Channel Conley – ROE Draft #4

89 thoughts on “Channel Conley – ROE Draft #4”

  1. Before the string of comments, section of my article tomorrow explains the intentional 3 for 1 in game 1 of match 2 in an analytical light.

    And yes, I understand splashing the Dread Drones was greedy. This was 3-4 weeks ago… not sure my internal rationale. Probably just wanted max synergy

  2. Disagree with both of those assessments. In a Vacuum, sure, but I was drafting a deck.. not just good cards. This is why I didn’t take Gel Gen and I wholeheartedly stand by both Rapacious one over Lust and Nest Invader over Treespeaker.

    To be honest, the second one isn’t even close. Nest Invader is an aggressive card with synergy with my deck. Treespeaker is an absent guy offensively and has no synergy while only slightly better ramping. Take the cards into context before assessing them.

  3. I think you can make an argument for Nest Invader over Treespeaker, but Lust for War is such an insane card in this format. It won’t get you a lot of tokens, yeah, but it will also straight up kill them before long unless they 2-1 themselves or you’re way behind on board. Against other spawn decks it breaks board stalls and against U/W levelers it lets you race.

  4. 5th pick pack 2 (I believe):

    Why Sporecap Spider over Bloodthrone Vampire?! Bloodthrone is awesome with a bunch of tokens.

  5. The Wurm vs. Genesis vs. Staggershock pick is a tough one. Genesis is a bomb and fits the strategy. Wurm is just super solid. Staggershock has been less the stellar in many situations of late for me and I’ve consequently lost a little faith in it. But it is what your deck desperately needed.

  6. Why would you splash for Dread Drone? It doesn’t add much power to your deck and it definitely weakened your mana base.

  7. I agree with Derek on questioning that pick (though I felt that just about all the other picks were justifiable). Don’t get me wrong, that pick was justifiable, however there wasn’t even any consideration for the vampire, which is an absolute beating with a tokens deck (not to mention it makes threatens that much better), it was just a snap pick on the spider (which is a fine sideboard card, no mistaking it).

    While not in your colors at that point, black fits quite well with green and red, and there should not have been too much trepidation to go into black as well at that point. Especially since the vampire is at its best in the middle of the game in a tokens deck, so it doesn’t really affect your early mana, allowing for more faith to be put in fixers – which green has (turns 4-6, when you can actually start getting a fair amount of fodder for it, and you can force awful blocks for your opponent or deal large amounts of damage).


  8. Match 2 game 1 was pretty insane. I couldn’t imagine trying to play out a game like that in paper magic.

    I agree with the staggershock pick on the basis of how much of a blowout it is most of the time, also I did imagine how awesome it would be to dump 50+ mana into GGensis.

  9. I like pellaka over genesis in a stereotypical green ramp deck, pellaka lets you come back from nearly any race(most notably the fliers deck). When i played with genesis i was mostly droping for 4 4/4s, which seems a lot weaker than 7 life+ a 7/7 trampler(and maybe a card later). But in the deck you made, I think stagger was the pick, sickening to pass the two best green bombs in the set.

  10. “Match 2 game 1 was pretty insane. I couldn't imagine trying to play out a game like that in paper magic. ”


  11. Tough draws, man, although as you noted above splashing the dread drone was probably too greedy. Shame you couldn’t have picked up another bombardment. M2G1 was hilarious.

  12. I woulda gone genesis all the way. With the amount of accel you have, drawing it over staggershock is insane.

    Joraga? Nest invader since it allow reusable mana accel and if you really need it can attack under bombardment. Nest invader is somewhat more aggressive, treespeaker can also randomly allow for stupid draw where you go turn 1 treespeaker into turn 2 nestinvader turn 3 rapacious one.

    Yes I realize that’s a nutty draw, but I would prefer to have that possibility over nest invaders when you mgiht very well sac the token to cast something anyways.

    The best argument for nest invader over treespeaker is brood birthing IMO.

  13. I might have taken the genesis that pick. Synergy is fine but all your guys make mana. imagine a genesis game 2 match 1 with all those spawn in play. 16 16/16’s would have won it for you.

  14. Just today in a similar tokens deck, I hit 6 6/6 on turn 5 with the genesis. Agree you should have taken the genesis.

  15. Even if you’re in the mood for 3-for-1s, why didn’t you Spawning Breath the attacker and then block with the token, only burning a single Might of the Masses (a 2-for-1, sure, but leaving you with a Might for breaking through his wall later or after that huge token rush for massive damage, theoretically).

