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By: walkerdog, Tyler Walker
Sep 08 2016 12:00pm
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I've been having much better results in EMN lately. I managed several 4-draft winning streaks in SOI within a few days of each other but I'd only recently started having that sort of success in EMN. Here is a draft that wasn't perfect, but that I felt that I navigated reasonably well, much better than my first posted article. I'm not sure about all of the picks though, and so I'd love to hear any differences you have as we go through this. 

   Pack 1 pick 1:


Okay, I think that the Clear choice is the Shot. There really isn't a card that is near it in this pack. The rest of the best cards almost all are related to green, so I'm fine taking the Shot.
  My Pick:


  Pack 1 pick 2:

Again we have a very clear pick. I think this card has a lot of playable cards, but Faith Unbroken is much better than any other card in the pack.

 My Pick:


  Pack 1 pick 3:

 

There are some solid-but-unexciting cards here - the best card is probably Alchemist's Greeting, followed by a roughly equally good cards in Extricator, Bloodbriar, Geist (only in the spells deck though, otherwise it's pretty bad), Unhallowed, and Haunter.

 My Pick:


  Pack 1 pick 4:

Here is a tough spot. We saw fine blue and red cards in the last pack and here we're seeing the "best blue common," Ingenious Skaab, and then not that we'd want to play. Desperate Sentry is still probably the 2nd or 3rd-best card in the pack, and plays well with GW, especially if we end up Emerging or with Delirium, so I'll stay with it.
  My Pick:


  Pack 1 pick 5:

We're seeing the other candidate for "Best blue common," Drag Under in another relatively boring pack. I'm still fine Geist for our deck - it's a defensive card but it also means I'll be trying to go down the Delirium path a little more. I wouldn't blame you for shifting to blue here (or in the previous couple packs) or grabbing the other white 2-drop. 

  My Pick:


  Pack 1 pick 6:

  

We're still seeing a solid blue card, but I'm fine with the white pickups I'm making. The Graf Harvest is also interesting, but not for me at this point.

My Pick:


  Pack 1 pick 7:

I hate this pack! It's very positive to see 2 white cards I want in my deck, but the Lurker is much better than either of them. We could consider a Bant deck, but we haven't seen a lot of cards to support that choice. I'd rather let it go and take the Slayer to pair with my Faith from earlier.
  My Pick:


  Pack 1 pick 8:

 

The Staff isn't as good as SOI's Censer, but it's still very playable. I could see the Consecrator, but I haven't had great experiences with it. 

 My Pick:


  Pack 1 pick 9:

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  Pack 1 pick 10:

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  Pack 1 pick 11:

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  Pack 1 pick 14:

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  Pack 2 pick 1:

Okay, this is certainly nice! We'll open a pretty large bomb that also rewards us for Delirium, cool. It'd be nice to get back the Paladin, but Clear Shot won't wheel.


  My Pick:


  Pack 2 pick 2:

I value Scarecrow pretty highly, and I think I might have overvalued it here, but I had an Ironclad Slayer already, and only 1 removal-aura to reuse so far, so I love the 4/4 for 4 with no mana constraints.

  My Pick:


  Pack 2 pick 3:

If I had more large monsters, I'd probably take Prey Upon, but Gnarlwood Dryad is a nice removal spell itself while beating down sometimes.


  My Pick:


  Pack 2 pick 4:

Kind of a dead pack.


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  Pack 2 pick 5:

I don't have enough Emergence so far, so I'm going Guardian in a more traditional aggro deck it appears.


  My Pick:


  Pack 2 pick 6:

Here we get a Slayer more where I want to pick him.

  My Pick:


  Pack 2 pick 7:

Fiend Binder is going to probably make our deck - we have ways to push him through, and he pushes thing through himself. 

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  Pack 2 pick 8:

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  Pack 2 pick 9:

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  Pack 2 pick 11:

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  Pack 3 pick 1:

 

For our deck, I like either the Inspector or the Censer. I figured the Censer is the card that some decks just won't be able to beat and went with it. Plus, we might get Avacynian Missionaries.

 My Pick:


  Pack 3 pick 2:

This isn't great for us, but maybe it's what we get for opening Ishy in pack 2. We'll take the flying finisher. 

 My Pick:


  Pack 3 pick 3:

Not. Great.

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  Pack 3 pick 4:

Not. Great. We're fine sticking a 4-drop flyer in our deck, but I'd like at least a couple of good cards for our deck from this pack!

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  Pack 3 pick 5:

I'm not really that happy at this point. It feels like either there just weren't good white cards in these packs or that at least 1 white drafter is eating them up. The Harvest Hand is not a card I love playing, but it's nice in some matchups as a speedbump or trade, then a way to make your guys a better threat.

  My Pick:


  Pack 3 pick 6:

I'm happy to get Inspector here. He'll fill out the curve.

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  Pack 3 pick 7:

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  Pack 3 pick 8:

 

I was torn between the Skinner and the Courier. Courier is probably the right pick, but I don't like the 2-drops that I have so far, while I'm content with my 3-drops.

