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Riding the Avalanche – Draft Literacy

Learning to read is an important part of any education, including MTG draft. Now that I’ve had some success drafting all five colors in Scars, I really want to focus on reading the draft more and avoiding early color commitment. This has the advantage of allowing me to really focus on artifacts with my early picks, ensuring that I end up with the number of artifacts I really want: 16-20. Not only will I have high quality artifacts because I used my highest picks on them, but I will also have a number of excellent colored cards because I should be in excellent colors for my seat.

Pack 1 pick 1:

 

As usual, it’s good to start the draft with a powerful artifact. This is especially important when you want to read colors and not force them. If a potential bomb like the Mantle wasn’t here, I would be perfectly happy with the Steed. Arrest and Galvanic Blast would make great first picks if I knew my colors.

The Draft

My Pick:

nim deathmantle

Pack 1 pick 2:

 
Another potential bomb artifact makes an easy second pick. The next best card is Lifestaff.

 

My Pick:

golem artisan

Pack 1 pick 3:

 

A great third pick. This is especially true since I expect to get plenty of artifacts using this strategy. The Revoke Existence suggests I might be in a good seat for white, and if Relic wasn’t so good I’d be tempted to take it.

My Pick:

rusted relic

Pack 1 pick 4:

[draft]

 
–> Iron Myr

 

The Warden continues to suggest white, but I stick to the plan and take a solid artifact.

My Pick:

iron myr

Pack 1 pick 5:

 
–> Flameborn Hellion

 

Here my plan hits a snag, since I don’t really like main decking any of these cards. I take the Hellion because sometimes you just have to smash face.

My Pick:

Flameborn Hellion

Pack 1 pick 6:

[draft]–> Copper Myr

 

Barrage Ogre is tempting, but there is still a good artifact that’s going straight into my deck.

My Pick:

copper myr

Pack 1 pick 7:

 
–>

 

I generally consider Panic Spellbomb a red card, so it’s about the replicas. Not sure which is better in a vacuum, but I err on the side of aggression.

My Pick:

 

vulshok replica 

Pack 1 pick 8:

 
–> Myr Galvanizer

 

My myr picks look a little better, as I luck into an eighth pick Galvanizer. Perhaps black is available in this seat?

My Pick:

 

myr galvanizer 

Pack 1 pick 9:

 
–> Neurok Replica

 

Whether I treat it as a colored card or an artifact, I think the Replica is the best card here. Now I have reasons to consider blue and red.

My Pick:

neurok replica

Pack 1 pick 10:

 
–> Trigon of Mending

 

A potential sideboard card in a weak pack.

My pick:

 

trigon of mending 

Pack 1 pick 11:

Turn Aside
–> Salvage Scout

 

Potentially playable, but I’d rather not.

My pick:

 

salvage scout 

Pack 1 pick 12:

–> Soliton

 

I’m fine main decking this guy, especially if I go blue, but the rest of pack one was meaningless.

 

soliton 

Pack 2 pick 1:

 
–> Mimic Vat

 

A rare I seem to open frequently; at least I’ve played with it enough to know it’s fantastic. Shatter is the next best card in the pack and the Rust Tick is the next best artifact, although my [card myr galvanizer]Galvanizer[/card] would love for me to take the Myr.

My Pick:

 

mimic vat 

Pack 2 pick 2:

 
–> Sylvok Lifestaff

 

If I didn’t already have three good late game cards to sink my mana into: Vat, Golem, and Deathmantle, I might take the Trigon. Since I do, the Lifestaff is definitely the pick. Lots of good colored cards, so it will be interesting to see which one comes back to me.

My Pick:

 

sylvok lifestaff 

Pack 2 pick 3:

 

I wouldn’t main deck any of these artifacts in a metalcraft deck, so it’s time for my first serious colored pick. Frankly, the Forger is the only card I like in the pack, period.

My Pick:

 

carapace forger 

Pack 2 pick 4:

 
–> Vulshok Replica

 

Still keeping my colors open, I take an okay three drop. Trinket Mage may have been a better pick anyway though.

My Pick:

 

vulshok replica 

Pack 2 pick 5:

 
–> Snapsail Glider

 

Quite happy with a Glider here. The Tanglewurm is tempting, since I’m leaning towards green.

My Pick:

 

snapsail glider 

Pack 2 pick 6:

–> Kuldotha Rebirth

 

An awful pack. I take the Rebirth because the [card vulshok replica]Vulshok Replicas[/card] have me considering Red.

My Pick:

 

kuldotha rebirth 

Pack 2 pick 7:

 
–> Bleak Coven Vampires

 

I love Vampires, I’ve been stockpiling artifacts and I don’t feel color committed yet. The Geargrabber is the only other card here I might consider.

My Pick:

 

bleak coven vampires 

Pack 2 pick 8:

 
–> Origin Spellbomb

 

I might be in a good white seat and I have a [card myr galvanizer]Galvanizer[/card], plus I don’t like the rest of the pack.

My Pick:

 

origin spellbomb 

Pack 2 pick 9:

 
–> Alpha Tyrranax

 

Easily the best card in the pack, and in a color I’m leaning towards.

My Pick:

 

alpha tyrranax 

Pack 2 pick 10:

 
–> Vedalken Certarch

 

I’m not a huge fan of blue/green, but it’s the best card here for a metalcraft deck. The rest of pack two was garbage.

My Pick:

vedalken certarch

Pack 3 pick 1:

 
–> Myr Galvanizer
Fulgent Distraction

Obviously not nearly as exciting as my first picks in packs one and two, but it’s a good fit for my deck. The Spellbomb, the Spider and the Drake are the cards I’m next most interested in.

My Pick:

 

myr galvanizer 

Pack 3 pick 2:

 
–> Bladed Pinions

 

Probably the toughest pick of the draft for me. The best cards in the pack are Myrsmith, Grasp of Darkness and Untamed Might. Unfortunately, given that I’m still not locked into colors, there is a very real chance this pick could be wasted. As a result, I end up settling for a lesser card, Bladed Pinions, that’s guaranteed to make the cut and that’s a really good fit for my deck, especially with cards like Rusted Relic and Carapace Forger.

My Pick:

 

bladed pinions 

Pack 3 pick 3:

 
–> Carapace Forger

 

I don’t really need any more mana-myrs, so it comes down to either Revoke Existence or Carapace Forger. Since I already have one Forger, I continue to go green.

My Pick:

 

carapace forger 

Pack 3 pick 4:

–> Perilous Myr

 

Another mind boggling pick. The cards I consider are Might, Myr, Blast and Conviction. It comes down to Might and Myr because I’m sure they’ll make the deck. I go with the Myr because of the two Galvanizers.

My Pick:

 

perilous myr 

Pack 3 pick 5:

–> Copper Myr

 

Once again my Galvanizers put the Myr ahead, this time instead of Sentinel.

My Pick:

 

copper myr 

Pack 3 pick 6:

 
–> Molder Beast

 

I take the Beast over the Drake because I feel more likely to play green than blue.

My Pick:

 

molder beast 

Pack 3 pick 7:

Melt Terrain
–> Necrogen Censer

 

A weak pack, I take the card that would go best in an aggressive metalcraft deck.

My Pick:

 

necrogen censer 

Pack 3 pick 8:

 
–> Lumengrid Drake

 

The two blue cards are by far the best cards in the pack, so I finally lock into my second color. The Drake will go great with my tempo and it’s nuts under the [card mimic vat]Vat[/card].

My Pick:

 

lumengrid drake 

Pack 3 pick 9:

 
–> Myr Reservoir

Fulgent Distraction 

Not much to choose from here, and I do have a bit of a myr theme to my deck.

My Pick:

 

myr reservoir 

Pack 3 pick 10:

 
–> Soliton

 

The only card I would consider playing, and it wouldn’t be the first time I ran two of them.

My Pick:

 

soliton 

Pack 3 pick 11:

Plated Seastrider

–> Riddlesmith

 

Makes me happy I settled on blue. I’m not a big fan of Clone Shell.

My Pick:

 

riddlesmith 

Pack 3 pick 12:

–> Oxidda Daredevil

 

Best card in the pack, but I won’t be using it.

My Pick:

 

oxidda daredevil 

Pack 3 pick 13:

 Vulshok Heartstoker
–> Vedalken Certarch
Forest

It never fails to surprise me how late this card goes. Then I play it and people are desperate to kill my one drop.

My Pick:

 

vedalken certarch 

This is the deck I played:

The Games

Round one, I played against a blue/black deck. He had a decent curve and lots of good creatures, but he was playing too many borderline cards, including: Psychic Miasma, Memoricide, Blistergrub, Dross Hopper, and Vector Asp. He also had a mix of infect and non-infect creatures, which made the match up easier. The best cards he played were probably Fume Spitter, Necrotic Ooze, Plague Stinger, Palladium Myr and Bleak Coven Vampires.