  16. Why would you target him with spawning breath instead of targeting the creature you were going to block? That way you don’t have to blow 2 MotM.

  17. Genesis is good, but with no removal in the deck except for a pretty fragile Spawning Breath, I think the Staggershock was the right card for what the deck was trying to do. Yes, Genesis is an insane late game card, but he already had the late game locked down – he needed to get there, which the Staggershock is going to do a reasonable job of killing dudes in order to take over the late game. It makes me throw up a little in my mouth when I see him ship the Wurm and Genesis, but I think it’s the right pick.

    I actually thought there would be more feedback on the three-for-one. 🙂 Though it was correct to do what he did, I’m pretty sure.

  18. Bad Conley! You probably saw this when you were reviewing the video, but spawning breath targeting the knight leaves you with one might of masses to win with rapacious one a couple of turns later.

  19. On second glance, burning a Might#2 let you cast either of the 6-drops next turn by not losing your token. Such an awkward play.

  20. Am I retarded or could you not have spawning breathed his guy then blocked with the token and pumped, therefore keeping one of your mights…

    If that’s what you’ll be discussing in said article then i look forward to understanding your point of view

  21. Is it really worth doing the 3 for 1 compared to targeting spawning breath on the knight and doing a 2 for 1 instead? You could have taken 4 more damage since the rapacious one comes down a turn later, but you get to keep the might for another combat trick.

  22. I thought while I was watching that it would have been better to shoot the knight with the spawning breath and only spend one might to kill it, but of course this means you stabilize one turn later. I’m not sure now what the right play is.

  23. this was so disappointing. Not with your play or anything. I wanted to see this deck win SO BAD. It’s looked like so much fun.

  24. Why did you pass up on the bloodthrone vampires if you were already intent on splashing black? That card is ridiculous with tokens.

  25. I could understand a black splash if you have any Bloodthrone Vampires, but I couldn’t understand it for those two Dread Drones. Your curve was pretty high already and I think you had quite enough token generators in R/G. Rather play it safe with only two colours and stick to your gameplan, which was highly developed.With two clours, you could have played the Brimstone Mage main, which is good in a deck so light on removal.

    Whatever, I still liked your deck a lot and M2G1 was very funny. You had some bad luck in both of those games.
    Keep up the great work! Channelfireball has some awesome content to offer.

  26. why would he take treespeaker over nest invader??? never once would that pick have paid off. lust v.s. repacious is a toss up. i bet if he knew he would have access to a 3rd then he take the lust but you dont know what the next pick will be. seems like you must go into these drafts intending on beating U/W levelers. perhaps you should just go into u/w next time if you can. you did have 1st pick on all of his cards. every one says white is weak and i agree but the deck does so well.

  27. Nest Invader over Treespeaker pick: Jeez, talk about talking yourself into your first impression.

    (Talking about the advantage of Nest Invader over Treespeaker) “Nest Invader’s a 2 drop… We don’t really need a 1 drop” ????

  28. Balancingthetwo

    Thanks Conley, I enjoyed the draft and agreed with most of your picks, I think that in this format ‘good cards’ doesn’t win the draft all the time, unless they’re really good cards; it’s the synergy and the game plan. In this format you have to draft an archetype, and that’s exactly what you did.

  29. I like how different Conley’s view on drafting is, compared to mine. I can agree with almost every pick lsv makes. It’s nice to see there are other ways to draft.
    I’ve seen Robert van Medevoort draft a few times. It was fun to see what piles he ended up with and manage to 3-0 6-0 the draft with.

  30. playing those drones you made uncle scrooge look like mother theresa. otherwise sweet deck i was sure rootin for ya.

  31. Has anyone commented on spawning breathing the creature you were going to block yet? Cause thats definitely a possible play you could have made.

  32. Maybe I’ll rip a swamp, and a Damnation in the same turn.


    Keep these Video’s up

  33. Thanks for posting the epic game with 50 tokens, lol

    Some comments:
    – Splashing black seemed akward, but when intentioned to do so, bloodthrone vampire is the sure pick. In this deck it is a 1B bomb….
    – your deck needed removal, so I understand the staggershock, however in a ramp deck the GGenesis is a GG card…
    – In this deck I agree that nest invader is better than treespeaker
    – Why not sideboared in the spider in Match 2, and side out the black splash. The spider stops the beating of the flyers quite well, which was the biggest threat of your opponent.
    – I would have sided in the wrap in flames. It can push through damage when needed, or with the pinger and the two spawning breath also do 2 damage to some annoying flyers mid game

    But nice draft, and thx again for posting it.

