Limited Resources: A Very “Infect”ious Plan



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Draft

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Round 1

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Round 2

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Round 3

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  1. LOL! We submitted the video without any title or blurb suggestions, and mtgoacademy must have seen the basic land types during a quick editorial pass and made some assumptions about the direction we went in this draft. Funny.

    Well, you can think of the title and blurb as sarcastic. ;)

  2. Holy hell I laughed so hard at the end of round 2 when he said “congrats on your first finals”. XD

  3. Congrats on the win. Very interesting deck XD
    I think that you could have a sick infect deck but that worked too I guess.
    I also love how the whiny guys get exposed in those videos.

  4. Hello everyone,

    haha, that is funny indeed. I guess it pays of to check the videos before inventing the title…

    For anyone that had problems viewing the videos before please check again. We made some changes in the backend and hopefully it will work again (Just give the video a few seconds to load). Enjoy,

    Plejades

  5. This is Mirrodin, so efficient dudes plus equipment is a solid archetype. The whining from your second round opponent reminds me of an early Zendikar match I had against a whiner. His complaint was “I had all these good cards! How did I lose to your deck full of 2 drops!?!”

  6. Marshall really needs to get over his fear of infect. Being afraid to commit to infect is like being afraid to commit to a color! If you see that it is open then get into it and keep someone else out. Not sure what your result is at this point, but your infect deck could have been pretty great.

    Also, at the end of pack one he made several odd picks. Dross Hopper over rebuttal is defensible, though rebuttal is more likely to make the deck at that point even as your only blue card so far. Then in the very next pick he takes the nearly unplayable Harvester instead of the situationally very solid Viridian Revels.

    Interesting discussions at a couple of points. I kind of like these formats where you guys have very different reads on it, though I wish at times that Ryan would push a little harder to “steer” OR that there was more time to have the conversation over a given pick that is needed, but c’est la vie.

    Despite the paragraph above, in the end the deck actually looks pretty solid. Yet it seems that a large part its deficiencies got covered up by those back to back grasps in pack three. Those were a huge gift, and a result of seemingly unintentionally cutting so much black (or at least that intention was not discussed as an active strategy on air).

    Thanks as always for the content…. off to watch the rounds.

  7. @limitedmtgo.wordpress.com: for sure some overthink happens, particularly when you combine two chefs working on one meal with recording it and wanting to make the Right Play with the cameras on. In the end I’d rather overthink than underthink though. :)

    I haven’t re-watched R2 yet, but re: R1G1: I think the play in R1G1 facing the angel and the bounce replica is to trigon the scudder. The options that leaves Villain with are just worse. Those were some tough attack sequences though, very difficult to optimize on the fly…

  8. @RoninX I think it’s less fear than just logic. I mean is P1P2 Cyst Bearer over Contagion Clasp a real reason to go all in for infect? If you show me a Hand of the Praetors or a Skithiryx then I am on board, but I am not looking to go all in for Infect from a utility guy.

    I don’t equate Infect to color at all, and I don’t understand that argument here. Look, there are say 5-6 viable archetypes in a given format. In this case, Infect is one of them, leaving 4-5 other good decks available. If you get cut off of infect mid pack 2, you are hosed. You are almost never culling together a solid deck if that happens. However if you are in a certain color pair or archetype, and one of those colors gets cut in mid pack 2, you can make necessary adjustments to steer in a reasonable direction.

    If your creature base is 90% Infect at this point, where are you going to steer? You are going to steer right into 50/50 mediocrity.

    If there are other viable and worthy archetypes to force, then why would I force this one?

    Also, I think Ryan’s comments in the draft might be influencing some of the comments here, as I don’t remember being passed anything resembling an awesome Infect deck. I will look over the draft again, but when I hear stuff like that, I am thinking of: Hand of the Praetors, Skithiryx, or multiples of Plague Stinger, Corpse Cur, Ichor Rats and Ichorclaw Myr.

