Thursday, 26 May 2011

Drafting New Phyrexia

I have now done two drafts using New Phyrexia, so have a little bit of a better feel for the format. The first draft was triple New Phyrexia, which was just fun, I thought I was drafting infect, but most of that was the creatures that gain infect when an opponent is poisoned... somewhat deceptive! I did appreciate the green creature that puts stuff on the bottom of your opponents library, that helped me a few times. 

The second draft I did was doing it the proper way - New Phyrexia, followed by Mirrodin Besieged, followed by Scars of Mirrodin, so will be more informative to usual drafting of the set. We had a fair few people coming along so had about 13 people in one large pod. 

Starting off with New Phyrexia, I looked through the first pack but fairly quickly and decisively went with Karn Liberated. I looked through the next pack and chose Dismember (which had been passed in favour of the Sword of War and Peace), and the third pack had a Dismember in it also, which I was pleased about. Fourth pick was a Gut Shot I believe, and I noted that I technically still hadn't picked a colour yet. I think after that I took a Reaper of Sheoldred as it looked string (I first read it as having a similar ability to Phyrexian Obliterator, its not that good but still quite decent). Next I took an Act of Aggression. The last few picks of the first pack included Leeching Bite, Death-Hood Cobra, Dementia Bat and Toxic Nim. 

The next pack was Mirrodin Besieged; I didn't open a particularly exciting pack, picking Blisterstick Shaman I think. Some of the notable picks from the second pack included Plague Myr, Phyrexian Juggernaut, Flayer Husk, two Flensermite, Core Prowler and Gruesome Encore. I also picked up a Divine Offering, Spire Serpent and Quicksilver Geyser even though I wasn't in blue or while, as there wasn't really anything else in the packs to consider. 

Scars of Mirrodin was the final pack, where I got two early Grasp of Darkness, two Ichor Rats, two Carrion Call, an Untamed Might, a Rust Tick, a Wall of Tanglecord, Bleak Coven Vampires, Infiltration Lens and Alpha Tyrranax. 

The deck I put together was mainly infect, a couple of useful creatures, and a fair bit of removal.  I seem to usually play 41 card decks, not sure why, but it seems to work for me sometimes. It can help with sideboarding (if I was light on land I can just remove a spell that wasn't working well and go with a new 40 card deck without having to think of something to replace with a land). 

CMC 1: Flayer Husk, Gut Shot
CMC 2: Flensermite x 2, Grasp of Darkness x 2, Leeching Bite, Death-Hood Cobra, Plague Myr, Wall of Tanglecord
CMC 3: Dismember x 2, Ichor Rats x 2, Rust Tick
CMC 4: Carrion Call x 2, Core Prowler
CMC 5: Act of Aggression, Reaper of Sheoldred
CMC 6: Toxic Nim, Phyrexian Juggernaut
CMC 7: Karn Liberated
CMC X: Untamed Might

I played about 10 or 11 swamps to 6 or 7 forests. Not got a huge need for green, but I wanted to be able to have it when I needed it. I didn't have any triple black cards so didn't mind adding extra forests. Didn't play any mountains as my two red spells were both Phyrexian red. 

My first match was very close, I put Carrion Call to good use in the first game (either as some surprise blockers or played at end of turn for two extra attackers). I did mess up playing Act of Aggression, I paid the four life to steal a 2/2 to block another 2/2, forgetting my opponent had the red spell bomb to stop it from blocking. Sigh. The second game was very close, I almost lost to Hero of Oxid Ridge; my 1/1's and 0/6 couldn't do any blocking. I responded to a Blisterstick Shaman targeting my Flensermite with Leeching Bite, and while thinking of what to shrink with the second part, I realised that my opponents largest creature had the equipment that gave it +4/-1, so I was able to kill it off with one toughness (I had thought it had two toughness for a couple of turns). They then attacked with the Hero which I blocked with the now 2/2 Flensermite to get rid of a problem creature and gain some life I was getting very low on. From there I was able to get enough infect creatures through to win. 

The second match started well, the first game I started with Flayer Husk into Flensermite with one or two removal spells still in hand. I gained a fair bit of life and got a lot of poison damage through before my opponent could stabilise, but with the removal spells I had, I managed to win. The next two games I had somehow managed to shuffle most of my land into the top half of my deck so couldn't do much really and lost the next two games. 

In the third match, the games were very close ones, and were fun to play. My opponent had a Mimic Vat and played some Battle Cry creatures, then got my Core Prowler under the Vat (luckily I got to use the death trigger before it was removed to the vat, and if I didn't block it, it was exiled instead of sacrificed so the proliferate death trigger didn't, well, trigger). They then played a Shriek Raptor, and equipped it with something giving it +2/+2. That and the Core Prowler from the Vat put me on 8 or 9 poisons counters. As the creature was flying, I c wouldn't be able to block it next turn so had to win then. I drew for the turn and assessed the board, equipped a Flayer Husk to one of my infect creatures, used Act of Aggression on the flyer and attacked for just enough to win. A very close game indeed. The second game, I switched out Toxic Nim (my opponent seemed to have a fairly fast deck) for Gruesome Encore so I could use their Raptor if I got a chance. They started the second game with some early creature with battle cry, and we traded a few early on. They did have two 3/1's out at some point which I wasn't too keen on, but luckily managed to get rid of one so I could get some infect damage in. The game started to stall, I occasionally got a point of poison in, and then they played Jor Kadeen, the Prevailer, which outclassed anything I had at that point; a 5/5 with first strike is nothing to sniff at. An insanely lucky Grasp of Darkness stopped it being too silly however. They still had a creature out which meant I couldn't attack as freely as I would have liked, but managed to get enough mana to play Karn to remove their only creature and attack with my two 1/1's I had. They passed the turn without playing a creature, and I had 4 poison counters to deal, so used Gruesome Encore on one of their creatures with Battle Cry for a game ending attack. 

With a record of 2-1, I was happy to have played properly with the new set, and look forward to doing so again in the future. 

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