Bringing the Booster Draft Thunder!

So, bewilderingly, I won a DCI Sanctioned "Booster Draft" Magic Tournament yesterday.

So, bewilderingly, I won a DCI Sanctioned “Booster Draft” Magic Tournament yesterday.

No one was more startled than I was at actually going undefeated.

I’ve explained the “booster draft” idea before, so I’m not going to beat that horse up any longer. For the second time, my first car even LOOKED at upon opening the packs was the pretty excellent “Voldaran Pariah/Abolisher of Bloodlines” flip card. I built around it again, but with more of the mechanic and strategy of my previous booster draft build, which was a blue/red deck with an emphasis on controlling the other player’s ability to play or use their cards.

As a result, I drafted to a cheap “mana curve” in the colors of blue and black. The bulk of the deck was playable for two mana, making it rarely in any trouble with respect to land balance. Out of the forty cards for booster draft, six were direct counterspells, including the frustrating “lunar force” card from last week’s draft. All in all, it played very smoothly, which I suppose is obvious.

One of the other players was also drafting to blue and black. I can’t say that I really understand the mechanics of his draft, and I say that having played him. It seemed like maybe he was drawing toward larger creatures, and definitely toward bringing out the “meld” cards new to this release. Maybe, I can’t be sure. Like many of the players, he wound up colossally “mana short”, meaning he basically couldn’t bring out the cards…they were too highly costed in terms of game play.

That confused me. Mana balance is tricky, but EVERYONE has smartphones, and there are web sites with fiendishly accurate calculators online. At a booster draft, I just fire one of them up, after looking at spell to land balance suggestions, usually on the same web sites. It makes it easier to cut lame cards, and also, I just don’t worry about the land balance.

Playing the deck was hard. As I mentioned last week, I tend to go with a “brute force” approach to Magic: The Gathering. This deck required a kind of subtlety, an active waiting for key moments in play. Leaving lands untapped, to deal with the other person’s play in a frustrating fashion…at least until it was time to bring out the Voldaren Pariah, which also really just undoes a lot of the other guy’s play. Thankfully, at that point I get on much firmer ground, since the Pariah is also a “brute force/bring the hurt” card.

That’s what the art is all about. We have Tamiyo again, who is very much about the waiting and countering mentality, and also a blue driven card. We have out hero looking bewildered, as well as Vacation Time Pony, because really, they just don’t get it, and want to punch something or someone, and HARD. They are reading Tamiyo’s massive scroll, which is a whole lot like the small textbooks I had to read on a lot of my own cards…a big part of the reason i generally don’t play that way. They are in a swamp/graveyard, which is all about the second color of the deck, which brings out the Pariah, the black cards.

See, it all fits together.

I thought about giving speech balloons, but it all kind of fits well without.

When you win an actual DCI event, you get more cards…much like the event that I ran at school. So, now I have considerably more cards for the purposes of deckbuilding, which will feed a build for “Standard”, which is another competitive format.

But that…is a post for another day.

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