I won game one with his Ooze under my Mimic Vat. Game two, I got mana flooded early so he was able to Psychic Miasma me three times while I got early board advantage. Once I got to metalcraft, the game was pretty much over since I had a Certarch and two Forgers in play, and over the course of the game I drew Glider and Relic also. Win 2-0.

In round two, I faced a red/green metalcraft deck. Game one got off to a great start with Certarch, Riddlesmith, and Glider on the first three turns. Lifestaff and Copper Myr gave me metalcraft on turn four, making Certarch and Glider happy. Turn five, I increased the pressure with a Forger. In the meanwhile, my opponent tried to slow me down with a Wall of Tanglecord, Auriok Replica, and then a Ratchet Bomb for one. Things started to unravel for me when he played a Tangle Angler and Galvanic Blasted my Glider after I equipped my Smith with a Bladed Pinions. A Turn to Slag for my Smith and Pinions irrevocably turned the tide in his favor.

Game two I came out fast again with turn two Perilous Myr followed by a Galvanizer. He played a Golem’s Heart on turn two to buy himself time. An Auriok Replica stopped my attack for a turn, but I played Certarch and Forger on turn four. After he tapped out for Trigon of Corruption, I played Mimic Vat to get metalcraft, tapped his Replica, and hit him for eight. A Ratchet Bomb and Galvanic Blast combined with the Trigon as he tried to stabilize. I played a Neurok Replica and started making Forgers with the Vat after he killed it. He was forced to blow the Bomb for two to stay alive, and the Mimic Vat finished the job.

While I had another excellent tempo draw in game three, this time his draw was even better. I played turn one Certarch and he responded with Embersmith. I played Forger and he Blasted it and played a Lifesmith. Hoping to protect my Certarch, I blocked the Embersmith with a Galvanizer and he played Tel-Jilad Defiance on it. My Certarch sighed with relief when I put Deathmantle on it, but that just meant it was time for me to get wrecked with Turn to Slag again.

While I stalled at four mana in game three with both Molder Beast and Alpha Tyrranax in hand, I can’t blame this match on too much or too few mana. All three of my draws were good, and I came close to winning 2-0. The reminder I got from this match was that good red removal makes better support for green than blue control does. One of the drawbacks of straight draft reading is that you run the risk of playing a weak archetype. Since green doesn’t have removal, its strongest archetypes are when it’s combined with a heavy removal color like red. I was very happy with my deck for blue/green metalcraft, but I probably should have drafted red/green myself or even blue/white for this reason, even if I would have had fewer good playables to choose from when constructing my deck.

I’m enjoying my continued experiments with Scars draft, and I feel like trying out different strategies is helping my overall understanding of the format. This particular draft reminded me the strength of drafting really high numbers of artifacts, but it also reminded me of the importance of drafting an archetype and not just a bunch of good cards with a good mana curve.

130 thoughts on “Riding the Avalanche – Draft Literacy”

  1. pinions over arbalest when you already have 1 soliton, and the other wheeled back to you after?? even the same pinions over the myrsmith when you have 2 galvanizers seems poor. Forcing yourself to not choose a color even at the start of pack 3 seems like handcuffing yourself for no reason.

  2. At this stage in the format, I struggle to see what can be learned from this. If anything, it’s don’t keep picking up mediocre artifacts over good coloured cards as late as pack three to stay open. Not a lesson that I think many of us needed to learn.

  3. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

  4. I thought the point to staying open during pack one is to see what colors are open and then capitalize on that information by moving into the underdrafted colors in packs 2 and 3. Instead, you continue to pick weak artifacts over strong colored cards way longer than necessary and ended up with a weaker deck as a result.

  5. Another “train wreck” draft, I’m sure. You *ONLY* got Golem Artisan, Rusted Relic, and Mimic Vat; your deck must have been terrible and it’s lucky for you that you even won the first round [/sarcasm]

    As said above, you forced yourself to stay open throughout the entire draft and made bad picks as a result. Nim Deathmantle is REALLY REALLY GOOD in a slower, more grindey deck, but it’s quite lacking if you want to draft a quick aggressive deck, I’ve found. P1P1 probably should have been Arrest or Gav Blast. Likewise, P3P2 should have been Myrsmith and P3P3 should have been Revoke. Passing up on premier removal spells for mediocre guys and random equipment seems really terrible, and is a bad lesson to be teaching people.

  6. Average definition of draft literacy: correctly interpreting a draft to reap the rewards of picking the right color/archetype for your spot.

    This article’s definition of draft literacy: GRAY BORDERS!

  7. This is probably the worst draft strategy article I’ve ever written. How in the world did you end up in green when Red and White were being passed good red and white removal. I have no idea what you were thinking here, and as a result you ended up with a terrible deck. Seriously I can’t believe how bad this was…..Unbelievable that this train wreck of a draft is on this website.

  8. Agree with Chris

    All this draft seems like is repeatedly taking shitty artifacts over solid removal spells when you’re just getting repeatedly slapped in the face by them. God forbid you end up with a deck that doesn’t have 16-20 artifacts in it and instead you’ve got
    Arrest
    Shatter
    Galvanic
    Revoke Existence x 2
    Turn to Slag x 2

    Sounds like an awful deck to play, I guess bladed pinions is just what the doctor ordered.

    I sorta feel bad for bashing on Riding the Avalanche every single week but why is it just so terrible?

  9. I can’t even fathom why you wouldn’t pick the Myrsmith. I mean you couldn’t have possibly been in a better situation to draft that card. Instead you take Bladed Pinions pack three pick two, in order to keep your options open. What are you waiting to be passed at this point?

  10. I also think Darwin could have drafted a stronger deck with the options given to him. However, i don’t think the article is all that bad. He deliberately tried out something new as a sort of experiment and then as a post mortem described what went right and what went wrong in his experiment. What’s bad about that?

  11. Even lsv’s cat knows this guy can’t draft scars. Sorry DK, it’s not 1993 anymore so get with the times.

  12. My god was this awful. Ok, don’t take colored cards if you want artifacts, even if they are removal, I can accept that for experimenting reasons, but taking pinions over arbalest is mind bogling.

  13. I’m really amazed that CF keeps on posting Kastle’s artcles. Most of the time they are quite mediocre and sometimes, like this one, just bad, really bad.

    To write an article about staying open and reading colours and then draft weaker artifacts the entire draft (and even making several mispics there) is just one big joke. Yes, yes, he’s a hall of famer, but if the people running the hall of fame would read his articles they would (should) consider removing him.

    Now lets see if there is anyone willing to defend this draft/Kastle !

  14. Ahem… PINIONS?!??!?!?!? really? PINIONS? over all of those sweet cards to put in your deck. You can’t keep your options open forever… you do it so you can pick up a sweet myr smith for your mediocre mono myr deck.

    Dude, what the fuck are you doing. I mean seriously. I’ve been in your corner until now, assuming you knew what you are doing and who am I to say your wrong when I don’t right articles for magic websites and I’m not in the hall of fame, and anyways, i cam to learn so why should i be bitching? I honestly thing my drafting skill has gone down from reading these train wrecks. I mean pinions? really? over grasp and myr smith and arbalest? What the fuck….

    What

    The

    Fuck…

  15. Magic really is just like poker in some aspects. Sometimes a random, due to no fault of his own but being on the upside of variance, manages to ‘win the big one’ and, as a result, becomes a famous player for life. But despite all that fame and that money, he’s still just a mediocre poker player at best.

  16. I also agree that this seems to be an extremely badly thought out experiment. Staying open and reading signals is an important part of drafting, but when you push it to extremes the entire point of the lesson is lost and it becomes a serious drawback rather than an advantage. Speaking as a casual player i do not think that this is beneficial material to someone looking to learn about draft techniques. While i have no problem as such with the author or any other articles posted as a part of this series, if CFB is going to post these articles it should be clearly signposted that they are gimmicks rather than actual strategy advice. In fact, for the purposes of entertainment why not start a series of gimmick articles where picks are restricted by order of rarity or mana cost in each pack? Would be rather more enjoyable to read about…

  17. This guy is in the hall of fame because of his constructed play right? cuz this draft was terrible….

  18. appreciate the different perspective you bring, even when i disagree. (given that u had a soliton, the pinions pick seemed odd) last thing im interested in is everyone writing/videoing drafts with the same strategy/pick orders. some commenters need to chill.

  19. I don’t think I’d have as much of a problem if your draft artifacts strategy had picked you up the Arablast-Soliton combo when it was RIGHT THERE, but that on top of everything else makes me, ahem, “question your strategy” as those above.

  20. Every time I read a Kastle draft I feel like I’m being trolled. Every Single Time. These articles make me want to cut Avalanche Riders from my cube on principal.

