My friends, I have partaken of much shitty durdling in the M14 draft format, but this?
This is my masterpiece.
M14 8-4, P1P1 I take a Nightmare because I am terrible, and end up with this ham sammich:
The draft portion is a haze, I wish I could recall more of the details. Maybe my subconscious is suppressing the memory. Happily, Magic Online retained replays of all 9 of my games so I was able to review them and take some screenshots.
Round 1 vs Blue-White: Opponent is doing the Dismiss into Dream + Zephyr Charge thing. He gets the combo online in R1G1 and locks me out. R1G2, he has the Dismiss into Dream and a Trading Post in play with 4 cards in hand, but he’s tapped out at 3 life with one blocker. I have exactsies by attacking with my two 2-power guys and then using Gnawing Zombie to sac the guy he blocks.
R1G3 I get him down to 8 and go all-in on a Blood Bairn when he doesn’t block it. He had 1 card in hand and open mana but I did not believe that it was anything. I sac all my other guys to the Blood Bairn and get away with it.
Round 2 vs Mono-Green: R2G1, I win after casting a relatively modest Rise of the Dark Realms for 4 creatures: my Banisher Priest & Blightcaster, and his Deadly Recluse & Groundshaker Sliver. I did try to orchestrate my blocks ahead of casting the 9-mana sorcery, gang-blocking his biggest guy so I could resurrect him on my side, as well as chumping with my Banisher Priest so I could reset it. This clogs up the ground and then I stick a couple of flying threats in Nightmare & Nightwing Shade.
R2G2, he beats me down handily.
R2G3 is the highlight of this draft; I’ll remember this one forever. I’m certain my opponent missed getting in some damage along the way but I definitely make those mistakes, too, so I am not criticizing this guy for it. It just goes to show that every point counts.
We reach a board state where I am at 2 life and have no cards in hand. Opponent has 3 cards in hand and the focal point of the board is his 9/9 trampling Woodborn Behemoth (it had a +1/+1 counter from a Hunt the Weak).
In the chat window, I tell him “ggs” because I believe it’s over, but I’m going to make him click the buttons to actually kill me. Might as well, right? I block his 9-power guy with my whole team, 12 points of toughness. He orders blockers to kill my Siege Mastodon and Dawnstrike Paladin, leaving me a Gnawing Zombie. I gain 2 life from the Dawnstrike Paladin so I go up to 4.
On my turn, I draw and play Wall of Swords and pass it back. On his turn, he casts Sporemound and plays a land, netting a 1/1 Saproling token. He attacks with Woodborn Behemoth and Predatory Sliver. I block the 9/9 trampler with my 3/5, and the 2/2 with my 1/3.
I have to sacrifice the Gnawing Zombie to itself, to gain 1 life up to 5, and then take 4 trample damage down to 1.
He passes the turn. I am at 1 life, no cards, 9 lands. He has 4 creatures that can attack. Draw step…
I cast Rise of the Dark Realms, returning 14 creatures to play, including a Banisher Priest that exiles his 9/9 trampler.
I’m just glad Hornet Sting isn’t in the format.
Round 3 vs Mono-Blue: R3G1, he wins by milling me out but he also dealt me about a million damage with an unchecked Phantom Warrior before I finally Pacifism’d it. I survived by sac’ing several guys to Gnawing Zombie. He’s got Millstone, Tome Scour, Archaeomancer, multiple Staff of the Mind Magus to buy time, and all the other great blue stuff: Sensory Deprivation, Claustrophobia, Time Ebb, Divination, Opportunity, counterspells, the whole kit & caboodle.
I do cast Rise of the Dark Realms when I’m at 1 card left in my deck, returning 12 creatures and representing a lethal alpha strike if I were to get another turn. Now, you could say it was bad to give him the information that I had the Rise in my deck when I was almost certainly going to die on my next draw step but I figured a.) there’s always an outside chance that he misclicks and doesn’t activate his Millstone for some reason, like maybe he has an epileptic seizure or something, and b.) casting Rise of the Dark Realms is sweet, of course I’m going to do it even if it’s pointless!
