Archive for March 2012

DKA-DKA-DKA Draft 1: Geist Who!   Leave a comment

I know it’s not the most relevant of formats, but I always quite like these small-duration draft formats. It’s good writing practice for me too, in addition to making it easier to build up my Dark Ascension collection and get used to playing with some of the cards and mechanics.

Pack 1 pick 1:

So. Quite a deep and powerful pack here- we’ve got Lingering Souls, Fires of Undeath, Death’s Caress, Skirsdag Flayer, Dungeon Geists and a Mythic. Okay, an unplayable Mythic, but still! My first eliminated card was Death’s Caress- it’s the most expensive and colour committed, which means I’d like to avoid it as my first pick. The next one I ruled out was Skirsdag Flayer- which although good is really at it’s best in a specific archetype, B/W- which if we want to go into, we’re better served taking Lingering Souls than Flayer. Like Caress, it’s good- but I don’t want it first with the other options. The next card I ruled out was Fires of Undeath- although it is great removal, I don’t want to commit to a two-colour card (kind of) first and I feel the same with Lingering Souls, despite its ridiculous power- normally I’d slam it, but we also have Dungeon Geists in the pack. It’s a powerful body, being a 3/3 for 4 as well as being pretty much removal too. Throw that in with being in my favourite colour for DKAx3, Blue- and we have a first pick.

My Pick:

Pack 1 pick 2:

We’re faced with another tough choice here- for my money the best three cards are Soul Seizer, Elgaud Inquistor and Niblis of the Mist. Elgaud is the biggest body and lifelink is not to be underestimated in this format- there’s a lot of aggressive decks running around, which the Inquistor can act as an effective roadblock against and getting a spirit out of the deal isn’t bad either. Niblis of the Mist is a decent flier too, but the tapping ability isn’t always as good as you want it to be- in a way it’s almost White’s Crossway Vampire. However, we’ve just taken a blue card, so we’re going to stay the course with Soul Seizer- it’s a weak body admittedly, but a mind control is always tough to pass up- so we won’t.

My Pick:

Pack 1 pick 3:

So we seemingly have the same common run here- or at least some similar ones. Again it comes down to Niblis vs. Inquisitor- with precious little else in the pack. It’s a close one, but I’ve opted for Niblis- hopefully we can develop an aggressive U/W fliers deck. Fliers are particularly strong in triple DKA- no One-Eyed Scarecrows, very few fliers in anything that isn’t U/W and only one specific way to remove fliers in the format, which costs 2G. For that reason, Niblis get the nod- although if this were INN-INN-DKA, I’d go Inquisitor.

My Pick:

Pack 1 pick 4:

Hm. There’s no playable card in either Blue or White here, which is slightly worrying. There’s some interesting choices- Falkenrath Torturer is good if you can grab a bunch of humans, whereas the other good Black card is the fairly solid Wakedancer. Beast and Wurm are two large bodies that are hard to deal with, with Stromkirk Captain being quite tempting- if it were not in the two colours we’re not. Markov Blademaster is better in the format with no Geistflame- but it’s still very weak, as well as being double red. That ends up with me choosing to go for Dawntreader Elk- it’s a decent beater and if need be, we can use it for fixing if we end up green and wanting to splash our White or Blue.

My Pick:

Pack 1 pick 5:

Another pack with no Blue, which isn’t an ideal signal to be recieving. Thankfully there’s a good White card here to alleviate that though, in the form of Midnight Guard- which has psuedo-vigilance with a 2/3 body that is fairly difficult to breakthrough, and we’ll be aiming for a low curve too, so he fits in with that.

My Pick:

Pack 1 pick 6:

Well, this is a great signal- Burden of Guilt coming this late is a good indication White is open, so we’ll snap pick it here. Also encouraging is seeing some decent Blue show up in this pack too, so prehaps the last couple packs were just empty of Blue cards. Also worth noting there’s a Scorned Villager here, so Green might be there as a backup plan if either of our current colours dry up.

My Pick:

Pack 1 pick 7:

Or

Or maybe it was a false dawn. There’s only one decent card here, and it’s name is Ulvenwald Bear. We already have a Dawntreader Elk, so if Blue totally dies on us, we will at least have the makings of an escape plan.

My Pick:

Pack 1 pick 8:

Very much worried now. Taking the only playable card.

