Tuesday, July 1, 2008

SSS 04 - Jaws of Defeat

OK, so lets just get into it here...


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P1P1 & P2 - Woot! Just about as easy as you can get for a one two punch!

P1P3 - Unlike Black, red has a lot of good reasons to draft mono. Cohorts are a bit early here, but its a pretty weak pack anyways outside of the Tower Above... which I can safely eliminate from consideration because of the cost/color requirements (and because I already passed one).

P1P4 - Another pack lacking in even one decent red pick, so I take the best available card that will be good (even as a 4/4) if I splash green.

P1P5 - I won't be making the same mistake I made in SSS 01. If I wanted to continue the G/R route I would consider the Wildslayer, but either way Runes is the best pick here I think.

P1P9 - Blah - Sapseed is a bad pick as Smash is quite a viable selection at this point and might have made my main deck (soooo many Scarecrows). The land is nice, but I'm not even likely to be playing enough green perms even if I do make the splash.

End of Pack 1 - Great first couple of picks then red dries up quickly. If I want to keep on this mono-red route I need some love in the second pack because I'm not likely to see in in pack 3.

P2P1 - Power of Fire is a good card even without the gun, but I'd sure like to see something a bit better here.

P2P2 - The Warcrawler is probably not the pick to make, its expensive and not worth this high a selection. I'm thinking that either Arsonists to stay on color, or better still the Silkbind to hate/speculate is the way to go - particularly since I drafted the PoF and might be able to switch into some form of R/(W/U) gun if things go right.

P2P3 - Wow, a lot of W/U love in this pack. I hate/speculate the Chains which would of send me in the R/(W/U) direction had I picked the Silkbind last pack.

End of Pack 2 - The rest of the pack see me trying my damnest to stick with the plan as best as possible. Even if I had gone the U or W route I wouldn't of picked up much to back it up with. Not looking good.

P3P1 - Wort is expensive, but the idea of conspiring a Jaws of Stone (or even the Javelin) is just too awesome to pass up... well that and the lack of other choices in red.

P3P2 - Butcher is a good cheap creature that can help me hold the fort down, but the Runesable Raiders gets the nod. The Torrent of Souls is just not what the deck needs right now.

P3P3 - Holy... Well maybe the lack of red pack one was just a fluke of poor opening. I'm not straying from the mono-path now.

P3P5 - Hmm... Pay 6 mana to tutor up Jaws or Javelin if you got the Jaws already? Its worth it I think.

P3P8 - Should of passed the Gloomlance up, it will only tempt me to deviate from the core of my deck. Could of used either the Inimidator or the Arsonist.

End of the Draft - All in all I'm happy with the deck even though we had to make some terrible picks throughout the draft. 18 lands in a mono deck with 2 Wisps? Well its not like I'm going to be going "Awe shucks, Another mountain?!?" when I'm holding Jaws of Stone right? Besides, my deck's flash point is 4 mana, and I need to get there asap.

The plan is to live until I Jaws... and then live until I Jaws again.

Round 1

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Game 1 - I draw both Jaws, and cast it three times total thanks to Wort. 16 to the dome is a major ouchie!

Game 2 - On turn three I have a choice to Power of Fire a Prison Termed Initiate to force my opponent into a somewhat tough choice when he has the option to move it to the Raider. I didn't have anything else to do with the mana this turn, and if it means he keeps the Term on my 1/1 who can still turn off blockers then I can live with that. Particularly if I can follow up the next turn with a Runes on the Raider.

When I conspire Jaws this game, I learn that you can't change how the damage is divided up for the copy or how many targets you want. You are stuck with the number of targets and the amount of damage you deal from the first Jaws. You can however still change the targets. For example I end up doing 4 to the Elf and 3 Cohort with the first Jaws, then 4 to the Cohort and 3 to his dome with the conspired one. Fortunately, I still kill off both his creatures, but in a different situation it could have been disastrous. A good lesson to remember if you happen to have the situation come up. Just be sure to remember the order and amount of damage assigned to each target from the first Jaws.

Strategically I make a mistake this turn as well. If I want to do 4 and 4 to his creatures, I should of just used the Javelin and then had the Jaws to back it up. The best play though is to use the Jaws and account for a possible (however unlikely) Barkshell Blessing, doing two packages of 6/1 and 6/1 with my opponent taking only 2 damage but securing myself against a possible loss should he have it.

Round 2

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Game 1 - Mull to 5 is bad, but if he plays anything but Swans I might have a chance in this game.

Swans puts a real damper in my wait till I cast Jaws and then win at my own convenience plan... forcing me to switch gears and bring in the black spells to deal with it. Good idea or does it weaken the core of the deck too much?

Game 2 - A bad keep on the opening hand, but still make a good game of it... until I punt it by attacking with the Slinking Giant rather than holding back and Lancing that damned Silkbind when I finally get to 5 mana.


yap said...

Pack 2 pick 2 I think I would have taken the Silkbind. The only green you had was the Crabapple Cohort/ Foxfire Oak. Red White is a pretty good combo imo, and Power of Fire works well with Silkbind.

Looks like you could have got a curse of chains also p2p3.

Wort is pretty sweet, but I think Trip Noose is much better - it's arguable though I'm probably wrong.

Puncture bolt vs Lurebound is a tough pick.

Overall great draft. I would have liked to see Red/White though, it's worked well for me whenever I get a power of fire.

yap said...

Actually I take that back, after watching multiple conspired Jaws of Stones in round 1 I'm going to eat my words.

Marshall said...

IMO, B1P4 Crabapple over G'Baiting was a mistake. Not only did you pass two Towers, but they were in packs with other solid green cards in them, meaning you've probably set 2 of the 3 guys down the line into green. Plus, Baiting + Intimidators (which you're sure to pick up) = good times in a red deck.

B1P9 Like you said, Sapseed was a horrible pick when you can't expect to see much green in the second booster. Even then, 1 life a turn in exchange for keeping 2 mana open each turn? No thanks. (Sapseed is viable in mana ramp archtypes where once you power out your monsters you end up with extra mana sitting around.)

B1P11 Loamdragger over Ember Gale? Really? When your creatures' average casting cost is already around 4.5? Gale is just a house and I'd say every red deck wants to have at least 1, so it would be great to take it late here than earlier later on when you can't afford to hope it tables again.

B2P2 Like you mentioned, a 5cc creature is not what your deck is looking for. The 3cc Arsonist was much better for you is you want to stick with mono-red. Switching to blue or white for the Silkbind is an option (since you can't expect to see much green is black is meh in this set). I could see going either way, though I might lean towards the arsonists so I wouldn't have to rely on something like an Flask to power out my Jaws from a UW deck.

B3P8 or 9: Intimidator would have been much better than the Gloomlance for you.

You had me spooked there for a min when you were talking about adding a critter and cutting down to 17 lands; glad you changed your mind there.