Gatecrash has been out for a couple weeks now, and the general consensus of guild power is as follows:
Orzhov / Boros > Gruul / Simic > Dimir
Poor Dimir. He's the kid in high school gym class that always gets picked last for teams. Sure, he's undoubtedly a weaker pick than that arrogant jock Orzhov, but always last pick? That takes a toll on the ol' self-esteem.
Worse, it gives you folks the impression that Dimir is worse than it actually is. Most "pro player" draft videos are just Borzhov over and over, which gets very Borzhing. You don't get to see the sweet Dimir cards that exist, and yes, they do exist! Cards like Dinrova Horror, Bane Alley Broker, and Call of the Nightwing are bombtastic and super fun to play with.
With so many people staying away from Dimir, you also have a unique opportunity to jump into a color combination that will usually be underdrafted. While most people are fighting over the Borzhov cards, you're getting fed some sweet Dimir stuff. In that case, your fed "weak" guild is definitely going to stomp on some malnourished Borzhov scraps!
So here's where I come in. I've set myself a challenge. I'm going to force Dimir in drafts until I go 2-1 or better two times with the guild.
I only have a couple rules for this challenge:
1) 8-4 drafts only. All my drafts are 8-4, this challenge will be no different. I have a pet peeve when people say things like, "Guys! I discovered this super sweet strategy! Look how successful it is.. in this swiss draft." Nope.
2) Splashing a color is allowed. In fact, I'll almost always splash either white or green. White if I'm going control/mill for more removal, green if I'm going cipher for basically just Elusive Krasis.
3) I'm allowed to raredraft if the card is expensive enough to pay for the majority of my draft. Basically if I see Domri Rade, I'm taking it.
For those that would prefer to hear the details of the challenge in my soothing Barry White voice, you can:
Will this strategy win often? No, of course not. It's never a good idea to force a color combination. Sometimes I'll be lucky and Dimir will be open, other times Dimir will be cut hard and I'll be stuck with the crappiest cards imaginable. But this is for fun and entertainment. I want to show off Dimir decks and see the results. Did this entertain you? Then gimme 5 fireballs up there on the top of this article!
Now, on with the challenge!
Attempt #1: Cipher
This was a pretty sweet cipher deck. We have a total of 7 evasive attackers, Shadow Alley Denizen that can make creatures evasive, and Gift of Orzhova that also grants evasion. That's a good number to make our cipher package work, though I quickly learned that Last Thoughts is not main deck material because of how miserable it is against aggro.
The big mistake here was trying to make a Simic splash work for no reason. I took a Mystic Genesis splash over an on-color powerful Sapphire Drake which is a big no-no, and the Shamblesharks are certainly not worth splashing for either. I'm hurting my manabase for very little payoff and it'll cost me in the long run. Seriously, don't do this.
I had a great hand. Unfortunately, never drawing a fourth land means that great hand doesn't matter.
My opponent got his lands on time but only managed to cast 3 spells, which is strange. I'm not sure what was going on there.
My deck worked here basically how I hoped it would: evasive beats with cipher backed by counters.
Incredibly close game that ended with me topdecking Rapid Hybridization for the win. Notice how my crappy green splash almost cost me the game with three dead cards in my hand. Also it was a bad opening hand but psh, details.
Probably was a bit too eager to trade my creature. I ended up never seeing another one except for a stupid jellyfish, so the second Hands of Binding that I drew was dead and my opponent proceeded to stomp me with a stream of creatures and removal.
My opener looks very promising until I draw a third 5-drop and a card I can't cast, leaving me with 4 dead cards in hand while my opponent has no trouble casting all his spells and has removal for my two threats. Guess who won.
My sketchy manabase and unfortunate draws led to an early loss. The former has an influence on the latter, however, so in the future I need to be more mindful of my splashes.
The deck itself was a blast though. You should really give Cipher a try. I felt like I was piloting Ninja.dec . I mean, have you seen the artwork for Shadow Slice?
What I learned:
- Don't splash for Shambleshark. Why would you do that?
- Clinging Anemones would be good if it had flying. I feel like it's poop outside of some heavy evolve synergy deck.
- Simic Manipulator always dies before he does anything. Always.
- When going for Cipher, have a evasive beater (carrier) to cipher spell ratio of 2:1.
- Hands of Binding and Call of the Nightwing are the two best Cipher spells. Shadow Slice is third, while Midnight Recovery and Last Thoughts are good sideboard options against slow decks that are low on removal. Paranoid Delusions is bad.
That's all for now. Currently 0-1 on my challenge. I'll be back with more Dimir goodness soon!