So Long and Thanks for All the Kami
So lately I've been playing a lot of Magic Online. In particular, I've been focusing on the 9th Edition events. I'm still not sure if I'm going to write any strategy articles on the format yet as Rich Hoaen has already done that and done a good job. If I do end up doing something it would probably be focused on my favorite archetype rather than just the top five commons in each color or other topics that have already been discussed.
Despite playing a lot of drafts, I ended up getting destroyed in the 9th Edition Sealed Release events, opening two awful decks and getting smashed by bombs. All in all I have to say that 9th is much more fun than 8th ever was, and should be enough to keep me busy until Ravnica hits the shelves.
This week I decided to do the draft walkthrough that I promised in my last article since we are nearing a close to the CBS draft format as far as paper cards are concerned.
Kitsune Healer, Yamabushi's Storm, Sift Through Sands, Kashi-Tribe Warriors, Waking Nightmare, Harsh Deceiver, Orochi Leafcaller, Rag Dealer, Pious Kitsune, Cage of Hands, Kami of Fire's Roar, Brothers Yamazaki, Cut the Tethers, Hideous Laughter, Sensei Golden-Tail
Already in the first booster there is plenty of room to make a mistake or a bad judgment call.
The stand outs here are Cage of Hands, Kami of Fire's Roar, and Hideous Laughter. If you asked me which card was best overall, I really don't think I could make a decision with any certainty, though I do favor Cage of Hands. This is mainly because it's the most flexible of the three cards and can be splashed easily. Just because I favor the Cage doesn't make it an automatic pick though, and this pick provoked a good deal of thought on my part about where I wanted to go with the draft.
The cards themselves are pretty self explanatory. I think Fire's Roar is probably the worst of the three and you'd really have to be trying to force a Spirit-based archetype to ever take it here. Even then, I think it's a bit radical.
As far as the two removal spells go, Hideous Laughter is much more high maintenance. If you take the Laughter here, you are either committing to Black right away (not something I want to be doing in this block), or you are putting it in your sideboard. So since we already know that I dislike Black and try to avoid drafting it if possible, let's say you were making this pick and you actually didn't mind the color so much. By taking the Laughter here, you are not only making a commitment to draft enough Black to support its double casting cost, but you are also making a commitment to try to draft a deck full of creatures with three toughness or higher. This sounds more like a marriage than a draft pick! In essence, my advice is to avoid the card until you're sure you're in Black, as it takes a lot of weight off of your shoulders.
Now take a look at my friend the Cage of Hands. It's easily splashable. It returns to your hand if a better target hits the board so that it is much more flexible than previous Pacifism variants. It also doesn't put any constraints on the direction of your draft as it can go in any deck and certainly doesn't require an abundance of three toughness creatures.
I also checked the ratings of the players on either sides of me to see if I could gain any information. While checking ratings isn't always accurate, it's a high percentage thing and worth taking a look at in online drafts. My experience has been that players with lower ratings tend to draft Green and Black a lot more than the other colors in CBS and if the guy I was feeding had a low rating, I'd be more inclined to ship the Laughter. This is a good idea too because I can set myself up to get into U/W and get a ton of good Blue in Betrayers if I hook up a lesser player with the Laugher now. The end result here was that both players were in the mid 1700s, which doesn't really present any help to the decision.
Then again, all of what I'm saying is still merely my thoughts on the matter and you could definitely make a case for taking Laughter here because it is quite potent in the right deck. I just don't like being tied down so early in the draft or having to waste a pick if I get cut out of Black, so I take Cage here because of its flexibility.
My Pick : Cage of Hands
Kami of the Painted Road, Akki Avalanchers, Hisoka's Defiance, Sakura-Tribe Elder, Distress, Kitsune Diviner, Dripping-Tongue Zubera, Soulless Revival, Kami of Ancient Law, Frostwielder, Nezumi Bone-Reader, Innocence Kami, Untaidake, the Cloud Keeper
This pack is even more difficult than the first one in terms of options.
First off I have the strictly on-color pick of Innocence Kami. This guy has been absolutely amazing for me every time I've played him and certainly wouldn't be a bad pick here to follow up my first pick Cage.
