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CardShark Content - Matthew Sablan (6/21/2004)

First, I’m not a Constructed Player. I haven’t played constructed since I was able to build my own version of Stompie during Urza
Urza
UrzaSet: Vanguard
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Character
Rarity:
X
Number:
7
Artist:
Mark Tedin
Power:
-1
Toughness:
+10
Text:
3: Urza deals one damage to target creature or player.
for under 15$. Sure, I won a tournament once with it. But I’ve not played Constructed since Urza
Urza
UrzaSet: Vanguard
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Character
Rarity:
X
Number:
7
Artist:
Mark Tedin
Power:
-1
Toughness:
+10
Text:
3: Urza deals one damage to target creature or player.
. What I’m discussing is some things that people should take into account when drafting. I’m not discussing draft strategy here at all, rather I am discussing drafting behavior of players, and I don’t mean “Timmy” and “Johnny” and “Spike.” I mean the people sitting around your draft table, and some things that have happened around my draft tables that have annoyed me, or that I see as a problem.

I’m also not going to be discussing non-sanctioned drafts or sealed tournaments. Those are an entirely different beast altogether. I’m discussing here some of the gripes I have with rules enforcements I’ve noticed at my draft-place (and sealed-deck place) of choice.

First, and foremost, don’t talk about the cards in the packs. Yes, its fun to discuss how many times that Door to Nothingness
Door to Nothingness
Door to NothingnessSet: Fifth Dawn
Cost:
5
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Number:
115
Text:
Door to Nothingness comes into play tapped. WWUUBBRRGG, Tap, Sacrifice Door to Nothingness: Target player loses the game.
is going to get passed around the table, but when people announce “bomb” picks, or ask the person next to them “what in the world are you doing passing X” the line begins to become a fine shade of gray. How would you enjoy at your first draft if your first four picks are met with your fellow player criticizing what you didn’t pick? Yes, most of us know we’re supposed to scoop up Terror
Terror
TerrorSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Ron Spencer
Text:
Buries target creature. Cannot target black creatures or artifact creatures.
over Fangren Hunter
Fangren Hunter
Fangren HunterSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
5
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Beast
Rarity:
C
Number:
119
Artist:
Darrell Riche
Power:
4
Toughness:
4
Text:
Trample
, and Spikeshot Goblin
Spikeshot Goblin
Spikeshot GoblinSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
3
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Goblin Shaman
Rarity:
C
Number:
108
Artist:
Alan Pollack
Power:
1
Toughness:
2
Text:
R, T: Spikeshot Goblin deals damage equal to its power to target creature or player.
or Loxodon Warhammer
Loxodon Warhammer
Loxodon WarhammerSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
3
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Sub Type:
Equipment
Rarity:
U
Number:
201
Artist:
Jeremy Jarvis
Text:
Equipped creature gets +3/+0, has trample, and has 'Whenever this creature deals damage, you gain that much life.' Equip 3 (3: Attach to target creature you control. Equip only as a sorcery. This card comes into play unattached and stays in play if the creature leaves play.)
over something like Neurok Familiar
Neurok Familiar
Neurok FamiliarSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Bird
Rarity:
C
Number:
43
Artist:
Edward P. Beard, Jr.
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
Flying When Neurok Familiar comes into play, reveal the top card of your library. If it's an artifact card, put it into your hand. Otherwise, put it into your graveyard.
with a first pick. But can’t you discuss it with your compatriot after the draft? There’s a thing called “shocked,” and that’s what I am when I hear older players commenting on the younger ones’ draft choices.

