Thursday 19 May 2016

An actually good Enchantress deck!

Eidolon of Blossoms
I first did this list when Theros block released a load of on curve enchantment creatures. There has always been an aggressive Enchantress list in cube using cards like Thuamatog and Auratog to secure wins. Those decks were never really competitive, they required you to draw just the right balance of enchantments and dorks while not getting your key cards removed. If they dealt with an Enchantress you ran out of gas, if they hit your threats you couldn't win. You would be running jank like Wild Growth simply to power your synergies.

With Theros came an alternate way to utilize enchantment synergies. With creatures posing as enchantments as well, with many of them being quite good, you gained a lot of flexibility in the deck. You could pack more synergy into the list yet still use more cards that have no synergy at all. Theros also brought a few cards that synergize very well with enchantments that make doing an enchantment themed deck all the more worthwhile.

This is essentially an agro Abzan enchantments deck. It has some reasonably weak spots in the curve and some weaker than usual creatures simply because it wants to include as many enchantments as it sensibly can. It more than makes up for these weaker cards with the various synergy cards it has.

Doomwake Giant
Firstly it has 3 enchantress effects which make it almost never run out of gas. So much so that Bow of Nylea is a necessary evil in the list simply to stop you milling yourself to death from too much card draw. Then it has Replenish, not only is this a one sided Patriarch's Bidding that gets back all your threats but it also triggers all your constellation effects. This can be a bunch of life or it can Wrath their board or just draw you yet more cards. The best thing about the Replenish is the tempo swing it can provide.

Survival of the Fittest is excellent in the list and another huge synergy piece. It can tutor up most of your things, powers up several more and makes for incredibly dangerous Replenish plays. The main difference between this list and previous enchantress lists is that this one runs mana creatures instead of the slightly less convenient mana enchantments. While the one drop mana dorks don't synergize with enchantments you want to lay them out before your constellation style effects any way. They do however synergize with lots of other cards, bestow effects, Survival of the Fittest and so on. Just being able to attack is pretty important in an agro list too.

Heliod, God of the Sun
There are three other key cards in this list from Theros block. The first is Heliod, God of the Sun. While not very exciting himself he works perfectly in the deck. Serra's Sanctum has always been one of the most unplayable bomb cards. Even in enchantress decks you typically have little use for large volumes of white mana. With Heliod however you now have a very reliable grindy win condition, a source of constant constellation triggers and a great dump for any excess white mana.

Then we have the humble Strength from the Fallen which turns everything into something terrifying. One of the issues with the deck was low powered dorks. Doomwake Giant, the final key card, is a good solution to this as he can easily wrath all their superior guys out of the way to allow your limp ones to attack in for the win. With lots of small and weak guys, lots of card draw and lots of constellation triggers, not to mention with Survival of the Fittest, you have the perfect setup to abuse these humble little cards.

Strength from the Fallen
If you don't mange to win with the synergies and cheap cards then you have the equally powerful route of beating their head in with huge undercost fliers of which this deck has more than most. As you can see, the deck is brimming with power, threats and general ways of winning of the game. You can just play your stuff and win or you can setup a specific route to victory using the tools at your disposal.

You would expect most synergy or themed decks to have these kinds of options and power plays but you would also expect the deck to have some real weak spots as well. Things like affinity have incredible power but can get completely reset by cards like Pernicious Deed and Akroma's Vengeance. This list has far better recovery from complete board clears than any midrange or aggro Abzan list I have played with and is not set back much at all by mere Wrath effects. There are not many punisher cards that affect enchantments that are worth playing in cube. Tranquility is not a thing. Dromoka's Command is about the worst thing going and it really isn't a scary card.

24 Spells

Herald of the Pantheon
Deathrite Shaman
Birds of Paradise
Elves of Deep Shadow
Avacyn's Pilgrim

Argothian Enchantress
Herald of the Pantheon
Brain Maggot
Strength from the Fallen

Underworld Coinsmith
Journey to Nowhere
Survival of the Fittest

Eidolon of Countless Battles
Master of the Feast
Herald of Torment
Daxos's Torment
Boon Satyr

Courser of Kruphix
Enchantress Presence
Bow of Nylea

Eidolon of Blossoms
Heliod, God of the Sun
Daxos' Torment

Doomwake Giant

16 lands

Serra's Sanctum
15 Others

There are loads of interesting cards that you can put to use in a list like this, more so than most unusual decks. Here are some of the stronger contenders

