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By: country hillbilly, Zach Whitten
Nov 11 2011 2:46am
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 Drafting With a Hick - Innistrad Drafts Four Through Six

Where to start, guys?  I am not really sure how to present this to you, so I am pretty sure I should give you a small warning and jump right in to my horrible drafting....  I feel as though I regressed some, after learning the cards more.  If that sounds strange to you, imagine how I felt!  You can see some of my frustration in these first two drafts, from my tone to some of the things I type in client.  

Before we begin, I wanted to say, MODERN WARFARE 3 IS TEH WINZZZZZZ

I have made mention in the past that my 6 year old son is really into these games (I know, father of the year, etc.) but we both attended the midnight release and could not WAIT to get home and check it out.  We are both realllly into this genre (and this IP, specifically) so expect many more easter egg videos like this one, that is simply my 6 year old son hardsc0ping some n00bZ:


So, yea, much more MW3 to come in the next few months, but I will try to make sure the clips are only epic (we are limited to 30 second videos from in-client anyway)


Does that bring back memories?  For me it does ;*(  Anyway, this week I did four drafts, actually.  My fall from grace has been epic quick in regards to ISD drafting.  I started with a limited rating of 1861, and was under 1800 by the end of draft #6 (#5 for my numerical system - will explain in a moment).

I also want to mention two quick things, before I post raredraft stuffz.

  1. I want to mention that I hear the criticism loud and clear in regards to my super annoying mouse antics.  I will make a renewed effort to lay off my mouse until I need to move it.  It HAS to be my ADHD.  Next week my videos should show a marked improvement..
  2. I am not willing to post pick commentary in raredraft when I do this many drafts....  I will when it is one or two drafts, but the time put in seems unbalanced with 3-4 raredrafts in one article.  Feel free to question the picks in the comments below...  I still need to learn, obviously.

The first draft I did I have the rare draft for, but my camtasia recording was off the rocker.  I went 1-2 and pretty much performed as awful as possible, but you will see that is a trend here, until the last draft.

RareDraft #1 

Apologies - the RareDraft site is down - I will link on my comments

What an embarrassment.  This draft was a trainwreck for p1p1, why did I take endless ranks?  Was I drinking?  Whatever... sometimes things just fail.  Into the Maw or Geistflame both seem way better....  Feel free to flame me below!

RareDraft for Innistrad Draft 4

Apologies - the RareDraft site is down - I will link on my comments

YouTube Draft:

YouTube Round One:

 YouTube Round Two:

YouTube Round Three:

Why is this happening?  That is two 1-2 swiss drafts in a row.  I like to think of myself as a pretty decent limited player, but the misplay, misqueues, and mispicks really caught up with me here.  Let's try another and try to brush this one off....


RareDraft for Innistrad Draft 5

Apologies - the RareDraft site is down - I will link on my comments

YouTube Draft:

YouTube Round One:

 YouTube Round Two:

YouTube Round Three:

Ok, this settles it.  I am a bad player!  This is the first time I have EVER 1-2'd three Swiss drafts in a row.  I was definitely done for the evening.  I skulked off to bed with a super sour taste in my mouth, and did just enough noise-making to catch the ire of my wife, who was asleep...


Let's try one more, and see if we can apply any of the 'lessons' I have learned so far in these Innistrad drafts.  I have no idea what was going so wrong, but I made up my mind to try a (any?) proven archetype, and none of this rogue 'let's see if it works' bs.  My ego was much too fragile as this point in the game.  Can we follow with another 1-2? 


RareDraft for Innistrad Draft 6

Apologies - the RareDraft site is down - I will link on my comments

YouTube Draft:

YouTube Round One:

 YouTube Round Two:

YouTube Round Three:

Well, that was strangely satisfying and bittersweet.  I was unsure of what I did differently in this draft, aside from sticking with GW and drafting some solid playables and enough removal.  I would love some thoughts below on my picks, which I readily admit were bad, and what I should have done.  Give me a saga queue and I feel as though I know it.  Innistrad is still a puzzle to me :/  The good news is that win propelled me back over 1800, so I have an active barometer to check my progress and make sure I am moving forward, aside from wins and losses.

I look forward to next article, guys.  I hope you are too!  