My Pick:

Pack 1 pick 9:

The worrying trend of no Blue and White continues. Forge Devil is I should’ve taken here, but I keep looking at it and getting it confused with Torch Fiend, hence overlooking it. Not a great habit to have fallen into. So we end up with a Potato Wolves.

My Pick:

Pack 1 pick 10:

This will be very good against us. The less there are, the better off we are.

My Pick:

Pack 1 pick 11:

Took a Saving Grasp here- didn’t think it was playable, but I was willing to have it open to me, just incase.

My Pick:

Pack 1 pick 12:

Meow.

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Pack 1 pick 13:

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Pack 1 pick 14:

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Pack 1 pick 15:

My Pick:

So an uneasy start- we have some decent fliers in Blue and White, alongside a couple of cards in Green too- with Blue and White seemingly getting cut. Hopefully pack two gives us some cohesion and a direction to push into, because at the moment everything is quite up in the air and our deck has no real strategy, as it stands.

Pack 2 pick 1:

I don’t really need to say much. It’s a planeswalker in limited (and a very good one at that), being in one of our colours, easily splashed and worth a ton. Sorin it is! Now I really want to try and build a flying team with the next couple packs- Sorin’s emblem ability is just so good if you have evasive creatures that it’s well worth trying to build around a little.

My Pick:

Pack 2 pick 2:

So naturally we follow up a WB card with…a double Blue card. Right? Again, I want to go fliers, particularly with Sorin’s emblem and Stormbound Geist is just the plain best card (in this format- not a fan of Deranged Outcast in Triple DKA) in the pack. It’s very hard to deal with and having multiples will have an opponent having kittens.

My Pick:

Pack 2 pick 3:

This is a tough one. I really do love a Seakite due to it’s decent body combined with the large amount of times people will happily just throw things into combat when you’ve got 3U untapped. However, Death’s Caress is unconditional removal- and even if we’re only splashing Black, I want one to deal with opposing bombs.

My Pick:

Pack 2 pick 4:

This is an easy pick for me here, with it being the Skaabs- although expensive and needing to be skaab-fed, the high mana cost means you’re almost guaranteed to have a dead creature in the yard for it when you get to 5 mana- then you have a 5/5 that gums up the ground well if you need to defend, or can really smash through an opponent’s creatures, with Undying just putting it over the edge. We’re getting a lot of good blue now, which is a relief.

My Pick:

Pack 2 pick 5:

I still love the Skaabs- but having two might not be too favourable and our curve is beginning to look a tad heavy- so we’ll go for the also excellent Seakite to lower it, even just a fraction. Keeps us on our flier plan too.

My Pick:

Pack 2 pick 6:

So now it’s White that’s totally dried up on us. Green is still flowing, as seeing a Briarback Alpha this late is frankly, ridiculous. However, it’s also fairly surprising to see a tapper arriving this late too with Nibbler of the Breath, making him the easy choice.

My Pick:

Pack 2 pick 7:

Another Stormbound Geist? Fantastic. Blue is flowing and our flier plan is getting on track. Undying all night long.

My Pick:

Pack 2 pick 8:

Maybe I got a bit blinkered at actually having seen a white card here, as I took Loyal Cathar- not the right choice. It makes our mana a considerable amount clunkier, even if it is a good card. Should’ve been Griptide.

My Pick:

Pack 2 pick 9:

I don’t mind Skillful Lunge, but Chant of the Skifsang is always a handy card to have.

My Pick:

Pack 2 pick 10:

Already got a Grasp, so Break of Day gets the nod so we have more versatility in our sideboard.

My Pick:

Pack 2 pick 11:

Nice to pick up a counterspell. On a sdenote- when playing DKA-DKA-DKA, remember that there’s only two counters in the format- this, which only hits creatures; and Counterlash- which is rare and costs 6.

My Pick:

Pack 2 pick 12:

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Pack 2 pick 13:

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Pack 2 pick 14:

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Pack 2 pick 15:

My Pick:

So pack two went fairly well- we got a lot of Blue, some decent fliers…oh. And Sorin. I mean, he can’t be that good, right? (Spoiler: he is.) Now we just want to fill out our curve, lower it slightly and continue to pick up fliers.

Pack 3 pick 1:

Well, this has been made quite easy for us. There’s very little choice for us in the pack which is fine- because Niblis of the Urn is just a huge beating. Although it doesn’t get in for much, being able to tap guys when it attacks is extremely handy- especially in our flier-heavy deck, bceause if someone does have a flier to block our airborne team, we now have another way to deal with it.

