Towers of Steel

Drafting Pick by Pick: Weekend Warrior- Precision Draft

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Welcome once more, Forgeborn, to my series of drafting posts. Today I am having a try at this weeks’ Weekend Warrior- Precision Draft. One of the newer draft formats created in recent months by Kaelari, it isn’t one that I have a lot of experience with yet but it certainly looks to be an interesting and challenging format.

For those that don’t know about Precision Draft, it is a relatively normal shadow draft (i.e. You don’t keep the deck that you draft) except you only draft a 20 card deck, and each pick is from 6 cards instead of the diminishing packs. This obviously does make some changes to both what you draft and how you play. From a consistency point of view it’s great, because you will never (barring solbound cards) not draw a card that you have levelled up. As an aside, this should also theoretically make Alloyin the most likely go-to for the levelling. But with a smaller deck, bad or wasted picks can and will hurt you more. So just what did I manage to pick? Read on and find out!
The Draft

P1P1: Runebark Guardian, Experian Sage, Experian Steelplate, Onyxium Phantasm, Aetherphage, Undying Legacy – As I said above, you really should consider running Alloyin for the levelling up. With this pack, this means that you could make a case for both the Sage (and go AU) and the Phantasm (and go AN). In the end, it came down to personal preference, and I’ve always been an Onyxium boy, so Phantasm it is.

P1P2: Stonefist Giant, Thranik Ambusher, Grove Matriarch, Metamind Explorer, Blightskull Phantasm, Experian Wartusk – Having made the AN call with the first pick, there is only one card I can choose here to lock in the faction pairing. If I was willing to change tack, there are some really nice Tempys and Uterra cards here, but once I choose the pairing I am extremely loathe to change with pick 2; nothing short of an extreme bomb would turn me.

P1P3: Nanoswarm, Tech Explorer, Cypien Infiltrator,  Charnel Titan, Corpse Crawler, Hungering Strike – I have to admit to a serious fondness for Tech Explorer- the little leveller that turns into a late game bomb (whilst continuing to level your other creatures). Any time I draft an Alloyin deck, this is one that I always look for and value very highly.

P1P4: Nexus Pilot, Ionic Warcharger, Ruthless Wanderers, Blight Walker, Contagion Lord, Portal Shade – This came down to a really tough choice between the Lord and the Shade. Everything other than the Wanderers was good and I would happily take them, but at lower rarity they have more chance of showing up again. Contagion Lord has the down side of solbinding in the Contagion Fiend (which as a creature is pretty damn sucky) and means that barring card draw or overload you will miss seeing one card each rank. This is still better than the normal not-seeing-ten-out-of-thirty, but could potentially be frustrating. But it is easier to draft more support (in the form of other abominations) and slightly less situational with its ability. Shade is an okay creature normally, but you only really get the value if it’s in play on rank up. If you draw it on a x.1, you need to keep it alive which could lead to suboptimal plays. Lord just pipped it, but it was close.

P1P5: Tower Scout, Vyric’s Embrace, Nexus Pilot, Festering Slime, Onyxium Marauder, Nether Decay – Scout and Pilot are both decent, but with the combination of armour and regeneration I just prefer Marauder.

P2P1: Xithian Direhound, Xithian Hulk, Matrix Warden, Dirge Banshee, Forgeplate Sentry, Forge Guardian Beta – A bit of a tough pack, as several cards were tempting. Both Xithians are abominations for Lord, and the Direhound overloads to thin the deck back down again. Matrix Wardens are so rarely a bad pick. In the end, though, it came down to a battle of the armoured bombs. After a fair bit of back and forthing I went for the slightly smaller butt and less armour in favour of the higher attack.

P2P2: Witherfrost Banshee, Anvillon Arbiter, Metadata Redacter, Aetherguard, Metatransfer, Sonic Pulse – I do like Witherfrosts, and Metatransfer is a reasonable leveller, but ultimately Sonic Pulse is just too good against any grow wide.

P2P3: Ordnance Captain, Onyxium Allomancer, Phalanx Squadron, Scavenger Scorpion, Dirge Banshee, Cull the Weak – I must admit, Onyxium Allomancer is just one of my personal favourite cards in the game. If you are able to get him to stick, Allomancer is a real levelling beast and the regeneration is just absolute gravy.

P2P4: Sparkblade Assassin, Bitterfrost Totem, Cacklebones, Xithian Direhound, Ironbound Reinforcements, Phalanx Squadron – Direhound is an Abomination for Lord, is a nice underdrop, and overloads to thin the deck. What’s not to like here?

P2P5: Death Seeker, Vyric’s Embrace, Rot Wanderer, Ordnance Captain, Fell Walker, Abyssal Maw – In limited, Abyssal Maw can be a massive swinger (especially in large enough numbers…). At the very least, it’s a multi-lane Abomination.

P3P1: Rite of Undeath, Nyrali Ooze, Ordnance Captain, Metamind Adept, Zombie Infantry, Electro Net – This is definitely a subpar pack for this deck. Metamind Adept could also be the pick as an additional work around for the solbound Fiend, but I’ve passed on two Captains already, and that extra 2 damage across the board can soon add up.

P3P2: Metatransfer, Ruthless Wanderers, Metamind Adept, Fell Walker, Electro Net, Rite of Undeath – I would rather pick another body here, but I don’t have anywhere near enough levelling up yet so I have little choice but to take the Metatransfer.

