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According to Webster – Scars of Mirrodin Draft #10

Pack 1 pick 1:

 

There are a lot of decent cards available here; Rusted Relic, Revoke Existence, Shatter, Razor Hippogriff, Tangle Angler, Quicksilver Gargantuan, and Tumble Magnet are all good choices. Taking removal would be nice but I don’t put a lot of stock into the Shatter versions because they are too restrictive (they are very mediocre against Infect and don’t kill creatures like Ghalma’s Warden and Sky-Eel School). Tangle Angler and Razor Hippogriff are the most powerful (while still having a reasonable cost), and while the Hippogriff has better stats on the Battlefield, I prefer staying away from White because it tends to be overdrafted, doesn’t pair as well with other colors, and focuses too much on Metalcraft/equipment.

My pick: Tangle Angler

Pack 1 pick 2:

 

Within Infect, Carrion Call and Golem Artisan are the best cards (the Artisan is a good target for Tainted Strike and makes Ichorclaw Myr/Corpse Cur much better). However Oxidda Scrapmelter is the best card overall because it’s a walking two-for-one that takes almost no effort on your part. Seeing a Scrapmelter second is a good sign that Red is open, although the rare is missing which is a legitimate reason to think otherwise. If Red is open, then now is a good time to jump in. We don’t lose much by passing Carrion Call and Blackcleave Goblin, since they shouldn’t be viewed as a signal that Infect is open by the people to the left.

My pick: Oxidda Scrapmelter

Pack 1 pick 3:

 

Rusted Relic is powerful but would greatly restrict the card selections we’d need to make. Iron/Gold Myr are a weak choice because our first two picks don’t rely heavily on Metalcraft, and while Myr are still useful outside of the archetype, they are often overvalued. The pick is really between Untamed Might and Rusted Relic. Red/Green Metalcraft is a fine option but more difficult to build properly than Infect where Untamed Might is almost always exceptional.

My pick: Untamed Might

Pack 1 pick 4:

 

Leaden Myr isn’t usually useful in Infect because the deck wants to curve out with Infect creatures and not mana Myr. At times there will be too many four-drops which make a turn two-Myr very good, but that scenario rarely plays out in practice. Tel-Jilad Fallen and Fume Spitter are the two cards to think about. Fume Spitter is slightly better even though it doesn’t have Infect because it’s very easy to acquire too many four drops between Instill Infection, Corpse Cur, Tel-Jilad Fallen, Blackcleave Goblin, Tangle Angler, Carrion Call, and suddenly you’ve suddenly got a very clunky deck. However it’s possible that Red/Green Infect is where we’re headed (an archetype that eschews away from Black in favor of Red removal). If we end up in Red/Green, then Tel-Jilad Fallen is going to be more useful than Fume Spitter and will still be good if we end up in Green/Black.

My pick: Tel-Jilad Fallen

Pack 1 pick 5:

 

Throne of Geth is a fine card but most Infect decks have low artifact counts and that makes the Throne a bit underwhelming. Leaden Myr is going to be a better choice because we have all four-drops at this point. Even though I explained the point earlier about mana Myr being mediocre, the small potential they have on turn two is higher than the usefulness that Throne appears it will have with what we have so far.

My pick: Leaden Myr

Pack 1 pick 6:

 

We’re not seeing much Red which means we’ll be migrating towards a traditional Green/Black deck. Contagious Nim is fine because it has Infect but Heavy Arbalest is a better card. The Arbalest is slower but offers more power than the Nim. The Arbalest is even better than the Nim in decks that have ultra-low curves because those decks will often pin the opponent against the wall and need a way to finish them off if they don’t have Untamed Might. Heavy Arbalest provides a way to win that isn’t vulnerable to removal the same way Untamed Might is.

My pick: Heavy Arbalest

Pack 1 pick 7:

 

Tel-Jilad Fallen is the only card for us. We should note that it’s good we’re seeing a constant stream of Infect creatures even though they’re not the premium three (Cystbearer, Plague Stinger, and Ichorclaw Myr).

My pick: Tel-Jilad Fallen

Pack 1 pick 8:

 

We’ve got no good picks. Soliton has the most potential if we somehow migrate into Green/Blue because it combos so well with Heavy Arbalest.

My pick: Soliton

Pack 1 pick 9:

 

Withstand Death is usually fine but not great. It never feels good to trade away a Tel-Jilad Fallen and Withstand Death at least lets you swing away into a non-artifact to clear a path for next turn. However, it’s quite easy to pick up Withstand Death later on and I wouldn’t want to play more than one. Wall of Tanglecord is a good sideboard option for the mirror and will have more value.

My pick: Wall of Tanglecord

Pack 1 pick 10:

 

There’s most likely only one other Infect drafter at the table because this pack only had a Carrion Call in it when we last saw it.

