Today Kye shares a detailed report from his 2nd place 2019 National Tournament 2 Player Booster Draft!
*The cards marked with asterisks are cards that I recall that were not in a pack I opened, and passed to me.
I hope this article will help some players to be able to gain some insights to constructing a deck in a booster draft, and lead to even more competitive play. Therefore, this article is focused more on the deck construction than the game play. In booster draft, there are a lot of challenging decisions you have to make on the fly and hope they work out. Everyone has their different styles of what to draft, so feel free to add comments below – it only helps everyone.
Things to Keep in Mind
Please note that this is a 2 player booster draft deck. The packs were drafted in groups of four, and then everyone was re-paired to play 2-player games. Many will note that picks for the construction of a 2-player booster draft deck are significantly different from what you might choose for a multi-player deck, and they would be right. This article will only focus on 2-player methods.
A Side Note
I am absolutely convinced that the defense won me 2nd place. While I understand that it’s the offense that rescues souls, there were a good amount of competitive decks out there, with great offensive strategies. Without a strong defense, I would not have been able to hold off my opponents as long as I did in order to let my offense do its work.
The first place booster draft winner had a deck with Chariot of Fire, The Second Coming, Samuel, David, King Saul, Sam’s Edict, Persian Horsemen / Persian Horses, and a lot of other speed to back it all up. Hopefully that list is pretty self-explanatory, but at least note that dominants are pretty powerful (especially those). My deck doesn’t have any dominants in it, but keep an eye out for them – even Guardian of Your Souls can be beneficial in booster for its instead ability.
I remember a couple of first picks from packs I opened that were a little difficult. The very first pack I opened (TeC) had The god of This World in it, which was very appealing. However, Heroes and Good Enhancements are generally a higher priority pick. That pack had Jephthah in it, which can be really powerful especially paired with The Angel with the Secret Name. While I didn’t get any Judges angels, there was a very good chance of it based on the amount of tin packs that would be passed around with it being only the first round.
I had another tough pick from RoJ, which revealed a “Humble” Lost Soul as the rare in the pack. Again, Lost Souls are generally not a priority pick from a pack. However, I will state that I do think Lost Souls are sometimes undervalued. As you will see in the deck list, at some point I grabbed a “Revealer” Lost Soul, which can help avoid soul drought in a time of need. That absolutely wasn’t a first pick of mine, but I sometimes find that I will draft a soul before most others will. “Humble” definitely has some functionality, especially if you come up against someone who was able to secure a fight by the numbers character like King of Tyrus. I grabbed Scattered instead of “Humble”, which almost got back around to me before it got taken by the player to my left, who coincidentally had also drafted KoT.
Sometimes it is hard to make a choice. However, other times are really easy. When I saw Peace, this was an immediate grab. Toss is so hard to stop, it is definitely a worthwhile card to include. Fortunately I was able to grab James, Leader in Jerusalem from Persecuted Church, which I believe was a first pick for me from that pack since I was looking out for clay and/or blue Heroes with big numbers to use with Peace. As you can see, I didn’t find many, but they exist!
Gamaliel’s Speech is such a versatile card that it is very hard to pass up. While odds are still a little less favorable for Clay characters in booster due to the distribution of those cards (primarily TeC), there is a really good chance that defenses will see some gray as options. Since Gam’s Speech works to negate either alignment regardless of how it’s played, it was a sure pick.
While Abandonment is an evil card, and as previously stated, lost souls are won through the offense, it is hard not to get excited about CBN-anything. Especially with banding remaining very strong in booster draft, this was easy enough for me to grab as long as I am not passing up an amazing offense card in order to take it.
I don’t remember for sure, but I believe Unsuccessful might have been my first pick from PoC. At this point, I would have known that my defense was pretty well established with gray, and that it would be a fabulous battle winner. It is also one that people haven’t started to expect, and made me really comfortable when my opponents wanted to band. I’m not sure what pack I picked Balaam’s Disobedience from, but it proves to remain a great card in booster.
