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By: xger, Xger
Jan 24 2017 12:00pm
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Welcome back for the second friendly league! Due to some ignorance on my part, there are not match summaries for the end of the first league. To compensate, I've included a full friendly league, though in abbreviated form. Let's jump in!

Click here to jump past the intro.

Introduction to Article Series

With this series, I'm aiming to go through the friendly add-a-pack leagues and give readers a chance to give feedback and hopefully gain some insight. I'll likely vary where I break in the article, and sometimes will ask for community feedback as to how to integrate a new pack before playing more matches. Here is a list of previous entries in this series.

I'll also include a value of the pool and pack, and might do some EV calculations (i.e. how much is the add-a-pack league worth). While it won't be true EV, it will be a real world application, which should highlight some of the variance you'll expect to see. 

Generally, I will do text write-ups, not videos. There may be times where I do include videos, but I will still include a write-up as well. Let me know if you have any thoughts on how to improve the series!

Stage 2 of Friendly League 1

Here's where we left off last time:

Friendly Sealed 1, Stage 2
7 packs minus the basic lands - 98 Cards Total
White
1 Inspired Charge
3 Propeller Pioneer
1 Skyswirl Harrier
1 Authority of the Consuls
1 Cataclysmic Gearhulk
1 Servo Exhibition
1 Ninth Bridge Patrol
1 Impeccable Timing
1 Glint-Sleeve Artisan
2 Eddytrail Hawk
1 Built to Last
14 cards

Blue
1 Revolutionary Rebuff
1 Glimmer of Genius
1 Failed Inspection
1 Shrewd Negotiation
1 Aether Theorist
1 Malfunction
1 Wind Drake
1 Gearseeker Serpent
1 Tezzeret's Ambition
1 Curio Vendor
1 Dramatic Reversal
11 cards

Black
2 Rush of Vitality
2 Maulfist Squad
1 Prakhata Club Security
1 Midnight Oil
1 Harsh Scrutiny
2 Tidy Conclusion
1 Underhanded Designs
1 Aetherborn Marauder
1 Night Market Lookout
1 Ambitious Aetherborn
2 Fortuitous Find
1 Fretwork Colony
1 Live Fast
1 Thriving Rats
18 cards
Red
1 Built to Smash
2 Terror of the Fairgrounds
3 Salivating Gremlins
2 Hijack
1 Thriving Grubs
1 Cathartic Reunion
1 Lathnu Hellion
1 Spontaneous Artist
1 Renegade Tactics
1 Chandra's Pyrohelix
1 Ruinous Gremlin
1 Speedway Fanatic
16 cards

Green
2 Sage of Shaila's Claim
4 Kujar Seedsculptor
2 Commencement of Festivities
1 Elegant Edgecrafters
2 Cowl Prowler
2 Riparian Tiger
1 Wily Bandar
1 Durable Handicraft
1 Cultivator of Blades
1 Longtusk Cub
1 Creeping Mold
1 Arborback Stomper
1 Thriving Rhino
1 Attune with Aether
21 cards

Gold
1 Whirler Virtuoso
1 Empyreal Voyager
1 Cloudblazer
3 cards
Colorless
2 Consulate Skygate
1 Workshop Assistant
2 Accomplished Automaton
2 Narnam Cobra
1 Bomat Bazaar Barge
1 Weldfast Monitor
1 Ballista Charger
1 Skysovereign, Consul Flagship
1 Multiform Wonder
1 Snare Thopter
1 Iron League Steed
14 cards

Land
1 Sequestered Stash
1 cards
 

 

None of the additional pack seemed worth color shifting away from G/W. So, what did I learn from the first round of plays? Splashing just for Empyreal Voyager is bad, and Workshop Assistant is not good either. The question becomes, does Cloudblazer make the blue splash good enough? 

I built up the deck with the splash and try to evaluate it. I consider going with just Cloudblazer and dropping the Voyager. In the end, I just don't find the added inconsistency worth it. Cloudblazer is very strong, but I'd rather play a 5-drop that I know I can play versus one that would be a crap shoot. Relying on Attune with Aether is not as good as relying on AEther Hub or Prophetic Prism. So, I filter down to two colors. I decide that I shouldn't have cut the Kujar Seedsculptors after all and add them back in. I also add in the Iron League Steed, cutting the Riparian Tiger. I dropped the tiger because I felt like I wanted to use my energy elsewhere, and getting zero or one swings with the tiger as a 6/6 seemed subpar. The real victory with the deck came from flying and Eddytrail Hawk.

