Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Sealed Tournament: Lessons Learned

I was pretty depressed after the sealed tournament on Sunday, thus the late update. I went 3-2, coming in 9th and just missing the cut for the top 8 draft playoff.

What made the results particularly painful were:

1) I got pretty close to a dream Boros pool, including a Firemane Angel and Aurelia.
2) The first two rounds my draws were absolutely abysmal. I mulliganed to 5 in the third game of match 1, put up a fierce fight, but my opponent ripped four spells in a row in midgame to take it. I mulliganed to 4 in the third game of match 2, keeping a hand with 3 plains and Firemane Avenger. I actually won that game, due to misplay by my opponent, landing me at 1-1 in matches.
3) Round 3 was the only match my deck actually fired on all cylinders, curving out and crushing 2-0.
4) Round 4 was just horrible. I won the first game easily, but made key errors in games 2 and 3 that cost me the match. Had I won just one of those games I could have simply tied into the top 8. Very depressing.

So I won round 5 fairly easily, but really had no shot at top 8 since a first round loss absolutely borks your tiebreakers. Anyway, here are the mistakes I made and potentially lessons learned:

Game 2 of round 4: my opponent and I have been trading blows, and our life totals are both low. I'm at 7 and he's at 8. I have just attacked with a Warmind Infantry and an Ember Beast, putting him at his current life total. I play a Skinbrand Goblin, leaving 1 white mana open. He's got a Kingpin's Pet and an Ember Beast on board. He untaps, draws, and taps both his creatures for the attack.

Now, I have Beckon Apparition in hand, and am able to cast it. I also have a Holy Mantle in hand. He's got 4 mana open, including 2 red and 2 white. Now here's where I should have put more thought into my play. Why would he attack with both creatures, leaving himself open to a fatal backswing, unless he thought he could kill me this turn? He knows I can block the Ember Beast with the Skinbrand Goblin, which I would need to enable Battalion for a lethal swingback. So maybe he wants to just force me to chump with the Goblin so I don't have lethal on the swingback.

I cast the Beckon Apparition, making a 1/1 spirit token and blocking just the Ember Beast. My reasoning was that he didn't likely have the mana and spells to pump his Pet to lethal, and I needed the Goblin for lethal on the swingback. He proceeded to Bloodrush Scorchwalker onto his Pet for exact damage, taking Game 1. So was that a mistake? Should I have double-chumped? In hindsight, yes. Though I hadn't seen the Scorchwalker. I think this is actually very close, so I'm not particularly sure it was a mistake.

Game 3 involved me not playing out a third creature, leaving open Massive Raid to try to take out a Bloodrushed attacker. Instead, my opponent cast Martial Glory, saving his creature and doing exact lethal.

The match had a very coin-flip feel to it, but I still think I made the mistake of not developing my board, taking a slightly defensive stance in Game 3, which cost me the match. The Scorchwalker play had spooked me, and I was playing too wary in Game 3. Boros can pull amazing burst damage out of nowhere, as well as using Act of Treason to completely flip a board state. You can only play around so much, but hedging and playing more defensively in the mirror is just a bad idea. You have to swing for the fences and hope for the best. Unfortunately I hadn't played too many Boros mirrors coming into the event, so I've learned this lesson a bit too late.

Eliminating these minor lapses at crucial moments is the next step in improvement. I'm a solid, above-average player, but to consistently be in the top 10% of the field, I have to reduce my mistakes even further. Tonight is my local game store draft, and hopefully I'll nail that and regain some confidence after bubbling on Sunday.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Wednesday LGS Draft:

Last night I drafted Gatecrash at my local game store and bounced back a little from my recent slump. My first pick was a Wrecking Ogre, and after staying slightly open for either Boros or Gruul, it was pretty clear halfway through pack 1 that white was open, so I settled into Boros. I had a much better curve than my other recent Boros decks, though I still didn't have a single multicolor two-drop, which is sad. Early in the format I had a Boros deck with two Truefire Paladins and a Firemane Avenger. Ah, those were the days.

My decks have gotten progressively weaker since the beginning of the format, and as is often the case, it's difficult to tell whether this is largely due to variance, or other drafters are getting better, or I'm getting worse. Last night I had two relatively new guys to my immediate right (one hadn't drafted much; the other was drafting for the first time). Still, when you move in on Boros in pack 1, the hope is to get passed a guildmage or a paladin, but you should have a reasonably high probability of seeing one or more Wojek Halderdiers. I saw zero.

