DGR Draft #2 – Ryan

Unflinching Courage or Warleader’s Helix pack 1, pick 1?  Ryan (rjh) debates the cards which will greatly influence the direction of this Dragon’s Maze Draft.

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4 responses to “DGR Draft #2 – Ryan”

  1. judgemike says :

    Ryan, as always keep it up. Finals, and a win, albeit in the most anticlimactic of ways, is a win.

    Two things, one minor, one not so minor:

    1) Extort would not remove filibuster counters from the Elocutors, extort is loss of life and damage is what removes the counters.

    2) I think you are being a little too conservative with the way you built your deck. I think you have a sufficiently strong and stable manabase to be able to support the double splash of the red cards and the unflinching courage. I think the way the deck worked out, the Renounce the Guilds would have been a much better sideboard option seeing as that you had ways to deal with problematic creatures. Unflinching courage is just that strong and will be able to put away games you have no business winning whereas sometimes Renounce the guilds is meh. Don’t get me wrong, Renounce the Guilds can definitely do work but I think it is a better option to have it in the board just in case you see any problematic multicolor permanents. Also, I know there are times were Unflinching Courage could be a dead card based on drawing the lands and you’d probably be able to always play Renounce, but upside is clearly way worth it.

    And in order to stabilize mana-wise I think your manabase could have been: Stomping Ground, forest, mountain, izzet guildgate, 7 plains, 6 islands.

    If you include the cluestone and the prophetic prism, this gives you: 4 red sources, 3 green sources, 9 blue sources, and 9 white sources.

    I think this is more than enough to comfortably sustain the double splash. And I can anticipate your worry that the extra forest should be an island like you ended up playing it whenever you sided Unflinching Courage in. The reason I don’t think it is much of a problem is because the prophetic prism and cluestone both smooth out your manabase. Sure it makes the two drops slightly more dicey but you had both a 1W and a 1U 2 drop so not to worry. And your only double colored spell was the griffin. I think more reliably getting Unflinching Courage on board has a substantially higher upside, plus it would easily smooth out the initial stumble.

    I know that is a really corner case regarding the trade between 1 forest and 1 island but I think at this point, especially since I like the way the draft went in general, this is actually the most impactful discussion we can have. I know I have the video and that gives me insight into your thought process but I would like to know what you think about swapping and island for a forest.

    • ryanjhill says :

      I think my mana base building skills are very weak, so I enjoy you going deep on this for me. I agree that Unflinching Courage should have been main with Renounce in the sideboard. Whoops! However, I think I it’s still correct to keep only 2 green sources for the enchantment by playing another island instead of the forest. In the deck, I’m playing Courage as a late game bomb. I’m not looking to run it out on turn 3 or 4…I’m looking at it as a 7 drop that I play once my opponent has no more removal spells in hand. Therefore, I’d rather be able to consistently play my on-color two/three drops. Thus, island over forrest.

      • judgemike says :

        Alright, I see the reasoning between two green sources over one but probabilities was not my strong math derivative but here are some numbers I came up with:

        2 green sources out of 40 cards: 1/20 in a deck. Assuming no mulls and you are on the draw. By turn 7 you have seen 14 cards. I am discounting the card draw from prophetic prism because well thats already a green source. Now, of course assuming that math works perfectly in this way (which it doesn’t), there is still a fair chance that you will not have a green. Whereas if you have 3 green sources making a green source 1/13.33 cards, by turn 7 on the draw, having seen 14 cards you are pretty close to being guaranteed a green source.

        Now 17 lands out of a 40 card deck is roughly 1 land per 2.35 cards. Even if we don’t hit the prophetic prism and cluestone that is still 7 blue, 7 white. so 14/40 reduces down to we will just say 1/3, not negatively impacting our ability to cast our base azorius colors. The only thing that we “might” have to worry about is sunspire griffin on turn 3, but that would have been a problem anyway. I’m cutting an island for a forest, not a plains. I think were some of the calculations can get a bit wonky is when we try to factor in our prism because it counts for every color. I think three green sources would be too much is one of them wasn’t the prism, actually or if we didn’t also have the cluestone to kind of hedge.

        Now I want to revisit this comment after I’ve thought about it some more just because part of me feels I might be making the numbers fit with the math and there might be a fallacy or two in place with my logic. But tentatively, this was the concrete reasoning behind the argument for the manabase in the above post.

  2. ryanjhill says :

    Assuming all the math is correct (which seems the case to me), you aren’t factoring in the odds of drawing the actual spell. You’re assuming it’s in the opening hand. I don’t want to give up the ability to cast my two drops on time to be able to cast a green spell I MIGHT have in my hand. I think 2 sources is fine when I only have one turn 7/8 card splash.

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