My pick: Blackcleave Goblin

Pack 1 pick 11:

 

My pick: Plated Seastrider

Pack 1 pick 12:

 

My pick: Ezuris Archers

Pack 1 pick 13:

 

My pick: Wing Puncture

Pack 1 pick 14:

 

My pick: Twisted Image

Pack 1 pick 15:

Forest 

The first pack went well because it felt like the number of Infect drafters is below average, although a lot of our Infect cards aren’t top-tier with the exception of Tangle Angler. It’s unclear if we’ll be able to work the Oxidda Scrapmelter into the deck. Red doesn’t seem like a reliable option because of how little we saw. Black was also surprisingly light with only Green being constant throughout the entire pack.

Pack 2 pick 1:

 

Corpse Cur is the only card that stands out because everything else is mediocre. That also means we’ll unfortunately not wheel anything good from this pack.

My pick: Corpse Cur

Pack 2 pick 2:

 

Again we’ve got another pack with very little in it except two Rust Ticks. Generally taking the non-foil is best because it provides the most information to the person you’re passing to in terms of print runs. However since we’re passing to the right and can’t really give the person we’re passing to any credit, the foil is a better choice. Besides, foils are sweet.

My pick: Rust Tick

Pack 2 pick 3:

 

It’s important to keep track of the number of artifacts we have in order to properly evaluate Throne of Geth. It’s entirely possible that we’ll wheel the first Throne from pick one which lets us pass this one up for Horizon Spellbomb. The Spellbomb is usually out of place because it’s slow, but our deck doesn’t appear to be your average deck that is trying to curve out and kill you with Untamed Might on turn six. Horizon Spellbomb also opens up the door to splashing Oxidda Scrapmelter without totally wrecking the deck’s manabase.

My pick: Horizon Spellbomb

Pack 2 pick 4:

 

Darkslick Shores would add some spicy backdoor Soliton/Heavy Arbalest action OR we could just take Trigon of Infestation. The Trigon is really slow and isn’t liked by a lot of people because of that fact but it’s a great way to grind out the opposition (especially in the mirror).

My pick: Trigon of Infestation

Pack 2 pick 5:

 

This pack must have been stacked. Slice in Twain is easily the best card. Blight Mamba is okay but not great (generally considered the weakest two-mana Infect creature) and doesn’t compare to the advantage that Slice in Twain provides.

My pick: Slice in Twain

Pack 2 pick 6:

 

Moriok Replica is another mediocre card. If damage still stacked then it would be good but it’s simply a filler card to utilize with Heavy Arbalest. The Replica WILL put you ahead by one card but takes a lot of time and mana which are already in short supply.

My pick: Moriok Replica

Pack 2 pick 7:

 

Carrion Call is better than Blackcleave Goblin, especially in the mirror because it will usually be able to kill two creatures. Carrion Call is also good for ambushing problematic creatures like Embersmith or feigning weakness only to have a lethal Untamed Might on the following turn.

My pick: Carrion Call

Pack 2 pick 8:

 

Molder Beast is a good target for Tainted Strike but we don’t have any of those yet and haven’t seen any in this pack. Nihil Spellbomb is a better choice against opposing Corpse Curs and provides a good artifact to sacrifice to Throne of Geth if we wheel one while being short on artifacts.

My pick: Nihil Spellbomb

Pack 2 pick 9:

 

Viridian Revel can be okay at times but it’s usually difficult to utilize properly. Throne of Geth is somewhat similar but fits more into the deck’s general gameplan.

My pick: Throne of Geth

Pack 2 pick 10:

 

My pick: Painful Quandary

Pack 2 pick 11:

 

My pick: Ezuris Archers

Pack 2 pick 12:

 

My pick: Steady Progress

Pack 2 pick 13:

 

My pick: Neurok Invisimancer

Pack 2 pick 14:

 

My pick: Forest

Pack 2 pick 15:

Assault Strobe 

The second pack was okay but not great. There were a few weak picks in the beginning but they were balanced out by some of the later picks including the fifth pick Slice in Twain. The deck is a bit of a mess because it’s really slow. Being slow isn’t always a bad thing, but with Infect it’s much harder to win because its creatures are generally smaller than the opposition’s.

Pack 3 pick 1:

 

Acid Web Spider is an option though it concedes to the fact that we’d be moving into a weird hybrid-control deck which will play out quite awkwardly. With the high curve and lack of low-cost Infect creatures, taking a mana Myr is a good idea. Iron Myr is more useful than Leaden Myr at because it helps fix our mana for Oxidda Scrapmelter, but it’s less likely that the opponent will want to kill it if the Myr is Leaden. It would be better to have a Mountain and Leaden Myr instead of a Swamp and an Iron Myr because we actually want the Myr to survive because we have Heavy Arbalest and need the extra mana.

