So even though most of my close friends at my LGS were not going to be there, I still ventured out to FNM. And I’m glad I did: I continued my streak of getting packs. I got 9th last week, so I only got two packs. My record was 4-2, which could be good enough for Top 8 depending on my tie-breakers… I just got unlucky. Oh well.
When I got there, I was very surprised that there were so many people: We had enough to go six rounds, like normal. My draft was really strong, even though I chose the risky route of drafting an RTR guild.
My first pick was Exava, Rakdos Blood Witch, Rakdos’s Legendary Creature. I was really excited about it because even if I couldn’t use her ability often (all creatures you control with +1/+1 counters on them have haste) she is still 4/4 first striker with haste, if you unleash her… and why would you not? My second pick was a Spike Jester, another really good, agressive Rakdos creature. My third pick was a Viashino Firstblade, a very good agressive Boros card. At that point I was thinking I could cut Boros hard and go into B/W/R and just be ridiculously agressive. That didn’t exactly pan out because my fourth and fifth picks were both Carnage Gladiators. Clearly nobody to my right was drafting Rakdos, so I was fairly certain I’d get a strong third pack. I stuck with drafting Red/Black at that point.
My second pack turned out OK even though I didn’t end up splashing white, which meant no Orzhov or Boros cards. My first pick was a Grisly Spectacle over an Alms Beast. I wasn’t confident I’d get much good white, so I went with one of the best removal spells in the format. I also got a Mugging and a Massive Raid, so Gatecrash was very helpful with my removal. I also got a couple very useful creatures: Shadow Alley Denizen and Foundry Street Denizen; a couple not-so-great creatures: Syndicate Enforcer and Slate Street Ruffian; and one of my favorite cards: Gift of Orzhova. So even though I wasn’t in a Gatecrash guild, the pack still worked out very well. I also got a Five-alarm Fire really late, which I could have played, but ended up not knowing what to take out of my main deck for it…
The RTR pack ended up being solid, thank goodness. I first-picked a Cryptborn Horror, which actually turned out to be fairly good for me (I didn’t cast it for anything smaller than a 4/4 all night). My second pick was an Ash Zealot, so the person to my right was definitely NOT in red, which was awesome. (I love Ash Zealots.) I got a couple unleashed creatures (every one I could), Perilous Shadow, a Rakdos Ragemutt, a Goblin Rally and a Deviant Glee. Overall, I was a little creature light (didn’t get as many solid playables as I would have liked), but I had the Goblin Rally and some really agressive creatures, so I was hoping it’d work out.
And, for the most part, it did. My I won my first match 2-0, despite a fairly close first game (the lifelink on the Ragemutt saved my butt!) and a pretty big misplay in the second game. My opponent blocked a couple of my creatures, and instead of using Weapon Surge to give them first strike, I let them trade. I was far enough ahead it didn’t really matter, but I made a note of it so I didn’t do it again.
My second match was a less-than-favorable almost mirror match. Except my opponent was splashing white, so he had a bunch of extort and several really good removal spells. I was happy when he misplayed his Auger Spree, though. He tried to use it on my Perilous Shadow, and in response I just pumped him up. He asked if he could take it back, but he was in the middle of winning game two, so I was not about to let him do it. (Actually, I really didn’t like playing this guy… something about his attitude really bugged me. That and he shuffled my deck very carelessly, so I was worried about him breaking my sleeves!) Oh well, on to match three.
I dominated match three. I played a turn two Gore-House Chainwalker, turn three Deviant Glee and got him for five and then he didn’t play a blocker, so I got him down to 10. At that point I figured I’d go ahead and add Gift of Orzhova into the mix. He couldn’t do anything about it, so I won that game fairly quickly. I don’t remember exactly what I got out in game two, but it was over very fast as well.
Match four was a close one. It went to game three, and I almost had him. I actually was certain I was going to win. I had my Shadow Alley Denizen on board, along with my Spike Jester, Grim Roustabout, Perilous Shadow and a 4/4 Cryptborn Horror. He was at 13, and had swung with all but one of his creatures leaving him pretty open to a lethal attack if I could get my intimidate to go off. I played my Exava, and in response he cast the Loss half of Profit//Loss. That killed my Denizen and my Spike Jester and made all my creatures smaller (except Exava). I went ahead and attacked anyway, but missed lethal by 2. He had nine power on board and I was at 11, so I thought I was safe. Unfortunately, I forgot about bloodrush. It was a pretty heartbreaking loss, but it was a good match, so I can’t be too upset.
I won my next two matched 2-0. The most notable game out of those two was the first game of my last match. I played a turn two Chainwalker and a turn three Ash Zealot, so I got in for five right away. He didn’t cast a creature the next turn, so I got in for five again and was able to cast my Cryptborn Horror as a 5/5 during my second mainphase. He scooped after he was unable to come up with an answer. It was very satisfying.
I was very happy with my night. I wish I’d been able to Top 8 again, but Top 12 is still pretty awesome. I have enough packs to draft my final DGM-GTC-RTR draft in a couple weeks (I’m missing next week and tomorrow is pick-a-pack again… where did June go?!?). I’m looking forward to a new format, but I’m kind of bummed I’ll only get to draft this set one more time… I feel like everything is finally clicking!
Hopefully pick-a-pack goes well, though. I feel like I can use all the stuff I learned over the weekend watching the GP to my favor somehow… Plus I’ve been able to play a little with the MM cards now, so I think that will help in the sense that I’m not always playing the RTR block. I guess we’ll see!
All for now,