Friday, November 15, 2019

Limited Success

While my woes in Standard Ranked continue and this season is a write off for the most part, let's talk about Limited Draft.

I love doing drafts, either in Arena or in person. The thrill of opening a pack and seeing what's there, finding bombs, building a deck... it all appeals to me in a visceral way. The first sets I really understood what was going on and what I was doing (largely thanks to Limited Resources podcast) was War of the Spark, and the base set of M20 followed thereafter and in both of those I had moderate success.

But then Throne of Eldraine drafting started and... wow... I did not do so well.

There is someone about Throne of Eldraine that flummoxes my drafting. I know the card values, I know the deck archetypes, I know about drafting the hard way versus easy way, but for the first 9 drafts I struggled to get to 3 wins before the third loss. I never felt this bad in the previous two.

But then I got my first 6 win deck which bolstered my morale, and a few drafts later another 6-3 deck and my average in Eldraine started to look less like a disaster. Still didn't run the full 7 wins though...

That brings us to my latest draft. I pay the gold, open Pack 1 and see that smirking bastard, Oko:

Right then, that's an easy first pick! I continue on, selected other blue and green cards for what I think will be a Simic Food deck.

But there is a problem: the green cards are not coming to me. One of the 7 bots is cutting my green cards and leeching my card pool! I opened pack 2 looking for a good card to complement Oko but saw Robber of the Rich, and I wasn't changing lanes for that. But on the other hard, Merfolk Secret Keeper and Didn't Say Please kept showing up, and the bot cutting my green cards continued to, well, cut my green cards!

By the end of two packs I had this card pool going on:

In pack 3 (pick 2 no less) I did manage to score Yorvo, Lord of Garenbrig but the rest of the cards continued to be scarce on good green cards. So I was left at the end of the drafting with a conundrum: Green-Blue, Blue splashing green, or go full on mill deck Mono Blue?

How can you even consider NOT using Oko, you ask? I mean, he is a super bomb and voted most likely to get banned from Standard next week. But...... I didn't have the cards to support him in the Simic food deck where he shines best. I decided reluctantly to cut him (*gasp*) and go pure mono blue:

With 5 Merfolk Secret Keepers, a Lucky Charm, 3 Didn't Say Please counter spells, I felt pretty good I could mill consistently and score some wins.

And boy did it ever! I went 7-1 with only one fast RW aggro deck killing me when he had 2 cards left in his library. There were a couple other close games but the milling always won out in time.

Sorry Oko, maybe next time.

Post Script: So that Oko I drafted, mythic rare? I had one already from the Renewal gift when set rotation happened, so this was my second copy of the card. And in the packs I got for winning this draft? I opened a THIRD Oko! You know what this means, right? Guaranteed banning incoming...

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