Kor Spiritdancer
Pernicious Deed
Myth Realized
Gnarled Scarhide
Starfield of Nyx
Commune with the Gods
Sigil of the Empty Throne
Aegis of the Gods
Paralax Wave
Spiteful Returned
Whip of Erebos

Serra's SanctumHeliod, God of the Sun is near impossible to turn into a dork in this deck but he is still a worthy inclusion. His role is dual purpose, he provides a source of ongoing constellation triggers as the 2/1s he makes are enchantments. The other inclusion, and why I run it over Sigil of the Empty Throne is that it is an outstanding mana dump for excess white mana. Serra's Sanctum is one of the most powerful cards that sees basically no play. In this deck you can make a lot of mana very quickly with it, perhaps not so quickly as Academy or Cradle but certainly a little safer than the Cradle and a little fairer than the Academy. In older enchantress decks you could generate an abusive amount of mana but have nothing of any real use to do with it. Now with Heliod you can use loads of white mana usefully.

While you can make the curve and the synrgies look better by using cards like Aegis of the Gods it turns out that actually weakens the deck overall. I found you were best of using more stand alone powerful cards or cards with a very specific role in the deck. Just filling up on random enchantment dorks looks far more aggressive but in reality often can't close out a game. I would be more inclined towards power cards like Starfield of Nyx (and perhaps more ramp) than padding out the low end with Sarcomancy and Spiteful Returned despite that being my instinct.

Underworld CoinsmithThe list given has some easy cuts should you wish to experiment with other stuff. Bitterblossom's synergy only goes so far as it being a one off enchantment cast. It is trying to help the two drop slot but really isn't helping out in the way that a proper body would. It is decent with the Strength from the Fallen but so are the mana dorks and many other fliers you have on offer. Underworld Coinsmith is another easy cut. As a two drop it isn't exactly gaining you much tempo either. Ongoing life is nice but not something the deck is short on. If you are still looking to make cuts then it is one of the Enchantress Effects. You almost always want one but two is quickly more trouble than help! As you have Survival you can fairly easily tutor up 2/3s of them and so going down to two could be fine. As to which you cut of the three is subtle and not something I am going to bother going into.

Brain MaggotIn a combo cube this is viable but will suffer hard from being clunky and relatively non interactive. In a midrange cube this deck is comfortably top tier. It slaughters aggro decks with loads of board presence, big things, cheap things, life gain, ongoing value and sweepers. It equally wreaks midrange by having that ever growing momentum feeling combined with the potential for power plays that provide for huge swings in the game. Control decks are not that much of a problem either although much more so than aggro and midrange. You have several must counter cards as well as lots of hard to remove threats complete with ramp and abundant draw. Time things well with this deck and you should come out ahead against all but those control players who have gone far far out of their way to beat you with their build.

These factors combined is likely why you haven't encountered a deck like this before. So many of the cards are unplayable outside an enchantment deck that you won't be able to draft this sort of thing in any but the weirdest cubes. The more a cube moves towards constructed styles the more it acts like a combo cube and so this style of deck looks less attractive despite actually having access to the cards you want for it. If you do get a chance to play it I highly recommend doing so even if it isn't the best meta for it. Just ram in a few more discard effects and some hate enchantments in the board and you should cope.

Sunday 15 May 2016

Zubera Combo

Floating-Dream ZuberaIf silly combo decks is your thing then look no further for here we have a true gem! Power level wise this is comparable, if not slightly better than the Jeskai Ascendancy combo deck. Quite consistent, fairly quick but very easily disrupted and dependent on a single card with no redundancy or backups. Zuberas are easier to draft than Ascendancy as fewer of your cards are contested, you can grab the few top power cards as your first few picks and then just hoover up the dribble that makes up the rest of this list. Another reason this deck overall trumps the Ascendancy combo deck is that the mana base is far more flexible and forgiving. Being better than a rarely played combo deck isn't a great accolade however Zubera combo is viable and very very fun.

The deck is somewhere between a storm deck and a reanimate deck. You start to go off and hopefully you don't stop until your opponent is dead. Like storm decks it trades some speed for being robust. The longer you wait the better chance you have of getting some form of lethal when you go off. The combo is repeatedly creating and then sacrificing Zubera cards for ever increasing value. The blue one lets you find the things you need to carry on going off and the green one gives you a plentiful supply of the mana you need in combination with Phyrexian Alter (which is also your sacrifice outlet). Black and white Zuberas are the less relevant ones you use simply to raise your "Zubera storm count". They can stop you dying to burn or remove your opponents answer cards but most of the time once you start sacrificing relevant numbers of Zuberas then that won't be relevant anymore. The Red Zubera is your kill card but doesn't do that much to help you go off beyond the white and black ones.