 

In hind sight, I should have dropped to 16 lands. I've found Kaladesh to be aggressive enough that if my curve is low enough, 16 lands is plenty.

Here's where I have some confusion. I did not realize that MTGO cleared out games from your ability to rewatch. So, I never reviewed and wrote up the matches for stage 2 and 3. I will share the deck building and added pack. Since I'm a little short on completing this one, I'm including an abbreviated look at a full league after this. If memory serves me correctly, I went 2-1 in this stage along similar lines as the first stage. I know that Cataclysmic Gearhulk underperformed for me.

Stage 3 of Friendly League 1

Here's what I opened for stage 3:

Stage 3 Pack League 1
Look at that red… - 14 Cards Total
Rare
1 Bomat Courier
1 cards
Uncommon
1 Aerial Responder
1 Decoction Module
1 Spark of Creativity
3 cards
Common
1 Pressure Point
1 Thriving Turtle
1 Welding Sparks
1 Woodweaver's Puzzleknot
1 Maulfist Squad
1 Dramatic Reversal
1 Prakhata Club Security
1 Revolutionary Rebuff
1 Wily Bandar
1 Wind Drake
10 cards
 

 

One of the reasons I wanted to do this series is packs like this, that give strong incentive to change your deck. For instance, in a later league, I was R/G and in pack 3 opened Saheeli Rai. I switched to red blue as my blue and green were both relatively okay--luckily my red was carrying the day. Essentially, sometimes the best colors in the opening pool are very different than the best colors in Stage 2 and in Stage 3.

With this pack, my best color got stronger with one of the best uncommons, Aerial Responder, a surefire include. Otherwise, Welding Sparks is good to excellent removal, Spark of Creativity is if-you-are-really-desperate 'removal', and Bomat Courier is a nifty card that can draw some interesting hands, and pairs decently with Eddytrail Hawk. Decoction Module is a card that has nearly always over performed for me. While it is expensive, the ability can be quite powerful. Even bouncing the aforementioned Eddytrail Hawk after attack and replaying can allow you to continue flying over the top. 

Anywho, here's the pool. Try and build stage 3 (and stage 2) pools as though that was the start of your league.

Stage 3 Full Pool
Time to switch? - 112 Cards Total
White
1 Built to Last
2 Eddytrail Hawk
1 Impeccable Timing
1 Ninth Bridge Patrol
1 Servo Exhibition
1 Glint-Sleeve Artisan
3 Propeller Pioneer
1 Cataclysmic Gearhulk
1 Pressure Point
1 Authority of the Consuls
1 Aerial Responder
1 Inspired Charge
1 Skyswirl Harrier
16 cards

Blue
1 Thriving Turtle
1 Aether Theorist
1 Curio Vendor
2 Dramatic Reversal
2 Revolutionary Rebuff
2 Wind Drake
1 Glimmer of Genius
1 Malfunction
1 Failed Inspection
1 Shrewd Negotiation
1 Tezzeret's Ambition
1 Gearseeker Serpent
15 cards

Black
1 Harsh Scrutiny
1 Night Market Lookout
1 Fretwork Colony
2 Rush of Vitality
1 Thriving Rats
1 Underhanded Designs
2 Fortuitous Find
1 Live Fast
1 Aetherborn Marauder
3 Maulfist Squad
2 Prakhata Club Security
1 Midnight Oil
1 Ambitious Aetherborn
2 Tidy Conclusion
20 cards
Red
1 Built to Smash
1 Renegade Tactics
1 Ruinous Gremlin
1 Spark of Creativity
1 Cathartic Reunion
1 Chandra's Pyrohelix
1 Speedway Fanatic
1 Thriving Grubs
1 Lathnu Hellion
3 Salivating Gremlins
1 Welding Sparks
2 Hijack
1 Spontaneous Artist
2 Terror of the Fairgrounds
18 cards

Green
1 Attune with Aether
1 Longtusk Cub
1 Thriving Rhino
1 Creeping Mold
1 Arborback Stomper
1 Cultivator of Blades
4 Kujar Seedsculptor
2 Wily Bandar
2 Commencement of Festivities
1 Durable Handicraft
2 Sage of Shaila's Claim
2 Riparian Tiger
2 Cowl Prowler
1 Elegant Edgecrafters
22 cards

