Twins of Rawr Estate

Went to the store for week 2 of Eldritch Moon drafting. I first-picked a Stitcher’s Graft and second-picked Impetuous Devils. My deck ended up being pretty terrible. I was trying to go super aggro, I had the Stitcher’s Graft, 2x Ride Down and a little bit of burn but my creatures were all piddly garbage. I had lots of X/1’s and opponent had a couple different effects that dealt 1 to multiple targets. Kind of a bloodbath.

The set just hit Magic Online so I joined a 6-2-2-2 Swiss queue later on after the kids went to bed. If I understand correctly, they are going to begin running these queues for the current sets instead of the traditional pack-per-win payout for Swiss. I think the much-maligned 4-3-2-2 single elimination queue may be going away as well. I don’t know how this will shape the playerbase of the different queues. Will people who were typically dedicated to the 8-4’s now spend some time in the Swiss queues? Winning 6 packs is much closer to 8 than 4 was (8-4 vs 4-3-2-2) not to mention “winning” a pack-per-win Swiss queue and likely still being down 2 tix was never super appealing (i.e. win back 3 packs, minus 2 tix entry fee, assume no money cards to sell off).

Maybe we’ll get some stats on current set 8-4’s vs 6-2-2-2’s in the near future, it will be interesting to see what happens. Speaking for myself, I’m stoked for the change. I spent a lot of time playing older set queues simply because I liked the 6-2-2-2 Swiss structure so much.

So, anyway, I first-picked a Faith Unbroken and ended up with a moderately aggressive white-black deck. I was concerned that I didn’t have a big finisher, like a rare flier or something, but I did have some synergy with 2x Ironclad Slayer and some removal auras (Boon of Emrakul, Faith Unbroken). Abundant Maw played out really well. I typically sided out Harvest Hand and Weirded Vampire for Inquisitor’s Ox and Give No Ground.

This deck seemed okay(ish) but I definitely felt like it was a “let’s scrape out a 2-1 and salvage 2 packs” type of deck. As it turned out, I won rounds 1 and 2 without much fuss. Round 3 ended up being pretty sweet. Opponent was black-red madness/vampires. He went off in game 1 and really beat me up with a Stromkirk Condemned and a bunch of madness for value. Game 2, he stumbled on mana while I built out a board.

Game 3 was super close, I made a video of the replay with some trademark erudite commentary:

The next night I joined another 6-2-2-2 and 3-0’d that as well. This deck was much more fun to play than the black-white pile.

I was firmly in green-black when I saw the Sigarda, Heron’s Grace early in pack 3 (second or third pick). I threw in 3 Plains and ran with it. I happily had no mana problems all draft.

I always sided in the Oath of Liliana. I didn’t maindeck it because I thought people would often have expendable tokens or dies-for-value creatures sitting around but it turned out to always do something worthwhile. I also usually sided out the Gavony Unhallowed. A couple opponents had important enchantments so I’d bring in Mockery of Nature.

Round 1, I melded Graf Rats and Midnight Scavengers right on curve in both games. I had that happen to me in my one loss in the Sealed League I did during the online prerelease. Felt great to be on the right side of it this time.

Round 2, I won game one but in game two he put me in The Abyss with a Blood Mist. True-Faith Censer was huge here as it let me attack and then chump (opponent cooperated by not sticking a second creature for a while). At the time I lost my last creature I was at 10 life. Opponent was at 2 life and had a Lashweed Lurker, lethal with the Blood Mist’s double-strike. He had no cards in hand, I had one card, Confront the Unknown so that was a 3-mana cycle effect plus my draw step for an out. I topdecked Certain Death and won.

Round 3 was versus a red-blue splash green mostly-spells deck that was built around Trail of Evidence. He drew a million cards in game one and killed me. Game 2, I ground him out after a long time. I had the Mockery of Nature in hand for ages but never found quite the right spot to kill his Trail of Evidence. I probably should have pulled the trigger on that many turns earlier. Eternal Scourge did a ton of work. I cast it from exile over and over again, making relatively premium removal such as Lightning Axe little more than an Unsummon. Shout-outs to Swift Spinner as well, she jumped in and ate a few 2-power fliers.

In game 3, opponent missed land drops for a few turns. I had 5 mana on my turn 4 via Ulvenwald Captive, while opponent was stuck on one Island and one Mountain. I chose to run out Sigarda, Heron’s Grace into his open mana and full hand. This was the one and only time I had drawn her all draft. Opponent said “OMG” in the chat window, but he had the Lightning Axe (his deck had at least 2x). I had a few other plays that probably would have been just as good from that position, could have baited out the Axe with a more vanilla creature but I decided to put him to the test.

I beat down pretty hard for a while but he did eventually start clawing back. I found out what his green splash was for: Ulrich of the Krallenhorde, so we were both splashing for a gold mythic legend. Thankfully I had a Kessig Dire Swine strapped with a True-Faith Censer and I went just big enough and wide enough to close it out. I do think I could have done it much more easily if I had been slightly more patient with the Sigarda, Heron’s Grace.