Drafting Theros

Magic is a money-sink right? Not necessarily. 6 quid for 4 sets of every card (commons and uncommons) in the new Theros block from ebay. Sweet.

We drafted the block on Friday, and prior to doing so, I had a think about the cards in this block. Opinion on the net is currently divided on the speed of the block. Having seen that direct-damage and denial spells are at a premium I’d say that the block is pretty quick, so with this in mind I thought about forcing a U/W aggro deck.

In my first few picks there was little in the way of blue coming through but plenty of white including a couple of Phalanx Leaders  whose Heroic ability can save multiple critters with some nifty combat tricks. I picked these without hesitation and loaded up on cheap one and two-drop creatures that were coming through.

The second set of 15 cards saw an inordinate amount of the limited direct-damage being passed my way and it was a simple enough choice to craft a R/W aggro deck enhanced with a few auras, and a couple of expensive flyers:– the flyers affording a certain degree of unblockability.

R/W Aggro

Creatures (18)

Akroan Hoplite
Arena Athlete
Cavalry Pegasus
Deathbellow Raider
Decorated Griffin
Ephara’s Warden (x2)
Favoured Hoplite
Leonin Snarecaster
Minotaur Skullcleaver
Phalanx Leader (x3)
Priest of Iroas
Satyr Rambler
Setessan Battle Priest
Two-Headed Cerberus
Wingsteed Rider

Enchantment Creatures (1)

Spearpoint Oread

Other (11)

Battlewise Valour
Dragon Mantle (x2)
Last Breath
Lightning Strike (x3)
Magma Jet (x2)
Ordeal of Purphoros (x2)

Land

Plains (10)
Mountain (10)

So how did it play? Well, overall I was quite happy with it for a first draft. Targeting the Phalanx Leader with a spell can cause Ordeal of Purphoros on other creatures to pop, which is a nice combat trick and can cause a great deal of trouble for the opponent. The lack of flying caused a small problem against blue/black flyers but generally the speed at which the creatures hit the table was enough to overcome any speed bumps my opponents could put in the way. The Cavalry Pegasus never saw play all night, which was a shame as my humans would have loved to fly.

I got all the way to the final against Darren’s mono-red beatdown deck that I had defeated easily 2-0 in the rounds. The first game saw me miscalculate his life when he was tapped-out leaving me undefended and he reduced me to zero life with him still on 1.

The second game I mulliganned down to 6 and then, with just one land (but some fantastic 2-drops) I sat there for six turns, mana-screwed as Darren put out all his big-guys. He sac’d his Burnished Hart for extra land and I got my first creature onto the board just in time to see his Stoneshock Giant go Monstrous and from there it was all over.

My record for the evening 3-2-0

Result:

1. Darren (R Beatdown)
2. Me (R/W Aggro)
3. Martin (U/G Control)
4. Alex (B/G Beatdown)

Standings (1/6)

Darren 7
Alan 4
Martin 2
Alex 1
Andy 0
John 0
Ste W 0
Zanfus 0

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