Innistrad Travels to Winchester
While there isn't a sexy draft viewer to see how Craig and I took turns picking, we did take notes and pictures throughout the draft. If you wanted to see an entire Winchester event in detail this is the place.
A quick caveat before going forward: we draft because we find the process, and resulting games, fun. If you don't enjoy the type of deep thoughts judo that Craig and I do, that's okay. Sometimes we just want to get down to gaming as fast as possible, and other times we really get into discussions about what pile to pick.
What's important is that you're having fun playing Magic however you're choosing to play. We just enjoy playing when we're choosing too.
While a small, evasive creature is appealing, and howling at the moon feels awesome, a piece of powerful Equipment feels good and promises pain.
I like removal spells, and I like red creatures. I like them better together. While the Vampire is a bit trickier to handle later on, Dead Weight would almost certainly end up being anything but.
As Craig shared in his notes to me: "Woo hoo!" Craig is a big fan of blue and green, so getting Moon Heron and Prey Upon in the pack pick is exciting for him.
Picking up another red creature, black removal spell, and two tricky green spells feels awesome. Moonmist is the universal Human-transformer, and would open up some Werewolf shenanigans if it happens. Since there are only six transforming creatures in a Winchester, and not all of them are Human, it wasn't something I was counting on completely.
Craig and I discussed the options here, but we both settled on the big flying mythic rare as a fine beatstick to pick up. Craig looked further and decided that a flashback deck may work. Keeping your eyes open to possibilities is something Craig and I have definitely used to maximize how much joy a certain strategy brings!
Another Werewolf, with a Moonmist to boot, made jumping onto the Werewolf-bandwagon easier. I like it when a plan begins to fall into place!
Craig looks over the piles before settling on the option of tricks and removal. Knowing that he's a fan of green means that I can count on seeing Spidery Grasp in his deck later on.
This pick was a bit strange for me, and I wanted the Darkthicket Wolf, Bramblecrush, and Wooden Stake, as well as Abattoir Ghoul. I settled for Hollowhenge Scavenger and another Werewolf, but it may not have been the strongest option available. But that's part of what makes Draft exciting: the unknown coming ahead!
Craig decided to go in on black and white together, and wanted to see if the Memory's Journey would float back around to him.
I recall this pick as being no-contest. Sometimes, just a quick pile of playable cards sets things apart!
Easy-to-cast creatures with bonus abilities—first strike and evasion—are great to keep picking up. Craig, however, felt he was still very short on creatures.
While I was excited to see another Werewolf to join my pack, Craig was excited to begin predicting with accuracy what pile I would pick up. Even with three colors in play for both of our decks, narrowing do what your opponent is after can help you gain more of the things you want or take something powerful your opponent will grab.
Milling and more removal are two things Craig doesn't mind having more of that this point.
This was a tough choice for me as I knew how awesome (and flavorful) Manor Gargoyle is, but a more aggressive creature, combat trick, and mana fixing all looked promising as well. (This pick turned out fairly uninteresting, as the Gargoyle never came up in games!)
There is no hesitation from Craig as he scoops up the pile with the second mythic rare of the draft. Sweet.
I wanted another creature, and I liked the trample-biting Feral Ridgewolf more than other options.
Craig lights up on seeing Burning Vengeance, and it's clear that he's on a flashback-empowered plan.
I wanted to try out Inquisitor's Flail in a deck, and this one came attached to big creatures that I might want to play anyway. Hurray!
I was holding my breath when the final creatures with transform landed in the same pile together. With two copies of Moonmist I was sure to play one. Fortunately for me, Craig grabbed more milling and a Boneyard Wurm to work with it.
The Last Picks
Craig is surprised by my choice and, in hindsight, I am too. Two on-color removal spells alongside a recursion spell could have sold me. Instead Craig got that pile and I got peace of mind playing Moonmist.
Drafting is always an interesting experience, and playing with the latest set always makes it trickier. My three-color deck's mana would be a little shakier than usual, but I've gotten use to strange mana in Winchester.
Craig was a little less happy with his deck, and after working the colors over a few times he settled into a deck without Plains. I found that very curious, but the shrug and grin from Craig told me that something was definitely up.
Now, back to the other action!