Sunday, May 1, 2016

Additional Recent MTG Booster Drafts

I had a good time with the Magic: The Gathering booster drafts from a couple of weekends ago, so I've attended a few more.
These events were at two other stores in the area, different from the two in my previous post. Alpha Players runs drafts on Wednesdays, and they're closer to me than the other stores - only about 15 minutes away. They have an interesting mix of inventory: half the store is Magic and other card/board games, and half is disc golf. Plus a mix of collectibles, like diecast Nascar cars. On Friday nights, Big Kidz Games has drafts after their Friday Night Magic event ends. It doesn't even start until 10 PM, so the playing isn't usually done until around 2:30 AM. They still have good turnouts, though.

In the earlier drafts, I was pretty surprised to finish as high as I did, considering how little I play Magic in a competitive environment. So it's not too surprising that I haven't been doing as well in more recent events. In one session, I didn't win a single match in the three rounds that I played. It's not as bad as it sounds, though, because all three rounds were very close. Two games to one in two of the three matches, and at least one loss in all three cases could have gone either way, depending on what was drawn in the last two or three turns. Which says something about how close these events can be! I also tied for second in another draft, and took eighth (of twenty-five) in my most recent foray.

It's still been plenty of fun, though. Well, mostly. Occasionally you get a match where your deck just doesn't want to cooperate and your opponent just steamrolls you, and those aren't a lot of fun. Usually that happens when you get a terrible shuffle with too many/too few lands, and have to take the mulligan option on your opening hand several times. Fortunately that's pretty rare. Most of the time, at least one game in each round is interesting and requires some thought about how to play for the win.

And of course, there's the new cards obtained in the draft. I was fortunate to pull an Archangel Avacyn in one draft and Nahiri, the Harbinger in another, though I couldn't use either in the actual draft since my other cards weren't the right colors. Nice additions to the collection, though. And sometimes things work out to actually use the big cards, such as the Thing in the Ice from my most recent event. Fit nicely into the blue/black deck I was drafting, and it even won me a couple of games.

Out of all the places I've played in these booster draft events, I think I like Big Kidz Games best. There's a nice big play area, they have a lot of board games and such in addition to the Magic stock, and most of the folks that show up there are pretty laid back (as opposed to hyper-competitive). The late night draft times don't bother me too much, since sleeping in on Saturday morning isn't a problem. I probably won't go every week, but I'll likely be back a few times.

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