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Has anyone figured out Shards yet?

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Joined: 23 Oct 2006
Posts: 309
Location: San Antoni

PostPosted: Tue Nov 18, 2008 6:54 am    Post subject: Has anyone figured out Shards yet? Reply with quote

The last few sets I have been fairly successful drafting, winning say 1 out of 3 4-3-2-2's and every now and again I’d win a 8-4. But shards is crazy, I can't get a good deck for the life of me. From what I have been witnessing, RBx is the best deck, and if you’re not in that deck, you will prolly lose. I have heard esper can be good, but if you don't get set up right, it seems sucky. Has anyone gotten on a roll in S/S/S? Even the "pros" seem like they have trouble with the format, all the multi color cards distract you ands it tough to find a 2, or even sometimes 3 color deck. I have had 4 or 5 4 color decks because all my good cards are spread out. Has anyone found a good strategy other then RBx?
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Joined: 29 Dec 2007
Posts: 65

PostPosted: Tue Nov 18, 2008 7:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

people who go into drafts thinking that "i should be RBx" fail.

draft the best cards at first that don't limit yourself (unless their super awesome rare bombs obviously.) and definately get the lands THEN build into your shard.
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Joined: 12 Apr 2005
Posts: 1840

PostPosted: Tue Nov 18, 2008 7:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I always seem to end up RB normally with a very small or no splash at all, its clearly the combination that works best for me, as Dv8r said it just has so many more playables than other archtypes and its alot harder to draft the archtype and go wrong. I also like bant as an alterntive option if you can get a couple of the few good removal spells then aggresive exalted decks also seem good.

Do read the signals but if some stratergies are working better for you than others, then do what any sensible person would and stick with the winning ones.
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Joined: 26 Oct 2008
Posts: 58

PostPosted: Tue Nov 18, 2008 8:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

miseiler wrote:
I just draft RBx. Even if I open the nuts in, say, Naya...then draft GW or whatever for 6 picks...if someone passes me a bonesplinters/fleshbag marauder I'm going RB and not looking back.

I'm going to try the esper deck at some point, but even there I think you still want a red splash. So some sort of grixis/esper hybrid with an RU base.

Being on the wrong end of Fatestitcher/Stinger is absolutely terrifying.

Me: Play some X/1s
Him: Ping, sac stinger, unearth stinger, ping, untap with stitcher, ping, bonesplinters sacking stitcher, unearth stitcher, untap stinger, ping...

Now im no limited expert --- but maybe this strategy is why you cant get a deck that works. If you are drafting GW for 6 picks and then switch to RBx because of a fleshbag marauder... well maybe you should reconsider your strategy. Drafting is funny. Changing your mind all the time will inevitably lead to failure -- you have to stick with something for most of the duration of the draft.
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Joined: 30 Sep 2006
Posts: 48

PostPosted: Tue Nov 18, 2008 10:07 am    Post subject: naya/bant Reply with quote

It seems to me that you have developed a blind spot in your drafting in that if there are black cards in the pack you feel that you NEED to play them.

My best suggestion to aleviate this is that the next time you sit down at the draft table try this little experiment:

Ignore anything with Skulls in the upper right corner.

You are missing out on alot of this set if you are only playing the three shards that can support Executioners Capsule.
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Level 1 Judge

Joined: 09 Jun 2007
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Tue Nov 18, 2008 10:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jund: Good shard, lot of removal and long-game, can muck up the ground, but...

Naya: Is faster than Jund and will often bust out with trampling first-striking indestructible engines of doom while drawing several cards every EOT. A very deep shard, can support multiple drafters.

Grixis: Similar to Jund, but relies less on tokens and devour and more on ol' fashioned evasion-tempo-removal that is a tried and true recipe for success. All of its main cards are poached by other shards however, which makes it a very shallow shard, one or two drafters at the most.

Esper: Esper loses out on alot of spot removal and picks up some mass removal if its extremely lucky. Esper requires extensive synergy and simply will not do well if too many people are drafting it. Draft if you receive strong signals p1 and it'll be amazing.

Bant: The best Bant decks are sadly, not as good as the best decks that other shards offer. Your specific cards are great, but all your splash cards are being taken by other shards. Don't expect to get squires, o-rings, capsules or pretty much anything else that forms the base of your deck. On the plus side, people will pass you Rhox War Monk.

