Demonic Tutor

Magic: the Gathering in the UK

So it's Scars drafting season, and already I'm far more interested in the format than M11. The sheer number of possible interactions is staggering, and there is a lot of depth to the format just waiting to be explored.

Couple of points from last night's draft :

Never pass shatter, this shouldn't wheel in a 9 man pod.
Bouncing scrapmelter is never a good idea.
Take Myr as early as possible, they're the cornerstone of almost every deck (exception possibly being the infect deck).
Only good 1 infect deck can really be supported unless the packs are very deep, and you need as many 2 drops as possible - if you're going down that route grab proliferate highly as well.
Equipment is awesome, strider harness is great, razor pinions are surprisingly useful (not a lot of evasion in the set) etc although echo circlet is terrible, don't take that.

Haven't got a pick order figured out yet, although something like:

Bombs > Removal (shatter, slice, scrapmelter etc) > Myr/Infect > Equipment > Dudes

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I have found that with the myr and heavy number of artifacts it's also not difficult to support a 3 colour deck. I don't think you need to take the myr that high though as there are quite a lot of them and you don't need many.

The infect deck is great when it works but it seems risky to draft as you kind of need all the cards so if people take them your deck can't really win. Still seeing people with half infect creatures and half not. This is definatly not how to win.

Also from what I have seen so far is sealed seems better than most recent formats. If you build them right most sealed pools can do well.

I will often just splash shatter no matter what I'm playing. It is that good.
I think that there is a place for infect critters in a regular beatdown deck, mainly as blockers to dissuade attacks, as the wither effect can be quite a potent deterrent. If you have a razor pinions it's even better as first striking infect dudes are pretty sick (and they help your fatties get in for the win). This also means extra pressure on the infect drafters as anyone in green will happily grab a blight mamba or two to act as blockers.
As mentioned on Twitter earlier Paul, my experience thus far hasn't been great, and goes hand-in-hand with the general decline of TGC on Mon/Tues over the past 3-6 months, to the point where I think I'm only going to come on Fridays and weekends from now.

In the drafts themselves: I've seen loads of obviously great cards (Shatter, Slice in Twain, Oxida Scrapmelter, Volition Reins) go FAR later than they should, and even wheel, which should never happen. Also too many people in the same pod trying to "force infect" when there is no signal for them to do so, just because they have a massive hard-on for poison.

Deckbuilding: Twice I have played people playing significantly more than 40 cards (record so far: 54 cards - 37 spells, 17 lands), and three times have seen people playing the 1W Gain 5 instant maindeck.

Playing: PAINFULLY SLOW.
I had the pleasure of playing against Bens Twitch and Tit last night in my pod who had good decks and battled hard. Pod also had Jason, McLovett, someone else good and 4 randoms from Canterbury, so it covered the extremes of skill and experience which showed in the decks that were battling.

Jason's poison brew was ridiculous, although I disagreed with his inclusion of the 4/2 golem that gets first strike for R as it was a bit of a stretch on the BG manabase. The guy I played in my finals (he lost R1 and had a bye R2) was a bit of a walkover I'm afraid. Examples : playing out his 1 toughness dudes when I had spikeshot elder and RR1 untapped, getting excited at landing the B enchant artifact that gives poison counters when you tap it onto a Myr (which I then suited up with equipment and bashed with anyway!).

Will be grinding the draft queues on MODO when it turns up, and Fridays are far too congested socially to get down to TGC consistently unfortunately. Will keep up with the Monday and Tuesday nights I think, as physical cards are always good, need to help educate some of the less experienced players though to make it more competitive.



Dan Barrett said:
As mentioned on Twitter earlier Paul, my experience thus far hasn't been great, and goes hand-in-hand with the general decline of TGC on Mon/Tues over the past 3-6 months, to the point where I think I'm only going to come on Fridays and weekends from now.

In the drafts themselves: I've seen loads of obviously great cards (Shatter, Slice in Twain, Oxida Scrapmelter, Volition Reins) go FAR later than they should, and even wheel, which should never happen. Also too many people in the same pod trying to "force infect" when there is no signal for them to do so, just because they have a massive hard-on for poison.

Deckbuilding: Twice I have played people playing significantly more than 40 cards (record so far: 54 cards - 37 spells, 17 lands), and three times have seen people playing the 1W Gain 5 instant maindeck.

