Although the deck ended up sub-par I felt like blue and red were the right colours for my seat. It seems strange saying that even now knowing the drafter to my right was cutting both colours. It’s possible I’m wrong about that but I really don’t remember seeing any sign posts in pack one telling me to jump into anything else. I could have ended up with a slightly better curve had I been more focused toward the end of the packs and some picks in particular came back to bite me.
I was lacking two and three drops and found myself with a glut of fours. I tried my best to balance creature and non-creature spells so I would have enough board presence and crews for vehicles while maintaining prowess and artifact synergies. Over all my curve was poor but I had a couple of powerful cards that could take over games.
Round 1 vs GW
This match up really highlighted how bad my curve was. I struggled to get enough on the board to stay alive with my opponent playing creatures that were bigger than mine each turn. Thriving Rhino and Glint-Sleeve Artisan into Peema Outrider with Nature’s Way to get things out of the way. There was enough pressure that the Deadlock Trap in my hand made me feel like Chandra in the card’s artwork. Top decking Skyship Stalker very nearly stabilized me but I was soon facing down a Riparian Tiger and a second Peema Outrider and the trample damage was the end of me. Game two was just as much of a beating.
Round 2 vs UB
My opponent had drafted a control deck with seemingly endless removal and Accomplished Automaton as a finisher. This match up gave me time to play my good cards but my opponent had plenty of answers. I did manage to win a game by stealing their Accomplished Automaton with Confiscation Coup and giving it haste with Spontaneous Artist which was fun. In game three I reduced my opponent to one life but they recovered thanks to Prakhata Pillar-Bug, in all likelihood the very copy I was supposed to take in pack three but for some inexplicable reason did not. The Skyship Stalker again looked my likely saviour but my opponent’s active Dynavolt Tower meant that I had to wait to draw Malfunction before I could play it by which time they had drawn Tidy Conclusion which lived up to it’s name, dashing my hopes for victory. This was a good match up for bringing in Insidious Will, given their removal density and expensive creatures.
Round 3 vs UR
In the final round I faced the drafter directly to my right with whom I fought over both my colours. It was clear they had picked up all the good early game that my deck sorely lacked. In game one I was on the back foot from the start but stabilized after stealing a Dukhara Peafowl with Confiscation Coup. This gave me time to play Oviya and start making big construct creatures, over powering my opponent. In game two my opponent suffered a mulligan but drew well while I flooded hard and got run over. I managed to edge out a win in game three. It was clear that if only one of us was in UR the deck would have been amazing! Instead we both had watered down versions, mine missing the early game and theirs missing the top end punch.
At first look the format is slightly faster than EMN/SOI with curve being more important than synergies in most colours. Most of the cards that would be flagships for synergy focused decks seem to be just good cards rather than niche cards for an archetype. Fabricate for instance, although making some cards that care about artifacts better are also just flexible and well costed. Figuring out when to prioritize vehicles and how to fit them into your build also seems like an important new aspect to gauge.
Decks of the Draft