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: July 05

Location: My House

Event: None

Type: Booster Draft (3x Saviours Boosters)

Attending: (4) Me, Chris, Robert, Jamie


Another home made booster draft, and we kept with the Saviours cards for the draft. For one reason, it helps Jamie and Robert (and myself to tell the truth) get more familiarised with the set, and also becasue we all havent filled our own personal quota's (i.e. the amount of cards each person would normally buy based on budget etc) in the Saviours set yet.

There were 6 rounds, and a final this time, and the four of us sat down and started on the booster draft. There where initial cries from everyone of "....what a load of rubbish." but I suspect some people did better than they let on. I had gone through the list of cards again that morning to try and refresh myself with what was available to me, but in my first pack, the best card (I thought) was the Haru-Onna - something that I had more or less chosen straight away last time.

I reluctantly took it, but was determined to try and pay more attention to the colours I had'nt picked before in great numbers, namely Blue and White, and hoped to see better picks from the first packs as they went round. I was then passed nothing but Black cards, and by the end of the first pack, had nearly all Black with one or two of each of Blue and Green cards. My first colour was sorted - even though I tried to stay away from it, and the second colour was still to be chosen.

By the end of the second pack, I was still undecided. I had now picked up a Secretkeeper and a Shape Stealer in Blue, as well as a few nice Green cards, and pocketed a O-Naginata as well. I nearly had two, but passed (reluctantly) in favour of the Akuta shown above. In hindsight, I should have kept it as I found out that no one was taking Black and it probably would have come back to me.

By the third pack, I had decided on Blue. Although it would never happen in a proper tournament, we where all dropping big hints to each other on how well we where doing, and I know that Chris had as much luck in deciding a secondary colour as I did - it seemed Jamie and Rob where doing well.

Table seatings for the initial booster draft and overall matches where each determined randomly, and it turned out like this:

Table Seating
Match Positions
A) Stuart, B) Chris, C) Robert, D) Jamie

- the deck

My Mana curve was not ideal, with 1, 2 and 3 mana drops not being very powerful, and were mostly defender based creatures allowing me to hit my opponent from the air, or from having hand size avantage. I thought I had enough ways to do this effectively, with the land to draw cards, and plenty of sweep based cards to fill my hand, to make the Secretkeeper and Fear Rats stronger.

The idea was to use creature removal through the many clutches and Kiku to clear the way for my smaller creatures, combined with making them tougher with the O-Naginata. Lastly I had a Descendant to help filter my cards. It was difficult to drop any more of the 43 cards, but I thought I would be ok and so left it as that.

Land - 19

Creatures - 16

My Card of the day

Islands x 7
Swamps x 11
Mikokoro, Centre of the Sea x 1

U: Decendant of Soramaro
U: Ghost Lit Warder
U: Secretkeeper
U: Shapestealer
U: Moonbow Illusionist
U: Shinen of Flights Wings
U: Minamo Scrollkeeper
B: Kuro's Taken x 3
B: Ghost Lit Stalker
B: Gnat Miser
B: Deathmask Nezumi x 3
B: Akuta Born of Ash

Spells - 8

Art: Soratami Cloud Chariot
Art: O-Naginata
B: Sink into Takenuma x 2
B: Kagemaro's Clutch x 3
B: Kiku's Shadow

Deck Stats: 43 Cards
Colours: Black/Blue
Breakdown: Rare 2, Uncommon: 8, Common: 14

- the games

Game One - Chris

Again I am playing Chris in my first game. Not that I would tell him, but he is a good player and reads and understands the cards well, so you either score points against a good opponent and have an easier time for your next games, or get caned and end up losing the first game.

Chris again played White and Red, and so was one of the people cutting me from White at the start, while Red I didnt even get a sniff at. However, things went exactly as I had planned from my deck though, as my little regenerating rats formed a small wall, I dropped the Fear rats and the Secretkeeper, and then swept all my lands back, forced a large discard and boosted all my creatures to win the game.

The next game was even, we where both down to low double figures in life, and then Chris dropped a Feral Lightning that I couldnt do anything about. Along with the other creatures he had, I dropped to 1 life, and I had nothing that I could draw that would enable me to do the 12 damage I needed to win the game before he attacked me with everything for his next turn.

Game three started off well for us both - we both dropped O-Naginata's on turn one - I knew I should have kept the second one, and he quickly got to seven cards and attacked with a little Goblin with first strike and the O-Naginata. Little no longer, it was a 7/3 first striking trampling goblin, I had no creatues, and by the time I had my 3/3 flying Shinen equipt to hit him for 6 a turn, he had killed me.

Result: Lost 2 - 1

Game Two - Robert

Rob was playing Green and Red, and by the end of the games, I knew where alot of the cards relating to those colours had gone - straight in Robs deck. The amount of Rares he had that where good for his colours was off putting to say the least. I feared a damm good thrashing was coming on.

In the first match, Rob got the Red Epic out early on, but luckily I had enough creatures out, so he spent all his time burning my creatures, and not aimed directly at me. I continued to draw and cast creatures, while he drew cards to the epic which had very low casting cost. Thankfully, I won.

The next game was very close. He started to get some of the big spirits going, which where either Clutched or Kiku'd, and he was not amused at receiving yet another clutch on his 7/3 legendary landwalker. The Epic came out again, he pinged me as I attacked him, and when at 4 life each, his next card drawn to the Epic was a 4 casting cost creature, meaning one dead Stuart.

