King of the Scrubs: G/R Ally Draft

Greetings all, and welcome to my first ever “King of the Scrubs” Limited draft/walkthrough article here on MTGO Academy! My name is Alex Colic and my goal for this article is to show that you can draft for profit and still draft good, competitive decks. But most importantly, have fun drafting! That’s kind of the idea behind being a “King of the Scrubs!” I’ve been drafting pretty much non-stop since Invasion came out. I love Limited. I mean, I really, really love Limited Magic. I feel it has everything that makes game playing great. Strategy, resource management, an opponent that wants to beat you and the best part of Limited is that there is a randomness that is not present in Constructed Magic. To clarify that last statement, I mean in terms of tournament play. You go to any moderately high level Constructed event and 70-75% of your games will play out the way you expect. Either you get matched up against favorable decks or ones that you lose to more than you win. You know how your deck plays and you have played that deck in literally dozens if not hundreds of matches. That just seems insanely boring to me and is a major reason I don’t go to many Constructed events. But come Sealed PTQ season and I’m on it like a fat kid (or me) on a cupcake! Even after this last, train wreak season where I went 0-2, 0-2, 6-3, 0-1. My pools were utter trash but I did get the pleasure of beating down Mr. Jacob Van Lunen in the first round with my 6-3 pool. He could not have been a nicer guy. Without any further ado, let’s get to the draft!Here’s every pack, every pick, and the deck that came came from them.

I really like this draft and can’t wait to see if I can go nuts with some insane Ally draws. And hopefully I can see my Dragonmaster Outcast call some dragons to the battlefield! On to the matches!

Round 1 vs. Rawk_Awn

I keep my opening 7 of Forest, Mountain, Arbor Elf, Grazing Gladehart, Shortcutter, Turntimber Ranger, Nissas Chosen. I win the die roll and play Forest and Arbor Elf. My opponent does the same. Turn 2 I draw a Forest and using the Elf’s ability, cast the Gladehart and pass the turn. My opponent casts Harrow, sacrificing a Forest and fetching 2 Swamps. Turn 3 I draw Harabaz Druid and play a Mountain, cast Nissas Chosen, and the Druid thanks to the Arbor Elf. My opponent plays a Forest and taps out for Cone of Beasts! (Or Bestial Menace if you prefer, but I like Cone of Beasts myself.) Pretty good Turn 3 to match my own. So far neither of us has really played anything that’s a legitimate threat but that’s about to change. Turn 4 I draw a very pretty Puma and tap out all my mana producing dudes and lands for Turntimber Ranger. See why the Puma is pretty? I think you do. At any rate, I pass the turn. Sadly, my opponent’s Turn 4 is even more ridiculous as he plays Ob Nixilis, the Fallen. Sigh…not a lot of removal in a GR deck that can handle Obby. He then plays an Island and drains my life while adding counters to the Demon. Well, I made a valiant effort after he played Obby but it was all for naught as after a few turns of me trying to get something going, he dropped a double kicked Wolfbriar Elemental to go along with his Voyager Drake, beastie tokens and 15/15 Demon. On to game 2!

I keep a land heavy hand of 3 Forests, 2 Mountains, Nissas Chosen, and Gladehart. I feel its fine as I have early drops and the Gladehart to gain any life back if I fall behind early in the game. My opponent keeps his first 7 as well. I chose to play so I lay a Forest and pass. My opponent puts down a Khalni Garden and makes a 0/1 plant. Turn 2 I draw a Harrow, play a Forest and Nissas Chosen. On my opponents turn he plays a Quicksand and passes it back to me. Turn 3 I draw another Mountain and attack with the Chosen and then play my Gladehart and pass the turn. My opponent plays a defensive Oran-Rief Recluse and passes the turn. Turn 4 I draw Explore, play Harrow (sacrificing a Forest and getting a Forest and Mountain), play Explore and draw another Forest with it and finally play another Mountain. I now have 6 mana in play. I misclicked through my attack…sigh. By the way, don’t do that because MTGO is unforgiving. I make the mistake of playing in the living room with my wife while watching excellent programs like Chuck and Glee…Oh well, we all make choices we have to live with. I start getting that feeling I get when I get flooded because I just drew another Forest after playing Harrow and Explore for all those lands. My friends make fun of me but I think I’m unluckier than the average dummy that plays this game…at any rate, I play another Forest gain some life and pass the turn. My opponent kicks me in the teeth with Bestial Menace and passes the turn. I draw my bomb Dragonmaster Outcast and pray he lives at least one turn. As it turned out, I didn’t need a turn because my opponent scooped. Way to go bomb rares!

