BER is GOOD!

Many times, at my local drafts, new players come in and tell me “I don’t know how to draft”. Going through the motions on how to draft is easy, but going through the details of what’s good and what’s bad, tend to be a little harder. That was until I came up with BER. Three simple letters that mean a great deal in the limited world.

One of the major things for a draft is removal. Never letting an opponent’s guys hit you is key a lot of times. This gives you the tempo needed to attack them consistently. That’s where R comes into BER, Removal. Removal comes in many types in limited. From straight out Doom Blades, that kill creatures. To the Shocks, that while they kill little creatures, give you reach in the late game. (Not the ability Reach that blocks flying, but the concept of getting in the last point or two)

My second concept in BER I like to touch upon is Evasion. Now your probably looking at any card you own going “None of my guys has an ability Evasion”. Evasion isn’t a card mechanic it’s more of an over all concept. This would be things such as Flying, Land Walk, or the good old “Can’t be blocked”. These creatures tend (hopefully) to make a up a good portion of your deck. Be warned, they tend to be weaker and die to the removal a lot.

One of my favorite draft concepts is BOMBS!!!! Bombs are big, fat creatures (Or sometimes token makers) that are the icing on the cake that is your deck. They tend to have high casting costs with all types of abilities from Evasion to Trample to destroy effects. These cards tend to end games in your favor. Some of the odd ball bombs include Timely Reinforcements and Mind Control.

All my draft order lists will contain a key informing the readers if I feel what part (or parts) of BER it falls under. Remember that not all of your deck must contain BER. But I recommend large parts of it have these effects to make sure you have a good, well rounded, functioning deck.

Draft Order

Pick #

Pack 1

Pack 2

Pack 3

1

Sorin’s Thirst (R)* Warpath Ghoul Sorin Markov (B)(R)*

2

Aether Adept (R)* Belltower Sphinx. (E)* Mind Control (B)(R)*

3

Smallpox (R)* Doom Blade (R)* Royal Assassin (R)*

4

Unsummon (R) Vengeful Pharoah (B)* Aven Fleetwing (E) *

5

Phantasmal Dragon (B)(E)* Skyywinder Drake (E) Brink of Disaster (R)

6

Doom Blade (R)* Mind Rot Aether Adept (R)*

7

Deathmark (R) Phantasmal Bear Mana Leak *

8

Sorin’s Thirst (R)* Frost Breath (R)* Brink of Disaster (R)*

9

Phantasmal Dragon (B)(E)* Crumbling Colossus Duskhunter Bat (E)

10

Amphin Cutthroat Skywinder Drake (E) Aether Adept (R)*

11

Deathmark (R) Alluring Siren Merfolk Looter *

12

Flight Zombie Goliath Jace’s Archivist *

13

Taste of Blood Zombie Goliath Amphin Cuthtroat

14

Zombie Infestation Reassembling Skeleton Bloodrage Vampire

Key: (B) bomb (E) evasion (R) removal *made the deck.

Draft Discussion:

My pick one, pack one (to be listed furthermore as P1/P1) was a bit under whelming but my rare wasn’t bombalicious (It was a Sundial of the Infinite) and the foil (woohoo!) was a Combust and while that’s an OK card in some matchups, I preferred Removal even if it wasn’t great. There were no major threats or sources for card advantage, so I ended up grabbing the Thirst. From there, I got passed one of my favorite sources for card advantage, Aether Adept. Removal and a creature is always a plus, so I figured either black or blue wouldn’t be bad. A few cards in, I got signals that not many people were in black or blue so it was a good deck to go with. (In future articles, I will be writing about signals.) While no major bombs made their way around, I was quite happy overall. Eight Removal spells out of my fourteen cards. While some were only sideboard cards, I had good pulls overall. I would like to point out that my first 8 cards ended up making the main deck. (Not including the Deathmarks that were boarded in for almost half my matchups)

My second pack blew my mind. While I only got a Warpath Ghoul out of my own pack. I got a lot more out of everyone else’s packs. Doom Blade P3/P2 is a really good sign that no one within 3 people of me where in black. The next pick I got a Vengeful Pharaoh (OMG WTF!!!!). I paused looking down the table thinking “A bomb… this late? Oh yeah, the draft gods are smiling at me.” I got a few more Removal and Evasion spells really rounding my deck out, before I even get to look at a new cycle of packs.