Though on the bright side I did pick up 2 Syndic of Tithes and 3 Skyknight Legionnaire. So I had a fine curve, with 16 creatures, a few combat tricks, and a few removal: a solid, but not super-exciting Boros deck.

The three rounds I won, I won 2-0, jumping out to fast starts and finishing with burst damage from the ogre or Boros Charm. In case it wasn't obvious, Legionnaires are awesome. I had enough evasive power to outrace just about any opponent. The single loss was a 2-1 match against Esper. I blew him out game 1, but was eaten alive game 2 by a Nightveil Specter suited up with Call of the Nightwing. My removal included a Mugging, a Massive Raid, and an Angelic Edict. Even if I had drawn the first two, they wouldn't have handled the Specter. My opponent was playing about half creatures and half removal, including 3 Devour Flesh, 2 Grisly Spectacle, 2 One Thousand Lashes, and a Killing Glare. I simply couldn't keep creatures on the board. The Specter actually stole a Plains, a Mountain, my Mugging, and a Skyknight Legionnaire. So yeah, I lost that game. Game 3 I sided out the Massive Raid and Holy Mantle, though I probably should have sided out all my tricks for my clunkier sideboard creatures. I kept a hand with a Skyjek and a Legionnaire, and only drew one more creature the entire game, an Assault Griffin. I had a situation where my opponent was at 14 life, with a Cloudfin Raptor with 1 counter and a Deathcult Rogue (both tapped) onboard, 2 cards in hand, and all his mana tapped. I had a Skyknight Legionnaire in play, and a Boros Charm, Aerial Maneuver, and Martial Glory in-hand. Attacking and using all my spells, I could get in 12 damage, putting him at 2. If he completely whiffed, I'd be able to attack to make him chump with the raptor next turn, then the Legionnaire would be lethal. I thought the probability of my pump spells being effective later was probably lower, since he had so much instant-speed removal, so I went all-in. In retrospect, I should have saved the Maneuver and put him to 4. That would have allowed me to potentially attack through a 2/3 Raptor or block and eat it on a subsequent turn, though that would have given him even more time. As it happened, he cast a Mindeye Drake the following turn, and that was that.

There are no good mono-red direct damage spells that target players in the format, which makes finishing your opponent off somewhat difficult. Everybody raves about Mugging being premium, but it is really just a shitty Shock. It's not instant-speed, which is huge, and even worse, it can't go to the face. Unless you rip a sweet rare that does direct damage, you're stuck pushing through lethal with creatures, and that can be a tall order sometimes.

Anyway, I again came out on the shitty side of equity. I was 3-1, but there were 3 other 3-1s ahead of me, nudging me out of the top 4 and into 5th place, where I only got a single pack for prize support. I believe 3rd and 4th both got 6 packs, so yes, that sucks balls. So I didn't rip any money cards, got the worse prize support possible for my record, but I did put in a solid performance. My match win percentage for Gatecrash is at 74.5%, which I think it just about as high as you can hope for, with a significant number of games being lost through mana issues. My highest win percentage for a format was M13, finishing the season with a 75.2%.

So hopefully I can get in a couple more practice Sealed events before Sunday and be positioned well for the tournament.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Another Day, Another Gatecrash Phantom Sealed

And another 2-1, which is fine.

I went RUG. Had lots of fixing for those colors, including a Prophetic Prism, a Breeding Pool, and 3 Gruul Guildgates. I had a good curve and a couple of bombs in Rubblebelt Raiders and Clan Defiance (which I was extremely careful when casting).

I had the good fortune of facing basically the nut Orzhov sealed pool. Game 1 I saw Alms Beast, One Thousand Lashes, 2 Devour Flesh, and multiple extort creatures. It was a close game, but I lost that one. I thought, "He's got a strong deck, but I can beat it." Game 2 I was ahead on the race and turn 5 he drops Obzedat, Ghost Council.

The instinct at that point is to just give up, but I fought through and actually won that game on the back of an Adaptive Snapjaw and Drakewing Krasis suited up with Hands of Binding. Game 3 I kept a hand with 2 Islands, a Forest, and 3 castable spells, including 2 creatures. I proceeded to draw 3 red creatures and no mountains. And Obzedat resolved again on turn 5, so that was pretty much game.

Match 2 I faced another, weaker Orzhov deck (couldn't really be any stronger than the first round one). I won 2-1, dropping the second game due to not having green mana the whole game.

