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 Zendikar Limited thoughts 
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Joined: Wed Mar 11, 2009 1:31 am
Posts: 139
Post Zendikar Limited thoughts
Hedron Crab is BROKEN!

Kraken Hatchling is TOO GOOD it's way better than steel wall ever was in it's format. it doesn't even have defender! triggering explorers scope, playing around the reduced cost of pit trap, getting mileage out of teetering peaks and the like, or just for lol's you can attack with this guy.


@ common you have the 1R enchantment that makes a 7/1 trample haste

@ uncommon you have the 6 drop 4/4 that gets +4/+4 and trample from landfall
and yes this beast is insane!!!

thats it! the other four cards with trample are rare/mythic

LoL at blue fog!! 3U instant attacking creatures get -3/-0 trap for U if at least 3 creatures are attacking. better than fog but, not as good as safe passage but hey, what is?

Best cards by rarity(for limited) in a first pick first pack situation

Mythic > Ob Nixilis, the Fallen

Rare > Day of Judgment

Uncommon > Crab Hedron

Common > Super shock! i.e. Burst Lightning (2 for R or 4 for 4R)

Sun Sep 27, 2009 9:26 pm
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Joined: Thu Feb 05, 2009 6:16 pm
Posts: 96
Post Re: Zendikar Limited thoughts
I think the format looks to be very skill-rewarding so far, especially in draft. Hitting the correct curve, maxing out synergies, there's so many things to watch out for and so many cards that can fill so many roles!

My picklist, preliminary:

Mythic: Rampaging Baloths / Ob Nixilis, the Fallen - both are somewhat similar but in terms of power, I'd probably say Baloth is a bit better due to the fact that the opp has less of a chance even with a topdecked removal. Still close though.

Rare: Day of Judgment / Sphinx of Jwar Isle - Shinx is VERY hard to deal with, but Day is pure power and an all-time favorite effect for firstpicks. Hm.

Uncommon: Inferno Trap / Baloth Woodcrasher - Removal is removal and this Trap can be hardcast just as nicely; Woodcrasher has a "rare" feeling to it and is VERY strong and VERY hard to stop.

Common: Journey to Nowhere / Burst Lightning - basically Oblivion Ring in limited, only cheaper (plus, not that many good enchantment removal!) vs. SuperShock. Both have their points but being able to kill just about any creature... mhmmm....

Obviously, pick values change with dedicated archetypes. The Ally-deck seems like the most prominent choice, Vampires I fear are lacking substantial support in non-black colors so they'll probably play a minor role. It remains to be seen whether Hedron Crab can make a viable strategy, it is definitely something to watch out for. I am also thinking of a jank deck reminiscent of Ravnica times, full of cheap beaters and the +2/+2 enchantments. But time will tell!

Mon Sep 28, 2009 12:08 am
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Joined: Tue Feb 10, 2009 11:57 am
Posts: 317
Post Re: Zendikar Limited thoughts
Vaso, way to bust open packs! Your pool is kind of like my wishlist!
Have to mention the landfall aggro option. Adventurer's gear, Hagra Croc, the common Baloth and my favorite, Geopede, etc can make for some very powerful starts. The only problem is if you DON'T get mana flooded then you might run out of steam. I got turn 2 geopede, turn 3 geopede and adventurer's equipment, turn 4 and 5 land, and that was all she wrote. 3/3 first strikers are really good in this format, and not much stops a 5/5. The Eel gives you the same deal AND evasion - harrow for mana fixing has never looked so good.

Mon Sep 28, 2009 8:53 am
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Joined: Thu Feb 05, 2009 6:16 pm
Posts: 96
Post Re: Zendikar Limited thoughts
So, here's some impressions after 6 ZZZ Drafts;


The format is VERY fast. I faced BR, RW or RG jank aggro decks basically every draft. Small drops, especially the landfall ones, offensive pump spells (red and black +3/+0), enchantments (+2/+2)... and you're dead before you know it. Kor Hookmaster is an MVP, the sorcery with +2/+2 and flying to two guys is a KILLER.

#2 Mana is great!

I found mana to be very stable overall. Screws and floods were minimal on both sides, both because decks weren't very mana-hungry in the first place and because the occasional dual and Harrow help a lot.

#3 Defense, defense, defense

If you want to survive, have some defensive plans. Racing will end in a vicious bloodbath subject to lots of draw-luck, instead play smart and know when you have to be the defensive deck. Boarding in a few stoppers when on the draw, playing conservatively, forcing trades to stall into mid-game, that goes a long way against all the small guys on crack!

#4 Removal isn't as important as it seems

As strange as it sounds, I found removal not to be too powerful. Even though cards like Super Shock are certainly worth a first pick, they don't actually unfold their full potential if you're forced to kill garbage 2/1's. Maybe this will shift as the format slows down and people pursue more diverse strategies though.

#5 Uncommons are a defining force

The rares aren't bomby overall, making the powerful uncommons even more so. A premier candidate is Vampire Nighthawk, raw sex for 1BB. The green Basilisk, too, can be devastating if backed up properly. Also, I have found that the 4GG Baloth is almost rare-quality in how it ends games in a single attack.

I tried various strategies, first a removal-oriented RW with 2 Shocks, Inferno Trap and 3 Pitfall Traps which still only very narrowly managed to hold its ground to aggro, eventually even succumbing to GR beats. The second deck was aggro BR, a nice curve, the underappreciated Surrakar Marauder and lots of Geopedes. Worked quite nicely and a boarded Needlespike Trap won me the match (hi there lifegain Ally!). Deck number three was my favorite, starting off with a Hellkite Charger (that I never drew, let alone played) and a whuppin FOUR Seismic Shudders. Boy is that card AWESOME! Don't be afraid to get an early 2-for-1 from it, gaining those extra two turns is usually enough. Playing more than one in a turn is plain silliness and resulted in a Wrath: You in two games. Fun! Deck 4 was BR allies, but ended up being only mediocre. I wanted to try out the lifeloss Ally but somehow it ended up to clunky and slow to really compete with the jank decks. I did pass a Marsh Casualties though so it's probably my own fault. #5 was UW midrange aggro with evasion, which worked surprisingly well. First pick was Sphinx of Jwar Isle, which kinda won the game the one time it entered, and with no questions asked. Blue really is in a funny position with its highly defensive drops, but they're certainly worth their salt! Lost to GW eventually, when he dropped t4 Emeria Angel, t5 Emeria Angel and Fetchland. Duh. Last deck was BR and quite bad, I tried to amass removal and hope for nice Casualties/Shudder action but ended up with a not really aggro and not really control deck with mediocre creatures. Removal was good but it wasn't consistent enough and got stomped by a nearly mono white weenie deck with (as later revealed) 6 Hookmasters.

It does seem like people still have a lot to learn about drafting the set. Some cards (like Hookmaster) were still underpicked for some weird reason, aggro was overdrafted and blue very hard to get for some reason. Overall though, it was very, very satisfying. I have to give major props to WotC for making the cards so good overall while managing to keep the powerlevel so very, very consistent. Few if any games ended by just playing mana and dropping Generic Bomb XYZ, something I really hated about the last few blocks.

Can't wait to get more! Oh and let me extend an invitation to everyone to come draft at magic-league if you have time; they even have an updated version of netdraft that supports MWS security codes so you can finally make sure people don't cheat! Yatta!

Mon Sep 28, 2009 9:12 pm
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