Limited Impressions: How to Avoid Blue and Influence People

So it has been just over a week since Lorwyn made its way to the online Magic world. I am almost exclusively an online player so I have really gotten my first in-depth taste of Lorwyn in a competitive environment, and so far it seems decent. Maybe a few too many bombs, maybe one too many sick combos, or maybe I am still a noob.

I had planned and meticulously taken down information to write a post about my first Lorwyn draft. I actually had everything to write a full Lorwyn draft walkthrough but then after thinking about it I realized that most of that article would be me pointing out how stupid I was.

My record online so far is 4 – 1, 3 – 2 in two No Top 8 tournaments plus 8th, 4th, and 1st in three drafts, but to my chagrin the draft where I sucked was the one I have walkthrough information about. In light of this I thought it best to simply write about my overall experiences to this point.

Lorwyn Limited

The two most interesting things about Lorwyn decks I have played thus far:

  1. They have all contained at least three colors (admittedly one contained only a single card in its third color – more on that later)
  2. Not a single deck has had any blue cards in it
Here is the draft deck
that won me first place:
Magic the Gathering Lorwyn Draft white green red deck

I find this first point interesting because, before the Lorwyn pre-release, Scott had commented on the importance of playing two colors and I had commented that I thought that playing three colors was a fine option sometimes and felt that this environment would support three colors. After the tournament as we were comparing notes he chided me for going 5 – 0 with a two-color deck. In my defense I would have loved playing a third color but I did not have the fixers; that deck was meant to be White-Green.

On the other hand I think that many decks in Lorwyn are meant to have a third color in them. With the rather extensive number of color fixing lands and spells it is not a difficult proposition to throw in a few cards of a third, or possibly fourth, or dare I say fifth, color. That’s right, I have already lost one game to a five-color green deck (first round of the 3 – 2 tournament, my deck was a 3 – 2 kind of deck so I was only slightly frustrated by this loss) and I expect that I will end up seeing others. Basically because there are so many good cards in Lorwyn that can easily be splashed it behooves the limited player to dip into a third color to give themselves more options.

Tangent (the only one I promise!):
This might make things interesting as far as how highly picked some of the fixers end up being in draft. It seems like right now several of them are going fairly late but I suspect that the better cards will end up being third or fourth picks at least.

The second interesting thing is that I have yet to play a blue card in any of my decks. This is not meant to be some kind of Quentin Martin dis “You think you’re cool!? Look at me not play blue! Ha!” or anything. He is a pro, I am far more casual. I may not agree with everything he writes but that doesn’t give me a strange desire to avoid his favorite color. In point of fact in some sets blue has been my favorite color as well. Mostly I think this has just been a strange coincidence. I do my best to go where the cards take me and so far they have not thought (do cards think? If they do I am certain my lands are plotting against me) to arrange themselves in such a way as to allow me to play blue.

Saturday morning when I sat down to draft my first pick was Sygg, River Guide, a fairly powerful (I think, I have never actually played it) Blue/White Merfolk. By the end of the first pack I had a few decent white cards but almost nothing else that looked playable and nothing else good in blue. When I was passed a Masked Admirers for my second pick during the second pack and then was passed a Primal Command immediately afterward, I decided to go green even though I had not touched the color before that point.

It worked for me. What I ended up with was a creature-light White/Green/red control deck. The deck lost a couple of games but won its way to first place in the draft. When it worked my opponents must have felt as though they were playing against some kind of Blue permission deck as the deck could generally allow certain creatures to live but would be able to eliminate any others that bothered it. I actually opened Garruk Wildspeaker third pack, which certainly made me smile (I’m not rich so I occasionally have to rare draft but in this case I was getting a money rare that would also hop into my playable pile with a big ol’ grin on his hunky face).

So that’s my early impressions of limited in Lorwyn (well, less early than my impressions from the pre release, but still earlier than the next article I write that includes impressions). I’m a bit frustrated with the decision to turn off draft queues because of the lag issue at 10:00 PM PST. Since I live on the East coast I have to get up before work or in the middle of the night to draft. I’m hoping this gets sorted out soon. Admittedly my most common time for drafting is early mornings on Saturdays and Sundays and obviously this will not be affected either way.

Until next time, I think I’m going to go do another draft right now, let’s see what kind of pile I can make.

    Scott Says:

    “…going 5 – 0 with a two-color deck.”

    Yeah… especially since I had managed a staggering 2-3 with a three-color deck at the pre-release. Not that I’m bitter, or blaming your advice.

    In the second flight my two-color Merfolk deck did ever so slightly better at 2-2-1 (it goes W, L, T right? I forget…), so one might well come upon my poor limited skills (no pun intended) as the reason for my downfall, color advice aside.