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By: TugaChampion, Guilherme Carmona Alexandrino
Sep 23 2014 12:00pm
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With cube finally back we can all enjoy a format where almost anything is possible. I didn't look at the changes they made because it's not that relevant and this is simply a format to have fun and I'm not even using tickets because I have enough phantom points. I know it doesn't have power9 but other than that the changes usually involve putting a few cards of the latest set and changing a few similar cards around.

I choose to play swiss draft because it allows me to draft without using tickets. Going 2-1 gets your entry fee back (if you use phantom points) and it's very rare that I do worse than 2-1 since I started playing swiss. Going 3-0 more often than 1-2 (I don't think I've yet to 0-3) I actually managed to get almost 100 phantom points before the powered cube in which my win percentage drops significantly. Also when Wizards gave the option of playing a M15 pre-release with phantom points, I managed to play 2 which left me with way less phantom points, but still enough to play at least 1 without tickets. Now that the cube in non powered I expect to draft as much as I want/can without spending tickets. Let's see if I can do it:

   Pack 1 pick 1:

I think there are 3 possible picks here: Ajani, Vision and Vortex. Vortex is very strong in monored but usually I don't want to go that route, not because it's not strong but because it's not my favourite archetype and it usually doesn't support 2 players in the same draft very well, unlike most archetypes. I love Vision but this Ajani is one of my favourite planeswalkers, not only in cube but in general. In cube, if your deck can pay its mana cost, it takes an insane combo deck to not play it. It fits in aggro, midrange and control and it's good against almost everything. So that's what I took.


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  Pack 1 pick 2:

  

Here we have Elesh Norn, a good finisher/stabilizer in control and midrange and stoneforge in our colors. Stoneforge can be very good if we find a Batterskull or even any sword but it's a speculative pick. There's recurring nightmare, a very powerful card but red and white are not the best colors to go with it. And finally there are 4 blue cards. Misdirection is the most situational and I would be fine picking it if it came back but that's not what I want to take here. Preordain is probably the best cantrip in cube and it would be a fine pick but I opted for Force of Will because UWR is one of my favourite archetypes and it usually counters something important while you are tapped out. Dismiss is good but expensive and there are many other counterspells that cost 2 to 4 mana, while there's only one costing 0.

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  Pack 1 pick 3:

Dissipate is fine but it's not what I wanna take here. All 4 white cards are fine if I'm playing control, specially Journey and Absent but I took Glacial Fortress because it increased the chances I got one card back from the pack, since one of the 4 white cards is likely to wheel.


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  Pack 1 pick 4:

A weak pack. I was never a fan of Augur of Bolas in Standard and there you could build a deck to make it consistent. In cube it's very hard to have enough instants/sorceries to make it as consistent and you end up taking weaker cards because of it. Also in constructed you got to play 4 of these while in cube we can only have 1 and to me that is not enough to want to draft around it. None of the other blue cards are great either. Elemental Blast is good for the sideboard and Force Spike can be good or useless. I'm not a fan of Magma Jet, Celestial Flare and Daxos. Percursor Golem is also not what I really want here so I ended up taking Force Spike because it's the card I want to play maindeck the most.


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  Pack 1 pick 5:

Obviously I don't want another Force Spike effect so Daze is out of question. Negate is fine but I think Lightning Helix will do me more good. I have no idea how good Siren is, Avalanche Riders can be good but Helix is a better pick here. Mauler is better in a more aggressive deck


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  Pack 1 pick 6:

Between the white 2 drop and Baboons I prefer the 2 drop.


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  Pack 1 pick 8:

All 3 possible picks have their merits but again I opted for the 2 drop. If I end up more aggressive than I thought I would, Ajani would be good but at this point I only have one 2 drop so it could be hard to make it work out. Gargadon I prefer in a deck with Balance and other ways to abuse it.


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  Pack 1 pick 9:

As good as Vortex is in monored, it's not at its best in a RW deck, especially if it has more white than red. I think I am able to abuse Hokori more easily.


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  Pack 1 pick 10:

How recurring nightmare is still here I have no idea. Dismiss came back but at this point not much blue has come and I'm not sure if I'll end up in blue. I took Sulfur Falls because that helps me splash some blue cards if I need to.


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  Pack 1 pick 11:

Chandra and Char are certainly not unplayable and I actually prefer Chandra since the deck doesn't look like it will be super aggressive, although more than I thought in the first few picks.