Match 3 was against a pretty mediocre Boros deck. Clan Defiance is especially brutal against Boros if they go 2-drop into Skyknight Legionnaire, which my opponent did. I won the match 2-0 pretty handily.

In Sealed I'm finding it most useful to sort by creatures of each color first. Often that dictates the deck. I'm also finding it extremely difficult lately to get 14+ creatures in two colors, forcing me into three. At that point, fixing becomes a bigger issue. And even though I had 4 dual lands in my colors and a Prism, I still lost 2 games due to color issues. I'm just hoping that the Sunday Sealed tournament gives me enough strong playables in 2 colors...I wouldn't mind having my Round 1 opponent's pool from this event on Sunday. We'll see.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Revisiting M13 (and the Mental Side of Magic)

Yesterday my local store ran a small draft (9 people), and since their latest shipment of Gatecrash hadn't come in, we ended up drafting M13 Core Set. I was pretty excited. As I said before, it's one of my favorite formats. It's balanced, flexible, and very well-designed for draft.

So my first pack I open...Nicol Bolas, Planeswalker. I had never opened this guy throughout the regular M13 drafting season (he is mythic, after all). Of course I took him. And pack 1 the Bolas plan started looking pretty good. I picked up some nice red, black, and blue cards, including two Unsummons and a Murder. But I was also passed 2 Pacifisms, which were by far the best cards in the pack. By the end of Pack 1 I was still pretty open, but the beginning of Pack 2 gave me the following three picks: Oblivion Ring, Serra Angel, and a third Pacifism. I could have taken a Fog Bank over an O-ring, but that just seemed so bad. Ignoring the clear White signal in lieu of going for the janky Grixis deck seemed like a recipe for disaster, so I moved in on BW. I ended up with 5 exalted cards, 3 1-drop creatures, 6 2-drop creatures, 5 4-drop creatures, and zero 3-drop creatures. Pack 3 was a complete dud. It turns out the drafter to my immediate right was in GW, even though he had passed me 2 Pacifisms in Pack 1.

I don't think I made very poor decisions in the draft. Pacifism is about as premium as removal gets in draft, and two from the right in Pack 1 seemed like a relatively strong signal. I thought this would pay off in Pack 3, but the pack was obviously light in good white, and I was getting cut hard on good creatures, since the draft to my right was on the creature-heavy GW train. Just a couple of solid 3-drops (a couple of Attended Knights would have done the trick...the dream was a Vampire Nighthawk or 2). So I ended up with a deck with 14 creatures (with a pretty low power level), 7 removal (3 Pacifism, 1 O-ring, 1 Murder, and 2 Essence Drain), no bombs, and a couple of combat tricks. The removal was godly, but all only 1-for-1's.

Round 1 I just go overrun by RG aggro. Flames of the Firebrand is pretty devastating against BW because of the prevalence of 1-toughness creatures. Game 1 was competitive, but I lost. Game 2 my opponent curved out with 1-drop, 2-drop, 3-drop, 4-drop, and even though I had a near ideal opener with War Falcon, Knight of Glory, Oblivion Ring, and good land, I couldn't race that opening. I lost 0-2. Matches: 0-1.

Round 2 I barely won against a UB deck with multiple Talrand's Invocation. One game I used all 3 of my Pacifisms. The card advantage of getting 2 2/2 flyers is simply insane in Limited. It was a close match and I barely won. Matches: 1-1.

Round 3 I played against a mono-black deck running multiple Ravenous Rats and Mark of the Vampire. I would have loved a Mark or two for my own deck, since I picked up 2 Tormented Souls through Pack 2, but I only saw 2 in Pack 1 and never saw any again, which is pretty unusual. Again, a super-close match, but one where my enchantment removal really shined. Matches: 2-1.

The fourth and final round put me against a BR deck. Again, game 1 a turn 3 Flames of the Firebrand killed both my 1 and 2-drops, a Chronomaton and Knight of Glory. I opted to play out the Knight instead of leaving mana open to pump the Chronomaton. I opted for developing my board and being aggressive. I think not doing any damage in the early rounds and simply growing the Chronomaton could have led to the even worse outcome of him killing it with a black spell after I'd invested lots of mana into it. Maybe my line was bad, but I think I was positioned badly no matter what. We split the first 2 games, and game 3 was very close. We were both around 7 life, and I had 2 Griffin Protectors on-board. He had 3 creatures in play, including a 2/2 flyer. I played a Serra Angel, pumping my griffins, swung to put him near death, then passed turn. I was hoping the Angel would stabilize me, but in formats with Threaten effects, this is a dodgy proposal. He untapped, played Mark of Mutiny, and killed me with my own Angel. I drew pretty badly in this match overall. In one game he piled 3 enchantments onto a Bladetusk Boar for the win, and I didn't draw a single removal spell. Matches: 2-2.

