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By: TheWolf, Shane Garvey
Feb 09 2017 1:00pm
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Welcome back to another Limited Edition. After my 2-1 performance last week with blue/black, let's see what we can do to improve upon it. I've played a few more drafts since then and I feel as though I either overvalue blue flyers, or that other people are under valuing them; in any case, they have over performed for me thus far.

 

Note: The draft converter, for unknown reasons, is showing basic lands as a Magic card back. Apologies for this!

 

THE DRAFT

  Pack 1 pick 1:

  My Pick:

The first pack has quite a few good cards in it. Daring Demolition is a great removal spell, Gifted Aetherborn is a fantastic little creature, and Sram's Expertise is great value. Having not had a chance to play with Sram's Expertise yet, I decided to take it to give it a shot and see how it performs.


  Pack 1 pick 2:

  My Pick:

Another pack with some very good cards. Countless Gears Renegade is 3/3 worth of stats for 2 mana if you can trigger revolt, which is a great rate; Shielded Aether Thief has impressed me so far; and Skyship Plunderer is the best small flyer in the format, in my opinion. In the end I couldn't resist the lure of the Plunderer.


  Pack 1 pick 3:

  My Pick:

For this pack, we have Renegade Map, which is a good fixer, and helps with revolt and improvise; Caught in the Brights which is one of white's best commons; and Lifecraft Awakening, which is a very good combat trick. In the end I went with Caught in the Brights, as it is removal and I already had a white card (and can be played off of Sram's Expertise).


  Pack 1 pick 4:

  My Pick:

There were some cards I'd be happy with here. Sweatworks Brawler is often a 3/3 for 3 or less mana and Barricade Brawler is actually quite decent in an artifact heavy deck. However, I have been blown out a number of times by Dawnfeather Eagle's mini-Overrun ability. It's also white, giving us three white cards now, and works well with the tokens from the first pick.

So at this point I'm solidly in white, it seems. I could still go a number of ways, but a white, go-wide strategy could be on the cards (bad pun, sorry).


  Pack 1 pick 5:

  My Pick:

There are a number of good cards here, too. Lifecraft Cavalry is a 6/6 trampler half the time, and that can be hard to deal with, while Hinterland Drake is much better than it looks. However, Aether Swooper plays into the "go-wide" theme by creating at least one Servo if it gets to attack, so that was the pick here.


  Pack 1 pick 6:

  My Pick:

Now that it looks like I am in white/blue, I was looking at either Countless Gears Renegade or Hinterland Drake for this pick. The Renegade may have been the better pick as it plays into the Servo theme, but I took the Drake as an evasive threat.


  Pack 1 pick 7:

  My Pick:

Although I mentioned that I like flyers in this format, I don't like Ghirapur Osprey. It's just outclassed for 3 mana. Other than that, I was looking at either Ice Over or Filigree Crawler; I think the correct pick was the Crawler in hindsight, but I don't mind having one Ice Over if I don't have other removal.


  Pack 1 pick 8:

  My Pick:

While Aether Inspector plays well with the Servo theme, I'm not thrilled with a 2/3 body for 4 mana. That meant I was interested in either Dispersal Technician or another Drake... and you can guess what I picked.


  Pack 1 pick 9:

  My Pick:

Alley Invasion is a decent, versatile little combat trick and with nothing else here for me anyway, I took it.


  Pack 1 pick 10:

  My Pick:

I didn't really want another Alley Invasion, so I took Implement of Examination instead. 

The rest of pack 1 went like this:


  Pack 1 pick 11:

  My Pick:


  Pack 1 pick 12:

  My Pick:


  Pack 1 pick 13:

  My Pick:


  Pack 1 pick 14:

  My Pick:


  Pack 1 pick 15:

  My Pick:

Here is where I was at after pack 1:

It seems I am ending up in the blue/x flyers archetype again. I'd like to pick up some improvise cards to go with Sram's Expertise and Aether Swooper.


  Pack 2 pick 1:

  My Pick:

Wow, well, this pack had a lot of cards I wanted. Caught in the Brights, Thopter Arrest and Deadeye Harpooner are all great cards and, while Whir of Invention is an improvise spell, I had no good targets for it yet. I ended up taking Thopter Arrest - it is premium white removal.


  Pack 2 pick 2:

  My Pick:

This pick was out of Bastion Inventor and Caught in the Brights. I took the removal, though I think the correct pick was actually the Inventor, as I already had three removal spells, and the Inventor is hard to deal with. 


  Pack 2 pick 3:

  My Pick:

This pack was much less exciting than the previous two. It came down to Audacious Inflitrator and Shipwreck Moray; the reason I took the fish was the energy generation, to help Aether Swooper pop out Servos.


