It was the same seven people as last time with the addition of Captain Chicken - an experienced magic veteran. He is one of the best players in the group but has two jobs, a kid and general real life things that the rest of us have fairly wisely avoided! As such his picks are a little less refined than some of the other players but I still expect him to come top half of the tables at least. In terms of success to time invested ratio I think I can already safely call Captain Chicken the winner of this one!
As an example of a rotisserie this is far less useful than the first one we did despite being the proper 8 a draft is best with. The inexperience (and stubbornness!) of one of the group lead to some things going down that shouldn't. Draft (non-team, non-head up draft to be clearer) is a very cooperative event in most capacities. You do not have the power to affect many other people on the table and as such you are almost always better off picking good things for you in your own little niche than you are taking away good things from other people or competing with them in their niche. In booster draft this mostly comes down to colours, you signal what colours you are not to the person on your left and they go something else so that you both do better. You and one other person out of 8 having great decks is far better for you than you and one other person having below average decks.
Cube rotisserie is a little different. You can easily have five people in the same colours and sharing them is no issue. It is also a little less relevant who is next to you. What is relevant is archetypal overlap and dual land overlap. You do not really want to be in the same colour and broad archetype as someone else. Blue can support two control or combo, green can support two ramp and red can support two aggro lists but otherwise you pretty much want to be on your own. You always want to be on your own with a main colour pairing too but sharing a splash with someone is acceptable.
With Recurring Nightmare and Birds of Paradise (not unreasonably) going before I got a look in on them I figured I needed to lock in blue so as to have good options on where to go with my first pick Demonic Tutor. When picking the Tutor I had envisioned going one of three directions, a Dimir mill deck, a mono black Necro deck or a Sultai Aluren deck. I wasn't happy about going mono black with another player taking away the juicy black stuff so soon. Aluren was still an option without the Birds but three colour decks with multiple key cards are very hard to pull off in this format. Either way, I decided to play it super safe and claim Dimir for myself by picking all the best dual lands for it.
With quite a lot of top rate cards I could run in the mill deck still on offer and it being safer I decided to go down that route, dirty though it may be. To my horror Copperline George took a 7th pick Glimpse the Unthinkable. This hurt my mill plan but far worse it made being straight Dimir untenable. Like a good player I changed course abandoning the mill route (I still took Ashiok but it is a great stand alone card and I was considering a Replenish list as an alternate direction and the exile aspect of Ashiok is very hard to beat for such decks so I was either going to play it myself or couldn't beat it, either way it was some revenge as well!) and seeking refuge in a third colour so as to distinguish me from the other Dimir player.
White was the obvious direction for me to expand to. This hurt Swanker a little and Sideshow Cob a little too but as they wound up both splashing their WB and UB respectively we all came off fine for mana bases. Copperline George is the player who has the weak mana base but this is to be expected when you jump in on someone else's colours and start a fight for things from behind.
Despite being good and going white I still made a fairly critical mistake. I was trying to stay open and was quite content picking up lands and very high powered cards that were still floating about. I was becoming reluctant to go Replenish because there were so many other graveyard based decks the sideboard hate would become unbeatable. I was also reluctant to go Esper control and this was my big mistake. My reasoning was that having none of Path to Exile, Swords to Plowshares, Force of Will or Cryptic Command would mean I would just get overwhelmed and overpowered too easily. I was scared of having to fight Sideshow Cob for control cards and lands which was unwarranted as he was clearing diverging from control and going some form of cheaty fat things deck. I felt like the format was too diverse, powerful and quick for a control deck to have a good shot at controlling it all.
All this conjecture might have been accurate however it was making a mountain out of a molehill. Esper control is a strong and known archetype, it has lots of options and is incredibly deep. I could have molded it to cope very well with the field and had acceptable matchups. Instead I made something that just isn't an archetype at all. It is a pile of very powerful cards that have quite a lot of counter-synergy with each other. I will post my decklist soon enough when I have finished wresting it into something that looks least awful. Suffice it to say it is some sort of tempo control deck packing a lovely package of Wraths, weenies, countermagic and equipment... On paper I have one of the worst decks, quite an impressive feat given I have a stupidly powerful pool of cards! It is at least highly interactive and full of options so I may get the chance to outplay people and offset some of my weak matchup percentages!