My Pick:

Pack 3 pick 2:

I might have an un-natural amount of love for Loyal Cathar, as it’s really not the pick here as it isn’t as good as Seakite, nor is it great for our manabase. I did consider Helvault for a moment, but in the end, I just decided that it’s probably just too slow for what we want to be doing- and too slow in general.

My Pick:

Pack 3 pick 3:

(The broken image is Seance.)

Geist is the pick for me here, although in hindsight it’s probably closer than I thought it was- in triple DKA, Thraben Heretic is an absolute monster as it can turn off all your opponents Undying creatures- and because it’s 3 packs of Dark Ascension, there are a lot more Undying creatures than in INN-INN-DKA. Maybe the wrong pick, but another Geist isn’t too bad.

My Pick:

Pack 3 pick 4:

Another Deranged Hermit running about, which is worth noting- VIllage Survivors is also a huge guy we’d like to avoid. I think even in INN/INN/DKA, it’s quite underrated. Midnight Guard is what we’re taking though as the best creature in our colours. It works well in our deck and like before, is a solid body. Thought Scour doesn’t really fit with our deck too well, so it doesn’t get too much consideration.

My Pick:

Pack 3 pick 5:

I love an Avacyn’s Collar, but we don’t really have the deck for it- and there’s nothing else in our colours. Jar of Eyeballs is probably too slow for us, but I’ll take it and have the option open to me- it is slow, but it’s deceptively powerful too.

My Pick:

Pack 3 pick 6:

Blue. Flier. Picked. Shriekgeist is okay if you can get it down early, but otherwise can be a bit underwhelming- however the ability isn’t irrelevant, especially when you have Griptides- return it to the top their library, then mill it away.

My Pick:

Pack 3 pick 7:

I like this Nibbler of the Mist, so he’s getting the nod- another flier who taps things down is always welcome. Would be nice to get a Ray of Revelation though, as it’s always nice to have those in the board. We have a lot of Undying creatures who opponents will seek to deal with via Enchantments, so we can prepare for that.

My Pick:

Pack 3 pick 8:

If we’re splashing Sorin and a Caress, we’ll probably want this- as much as I hate passing Griptide.

My Pick:

Pack 3 pick 9:

A big durdly blocker is always welcome- this guy is Fortress Crab with added oomph. Although after seeing how good Faith’s Shield is, if you offered me this pick again, I’d slam it everytime.

My Pick:

Pack 3 pick 10:

And here it is! Glad I got this- in the DKA/DKA/DKA drafts I’ve done, this card has been amazing. Can’t wait to try it out in INN/INN/DKA as well.

My Pick:

Pack 3 pick 11:

May come in handy.

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Pack 3 pick 12:

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Pack 3 pick 13:

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Pack 3 pick 14:

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Pack 3 pick 15:

My Pick:

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So that went quite well for us, as we ended up in a good U/W/b Fliers deck with some a lot of good bodies, some removal…and a Sorin. As always, let me preclude that MTGO doesn’t save replays (And I don’t really like tracking what happens during the game, because it breaks my concentration.)

The 40 Played:

Match 1, Game 1 went well for us as we got off to a quick start with our fliers, having multiple Stormbound Geists on board to race what seemed to be a land-stalled start against another Esper deck. We didn’t see much apart from Reap the Seagraf and quickly got the win. Game 2 didn’t go quite as smoothly- with our opponent gumming up the ground with Relentless Skaabs and Geralf’s Mindcrusher. We had a sizeable army holding him off but he could still beatdown. However he dropped us below 5, meaning on his next attack we were able to score a huge blowout with Faith’s Shield that he never really recovered from as Sorin soon arrived to mop up.

Match 2 started well with us taking the first game off a fairly quick start that had Dungeon Geists and Soul Seizer arriving fairly quickly against a slow draw against (another!) U/W deck. However our good fortune ended there- two sketchy keeps in a row followed up by starts involving a lot of White fliers, Burden of Guilts and Lingering Souls put paid to our dreams of winning the draft.

The deck was okay- but mana ended up being a huge problem due to those cathars. Still, I did find that Faith’s Shield is often a huge winner, Thraben Heretic can cause all kinds of problems for an undying deck and that opening Sorin makes me scream in a high-pitched voice.