My pick: Leaden Myr

Pack 3 pick 2:

 

Contagion Clasp and Skinrender are two of the best uncommons in the set. Skinrender, like Oxidda Scrapmelter, is always a two-for-one that takes virtually no effort on our part. Contagion Clasp is not nearly as efficient as Skinrender but offers a higher return on the investment into the card as the game progresses; Contagion Clasp will outright win the game _EVENTUALY_. It’s vulnerable to artifact removal but we already have a lot of artifacts that we don’t want destroyed (Heavy Arbalest, Throne of Geth, Trigon of Infestation) which makes overloading the number of targets for the opponent good.

My pick: Contagion Clasp

Pack 3 pick 3:

 

Fume Spitter is fine, and with the help of Contagion Clasp could become equivalent to what Galvanic Blast does on its own. However, we aren’t necessarily going to always have the Clasp to work in tandem with Fume Spitter. Splashing for the Scrapmelter is almost guaranteed at this point and throwing in a Galvanic Blast also is going to be nearly free. Galvanic Blast provides a cheap way for the deck to deal with threats while some of the other options (Trigon of Infestation) are just too slow to take highly.

My pick: Galvanic Blast

Pack 3 pick 4:

 

We have twelve artifacts (including Nihil Spellbomb) that we can run to power Embersmith, but it’s very unlikely we’ll be able to summon it early because of not having sufficient Red sources to do so. Sylvok Replica is a better choice because it’s on-color and doesn’t require additional help.

My pick: Sylvok Replica

Pack 3 pick 5:

 

For a moment I had forgotten that this is an Infect deck because we hadn’t been drafting many Infect cards. Putrefax is an excellent card, though better in a deck with lots of Plague Stingers and Ichorclaw Myrs because the sudden additional pressure is usually enough to win the game outright. In our deck Putrefax is less likely to be a game-ending play and more like a card used to accelerate a win by a few turns.

My pick: Putrefax

Pack 3 pick 6:

 

Blight Mamba is the only card we’re interested in.

My pick: Blight Mamba

Pack 3 pick 7:

 

A third Leaden Myr is unnecessary when taking it requires passing up a cheap removal spell in the form of Fume Spitter.

My pick: Fume Spitter

Pack 3 pick 8:

 

Vector Asp is usually really bad because it’s so small and only good if a deck also has a ton of equipment. Blackcleave Cliffs is the best choice because it helps fix the deck’s mana and splash the Oxidda Scrapmelter/Galvanic Blast.

My pick: Blackcleave Cliffs

Pack 3 pick 9:

 

We’re not going to play anything here except possibly Corrupted Harvester out from the sideboard.

My pick: Corrupted Harvester

Pack 3 pick 10:

 

There’s nothing for us here and Vedalken Certarch is the best card of the bunch.

My pick: Vedalken Certarch

Pack 3 pick 11:

 

My pick: Fume Spitter

Pack 3 pick 12:

 

My pick: Trigon of Infestation

Pack 3 pick 13:

 

My pick: Golem Foundry

Pack 3 pick 14:

 

My pick: Relic Putrescence

Pack 3 pick 15:

Forest 

The third pack was pretty good although we still didn’t pick up a lot of Infect creatures. We did get a number of above-average cards and should be able to construct a deck with enough play to deal effectively with a variety of matchups.

The first thing to take notice of is the number of Poison counter sources:

 

To a lesser extent:

 

These cards are all very slow, which implies that games are likely to be long and drawn out, which lowers the value of some of the weaker cards like Blackcleave Goblin because they are fragile. Only ten sources of Poison is rather low, which only adds to the length of games.

Most of the cards listed above are very good for an attrition war which is good when also considering the amount of removal that we have:

 

The low Poison count and slow nature of those cards in addition to the heavy removal leads towards a controlling deck and there are two main ways to build it that use an overlapping core of cards. The first makes use of only Green/Black and is on the aggressive side while the other is more controlling and uses only the sturdier cards.

Core:

 

Version #1 (Aggro):

 

Version #2 (Control):

 

The first version is likely to be better in the mirror because Infect damage is crucial to have in order to blank Ichorclaw Myr and Blight Mamba. Oxidda Scrapmelter isn’t always nuts against them although Galvanic Blast is obviously still good (especially against Plague Stinger). However the second version is a bit more powerful and should generally play to the deck’s strengths because the added removal slows the opponent down to the pace that this deck is playing at.

The mana isn’t terrible in the deck because there are surprisingly few non-Green spells. Black includes a total of two Fume Spitter and Moriok Replica while Red is represented by Galvanic Blast and Oxidda Scrapmelter. With the presence of two Leaden Myrs and a Horizon Spellbomb, it’s possible to run mostly Forests. With such a great difference between Green and non-Green spells along with single-colored requirements in non-Green we can dedicate ten slots to Forests. Four sources of Red is the most that we need and fine because of how minimal Black is; if we had more intense Black (like Grasp of Darkness) then the number of Red sources would have to be cut down to three to make room. Here is the finished product:

 

 

 

Round 1: Green/White Metalcraft/equipment

Evil had lots of flyers, including two Glint Hawk Idols and a Glint Hawk to go along with an Ezuri’s Brigade. The various removal spells in our deck were all good and it was relatively easy to win this match. Our deck wasn’t too slow, even though the first hand we kept was and it never felt like we were losing. Putrefax and Corpse Cur won game one with the help of Throne of Geth. The second game was won by stabilizing with Oxidda Scrapmelter and Wall of Tanglecord and winning with Trigon of Infestation in conjunction with Contagion Clasp and Throne of Geth.