Next is the card that has continually gotten stronger, Frostwielder. Going with the 'Wielder here again carries with it a set of responsibilities to commit to Red due to its casting cost. If you don't spend time thinking about these things with your early picks in the draft you'll end up throwing some of the picks out the window and I think it's really important to try and keep your options open if you can. The end result is a more powerful deck because you don't end up having a bunch of your first picks sitting on the bench.
Moving along, we have Kami of Ancient Law, which is strictly worse than Innocence Kami and shouldn't even be a consideration at this point. The same goes for Kami of the Painted Road, who is worse than Ancient Law.
The last important card to look at here is the Sakura-Tribe Elder. Taking the Elder here wouldn't be the craziest decision in the world, but I also don't think it'd be the conventional pick if you polled a group of pros on the matter.
This pick comes down to card preference as well as where you want to go with your draft.
I think taking Frostwielder here is just plain bold after shipping a pack where Kami of Fire's Roar was the second best card left. This leads someone downstream into Red and cripples your chances of getting Torrent of Stone or late Frost Ogres in Betrayers. I also don't like committing to the double mana cost when there are equally good options that are in the same color as my first pick.
Taking the Innocence Kami is the pick that I think most top drafters would recommend, as it really is a strong card and goes well with my first pick Cage. If you've read my articles for any extended period of time, however, you already know that I don't always follow conventional wisdom and that's what led me to take the Sakura-Tribe Elder here with my second pick.
As I've been preaching in all of my articles, I try to draft for power. While the Innocence Kami is clearly a great card, it doesn't open up the kind of doors that the Elder does. It's like investing in a stock now with the hope that it will grow and allow me to splash any bombs or off-color removal I open in the next two packs.
When I took Cage of Hands in pack one, I didn't view it only as a White card, I viewed it as a good piece of removal that I would probably end up splashing. So why confine myself with the Innocence Kami here when I can take a shot at getting into Green and the chance at a really strong deck?
To sum it all up, Innocence Kami is the safe pick here, but I think Elder holds the most potential. Either pick is "correct" as long as you know why you are doing it. My feeling is that it's worth taking some risks to get into Green in this format and that's why I am taking a risk with the Elder here.
I also realize that this is a pick that I may get ridiculed for in the forums and that's okay. At least I have plenty of reasons to back up my decision and we can actually have a real discussion on the matter. If you don't agree, that's fine because I can assure you that this is a flexible choice.
My Pick : Sakura-Tribe Elder
Lava Spike, Floating-Dream Zubera, Kashi-Tribe Warriors, Cursed Ronin, Lantern Kami, Unearthly Blizzard, Ethereal Haze, Crushing Pain, Wandering Ones, Mystic Restraints, Reciprocate, Sensei's Divining Top, Shisato, the Whispering Hunter
Hmm. I guess that whole speech I just gave went right down the tubes, huh?
This pack is wretched for third pick and there really aren't many options. I could take the Mystic Restraints and try to get into U/G/w but I am not even sure I'm going to get any Blue to go with it so it may just be a dead pick.
The problem here is that the best choice for me is Reciprocate and I don't even like the card! I know I'll probably get questioned about this too so I guess I should give a better explanation. The problem with Reciprocate is that it doesn't deal with creatures that are going to give you the most problems like Ghost-Lit Raider or Kabuto Moth. It also charges a high price to get rid of any big creature, since you have to actually let that Moss Kami hit you in order to kill it. I will play the card if I have no better options, but I'm not happy to be doing so. In general I think it's a pretty weak removal spell and I'd rather just not have it in my deck if possible.
I actually considered taking Lantern Kami here and in retrospect I should have done so, but I ended up going with the Reciprocate and not being happy at all about it. When deckbuilding time came around, I was wishing I had that Lantern Kami, that's for sure.
My Pick : Reciprocate
Well, don't I feel like an idiot.
Drafting for power, blah blah blah.
Way to pass the good White card and take all of the bad ones eh?
These packs are very thin in terms of playable cards and I really don't see what option I have here besides the Pale Curtain. Did I mention that Pale Curtain, like Reciprocate, is another card that I don't like to play? The reason of course is because I usually have a good deal of Soulshift in my White decks and the Samurai totally screws that over?
