The Magic world’s abuzz with gods and enchantments. Bestow and Heroic are on the tips of everyone’s tongues. So what did I do this week to gear up for this awesome looking new set? I played triple Innistrad draft… for the first time in my life.

“What!? But that’s the best format I’ve ever drafted! You don’t understand, it’s…” Got it, yep, I know. I’ve been told, basically since I started playing Magic one year ago (wow, already one year, is it?) that the triple Innistrad draft was one of the most fun, best balanced draft formats ever created. I don’t know, I really enjoyed Chaos draft, but I thought I would give it a try.

I asked my old pal Orlando what he thought was worth drafting in triple Innistrad. He recommended several different archetypes: Spider Spawning (but everyone’s going to try for that, he warned), Blue/White Spirits, Red/Black Vampires, Red/Green Werewolves, White/Green Humans. Okay, I knew what to look out for. So I settled down to play for the first time in a while. Things have been busy lately, and other than a single M14 draft, I haven’t gotten to play much in-store Magic.

So I settled down for my first ever draft in the format. I was at a six man pod, and opened my first pack to see Bloodline Keeper. Well, I know enough about Magic: The Gathering at this point in my feeble career to know a “windmill slam” as the kids call it. Note: I did nothing as drastic or unnecessarily theatric as windmill slamming my bloodline keeper. Everyone saw my first pick, stayed out of Black, and the rest of the draft was a dream for me.

Though I was light on removal, I was able to get a fair amount of vampires into my deck. And I got lots of support from Diregraf Ghoul and a bunch of Walking Corpse‘s. But not having good removal hurt. Having to, in most games, rely on cards like Corpse Lunge just wasn’t where I wanted to be with the deck. But I got the deck together and ran with a few good Vampire Interloper‘s.

Match One I faced Dom’s fun White/Green humans deck. I had to do plenty of ducking and bobbing to get around his guys, but my Village Cannibals were put to good use against his deck. He also drew really weirdly/badly in Game Two, and I was able to luck into another win. 2-0 in Games. 1-0 in Matches.

Match Two I faced off against Ross. His deck was fast and totally surprising. He played mono-red, and swarmed my guys with his. Game One he completely caught me off guard, beat me in a race and used Curse of the Pierced Heart and burn spells to sap my life away. For some reason I drafted a Witchbane Orb and sided it in Game Two. Game Two went better for me, stabilizing early and swinging with guys in the air. Game Three was another win for me, but I forget the details. All in all, my games with Ross felt like a real boxing match, with both of us going back and forth. It was fun. 4-1 in Games. 2-0 in Matches.

Match Three Wow, my first time ever drafting a set and here I was in the finals. It felt cool, I felt accomplished, and when I sat down across from fellow Hipsters writer Zach B., I knew this was going to be a good match. Zach congratulated me on making it to the finals and said stuff about my progress as a player that made me squirm in my seat a bit (not because of his praise, but because, you know… I received praise. What’s a modern thinker to do in light of being praised?) Game One I… what’s the phrase, punted the ball? The ball of magic? I cast (best card name award goes to…) Into the Maw of Hell on his… wait for it… wait for the scrubby play… Manor Gargoyle! Ouch! Indestructible, duh. That was pretty much that for Game One. Oh Well, such is life. Game Two we had a beat-down race. He got a Civilized Scholar onto the board and flipped him. I was winning off the back of a Vampire Interloper with a bunch of equipment on him but I just couldn’t outrace taking ten damage each turn. He got me. But damn, it was a fun match. 4-3 in Games. 2-1 in Matches.

So overall, second place in a format I’ve never drafted before. It felt great, I’ve made a lot of improvement in the past year, and now we can all go back to looking at gods and Satyrs (YES!). This pre-release will mark, more or less officially, the one-year anniversary of my magic career. Seeing as I officially began with the Midnight Pre-Release of Return to Ravnica. It’s been a fun year, I’ve learned a lot, and maybe by next week I’ll be able to collect my thoughts and write about what I’ve learned. For now, I’m just gonna keep on scrubbing. I suggest you do the same.

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