Last night I started my first online Magic2010 draft. I first picked a Djinn of Wishes and went from there. There was nothing else really in the pack, and it was the best card by far. Also, blue seems underdrafted right now so I’m happy picking it up early and forcing blue. The second pick Wind Drake just solidifies my blue choice. A Goblin Artillery third pick generally means that red is open so I pick that up; the other notable cards are the Gravedigger and Stone Giant.
Pick 4 however gets a bit interesting. The only red or blue card in the pack seems to be a Cancel. Instead of a solid red card, I see a nice Rise from the Grave. I take it since my only red card is an Artillery; I could be black if it keeps coming.
At this point I have 2 solid blue cards, one red card, and one black card.
By pick 4-5 I was making the choice between blue-red or blue-black. I had already picked up a Rise and now pick 5 gives me a Sign in Blood, so I’m ready to dump red if I don’t get any cards to support it.
I also start to see blue and white are being cut hard and I figure someone to my right is going white-blue fliers. There was probably another white mage to my right too. Then on pick 6 I see a Wall of Frost. Um ok. This card is removal, folks; it prevents 1.5 attackers a turn. Windstorm was going late, but at 7th pick, I picked the Ponder over it. The Stone Giants and Sparkmages going 10th and 11th shows me that red is great to get from the right side. Since my only black cards are the Rise and the Sign in Blood I decide to go red-blue and ditch the black.
At this point I and am happy with my pool and have 8 maindeck playables. You need 23, and you almost always get more in pack 2 than pack 1 because you’ve cut off the table to your left.
I also pick up a Canyon Minotaur as an ok midgame beater and a Phantom Warrior as a decent evasion creature. The double blue really turns me away form this guy. If there’s a Wind Drake and a Phantom Warrior in the same pack I really have to look at my mana symbols. Both are great cards, but If I have a lot of double red guys already, the Wind Drake may be the right choice. The Phantom Warrior also can’t block fliers. A Wind Drake and a Goblin Artillery can hold back a Serra Angel in most cases.
I pick up a couple of playable red and blue commons for the rest of the pack.
In pack 3 I had to make a choice between Gargoyle Castle and Prodigal Pyromancer. I looked at my only flying beater, the Djinn. I really wanted another flying beater but having a second pinger is just too good.
I also get a second pick Pyroclasm which is great. For a second I looked at picking up the Sleep because the Pyroclasm would kill all my spark mages and the Pyromancer I just picked up, but then remembered that’s the wrong way of thinking.
Pyroclasm is good even in a deck where half you’re creatures will die to it. A turn 2-3 Pyroclasm can WRECK a board if your opponent plays a lot of early 2-butts. Plus this isn’t an aggro deck, so I needed the mass removal option.
The late Ignite Disorder is a decent sideboard vs the white blue fliers deck that I assumed was out there. Speaking of a white blue deck…
The first game was vs a white blue opponent, with at least 2 Illusionary Servants and a Merfolk Looter. The first game I got 2 Artilleries out and a Prodigal Pyromancer early, then the Djinn of Wishes hit the table. I attacked with the Djinn while his board had a tapped Air Elemental, a Griffin Sentinel, a Horned Turtle, and 1 white mana open, he cast Silence. In response I popped the Djinn’s ability and got a Sparkmage Apprentice which I used to target the Air Elemental, I then hit it with my Pyromancer and Artillery, killing it. When the dust settled, he took 4 damage from a Djinn of Wishes to the face and I passed the turn. He then played a Whispersilk Cloak and tried to attach it to the Griffin Sentinel, and in response I Lightning Bolted it. He then tapped out to attached it to the Horned Turtle. I hit him with my goblin artillery, having myself go to 10 and putting him at 13. Next turn I swung with the Djinn and played a Wind Drake. He played a Wind Drake and a Divination. I shot the drake with the artillery and shot him in the face with my second artillery, going to 4 and leaving him at 6. Next turn I swung for 6 in the air.
