According to Webster – M10 Draft #3

Pack 1 pick 1:


There is a bunch of medium-level cards here. Gravedigger, Assassinate, Divine Verdict, and Wind Drake are the main contenders. Assassinate and Divine Verdict are fine as removal spells, although somewhat conditional. If you end up having a deck that’s aggressive, Assassinate won’t be as easy to use because the opponent will have less incentive/opportunities to attack. Still, Assassinate is usually fine. Wind Drake is not an exciting first pick even if it is blue. I like blue and taking one of the less-powerful cards is still okay if it puts me into a color I prefer. Gravedigger forces your opponent to deal with whatever game-breaking creature you have (like Shivan Dragon) twice or lose. I prefer Gravedigger more than the two removal spells.

My pick: Gravedigger

Pack 1 pick 2:


Sign in Blood and Snapping Drake are the best cards. Illusionary Servant is also good, but not better than Snapping Drake. If we are to be black/blue, Snapping Drake would easily be the choice. However, if we want to remain open to another color or try to go mono-black, taking Sign in Blood is the better card. I’d like to wait a few more picks before committing to a second color.

My pick: Sign in Blood

Pack 1 pick 3:


I’m not much of a fan of Diabolic Tutor unless I have a high-impact card like Siege-Gang Commander or Mind Control to search for. Vampire Aristocrat isn’t a card I like playing much. It requires playing more creatures than I like to be good. Essence Scatter defaults to being the next best card. Despite passing Snapping Drake last pack, we may still play blue.

My pick: Essence Scatter

Pack 1 pick 4:


Red is probably open. Lightning Bolt should be gone before fourth pick. There’s still Pyroclasm also. The power-level of the pack is pretty high. If we’re sure to be blue/black, Divination is going to be better than Sign in Blood. Dread Warlock is good, but not better than any of the spells. I’d like to remain open to another color besides blue (like white) if it becomes very apparent that it’s open.

My pick: Sign in Blood

Pack 1 pick 5:


Duress is good, but will often wheel like Horned Turtle. Black/red isn’t a combination I like. Both colors are intensive. White doesn’t appear to be open. Between Duress and Horned Turtle, I prefer the Horned Turtle. I’d rather play Negate over Duress because the latter makes the opponent waste their mana to cast it and always hits. I tend to not like black/red because red is shallow and requires a heavy commitment for a lot of its better cards like Seismic Strike and Dragon Whelp.

My pick: Horned Turtle

Pack 1 pick 6:


White isn’t open. Blue and red are the better secondary color options. As mentioned earlier, I dislike red/black which makes blue/black the better choice. Dragon Whelp and Snapping Drake are strong signals this late in the pack. Snapping Drake is the better choice.

My pick: Snapping Drake

Pack 1 pick 7:


Merfolk Looter is amazing. Seeing it so late in the pack is evidence that blue is open.

My pick: Merfolk Looter

Pack 1 pick 8:


Child of Night and Vampire Aristocrat aren’t as good as Kelinore Bat. Vampire Aristocrat can power through large ground creatures so long as you have a high enough creature count in your deck. That specific requirement makes me dislike it as I prefer to just draft defensive ground creatures and win with flyers or other evasive creatures like Phantom Warrior or Dread Warlock. Also, Vampire Aristocrat opens you up to being easily 2-for-1’d in combat.

My pick: Kelinore Bat

Pack 1 pick 9:


Zombie Goliath might make the cut if we’re too low on creatures. He can power through Horned Turtle, Palace Guard, and Giant Spider, which is important.

My pick: Zombie Goliath

Pack 1 pick 10:


I wasn’t expecting Illusionary Servant to wheel. Blue is definitely a color we want to be in.

My pick: Illusionary Servant

Pack 1 pick 11:


Alluring Siren is good against Illusionary Servant and Ice Cage, and who knows, we may open a Royal Assassin.

My pick: Alluring Siren

Pack 1 pick 12:


Black also is definitely open. Dread Warlock shouldn’t still be in the pack.

My pick: Dread Warlock

Pack 1 pick 13:


My pick: Lifelink

Pack 1 pick 14:


My pick: Convincing Mirage

Pack 1 pick 15:



Looking back at the first pack, we can see that blue, black, and to a lesser extent red are the most open colors. We have quite a bit of card drawing with Merfolk Looter and two Sign in Blood. Mana might be a concern with Illusionary Servant and multiple Sign in Blood. We’ll probably be heavy black with a lighter amount of blue.

Pack 2 pick 1:


Doom Blade and Royal Assassin are the only cards to consider. Generally speaking, cards that are hard to deal with like Siege-Gang Commander, Shivan Dragon, Royal Assassin, and Air Elemental are going to win out over the best removal spells like Doom Blade and Lightning Bolt. Why? Some decks don’t deal with those cards very well. You’ll get more mileage with a Royal Assassin against an army of Wind Drakes than you would with a Doom Blade.

My pick: Royal Assassin

Pack 2 pick 2:


Cancel, Sign in Blood, Black Knight, and Terramorphic Expanse are the best cards. Cancel is going to wheel for sure since blue is wide open. Black Knight is okay, but not better than Horned Turtle or Drudge Skeletons. I’d play those in one of my decks before Black Knight. Sign in Blood is the best choice because drawing cards is one of the easiest ways to win games.

My pick: Sign in Blood

Pack 2 pick 3:


Looming Shade, Rod of Ruin, Horned Turtle, Duress, and Negate are the good cards. We’ll be able to wheel Negate, Duress, and Horned Turtle. I like Rod of Ruin better than Looming Shade in blue/black because keeping mana open for countermagic is counterproductive with Looming Shade. Rod of Ruin is another slow card, but it functions in multiple ways. It serves as removal, a win condition, and complicates combat.

My pick: Rod of Ruin

Pack 2 pick 4:


This is quite a pack. Gravedigger, Tendrils of Corruption, and Vampire Nocturnus are we’re interested in. Vampire Nocturnus can be good even if you don’t have any synergy with it. Neither Vampire nor Gravedigger is as good as Tendrils of Corruption. We are certainly heavy black which is exactly what tendrils demands.

My pick: Tendrils of Corruption

Pack 2 pick 5:


Mind Rot and Cancel are the two choices. Cancel is good, but Mind Rot is going to be better in our deck. Cancel is going to be difficult to cast whereas Mind Rot won’t.

My pick: Mind Rot

Pack 2 pick 6:


Warpath Ghoul isn’t what I’m looking for. It trades with almost every two-drop while not being able to defend well against cards like Stampeding Rhino, Giant Spider, Siege Mastodon and flying creatures. We’ll play the Divination.

My pick: Divination

Pack 2 pick 7:


The first Drudge Skeletons is more important than the second Kelinore Bat. Why? We don’t have as many ways to defend effectively than we do ways to kill the opponent. Drudge Skeletons is one of the more resilient defensive creatures we have.

My pick: Drudge Skeletons

Pack 2 pick 8:


Cancel is the easy pick. There’s nothing else to take that we’d use. We could hate Griffin Sentinel because it stops Kelinore Bat and can’t be stopped by Royal Assassin, but having a Cancel is more important.

My pick: Cancel

Pack 2 pick 9:


Disentomb is good with Royal Assassin and Gravedigger.

My pick: Disentomb

Pack 2 pick 10:


A second Cancel might be used depending on what the matchup is like. A second Zombie Goliath is almost as useless as the first.

