Friday was definitely a better night than the week before. First, I opened Gideon in my first pack, allowing me to build a deck he would work in, which was handy. I drafted mostly white during the first pack because I couldn’t decide whether Boros or Orzhov was open. In the end I ended up with a pretty solid Orzhov deck. I didn’t have as much extort as I would have liked, but I had some very strong late-game cards (Treasury Thrull, Ogre Slumlord), which was a nice change compared to last week and my army of two-drops.
The main things I learned Friday were:
- View your planeswalkers as a way to take damage for you. If your opponent spends two or three turns just trying to kill a planeswalker you control, that means you basically are two or three turns ahead of them in damage. My third match of the night (my first loss) went into game three, and had I used Gideon’s plus one ability one more time I could have forced my opponent to attack him again, getting me one more turn. Instead, my thought process was “well, he’s going to die next turn anyway, I want to use him to get some damage in”. So I attacked and left myself pretty vulnerable. My opponent, unconcerned about Gideon anymore, attacked me for lethal on his next turn. Obviously I don’t know what would have happened if I used Gideon’s plus one ability again, but it was likely I would have at least gotten another turn, and since I had my Treasury Thrull on board, that could have turned the game around in my favor.
- Pay attention to your opponent’s mana. I am getting better at paying attention to mana, but I still have my moments. In one of my matches I held back my blocker because I thought my opponent could pump all of his Frilled Oculouses. He couldn’t, so I could have at least probably saved myself one point of damage. I don’t know whether that would have made a big difference in the game, but it definitely reminded me to pay more attention.
- Don’t let other people get to you. I usually don’t have a problem with my opponent, but I do get rather distracted when I realize people are watching me. I know they’re judging my every move, and I get nervous. I’ve gotten better at handling that, but that often leads to another scenario I really dislike: after my match sometimes the people watching will give me unsolicited advice (i.e.: if you’d attacked there, you could have done x, which would have led to y, which might have won you the match). It was helpful when I was first starting, but now I’d rather just ask my opponent directly, and see what they think. Or I’d at least like to ask you for your opinion. Oh well, people will do what they do, so I need to learn how to take it with a grain of salt and move on.
- Don’t miss triggers. I seem to need to learn this over and over again. I missed several extort triggers, which would have been helpful to remember. Oh well.
Overall, my deck was really fun to play. My opponent’s reactions when I’d get Gideon out were great. And even when I didn’t get him out, my deck still put up a good fight. It’s been pretty strong in casual play this week, too, which is always fun.
All for now,
p.s. Only one more Gatecrash draft left! Then Dragon’s Maze comes out. Where did the time go?!