The last card to mention getting excited about is Gabriel. Not only was he the Warriors version, which can discard any enhancement, good or evil, but he has great numbers for booster draft and Simeon can band to him, which came in handy a few times.
There are a couple of cards that I wasn’t sure how they would work out, but they proved to be beneficial.
Prince of Persia almost didn’t make the deck cut. However, he secured a few solid blocks in early games. He wasn’t necessary most of the time, but I am glad that I had him.
Scapegoat seemed to show up right when I needed it a couple of times. While I didn’t have the opportunity to rescue many times with my teal heroes (and when I did it was usually Ahimaaz for his red brigade), an early Scapegoat definitely saved me in one of my latter games where my opponent got off to a superior start, and I needed time to get my stronger ECs and EEs for support. Similarly I was able to successfully use Scapegoat against drought during one game.
Eglon x2, Porcius Festus, and Gabriel turned out to be pretty mean. Being able to take an enhancement from my opponent every time they rescued (most likely having one of the 3 ECs) must have been annoying to them. To add to the punishment, when I had Gabriel, I was discarding something from their decks as well, usually banded in with Simeon. I recall one battle where my opponent had to give me I Am Holy, which I promptly activated on my turn to add to his pain. I had seen this in his deck earlier after searching with Gabriel, and really hoped I could get it from him, so discarded something else. It turns out there was another enhancement he didn’t want to give me, so he held onto I Am Holy.
While Covenant with Adam was intentional to pair with Ehud’s choose the blocker ability, I came to realize pretty early that it works really well with Peace too. Not to mention if I got Judge’s Seat out and had Gideon in there.
Besides some really strong battle winners, this deck seemed to be very versatile. I always felt like I had some good options for a pretty solid rescue attempt, and usually a sure block nearby as well. The versatility comes a lot with drafting dual alignment cards and/or multi brigade cards. It’s a lot more likely that they will make the deck cut when there are options to play them on. After booster finished, I looked through my deck and there was not a card besides the Reserve that I didn’t use. The card I used the least was Zadok, because I think I only saw him once (and used him).
I enjoyed having a 10 card Reserve, mostly because it made people curious and/or nervous. Since Angel from the Altar could exchange with any card I needed, and Gain could also access it, I decided to put in some cards that might come in handy. While I would have preferred some silver battle winners, I didn’t have that option. I believe I shuffled Elhanan once with Gain, but otherwise only went for Imprisoned Prophet. Imprisoned Prophet was instrumental, but painful to use since I had to battle challenge with Angel from the Altar, then battle challenge again with Imprisoned Prophet and not have anyone to exchange with (no green prophets in any of the cards I drafted!) But hey, when there is a drought, there is a drought. I rescued Imprisoned Prophet in at least 3 games.
Most Notable Battle
My favorite battle was against a deck that had opening draw including Soldier of God and Christian Soldier. They got off to a great start with a big band as they went to deck for the Paladin that they also drafted. Yes, crazy, I know…
After using Scapegoat to stall, then getting Abandonment for a CBN withdraw (doesn’t solve the problem), pulling off Unsuccessful, and I am sure giving up a couple of lost souls, I saw an opportunity that helped me win the game.
It did require some set up by activating Unholy Writ on my turn. After the attack, I blocked with Abimelech and received initiative. I played Deceit and Vengeance to set aside their two males in battle and all evil males in their territory (all of their ECs except Jezebel). I then used Unholy Writ on the female Christian Soldier, which the opponent had no answer to, and discarded their Jezebel in territory with Abimelech’s ability.
This was by far the most stressful game, and probably against a deck that was a better constructed than mine. It’s also the reason why I say the defense is what got me 2nd place.
As mentioned earlier, please leave comments. This article isn’t meant to be all-inclusive, but I hope other players gain some insight and are able to improve their drafting as a result. Thanks!
To buy singles, sealed product, and other gaming supplies mentioned, please visit Three Lions Gaming!