Didn't place in the prize support. So it goes.

If I had it to do all over again I would have stayed on the Bolas train and tried to just build Grixis control. I think I read the signals well, even though they were wrong (heavy white players usually don't pass multiple Pacifisms). Ah well. It was kind of fun...not as fun as winning, of course, but it was nice to see M13 again.

On a last note, the latest Limited Resources is almost completely devoted to the mental side of Magic, dealing with variance and tilt. My friend and fellow Magic player Jack says he doesn't find these sorts of discussions all that useful, since he doesn't feel like he gets a lot of actionable advice out of them. I think the mental side is pretty important, and cultivating a strong mental approach to the game is difficult, but very useful. Even yesterday I tilted a bit in a game where I kept a 3-spell, 4-land hand and drew 5 lands in a row. It was a pretty casual draft environment, but I think it's a good idea to try to maintain good habits, and avoid tilt as much as possible. I got visibly upset, told my opponent I had all lands in-hand, and was very on edge. This does nothing but give my opponent advantage,'s bad.

A few weeks ago I played in a Gatecreash sealed event. I wasn't crazy about the deck I put together, Naya with some strong cards, but not a lot of synergy. Round 1 I played a fellow Lafayette player (the tourney was in Baton Rouge). We split the first two games, and game 3 was going very badly. My life total was low (like 5). I hadn't done any damage to my opponent, so he was still at 20 life. He had killed all my creatures except for one, a lonely Court Street Denizen. Meanwhile, my opponent had a Zhur-Taa Swine suited up with a Madcap Skills and a Riot Gear, making it an 9/6 that could only be blocked by two creatures. It was his only creature on-board. Now, I didn't have any creatures in-hand. I drew another land. Things had been going horribly all day. It was hot, noisy, and crowded in the store. I was hungry. And I was already feeling defeated, since I hadn't even touched my opponent all game and I was facing off my 2/2 against his 9/6. But I had a Boros Charm and an Act of Treason in-hand. I missed the winning play and passed the turn. The winning play was to steal his pig, give it double strike, and swing for exactly 20. He was tapped out. That would have won me the match. Because I was in a defeated, frustrated frame of mind, I missed my out. It's rare that you don't do any damage to your opponent all game and are able to kill them with one play, but it does happen, and you need to be looking for it. My problem was that I wasn't looking hard enough. I had already lost in my mind.

So I don't mind discussions of the mental side of Magic. I can always improve this aspect of my game, and constant reminders and input from others are a good way of doing that.

Our regular Gatecrash draft is Wednesday. I hope to pull out of my mini-slump then and get some confidence going into the Sealed next Sunday. I'll also likely try to do some more GTC Sealed practice on MTGO this week. I'll report any results here.

Friday, March 15, 2013

MTGO Misclick Rage

I'm in Round 2 of a Phantom GTC Sealed event on MTGO. I'm playing Boros, splashing green only for a Clan Defiance. My opponent, on the play, has gotten out a Daring Skyjek and a Kingpin's Pet. I untap with 4 mana, including R and G, and my Clan Defiance in hand. Time for a mini-blowout here, right?

I click the spell to cast it, select "Do X damage to creature with flying, do X damage to creature without flying, and do X damage to target player". I am prompted to select target creature with flying. I select the Kingpin's Pet. I am prompted to select target creature without flying. I select the Daring Skyjek. I am prompted to select target player. I select my opponent. I am prompted to pay RG. I pay RG and tap my other two lands for mana.

I click OK.

The spell goes to the graveyard and the play log says I just did zero damage to each target. Um. Honestly I don't know what the hell happened. I thought maybe I had been prompted to increment the amount of damage to each target and missed the increment. But I subsequently cast the spell the exact same way (only targeting just a single creature and player) and it worked exactly as expected.