    I do agree we could have had an Infect deck, but I don’t think it would have been particularly amazing or anything. So why take the risk?

  9. “LOL! We submitted the video without any title or blurb suggestions, and mtgoacademy must have seen the basic land types during a quick editorial pass and made some assumptions about the direction we went in this draft. Funny.”

    You indeed did have infect-based creatures in your deck, I do look a little harder than the basic land types… And perhaps if you did not like the blurb or title we gave you, maybe you could submit your own? :)

  10. Ha, *totally* our bad not to give a title and blurb, man, not intending to disrespect/blame you at all, Zwick. We had infect creatures in the board, but none in the main save for the infect equipment iirc, but regardless, future vid submissions will come with a title and blurb, k? :)

  11. @ Marshall:
    “I think it’s less fear than just logic. I mean is P1P2 Cyst Bearer over Contagion Clasp a real reason to go all in for infect? If you show me a Hand of the Praetors or a Skithiryx then I am on board, but I am not looking to go all in for Infect from a utility guy.

    I don’t equate Infect to color at all, and I don’t understand that argument here…If you get cut off of infect mid pack 2, you are hosed. You are almost never culling together a solid deck if that happens. However if you are in a certain color pair or archetype, and one of those colors gets cut in mid pack 2, you can make necessary adjustments to steer in a reasonable direction.”

    Unless I p1p1 a Skithiryx then I go for the clasp – and frankly probably even if then I pick the clasp. I am not a fanatic by any stretch. This statement I quoted is the entire reason why you are misunderstanding infect in this format. You seem to think you have to “force” infect by taking every infect card you see from the get go. This strategy (as with every forcing strategy) has a fairly high level of risk, if you commit and don’t pull it off you are screwed: the exact scenario you envision. However this is not the way that I prefer to draft infect, in fact I hate to have to fight for infect. I much prefer to start the exact same way that I draft everything in this format: picking removal and artifacts until I see a pattern. Usually you can get some kind of reasonable signal by mid pack. If I first pick a grasp of darkness I’ll be more likely to speculate on an early infect creature in an otherwise weak pack, but my best infect decks have been ones where I read the signals and reacted accordingly.

    For example, in this draft you guys saw very late infect cards in pack one. That almost always means that no greater than one player has locked themselves into infect, which means that if you do you are probably in a good situation to be able to grab one of the infect seats. This is exactly the same situation where, in a normal set, you might start off with white bomb pick some support along the way, maybe grab a solid green or blue card or two and then suddenly notice blue cards that usually go in the top of 6-8 picks circulating at 10-12. Then you jump into blue and see if it continues to flow in pack two. This is why I compare it to colors. If blue *does* flow in pack two then you are set. If it does not then you only “wasted” 4-5 picks and should be able to make the necessary adjustments without resorting to the 50/50 abomination that I agree makes for a tepid (at best) deck.

    People run into problems with infect when they start off by taking cystbearers over grasps and tumble magnets in pack 1.

    “Look, there are say 5-6 viable archetypes in a given format.

    If there are other viable and worthy archetypes to force, then why would I force this one?”

    Leaving aside the word “force” from which I think your misconceptions derive (see above).

    The number of viable archetypes in a format is irrelevant. What actually matters is how many relevant archetypes are available within the set of 24 packs at your table. Sometimes in M11 (or Shadowmoor) a mill deck was available, sometimes the card pool couldn’t support it. You are certainly at liberty to draft however you want but my question to you would be: why are you taking one of the viable “5-6″ archetypes off the table for yourself? Even LSV will draft mono red if the cards are coming for it ;)

    Finally – your other argument (not above but in the podcasts/recordings) is that infect “just isn’t very good even when well supported. I’m not sure what I can do to convince you of this, but I am confident that further experience with the format will.

