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 Post subject: M21 Limited thread
PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2020 5:34 pm 
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Time to start with the new format!

I've done one Sealed and one Traditional Draft today evening.

In Sealed I went 4-3 with Gruul. I opened Radha, Heart of Keld and Chandra's Incinerator as my two playable Rares and found solid RG (including three Llanowar Visionary as well as a Furious Rise) without the other colours being excellent. The annoying part here is that I misplayed a lot, which lost me at least one game (didn't pressure an opposing Blood Glutton enough). My funniest misplay was that I pinged myself with Chandra's Magmutt so that the Incinerator would finish off a Pirate token from Pursued Whale - only for me to find out that this damage only works on opponents. Foiled by rules.

The draft went fairly smooth. I got a nice Orzhov go-wide deck with a great curve and four(!) Basri's Acolyte. Do people not think this is the far and away best White common? 'Cause I think it is, and the draft seems to support my point. Other highlights of the deck include a Seasoned Hallowblade, a Liliana's Devotee and a Goremand on top of the curve. I also had two Warded Battlements that I wanted to try, but I never drew them and boarded them out in the finals against an Izzet Spells deck (making room for a Mind Rot and a Valorous Steed out of the board)

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 Post subject: Re: M21 Limited thread
PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2020 7:40 pm 
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I’m slower to make observations about this set in limited than other recent sets, but I was impressed with Basri’s Acolyte in the small sample I’ve seen. It played stronger than I initially thought a color intensive 2/3 four drop would be.

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 Post subject: Re: M21 Limited thread
PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2020 5:28 am 
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I jumped right into a Premier draft thinking I have some idea how to draft, since I did after all reach high Diamond last month. I was wrong.

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Can't actually tell if some cards are playable. P1P1'ed Volcanic Geyser which is probably not wrong, P1P2 Kinetic Augur which is why I went into UR spells. Presumably Pitchburn Devils is bad, even in other archetypes. Tolarian Kraken was a late pick-up too but it looks quite strong since it basically taps a creature every turn in the late-game. Tome Anima is a 4-mana 3/3 which is below rate, but it's potentially unblockable. I'm guessing it's still not good even with the lots of card draw though since it's only good on the offense. Rousing Read could potentially be great with Library Larcenist, but both cards were also going around late so I'm not sure. It's at least a noncreature spell, however. I actually P3P1'ed Frost Breath over the blue 2-mana 2/2 flyer rare, since I didn't have any spirits to combo it with, I already have lots of 2-drops, and I needed noncreature spells. No idea if that's right.

I picked Chandra's Magmutt quite highly since it's a 2-mana 2/2 with relevant abilities for the late-game. Read the Tides is probably overcosted, it might be good at 5 mana. I might've overrated Arcanist from Dominaria's UR Wizards since I don't have that many instants & sorceries, and no idea if I even want Goblin Wizardry. It's a spell that triggers my synergies, sure, but it's even worse than Tome Anima in terms of power & toughness.

Will finish the run another day, guidance appreciated!


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 Post subject: Re: M21 Limited thread
PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2020 8:02 am 
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What did you pick Volcanic Geyser over? It's not a bad card per se, but I would take a fair amount of Commons over it...
Frost Breath is not great, I would have 100% taken the Ghost and let it table (which it will often do).

As for the finished deck, I actually don't hate it. You have a decent amount of power and an okay curve. Here's what I might do:

-1 Cancel - you don't have enough instant spells to do something else useful if the oppoent doesn't play something you want to counter
-2 Library Larcenist - 1/2 is just so much worse than 2/2.
-1 Rousing Read - you don't have a ton of great targets for it (as par the course in UR), but 1 should be okay
-1 Vodalian Arcanist - The card is fine if you have enough instants and sorceries, you don't really do. Would've loved the Shacklegeist over the second one in this specific deck.
-1 Pitchburn Devils - I happen to think the card's perfectly fine, the main reason I'd cut it is because your other 5s are great.
-1 Tome Anima - Same, plus your deck prefers to draw on their turn and not on yours.
-1 Read the Tides - your other top-end is just better.


