By Nat Wilder

Editor’s Note: Meet Nat Wilder, our fifth contributor to the new, rotating Scrub Report! Nat’s articles will appear over the next four Fridays, so stay tuned as they detail getting into competitive MTG and finding their place in the community. If you’d like to write for The Scrub Report, send an email to [email protected]

Hi all fans of scrubs! My name is Nat and I’m a limited/commander player in Lexington, KY. As a note I am also a trans player! To be particular I am a DMAB agender femme person, so I would very much prefer if you used the pronouns they for me. If you need a point of reference for this take a picture of Ashiok, put a nice pretty purple flower in their hairsmoke. That’s me after I destroy enough dreams and my face becomes a facade of smoke and nightmares. Right now I’m a little short on destroyed dreams so I just have very curly hair. (In all seriousness if you’re confused this website is a very good starting point!)

My first and third week I would like to discuss my drafts of Magic Origins with my second and fourth being focused on my building and playing of an Alesha, Who Smiles at Death commander deck. I am a shill for my folks. A shameless shill. I’m also going to include a picture of my outfit (including makeup if I used it) and give a quick performance report on how much it helped me get gendered appropriately. This is gonna help me learn what lengths I’m gonna have to go to in order to not be referred to as dude/he. Here’s the first picture:

Screenshot 2015-08-19 12.53.32

Photo of the Author, Nat!

So onto my very first draft of the Origins format! I played some prereleases and I’ve been watching streams but that stuff goes away fairly quickly once you actually begin your draft (but they still help some).  Pack 1 Pick 1 was one of only three interesting picks in this draft. I chalk that up not to the set, but to the fact I was at a 10 person pod, next to a 9 person pod. Store drafts are great but stuff like that is really poopy.  If you’ve never played in one of these size pods a few tips: don’t expect anything to wheel, someone will be in your archetype, there will be more weird build around cards available and the area is going to be very cramped. I’m sorry in advance. So back to my P1P1 the only very powerful cards in the pack were Embermaw Hellion and Sentinel of the Eternal Watch. I picked Sentinel as I have been playing Duels Origins and played with Hellion but not Sentinel. I made a mental note I was setting red up to my left and would probably want to stay out of it as a result so I didn’t get cut pack 2. Second pick was an Annointer of Champions over Thunderclap Wyvern as the dual color card commitment was something I did not want to make this early. Third pick was Leaf Gilder and I fairly quickly found myself in G/W renown. I saw a very late whirler rogue at the end of pack 1 but wasn’t sure if that was a fluke or not as it was tenth pick meaning I was the last one to see it and I hadn’t seen any other good blue cards so I didn’t take that as a signal quite yet.

Pack 2 had my other interesting pick. I’m sitting at a fair amount of two drops and renown dudes (sadly no Topan Freeblades ever came my way) and open both Consul’s Liuetenant and Valeron Wardens. I weighed the chance of chaining draws with Wardens agaisnt the pure tempo of Liuetenant (when it works) but I had to think about how much it warps my mana base, so I took the Liuetenant. I’m about 80% sure this was right. I want to note that pack  2 cemented I was in the right colors as I got Citadel Castellan 10th pick! That is utterly insane to me as the card is probably the best aggressive renown card (and do you see the sweet lion she has? That’s a sweet lion.).

Pack 3 was eventful in opening Tragic Arrogance and getting another Citadel Castellan. Throughout the draft I never saw any of the white based removal sadly and only had a Wild Instincts for a kill spell. Here’s my deck!

Nat's Draft Deck

Lands (17)
10 Plains

Creatures (19)
Annointer of Champions
Timberpack Wolf
Leaf Gilder
Cleric of the Forward Order
Runed Servitor
Consul’s Lieutenant
Elvish Visionary
Citadel Castellan
Stalwart Aven
Hitchclaw Recluse
Yeva’s Forcemage
Knight of the Pilgrim Road
Llanowar empath
Rhox Maulers
Vastwood Gorger
Sentinel of the Eternal Watch