My pick: Cancel

Pack 2 pick 11:


Duress probably would have been a better choice than the second Horned Turtle. At the time, I didn’t realize that I wanted to focus more on black and was probably not going to be able to play two Cancel.

My pick: Horned Turtle

Pack 2 pick 12:


My pick: Warpath Ghoul

Pack 2 pick 13:


My pick: Fabricate

Pack 2 pick 14:


My pick: Unholy Strength

Pack 2 pick 15:

Burning Inquiry

We’ve got enough draw spells. We could use more removal and some flyers. It looks like we won’t be playing many double-blue spells. Going mono-black is still an option, though we would need an amazing pack three.

Pack 3 pick 1:


Mind Control is an amazing card and means we should stick with black/blue. None of the other blue/black cards compare.

My pick: Mind Control

Pack 3 pick 2:


A second Essence Scatter means we’ll be able to deal with most creatures thrown at us. We should concentrate on picking up solid creatures from this point onward if possible.

My pick: Essence Scatter

Pack 3 pick 3:


Rise from the Grave is good with so much removal especially if they have a really good creature. Tendrils of Corruption is still going to be better. It’s one of the better removal spells available.

My pick: Tendrils of Corruption

Pack 3 pick 4:


Merfolk Looter is one of the best creatures available. It lets you filter your unneeded land draws into useful spells. With three Sign in Blood, one Divination, and one Merfolk Looter already, a second Merfolk Looter isn’t as necessary as if we didn’t have any of that. Phantom Warrior is another good creature. Unfortunately its double-blue casting cost makes it unappealing. That leaves us with Mind Rot which is also good. I don’t want the Merfolk Looter despite it being the best blue common. Between Mind Rot and Phantom Warrior, I’d rather have the Mind Rot because it is more useful.

My pick: Mind Rot

Pack 3 pick 5:


There’s no reason to not take Doom Blade. It’s the best removal spell.

My pick: Doom Blade

Pack 3 pick 6:


Assassinate is the only card for us.

My pick: Assassinate

Pack 3 pick 7:


We get to choose from Bog Wraith and Looming Shade. Between the two, Looming Shade is more powerful. However, against black decks, Bog Wraith is better. We’re probably going to beat the non-black decks already because we have so much removal and card draw. Against the black decks, Doom Blade and Dread Warlock become less effective. Having a creature that’s better against black but weaker against the rest of the field seems like it will be better because of the way our other cards are against black.

My pick: Bog Wraith

Pack 3 pick 8:


We’ve got enough removal. Weakness isn’t good enough to play over what we have. Drudge Skeletons is fine though.

My pick: Drudge Skeletons

Pack 3 pick 9:


We’re going to be winning in the air. Black Knight and Looming Shade isn’t what we want. Kelinore Bat is.

My pick: Kelinore Bat

Pack 3 pick 10:


My pick: Disentomb

Pack 3 pick 11:


My pick: Acolyte of Xathrid

Pack 3 pick 12:


My pick: Trumpet Blast

Pack 3 pick 13:


My pick: Telepathy

Pack 3 pick 14:


My pick: Acolyte of Xathrid

Pack 3 pick 15:



I decided to minimize blue as much as possible. Playing one Cancel may have been better than another card. The same is true with Divination. I wanted to run ten creatures. Going lower than that would make it difficult to kill the opponent considering we don’t have any giant creatures.

David decided to try a different approach to match coverage this time around, so chime in on the comments about what you think! – LSV

Round 1:

We are an evil lich from the swampy regions of Dominaria. Our master desires riches of the kings of other lands. He has issued his orders of conquest to us. The journey will be long, arduous, and begins in the nearby grasslands.

We have arrived in the grasslands. The richness of natural beauty is inescapable even to the undead eyes of our legions. The savannah spans from wind to wind, as far as the eye can see. In the distance we spot our first target: a soldier training camp. Its alabaster walls are old and crumbling. The outpost is not heavily guarded and should be easy to overcome.

The fastest way to the outpost is through a heavily forested area. Along the way we encounter a Runeclaw Bear. The animal would threaten to tear us limb from limb if it wasn’t for our escort of Drudge Skeletons and the Royal Assassin. At the sight of the two, the bear snarls and fades back into the underbrush.

The training camp is in sight, but our movements have not gone undetected. Horns sound as the opposing forces rally into formation. White Knight and Rhox Pikemaster are the first to be seen. The knight leads the charge. His armor gleams with the purity of the light and is immune to the manipulations of darkness and its minions. The White Knight’s blades find home as they are repeatedly thrust into us.

Unlike the White Knight, the minds of other soldiers at the training camp are not infallible. We begin chanting a dirge. The Mind Rot spreads throughout the camp causing seizures and despair in the weak minds of everyone save the original two defenders. With only the Rhox Pikemaster and White Knight left, we concentrate our thoughts on the Rhox Pikemaster. The dirge changes to a persuasive requiem and the Rhox Pikemaster can’t resist our Mind Control.

The rout at the outpost is not over. The White Knight calls to the good in nature. All manner of beasts congregate behind him to help fend off our intrusion into their domain. We see the Runeclaw Bear from earlier along with a Silvercoat Lion, Stampeding Rhino, and Giant Spider. Together, the makeshift army of the wilderness threatens to stop our advancement.

Our escort has been halted by the group of wild animals. We begin a ritual; a dark sequence of spells. On the ground, we draw ancient runes filled with power. Their design in the trodden earth of the savannah begins to glow with our power. Our life force is emboldened as Tendrils of Corruption shoot out at the Stampeding Rhino and Giant Spider. The swamps of our homeland empower us as the two beasts fall dead. The last runes we Sign in Blood to refill our knowledge.

The soldier outpost was thought to be desolate after our dirge. However, the commander has remained hidden from our view until now. He is seen giving orders to the White Knight as it continues to wound us. With our prime adversary in sight, it becomes apparent to our escort the necessity of killing him before we are finished off by the White Knight. A pair of Kelinore Bats dive towards the hidden commander as the traitorous Rhox Pikemaster holds the White Knight at bay.

Oakenform invigorates the White Knight. Its body is transformed by nature into a force which can’t be stopped by the Rhox Pikemaster. The White Knight attacks with a renewed fury unseen before by us. The razor-sharp sword finds home again as we are dreadfully wounded.

The outpost commander sends out an order to Excommunicate one of the Kelinore Bats in an attempt to live a few moments longer so he can escape. We can’t let the commander escape and warn others of our arrival. We have had enough of nature’s rebellion. From our side, we raise Doom Blade, the mystical ether sword. Its edge cuts to the heart of any soul foreign to the black swamps of our homeland. The Silvercoat Lion is no match for the blade’s touch.

We have surrounded the outpost commander of the training camp. He is trapped by our forces. The White Knight can see his leader fall in combat. Despite his vigilance, he can’t continue and lays down his sword in defeat. The rout of the training camp is complete.

Round 2:

After the trek though the savannah, we turn east towards the coast. The lush forests extend to the shores of the ocean. It is rumored that there is treasure deep within the mountains beyond the forest. Traveling near the coast is the fastest way through the forest, though still perilous.

Our travel through the savannah shifts eastward towards the sea. As we go farther, the forest rises up leaving the grasslands behind. The dense canopy shades the forest floor, allowing different types of ferns and moss to grow rampant on the trunks of the massive trees. Paths make us aware that the forest is not untouched by civilization.