Gold
1 Cloudblazer
1 Whirler Virtuoso
1 Empyreal Voyager
3 cards
Colorless
2 Narnam Cobra
1 Multiform Wonder
1 Skysovereign, Consul Flagship
1 Snare Thopter
1 Iron League Steed
1 Bomat Courier
2 Consulate Skygate
1 Decoction Module
1 Woodweaver's Puzzleknot
1 Weldfast Monitor
1 Workshop Assistant
1 Bomat Bazaar Barge
1 Ballista Charger
2 Accomplished Automaton
17 cards

Land
1 Sequestered Stash
1 cards
 

 

Despite the new red, I still don't think red is the right choice. It might have been if I could support the Salivating Gremlins better. It'd be great if I had some more artifacts I wanted to play, or a couple of Visionary Augmenters. So, the Welding Sparks never flew. I did however try out the Black White deck, comparing it to the Green White deck. The double Tidy Conclusion would be nice, as would the Aetherborn Marauder. Of course, Fretwork Colony is absurd. But it falls off pretty fast after those. In the end, decided to stick with the green.

 

A big note is that I dropped to 16 lands. Over time, I've come to favor 16 in Kaladesh, though it depends on the deck. A lot of the 5+ cards aren't great, and if I play only 1 to 3, I generally feel better about going down to 16. Here, Attune with Aether helps support it. In the end, I went 2-1, for an overall 6-3 record. 

Now, let's look at the fiscal aspect:

Category Value
Pool Value  $3.96
Winnings                                        160PP + 30PP + 30PP + 30PP = 250PP
Costs 2.74 * 8 + 4 = $21.92
Outcome +250 PP - $17.96

So, if I value 10 PPs at about 72¢, I broke even. That's probably a little high, but not too far off. If you note, I also bought boosters under the assumption it was better. In hindsight, it wouldn't be that different than using play points.

Friendly League 2

Alright, here's the next league. It's going to be a bit abbreviated, but I wanted to wrap it up before the season ends. Without more, here is the pool:

 

Friendly League 2
Where to start? Oh, right, boros… - 84 Cards Total
White
1 Aetherstorm Roc
1 Aviary Mechanic
1 Built to Last
1 Captured by the Consulate
2 Fairgrounds Warden
1 Gearshift Ace
1 Glint-Sleeve Artisan
1 Propeller Pioneer
1 Revoke Privileges
1 Servo Exhibition
1 Skyswirl Harrier
11 cards

Blue
1 Failed Inspection
1 Revolutionary Rebuff
1 Select for Inspection
1 Shrewd Negotiation
1 Tezzeret's Ambition
1 Weldfast Wingsmith
2 Nimble Innovator
1 Ceremonious Rejection
9 cards

Black
1 Ambitious Aetherborn
1 Die Young
1 Foundry Screecher
1 Fretwork Colony
1 Gonti, Lord of Luxury
1 Lawless Broker
1 Night Market Lookout
1 Prakhata Club Security
1 Tidy Conclusion
2 Maulfist Squad
2 Rush of Vitality
13 cards
Red
1 Giant Spectacle
1 Incendiary Sabotage
1 Pia Nalaar
1 Quicksmith Genius
1 Reckless Fireweaver
1 Renegade Tactics
1 Ruinous Gremlin
1 Salivating Gremlins
1 Spontaneous Artist
1 Thriving Grubs
1 Wayward Giant
1 Brazen Scourge
2 Chandra's Pyrohelix
2 Spireside Infiltrator
17 cards

Green
1 Arborback Stomper
1 Creeping Mold
1 Highspire Artisan
1 Kujar Seedsculptor
1 Longtusk Cub
1 Ornamental Courage
1 Peema Outrider
1 Sage of Shaila's Claim
1 Take Down
1 Thriving Rhino
1 Wild Wanderer
1 Wily Bandar
2 Ghirapur Guide
1 Larger Than Life
15 cards

Gold
1 Depala, Pilot Exemplar
1 cards
Colorless
1 Accomplished Automaton
1 Ballista Charger
1 Bastion Mastodon
1 Bomat Bazaar Barge
1 Eager Construct
1 Prakhata Pillar-Bug
1 Renegade Freighter
1 Sky Skiff
1 Snare Thopter
1 Weldfast Monitor
1 Workshop Assistant
2 Consulate Skygate
2 Fireforger's Puzzleknot
2 Prophetic Prism
17 cards

Land
1 Inspiring Vantage
1 cards
 

 

