Welcome back for the third friendly league! I opened a pretty sweet pool, so let's get to it!
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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!
Here's my opening pool:
First up, let's look at the value (as of midday Saturday the 5th):
||$1.88 * 2 + $4.15 * 4 + 4 = $24.36 or 24 tix/240 PP
Just an interesting note, it is actually more expensive to buy the packs and then enter than if you just paid 24 tickets. This is extremely rare, but it could be the new normal with the flow of packs into the system so different. The value here isn't terrible, but it's not great either.
So, I don't think I've ever had such a specific color stacked rare/mythic set--two Cultivator's Caravan, Greenbelt Rampager, Rishkar, Peema Renegade, Heroic Intervention, and Exquisite Archangel. Then of course there's the "mythic" Ridgescale Tusker. I'm also glad it was foil because uncommon foils are usually worth at least a ticket, sometimes several (strangely, uncommons tend to be the foil redemption bottleneck). So, immediately I can tell I'm playing green. First, I consider Green Black because of Daring Demolition and triple Cruel Finality. Here is what I drafted up for that deck:
Had I played this, I can see going to the third Cruel Finality and dropping Heroic Intervention. I never used intervention, so I really don't know how good it would be. Seems like it might be the best card in the deck, or basically worthless. I'm curious what other people's experiences are with it. My concern here was 2 vehicles with only 14 creatures (which is why the second Cultivator's Caravan is not in the deck). I also wasn't sure if the second Cultivator's Caravan was better or worse than the Renegade Freighter. At this point, I decided that I should reexamine white and consider that, which lead to the deck I wound up playing:
I realize that with this set up I am low on removal, but I believed that strength of the other cards would overwhelm people, which they mostly did. With going up to 16 creatures--two of which were Aeronaut Admiral--I brought in both Cultivator's Caravan and used the Renegade Freighter. Perhaps the most interesting choice is whether to run 2 Durable Handicrafts. That was my last cut, but I just didn't like the chance of drawing two and having not enough creatures. Plus, the second would more often than not be a win more situation. Anyway, on to the matches:
Match 1 Macknife: 2 - 0 vs. Red Green
Game 1: Macknife plays first, and I keep a hand of Scrounging Bandar, 2 Aeronaut Admiral, Lifecraft Cavalry, and lands. First play of the game is my Scrounging Bandar, which I follow up with a Cultivator's Caravan that I drew. My opponent plays a Druid of the Cowl and I drop Aeronaut Admiral to crew my now flying 5/5 caravan. My opponent plays an unrevolted Lifecraft Cavalry. On my upkeep, I move both Scrounging Bandar counters to my Aeronaut Admiral, letting the Bandar die--and triggering revolt!-- so I attack with my 5/3 admiral and drop a post combat 6/6 Lifecraft Cavalry. My opponent scoops, sitting on 8 life, but facing 10 flying and 6 trample the next turn.
Game 2: I keep a Scrounging Bandar, Lifecrafter's Gift, Deadeye Harpooner, Cultivator's Caravan, Implement of Ferocity, and 2 Forest. Turns out my opponent is on Green/Red (I didn't see a red source/card in the first game). He plays a Verdant Automaton opposite my implement and Scrounging Bandar. He adds his own Implement of Ferocity, pops it, and brings me to 18. I play my Cultivator's Caravan and hit for two. He plays a Maulfist Revolutionary bringing his automaton to a 3/4 and he swings. I pop my implement, crew my caravan and swing bringing my open to 13. I add Deadeye Harpooner which skewers the Verdant Automaton. My opponent responds with Hungry Flames on my monkey and adds Welder Automaton. On my turn I drop Implement of Ferocity number 2 and add Thriving Ibex to the board. I pop the implement to make my harpooner a 3/3 and swing with both making the Ibex a 3/5. My opponent blocks and I Lifecrafter's Gift to have a 5/5 and a 4/6, killing my opponent's Maulfist Revolutionary in combat. My opponent plays a Spontaneous Artist that chump blocks the next turn and I add Renegade Freighter. My opponent concedes.
Match 2 tshortli: 2 - 1 vs. Temur good stuff
Game 1: On the play, I keep a hand of Implement of Ferocity, Scrounging Bandar, Countless Gears Renegade, Cultivator's Caravan, Aeronaut Admiral, and two lands. I don't initially hit my third land drop, so I risk blowing the implement and losing revolt on the Renegade. Luckily, I hit the land and end up with my 3/3 monkey alongside the 2/2 Dwarf and a servo. My opponent has Druid of the Cowl and Watchful Automaton. I move one counter to the Dwarf and attack, my opponent double blocks and so we trade Countless Gears Renegade and Druid of the Cowl. I add Cultivator's Caravan and the second Implement of Ferocity. My opponent Ice Overs my caravan and scrys. I drop an Aeronaut Admiral. My opponent drops Wind Drake and Skyship Plunderer. I move one counter to the admiral and then add Peema Aether-Seer. I pop the implement and force the Wind Drake to trade with the now 2/2 servo. My natural draw was my fifth land, and I drew another off the implement. I add a Thriving Ibex. My opponent attacks with his only flier and then plays Dukhara Peafowl. I move my last counter to the Admiral, making it a 5/3 and triggering revolt. Conveniently, that makes my Lifecraft Cavalry a 6/6. My opponent plays Baral's Expertise to bounce my admiral, cavalry and his herder so he could get more energy. I draw the second Cultivator's Caravan which lets me cast it and Aeronaut Admiral. My opponent attacks, makes a servo and the life totals go to 12-8 in their favor. I force the Watchful Automaton to trade with Peema Aether-Seer, allowing my Lifecraft Cavalry to come back as a 6/6. I attack with the flying Cultivator's Caravan, crewed with the admiral and add a Renegade Freighter. My opponent plays his first red card, Voltaic Brawler. At this point I think my opponent believes that Aeronaut Admiral only causes vehicles to fly if it crews them. They attack with their fliers and my flying Renegade Freighter eats a Dukhara Peafowl. On my next attack, my opponent concedes.