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  Pack 2 pick 1:

A few cards I wouldn't mind to play but Monolith can push the deck into a new direction. It allows me to play some big mana cards and it can produce some broken starts.


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  Pack 2 pick 2:

Elspeth is easily the best card for me (and probably the best in the pack) and with Basalt it gets even better.


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  Pack 2 pick 3:

Lavamancer and Simulacrum would be nice but Relic is another Monolith so that's an easy pick. Now I can take a few more 5-7 mana cards knowing I have the tools to cast them early.


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  Pack 2 pick 4:

Well I'm not gonna say no to the third card of this type.


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  Pack 2 pick 5:

Both lands I have right now only fix my mana if I end up playing blue so I needed some fixing even though the Dragon is pretty good. Rugged Prairie is better in this deck because I have double red cards and double white cards.


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  Pack 2 pick 6:

Plateau would be nice but Flametongue is insane and I'm not gonna pass it.


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  Pack 2 pick 7:

I'm not sure I made the correct pick here. Another mana artifact would be nice and this one can be played on turn2 but I also wanted to have something to do with my mana so I ended up taking Entreat.


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  Pack 2 pick 9:

I'm heavier white than red so Dragonlord wouldn't be easy to level up and Cackler is not really what I want, neither is Hall. Conscripts can do some pretty cool things and I have the mana to cast it.


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  Pack 2 pick 10:

Purphoros would be great with Elspeth, but Elspeth is already very good on her own and the fixing felt more important.


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  Pack 3 pick 1:

I like Elpseth Tirel, I really like Baneslayer but Gideon Jura is very good against most decks. In general I think it will be better than Baneslayer while Baneslayer will be insane in some games but it will also trade for a 1-3 mana removal in other games.


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  Pack 3 pick 3:

Here's another "Baneslayer" but there's also Swords of Plowshares and I'm lacking removal.


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  Pack 3 pick 4:

I'm not sure about this pick either. Mauler is another 2 drop and it can lead to some fast damage but Myr Battlesphere has so much more potential. There's also Mind Stone which I would want if I had Battlesphere but since I don't, I don't want to have so many mana cards. I ended up taking Mauler but I would have taken Battlesphere if I had taken Chalice over Entreat.


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  Pack 3 pick 8:

This Chandra is pretty good and I don't have 1 drops to make Berserker good. Aurelia's Fury I don't really know how good it is but I think Chandra is way better.


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  Pack 3 pick 9:

There's not a single blue card I have that I wanna splash and I don't have Sacred Foundry or Plateau so I took Ral Zarek that I could maybe splash.


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This draft converter created by Benjamin Peebles-Mundy.
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Some cards don't show up on the draft converter so I had to add them manually and they don't look as good but at least it works.

Here's the deck:

On to the games:

M1G1:

 

He made a few mistakes like not exiling my Gideon at the first chance and not tapping with Wall in response to the Dragon's trigger. I actually think I was not favoured to win that game if he doesn't make those mistakes.

M1G2:

 

I overloaded him with planeswalkers and easily won. It could have been bad if he managed to exile all my planeswalkers with Merciless Eviction but Entreat made sure he had to use it as a Wrath.

M2G1:

 

I was screwed for a while but he wasn't very fast and I managed to play Elspeth in time thanks to Monolith.

M2G2:

Sadly the replay is bugged. On turn 5 or 6 he plays something that doesn't show up on the replay and after that it's bugged with cards that are cast, never showing up and eventually it says the game has ended. The game doesn't have much history anyway. I played a Chandra to kill his Plated Geopede. He had a Kargan Dragonlord and I had a 2/1 to block because he only had 2 red mana. He plays Searing Blaze but without a land drop so he's only able to get my Chandra from 5 to 2 and on my turn I kill Kargan with Flametongue. From there I use Chandra to gain card advantage and even get to Karmic Guide back Kavu!

M3G1:

 

Once again I was screw but managed to come back in time thanks to Monolith. I forgot that I couldn't kill Nighthawk by stealing Wargear and equipping something else so I should have played Hellkite instead. He also didn't kill my guy during combat so he basically conceded the game but at that point I had the win anyway.

M3G2:

 

He was screwed while I played powerful cards so it was an easy win.

3-0 going 2-0, 2-0, 2-0 is pretty good but I think my opponents' misplays helped that. I also got lucky with Monolith, having it on games that I was screwed. The draft didn't go as well as planned but in the end I was able to win so I'm happy. I hope you enjoyed this and I'll be making more of these during these 2 weeks of cube.