Here is what we all took:
|The Phyrexian||Me||Old Fava Beens||Copperline George||Captian Chicken||Sideshow Cob||Daction Dan||Swanker|
|1||Lightning Bolt||→||Demonic Tutor||→||Mana Vault||→||Jace, Vryn's Prodigy||→||Recurring Nightmare||→||Force of Will||→||Birds of Paradise||→||Swords to Plowshares||↓|
|2||↓||Wasteland||←||Underground Sea||←||Grim Monolith||←||Dig Through Time||←||Vampiric Tutor||←||Cryptic Command||←||Rofellos, Llanowar Emissary||←||Stoneforge Mystic||←|
|3||→||Umezawa's Jitte||→||Watery Grave||→||Tinker||→||Snapcaster Mage||→||Grisselbrand||→||Path to Exile||→||Kitchen Finks||→||Swiftspear||↓|
|4||↓||Burning Wish||←||Arcane Denial||←||Yawgmoths Will||←||Shelldock Isle||←||Craterhoof Behemoth||←||Cunning Wish||←||Wooded Foothills||←||Young Pyromancer||←|
|5||→||Badlands||→||Brainstorm||→||Wurmcoil Engine||→||Remand||→||Entomb||→||Jace the Mind Sculptor||→||Noble Hierarch||→||Arid Mesa||↓|
|6||↓||Goblin Guide||←||Counterspell||←||Upheaval||←||Preordain||←||Reanimate||←||Tundra||←||Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx||←||Plateau||←|
|7||→||Skullclamp||→||Damnation||→||Volcanic Island||→||Glimpse the Unthinkable||→||Llanowar Elf||→||Show and Tell||→||Taiga||→||Marsh Flats||↓|
|8||↓||Chrome Mox||←||Baleful Strix||←||Thopter Foundry||←||Archive Trap||←||Wall of Roots||←||Emrakul, the Aeons Torn||←||Elvish Mystic||←||Sacred Foundry||←|
|9||→||Wheel of Fortune||→||Ashiok Nightmare Weaver||→||Sword of the Meek||→||Drowned Catacombs||→||Elves of Deep Shadow||→||Misty Rainforest||→||Dragonlord Atarka||→||Monastery Mentor||↓|
|10||↓||Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth||←||Hallowed Fountain||←||Krark-Clan Ironworks||←||Polluted Delta||←||Sylvan Caryatid||←||Flooded Strand||←||Natural Order||←||Lingering Souls||←|
|11||→||Mutavault||→||Scrubland||→||Time Sieve||→||Thoughtsieze||→||Thragtusk||→||Tropical Island||→||Courser of Kruphix||→||Godless Shrine||↓|
|12||↓||Bloodstained Mire||←||Verdant Catacombs||←||Talisman of Dominance||←||Overburden||←||Garruk, Primal Hunter||←||Ponder||←||Primeval Titan||←||Windswept Heath||←|
|13||→||Blood Crypt||→||Scalding Tarn||→||Goblin Welder||→||Vapor Snag||→||Garruk Wildspeaker||→||Savannah||→||Woodfall Primus||→||Kytheon||↓|
|14||↓||Purphoros, God of the Forge||←||Mox Diamond||←||Myr Retriever||←||Sensei's Divining Top||←||Sheoldred, Whispering One||←||Breeding Pool||←||Fyndhorn Elves||←||Windbrisk Heights||←|
|15||→||Goblin Sharpshooter||→||Elixir of Immortality||→||Mox Opal||→||Sunken Hollow||→||Animate Dead||→||Scroll Rack||→||Arbor Elf||→||Hangarback Walker||↓|
|16||↓||Living Death||←||Balance||←||Chromatic Star||←||Creeping Tar Pit||←||Exhume||←||Glacial Fortress||←||Nissa, Voice of Zendikar||←||Intangible Virtue||←|
|17||→||Patriarch's Bidding||→||Treasure Cruise||→||Chromatic Sphere||→||Darkslick Shores||→||Survival of the Fittest||→||Frantic Search||→||Stomping Ground||→||Signal Pest||↓|
|18||↓||Goblin Warchief||←||Underground River||←||Tezzeret the Seeker||←||Visions of Beyond||←||Bone Shredder||←||Oath of Druids||←||Scavenging Ooze||←||Goblin Bushwhacker||←|
|19||→||Goblin Chieftain||→||Inquisition of Kozilek||→||Daretti, Scrap Savant||→||Memory Lapse||→||Shriekmaw||→||Muddle the Mixture||→||Kird Ape||→||Raise the Alarm||↓|
|20||↓||Duress||←||Thing in the Ice||←||Seat of the Synod||←||Toxic Deluge||←||Bayou||←||Wrath of God||←||Oath of Nissa||←||Reckless Bushwhacker||←|