  12. I have to second RoninX, there seems to be an irrational disdain for infect by Marshall. It becomes a self-fufilling prophecy at some point, because not picking infect cards leads to other people switching into the archetype and cutting you off. Many times there were picks that left the option open for an infect deck without any significant loss other than a 23rd-ish card, and you chose not to keep infect a possibility, almost stubbornly, just so that you could rule out infect.

  13. @RoninX

    Look, I’m not advocating forcing any archetypes. I am however advocating drafting an archetype if possible. Infect is a nice packaged up little archetype, but I don’t see why I should use early picks on Infect creatures when the risk is high that I get cut off and have a junk deck.

    I want a reason to go into infect. That reason is usually one of the particularly strong cards in the archetype like I listed above. If I don’t see those, I am not looking for reasons to go into Infect.

    If I thought it was just the best deck around, yet hard to get, I might think differently. But I don’t think it’s any better than any other archetype you can get on average. I have also found playing against it ridiculously easy once you know how the deck works.

    I do agree with you that you don’t necessarily need to force all Infect guys early.

    You said this: “This strategy (as with every forcing strategy) has a fairly high level of risk, if you commit and don’t pull it off you are screwed: the exact scenario you envision.”

    But to me, this is entirely untrue. If I go for a certain color combo or archetype, and it dries up, I DO have ways to salvage the deck. I can pick up on another color and use the core that I did get as the base for my deck. If this happens in Infect, I am going to have a very hard time piecing together a good deck.

    I think you are focusing too much on “forcing” things. I rarely force anything in draft. (I do sometimes when a set is new and misunderstood and I can push for an archetype I think is particularly strong). I feel like Infect forces you to well, force it. I mean I have realized that you don’t need literally all Infect creatures to make the deck work, but you certainly do need critical mass of them. And if you don’t get that, the deck struggles greatly.

    I think the main thing is basically just that I don’t see the huge upside to taking on any extra risk at all. Why would I open myself up to this at all? Is a good Infect deck better than a good ____ deck?

  14. 2 other thoughts:

    1. Knowing me, I will be the biggest Infect advocate by the end of the set.

    2. I do know one thing: Throne of Geth + Infect is very strong.

    All I got :)

  15. @ Marshall

    Thanks for the response. Maybe I did get a little hung up on reading into your words (force in particular). However, this just blows my mind:

    “If I go for a certain color combo or archetype, and it dries up, I DO have ways to salvage the deck. I can pick up on another color and use the core that I did get as the base for my deck. If this happens in Infect, I am going to have a very hard time piecing together a good deck.”

    I just can’t understand why think this is more true for infect that any other color/archetype? Having to switch out of or into a color can be just as debilitating if you wait too long.

    Infect decks *should* have lots of not infect cards (eg. removal, artifacts, equipment) that go fine in other decks. You just played a non-infect black deck to victory where you dropped 4-5 infect cards from the build during construction. If you had gone along with a few of Ryan’s infect suggestions you easily could have gone the other direction (dropping some non-infect cards).

    If you aren’t forcing infect, but instead slip into it when you see it is open the you are not going to get locked out, or come up short. Just like when you see a color is open and move into. Sure, occasionally crossed signals will foul up a draft but this happens with colors all the time.

    As for reasons to go into infect: infect creatures *are* the reason. They are all exceed the vanilla rating in terms of the rapidity with which they kill your opponent: 2/1 Flying Wither for 2, 4/3 Wither for 3 etc. Being able to tap into that reservoir of creatures make it worthwhile to me.

    I’ll concede that a good infect deck is not better than a good ___ deck, but only if you concede that a good infect deck is *as good* as a good ___ deck ;). I’m not sure either of us will convince the other at this moment – but hopefully we can return to this discussion as the format matures.

  16. I will totally agree that Infect can be as good as any regular deck. I guess my main point is this:

    Equipment, removal, supports stuff being equal:

    If I want to have a good infect deck, I need X amount of good *Infect* creatures from Black, Green, and some colorless.

    If I want a good regular deck, I need X amount of good creatures from Black, Green, Red, White, Blue and a lot of colorless.