  34. I really like Lust for War over the Repacious One here. Your deck has infinite chump blockers and really just maxed out on token makers. You didn’t know you’d pick up a third, but the Lust for War would’ve been nice.

  35. I can see the need for the 3-1 in game 2 match 1, but I would have thought it would have been a better play to use spawning breath to target the knight, and use just a single might of the masses to trade the spawn token. The might of the masses just looked too powerful to me in a hand including the manticore and the trampling rapacious one.

  36. Seems much better to just not block at all, eot Breath to the dome, then have a trampling rapacious one later with both mights in hand 🙁

    Sidenote – Conley do you ever think about what your opponents could possibly have when you’re attacking? It doesn’t come across that way in the videos. So far in most of your games you attack when an opponent has mana up and then frown when they cast anything at all like you weren’t expecting a trick. If you could please explain your logic during the games pre-attack it’d be very helpful (“if they have x here, we’re ok with that because of blah blah blah).

    Right now it just seems like you wait for the opponent to do something and retroactively you say “that’s fine.”

  37. Thanks again. I think the reason it is fun to watch these is that I’m actively rooting for you to win. It would be nice if you added some music maybe. soft Classical or Jazz could be nice. Just something to make it seem more like a clash of titans, etc. Having another person talking with you does that too.

  38. Jonathan Fisher

    My only problem was the dread drones as have been mentioned several times already, like the deck :o)

  39. Very, very good Video, thanks. A lot of close picks and you never got greedy. The only pick I disagree with is that I think Treespeaker is better than Nest Invader, despite the synergy.

  40. Agustín

    From the very begining, it was pretty clear that the black splash was completely absurd. There is one only reason to splash: accesing to something that your deck is unnable to get, a particulary important resort (examples: removal, finisher, bombs, etc).

    Your deck was pretty good making tokens, so in my opinion you needn’t the black in order to achieve this, specially when you had lots of in-color nice cards.

    If you think, the only reason for losing your last game was the black splash, and I didn’t watch any moment where it was realy usefull.

    Thank you for the video.

  41. Wow I thought there would’ve been more comments about the 2x Might play… Why don’t I fill the void! As it was happening — and also with hindsight — I really thought the correct play was just taking the attack, casting Spawning breath for the token, then accel out Rapacious one the next turn, Manticore the next. You’re at lower life that way, but consecutive attacks from Rapacious One + Might has a lot of potential to still steal the game for you… I dunno, I could be way wrong.

    One thing I will say about your draft videos: I’m not about to say I like yours more than LSV’s or vice-versa, they’re both fantastic, and I couldn’t possibly try to pick a favorite. But, for some reason your videos make me want to IMMEDIATELY get on MTGO and join a draft… Which I shall go do now 😀

    So much thanks for making these, Conley!

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  43. It does my heart good to see a quality player like Conley get screwed so know it’s not just me. 😛 However, I would have gone with Genesis and that last game I would have taken out both Drones and swamps, the Drones were just kinda pointless against that deck. Still, very entertaining!

  44. seriously man i dont understand your thinking. splashing a dread drone when you already have tons of token producers, with only one color mana fixer and taking out shaman when it can make your tokens deadly. ?????

  45. Disagreed with the splash black. even though you were playin green, there was only 1 piece of fixing present, so it really seemed to strech your mana base. was wondering when that would cost you. but thanks for the draft. i agreed with the staggershock pick, probably would have gone with treespeaker over nest invader.

  46. I definately wouldve picked Treespeaker over Nest Invader despire Conley’s explanation. The treespeaker is just retarded good on turn 1, and is also good with ur lavaflume invokers which u dont really want to be sacrificing tokens for to use their ability.

    I liked the 3 for 1 play a lot, Conley loses otherwise. To all who thinks he should’ve spawning breathed the knight first that would be bad because he needed the token for extra mana the following turn. wp Conley


  47. My take on the 3 for 1 play is that in response to leveling Knight 1 you should have spawning breathed the guard hound and hoped that he wouldn’t attack with it, fearing MotM.