I sideboard up to a 50+ card deck with 23 lands. I’m tossing almost all of my black and white cards in there, just for mill fodder. R3G2 he is once again beating my face in with a Phantom Warrior and a Nephalia Seakite is riding shotgun.
There’s a critical turn where he seems to be in great shape, my flying blockers have been tapped by Frost Breath and he tries to Time Ebb my Gnawing Zombie. I have 1 card in hand, Rise of the Dark Realms. I use my open mana to sac dudes in response to the Time Ebb, gaining some life and filling my graveyard. I then cast the Rise on my turn, getting back Gnawing Zombie, Griffin Sentinel, Angelic Wall and Wall of Swords. Exciting, no? The flying walls shut down the Nephalia Seakite, at least.
Looking at my replay, I could have sac’d an additional guy in response to the Time Ebb (either Corpse Hauler or Undead Minotaur). I dunno what my thought process was, there; maybe I wanted Corpse Hauler + mana for some reason? Most likely just a misplay. Also, I don’t mean to say I “got” him super hard by sac’ing the guys specifically in response to the Time Ebb, because I would have had to do that anyway in another turn or two just to gain life and not die to his attack, but I did get to draw a fresh card instead of drawing the Gnawing Zombie.
A couple of turns later, I’m down to 1 life from the Phantom Warrior. He Essence Scatters both a Nightwing Shade and a Dawnstrike Paladin. On his end step, I use Corpse Hauler to gravedig the countered Dawnstrike Paladin.
I draw a Blightcaster but can only cast the Dawnstrike Paladin as I need to leave up mana to activate Gnawing Zombie at least twice in order to survive the next Phantom Warrior attack. I sac Angelic Wall and Wall of Swords to stay at 1 when he attacks.
On my turn, I cast the Blightcaster and I get to cancel out his Phantom Warrior by attacking with my lifelinking Dawnstrike Paladin. The Paladin has vigilance so he can keep running into Wall of Frost all day. He hits me down to 1 again, then I draw Angelic Accord. The Accord was really just anti-mill filler, I had few ways to trigger it repeatedly. At best I might get some incidental value as I sac’d a series of guys to Gnawing Zombie, or I might randomly have my one Mark of the Vampire on a guy. He Negates the Angelic Accord but I still get the Blightcaster trigger, which I point at the Phantom Warrior.
With his unblockable guy off the board, things turn around. I assemble a quasi-dragon in Griffin Sentinel + Blessing (yet more anti-mill filler) that finishes the game.
In R3G3 my age-old enemy, the clock, is breathing down my neck. Opponent starts the game with about 6 minutes on his side, and I have about 5. My opener has a couple of 2-power guys so I try to beat down. I also assemble Angelic Accord + Mark of the Vampire like a sack and produce a token. I get very lucky when he Time Ebbs my Wall of Swords, then mills it with Millstone. I draw an Altar’s Reap that could have been a crummy Wall of Swords. I cast the Altar’s Reap, sac’ing an Angelic Wall and drawing into a Gnawing Zombie.
I manage to get opponent down to 6 life and no cards in hand. My board is 5 creatures: 3 guys locked down with Claustrophobias, a Master of Diversion with -1 power due to Sensory Deprivation and a Gnawing Zombie.
He has one blocker, a Phantom Warrior. Even though he has negative power, Master of Diversion is a champ and attacks to tap the blocker so that Gnawing Zombie can get in for 1 damage. Then I am able to drain him out from 5 exactly by sacrificing my whole board to the Gnawing Zombie.
I only notice later, after opponent has left the match, that he said “sick games, ggs” in the chat window and I really feel badly that I didn’t respond. I would love to have told this guy, “wow, thanks, this was a crazy match, ggs” but at the time I just didn’t notice the chat window and I was very focused on executing all of these actions before my clock ran out. I would have been pretty butthurt if I misclicked this one away.