The Beginner's Guide to Draft Part 5 - Abraca-whatchama-cadabra-callit!
February 16, 2019
Well here we are, spellcasters! We finished discussing how to build a creature curve last time, so today we are going to be looking at choosing the appropriate spells for your deck to operate in the best fashion possible.
Now, one thing you’ll immediately notice is that once you count lands and creatures, you’re not left with very many slots for spells. You will usually be looking at about seven to nine slots for various spells, which isn’t very many! So, you will have to be extra scrupulous when putting those mana-intensive instants and sorceries into your deck.
What you want to look for is the unconditional removal we discussed earlier. These will usually just say ‘destroy target creature’ or ‘exile target creature’. No fuss, no muss, just bye-bye baddie. That being said, there will be plenty of conditional removal available which can aid you in making choices during combat. Some of the most popular choices revolve around ‘combat tricks’; spells and abilities that you can use while both players are trying to do combat math. These spells usually pump your creature’s attack and defence while doing the opposite for your opponent. There will also be spells that give important keywords such as ‘First Strike’ and ‘Trample’. These two abilities can turn the tides of battle quickly, making your opponent’s choice of blockers far less ideal than they originally thought.
A second choice for these would be enchantments that can affect the board once they come down. Now, remember what I said about being extra scrupulous. You are looking for an immediate benefit for your mana. Enchantments and Artifacts that need to wait an entire turn before doing something are dangerous and need to be weighted appropriately against something that immediately does something once it’s cast and comes into play. Remember to pick the most benefit for the deck you’re trying to build. If you have more small creatures than big, then choosing spells that beef up their attack and defence should be picked above ones that might just do direct damage. A spell only does its effect once; A creature can stick around to do damage multiple turns over.
Finally, you will want to look at cards that can give you ‘card advantage’. This simply means that you are drawing more cards than your opponent, and by extension, have a higher chance of seeing the cards you want to see. Most of the time these wind up being a one-for-one; Cast the spell and draw one extra card. Use a card to gain a card. What you want to use are cards that will give you an additional benefit. Finding a card that gains you a benefit as well as drawing you a card can really help in keeping you ahead of your opponent’s game plan.
And with that, we have come to the end of our series! Hopefully with all this information you feel empowered to join in your local Friday Night Magic scene and put your newfound knowledge to use. Sleeve those cards up and keep slamming spells until victory turns her head to favour you! As always, keep the game fun and entertaining and you’re bound to have fun no matter win or lose.