Maybe I should've just taken Lantern Kami again, heh.
My Pick : Samurai of the Pale Curtain
At this point I'm pretty sure that the guy in front of me is in fact drafting Green and somehow the Elder just slipped through because it was an early pick. I don't think that makes the pick a total mistake, but rather it didn't pan out this time and that's okay. I know it seems like I'm contradicting myself because I said I didn't want to take Frostwielder for this exact reason, but I think the Elder will work out far more often than the Frostwielder. I also think that when I'm able to splash Torrent, Waxmane Baku, or some other insane card into a deck because I made a sacrifice and took Elder over something good, it will far outweigh the times when it ends up that I can't get into Green.
Getting back to the pack, since I am now pretty confident that the guy in front of me is U/G, I have to decide what my second color is going to be, and fast.
For now I decide to just stick with the mediocre White cards and take the Kami of the Palace Fields here. Interesting to note that had I taken Hideous Laugher first, I wouldn't have gotten anything great in Black in the last few picks though I could've taken Eerie Procession here and combined with Soulless Revivals for a pseudo-combo deck.
My Pick : Kami of the Palace Fields
Doesn't look like there are going to be any good packs in Champions, though this one does at least present me with a decision.
If we were back in CCC or CCB, the Greed would far and away be the best pick. Taking a look at what I've drafted so far, I don't have any Black cards and only one Spirit so it doesn't look like the Greed is going to help much. Pull Under on the other hand is a nice splashable removal spell that I don't mind having and I think it's definitely the better pick of the two Black cards.
Remember guys, Devouring Greed got much worse with addition of Saviors as there are far less Spirits now. If you don't get your Spirits in the first two sets I wouldn't count on getting many in Saviors and your Greed may end up on the bench. Something to keep in mind.
My Pick : Pull Under
Interesting that Waning Moon is still here this late, but I'm not going to complain.
The Kami compliments my Pull Under well and there really aren't any other options here.
My Pick : Kami of the Waning Moon
Anyone heard the story of Pete and Repeat?
Well if you haven't, I guess that's just too bad because I'm not going to retell it here because it is extremely lame. And yes, the story actually exists.
What I will tell you is that this pack is a repeat of the last one except there are now a couple of considerations to go with the Waning Moon.
The Kitsune Riftwalker is something I've always liked and I really considered taking him here since I already have Pale Curtain and am looking at possibly playing a heavy White deck. Waking Nightmare is an okay card but there are plenty of good opportunities for Discard and I don't think it is anywhere near the level of Waning Moon or Riftwalker. With Psychic Spear, Sink into Takenuma, Okiba-Gang Shinobi, Three Tragedies, and more, there's no reason not to take a creature right now and get the discard later.
I ended up taking the Waning Moon again (I know, big surprise) because of the evasion it generates and I was hoping to get an Okiba-Gang Shinobi or two in the next pack.
At this point I know what all of the smart alecks out there are thinking too. Let me just point out that I'm well aware of the fact that I shipped Laughter and then went into Black and could therefore get cut next pack. And yes, it really sucks.
I really don't think I have any other options unless I get passed a ton of good Red in Betrayers and at that point I can still switch out of Black.
My Pick : Kami of the Waning Moon
The lap back is very kind to me as I pick up Harsh Deceiver, Kami of Ancient Law, Soulless Revival, Ethereal Haze. Somehow the Ancient Law tabled from the pack with a lot of White in it so I figure this is a go ahead signal that White is basically all mine with maybe one other drafter at the table.
Recapping the first set of boosters, there were a few interesting choices. You could call the Elder pick a "mistake" since it didn't work out this time if you want. The real mistake I think was taking Reciprocate over Lantern Kami. Despite all of this I still seem to be on track and have a good idea where I want to go with this deck.