Game three started slowly. We both started attacking with 1/1 creatures, until I got to a point where I could get the Secretkeeper airbourne and attacking, winning me the game.

Rob is now learning very quickly the card strengths, and regardless whether he had some nice rares selected, his overall card choice was good, and I really think he could have had me in the first game if he had concentrated on me rather than my creatures.

Result: Won 2-1

Game Three - Jamie

Jamie was playing Blue and Green, and both my games with him went how the deck should work. Clutched any of the big green spirits he produced, Swept cards to fill my hand and win with Fear Rats and Secretkeeper.

Jamie is still learning, and just needs to know when to attack and get away with it. His card selection showed promise as well, with walls, fliers and bigger creatures to finish.

Result: Won 2-0

Game Four - Chris Pt 2

The first game went very close indeed. We traded life evenly, and I eventually won with 5 life left. The second game was a nightmare. I mulliganed for a hand that was worse than I started with, and then mulliganed again for something marginally better. My tempo was shot to pieces as I drew land and high casting cost creatures, and I did all of 4 damage before being killed.

Turn three started way better. First turn O-Naginata, which quickly turned to crap as I had nothing to put it on. A swarm of white weenies from Chris cruised their way easily to victory, and I didnt even score any damage against him.

Result: Lost 2-1

Game Five - Rob Pt 2

Both of us started very poorly, drawing nothing but cards and no land. By turn five, we only had five land between us, and both where suffering badly. The game continued as we slowly got small creatures out in battle, and Rob managed to score some high damage against me with multiple Spiraling Embers (do damage to opponent for each card in your hand). He had me at 10 life, and I fretted for a while as I thought he would have picked up a Hidetsugu's Second Rite (deal 10 damage to an opponent if they have 10 life) knowing the amount of jammy rares he had in his deck.The game ended with us both of 5 damage, but I got in the 5 damage to him before he did.

For the second game, Rob started pulling out the big guns again. The Red and Green Kirrin's started to whittle me away, before they where Kiku'd and Clutched, and I had a Shinnen to attack from the air. Managed to get my Akuta back into play a few times, forcing him to chump block and remove his creatures, and then Rob must have forgotton about it, as with no creatures left to block, and both of us at 2 life, I needed to draw one card for card advantage, and then bring the Akuta back into play, winning the game.

Game Six - Jamie Pt 2

Both games again went in my favour. Jamie is starting to think things through far better, and made some very good choices, including what to clone with Sakashima the Impostor (a Doppleganger capable of copying Legends, and Jamies second in two tournaments!) and attacking and blocking descisions. If Jamie had a bit more experience, I think he may have won the second game, as the life totals where very close at the end, with me on 3 and Jamie on 2 life before I finished him off.

Result: Won 2-0


Chris was the winner of the 6 games, winning 5 out of 6, followed by me with 4 games, meaning the final was between us, and the Semi Final was between Rob and Jamie. Both of these games where best of 5 matches.

The first game for me went shockingly bad. I had what I thought was a decent hand, but then drew nothing but land. Chris started hitting me with fliers, I managed all of one point of damage before conceeding - I would have lasted two, maybe three rounds, but had no way through his massed creature base.

The second game was much better. We traded life evenly, and I definatly had the upper hand with regenerating rats as my blockers, and Fear Rats charged up. Akuta was blessed with the O--Naginata, and another few rounds of attacking would see Chris dead. That was until he laid the Samurai lady that makes your opponent attack each round... I was forced to attack with all my chump blockers that died to his larger force, and he attacked on mass and killed me next turn as I had no defenders.

The third game was again good for both of us. More even damage swapping, then I swept swamps to bin his hand and fuel my Fear Rats, and all was looking rosy, until he drew a Charge across Arabia swept up all his plains, attacked and killed me.

Result: Lost 3-0

- hindsight

Where to start? I think I dithered too much at the start with colour choices - I keep gravitating to Black, and I like the Black mechanics, and need to read the cards better I think. I am aware of cards in all 5 colours that I (personally) think are the best (common cards mostly) and just didnt see anything that took my fancy other than Black at the time - a Clutch is a very nice card remover.

Also my second colour was'nt strong enough, and despite the Fear Rats, sweeps and other card drawing tricks I had, the cards that require a hand of seven are very hard to get to the point where they are strong enough. The Saviours cards that get better due to 'card avantage over your opponent' are much better (Green Monks, Secretkeeper etc).

The initial ".....these are rubbish." comments about the cards was slightly misleading at the beginning as well - Chris was not the only person to say that if he had bought those 12 packs for himself, he would have been happy with the selection of cards included.

Saviours (or any other set in the future that contains 165 cards) is hard to play more than once really as a 3 sealed booster event - while we where circulating the cards during the draft (whilst they contained 6 or 7 cards) it was commented that they all contained identical cards.

Land problems I had was just bad luck - I shuffle my deck properly before every match (shuffle, sort into 6 piles, shuffle again) and so piles of land, or no land at all was just unlucky.

As for games I lost, which where nearly all to Chris - he had a better card selection, and is a very good player, so won. Rob I think could have won more if he was a better player (without trying to sound concieted) as he had the strongest deck I think, and Jamie will continue to lose for the moment, but I hope he is understanding WHY he is losing, which helps to think about it. Plus he is playing against people with an average of 7 years Magic playing expereience (bar the few year breaks various people had.)

Roll on the next!

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