UnCon R&D IPA Draft Report


I am incredibly lucky. At the least, I was incredibly lucky this past weekend; I may have used up all my luck as of Monday. If I find that to be the case, I will accept donations of rabbits' feet, four-leaf clovers, and horseshoes. No horse feet, please.

After reading the enlightening transcript for last Monday's Ravnica world-building chat, I decided to attend Friday's "Ravnica's Development" chat event. I didn't have any questions in mind, but I enjoyed being able to discuss with friends interesting topics from the chat event as they occurred. Before the chat started, a mystery door prize was announced for those in attendance who signed up. A click away and I found this little contest was for a free MTGO booster draft against Randy Buehler and three other unnamed Wizards of the Coast. As a player once said, "Mise."

I signed up--who am I to turn down a free booster draft--and enjoyed the rest of the chat whose transcript lies somewhere above this post. After Rosewater and Forsythe stepped down, the four winners of the R&D draft drawing were announced one by one. Ualityproduction...(not me)...Shaver...(also not me)...Bedford...(fill in the blank: ___ me)...and the fourth winner...


I hope you've enjoyed my "Ravnica's Development" report as much as I've enjoyed writing it.


P.S. Three alternates for the draft were also announced, in case one or more of the winners were run over by a snow plow or otherwise could not attend at the scheduled time. The first one? (Me.)

I told you I'm lucky!

"You're just an alternate," you may point out. "One of the four winners would have to miss the draft for you to be able to play," you may further reason. "I saw your name a couple of posts above this one, so that must have happened," you finally conclude. You sure are smart!

Upon receiving word that I was first alternate, I began a fiendishly complicated plot to remove one of the four raffle winners, which I will not detail here. Suffice it to say that ualityproduction was for some reason unable to play an 8-person booster draft at midnight Eastern time on Sunday night.

Yawgatog gains super-lucky until end of weekend.

[Saturday training montage set to "Eye of the Tiger."]

Sunday night arrives and the MTGO UnCon room swells with three raffle winners, one extremely lucky raffle alternate, the always lovely Kwai Chang, everyone's favorite elf, and Buehler? Buehler? Anyone? I am surely the first to make this hilarious joke, yessir! Ironically, Buehler was the first of the four WotC drafters, arriving long before the shadowy trio of Scott Larabee, Mike Turian, and mystery man Jake Theis.

11:11 Little_shaves: heh, what format do you want to do buehler?
11:11 rbuehler: What format do you want to do?
11:11 Little_shaves: IPA ;)
11:11 Little_shaves: it's the closest thing to ravnica
11:11 rbuehler: I would rather draft Ravnica than IPA
11:11 kwaichang: wow.
11:11 Little_shaves: is it possible?
11:12 rbuehler: no {f}
11:12 Little_shaves: that's what i thought
11:12 rbuehler: I guess we'll have to settle for IPA ;-)

Yes, I would settle for that.

Originally Posted by Magic: The Gathering Comprehensive Rules
502.99c. Multiple instances of super-lucky on the same creature are redundant.

To recap:

11:15 rbuehler: The draft roster will include Scott Larabee, Jake Theis, and Mike Turian from the WotC side (along with me)
11:15 rbuehler: and it looks like it's Little_shaves, Bedford, Kirushi, and Yawgatog from UnCon

My good man, elf, chimes in with his predictions:

11:16 wotc_elf: I pick Mike Turian to win it all.
11:16 kwaichang: is he , like, good or somn at limited? </sarcasm>
11:16 wotc_elf: beating Yawgatog in the finals.
11:16 Yawgatog: You're far too kind, elf.

Or perhaps he wasn't kind enough. Dun dun dunnn!

Over the next forty-five minutes, the rest of the Wizards show up and we get some introductions out of the way.

11:17 rbuehler: Hello Yawg -- nice to finally meet you. I'm a big fan of your work.
11:17 Yawgatog: Likewise. ;D


11:58 M_Turian: is yawgatog in the draft?
11:58 rbuehler: yep
11:58 M_Turian: awesome
11:58 M_Turian: he is my hero
11:58 Yawgatog: omg!

Yes, I am awesome.

At the stroke of midnight on a clock one minute slow, the table is randomly set up as shown here:

The drafting table

Gee, three Wizards passing to me. Don't fret, fairness police, for no Absorbs, Undermines, or foil Pernicious Deeds were passed to me as a result of this unholy gathering of three. I didn't rare-draft that much at all. However...

