Scars of Mirrodin Release Draft: Tournament Report

I felt pretty confident drafting Scars after my 3-0 2nd place finish at the pre-release last week. The field there had taught me to avoid Infect like the plague, and draft White and Red as often as I could. Unfortunately, Cam and I were in the same draft pod, and he knew as much about the format as I did. After seeing an early Grasp of Darkness I decided to shift into Black, leaving Cameron a better shot at good Red cards. Here’s what I was able to come up with:

W/B Draft Deck: 40 Cards

Lands: 16

8x Plains

8x Mountain

Creatures: 10

Bleak Coven Vampires x1

Palladium Myr x1

Myrsmith x1

Abuna Acolyte x1

Sunspear Shikari x2

Fume Spitter x1

Gold Myr x1

Loxodon Wayfarer x2

Spells: 14

Arrest x2

Grasp of Darkness x2

Origin Spellbomb x1

Golem’s Heart x1

Dispense Justice x1

Barbed Battlegear x1

Darksteel Axe x1

Trigon of Mending x1

Glint Hawk Idol x2

Sylvok Lifestaff x1

Elspeth Tirel x1

Yep, that’s right folks. 3-0 without a Planeswalker, 2-1 with one. Of course looking at the deck on paper I can immediately identify the problems I would earlier have written off by whining: “But I had Elllspeeeeeth!” Ten creatures is simply far too few in a deck where none of the creatures have “bomb” potential. I was hypnotized by the ability to play such a strong removal suite with double Grasp of Darkness, but even that aspect of my deck wasn’t as good as it appeared. Unfortunately for me, Glint Hawk was pretty popular in our boxes, and Arrest targets got bounced and replayed more often than I liked. I didn’t get to take stellar notes because we were pretty cramped into the play-space and I didn’t want to seem like I was slow-rolling anybody, so I’m just going to provide a brief recap of how my games went down.

Game One

My first round was against the guy who had sat next to me in the draft pod. He seemed like he knew what he was doing, but my investigations during the draft had him pegged as not running Black, White or Blue.

I was correct. He was Green/Red with some decent pulls in Rusted Relic, multiple Golem Foundries and Turn to Slag. Our first match was a smash. I had Sylvok Lifestaff and Barbed Battlegear down before Sunspear Shikari and Palladium Myr showed up to pick them up. He slowed me down with a Turn to Slag on my Shikari, but by then he’d already taken a monster hit from the dangerous first-striking kitty. It was only a matter of time before I rebuilt and came back into the Red Zone for the win.

The second match was a little bit closer. He was able to bring down a Rusted Relic to keep my Darksteel Axe’d Gold Myr from getting too aggressive. Bleak Coven with Sylvok Lifestaff teamed up with Gold Myr to take the Red Zone for me while Abuna Acolyte sat back on defense. His Rusted Relic had picked up an Echo Circlet, and it blocked both creatures. Then my opponent misplayed big time, assigning 3 damage to the Coven and 2 to the Myr, allowing me to save the Coven with Abuna Acolyte. He wasn’t able to make up for that loss of momentum, and Bleak Coven went all the way for me.

Record: 2-0

Game Two

I think I’m still furious about this game. It was against the player (Brandon, I think?) who went on to win the tournament. Nothing clicked here at all for me, and his deck wasn’t even that fast so I had multiple turns to pull out a win and my deck just insisted on coughing up lands. Oh well, I probably could have afforded to cut one considering the two mana-myr I was running.

The first match was a heartbreaking backward crawl into defeat. Don’t let my lamentations discredit my opponent, his mono-white deck was really well built and had a lot of intricacies and nifty tricks built in. He opened on a Salvage Scout to match my Sunspear Shikari, a cool-looking play on Turn 2 that rapidly soured as my deck refused to kick up an equipment to level it up. Eventually we’d worn down our hands until I was clutching a land (one of a ridiculous amount I drew that game) and he had two cards. Unfortunately for me they turned out to be Prototype Portal and Tumble Magnet. Talk about a face palm moment, am I right? I didn’t think the magnet was very good, but apparently when you can make one every turn they are pretty effective.

Match two was equally frustrating. My opening grip had Elspeth…and 5 other spells/creatures…and one Swamp. My only Elspeth draw and I have to ship it back. Great. My mulligan draw is completely underwhelming, I fight to get Metalcraft to power up Dispense Justice, can’t find any equipment for another useless Sunspear Shikari, and eventually I have to pack it in.

Record: 2-2

Game Three

This guy clearly got the dregs of his draft. Either that or he was just incredibly comfortable playing U/B and opted for comfort over…good cards. I shouldn’t rag, really, and the guy seemed like a decent player, but he really didn’t have much to resist my early pressure. The first game was a wash, and the second game I attacked with a field Shikari and Palladium Myr to bait a Disperse on the Shikari before wind-milling Elspeth into play. As predicted, she was enough to get a concession.

Record: 4-1

Finish: 11th Place

So here’s what I learned. While removal is powerful, it’s not the only part of the equation you need to concern yourself with. I needed more creatures, or bigger creatures. I also had the opportunity to take Auriok Sunchaser over Sunspear Shikari both times, and I should have done so. Metalcraft was a lot easier to hit than one of my four equipments, and as you can see I wound up with a useless grizzly bear

Useless...

 most of the time. Also, having a Planeswalker does not necessarily guarantee you a 6-0 first place finish, which I legitimately thought at first.

Feel free to discuss the deck, my draft choices, or your own experiences below, and I’ll be sure to get back to you. Thanks for reading. Next week we’ll try to start a discussion about the effect this new set is going to have on Extended.

 

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About incontrol88

I'm a 21 year old senior Journalism and Mass Communications major at St. Bonaventure University in Olean, NY. Writing and hobby gaming are my two greatest loves, and it is my hope to combine them here for the benefit of the burgeoning gaming community. I'm mostly an RPG/RTS fan, but I play everything from Final Fantasy to Call of Duty! View all posts by incontrol88

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