This pool was far superior to my previous one. There are several playable colors, and good artifacts, such as Bomat Bazaar Barge, Renegade Freighter, and Sky Skiff. The only color I wouldn't play here is blue. Shrewd Negotiation is the only strong card, but there is simply not enough. White was simply too good to ignore, yet again. Aetherstorm Roc is quite a bomb. Revoke Privileges is very good, and Captured By the Consulate works wonders when played on something like a Bastion Mastodon. So, couple red, black, or green? Here, I let my rare guide me, so I suited up Depala, Pilot Exemplar and Pia Nalaar. While I would normally break out the 2nd pack, pool, and deck, I am trying to go a keep this short. So, the second pack included a Chandra's Pyrohelix, Blooming Marsh, Propeller Pioneer, and Brazen Scourge and then useless other stuff. So, what was the third pack? Basically it handed my deck the goods.

 

So, here's my final deck:

Match reports:

Match 1 vs. tinman85 (2-1) Izzet

Game 1 my first play is Depala, Pilot Exemplar, followed by Bomat Bazaar Barge. My opponent plays a number of smaller creatures such as Speedway Fanatic and Pia Nalaar. My Aviary Mechanic holds things off as I crew and dig with Depala, Pilot Exemplar. My opponent is attacking with Thopters until I drop Skyswirl Harrier. After chumping I have the board upper hand, drop a Spontaneous Artist and swing for the win. Game 2 I keep a 2 lander and end up fairly far behind. I start to stabilize, by my opponent kills my fliers and wins with Dukhara Peafowl. Game 3 is a bit ridiculous. There's some early back and forth, but I don't have a mountain to cast Depala, Pilot Exemplar and Spireside Infiltrator. An early Captured By the Consulate on their Dukhara Peafowl seemingly blanks their removal. At one point they cast Chandra's Pyrohelix to try and kill a Propeller Pioneer, but he must not have realized that Captured by the Consulate would redirect if he chose only one target. He gets out a Metallurgic Summonings and gets some tokens, but my Bastion Mastodon holds them back. Turn 13 I finally get a mountain and cast Depala, Pilot Exemplar, and I have out Sky Skiff. After some digging, I draw Aetherstorm Roc and finally push through for the kill. I had 5 cards left in my deck (due to an opposing Minister of Inquiries), but closed out the game on turn 17.

Match 2 vs. kwakkawakka (2-0) Orzhov

Game 1 was turn 2 Sky Skiff into turn 3 Depala, Pilot Exemplar put a lot of pressure on my opponent. They played an Ovalchase Dragster and tried to go all the way with it, first with Built to Last and then Rush of Vitality. However, I used Chandra's Pyrohelix in response to Rush of Vitality and they conceded. Game 2 I quickly get my opponent to 5, and then they drop a Cataclysmic Gearhulk and I keep Bastion Mastodon and Bomat Bazaar Barge. I play a Glint-Sleeve Artisan to crew, force a block and kill with Chandra's Pyrohelix.

Match 3 vs. adrianjherman (2-0) Gruul

Not much happens Game 1. The only creature my opponent plays is Prakhata Pillar-Bug. They also drop a Sky Skiff and use 2 removal and a Built to Smash for damage. My Bomat Bazaar Barge and assorted creatures take the game. Game 2 is similar. My opponent starts early with Ruinous Gremlin, and gives it Built to Smash for damage. They don't play large enough creatures until Peema Outrider, which I Revoke Privileges on. They had a Dynavolt Tower out, but it didn't do anything. They concede after the Revoke Privileges.

Stage 2: Match 4 vs. incarna (2-0) Selesnya

Game 1 my opponent's creatures consisted of Gearshift Ace and Skyswirl Harrier, which eventually meet Fairgrounds Warden and Revoke Privileges. My force overwhelmed them rather quickly. Game 2 is more interesting, my opponent drops Oviya Pashiri, Sage Lifecrafter which I handle with Fairgrounds Warden. I never attack with Fairgrounds Warden into open mana--eventually my opponent uses Impeccable Timing 1 on Snare Thopter and then Impeccable Timing 2 on Aetherstorm Roc. The board stalls a bit and my opponent drops a second Oviya Pashiri, Sage Lifecrafter, so I take the opportunity to use Aviary Mechanic, bounce my Fairgrounds Warden--which gives my opponent 2 copies of the legendary Oviya Pashiri, Sage Lifecrafter, making them sac one--and then replay the Warden to hit the double counter Thriving Rhino. Eventually a Propeller Pioneer takes the game for me.