Spells (4)
Titanic Growth
Mantle of Webs
Wild Instincts
Tragic Arrogance

Round 1 was against a person I know who is somewhat consistent on my gender stuff but has interesting ideas on what’s good in draft. He sat down and we chatted while he bragged about a Jace pull. We began playing and I made a somehwat sketchy keep game one. I kept a 3 plains, knight of the forward order, citadel Castellan, Annointer of Champions and Vastwood Gorger hand on the idea I’ll hit my forest by turn four easy. I did not hit a forest until turn 7 and lost the race I got in against his esper fliers deck because I was stranded with too many green cards. The next two games went much better for me. Game 2 he gets stuck on two lands and I curve Annointer of champions into Lieutenant into Stalwart Aven and when he hits his third land drop on turn 4 he concedes. I think he conceded very early but hey his choice. Game 3 we both flood but I use double Llanowar Empath to ship lands to the bottom and find both Sentinel and Tragic Arrogance. Having found two amazing magic cards I leave him with a Faerie Miscreant and me a bomb and soon take the match.

Match 2 was against someone I hadn’t met before. I introduced myself to my opponent and very thankfully he never gendered my throughout the match or talking to his brother who came up at the tail end of our match. My opponent was on U/W tempo backing up his renown dudes with bounce while I had picked pumps. Game 1 I play my lieutenant and he plays his own. I curve into Yeva’s Forcemage and hit him for four then chump. I then played Elvish Visionary and left up Titanic Growth mana and he blocked my lieutenant where I got him with growth. We both clogged the board so I switched to Stalwart Aven and abused my late Annointers to force bad blocks. When Annointer is good it’s great. Game 2 I made the same mistake I did match 1 but with less punishing results because my opponent had all the momentum in this match and I couldn’t curve the way I would’ve liked and lost. Game 3 my opponent got stuck on no plains until turn 6 where he dropped his Sentinel of the Eternal Watch.  He used it to tap down my Rhox Maulers. I responded by using my Mantle of Webs on Elvish Visionary and attacking with it and  Timberpack Wolf and representing Titanic Growth. He hems and haws, realizes I kill him if I have it and he blocks but I also kill his boardstate if I have it and he blocks and decides the latter is slightly better. I have it, kill his sentinel and then kill him next turn.

Match 3 was against Match 2’s brother. He was running the Act of Treason Nantuko Husk deck. I’ve run into him before but we haven’t played and he’s very respectful throughout the match. That was nice. Games were a little less so for me. Game 1 I immediately punt my ass off. Neither of us have a play till turn 3 he plays Ramroller, I play Citadel Castellan. Turn 4 he plays and equips throwing knife and hits me for 7. This is where I punt. I play Wild Instincts forgetting that Ramroller boosts himself and kill both our creatures and leave him with his knife. I then get chunked down in short order and die. Game 2 was more interesting than that. I side in my anti-aggro cards because he’s just faster than me: 2 Healing Hands for Annointers and 1 Aven Battle Priest for Vastwood Gorger cause it hurts less when he acts it. We keep an even pace of damage and I stick Sentinel. Problem is he plays enough threats I can’t swing but he can’t break through my wall and I can’t his. He’s waiting on Act of Treason, I’m waiting on Tragic Arrogance. His is a common he has multiples of. Mine is a rare I don’t have multiples of. Probability was not in my favor and neither was reality.

My final match was against another person I didn’t know. Fairly nice guy. Apologized when he misgendered me. That was nice. My flood game 1 into screw game 2 while he hit me with Sigil of the Empty Throne Angels or Knightly Valor‘ed Walking Corpses in the respective games? Much worse. I go 2-2 and due to my round 1 opponent going 0-2 drop my breakers were poor enough I couldn’t get prizes.

So what I learned in the draft is that G/W renown is a good deck but it really requires you to curve properly and if you don’t curve properly you are going to lose very quickly. It also does not seem to have a good match up against r/b sac because you’re trying to keep and protect one big threat which they just want to steal and beat your face in with.

What I “learned” in the dress performance category is I have to do more to get people to gender me correctly consistently. It’s better than misgendering me if folks don’t use any pronouns, but it’s really weird to have no one use pronouns for you.

I hope you enjoyed this first column of mine and if you want to reach me I am @transcrois on twitter!

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