    If the decks are comparable at the end, why would I limit myself to the restricted pool? If that pool dries up, I cannot simply jump into whatever color is open, as now I have 1/2 Infect and 1/2 not infect, which is awful.

    I am however reading and listening to what you are saying, as others have echoed it, and am not lowering my gavel on Infect at this point. I agree that patience with the format will pay off and I will be in whatever strategy I think will win me the most games by the end of it :)

    Thanks again for the great feedback.

  17. I have to 3rd RoninX.
    poison is a really good archtype in scars. My first couple of scars drafts i did terible in
    because i wouldn’t play infect because i thought it was going to be hard to get a good infect deck
    However, the first time i drafted infect i won the 8-4 i was in.
    Its really good archtype believe it or not i think it is open a good part of the time.

  18. In the Dev Chat the other day, Mike Turian mentioned how they tried to balance infect in the format. He said, ” I really wanted to make sure that at least one person could draft infect and maybe another could draft infect with proliferate.” I tend to listen to what Development says about the balance of limited formats, usually because they are right. When Mike Turian says not to draft infect unless you are getting passed very clear signals to go into it, then it is important to listen. Right now, people are having the “shiny new toy” syndrome and overdrafting infect. I regularly see 3 infect decks in the queues that I enter, when you should be seeing something closer to 1.75. As long as Infect is getting overdrafted like that, I am going to stay away from it.

  19. Marshall- Youre not forcing, instead, think of it as cutting. When you cut a particular archetype you should be rewarded in the next pack. Im not going to go back and re-watch the draft but I believe you took mediocre cards over mediocre infect cards which is better than most of the avg cards in the set which seems stubborn since you were bent on not going Infect once the draft started.
    Granted, I joined a 4322 due to time constraints; I opened a Grand Architect and already plotted going some sorta U/x Metalcraft until P1P12 where a Hasty Goblin wheeled while another one wheeled in P1P13. I was firmly in Blue with 2 Invisimancers and white with several MC dudes but not as exciting as wheeling Goblins (not the greatest of the infect but paird with Invisimacers and blue in general they seemed fine.) P1P14 I also wheeled a Tainted Strike. At this point I knew I was going to be U/B Infect. 4 Grasp of Darkness, 2 Stingers, 3 Invisimancers, Eel School, 2 Strikes, Bladed Pinions, 2 Ichor Rats, Corpse Cur, Grafted Exoskeleton, Throne of Geth and Architect. I steamrolled everyone when I wasnt color screwed. As you can see, I was roughly 50/50 with my creature count but Tainted Strikes and Exoskeleton make the difference. Anyway, you dont need any rare Infect cards to win. Its the same as every other archetype. What you do need is the archetype staples (Stinger/Cystbearer)

  20. Grats on your first finals. ;)

    I really love these videos and your podcast. As of writing this, I’ve done 7 SoM drafts (all live, as I don’t use MTGO). In those 7, I have drafted Infect 0 times (minus the occasional Tangle Angler which is just reusable removal for me), and I’ve never finished lower than 3rd.

    In my opinion, knowing the people you play against is one of the best edges you can have going in and I tend to steer clear of cards and strategies that seem popular. This allows me to get the best of the worst rather than the worst of the best and it’s a strategy that’s been quite effective.

    I agree with the two of you that Blue is the worst color in this set, but if you get enough of it, it can wreck an opponent.

    So, I agree with some of the other comments that Infect should not be dismissed, but as long as you know that “there’s going to be 2-3 Infect decks”, you should avoid rolling the dice on that strategy and going the road less traveled (mono blue, red/ black, black/ blue, or black/ green non-infect as you did here). In my experience, those card pools are really strong, available, and catch other players unawares.

    Just my two cents. Again, I appreciate all the work you guys put into the cast and these videos and I’m certain they’ve helped me become better at limited magic.