|21||→||Goblin King||→||Sunken Ruins||→||Vault of Whispers||→||Thought Scour||→||Gaea's Cradle||→||Cyclonic Rift||→||Bow of Nylea||→||Goblin Rabblemaster||↓|
|22||↓||Graven Cairns||←||Mind Twist||←||Great Furnace||←||Fact or Fiction||←||Overgrown Tomb||←||Enlightened Tutor||←||Eternal Witness||←||Spectral Procession||←|
|23||→||Goblin Piledriver||→||Deathrite Shaman||→||Ancient Den||→||Jace, Memory Adept||→||Llanowar Wastes||→||Lat-Nams Legacy||→||Sylvan Library||→||Gather the Townsfolk||↓|
|24||↓||Skirk Prospector||←||True Name Nemesis||←||Darksteel Citadel||←||Scrivener||←||Twighlight Mire||←||Mystic Gate||←||Xenagos, God of Revels||←||Goblin Bombardment||←|
|25||→||Goblin Lackey||→||Celestial Colonnade||→||Tree of Tales||→||Breaking/Entering||→||Woodland Cemetary||→||Iona, Shield of Emeria||→||Living Wish||→||Gideon, Ally of Zendikar||↓|
|26||↓||Mogg War Marshal||←||Seachrome Coast||←||Grindstone||←||Keening Stone||←||Temple of Malady||←||Forbidden Orchard||←||Green Sun's Zenith||←||Dragon Fodder||←|
|27||→||Siege-Gang Commander||→||Choked Estuary||→||Painter's Servant||→||Mesmeric Orb||→||Liliana of the Veil||→||Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre||→||Joraga Tree Speaker||→||Krenko's Command||↓|
|28||↓||Stingscourger||←||Powder Keg||←||City of Traitors||←||Curse of the Bloody Tome||←||Deranged Hermit||←||Careful Study||←||Lotus Cobra||←||Precinct Captain||←|
|29||→||Meltdown||→||Delver of Secrets||→||Ancient Tomb||→||Gitaxian Probe||→||Overgrown Battlement||→||Opt||→||Kessig Wolf Run||→||Spear of Heliod||↓|
|30||↓||Sulfurous Springs||←||Spell Pierce||←||Disenchant||←||Relic of Progenitus||←||Braids, Cabal Minion||←||Deep Analysis||←||Freyalise, Llanowar's Fury||←||Secure the Wastes||←|
|31||→||Krenko, Mob Boss||→||Vindicate||→||Glimmervoid||→||Hedron Crab||→||Obstinate Baloth||→||Hurkyl's Recall||→||Cinder Glade||→||Rugged Prairie||↓|
|32||↓||Goblin Sledder||←||Fire / Ice||←||Talisman of Indulgence||←||Induce Paranoia||←||Terastodon||←||Day of Judgement||←||Acidic Slime||←||Clifftop Retreat||←|
|33||→||Mogg Raider||→||Declaration in Stone||→||Trinket Mage||→||Mind Funeral||→||Buried Alive||→||Hibernation||→||Xenagos, the Reveler||→||Midnight Haunting||↓|
|34||↓||Warren Instigator||←||Looter il-Kor||←||Faithless Looting||←||Sphinx's Tutelage||←||Grave Titan||←||Moments Peace||←||Oracle of Mul Daya||←||Eidolon of Countless Battles||←|
|35||→||Sparksmith||→||Gilded Drake||→||Spellskite||→||Twincast||→||Avenger of Zendikar||→||Wing Shards||→||Den Protector||→||Null Rod||↓|
|36||↓||Goblin Recruiter||←||Shambling Vent||←||Tanglewire||←||Ravenous Trap||←||Pernicious Deed||←||Memory's Journey||←||Worldspine Wurm||←||Arc Trail||←|
|37||→||Magus of the Moon||→||Anguished Umaking||→||Time Spiral||→||Hymn to Tourach||→||Stormtide Leviathan||→||Tangle||→||Lifeforce||→||Containment Priest||↓|
|38||↓||Goblin Matron||←||Leyline of Sanctity||←||Abeyance||←||Traumatize||←||Explore||←||Adarkar Wastes||←||Pyroblast||←||Westvale Abbey||←|
|39||→||Blackcleave Cliffs||→||Sword of Fire and Ice||→||Voltaic Key||→||Jace's Phantasm||→||Birthing Pod||→||Yayimaya Coast||→||Harmonisze||→||Jotun Grunt||↓|
|40||↓||Mogg Fanatic||←||Sinkhole||←||Mana Confluence||←||Tainted Isle||←||Phyrexian Metamorph||←||Hinterland Harbour||←||Yavimaya Elder||←||Assemble the Legion||←|
|41||→||Foreboding Ruins||→||Cabal Therapy||→||City of Brass||→||Dimir Cutpurse||→||Awakening Zone||→||Pulse of the Fields||→||Vexing Shusher||→||Rites of Initiation||↓|