Phyrexian AltarYou have tutors to find your Phyrexian Altar and Gifts/Intuition to fetch up the necessary Zubera's. You need a decent number of ramp dorks to do these things in a reasonable time frame but also to help fix for your five colour deck! The deck has a smattering of utility much like most streamlined combo decks. Some sort of get things back from the bin effect, some sort of deal with a permanent effect, cheap card quality, etc. There is a reasonable amount of wiggle room in this list to tailor it to a meta or simply use some other cards of choice.

Dripping-Tongue Zubera
25 Spells

Birds of Paradise
Vampiric Tutor

Arbor Elf / Deathrite (based on what your mana base looks like)
Elves of Deep Shadow
Noble Hierarch


Ashen-Skin Zubera
Dripping-Tongue Zubera
Life // DeathEmber-First Zubera
Floating-Dream Zubera

Silent -Chant Zubera
Life / Death
Amoeboid Changeling
Animate Dead

Demonic Tutor

Eternal Witness
Phyrexian Altar
Recurring Nightmare
Gifts Ungiven
Gifts Ungiven

Patriarch's Bidding
Primeval Command

15 Lands

Other cards of interest:

Cyclonic Rift
Deep Analysis
Noxious Revival
Brainstorm etc
Living Death

Recurring NightmareThe deck has five Reanimate effects which is a little light in some regards. The extended version of the deck would simply draw and cast most of its Zubera having four each of green and blue however this version is somewhat forced into heavier reanimation. The saving grace is Recurring Nightmare, while pretty horrible when your dead Zubera count is low it becomes an infinite combo (with just the green Zubera) at three or more. As such this list will find it very hard to win without the Recurring Nightmare but it can very easily start going off without it. Just having it in the deck adds a lot of security and even some late game potential!

Mana creatures are the best kinds of ramp, they are cheaper than artifacts that give you coloured mana and can also be dumped into the Phyrexian Alter for that extra bit of burst for going off with. They also allow you to use Amoeboid Changeling which is a quirky little critter. It is purely a way to ramp your "dead Zubera storm" so that you can go off more powerfully with less. Allowing it and a mana elf to count as dead Zubera puts a lot less stress on you having multiple zubera cards already. This in turn makes you able to go off prior to casting Intuition or Gifts Ungiven more often. Those being expensive cards in both mana and tempo means this is a good thing!

Amoeboid ChangelingLife / Death is another quirky card that has some lovely utility in this list. Not only is it actually one of the better Reanimate effects on offer but the Life portion has some real application too. Often you will just need that extra burst of mana to be able to go off in time and as such it can be well worth turning all your lands into dorks so that you can feed them to the Altar after tapping them for mana thus doubling up.

Primal Command is rather a catch all but it is expensive as all hell and might be better off as a couple of cheaper cards instead. It finds a Zubera you need or an Eternal Witness thus being the worlds most expensive Tutor / Regrowth split card! It also can recur your spent stuff if you happen to somehow have lost the Phyrexian Altar and the Witness. Seven life is a thing but shouldn't often come up, you have a white Zubera for that! The last required role the Command fills is being able to remove a permanent such as a Solitary Confinement you otherwise couldn't win through.

Eternal WitnessEternal Witness seems better than Regrowth in the list. When you have an Altar they basically cost the same and the Witness has synergy with the recursion and the Command. Initially I wanted both Witness and Regrowth so that Gifts and Intuition more reliably found Phyrexian Altar if needed. The thing is that this is pretty slow and therefore not often viable and additionally not required! You can just find the thing(s) you want, Witness and Unearth and you will be able to get it done.

I haven't overly experimented with this list, there feels like there must be a good way to offer some kind of redundancy to the Phyrexian Alter. If such a thing could be found the deck would be wildly more powerful. I have certainly looked for a good solution but come up short. The best I can offer is Earthcraft and some generic free sacrifice outlet such as a Carrion Feeder. This would allow you to do the same things but the problem is that you need a basic land of the appropriate type for each colour you want to cast stuff from. This could just be black but likely it is also blue and green. Lots of basic lands in the five colour deck is an awkward place to be. Suggestions on a postcard, er, comments section. We can do Cryptolith Rite, Anger in the graveyard plus a sac effect which is probably easier to do than the Earthcraft route but suddenly makes you want to play discard outlets instead of basic lands.