The march continues as we make our way through the underbrush. The overgrowth is dense, causing our pace to slow considerably. We can feel magic around us and etch runes of protection onto a nearby tree. We Sign in Blood as the final step in ensuring the magic around us doesn’t have an adverse effect on us or our escort. Turning around from the tree, we see a Centaur Courser has blocked our path. The majestic creature holds a massive spear in its hands as it speaks, “You are not welcome.”

Turning to our army, we call for our Dread Warlock to deal with the centaur. The wizard will use its alchemy to shroud itself from the view of the creature and become invulnerable. As the warlock is about to start his incantations, we see a glimmer behind the centaur. Standing in the brush is the lord of the forest: the Master of the Wild Hunt

Legends have spoken of the Master of the Wild Hunt. It is said he is the incarnation of fury. Each creature possesses the fire in its soul which is manifested as the master. Others say he is a shaman driven mad. He became one with the forest and its inhabitants. He speaks to them and channels their lust for the hunt. We turn to the great hunter and command him to let us pass. At hearing us, his face darkens and eyes glow. He is here to fight.

Our Bog Wraith protects us from the charging Centaur Courser as we recite our spells and incantations of battle. Again, we Sign in Blood the scribbled runes to empower them. The glowing writing conjures a spell of dispersal as the Master summons a Snapping Drake. The Essence Scatter prevents the mighty drake from attacking us in the air. We would have been defenseless otherwise.

The encounter with the drake left us distracted for but a moment. In that time, Master of the Wild Hunt summoned a wolf. The creature was able to spot the Dread Warlock before it could reach the Master. The two fight together and perish. Their bodies leave the forest blemished. The pristine aura of nature’s calm is broken.

We conjure a spell to Assassinate the great Master. However, he is quick to use a ward of Unsummon to teleport himself to safety. He will surely be back. The battle has left us weak and we Sign in Blood more runes to invigorate us.

We are unable to find the Master and march onward up the coast. Before we can travel much farther, there is a faint noise in the distance: a slightly audible crashing. The noise increases until it is a deafening rhythmic thud. In the brush, we see a Stampeding Rhino charging at us. To our defense, we call a Snapping Drake and Drudge Skeletons. The two are able to slay the rhino before it can gore us with its horn. Alas, the drake was not fortunate enough to survive.

The Master of the Wild Hunt has returned. It has used Divination to make itself strong; so strong that there is one way we can slay the ancient creature save us. We draw our Doom Blade from its sheath and thrust it at the Master. The blade finds home as it pierces the Master’s armor. Agony fills the forest and the Master falls dead, a victim of pure malevolence.

Despite the Master being no more, the inhabitants of the forest still rage. They seek to avenge his death. We are now surrounded on all sides as the forest becomes alive. A Sage Owl and Awakener Druid are spotted as an ancient tree as old as the Master unearths itself and lumbers towards us. The branches of the old oak thrash us and our army. Our Royal Assassin brings a Rod of Ruin along with him to quell Nature’s uprising.

We have been pushed out of the forest onto the shores near the sea. The influence of the Master becomes apparent as we see a Wind Drake flying out from sea towards us. A Runeclaw Bear also emerges from the brush just north of us; it’s glowing eyes match the color of its painted claws: crimson. The battle is not over just yet.

Our army has been severely weakened from the battle. A Gravedigger is summoned to reanimate the fallen Dread Warlock. Together with the help of two Drudge Skeletons, the Rod of Ruin, and the Royal Assassin. We are able to defeat the last forces of Nature and continue towards the mountains where ancient treasure is sure to be found.

Round 3: Onward we march along the coast until we gain sight of the mountains and the end of our task. We turn north. The journey has been filled with danger. We have lost much of our army but still remain strong. The determination to satisfy our master emboldens us as we enter the final length of our quest.

The terrain has become rocky as we make our way closer to the mountains. We have not sighted any resistance in some time. The influence of the Master was contained to the seaside forest. However, we know there are sure to be forces working against us as we draw nearer to the top of the mountain.

A rocky path is carved into the slope of the mountain. The ancient trail bears the marks of its treacherousness as we see the remnants of fallen explorers and conquerors; a Whispersilk Cloak stained with blood is one of the many markers of the end of the line. Around a bend in the trail, we come into the view of a great red wizard. His robes etched with runes shroud himself save but his paled white face and wrinkled hands.

The wizard stares at us unmoving. A long moment passes until the wizard speaks, “Leave!”

We know him to be the great Svales; pyromancer mage of the north. We have no choice but to move onward. Our master has commanded us to turn back for no one.

A Giant Spider can be seen coming down the trail behind the mage, but we use our will to Essence Scatter the arachnid. We command Drudge Skeletons and Dread Warlock to capture Svales. However, the red mage is quick to act and commands the heavens to unleash a Lightning Bolt to fell the shrouded warlock. Still determined to make our plan work, we call forth a Snapping Drake to swoop down from the sky and grasp the mage in its talons. Again, Svales uses his will to Ignite Disorder. The pyromancer’s spell causes the drake’s blood to boil. It falls to the ground, seizing up as the hemorrhages snap its bones.

We are taken back at the sight of the red mage’s power. We too have spells to empower us. Sign in Blood refreshes our will. The incantation took time. While we were reciting the runes, an Inferno Elemental is summoned. At the sight of the fiery incarnation we look for inner calm. Our next spell requires perfect concentration. We look into the Inferno Elemental’s inner being and overpower it with Mind Control. The Inferno Elemental turns towards the red mage with a renewed fury.

In his defense, Svales calls down to the forest below. The rustling of trees can be heard as a Cudgel Troll emerges and races up the mountain trail. It picks up the Whispersilk Cloak on the way. The cloth shrouds the troll from our influence as it maneuvers around our forces to join up with the red mage. The Cudgel Troll has created an impassable barrier.

Our Merfolk Looter searches through its scrolls for a spell to halt the troll, but without success. We turn to our runes looking for more answers. The recited incantation Sign in Blood reveals no answer to the troll. The red mage calls forth one of his students: a Prodigal Pyromancer. We are determined to fight only one red mage. We use our runes to Essence Scatter the pyromancer.

Svales is weak. We can see it in his eyes. His troll may be invulnerable to our mental attacks, but he isn’t. We draw out runes in the dust and begin another incantation. It is soft at first, but grows increasingly loud. The dirge becomes deafening and fills the mind of the red mage, churning his thoughts and sending him into confusion.

The resulting Mind Rot leaves Svales helpless. We swarm the Cudgel Troll; it is forced to defend against the Inferno Elemental as our Drudge Skeletons slash at the red mage. Over and over this repeats until he can stand no more. A Borderland Ranger joins up with the Cudgel Troll to defend the red mage, but it is no use. Our mind is strong. We can see victory in our sight.

The thought of returning home with great spoils invigorates us. Our last spell uses the vision of our native lands to form Tendrils of Corruption to constrict the life out from the Borderland Ranger. The black strands suck the life from the ranger and deliver it to us. We feel renewed. Our army surges at Svales. The red mage’s defenses are overcome and he falls to the ground, dead.

With the red mage Svales defeated, there was nothing left to stop our conquest. High atop the mountain we discover the entrance of a cave filled with jewels and all other sorts of treasure. The cavern is lit up with but one torch as its light reflected off the hoardings in the mountainous coffer.

Happy Drafting.