The MTGO interface sucks. There's just no denying it. It's been a while since something this bad happens, but when it does, it makes you want to chuck your computer out the window. I understand there's a tradeoff between speed and error handling. A good option here would have been a warning dialog making sure I wanted to cast an X spell for zero before actually casting it (e.g. "Are you sure you want X to be zero?" Hell no, I don't.). Some might say that would slow the game down too much. Well, the moronic thing is that upon casting the spell for zero, then moving to the next phase, I was prompted with "You have mana left in your pool and you will lose it when going to the next phase. Are you sure?" If there's time for a mana prompt, there's time for a zero X spell prompt, which is arguably much more important since there's no mana burn anymore.

That game was firmly in hand, and I had won the first, so I would have gone up 2-0 in matches, ensuring prize support. Instead, I lost that game, and the next, then went 1-2 against another aggressive Naya deck in the last round and ended up 1-2 in matches. That interface issue cost me at least 1 pack, and possibly 3. So, that's awesome.

What there should be (and it would be trivial to implement) are different tiers of prompts for this kind of thing. The learning curve on MTGO is fairly steep. I made a lot of very costly mistakes early on just learning the interface, and many of them made me not want to play online for a while, if at all. The tragedy is that they've done a superb job handling the rules complexity of the game, but the interface still blows chunks. I am still mind-boggled at how they can do such a poor job at usability sometimes.

When this sort of thing happens, I don't feel the general fondness and enthusiasm for the game I usually feel. I feel disgusted. And that's not an emotion you want to elicit in your user base.

Not that it's that important now, but here was my pool and the deck I made. There as a possible Dimir or maybe UBG deck there, but the overall power level of the Boros was best, I think:

Update: I put in a reimbursement request on the chance that this was actually a bug and not a misclick, but asked for reimbursement in either case. WotC approved the request. Kudos.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Weekly Local Draft: Losing with Borzhov

You often learn more from failure than from success. At least, you hope you do. Last night was my first losing record in a live Gatecrash draft, going 1-3. Sometimes you can just blame variance, and I certainly had some of that going on, but it wasn't the whole story. Getting better at a game with inherent variance requires being able to determine the extent to which the results were based on luck or decisions. Last night I made some bad decisions (primarily in the draft portion), but they were also a function of some bad luck.

What the heck am I talking about? Well, my P1P1 was a Boros Reckoner, very much a bomb in Limited. Ideally I wanted to go Boros. If you pick a bomb pack 1 that sets you along a particular path, it can be difficult to jump ship, but sometimes you need to. The problem was that the draft to my immediate right was also Boros. The reason I didn't pick up on this fact until early pack 3 (and by then it was far too late to switch) was that our draft pool had an unusually high concentration of red cards, which were flowing quite nicely. I picked up multiple Muggings, Massive Raids, and 2 Cinder Elementals. The problem was that by pack 3 I was sorely lacking in creatures (I had 10), especially the key 2-drops Boros needs to be really aggressive. I had picked up 1 Wojek Halberdiers and 1 Skyknight Legionnaire in Pack 2, but that's all I ended up with by the end of the draft. And that didn't cut it. My curve was much higher than I wanted, and I was forced to splash black to get up to 16 creatures. Ideally I want around 18 creatures in my Boros decks, with a high number of 2 and 3-drops.

In a lot of ways, this draft was like the online one from the last post. Strong bigger bombs set me into particular colors and I had problems filling out the bottom of my curve. So, some potential lessons learned:

  • Prioritize cheaper creatures earlier in aggro decks, even to the exclusion of removal (especially mediocre removal).
  • Don't get wedded to a guild based on a first pick. I actually evenly drafted black, white, and red in pack 1, ready to move in on Orzhov if it happened, but unfortunately it was cut pretty hard pack 2.
  • Do a better job at reading signals. The flow of red made me think Boros was reasonably open, but it was a bit of a false signal, since no multicolor Boros cards were coming through. I wish I had a record of the pack contents, because I think I missed a very clear signal that Gruul was wide open. We had no Gruul drafters in our pod at the end of the draft, so there must have been some green signals I missed in pack 1. I know I wasn't passed a Gruul guildmage, or a Rampager, or even a Gruul Charm early because those would have been clear signals, so they must have been more subtle.
However, it's possible that Pack 1 was just weak on Gruul and the signal was not strong enough to catch. These are definitely points to be mindful of, though. Especially prioritizing creatures. I do best with aggro decks with high creature counts, so deviating from the conventional wisdom that removal is almost always better than a reasonably efficient but unexciting creature (like a bear) is probably a good idea.

