A Born of the Gods Draft Video

Toffel asked, so I had to do it: Here is a video of a BNG-THS-THS draft, just in time before PT Valencia! I might have done it in German and published it on Magic Universe, but that came to naught because of the near impossibility to communicate with the content editors of that site, who seem to check their e-mails once a week at most.

As with my Theros-only drafts, the same caveats do still exist: I don’t really know how to produce a video (but the initial blurriness is not my fault and will disappear by itself soon), my „English“ might be hard to bear, and my playing skills do not match my drafting and deckbuilding skills. That said, I believe that this draft was quite instructive!

Here’s the link to the YouTube video. Do not forget to come back and leave a comment!

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15 Gedanken zu „A Born of the Gods Draft Video

  1. Jashin sagt:

    First of all: The music is too loud. One can hardly understand you and your accent doesn’t make it any easier.

    And then I wonder why you didn’t consider Tymaret. He would have given you some reach and Satyr Rambler wouldn’t have been much of a loss. You were still open to play black at that point and could have chosen to play black because of him and the regen on the minotaurs.

    The other decision would be to stay monored in the end (and only play one or two swamps) because your two mantles would be even better that way.

    • Jashin sagt:

      After watching the complete video I have to say that the sound-problem ist better after the draft.

      In the end your deck misses one or two lightning strikes to kill something like a Kiora immediately…

  2. Zeromant sagt:

    I had dialed the sound volume of the music down when I edited the video, but for some reason, after the program was done producing the final movie, it was up again. I don’t know what exactly happened. I’d already had a lot of trouble with other issues (video and audio commentary getting out of sync repeatedly for no discernible reason, at least with my meager knowledge) and spend roughly 8 hours on that video so far, so I decided against re-editing and re-producing everything – I’m not sure how long it would have taken me to get everything right, and I was already pretty annoyed. Also, I wanted to get that video up as early as possible (and not just the day before the Pro Tour), So I decided to leave it be – I still had to upload it, which took another unbeilievable 4 hours overall (which i knew from my earlier YouTube videos). However, it’s worst at the beginning; the music is a bit less intrusive after the first couple songs. I’m not sure if I will include music again if I ever publish another draft (I might not, since it is so much work).

    I should have thought more about Tymaret and should have said something about him, but he came just at the time when I had decided that I would not play RB. The issue with him was that I still needed a few cards at that time which I could play 100% – if I took him I might have ended up a playable short. In the end, had I taken him, he would have made the deck (with a little more Black) and probably improved it, but at the time I had to make that decision, I think it would have been too risky to take him.

    Then again, that was more of a gut decision than an actual analysis at that time, and I should have considered him seriously, and in any way said something about him when I made my commentary (but then again, because of technical difficulties – probably translating to „I’m too dumb“ – that was already my second take, and even if I’d realized later that there was something to say, I probably wouldn’t have tried to edit it in).

    After just a couple of months I’d forgotten again what an unreasonable amount of time it takes (me, at least) to produce such a video. I’ll probably not do it again unless I get paid for it (AND someone helps out with the technical stuff).

  3. Zeromant sagt:

    An interesting observation: If the Kiora’s Follower which my finals opponent had was the one I saw in my second booster pack, he cannot have taken it earlier than 5th pick, and probably took it even a couple picks later!

    I saw 4 Born of the Gods cards in his deck which weren’t in the boosters when they got around to me: Kiora (herself), Archetype of Imagination, the second Swordwise Centaur (I only saw one), and either the first Swordwise Centaur or the Follower (since they were in the same pack, he could not have taken both).

    I actually believe the Follower was his 9th pick: This is because I assume that the Ordeal of Thassa and the Boon Satyr he also had were the ones I saw in the second booster round, and because I cannot imagine that those cards, especially the Satyr, travelled much further: I already got the latter 3rd, and since there were at least two other green drafters at the table, it is highly unlikely that it wouldn’t have been taken by any of them. But, if the two people to my left weren’t in Green, it is really improbable that the one to my right wasn’t either, and practically impossible that two people to my right wreen’t. So I assume my finals opponent sat directly to my right, very probably taking the planeswalker over her Follower (and being really happy that it tabled).
    (If the order in which the drafters are shown is correct on MTGO, then we know this is what happened).

