Sadly Copperline George couldn't attend on the day and so we played our round robin with the seven. We had a very nice spread of decks with a couple of more exotic ones to enjoy as well.
In last place with an 0-6 record was Old Fava Beens on the UW miracle control. His deck was very nicely polished with only a couple of glitches. The main one was being very soft to to on the affinity deck due to no artifact hate. Control is always hard to pull off in these formats as the wide meta stretches you very thin. When you have to beat sturdy midrange decks, burn decks, affinity decks and combo decks you have a hard road ahead. With control you never expect to have an easy time of it, you have to work for all your results. In this kind of format you need to play a pretty perfect game to edge out and win with a control list like this. Being out of practice and a less experienced player combined with playing this archetype is what resulted in this polar record. The list could easily have gone 5-1 on a better day.
In sixth place with a 2-4 record was Sideshow Cob on the RDW. Pre deck submission he was one of the scariest looking players at the draft. After submission I was still terrified of him and his Pulverize but his list lacked polish. While containing great cards throughout it wasn't quite as consistent as I would like to see from a RDW. I think the Wheel of Fortune required a significantly lower curve and may well not have been needed at all. A slightly awkward list and a bit of sloppy play cost Cob a winning finish that was well within his grasp.
In joint fourth place with 3-3 records were Action Dan and Swanker. Action Dan had a very pushed Gr ramp deck. At first glace it looked like the greediest list of all time but on closer inspection it was clearly a list that had been heavily worked, like a car tuned for racing with every bit of excess weight removed and as much power output as feasible. Green ramp is a great draft and sealed archetype but it doesn't scale up quite as well as other decks into this more constructed arena. Dan made a very good choice in taking risks to up the power of his list due to his archetype choice. It had a very high threat density and a lot of potential for speed. He was vulnerable to some early disruption and some bad draws but dodge those things and he was set to crush people. I was pretty lucky to always draw my single disruption spell for his first ramp dork in our matches! There are certainly a couple of mild changes I would make to his list, mostly in the Progenitus region, but his general strategy was on the mark. In the meta with no Sharpshooter I would probably have gone full elves but I can't fault him for making the Rg ramp work. He also wins the prize for most new cards used and of those chose to highlight some of the best suited and most effective ones.
Swanker had a very fair four colour black control deck indeed. Much like Old Beens UW control it is super hard to have a reactive deck in this kind of meta. It was a lovely construction and very well tuned and considered for the meta. He was also the only player to really take any advantage of the various gaps in the draft by going into red (and white?). The only construction error was the Canyon Slough which should have been some other land, perhaps even a basic one... I think Swanker mostly fell victim to other people doing unfair things at him and only having fair things to do back. Even Beens had Entreat the Angels in his list with which to do unfair things with. Swanker destroyed me at least in some of the most brutal ways possible. In one game a turn two Golgari Charm killed all three of my men and then he followed it with a Kolaghan's Command which killed the rest of my relevant stuff.
In joint second were myself and Farlo on 4-2. Farlo won the most exotic deck prize and pick of draft with Devastating Dreams. A number of his spells stood out including Countryside Crusher and Gamble. It turns out that when you build an entire deck around certain unusual mechanics some unusual cards will really shine. Many a game was won with a super powerful Dreams, a very large Crusher or indeed both. He snuck a couple of wins simply through having an unknown archetype and people including myself misplaying against him. For some reason I failed to bring in my Tormod's Crypt against him and that was a bad move. To be fair, for any free wins he got through other's misplays he probably threw as many with his own! The deck was very complicated and had little room for error. RNG was also his enemy at the start of the event with some hilariously low odds hits on all the lands or action he had. He should have main decked the Krosan Reclamation, this was the most notable take away from the performance.
I took a respectable 4-2 with affinity. My list was near perfect although I really can't take all the credit. In these things I usually end up helping out other people in the draft in various ways. I decided it was time for me to get some help and so I enlisted one of the foremost deck builders and players in the country to aid me. Many a good suggestion was made and I know good advice when I hear it all of which lead to the smoothest and most consistent affinity deck I have ever had in cube. In an abstract sense I had the best deck of the draft, it was the most refined and had the highest power. In practice I had a very linear deck in a known meta and suffered at the hands of peoples answers for me. I also found I was just at the mercy of draw and had far less ability to play my way out of a bad spot than usual. I will likely be drafting more interactive decks in the future. I was really jealous of Swanker and Farlo with their decks and how much magic they got to play. I spent much of the day in spectator mode. The only error in my list was the Disciple of the Vault in the SB which did nothing and was a wasted slot. I am not even sure what I would want in its place in hind sight. Answers on a postcard. The main take away for me is that getting help is always a plus. I got a better deck and I learned a lot from it. Asking advice, seeking options and discussion options is how you improve most at magic. Don't always follow the advice but do always try and understand it.
The Phyrexian took down the event with 5-1 on his Reanimator list. It was very quick, very powerful and very consistent. It had nasty tools to deal with all the things going on in the meta yet was one of the most dangerous and proactive decks out there as well. I was the other one and I was super scared of its speed. He was the only player who I dedicated a single SB card to (the Crypt) and managed to draw it every game in my opener which was a huge help in taking him down. Swanker was not so lucky with having his hate on time. Being the only real player in a combo archetype and being one of only two blue players in an 8 man draft (I don't count myself despite having a blue card, not like I am taking any relevant coloured cards from people) was a double help. It have him a less contested wider pool of options in blue and less blue opponents to disrupt his shenanigans. It also means less people are playing generic anti combo cards as they are less good all round. I am not taking away from his win, he also played and drafted well. There are always multiple factors involved in a win and it is always nice to not have luck as one of the main contributors! A good solid meta win is the best kind of win in my books. That being said, it still isn't as good as having the coolest deck and so the real winner of this event was Farlo.
Here are the game scores for the day;
|Me||Swanker||Farlo||The Phyrexian||Old Fava Beens||Action Dan||Sideshow Cob|
|Me||1 - 2||0 - 2||2 - 1||2 - 1||2 - 0||2 - 1|
|Swanker||2 - 1||1 - 2||0 - 2||2 - 0||1 - 2||2 - 1|
|Farlo||2 - 0||2 - 1||1 - 2||2 - 0||1 - 2||2 - 1|
|The Phyrexian||1 - 2||2 - 0||2 - 1||2 - 0||2 - 0||2 - 1|
|Old Fava Beens||1 - 2||0 - 2||0 - 2||0 - 2||1 - 2||0 - 2|
|Action Dan||0 - 2||2 - 1||2 - 1||0 - 2||2 - 1||1 - 2|
|Sideshow Cob||1 - 2||1 - 2||1 - 2||1 - 2||2 - 0||2 - 1|