Last weekend I went to my LGS (that finally re-opened it’s play-area) to join a Modern Horizons 2 Draft.
The fact that I wasn’t able to open anything from MH2 and that it was the first event after a long time of the LGS’s play-area being closed, made this for me as the perfect event to come back to playing some limited.
Probably due to the fact that it was a really hot summer afternoon, the really inviting lake nearby made most of the possible players decide that they preferred to splash in the water instead of slinging some spells; so we were only eight players.
I did have zero experience in draft MH2 but I checked out some guides in the morning and so I did know which were the main draftable archetypes and which card to look out for.
At my first pick I ditched the rare Unmarked Grave to take Lazotep Chancellor, a really strong payoff for the Dimir Discard archetype and so I decided to take it; at best I would have been able to build with it while at worst I would have private one of my opponents of a strong card.
After that I went on drafting Dimir Discard and after a certain point I had to add Red to my pool to add some more payoff with the Madness cards, as there were not a lot of cards for the archetype around; after we discovered this was because there were three players all drafting Discard/Madness shenanigans. The general pool wasn’t so homogenous as there were a lot of cards to play the archetype I chose to draft (luckily) but basically zero good ones to play something like Boros Modular.
After drafting I built my Grixis Madness deck, using the Dimir colors to have a way to discard and the Rakdos for most of the payoffs.
You can click here to see the full decklist.
The draft was composed of three Swiss rounds.
Round 1 vs Sultai Goodstuff
I kept a nice hand with both Lazotep Chancellor and Necrogoyf but my opponent casts Grief as soon as possible and made me discard my goyf. I start applying a bit of pressure by amassing a Zombie Army and I’m able to start turning the tide once I cast Mount Velus Manticore that acts both as a discard outlet and a way to ping and remove his small creatures. Still he has Grief on the field that doesn’t let me swing so freely, especially because he is basically able to neutralize the Chancellor’s ability by casting So Shiny on my Zombie Army. Luckily I’m able to top-deck one of the artifact dual lands that, by being both a land and an artifact, let me do 2 damages to Grief when discarded to the manticore.
I’m one swing from the win and he cast a creature to block me but I quickly bounce it back to his hand with Recalibrate and I win the game.
I mulligan down to six and I keep a hand without red but that I’m lucky enough to find it with the perfect timing that let me hard-cast Terminal Agony to remove one of his more serious threats to then precede casting both my Aeromoeba and I start to use their ability to hit for 8 in the air while casting cards like Skophos Reaver giving me a much faster clock that quickly made me close the game.
1 won – 0 lost
Round 2 vs Naya Tokens
Game 1 was almost embarrassing for me. I kept a hand with all my color fixed in the lands hoping to find something good later. My opponent started filling his board pretty quickly with various pieces and removing my creatures with cards like Prismatic Ending and Solitude while filling the board with other like Soul of Migration. I’m not able to find a way to discard and so I end up trying to resist by hard-casting my Madness card but I quickly get overwhelmed.
I have a much better start with cards like Cabal Initiate and Rakdos Headliner that start dishing in some good damages right from the beginning, bringing him under 10 life really quickly. He casts Chatterfang and I answer with my Necrogoyf. Necrogoyf is a nice 11/4 but the problem is that he doesn’t have Trample and so when my opponent starts filling the board with Squirrels thanks to Chatterfang in combination with cards like Orchard Strider I get quickly stopped.
He casts Arcus Acolyte and enchants it with Skyblade’s Boon. I don’t have flyers and so I’m unable to block it. He slowly starts chipping my life down, getting some back while he continuously creates tokens with Chatterfang. I found a removals but it’s too late as it’s only one and I have to deal with two threats.
I also start flooding with lands and so I concede.
1 won – 1 lost
Round 3 vs Simic Counters & Tokens
I keep a hand without blue mana sources and I regret shortly after as I start finding blue cards while not having the mana to cast them.
He drops almost immediately a Jade Avenger; I love the art of this card but it becomes really easily a serious threat as it is really hard to block, putting me on a clock.
I’m finally able to find blue after a few turns and I cast my Aeromoeba to try to slow him down. However he as Combine Chrysalis and he starts transforming the various clues and food tokens he is producing in dangerous 4/4 that also get flying from the Chrysalis. He swarms the board and easily takes me out.
I start really strongly with Lazotep Chancellor and Rakdos Headliner that quickly let me do some huge damage to my opponent that has to chump block my creature to avoid a lot of damage, leaving him with an almost empty board.
He tries to slow me down with a Funnel-Web Recluse but I immediately remove it and I cast my Necrogoyf. With all the creatures I removed to him the goyf is enormous and I only need to bounce the next creature he casts back to his hand with Recalibrate to swing with it for the win.
I found all my colors in my starting hand and I have again the Lazotep Chancellor so I keep and I go with it. I have again a really nice start playing around with madness but this time he stops me really quickly with a Duskshell Crawler that it’s able to block any of my creatures to prevent a lot of damage.
He then casts Urban Daggertooth and things start to go down when he is able to put a counter on it. He casts Smell Fear, Proliferating and then making the Daggertooth fight my Chancellor… proliferating again when the Chancellor damaged the Daggertooth in the fight. With the Crawler giving Trample to all his creatures with +1/+1 counters I’m getting 8 damage each turn despite blocking and so he needs only another attack to win the game.
1 won – 2 lost
With this result I ended the draft in 5th position. Surely a mistake I did in it was to not take more removals; there were a few occasions where I could have taken a removal and instead I went for a creature because I felt like I didn’t have enough of them while drafting. Another error by my part was to neglect mana fixing until I was a the third pack and I was certain that I had to play three colors; I had then to batten down the hatches and spend most of the picks during the third booster looking for fixing or the artifact lands.
I don’t know if I will do more MH2 drafts in the future as next weekend there will already be Adventures in the Forgotten Realms Prerelease, but surely these are lessons useful for any draft.