  4. Jashin sagt:

    Florian Pils published an interesting article about BTT-Draft on CFB. What’s your opinion about this?
    At least he acknowledges the utter speed of the format…

    • Zeromant sagt:

      Well, in my opinion he shouldn’t have published his article as „Florian Koch“…

      Seriously: Most of what Florian says about the environment makes sense, but his insights aren’t exactly groundbreaking, and his method seems a bit suspect to me.

      If I wanted to be really grumpy, I could say that he simply stole the key points of his analysis from my Magic Universe article, and hid that fact with his obscure „module“ nomenclature…

      • Jashin sagt:

        Did I really screw that up?
        Don’t know what I was thinking, the article is written by Florian Koch obviously…
        I don’t think he stole from you – his method seems to be original. I don’t know if its worthwile or if real drafting is more efficient…

        • Zeromant sagt:

          Well, his conclusions remind me a lot of what I wrote; not his method.

          As to his method, it’s not only strange and suspicious in general – he also seems to be kinda cheating. Listing Scouring Sands and Spark Jolt as part of Red’s „aggro“ module? Even Wild Celebrants and Rage of Purphoros don’t really belong there. Other odd decisions are listing both Vulpine Goliath and Snake of the Golden Grove for aggro and control each; and listing Swordwise Centaur, Satyr Wayfinder and Nyxborn Wolf as part of BNG’s control module, but then claiming Green control does not have enough early action in BNG is rather absurd – how much common cards is a small set supposed to provide here? And why isn’t Karametra’s Favor listed anywhere?

          How efficient a method of analyzing is can’t be told without knowing the analytic skill of the person doing the analysis. Of course, you can do a hundred drafts and learn little from it (many people do). If your analytic skills are strong, however, real drafting will give you by far the best output (although there are a few things which can be found out better in another way). A theoretical analysis might give you a kickstart in the beginning, though; and playing games with sets made of commons is probably cheaper and a little less time-consuming than grinding drafts.

          In earlier years, I also used to build common decks from new sets (although not explicitly with an analysis in mind), and I found they told me very little I didn’t already know when I built them; but maybe this works different for Florian. I suppose, in his case this was less about a general method of analysis and more about removing a specific mind block he had in regard to that format – I haven’t been anywhere near a win percentage of 30% in any new draft format EVER, and Florian is certainly overall an over-average player!

          As for me, systematically looking at a new set’s cards by rarity, color, creature (or not) and mana cost as a first step, and then cramming two dozen or so very fast mock drafts on LeBestiare to get a feel of what decks are possible to put together works like a charm, and after doing that I’m ususally far ahead in my understanding of an environment of even the best players who have already done several drafts, but this is because I know exactly what I need to look for. I cannot say if this is the perfect general approach which everyone should work to adopt, or if this is just what works for me.

  5. HanHeinrich sagt:

    Hi Andi,

    I enjoyed the video – thanks a lot.

    One minor point: do you think it is possible to split one draft up into different videos/parts (Draft, Game 1, Game 2, …)?

    What do you think about Sam Black’s Limited Review of BNG today on SCG? He still claims that Theros is about building one big threat, although after watching your vids and following your analysis, that seems only to be one side of the coin (so to speak). Where do you agree/disagree with his assessment of the format and of the individual cards?

    And one last question: do you plan to play in any of the new online PTQ preliminaries? It might be interesting to just record that (even without comment) and offering it to your readership.


    • Zeromant sagt:

      Hi Artie,

      I split up my earlier draft videos that way, but I thought it was an improvement to have only one movie. Why do you think a split would be better?

      I’m not sure if I will publish any more videos on this blog at all, though – they’re just so much work, and I really suck at the technical side of things. But there’s a German draft walkthrough at Magic Universe coming soon, and possibly there will be more. If not, maybe I will post draft+deckbuilding videos only in the future, and add a few words about how the games went afterwards.

