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By: walkerdog, Tyler Walker
Oct 13 2016 11:00am
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 I avoided the paper Kaladesh pre-release. We had company, and I had only partly been paying attention to the spoilers - just enough to know that I didn't want to bother learning energy and vehicles at midnight. I also was a little concerned that it would be awful trying to track the energy, so I passed pretty hard. 

The thing that got me interested was listening to well-known habit-enablers Marshall Sutcliffe and Luis Scott-Vargas (the 3rd-best Cheon as I see it) do their set review. For those of you who don't listen to podcasts, Marshall has done the Limited Resources podcast for years, going back to teaming up with ex-Puremtgo'r and current Wizards of the Coast employee Ryan Spain. Marshall has had a few co-hosts over the years, but LSV has been, if not the best, then tied for whoever you liked more. Much like in the broadcast booth, Marshall has been much better with LSV than without him - Luis has the right level of authority and skill to head off some of Marshall's occasionally wrong-headed lines of though, but Marshall also is less of a dreamer than Luis, and will generally be more realistic on a lot of cards. It's a good mixture. 

After their rare and common/uncommon episode, I was ready for some drafts. And, after playing it a time or two, I must say that the MTGO team has done a great job of introducing new hotkeys, managing energy, and implementing vehicles. This is the most impressive thing I've seen them do in a while. Let's take a look at one of my first drafts. I did have a little bit of lag going on in late pack 2, so a few picks there might have been ugly.

  Pack 1 pick 1: 


  My Pick:

The best cards in this pack are probably Revoke Privilege and the Cub. I'm going with the 2/2. The removal is probably the better choice, but Cub, man he's so sweet. This is one of my favorite cards in the set. The Genius is the only other notable for me. He is a nice little dude, but I'd rather have the right deck for him partly drafted, while the Cub can combo with all sorts of other cards, and just with himself. 

  Pack 1 pick 2:

Animation Module seems neat! Let's give it a go. If I slightly more practical, I'd take Die Young, fine removal. I think Sky Skiff is fine too if you want to stay open. On the other hand, Module stays open too - you just need cards with +1/+1 counters!

 My Pick: 



  Pack 1 pick 3:

Wow! This pack lets us do a lot of things if we want to. My first instinct is to grab the silly 1/4 lifelink Kingpin. What a deal for two mana! However, I'm not really that excited when we have our choice of Thieving Rats and the Iron League horse, which can both interact in pleasant ways with the cards we have. I'm going full combo-wombo and snapping up Rats. 
  My Pick:


  Pack 1 pick 4:

This pick is simple and easy - we'd love to grab Rats or Designs, but Hunt the Weak is very good removal, and it even has synergy with our first few picks.

  My Pick:


  Pack 1 pick 5:

I think the right pick here is Prophetic Prism, but I'm buzzing to try out the insect that can grow like crazy. 
  My Pick:


  Pack 1 pick 6:

I've played against the Skywhale a couple of times. Each time I was impressed, and I just realized why - I though a 4/3 flyer MUST cost 5, or maybe it was 6 with some sort of cost reduction? Nope! It just costs 4, which is fair because it is basically a huge dragon but hey, it cannot block creatures without flying! This will hopefully be a nice consolation while it is crushing your face across the board. If we keep seeing amazing Blue cards, there might be a color change in our future. Had we grabbed the UB 1/4 and the Die Young in pack two, we might be throwing the Green cards away.

 My Pick:


  Pack 1 pick 7:



*Finds the cards with +1/+1 counters involved and clicks*

  My Pick:


  Pack 1 pick 8:

Okay, so that was a late Whale 2 picks back, but this is a very late 2/3 and we're delighted about 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 12:

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  Pack 1 pick 13:

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  Pack 1 pick 14:

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  Pack 1 pick 15:

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  Pack 2 pick 1:

I'm grabbing the Outrider, but it might not be correct. The Barge is a crazy card, both providing a big body and a cantrip, but the Outrider is great too, and it's where I go.