119 thoughts on “According to Webster – M10 Draft #3”

  1. Pretty much unreadable. Sorry man, just not feeling it at all. I have always enjoyed your drafts but this is just too much.

  2. I like this draft a lot. The match reports were essentially unreadable. The old way you did it was fine. The naysayers are just the people too lazy to actually enjoy entertaining writing. This is a step too far, though. The problem is that the strategy of the draft and pick-discussions are for competitive players while the match-reports are only appealing to the most Vorthos of Vorthos’s. You’re splitting demographics, which is normally fine, but not when it’s in the same article on the same topic one right after another with no real conclusion to either without the other half.

    Anyway, well drafted. I especially liked the Bog Wrath pick. I would have taken Wraith, but for different (probably less correct) reasons. Keep up the good work.
    -AJ Sacher

  3. I always like reading the analysis of each pick. I may not agree with having so many sign in blood and I also think you rate Kelinore Bats too highly. (They are easily trumped by Griffin Sentinal and Sparkmage Apprentice). But still a good read.

    Then I got to the match analysis and stopped reading before the first game finished. I thought these articles were about strategy? Please go back to the normal match coverage.

  4. Okay. So I’m thinking this is a punishing joke for the people that didn’t like the way you wrote your articles before. A sort of “Well, this is what they could look like. So you should stop complaining.”

    Before I go further on the critique, let me say that I was one of the first to defend your article style last week and I am a fan. So if this is a real “step forward”, I have to humbly (and with hope) request our old draft coverage back.

  5. The new writing style is pretty bad. Flavor is nice, but it gets in the way of understanding whats going on in the game. I don’t know the life totals. I couldn’t tell where games 1 and 2 started and ended in round 1 without going through it again. I see what you’re trying to get at, and while it makes a somewhat cool story, I’d rather be able to understand what’s going on in the games than to here a somewhat entertaining story.

  6. I still think that the match reports should be done on youtube by a team of LARPers, and narrated by John Madden.

  7. You drafted very well. I think I learned a lot even though I think I prefer a less cautious approach. To exemplify I probably would’ve headed straight into blue after that air elemental.

    I had no problem with the reports from the previous draft articles but this is a step too far. You should’nt have to spend time deciphering the text and still not manage to figure out what the heck is going on.

  8. No offense but overdoing this because you got butthurt last draft report isn’t exactly mature. I liked reading the draft but I stopped reading after the first paragraph of the matches because it is completely irritating to read.

    Anyways thanks for the draft part at least.

  9. I agreed with most of your draft picks, another solid article. However, the match reports were borderline unreadable. I like the flavor you added to them previously, but this goes to the point of where it feels like the game is impossible to follow. I think you had a happy medium before.

  10. I never really felt the need to comment on one of your articles but……..

    Please never write another match report like this again.

    Thank you

  11. I like all the “I think this a step too far’s…” I think he understands it’s a step too far. But it’s a pretty comedic way of taking it a step too far. Based on your draft reports, I consider you to be very arrogant and obnoxious, but I must say I approve of this little joke.
    I also don’t believe you that the ones you post are a random sampling of your drafts. You win too many; Magic has more of an element of luck to it than that.

  12. Alluring siren isnt good against ice cage, cuz it only targets creatures the opponent controls. (I hit this problem in my own draft, before that i never noticed it).

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  14. How’d you do in this draft? I tried to read the match reports but I got tired of mentally translating prose into games of magic. I don’t mind the previous style too much, but perhaps could you do an experiment in plain old boring match reports?

  15. Thanks for the comments.

    I’ll be writing like I was before this draft.

    By the way, Ronald. I’ve done seven M10 drafts. I only “didn’t win” the first one.

  16. so i’m completely confused by the first pick. i probably still pick the gravedigger, but i have to think that borderland ranger is up there as well, way past wind drake at the very least. ranger lets you stay the most open to what pick 2 has, can help you splash for later and fits in more archetypes than the drake.

    good drafting, don’t write another report like that again tho

  17. Punishing your readers was not the way to go about dealing with this. Everyone is a critic, and almost everyone will have a problem with something.. thus is life.

  18. I really enjoyed this new approach to match coverage. I hope you repeat it in the future. Only complaint is that I can’t tell when one game ends and another game starts.

  19. Nice result! This was definitely more of a book than even the previous version, but I still found it enjoyable to read. I think the only issue I had was figuring out when the games of each match actually ended.

  20. A great way to deal with your critics 🙂 You must’ve put a lot of work into that.
    Still, switch back so we can get a full match report, instead of highlights.

    I didn’t always agree with your picks, especially not that Mind Rot over Looter.
    You needed creatures, you get to take one of the best for your archetype, and you take a second Mind Rot, a card you can always get very late?

  21. @ Mike: Borderland Rangers is not anywhere near as good as the others because it puts you into green, which in M10 is very near unplayable as a color. It’s an incredibly shallow color. As well as that, Borderland Rangers only fixes your mana or helps you splash if you are in heavy green. Splashing Rampant Growth/Rangers isn’t a great way to justify a different splash.

    When an author of a draftcap writes that Alluring Siren is good with Royal Assassin, instead of that it’s good with Wall of Frost.

  22. I found the match report quite entertaining, even moreso than the previous ones. It might not be worth your time and effort to always go into such detail, but busting out the storyteller voice from time to time would help keep it out of the monotonous rut many draft recaps seem to fall into.

  23. Loved it….LOL, was it unreadable? Hardly! Was it followable as pertaining to a magic game, not in the least. Seriously ROTFL at this one.

    But we all know you rock at the drafts, are you in works on a PTQ report for the near future, or is the overlord going to require one of you? Because I definatly have a couple questions for that one….. hope it happens cappn’

    Grats on the win, both in the t=draft and in L.A.

  24. Well I’m very happy you already commented you’re going back to your old style next week.

    I enjoy flavour, but this wasn’t what I was looking for. What you used to do was great.

  25. Sounds like a broken record, but I have to agree with everyone else. I did always love your old style, though you could occasionally go overboard with it. This was pretty much just unreadable. I stopped after I saw the start of the runeclaw bears sentence. Yeah, please go back to the old.

  26. Great draft. The match report was a very enjoyable read. I applaud you greatly, for taking the time to actually narrate a story like that. Maybe for all of the other avid followers of yours, you can post a plain text match report after the narrative.

  27. Draft was fine. Writeup was great I was fully entertained and forget these guys who have no imagination and “omg i cant’ understand what’s going on i can’t translate the story to whats really happening in game”
    Very creative and I for one would love to see more reports done in this fashion! If you want boring/descriptive reports just watch 99.9% of the other crap you can find online on draft coverage.

    +1 for originality

  28. Nice draft as always. I was more concerned with your hating on Black Knight and taking Mind Rot over Merfolk Looter this draft than I was with your slightly different reporting style but ‘c’est la vie’. I learn a lot from your drafts 🙂

    I can’t believe people are getting upset over an only slightly more fantastical relation of games. I found it amusing and far from unreadable, especially compared to the old way. Really the main difference was that it was less dense, which actually made it easier to read if not necessarily more ‘realistic’.

    Personally, I would rather have less exhaustive descriptions of your games; I think clear and simple is the best: any particularly tough board states or choices and why you made them, what happened as a result, how the deck performed in general, side boarding etc.

    Keep up the good work!

  29. Hello,

    I personaly enjoyed reading this report, but still
    I also think it’s too much. The previous style is
    much better and more enjoyable.

