Lately there’s been a lot of talk about burnout on Hipsters’ writing list—with Magic in general, but more specifically with Theros. I think this has a bit to do with the time of year—it’s not a super bright and shiny time anywhere, Magic or no—but mostly it has to do with the fact that Theros has been out since last fall, and people are getting sick of it.

Honestly, though, I’m not—but I also don’t play as much as some people. Checking my stats since Sept. 21, when Theros prereleased, I see that I’ve done 18 drafts and and nine sealed events. Compare that to the other day when I was listening to Limited Resources and Brian and Marshall answered a reader question as to how many times they draft a particular set: 50 to 100, both said.

Still, this is the time of year when I start itching to do a little something different with the current Limited draft format; last year, for instance, I tried to draft Gatecrash guilds in Return to Ravnica. It was fun, but it wasn’t a smashing success; it was really more of a gimmick. So this past week I’ve been casting about to do something different on Theros.

And, well—like I said, I haven’t drafted a ton … so one of the things I really haven’t done was draft GW Heroic. Honestly I’ve been pretty locked into UW Heroic, UB Control, and RG Monsters on Theros, which I really do think are the best decks. That said, the best deck in a vacuum and the best deck in your particular draft are two totally different things.

So on Magic Online the other day, after first-picking an Ordeal of Nylea in a weakish pack, and getting passed a foily Wingsteed Rider, I dove headfirst into the other other heroic archetype. Here’s the deck:

GW Heroic

Not the best but not the worst. I got a 14th-pick Setessan Griffin at one point, which was a welcome inclusion. It could use another Wingsteed Rider and a Leafcrown Dryad or two, but otherwise I think it’s pretty decent, with some early pressure thanks to Soldier of the Pantheon and the pair of Traveling Philosophers, some good tricks, and top hefty drops including an Arbor Colossus who literally never showed his jolly green face in three rounds. I hate when that happens!

Also, I decided to start playing swiss drafts. After losing a couple 8-4s in the first round, I’m began thinking that—better competition or no—I wasn’t getting my value or my practice time out of the online drafts I was playing, and surely that’s not a great use of my time or money. And plus, I don’t totally buy the argument that swiss drafts are *so* easy compared to 8-4s, or filled with dolts who’ve never cracked a booster pack before. Sure, I’ll encounter the odd n00b or really bad deck in a swiss, but more often than not the decks are decent and so are the players.

With this deck, I went 2-1, losing in the first round in a game that I think I could have won, had I played differently. And that’s another reason why I was to play swiss, for now at least: The longer I get to spend in the Magic zone each week, playing as well as drafting, the better I’m going to get at both. And my drafting, I think, is mostly sound; play practice is what I want.

My next deck in this keeping-burnout-at-bay series was inspired by the top five cards of GP Sacramento, which Tom Martell took down this past weekend. No. 3 on the list was Aqueous Form, which combines very well with Flamespeaker Adept (and in general is not as bad of a card as people have made it out to be, I think).

So when I opened up a pack of Theros a few days ago and, after first-picking a Lightning Strike, had a Flamespeaker Adept passed to me, I grabbed it and ended up with a pretty sweet UR Scry deck, featuring 2X Voyage’s End, 2X Flamespeaker Adept, 2X Lightning Strike, a Thassa’s Emissary, and even a Thassa, God of the Sea. (I also first-picked a Thoughtseize for value out of a weak pack three pick one.) The Steam Augury I got on the wheel, something like 13th pick, no kidding. But, as you can see, I didn’t get a single copy of Aqueous Form—never saw one! Oh well. Here’s the deck:

UR Scry

I also took this deck to a 2-1 finish, losing again in the first round to the eventual draft winner. It was a hell of a lot of fun to play, though, and I highly recommend anyone who’s feeling a bit sick of Theros to try UR Scry. It’s not at all a popular archetype—it’s roundly thought of as the worst two-color combo on Theros, in fact—so you get many cards very, very late, most notably Lightning Strikes.

That’s all I’ve got for today, kids. Next up I’m probably going to try a for-real BW deck, which I’ve done a little bit, but never with enough Scholar of Athreos-es. Finally, congrats to Hipsters of the Coast’s own Brendan MacNamara, who made day two of GP Sacramento—his first day two ever!—and fought valiantly in the draft portion of the event before hitting a skid row of bad luck in the second draft. Brendan wrote about his day one triumph yesterday, and will finish up his story in next week’s installment of his column “None Shall Pass Bombs.” Congrats, BMac!

23/17 is a Hipsters of the Coast column focused on Limited play—primarily draft and sealed, but also cubing, 2HG, and anything else we can come up with. The name refers to the “Golden Ratio” of a Limited deck: 23 spells and 17 lands. Follow Hunter at @hrslaton.

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