Form Up! – Dragons of Tarkir Draft

I haven’t been able to get in as many Dragons of Tarkir drafts as I would like. I had been doing pretty well until my first draft on Saturday which ended up with an 0-3 in Swiss draft, something that hasn’t happened to me in over a year, and it dropped my rating down to 1807 which was the lowest that it has been in six months. So I decided to hop into another draft to redeem myself, and I got to put together this beauty.

I’ve uploaded this draft onto Raredraft, so you can check out that draft here. Raredraft lets you walk through the draft without seeing the picks until after you decide what you have taken. I’ve also included discussion on each pick so that you can get an idea of what I was thinking. Raredraft does require you to log in with a Google ID, but it’s a very useful tool. In any case, here’s the pick that I led off with:

This draft had some really fascinating choices. It demonstrates a lot of important draft principles about how to make speculative picks and when to move into a new color. It was a tricky draft, and the deck ends up including a lot of really neat tricks. People are starting to figure out how to draft this set, so it doesn’t end up being quite as broken as the virtually mono-green deck that we had last time, but it still ends up being very solid with some removal, a decent curve, and a bomb or two. Here’s a picture of the final deck:

The card that I was most unsure about was Assault Formation. I hadn’t played with it before now, and it hasn’t been played against me. It’s also the kind of card for which it is very difficult to predict the in-game impact. I decided that I wanted to give it a try over the Abzan Skycaptain and see how well it does. There aren’t really any other tough decisions as far as deckbuilding, but I do feel like I ended up with a lot of solid sideboard options. There are also a lot of very cool interactions in the deck. Dragonscale General and Whisperer of the Wilds is a very powerful way to start a game, and I got to pull that off twice. Whisperer and Dunecaster are also pretty strong with an Assault Formation on the board, and I was able to curve Dunecaster into Formation into Morph into General in one game, and I quickly won. I also really like the Assault Formation and Jeskai Barricade interaction, allowing for an instant speed 4/4 blocker for 1W.

You can also see that I really like to have a low curve. There are 10 two drops and 4 of the 4-6 drops can be played for 3 mana. It’s not that this deck is so fast, but I’ve found that having a lower curve gives you a lot more opportunities to outplay your opponents. I also like to play a lot of creatures, and this deck has 18 of them, which means that you’ll almost always be able to add something relevant to the board.

I ended up going 3-0 in matches, 6-0 in games. It took a little bit of luck and a little bit of outplaying my opponents to get there, but the deck performed admirably.

Sunscorch Regent is absurd. I cast it on turn 5 twice, and it won me the game handily both times. If your opponent can’t deal with it right away, then it just takes over the game, and there aren’t a ton of cards that can deal with it. This is especially true when you are playing a lot of high impact creatures in the early game, which forces them to use their removal before you get the Regent down.

Assault Formation won me the two games in which I played it. In one game, I drew it when I was on a very stalled board, and it let me set up favorable attacks for two turns before sending in my entire team. The other time it came down on turn 2 with some high toughness creatures and the game was over very quickly.

Dragonscale General was probably the MVP of the deck. It won me games that I would have been hard pressed to win with any card in my deck. The Whisperer and General combo allows you to set up a powerful force early while also enabling a potent long game. It’s not difficult to maneuever that board state into the game.

It felt really good to pull off such a impressive win after having such a dismal failure of a draft right beforehand. Green continues to perform well for me, and I want all the Epic Confrontations that I can get. I’ve heard a lot of people talking about Silumgar as the best deck, but I haven’t been able to capitalize on it yet, probably because it is being so overdrafted.

Let me know what you think in the comments!

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