Regular readers of The SpartanNerd Blog will know that just about the ONLY place to play Magic the Gathering in Spartanburg is at “The Tangled Web Comics and Games”…Be sure to visit them sometimes. I mention this because the most recent tournament I played in is of the kind that ONLY can be played there. “R2-D2 Draft.”
Here is what it really is. It is one of those Coca-Cola coolers on wheels that you see in gas stations filled with ice and glass bottles of coke in the middle of the summer. It got its name because evidently at some point in its history it had decorations like R2-D2 on it, which have since been removed, but the name lives on. The store owner puts piles and piles of cards in the cooler, and mixes them up. If you just want some cards at any time, you just have to pay $5 for ten seconds to pull out a giant pile of cards. Some will be good. Some will not. This is the beauty of the game. You get a ton of cards more than you would for a booster pack, plus a ton more of rares. And the nature of this thing is that the cards are from all manner of sets and collections. You never know what you’ll get!
So for the “draft” tournament, everyone makes a deck from cards they get from the R2-D2 bucket. The technical term for this tournament would be “bucket cube” or something like that. And it isn’t really a draft as much as it is a sealed deck. (You aren’t passing the cards around and picking your favorites.)
I don’t know if I was lucky or if I am starting to just get good at limited formats. But I made it all the way to the top and lost in the final round! Here is what my deck was…
This was the real key to my success. FOUR COPIES OF CRACKLEBURR! If my opponents didn’t remove them, then they would get hammered over and over. If they removed them because they are indeed annoying, then I would drop some bomb and they wouldn’t have removal then. I never saw this card before today, but I am certainly glad to add it to my collection!
Here are those bombs I mentioned…
Sorry about the blurry picture. These guys were largely useless. And Panoptic Mirror was a mistake to add to this deck. I should have added some other chump or something. The thaumaturge just amounted to a chump blocker, as did the other guy. I could have played cheaper chumps, in other words. But sometimes these guys would coerce my opponent into removing them. They seem scary.
Here are my best combat tricks in this deck. I had another Awe Strike in my card pool, but I didn’t play it. (Should have.) The creature card here made a land tap for any color. (mana fixing) Awe Strike could buy you some extra time and undo a burn spell. I would hold cloud shift until the right moment, and then blink a creature that something bad was being done to.
I also used some burn spells.
I used these spells sparingly, treating them as removal. I only burned an opponent out once.
I got three copies of “Goblin Churugeon.” (I found out that that is another word for surgeon.) The goblin didn’t attack, as a 0/2. But sacrificing him or another goblin allowed me to regenerate one of the bombs if they happen to be targeted with removal.
Here is the rest of my chumps. a couple of goblins and flyers. The Scalding Devil was a good mana sink.
And finally the lands.
Only one fixing land here, Izzet Guildgate. In hind-site, I shouldn’t have played four plains. Two would have done the job.
The tournament went down like this…NO ONE COULD BEAT ME! Only one guy, someone I never saw before named “Chris.” He beat me in round three, and guess who I had to face in the final round of the tourney? Yep. Chris again. In the middle of the match, he informed me that he played in the pro-tour France, so… The very last match, (the third of 2-out-of-3) was the first time I had mana screw. All I could draw were the stupid white lands! And his green and red based deck just flattened me!
I never play blue and red. Why did I this time? The Crackleburrs and the goblins were good enough. I thought about trying something with “Sporemound” but didn’t really have the support. I had Goblin War Drums…a card Chris played and I didn’t like a dummy. My thinking was and enchantment like that is kind of useless in sealed. But in that case it really wasn’t. So I learned from that. Most of my artifacts were garbage. I had several crab things, but they were over-costed and really bad cards. One opponent looked through my sideboard as I played, and when my match was over mentioned that I should have sided “Circle of Protection: Green.” in the end. But I didn’t. I’ll know better next time!
This small tournament was a great warm-up for tomorrow night’s pre-release for “Khans of Tarkir.” Maybe I will do just as good then!
I will keep you posted, oh Hub-City Geeks!