Three new winning Theros draft decklists

I’m no longer recording my drafts – probably until the next set comes out – but I guess you might like to see my winning deck lists. Posting those is certainly a lot less effort, and MagicBlogs gives me the tools to display them easily in a very nice way, so here we go!

I did five more drafts since my last published draft. In my fifth draft, I lost in the semis with a very nice B/g deck when I was screwed on B with 11 Swamp in the deck twice against GW heroic. I then took down my sixth draft with my most controllish build so far:

I left two Vaporkin and a Prescient Chimera in my sideboard to streamline this deck. This won’t happen often, but it was the correct choice here.

For my seventh draft, I got an excellent WR heroic deck, but once again fell in the semis, this time to a strong UG tempo deck when I had slower starts twice. But in my eighth draft luck was with me again, when I didn’t have more than one bad draw per match with the following deck:

I drew Purphoros only once. He did his job then.

In my ninth draft, I managed another win with this beauty (note that it is not nearly as strong as my other RW heroic deck which didn’t make it to the finals – draw skills still matter):

Note that I switched from W/g to W/r as late as in the third booster round (guess which card I opened!), which was possible because I had few green cards so far, already picked up a couple red, and could be sure that White was underdrafted. Another point of interest may be that I cast my Hopeful Eidolon for one mana roughly as often as I bestowed it.

For those among you who judge the validity of my theories by my results only (which is wrong, but I know some still do), this is my complete track record in Theros draft so far:

Release queues:
2-1 in a Swiss
2-1 in a 4-3-2-2

Published videos (all 8-4):
0-1
3-0
2-1
3-0

Later drafts (all 8-4):
1-1
3-0
1-1
3-0
3-0

That’s 23-6 overall, 19-4 in 8-4 queues, and winning 48 boosters in eleven drafts (44 in eight 8-4s). Also, my rating has gone up roughly 100 points during that time (I’d been in a ditch of ca. 1760 since Modern Masters). If such numbers are the thing that convinces you, here you go!

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11 Gedanken zu „Three new winning Theros draft decklists

  1. René Appel sagt:

    would it be possible to put the links to the videos behind the results of the viddrafts for easier reference?

    As to the results, i can post several boros heroic decks that look extremely similar to yours (2drop and trick ratios etc) and still came with a second round loss all the time, i guess playing style also is really important as i always do way better with some kind of gb rock style draft deck with lots of life gain and fatties.

  2. Zeromant sagt:

    I tend to think that I ususally rather err on the side of embedding too many links in my articles…

    I don’t believe this is necessary here. There is a link to my YouTube Channel in my very first sentence, and it’s easy enough to identify the drafts I won. Also, I listed my results in order, so my published wins were in draft 2 and draft 4, which are the very numbers I use in naming my videos.

    As for my winning Boros deck: I actually believe it is pretty underaverage compared to what I believe I will usually end up with in that color combination. The one which lost in the second round was MILES better, but that’s Magic… It is still an interesting fact that Bronze Sable and Lagonna Band-Elder (two cards which a succesfully drafted RW deck usually doesn’t need) got there.

    As for playing, I guess I’m a better aggro player in limited than most people (minus the occasional oversight), because I appreciate the value of tempo more than most. Maybe there is something in your play style which stops you from applying maximum pressure. Maybe the structure of your decks is slightly suboptimal in a way not obviously apparent. Or, maybe – and this seems the most likely reason to me – it’s just variance.

    If you believe that the reason is actually that you’re not comfortable with that playing style, you might want to record your own games and replay them to analyse where you could have made better decisions, or maybe even publish them and ask for advice. While I agree that players usually have preferences, and thus strengths and weaknesses, when it comes to certain strategies (I, for one, will never be able to perform reasonably with decks like Storm, Dredge or Eggs), aggro and control are too closely related that it is possible to perfect one’s play with one of them without also being good at the other; and you cannot be a really succesful limited player without mastering the whole spectrum between these extremes.

    In constructed, where the smallest margin of deeper understanding how a deck plays has a lot of influence over your matches‘ outcomes, it makes sense to go with a preferred strategy; but in limited, you restrict yourself way too much if you are unable to exploit the strategy which the boosters suggest. There’s simply no such thing as a really strong limited player who isn’t comfortable with both aggro and control decks.

  3. Handsome sagt:

    How important do you think One-Drops like Priest of Iroas are in RW aggressive decks? Are they filler material, or do you really seek those out for your build?