  21. darwin is terrible

    Darwin is a MISERABLE limited player. He is an awful drafter, a mediocre player, and an arrogant POS in real life. I’d love to see his writings discontinued from this website as they have nothing to offer anyone.

    p1p1 deathmantle over arrest and galvanic blast is actually terrible. deathmantle is a highly unexciting card in draft (and is only fine but not great in sealed) and this is a blatantly incorrect/terrible pick that you’d expect to see out of a ptq top 8 newcomer, not a hall of fame player.

    p2p2 sylvok lifestaff is almost equally as bad as the above pick. lifestaff is an extremely mediocre card (mediocre in infect. calling it mediocre is pretty generous anywhere else) and is NEVER a second pick. this pack had at least three superior options but unsurprisingly darwin opted for the garbage. The following forger pick is a little more understandable but still random and unfocused and the entire remainder of the pack is completely unfocused. At the the end of pack two his deck is a complete pile that has no business winning.

    p3p1 myr galvanizer makes me ill. he’s willing to dip into green for a forger but he’s not willing to take the unfathomably better/extremely powerful acid-web spider? if he had deemed himself to be white at this point origin spellbomb is likely a stronger pick and if he’s REALLY on the myr plan, which he absolutely isn’t at this point, i vote for the reservoir, but like i said he is an unfocused mess and not on that plan either. as it is he is first picking a grey ogre that is shatterable and therefore vulnerable to half the format with very little upside. nice first pick!

    p3p2 BLADED PINIONS?!?!?!?! are you kidding me???? i thought the lifestaff pick was bad… pinions is EXTREMELY mediocre, and that is being generous, and this pack has minimum 3 cards that are in entirely different leagues (grasp, arbalest, myrsmith). honestly, not for nothing, but i believe bladed pinions is one of the worst 3 cards in the entire pack. i think only sieze the initiative and bonds of quicksilver are worse, MAYBE ferravore but i dont think so, and there is absolutely no arguing that pinions isn’t one of the bottom five cards in the entire pack. this pick, like most of his, is just miserable.

    p3p3 he takes forger, indicating he does in fact believe he is green, but he was not willing to take the infinitely more powerful acid web spider before. idc if you’re heavy metalcraft. spider is still just better, period.

    p3p4 darwin makes yet another pick that makes me want to break my laptop. he’s indicated multiple times that he is red and he then takes a perilous myr over the CLEARLY better galvanic blast. A blast is the better card by a lot B HE IS RED/COULD EASILY PLAY MOUNTAINS!!! this pick is sickeningly bad. the follow up copper myr over turn to slag makes my food actually come up and at this point i vow to never EVER read a darwin article again and i am now inspired to write all of this.

    there are more bad picks to follow, but they are no longer worth discussing. putting players like lsv and paulo on the same site/at the same value as darwin kastle is a joke if not outright insulting to those real pros. you’re looking at two players who rightfully fit into the category of top five best players in the entire world and then someone who is absolutely not in the top 2000. there are MANY, and i really do mean MANY, ptq level players who are considerably better at limited than darwin kastle. this is not the type of content i’d ever want to see on a website that wants to be taken seriously and if this were a paysite and i read THIS article i would instantly cancel my subscription and never renew. this article is actual garbage, like all of the articles written by darwin kastle.

    as rude as these comments may have come off i’d like to simply stress the point that things are written the way they are because i feel extremely strongly in my opinions on this matter and honestly reading these articles/having these articles on the site is, at least for me, significantly taking away from the overall appeal of the website.

  22. Not only does the arbalest combo with soliton, but also with the galvanizers (less so, but still quite good). That would make it a pretty high pick to me and certainly much better than a bladed pinions. The myrsmith is still probably the best pick to go with all the mana myr and the 2 galvanizers, but the arbalest at least makes it a tough choice. You even commented that white seemed open in pack 1 which would make it open pack 3 also.

  23. LOL. I have never seen a draft this bad. Actually, I was so relieved at the end, only because it wasn’t a draft video. Then I would have wasted a lot more than ten minutes. LOL. Yeah, this HAS to be a prank.

    … And obviously lifestaff? OBVIOUSLY NOT, dumbass.

    This was my thought process when I started reading:

    “First pick… deathmantle? Deathmantle? Oh no…. oh no…. oh no. Is this TSG in disguise? No, even he would have taken blast or arrest here. Who is this guy?”

    And from there, everything went black. Sorry for being harsh, but I hope you realize that this draft was as bad as it gets. So much potential, so utterly horrifying outcome.

  24. And wtf? This is no school essay. We don’t require you to write a conclusion where you explain to us what you learned from your experience.

  25. This Guy is just. so. bad.
    I mean, I am far from a pro, but I think I have a reasonable handle on the format, and I disagreed strongly with so many of these picks.
    maybe he has superb technical play or something, because I don’t see anything that justifies any of these picks apart from his extraordinary luck

  26. I feel worse at magic having read that article. Thanks… Seriously why is this even posted on the site…

  27. 16-20 artifacts in all your decks? Soounds like something I’d want to play against all the time.

    It’s also comical how lots of people don’t like mantle because they consider it too slow, yet mister aggro himself firstpicks it.

  28. Wow, I’m not gaing to sit here and say I’m as good as Kastle but HOLY CRAP that was a train wreck. I mean Bladed Pinions over heavy arbalest REALLY!?!?! the other posters like “darwin is terrible” pretty much said it so I won’t ramble any longer.

  29. I’ve posted comments twice on this article, and twice they’ve failed to make it through. If they got censored all I can say is I don’t blame them, because all I could say is some variation of:

    “What the hell were you thinking?

    This is like the fifth one of these I’ve read where you drafted, and I’m getting to the point where I’m starting to believe your Pack1Pick1 will be the freaking Poison token.”

  30. For your next draft, experiment by taking every piece of removal you see in the first two packs and then let the third pack set which colors you play. That would have lead to an easy 3-0 deck this time sadly

  31. An interesting experiment. And evidence that “staying open” is not always the best thing to do. A good idea, but taken too far here.

  32. Having a lot of artifacts is one thing, but when you pass quality removal for them at any point in the draft is just ridiculous. You can’t win drafts with a bunch of mediocre artifacts. I guess your whole plan is to hope they’re mana-screwed on a color or something. I think waiting till the 3rd pack to delve into a color is a terrible mistake. (if you chose white at any point, you could have had a myrsmith, arrests, revokes…. much better than a crappy certach and riddlesmith).

    You also wont be able to pressure the drafters next to you into colors; your style now leaves you with the scraps of other drafters and no removal from the people next to you.

    Now you simply have a deck with little removal and cards that do not synergize (Yes I know you want metalcraft).

  33. This has to be a joke column. There’s just no other reasonable explanation.

    Maybe the staff at Channel Fireball is having a big laugh every time someone responds seriously to this trolling and if so, then I overestimated the quality of this site. 🙁

    Or maybe the staff at Channel Fireball thinks these columns are actually useful or interesting in a strategic way and if so, then I overestimated the quality of this site. 🙁

  34. Wow. Some draft. This guy is in Hall of Fame? He should be in Hall oif LAME. This was sooo bad. TSG is a master magician compare to this guy.

  35. Here’s how I would have drafted it. (I’m not terribly good at the format.)

    Galvanic Blast
    Golem Artisan
    Revoke Existence
    Iron Myr
    Stoic Rebuttal
    Copper Myr
    Vulshock Replica
    Myr Galvinizer
    Neurok Replica
    Trigon of Mending
    Salvage Scout
    Soliton

    Mimic Vat
    Turn to Slag
    Scrapdiver Serpent
    Vulshock Replica
    Saberclaw Golem
    Nihil Spellbomb
    Bleak Cloven Vampires
    Origin Spellbomb
    Vulshock Heartstoker
    Sunspear Shikari

    Kemba’s Skyguard
    Myrsmith
    Revoke Existence
    True Conviction (over galvanic blast)
    Turn to slag
    Darkslick drake
    Loxodon Wayfarer
    Lumengrid drake
    Flameborn Hellion
    Soliton
    Clone Shell
    Razorfield Thresher
    Vulshock Heartstoker

    Deck:
    Iron Myr
    Copper Myr
    Myrsmith
    Kemba’s Skyguard
    x2 Vulshock Replica
    Myr Galvanizer
    Golem artisan
    Saberclaw Golem
    Flameborn Hellion

    Origin Spellbomb
    Galvanic Blast
    x2 Revoke Existence
    Mimic Vat
    x2 Turn to slag
    True Conviction

    +4 to 5 filler cards like loxodon wayfinder and vulshock heartstoker
    I feel like I could have drafted this better. Thoughts on different picks?

  36. Perhaps Mr. Kastle is teaching us a lesson. Perhaps he’s trying to teach us to think for ourselves and to not just take the word of the pros as the word of God. A better player might realize that he/she doesn’t have to do everything that LSV does to be great at magic, but for lesser players Kastle more clearly illustrates the imperfection of professional players.

    Or maybe he’s just ass terrible.

  37. This reminds me of the Ravnika article that Kyle Sanchez wrote. Similar to the artifact strategy in Scars, he was talking about the Karoo (Bounce Lands) in Ravnica, and proceeded to draft 12 of them, bypassing numerous strong cards on the way. It took till the third pack to realize he was kidding, but even then you were not sure.