Round 2: Mono-Red with lots of removal.

Evil had an Oxidda Scrapmelter, two Turn to Slags, three Shatters, and two Bloodshot Trainees (plus Barbed Battlegear) to go along with a Kuldotha Phoenix. Despite the good removal, Evil didn’t use it as effectively as possible and provided us with a bit of room to maneuver. Evil didn’t respect Heavy Arbalest and went to destroy our creatures with his Shatters instead. By the time the game was over, he’d lost a Barrage Ogre and Kuldotha Phoenix while we were at six life with Clasp and Arbalest. He could have easily won the match.

Round 3: Red/Black Metalcraft

Evil had a number of Metalcraft creatures including a Darksteel Juggernaut and multiple Chrome Steeds. We won the first game on the back of Putrefax after getting a few hits in with Blight Mamba and Contagion Clasp with Slice in Twain on cleanup. The second game was lost after stalled on Green mana so we couldn’t summon a Tel-Jilad Fallen before dying to two Steeds and the Juggernaut. The last game Evil mulliganed and got a bad draw against our average hand of removal plus a creature and Trigon; it wasn’t close.

Overall the build we settled on was very good and there were never any situations where we drew a specific card and were unhappy about it. The awesome cards like Galvanic Blast, Oxidda Scrapmelter, Heavy Arbalest, Contagion Clasp, Slice in Twain, and Putrefax were all good. Tangle Angler wasn’t as good as it could have been but that was because we never drew it much and had a lot of other removal to mop up with. Trigon of Infestation was good also because of the amount of removal.

Happy Drafting.

77 thoughts on “According to Webster – Scars of Mirrodin Draft #10”

  1. I’m really not going to read these anymore. The match summaries feel like a huge rip off. What happened to the play by play?

  2. I like the new setup of match descriptions. It’s probably the least interesting part and I’m glad that you condensed it all.

    🙂

  3. @ Ryan Spring says: December 27, 2010 @ 9:36 pm

    I stopped writing the match summaries because there was too much information for the medium I was using. Transcrips of game summaries don’t communicate every thought or even very many regarding WHY I did something, only that I did something. So much would need to be written for people to actually benefit from reading them that there would be too much to write and much of the information would be lost in the process; it would be very hard to follow.

    Videos are better for that, and there are plenty of those available on the site.

    It’s unfortunately that you think my writing isn’t worth reading, but I felt and still feel that this new format provides a more streamlined mode of communicating the important aspects of a draft.

  4. Drafted your picks 3x and ended up with a better deck than you each time, are you a pro or did you just fake all your points? I only have an 1800 limited rating which is nothing compared to people like LSV, but I don’t see how you can compare to my sad rating. Read all of your articles and I skim through them each time because it makes me a worse magic player if I start reading your reasons for picking certain cards. Well i gotta go draft 10x now to counter out this article later.

  5. Would GR infect have been unplayable? There was basically just a blackcleave goblin up til Pack 3 Pick 1. Is cerebral eruption not actually any good? Luis originally rated it pretty highly, has the stock of it fallen since then? I’ve had decent results with it the few times I’ve drafted it but I’m aware there can be some luck involved. If the two fume spitters don’t lap it seems like the black was pretty bad, although I admit there wasn’t much red that would have replaced it later in the pack either.

  6. I thought you got passed the absolute nuts in white but you still took it down so congrats + i agree with the new formatting as the old one was very daunting

  7. @ Rick Stains says: December 27, 2010 @ 10:13 pm

    I’m not saying that videos are better in general, but rather that they are better for communicating and explaining gamestates. A picture is worth a thousand words and a video sure is a lot of pictures.

    Written articles do have benefits, namely for people who can’t watch videos for whatever reason. For example, people may be at work and are not able to view YouTube or other viedo-hosting websites.

  8. not really excited with ur match summaries…it actually turns me off quite a bit from wanting to read your draft articles now…i thoroughly enjoyed the turn by turn analysis

  9. I liked the play by play write ups.

    among other things, they helped my game state visualization skills, something which no other writer I’ve seen does.

    still good though, thanks.

  10. I also preferred the old format, though I’m sure it was very time consuming to write. Is there maybe a compromise with a bit more information? I feel like the current summaries are so short that it’s difficult to gain any insight into your thought process when reading them.

    The drafting is as entertaining and enlightening as ever.