  48. I think your mistakes really made you pay:
    The last game you lost: if that swamp was just a mountain…
    and the double MOTM instead of just one + bolting the creature – you would easily have won the game with this many creatures if you had MOTM. By the way: maybe not blocking the tramplers was because of fear of another MOTM, at least in the beginning – later it would just have killed him either way, I mean: You grabbed 4 of them and most of them pretty late so everyone saw them, right?)

  49. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that many dudes on the field at one time before… In fact, I don’t think I’ve seen that many dudes in total over the past seven or eight games I’ve played combined… And I played the ROE draft token deck on Tuesday.

  50. Spawning Breath on Knight + Might is a pretty bad play there because he needs the token in order to play a 6 drop next turn. I agree that Spawning Breath + no block might have been the best play.

  51. First, having another person there to comment sounds good.

    Second, the massive token game reminded me of my casual eldrazi spawn deck. More specifically, people with soul wardens will always let your Rapacious ones through, and the time I cast Eldrazi Conscription on Rapacious One, swung, got 15 tokens, and sac’d them all to play Emrakul. Not a play you should ever see happen in a tournament but still a fun one.

    Thanks for the drafts and please keep them coming. 🙂

  52. i think the dread drones weren’t necessary at all; fast token deck with 3 colors seems contradicting.

  53. Should have saved those MotM there Conley. Your life total is a recourse, and one that could have easily been afforded there. That’s about the only snap mistake that I saw in this one, and I agree with taking the Bloodthrone Vampire. He is about the best removal spell in a token deck since they are almost always forced to block and trade.

  54. Disagree with both of those assessments. In a Vacuum, sure, but I was drafting a deck.. not just good cards. This is why I didn't take Gel Gen and I wholeheartedly stand by both Rapacious one over Lust and Nest Invader over Treespeaker.

    To be honest, the second one isn't even close. Nest Invader is an aggressive card with synergy with my deck. Treespeaker is an absent guy offensively and has no synergy while only slightly better ramping. Take the cards into context before assessing them.

    Yes, I realize youre drafting ‘a deck instead of good cards’. You know what one of the best cards you can possibly get in the RG token deck is? Lust for War lol. Rapacious One is reasonable sure, but Lust is better both in a vacuum _and_ in this deck in particular.

    As far as Invader vs Treespeaker, there are limits to synergy, even in this format. Youre comparing Sol Ring to Grizzly Bears (although I acknowledge Nest Invader is very good in that deck). You already admitted your curve is more of a plateau, indicative of you having a higher number than normal of 5-6 drops.

  55. Gotta say… every time he said “I could use Staggershock” in game 1 of match 2… I was thinking “Gelatinous Genesis for 15 15/15s would be some good too.

  56. I guess their assessment of the lands you should play was spot on.
    great draft great deck

  57. Yeah obv everyone already said it, but I was glad to see the stupid black splash screw you over at the end. It seemed super greedy, and sure enough, you had a Swamp and not a Mountain last game FTL. Otherwise, I loved this deck. I actually have no problem with the Staggershock pick or the 3-for-1 with double Masses. I just thought splashing for Dread Drone was silly with stuff like Brimstone Mage in the sideboard. It’s almost taking the whole synergy-based format thing too far.

  58. Conley is certainly more suited at constructed, as his drafting skills are a little suspect. I do enjoy a different take on the drafts but i’m really starting to miss those LSV drafts.

  59. “Stilted” — definitely a word, it means “haltingly” or “staccato”.

    Stinted — not a word.

    You meant “Stunted,” which means slowed; as in “his development was stunted”

  60. Eh, for those of you bashing on Conley for his play, thats a bit over the line imo. Sure, we may have differing opinions on him over a few picks in this draft, but overall suffice it to say he’s better than just about everyone posting in this thread, myself included. I dont think a bit of criticism over specfic picks is that bad, but when people start making blanket statements like ‘dur ur just not as gud as LSV’ thats pretty stupid. Besides, is it really an insult to be ‘not as good as LSV’?

  61. Oh i’m sorry, having an opinion is apparently unacceptable. I prefer LSV’s drafts and if that doesnt suit you…. too bad. Just as a side note, there were several picks he made that the majority of the “good players” would have looked upon as wrong as well. Dont assume that the people commenting here have no clue and arn’t up to snuff when it comes to drafting.

  62. Genesis off the top in R2G1 at the end would have gotten you 16 16/16s. That was definately a tought pick but Genesis there would have been really entertaining. And the 3 for 1 might of masses actually let you stableize the following turn so it was actually a good play imo.