/me pledges less land-zooming-disco!!




Draft #3 by TwoHands at Fri, 11/11/2011 - 16:02
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Only had a chance to watch Draft #3 so far, here are some notes on that one:

Pack 1:
P2 - Moan has gone way up in my estimation ... especially if you want to play your first pick, black is WAY better than white (what white instants do you want to replay?), too. Worth considering.
P3 - Since you have the Fiend Hunter in your pile and the pack is pretty blank, it seems way better to take Travel Preparations to stay "open" to one of the best archetypes - Bell Ringer will suck in almost any R/W deck.
P4 - Vengeance tables a LOT, and Geist is that good ... I think you have to take Geist here. Also Vengeance kind of sucks with Charmbreaker Devils, they work at opposite goals. (also, you say "I can shape the draft around BV" then never take the flashback card, even late!)
P5 - Sentry is best if we're still in white, and pairs well with red (because you trade so much).
P8 -

Step 1: Take Vengeance.
Step 2: Take Traitorous Blood over Bump.
Step 3: ???
Step 4: Do not profit.

P11 - I looooove Weevil here - he's actually a sick morbid enabler, should you wind up with a Banshee or Reaper in your pile. Would have been a good speculative pick.

Pack 2:
P1 - Interloper > Heir in every vampire deck - and Heir is likely to table here.
P6 - This is the deck for the Demonmail!

Awesome article though man, thanks for getting a TON of awesome vids out, and for not cherry-picking the good ones. You're the king.

TwoHands you are a stud, as by country hillbilly at Sat, 11/12/2011 - 22:31
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TwoHands you are a stud, as always. Thanks for the well thought out response - I was REALLY considering grabbing the Travel Preps, funny you say that :)

One of these days I will get ballsy enough to make a burning vengeance deck... I'm just not there yet.

The first draft I recorded this week was stellar man, RB vamps and each of my three rounds I played against guys with WAY bigger/better bombs, but I grinded into a 3-0 (2-1,2-1,2-1)

Thanks as always bro, I shall consider the BV route!


Well you probably did plenty by A_New_Hope at Sat, 11/12/2011 - 07:53
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Well you probably did plenty wrong but mostly it's just that this is one of the worst limited formats for getting an edge with skill.

At first glance the format looks really skill based with all of the interactions and synergy being more important than individual card power. Well it turns out that all that synergy winds up creating a lot of high power and high variance.

I recently drafted a deck with 3 invisible stalkers and 3 butcher's cleavers, the nuts right? (wasn't bad otherwise either), yet went 1-2. Why? I only drew one of each in 2 games the whole draft. If I had drawn them 6 times I probably would have won the draft. There are a number of fairly high power cards that are insanely disrupted by other cards in the format. Like stitched drake or makeshift mauler or skaab goliath, the flashback unsummon just wrecks these cards, but without some way to stop them can easily run you over very quickly. Draw your enablers and not your enabled cards and you often just lose and vice versa.

The transformers are also super annoying at increasing shuffler variance. If you draw a bad curve and they land reckless waif, another dude and follow up with brimstone volley its just game over much more than a bad curve drawn in other limited formats. There is also the butcher's cleaver and I've found spectral flight to be insane when they dont have an answer for it since it tuns anything into a hasted dragon.

It's a fun format, people will think theyre great deckbuilders with all the synergy theyre using but in the end the format is awful awful awful if you want to do well consistently. Bad players will ranch you all day long.

Wow, great analysis. I can by country hillbilly at Sat, 11/12/2011 - 22:36
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Wow, great analysis. I can take a crap pile of commons in most formats and get by on simply knowing the format. I swear it feel as though every time I play an ISD draft I get ok to mediocre cards, build with synergy, and immediately face a guy rocking 3 colors with 22 bombs....

What do you think about blue in the format? I have been wondering how many people the color can usually support, as the times I play blue it is either me with a fistful of bombs, or we are all fighting for table scraps as there are 5+ blue drafters...

Thanks for the comment A_New_Hope, much appreciated!


blue is very good obviously, by A_New_Hope at Sun, 11/13/2011 - 01:05
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blue is very good obviously, and by far the deepest color, but I rarely see it open, there you just have to read signals. Personally I think I'm just going to wait out the som 4322 ques for now. I never thought it was the best limited format but relative to this one its chess.

