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Draft and the 1/1 March 13, 2009

Posted by Norm in Conflux, Draft, Organized Play, Shards of Alara.
Tags: , , , ,

This week I was in a shards/shards/conflux draft. I went 3-0 running a cheep Jundish deck. I didn’t open any bombs, passed a master of etherium for a Vithian Stinger and ran a single copy of Goblin Mountaineer and Lightning Talons. I had about 6 decent removal spells. The key to the deck was Neceogenisis, but that isn’t the point of this post.

I’m an aggro guy at heart. I like dropping a bunch of small guys and getting in for quick damage and repeat. I love Kithkin for this fact as well as token decks. So this week when I was asked why I run Goblin Mountaineer, I didn’t know what to say. To me it feels right playing a 1/1 on turn one, especially a mountainwalker in draft seems like a good play to me. I know it isn’t the best 1/1 in limited right now I’d prefer Wild Nactal of course, but I digress. I was told that Goblin Mountaineer was “so bad.” I didn’t think so because he fits into my deck and I’m comfortable using it. Or so I thought.

Tonight at FNM we drafted shards/shards/conflux and my first two picks were Woolly Thoctar. I was in Naya and I went 3-1 loosing one match with some serious mana screw. I didn’t have a Goblin Mountaineer tonight. However my deck was a lot better and I would have rather had it earlier in the week. The only one drops I played tonight were 2 x Wild Nactal and 1x Toxic Iguanar. Nactal is good, but I never used Toxic Iguanar to take out a larger guy with deathtouch, but what it did to is draw fire and get in for a single point of damage here and there. WHich I think can be the difference when games go the distance.

Which brings me back to my point about draft and the 1/1. I believe that you need utility cards that “aren’t good” to get you through the match. Cards that you can trust and fill spots that other players don’t play. I routinely see people play cards that I would never consider useing. Cards that I believe to be over costed and junk. What I have learned is that different cards fill different slots for different players. That is what makes magic such good game and why there are potential answers for almost every situation.

So in long form that is why I choose and play Goblin Mountaineer in draft. Besides in the current limited meta game most decks are running red for removal.



1. Duncan - March 14, 2009

I’m not sure if I’m the one who told you that Goblin Mountaineer was so bad but if I did, I stand by it. I have two main problems with this guy.

One, he only does one point of damage a turn. Look at it this way: Player N is on the play, goes Mountain, Goblin Mountaineer. Player D drops a Mountain and passes the turn. Player N swings in with Mountaineer. Player D drops a forest and a Cylian Elf. Let’s say neither player draws anymore relevant cards. It will take Player N 18 turns to kill Player D while it will only take Player D 10 turns to kill Player N.

Two, there are a lot of pingers in Shards. Between Vithian Stinger, Blood Cultist, Blister Beetle, Esper Battlemage, and Suicidal Charge, 1/1’s die REALLY fast. The reason Nacatl and Squire are good is because they often aren’t 1/1’s.

2. Cory - March 14, 2009

I agree with Duncan. There are so many 1/1 creature hate in this set that unless you have creatures who can become non 1/1s its good to use them sparingly.

3. Norm - March 15, 2009

Duncan, I think that one point of damage is important. Getting in early for one or two points can be the difference in some games. How often have you gotten your opponent down to one point of life and then loose once he stabilizes.

I don’t think your Elf vs Mountaineer example is realistic, because the creatures might trade damage one or two turns but not for a whole game. Besides, by then I’m planning on having better cards in action.

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