Skullmane Baku, Hundred-Talon Strike, Goblin Cohort, Shimmering Glasskite, Sakura-Tribe Springcaller, Takenuma Bleeder, Vital Surge, Crawling Filth, Silverstorm Samurai, Ire of Kaminari, Toils of Night and Day, Aura Barbs, Faithful Squire, Unchecked Growth, Higure, the Still Wind
I love Blue in CBS and hate opening a bomb Blue rare and having to pass it. When you really get down to it though I guess that Faithful Squire isn't that much worse than Higure after it flips and sometimes it can be way better if you get three or more counters on it.
So I'm happy to take the flip guy here, but also annoyed about shipping Higure, Glasskite, Unchecked Growth, and Bleeder. I guess I could do a lot worse than opening a Squire.
My Pick : Faithful Squire
Okiba-Gang Shinobi, Split-Tail Miko, Blademane Baku, Mistblade Shinobi, Psychic Spear, Matsu-Tribe Sniper, Stir the Grave, Mending Hands, Ire of Kaminari, Phantom Wings, Throat Slitter, Indebted Samurai, Cunning Bandit, Clash of Realities
I hope nobody is willing to debate this pick.
With all of the talk lately about taking Okiba-Gang Shinobi over Horobi's Whisper, I really hope nobody is suggesting taking Okiba over Throat Slitter. This also brings up the interesting question of Sickening Shoal vs. Horobi's Whisper, and I've seen some people take Whisper there and I think it's horribly wrong simply because Shoal kills regenerators and it also kills Black creatures. That's without even talking about the fact that Shoal can be cast for free and also cast without having any Black mana in play. The relatively expensive splice cost is not worth limiting your target range in my opinion and I think you'd need a really specialized deck to ever take Whisper over Shoal.
It's nice to note that Slitter goes extremely well with my double Waning Moon from the first pack. Boy do I wish I had Lantern Kami.
My Pick : Throat Slitter
Shimmering Glasskite, Child of Thorns, Kami of Tattered Shoji, Frostling, Scaled Hulk, Toils of Night and Day, Matsu-Tribe Sniper, Bile Urchin, Heart of Light, Ashen Monstrosity, Scour, Oyobi Who Split the Heavens
Well now, always nice to get shipped a bomb.
This pack incidentally has nothing else remotely worth picking at this stage in my colors so it's pretty much a no brainer. I'm not quite sure how Oyobi made it through two people as well, as most people usually just take it and splash it. The other interesting thing is that only one Uncommon is missing, so I'm guessing someone took either Torrent of Stone or Waxmane over Oyobi and I don't think I like either of those picks unless you have a really aggressive deck. A point can be made for Torrent if you already have a splash or don't want to splash, but I think Oyobi vs Waxmane is in favor of Oyobi since the format has slowed down so much. Casting Oyobi almost always means game over, while I've lost plenty of times with Waxmane out. I am partial to giant bombs though, so I can see how some people will disagree with me here.
My Pick : Oyobi Who Split the Heavens
Sakura-Tribe Springcaller, Moonlit Strider, Shinka Gatekeeper, Ninja of Deep Hours, Scaled Hulk, Minamo's Meddling, Traproot Kami, Takenuma Bleeder, Takeno's Cavalry, Kami of the Honored Dead, Manichi, the Fevered Dream
More goodies for the control deck.
Besides being absolutely amazing, Moonlit Strider also gives me another way of getting in my Throat Slitter for a second time if my opponent only leaves one guy back and I can ambush him with protection from that color. More importantly, Strider protects Oyobi and serves a much more important purpose than Bleeder ever could in this deck. It's also important to stay with the theme here and draft for defense instead of beatdown since I'm hoping to win in the long game.
My Pick : Moonlit Strider
Neko-Te has never really done enough for me when I've managed to find a deck that I thought it'd actually be good in. This tends to involve Frostwielder or just a deck with a bunch of dorky creatures that would like the added bonus of tapping something when they run into a bigger guy in a chump block. If you happen to have Orochi Eggwatcher or Green Shrine, it could be time to pull the Neko out of the closet and give it another try.
I'm happy to get a Split-Tail Miko at this point in the draft, and as we all know, I play Heart of Light more than anybody and I'm hoping it'll table. At least this is Magic Online and not my weekly drafts at CMU where people actively hate draft Heart of Light just so that I can't get it!