The second game I kept a hand with a Mountain, Island, Horned Turtle, Goblin Artillery, Wind Drake, and Prodigal Pyromancer. He played a turn 2 Merfolk Looter and a turn 3 Illusionary Servant. I played a turn 3 Pyromancer. He looted a bunch to try to find an answer to the Pyromancer but couldn’t. He swung in the air with the Servant and the next turn I pinged it. I was playing more of a control game and decided I didn’t need the extra two damage each turn so I opted to play the Goblin Artillery over the Wind Drake. I also would like to be able to kill a turn 5 Air Elemental if I drew a Sparkmage Apprentice. He instead tapped 5 for a Siege Mastodon and I topdecked a Stone Giant and played it. I also pinged his Looter. On his turn he Act of Treasoned my Goblin Artillery and swung with the Mastodon, I didn’t block and took 3, and he then used the Artillery to kill my Pyromancer. On my turn I drew my 6th land and played 2 Wind Drakes. I held back the Stone Giant. On his turn he didn’t play anything and passed. On my turn I swung with the Drakes and played a Sage Owl and [card]Canyon
Match two my opponent is playing green-red and starts off with a turn 1 Llanowar Elves. I roll my eyes because that’s the best turn-1 play green can make. Thankfully he has no turn 2 play. On turn 3 he drops a Giant Spider. I drop an Artillery on my turn and pass. He swings with the spider and I don’t block.
He plays a Stampeding Rhino and I hit it with my Artillery and Pyroclasm killing everything besides his spider. He swings again with the Spider. I play a Stone Giant and he doesn’t swing and just passes the turn, at this point he has 6 forest as his only lands and is color screwed. I play a wind drake and he plays a Birds of Paradise. I debated hitting the birds with the artillery but decided I didn’t want to lose more life. I swing with the Drake forgetting the spider can block flying. He blocks with the spider and I let damage resolve. I then I hit the spider with the Artillery, in response he Giant Growths, and in response to that, I Lightning Bolt. I play a Pyromancer and on his turn he hits it with a Sparkmage Apprentice and plays a Craw Wurm. I play a Wall of Ice and a Wind Drake. And he plays a Berserkers of Blood Ridge. I swing with the Drake and on his turn he swings with the Berserkers. I block with the Wall of Ice. He plays an Enormous Baloth and I drop a second Stone Giant and a Pyromancer. Two turns later he attacks with both the Baloth and the Berserkers. I double block the Baloth with my 2 Stone Giants and block the Berserkers with my Wall of Ice. I ping the Baloth for the final damage and kill it. I swing with the team for the rest of the game.
I sideboard in a Flashfreeze and take out a Ponder. Game two he plays a turn 3 Borderland Ranger getting a Mountain and I play an Artillery. He swings with the Ranger and I don’t block, and he passes the turn. I play a Dragon Whelp. On his turn he plays a Stampeding Rhino and I kill the Borderland Ranger with my Artillery. On my turn I play a Stone Giant and swing with my Whelp. On his turn he swings with the Stampeding Rhino and I let it through. On my turn I play a Wind Drake holding back mana for the sideboarded Flashfreeze. On his turn he swings with the Rhino and I block with the Drake, after damage he tries to cast an Elvish Visionary, In response I hit the rhino with the artillery and he casts Regeneration targeting the Rhino, I counter the Regeneration with my Flashfreeze and the Rhino dies. He draws a card and plays a Mist Leopard. On my turn I swing with the Whelp and play my Phantom Warrior and a Wind Drake. On his turn he plays a Craw Wurm and passes the turn. I swing with all my evasion and play a Sage Owl. On his turn he swings all out, I block and he concedes.
Game one he plays 2 Rampant Growths and an Elvish Visionary while I play a Horned Turtle. On turn 4 he plays a Serra Angel and I play a Dragon Whelp. He attacks with the Angel and I attack with the Whelp. On his turn he plays a Deadly Recluse and Blinding Mage. I play a Pyroclasm and kill his entire board but the Angel. I play a Wind Drake. He then swings with the Angel again and I take it and he plays Rampant Growth and a Runeclaw Bear. On my turn I swing with the Whelp and the Drake. He blocks the Drake with the Angel and I Lightning Bolt the Angel. On his turn he plays Howl of the Night Pack pact for 5 tokens I play a Phantom Warrior and a Sparkmage Apprentice, on his turn he Overruns for a lot.
