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: June 05

Location: Mikes House

Event: None

Type: Booster Draft (3x Saviours Boosters)

Attending: (6) Me, Chris, Mike, Keith, Robert, Jamie

 

We decided to have our own little booster draft tournament - lets us test our 'skills' against each other, gets us more cards, and was a chance for a boozy night of Magic.

We booster drafted as normal, but there was no sideboard, as all the cards not used within the deck will be put into a pool that will later be divided up amongst everyone. The only rule was that people had to put 20 cards into the kitty, meaning you could play anything up to a 45 card deck if you wanted to. The kitty ended up being the winnings for the night, with everyone (even those scoring 0 pts) getting cards.

I had already sorted out a league table to show who would play whom (ie Round one was A vs B, C vs D, E vs F etc) which obviously changed over the next 4 rounds so that we all played one another once. The idea was that we play 5 rounds of one on one (in normal best of 3 matches), then the top two players play a final that was the best of 5. Normal scoring applied, ie 3 pts for a win, 1 for a draw.

We allowed 30 minutes to make decks, and 45 minutes per round, and we started around 8pm.

The seating was randomized as well, as we rolled to see who took seat A, B, etc, with myself taking the last spot. It ended up like this:

A - Rob, B - Mike, C - Chris, D - Me, E - Jamie, F- Keith.

- the deck

We started off, and tearing open the first booster, I looked through the cards. Not sure why, but I skipped through the commons, and went straight to the uncommons and rare. Although I have looked through the set, and read all the cards, I still dont know them off by heart, nor know which of the common cards by colour is generally looked at as being the best (for example like Glacial Ray for Red and Kabuto Moth for White are in CoK.)

I initially took a white card, the uncommon Charge Across the Araba (the Sweep card that gives all your creatures +1/+1) - an amazing game finisher, and passed on the other cards shown. The cards then started moving round, my next selection was O-Naginata (artifact that gives +3/+0 and trample), and shortly after that a Stampeding Serow (5/4 green trampling creature).

More green creatures (mostly smaller casting cost to help the upkeep cost of the Serow) followed as well as a Descendant of Kiyomaro (a white samurai that can be 3/3 with 3 life gain.) - looks like I was heading White and Green. Of the creatures passing my way, I ignored the ones that required 7 cards in your hand to get bigger and concentrated more on ones that needed 'more than opponent' instead. Anything that had 7 or more casting cost was also ignored - I have learnt my lesson with regards to high casting costs now.

By the 7th or 8th pass I realised that I was getting no more white - it was obviously being cut from me by two or possibly more before me. Red also semed a bit sparse, well practically non-existant, and Blue held nothing that interested me at this late part of the first pick. Black didnt seem quite so mined of cards - the next few times the cards came round there where still good enough picks in black, so I started to take what I could. To be honest, what probably started me on Black was a Ghost Lit Stalker, it had good things going for it - low casting cost, a creature that could force an opponent to discard cards with no real drawback, excellent art, oh and it was all spangly too - what more could you want?

With the first pack finished, I had a two artifacts, about 6 green cards, a few black and 2 white cards. White looked tottally cut from me within 3 passes of the first pack, but I was geting all the green and black I wanted, so that was fine with me. I now had my two colours - assuming I could continue for packs two and three, and would leave White alone.

The second and third packs went ok (although we did forget to reverese the way the pack was opened on the second pack) and I ended up with a nice selection, with some nice little combo's. I had managed to stay with Black and Green, and again during the next two picks saw that White and Red pickings where very poor unless they where from my initial pack or from my immidiate neighbour. I didnt bother looking at Blue other than a quick glance once I was sure Green and Black where decided.

A sort of plan had come together with my deck as I picked cards, the Soulshift theme obviously would work, and I had two Shinen of Life's Roar ( the lure type creatues), and the Promised Kannushi (G 1/1 soulshift 7 creatures) to get the majority of my dead creatures back into my hand. I also had 2 creatures that had an effect that hapened when they come into play (Kemuri-Onna - opponent discards, and Haru-Onna - draw a card) , and plenty of ways to bounce them back to my hand to recast, which was nice.

Land - 18

Creatures -16

dd

My Card of the day

Forest x 9
Swamp x 9

B: Gnat Miser
B: Ghost Lit Raider x 2
B: Kemuri-Onna
G: Stampeding Serow x 2
G: Ghost Lit Nourisher
G: Haru-Onna
G: Promised Kannushi x 2
G: Shinen of Life's Roar x 2
G: Okina Nightwatch x 2
G: Sakura-Tribe Scout x 2

Spells - 6

Art: Manriki-Gusari
Art: O-Naginata
B: Kagemaro's Clutch
B: Death Denied
G: Inner Calm, Outer Strength x 2

Deck Stats: 40 Cards
Colours: Green/Black
Breakdown: Rares: 0, Uncommon: 9, Common: 13

- the games

Game One - Chris

Chris played White and Red, and had direct damage from red and flying white creatures from white. My deck worked exactly as I wanted it to, with all the quick creatures coming out, and the first Serow out with 5 or 6 turns. I attacked as soon as I could and every turn, mostly as I knew I had ways to retrieve my dead spirits through the high Soulshift of the Druids, and I also had the Ghost Lit Nourisher to pump any creature in play.

Second game went the same way much to Chris's displeasure - being killed in more or less the same way with the same cards. There was a time when Chris and I traded creatures and cards, and in his own words "..you had an answer for everything." and when we where both more or less cleared out, I recovered a lot better and won.

