Luckily, Limited is a heck of a lot of fun, which makes playing it all that much more enticing. Limited is just as vast a world as Constructed, but holding up the format are some core principles and concepts that can and should be applied to just about any format. This week, I wanted to pick one of these core ideas and showcase it.
Right now there are Lorwyn flashback drafts on Magic Online, and triple-Lorwyn is one of my favorite triple-set draft formats of all time. Lorwyn is a tribal set featuring all sorts of build-around cards and synergies, moreso than most sets.
While some sets will have one or two uncommons per color that ask you to do something specific, like flashback spells or attack with vampires, Lorwyn has multiple of these at common in every color. At uncommon and rare there are some true gems to build around. So, with that taken into consideration, I wanted to focus on the concept of a build around or a synergy-focused deck.
To help illustrate my point, I lightly force the deck in the video, but it turns out pretty well. Hope you enjoy!
One thing that is always good before you move all-in on a single card or idea is to know at least the rough boundaries of the format you are playing. If I open Steamflogger Boss in triple Future Sight and try drafting around it, I am going to be disappointed. Most build-arounds will have some support, but not all will have enough support.
There have been a few times where Slivers were quite the trap, for example, due to there simply not being enough of them. Try to get some grasp or the format and know what themes, tribes, and strategies are playable. Until you do, don't feel bad drafting safer strategies such as W/U skies while you learn the format.
Not all build-arounds are worth going after, even when they are supported well. Faerie Tauntings has plenty of support in the form of Faeries and instant-speed effect, but its payoff is direct damage to the opponent in small doses. This means that unless your deck is basically perfect, you are throwing away a card for three or four damage to the opponent. Even worse than that, it is predictable damage that happens over time, making it easier to get around than something like Lava Axe.
There are a million good Faerie cards to build around, so its possible you could try building a Tauntings deck, fail, and then end up with something good anyway, but it should be avoided. In this case, we would likely be sacrificing an early pick to even attempt this strategy, which rolls over into our next point.
Sometimes, it will be correct to take a lower-powered card in order to further your strategy. This is natural when it comes to building around a specific card or strategy. That said, it is important that you know your limits and take powerful cards when they show up. I could be blue/black faeries, for example, but unless Mistbind Clique is showing up in the pack alongside it, I am not taking a Faerie over a Shriekmaw. The card is a legitimate bomb and missing out on that power level in the name of a build-around is foolish.
Too many mistakes during the draft like this and you will find yourself with a worse overall deck, which is the exact thing we are trying to avoid.
This point plays off of the last a little bit, but it asks you to do a specific thing. Because your deck will often be based on synergy or a certain build-around, you are likely to make some picks that are lower overall in power level but combine well in your deck. For example, in Lorwyn I basically never want Aquitect's Will unless i am Merfolk, in which case I NEED Aquitect's Will as it turns on so many of my important Merfolk.
Here, I need to understand that Merfolk rely heavily on the opponent having an Island and this is a card that replaces itself, making it a low cost to draw. While I would never take an Aquitect's Will over something like Mulldrifter, I am likely to take it over my second copy of Deeptread Merrow, for example.
Cards have fluctuating values. Grant cards with synergy bonus points. On the surface, Aquitect's Will is maybe a 3 out of 10, but in a Merfolk strategy, that jumps to a 6 or 7 out of 10, which is huge.
This is something that can be applied to just about any drafter and any draft, but is especially important here. If there is something for you in the pack, even if it's for your sideboard, you should be valuing that higher than taking away a card from another person. Especially when drafting synergy-based strategies, you never know how many playables you will end up with or what gimmicks you will want to include in your deck, so draft them when available to have the largest pool of options at the end of the draft.
I hope you enjoyed the draft and enjoy Lorwyn. Until next week, thanks for watching!