Match 5 vs. Panthera_leo (2-0) Esper

Game 1 is fairly typical, where I play some beaters and weaken my opponent a bit with Bomat Bazaar Barge. My opponent drops a Cloudblazer and then Acrobatic Maneuvered it. However, Pia Nalaar came to rescue, stopping some blocks and letting me hit me for the win. Game two goes on for a ridiculous amount of time. At one point my opponent has out Aethersquall Ancient and I drop Depala, Pilot Exemplar. I franticly dig through my deck for a Fairgrounds Warden. On my last chance, after spending ~16 mana on the search over a few turns, I hit it and cast the Warden. Eventually my opponent drops a Key to the City and starts hitting me for 4 with Bastion Mastodon. With time on the clock short, my opponent goes for an air alpha, and I block one, chump another and go to 2. At that point my opponent realizes they do not have enough to block and survive, so they concede.

Match 6 vs. saiden.raken (2-0) Orzhov

Game 1 my opponent drops Ninth Bridge Patrol followed by Fretwork Colony. I had no removal, so I do my best to race. Sadly, my opponent has a fair bit of removal to handle my early drops. Luckily, my opponent attacks with Fretwork Colony as a 5/5 into my Bastion Mastodon and Skyswirl Harrier and a servo. I throw the two fatties in front (on B/W there was no card other than Tidy Conclusion that would completely blow me out and so throwing the servo in front would be a waste. Based on my opponent's play thus far, they would have used Tidy Conclusion before combat, as they had already passed up other 2 for 1 blocking removal chances). Very strangely, my opponent then drops Demon of Dark Schemes. It just seemed like a waste of his Fretwork Colony and would have left me in a bad spot. Eventually my Snare Thopter and Skyswirl Harrier take the game after I found a Revoke Privileges. Game 2 I 2 for 1 my opponent with a Chandra's Pyrohelix and Renegade Freighter and then they have to 2 for one themselves to kill it later, putting me up significantly on the board, while they were on top deck mode. The game ended shortly thereafter.

Match 7 vs. angelsabre (2-0) Naya

Game 1 I go Renegade Freighter into Depala, Pilot Exemplar. On that attack, I pay 1 to reveal Glint-Sleeve Artisan. My open alphas, then drops a Propeller Pioneer and servo. I draw a fifth land, drop Glint-Sleeve Artisan and Chandra's Pyrohelix their blockers, swing and bring them to 5. Next turn they concede. Game 2 I play a creature every turn from 2 to 6 and keep the pressure up. A final Fairgrounds Warden removes a blocker and they concede on my alpha.

Match 8 vs. ceik0zm0 (0-2) Orzhov

Game 1 I play a fairly normal way, but fail to consider how much a board wipe will affect me. My opponent plays an extremely well times Cataclysmic Gearhulk. My only artifact is a servo, but I have Depala, Pilot Exemplar and a Fairgrounds Warden guarding a Gonti, Lord of Luxury. I have another Fairgrounds Warden in hand, so I keep my lord with the hopes it'll pan out. After my opponent Noxious Gearhulked my Warden, then played a Wispweaver Angel, I concede. Game 2 I mull a no lander and then keep a 2 lander. My opponent plays a Renegade Freighter that I spend the entire game trying to manage. When he plays a Noxious Gearhulk with me at 5 and low on blockers, I concede.

Match 9 vs. naoyazusa (1-2) Gruul, then Orzhov

Game 1 I play a fairly aggressive hand and my opponent only plays Sage of Shaila's Claim and a Spireside Infiltrator for creatures. I am able to overwhelm them. Game 2 the game becomes a stall and I play without thinking, pretty much dropping everything. In comes the Fumigate that gains 12 life, and leaves my opponent with their Renegade Freighter. I am unable to recover and concede. Game 3 I keep a 2 lander that will be amazing with a third land. After my opponent plays Visionary Augmenter and Subtle Strike, I eventually concede never having found land 3.

Overall: 7-2. Not a bad record, but my mistake of playing into board wipes cost me at least 2 games, so I clearly need to pay more attention to that.

Value of the league:

Category Value
Pool Value  $5.09
Winnings                            160PP + 40PP + 40PP + 20PP + $2.74 = 260PP, $2.74
Costs $2.74 * 8 + 4 = $21.92
Outcome +260 PP - $14.09

Obviously I did better here, arguably getting positive value of this league, if PP are worth 55¢ or more.


 

 

As always, I appreciate any comments! 

xger

xger21 on MTGO.