Invasion pack (featuring Fact or Fiction)

...I did uncommon-draft. Hey, it's a good card; it made my deck. A goblin commando breaks into my room after my first pick and proceeds to rare-draft Stalking Assassin and Hanna, Ship's Navigator from the next two packs.

I shouldn't have to explain this sudden reversal of my non-rare-drafting policy--after all, a goblin commando did it--but Stalking Assassin certainly made the deck, and Hanna is fun for trading. By that, I mean I plan to keep it up for trade in my one ticket rares binder. Should anyone attempt to sneak it into their side of the trade, I will type, "YOU'RE NOT MY HANNA!" and remove it from sight. I assure you, this is the pinnacle of comedy--I am a professional.

The rest of pack one goes by with me picking up the following white/blue/black goodies and baddies (in no particular order): Benalish Lancer, Razorfoot Griffin, Prison Barricade, Reviving Dose, EOTFOFYL, Shoreline Raider, Metathran Zombie, Vodalian Serpent, Vodalian Merchant, Urborg Skeleton, Phyrexian Reaper, Stalking Assassin, "You're not my Hanna!" Ancient Spring, and a cheerleading Llanowar Cavalry.

I continue my savage uncommon-drafting with pack two:

Planeshift pack (featuring Flametongue Kavu)

Seriously, I played Flametongue Kavu to much success. White/blue/black splashing red ain't no thang in IPA, baby! Other notable cards I picked up from Planeshift include Disciple of Kangee, Allied Strategies, 2x Stormscape Familiar, Nightscape Familiar, Death Bomb, Terminal Moraine, and Crosis's Catacombs.

Next is the coolest set ever printed:

Apocalypse pack (You're not my Hanna!)

At this point, another goblin commando dove through my open window, turned around and smashed a closed window, then rare-drafted the Prophetic Bolt. After tossing him out, I was subsequently forced to add Bolt to my splashy deck.

Featured Apocalypse cards include: Aforementioned Bolt, 2x Dega Disciple, a windmill-slammed Tahngarth's Glare, Spectral Lynx (hot third pick!), Manacles of Decay, Heliophant (a vital mana fixer), Kavu Glider, Zombie Boa, and Phyrexian Gargantua.


IPA card pool

Nice cards.

IPA sealed deck

Nice deck.

Round 1: vs. Little_shaves, featuring Orim's Chant (Nice card.)

Yawgatog is the winner! The game ended on turn 9.Yawgatog is the winner! The game ended on turn 14.

Give up yet?

Round 2: vs. Kirushi, featuring Yavimaya's Embrace, Rakavolver, Draco, "You're not my Hanna!"

Yawgatog is the winner! The game ended on turn 18.Yawgatog is the winner! The game ended on turn 15.

Good game.

Round 3: vs. m_turian, featuring Void

Yawgatog is the winner! The game ended on turn 13.Yawgatog is the winner! The game ended on turn 16.

C'mon top deck!

Yawgatog is the winner! The draft ended on round 3.

One. Lucky. Atog.

Please forgive my greatly abbreviated match summaries and overuse of Magic Online macros, but I forgot to save My Games and have the memory of a goldfish, so I just forgot what the beginning of this sentence was.

From what I do remember, Little_shaves, a.k.a. Shaver, a.k.a. probably something else related to shaving, was also white/blue/black, but didn't have the atomic bombs to combat my deck's nuclear arsenal in the cold war that was our match.

I recall Kirushi's games being rather close, with his colossal full-kickered Rakavolver and complete-domain Draco falling to well-timed removal. Believe me, 9/9 flying monsters are scary, even with a Death Bomb in hand.

Upon entering round three with Mike Turian, I thought to myself, "That elf is wiser than I give him credit for." I just hoped he wasn't TOO wise, lest I submit to the tater across the table. Despite getting Voided both games, my curvetastic, bombastic team brought home a victory, with no small help from Grog the Goblin Shuffler. The digital creature chose to deny Turian some much-needed red mana game 2 until it was too late to stop my horde. I think he owed me for the broken window.

Elf, consider this notification that you were only half right, but at least it was the important half.

Big thanks go to everyone involved in running UnCon, without which none of this would have happened, to the fine folks on Wizards of the Coast's Professional UnCon Magic Online Drafting Team, to my fellow nonwizard drafters, and especially to the Yawgatog Fan Club spontaneously formed in the casual/limited room. The whole unconvention has been loads of fun and I look forward to an even more mind-bogglingly fun event next year.

"You're not my Hanna!"