  63. Really? You already decided to splash black, picked up the growth spasm for fixing, and you passed a bloodthrone vampire for a sporecap spider?

    I don’t even know what to say.

  64. TK I was thinking the exact same thing…tons of tokens into black splash already…then spider over vampire with tons of tokens. I the issue Conely is having is trying to keep us entertained while still trying to draft in a quick manner.

  65. I really hope at Amsterdam I am paired vs Conley every round during draft. I can’t wait to play versus him in m11 when in his R/G deck he splashes black for Barony Vampire and leaves Prodigal Pyromancer in the sb. That’s exactly what this genius did here.

  66. I mean, I don’t even think it needs to be said that in the massive token standoff, Brimstone in place of Dread Drone would have meant a clear win. Murder the Attendant and Adept, start going 3 to the face. When Dawnglare shows up, murder it. That’s why cards like Brimstone Mage are good…they might not match your normal strategy, but they’re almost a strategy unto themselves.

    This specific case aside, I still can’t get over splash for 2 Dread Drones.

  67. I think Mike Turian once said that he had never played a perfect game of limited magic and did not think that it was actually possible, but the goal should be to come as close as possible. Keep this in mind when critiquing Conley and his play. I think the constructive evaluation and criticism of the drafts and the comments are some of the most interesting and instructive parts of these” videos”. That being said it is are very courageous thing Conley and his ilk are doing by posting these videos, so we should respect them for doing it and try to keep our comments in the instructive/constructive vein.

    I would have taken the treespeaker, as I would have taken both the lust for wars and not the growth spasm or the rapacious one. A second rapacious one is meh, and I would not need the spasm b/c no black splash. And lust for war just wins games. Although the growth spasm would help with the broodwarden and fits the theme of the deck. So if I took the nest invader I would take the growth spasm and vice versa (I cannot remember which came first). The treespeaker provides the same double green mana, not to mention accelerates you two turns;-)

    Thanks for the draft Conley.

  68. I’d seriously consider shelling out a decent monthly for content like this. It makes my day when I see a draft or constructed match up on ChannelFireball.

    How awesome would it be if you guys could get videos from all the columnists up like this.

    Great draft Conley.

    Best MTG content available on the net, guys.


  69. @David B

    “Stinted” is the past tense of the verb “to stint”, meaning to be frugal, e.g., “I stinted too much on red mana sources, and paid for it by getting mana-screwed.”

    Okay, enough bashing on the Dread Drones. I’ve made worse splashes for worse reasons. I’m just thankful that my draft videos aren’t online.

    …although I admit that I *was* cringing as I watched the deckbuilding, thinking, “Cut the Dread Drones, cut the Dread Drones.”

  70. it’s not stilted or stinted you wanted, it’s ‘stunted.’
    Thanks for another sweet vid 😀

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  72. The card you were thinking of at the beginning was Demonic Appetite. You actually had one right above your second Rapacious One.

  73. That was a crazy token battle. I wish you won simply cause your opponent gave you outs letting you have all of those tokens. Still was a really good token draft deck regaurdless of results.

  74. Really good video – a pro playing in a game with a million tokens on the board is fun to see because it rarely happens.

    IMHO you had plenty of good R&G cards and didn’t need the dread drones. In the last game, if that swamp would have been a Mountain, you would have had a chance and when the Dread Drones did show up in the matches, it was a “win more” at that point.

  75. r2 g1

    I would not block turn 3. The guy was trully clearly blind up to some pump/trick. THATS what I disagree about, sir, not the 3 for 1!

  76. stint 1 (stÄ­nt)
    v. stint·ed , stint·ing , stints

    v. tr.


    To restrict or limit, as in amount or number; be sparing with.

    Archaic To cause to stop.

    v. intr.


    To subsist on a meager allowance; be frugal.

    Archaic To stop or desist.



    A length of time spent in a particular way: a two-year stint in the military.

    A fixed amount or share of work allotted. See Synonyms at task.

    A limitation or restriction: working without stint.

  77. I liked the deck..minus the black for the 2 dread drones. That last game if that swamp was a mountain you’d have been right in it still. So yes that was a tad bit greedy. Should have sided out the drones and swamps and sided in naturalize and the pinger, and some mountains. Also I dont know if you wanted to waste all those might of the masses game 2 just to kill the knight, especially with trips capricous ones. And I personally like warmonger’s chariot..even if your not playing any defenders gives +2/+2 and that can win games there. Nice draft though.

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