    Great draft though.
    Must admit I would have been tempted by red (lighting bolt,
    pyroclasm) and probably forget blue, but as I can see later
    it would’ve turned out to be a wrong move.

  30. I’m pretty sure that you know this, but you mentioned when picking Alluring Siren that you could use it to break Ice Cages on your own creatures, but I’m pretty sure you can’t.

    Also, I found the report to be great. The last one I found a bit difficult to read, and the personal touches muddled the details. This time, it was clear, concise, and entertaining. Thank you for the great article.

  31. Hilarious! And reading these just takes a little more effort than normal. I don’t see what’s so unreadable about it. Clearly the command of the English language is not enough; it appears these reports demand mastery.

  32. Not worth the effort to read, at least have a side-by-side with a normal play by play so people that play for strategy can enjoy both halves of your articles. This is ridiculous.

  33. The only thing I didn’t like about the writing was how Wizards didn’t make names easy to fit into a story. Scatter Essence would have been better than ‘essence scatter’

  34. So … Congrats on PTQ win. Not so much on direction taking. The way this article is written makes it overly difficult to follow what is actually occuring in each game I much prefered the other style. And i like looter #2 over mind rot #2=)

  35. i dunno but i fucking love how you tell a story with the cards, i can get into the games so much more rather than hear the same old a+b=c like reporting a chess match or something. peeps need to lighten up and realize even the best players can have some fun with the game. when i play magic, i like to imagine scenes like what you describe going on in my head. keep it up meng you can never satisfy everyone

  36. The draft was insane. However, I preferred Good vs. Evil. This new match narrative is really unreadable (which seems to be the general consensus).

    But congratulations on Qing for Austin!

  37. The play by play was completely unreadable. I’m not a fan of the good vs evil style either but it’ much better then this.

  38. Drafting in prose form
    Good originality
    But maybe too much

    Seems a bit too short
    Each game should be its own tale
    I don’t much like this

    But still props for prose
    To respect this writer’s tale
    Comment in haiku

  39. To me, the two different styles of draft coverage you’ve employed are essentially the same. They both lack the detailed discussion of what your options are and why you did what you did that make the drafting portion of your articles so valuable. I’d prefer a few sentences of analysis and recaping any challenging plays over dozens of paragraphs of irrelevant play-by-play with no analysis, no matter what style it’s in.

  40. The heroic knight stalks his prey through the forest. The awful play by play storyteller does not see that he is soon doomed. With one swing of his enormous claymore he hacks off the storytellers arm. Unfortunately it is merely a flesh wound and the hideous play by play commentary continues.

  41. Assuming you’ve been able to parse through all of the above comments and actually read this:

    I enjoy the style of writing here much better in the abstract. However, for some unknown reason, it doesn’t seem to fit well with a draft walkthrough (at least for me). I had no problem with your old style of Good v. Evil, and I would prefer you stuck with it for Draft Walkthroughs.

    Still, great job with the actual walkthrough, thanks for the insight and keep up the good work!

  42. That was magical, so much more than a draft report. To turn such a mundane task into a story and make it look effortless… Great writing, sucked me in from the beginning. By the way, I couldn’t stand GP Niigata coverage, because I felt like I’ve read it all before. Narrative changes everything.

  43. A very interesting article on many levels. I really liked how detailed your analysis was for the first pack, and had to smile when you mentioned you should stay UB with Mind Control. Were you intentionally mocking Todd Anderson?

    And I get what you did with the writeups. I didn’t mind the way you wrote them, but definitely got the sense that you planned on sticking it to your critics.

  44. Great draft report with a lot of insight, very entertaining.

    The match coverage, while a change of pace, proved to be enjoyable as well. I assume he just did the more entertaining match of the 2 out of 3, and went to each opponent. That is why you don’t know when game 1 ends and game 2 begins.

    People who can’t understand his narrative either lack comprehension or vocabulary, as I found it very easy to understand once you realized what he was trying to do compared to normal.

    You can’t assume he always makes the correct play, but not always knowing what is in his hand or what his options are isn’t going to affect how you play magic.

    In a draft your opponents will never be the same, their cards will never be the same, and that particular match up of cards will most likely never be seen again, unlike constructed.

    So enjoy his draft reports and his reasons for drafting. It helps and is done perfectly. The play by play of the matches is really just icing on the cake he doesn’t even need to do. He could just draft and say if he went 3-0 or 1-2 and we would get the same picture of how good his deck was.

  45. Agree with most people. I loved the way you wrote before calling your opp evil and all that but the current way is just too removed from a magic game to make sense. I had no idea how many life you were on or when you made the jump from games within the rounds.

    Kudos for the writing skills but can we have some sick plays instead of sick stories?

  46. Well i appreciate the avant garde way you are doing your match reports but to me the information/number of words ratio with this style of tournament report is way too low. While i initially liked the way you creatively made a nice story of the games (which magic is basically about in some way) after a while i just felt my attention dropping until i got bored. It is just not for me. But i can not lose the feeling that you want to unnerve some people with your style of writing on purpose. The harsh cut between your analytical and expertly explained picks to this almost unbearably nerdy way of telling the matchs is like a bucket of cold water poured over my face after a nice dream full of slightly clothed fearies (not the magic fearies…) singing and dancing around me.

    I forced my way through your match report and it put a smile on my face a few times. But after all i had do force myself to read it… Its a nice twist on the match report but after all its not easy to get used to it… But i guess you will keep on trying anyway.

    @Adam: Im not a native english speaker and i do not have any problem understanding it. So i guess most of the readers of this site won´t have any problems as well.

  47. @ Adam: You sir, apparently lack the comprehension that when readers claim the match analysis as “unreadable”, they mean it is too verbose.

  48. You should have picked Black Knight over the 3d Sign in Blood, and Looter over Mind Rot. Knight + Looter > 3d Sign + 2nd Rot, by far. You passed Black Knight 3 times (the same one twice) in a Black heavy deck, I almost had a heart attack here 🙁

  49. Maybe I’m the odd one out, because I love the flavor and texture of this style. I’m a competent player and drafter already, so once I’ve gained an insight into your picks and their reasoning (Which is the area I hope to improve through reading draft walkthroughs), I can enjoy the actual gameplay for what it is: a game.

    In my opinion, the most important skill to acquire for Limited formats is card evaluation. Again, that’s why I read articles in this vein. During the actual draft process, you were deliberate and analytical, giving the reader everything he/she needs to improve their card evaluation skills, which is unquestionably the easiest way to improve his/her draft results. That’s your job as far as I’m concerned, and I feel that you convey that information in a perfectly clear manner.

    Once the play begins, a new style emerges, and I think that’s fine. Game play should have a completely different feel than the draft segment, and quite frankly, I think that some folks are taking themselves a bit too seriously. We’re all planeswalkers who do battle with one another by calling on arcane magic and summoning fierce monsters to do our bidding. Try explaining that to a non-player without running away from them in shame! Yet, that’s the pastime that we as Magic players have decided to collectively pursue. At this point in the draft, an excessively analytical writing style would serve little purpose other than putting the reader to sleep anyway, as Limited is often dominated by the availability of resources, which oftentimes can’t be helped.

