Kool Runnings: Forcing FoundOmega in DGM-DGM-DGM Draft

For those of you that don’t know him, Joe Spanier is a Magic: The Gathering Online aficionado (and soon-to-be U.S. WMC competitor) that plays and tweets under the pseudonym FoundOmega. Without his innumerable, tweeted pictures of triple Dragon’s Maze draft decks and board states, I would’ve probably skipped playing during this Prerelease Event cycle. Look at these masterpieces:

Luckily for everyone who wants to see manabase art, Joe’s strategy motivated me to fire up Magic Online and record a Swiss draft! Before we get to the videos, let me explain what the FoundOmega Triple Dragon’s Maze Draft Strategy (pending trademark) consists of:

Draft a multicolor mess.

Okay, maybe it’s a little more complicated than that, but a “mess” is the desired outcome! The strategy is a pick-order-based one; guildgates must be highly prioritized. The basic logic is to pick cards in the following order:

1.) Bombs (AEtherling, Trostani’s Summoner, Teysa, Envoy of Ghosts)
2.) Premium removal (Krasis Incubation, Putrefy, Turn // Burn)
3.) Guildgates (paying attention to color of spells and number obtained; you want 7-9)
4.) Opal Lake Gatekeeper (my favorite, and judging by FoundOmega’s screenshots, probably his), Saruli Gatekeeper (surprisingly effective), Ubul Sar Gatekeeper
5.) Finishers (flyers, creatures with 4-or-higer power and preferably high toughness)
6.) Mediocre removal (Fatal Fumes, Punish the Enemy), card advantage (Pilfered Plans, Morgue Burst)
7.) Other gatekeepers, cluestones (pay attention to color-fixing), maybe filler (aka 2-cmc spells that aren’t removal!)

Most of my decks were base blue-black-green or blue-black-red, but I could see an aggressive base white-green-red (with Zhur-Taa Druids) or base black-white-blue (with Tithe Drinkers as Joe drafted) if they come around later.

The ability to audible into a three-color (or three-color with a splash) deck in the third pack is not a position to take lightly; set up your picks to stay mostly in a color triad if you haven’t secured a 3-5 gates in the first pack (or be prepared to pick gates over cards higher up on the pick order). A realized deck of this plan should have 7+ gates (of 17 lands), 4 bombs/large finishers, 3+ good gatekeepers (weighted toward blue ones), 5+ removal spells, 2-3 cluestones and a very top-heavy curve. You should adjust your pick order as needed to acquire the suggested composition or to shift away from it in the second pack (depending on your current gate count and color mix).

The Draft and Rounds

Warning: The videos don’t do this strategy justice (mostly because I made them), although, the games were quite exciting to play…

  1. What a cop out. Two bomb-like rares in the form of Possibility Storm and Beck/Call and you take an Incubation. FoundOmega would be ashamed.

  2. In the draft, I couldn’t belive how easily you ignored the white gatekeepers – they are really powerful if your deck can support them, and one of the reasons to be drafting the mono-gate deck.

    Also, I think the black gatekeepers are probably better than the blue, though I could be convinced otherwise given a compeling argumennt… it’s just that “disfigure” is stronger than a do-nothing cantrip… so I’d figure that disfigure on a stick is stronger than cantrip on a stick.

    Also, m3g1 there was a turn where you decided to play gatekeepers + drake, when you had maze behemoth in your hand and the ability yo cast it. It’s 1 more power than those two combined and, if relevent, has trample. You wouldn’t have lost that game if you just played the behemoth as soon as you could (opponent had 1 life the turn he won, so 1 power is relevent), and I’m supried you didn’t, since in any situation where you are the attacker it’s just much better than the two smaller creatures.

  3. Chris, I don’t think your reasoning on the mill holds up. Unless you draw through your entire deck, the threat of milling your removal is illusory. Instead of milling, suppose you had taken the top two cards and moved them to the bottom of the deck without looking at them. Do you think you would have hurt your chances of drawing removal? Your only concern should be what value you and your opponent can get off of each graveyard. Gatecrash had cards like Death’s Approach, but I think a quick look at the card pool for Dragon’s Maze shows that self-mill is almost always the way to go. You even milled your opponent with Morgue Burst in your hand!

  4. why do a gatekeeper theme draft if you’re going to ignore practically every fucking gatekeeper in every pack?

  5. I just forced this three times and ended up in the finals each time and winning two of those. There was never a time I wished a land came into play untapped, but with only seven gates in one deck I had to mulligan aggressively or end up with dead hate keepers. It’s been a blast though, especially the people who cry about how five color should never win. It’s three colors with two splashes.

  6. 8:01 PM [b]FoundOmega[/b]: You should feel bad for passing that Beck/Call. VERY bad.

    8:47 PM [b]FoundOmega[/b]: but seriously
    8:47 PM [b]FoundOmega[/b]: you put my draft strat to shame [sF]

  7. Arent the Species Gorgers bombs in a Gatekeeper deck? You had the opportunity to grab two and didnt even mention them. You didnt have a ton of the Gatekeeps though so perhaps they arent a big deal.

    I dont think Beck/Call is a bomb and Possibility Storm doesn’t even seem playable.

  8. Beck/Call is definitely a card I look for, especially if I have Bronzebeak Moa. Recently drafted a triple Moa + Beck/Call Deck. 15/15s + four cards is sweet.

    Species Gorger is definitely a bomb in this format. Another card that’s great with Moa. Great with gatekeepers. Great with Krasis. Recent killer opening: Krasis into Ubul Sar Gatekeeper (active) into Species Gorger. Bounce, shrink, evolve. Bounce, shrink, evolve.

    People have definitely picked up on this strategy, gates seem to go by pick four now. So two-drops are getting better in this meta. Fatal Fumes has also gone up in value for me – awesome against those Steeple Rocs and Armed/Dangerous.

    Notion Thief is also surprisingly good against the big decks and all of their Cluestones. They’ll usually crack one without thinking and give up a card.