  38. I like how when I passed p1p1 Nim Deathmantle 15 people wrote about how stupid I was to pass such a bomb and how they “stopped reading when that happened”, and now people do like the same, except because he picked the deathmantle 🙂

  39. Really, I was on board for this experiment, which was “draft all artifacts until some really clear signal comes along” I think. Seems reasonable. But I think P3p8 might have been pushing the time limit on waiting for a signal.

    Beating the Psychic Miasma/memoricide guy was EPIC though!!

  40. Thanks for wasting 10 mins of my time. Please can i play you in Round 1 of my next draft? I promise i’ll let it go to round 3.

  41. @pv

    that’s because the people who agree with the nim deathmantle pick won’t make a comment on this forum.

    and the people who agreed with your nonpick of deathmantle wouldn’t make a comment on your video’s forum.

    But lets be honest, unless this guy is playing nekrataals he has no idea what he’s doing.

  42. Well, I don’t think this draft was completely awful. I mean, looking at his picks, the only one that jumps out at me as being pretty darn indefensible is the Bladed Pinions pick P3P2 (true, there are a few other questionable picks, like not taking Acid Web Spider, e.g., but they’re not completely wrong).

    Some people are hating on Nim Deathmantle, but that card is just awesome. You do realize that, say, with a Silviok Replica the Deathmantle is like a repeatable Natralize for 5, right? And that as long as you keep 4 mana open, your opponents’ options all kind of suck until they can get rid of it? I’d definitely take Deathmantle P1P1 over Blast and Arrest.

  43. I love the origin spellbomb with no white sources, thats fancy. I wish I played good like you mister. What an awful draft represented in the most arrogant of terms.

    Go get some lotion flakes.

  44. @K: Even you are better than this guy and you don’t even play limited (I think I know you… lol). Also, I actually agree with your reasoning about only complaining about things you saw that were wrong. If I ever agree with something that’s getting bashed I just laugh to myself about how bad these losers are that disagree with whatever. The little intro to this article pulled me in after I decided to never again read another Kastle article, but reading about trying to stay open seemed interesting to me, as I like theoretical articles, but then all I got was a trainwreck draft. 🙁

  45. I like how everyone has decided to just bash the hell out of this guy, when this could easily be a joke. Also, to the people who talk about the quality of the website: They are posting these articles for you to view…for free. No strings attached. You don’t have to click through banner ads, fill out surveys, or pay cold hard cash to read them. They don’t even ask for donations to keep the website funded or anything, paying for everything themselves through the store, etc. If you don’t like a particular article, or writer for that matter, don’t read them. Simple. Also, for those who commented on how it was a “waste of their time”, were you really expecting some amazing revelation to make you the god of MtG by reading an article?

  46. I really don’t understand why you insist on posting drafts that force what you are trying to ‘learn’ to an absolutely ridiculous degree.

  47. Really CFB editors? This is what you want to publish on the week you lose Brad Nelson to Starcitygames?

  48. @ Darwin

    Are these drafts being played in MODO 4-3-2-2s? I feel I have to question the integrity of a draft when so many blatantly powerful cards are being passed around the table, yet your opponents are casting Psychic Miasma and Golem’s Heart against you.

    As for the article itself, it reads more like a blog experiment than a professional draft wlakthrough. It opens with a loose hypothesis, proceeds forward with extreme testing of that hypothesis with what would seem like no regard for the actual most logical pick, then wrap up with your conclusions. Not that there’s anything wrong with this method, per-se, but I feel like your articles should come with a disclaimer, clearly stating that the ideas behind the choices are more important than the choices themselves, and you are testing theories rather than actively pursuig victory.

    You’re obviously a good player, since you keep making notable finishes with obviously weak decks, but your justifications of picks during the draft process itself are forcing me to question your credibility as a limited expert. Unless of course i’m right and these articles are simply nothing more than experiments. If that’s the case, then you should probably explicitly state that somewhere. Judging from the comments you get on a regular basis, you give your average reader too much credit in assuming that they would read between the lines.

  49. MM AA II MM KK II LL LL BB UU RR NN
    AA II MM KK II LL LL BB UU RR NN MM
    II MM KK II LL LL BB UU RR NN MM AA
    MM KK II LL LL BB UU RR NN MM AA II
    KK II LL LL BB UU RR NN MM AA II MM
    II LL LL BB UU RR NN MM AA II MM KK
    LL LL BB UU RR NN MM AA II MM KK II
    LL BB UU RR NN MM AA II MM KK II LL
    BB UU RR NN MM AA II MM KK II LL LL
    UU RR NN MM AA II MM KK II LL LL BB
    RR NN MM AA II MM KK II LL LL BB UU
    NN MM AA II MM KK II LL LL BB UU RR

  50. I actually just read the comments first. Thanks you guys saved my time :D. Oh i actually never read an article of this guy.

  51. KILLMAIMBURN DARWIN KASTLE CAN’T DRAFT TROLOLOLOLO

    ALL WORK AND NO PLAY MAKE MATTHEW A DULL BOY
    ALL WORK AND NO PLAY MAKE MATTHEW A DULL BOY
    ALL WORK AND NO PLAY MAKE MATTHEW A DULL BOY
    ALL WORK AND NO PLAY MAKE MATTHEW A DULL BOY
    ALL WORK AND NO PLAY MAKE MATTHEW A DULL BOY
    ALL WORK AND NO PLAY MAKE MATTHEW A DULL BOY
    ALL WORK AND NO PLAY MAKE MATTHEW A DULL BOY
    ALL WORK AND NO PLAY MAKE MATTHEW A DULL BOY
    ALL WORK AND NO PLAY MAKE MATTHEW A DULL BOY

    Better?

  52. (1) People like “darwin is terrible.” Sooo you just spent like 20 minutes typing up this really long response that was stting like 10 picks you’d do different in a very rude and mean way. What are you trying to accomplish here? Because Darwin is not gonna read it and be like “oh yea, that’s actually a good point.” If you wanna change someone’s mind, you have to NOT BE A DICK TO THEM. Other people like you will see the lenghy report and perhaps be happy that they can bash on the article along with you but no one of them is gonna care exactly what the heck you say. The only people who’ll take time to read will be people in Darwin’s side who bother write back, like me (his GF) or his friends. So you need to either learn to word your feedback appropriatly (making it sound like, you know, feedback and not word vomit) or get a life and stop the virtual masturbation of being mean to people on the internet.

    (2) Do people like xxxbretweedxxx, Ashenai, Jeff and Abe really have nothing better to do with your lives than leave a two-line comment that’s COMPLETELY useless except being hurtful?

    (3) I watch Darwin work on these articles week after week. He seriously tries to take comments into account. When people asked for more game descriptions in his articles, he started doing that. Because of people who kept missing the point of his “experiment drafts” he made sure that it was clear from his intro. So if you give proper criticism, (that involves suggestions, saying what you’d like to see, and very importnatly, not calling him POS, asshole etc) you are likely to be heard and be happier with the following draft.

    (4) Personally, it’s not my favorite article of Darwin’s, because I like when his include cool backstories and more humor/narration. I also went over his draft and disagreed with quite a few picks. But we draft online a lot, and my results have been CONSISTENTLY better when we draft together than when I draft myself. He is good, and he is unconventional. I will often disagree with him for months on a card but watching him consistently kick ass with it I have to give in. IF YOU ARE READING ARTICLES BECAUSE YOU LIKE TO BE TOLD THAT YOUR CARD EVALUATION IS SPOTLESS AND YOUR DRAFT STRATEGY IS THE ONE AND ONLY WAY TO GO DON’T READ DARWIN’S ARTICLES! Because that’s not gonna happen. He thinks and drafts differently than most people, and he consistently has success with it. And don’t shove the last 2 articles in my face here, I’m talking long-term.

    (5) “Magic really is just like poker in some aspects. Sometimes a random, due to no fault of his own but being on the upside of variance, manages to ‘win the big one’ and, as a result, becomes a famous player for life. But despite all that fame and that money, he’s still just a mediocre poker player at best.”
    Lol are you serious? He has 9 PT top 8s, an invitational, a GP and a PT win, and ranks 8th in the world in pro life points. Do your HW before making a fool of yourself.

    (6) “Go get some lotion flakes.”
    WTF is wrong with you man? Come say it to his face, let’s look at you then.
    Oh and have fun touching yourself when i’m going at it with him tonight.

    (7) “…and an arrogant POS in real life. ”
    Hey look someone else is jealous.

    “p1p1 deathmantle over arrest and galvanic blast is actually terrible.”
    Did you read the article AT ALL or did you just scroll through the draft?? He’s trying to save up to see what’s coming. This day, everyone’s splashing for red removal and mana for white. As clearly stated in tons of previous articles, he doesn’t like splashing. Taking a powerful cheap artifact that then kicks ass in late game is perfect for his strategy.