    In summary, if anyone feels that knowing the exact mechanics of how Webster tapped his lands to cast that Snapping Drake, then yeah, I guess those folks are pissed. In most cases, however, the reader can walk away feeling as though they gained some legitimate insight into the format and it’s specific card evaluation requirements (i.e. Mana fixing is more important here than in ACR, etc.), while being spared from the monotony of Limited gameplay, which is often an enormous bore anyway.

    Maybe I’m in the minority, perhaps even to a high degree, but I enjoyed the article.


  50. Hooray for fanfics!

    …except wait, no. I don’t come here for fanfics. I come here for draft reports.

    Good v Evil was fine – I didn’t mind spicing it up a little bit. But the actual gameplay just got completely lost in lurid fantasy with this one.

  51. People complain that your draft write up is unreadable and ask you to make it more straightforward, and as if to say, “I don’t care what you think, I’m better than you”, you make it even harder to read…doesn’t really seem like a winning attitude from a business standpoint. I can only assume that you aren’t paid as a writer and therefore do not care about the success of this website. While there are apparently some people who do like your current style of writing, I think it’s more likely that they would continue to read your column if you made it more to the point, as opposed to the people you are definitely losing by continuing to write in this style.

    I leave you with an analogy (sort of from a backwards point of view, but you get the idea). You own a restaurant, and every day, 100 people come in to buy potato soup for lunch. One day, you decide that the potato soup will be better with leeks in it…it turns out that 50 of your customers are allergic to leeks, and cannot eat the soup the new way, while the other 50 like it as much or more than the old way. You decide you don’t care about the 50 people who can’t eat it because you yourself like it better with leeks, and leave it the new way, losing half of your total business, instead of just making the soup palpable for everyone.

  52. Refreshing and absolutely entertaining. When does your book come out? I have always enjoyed your drafts and having this type of report once in a while actually keeps me intrigued.

  53. Congrats on the PTQ Win.

    Pretty painful to read. If you are going to write like this or even your old style maybe just saying at the very end your game/match record would be nice.

  54. I think all this general asshattery is really just sour grapes and nothing else. If you want a run of the mill draft replay, there are dozens to be had elsewhere. While the prose will never win you a Hugo, you defend your picks well, elevate the discussion over just here’s the pile, here’s how it went down. Especially in M10 drafting where the nuances of gameplay rival your prose for banality, it’s refreshing to have something other than “he/I cast overrun/fireball/insert bomb here” and then “he/I won/lost”. Stay strong!

  55. The draft was okay, the match coverage was terrible. I stopped reading after the first round as it offers no insight at all. I like to know what your draw is, what is in your hand, what you play each turn and why you played that card.

    If I wanted a story I would read a book.

  56. I think the writeup was fine. The reason being is that you really do not learn much during game play unless you are watching. I’m just saying that people who want to be a better technical player should not read draft summaries for that. Watch an LSV draft video. Your writing is really entertaining and maybe you should try to write a book and get it published.

    Also, your draft picks explaination is amazing. I have always been a decent drafter, but seeing you and LSV draft shows me that I need to have a better plan as to how I am going to win. i.e. being more consistent in how I value a card. Defensive vs. win condition……

    One more thing, the only reason I think you could run 3 sign in bloods is because of the 2x tendrils.

  57. (Note: I’m writing my comments as I read each pick, in real-time.)

    Woah, woah, woah!

    “I'd like to remain open to another color besides blue (like white) if it becomes very apparent that it's open.”

    Uh, that pack has Bolt AND Clasm still in it. It is apparent RIGHT NOW that red is open. I don’t see any way that taking Sign in Blood here isn’t massively incorrect. You’re not even guaranteed to go black yet (not seeing any Tendrils or Doom Blades, etc.), you could easily wind up U/r or something. A Gravedigger and Sign aren’t so good that I’d be hesitant to drop them.

    The P1P6 Whelp should confirm beyond all doubts that red is open, and the Snapping Drake (in combination with what’s been passed) should be a strong signal that you ought to be U/R.

    And then P1P7 Looter. Yes, the U/R siren is blaring at full volume, you should abandon black (should have done so at P1P4 if you ask me). That said, I guess we’re going B/u, and after this, what you get passed is too dependent on having passed some strong red, so I can’t really compare.

    P2P2: You have already Looter and multiple Signs, I don’t think you need yet more. I would probably have taken the Expanse (you just finished saying your mana looked troublesome) or the Knight, who holds the ground impressively.

    P2P4: I don’t have any disagreement on your card choice, just with your writeup. Saying stuff like, “Neither Vampire nor Gravedigger is as good as Tendrils of Corruption” isn’t helpful unless you say WHY they’re not as good (removal is harder to come by than random beaters, you already have plenty of card advantage, and Vampire is only going to be good about 1/3 of the time since Swamps aren’t black). Glossing over picks like this is fine when it’s obvious (like the P3P1 Mind Control) but here, it’s just content-free words.

    For an example of how to do this right, see your write up for the immediately prior P2P3, where you perfectly explain why Rod of Ruin is the pick.

    I’m glad to see you’ve taken some of the (well-intentioned) criticism of your writing to heart. Even though I liked the no-flavor reports best, this match write-ups were much better than your previous “style”. If you’re going to “flavor” it up, do it all the way! The only sticking point is that it’s hard to see where one game ends and the other (of the same match) begins. Otherwise, this is better, although that isn’t license to rest on your laurels!

  58. I was supprised at your dislike for Vampire Aristocrat as he lets you get extra mileage out of creatures enchanted with opposing Pacisfism and Entangling Vines, and possibly had you ended up with a bomb creature be able to sac it and then re-animate with GraveDigger.

  59. I love the ‘old’ style, but this one was terrible 🙁

    I’d have picked drake p2 cuz I blue is so good :(, which would have resulted into picking the looter over mind rot.

  60. I have to say, I loved your drafts, but–I know that its been said before–the match report was entirely unreadable: the style stopped me completely from understanding the ebb and flow of the match. Normally, you present life totals and turns; in this version, everything is swirled together, and quite confusing. Please, go back to your old way. This is just way over the top: if this was an account of a Dungeons and Dragons campaign, I would understand, but a Magic game simply cannot be told in this form without simplifying the strategy that is key in Magic.

  61. Love the response to last week’s backlash against the writing style.

    Note to readers: This post is David and LSV saying “We’re keeping the original format.” If you don’t like it, then I suppose you can choose to ignore it. It’s free content after all — they can do what they like with it.

    I for one applaud them for sticking to their creative interests instead of caving to the masses who simply want more of the same which will never set this website apart from any other. “More of the same” is for the simple minded who do not appreciate attempts at innovation.

  62. Regardless of what everyone may say, these are becoming some of the most commented Magic articles on the Web (no pun intended). In the words of a great band, “F*** the naysayers ’cause they don’t mean a thing, ’cause this is what style we bring.”

  63. I’m not trying to hate here, but I thought that while somewhat refreshing at first, the new match description was unreadable if you wanted to glean any insight into how the match was played.

    The descriptions were somewhat fun, but I stopped reading at the beginning of round 2. In his other articles, I generally always read through. I know he tries to add an element of fantasy to his writing, and he went further with this one – I would say too far. It’s hard to balance the gameplay aspect with the fantasy writing, but for a site concentrating on advice this one, this was too much for me.

  64. Not only were the match descriptions unreadable for gaining any actual information about magic, they were pretty awful fantasy writing. Filling something with Lovecraftian purple prose does not make it compelling. Characters do that, and there are no characters in a game of magic. This isn’t art, it’s an abortion.

