Stuart's MTG Page, or more accurately entitled, "Why am I so bad at sealed deck tournaments?" - Read on to see the painful mistakes or just plain bad luck I have....

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Saviours Booster Draft

Date: May 05

Location: National Hotel, London, organised by The Games Club

Event: Saviours Pre release

Type: Booster Draft (3x Saviours Boosters)

Attending: Me

This was something that I had only done with friends, normally with a pile of cards sorted into 15 card booster packs (all randomly mixed obviously), and not done with sealed booster packs as part of a tournament.

I also wanted to add a new selection of cards to my Saviours collection, so what better way to start?

8 of us sat at a table, and opened our boosters. I was at position number 8 (if that makes a difference) and opened my pack. Having seen a fair spread of the cards (along with the previews) during the day and its small size (ie 155 card set rather than a main set of 300+) I thought that black and red seemed strong colours, being as aggressive as they normally are and that my original deck was an indication of its strengths. Er, apart from me not doing the colours justice, obviously.

- the deck

I started off with my booster, and noticed that Red was very prominent, and so I started on that, taking an Oni (6/5 red haste creature) over the other cards present. The rare was the 8/8 creature that would never see light of day having a casting cost of 8cccc. Passing my cards to the left, we carried on.

By the time my initial cards had come back to me, I had 8 cards, and 7 of them where red! To me it seems that no other player was taking red, and I was cherry picking all the things I needed. I had a few more red haste creatures as well as multiple Path of Angers Flame (+2/+0 to all creature instant). Thinking I could possibly go mono red, I had ignored all the other cards I was being passed and it was only when I saw a Death of Thousand Stings that I went onto black as I took it. At this point I had also noticed a few of the black rats that reduce hand size, meaning the sting recycles faster.

When the whole booster had been drafted I was pretty much Black/Red again, although with a far better selection. I had taken a few cards not from my colours at this point, mostly green life based cards or couterspell type spells just in case others where waiting for them to return. Obviously not knowing what colours other people where taking - but I just thought red and black where being left.

With the next two boosters, things went even better for me. The person to my left passed me his cards that he had just opened and said 'depending on what colour you are playing, you will be pleased with that..' and I was indeed - it had a Feral Lightning and a red legendary creature, that when it died, it came back as a legendary enchantment giving all creatures +2/+2 flying and firebreathing. I took the legend.

I was also very surprised to see an artefact that gave flying to any creature passed to me as well, not once, but twice, and both where readily snatched up, and when a Feral lightning came my way....

Again, once or twice I deliberately took a card I didn't need to stop another person taking it – the most blatant one was MasuMaro (I took this as my card from the 14 offered) – I didn't want anyone playing green to potentially have a 14/14 creature, and took this over a few red and black cards. I also took the black vise type artefact, in additon to the green and blue cards from earlier.

My final deck (in my opinion obviously) was very good indeed. Mostly red, with 8 black cards, and the whole thing just looked very good. Nearly all the creatures I had drafted had haste, and the black rats reduced the hand of my opponent allowing me to easily reclaim my stings. Combined with the flying, the legendry creature enchantment….put it this way, when I showed it around to our lot, it was said that the deck looked pre constructed.

Land - 17

Creatures -13


My Card of the day

Mountains x 11
Swamps x 6

B: Gnat Miser x 4
R: Oni of Wild Places x 2
R: Shinen of Furys Fire x 4
R: Homura Human Ascendant
R: Ghost Lit Raider
R: Glitterfang

Spells - 11

B: Death of a thousand stings x 4
R: Gaze of Adamaro
R: Feral Lighting
R: Captive Flame
R: Barrel Down Sokenzan
R: Path of Angers Flame
Art: Sortami Cloud chariot x 2

Deck Stats: 41 Cards
Colours: Red/Black
Breakdown: Information to follow shortly

- the games

Game One

My opponent was someone that a few of us had already played, and he like us was a very casual player, made quite a few mistakes against Brad, and could have killed Rob a lot quicker than he did had he remembered to use the spells he had at his disposal. I was pretty confident before we started, good deck, casual player as my opponent.

We played the first game, and I was slowly being whittled away as I did the same to my opponent. I was not in any hurry as I knew I had the land and the cards to win, and it was just a matter of time. We where level pegging and then I just killed him – it was all matter of factly done.

Game 2 – Again we started off trading evenly, creature and damage wise. After a few minutes of play, my next turn would see me lay my sixth land, and drop the Legend, and the Haste Demon would follow next – it was going to be over in 2 maybe three rounds. Then my opponent dropped a bombshell. He scooped up his swamps and I had to discard all my 4 cards! I didn't recover, and he gathered tempo as I drew nothing but land with nothing to cast and lost!

Game 3 started, and then started to go badly wrong. I had no swamps and couldn't get more than 4 land, by turn 7 I had no creatures, 4 mountains and a handful of cards with about 12 life. Things didn't get better, and I was dead!

- hindsight

That was it, I was out of the booster draft - instant knockout, and queue 6 hours of abuse from friends. I only needed to win to get 4th place and win 2 x booster packs, and with this deck it should have been a finalist at least. What is more annoying is the fact that I was far too full of myself and I am never normally like that.

As for anything I could have done differently? I dont think so - although I didnt realise I had 41 cards, I would have dropped one of the spells, probably the Captive Flame.

Oh well, maybe next time….

Overall booster Stats

For reference, this is the breakdown of the cards I ended up with:

Rares: I ended up with 2, I that I drafted, 1 that I took to stop others. Total = 2 out of a possible 3

Uncommons: 8 I drafted, 7 I took to stop others or that were just left over. Total = 15 out of a normal 9 that would be in the boosters.

Commons: 28, combination of drafted, leftovers, and a couple of counterspells. 33 would be the normal number in the boosters.

Magic the Gathering images used without permission, design by me.