I also don’t care, but for no reason should the person to your left or right be shown what you drafted. Even if it is a foil that you just “couldn’t pass up.” They’re not supposed to know what you’re drafting except in the signals you manage to send to them. Showing a first turn pick and saying “Normally I wouldn’t take this first pick, but it was foil so I did anyway,” is hardly fair, as now the people passing to, from, or in general know what you have. For example, most will argue picking a foil Chimney Imp
Chimney Imp
Chimney ImpSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
5
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Imp
Rarity:
C
Number:
59
Artist:
Christopher Moeller
Power:
1
Toughness:
2
Text:
Flying When Chimney Imp is put into a graveyard from play, target opponent puts a card from his or her hand on top of his or her library.
doesn’t mean anything, but picking a foil Granite Shard
Granite Shard
Granite ShardSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
3
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
U
Number:
182
Artist:
Doug Chaffee
Text:
3, T or R, T: Granite Shard deals 1 damage to target creature or player.
does.

After you’ve completed the draft, some people have decided it is “cool to help other to show off the goods. The guy I was playing in my draft showed off his four Disciples of the Vault and three Chittering Rats
Chittering Rats
Chittering RatsSet: Darksteel
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Rat
Rarity:
C
Number:
39
Artist:
Tom Wanerstrand
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
When Chittering Rats comes into play target opponent puts a card from his or her hand on top of his or her library.
. Besides getting an amazingly lucky amount of passes, he had also drafted a couple of other goodies, that he willingly showed the entire table. Granted it didn’t hurt his chances much at all, after all, with a load out like that, and some good back up, he had a solid creature base, but shouldn’t he have been keeping the information to himself?

While before drafts I don’t mind too much a discussion about whether you should be putting Screams from Within
Screams from Within
Screams from WithinSet: Darksteel
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Enchant Creature
Rarity:
U
Number:
52
Artist:
Hugh Jamieson
Text:
Enchanted creature gets -1/-1. When enchanted creature is put into a graveyard return Screams from Within from your graveyard to play.
in your draft deck (for the record, I’ll go in on with the “yes” group,) I do find it somewhat against the rules for this discussion to happen after the draft, when Screams from Within
Screams from Within
Screams from WithinSet: Darksteel
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Enchant Creature
Rarity:
U
Number:
52
Artist:
Hugh Jamieson
Text:
Enchanted creature gets -1/-1. When enchanted creature is put into a graveyard return Screams from Within from your graveyard to play.
and another card are looking at you in the eyes with 39 cards in your deck. Helping each other build constructed decks is fine, but with two people discussing with each other what should go in their decks, they get an edge on the competition of people who either don’t know anyone there at the draft, or who don’t get help on building their draft deck. Is it alright to talk while making your deck? Yes. But you probably shouldn’t debate over whether to put Vulshock Sorcerer into your deck or a Shatter
Shatter
ShatterSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Amy Weber
Text:
Shatter destroys target artifact.
with your neighbor (I’m of the opinion that instant Artifact removal is almost better then creature removal, but I like pinging creatures, so I would put the Sorcerer in if I already had some other way to shut down artifacts, but otherwise in with the Shatter
Shatter
ShatterSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Amy Weber
Text:
Shatter destroys target artifact.
.)

The next aspect of things that bother me is when decks aren’t registered. In most cases, yes, it is a waste of time. But during a Pre-release, it would certainly have put my mind at ease to know that the decks were registered and nothing fishy was going on. Especially when I heard people discussing how they “made some great changes” after their first match win or loss. And then sitting down between matches and re-building their deck again. Could they have just been putting their decks back to their original construction? Yes. But wouldn’t everyone feel a little better about it if there was a way to check if something extremely fishy had come up?

Another pet peeve of mine is people who don’t return their lands to the store after the draft. Most store owners will probably acknowledge this as one of the most annoying aspects of running a draft. I know at Days of Knights (one of my old places of play before I left Delaware,) there was a weekend where there would be no drafting because the amount of land that had been stolen, or accidentally taken, the weekend before was in the high fifties.

Of course, perhaps this is just a pet peeve of mine. Or, perhaps, that it is just at the place where I draft that this happens. I’ve not gotten to a lot of different places to draft, as can be expected by my lack of funds and transportation. But it’s my rant from my experience, take it or leave it.


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