With ‘Faerun Under Siege’ finally hitting these shores last week what better way to start building the collection than with a Rainbow Draft event at one of my FLGS’s.
I’d had limited experience with the format, but was looking forward to playing in a casual OP event that offered different challenges to grow my gameplay & team building talent (as the Little Cup variant we played had done 2 weeks previous)
Drafting the Team
Just four players attended the draft but we got good & stuck in anyway. In my very first stack I could see a number of options available to me. The first thing that stood out to me was an absence of ramp solutions combined with the number of high cost cards in my stack. I skimmed the dice & could see that there was quite a few of these high cost cards were knocking around in my opponent’s stacks too. There was no Rares or Super-Rares to immediately tempt me so I weighed up what was in front of me & decided on my strategy – snap up the low cost cards to literally & figuratively swarm my opponents. I could see ‘Goblin’ & ‘Blink Dog’ had some dice in the mix so I went with these.
I needed some punch to back my weenie swarm up and identified there were some fabricating ‘Golem’ in the mix from the dice on the table. I figured KO’ing a few of the weenies for a big ‘Golem’ wouldn’t be a bad idea so grabbed some ‘Clay Golem’ and an ‘Iron Golem’ to provide some much needed muscle and ramp alternatives.
The second round kicked off and my new stack presented me with my first Rare, who also seemed to be a handy little fella to defend me & my weenie swarm: ‘Dwarf Wizard – Paragon Zhentarim’, so I grabbed him up first. I also managed to snap up some common ‘Elf Thief’, which I thought might come in handy if there’s some ‘Relentless’ or ‘Distraction’ BACs making a showing. He was also a cheap delegate for my weenie swarm.
My last grabs were a couple of ‘Beholder – Lesser Aberration’ on the off chance there were some Globals I could take advantage of and for some more muscle-y stats for a decent price.
In the end the team I fielded was:
The first opponent I encountered had built a team centred around an Overcrushing ‘Hill Giant’, a ‘Golem’ (I forget which one) and some annoying control with a ‘Potion – Lesser Spell’.
It was a long, thoughtful round. My ramp was persistently interrupted by the ‘Potion’ and we were pretty well walled up facing each other down. I was filling my bag up with so many cheap weenies it was a real struggle playing the ‘Potion’ guessing game and I was rarely pinning down my draws.
All was not lost, however, and I managed to keep the ‘Giant’ at bay with my ‘Dwarf Wizard’ and my ‘Iron Golem’ to eventually win. It was a hard fought battle and I attribute my win to some cheeky, early hits with my ‘Blink Dog’ and ‘Goblin’ die.
We ended up going to time and I took the round.
Round Two – Draw
I went 1 – 1 in games with this opponent. My opponent had built a solid Fiend themed team with (from what I remember) ‘Orcus’, ‘Hell Hound’, ‘Balor’, and ‘Erinyes’.
The raw power of the fiends on the other side of the table was pretty terrifying for my weenies so I rushed my weenies through to chip away some early damage and slowed him down by eliminating ‘Hell Hound’s’ discount with my ‘Dwarf Wizard’. I threw my little dudes to the slaughter each attack attempt he made and Eventually my weenie army was too much to handle. When my chance came I overwhelmed him with one big rush for the win.
The second game did not go so smooth. My opponent was now much more savvy to the speed of my build and reacted accordingly by making better use of his BACs: ‘Nasty Plot’ to ramp up to his big boys quicker and a well placed ‘Distraction’ while I was on the back foot (pun intended!) to get some game winning damage through. It was a well earned win.
It was at this point, due to last night buses and early starts, we finished off the event. With 1 win & 2 ties I came in second to the ‘Fiend’ build (which had 2 wins & 2 ties) I had enjoyed my first proper draft immensely indeed.
Any Conclusions or Learns?
There are a few thoughts and reflections I will taking away from the experience into my team building in general.
There’s more to Ramp than a bald head. I did not get ‘Swarm’ at all, but last night the penny dropped. I now totally get why I’d been seeing the ‘Kobold – Greater Humanoid’ all over the place.
I got some hands on learning with the ‘Swarm’ mechanic and I’m going to get doing some more experimenting with it.I’d not played the mechanic before and I had it under-estimated. With the ‘Goblin’ and ‘Lizardfolk’ doing their swarm thing, plus some KO’d weenies through Fabricate, I was nowhere as short of ramp as I thought I would be. If I could do it again I would not have shied away from the beefier, high cost characters as I did because I could well afford them and I would have had some real strength ahead of the competition. (There was an Overcrushing ‘Bahamut’ in the draft that would have been nice to have for example)
‘Potion – Lesser Spell’ seems reeeeeeaaaally, craaaaaaazy good. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, my bag management is pants. And it’s never more apparent than when I get a card like ‘Potion – Lesser Spell’ all up in my grill. I’m going to look at what opportunities I can create with this bad boy in some constructed scenarios I think but, in the meantime, I need to improve my memory & my mathematics.
The spell’s ability is pretty mind-blowing when you think about it. I’m planning on having a good look through my cards and consider what would be a good way to build around this card because I am intrigued by it.
Fiend builds are fiendishly interesting. I’m going to give one a go for my own amusement. They caught my eye and I think it would be worth a try out on the odd casual night.
They’ve got a menacing, muscle-y synergy that looked like a lot of fun to play, if not a little intimidating to face with a handful of ‘Goblin’ & ‘Blink Dogs’. In an Unlimited Constructed they would have the benefit of the starter & BFF cards that would synergise well also. One to come back to for sure.
So – I hope you enjoyed my re-cap and thoughts on the event. Have you played in a Rainbow Draft recently? How did it go? Let me know in the comments below…