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By: walkerdog, Tyler Walker
Oct 07 2011 1:04am
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I've continued to gain ratings and stay "infinite" (which is a deceiving phrase in MTGO or any form of gambling since you typically do bust out at some point) the last couple of weeks.  I've broken 1800 in limited for the first time which doesn't mean much but is a cool thing (for me at least) and steadily ripped Mythics (I'm so skilled!).  School has started which leaves me less time for MTGO and for "events" but I've managed to keep playing a little.  I've been blown away by how much better the dollar-value is in NMS.  It looks like it may improve too; as Innistrad rotates in, we will see a glut of Inny hit the streets and NMS will probably dry up somewhat.  I would not be surprised to see a 10-15% price increase on average for NMS post-rotation.  People will continue to draft the set due to this value, but even when ZZW had crazy value due to Jace being over 100 tickets, it still wasn't heavily drafted because people want to play and draft the most recent set!

So, come for the value, stay for the fun.

This deck happened a few days ago, but it is my all-time favorite in this format (despite the huge Shaman mispick).  Round one was Phyrexian Rebirth.dec.  I lost to Rebirth in game one and realized my deck was actually a fast-but-grinding control deck, not an aggro deck ever.  I played game two a little slower and made Rebirth look awful when it was a 3/3 and an even trade of cards, then awful when Skinrender into Remember the Fallen into Skinrender into Morbid Plunder into Skinrender ruined his will to play even with Chancellor of the Tangle.  Game three was a risky keep for him; two lands on the play.  This led me to smash him around turn six or seven after he only drew a couple of lands.

Round two's deck had some nutty stuff too: Thopter Assembly, lots of removal, evasive beaters and Corrupted Conscience.  Luckily my guys aren't that scary individually, so when he played Corrupted Conscience on one of my 3/3s, Skinrender took care of it.  My crazy removal and ability to replay my guys over and over ground him down.  Both games were very easy.

Round three explained why the White didn't exactly flow during the draft: a second Phyrexian Rebirth blew me out in game one.  I tried to out-race it, but he had removal for my last blocker the turn before I could counterattack for lethal.  With knowledge of his Rebirth, I got Volition Rein'd but it didn't do much.  Once again, I 187'd my guy one his team and mauled him.  Game three was easy too; once I knew what bombs I needed to play around he couldn't do much.

Honestly, this deck felt amazing.  I beat two mind control variants, two insane Wrath of God variants, a fat creatures.dec in round one and Thopter Assembly.  That normally seems insane to have to fight, but it was so easy this time.  I guess you just run good sometimes!

This one was last night.  The build was tough, and I ended up with one Geyser and one Soliton in the maindeck when I wanted two each.  There's not much to say about the rounds.  The power of my cards quickly overwhelmed people.  The only tight spot was round one (which is why I have come to value Swiss above 4-3-2-2s, the extra pack aside) when I died to an alpha strike + Artillerize.

Let me just say, a few days later, I just had a draft with Phyrexian Obliterator, Mental Mistep, Go for the Throat, and Darksteel Colossus.  I lost all three rounds and didn't really care that I had lost them b/c I paid for the draft once again!   I want to lastly discuss the current meta-game.  When NMS was a fresh format, I saw a lot of 2-color decks with occasionally third-color splashes.  This led to some trainwrecks when people would end up in decks such as UW Poison or Black Green Metalcraft which are not insanely powerful to begin with and end up playing suboptimal cards, but it also led to some crazy decks like Bur Poison being drafted uncontested in some drafts!

Then the format got slower as everyone just grabbed the best card in three colors.  Many decks ended up three-colors and slow but powerful.  The 2-color decks got hammered pretty good by people who were willing to splash the best cards from their deck and their unwillingness to shift back.  I have been really rewarded the last few drafts by putting together aggressive decks: Red or White-based cards with Black removal or Green fat on the top end that quickly overwhelms opponents.

The keys to these decks are your curve: try for a ton of cheap duders, pass the fat good cards like  
Lumengrid Gargoyle for more aggressive duders such as 2/2 flyers for two.  You might do this already, but it becomes much more important.  The support for this deck is found especially in Morbid Plunder and Remember the Fallen along with fine men like Skinrender (who is awesome anyway, but becomes a top-of-the-curve beast in this type of deck). 

Obviously if the get the UR deck I drafted, you'll be in pretty good shape!  The power-level of that deck was high, but so was the whole draft.  On the other hand, you might get a draft like this final one I'll post for today:  the deck was pretty weak and I still won with ease, losing only 1 game to a terrible (drunken?) misplay.

My deck did have a ton of 1-for-1 removal, but it really relied on playing 16 lands and out-racing people.  Round one had a key misplay.  My opponent is facing lethal damage.  I'm at 8 life.  I have two tapped guys from attacking.  He taps down to 1 Red mana open to play a guy and equip Necropouncer to it, then attack with the guy and Saberclaw Golem.  I have a newly played Rust Tick and a Blisterstick Shaman in play untapped.  I block JUST THE GOLEM with my Shaman.  My reasoning is that if he wants to save the Golem, he has to first-strike (giving him no outs to attackers) and if he doesn't, I take 4 and he loses the Shaman.  He obviously has the Metalcrafted Galvanic Blast after I decline to block his other man.  The thing was, I have nothing to make me NOT block there.  The Galvanic Blast is basically his only possibly relevant card!  Crush does nothing, and Dismember kills him!

The brief lesson:  don't become so addicted to value (like I am) that you don't block to live through an attempted alpha strike.  Briefly more sober, I crushed him in games 2-3.

Rounds two and three were just blowouts.  They took a while, but I could pick off anything that everyone played.  It was insane playing with so much removal. 

This one is a little light on strategy, but hopefully being heavy on drafts makes up for it!  I hope you enjoyed it and I'll see you next time!


I liked the article, as I by WShadow at Fri, 10/07/2011 - 13:13
WShadow's picture

I liked the article, as I need it for understanding what the best picks are. My NMS draft aren't so succesful... Even if I opened Sword of War and Peace today! (but I ended up losing 2 matches, winning the last). M12 is much more simpler when going down to evaluate cards.