If you want to draw loads of cards, make loads of stuff, have loads of mana and dorks and just have those ongoing turns without resorting to more calssic and tedious storm variations then Zubera's might just be the thing for you. If you are all about the winning I cannot recommend this deck for you but if you are all about the class and style then this could well be of interest!

The Rotisserie II

Based on the success of the first online rotisserie we did another shortly following. The rules were similar but we introduced a minimal five card sideboard. To give sufficient picks for this we upped that from 45 to 50. With sideboards the Wishes become balanced and so we unbanned them although in hindsight with only five card sideboards the Wishes were picked a little too highly. For 10 card boards the Wishes are nutty good in the right deck but as it was it made things more awkward than intended. The only other difference to the format was the addition of Shadows Over Innistrad, a fact that I perhaps took too much advantage of!

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 PhyrexianMeOld Fava BeensCopperline GeorgeCaptian ChickenSideshow CobDaction DanSwanker
1Lightning BoltDemonic TutorMana VaultJace, Vryn's ProdigyRecurring NightmareForce of WillBirds of ParadiseSwords to Plowshares
2WastelandUnderground SeaGrim MonolithDig Through TimeVampiric TutorCryptic CommandRofellos, Llanowar EmissaryStoneforge Mystic
3Umezawa's JitteWatery GraveTinkerSnapcaster MageGrisselbrandPath to ExileKitchen FinksSwiftspear
4Burning WishArcane DenialYawgmoths WillShelldock IsleCraterhoof BehemothCunning WishWooded FoothillsYoung Pyromancer
5BadlandsBrainstormWurmcoil EngineRemandEntombJace the Mind SculptorNoble HierarchArid Mesa
6Goblin GuideCounterspellUpheavalPreordainReanimateTundraNykthos, Shrine to NyxPlateau
7SkullclampDamnationVolcanic IslandGlimpse the UnthinkableLlanowar ElfShow and TellTaigaMarsh Flats
8Chrome MoxBaleful StrixThopter FoundryArchive TrapWall of RootsEmrakul, the Aeons TornElvish MysticSacred Foundry
9Wheel of FortuneAshiok Nightmare WeaverSword of the MeekDrowned CatacombsElves of Deep ShadowMisty RainforestDragonlord AtarkaMonastery Mentor
10Urborg, Tomb of YawgmothHallowed FountainKrark-Clan IronworksPolluted DeltaSylvan CaryatidFlooded StrandNatural OrderLingering Souls
11MutavaultScrublandTime SieveThoughtsiezeThragtuskTropical IslandCourser of KruphixGodless Shrine
12Bloodstained MireVerdant CatacombsTalisman of DominanceOverburdenGarruk, Primal HunterPonderPrimeval TitanWindswept Heath
13Blood CryptScalding TarnGoblin WelderVapor SnagGarruk WildspeakerSavannahWoodfall PrimusKytheon
14Purphoros, God of the ForgeMox DiamondMyr RetrieverSensei's Divining TopSheoldred, Whispering OneBreeding PoolFyndhorn ElvesWindbrisk Heights
15Goblin SharpshooterElixir of ImmortalityMox OpalSunken HollowAnimate DeadScroll RackArbor ElfHangarback Walker
16Living DeathBalanceChromatic StarCreeping Tar PitExhumeGlacial FortressNissa, Voice of ZendikarIntangible Virtue
17Patriarch's BiddingTreasure CruiseChromatic SphereDarkslick ShoresSurvival of the FittestFrantic SearchStomping GroundSignal Pest
18Goblin WarchiefUnderground RiverTezzeret the SeekerVisions of BeyondBone ShredderOath of DruidsScavenging OozeGoblin Bushwhacker
19Goblin ChieftainInquisition of KozilekDaretti, Scrap SavantMemory LapseShriekmawMuddle the MixtureKird ApeRaise the Alarm
20DuressThing in the IceSeat of the SynodToxic DelugeBayouWrath of GodOath of NissaReckless Bushwhacker
21Goblin KingSunken RuinsVault of WhispersThought ScourGaea's CradleCyclonic RiftBow of NyleaGoblin Rabblemaster
22Graven CairnsMind TwistGreat FurnaceFact or FictionOvergrown TombEnlightened TutorEternal WitnessSpectral Procession