    “p2p2 sylvok lifestaff is almost equally as bad as the above pick. lifestaff is an extremely mediocre card (mediocre in infect. calling it mediocre is pretty generous anywhere else) and is NEVER a second pick.”
    Yeah dude you seriously need to draft this format more.

    “if he’s REALLY on the myr plan, which he absolutely isn’t at this point, i vote for the reservoir”
    Oh yeah I stopped reading here because anyone who’s played more than 2 scars drafts knows that Reservoir is terrible unless you have a bunch of perilious myr, or perhaps galvanizers (which, uh, you have to pick to have)

    (7)
    “And wtf? This is no school essay. We don’t require you to write a conclusion where you explain to us what you learned from your experience.”
    hahahaha wow, you sure sound smart.

    (8)
    “I mean, I am far from a pro, but I think I have a reasonable handle on the format, and I disagreed strongly with so many of these picks.”
    Read point 4. He doesn’t write articles to reassure you that what you’re doing is perfect. If what you’re doing keeps winning you the 8-4, why bother reading.

    (9)
    Daniel Brooks, you do realize that since your picks in p1 would be different, you’d not get the same packs 2 and 3 as Darwin did, right?

    (10)
    Goodnigh everyone, off to poker.

  53. (1) People like “darwin is terrible.” Sooo you just spent like 20 minutes typing up this really long response that was stating like 10 picks you’d do different in a very rude and mean way. What are you trying to accomplish here? Because Darwin is not gonna read it and be like “oh yea, that’s actually a good point.” If you wanna change someone’s mind, you have to NOT BE A DICK TO THEM. Other people like you will see the lenghy report and perhaps be happy that they can bash on the article along with you but no one of them is gonna care exactly what the heck you say. The only people who’ll take time to read will be people in Darwin’s side who bother write back, like me (his GF) or his friends. So you need to either learn to word your feedback appropriately (making it sound like, you know, feedback and not word vomit) or get a life and stop the virtual masturbation of being mean to people on the internet.

    (2) Do people like xxxbretweedxxx, Ashenai, Jeff and Abe really have nothing better to do with your lives than leave a two-line comment that’s COMPLETELY useless except being hurtful?

    (3) I watch Darwin work on these articles week after week. He seriously tries to take comments into account. When people asked for more game descriptions in his articles, he started doing that. Because of people who kept missing the point of his “experiment drafts” he made sure that it was clear from his intro. So if you give proper criticism, (that involves suggestions, saying what you’d like to see, and very importantly, not calling him POS, asshole etc) you are likely to be heard and be happier with the following draft.

    (4) Personally, it’s not my favorite article of Darwin’s, because I like when his include cool back stories and more humor/narration. I also went over his draft and disagreed with quite a few picks. But we draft online a lot, and my results have been CONSISTENTLY better when we draft together than when I draft myself. He is good, and he is unconventional. I will often disagree with him for months on a card but watching him consistently kick ass with it I have to give in. IF YOU ARE READING ARTICLES BECAUSE YOU LIKE TO BE TOLD THAT YOUR CARD EVALUATION IS SPOTLESS AND YOUR DRAFT STRATEGY IS THE ONE AND ONLY WAY TO GO DON’T READ DARWIN’S ARTICLES! Because that’s not gonna happen. He thinks and drafts differently than most people, and he consistently has success with it. And don’t shove the last 2 articles in my face here, I’m talking long-term.

    (5) “Magic really is just like poker in some aspects. Sometimes a random, due to no fault of his own but being on the upside of variance, manages to ‘win the big one’ and, as a result, becomes a famous player for life. But despite all that fame and that money, he’s still just a mediocre poker player at best.”
    Lol are you serious? He has 9 PT top 8s, an invitational, a GP and a PT win, and ranks 8th in the world in pro life points. Do your HW before making a fool of yourself.

    (6) “Go get some lotion flakes.”
    WTF is wrong with you man? Come say it to his face, let’s look at you then.
    Oh and have fun touching yourself when i’m going at it with him tonight.

    (7) “…and an arrogant POS in real life. ”
    Hey look someone else is jealous.

    “p1p1 deathmantle over arrest and galvanic blast is actually terrible.”
    Did you read the article AT ALL or did you just scroll through the draft?? He’s trying to save up to see what’s coming. This day, everyone’s splashing for red removal and mana for white. As clearly stated in tons of previous articles, he doesn’t like splashing. Taking a powerful cheap artifact that then kicks ass in late game is perfect for his strategy.

    “p2p2 sylvok lifestaff is almost equally as bad as the above pick. lifestaff is an extremely mediocre card (mediocre in infect. calling it mediocre is pretty generous anywhere else) and is NEVER a second pick.”
    Yeah dude you seriously need to draft this format more.

    “if he’s REALLY on the myr plan, which he absolutely isn’t at this point, i vote for the reservoir”
    Oh yeah I stopped reading here because anyone who’s played more than 2 scars drafts knows that Reservoir is terrible unless you have a bunch of perilous myr, or perhaps galvanizers (which, uh, you have to pick to have)

    (7)
    “And wtf? This is no school essay. We don’t require you to write a conclusion where you explain to us what you learned from your experience.”
    hahahaha wow, you sure sound smart.

    (8)
    “I mean, I am far from a pro, but I think I have a reasonable handle on the format, and I disagreed strongly with so many of these picks.”
    Read point 4. He doesn’t write articles to reassure you that what you’re doing is perfect. If what you’re doing keeps winning you the 8-4, why bother reading.

    (9)
    Daniel Brooks, you do realize that since your picks in p1 would be different, you’d not get the same packs 2 and 3 as Darwin did, right?

    (10)
    Goodnight everyone, off to poker.

  54. Pv and Brad:
    How can you defend this “draft” or “article”.
    This was even worse than mr.Ochoas Arbalest over Chimeric Mass.

    Hall of Fame, are you kidding me?

    Untill you get rid of this guy I wont buy anything from this website what so ever.

    SYLVOK LIFESTAFF OVER TURN TO SLAG? SAY HADOUKEN?

  55. I understand it was an experiment, and i actually thought it was pretty interesting to read. BUT even on the “draft only artifact” plan, why not pick arbalest???

    You have TWO galvanizers, a soliton, and plenty myr….
    Arbalest seems like the perfect way to turn your weak metalcraft deck into a deck that can steal wins.

  56. gotta love mtg gurus who have never even played in a fnm bashing kastle so easily. stop your bawwing and take what you want from the site. its FREE so they can post pictures of their farm animals if they choose to do so, you ungrateful nerdlings.

  57. @Elias

    How can I defend it? Quite easily. I’m a reasonable human being and not a total jackass like half of the comment posters who can be big and bad through the Internet, but probably live in their parent’s basement.

    Also, he’s Hall of Fame because he can play the game, and play it well. With his numerous major tournament victories and consistent Top 8 performances, he has probably played more high profile Magic games than half of you ingrates who have nothing better to do than sit around and bitch about ‘losing time’ that you probably weren’t spending on anything worthwhile anyway. I’d challenge any of you haters to post up your Pro Tour win record and compare with Darwin. Until then, come up with some constructive criticism, or GTFO.

    Inb4 U MAD?!?, etc, etc.

  58. The big question for me (other than “Are we being meta-trolled by Darwin?”) is how come the level of vitriol is so high in the comments. Yeah, it’s a weird draft and no, I wouldn’t have taken the same cards but everyone is being downright mean. I was struck that DK’s GF stepped in to feed the trolls before descending into lobbing insults herself. (Note to Rada: #6=TMI).

    Anyways Darwin, thanks for the article, I wouldn’t have drafted in the same way but it kept me busy for 10 minutes (15 if you count typing this out) , and I will continue to read your articles. You should definitely get a new profile pic, though. Your current headshot makes you look very mean 😛

  59. Honestly, part of me thinks that some pros write poor articles to encourage other players to make bad decisions, particularly in limited. However, even if that was not the case, I feel this article actually shows the downside of blindly remaining open. The purpose of being open is to figure out what colours you will be in to maximize your draft deck, yet if you pass the great cards keeping open is supposed to allow you to move into, the point is somewhat defeated. And seriously? Nim Deathmante? I wouldn’t first pick that over blast or arrest if I was trying to force Luis BlueX control.

  60. Wait a minute , how does it make sense that if an article is free it’s okay if it’s bad?

    And I DID just reread #6 and yeah, that…. may have been an overshare.

  61. Look all of you need to shut up. Yes in a vacuum some of these picks are off but in the decks that Darwin makes they are good. Not one of you hate blinding Mage but hate on him for playing certarch with 18 artifacts. Look it is his style to pick very aggressive cards in every format. You don’t get in the hall of fame without winning tournaments and his style does that for him.

  62. @ Brad

    We are not talking about what was in the past. I don’t care if this guy used to be a great magic player and kicked ass. Yes, he did, he USED TO BE a great player, but times change.