I waited on line at midnight by Alternate at Sat, 11/12/2011 - 21:41
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I waited on line at midnight also, and after an hour and a half of waiting, finally got home and played the hell out of MW3 which is INSANE. But no offense, you would need to get on my level bud. 3.0 K/D and the ACG is the greatest gun ever made. Makes the FAMAS look like a Pea Shooter.

You should have ran a Kindercatch (Don't know why people don't). It's a Spirit and also should have run some Forbidden Alchemy. If you can get that Spirit in your graveyard early all your creatures get a very fast +1/+1.

And most people don't know this, but the first commenter used a quote from the South Park Underwear Gnomes.

But this shows exactly why nobody should ever play Black in ISD Limited. I don't care when my first pick is Olivia, I always try to get into W/G, W/U, or W/U/Garruk.

Hey Alternate, no offense by country hillbilly at Sat, 11/12/2011 - 22:40
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Hey Alternate, no offense taken as that was my 6 year old son playing, not me :S Hit me up anytime for some games, I am no scrub (no, I'm not rocking 70-9 games in dom, but I am a pretty fine player when wearing headphones).

(btw for anyone interested - my xbox 360 gamertag is bigdogarita - ignore the KDR etc as my son plays about 75% of the time :x)

I appreciate the input, is black really that bad? I tend to rip the 3/3 vamp token maker dude a lot, and almost always go to heavy black when I do. What about the removal?

re: Kindercatch, I will give it a shot. Vanilla 6/6 for 6 is nice, but GGG always seems so rough for a vanilla crit...

Thanks for the comments and hit me up on Live,


Every... Single... Time I by Alternate at Sun, 11/13/2011 - 00:40
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Every... Single... Time I have played Black I have lost. Black is so hit and miss, and the best creatures you can get on a regular basis are uncommon and the best creatures are rare. The commons are so weak it's sad.

I only play on PS3, but I was just joking around, although MW3 is a great game.

And I am so damn angry. I stayed home tonight to watch Velasquez vs Dos Santos, there was 30 minutes leading up to the match, and what happens?

Dos Santos wins in 0.55 seconds. You know what? I don't know what is worse. Ruining my Saturday night for a .55 second fight, or the MTGO shuffler?

And I have never played Kindercatch, but it seems like a solid card. I mean only 6 mana, hard to kill unless you want to use Smite the Monstrous, or waste a Rebuke on it. I think on my list of commons, and everyone has a list, for green it reaches the top 5 behind Gnaw to the Bone which people forget in limited can win games on it's own.

And I'm not lucky like you. I rarely, if ever, have picked up a Bloodline Keeper. I guess when we are issued packs, you get my Bloodline Keepers and I get your Parallel Lives or other $0.05 rares.

I would rather open a pack with any non-black rare than open one with a black rare. The removal is situational at best, and the creatures are weaker than any other color. I mean White has Rebuke and Bonds of Faith, But also what makes black so poor (In a set about horror btw), is the amount of double mana cards. I like single mana cards because you get mana screwed 99.9931% of the time, and I like the flexibility of a single mana card than a double cost card.

Although I see black being really strong in the next set. There are a lot of Zombie Enablers in this set with a lack of black zombies, so I would expect the next set to have another black Planeswalker (Sorin) and a lot of STD playable Zombies with White becoming weaker with some extra humans.
Oh and they have to add a Jace. If they don't there will be a lot of crying by the people who need counterspells and Jace to make a deck.

ANTI U TUBE by BOBBAKAKE at Sun, 11/13/2011 - 02:07
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ANTI U TUBE by BOBBAKAKE at Sun, 11/13/2011 - 02:07
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Agreed about ISD by grapplingfarang at Sun, 11/13/2011 - 04:19
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Agreed with what has been said about Innistrad, the format is so luck based it is almost pointless to breakdown. Everytime I lose I feel like the other guy got lucky, and every time I win I feel like I had an amazing draw. It seems like the most important thing is to make sure your deck curves well, but beyond that just hope your draw comes in a good order and that you have the right opponent for your removal.