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By: country hillbilly, Zach Whitten
Oct 26 2011 9:04am
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Drafting With a Hick - Innistrad Draft #1 

Hey everyone.  I hope you are enjoying the Innistrad release events, it is quite rare I wait as long as I did this time to participate in my first event.  I ended up playing my first Innistrad draft  on 10/22, with my last draft having been played 9/11.  5+ weeks... what a layoff for someone as addicted to limited as I have been.  

Yes, yes I am; but I can admit it!  I have had zero experience with Innistrad, and found myself reading all of the cards individually.  It is pretty alien feeling for me, as I try to take pride in having a real knowledge of whichever format I am playing.  If you are waiting to try Innistrad, or are having problems figuring the set out, let's work on this together over the next few weeks.  I plan to record every Innistrad draft I play in, while trying to learn the set and come up with a more balanced opinion of the format.  I am also taking the time to comment on the picks through the "raredraft" comment options, which had been requested in the past.  

Really, guys, I have said it before but I would like to get some good advice on which picks I missed.  I also have some questions for all you Innistrad vets out there:

  1. What are your favorite color combinations?
  2. What are some of the most under rated commons out there?
  3. Are there are any colors that tend to be completely avoided (like green in m12)?

Anyway, let's get to the action.  I only did one draft this week as I would like to focus on it.  What did I pick incorrectly?  How can I get better?  Sound off below!


Snapcaster Mage and Skaab Ruinator put me well on my way!

Snapcaster Mage and Skaab Ruinator put me well on my way!

Let's check out the vids, shall we:

Youtube Draft:


Round One: 

Round Two:


Round Three: 

I had a LOT of fun with this format.  I am looking forward to playing a second draft, so let me know what you guys think.  What colors should I try next?

Look forward to writing again soon!




It's still VERY early in the by TwoHands at Wed, 10/26/2011 - 12:46
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It's still VERY early in the format, but it seems like you missed a couple of key interactions/cards:

-p3p6, taking Devils over Corpse Lunge when you're firmly in UB "Dump Stuff Into Yard" is bizarre ... you're never starting the Devils, and even if you think you've reached critical mass of stuff that removes creatures, it's an unreal sideboard solution for you against otherwise-troublesome stuff like, oh, other gift Bloodline Keepers.

-Delver of Secrets isn't all that good ... a 'normal' deck running 17 lands/15 creatures will still only have a 20% chance of any given card off the top being an instant/sorcery (and a lot of UB decks will want to run more creatures since you're working them out of the yard so often (plus that doesn't take into account artifacts or the fact that some of the best UB non-creatures are enchantments, etc.). Delver is a brutally bad topdeck, and looks pretty mopey any turn other than turn 1 (the mana savings versus something like, say, Moon Heron with 8 lands lategame isn't all that sweet).

-Cellar Door is basically a 2cc, fragile Urza's Factory. No, seriously - most decks will have about a 40% chance of the bottom card being a creature (assuming 16), so you're investing about 7.5 mana on average for a 2/2. Now, the Factory was kind of sweet in slow U decks in TSP draft, but that's because it was a land that cheated a spell - this is a spell that has a legit shot to do nothing forever. You really need a VERY specific deck to want the Door over nearly any card with text or power/toughness. Especially where you mentioned it p1p5, Typhoid Rats is better than the Door in 99.995% of UB decks, and it's a better speculative pick even if you wind up UW.

-Door over Lunge p1p11 is borderline insane. Lunge isn't great, but in your deck, it's at its peak effectiveness because you're filling the yard, and in about half your matchups it does much more than Victim of Night.

-Stalker is a fine man, but he's definitely at his best with equipment - might be at his most marginal in a good UB deck (which yours was).

-Banshee is hard to activate - you made some good decisions to grab Morbid enablers, which feels like the key. Not sure I'd roll the equipment, but it looked VERY solid from what I've watched, so kudos. I feel like I learned a lot, haha.

