability yet, except for Mausoleum Guard.

My Pick:

Pack 1 pick 10:

Spare From Evil cuts white a bit more here and is a decent card- Innistrad tends to have quite a few “locked” board states with nobody being able to get through and Spare From Evil has the ability to just steal games in those spots.

My Pick:

Pack 1 pick 11:

Taking the best card here.

My Pick:

Pack 1 pick 12:

Hating the Vampric Fury. Every now and then you’ll play against the B/R Vampire deck and this card goes from unplayable to absurd- and because  it’s seen so rarely, you forget to play around it and can get horribly blown out.

My Pick:

Pack 1 pick 13:

I’m not entirely sure how the Pitchfork has wheeled here- this card is decent and in a humans deck it is just quite absurd. We don’t have an abundance of humans, but we are in white, so we almost assuredly will find some.

My Pick:

Pack 1 pick 14:

Love me a foil land.

My Pick:

Pack 1 pick 15:

My Pick:

Pack 1 went well. We got some good fliers and some other solid white cards- cutting off the colour and solidifying us in it, hopefully to reap the rewards in Pack 2. Blue and Black seemed open the other way, but we need to settle on one quickly so we can start shaping the deck in a more synergistic fashion.

Pack 2 pick 1:

…and we open a bomb that’s multicoloured with the two colours that seemed open apart from White. There’s three options I’m considering here- Grimgrin, as a bomb that can just plain win the game on his own. The Sac ability does not suit our deck overly apart from Mausoleum Guard, though. There’s Galvanic Juggernaut, which is one of the best uncommons in the set and there’s barely a single deck he doesn’t slot into nicely. Then there’s the best removal in the format in Brimstone Volley. All 3 are good for us and our deck- but I feel Grimgrin has the most upside. The colours will stretch us, but everytime I’ve played with him, it’s a case of they either have Bonds of Faith, or they find themselves way behind very quickly.

My Pick:

Pack 2 pick 2:

Well, now that I’ve somewhat committed myself to playing either Blue or Black and splashing the other, we get a few more options in our packs. There’s no decent white card here so the choice falls between Skaab Goliath and Silent Departure- I don’t even think it’s close.

My Pick:

Pack 2 pick 3:

Gallows Warden does synergise extremely well with our deck and Spectral Rider is an efficent beater, but I am loathe to pass Victim of Night as it’s very good removal. However I will now be putting more value on Traveler’s Amulets and Shimmering Grottos in order to fix what might become a very messy manabase.

My Pick:

Pack 2 pick 4:

There’s some decent cards here- but I feel Thraben Sentry is the best pick- it synergises with Mausoleum Guard and Grimgrin and a 5/4 trampler is very difficult for a lot of decks to deal with.

My Pick:

Pack 2 pick 5:

It’s very obvious what the pick here is in my opinion and getting it this late is a gift- Midnight Haunting is a fantastic card that you can get a lot of value out of when used correctly. No-brainer here and can’t help but feel greedy and hope that Feeling of Dread wheels.

My Pick:

Pack 2 pick 6:

Blue is definitely seeming open now- Civilised Scholar is a looter, and a looter is always welcome in a deck of mine.When it gets in for 5 or blocks a big guy, that’s just a bonus. It should help deal with the mana issues, too.

My Pick:

Pack 2 pick 7:

Battleground Geist is a lovely pick up here to go with it’s soulmate, the Gallows Warden. Another flier and one that boosts our Spirits’ power, which is why I usually value it over the Warden- the clock gets so much faster with one of these in our deck.

My Pick:

Pack 2 pick 8:

We have to pass another Sensory Deprivation here- enough that would even make a Blightsteel Colossus break down and cry. Lantern Spirit however is better for our deck- it’s also just a very solid card for a slower, controlling deck- blocking and returning to hand on their biggest guy will slow down a lot of people- also note that if you have enough mana, you can play it, bounce it and replay it to flip werewolves back.

My Pick:

Pack 2 pick 9:

Ahhh, Crabby. How many times have you made me smile as all manner of fatties bounce off your shell.

My Pick:

Pack 2 pick 10:

This is quite nice to get on the wheel, although I don’t really want to play it. Outside of U/x Mill decks, it always seems too unreliable.