    • Zeromant sagt:

      Depends on the exact version. The more pump I have, and especially Ordeals and Phalanx Leader, the more important they become. In an average deck, I play them over less desirable creatures in higher mana slots, provided those mana slots are still filled well, but I will not risk to be short on creatures with 2+ power to include them.

      Note that their ability is actually quite useful, so they aren’t really BAD 1-drops, but even those sometimes belong in a deck which has the synergies – you know: Yoked Ox, Triton Shorethief, Asphodel Wanderer.

      If I have 3 1-drops I like more (Akroan Crusader, Favored Hoplite, Soldier of the Pantheon, Firedrinker Satyr), I will usually not go up to 4 for them (but then again, the double Phalanx Leader, double Ordeal, Dauntless Onslaught deck will play all the 1-drops it can get!)

  4. Jashin sagt:

    Just watched Toffel declaring Pries of Iroas unplayable.
    Still suffer headache from slamming head against wall.

  5. Dirk Baberowski sagt:

    Gute Videos, Andi.

  6. Nomasuri sagt:

    Fidne ich gut dass du wieder mehr über Magic schreibst und aktiv bist. Draften macht einfach Spaß, mich zieht es auch jede freie Minute zu MTGO und Theros. Ein schönes Set, nicht ganz so gut wie Timespiral welches unglaublich abwechslungsreich war, aber immer noch gut.

    Ich bin auch eher der Spieler, der am Anfang besser ist als viele, weil ich neue Karten ganz gut einschätzen kann. Sobald aber gewisse Archetypes bekannt sind oder undervalued Karten auf dem Radar wirds schwieirg und ich sehne mich nach dem nächsten Set.
    Bei Theros könnte es schon in 2 Wochen so weit sein…

  7. HanHeinrich sagt:

    Hast Du wahrscheinlich selber schon entdeckt:
    http://www.channelfireball.com/articles/drafting-with-juzam-theros-1/
    Ein Text-Walkthrough von Martin Juza.

    Hab noch nicht reingesehen, aber vielleicht wäre der ja „kritikwürdig“ 😉

    • Zeromant sagt:

      Habe ihn gerade eben gelesen und per Twitter Feedback gegeben. Ein paar Picks sind noch LSV-style-verseucht (Burnished Hart…), und einige Begründungen, insbesondere zu Anfang, etwas schief, aber insgesamt ist dieser Walkthrough weit besser, als alles, was ich bisher sonst gesehen / gelesen habe! Juza schätzt die Bedeutung von Kurve (insbesondere 2-drops) und Tricks richtig ein und draftet ein schnelles, aktives Deck ohne klobige Underperformer wie 3/7er für 5 Mana. Sein Switch in Weiß war absolut richtig, und bei mehreren Picks, wenn ich beim Betrachten der Karten dachte „jetzt müsste er A nehmen, aber er nimmt bestimmt B“, weil ich es so von anderen Draftern gewohnt war, hat er mich positiv überrascht (z.B. Voyage’s End über Prophet of Kruphix, oder Dauntless Onslaught über Nessian Asp)!

      Das Endergebnis ist dann ein weitgehend gelungenes Theros-Draftdeck (2 Time to Feed + 1 Divine Verdict ist etwas zu viel situatives Removal, und Juza bemerkt selbst, dass eine 10/7 Manaverteilung besser gewesen wäre, auch wenn ich deswegen nicht Ephara’s Warden spielen würde). Inwieweit das jetzt daran liegt, dass Juza ein besserer Drafter ist als LSV & co (ist er), oder daran, dass dieser Draft nur ein paar Tage und nicht mehrere Wochen alt ist, wie die meisten Draftvideos auf ChanelFireball, kann man natürlich nur spekulieren.

  8. gulugulu sagt:

    Stimmt es, daß Dich halb ProMagic auf twitter geblockt hat?
    Unbequeme Wahrheiten ausgedrückt?

    • Zeromant sagt:

      LSV, Sutcliffe und Simon Görtzen haben mich geblockt, weil ich ihre hemmungslose Desinformation ihres Publikums kritisiert habe, ja. (Das sind aber höchstens 1,5 Pros insgesamt.)

      Sonst weiß ich von keinem Pro, der mich geblockt hätte – da ich eigentlich allen auf Twitter aktiven Pros folge, müsste ich das merken. Ausnahme ist Patrick Chapin, den wiederum ICH geblockt habe, weil ich seine nach Ayn Rand stinkenden Tweets nicht mehr ertrug. Keine Ahnung, ob der mich zurückgeblockt hat; ich denke aber eher nicht.

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