Drafting With Olivier - Shards/Shards/Conflux #30
For once I am not very happy to first-pick this card as I'm passing the worst non-rare card my deck can face (Branching Bolt) and one of the strongest Esper commons (Sanctum Gargoyle) which is not exactly a great signal.
Pack 1 pick 2:
Pack 1 pick 3:
Capsule is amazing combined with Sanctum Gargoyle but I have already passed one meaning I won’t have many opportunities to get another one. Arcane Sanctum is just better in this case.
Pack 1 pick 4:
Pack 1 pick 5:
I’m not a huge fan of Bone Splinters in Esper. The Panorama is just a lot better.
Pack 1 pick 6:
In ACR I’d probably go with Canonist. But in AAC I want Esper to be UB based.
Pack 1 pick 7:
Pack 1 pick 8:
Pretty close pick with Steelclad Serpent. Both cards are about as good as each other.
Pack 1 pick 9:
Never bad with two Capsules and a fetchland.
Pack 1 pick 10:
Pack 1 pick 11:
I’m not scared of Ridge Rannet at all. Let's see if I can try and pass the Sanctum Gargoyle/Courier's Capsule guy on my left some kind of message.
Pack 1 pick 12:
Pack 1 pick 13:
Pack 1 pick 14:
Pack 1 pick 15:
The first pack was excellent for me but the signals I sent to my left were pretty bad. Maybe will I be forced to move to a more aggressive deck or to five-color control in pack 2 if it becomes clear Esper is not coming back.
Pack 2 pick 1:
Not even close to Infest with two Capsules in the deck.
Pack 2 pick 2:
Switching to five-color seems risky and just bad. I’ll just take the best UW card when there is no Esper meaning mostly flyers and exalted guys.
Pack 2 pick 3:
Pack 2 pick 4:
Excommunicate could be good in the deck but it’s not yet as I’m not aggressive enough at the moment.
Pack 2 pick 5:
The Serpent is fine too but I love the 2/1 with many exalted creatures.
Pack 2 pick 7:
I don’t think I can play the Paladin on turn 2 on a regular enough basis. It still would be a fine turn 3 or 4 play but I should still get good Esper from the last pack meaning the Sculptor should be good too.
Pack 2 pick 8:
Pack 2 pick 9:
A good sideboard card and a card I surely don’t want to face.
Pack 2 pick 10:
Pack 2 pick 11:
Pack 2 pick 12:
Pack 2 pick 13:
Pack 2 pick 14:
Pack 2 pick 15:
Pack 3 pick 1:
This pick sets exactly what I should be aiming at. An aggressive UWb Esper deck with a few aggro non-artifact guys.
Pack 3 pick 2:
Pack 3 pick 3:
In Esper I usually like Slavedriver better but being UW based and very aggressive the Squire is a much better pick for me here.
Pack 3 pick 4:
Once again this pick is determined by the cards I already have as I would usually pick Strix over Cormorants.
Pack 3 pick 5:
Pack 3 pick 6:
Pack 3 pick 7:
Traumatic Visions is good but I’ve fine fixers already and I’m aiming to be very aggressive so I don’t feel like passing an Isamaru.
Pack 3 pick 8:
A sideboard card against the guy who received my Branching Bolt.
Pack 3 pick 10:
Pack 3 pick 11:
Pack 3 pick 12:
Pack 3 pick 13:
Pack 3 pick 14:
Pack 3 pick 15:
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2 Sighted-Caste Paladin
2 Sedraxis Alchemist
Lapse of Certainty
ROUND 1: 5C Aggro (Limited rating: 1738)
In the first game I have a strong start with turn 2 Aven Squire turn 4 Tower Gargoyle. He has Ring for the 4/4 but my pressure doesn’t drop with turn 5 Cormorants and Executioner’s Capsule and t6 Guardians of Akrasa plus Courier”s Capsule. Two turns later as he can’t deal with the Cormorants he concedes.
