Hello again! It's been a while, hasn't it? I sort of fell off the face of the interwebs for a while there. My life picked up steam and I had to deal with increased real life issues, but that's no excuse for not saying a word about it, and for that I apologize. But I have good (or bad) news: I'm back! And I return with a thirst for magic. Limited in particular.
M13 has finally come online and I'm quite pleased with the format so far. It's not too fast, but not too slow either, with enough efficient tools to make aggro, midrange, and control all viable. Even mill kinda sorta works (but it's still most often a trap)! And though core sets are designed with simplicity in mind, each color has its own subtle, yet powerful synergies and cross-color combos are plentiful as well. M13 is steeped deep enough with these synergies that I'm learning something new each time I draft. I also must constantly re-evaluate cards that I thought I already knew their definitive "rating" of in the grand scheme of things.
But before I discuss what I learned, let me show you the actual games:
Drafting (Part 1)
Drafting (Part 2)
R1 G1 (Part 1)
R1 G1 (Part 2)
R1 G1 (Part 3) & G2
R3 G1 & G2
Well, not the most exciting way to end a draft, but it happens.
I'm happy with how the deck turned out. I should've put in the Reckless Brute over the Giant Scorpion though. It would've fit my aggro-midrange deck better. I completely glazed over that card when building. Also, while Craterize probably wasn't worth sb'ing even if my opponent was running a sketchy tri-color deck. It's far too inconsistent, either being a blowout or (more often) a waste of a card. Volcanic Strength would've been a much better SB choice, especially versus a deck that was rather light on removal. This card is a far superior Tricks of the Trade against red decks, and since Tricks of the Trade is definitely playable, Volcanic Strength is the nuts against them.
I left the tournament definitely wanting to improve my shoddy playing that time around. I shouldn't leave myself within burning range of a common like Searing Spear, I shouldn't have mulled R2 G1, and that final game was just abysmal playing. I'm sure there were other big misplays as well. Most importantly though, my play speed has slowed to a crawl. I blame that partly on not being used to the client anymore and trying to cast games for the first time. I've made friends with F4 and F6 and will try to remind myself to play faster next time.
Finally, undervalued cards: I'm not sure what the general opinion of Mindclaw Shaman is, but let me assure you that he is amazing against most decks. Yes, he'll often be a blank, but when he hits it's a blowout 3for1. That's insane and absolutely worth the risk. At worst you get to see your opponent's hand, which shouldn't be overlooked. But the card I definitely overlooked until now was Arms Dealer. In a vacuum, he's a worse pick than Searing Spear or Flames of the Firebrand. However, if you're more than a splash in red, he can quickly become a blowout card. Red has some great limited cards that also happen to be goblins. I'm thinking of Rummaging Goblin, Krenko's Command, Goblin Battle Jester (another undervalued card), and Mogg Flunkies. Arms Dealer gets exponentially better as you add more of these great goblin cards and can quickly turn into a blowout card and the MVP of your deck.
One last shout out goes to my pal, Duty-Bound Dead. There's so few 1cc creatures in this format and this guy is easily in the Top 3, up there with Arbor Elf. He'll swing for 1 on turn 2 (or 2 if you play another exalted) and when he can't get in there anymore he's still the cheapest source of exalted in the format and an admirable mid/lategame chump blocker. I expect him to be picked earlier as the format evolves.
That's all for now. This is my first draft recording so let me know your thoughts in the comments below. I'll have more drafts posted soon!