In short - GREAT deck, very nice draft, and hopefully these small things make sense. Appreciate the vids!

Wow man - Thanks SO much! by country hillbilly at Wed, 10/26/2011 - 13:03
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Wow man -

Thanks SO much! This is exactly what I was looking for...

Is it bad I had to look up all of the cards you named (with a few exceptions :P )?

I appreciate the insight and I feel like I was just being a greedy turd when I started picking red cards... Just didn't feel right.

I will say I think cellar door is being rather underrated, but I don't know how much. I agree with your '%40' observation, as 4/10 times it will be milling one card for 3 mana (meh) so I think it will stay in the sb if I pick it again in the future.

I think I just MISSED Corspe Lunge (which is obviously no excuse). I thought it was the discard spell in hindsight, but I will keep my eye out for it in the future. I felt like I was missing more removal..

Stalker was pretty meh, hopefully I will get more equipment if I get him again..

Banshee is one of my fav cards after one draft. He is really ridic.

Thanks a mill for the comments man, I want to learn this format!



Every time Cellar Door comes by Phroggie at Wed, 10/26/2011 - 22:32
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Every time Cellar Door comes up, I have a serious think on it... but it's just too expensive to activate for my play style.

Banshee is nuts, even if your spending your own guy headlong into battle - there isn't much in ISD she can't kill even without comboing with other cards.

Ha - I totally agree that by TwoHands at Wed, 10/26/2011 - 14:31
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Ha - I totally agree that Cellar Door might just be underrated ... but that's because most would never consider it for their 40 ever, when it really might break slow control mirrors should that ever exist.

Totally understand on just "missing" Corpse Lunge - that makes perfect sense looking through the draft. That's kind of what's awesome about Innistrad too, in any other set the card would be borderline if not unplayable, but it can be basically Brimstone Volley in the right UB or GB deck.

Keep the drafts coming, man!

Picks by vis at Wed, 10/26/2011 - 16:26
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Good stuff, here are the picks I disagreed with:

P1P2 - Skaab Goliath is on the same power level as Bonds of Faith in my opinion, if not a little better. It keeps you on color (snapcaster is a fine card in limited and you'd like to play him) so I think it was the pick here.

P1P3 - Geistflame is really good. There is plenty of stuff it can kill and flashback cards are very good in blue decks because you will often mill yourself. Corpse Lunge is an okay choice here too, but is a bit conditional.

P1P6 - I think I continue to stay in blue with Claustrophobia, which is pretty close in power level to Victim of Night, if not better. I've been underwhelmed by Victim because man it sucks when it can't kill the creature you want it to. Geistcatcher's rig is also a strong consideration here and might actually be the pick.

P1P11 - Echo above poster. Corpse Lunge here.

P2P6 - Feral ridgewolf is pretty lousy. It's playable I guess but Altar's Reap is better IMO and in your colors. You passed a couple more Altar's Reaps throughout the draft, too. It's a fine card and at the very least is a good sideboard option against decks running bonds of faith, claustraphobia, etc.

P3P2 - I could be wrong and the Banshee is certainly defensible (although let's be real - it's not a skinrender) but Grasp might actually just be better. That card is insane.

Thanks vis! Loving the by country hillbilly at Wed, 10/26/2011 - 17:08
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Thanks vis!

Loving the reasoning, and it's funny I had a similar convo with a buddy before I posted this asking him the same questions I am asking you guys (what did I pick wrong? how can i improve, etc).

So dunkle stille (who just qual'd for PT - grats bro! <3) was telling me very similar things, especially in regards to p1p2, p1p3, and p1p6.

He was arguing for another one of the 1/4 turtle dudes (the mill 4 guys) over the bonds, but I like the goliath too... would give me more end game reach.