Would've loved to cut Frost Breath, but I don't think your deck can afford to cut a reasonably-costed spell that grows your Weirds. It's by far the weakest card still in the maindeck though IMO.
What this deck lacks is cheap 1- and 2-mana spells like Shock, Opt, Dragonfire(I admit that one is very hard to pick up though), Thrill and Crash Through (IMO this is the one deck that is remotely interested in one Rookie Mistake, for the record). These spells make the creatures you want to run in this deck (Riddleform, Spellgorger Weird, Mistral Singer, Prowess creatures, Kinetic Augur) a lot better.

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 Post subject: Re: M21 Limited thread
PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2020 8:21 am 
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****

I passed so many Crash Throughs thinking it was unplayable, oh my God, brain malfunction!


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 Post subject: Re: M21 Limited thread
PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2020 12:32 pm 
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Banedon wrote:
no idea if I even want Goblin Wizardry. It's a spell that triggers my synergies, sure, but it's even worse than Tome Anima in terms of power & toughness.


I think Goblin Wizardry is better than Tome Anima in RU spells. It’s a spell for synergies, it’s instant speed, and the tokens have prowess. Cast 1 spell and they’re 4/4 between 2 bodies, manage to cast 2 spells and each token is same p/t as Anima.

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 Post subject: Re: M21 Limited thread
PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2020 6:52 am 
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Went up to 18 lands after the first couple of games because of how mana hungry the deck was, and because of the various ways to loot away dead lands. I also tweaked the configuration quite a bit during the run. Went 5-3, could've certainly played better as well.

Hits & misses:

Hits
- Sublime Epiphany. Boy was this card good. It was often a 3-for-1 at least, and occasionally a 4-for-1. It was so incredible I think it's better than Shark Typhoon from Ikoria, which is saying something since Typhoon was a top-3 rare. It worked especially well with some of my creatures, like Roaming Ghostlight, to bounce opponent's entire board.
- Tolarian Kraken. It basically has a 1-mana tap target creature ability every turn, which is fantastic when it doesn't have to tap itself. Plus it has a big body to attack with. It's no bomb, but it was very solid.
- Rousing Read. This card worked out better than I thought it would. +1/+1 & flying is worth almost a card (c.f. Arcane Flight from Dominaria), but this card also replaces itself, loots & triggers noncreature spell synergies too.
- Shipwreck Dowser. This rebuying Sublime Epiphan was the nuts. It's also got prowess, which I missed when playing against it once.

Misses
- Riddleform. I thought it had a passive scry 1 per turn effect, but it didn't. As it is it's not easy to constantly trigger, and it's not a good mana sink (although some mana sink is better than none).
- Goblin Wizardry. It takes sooo many spells before they're respectable. Like, cast one spell and they become 2/2 creatures, which is hardly good on turn 5. It's certainly possible it's better than Tome Anima though, since making Anima unblockable isn't easy either.

Other cards were relatively average. Pitchborn Devils turned out to be playable since it blocks as a 6/3. Being able to burn opponent's face on death also makes it fairly threatening, and it was great when copied with Sublime Epiphany. It's nothing special, however. Chandra's Magmutt certainly pulled its weight as a 2-drop, which shouldn't be surprising. I was offered the 2-mana 1/3 double strike if you deal noncombat damage to opponent creature once during the draft, and perhaps should have drafted that to combo with the Magmutts, although ideally I'd want more than 3 Magmutts then.. Volcanic Geyser wasn't especially good, but it was solid, and I won one game by exactsies with Geyser to the face. If anything Kinetic Augur underperformed because I didn't have enough instants & sorceries.

One thing I think could be very strong in this deck is the uncommon Teferi mill enchantment. I played against two copies of it one game and the clock was quite scary, especially in a deck with lots of card draw. However it's an uncommon, so it might not come together very often.


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 Post subject: Re: M21 Limited thread
PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2020 2:51 pm 
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Banedon wrote:
- Goblin Wizardry. It takes sooo many spells before they're respectable. Like, cast one spell and they become 2/2 creatures, which is hardly good on turn 5. It's certainly possible it's better than Tome Anima though, since making Anima unblockable isn't easy either.


