Hello again everyone. I am back for my last Vintage Cube draft before it finishes, though you guys and girls might be reading this after it has already gone away.
As always, feel free to comment with any picks you would have made differently! You can post in the comments below (preferred) or you can tweet me.
On to the picks!
Pack 1 pick 1:
Ok, so the cards I looked at to start with were Mother of Runes for a white weenie deck, Tendrils of Agony for storm, and Jackal Pup for red aggro, though it is one of the weaker cards for that archetype. However, True-Name Nemesis is probably the strongest card in the pack, and could put us into a blue-based control deck. I went with that.
Pack 1 pick 2:
It was pretty obvious that Jace, the Mind Sculptor was the best card in this pack, and fit with our first pick quite nicely. There was also Mirran Crusader if we had have picked Mother of Runes, and Dark Ritual if I had have picked Tendrils of Agony. Strip Mine is also worth consideration, but Jace was the obvious pick.
Pack 1 pick 3:
We found a piece of power for the first time in this article series in Timetwister, and if anyone took Tendrils of Agony and Dark Ritual out of the previous two packs, they are going to be very happy here. For us, though, it was out of Azorius Signet or Mulldrifter. The blue control decks often splash white or black, so the Signet could come in quite handy, and Mulldrifter is just a great card. However, the ramp outweighed the card draw for me, and would allow us to get to our end game quicker if we ended up in the control deck.
Pack 1 pick 4:
I really went back and forth on this pick. Dragonlord Ojutai was a good win condition for a control deck, and we had the white fixing already; but Treasure Cruise is banned for a reason. Path to Exile and Murderous Cut were also considerations, but I went with Treasure Cruise in the end, staying solely in blue.
Pack 1 pick 5:
I was spoilt for choice again here, with Parallax Wave, Damnation, Tundra and Underground Sea all being fine choices. Wave was already in a colour I had fixing for, but Damnation was much more permanent; the lands I disregarded just due to the fact I didn't know what my second colour would be yet. I took Damnation.
Pack 1 pick 6:
Having moved into black, I decided to not take Day of Judgment here and instead looked at either Repeal or Go for the Throat, eventually deciding on the latter.
Pack 1 pick 7:
The cards in this pack that stood out to me were Rakdos's Return and Nicol Bolas, Planeswalker, and both of them required splashing red. In the end I went with the Elder Dragon as a win condition and would start to look for some red fixing.
Pack 1 pick 8:
Tundra would have been nice here if I had decided to go into white, but as it was I was looking at Sower of Temptation or The Abyss. As it looked like I was aiming to kill creatures at this point, Sower might not have had many targets, so I went with more removal and took The Abyss.
Pack 1 pick 9:
Back to our first pack, and there wasn't much left - I took Declaration in Stone in case we ended up in white.
Pack 1 pick 10:
Arid Mesa was a nice pick up here, as it means if we can pick up a red/black or red/blue dual land we can use it as excellent fixing.
The rest of pack 1 went like this:
Pack 1 pick 11:
Pack 1 pick 12:
Pack 1 pick 13:
Pack 1 pick 14:
Pack 1 pick 15:
So after pack 1 our picks look like this:
I am still pretty open at this stage; the best cards are in blue and I am hoping to play that colour, but I could also move into black, white, or an outside chance of red (or at least a red splash if I end up in blue-black).
Pack 2 pick 1:
This is another pack where I am spoilt for choice. Vendilion Clique is just a great card and fits the theme of the deck; Nekrataal is more removal; Pack Rat is an absurd Magic card if left unanswered; Necropotence is one of my favourite Magic cards ever; Terminate is more removal; Scrubland is fixing if we go black-white, and Spellskite is good for protecting any other threats we might have. After weighing up the options, I decide to commit to black and take Pack Rat, as this card can just take over the game and is an excellent win condition for us.
Pack 2 pick 2:
Wrath of God fits a control deck perfectly, but at this point I decided to abandon white. I took Mana Confluence as it would allow us to go into blue-black and splash red for Nicol Bolas.
Pack 2 pick 3:
This pack was out of Brain Maggot or Creeping Tar Pit. In the end I decided the fixing was more important than the control card (I had a few double blue and double black mana spells), so took the land.
Pack 2 pick 4:
I was very tempted to take Steam Vents here; with the Arid Mesa from earlier, it was a very good fit. However, Thoughtseize grabbed my attention and won out, and I hoped the Vents or more fixing would come through.
Pack 2 pick 5:
And now I'm wishing I took the Steam Vents. More discard, but there was really nothing else in the pack I wanted.
Pack 2 pick 6:
This pack was out of Izzet Charm or Deceiver Exarch; I wasn't planning to go to heavily into red at this stage, so took the Exarch. However, if I could pick up a sneaky Splinter Twin...
Pack 2 pick 7:
Not much here for me, so I took the only card that really fit my deck.
Pack 2 pick 8:
Again, not much here. The Angler is a decent card, though I may not play it.