Playing: PAINFULLY SLOW.
Gary hates him for some reason, but I think his advice is good:

fivewithflores: @dangerawesome If you want to get better, play 8-4s. Playing against terrible people will train you to play at their level to win

As discusssed with Dan Royde recently, if your mistakes aren't punished, there is no reason to play tight. Being able to make mistakes and still win is SO BAD for you as a player, I think.
I guess the thing is if you want constantly good players I guess you could try to do what the older guys do and set up a seperate on which would make it more competative and redraft the rares at the end that way everyone picks the best decks not just the rares.
I was in Dan's and Amar's pod and we have 5 guys with not much experience and 1 dutch guy I think, he was on there side and cleaned up as they were all trying for the infect deck.
I have found overall that there just isn't enough general removal (not shatter) so I have been winning a lot of games just by making 3/3 flyers as there is really only arrest in the common slot that deals with it, also blue is crimanally underdrafted
Did you see my reply to him. I basicaly said that I disagre as spending the cost of a draft to lose first round isn't gonna teach you much unless you have infi money.

Dan Barrett said:
Gary hates him for some reason, but I think his advice is good: fivewithflores: @dangerawesome If you want to get better, play 8-4s. Playing against terrible people will train you to play at their level to win

As discusssed with Dan Royde recently, if your mistakes aren't punished, there is no reason to play tight. Being able to make mistakes and still win is SO BAD for you as a player, I think.
Your job is to drag these players up! If you split off into some separate universe to keep away from the noobs then the noobs will drift away or never get any good. You need to say, "hey - can I see your deck?" a the end of the match and talk them through how lifegain doesn't affect the board position and how they want their dragon to be 1 in 40 not 1 in 57.

You know the best player I ever played at the Games Club? Geoff Fletcher.

You know the player who gave me the most advice about deckbuilding and manabases and drafting when my rating was heading down towards 1500 and I was maindecking Worldpurge in SHM/SHM/EVE? Geoff Fletcher.

Now, I'm not any good. But my limited rating is currently 176x in paper and 180x online and I once thought that an 8-mana, two-sided Sorcery that my deck was not built to take advantage of was maindeckable in draft. It's your community, improve it!

(Agree with Gary about 8-4s. I'd love to play in them but the variance/EV if you are an average or below-average player compared to the rest of the 8-4 players is horrendous. I will stick to dominating the Swiss and seeing 2-1 as a bad result ...)
As for Scars draft I'm really not sure I've formed any strong opinions yet.

Poison seems bad without the two drops, especially the flier and the guy who grows when blocked. You probably do need it to be open to stand any chance of building a good deck.

I opened a Putrefax and forced it the other day and had SO MANY of the B and G 3-drops (G one is waaaay better - the extra toughness really seems to matter) but it just wasn't that exciting. I was doing things like first-picking Ichor Rats over the -4/-4 removal spell. I'm pretty certain that's the wrong way to build it. (Ichor Rats actually seemed /worse/ than the other 3 drop poison guys because it's much harder for him to get in.) One interesting question is what role Proliferate and U should play in the ideal/realistic Poision deck.

A key card for this deck is the X pump spell (obv). Once you are in poison I think I would pick that over anything. Steals games from nowhere.

I also ran a couple of the Bladed Pinions on the basis that they would be way better in the poison deck than elsewhere. Not massively impressed by the actual outcome but I still think you can get these late and should run 1 or 2.

I guess Metalcraft is probably the easier deck to get regardless of what those around you are doing. You can postpone color decisions quite late.

One thing I don't quite get is manabases. How many colors can I go into if I'm primarily artifacts? What if I have Horizon Spellbombs? What if I have Horizon Spellbombs and a Trinket Mage? This is more of a concern for Sealed than draft but then that's the PTQ format so ...
Update on the 8-4 queues. Just lost the semi-finals 1-2 to an opponent who cast Destructive Force while on less than 5 life in both games he won. Fuck that noise.
Firstly I don't think moving to a seperate group would help, just that would be the only way to do this, the problem is that people who play magic like to win so when you play a "noob" you tend to take advantage of miss plays rather than tell them how they could improve -
an example - a very nice guy I played Tuesday night we played a couple of very close games but he hadn't been playing more than a month and I could easily have let him miss attacks and draws but figured I would chat to him whenever he missed something and generally would just play the game the way it should have gone.
When it comes to deck building in a draft it's different as it is very difficult for new players to evaluate cards, it will always be easier to sit with someone when they have a sealed pool and suggest different options
Dunno about the not needing to stop misplaying against bad players. Whenver I've misplayed (ever) ill beat myself up about it. Its the way I try and improve despite playing against worse opposition; IIRC I can still remember each and every misplay I made in the pre-release and I think I only dropped like 2 games in 7 rounds or something. i think getting better when playing worse players comes down to presuming you win, then punishing yourself for not playing optimally, results orientated thinking at that level will get you nowhere.

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