GTC Draft 2
Drawing cards and losing tempo with the Simic combine.
Fathom Mage Zameck Guildmage Urban Evolution
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I had a great start when in
P1P1 I took Fathom Mage followed by a
P1P2 Zameck Guildmage. In
P1P3 I had the choice between Urban Evolution and Elusive Krasis and I opted for the card draw plus potential Explore. In
P1P4 I took Gridlock over Skarrg Goliath, reasoning that this format appeared too fast for giant eight drops to me. Later during the pack I was faced with the decision of Aetherize or Stolen Identity. I took the combat trick instead of the clone effect, as I thought it had the bigger blowout potential.
With five premium Simic spells at my disposal I felt confident for pack 2, but I also realized that the Elusive Krasis and 2 Shamblesharks I had passed didn't wheel, indicating that there was another Simic drafter at the table of 7. Also I was a bit short on creatures, so I knew I had to prioritize them for the rest of the draft.
P2P1 I had the choice of either splashing for Ground Assault or Shambleshark. I took the creature.
P2P2 I got Experiment One, but the rest of the pack was very bad and I assumed, that I got cut from left. I added some late Ghor-Clan Rampager and Gruul Charm, when there were no picks for me.
pack3 I got a second Fathom Mage, but not much else. During the whole draft I had not seen a single three drop (such as Drakewing Krasis, Slaughterhorn or Crocanura) after the Elusive Krasis and no Cloudkin Raptors as well. Even a Frilled Oculus would have been more than fine.
The deck was very bad. It was painfully missing three drops or any early game. It's possible that I should have taken the Ground Assault and splashed the good Gruul cards I had. I won against decks/players that didn't pressure me and where I would draw a million extra cards. Against real decks (Boros and Gruul/Ramp) I was hopelessly lost. I went 2-2, but could have easily ended up 0-4.
This time (and possibly for the next few drafts) I will do a bit differently. Instead of giving you semi-complete game reports, I will focus more on how I estimated cards and how they performed during real-life play. I think as long as the format is as young as Gatecrash is now, this should generate a higher learning effect.
- Fathom Mage was worse than I had expected. Having her in my opener against aggressive decks, playing her on turn 4 was basically a death-sentence. Don't get me wrong, she gets absurd (especially together with Zameck Guildmage) when you have the time. However, it's very likely that I am not going to first-pick her again.
- Spell Rupture was also pretty bad. It suffers the general problem of counter spells, which don't do much when you are behind on board, but even more so (hint: It does nothing, when you don't have a creature in play). Nevertheless I countered some sweet spells (x=7). Assuming I would actually have a good, faster Simic deck, I would play it again, but would pick almost all creatures over it.
- Gridlock and Aetherize were basically Fog in my deck. I bounced a Giant Adephage and countered it with Spell Rupture afterwards, for what it's worth. I'm still convinced they're good in the right deck.
- Urban Evolution was fine, but added to the overall theme of drawing cards and losing tempo. This deck could have used Elusive Krasis more, but that was not predictable when I made the pick. It's still close and I slightly lean towards the card draw spell, but not by a far margin.
- Merfolk of the Depths was the only card that over performed. Sure, a 4/2 is very bad from an efficiency standpoint, but in the Simic deck this one can grow almost all of your evolve guys to the next level, even those that have already passed some points of evolution. This can act as a very relevant combat trick, so be sure to watch out when you attack into six open mana of your Simic opponent next time.
For now I'm convinced that Simic and Dimir are the worst guilds. But assuming Wizards has built another balanced limited environment similar to Return to Ravnica, I'm pretty sure that this assumption going to change in the future. See you around next time!
01.02.2013 • #Limited, #Draft, #GTC