In this video article, I decided to do a draft with the current iteration of the Magic Online Cube, which has the Gatecrash additions. I covered the changes and their impact in a previous article when the changes were announced in early April. As noted in the article, the biggest change seems to be the increased mana fixing, and I think it may be at the point where one of the cycles like the Mirage fetch cycle could go.
Looking back at the draft, I'd likely take Parallax Wave pack 1 pick 3 over Sakashima's Student. The Student is good, but Parallax Wave is a whole other ballgame. I have no idea why I ignored it when I was looking at the pack. The idea of having two Wurmcoil Engines might have distracted me, but that's a really stupid reason to ignore a card that tends to act as part Plague Wind, part blink enabler, and part creature protection.
I'd also likely take Naturalize pack 1 pick 11 since I didn't have any artifact/enchantment removal at the time. Although the mana rock selection got cut in this iteration, it's still very useful to have in case of annoying Equipment/enchantments.
- 1 Wurmcoil Engine
- 1 Glen Elendra Archmage
- 1 Indrik Stomphowler
- 1 Joraga Treespeaker
- 1 Riftwing Cloudskate
- 1 Sakashima's Student
- 1 Snapcaster Mage
- 1 Sower of Temptation
- 1 Keiga, the Tide Star
- 1 Kira, Great Glass-Spinner
- 1 Meloku the Clouded Mirror
- 1 Rofellos, Llanowar Emissary
In retrospect, I'd build it with the following changes:
It's easy to get Genesis into the graveyard, as I found out, thanks to the bouncelands, and getting it into the graveyard and looping creatures would have grinded out an advantage against most decks. I ended up sideboarding into it anyway, and had I made that change, I would have just sideboarded it out against the quicker decks. The deck wasn't aggressive enough to run Serendib Efreet.
In this match, I ended up playing around countermagic that my opponent may not necessarily have had. I usually just played things into countermagic, as I felt that I didn't have much of a plan, but it ended up working.
Thanks to the Time Spiral play, I was unsure if my opponent was on the combo U/B or the value U/B plan, which is why I didn't insta-kill the Talrand, Sky Summoner upon the first spell's trigger. I was thinking that I was going to get killed by a Tendrils of Agony, which is why I didn't want to use the counters as a life buffer. However, once the opponent ended the turn, I knew that it was safe to just use my counters offensively. I'm still not sure what I was thinking with that Snapcaster Mage attack, as I'd say that an Umezawa's Jitte counter means more than having a dead Augur of Bolas.
In this match, the bounceland + Exploration combo really worked well. In retrospect, I wouldn't have pitched Genesis to the graveyard had I known how much of the clock it would take up. I'd like to chalk it up to inexperience with using Genesis, but I'd played with it in the prior match as well, albeit without an impending clock. Upheavaling with little time was a bit of a gamble given how slowly I was playing. Although it almost assuredly would have made me win with Exploration, the clock was my biggest enemy at that point, as I had bounced my opponent's bounceland and crippled their tempo.
That said, I liked how the deck performed and thought that it was a blast to play. I gained a ton of respect for Exploration, although I'm not sure how I'd feel about the card without a bounceland or two. Still, the deck performed well, and I hope that you enjoyed it. U/G Midrange is a classic Cube archetype, and although I tend to make my U/G decks more on the tempo side (like with a few more Aether Adept type effects), this deck showed that a more ramp-centric version can work as well.
May all of your opening packs contain Sol Rings!