I wasn’t arguing the card is good, but I do think it can play a roll in UR spells and sacrifice decks. I don’t think I ever play it outside those decks, but it can make the cut sometimes in those. I watched Numot do a 7 win run with it in a RU deck - there were a couple games it pulled weight (1 allowing the win off prowess pumps on the tokens), and other games he pitched it to loot effects.

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 Post subject: Re: M21 Limited thread
PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2020 9:12 pm 
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B/R looks rather easier to build.

Image

Can't believe I'm cutting Shock, but I might have too much small-creature removal with all three copies of it. I took a Skyscanner fairly aggressively since I needed stuff to sacrifice, and I took Short Sword too since it looks like I have lots of small creatures who'll need the boost to get through. Not sure if I have enough beef on the top end. Bad Deal does look quite powerful, but it's also extremely expensive. I didn't see any treason effects until pact 3, and was beginning to think there isn't a B/R sacrifice deck in this format, but then was passed two Traitorous Greeds. P3P1'ed Twinblade Assassins over the White 2/4 lifelink mythic (which was in turn over mostly nothing), never saw the things needed to splash it. Are there any Skittering Surveyors / Farfinders in this format?

I guess that's what I get for not reading the spoilers in detail before drafting. /shrug

I'll play the games later and report back afterwards.


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 Post subject: Re: M21 Limited thread
PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2020 10:07 pm 
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7-1 with this one. Drowsing is on way more than I thought it'd be. There is a lack of two-drops in this format, I think, but you have to be on board as soon as possible.

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Currently at 4-1 with this. I ended up putting a Plains back in and taking out an Acolyte.


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 Post subject: Re: M21 Limited thread
PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2020 1:36 am 
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What is drowsing?


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 Post subject: Re: M21 Limited thread
PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2020 3:29 am 
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Banedon wrote:
- Goblin Wizardry. It takes sooo many spells before they're respectable. Like, cast one spell and they become 2/2 creatures, which is hardly good on turn 5. It's certainly possible it's better than Tome Anima though, since making Anima unblockable isn't easy either.


I wasn’t arguing the card is good, but I do think it can play a roll in UR spells and sacrifice decks. I don’t think I ever play it outside those decks, but it can make the cut sometimes in those. I watched Numot do a 7 win run with it in a RU deck - there were a couple games it pulled weight (1 allowing the win off prowess pumps on the tokens), and other games he pitched it to loot effects.


Wizardry is another card that gets a lot better with an increasing number of Shocks/1-mana cantrips in your deck; and the instant-speed means they can ambush an X/1 attacker; also being an instant has value in UR. I do agree it's more of a role-player than a staple in any deck and would never run it in Gruul, though (Boros may enjoy the extra 2 instant-speed attackers that get buffed by Warded Battlements and any combat trick that you cast (not even on them!))

Banedon wrote:
B/R looks rather easier to build.

[...]

Can't believe I'm cutting Shock, but I might have too much small-creature removal with all three copies of it. I took a Skyscanner fairly aggressively since I needed stuff to sacrifice, and I took Short Sword too since it looks like I have lots of small creatures who'll need the boost to get through. Not sure if I have enough beef on the top end. Bad Deal does look quite powerful, but it's also extremely expensive. I didn't see any treason effects until pact 3, and was beginning to think there isn't a B/R sacrifice deck in this format, but then was passed two Traitorous Greeds.


The third Shock can indeed have diminishing returns and it can be correct to cut it.
I'd want a few Hobblefiend before I'm running the second Traitorous Greed; you don't have an abundance of sac outlets (only Village Rites, Crypt Lurker and Warmonger; two of which are actually not too great for sac-steal since you often have to sac the creature before it dealt damage). Bad Deal looks like it's the better card in that slot, giving you some better late-game.
I personally don't like Short Sword and don't think it does enough in your deck, especially with your 2-drops having alternative ways to stay relevant and you having a crapton of removal for the things that could profitably block them. I would run another creature over it (Turret Ogre or Blood Glutton)


Banedon wrote:
P3P1'ed Twinblade Assassins over the White 2/4 lifelink mythic (which was in turn over mostly nothing), never saw the things needed to splash it. Are there any Skittering Surveyors / Farfinders in this format?


