Innistraddling the line between bad and badass.

Disclaimer: Magic the Gathering post. If this isn’t your thing, maybe come back tomorrow. Or stay and wonder “what the fuck is a Moldgraf?”. Perhaps get Autocard Anywhere and join the fun.

Had my first Shadows over Innistrad draft yesterday. This is a neat set. Like the initial Innistrad, it’s synergy up the wazoo. So many interlocking parts and mechanics, it’s hard not to find neat little tricks by pure happenstance. Last night’s draft is also a good example of how a deck can still work despite not committing hard to a theme. It was tricky, I pivoted a little at the start of the draft after repeatedly getting cut off. I first picked a Nearhearth Chaplain but then got a Silverfur Partisan and wanted to get that working. The wolves and tricks weren’t really lining up, but blue seemed really open. Ongoing Investigation signalled that a clue deck could happen and since I was in green already with white backing, I considered moving into that. Theeeeen blue got cut off again and I was seeing great green coming my way. I didn’t know what to do, so I abandoned blue in favour of cheap white dudes and two Gryff’s Boon sealed the deal. Later I picked up two Uvenwald Mysteries and did what I could with those. It was a pile, with a minor delirium theme that never got off the ground. I was hoping a few Vessel of Nascency would come my way. Fortunately the critters were decent beaters on their own and my uncommons smoothed out games for me. Hell, show don’t tell, right?

1 Bygone Bishop
2 Gryff’s Boon
1 Nearhearth Chaplain
1 Paranoid Parish Blade
1 Dauntless Cathar
2 Moorland Drifter
1 Puncturing Light
1 Unruly Mob
2 Devilthorn Fox
1 Angelic Purge
1 Silverfur Partisan
1 Veteran Cathar
1 Inexorable Blob
1 Gloomwidow
2 Uvenwald Mysteries
1 Duskwatch Recruiter
1 Pack Guardian
1 Confront the Unknown
1 Hinterland Logger
1 Thraben Gargoyle
8 Plains
8 Forest

So there’s the deck. If you’ll look closely you’ll see that I had a ton of solid uncommons that were worth their weight in gold. Pack Guardian, Duskwatch Recruiter, Uvenwald Mysteries, Veteran Cathar, Gryff’s Boon, Nearhearth Chaplain. These were the linchpins of the deck and helped it get anywhere. Any one of these would be a great card on its own, but the combination meant my otherwise terrible deck actually got somewhere. What worked? What didn’t?

Delirum: Rarely ever got off the ground. If I somehow got a janky combination of tossing a land to Pack Guardian, blocking with Thraben Gargoyle or somehow getting Angelic Purge off the ground then yes, I could occasionally get there. Thing is, my delirium cards were all fairly efficient. Moorland Drifter is fine just as a bear. The Inexorable Blob never triggered, but was always a 3/3 for 2G with no drawback. Toss a Gryff’s Boon on it and you’re dealing four damage in the air. The Paranoid Parish Blade was pretty uninspiring, but in a dedicated delirium deck I’m sure it would’ve been great.

Clues: So clues surprised me a bit. I picked Uvenwald Mysteries because it seemed fun and silly, but it did work (I think you mean “werk” -Ed). To be honest, it made the deck. Having two of them on the board (which was a semi frequent experience given that I was cracking clues) got absurd. If I could chump it meant a near endless stream of blockers. With two Uvenwald Mysteries every nontoken creature turns into two clues. Each clue then turns into two 1/1 guys. They stack incredibly well. Hence my 8/8 Unruly Mob in one game (with a Gryff’s Boon and the doublestriking support of Veteran Cathar, things were tied up neatly). Sacrificing a clue to Angelic Purge was nice if I didn’t need to shoot for Delirium. I rarely drew Bygone Bishop, but obviously when I did it was great. On one game I started with four cards in hand against an opponent with a full grip and almost clawed back on the basis of the bishop alone. Confront the Unknown never gave me anything less than +3/+3 and a clue, which I’m happy to drop G on.

Other specific cards of note:

Pack Guardian is a blowout, but you knew that, right? 2GG for a flash 4/3 is fantastic. Having a way to pitch a land for delirium is nifty. Getting a 6/5  spread over two bodies for 2GG is outstanding. There were no times casting it that I regretted.

Duskwatch Recruiter is phenomenal. It should’ve been a rare given the power level, really. I mean, it’s not unbeatable but it does so much. Either you have a bear that digs deeper into your deck for more gas or you have a 3/3 that accelerates you like nothing else. I had a game where I dropped it turn two. It flipped. Turn three I swung for three damage then dropped two Moorland Drifter and a Veteran Cathar. Unless you have a sweeper, that’s hard to come back from. Furthermore, if he flips back to his human side you’re very happy to have an excuse to dig deeper into your deck. This guy is all upside.

Gryff’s Boon. The secret is out, right? It’s good. W is inexpensive for the +1/+0 bonus and flying. At worst it sticks around for delirium purposes. Otherwise it makes most any critter with two or more power into a legitimate threat. Having two of them was sick. Throwing it on the Devilthorn Fox felt great every time. Sure, it was easy to disrupt, but it wasn’t hard to assemble and usually meant eight damage over the course of a game. Seems fine for three mana and 1.5 cards. (since the boon WILL return).

Fun deck, fun format. Great job Wizards.

One response to “Innistraddling the line between bad and badass.

  1. Pingback: Innistraddling the line between bad and badass. –

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