Sometimes a draft just comes together and you get a fantastic polished machine of a deck, something that almost feels like constructed-lite. I was lucky enough to have one of those last Friday. For context this was a 6 man draft and in the end Blue seemed pretty open even with me hogging all the good red (Blue is traditionally rather under drafted in my group, at least in this set).
The draft opened with a Scab-Clan Berserker, and I followed that by sticking to red as my main colour throughout pack 1. In general I try and stick to 1 main colour in pack 1 just to stay open for later in the draft and that worked pretty well here as I pretty effectively staked out red and had my choice (mostly in pack 2 where i picked up Skysnare Spider, Undercity Troll and Valeron Wardens) of pretty much anything as support.
In fact for the entire draft red stayed wide open so I was able to pick up multiples of some of the better cards. In fact its only Undercity Troll that really convinced me to not try mono red.
Also as a fun little bonus I picked up a Hangarback Walker as my rare in pack 3, although he didn’t come out that much except as win-more in a couple of games. The walker was only hugely relevant in one odd game where I started with it and removal and pretty much had to play defensively for a long time (in that situation the Walker is an all star, constantly threatening to get beyond the reach of combat).
By the end of the draft I had the following
Draft - 28/08/2015
Round one was vs BG Elves and opened with a truly ridiculous start of T2 Undercity Troll, T3 Valeron Wardens, T4 Firefiend Elemental. By the end of the game I had a full board on top of about 6 cards in hand from a stream of renown triggers. It was a sort of magical christmas land moment.
Game 2 wasn’t so outright ridiculous but still progressed similarly. I did over extend a little but decided the odds of the one card that could stop me, Eyeblight Massacre (which admittedly my opponent had in his deck), actually appearing was limited enough and the risk did pay off.
Round 2 was a UB control build. In games 1 and 3 he just didn’t have the blockers to survive the relentless onslaught of dudes. Game 2 my opponent got pretty much all removal until a Possessed Skaab to return MORE REMOVAL while I got badly flooded out (it happens to us all from time to time) and couldn’t maintain any kind of relevant board presence.
Round 3 was a tempo-ey UW flyers deck. Again the early rush proved too much except for one bizarre game where I opened on Hangarback Walker + a guy and my opponent removed the guy and put Grasp of the Hieromancer on a creature putting me in a strange defensive position of having to bluff the boardstate into allowing me to appear to need to chump with the walker then pump him to get large enough to trade. That series of things drained enough of my opponents toys though that I was able to rebuild afterwords with an assortment of Thopter makers.
As a thought experiment I’ve put together what is probably the best mono-red deck you could get from this pool.
Draft Mono R Variant - 28/08/2015
NOTES FROM A WEEK LATER:
This Friday just gone I managed to end up with an extremely similar deck, albeit slightly slower. I don’t have the full list to hand but this time I had 3 Lightning Javelin, 1 Exquisite Firecraft and 3 Fiery Impulse…yeah…quite happy with that. Creature wise I lost the thopter makers and Hangarback, getting double Zendikar Incarnate, another Undercity Troll and a couple of Yeva’s Forcemage.
I didn’t manage 3-0 this time, instead i won the first two rounds then lost to a bizarre Angels Tomb+War Horn+Flameshadow Conjuring+wide assortment of 1 drop creatures deck. I didn’t see THAT coming I can say that much.