Drafting the less obvious

Beyond Dominia: The Limited Magic Mill: Drafting the less obvious

By BeBe, the Redeemer (Bebe) on Wednesday, October 04, 2000 - 08:01 pm:

I think there are some sleepers in Limited Apprentice.

My favorite now is Frenzied Tilling as this card can swing games in an environment that is predominantly three color.

Benalish Herald is also a beast in Limited. A 2/4 book can really swing games.

I was passed both ( the guy who passed the Herald said it just didn't fit in his deck) at a draft and they helped me improve an otherwise mediocre deck. I still missed the final cut but I won a few extra games :(.

I have prefered colors but sometimes you have to take what is being passed along and not fight over colors already thinned out.

We know about the obvious picks like Cloaks, Robes, Masters, Dragons, etc. I think the trick is to look for the cards that might not be first picks of the guy beside you.

Anyone else have cards that they look for that can often be passed over? Obviously, I will take a Harrow or an Assault/Battery, etc. if I can use them. But what cards are not so obvious among the Uncommons and Commons that can swing a game?

By Orion Freeman on Wednesday, October 04, 2000 - 11:04 pm:

Yeah, Frenzied Tilling is great. Herald was why I like black creature removal. But I might draft them just because I don't want to see them used against me. Many palyers are drafting with the common deck ideals in mind. I don't like to start drafting untill the second and third pack.

Why? In invasion, there is a lot of good cards. Dont just start playing a color based on your fist picks. It helps a lot to get the feel of the draft first. Take advatage of all those people who want to play 5cG by just getting varios cards early and feel the draft later. It takes a while for an invasion draft to stabilize. If you take various cards from all colors, you have one average to bomb card for each color. Then, decide what color a mojority of the drafters are letting up. This should be your primary color. Don't forget that defesive decks work well too. My friend drafted a deck that had no problem decking people. With all of the cantrip cards and opt, Harrow, ect. in the set, decking become very easy. That might be a good reason to let cards like heralds and trillings go... they could end up decking your opponent for you.


By Nevyn, the Village Idiot (Nevyn) on Thursday, October 05, 2000 - 03:31 pm:

I dont think he said anything about picking colours early. Sitting on the fence can be risky, (especially if it's a picked one) as you risk both annoying neighbours more sure of their colours than you, and you give yourself less opportunity to pick up key cards (ie: removal spells, etc. Often, someone who can choose their colours and appropriately signal them will get a deck 3-4 cards deeper than you. ALso because both cantrips and cards like harrow speed up development and give card advantage, by passing them up, you make your defensive deck a bit more risky.

By BeBe, the Redeemer (Bebe) on Thursday, October 05, 2000 - 07:43 pm:

Correct. I was really asking what you would choose given a choice among some of the cards that are often passed to you because they are not seen as first picks. One guy at our table got three Travelers Cloak and ended up the eventual winner of the group. He also got a Sunscape which helped :). But the Cloaks almost guaranteed him a % of wins, it was that good.

So would you take a Cloak over a Titan for instance? Over a Noble Panther? etc. etc.
We know that people are drafting three colors and sometimes even five colors. So I look for cards that might get passd my way that are overlooked by others. A Tidal Visionary might the key to winning a match.

My friend was passed Exclude and TWO Recoils at the table next to me. These cards are great. But they were not someones first pick because they had set colors in mind and felt they were not strong enough to splash for. He was very happy to make adjustments and fit them in his deck. He ended up with a B/U deck with a splash of White and did quite well. He had started with some G/R cards on first few picks but when they dried up he switched.

What I'm looking for is a list commons and uncommons that might make you want to splash or switch.

By Orion Freeman on Thursday, October 05, 2000 - 09:32 pm:

So your saying some thing like this "Bombs in your deck varies from everyone elses
deck" right? I the last couple of sets, bombs were things like bouncers, delunge,
healers, spidersilk armor, ect. that were all in the commons and were even very
splashedable in many decks. Now in Invasion, ones man's treasuere is another mans
trash. It might look good on paper but in the long run, you might not counterdraft it
because the chances are that no one can paly it. When I first looked at the set, my
inital reaction was that every color was more or less splashable. Of course, this
depended on what you got but besides that, it would take very little thought to
sucsesfully splash bombs. I can't wait untill a rochester draft in invasion to test this

One other problem with Invasion that I've jsut picked up yesterday is that sometimes a
draft never stabilizes. Especially if you have a "dojo player", some one who knows
what bombs are and takes them but due to a lack of experience, they can't make a deck.
It does however, make a draft hard. If you can never stabilize a draft, your basicaly
going to end up playing something similar to a three pack sealed deck. You would
have a card pool of about 17 playable cards and another 15 strong splash cards.. Not
that you can't win with such a card pool but we should also look at the other side of
the situation.

What happens to the player who has an incredible card pool? Jay drafted a good 30
something cards of black and decided to play mono black. When I first saw the set, I
said it could not be done. But he had did it. There were three drafting tables that day.
Jay got to top eight but was eliminated. His cards were not good enogh on his own.
Only one other person on his table managed to get into top eight and he won the draft.
I could not beleve it because every one else on the table had done so poorly. They had
decent cards but red and blue were not as strong with out black. So what colors was
the winner playing? Green and White splash blue. Like I said before, to much
emphasis on friendly colors.


By BeBe, the Redeemer (Bebe) on Friday, October 06, 2000 - 08:49 pm:

Yep. Friendlies are emphasized.
I have seen people switch colors fast at tables because of the way you are forced to draft or leave great cards in the pool because it isn't possible to splash a particular color successfully.
I let 2 Cauldron Dance go by in a draft. I was not going to play red but I probably should have taken them so no one else would :(
Anyway, the guy who took them said they were the best utility cards in his deck. They were passed around the whole table to him.

By Rakso, the Patriarch and Rules Ayatollah (Rakso) on Friday, October 06, 2000 - 10:54 pm:

How can you tell when to risk getting a card passed back to you after everything else?

By Nevyn, the Village Idiot (Nevyn) on Monday, November 13, 2000 - 07:04 pm:

This is a very situation dependant thing Rakso. Its more a question of asking yourself,

"Which of the cards I want has a chance at coming back"

along with

"Can I afford to risk not getting it back"

and of course

"Is there something just better I should draft now anyway".

In other words, usually this comes up when deciding between two cards. Let's say that you are drafting W/G rush. You see a pack which contains harrow and Quirion Sentinel, and the deck your drafting has a poor curve so far with too many high cost creatures, and while harrow will help this, you also want to get in early beats. In this scenario (especially if you already have acceleration and helpers, Sentinel may be the better pick, but you want both and you know you are not getting Harrow back. So depending on how long you have to go in the draft, and how bad your curve is (as well as your general feeling on how heavily drafted green will be), you might pick Harrow over sentinel, despite wanting the creature more.

Another key to identifying sleeper cards is to look for symmetry. This is the whole basis of the R/G jank decks being drafted. These decks are chock full of 'sleeper' picks which are normally marginal, but together put up a staggering early rush which can blow opponents of the table.

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