  My Pick:


  Pack 2 pick 2:

Brawler is a crazy card, but Die Young works with the energy we already "have" and is removal. Got'em. This pack has a few nice cards across the colors - the Sentry is a fine tapper, the Thriving Grubs are fine, Fragmentize is solid, albeit not exciting removal.
  My Pick:


  Pack 2 pick 3:

I'll grab another fine 2-drop.


  My Pick:


  Pack 2 pick 4:

Wildest Dream is the best card in the pack by a lot, and I probably should grab it. It wants you to curve out to 5 or 7 mana, have a stocked graveyard, and then rebuy 2-3+ cards and crush your opponent. I decide against it though because I feel like I'm pretty aggressive, and this isn't a very aggressive card.


  My Pick:


  Pack 2 pick 5:

I don't like the Construct very much because I always am very happy when my opponent plays it. I might be underestimating it.


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  Pack 2 pick 6:

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  Pack 2 pick 7:

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  Pack 2 pick 8:

This was a pack that MTGO autopicked for me, but I didn't miss much.


  My Pick:


  Pack 2 pick 9:

  

Again, I was autopicked, but I don't really miss anything either I guess.

My Pick:


  Pack 2 pick 16:

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Interesting view of this draft MTGO.


  Pack 2 pick 10:

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  Pack 2 pick 11:

I don't mind the 3/2 here - it'll enhance our previous Dhund Operatives if we need it, and any other "gets better with artifacts" items.

  My Pick:


  Pack 2 pick 12:

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  Pack 2 pick 13:

Okay wait a minute - I didn't grab this earlier because there was a really solid card for us, however, this is a combo with our Animation Module! Plus, if we're playing our 2-drops on later turns, this upgrades them a lot.

  My Pick:


  Pack 2 pick 14:

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  Pack 2 pick 15:

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  Pack 3 pick 1:

  

Welcome to the Cub! The other two good cards are Revoke Privileges and the Hellion OH YEA AND THE INSANE Artistry.

My Pick:


  Pack 3 pick 2:

  Man, this is rough - two great gold cards, but not in our colors. We get our pick of Renegade Freighter, Thriving Rats, Lawless Broker, and possibly the Dragster I suppose.  The card I like the most is the Freighter. It can end the game in a couple of turns, and we have a million creatures to turn it on. 

 My Pick:


  Pack 3 pick 3:

I think this is right - Cultivator is an absolute beating, and might be the Overrun-style finisher we need. It appears to be the best card in the pack. It's a pain that we have to pass two great Green 4-drops, but we're grateful to open a great card.


  My Pick:


  Pack 3 pick 4:

 

I'm torn - the Freighter is hilarious and great, however, it's possible that I should just be grabbing the Operative here. I think the idea that we have enough creatures and the Freighter helps us with "cares about artifact" things is the right one. 
  My Pick:


  Pack 3 pick 5:

 

I'm happy to grab another way to grow our small beaters while clearing out blockers.

 My Pick:


  Pack 3 pick 6:

This is exciting! The Edgecrafters can go wide or go big, with evasion! It's possible that I shouldn't be playing a 6-drop once the deck is built, but we shall see.


  My Pick:


  Pack 3 pick 7:

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  Pack 3 pick 8:

I really am tempted to playing almost all 2-drops and this, and see if I can get there, but I don't think I have enough interactive cards to make it work.


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  Pack 3 pick 9:

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  Pack 3 pick 10:

 

Wow, the Kingpin wheeled! Luckly, so did the Rats.


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  Pack 3 pick 11:

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  Pack 3 pick 13:

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  Pack 3 pick 14:

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  Pack 3 pick 15:

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How to build this? I believe I went this way, although MTGO isn't saving the decks:

GB Energy Aggro
- 40 Cards Total
Creature
2 Thriving Rats
2 Longtusk Cub
1 Fretwork Colony
1 Ambitious Aetherborn
1 Kujar Seedsculptor
2 Peema Outrider
3 Dhund Operative
1 Cultivator of Blades
1 Highspire Artisan
1 Elegant Edgecrafters
14 cards

Sorcery
2 Hunt the Weak
1 Die Young
3 cards

Artifact
1 Animation Module
1 cards

Enchantment
1 Durable Handicraft
1 cards

Vehicle
1 Sky Skiff
1 Renegade Freighter
2 cards

Land
9 Forest
8 Swamp
17 cards

Instant
1 Make Obsolete
 

 

I made a few mistakes. I should have cut Sky Skiff. We have plenty of 2-drops. I also should have had Midnight Oil in the deck, probably over either Skiff or a Freighter. 