P3P3: Spiritleash, Corpse Crawler, Ruthless Wanderers, Nether Decay, Fleshfiend, Zombie Infantry – Corpse Crawler is the only other consideration here but I don’t have enough sticky or sacrificial creatures to make it worthwhile.

P3P4: Nanoswarm, Batterbot, Scavenger Scorpion, Bulwark Bash, Hungering Strike, Metamind Operator – I am aware that the Batterbot is probably the better pick in general, but I do like multi-lane combat tricks and I have more low-attack creatures that is ideal.

P3P5: Metamind Explorer, Steelspark Tinkerer, Spitesower Acolyte, Ionic Warcharger, Aegis Pulse, Fell Strider – Spitesower Acolyte is a creature that I do like, but only in constructed. She requires too much support to really make her worthwhile in limited. I almost picked the Tinkerer for its levelling, but in the end I went with the otherwise all round better card.

P4P1: Munitions Drone, Scrapforge Titan, Necroslime, Tech Explorer, Jet Pack, Spite Hydra – This was a mean pack. I still need more levelling, and I did find myself torn, but in the end the level 3 on the Titan swung it.

P4P2: Aegis Conscript, Forgeplate Sentry, Technognome, Technosmith, Jet Pack, Vault Intruder – Intruder and Sentry are both good picks, and Technognome has a good level 3, but I’m still short of levelling, so ‘Smith it is.

P4P3: Metatransfer, Matrix Warden, Death Seeker, Metamind Operator, Charnel Titan, Xithian Hulk – Like many other players, I do like to pick Wardens where possible. I had to pass on one earlier, and the only other card I could consider here is ‘Transfer, and I don’t want to clutter my deck up with more that he one copy- without a body it just isn’t worth it.

P4P4: Graveborn Glutton, Festering Slime, Stasis Indexer, Aegis Conscript, Byzerak Drake, Vyric’s Embrace – Graveborn Glutton is one that I will prioritise anytime I play Nekrium- Byzerak, Dysian or Onyxium, all appreciate the Glutton as a good top end.

P4P5: Xithian Hulk, Blightsteel Phantasm, Jet Pack, Zombie Infantry, Vault Technician, Rite of Undeath – The final pick is another of the uninspiring packs. Nothing is an obvious stand out, so I’ll take the Hulk just for it’s tribal.

And there we have it- one Precision draft deck drafted. There’s a lot less levelling up than I’m happy with, but with the smaller deck it may just be enough. As long as I can make it to the late game I do have some really nice top end finishers, I just worry that I don’t have enough for the middle game to keep me alive. I’m also not entirely certain what ratio I need for allied procs in this format- twelve or thirteen is the generally accepted number to reliably trigger allied in a thirty card deck. Including the solbound Fiend I’m looking at a total of nine Nekrium cards in a 21 card deck (one of which has overload) to trigger two creatures.

Oh well- Carpe Diem

The Play

Game 1 – First round was the AN mirror, and it’s fair to say that my opponent outplayed me very well. He managed to win the Phantasm war (aided by a silly misplay on my part- I missed the allied proc on my Phantasm 2 without realising it; I didn’t spot it until the next turn, when I tried to activate it. Oops…) and just managed to keep pushing damage with his nicely on-level Alloyin Strategists. Early rank 4 he managed to get the lethal and put me out of my misery. A painful start for me, but very well played there Zaraphel. 0-1

Game 2 – Next up my opponent was running what appeared to be an AU grow tall. I got off to a better start this time and rank 1 was definitely mine, but once we hit rank 2 control slipped away and he managed to actually start spreading wider as well. Rank 3 saw him drop a Hive Empress, and the poison clock did put some serious pressure on me. Shortly after that, though, I managed to stabilise with a Scrapforge 3. Then Tech Explorer, Allomancer and Phantasm (all level 3) enabled me to start punching through, taking the win in mid rank 4. 1-1

Game 3 – The next round was against NT control, with a slew of Uranti Warlord, Cinderbound, Fleshfiend, Scourge Knights and Dr Frankenbaum. I felt comfortable in rank 1, but from rank 2 on I just got outplayed and outmanoeuvred; my Phantasms slowed down the pain, but between creature damage and debuff I just struggled to keep creatures on the board long enough to really affect the game. Very well played to DraftSilver. 1-2

Game 4 – The final round was against another AU deck, and yet again the pairing of Allomancer and Phantasm proved valuable. My opponent managed to outlevel me a touch (multiple Technosmiths and an Esperian Sage) but my top end was just that bit better than his. After a bit of manoeuvring and back-and-forthing, I finally managed to seal the game in my 4.1. 2-2

So, not the best run, but not horrendous. Game 1 I should have focused on removing the Strategists and not made the silly misplay with the allied proc on my Phantasm 2. I’m honestly not sure quite what I could have done better against NT there in game 3; I just never managed to make my creatures stick long enough to really make a difference. Frustrating somewhat, but there you go.

I still stand by my initial thoughts that Alloyin is quite powerful in this format thanks to the virtual consistent paired with levelling. My performance left a little to be desired, but I definitely think that this is a fun format for a Weekend Warrior, and certainly it should appeal to those that have a real problem with the normal amount of variance and level screw. Here’s hoping it returns soon!

Thanks again for joining me here and I’ll see you in the queues soon!

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