Result 2 - 0

Game Two - Keith

Keith played Black and White, and he had a few returning card tricks similar to mine. Where I would return a creature and replay it to draw an additional card, or force a discard, he returned a creature that when it came into play it dealt damage based on counters - a potentially lethal card early in the game. Luckily it never came out in any of the games against me. I actually had the chance to take that when it came round during the draw, but passed on it as I hadnt confirmed black at that time.

For the first game my deck worked as I wanted it to. Card advantage was gained by use of the Ghost Lit Stalker and Kemuri-Onna, allowing me to stack up the Okina Nightwatch to be a 7/6 creature, and chuck in the Serow and O-Naginata and I was done. In the second game, Keith locked me down very early, with a turn 3? enchanment that blocked creatures with power 2 or less from attacking.

He held me up for 5 or 6 turns as I just massed creatures and sought for card advantage to boost my Monks again, while he slowly but surely chipped away at my life with a 1/1 flier. Once I had enough creatures, and a plan formed, I attacked with Shinen of Life's Roar that I had pumped with the equipment destroyer and boosting with the Stalker to overcome the enchantment. Add in 2 Monks, both Serows, and I was about to do 24 damage. Luckily he managed to block a 7/6 Monk with one of the white cards that can block an unblocked creature, but he was dead the next round.

Keith had done the most damage to me I think during both games - his little white fliers just kept going, whittling me down point by point, and he held me up the longest with the enchantment and two black regenerating blockers.

Result 2 - 0

Game Three - Mike

Mike played Blue and Red - I dont remember the specifics of the games themselves, only that we traded life, creatures (him removing with red, me removing with black or damage) and mix in how things went against Keith and Chris above. We had some very good games though, and during one he countered one of my Serow's the little bugger! Good job I drew the other the next turn.

Result 2 - 0

Game Four - Rob

Rob played Black and Red. I had helped Rob go through his deck before we played, clearing out cards that would do him no good, and also trimming a third colour that he wanted to add. He added a decent amount of land to splash the third colour, but the card he wanted to play was just to big, so we trimmed it out and added other cards to make up for it.

I dont remember the games exactly, but again my deck worked.

Result 2 - 0

Game Five - Jamie

Jamie played Blue and Green. This was Jamies first 'tournament' and he has'nt played Magic for very long - certainly not long enough to have a stack of cards to read through and had really only been playing with preconstructed decks. Mike had helped him trim his deck before hand as Jamie made the same mistakes as we all did when we started - big is beautiful. He had nothing really to help in the early game, and therefore no time to cast any of the big fliers he had.

After defeating him quickly in the first game, I started to help him during the second - one of the Blue creatures that turned up early for him allowed him to manipulate his library, so I showed him the best time to use it so that he could draw a card that may help, as well as other tips. In that game he got me down to about 8 life (his best result so far) before I won.

Result 2 - 0

Final

We ran out of time to play a final of sorts (it was now about 3am) which would have happened between the highest and the second highest scores - and it would have been aqkward to work out anyway with Keith, Chris and Mike on the same score.

- hindsight

Er - not much I can say about how I would have changed things, as I never lost a game. When I initially sorted the deck out, I had more black cards, but slowly removed them, hence why I had an equal amount of forests and swamps even though I had more green cards. I know for definate this caused me a problem more than once, but only in the very early game - more than once I had the Stampeding Serow in my hand but only one forest to cast it with, despite having 5 or 6 lands in play. With 18 lands I never stuttered for land, and am sure that I hit 6 land by turn 6 pretty consistantly - of course in most games I drew 2 or 3 additional cards due to the Haru-Onna which is damm useful.

I was obviously very happy with the way my deck worked, even my single Kagemaro's Clutch felt like there was two in the deck, coming up when I needed it, or drawing it early on. I dont think I was up to seven cards at any point in the game other than at the very start, even when drawing and putting cards back into my hand, so I am glad I passed on the fear rats, or any other creature that required 7 cards.

Sideboard cards I left out - I had more of the Soulshift 7 Druids (4 in total) and I think I stupidly left a Clutch out, which may have helped. There where also the green artifact/enchantment destroyers which I removed, but I was glad I did so, Keith was the only person where an Enchantment was a problem, and I had an Manriki-Gusari (artefact equipment destroyer) anyway. I also initially drafted Measure of Wickedness? (the enchantment 8 life bomb) and ended up with 3 of them, but decided to leave them out as I couldnt count on consistanly making my opponent take the 8 damage, and plus was'nt all that sure I understood the rules enough to explain it to others when I used it against them.

Of all the colours people played, no one played the same two colours, and was broken down as Black - played by 3 people, Red by 3 people, White by 2, Green by 2, Blue by 2. The colour breakdown confused me as White I was getting no cards whatsoever after the first few and assumed at least 3 people playing it, and Black was played by 3 people, but I still managed to get a few nice cards. I can only assume that White was sparse in the packs we played, and that there where more Black cards availiable.

Results

Stuart - 15 [Won all games]
Chris - 9 [Lost to me and Keith]
Mike - 9 [Lost to me and Chris]
Keith - 9 [Lost to me and Mike]
Rob - 3 [Lost to all bar Jamie]
Jamie - 0 [Lost to all]

I won 30 cards, all shuffled well and dealt out randomly. We knew there where about 9 rares within the pile, about a dozen or so uncommons (we obviously had a far better selection of uncommons than our rare selection, which was poor for a limited enviroment) and the rest obviously commons.

I ended up with a around 5 Rares, including the White and Blue Epic's, and thankfully the Sweep and Samurai White cards I drafted originally! - not a bad selection at all.

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