His start in game two is pretty impressive. Turn 2 Goblin Outrider turn 3 Onyx Goblet (not making fun here... the card may suck in five-color but it was quite good in this game) turn 4 Explosing Borders for 5 turn 5 Elder Mastery and make me discard two cards making life totals 16 to 4 with Onyx Goblet on the board. I do have many guys but I won’t be able to win this game if I don’t immediately draw one of my two Sedraxis Alchemists. Can you guess what I draw on my next two turns? Just to give you a clue both of my draws are Black and 2/2s.
In the end I barely win the game as Onyx Goblet put me down to 1!
ROUND 2: 5C (1834)
In game one he mulligans then plays Forest Mountain Plains Island Forest and concedes.
Game 2 is surprisingly a little more interesting. I mulligan and can’t find a Blue for the first five turns which is a little sad considering I have three Blue cards in hand from turn 2. Luckily his turn 2 sphere into turn 5 domain allows him to play only Zombie Outlander in the meantime. What is that card doing here after boarding by the way? I have no idea.
I play Aerie Mystics which dies (Bloodpyre Elemental) and when I eventually draw my blue I’m able to play a Sludge Stride which sadly also dies (Resounding Thunder) but it comes back two turns later thanks to Sanctum Gargoyle. A few turns later these two guys win the game.
ROUND 3: Jund (1772)
One of my most interesting matches in a while. In the first game I start with a strong beatdown and Lapse a Fiery Fall on Cormorants and sacrifice my Capsule on his Druid of the Anima as it is his only way to produce Red. If his next draw doesn’t offer him a Red he is dead but he draws the Mountain. He then starts playing one spell a turn while I draw several lands in a row. I may look like I’m just having consecutive bad draws but I’m not. I am just pretending while accumulating luck for the moment when I will really need it. Like for instance when life totals are 10-2 and Skill Borrower faces Mosstodon Beacon Behemoth and Cavern Thoctar. That’s just the perfect timing to draw Welkin Guide and take the game isn’t it?
In the second game he decides to copy my “pretending to be drawing bad” tech. He masters it so well when he lets me play first as he keeps a one-lander and discards on turn 2 then play 4 mana sources in the next three turns and doesn’t draw a land after that. In the meantime he plays Branching Bolt on my best two guys to compensate for the tempo loss and take the game surprisingly easily.
The third game is the closest. He has amazing draws as he is “stuck” on six mana for the whole game and plays one big guy a turn. However at some point the many tricks I’ve played (Lapse Countersquall on Branching Bolt) and the card advantage I made with Sanctum Gargoyle and Etherium Astrolabe makes me slowly catch up. With Tower Gargoyle Astrolabe and the control of the game versus Vithian Stinger and Druid of the Anima with a hand composed of Lapse of Certainty Sedraxis Alchemist and Guardians of Akrasa I feel like I am actually going to win this. Life totals are 6-14 and I have only two mana open so he has one turn to play something better than a big guy. And he plays: Grixis Slavedriver. Fantastic a creature I can’t bounce.
From then the game gets more complicated and I’ve to try and go all in attacking with the 4/4 and chumpblocking with one small guy a turn. That’s when he plays Executioner’s Demon another guy I can’t afford to kill. A freshly topdecked Agony Warp still gives me a very small chance to get back in that game and three turns and no significant draws later life totals are now 3 (him) to 1 (me). I’ve just blocked his 5/5 flyer with my 4/4 and I have only one guy left on the board: Guardians of Akrasa. I absolutely need him to mill my Screecher so I can unearth it and attack for three. Unfortunately he doesn’t repeat the mistake he has made previously on the game and I now have to draw my flyer to still have a chance and I… don’t.
The exact moment at which I went from “I probably win” to “I’m almost dead” was hard to transcribe here as I was so absorbed by the game that I didn’t have time to take any notes (as I usually do during my matches).
But I clearly remember feeling pretty proud about that game as it was extremely complex and I had the feeling I made an impossible-to-win game one in which I had a 5-10% chance to win at some point. It may not seem fantastic and I know it didn’t get me anywhere but I also know that if I play maybe 12 almost-lost games at that level I’ll win one and that means a lot more to me that winning my final because I’m drawing better than my opponent.