  11. I hope you include play descriptions *at the start of each new draft format*, so that players can see what decisions new cards actually provoke. But we all pretty much know what’s going to happen with these cards after a couple of months so I don’t mind the condensed summaries now.

  12. i always enjoy your articles web, another good one here.
    just throwing in my 2 pennies saying that i liked the turn by turn match reviews with good v evil. i understand if you’re busy, but i think they are valuable in that i can try to see what play i would make in the situation.

  13. I can understand your reasons for changing formats but the new ones just seems to end abruptly once the draft is over. The round summaries read like you got tired of writing the article and just want to go to bed. Keep the new format but ensure you keep your readers interested and awake.

  14. I’m in favor of the new match summaries. Despite my attraction to vivid detail, I find these condensed versions mroe concise, and generally more reader-friendly.

    As for the draft, that was a trainwreck, but I was glad to see that it is possible to salvage an awkward draft and turn it into a win. It’s a skill that I haven’t quite mastered just yet.

  15. Even if you cant put every thought in there I think you did a Good job of highlighting interesting decitions. Those short recaps feelt a bit anti climictic to me. Still, the comments to the pics are well written and makes for interesting reading.

  16. I usually didn’t read the match summaries anyway. Like you say, they were more stories than parts of a strategy article. But I do miss some general comments on how to play the deck you drafted. Play first or not? Sideboard?

  17. Good article, and liked the summaries (even if the Good V Evil schtick was very entertaining!). In match 2 you say that if your opponent had played differently then he could have cleaned up the match. Is that just holding his shatter effects to deal with non-creature artifacts, or were there any other specific situations that cost him?

  18. Like your format.

    There are plenty of videos on this site. I often find myself spending/wasting/enjoying hours of my time watching them.

    Your format gives a good return on my fifteen minute time investment which is why I love your format and will continue to read it.

    Pack one/pick three. I would have took Iron Myr.

    Just like you mentioned not liking white because it’s heavily drafted, red is very heavily drafted which makes the few red cards you often snag “splashable” at best.

    Then you’re praying for multiland/Iron Myr/Horizon Spellbomb.

    Keep up the great work : )

  19. Have to say that the old format, describing the play was better. If someone is not interested in that, they had the option not to read it (or you can add a show/hide feature with the detailed match description). I understand that you felt like you mostly explained what you did and not WHY you did it, but that was ok. We had the chance to see how close were the matches and what was the problematic part of the deck, or the advantages. Not to mention that you showed how to play that certain deck – which might not always be as strait forward as it seems.

    So I wish you would reconsider using the OLD FORMAT, or a mix of some sort.
    Cheers

    ps….I did not understand why were you talking about infect all the time….I mean at the beginning, ex. second pick,… like you wanted to force the infect deck or something.

  20. Hey David,

    I’m one of those reading this article at work, and I’m glad you didn’t turn them into videos.

    Thanks for writing!

  21. Thanks for the quality article again. I’m another vote for old play by play. I’m going to caps it just in case you, Zaiem etc are just skimming the comments

    OLD PLAY BY PLAY FTW! PLS PLS

    I originally suggested you add each draw step to the play by plays (you always gave your starting hand) and I’m sorry if you don’t agree, but my friends and I learned quite a bit from knowning the complete, exact game states.

    Although you had some comments here “I liked the new, I usually just skim”, I think it’s clear the majority want the full details back. We understand it’s more work, but don’t try to tell us this is a more effective communication stream…

    Whoever wants to just skim a full report can do so. Those of us who want to learn, grow strong and get better aren’t going to learn anything from “he didn’t shatter arbalest, he could have won”.

    Happy Holidays.

    (last caps spam for emphasis:

    O L D F O R M A T BACK PLS!).

  22. I also like the old format. I read these at work as well, and it’s nice to have the play-by-play analysis. I always look forward to reading these on Tuesday mornings and it is a bit of a let-down when the article basically ends after the draft does.

  23. Agreed. Play-by-Play > Summary. Visualizing the game state is always fun after reading how the deck comes together.

  24. I enjoy Web’s current format. I can stop and start my way through the draft when work slows down a bit. That’s something that just doesn’t work for videos. As for the play by plays, I used to pretty much just skim through them to find out the game results anyway. A match summary with a few key plays as well as which cards made a difference is fine.

  25. I preferred the old match summaries. I’m one of those people that can read a long article during the day at work, but there’s never really an opportunity when I can watch a video (the audio being the biggest problem — I would have to sit here with headphones on).

    I like the thorough summaries because they help explain exactly why a deck wins or loses. Comments like “My removal took care of his threats” is nice, but it’s such a throw-away. A very bad deck can win with a good draw. A bad opponent can punt a game. Basically I want to be able to determine the difference between good deck, good draw, good play, and bad opponent. The more you summarize, the more the distinctions are lost.