Geistflame seems really good, and I actually mentioned as much. Needless to say I picked the wrong card here for SURE, no arguments.

p1p6 he said the exact same, claust over victim. I truly believe if I didn't lead with a p1p1 snappy I would have gone claust, and I hope to in the future (I will draft a lot more UB, bet on that!)

p1p11 - agr33++

p2p6 - I will try alter's reap.... Also sets off the 'Skinrender' :P

p3p2 - I would have that things' babies. Loving it and will pick it again and again (4/4 is no slouch for 5 mana, that ability is bonkers insane)

Thanks so much for your comments, they are much appreciated and I will retain the info!


I think you severely by Calavera at Wed, 10/26/2011 - 17:54
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I think you severely undervalue Shimmering Grotto :) I love splashing!

Yea I have this built in by country hillbilly at Thu, 10/27/2011 - 00:12
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Yea I have this built in guilt if I go 3c if I feel like I can get a solid 23 in 2c. It would take something on the level of a fireball or a few good flash back effects, like the reanimated sorcery.

I've been surprising myself by Phroggie at Thu, 10/27/2011 - 00:00
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I've been surprising myself with ISD drafts... out of 6 Swiss drafts I've averaged 2 packs won - even when I thought my picks weren't that strong.

I'm finding almost no one plays fast and early aggro - so I've mostly focused on the quick low-cost game, and getting that consistent (2 out of 3 drafts playing black I managed to get 2 Diregraf Ghoul's in 2 of those games). Every colour has great 1st turn plays, Blue = Delver, Black = Diregraf, Red = Waif ...

So far green looks like the weakest colour, it doesn't have many big drops, nothing fast. It's hard to draft enough Warewolves to make a cohesive deck of them (and just as I wrote this, someone beat me with a red/green Warewolf deck - won due to overpowering and quantity of Ware's with little facilitating cards), Humans don't seem to hold up as well as constructed - especially the green/white type.

Blue/Black seems to be the strongest, my best drafted deck so far was Zombies. Black's removal isn't as silly as other formats, but Dead Weight, Victim of the Night (haven't played against a deck where I couldn't use it for someone yet) and even Corpse Lunge are all solid ... but the super-awesomeness comes from Unburial Rites, if you've got Skaabs then you can cast them from the grave without paying the cost - that Goliath has won me several games (and in 1 game, got him into play 3 times!).

Funny you say that, I wasn't by country hillbilly at Thu, 10/27/2011 - 00:15
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Funny you say that, I wasn't attracted to green at all, and it looked like decent cards were going late.

I have a propensity to pick blue so I hope to try out white blue humans.

Thanks for the comments and grats on the 2per average :). Most 4322 guys would love to avg that!


Green can look attractive, by Phroggie at Thu, 10/27/2011 - 19:40
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Green can look attractive, but I don't think it has what it takes in the commons/uncommons ... you'll be mulching and travelling your way to get that early 6-8 land, while you've been dropped to 12 life by a diregraf ghoul (god I love those guys!), you finally cast a warewolf who is inneffective until you forgo a turn of casting, or a big monster drop, both of which die quite easily. The graveyard wurm comes out early and dies just as quickly because he's still only a 2/2 ... there's good stuff in green but unless you get a the awesome rare drops it's only good for a splash sometimes in limited.

And yes - 2 average, very happy with it! I only play Swiss, never got past a first round of 4-3-2-2

I think Humans are very cool, but without the right cards the G/W Humans seem the weakest to me. W and any other colour Humans are really cool... it's a meta rather than main game plan, but things like the Cannibals, Skirsdag's, Rage Thrower guy - so many are Humans but not intuitively so. I played W/B Humans which I really liked but they didn't have any late game bombs, the next draft I played against a very similar deck and he had the same problem I did - awesome early-mid game but no big win conditions.

Good job! It seems like by PiDave at Fri, 10/28/2011 - 05:47
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Good job! It seems like Bloodline Keeper is an amazing bomb, winning you at least 4 games. Gotta open one too! :D