  65. I don’t understand your story. The character sounds like an arrogant prick that should write like the other draft recaps because your “we are not impressed” style of writing adds nothing to the value of your articles. I mean, the character in the story. Yeah.

  66. @ Dan

    Ummmmm I think you need a lesson in business strategy and economics. While your analogy was somewhat understandable, it was a rather horrible representation of good business sense, and quite contrary to what it is most believe that Mr. Ochoa was trying to accomplish in the write up. Now I’m not necessarily trying to defend Webster here for the write up (allthough I did find it utterly hilarious as a comeback for the negative backlash from last week, and all together solid and sound writing) but truth be told, if you are running a business, especially one in the food industry it is almost textbook to run with the recipe that has greater feedback and less applicability, as you are never trying to cater to 100% of any population, and if you find something that works/taste better than what you had before, as in your case Potato and Leek soup, and it is considered at least as good and better in some or most cases by half and not by the other half, then you run with that, because you know that those 50% are much more likely to return and spread the word about the new soup rather than the “ok” soup that was presented the in the first part. So in short, if you really think that most people, a majority percent of, or just enough people really love your style then you absolutely go with it because you will garner much more followers in the end and they will be much more happy with what you present than trying to appease the whole population.

    Eryk H.

    P.S. @ D.Ochoa and staff, still wondering if you are planning on writing a PTQ report??????

  67. I could read it and personally enjoyed it. Although entertaining I would prefer you go back to the old way as I not only enjoy your article but I also enjoy reading the comments from other people and right now I see too much hate. Thanks and great job

  68. I read through several comments and, being a supporter of your writing previously, couldn’t believe how many negative comments were voiced. (my heart is thumping.)

    David, you created some epic moments and really brought the draft to life. The cold hearted strategist in me wanted play-by-play summaries, but after reading the first round and breezily soaking in the images and descriptions of the next two, I no longer cared for the minutae. Giving a name to the red mage, and painting the battle so it took place on the mountainside was vivid. I can only imagine where you could take this to next – could it become a series? might you mix in some plays in brackets? will you develop characters?

    I think this is decisive. Your writing style garners a whole lot of comments, and for good reason. Magic is growing everyday, and Wizards have to be some of the only people actually making money in todays economy. Magic Online is becoming a gambling central more akin to market fluctuations and lucrative business deals then it is an outpost for people to indulge in some fun – light-hearted or serious. PTQ’s are sports events. They haven’t been table-top tournaments for a long time now. What I see your writing doing is keeping warm the vein of blood flowing through the kid in all of us – the kid that first picked up a Leviathan and marveled at how big it’s jowls were.

    I love hearing players comment on the artwork, or recite flavor text, it makes the game mean something more than capital. (don’t kick my soapbox just yet.) If there is one thing fantasy means in a world whose enthusiasm is drained by bill payments it’s that no riches can be found in a empty imagination.

    Good on you David!

    (Most importantly though, write what you feel challenges and satisfies you. You’ll find an audience. Perhaps you aren’t aiming at becoming a literary genius, but the advice remains the same. History is full of under-appreciated artists, you should be proud to be one in their company.)

  69. Great article, I just don’t understand why would it be unreadable… It is sooo entertaining reading the match coverage; it makes the whole article less boring (it is not boring by any means, but, you know in articles like this the match coverage is usually quite boring).

    P1P2 Snapping Drake
    P1P4 Lighing Bolt
    P1P6 Dragon Whelp, since red is wide-open

    P2P1 Dragon Whelp


    I think i would have played ur, but dunno.

  70. Pack 3 pick 9. you took a bat over MFing black knight??? Ive had at least 2-3 drafts where my black knight goes all the way against unprepared white weenie drafters. And, you already had a bat as a previous pick. Turn two black knight crushes anyone playing white….

  71. Oh yeeea! I loved the round coverage i was laughing all the way through as i cloud vividly imagine your descriptions and appreciate the literary effort. Unlike these robot “MTG pros.” who read just for pick insight and game interactions. It was not unreadable! It is a fantasy game we all play and enjoy. Pro -peoples often get caught up in meta-games and pick orders and forget the most important rule! To have fun! Nothing wrong whit some RPing from time to time.

  72. I disagree with the style of match reports, but it is novel. I suppose that since it’s wrote by a pretty good player then he could call himself the pink elephant of doom and I’d still read it.


  73. I loved the report. While I think that having one like this every time would be tedious, I think that a narrative style like todays would be a fun break to the normal, he did this and that and I played some dorks, and I tendrils his guy, mind control i win.

    I think that you did an amazing job, and that like AJ said before, the haters cannot enjoy good writing. I do think that you did NOT go to far haha.

    As for Pack 2 Pick 2:
    the third sign in blood was over the top. you don’t need it, and the expanse would have helped you play more blue like you wanted to in the end.

    Pack 2 Pick 3
    The rod of ruin pick I do not like. Duress and Negate seem much better as all the crappy x/1s that you have to play in sealed are not played in draft. Although it is a great answer to looter and ice cage and servant. I think that duress is just better as it deals with their bomb, and along with mind rot, allows you to really hurt your enemy. It is close though. So I am not that sure, but my gut tells me that it was wrong.

  74. For what its worth, I read it. I didn’t get much as far as strategy and how the games actually went, but the story telling was pretty good. I don’t reccomend torturing people like this often though, even though it is well written. As usual, you’re a good drafter, no question about it.

  75. unreadable? hmmmm…. I could’ve sworn it was in plain english. Too far removed from a game of Magic? Is’nt Magic based on a fantasy world? (The name Magic was my 1st clue.) Strategy….seems he explained every pick that mattered. Overall I felt it was very well written. There was strategy where it was needed with the picks and flavor where it was needed. So it was’nt all blah, blah, blah. I attack with my drake, blah blah blah, kill some dudes blah blah blah, then I kill my opponent.

  76. Your math reports would be tolerable if you just had a single sentence at the end of each match saying “I Won, now I am 1-0” or so on. Even if the report itself is unreadable, it is nice knowing how you did.

  77. Channel Fireball, much like magic strategy sites in general, focuses on strategy. The “reality” of the game is in focus, the mathematical and strategical. That is one side of magic. But a lot of flavour is lost, and that is a big part of the game too. Your articles alone make up for most of the flavour lost in many of the (otherwise fine) articles here. I think that if you want a site to be about magic the gathering, and not just magic strategy, you need this element. You have a good talent for writing epic stories, keep it up!

  78. The match coverage has two goals, but accomplishes neither. It tries to present some strategic commentary, but trying to read between the lines to understand the game is difficult for readers. On the other hand, the coverage could be seen simply as prose. On this side, however, it is equally uncomfortable. Many games of magic could be converted into exciting stories, but not all of them. Interpreting each play as part of a story, or as in the real world (of magic at least) simply does not make for interesting reading.
    I think your idea is a good one, because I am a lover of the stories that magic represents. However, I don’t think this is the way to fulfill that idea.

  79. I liked the way you wrote before, more fun then the usual “I cast, he cast” report but still coherent.
    However this is completly unreadable, I tried my best to read round one, but had no idea what was going on and unfortunately had to stop there.

  80. Don’t get me wrong, I like the effort you put into it and it’s defanitely well written, however I can’t understand what is going on in the matchup, it was too confusing.
    I like the added flavour to your previous reports, but they were still very much understandable from a strategy standpoint.