  Pack 2 pick 4:

  My Pick:

For this pick I was tossing up between Leave in the Dust and Renegade Map. I took the map as I already had 3 slightly-more-permanent removal spells, and I am a fan of 1 piece of fixing in a deck.


  Pack 2 pick 5:

  My Pick:

I didn't really want another Ice Over, so I thought I would give Watchful Automaton a try, a card I have yet to play. It seems like a decent mana sink for later in the game, and I want to see how it goes.


  Pack 2 pick 6:

  My Pick:

Another average pick; I already had a couple of blue Implements, and Bastion Enforcer is average, so I took another Shipwreck Moray.


  Pack 2 pick 7:

  My Pick:

Again, I didn't want another Implement, and I'm not a fan of counterspells in Limited (which ruled out Metallic Rebuke), so I took the white creature.


  Pack 2 pick 8:

  My Pick:

I was a little surprised to see Countless Gears Renegade come around this late, so happily snapped it up.


  Pack 2 pick 9:

  My Pick:

It was at this point that I realized I had no late game. Whilst Irontread Crusher is not fantastic, it was better than nothing and could possibly break through a board stall, so I took it here.

Here is the rest of pack 2, and it is all cards I wouldn't look to be playing:


  Pack 2 pick 10:

  My Pick:


  Pack 2 pick 11:

  My Pick:


  Pack 2 pick 12:

  My Pick:


  Pack 2 pick 13:

  My Pick:


  Pack 2 pick 14:

  My Pick:


  Pack 2 pick 15:

  My Pick:

After pack 2, this is what I am looking at:

I didn't end up picking up any improvise cards to go with the token makers, which is disappointing. I'll be looking to maybe pick up a Gearseeker Serpent in pack 3. Other than that, I'm just looking to consolidate the game plan and see how I go.


  Pack 3 pick 1:

  My Pick:

This is a pretty ordinary pack, with nothing that I really want apart from Prophetic Prism.


  Pack 3 pick 2:

  My Pick:

Again, a really bad pack. Cogworker's Puzzleknot is average but the only thing half playable in my deck. Come on Kaladesh, do better!


  Pack 3 pick 3:

  My Pick:

Well... thank you, Kaladesh! If Confiscation Coup wasn't in the pack I would have been picking between Revoke Privleges and Glimmer of Genius, but I am more than happy to take the Coup.


  Pack 3 pick 4:

  My Pick:

I briefly considered Era of Innovation here, and it might have been the correct pick. However, if I was going to try and go wide with Servos, then Inspired Charge could be quite important. I took the white card and hoped it was the right pick.


  Pack 3 pick 5:

  My Pick:

Another "eh" pick; although I like Glassblower's Puzzleknot I wasn't really looking for it here.


  Pack 3 pick 6:

  My Pick:

Now we are talking. Gearseeker Serpent is the late game threat I was looking for, and I am happy to get it here. 


  Pack 3 pick 7:

  My Pick:

I generally like Eddytrail Hawk as a card, and it will probably make the cut, but I will have to wait and see what else I get.

The rest of the picks are all filler and went like this:


  Pack 3 pick 8:

  My Pick:


  Pack 3 pick 9:

  My Pick:


  Pack 3 pick 10:

  My Pick:


  Pack 3 pick 11:

  My Pick:


  Pack 3 pick 12:

  My Pick:


  Pack 3 pick 13:

  My Pick:


  Pack 3 pick 14:

  My Pick:


  Pack 3 pick 15:

  My Pick:


THE DECK

As you can see, in the end, two Puzzleknots made the cut, mostly because of the synergy with Gearseeker Serpent. I didn't end up with as many Servo makers as I thought, though I still decided to run Inspired Charge mostly on the back of Sram's Expertise and Aether Swooper. I'm not unhappy with how the deck turned out, though it's a bit eclectic, and isn't sure what it is trying to do. Let's see how it does in battle.

THE MATCHES

Match 1

Versus: Black/Green

Result: 2-1

Game 1 got off to an unexciting start, with both of us playing lands, creatures, and passing the turn for a few turns. My opponent landed a Lifecraft Cavalry, though I had the perfect answer with Caught in the Brights and then attacking with Irontread Crusher to exile it. We kept trading blows, me with the Crusher and my opponent with Maulfist Squad. Things slowed down when we started to get to low life totals, until I landed an Aether Swooper and Hinterland Drake and then drew Inspired Charge to finish things off.

Game 2 I was on a mulligan and never really got started, with my opponent playing out a few creatures, me using Caught in the Brights on one, and my opponent using Aviary Mechanic to save it. I stablized, though, by using Sram's Expertise into Thopter Arrest and following up next turn with a Gearseeker Serpent. However, my opponent curved out nicely, with their Lifecraft Cavalry coming down as a 6/6, and I was soon overrun.