My Pick : Split-Tail Miko
Wow, quite the deck I have shaping up here.
I'm happy to say that I've warmed up to Blinding Powder in the past month as well. After initially being unsure about it, I really like it in decks with Bleeders, Gnarled Mass, and other quick men that can abuse it. The best part about the card though is that it is almost as good as Serpent Skin when equipped to a Shinen of Life's Roar and is much easier to obtain than the Skin since most people don't pick it early. It goes without saying too that it will be good on something like a Scaled Hulk.
Of course, my pick here is a very lucky second Moonlit Strider.
My Pick : Moonlit Strider
Speaking of control options, Skullmane Baku's stock has skyrocketed after the release of Saviors.
When you look at the rest of my deck and how I'm planning to set up with Striders, the Skullmane is a perfect fit and can help deal with annoying Moonfolk Wizards that the 1/4 ground guys can't block.
I remember when Betrayers came out and everyone laughed at how slow the Skullmane looked. Now that the block is complete though, nobody is laughing and I regularly see him in decks. I don't even mind running two Skullmanes if my deck is controlling or if they are at the top of my curve in a BR deck.
My Pick : Skullmane Baku
I remember saying that the Spear was going to be just like Shattered Dreams or other variants of the spell that didn't end up being good. As it turns out, the format is Spirit-based enough for the Spear to rarely miss, and usually get something very good. Trading one mana for a good spell of your opponent's in the early game is a good thing to have.
The choice here is between that or Heart of Light and while I've seen multiples of both going around, this deck would rather have the Spear than the Heart. The reason for this is that I don't have a lot of flying creatures and I do have a great ground defense. One of the main reasons Heart is so good is because it stops the annoying Sniper when you're U/W and it also can shut down a big man on the ground while you pound in the air. Since I'm not planning on a complete aerial assault, the Heart is worse than normal in this deck.
My Pick : Psychic Spear
At this point in the draft, I really like my chances with this deck. The lap back contained another Skullmane and Psychic Spear as well as a Kami of Tattered Shoji. I usually only like to play one Spear, but am planning on playing both Skullmanes.
Unfortunately for the purposes of this article, the Betrayers picks weren't too difficult. One thing you can grasp here is that getting the Ancient Law late in the first pack was directly proportional to getting amazing White picks in the later boosters in Betrayers. You must keep your eye open for situations like this during the draft.
Plenty of players get set into their colors in the first few picks and don't make any attempt to read what is going on around them and it ends up costing them in the long run. If you are constantly alert to what is being underdrafted, you can make a mid-pack switch and hope to reap the rewards later which can win you a draft that you otherwise had no chance to.
Akki Drillmaster, Oppressive Will, Elder Pine of Jukai, Kami of Empty Graves, Torii Watchward, Barrel-Down Sokenzan, Araba Mothrider, Path of Anger's Flame, Ideas Unbound, Rending Vines, Gnat Miser, Seek the Horizon, Ghost-Lit Stalker, O-Naginata, Blood Clock
This pack doesn't offer too much in my colors.
While there are finally some Green cards, it's far too late to take advantage of them. Not that I'm complaining, Slitter with evasion and double Moonlit Strider is plenty to tide me over.
O-Naginata actually had a chance of being picked for my deck, but really I don't have enough natural 3/x creatures and I don't think it's necessary to pump Oyobi and his fliers as they should be able to get the job done without any outside help. I don't think it's worth trying to splash Barrel-Down from this pack either. The reason for this is that my deck is already strong enough that I probably don't want to screw up my mana for the Barrel. If I could be guaranteed that I'd also get a Spiraling Embers, then I'd probably elect to splash both of them, but not just one. It helps that there are on-color options in this booster but I think I'm going to want a lot of Plains in my deck anyway and should try to stick to two colors.
The pick is then between Torii, Araba Mothrider, and Ghost-Lit Stalker.
While I absolutely hate taking the Stalker first pick, the White cards will definitely make the lap (at least one of them), and the Stalker is still the best card overall of the three. He also combines quite nicely with my Soulshift chain so far.