I keep a hand of 2 Forests, 2 Mountains, Explore, Leatherback Baloth, Murasa Pyromancer. My opponent keeps his opening 7 as well. Rawk plays a Forest and passes turn. I draw a Mountain, play a Forest and pass turn. Rawk plays an Island and passes turn. I draw Vines of Vastwood, play a Forest, cast Explore and draw my 3rd Forest with it. Go go Leatherback! I play the Forest as well and pass turn. I draw one of my Tuktuks, play a Mountain and Leatherback and pass the turn. My opponent casts Windrider Eel after playing an Island and passes the turn. Turn 4 I play a Mountain and am about to lay some serious hurt. I tap out for my Tuktuk and swing with both my dudes. Opponent (13), me (20) My opponent plays a 2nd Forest and Arbor Elf and passes turn. Turn 5 I draw a Forest and tap out to play my Pyromancer targeting the Eel but Rawk has a trick and casts Harrow making the Eel a 6/6. I swing with my Leatherback and my 4/4 Tuktuk and my opponent chooses to block the 4/5. I feel that was a mistake. My opponent should know that I’m playing several Ally’s and the Tuktuk is only going to get bigger. But the Eel and Leatherback trade and I pass the turn. Opponent (9), Me (20) Turn 6 I rip Turntimber Ranger (like a champ! OK, maybe I’m not as unlucky as I think I am) play a Forest and play Turntimber Ranger getting a scoop from Rawk. That went well and I’m really happy with my choice to draft the Pyromancer 2nd pick. Because I feel his ability is what drew the concession. On to round 2!

Round 2 vs. Dave_79

I lose the die roll to start the 2nd round. Dave starts off our battle with a Mountain and passes the turn. I play a Forest and pass. Dave plays another Mountain and a Kitesale. (A side note on Kitesale: ruly one of the best equipments in the set and really should make every deck, even decks with lots of fliers as you can always use another. It’s just that simple.) For my Turn 2 I draw Harrow and play a Mountain and go Exploring for another land. My expedition into the unknown only finds another Leatherback. I really need a third land so I can cast Harrow and go nuts. I pass the turn. Turn 3 my opponent plays a 3rd Mountain and Machete and Hammer of Ruin. He’s got all the equipment. I manage to channel Girard Fabiano (the man never met an opening hand he didn’t like) and draw a 2nd Forest. I sac a Forest and get 2 more so I can cast my Chosen. I pass the turn. Dave looks a bit in trouble as he does nothing during his turn and passes it back to me. I draw a Mountain and swing with the Chosen. During my 2nd main phase I play the Mountain and my Leatherback and pass the turn. Turn 5, Dave play’s Zektar Shrine Expedition. Unfortunately for Dave that’s all he does and passes the turn. On my turn I tap out and play the hasty Tuktuk and swing away. Dave (9), me (20). Turn 6 Dave still doesn’t get another land but does play a Molten Ravager and passes it back to me. I rip the Pyromancer and get a concession with it still on the stack. Off we go to game 2.

Unfortunately I can’t access the 2nd game on MODO but rest assured I did something awesome and it probably involved Leatherbacks and/or Turntimber Ranger. I won. On to the Finals!

Finals vs. SpiritofFire

I win the die roll and keep 3 Forests, Puma, Ranger, Pyromancer and Explore and decide to play first. I play a Forest and pass the turn. Spirit plays a Plains and passes. Turn 2 I draw Vines and play a Forest, cast Explore and draw another [card}Forest[/card] and finally put a 3rd Forest into play. Spirit plays a 2nd Plains and a Cliff Threader and passes the turn. Turn 3 I draw Dragonmaster Outcast and play my Forest and pass the turn choosing to save the Puma for when the Ranger is in play. Spirit plays a 3rd Plains{/card] and casts [card]Apex Hawks after swinging with the Threader. Spirit (20) me (18). Turn 4 I draw Harrow, cast it and get 2 Mountains so I can cast my Outcast. I’m feeling really good about the Outcast making some dragons as I have Vines in hand to counter any attempts at removal from my opponent. I pass the turn. Spirit puts a Piranha Marsh into play and casts Journey to Nowhere. Being the clever fellow that I am, I cast Vines while Journey is still on the stack, causing my opponent to banish one of his own critters. He chooses his Hawks. Turn 5 I draw a Mountain and play my Ranger and pass the turn. For his turn 5, my opponent plays a Swamp and Ionas Judgment on my Outcast…cry. But at that point it was pick your poison as my next turn Pyromancer draws a concession and we move to game 2.