I was on the play in game 3 and was able to curve out on 2-4 mana, playing Sram's Expertise and a Watchful Automaton on turn 4. My opponent managed to cast Nissa, Vital Force but, with my flyers and with the help of Eddytrail Hawk, I was able to take her down the turn after. My opponent played their Lifecraft Cavalry with revolt again, but I was ready for it this time with Caught in the Brights; my opponent didn't have any answers to my air force and I won shortly after.

Match 2

Versus: Blue/Green

Result: 2-0

In game 1, I curved Aether Swooper into Hinterland Drake into Shipwreck Moray, the latter of which started holding off my opponent's Aetherstream Leopard and Kujar Seedsculptor. My opponent then played a Dukhara Peafowl to slow me down, but I stole it with Confiscation Coup. We both played a few more creatures each, but my aerial assault eventually won me the game.

Game 2 didn't start off great, with me drawing nothing but Islands and getting no sources of white mana. However, the same had happened to my opponent, and we both found our second colour on the same turn. By this time, my opponent was beating me down in the air, but an Ice Over took care of their Hinterland Drake and a Caught in the Brights took care of their Peafowl. They then cast their own copy of Gearseeker Serpent, and I top decked another Caught in the Brights to deal with that. My Skyship Plunderer kept attacking in the air and I was able to get my opponent down to 3 life; I attacked again, my opponent didn't have a blocker or answer, and I used Inspired Charge to deal lethal.

Match 3

Versus: Blue/Green

Result: 2-1

Game 1 I had the opposite problem to match 2; I drew Plains and no sources of blue mana. My opponent started defensively, with a Shielded Aether Thief and Highspire Artisan, the latter of which would be very annoying if I could cast any of my blue flyers. I eventually drew an Island on turn 7 and was able to start playing some of the blue cards. Thankfully, my opponent hadn't really developed the board, and what they had done had been taken care of with my enchantment removal. Eventually, after some back and forth, I was able to cast my Gearseeker Serpent and with plenty of mana I was able to win the game.

My opponent was able to curve Longtusk Cub into Aether Herder and Peema Aether-Seer in game 2, while I was only able to cast a Hinterland Drake. I was hit down to 11 before starting to stabilize, having drawn some removal and more creatures. I was able to get back into the game with Gearseeker Serpent, but when I had my opponent on 5, they used Ice Over on it. They were then able to play out more creatures while I was drawing lands and Renegade Map, and soon lost.

Game 3 I kept a 5 land hand containing Aether Swooper and Irontread Crusher, drawing Watchful Automaton on my second turn, and curved out nicely. I followed up with Skyship Plunderer while my opponent cast creatures such as Longtusk Cub, Druid of the Cowl and the Aether-Thief. I had gotten them down to 7 life when they cast an Aethertide Whale, turning the tide (sorry) of the battle. Thankfully, I drew Gearseeker Serpent, kept my flyers back to block the Whale, and won two turns later. 

CONCLUSION

I really didn't expect to go 3-0 with this deck, but am very happy I did. I'm not sure if the deck was really that good or I got a bit lucky; probably a bit of the latter. I still think the blue flyers aren't respected enough. 

I'll be back again next week with another draft, and I promise I'll try something other than blue!

 

 

2 Comments

First of all, thanks for by pfirpfel at Fri, 02/10/2017 - 06:22
pfirpfel's picture
4

First of all, thanks for making old-school text drafts! I prefer this format over the videos and streams, since the reader is not the prisoner of the drafter's pace.

Some thoughts to your draft:

Pack 2 pick 3: Prioritizing two-drops early in an aggressive deck seems to me to be the better option here. At this point you just have two.

Pack 2 pick 4: I don't think you will splash in aggressive deck and so far you have neither revolt nor improvise. Leave in the Dust is a great tempo card in a evasion-heavy aggro deck.

Overall I think you drafted very well and found two open colors. The rather weak Kaladesh pack was not a result of your picks, it was just bad luck.

Deck:
I strongly disagree with your decision on playing the blue puzzleknot. The synergy with Gearseeker Serpent is not worth the inclusion. The puzzleknot doesn't do enough to be worth a card. The second Audacious Infiltrator would have been much better.
Also I think you run too many mana sources. 17 lands + the map is too much. You don't have good mana sinks in the late game, just the automaton-scrys and the serpent, to make use of that many mana sources.

Thank you by TheWolf at Fri, 02/10/2017 - 07:07
TheWolf's picture

Thanks for the comments. I have no intention of moving away from the text format, so you'll have lots more of these to come!

I agree with most of what you said, so thank you for that. I'll say that the reason I ran 17 land + 1 map was that I actually did this draft two weeks ago, just after it came out on Magic Online, and I hadn't quite worked out that the map is worth a land. I certainly have been running less since this draft.

Thanks again!