So to sum it up; In my opinion, in a perfect draft in which you are not cut and only have one or two at most people in your exact shard, you should be in Esper (as it is incredibly powerful if you are alone) or Naya (as it is incredibly powerful if your are alone or not!). If there are alot of people fighting over Naya, Jund and Grixis gain stock (more Grixis than Jund, as it only shares one color). Bant requires ripping rares and uncommons like a mad-man to support as its common base is too splashable for everyone else.
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Level 1 Judge

Joined: 08 Oct 2006
Posts: 38

PostPosted: Tue Nov 18, 2008 11:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am having relative success in my city drafting GWx archetypes. Its fast, its consistent, it punishes opp's mana screws. You may go Naya if you have any bomb or Branching bolts, dragon fodders, thunders and sprays or Bant if you get Charm, silence and War Monk (which arent that hard to get passed).

main cards: sigil blessing, knight of the skywerd eye, steward of valeron, wild nacatl... be sure you have at least 1 of each and 2/3 of some otherwise the deck will lack in power and early game beaters.
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Joined: 23 Oct 2006
Posts: 309
Location: San Antoni

PostPosted: Tue Nov 18, 2008 12:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So, when generalized to the max, the format breaks down to RBx vs GWx, and Esper. The cards all bleed so much that if you think of the format as a 5 shard format, you are always cut. When you look at it as only 3 decks, it makes more sense why it is hard to get a consitent flow of good cards. Anyone got any idea's on how to really get a good read on what people around you are playing?
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Joined: 12 Apr 2005
Posts: 1840

PostPosted: Tue Nov 18, 2008 12:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If your drafting with good players to start with they will most of the time try to stay to as minimal number of colours as possible for as long as time as possible if you do the same, then you can take advantage of the later signals. In this format alot of the time the guy next to you will be one colour you are its making sure, your not in two or more of the same colours that is important.

Do not screw up your entire draft for 1 good card good deck>bad deck with random bomb some cards are so good they are worth gambling on first pick but if it goes wrong just like in poker get out before you lose too much.
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Joined: 30 Jan 2006
Posts: 105

PostPosted: Tue Nov 18, 2008 2:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Every draft I won I drafted grixis.
Every draft I was losing last round I drafted Jund.
Every draft I lost I drafted esper.
Every draft I which was 'mkay' I drafted naya/bant.

Grixis is awesome, it has so much synergy Confused
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Joined: 18 Feb 2006
Posts: 588

PostPosted: Tue Nov 18, 2008 3:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

GW then adding either R or U is what I usually like to end up in, altho as in all formats I don't force. GW is awesome. It has access to the best common in the set, it has the only good 1 drops, it has access to the best pump spell I have seen in a LONG time, It has plenty of exalted dudes, etc. Depending on what cards you get or whats available, R or U really help the deck.
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Joined: 17 Jul 2008
Posts: 71

PostPosted: Tue Nov 18, 2008 5:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have basically decided to stop picking a shard. Or pick a shard as my base and play off of it. 5 color doesn't seem to be too hard to do, and it's been working for me.
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Joined: 08 Sep 2004
Posts: 543

PostPosted: Tue Nov 18, 2008 6:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

the best way to romp in draft is figure out the best commons of each color FOR EACH archetype. the easiest way to end up with a good draft is to see the cards that offer you much versatility. bombs like broodmate dragon aside, i look at cards like sanctum gargoyle, hissing iguanar, and wild nacatl.
sanctum gargoyle: central to a good esper deck. if you ever get 3 in an esper deck you probably have the most resilient deck at the table and now your mission is survive-for-the-lategame because you paly your best cards 3x.
wild nacatl: playable in jund and bant, and a house in naya. first-picking nacatl allows for 3 decks to come your way.
hissing iguanar: good in naya and in grixis. absolutely amazing in jund.

these cards are examples of easy commons that will slide your way that are AMAZING in one shard and good in others. tri-lands are similar. you cant go wrong with low-casting cost cards, cuz even if u dont hit their mana til turn 5 you can probably play a second spell that turn. if you see cards like these snap them up because you'll be happy with them no matter where you land. compare them now to steward of valeron, bone splinters, and the like. there's obviously powerful cards and 2 for a 2/2 vig ramp card is stronger than any card theyve printed similar. the problem is that you;re locking your deck down into a turn 2 manabase which 5-5-5 +panoramas doesn't really afford. bone splinters is solid but many cards that make it good are snatched up by other players (sprouting thrinax, kathari screecher, viscera dragger, bithian stinger)
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Joined: 08 Sep 2004
Posts: 543

PostPosted: Tue Nov 18, 2008 6:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

now it's my turn to ask: has anyone figured out shards SEALED. i'm only 50-50 with it and it bothers me. it's a very small sample size but every time i open bombs and what feels like a great deck i lose to turn 2 flyer turn 3 double exalted turn 4-5 removal or even worse, excommunicate.
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Joined: 12 Apr 2005
Posts: 1840

PostPosted: Tue Nov 18, 2008 6:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Going rb every time is still working for me, I have no idea about sealed in this format have never played any sorry.

Just beat turn 3 mighty emerge, turn 4 throctar, turn 5 rakeclaw garangutan, turn 6 incurable ogre in finals go me:)

Im not going to make anymore draft reports of me going rb by the way as I do not think its really benifiting anyone, theres plenty enough to figure out how you do it I've done already etc. but I'll make sure whenever i get the odd draft when in mot rb to do a report.
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