    I played SOM so many times I have read hundreds of articles about it and have a good picture and good winning record in SOM. Does it mean that I am a great player? Just now the ME IV edition came out online and I don’t have a clue, I have never played with this kind of set before, and I have no idea if dark ritual, counterspell, or howl of might are any good. I suck in ME IV just because I don’t know anything about the format, and I am getting smoked by some stupid blue or red Urzatron decks that I have no idea how somebody drafts. So, just because I beat everybody in SOM because I played hundreds of drafts with it does not mean that I will be any good in other formats, and the same goes for Darwin.

    Now he just sucks in SOM. And yes he does suck bad. Does it mean that he is a terrible player? No, he just sucks in this format, just look at his picks and you realize it was a miserable draft, and an average player would probably take this guy down very easily NOW in SOM.

    The problem is that people at this site expect an expert article from somebody who knows every single card from the set and their abilities backwards when u wake them up at midnight, and not an article from somebody who goes and plays casual drafts for fun and has no idea that some kind of soliton arbalest combo even exists. This draft was just a trainwreck, at least 10 sketchy picks, and a couple total blunders and Darwin got deservedly so some harsh comments after that. He just needs to do some more research and spend more time at the SOM Visual spoiler before he can post some more articles thats all. I am sure he actually plays out the games just fine like a good player.

  63. The problem here is that people turn to high profile players for advice and technology. This draft employs strategy that has been largely dismissed due to its ineffectiveness, and its shortsighted approach often leads to train wrecks. My issue is that it can’t actually do anything productive other than teach people what NOT to do, and that clearly wasn’t the plan here. Darwin’s specialty was always constructed Magic, and I think he should stick to that. At least those articles involved testing technology in a format that thrives for it. Scars limited is, well, limited; it’s been pretty much figured out for a while now, and many are starting to find it stale. Draft walkthroughs at this stage are just ill conceived unless you’ve discovered a breakthrough in strategy that you feel the need to share.

    All the vitriol is just ridiculous, though. Brad’s right: if you don’t like it, or if you’re so good that you can recognize the inherent problems with Darwin’s approach, just stop reading his articles. Posting here in such a stupid and loud way does nothing to promote constructive discourse. I’m betting that half the trolls here continuously read and post in order to try and make themselves feel superior, even though in the end it doesn’t help themselves or Darwin. It’s just pathetic.

  64. Thanks for another limited article. I certainly enjoy reading about taking different paths and exploring new strategies. If I want to read another red/white metalcraft or black/green infect draft, I have a million other articles to read. I appreciate you taking the time to explore alternative choices. The end result is going to be good and bad sometimes.

    Besides, you can’t win a draft or sealed in the ‘comments section.’ If you draft all the great cards, then people complain because you are just another pro who opened the nuts and went 3-0. If you explore an alternative strategy, then you don’t know how to play.

    Too bad you have such a young fan base. I mean, I can’t imagine many people over the age of 14 being so rude in their comments.

    You keep writing and I will keep reading.

  65. @rada
    You can’t condemn someone for being intentionally hurtful and then call them a masturbating virgin. It just makes you look like a fool.

    If you actually wanted to prove your superiority to the dissenters you’d ignore them completely. By typing ungodly amounts you simply show how much you care.

    Maybe next time you won’t take things posted on the internet so seriously, but that seems unlikely.

  66. I am getting the feeling that a few other readers are; these drafts have to be trolls. There is no way someone even halfway decent at limited would make some of these picks. I’m not saying it to be mean, honestly. But Darwin, you pass up so much quality red removal it borders on insulting, then say “oh yeah, Lumengrid Drake, now I’m locked in my second color”.

    Also, getting passed a multitude of Vulshok Replicas with both Mimic Vat and Nim Deathmantle? I’m guessing you don’t care about those interactions. You might just pass it off as an uninformed opinion, but if anyone at CF reads this, you have to realize that I really don’t read these articles for information, only entertainment at someone else’s expense.

  67. Obviously there are a lot of people that comment on CF’s articles who have no sense of manners or decorum. There is no need to be rude to make your point.

    With that said, I stopped reading after: “As usual, it’s good to start the draft with a powerful artifact. This is especially important when you want to read colors and not force them. If a potential bomb like the Mantle wasn’t here, I would be perfectly happy with the Steed. Arrest and Galvanic Blast would make great first picks if I knew my colors.”

  68. Alright so I was really interested in the article for the first paragraph. It failed to deliver whatsoever, total bait-and-switch.

    The bait was: Avoid early color commitment and by doing so get a good read on what colors are the best for your seat so you can hopefully pick up strong cards in later picks where they aren’t typically seen from whatever color seems open.

    However; at some point you just decided to avoid picking any color, and AVOID PICKING UP STRONG CARDS. Basically went against what you were initially setting out to do. If I wanted to see a poor draft, I would have just done one myself : (

  69. @K:

    I never said I didn’t care.
    I care, because nobody has a right to insult my bf (or any friend) like that and since he is above responding to mean comments, I’ll step in. It doesn’t make sense to me why people who leave mean, vile things care to type them up.

    And once somebody is EXTREMELY mean to them, sure I’ll respond in a less sweet fashion.

    🙂

  70. Hey, seriously:) I don’t know why people complain about Brad and PV defending him. After having read the posts (including my own), it only seems appropriate to do so.

    The draft was shockingly terrible, and let’s leave it that. And, someone doesn’t get into Hall of Fame just by luck, so this guy was or is probably better than what he has shown us here. Everybody has some “down” periods where they play and draft much worse than what they are actually capable of. I hope and believe this article was just a good example of that.

    Didn’t mean to be too harsh, and generally don’t, but I guess I just NEED to hate a bit;) I like how you stand up for your man, Brad!! I have missed some of that spirit when it comes to the comments on TSG’s drafts.

  71. This article seems to me to have been badly written. The rationale for making picks was shallow and incomplete. I did not enjoy it and it seems to me that many other people did not enjoy it either. I will not contest the pick orders and the gameplay scenarios, but frankly it was uninteresting, it did not offer anything of value to me and felt to me like the author wrote it just to get this chore off his busy schedule.

    Unfortunately this is not the first article by this author to make such an impression on me. If any of the editors here read this comment – please talk to the author and ask him to make his writing at least a tad more interesting. Just going over draft picks and making inconsequential and unrelated comments is not a definition of a good article.

    I have nothing personal against the man or his HoF status or his invitational winning card or whatever. But – please – do create *good content*. The content you present here is just not good enough.

  72. On the brightside,

    The ad revenues being generated by DK on a regular basis must be off the charts!

    So much for Thrun being “the Last Troll”…

  73. Long time reader, first time commenter.

    I agree with Limited Fan.

    For those who question Darwin’s methods, understand that maybe he is so successful because he approaches formats in a different way and therefore learns them in a way that you may not through your stereotypical ‘best pick’ methodology. How do you learn if Myr Reservoir (or any other card) is specifically bad unless you play it once or twice? Darwin tried a thought experiment (probably carried it too far), but came out the far end with a conclusion (ie. don’t forget that drafting archetypes is important in a SOM draft).

    It is fine to question whether such a experiment is necessary (surely we already knew archetypes are important), or critique the methodology he chose (seriously DK: pinions over arbalest when you had so many untappers?!), but don’t attack the person who is running the experiment. Read and decide for yourself with a discerning mind as to whether you have anything to learn from it. This is parallel to the argument of science vs faith, Darwin (a good scientists name) tested a hypothesis, many of the posters in this forum have blind faith in their own pick selections.

    I seem to remember reading in an article a six months or so ago (I think by LSV), that one of the reasons that Brad Nelson had come to prominence was because he did constantly experiment within a format, even after he had worked out the ‘best plan’; and therefore was able to improve his game further due to that experimentation. Perhaps those who don’t have amazing Pro Tour careers and are reading these articles for advice can learn from the attitude of how to improve, instead of just attacking Darwin for not providing to their expectations.

    Personally, I enjoyed watching the train wreck… Darwin spent 3 packs and 2 tix that I don’t have to, to see what happens when you go seriously AWOL from ‘common sense’… And it may be that Darwin isn’t the player he used to be, or he can’t get a handle on the new format, or even that he is a genius beyond comprehension, but either way I enjoy the FREE article that I CHOOSE to read VOLUNTARILY.

    Therefore I thank Darwin and Channel Fireball for publishing it and will continue to read with enjoyment.

    Tren

  74. Anyone posting with a whole list of what you would’ve picked for each pack / each pick needs to realize what you’re doing is completely useless.

    If you pick certain cards p1pX, then what you see in p2 ~ 3 will be different.

    Talk about the general trend of the strategy / picks Kastle makes – which, admittedly, is horrible and lacking focus – not make “picks” with the benefit of hindsight.

    Btw, anyone defending kastle’s lack of general goal or strategy based on the fact that he claims this an “experiment” should stop repeating the same argument over and over again.