  21. You guys SEVERELY underrate Flesh Allergy. Taking Blister Grub over it, seriously? And Ryan was leaning toward the Wall of Tanglecord out of that pack too? I promise you that this will be a pick that will look pretty silly to you a month from now, if it doesn’t already.

    Love all you guys’s content though…even on the rare occasions when I see things differently (*cough Luminarch Ascension cough*). Thanks for the vids.

  22. @Eric: I rewatched the draft portion and thought “the pick there was obv. Flesh Allergy,” so yeah, looks silly to me already. It may have been a “don’t 2:1 yourself” mindset that kept me from giving it more attention there, but it was definitely the correct pick in that spot.

    (I remain unsold on Luminarch Ascension, though.)

  23. This would be pure gravy, but it would be nice to have the picks on Raredraft as well.

    Having so many artifacts makes getting color screwed less painful in this format, so I’d much rather have the awkward 3 color deck than the awkward half-poison deck.

  24. Good videos but you could really stand to talk less and play faster. Not EVERY play needs to be discussed for 3 minutes.

  25. Marshall: You were willing to fist pick Moriok Reaver over Painsmith and Leaden Myr? I can’t fathom how you would take a 3/2 vanilla over one of the cornerstones of this format. I could see someone making a case for the Contagious Nim a la “cut infect,” but the odds of the reaver tabling are extremely high. I’m not trying to belittle you here, I just really want to know why you were ready to make that pick before Ryan talked you out of it.

  26. @Daniel – I’ll have to check which pick you mean as I have forgotten :) I’ll look it up though.

    @Eric – Agreed, Flesh Allergy was the pick there. Although it doesn’t fit nicely in every deck, some better than others. Ours wasn’t an amazing spot for it, but it was still the pick.

    @moerutura – You said: “Its the same as every other archetype” in regards to Infect, but that is wrong. Lets say there was an archetype in this format that was mill creatures that milled instead of doing damage when they hit a player. If I start taking the mill guys early in the draft but it ends up drying up late, I can’t simply start taking normal guys and think “well I’ll just attack them to death instead”. It’s really similar with Infect. Once you stray from that path you are marginalizing your deck. That is my beef with Infect in generally, it’s *not* like any other archetype. And it’s upside doesn’t justify the risk in going for it from my experience. I have drafted it and will draft it again, but I want a strong reason to into it like one of the rare Infectors.

  27. @Daniel – I assume you mean P2P2? I dunno, don’t take too much out of my rambling about picks, I like to throw all the options out there for the sake of our viewers.. I think the Reaver and the Painsmith are close there however. I mean we had 3 artifacts total and were clearly not going for an artifact heavy build. Painsmith is hardly a cornerstone of the format, especially since we likely wouldn’t be getting too many activations off of it. Same goes for Leaden Myr, we aren’t really looking for ramp or artifacts at this point, we are looking to just drop down decent, efficient guys, and beat some face while people are playing awkward Metalcraft and Infect builds.

    I don’t mind filling out the curve though with a randomly good Painsmith and I liked that pick ultimately. If you look as well, the clock on the draft was at under 5 seconds so it becomes one of those “well nothing is jumping out, I’ll take this” type things.

    It’s harder than it looks to produce good verbal content whilst actually piloting and ultimately making the decisions to draft :)

  28. “Hopefully he doesn’t have another corpse cur, cos when they start looping that sh*t, that’s rediculous” haha!

  29. R1G1, when you were facing the Neurok Replica and Angel, why not swing with the same team (Necrogen Scudder, Necrotic Ooze, Painsmith) and pump the Scudder instead of your unblocked Ooze?

    I don’t think he can afford to trade the Angel for Scudder there, so he’ll pop the Replica– so you’ll do 4 (instead of 0) and keep your Scudder and your Painsmith. Alternatively, if he decides to trade, he’ll be down to no creatures on board and you’ll still have Ooze and Painsmith– basically, a superior version of the board you had the other way around. (Ooze + Painsmith vs. empty board)

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