Friday Morning Magic

For the next several weeks, I’ll be opening an M14 booster pack and discussing the contents in terms of use during a booster draft type event. Once I’ve gone through six of them, I’ll be examining them in the context of a Sealed Event, making a 40-card deck from 6 boosters.

magic-2014-booster-packs

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So, I went to my first Draft event two weekends ago.  Overall, I had fun, despite the fact I lost more times than I won.  I ended up going 1-3, only because I got the bye in round 3.  Before I start dissecting what I did and where I think I need to do things differently, here’s the 40-card deck I ended up with (in order or rarity):


Construction

I firmly believe that I picked too many creatures. I pulled the Colossus of Akros the first round and was lured by the fact that I didn’t have to commit to a color yet. Also, it’s efficient being a 10/10 for only 8. I completely disregarded the fact that 8 mana is still 8. Freaking. Mana. I chose the Fanatic of Mogis every time it came around, because it’s efficient and tags the opponent for some damage when ever it comes out. Hundred-Handed one was a solid pick, it showed up in my starting hand more times than I can remember.

I’m happy with the creatures I picked, I just picked far too many of them. I know I passed by Lightning Strike and Shock a few times, and I really shouldn’t have. Those spells are too good to pass by, not unless there’s something even better.

Gameplay

This deck is fast, and it’s insanely aggressive. There are enough small creatures that I’m usually summoning creatures by round two or three, and if I got the right mana, Hundred-Handed One can be out pretty early too. Minotaur Skullcleaver is a great early-game play, especially when followed up by a Fanatic of Mogis for some nice damage from devotion to red.

I don’t think I ever used Lightning Strike correctly. Way too often I just tagged my opponent with it as soon as I could, rather than waiting to remove a creature when it attacked, or when it blocked. I went for the easy points, rather than thinking in the long term.

I made lots of other little mistakes: throwing a creature at my opponent who could block it without issue, chump blocking when I had plenty of health and could have taken the hit, etc.

Thoughts for next time…

Obviously, more removal and fewer creatures during the draft.

I definitely enjoyed playing Red, I think the fast and reckless nature works for me, as a newb.

I need to get a better handle on the cards in this set, so I can draft faster and be better prepared for the next Draft.

My Magic post last week spawned an e-mail from a local friend who had the inside scoop on a small casual draft party every weekend.  Since I want to cut my teeth in a friendly, low key environment, this seems like just the ticket.  Before I dive in with both feet, though, I figure I should test the waters.

I nabbed a single Theros booster at Target when I was stocking up on extra Halloween Candy last night, and I figure I’ll do an analysis, much like AbsoluteMTG does in videos like this:

So, here’s what was in my booster:

Yeah… So I pulled a foil rare.  The Temple of Mystery.  Not a bad start!  But, what’s the pick of the booster…

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My family is huge into card games and I grew up in the midwest, where Euchre is a thing, so I’ve grown up loving cards and card games.  They’re social, they’re cheap, and once you’ve invested in a deck of cards, the possibilities are endless.  I even know a few card magic tricks, though I’m terrible at them.  My dad’s a huge fan of Cribbage, which we play all too infrequently, but whever I’m home for the holidays, we always get some Euchre in, or perhaps some Gin Rummy.

Fun fact, I actually collect decks of cards.  I have a deck from just about every casino I’ve been to, I have several movie themed decks (Despicable Me, Star Wars, James Bond, Jurassic Park, TRON), and lots of others about animals from various national parks & zoos, Coca-Cola decks, etc.

This is just the latest batch, from a Florida / Caribbean cruise trip, Target and a Security Conference

This is just the latest batch, from a Florida / Caribbean cruise trip, Target and a Security Conference

All of these decks have Kings and Queens, and Aces and Jokers, but there are no elves, goblins, griffons or most importantly, fireballs.  When you combine a love of fantasy and sci-fi with a love of playing cards, there’s a rather obvious conclusion: Magic: the Gathering.

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