Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Monday Magic - A Little Boros Draft

We had another casual Gatecrash draft over the weekend, and I ended up going the Boros route this time.  There were 11 people in this draft, so it was huge, which gave it a totally different feel.  You basically never saw the same pack twice, which was exciting in itself.  I don't know that I'd really want to do such a big draft again anytime soon, but the novelty of it was quite fun.

The rare in my first pack was Legion Loyalist, which has the potential for some nasty aggro. Raging Goblin's steroid-addicted older brother can get in some early damage, but he can also make an attack into a brutal stomping for one mana.  His crazy Battalion effect is almost like Bloodrush for the team, given his haste.  It was a natural pick for me.

As the packs came around, I was able to grab a bunch of pure red cards - Massive Raid, Skinbrand Goblin,  Firefist Striker.  None of the people to my right were drafting red, so I felt pretty confident in my starting pick.  By the end of pack one, I had several Boros cards on top of the pure red stuff (Martial Glory and Wojek Halberdiers), so I had definitely made up my mind.

Pack two settled the issue completely, as my rare was Angelic Skirmisher.  I kept grabbing red cards, trying my best to balance removal with a bunch of cheap creatures.  The guy to my left even passed another Legion Loyalist, so I felt like I was in pretty good position.

The third pack was initially a downer, as the rare was Biovisionary, a card that had absolutely no place anywhere near my deck.  I was kind of disappointed as that meant that my only real bomb was the Skirmisher, and I didn't have much aside from a bunch of 1- and 2-drops.  Then the guy to the right passed me a Hellkite Tyrant.  The Hellkite's artifact-related ability isn't much use, but as a 6/5 flier, he was an awesome addition to my deck.

In the end, I think I came away with a surprisingly focused Boros deck.  I was fortunate to be surrounded by people passing the red stuff, so there were many times that I was able to choose from 3 or 4 red cards.  It was a fantastic position to be in.

Anyway, here's the deck I came away with:

Legion Loyalist
Skinbrand Goblin
Firefist Striker
Wojek Halberdiers
1 Ember Beast
1 Assault Griffin
1 Cinder Elemental
1 Scorchwalker
1 Viashino Shanktail
1 Nav Squad Commandos
1 Towering Thunderfist
Angelic Skirmisher
Hellkite Tyrant

2 Martial Glory
Pit Fight
Massive Raid

1 Mugging
1 Act of Treason

1 Madcap Skills

1 Boros Guildgate
10 Mountain
5 Plains

A couple of notes:  I was only running 16 lands, which was a little risky, but I justified it by seeing that the majority of my spells required only 1 or 2 mana, so I was mostly interested in getting lots of little dudes into play.  I think my biggest problem was the removal - Massive Raid is really circumstantial (it only works if you have enough creatures), Pit Fight is similarly limited, and Mugging is just sorcery speed, so I couldn't use it for any tricks.

This deck didn't perform as well as I had hoped.  I went 2-2 in best-of-threes, readily defeating other aggressive decks, but losing the long game to stalling decks.  In those matches that progressed to the late game, I didn't have anything to build up.  If I could get the Hellkite or the Skirmisher into play, they'd just be removed with something like Angelic Edict, and I'd be back where I started.

Still, it was a lot of fun, and it gave me some ideas for a Boros constructed deck.  We'll see when I get that put together...

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