  26. What? this is way better the draft is the interesting part, we should all be able to make the right plays by now, and its only if you can make the right play in the moment that matters. not actually playing means that you will be in a different mindset, be able to think more clearly, and thus lengthy play by play descriptions are unnecessary. save time reading those and actually do a draft

  27. Love the articles. (Shorter time to read and can do it at work.)
    I still laugh at the good/evil picture even though the loss of play by play makes the picture less relevant.
    The thought process on the choices is still appreciated even after getting a better handle on the format after drafting 3-4 times per month.

  28. Regardless of format, I think your articles are one of the best on this website.

    As a point of contrast, though, this deck looks and, by your own admittance, is kind of patchwork. In situations like these, it may benefit the reader more to watch your game over the shoulder — either through a video (which you point out is not what you’re doing here) or through in-depth match coverage. I believe there’s more to get out of fully fleshed out draft review when you deck isn’t “Nuts.deck,” especially when it looks like you’re being passed said Nuts.Deck and are now overlooking it to stick to your guns, since this may be confusing for a lot of people who don’t really get it.

    I will not stop reading regardless of how you handle the articles, because they are always well reading and there’s still stuff to learn from seeing where you diverge from your writer/video drafter.

    Great work, as always.

  29. The only think I am missing in the new format is your mulligan decisions.
    “Our hand is six lands and a palace guard, we keep!!” That always made my day. 🙂

  30. I’m a big fan of these articles, I like the condensed version of the matches, but I also really liked the play by play, that’s what made this draft series stand out from any other “drafting with” series. I’m not gonna get melodramatic and say “I’ll never read these again,” because they’re still incredibly useful, but I have to say it all feels a bit samey. I hope the old format comes back, I understand what you’re saying about it not really explaining why you did something, but I think I learned just trying to reason why you made each play anyway, more so than the play being spoon fed to me.

    As for the draft, P1P3 I would’ve picked Iron Myr. Sure, they’re overvalued outside of Metalcraft, but they’re still good cards and keep your options open, whereas whilst Untamed Might is a fine card, you’re pretty much solidifying yourself in green, and if you decide green isn’t open, Iron Myr will probably always make the cut, on or off colour, and you won’t have wasted a pick on an Untamed Might which seems to come late anyway. Less so nowadays granted. I then would’ve 4th picked the Darkslick Drake, and we would’ve had two pretty different decks. I guess it’s preference/style at the end of the day.

    Thanks for all the drafts!

  31. Gonna miss the writing anyway Ochoa, though I agree that the play by play was more fun than it was learning. I believe Chapin put it best when he said he’d read instruction manuals written by you.

  32. @Web – The crowd goes wild… BRING BACK PLAY BY PLAY 😎 Tks for the awesome, free content, congratz on your successes and happy holidays.

    @Lombardo / random other ppl saying “plays should be obvious etc”:

    We’re glad to hear you play perfectly and never need to think to figure out optimal plays. Most of us strive for improvement and appreciate all the details in the game state. In this draft alone there was one opponent who threw away the match (round2). I bet many of his mistakes are ones you or I would make easily.

    —————————————–Random Tangential Aside—————————————–

    Any of you old / engaged enough to see the transcription from MTG’s first world championship match?

    It was like:

    Turn1
    “Zak: In hand: Taiga, Birds, Bolt, Library, Swords”
    In play: Tundra, Ivory Tower
    Draw: Ancestral Recall
    Plays recall, draws Mox Sol Ring Black vise, plays them all and Library of Alexandria, go.

    “PlayerB: in hand

    Turn 2:

    etc etc.

    Basically, like chess notation. To this day I have NO IDEA WHY THEY DONT KEEP DOING COVERAGE LIKE THAT.

    You think most of us give a crap about joke antics or body noises made during matches? We want to KNOW WHAT HAPPENED IN THE GAME. We’re fans, we want to see the plays and learn etc.

    Imagine Sportscenter:

    “So Yesterday was the superbowl… Peyton didn’t play that well so Drew Brees pwnt them 24 to 20. In other news…”

  33. I also read these at work and like that they are written out, there are plenty of videos around. I also miss the play by play, but understand it takes a lot of work to write up. Maybe you could include interesting board states or plays that you found in your games? The new match summaries are far too vague to glean any interesting interactions from.

  34. It makes me wanna trow up when I jsut lost in the QF of an 8-4 with one of the most solid decks I´ve ever seen (turns out it´s hard to beat Carnifex Daemon and Voilition Reins when you opponent draw them all three game)

    And then I see you draft this pile of ****** and go 3-0
    Are you playing against dummies or is SOM just to much about being lucky, I just wonder

    My match just showed the weakness of the format with to many gamewinning bombs but that pile you drafte should be a 0-3 deck..

  35. I like this better because you’re focusing your game reviews on analyzing which card interactions work better and thus trying to improve the _draft_ part of drafting.