There's not a ton of fixing in the set. Solemn Simulacrum and Gadrak, the Crown-Scourge are rare; both Cultivate and Meteorite are uncommon. At common, the set has the dual lands and... Prismite :gross:.
I guess the format seems slow enough to sometimes run 18 lands with an 8-7-3 manabase (and pray you don't run into Boros), but that should be reserved for the bombiest of bombs.

neru wrote:
Drowsing is on way more than I thought it'd be. There is a lack of two-drops in this format, I think, but you have to be on board as soon as possible.

Banedon wrote:
What is drowsing?


Drowsing Tyrannodon is a very good Green common. I've been pretty high on the card when the set started and it's gone up another notch for me; I'd consider it the third best green Common after Llanowar Visionary and Hunter's Edge; outperforming cards like Pridemalkin. It's easy enough to get another 4-power creature out or just buff it permanently with a counter or Aura (Setessan Training, Rousing Read) and suddenly you have a 2-mana 3/3, which is insane. G/B has the hardest time doing so, but G/B also really likes having a defensive body out early that later can be sacrificed to trigger Morbid if need be.

neru wrote:
Currently at 4-1 with this. I ended up putting a Plains back in and taking out an Acolyte.


Looking good; and cutting an Acolyte was probably correct; card's amazing but after the fourth or so things can become slightly dicey since you would like a low curve with them.
I'd strongly consider runing the Warded Battlement over a Celestial Enforcer in your deck; you have more than enough creatures that would profit from the +1/+0 boost and Enforcer is too often a 3-mana 2/3 for you. Also, I'd 100% run Green if only because Conclave Mentor and Trufflesnout are severe upgrades over Alpine Watchdog and Celestial Enforcer. You obviously want to skew your manabase towards White (11-6 or even 12-5), but this deck can definitely get away with that.

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 Post subject: Re: M21 Limited thread
PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2020 5:23 am 
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Followed some of your advice modulo and went 3-3. Lost one game to a rather bad misplay (I played a Magmutt into the 4/2 "must be blocked if able" green creature, when opponent had the rare land that buffs cats out), lost another game to the 6/6 green mythic that makes tokens, and the last game to a UB reanimator deck that had the 8/6 black creature that I had no good removal for.

Volcanic Salvo certainly overperformed, it was often only two mana and it does enough damage to be a natural 2-for-1. Heartfire Immolator was also great, as a significantly-better-than-Grizzly bear. Rest of the deck was nothing special. Of the cards I played against, I was quite surprised by Quirion Dryad. It seems like it grows fast enough to be a real threat for a 2-mana creature; the game I played against it, it actually reached 8/8 (with the help of Conclave Mentor).

Next draft:

Image

I think I stuffed this one up somewhere, I was clearly supposed to be black given the amount of black cards I saw in pack 3 but it was rather late to switch by then. I was offered a Jolrael, Mwonvuli Recluse P2P1 but didn't have any "draw a card" effects so didn't take it. Can't tell if Malefic Scythe is a good card. I think it is because it's almost a strictly better Short Sword, but other drafters didn't seem to like it.

Might have to splash black in this deck, just to raise the power level.


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 Post subject: Re: M21 Limited thread
PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2020 6:27 am 
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I actually haven't played with Scythe yet as I didn't get one when I was interested in it (some decks like U/B don't really want it). As long as you can play to its strengths, the card seems good though.

Honestly; apart from the lack of 2-drops (which a Black splash won't fix) your G/R deck seems okay to me. Twinblade Assassins could give you some late-game stability, but between Furious Rise the various large cards in your deck I think you're okay. I'd cut Short Sword, Forgotten Sentinel, one Turn to Slag and maybe one Setessan Training (alternatively another Turn to Slag) and call it a deck

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 Post subject: Re: M21 Limited thread
PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2020 4:36 am 
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Followed your advice mostly (cut Setessan Training since no cheap creatures to put it on) and went 2-3. I could undoubtedly have played better, but the deck felt pretty mediocre overall. If opponent played a big creature for example I would often not be able to get through. It probably needed a better curve, more powerful threats (no surprises there) and maybe some combat tricks.

