With the success of winning Tuesday’s AVR draft I decided to head along for the second one tonight where we managed to have the full 8 players this time.
Opening my first pack there were some strong commons and uncommons, but I grabbed the Desolate Lighthouse. I didn’t really want to build a repeat of my previous deck, but I was then passed a Favorable Winds which I promptly snapped up. Once again I continued taking cards from the first pack with no real direction, just grabbing solid cards in each colour.. except Green. Green was obviously very popular elsewhere, which was fine by me since from my experience so far showed it seems to be the weakest colour in the format, or at least the one requiring most consistency by having to string a load of Soulbonders together.
Pack 2 is where my deck started to come together. Black was seemingly very underplayed, which was great since I opened a Harvester of Souls. Marrow Bats seemed to be under-valued as I was able to grab two (I think the Regen cost puts people off, but I’d even be tempted to splash for it in a mainly non-black pool). Pack 3 I rounded out my deck with a bunch of Red Humans and also got passed a Dark Impostor.
I ended up with a solid Black Red deck, a lot of good cards making it hard to cut down to just 23 spells to go with the 17 lands. Red felt almost like a splash, but seeing as the majority of my creatures at the low end of my curve were Red the colour was an important addition.
Round 1 was against a RW human deck, once again put together by the girl who tried to replicate her standard deck in the last draft! Both games were basically as simple as exchanging blows with creatures but my deck just had more in the long game. 2-0.
Round 2 I played a UW deck. I was expecting fliers and it did not disappoint. Game 1 was very close, but I was able to stabilise the board position on just 4 life and through some clever combat decisions I was able to bring my opponent down from 15 to 0 in two turns. In game 2 my deck flooded me and, seeing no removal to answer it, a life-linking angel made it near-impossible for me to win the damage race. Game 3 my life total fell swiftly once again to the pairing of Moorland Inquisitor and Wingcrafter, backed up by Seraph of Dawn and Angel’s Tomb. But this time I had answers and threats of my own, in the form of Thunderous Wrath and Human Frailty, with Harvester of Souls and Dark Impostor on the ground. Unable to prevent me exiling any creature he played from then on, my opponent scooped. 2-1.
In round 3 I faced a GW deck. In game 1 I was rather “lucky”, just able to answer every single thing my opponent did. Mad Prophet was awesome here, mostly attacking for damage but once looting to find a crucial removal spell meaning my army of 2/2′s got there! Game 2 was unfortunately a disappointing end to the night. My opponent found himself mana-screwed meaning an easy win for me. We did play a third game just for fun when I got to experience the true power of his deck, at which point I drew a constant stream of lands meaning I was unable to answer his threats. 2-0.
So another successful Avacyn Restored draft resulting in a near-perfect record for me! I’m still not really sure how I feel about drafting the set though. Admittedly there were some relatively new players in both drafts so this definitely affects how things go, but I feel a lot of cards were being under-valued; given all the X/1 creatures around Guise of Fire and Ghoulflesh were great for me today and I think these should be higher-ranked picks then they might first appear, and on Tuesday I definitely should not have received so many Mist Ravens!
With regards to my playing I feel this was one of my solid events to date. I think I made just the one play mistake all night, and that was in the third fun game of round 3. I feel as though the actual drafting part of sealed is one of my weaknesses within magic and I would definitely like to focus on improving my ability to draft in the future.
But, in both drafts, once I had my pool I felt like I was able to create much better decks than I have in the past. Ever since the Grand Prix I feel my ability to analyse pools, colours and cards has improved dramatically. I have drafted plenty of times in the past, but always in a much more casual way. It’s not like I’ve had an extreme amount of experience recently, but I definitely think now when I am drafting I treat it and think about it much differently than I used to; almost taking it more seriously in a way.
I’ve also noticed myself thinking more during the course of games. A couple of times tonight I noticed myself thinking over potential plays, attacks, blocks and spells (both mine and the opponents!), but it’s like I was doing all this subconsciously rather than having to actively think about thinking about the game. As one example, at one point I attacked with my Stonewright (amongst other guys) into my opponents Kessig Malcontents (along with another tapped human). The fact that my opponent blocked to trade the creatures told me that it was very likely she did not have a second Malcontents in her hand. Sure, this seems like a very minor example, but the fact I have noticed myself noticing things like this recently suggests to me that I’m definitely developing as a competitive player.
Another play I made was drawing Thunderous Wrath on turn 2. Before, I may have just cast this for its Miracle cost and been done with it. But thinking about it, I decided to keep the expensive spell back in my hand for later and instead I was able to advance my board position by dropping the 2-mana creature in my hand.
There is a lot of additional stuff there I know! But it’s just some notes on a few things that I found interesting so I thought I’d mention them
Tomorrow’s FNM is Innistrad Block Constructed. I’m expecting it to basically be a format packed with creatures; so naturally I’m going to be trying something a little different No idea how it might turn out, but if I can win so much as a single game then I’ll come away happy!
Thanks for reading, @EdGuise88.