Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Drafting Avacyn Restored

Me and Liz went along to Hemel to do a draft of Avacyn Restored last night; probably the last time we'll be able to go for a little while. This would be the second time to draft the set, so we had a bit of an idea about what some of the cards did. 

When the group was split up, me and Liz ended up in the same (6 person) pod. Opening up the first pack, I had a choice between Wandering Wolf (powerful, aggressive card), or Evernight Shade and trying to go mono-black (somewhat higher risk-reward), which I did in the end as I played black last time and thought it went OK. Soon after I got a Seraph of Dawn which is a great card (and there wasn't many black cards in the pack). Half way through the pack, I was under the impression that either there wasn't much black around, or someone else was in it, so decided to keep that in mind and look for powerful cards not in black, instead of just picking black for the sake of them being black. 

For some reason, I managed to pick up a load of red at the end of the first pack (nothing super amazing, but fairly decent, Thunderbolt etc.), so kept that in mind in the second pack, which I had a choice between two really good green cards, but chose Ulvenwald Tracker over Blessings of Nature as it seemed to be slightly more versatile. Continuing the second pack, I did start picking both red and black cards, in case I could still salvage the black deck (I decided against it about half way through the second pack when there wasn't too much black again). The third pack started with a Riders of Gavony, which seemed to fit the red/white deck I was starting to gather up. 

In the end, I did play Red/White (more Red than White), with a tiny splash of green. The deck was built very agressivly, but there were a couple of things to help me in the mid to late game. 


2 x Pillar of Flame - Nice card, I managed to get two a little later than I would have through. In one match I played, they weren't great because my opponent had Wild Defiance out...

Ulvenwald Tracker - Nice effect, although I don't think I got to activate it more than maybe once (and just before I lost a game at that). Played it alongside Nightshade Peddler for extra value (which I almost got set up in one game, but ran out of land to play any creatures other than those two)

Righteous Blow - Decent enough card

Cloudshift - I've heard of people saying this is first pick-able, I'm not too sure, but I didn't get to play it too much for value, so it might be better than I think it is, will have to see

Stonewright - Even though I was mostly red, I had the same amount of plains in order to be able to cast some of the double white cards that I had, so I probably didn't get as much power out of this as I could have, but I liked the effect all the same (paired it with a Seraph of Dawn one game which was nice. 

Kruin Striker - I may like this more than I should; its a little fragile, but the effect is really nice early on

Moorland Inquisitor - I think I managed to give this first strike with soulbond more the times I played it, I'm not sure I ever activated the ability, but the card is nice enough all the same

Nightshade Peddler - Only played this once after a first turn tracker, waiting for a mountain (or any third land really) to start playing more creatures to pair to get deathtouch and fight. Unfortunately, that wasn't on the cards, but I was close...

Lightning Mauler - I think the card is fine. The one time I could play it and another creature, I was firebreathing with a flier against a clogged ground board, so didn't bother

Thunderbolt - Realised that this can hit Angelic Wall, then later in the game they play a Dragon. Sigh. Did end a game by burning my opponent with this which is nice

Scalding Devil - Not bad, I got a couple of pings out of it when I didn't have anything else to do with my mana, which is better than nothing

Dangerous Wager - I didn't mind this card too much. One game I managed to play out my hand and just draw two, and another I didn't need to cast it as I had a hand full of cards I was holding onto anyway. 

Riot Ringleader - Nice card, effect can get silly...

Thatcher Revolt - Picked this a lot later than I thought I would. One game I played Kriun Striker turn two, Riot Ringleader turn three (attacking for three, opponent goes to 17), then this turn 4 (attacking for 15, opponent goes to 2...). Nice. Unfortunately my opponent untapped and played Barter in Blood and some big creatures and took over the game. Ah well, it was awesome while it lasted...

3 x Hanweir Lancer - Eh, its alright, even with multiples. Can give my creatures first strike which is nice. Had two out with two other creatures (both paired) and managed to gang block a big creature and have all mine survive which was nice

Seraph of Dawn - Really nice card, can't find a fault with it really, litter harder to cast in my deck, but that's why I added the extra plains. 

Goldnight Commander - Didn't get to play this, but it seems like a nice effect

Vigilante Justice - Played it once or twice, did a couple of damage, its fine if you have enough humans (which I did)

Riders of Gavony - Nice enough card, although the only time I played it I didn't have that many creatures out and was attacking in the air anyway

Aggravate - Didn't really like this too much. I killed two of my opponents creatures with it on my turn for a better attack, but that's it really. Its an alright card, just not super great. 

Demolish - Brought in against someone with lots of artifacts

Geist Trappers - Brought in against my opponent with a Dragon...

In the first round, I started off with the great attack, but then lost. Won the second game, but didn't do much in the third and lost. Second match, we both mulliganed multiple times due to lack of land, both stalled on lands, but after a close game, they pulled through with a recurring dragon I couldn't do much about. In the final round, the first game took a long time as the ground stalled a bit, some of my removal didn't do anything (their creatures got bigger when targeted), I was doing well with a firebreathing Seraph, but they gained a lot of life in one go so I had to do a lot of it again. I did manage to end the game in the end, a bit of burn helped out at the end. The second game was a lot faster as I was able to play fast creatures and attack before they could build much of a defence. 

Considering it was only the second time I had drafted the set, I didn't mind not doing great. I think I was trying to go with my mono-black plan a little too long, but I don't think I missed too many useful picks so I'm not sure how much of an affect that had.