My Pick : Ghost-Lit Stalker
Kitsune Dawnblade, Sokenzan Spellblade, Freed from the Real, Okina Nightwatch, Raving Oni-Slave, Moonwing Moth, Araba Mothrider, Murmurs from Beyond, Sakura-Tribe Scout, Death of a Thousand Stings, Descendent of Kiyomaro, Feral Lightning, Meishan, the Mind Cage
This pack actually presents a pretty tough decision for my deck at this point in the draft.
The two cards in question are Moonwing Moth and Descendent of Kiyomaro and they both have their good and bad points. I don't have a whole lot of flying in my deck at the moment and the Moth could really help with that. I also don't have any Sweep cards or Soratamis to power up the Descendent. What I do have going for me is that my deck is slow and will usually be on the back foot which will enable the Descendent more often than not. What I mean is that since I don't have many early plays, I can probably ensure that the Descendent's ability will be online for at least one swing in a good number of games. My opponent will likely cast a two or three drop and then it's just a matter of who drew first. Looking at the rest of my deck, I realized that I'll also be able to use discard to enable his ability in the later stages of the game and that was the deciding factor.
I ended up going with the Descendent here because having life gain is a good thing and I can use something like Ghost-Lit Stalker to turn him on. He's also probably the better creature of the two, but it was a close pick since I didn't have many fliers yet and being able to defend the air is important too.
My Pick : Descendent of Kiyomaro
Fiddlehead Kami, Kami of Empty Graves, Moonwing Moth, Akki Underling, Inner Calm,Outer Strength, Kuro's Taken, Plow Through Reito, Cut the Tethers, Sakura-Tribe Scout, Iron Crane Netsuke, Hand of Honor, Sokenzan Renegade, Reki, the History of Kamigawa
Samurai of the Pale Curtain was looking pretty bad in my deck and almost certainly sitting on the bench when this pack came along and made sure he wouldn't be in the starting 40. With double Moonlit Strider and possibly other Soulshift, Pale Curtain will only screw up my plans. A third pick Hand of Honor didn't want that to happen though, and will fill the Curtain's shoes without screwing over my graveyard.
It's worth mentioning too that this time I don't think Moonwing Moth is even close to the level of the Hand. It would be nice to take the flier here for sure, but casting Hand on turn 2 is too good not to take it. There is an interesting argument that since I'll probably have the ground covered with 1/4s that I should just take the Moth instead, and I would have to agree if it was any other two drop but this one. I also am pretty sure I'd take Moth over the Hand of Cruelty if given the option since I'm trying to keep the Black mana as light as possible.
My Pick : Hand of Honor
This pack offers the choice of Deathmask Nezumi and Death Denied. Deathmask Nezumi is something I really like in U/B, but in my deck it's going to be hard to stay at seven cards. Even if I was given the option of staying at seven, I think I'd rather be casting my other spells since they have much more of an impact on the board than 4/3 that locks up my hand will have.
Death Denied, however, is a nice addition to my pile. As if Moonlit Strider wasn't annoying enough, it will now be back again and again.
My Pick : Death Denied
Most people don't seem to like the upkeep bounce creatures, and I sympathize with them if we're talking about Skull Collector or Trusted Advisor. As far as Free-Riders, Stampeding Serow, and Oni of the Wild Places go, I think they are all awesome.
Free-Riders usually requires you to have a few cheap White men and a bulk of White creatures total in order for it to be good, but if you're in the color, that's usually not much of a requirement. Being a 3/4 flier, it will usually own the skies and is hard to deal with. Trust me when I say that Riders is much better than Loreweaver in the deck that I'm drafting and it also fills a nice hole in the flying department.
My Pick : Eiganjo Free-Riders
So another pretty easy pick, right? I just take Sink into Takenuma.
Take a look back over my picks and you'll see that I'm heavily into White. Because of this, I probably want to run a 10 Plains, 7 Swamp mana base and I don't like playing Sink with only seven Swamps. There is an argument for hate-drafting the card because it's pretty good against my slow deck, but I decided to hate another card instead : Overwhelming Intellect. My deck is full of clunky creatures and it's almost impossible for me to play around the Intellect if I ever hope to develop my board position. While it's usually not a great card, it's not something I want to play against and there are no cards that will actually make my deck here so it's worth hating.