    The play-by-play that doesn’t explain anything but just tells what happened was really not as helpful but had more information, and for that, now the articles seem a bit empty (cause the size was reduced quite a bit). Perhaps there’s something more to tell about each of the games, or something to make the game reviews more visually atractive.
    A doubt I have is, when I’m drafting this clunky deck and get a Putrefax when I’m not really playing the aggro infect, I don’t expect it to be quite good, just a 10/3 ball lightning. Wasn’t at some point better to just have another card in hand when you had it? Say untamed might for example. Counting the game you actually won thanks to putrefax, wouldn’t you have won it anyway?

    @MB – the deck is actually quite good, not awesome but I’d expect a 2-1 with it. And according to the article 2-1 is what should’ve happened, because of round 2. Just because it has infect cards but it’s not the multiple 2 drops + untamed might version it doesn’t mean is not good, it just plays out differently.

  36. If you really do choose to no longer continue with your Good vs. Evil shtick, then your sweet hot girl montage will be revoked.

    1W sorcery Remove target banner image from magic writer on the interWEBs

    Good article. Now stop messing around and do it right next time.

  37. Wow — I seriously thought this deck was a steaming pile, just incredibly slow and with no evasion and few infect cards. I mean, he has a few of the 2-1s in melter and slice, but I never would’ve guessed 3-0. I get that arbalest with infect is fantastic, but what am I missing here?

    And to surmise that there was only one other infect player — no way I believe that, given how Ocho saw almost none of the decent infect commons.

    I thought this article was going to be about trying to salvage an infect draft gone wrong, but nope, he sticks with infect all the way through despite the signals and still somehow 3-0s. Anyone? Anyone?

  38. Even if we cannot get your thought process throughout a play-by-play, I think just an explanation of what happened lets us see how cards function and operate together. Considering that the draft section is the means to the end of creating a deck that can compete during matches, I would say that seeing what does and does not work in a match is much more important information than seeing how you draft. I really hope you reconsider this new format, as I found the old one to be orders of magnitude more educational and entertaining.

  39. One more vote for bringing back the play by play. I’m one of those people who read these articles at work and always preferred yours over the videos for this reason. I agree with your reasoning for removing it, but still gain something from the play by play. While another format may be better, it’s still something over nothing.

  40. Like many are stating it is not just about the draft itself but how the deck plays after it is built. Its like a book that has substituted a blurry snap shot instead of a conclusion. The sport network analogy sums it up perfectly.

  41. I also read these at work and are happy that they are not videos, though if you threw up the occasional video, i would surely watch it at home. The Play by play is not just about conveying important information. It had the most important quality that an author can have in his writing: it was extremely entertaining to read. I read a lot of mtg articles on a regular basis, i read about new tech and sb plans and etc etc etc. Reading something for entertainment value and still being able to watch the draft. That’s worth quite a bit imo.
    Just my .02. I’ll continue reading either way, but i vastly prefer the play by play for its entertainment value and visualizing the game state.

  42. I like the longer match summary as it gives me a better idea whether your play skill/luck is winning games or your deck that I can use when evaluating your pick process.

  43. Maybe you should do both the breif synopsies and the detailed play-by-play… 🙂 I like your draft articles either way, but I think that I would prefer the play-by-play if it was one way or the other. If writng up the play-by-play is too tedious, then I would totally understand (especially when you have jerks like MB that are that are so thankful for your hard work). Anyway, nice draft and nice article.

  44. I skimmed them most of the time but since you’re punting the drafts so hard you should definitely post play-by play so I can confirm my suspicions about mispicks and forcing the wrong archetype for you seat, etc.

  45. +1 to preferring the text to video, and the play-by-play to summary.

    And I’ll be dammned if White didn’t seem absolutely insane in that draft.

  46. I like Webs draft articles alot, they are kind of the best thing on this site. I also prefered the old turn by turn desciption, but I understand if it is to time consuming and you’re still not happy with how it turnes out. This is fine to, afterall the drafting and deck building parts is the most intressting.

  47. David, I’ve known you for a long long time, and I know you are a really intelligent guy with a lot to offer to community. Even if you’re not willing to do the play by play anymore, would you even consider just writing longer more detailed descriptions or perhaps specific moments in game play that were crucial? I think people would find it really valuable if they could be inside your head, at least for important parts. The detail and thought process you go into each pick is really helpful I feel and if the same thing were to happen with the actual game play these would be really excellent reads in my opinion.

  48. Chiming in to say play by play is not necessary. I’d rather you spend the time on more discussion of picks or more drafts. I do, however, like it when you evaluate how specific cards play out for you during the games.

    For me, the biggest benefit of game walkthroughs is seeing how the 22-23rd card is good or bad.

  49. Bet you didn’t expect this when you started this series, huh? Half of the comments were talking about how terrible your Good and Evil writeups were. There were definitely a lot of us who liked it then, though.

    I fear my different suggestion may have been lost among the 50 or so people trying to tell you to do full play-by-play writeups again, so I’ll use caps: PLEASE DO PLAY BY PLAY JUST FOR A COUPLE OF WEEKS AFTER A NEW SET COMES OUT.