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  Pack 3 pick 11:

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  Pack 3 pick 15:

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We're pretty happy with this build. As far as sideboarding goes, at various points I brought in Stoic Builder, Might Beyond Reason, Terrarion, and Spectral Reserves

In R1, we kept a slow hand, and by the time we played a 4-drop, our opponent tapped it and kept it tapped, then killed us 2 turns later. They were an aggressive UG deck with Kessig Prowler, Stitched Mangler and Quilled Wolf. We started off with Geist of the Lonely Vigil and missing our 3rd land. I played Obsessive Skinner and put a counter on the Skinner, and then since our opponent did nothing the next turn, I played Lunarch Mantle on the Skinner and beat down. They had Drag Under for my Skinner, and I drew a land, playing Sentry. They played a couple of two-drops, and I dropped our Angel. They had Ulvenwald Observer. I answered it with Faith Unbroken on my Angel, and attacked. They used Waxing Moon to flip an Ulvenwald Captive which was packing Ghostly Wings, and followed up with (Niblis of the Dusk). Thankfully they were played out of order. I used Clear Shot to get their Nibbler, and they had Lunar Force. We were facing down into a huge board stall, mostly because they couldn't answer my Angel and was down 11 life to 20 life, while I couldn't get Delirium, so I was stuck with a bunch of cards that got much scarier if I got Delirium.

At one point, I was able to push my 5/5 Angel past their 5/7 flyer using Inspiring Captain and Guardian of Pilgrims to pump it to 7/7 for the turn, dropping them to 4 life. This ended up being a key to the game. Now almost any unblocked creature could at least threaten 4 damage, even if it didn't have 4+ power in its base stats. They did get a Reckless Scholar going for a few turns, which was very scary for me. I was finally able to get a relevant card with Harvest Hand. Between it as an equipment, a Consecrator in play, and (Intrepid Provisioners) in my hand, I could threaten large Menacing humans soon. They got Lashweed Lurker to bounce my Angel and free up his 6/6. The 5/7 hit me down to 15. I attacked to flip my Hand, then played Angel and equipped Hand to a Human. Since my opponent was at 4 life, there was a small chance they would forget I could move Hand over to my Angel and attack for lethal. On their turn, they attacked with the team. I blocked to stay at 10 life with 3 creatures still, and they played 2 dudes then scooped.

In G3, I mulled a 2-land into a 1-land with Terrarion and kept it. Luckily I hit lands and curved out. My opponent had been playing very slowly in G2, and was at around 2 minutes of clock. By the time they timed out, they were at 7 life, facing my board of a 2/3 flyer, Ishkanah with its tokens, and a 2/2, against their Frostwalker, Ulvenwald Captive, and Exultant Cultist with 6 lands. 

In the finals, I kept Inspector, 3 plains, 1 forest, Geist of the Lonely Vigil, and Borrowed Grace. Not a great hand, but Inspector makes a lot of things better. I started off with my 1-drop, and cracked my clue. The opponent went plains, swamp, and Field Creeper on their 2nd turn. I offered them a trade of creatures, but it was declined. I played Extricator, and after thinking a moment, decided that setting myself back on lands was correct. I had plenty more in hand, and Borrowed Grace is better with the extra Inspector still in play instead of in my graveyard. Plus, it gives me a higher chance of Delirum, so I went that way. My opponent clogged up the ground a little with Desperate Sentry and Courageous Outrider who found an Ironclad Slayer. This is bad for me, as the opponent is already in a great position to win a long game, assuming we are evenly matched, and now they are getting a series of +1 card effects. They had a second Outrider, but only found a Thraben Standard Bearer this time, much less bad for me. I put a Lunarch Mantle onto a Fiend Binder. This let me attack, tap one of their Outriders and see if they wanted to teamblock, letting me almost wipe out their board with Clear Shot. They decided to take since he just had 1 mana open. 

They played a Dawn Gryff and attacked back with their 3/4s. I took down to 14, still ahead of their 11. I attacked. My opponent blocked with both 2 power creatures, and I used Clear Shot to wipe them out along with an Outrider, while keeping my 5/4 powerhouse. They were not able to recover and died two turns later.

I had a slow start game two. We both had two-drops, but I missed my fourth land while they curved out. I ended up having to play Clear Shot and Faith Unbroken at really awkward times on subpar creatures, and this ended up deciding the game, when my opponent got to use their own Faith Unbroken to take out my Faithful creature, and then they killed me quickly with their large creature.

In game three, I started off with Terrarion and we both played two-drops. I was able to play Skinner and Inspector, putting a counter on my 2/2 and attacking. They attacked back and had a Choking Restraints for my 3/3. I got to play Fiend Binder, but they did have Dead Weight. I was still lucky though, and had Inspiring Captain to push some damage through, then Lunarch Mantle. The opponent cast Succumb to Temptation - on a side note, they cast this in game one as well, and it seemed awful both times. This matchup was fairly tempo-oriented. I lost game two because I was a step behind in that game, and won game one by keeping them a step behind for several turns in a row as I pushed damage through. Anyway they played Faithbearer Paladin to potentially stay in the game. I had Lunarch Mantle to minimize the life it could gain, but I ripped Faith Unbroken, played it, went flying with Mantle, and killed them instead.

This draft was fairly close. Since then I've had a couple of almost-mono-white decks, and I've noticed that it's pretty viable. You get to be extremely consistent with beatdown, and have cards like Inspiring Captain, Borrowed Grace, and the powerful uncommons to help you close out games. What did you think of this draft? Any huge pick differences, and have you ended up in nearly-Mono-White?