Spirit chooses to play first and keeps his opening 7 while I am forced to go down to 6. I keep 2 Forests, Mountain, Gladehart, Tuktuk and Pyromancer. Turn 1, Spirit plays a Swamp and passes. I draw Vines, play a Forest and pass. Turn 2, Spirit plays a Plains and Surrakar Marauder. I draw a Mountain, play a Forest and pass the turn. Turn 3, Spirit plays a Sejiri Steppe and swings for 2 and plays Guul Draz Vampire. Spirit (20) me (18). On my turn I draw a Mountain and play my Gladehart and pass the turn. Turn 4 Spirit plays a Swamp and Disfigure on my Gladehart so he can swing, unimpeded, with both his dudes. During his 2nd main phase he plays Armament Master. Spirit (20) me (15). I draw, a not so pretty, Puma and play it after playing another Mountain. I pass the turn. Turn 5 my opponent only swings with his Master and I choose to take the 2 damage. During his 2nd main phase, he plays Kabira Crossroads and gains 2 life. Spirit (22) me (13). I play a Mountain and tap out for Tuktuk and pass the turn. Turn 6 Spirit plays a kicked Kor Aeronaut, targeting his Master and swings in the air for 2. Spirit (22) me (11). During my turn I play a Mountain and tap out for my Pyromancer targeting his Aeronaut. I’m feeling pretty good at this point and think I have stabilized…I was wrong. Turn 7, Spirit plays a kicked Kor Sanctifiers, killing my metal kitty and passes the turn. On my turn I draw Harrow and sac a Mountain and fetch a Forest and Mountain. I then play my Goblin Shortcutter, targeting his Sanctifiers and swing with my Pyromancer. I should have swung with Tuktuk and I’m not sure what my reasoning was as I have Vines in hand but that’s largely unimportant. Spirit (19) me (11). Turn 8 Spirit plays Spidersilk Net and swings with his Sanctifiers. I block with my Shortcutter and pump with Vines to kill the Kor and save my Goblin. During his 2nd main phase, Spirit plays a really nasty 4/3 Cliff Threader (+2+2 thanks to the equipped Master). On my turn I draw and play a Timbermaw Larva and swing with my Tuktuk. Spirit (15) me (11). Turn 9 my opponent plays a Plains and swings for 6 unblockable damage and casts Ionas Judgment on my Larva. Not sure what I can draw here but times are looking bad. On my turn I draw a Forest! I concede and off to game 3 we go.

Game 3 I choose to play first and keep my opening 7 of 2 Forests, 2 Mountains, Explore, Harrow, and Burst Lightning. I play a Forest and pass the turn. Spirit plays a Plains and Steppe Linx and passes. Turn 2 I play another Forest and Explore drawing a Pyromancer. I play aMountain and kill the Linx with my Burst Lightning. During my opponent’s Turn 2 he plays another Plains and a Ruin Ghost and passes the turn. Turn 3 I draw a Shortcutter, play Harrow and the Goblin and end my turn. On Spirit’s 3rd turn he plays a Swamp and Apex Hawks. Turn 4 I draw a Forest (what did I say about my luck?) tap out for the Pyromancer and kill his Ruin Ghost. I swing for 2 with the Goblin. Spirit (18) me (20). On turn 4, Spirit plays a Piranha Marsh and Journey to Nowhere on my Pyromancer, then swinging for 2 in the air with his Hawks. Spirit (18) me (17). Turn 5 I draw…wait for it…a Mountain! Sigh…I swing with my goblin and pass the turn. Spirit (16) me (17). Turn 5 for my opponent is basically uneventful as he only plays an Explorers Scope, equips it to his Hawk and swings, not showing a land. Spirit (16) me (15). Turn 6 I draw another Mountain and swing for 2 with my gobby. Spirit (14) me (15). On his turn, Spirit swings with his Hawks, not revealing a land but does play a Kor Aeronaut and Spidersilk Net, equipping it to the Kor flyer. Spirit (14) me (13). Turn 7 I draw a mana producer in Harabaz Druid. Not good. Spirit attacks with both of his flyers and drops me to 9 and then plays Surrakar Marauder. Really need to draw some business or I’m dead. I draw a Forest. That’s 11 lands (9 in play, 2 in hand) to 5 non-lands if you’re keeping score at home. For his turn, Spirit plays a Sejiri Steppe and swings in for 6 unblockable, dropping me to 3 and playing a Marsh Threader. My next turn I draw Searing Blaze, but sadly I will be dead when my opponent attacks next turn. I could have delayed the inevitable by killing a flyer and hoping he doesn’t play a land next turn to give his Marauder Intimidate but I was a little on tilt at that point…I’m not gonna lie.