Pack 2 pick 9:
I am pretty happy this came back, as it is quite a good card and am happy to have it in my deck.
Pack 2 pick 10:
Pack 2 pick 11:
Another card that has come back and fits the deck.
Pack 2 pick 12:
While I likely won't be main decking Mental Misstep, it is a perfectly fine sideboard card.
Pack 2 pick 13:
Pack 2 pick 14:
Pack 2 pick 15:
Right now, these are the cards I am looking to play in the deck:
The deck is shaping up pretty nicely I feel. A red dual land would be quite nice to go with the Arid Mesa, and maybe another Signet, but other than that I will be looking to pick up some good cards to fill the deck out.
Pack 3 pick 1:
This was an agonising decision, to be honest. Liliana of the Veil is such a good card that I almost snap picked it; but Izzet Signet was exactly what I was looking for after pack 2. Impulse and Shriekmaw were also good cards for the deck. In the end, I took the fixing/ramp, and hoped for a miracle that Liliana would come back.
Pack 3 pick 2:
Another pack with some interesting choices. Ancestral Vision is good in the early game and not as good later, while Toxic Deluge is a good removal spell. I almost took Karn Liberated but thought one expensive planeswalker was enough. In the end I went with the removal spell.
Pack 3 pick 3:
I didn't really want any of the cards here; it's not that any of them were bad, but none of them really fit what I was trying to do, with the exception of Maze of Ith. However, I wasn't sure my mana base could handle it, so I took Desecration Demon as a beefy threat.
Pack 3 pick 4:
This pack was out of Careful Study or Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet. I really had no card draw outside of Treasure Cruise, and had just picked up a 4 mana creature, so went with Careful Study.
Pack 3 pick 5:
A perfect pick up, Volcanic Island is fetchable with Arid Mesa and helps with the Nicol Bolas splash. Easy pick.
Pack 3 pick 6:
Another easy pick, Hero's Downfall will allow us to get rid of any opposing planeswalkers.
Pack 3 pick 7:
Another perfect pick up. Our mana base is now looking really good; we got the perfect fetchland for our colours, and it also gets the Volcanic Island.
The rest of the picks either picked themselves or there was nothing in the pack for us:
Pack 3 pick 8:
Pack 3 pick 9:
Pack 3 pick 10:
Pack 3 pick 11:
Pack 3 pick 12:
Pack 3 pick 13:
Pack 3 pick 14:
Pack 3 pick 15:
I'm reasonably happy with the way this worked out. I might run into some trouble if people are playing non-creature decks, which is a real possibility, but other than that I am pretty happy.
Let's play some matches!
This match was absolutely brutal for us, and there really isn't too much to say. In both games we played we got mana screwed, and were run over very quickly by a white weenie deck.
Game 1 and a first turn Thoughtseize by us reveals that our opponent is on Reanimator, due to the presence of Necromancy in hand. Needless to say, this is what I took in order to disrupt my opponent's plans. I played a turn 3 True-Name Nemesis that my opponent was unable to do anything about, with Nekrataal taking care of a Fauna Shaman. The opponent was able to land a Verdurous Gearhulk that I didn't have a great answer to, but they then conceded on the following turn even though they weren't facing lethal, which was strange.
Game 2 I kept a sketchy had of 2 Swamps, but that also included my two discard spells. Unfortunately I wasn't able to draw another land until turn 8, and by that stage the opponent was pummeling me with a Gearhulk, so it was on to game 3.
I actually sideboarded in another land in this game, as I was sick of the mana issues. My hand once again had both my discard spells which I used to get rid of Necromancy and Through the Breach; luckily, as my opponent had Emrakul in hand! The next few turns involved both of us playing land until my opponent cast Sheoldred, Whispering One; I then cast The Abyss on my turn, forcing it to be sacrificed but not before it could bring back a Gearhulk. It promptly died to Hero's Downfall, however. During this time, I was able to get a few hits in with my Creeping Tar Pit and was slowly wearing the opponent's life total down; unfortunately they were drawing two cards per turn thanks to a Coercive Portal that I had no answer to.
Eventually my opponent was able to bring the Gearhulk back again and also play Emrakul, and I had run out of answers.
I was pretty frustrated at this point. The deck was not that bad, I thought, and I had had some bad luck up to this point. I'm hoping I can turn it around now.
I should not have played this match in the state of mind I was in though, as I tilted hard and made too many mistakes. My opponent was playing artifact ramp, and kept getting me in a Venser, Shaper Savant and Karakas lock, so I just conceded the match.
Well, that was both frustrating and embarrassing. I really don't think the deck was terrible, though maybe it was more of a Legacy Cube deck instead of a Vintage Cube one. Despite this frustrating League run, I really do like Vintage Cube, and when it comes back around I encourage you to give it a try.
That ends the Vintage Cube run; join me again next week when we head back to Kaladesh for another go at that before Aether Revolt comes out. Hopefully, I can improve on my losing record of the last couple of weeks!