    Experimental != lack of clear vision. What Conley does with furnace celebration is experimental – because he has a clear objective set in mind, sets himself up for the position to be experimental and successful, and clearly reinforces his goal each pick.

    Think of where the word “experiment-al” is derived from. Each step needs to be backed up with clear and reasonable rationale – and not contradict the original goal of “having excellent artifact + excellent colored cards” Furthermore, his explanation / analysis are simply LAZY.

    Take P2P2 for example. His assessment of the pick reads : “…. Since I do, the Lifestaff is definitely the pick. Lots of good colored cards, so it will be interesting to see which one comes back to me.” This is a prime example laziness in action.

    The only playable cards that will see action in any deck it’s included in are Origin Spellbomb and Turn to Slag. Exactly what playable is he expecting to table? Does have any insight / thoughts into what SHOULD table based on what he’s seen and what he’s passed? If he thought of any of these questions before making the pick, he should’ve picked either turn to slag or origin spellbomb based on his previous information / picks. But instead, his ONLY revealed thought process is that life staff is “definitely the pick” over Trigon of Thought, no less.

    I’m not gonna comment on anyone who’s defending this article with the reason of “this site is free”. If this is your argument for those who are disrespectful towards Kastle, then your argument is weak – discussion / criticism should be civil regardless of whether the site is free or not.

    If it is argument for defending the quality of the article – then you sell this site short : because this type of article doesn’t provide ANY useful information other than what NOT to do. And I honestly think CFB, given its current profile / status, should have higher standard than that.

  75. Please let him go. I don’t care what events he won 10 years ago. I think he’s just pranking CF at this point.

    Here’s what you do.

    1.) Have an 8 man draft at superstars.
    2.) Go up to the 3-0’er and say, “Congratulations! You’re replacing Darwin Kastle!”
    3.) If he refuses, go to the 2-1’s
    4.) If the 2-1’s aren’t keen on the idea of being magic writers, ask the 1-2’s

    The 0-3 proooobably isn’t good enough to replace Kastle, but every draft you have is basically seven shots at finding a better player.

  76. Honestly, I’ve passed the threshold where I just feel bad for the guy.

    Darwin. Why are you doing this to yourself? You’re a hall of famer. You have a reputation. Just stop, ask channel fireball to delete your article archive, and maybe people will forget. I’d say quit while you’re ahead… but… yeah. Just quit.

  77. My one major criticism of the article is that the central hypothesis (which, from what I understand is, ‘using early picks on Artifacts while actively reading the color distribution of the packs will allow us to take advantage of our lack of color commitment to use later picks on powerful colored spells’) is not fully explored, since obviously powerful late colored spells, such as Myrsmith, Grasp of Darkness, Galvanic Blast, True Conviction, are passed in favor of decidedly weaker artifacts. The experiment fails gloriously in my eyes around pack two when, ironically, Darwin seems to color-commit to Green based on a couple Carapace Forgers. By the Vedalken Certarch pick, he seems to begin mentally disqualifying colors that aren’t Green or Blue, as evidenced by the passing of obviously blatant power cards (examples include: Myrsmith, Grasp of Darkness, Galvanic Blast, Turn to Slag, True Conviction, and to a lesser extent Revoke Existence and Acid Web Spider) for cards that are, again, obviously weaker. Darwin’s hypothesis is one that has been tested and validated publicly multiple times on this very site. Where Darwin errs is in his blind commitment to drafting monogrey, since the rewards of this strategy usually make themselves known around mid pack two, early pack three, and in some cases as early as mid-pack one* (*this was not one of those cases).

    Again, the irony in all of this is that Darwin’s commitment to staying open led him to a strictly inferior deck than he would have most likely ended up with had he actually been reading the draft. The draft derails entirely for me at P3P1, with the Bladed Pinions pick. Darwin, when following this strategy, at what point does one ask themselves when it’s time to take the plunge? As you mention frequently, you have made no color commitment yet, so pack three strikes me as the time to start reaping the rewards and taking the abstract most powerful card in Myrsmith, espcially considering how heavily artifact-based your deck is. Admittedly, the power level of the packs seemed to be low in general, but in my eyes that translates to even more incentive to be picking strong coloured cards early in the late packs because there are few to no artifacts that rival their power alone that you can consistently rely on seeing at the tail-end of the draft. The previous two packs carried indicators that blue and white may be open enough. Considering how deep white is in this set for dedicated metacraft strategies, and how few slots your deck had for coloured spells as-is, I would have definitely abandonned a color for the Myrsmith.

    Lastly, that Heavy Arbalest pick was just horrible both in general and within the contexts of this experiment.

    “Lacks Focus” is the perfect way to describe this draft.

  78. looks like mr kastle here like to be trolled after all
    nim deathmantle 1st pack 1st pick? over a galvanic blast and arrest???? maybe its true that you cant teach new tricks to old dogs.
    do yourself a favor: next time you want to publish an article you should consult your fellow columnist or just stop (save yourself some dignity)

    i just dont find bashing your face amusing anymore, its just to damn boring since you didn’t make any improvement, in fact you get worse.

  79. Sorry if I was hurtful, but I’m not sure what the point of constructive criticism would have been here. The draft was a horrible travesty, from beginning to end. I could have accepted, even welcomed, the “experimental” draft concept, but the simple truth is that his picks didn’t even make sense in the context of his experiment.

    I normally get linked to drafts like this with comments like “hey I’m new to this format, tell me what I should have done differently!” And then I give advice, and I’m encouraging and kind. I’m just not sure how to approach a draft like this when it’s written up like a strategy article.

    But hey, congratulations on beating Memoricide.dec, I guess!

  80. Maybe a quick clarification: For an example of crazy draft experiments, I really like Conley’s drafts. Sometimes I facepalm during his drafts as well, but even during his worst trainwrecks, I always end up feeling like I witnessed the fall of a mad genius, instead of… well, whatever happened here.

  81. Dear Rada,

    I am sure that you are right in a certain way and that Darwin doesn’t deserve the uncivilized comments. But you have to understand that he DOES deserve harsh criticism, as his drafts are weak to terrible. Not only from a pure technical point of view, but also in the way he sets up a plan (experiment) and then does NOT follow it up. Nobody can learn anything from it. This is not little Nicky from FNM we are speaking of, this is Darwin Kastle! A hero. The man who got a blanket (or something) out of 40+ Pro Tour Shirts (At the time I was proud to have TWO Pro tour shirts)

    As long as he keeps posting this under strategy and not under ‘comedy’ he will get these reponses as the majority of the haters here only come back for the comedy. I like this part of the site. These days I start reading the first 30 comments, trying to figure out what happened this time, then watch the draft picks, then read the rest of the comments. It always puts a lot of smiles on my face.

    I don’t lose my respect for Darwin. His past was great. I am not sure if he just jokes around with us or is serious, but either way I appreciate his time and efforts.

    I hope he will play in the next limited GP that is near his home, maybe then we can see if he still has the abilty to perform on that level.

  82. I guess there are three kinds of Hall of Famers:

    1) Those that after being elected still play their best game and attend premier events, write good articles and so on – i.e. Kibler or Saito (yeah, technically Saito is not a HoFer, but you get my point).

    2) Those that just retired some time ago and only play casually nowadays (most of HoFers, i.e. Maher, Fujita or Buehler).

    3) Those that retired or semi-retired from professional play, but for some reason are still trying to write premier articles, which usually end up mediocre (i.e. Ruels) or straight bad (i.e. Kastle).

  83. I think the first poster (no name) said it best:

    —————————————————————————————————————-

    Luis, arrest this man!

    —————————————————————————————————————-

    Srsly, he might really be pranking / punking us at this point…
    ******************************************************************************************

    How hilarious is it he gets pwnt by the SAME TURN TO SLAGS / BLASTS HE WAS SUPPOSED TO BE PICKING BUT INSTEAD PASSED THEM.

    Hilarious… utterly hilarious.

    Gratz on your previous successes bro… but yea, I want to get you in my drafts too as well (wtb turn to slag / galvanic blasts late pick pls!).

  84. Fun Fact: steve z was going to have fun touching himself until he read Rada’s post about going at it with Darwin — now steve z won’t be able to get it up all week.

  85. Buzz Aldrin is an American hero. He was the second man to walk on the moon, and the first to do so AND walk in space. Anybody who has taken a history class knows who he his, and why he is a great human being.

    Two years ago, Buzz Aldrin participated in Dancing with the Stars. He stumbled around, made weird old man comments, and generally made an ass out of himself in order to make a few bucks.

    Mr. Kastle is in a similar position to the aging Mr. Aldrin, but at least Buzz wasn’t telling his audience he was instructing them how to dance the Cha Cha.

    I think a different conclusion could have saved the article. Maybe, “Staying open by taking artifacts early can put you in a great position to draft whatever powerful colored cards you get late – but in this draft, I never followed through. I learned that committing at the right time is just as important as being open at the right time.” A little humility would have gone a long way.