My Pick : Overwhelming Intellect
Raving Oni-Slave is a card that I have mixed feelings about. It's great in B/R, and there are times my opponent casts it on turn 2 and I have no immediate answer before I'm already at 11. There are also times when someone casts it and I just laugh because I'm going to bounce it or something and it helps me much more than them.
Obviously this isn't the deck for Oni-Slave, and even if it was, I think I'd much rather have the Torii Watchward to recur my Moonlit Striders anyway.
My Pick : Torii Watchward
I've spoken my praise for the Deathknell Kami plenty in previous articles, but it's nice to pick up here for my sideboard in case I run into a deck with lots of small fliers that need to be dealt with. I have no cheap fliers so this guy is an easy trade for an early flier after sideboarding. It's also possible that it could be boarded in if I really need to get Throat Slitter through in a given matchup.
My Pick : Deathknell Kami
A final trip around the table brings another Torii Watchward and Deathknell Kami along with Kami of the Empty Graves. Spicy.
The draft as a whole went pretty smoothly for me, though I think there should be some interesting discussion in the forums about the Elder/Innocence Kami pick as well as possibly Moonwing Moth/Descendent, and a few others.
Below is the decklist I decided on along with some discussion on why certain cards didn't make it.
Kami of Ancient Law
Hand of Honor
2 Kami of the Waning Moon
Descendent of Soramaro
2 Moonlit Strider
2 Torii Watchward
2 Skullmane Baku
Kami of the Palace Fields
Oyobi Who Split the Heavens
Cage of Hands
Samurai of the Pale Curtain
Kami of Tattered Shoji
2 Deathknell Kami
Kami of Empty Graves
Death of a Thousand Stings
So let me talk about the sideboard and what didn't make the cut for a minute.
If you take a look at the maindeck, you'll see that it's pretty much airtight.
Samurai of the Pale Curtain
As stated earlier, this guy counteracts my Soulshift and therefore is not my friend.
I know most of you guys are really wondering why I didn't play this card, but I'd like to pose the question to you of what card in my maindeck is worse than Recip? I don't think any of them are, and I talked about Reciprocate in the draft portion and why I don't like it. I do think it's a good board card against annoying fliers or Frostwielder, but not maindeck.
Didn't make the cut because Death's Denied is simply better and I don't have much to splice it onto. Plain and simple.
Kami of Empty Graves
Not a bad card, but doesn't exactly fit too well in my deck. I already have Moonlit Striders filling this role and doing a much better job at it. The only thing this guy could do is get in for four damage repeatedly with the help of Waning Moon.
The rest should be pretty obvious. One Psychic Spear is plenty in the main, though the other was boarded in once against a deck with tons of targets. On the issue of Psychic Spear, my second round opponent in this draft actually verbally bashed me for playing the card and said that it was completely awful. Have I been living on Mars or something for thinking this card is good? It rarely misses for me and usually trades for something very strong like Torrent of Stone or a good creature in the early turns of the game. Thoughts?
Looking back on the draft, I certainly made some mistakes in my picks and could've had an even better deck than I ended up with. I think this is somewhat balanced out by the fact that I noticed how open White was in pack one and made sure that I would be the one receiving the good White in the later packs.
I really like B/W as an archetype in this block if you're able to get the good White cards in Betrayers and also some good Black removal to deal with pesky utility creatures. While U/G is still my favorite archetype, B/W is also near the top of the list because of its ability to create dead cards for your opponent by playing something like Kabuto Moth or even just Harsh Deceiver.
As far as how the games went, I ended up making it to the finals and my opponent didn't want to split. My first two rounds were pretty easy, as I got paired against a guy who played very poorly and could've beaten me in two games with Feral Lightning and Lava Spikes if he had a clue what he was doing. The second round my deck just took control and won with Oyobi twice, though Throat Slitter got involved with Waning Moon in game one and killed three creatures. In the finals, my opponent ironically beat me both games by playing the Innocence Kami that I had passed. I know, I know, I like Green too much and I should've taken the tapper.
Have a good week.
Soooooo & ThatsGameBoys on MODO