My Pick:

Pack 2 pick 11:

My Pick:

Pack 2 pick 12:

What on earth? Why is this here? Prey Upon wheels so often in bizzare packs- people took Hysterical Blindness and Infernal Plunge over it.

My Pick:

Pack 2 pick 13:

My Pick:

Pack 2 pick 14:

My Pick:

Pack 2 pick 15:

My Pick:

So it turns out Blue was the second colour- although strangely we got cut in White a little- makes me think that someone passing to us opened something like Angelic Overseer or Geist-Honored Monk and then cut us hard. Looks like it’s UW/b.

Pack 3 pick 1:

Well, this is almost certainly going to make our mana horrible, but Bloodline Keeper is just too good to pass up here. It’s also the best card by far in a pack that has two mediocre blue cards and only one white card in Thraben Purebloods.

My Pick:

Pack 3 pick 2:

This pick is almost certainly incorrect in hindsight. Although Cleaver is very powerful in a deck full of fliers, we may be better off taking the more synergistic Thraben Sentry or the psuedo-removal in Blazing Torch. Sadly, I follow this up with a worse pick…

My Pick:

Pack 3 pick 3:

I must’ve had blinkers on from the Cleaver pick, as Elder Cathar is not the best card here. It’s probably not even top 3. If I could go back and do it again, I would either take the Apprentice for synergy or the Blazing Torch for utility. Alchemy is also much better than the Cathar here. A horrible pick.

My Pick:

Pack 3 pick 4:

This is a no brainer- Murder of Crows is fantastic in this deck- another flier that has the added bonus of looting when things die. (Grimgrwinning!) and gives us a finisher. Crows, by the way, can block pretty much anything in the air that isn’t a bomb rare/mythic.

My Pick:

Pack 3 pick 5:

Can’t complain about having a third geist- although I would like that Grotto to wheel…

My Pick:

Pack 3 pick 6:

This is probably quite controversial- but I think Isolated Chapel works for us here- we have no semblance of fixing at the moment and in ISD Draft, if you go three colours, even for a splash- if the mana fails on you, it will condemn you to so many losses that you really want to avoid it where possible.

My Pick:

Pack 3 pick 7:

As much as I’d like the very solid Occultist or Walking Corpse, Amulet is needed for the aforementioned manafixing.

My Pick:

Pack 3 pick 8:

Well, it is the season to give. Clearly the people I’m drafting with have taken that too literally- or this was the most insane of insane packs. Even then it seems wrong that this is here.

My Pick:

Pack 3 pick 9:

My Pick:

Pack 3 pick 10:

My Pick:

Pack 3 pick 11:

Yeah. Blue’s very much underdrafted and I get to rectify the Cathar pick a little. In the end I plumped for the Apprentice as it just about has the edge due to the small synergy it offers.

My Pick:

Pack 3 pick 12:

My Pick:

Pack 3 pick 13:

My Pick:

Pack 3 pick 14:

My Pick:

Pack 3 pick 15:

My Pick:

This draft converter created by Benjamin Peebles-Mundy.

Visit the draft converter today!

And here’s the deck I settled on:

So how about them two drops, eh?

A few mistakes here- Elder Cathar and Butcher’s Cleaver probably shouldn’t be in and found themselves boarded out often depending on the match up- often for Fortress Crab and Sensory Deprivation.

(MTGO lost most the replays, so going mostly off memory here…)

The Deck ended up going 1-1. The first game was against a WBG deck (Straight three-colours no splash) which we took 2-1. The first game was over when I resolved Grimgin. Game 2 saw him get a wicked chain of events going with Gutter Grime, leaving him with 4 5/5 Oozes. Thankfully though in  Game 3 there was mana stumbling on his part and we soon took over with Geists and Murder of Crows.

The second game was slightly less stellar. Although we took Game 1 off his risky keep of 1 land (Even if he did go Delver, flip delver, Silent Depature your first two plays) we got solidly outplayed and outgunned in Game 2 by Stitched Drake and Mirror-Mad Phantasm as everything we play either gets Silent Departured or Grasp of Phantom’ed. Game 3 proves why Invisible Stalker is such a design horror-show as that + Spectral Flight by Turn 3 leaves us unable to race it.