Afterthoughts

Even with my terrible luck that last game, I feel this was a supremely successful draft. I think we saw a couple of important things. First, Green is really deep in ZZW and apparently very under drafted in this pod. But I’ll go so far as to say that it’s under drafted over all on MTGO. 2nd, it is possible to force Ally’s if you crack a bomb like Turntimber Ranger. Was my draft a ridiculous Ally build? No, but it was fine with plenty of explosive potential.

So that’s it for my first King of the Scrubs Limited draft/walkthrough article. I hope it was moderately informative and entertaining. I look forward to doing this again real soon and please let me know if you didn’t like any of my picks, I enjoy hearing other’s opinions and insights to better my game.

Till next time,

OMA, King of the Scrubs

 
  1. Overall a good draft. Only a few picks I would have changed. Pick 4 Pack 2 you could have taken the Archer. The archers are perfect for a lacking slot for most allies, and their ability is practically as good as Pyromancer (as most non-fliers are easily handled by warrior allies). Harrow is a fine pick, but taking harrow #2 means you should start looking out for splashable allies or removal. Overall its a push but something to consider.

    Pick 7 pack 2 you took nissa’s choosen over oran-reif recluse. This pick makes sense considering you ended up with 2 baloths, but after skipping the archer you suddenly had very few ways to win vrs skies. The Recluse blocks a lot of fliers and with 2 harrows and the eventual harabaz druid you would end up able to kick this guy quite often. I think he’s better than the choosen here given your picks up to that point in the draft.

  2. Agree on both points. I just liked Harrow because of my curve and the Chosen pick was just sub-optimal. The Recluse has a higher late game value and is almost as good at 3 mana as the Chosen.

  3. Alex has a curse of getting flooded on a regular basis, he sometimes passes it onto me :(

  4. Fun article, nicely done. I valued the brief conclusions at the end – if I ever decide to, like, do a draft of a new set, those types of concepts will be useful to a guy like me.

    I must say, this is the first time I’ve read an article using this draft viewer, and it’s really slick.

  5. Kuddos to Zwick for the awesome draft viewer. Check out Raredraft.com, it’s a great resource.

  6. Really loving draft viewer!

    It seems odd to me that you wouldn’t rare/hate draft Ob Nixilis – he sells for a bit online due to being used in Block.

    You also picked up a Walking Atlas over Amulet of Vigor. While neither are game breaking cards, the Atlas is near worthless and the Amulet sells for a couple of tix I belive.

    Thanks for the draft, looking forward to more in the future.

  7. Hello Alex and welcome to the Academy! Thanks for your contribution. I hope to see more limited content from you in the future. Keep up the good work and good luck in the queues,

    Marin

  8. I think you screwed up Pack 2, pick 3 taking the flyer. You were thinking he’s splashable and that’s fine, but look at the big mistake it ran you into the next pick. With that pick fresh in your mind it ran you into a bad decision, turning Pack 2, pick 4 into a really bad pick. The archer is out of control good if you’re playing allies. Yeah, he’s not a grower, but with the +1/+0 guy out of pack 3 he can turn into a weapon and he still triggers everybody else. Bad pick imo. As your draft showed, you had plenty of other opportunities to take land accel/fixing. Shouldn’t have done so at the expense of a very good ally.

    And if you’re trying to run allies, why would you pass up the +1/+0 guy pack 3, pick 4. For cryin out loud, TRIGGERS! Allies like allies. I don’t know how much simpler I can make this OMA.

    Pack 3, pick 6 I take the 0/1 forest. Chump blocker for free seems nice. It seems to address your tempo concerns. And do you really wanna play that tappy bitch in your two spot?

    Overall, I think it was an ok draft. I mean, you opened two bombs and got passed a relative ally bomb late pack 3. 4/5 fatties for 3 seems nice too. You did well recognizing the underdrafting of green at your table and compensated appropriately, so that’s good. But I think you fell too in love with harrow in particular as fixing and it led you into a couple of bad picks later on. Still, pretty solid draft.

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