EDIT: played a second draft, P1P1'ing Radha and trying to force R/G. Probably bad idea since it wasn't particularly open. Still, following the above formula, it went 4-3. Not great, but not bad either. The deck only had Radha as the one rare. Maybe what it means is drafts have always revolved around bombs, so draft them (duh). tl dr, draft better!

EDIT #2: next draft. 18 lands since I'm trying to cast a lot of very expensive spells, although realistically only reason I have both Read the Tides is because I have 4x Arcanist. Experimental Overload seems truly strong, but I didn't see many spell payoffs to draft 1-mana cantrips aggressively.

I said "draft bombs" above, I don't seem to open or get passed many bombs. Maybe I'm unlucky, maybe I'm undervaluing cards. How good is the 1/1 flash, mill opponent for 2, if opponent has 8+ cards in graveyard get deathtouch black rare anyway? It doesn't seem very playable to me, I P1P1'ed Conclave Mentor over it and the 5-mana Black destroy target creature common. I might be overrating Hellkite Punisher too. Sure it's a 6/6 firebreathing flyer, but it's a 7-mana card, those are expected to win games.

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 Post subject: Re: M21 Limited thread
PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2020 5:19 am 
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^ Deck above went 0-3, which sounds pretty bad, but I think the deck was actually decent. Experimental Overload is very strong, and if I just had more instants/sorceries it'd have been a veritable bomb. Creating a creature AND buying back a spell is fantastic. Spined Megalodon also overperformed - a big creature that has hexproof effectively means opponent must have a combat trick (or flyers) to break through on the ground. 4x Arcanist also let me cast Read the Tides very reliably, which made the deck great at generating value. Still, I was well behind on tempo quite often and Arcanist can only do so much on the ground, hence the 0-3 (especially in conjunction with the fact I simply didn't play very well). The deck definitely needed more cards in the 3-4 mana slots on curve. Maybe I should've played the Onakke Ogre / Turret Ogre. I never got to attack with Hellkite Punisher, with the one game where I cast it, I died the turn after. I had been restricted from casting it the previous turn because opponent had a Tolarian Kraken out as well. It can't be very good.

Subira was OK. There was one game it made three Arcanists unblockable and drew 3 cards, which was great. I actually lost that game to my opponent's Subira shortly afterwards lol.

On to the next draft.

Edit: went 0-3 2nd time in a row. Again, deck felt good but 1) opponent had T3 Teferi's Tutelage and was able to chump block for the last two turns in a row while I drew lands, and I got milled out; 2) opponent had Brash Taunter and while I had Faith's Fetters to disable it, he had a bounce spell to reset it; 3) stalled on 2 lands. Oh well.

Edit #2: next draft, went a lot better. I did luck out with the P3P1 Teferi though. Not sure what to cut yet. Will play this one out another time.

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 Post subject: Re: M21 Limited thread
PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2020 10:04 am 
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Didn't have a lot of time to draft or answer here yesterday.

Banedon wrote:
How good is the 1/1 flash, mill opponent for 2, if opponent has 8+ cards in graveyard get deathtouch black rare anyway? It doesn't seem very playable to me


Thieves' Guild Enforcer seems really bad to me as well; 8 cards in the opposing graveyard is hard to achieve without support in the average Limited game.

Your 0-3 deck had a much too extreme curve - too much earlygame, too much lategame, basically no 4- and 5-drops (Experimental Overload doesn't count as a 4-drop since the Weird is a 2/2 at best on turn 4). Turret Ogre and Havoc Jester should have been in over the Hellkite Punisher and one Read the Tides; ideally you would cut one Vodalian Arcanist or two for other good 4-drops. In these types of decks that are super late-game heavy, you need to make sure to transition to your lategame well; that deck would've loved a Wishcoin Crab, for instance.
Subira can be good; this was absolutely not the deck for her though.

Your new deck looks a lot better in that regard. Your cuts IMO should be between Lofty Denial, Frost Breath and Battle-Rattle Shaman.