My third pack solidified my opinion of this draft for me. I open Sorin Markov. While in constructed, he is hardly good and the fact that in draft he also isn’t great, it doubles as a Bomb and Removal in the same package. So I took it. (Many of you will probably yell at me. But the pack didn’t have much else too good.) My P2/P3 on the other hand was a straight out Bomb. Mind Control, one of my personal favorite effects in limited. It doubles as pseudo removal and steals their best guy (in play at the time) I couldn’t believe that at this time I could be passed something so good. Followed by a Royal Assassin (OMG, again?) Another reuseable Removal card that keeps the red zone locked down. A few more solid creature cards and Removal rounded the deck off.

Deck List:

9x Swamp

8x Island

3x Aether Adept

1x Aven Fleetwing

1x Belltower Sphinx

1x Frost Breath

1x Jace’s Archivist

1x Mana Leak

1x Merfolk Looter

1x Mind Control

2x Phantasmal Dragon

1x Unsummon

2x Doom Blade

1x Royal Assassin

1x Smallpox

1x Sorin Markov

2x Sorin’s Thirst

1x Vengeful Pharaoh

2x Zombie Goliath

Deck Discussion:

Not much to say about the deck. I made a few odd choices that I talked with some of my better playing friends about, after which I might have changed some choices, but I stand by it. I played the Goliaths over the Skywinder Drake for the simple fact its 3 toughness makes it die to a lot fewer cards. Another mentioned how good Mind Rot was and Duskhunter Bat. To cut those, they said to cut Archivist and another card (That at this point escapes my memory). All in all, I think it’s the best collection of cards, based on my pool.

Rnd 1

vrs Bryan K. with R/G/B

Bryan is one of the better players that tends to make the draft weekly and based on the attendance, the only one I feared playing. Lucky for me his deck wasn’t very fast and I was able to keep the board clear with Removal. He did get some sneaky early hits in with a Chandra’s Phoenix, but my deck just kept up with what ever he could drop. I used Sorin to keep the field clear in game 1 and ultimated and flung his one guy at him for game.

Game 2 I brought the Deathmarks in, taking out the Zombies, as I knew I wouldn’t need them for this matchup. Vengeful Pharoah with Merfolk Looter kept most of his attacks at bay, while Aether Adepts and Removal made the game. Pharaoh definetly was worth the pick this game.

Won 2-0

Rnd 2

Vrs Cj G. with R/G

Cj’s deck lead early and fast with a Gladecover Elf. The hexproof elf was a pain to my deck of heavy removal. Luckily, I drew into my own hexproof flyer, which forced him into submission. After a few blocks on his elf with him having no combat tricks to take mine out, I ended up dropping a Sorin Markov setting his life to 10. Then proceeded to use Sorin and Fleetwing to end the game quickly.

Game 2 I thought of boarding in Deathmarks again but decided against it, as I saw too little of his deck and the only thing I really saw was a hexproof green creature. Keeping the Goliaths in was a great idea in this game. I was able to take only a few points from the double elves before I dropped blockers and eventually the Pharaoh to win the game.

Won 2-0

Rnd 3

Vrs Tim B. with R/W

I was lucky enough to get a view of his deck while he sat next to me the match previous. He had a few good burn removal cards and a few nasty combat tricks. But the core of his deck seemed to be a pair of Thran Golems and a few enchantments. I don’t remember much of these games except that I won both and stole a Thran Golem with a Mind Control. For my lack of details, he did put up one of the better fights that I dealt with all day. Still I took it.

Won 2-0

Taking the event 3-0 (6-0) was amazing and hope to possibly repeat the action for the articles in the future. If I don’t, I’ll be happy with this amazing feat. (which also is my first article). Any time you feel like drafting, stop by The Gathering Place in Spencer, MA. We hold drafts Saturdays at 11. Don’t forget to support your Favorite Local Gaming Store on Saturday, September 10th for Celebration Day.

Advertisements