      About Sam’s article: I don’t have premium, so I can only comment on what you say: I already talked about the place of the big threat in Theros draft strategy a couple of times:

      Here (when I discuss Caleb Durward’s draft) http://magicblogs.de/00zero/2013/10/20/analyzing-published-theros-drafts-part-3/

      or here (in German) in the paragraph „Aggro in Theros Limited“ http://www.magicuniverse.de/html/kolumnen.php?tempid=375.354.155.73.987&id=2444

      Short summary: Big plays randomly win games, but they also make you vulnerable to blowouts if your opponent is prepared. Thus, it’s better to integrate them into an overall aggressive approach which puts your opponent under pressure, and then use them as a killing blow when he is vulnerable.

      • HanHeinrich sagt:

        I think the video parts thing is just personal convenience. I only have a very slow internet connection and mostly download the videos to watch at a later time. And this is more easy with the video in parts.

        As for the Sam Black article: he basically takes the card colors and makes a list from best to worst, with a short explanation for every card. From the explanations one can gain a little bit insight of how he views the format as a whole.
        What I was stumbling over were card reviews like the following one [Sam’s 4th-worst red card]:

        „Impetuous Sunchaser: There might be times when you want to play this guy to have an evasive creature to enchant, but it’s very weak.“

        A lot of the two-drops get quite a low rating in his opinion.
        Then with other cards he seems to echo your sentiments.

        Here are Sam’s top5 from every color (a lot of this is „Captn Obvious“, but some are quite interesting – and controversial I am sure):

        Brimaz, King of Oreskos
        Eidolon of Countless Battles
        Hero of Iroas
        Archetype of Courage

        Arbiter Of The Ideal
        Aerie Worshippers
        Meletis Astronomer
        Oracle’s Insight

        Herald of Torment
        Fate Unraveler
        Bile Blight
        Spiteful Returned

        Flame-Wreathed Phoenix
        Forgestoker Dragon
        Akroan Conscriptor
        Everflame Eidolon
        Fall Of The Hammer

        Courser of Kruphix
        Nessian Wilds Ravager
        Hero of Leina Tower
        Hunter’s Prowess
        Raised By Wolves

        • Zeromant sagt:

          Hm, I’m beginning to see why he won only one draft match at PT Valencia… Impetuous Sunchaser the 4th worst red BNG card – that is quite absurd! It’s certainly not a great card, but it fulfills a role.

          Are those top 5 in order? If yes, putting a 7-drop at #1 in Blue is inexcusable. (I’m not sure it belongs in the top 5 at all.) Overall, Sam’s list seems to be tilted way too much towards lategame cards, and there’s even a few durdlers.

          Well, I already wrote about the likely reasons for his point of view: http://magicblogs.de/00zero/2013/10/24/good-player-bias/

          One thing would interest me – did he write that article before or after PT Valencia? Is that known?

          • Jashin sagt:

            In my opinion its pretty useless to list rares and mythics when talking about the best cards.
            It’s quite obvious that bombs are bombs (of course Thromokratis doesn’t belong to them), the commons are the interesting ones!

          • HanHeinrich sagt:

            The article was posted on the 26th of Feb (Wednesday) – unfortunately it doesn’t say when it was written. But as there is not a single mention of the ProTour this might mean it was written beforehand.

            And yes – the list is in order – from best to worst.
            (Which in itself is a questionable form of a set review as it kind of looks at the cards in a vacuum.)

          • Zeromant sagt:

            I know that publishing of articles often takes a little while, but writing an analysis of a new limited environment before a Pro Tour which uses it, then having it posted afterwards – that is not my idea of premium content.

            Also, posting best-to-worst lists of cards, while not completely without merit if you use it as a structure for comments, is rather lazy writing if you have moved beyond the preview time of a new set (where it makes sense to say something about every single card). An established pro like Black should have more profound things to say at this point, especially if his writings are used as premium content.

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