Game 2: I bravely (or perhaps fool heartedly) keep Greenbelt Rampager, Cultivator's Caravan, Scrounging Bandar, Renegade Freighter, Peema Aether-Seer and 2 Plains. Luckily my first draw is a Forest. My opponent plays a Pacification Array. In the first few turns I get the Greenbelt Rampager and Scrounging Bandar down alongside Cultivator's Caravan and Renegade Freighter. My opponent adds Aetherstream Leopard and Untethered Express. I play a Rishkar, Peema Renegade, making the monkey a 3/3 and the elephant a 4/5. I crew the freighter and attacking for 12, bringing my opponent to 8. They attack with the now 6/6 dino train and I go to 5. They Ice Overed both my caravan and freighter. I miscount, and only leave up a 2/2 and my newly cast 4/4 Lifecraft Cavalry. My opponent taps the 4/4 and swings with the now 7/7 trampling dino train with me at 5 life.
Game 3: I keep Greenbelt Rampager, Decommission, Countless Gears Renegade, Lifecrafter's Gift, 1 Forest, and 2 Plains. I play and bounce the Greenbelt Rampager on the first turn, do nothing the second turn, then use the Greenbelt Rampager to trigger revolt for Countless Gears Renegade. I'm not sure if this was the better play. No matter what I couldn't keep the Greenbelt Rampager on turn 2 as I only had one forest. So, I delayed getting it so that I could get the servo. In a weird way it worked out. After that turn, I draw Rishkar, Peema Renegade so I drop that, placing the counter on it and the servo, tap the servo to play the elephant and attack for 2. My opponent's first play is Aether Herder. I draw Snare Thopter, drop it, and swing for 6 between it and the elephant. My opponent then Ice Overs both and attacks to create the servo. I attack with the team to get the chump block, then drop Aeronaut Admiral. My opponent drops Aether Herder number 2. I attack with the team and after blocks cast Lifecrafter's Gift on Aeronaut Admiral, making him a 5/4 and Rishkar, Peema Renegade a 4/4, which finishes off my opponent.
Match 3 CzarCinemod: 2 - 0 vs. White Blue
Game 1: On the play I keep Implement of Ferocity, Scrounging Bandar, Revoke Privileges, Aeronaut Admiral, Peema Aether-Seer, and lands. After leading with the monkey and implement, I draw a Druid of the Cowl, so on turn 3 I pop the implement and make a 3/3 monkey and drop the druid. My opponent misses their third land drop (their second only came from a Renegade Map). They play Aethergeode Miner. I move one counter to the druid to brick the miner and drop Aeronaut Admiral. My opponent finds land 3 and drops Aetherstream Leopard. I move both counters to my admiral and drop Snare Thopter, swinging for 8 and bringing my opponent to 9. They play a Ghirapur Osprey. I draw Lifecrafter's Gift and swing with the team. My opponent blocks the Snare Thopter and Druid of the Cowl, but my Lifecrafter's Gift kills the two blockers, brings my opponent to 3 and leaves my team intact. I swing for the kill the next turn.
Game 2: My opponent mulls and I keep Countless Gears Renegade, Thriving Ibex, Greenbelt Rampager, Renegade Freighter, Exquisite Archangel, and 2 Plains. While not having a Forest for the Greenbelt Rampager worked, I felt this hand was going to be better than a random 6 on the draw--I had almost all white spells. My opponent plays Pacification Array while I draw Deadeye Harpooner and Plains. I play the Countless Gears Renegade and Renegade Freighter. Turn 4 I draw a Forest, so I drop the Greenbelt Rampager, and with the ability that will bounce him to my hand on the stack, I crew the Renegade Freighter, which prompts a Pacification Array activation from my opponent. I get in for 2 and drop the Deadeye Harpooner--while it doesn't hit anything, my opponent is stuck on 2 lands, so more creatures to get through the Pacification Array is best. My opponent hits land 3 and drops Ghirapur Osprey. I hit land 5, crew the Renegade Freighter and attack, along with Countless Gears Renegade. My opponent trades his flier for my ground 2/2. There are a number of reasons why I think the opponent shouldn't have done this. First, they were at 18 and while I had the better board position, they still had plenty of time to catch up, so a flier is better. More importantly though, I did not use the Greenbelt Rampager to crew like I did the turn before. That should have sent off alarm bells for my opponent. As a result, I dropped a 6/6 Lifecraft Cavalry. It's possible I could have played better by not playing my land until the next main phase as well. My opponent basically walked into the revolt for Lifecraft Cavalry or Airdrop Aeronauts, both of which are pretty back breaking. Regardless, my opponent scooped after their next draw.
Have you ever played an add-a-pack league and feel like the Magic deities blessed your choice when you added the pack? Yeah, that happened here:
Briefly, here is the pack value:
||$4.15 or $4.00 or 40 PP
||+40 PP - 40 PP + $0.16
An astounding pack! One card worth more than 1¢ and it was worth a whole 2¢! Of course, you couldn't even sell these cards for that much.
Green was already my strongest. Now it has Rishkar's Expertise, Lifecraft Awakening, Maulfist Revolutionary, Aetherstream Leopard, and Unbridled Growth. So, here is the full pool:
So, how would you build the deck? Would you stick with Green/White or go some other direction? Find out what I did next time!
I hope you enjoyed a look at a very solid green white pool! As always, I appreciate comments and suggestions!
xger21 on MTGO