Thursday, April 29, 2010

Forcing Archetypes in ROE Draft

I think the trick in ROE draft is NOT to force anything. In my experience and in talking with others, the people who try to force something are the people who do poorly in draft.

The problem is people are REALLY TEMPTED to force an archetype because there are all these Key Cards that - if you just get enough of them - you can have a very functional deck. For instance, if you decide you want to try GW Auras, and then you just take every Aura Gnarlid and all the Umbras you can, the likelihood that you get screwed over by neighbors taking these cards is very high. On top of that, the risk you're taking isn't necessarily balanced out by the benefit of drafting a strong GW Aura deck -- that particular archetype is still vulnerable to bounce, steal/sac, and cards like Narcolepsy.

In some draft formats, forcing archetypes works. But in ROE, the "archetypes" are so obvious that you are likely to run into drafters that are all looking for the same cards. Or people may just inadvertently take a couple of the key cards you need just to fill out their deck, and you're left without some key piece. I think forcing an archetype will only work as long as people are completely oblivious to your strategy - it needs to be rogue. And it needs to be proven to work. But obviously, if you figure one out, it might be better to keep it to yourself until you're drafting in the Top 8 of a Pro Tour. ;)

My advice is to be more flexible - and draft good cards. Don't force strategies. Don't put yourself into a corner, where by the third pack you really need card X or removal Y. Also, be friendly to your neighbors; don't hate.

Question of the Moment: What commons do you take over Dawnglare Invoker, assuming you're white? How high in general do you value it?