  86. Brad: It’s a bit unfair that I have to post my pro tour statistics since im playing my first pro tour in Paris. Though I will be delighted to tell you how I did afterwards.

    A nice way to find out if Darwin makes up for his draft mistakes by playing really good is to check up his win%. You can do that at http://www.argivian.com

    I’m actually pretty sure that his win% is pretty rough, though Brad, I’m not sure. It’s just my opinion based on 2 drafts of his.

  87. Okay, but now, really, isn’t the comments section just funny? I refer you in particular to Fun Facts’ post.

    I nearly died laughing.

  88. I love the commenters on this site so much. The nerd rage at this article really made my day, thanks guys!

  89. Staying open at the beginning with Deathmantle is forgivable (if not correct–Blast and Arrest are just better, and both splashable)–but at some point, dude, you just have to stop being crafty, nut up, and take the cards that are good.

  90. “Seriously I can’t believe how bad this was…..Unbelievable that this train wreck of a draft is on this website.”

    This train wreck of a series is on the site because people click on the articles a lot.

    Sure they’re clicking on the articles to see how bad the draft is going to be or to hate on the author’s overly pretentious stylings…but they’re clicking on the articles.

    CF makes money by people coming to the site and clicking around. The only way to stop CF from posting Kastle drafts is to get Kastle DQ’ed from the Hall of Fame or to quit clicking on the draft articles.

    Personally, I’m planning on never again clicking on a Kastle draft article. The kind of “experimentation” he’s wanting to do is much more appropriate for a constructed format than for a draft format which was solved months ago by anyone playing attention.

    If Kastle wants to revamp the column to look into different ways of attacking Standard, Extended, Legacy, etc., I’d be happy to read it. But as a drafting analyst, I’d trust my instincts over his for a new format and the writings of other authors here over his on mature formats.

  91. huahuahuhauha LOL mr darwin LOL

    i might just pity you if it was not so amusing to watch you get bashed to bits. not to mention that you need your girl friend (? or boy friend ? ) to fend for you.

    i quote some of your prank for everybody to laugh at :

    “Now that I’ve had some success drafting all five colors in Scars, I really want to focus on reading the draft more and avoiding early color commitment.”
    huh? success? you relies heavily on your bomb on all your draft and sometimes you lost! for god sake…… (and i am obliged to stress this, myr battlesphere IS a BOMB!)

    “This has the advantage of allowing me to really focus on artifacts with my early picks, ensuring that I end up with the number of artifacts I really want: 16-20”
    i thought the early picks are for signaling purpose and also early picks determines the power level of the deck. artifact in scars of mirrodin are not that good (if you talk about mirrodin i think it wolud make sense since it is rewarding to pick as many artifact as you can and the power level is just absurdly different)
    number of artifact you want in your metalcraft deck: 13-15 or maybe 16. jot this down, mofo. no wonder your deck ended up as a slag.

    “Not only will I have high quality artifacts because I used my highest picks on them, but I will also have a number of excellent colored cards because I should be in excellent colors for my seat.”
    what is your seat have anything to do with the colored card? something is fishy here….. (maybe you are sitting on your boyfriend lap? LOL)

    p1p1
    “As usual, it’s good to start the draft with a powerful artifact. This is especially important when you want to read colors and not force them. If a potential bomb like the Mantle wasn’t here, I would be perfectly happy with the Steed. Arrest and Galvanic Blast would make great first picks if I knew my colors.”
    nim deathmatle is NOT a BOMB, all i read is red, i am never happy to pick a steed for my 1p 1p pick and yeah i know my color, its red

    p1p2
    “Another potential bomb artifact makes an easy second pick. The next best card is Lifestaff.”
    the next best card is bloodshot trainee, smart ass

    p1p4
    “The Warden continues to suggest white, but I stick to the plan and take a solid artifact.”
    the warden continues to suggest you to quit writing article, the myr is a snap pick

    p1p5
    “Here my plan hits a snag, since I don’t really like main decking any of these cards. I take the Hellion because sometimes you just have to smash face.”
    the only face the hellion gonna smash is yours, i think thrumming bird is better

    p1p7
    “I generally consider Panic Spellbomb a red card, so it’s about the replicas. Not sure which is better in a vacuum, but I err on the side of aggression.”
    i rarely consider panic spellbomb at all. and its obvious you want to vulshok replica in vacuum, smart ass

    i wont write anything on the picks anymore because from this point on you can laugh watching the train wreck.

    “Since green doesn’t have removal, its strongest archetypes are when it’s combined with a heavy removal color like red.”
    what the F U C K ???? this is the line that compelled me to bash your skull mr kastle. in this set green have the most removal LOL. you just pitying yourself from drafting a very poor deck

    “This particular draft reminded me the strength of drafting really high numbers of artifacts, but it also reminded me of the importance of drafting an archetype and not just a bunch of good cards with a good mana curve.”
    this draft reminded you of only one thing : COMMON SENSE : never draft without one.

    that all folks, join us on another installment of troll with darwin’s article

  92. @rada
    You can’t condemn someone for being intentionally hurtful and then call them a masturbating virgin. It just makes you look like a fool.

    +1

    total mess

  93. Thrun, the Last Troll

    Rada’s and Stillmoon’s posts are almost as comically bad as the original article, nice work. Please don’t stop writing Darwin, your content is the most entertaining by far

  94. Stillmoon,
    your whole post is ridiculous but it’s too many wrong point to pick it apart.
    This one made me choke a little though so I’ll respond to it.
    “in this set green have the most removal LOL.”

    Green:
    Slice in Twain – uncommon
    Wing Puncture – shaky sideboard card
    Sylvok Replica
    Total: 3 removal spells, only one of them common. 2/3 only deal with artifacts, and if you’re playing the third one you’re pretty sad.

    Red:
    Blast
    Turn to Slag
    Arc Trail
    Shatter
    Scrapmelter
    Cerebral Eruption
    Arguably:
    Trainee
    Furnace Celebration
    Embersmith
    Total: 6 (3 of them common), arguably 9.
    Includes Arc Trail, perhaps the best removal spell in the set, and a built-in 1 for 0 Scrapmelter.

    White:
    Arrest
    Revoke
    Dispense Justice
    3 total, 2 of them common. All three always make the cut.

    Black:
    Skinrender
    Flesh Allegy
    Gasp
    Arguably:
    Fume Spitter
    Instill Infection
    Total: 3 to 5 removal spells; all can deal with either artifat or nonartifact creatures.

    So yeah uhm… You should probably read your own comment before calling Darwin a smartasss next time.
    So congrats, you wanted people to laugh you got it.

    @Dreamfall: Actually, it is. I can’t leave it alone because like I said before, I care and what steve z said was way out of line, but when you come up with a polite way to get that actoss to him, let me know.

    @ratchet 1215/JamesB, yeah I agree and he pretty much agrees with that in the end but it could have been stated more clearly. Part of the problem is, he (correctly) assumes that so few people are reading anythign other than the draft itself that he puts a lot more effort into the body than the conclusion.

  95. A better name for these articles would be :
    “Lessons in bad picks”
    Or
    “ride the sh*t storm”
    Or
    “Read this for pure comic value”
    Bad bad bad. Hopefully this is the last “exploration” of scars draft..So so bad

  96. rada is kastle himself arguably

    and that is why you failed as a drafter because you failed to understand a value of the card.
    ever heard withstand death, untamed might, tel jilad defiance, carrion call? this card is not literally a removal but if you used this card correctly it is a very potential blowout cards (understandably your monkey logic cant comprehend this so i let it slide)
    you want experiment? utilize those you called “borderline” card and make a good deck rather than showcasing your trademark boom boom pool and lose

  97. Lol Stillmoon, how adorable that you are thinking that I’m Darwin.

    If you’re gonna go that route:
    Relic Putrescence/tainted strike can ACT like a removal spell as well, bringing the count to 7 for black, same as green ones and still beating green in non-situational removal, even if I don’t bother arguing about your questionable addition. Oh and hey, if you play the sentinel with painsmith on the table, it’s like a removal spell to, that makes it 8!
    Red already has more than 7 without me counting cards that in very specific situations can maybe act like a removal spell.
    Add Stag, fulgent distraction, soul parry and seize the initiative to the white list (they can all act like removal) and it’s again 7.
    For what it’s worth, green is the only one of these 4 colors that doesn’t have removal rares, while red has multiple.

  98. …okay. I think I get it. I could be wrong, but I think I get it.

    I just read a fine article by Darwin Kastle about Planeswalkers. Over on another site. I mean, I’m no expert, but it was thoughtful and well written.

    Were these other draft articles just you running out the clock on a contractual obligation? You were bound by law or previous agreement to write X number of articles, and so this was the way to fulfill that obligation without giving anything (and i’m purely speculating here, now) to a site which for whatever reason you no longer wanted any part of?

    Like I said, I could be wrong. But did I get it?

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