  81. Your draft commentary is excellent.

    Your match report is a childish reaction to legit criticism.

  82. The old style was absolultey great. some of the best draft reports I have ever read. But this is simply too much. I don’t know what is going on in the games. At all. I have no clue what creatures on the board when and I have no idea what your thinking and thus learn nothing from the games.

    Stick to your old style and I’ll love your reports. But I’m honestly not sure I’d contiue to read any of your match reports in this style.

  83. I submit that to further irritate your audience, the next game reports should be done in a series of medeival woodcuts on burnt parchment, dramatically re-illustrating the turn by turn, but one image per game.

    …narrated by John Madden, only he’s wearing a Thraximundar costume, and a necklace made entirely out of cathartic adepts.

  84. Loving the storyline, writing skills and as an English major in college can appreciate this sort of handywork 🙂 unfortunatly for you, most ppl just want to see picks and results and less storyline… overall entertaining to me 🙂

  85. never found a faster way for me to put me off reading an article until today. please do not cover your matches that way again.

  86. I love this kind of commentary. I had no problems following it and understanding what cards were played etc. I have no idea what these people that are saying it is unreadable are talking about.

    Epic!! keep up the good work (I double dog dare you to write up your PTQ report (if you write one)) like this.

  87. “I'll be writing like I was before this draft…”.Thanks for admitting your mistakes so fast and deciding to come back to the good old ways.

  88. It’s funny how so many people don’t realize this was satire. Pretty sure David never intended to continue recapping games in this style. It was a reaction to the criticism on M10 #2 where a lot of people called it “unreadable.” So he sarcastically amped up the literary content instead of toning it down.

    This is his way of saying “I don’t want to write my draft reports how you’ve suggested, and to prove it I’m going to show you just how ridiculous my style COULD be.” Then it’s supported by LSV, so umm…get used to it, I guess? When the author and the proprietor of the site both agree on this format, it’s going to stay.

  89. When u picked tendrils over the bug vamp I think that was a bit of a mistake. Not because tendrils isnt stronger then vamp but because you didnt have a finisher at the time. Looking at your final decklist you didnt seem to have much of a finisher besides drake at all. Dunno if im right just a taught.

    It would help if I could get through ur match reports but I hate them. Not saying there bad just not my taste

  90. i actually really liked the draft report. i think the main reason is because i really like fantasy. and it is true that you cant really tell what is happening but i enjoyed it at least

  91. @ Comment by joe – August 31, 2009 @ 11:42 pm :
    I’ve gotten flack about the Black Knight from some of my friends. They say it’s free wins at times against white decks. I’m not sold on it yet. Merfolk Looter is definately better than Mind Rot in the abstract and in-game virtually all the time. However, it could be argued that it’s a bit closer to Mind Rot at the time it was drafted in relation to the deck.

    @ Comment by merl – September 1, 2009 @ 3:14 am :
    No, I wasn’t mocking Todd Anderson. I don’t read his draft recaps.

    @ Comment by Eryk H – September 1, 2009 @ 12:15 pm :
    I won’t be writing a PTQ report. I didn’t take notes and don’t remember much of the details.

    @ all the haters:
    I’m neither petty, childish, or bored enough to devote the time and effort into putting together a draft recap to smite “you all”. I take feedback seriously.

  92. @ the Dave himself

    would you answer in this forum, if I were to ask you a specific question then? It regards the quarters in the top 8. I’ll ask anyway since there is no need to multiply the post count. So in game three vs the GW rougue aggro with all the Acid Slimes and the Umbral mantle, you had the win on the board in the next turn and your opponent went to activate his moss(whatever the green hideaway) land and in response with 6 open land yourself and him down to 2 cards in hand and 2 mana avaliable to him and 1 card in hand, you cryptic using tap and return on his liege I believe, instead of letting mosswart trigger resolve and let the spell hit the stack then using the Cryptic to decide what to
    do. So in question form: why cryptic first not second here as he still had an unactive mutavault to keep his critters power above 10 if the cryptic resolves??

  93. I don’t mean to hate…but this match coverage is _horrible_. Now, I dont like your normal coverage either and I usually skip it because it drives me crazy. I read to gain a competitive edge – all I care about is how well your deck did overall, what picks worked well, which were failures, and what picks you would change.

    As another poster said, you are splitting your audience. If you want to do a “flavorful” play by play – do it with some random constructed match. Not after and a part of a draft walk through.

    I do appreciate and find value in your draft walk though and reasonings though.

  94. This report was awesome, I for one would like to see more from the perspective of evil! It pains me to see people label humorous and imaginative writing as unreadable.

    I don’t understand the hate, all the meat and potatoes strategy is there when discussing the picks. And the match reports are generally pretty void of strategy anyways, so why not inject a lot of flavor into them. I could discern the results of the deck he drafted and the play by plays to a good enough extent if I really cared.

    No one complains when Ruel writes about 1 sentence per game in his draft recaps, but you give someone any kind of substance and they’ll complain about it. The internet is sad that way.

  95. btw, I must add this to my previous comment, because it is pretty entertaining: I like my chances in a match against anyone who has got so short attention span, and/or capability of reading that they cannot actually read through this draft article and find out mostly what happened in the games. I really like my chances.

  96. This. Was. Awesome. Seriously. I don’t think anyone’s ever done anything like this before, and it was highly entertaining – and I don’t know what y’all are talking about. I was totally able to tell what was going on. Also, this was awesome.

  97. All in all, while I am not a huge fan of this particular style myself (I must take a brief aside here to mention that I, like some, do read your reports mostly for the draft strategy) I think that this was a great article. I may not be a Vorthos, but the creative ingenuity here should not be overlooked. This is certainly the most unique writing about Magic that I’ve encountered. I think most people probably won’t receive this well (as evidenced by the many “you’ve gone too far” comments), but I think that you should keep doing it for two reasons: first, I am sure that you enjoyed writing it this way, and even if people do complain, I’ll bet that they will still read the report or click on the article to leave a complaint comment or, at the very least, will still come visit the website; also, we still get the value of you explaining your draft choices even if we don’t want to read the report, so nothing is lost in the strategic importance of the article. It’s not like you were writing a typical play-by-play game report before anyway, so doing it this way just adds a uniqueness to your article that is unparalleled. Again, I don’t have much Vorthos in me, but now I know where to satiate those interests when they do crop up. Finally, for those that don’t know the names of the planes or the general concepts behind the scenes of the actual game play, this is an invaluable way to combine something they are familiar with, with a new learning experience. I might not be the hugest fan, but I can recognize the quality of the work and, for that reason, I say you keep on doing it. Nevermind the random “you went too far” comments. Chances are that many of those people haven’t read much beyond Magic articles at all.

  98. P.S.

    It’s definitely somewhat ironic that most of the negative comments come in broken English and net abbrieviations. I might be in the minority here, but seeing things like “IMHO” still make my blood curddle, and that, of course, is just the tip of the iceberg. Not that I haven’t made some errors here, but it has to at least slightly irritate you to have to honestly accept criticism in such forms. Consider @Dan’s potato (and leek) soup example: by writing the “soup” your way, apparently you lose half of your business, so you should instead have made the soup more “palpable” for everyone. I, for one, would be quite impressed if you could accomplish this feat (or should I say feet?). Perhaps this article isn’t palatable to all, but that doesn’t make it bad, and that certainly doesn’t mean that you have to lose half of your readers.

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