23Goblin PiledriverDeathrite ShamanAncient DenJace, Memory AdeptLlanowar WastesLat-Nams LegacySylvan LibraryGather the Townsfolk
24Skirk ProspectorTrue Name NemesisDarksteel CitadelScrivenerTwighlight MireMystic GateXenagos, God of RevelsGoblin Bombardment
25Goblin LackeyCelestial ColonnadeTree of TalesBreaking/EnteringWoodland CemetaryIona, Shield of EmeriaLiving WishGideon, Ally of Zendikar
26Mogg War MarshalSeachrome CoastGrindstoneKeening StoneTemple of MaladyForbidden OrchardGreen Sun's ZenithDragon Fodder
27Siege-Gang CommanderChoked EstuaryPainter's ServantMesmeric OrbLiliana of the VeilUlamog, the Infinite GyreJoraga Tree SpeakerKrenko's Command
28StingscourgerPowder KegCity of TraitorsCurse of the Bloody TomeDeranged HermitCareful StudyLotus CobraPrecinct Captain
29MeltdownDelver of SecretsAncient TombGitaxian ProbeOvergrown BattlementOptKessig Wolf RunSpear of Heliod
30Sulfurous SpringsSpell PierceDisenchantRelic of ProgenitusBraids, Cabal MinionDeep AnalysisFreyalise, Llanowar's FurySecure the Wastes
31Krenko, Mob BossVindicateGlimmervoidHedron CrabObstinate BalothHurkyl's RecallCinder GladeRugged Prairie
32Goblin SledderFire / IceTalisman of IndulgenceInduce ParanoiaTerastodonDay of JudgementAcidic SlimeClifftop Retreat
33Mogg RaiderDeclaration in StoneTrinket MageMind FuneralBuried AliveHibernation Xenagos, the RevelerMidnight Haunting
34Warren InstigatorLooter il-KorFaithless LootingSphinx's TutelageGrave TitanMoments PeaceOracle of Mul DayaEidolon of Countless Battles
35SparksmithGilded DrakeSpellskiteTwincastAvenger of ZendikarWing ShardsDen ProtectorNull Rod
36Goblin RecruiterShambling VentTanglewireRavenous TrapPernicious DeedMemory's JourneyWorldspine WurmArc Trail
37Magus of the MoonAnguished UmakingTime SpiralHymn to TourachStormtide LeviathanTangleLifeforceContainment Priest
38Goblin MatronLeyline of SanctityAbeyanceTraumatizeExploreAdarkar WastesPyroblastWestvale Abbey
39Blackcleave CliffsSword of Fire and IceVoltaic KeyJace's PhantasmBirthing PodYayimaya CoastHarmoniszeJotun Grunt
40Mogg FanaticSinkholeMana ConfluenceTainted IslePhyrexian MetamorphHinterland HarbourYavimaya ElderAssemble the Legion
41Foreboding RuinsCabal TherapyCity of BrassDimir CutpurseAwakening ZonePulse of the FieldsVexing ShusherRites of Initiation
42Goblin RingleaderLiliana, Heretical HealerAcademy RuinsShred MemoryOphiomancerBant CharmGutteral ResponseDoomed Traveler
43Auntie's HovelTemple of DeceitTerrarionDevastation TideReclaimation SageAzorius CharmHornet QueenNomad Outpost
44Red Elemental BlastAsylum VisitorPact of NegationDrown in SorrowChokeLumbering FallsDevil's PlayBoros Charm
45Rakdos CharmChillThirst for KnowledgeChromatic LanternMaelstrom PulseStony SilenceCreeper HulkNeedle Spires
46WarmthEngineered PlagueLotus PetalCranial ExtractionDoombladeFlooded GroveRootbound CragElspeth. Knight Errant
47BoilHeir of FalkenrathEngineered ExplosivesDimir KeyruneUltimate PriceDetention SphereAvoid FateMentor of the Meek
48Goblin ArsonistReflector MageNegateConsuming AberrationTerrorTemple GardenKozilek, Butcher of TruthRevoke Existence
49Fiery ConfluenceVivid CreekEnsnaring BridgeDimir SignetUlamog, the Ceaseless HungerStirring WildwoodNissa, Vastwood SeerIsolated Chapel
50Kolghan's CommandSupreme VerdictThoughtcastMassacrePack RatElesh Norn, Grand CenobiteDryad ArborVirulent

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:

22 Spells

Inquisition of Kozilek
Spell Pierce
Thraben Inspector

Elixir of Immortality

Baleful Strix
Thing in the Ice
Demonic Tutor

Arcane Denial 
Declaration in Stone

Anguished Unmaking
Ashiok, Nightmare Weaver

Supreme Verdict
Jace, Architect of Thought

Mystic Confluence

Elspeth, Sun's Champion
Merciless Eviction

Sphinx's Revelation

18 Lands

Mostly what I had but including a Temple of the False God and a bit more white mana.