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 Post subject: Re: M21 Limited thread
PostPosted: Wed Jul 01, 2020 5:05 am 
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I thought the deck was good, but it went 2-3. No way to deal with big creatures was a big problem, other times I just got tempoed out.

I've somewhat lost interest in this format. Sure, the multiple bad runs are discouraging; on the other hand it feels just like a crap shoot. Something about all the core set drafts I've never found fun - M19, M20 and now M21. I seldom have fun even if I win. Maybe it's got something to do with the less-interesting card designs in core sets.

Edit: on further thoughts it might be because M21 is heavily synergy driven and there's no guarantee one will get those synergies. For example take R/G. The "archetype" for this color combination is 4-power matters. But if you start with Furious Rise you might not actually get 4-power creatures, and if you start with 4-power creatures you might not see Furious Rise / Garruk's Revenge. Both don't bode well for the draft. Same goes with other archetypes. I just started a draft with Liliana for example, then Grasp of Darkness, then the 1-mana 1/1 lifelinker that turns into a demon if reanimated (mostly over nothing). Then I've basically bet my draft on finding reanimation cards. If I don't get them my deck is very mediocre.

I don't know, maybe I'm just bad at drafting or playing or whatever, but I'm just not finding M21 very interesting.


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 Post subject: Re: M21 Limited thread
PostPosted: Wed Jul 01, 2020 5:03 pm 
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Banedon wrote:
Edit: on further thoughts it might be because M21 is heavily synergy driven and there's no guarantee one will get those synergies. For example take R/G. The "archetype" for this color combination is 4-power matters. But if you start with Furious Rise you might not actually get 4-power creatures, and if you start with 4-power creatures you might not see Furious Rise / Garruk's Revenge. Both don't bode well for the draft. Same goes with other archetypes. I just started a draft with Liliana for example, then Grasp of Darkness, then the 1-mana 1/1 lifelinker that turns into a demon if reanimated (mostly over nothing). Then I've basically bet my draft on finding reanimation cards. If I don't get them my deck is very mediocre.


In a typical core set, you have a lesser density of cards to "force" a certain archetype and should focus more on drafting the open colours.
It's perfectly okay to play a R/G deck without ever seeing a Furious Rise/Garruk's Uprising despite the R/G theme being 'power 4 or greater' and likewise, Furious Rise is by no means exclusive to R/G decks.
Your second example is probably even better at driving home my point. P1P1 Liliana into P1P2 Grasp is an amazing start to a draft and both of these cards I'm very happy to put in any black deck regardless of context. P1P3 you then picked the much more narrow Archfiend Vessel and drew the conclusion that you would now have to bet on getting a Rise Again. IMO that conclusion is wrong, even if Vessel was the correct pick out of that pack (which I personally doubt since I'm very low on the card in M21 Limited). Instead, stay open; and if you don't see any Rise Agains or cards to put Vessel into your graveyard, feel free to cut it from your deck. It's much more important to have a solid curve than to stick true to the suggested archetype.

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 Post subject: Re: M21 Limited thread
PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2020 6:37 am 
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"I'm just bad at drafting" is certainly an explanation for what's happening, so I tried again, and went 4-3 in my latest draft. Two of the three losses were to:

- The Orzhov 1/4 lifelink flyer enchanted with Dub. I was holding Turn to Slag & Scorching Dragonfire, cannot kill it while it attacks for six a turn in the air.
- Brash Taunter. The hell is this card? It literally beats RG on its own. The fight ability doesn't even say "you can only activate this ability when you can cast a sorcery", which means it gets to block AND fight, every turn.

It's ridiculous. M21 has several cards whose power level are through the roof (many of the mythics, and Brash Taunter), which mean they literally demand an answer immediately or they win the game on their own. Comparatively, the only such card in Ikoria was Vivien (and a multiply-mutated creature I guess, but that in itself takes multiple cards and is risky if answered). M21 also has the issue where the good commons are way better than the filler, which makes the draft less fun.

Looking back at the M20 and M19 draft threads, M20 was fine in this regard but I notice I had similar complaints about M19. Oh well. I'm rapidly losing interest in this format and might just stop playing it to play constructed instead.


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