Game two mulligan a 1 mountain hand with a Sparkmage Apprentice, Lightning Bolt, Pyroclasm. I get a hand with 2 Islands 3 Mountains and a wind drake and keep it. He starts off with a turn 1 Llanowar Elves and a Rampant Growth into a Plains, I play a turn 3 Goblin Artillery he plays a Centaur Courser. I topdeck a Sparkmage and hit the Courser with it and the Artillery. On his turn he plays a Runeclaw Bears and a Deadly Recluse. He passes without playing a land. He’s stuck on 3 land. I topdeck a Wall of Ice, play it and hit the Llanowar Elves with my Artillery. I go to 13 while he is at 20. He plays a Stormfront Pegasus and I hit it with the Artillery and I play a Wind Drake. He doesn’t play anything and I play a Divination, holding a seismic strike in hand. He casts Pacifism on my Wind Drake and passes the turn. He’s still stuck on 3 lands. On my turn I topdeck a Whelp and hit his Recluse with my Artillery, going to 7. He plays a Blinding Mage and I hit that with the Artillery, going to 4. I swing for 5 with my Dragon Whelp. He plays a Rampant Growth into his second Plains and passes. I topdeck and play a Pyromancer and swing for 5. I figure he has the Angel in hand, which he does, and he taps out to play it. I hit his Runeclaw Bear with my artillery, going to 1, then on my turn I use Seismic Strike to kill his Angel and swing for exactly 10.
Game 3 he plays a turn 1 Llanowar Elves, and a turn 2 Rampant Growth. He plays a turn 3 Centaur Courser and turn 4 Emerald Oryx. I play a turn 3 Wall of Frost and a turn 4 Pyromancer. He swings with his oryx and courser and I block the courser with my wall and take two he drops an elvish visionary. I’m at 14 and have a hand full of 3 drops. I topdeck a Mountain and play an Artillery. He plays a Runeclaw Bear I play a Canyon Minotaur. He draws a land and taps out for an Ant Queen. I kill his Runeclaw Bear and Elvish Visionary with my pingers at the end of his turn and am at 11. On my turn I draw a land and play it and I use the Artillery and Seismic Strike to hit the Ant Queen for exactly 5. I also play a Phantom Warrior. He plays a Runeclaw Bear and passes the turn, I ping him for 1 putting him at 19. On my turn I swing with my Phantom Warrior and play a Divination and a Wind Drake. On his turn he plays a Serra Angel. I topdeck a Sparkmage Apprentice and use it, the Pyromancer, and Artillery to kill his Angel, then swing with my Drake and Phantom Warrior and play a Dragon Whelp. He cast Howl of the Night Pack for 4 tokens. On my turn I swing with my Phantom Warrior, Drake, Sparkmage, and Dragon Whelp. I have a Pyromancer and Artillery as pingers on the board. He blocks the Sparkmage with the Emerald Oryx. I ping his Courser and Pyroclasm, clearing his board and leaving me with a Drake, Minotaur, Artillery, and Wall of Frost at 5. I play a Horned Turtle. He concedes.
Overall I really liked this red-blue draft. I had some tough picks, like picking a Pyroclasm over a Sleep, and picking pingers very highly. All the pingers work so well together, 2 Artilleries takes out a Serra Angel, a Sparkmage Apprentice and an artillery takes out any 3 butt. I only had a couple of evasion, 2 Wind Drakes, a Whelp, and a Phantom Warrior, but I had a bunch of large butt creatures which I used to control the board and eventually swing for the win. The two Stone Giants were always welcome to see, and as usual I never used their ability. The Wall of Frost was great, early Horned Turtles were nice, the 2 Pyromancers always good.
Drafting this U/R control-pinger archetype I’d say the common/uncommon pick order is:
2. Lightning bolt
4. Goblin Artillery
5. Prodigal Pyromancer
6. Mind Control
7. Air Elemental
8. Dragon Whelp
9. Gorgon Flail
10. Snapping Drake
11. Wind Drake
|12. Stone Giant
13. Wall of Frost
15. Whispersilk Cloak
16. Seismic Strike
17. Merfolk Looter
18. Phantom Warrior
21. Inferno Elemental
22. Essence Scatter
|23. Rod of Ruin
24. Sparkmage Apprentice
25. Canyon Minotaur
26. Ignite Disorder
28. Horned Turtle
31. Wall of Fire
32. Sage Owl
33. Ice Cage
This is just a general pick order, I would aim for at least three of each of these:
4+ toughness creatures be they Stone Giants or Walls of Fires
3+ power creatures, Minotaur, Stone Giant, Air Elemental, etc.
evasion creatures, Wind Drake, Phantom Warrior
pingers, be they Artillery or Pyromancers. Since they are uncommon this will be the hardest to accomplish, but are the most important to have in multiples in this particular deck.
and fill the rest with bombs, removal (including sparkmages), and draw. That’s pretty much true of any archetype.