  50. I like the new format, personally. I can’t keep track of an entire board state in my head, and I like being able to read something short and concise. Draft videos would probably be better though.

    Regarding the draft: Seems like you punted big time but still somehow got there. Your Infect creatures were stupid slow and you had almost no Myr to accelerate them. I don’t understand why you went P1P1 Tangle Angler, P1P2 Scrapmelter, and then decided to force B/G Infect. If it was me, I would have played more similarly to the way LSV plays and taken the Tangle Angler as a Falter effect attached to a wall, and gone G/R dinosaurs. The dinosaur cards definitely seemed to be there, unlike the Infect cards.

  51. These drafts have went from my favorite on the site to my least favorite. Unfortunate that you decided to go away from the detailed match summaries.

  52. The draft picks section is the main reason I read these articles. As long as the match summaries include reflections about how certain picks helped or hindered those matches, I’m fine with the new format. Most of the play by play is hum drum who cares anyway, but when there are dramatic moments, that’s when it gets interesting, and often times ties into key picks from the draft.

  53. @ Eric. Well it´s not the first time I´ve seen Infect being force in this series without it being opened with the end result being a pile of crap. This time it ended up as a 2-0 deck anyway which is a huge surprise but that´s not really the point.

    What matters is that it´s wrong drafting infect in the first place. Other then p1p1 and p2p1 he got exactly 1 good infectcard passed to him. P3p5 and still he picked every infect infectcard he could get his hands on instead of geting out of it, Tangle Angler is still reasonable in non infect so it´s not like he would have given up much. Being able to jump out of infect is important, trying to force something that isn´t there is just terrible drafting and deserves to be punished with a QF loss.

    So yeah while I don´t say I´m a better limited player in general then Ochoa (like M11 where he were great and I could never win it seemed like I´m 100% sure that I´m better at drafting this format.

  54. “Even if we cannot get your thought process throughout a play-by-play, I think just an explanation of what happened lets us see how cards function and operate together. Considering that the draft section is the means to the end of creating a deck that can compete during matches, I would say that seeing what does and does not work in a match is much more important information than seeing how you draft. I really hope you reconsider this new format, as I found the old one to be orders of magnitude more educational and entertaining.”

    I second this.

  55. I am not saying I am expert, I only play swiss, but my P1P1 would be HIppogriff and not even close. I agree with MB on this one with Eric, you can really get trapped with forcing infect and it happened to me numerous times. But maybe it’s because swiss is more infect drafting?

    David, regarding the condensed version – I don’t need play-by-play, but I would really appreciate more detailed version. Especially if they are interesting. For example if you say that the use of the evil’s removal was not efficient, explaining when he did the mistake….
    I would also like to know your mulligan decisions at least in the borderline situations.

  56. i used to love the play by play in your articles because whenever you made a play i wouldnt make it made me sit and think about all the possibilities and it really helped me as a magic player without them i dont like the articles as much.

    while your summaries are fine if you are trying to brag about how you won and a short explanation of how the match-up played out.

    if i could make a recommendation for you to consider:

    include full play by play and then add a small summary at the end or find where in the game play an interesting situation comes up and comment on it

    or just be active in the comments and answer people’s questions

    thanks for writing i hope you find something that makes all the trolls of the internet happy(however hard it may be)

    p.s. you mentioned the play by ply being too much information i feel, and im sure others will agree, that reading a very long article is not a problem if i get something from it and if there is an issue with fitting it all in one article for some strange website reason i would happily click on article part 2 to continue following your draft coverage

  57. Good article, and I like the new format much better, huge long play by play makes the article feel extremely long and drawn out but a paragraph sized summmary is nice.

    Though to add another aspect to your article without having to make a whole video is taking screen snapshots of one of the end or turning points in the match. It would sow how the deck played out while also giving a visual aspect.

    One more thing I’d add is how your side boarding, since it is interesting to know how the “pros” would sideboard, especially in limited.

  58. Personally I don’t mind the new format; the play by play lines were incredibly dry and hard to read at once. If he got into a couple of longer matches it’d end up reading like…… well chess notation which someone above mentioned as a plus but I personally don’t find very easy/worthwhile to read. On the other hand maybe a little more description of how the games went down? Sort of a beginning, middle and end plus maybe a note about “the match turned when”. I just lost the picture of your games in my head this time and that’s never happened before; just a little more info in the 1 paragraph descriptions would have got me there.

    Honestly though like someone else said; thanks for the FREE article that was enjoyable to read. I intend to keep reading your work regardless of what format you ultimately choose.

  59. I miss the play-by-play, but I’d rather have the text articles than nothing at all. Most of why I read these is for the draft analysis, and although I do like to see how the decks play out, I think the summaries suit this purpose well enough.

    And I love how people continue to complain here about your “terrible” 3-0 draft decks.

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