In round one, I played against Green-Red. I lost to mana-screw both games, although this was made worse by my opponent's Demolish in game one and Creeping Corrosion in the second game. I'm not sure RG land destruction is viable in this format, but when you have a turn two Voltaic Brawler each time to back up with land destruction, it's apparently fine. This was very frustrating, but hey, it's MTG. Except... in between those two losses I had a game with both Animation Module and Durable Handicraft active, and it was everything I wanted and more. Each time I played a creature after that, I would give it a +1/+1 counter, then make a 1/1 token, put a counter on it, make a token, put a counter on it, for 1 mana for each thing. If I didn't have a creature to play, I'd put a counter on a dude that had a counter and then go off. It was awesome and silly and at one point I got to pay two energy to the Cub to start that turn's combo. 

In the second round, my opponent was Green-Red as well. There wasn't much to say in this round either. In game one, I went Rats into Kujar Seedsculptor, with Hunt the Weak on my Seedsculptor to eat his Foundry Inspector. He played Ghirapur Orrery. It seemed awful, since I vomited out my hand and drew three, then killed him. Game two - I dropped a Rats into Renegade Freighter x 2 and a Monitor to turn on the second one, and killed him in two turns. 

In the third round, I was matched up with BW. I traded away Rats for his Trusty Companion. He played Underhanded Design and Cogworker's Puzzleknot, but was stuck on three lands, while I curved out my Outrider into AEtherborn, and then Elegant Edgecrafters. He killed my Outrider with Design, then died fairly quickly.

In game two, I curved Durable into Rats+counter, Seedsculptor+Counter. He had Trusty Companion into Foundry Screecher, then Iron League Steed. I flooded out, cycling through a sided in Metalspinner's Puzzleknot into two more lands, while he had Ovalchase Daredevil to finish me off.

In game three, I led with Cubs. It faced his Underhanded Design. I had two Thriving Rats, but he had Master Trinketeer and Cogworker's Puzzleknot. He used Design to kill my Cubs and traded his Trinketeer for a Rats, leaving him with a token and me with one 2/3 Rats. I was stuck on 3 mana, but played Freighter. He had Weaponcraft Enthusiast and then cracked his Puzzleknot, giving him four total 1/1s on the board. I threw my Freighter at him, and he traded all of his 1/1s for it. Next I played Fretwork Colony. He had Wispweaver Angel to blink his 0/1 and make 2 more 1/1s. I drew and played Seedsculptor, growing my Rats, and attacking as a 4/5. He chumped with a token. He played Iron League Steed and made a token, then sent the Angel and the Steed, which I took. Finally he used Fortuitous Find to get back the Enthusiast and the Puzzleknot. I got a land and used Hunt the Weak to kill his Angel with my Rats, and hit him with the Colony. He chumped again. I had Peema Outrider and made a token. I kept hitting with the Colony and he kept chumping. He then passed with no action. I sent with my Rats, Outrider, and Colony. He used Make Obsolete to shrink my team and traded 2 tokens for my Outrider instead of taking down to 3 life and keeping the two tokens to have 3 in play still, versus just my 1/2 Seedsculptor.

I don't know if he had any of the anthem pump spells in his deck, but if he did, I think taking and keeping 3 total tokens alive to pump for the win was the right move. Luckily he drew and played a land and died.

I was fairly happy with the deck, but I think I misbuilt it and misdrafted a little too much due to enjoying some of the cards too much. I hope you enjoyed the draft, and I'd love to hear of any different directions you would have gone in.