|42||↓||Goblin Ringleader||←||Liliana, Heretical Healer||←||Academy Ruins||←||Shred Memory||←||Ophiomancer||←||Bant Charm||←||Gutteral Response||←||Doomed Traveler||←|
|43||→||Auntie's Hovel||→||Temple of Deceit||→||Terrarion||→||Devastation Tide||→||Reclaimation Sage||→||Azorius Charm||→||Hornet Queen||→||Nomad Outpost||↓|
|44||↓||Red Elemental Blast||←||Asylum Visitor||←||Pact of Negation||←||Drown in Sorrow||←||Choke||←||Lumbering Falls||←||Devil's Play||←||Boros Charm||←|
|45||→||Rakdos Charm||→||Chill||→||Thirst for Knowledge||→||Chromatic Lantern||→||Maelstrom Pulse||→||Stony Silence||→||Creeper Hulk||→||Needle Spires||↓|
|46||↓||Warmth||←||Engineered Plague||←||Lotus Petal||←||Cranial Extraction||←||Doomblade||←||Flooded Grove||←||Rootbound Crag||←||Elspeth. Knight Errant||←|
|47||→||Boil||→||Heir of Falkenrath||→||Engineered Explosives||→||Dimir Keyrune||→||Ultimate Price||→||Detention Sphere||→||Avoid Fate||→||Mentor of the Meek||↓|
|48||↓||Goblin Arsonist||←||Reflector Mage||←||Negate||←||Consuming Aberration||←||Terror||←||Temple Garden||←||Kozilek, Butcher of Truth||←||Revoke Existence||←|
|49||→||Fiery Confluence||→||Vivid Creek||→||Ensnaring Bridge||→||Dimir Signet||→||Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger||→||Stirring Wildwood||→||Nissa, Vastwood Seer||→||Isolated Chapel||↓|
|50||Kolghan's Command||←||Supreme Verdict||←||Thoughtcast||←||Massacre||←||Pack Rat||←||Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite||←||Dryad Arbor||←||Virulent |
Swanker and The Phyrexian swapped placed but kept on hogging those wheel spots. Lighting Bolt was again the first pick and again I cannot argue with it, seems pretty darn good! I predict that one of them will take down the event but not because they got the wheel. I rate their chances as they have proactive consistent decks and are experienced players. On paper Old Fava Beens has the best deck by a country mile but it is hard to build and stupidly hard to play. While doing some practice runs with it and the pilot we found his upkeep steps to generally be more complicated than my turns. He was making more mistakes than he was performing actions! If Finkle were to be the pilot then I would predict that to be the winning list but as it stands I am happy with calling it for the red mages.
The pick of the draft goes to Rites of Initiation which will make its cube debut in this event. For a card that I haven't ever used it is stupidly powerful and dangerous. It lets Swanker pull off turn three kills! It may be on the niche side but it is the perfect fit for his deck being one of the most powerful cards in it acting like Overrun or Craterhoof Behemoth. You have to respect that he could have it because it is game over if he does and if you do respect it you end up making the most awful plays, using removal spells on tokens, trading them for your actual good cards etc. Overburden was also an excellent pick and was winning the competition up to that point.
It might be a long time till I have the results for this as it is hard to find a time 8 people are all free together but I will have decklists in the not too distant future. For now here is what I should have roughly drafted and built instead of what I did:
Inquisition of Kozilek
Elixir of Immortality
Thing in the Ice
Declaration in Stone
Ashiok, Nightmare Weaver
Jace, Architect of Thought
Elspeth, Sun's Champion
Mostly what I had but including a Temple of the False God and a bit more white mana.