A Magic: the Gathering blog by and for the janky combo casual players alienated in a world of netdecking millionaires.

I value inexpensive (kinda) decks outside of the meta because I am cheap and easily bored.

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Thursday, February 7, 2013

Magic: the Mathering - Gatecrash Draft 2, Gatecrasher.

Hello again!

Quite by accident I found myself in another Gatecrash draft this week. Read about my exploits in the previous draft here.

I was feeling confident going into the draft, my weasel like cowardice coming through to place me in the top three had me looking forward to this one. Maybe I'll just force Boros again. But I got to thinking, a lot of people who were at the previous draft are in this one too. So I outsmarted myself by drafting GRUUL! Yeah, that's a good idea because potato. It quickly became abundantly clear this was the wrong move.

Had a chance to win the whole thing except I'm a moron.

35/52 Which mark down because I basically sabotaged my own Match 1

Mr. T pities me right now.

I won't go over the full draft and the order I picked things this time, one because it's quite painful how bad I was and two because it takes ages to link all those cards.

What I did do, however is draft and then subsequently not use all of the following cards.

Why did I do this? Because in trying to force Gruul I yielded a million packs with ZERO gruul cards that weren't stolen by everyone else. Halfway through pack two I realize no-one is playing simic and decide to go three colour in spite of how bad an idea that is in a 40 card deck with almost no mana fixers and poor grasp on reality and maths. Plus Duskmantle was my rare from pack three. Yeah, think I'll keep that, that's the price of my entry fee anyway. So I can walk out having broken even if nothing else goes right. Thanks.

Match 1 Vs Boros/Gruul (loss 0-2)

Game one

Having not fully understood how bad my deck was I rolled up and decided to bring on the hurt. Started out alright and then slithered slowly downhill. I had no answer to his

Wait! Wait! I have the pun I've been waiting for.

This draft was Gruul-ing. Get it? Grueling?



I had no answer to assemble the legion, an absolute limited bomb and were it in my pack, totally first pick and I'd force Boros again. My deck was too slow and in fairness my opponent is a very good player and had a good chance of beating me with an optimized deck.

Lesson not quite learned I subbed out two cards and slotted in two naturalizes and decided to go again.

Game two.

Turn 5, after drawing zero lands, controlling a simic guildgate, a mountain and forest. Boom. My opponent hit the guildgate with frenzied tilling. Love the card, reprinted from invasion, not loving getting bummed all over. I conceded pretty quickly after that made his 6th land.

The time had come, brain on, eyes off. All red was purged from my deck. Time for the backup plan. Initially my theory was, simic for unblockable creatures, gruul for bloodrush or bloodlust or whatever and pump them up by very lots. I decided that wasn't going to work because my mana wasn't right.

Skarrg Guildmage - out
Wrecking Orge - out
Rubblehulk - out
Cinder Elemental - out
Scorchwalker - out
Gruul Guildgate - Very out
Ruination Wurm - out
Zhur-Taa Swine - out
Primal Visitation - out

33% of my useless deck lie in my side board.

New tactic acquired, play an average deck, very, very well.

Challenge accepted.

The Deck

Skyblinder Staff
Cloudfin Raptor x 2

Incursion Specialist
Hands of Binding
Frilled Oculous
Naturalize x 2
Burning-Tree Emissary
Shambleshark (creature type is not shark. Wizards, I am disappoint. Even if a shark is a type of fish)
Metropolis Sprite

Miming Slime
Simic Keyrune
Deathcult Rogue x 3
Armoured Transport
Elusive Krasis

Way of the Thief
Last Thoughts x 2
Scatter Arc

So yet again I find myself doing my best to try a peasant deck in a draft. Packing one rare that's hardly a game changer. (Realmwright) Only this time giving all my opponents a 2-0 headstart. Even better, that deck is basic, is like a starter deck only with no bombs. Gotta rely at chipping away two unblockable damage at a time then.

Here we go!

Match 2 vs Orvhov/Splash G (2-0)

This is more like it. I open with a Cloudfin Raptor and evolve him twice with a Realmwright and an incursion specialist.

For his part he plays a Dutiful Thrull and a Boros reckoner which I keep tapped down with Hands of binding ciphered on to my little flyer. I whittle him down to around 8 or so life but for a while a stalemate breaks out when he casts Zarichi Tiger. Using his ability in my end phase to keep the difference. I finally change tactics and figure I have the life to spare so switch to using the ciphered hands of binding on his lion. The game ends a couple of turns later when I get my second spell of the turn out and give the Infiltrator +2/+0 and unblockable and bloodrush him with the slaughter horn.

Game two is very similar only much more drawn out. He plays two Kingpin Pet's (how many pets does that Kingpin want?) and a smog elemental as well as a host of small irritation blockers but is very defensive, perhaps worried about my combat tricks that I wasn't holding, instead preferring to wait and see what I do. It renders my Metropolis Sprite and my Cloudfin Raptor which had only evolved once useless. But my Deathcult Rogue was chipping away for 2 per turn.

He decided to get a little more aggressive once his life dipped under 10. But by then it was too late, It took a quick Aetherize when my life got a tad precarious to get back on level ground and that forced my opponent, now wary of me swinging for lethal damage decided to hold back and try an recoup some life from extort. I was on 6 he was on 5 but gaining two a turn from another bastard tiger.

In the end my win condition was the same, two spells to make my Incursion Specialist unblockable, as well as other unblockable creatures, creatures with flying creatures and the staff of can't be blocked by creatures with flying (Troll much?)

Match 3 Vs Boros (see why I tried not to play Boros?) (2-1 win)

Game 1

12 cards drawn, two lands.

Game 2

Powered through this game, an early combination that led me to have the Cloudfin evolve twice and then equip with the Skyblinder staff which meant I was swinging for three in the air. This only improved when I drew hands of binding and tapped down any counter threat. Rush for 7 unblockable on turn six and that was game. Feeling a lot better than I did in game one.

I faced mostly creatures on the ground. But two flyers included.

Game 3

Took a little bit longer thanks to this guy.

Took him out mid game with a classy piece of blocking if I say so myself. Tapped all my lands to make my keyrune into a 2/3 blocker. Declared the doomed crab creature as a blocker, tap him for blue, bioshift, move an evolve counter onto him to make him power 3 and enough to kill him. 

Once there I was safely settled into having my unblockable Cloudfin double ciphered. With 2 cards advantage per turn I held out until my oppenent had no cards in hand and went to town. Managing in the process to counter a spell that would have given a Holy Mantled, Basilica Guard both flying and first strike.

All of which doesn't matter if your creatures are unblockable. Swinging with two Deathcult Rogues a second spell Infiltrator, and a bloodrushed unblockable Elusive Krasis for eleven and no answers.

So by blind luck I still managed to finish on top of a large pile of players who were 2-1 overall and snagged third place.

My results confirm that however many people take part in the draft I finish third. Next stop. The drafting World Cup, or whatever.

Card of the Night, has to be this little fella. Seeming harmless at first, with the right cards played correctly he's a 3/4 on turn 4, for no extra effort. When I paired him up with the other two cards here... won me the third match almost alone.

Skyblinder staff is a bit of a sleeper in limited as well, providing you have the creatures with flying to back it up.

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