Overall I think my play was solid. Match 1 was heartbreaking, as I won Game 1, then my opponent came back from a 35-point life differential (I was at 36, while he was at 1) to win the game. I then mulliganed into a very mediocre 5-card hand and failed to draw anything in game 3. 

Matches 2 and 3 were both to solid decks, but I saved a complete rout by winning my last match 2-1. Overall my deck was simply clunky and slow, far too much so to be an effective Boros deck. I pulled a couple of money cards (the Reckoner and a Godless Shrine), so the draft was paid for, but ideally I'd like to win. Perhaps this was mostly just variance catching up with me. I've done very well in Gatecrash so far. But I'm sure there were some things, especially in the draft portion, that I could have done better, so I'll keep those in mind going forward.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

My latest draft:

I keep wanting to draft Orzhov, but for whatever reason, I can never get there. A first-pick Skirmisher is a great start to either Orzhov or Boros, but at 6 mana it's a little slow, so with the 2nd pick I go with Kingpin's Pet, followed up with Devour Flesh. But then a 4th-pick Homing Lightning seems like a pretty strong signal that red is wide open, followed up with a 5th-pick Mugging. So I move in on Boros.

I'm pretty happy with the end result of Pack 1, even though I'm a little concerned with my curve being a bit high. I've passed a couple of decent 2-drops in Boros (Skyjek and 2 Skinbrand Goblins), but haven't seen any of the premium multicolor Boros 2-drops. So I'm a little concerned, but when I open an Aurelia Pack 2, everything seems right in the world.

However, Pack 2 sucks for me overall, only picking up one 2-drop. It's a good one in Firefist Striker, but I've very concerned now. I want 17-18 creatures in Boros, with nearly as many 2-drops as I can get, and I end up without any Halberdiers, Truefire Paladins, or Guildmages. I do prioritize 2-drops in Pack 3, but by this it's clear that Boros is being heavily drafted but I'm strongly committed.

I end up with a kind of clunky, less aggressive Boros, but with strong removal and a great top-end. I'm thinking I will probably do fine.


Round 1: My opponent never shows up. Games: 2-0. Blah.

Matches: 1-0.

Round 2: I go up against the Dimir aggro deck I talked about last post. It's all rogues, Basilica Screechers, and Metropolis Sprites, topped out with Consuming Aberration and Stolen Identity. Very strong deck, and I had hideous draws. Mulled to 6 both games and kept relatively weak hands with 4 lands and 2 spells both games. Game 1 he just curved out with evasive threats and killed me fast. Game 2 was more protracted, but I used two removal spells on early threats and had none left when he cast Stolen Identity and ciphered onto a Deathcult Rogue, making a crapton of awesome creatures. I had him down to 5 life with outs to a Massive Raid for 4 draw steps, but just ripped land after land. My deck isn't a great representative of what Boros wants to be, but it's still very strong. Still, I always seem to lose my first round with Boros. A week ago I had a deck with Boros Reckoner, Firemane Angel, and a much better curve and got creamed first round in the mirror by Madcap Skills. Ah well. Games: 0-2.

Matches: 1-1.

Round 3: Went up against a decent Simic deck. I won Game 1. In Game 2 my opponent had 3 clunky ground dudes, while I had a much better board with 4 aggressive creatures, including a Skyknight Legionnaire and a Daring Skyjek. I had Aurelia in hand, but needed only 1 more land to cast her. I drew the land. My life total was at 9, my opponent at 8. So I decided to play around Aetherize (he had 5 mana up, including blue). So I played Aurelia and swung with her, the Skyjeck, and the Legionnaire. No Aetherize...GG, right? Nope. Tower Defense. That's right, I got Tower Defensed. He gave all his guys +0/+5 and reach, killing all my attackers. The second attack phase triggered...whoopeeee. Meanwhile, he untaps, plays Way of the Thief on his biggest dork, and swings in for lethal. GG. I won Game 3 with a well-timed Act of Treason, though. Games 2-1.

Matches: 2-1.

I'm not sure I would have drafted any differently here. I thought I read the red signals correctly in Pack 1, so even though I passed some other decent Boros Pack 1 and expected a pretty poor Pack 2, I thought Pack 3 would be sweet. Either it was just a crap Boros Pack, or there were multiple Boros drafters skewed to my right. I just don't think that after the cards I got in Pack 1 and ripping an Aurelia P1P2 that I can look back. I just kind of got hosed on 2-drops. If you would have done otherwise, though, let me know in the comments.

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