• Reading the Rainbow DC Draft Episode 4 - Player 1

    Welcome back! For those that missed our previous articles, you can catch up here. I highly recommend opening our Rainbow in another tab for easy reference.

    OK, time for the good stuff! We are opening all 12 foil packs to create two "packs" of 12 cards. We will draft the second pack first, sending it clockwise, then draft the first pack sending it counter clockwise.
    Player 1 opens his first 6 packs and we see:

    Before we move to pack 2, let's check the Rainbow and see what we have that might be in short supply, or what is out there that we can wheel or hope to get multiples of.
    Deadman: 4, and we have the rare. Honestly the only reason to take this guy right now is to rare draft him. He doesn't set up any teams, this isn't even his best version, and while good, he's definitely not a first pick.
    Black Manta 5, We definitely could take this guy and start our villains team. There's enough of him out there we would likely get some extra dice, and using our probability calculations from last time, there is likely only 1 or 2 copies of this Uncommon in the whole draft.
    Hawkman: 6, There is a lot of this guy going around, and the Uncommon is definitely the best, but I'm not sure he MAKES the bolt team go as much as other characters.
    Robin: 4, this card is deader than Deadman unless we get the ONLY Batman. Definitely not a first pick.
    Catwoman: 3, She's a good ramp card in this set, but if we pick her what do we pass up on instead?
    Shazam! 5, There is not enough ramp in this set for me to ever take this guy willingly. Maybe if we saw Aquaman, this guy could be a bomb.
    Wonder Woman 3, three copies of this card in the draft. If I wanted to start a Sidekick team I could, or supplement a JLA team, but no Aquaman yet.
    Firestorm 3, HOLD THE PHONE. 3 copies of this guy, the other two probably aren't going to both be commons, taking this guy means I can still build JLA if I wanted to, and someone else can't build bolts. Pack two better have something to convince me otherwise, but this looks like our man (men?).
    Harley Quinn 5, decent amount of Jokers to ramp to, maybe as a secondary villains pick.
    Sinestro 4, Another secondary villains pick, though the common is the best in draft.
    Brainiac 2, Only two of this guy. Good, that means there are going to be more cards that aren't expensive and undesirable.
    Red Tornado 5, this guy is a great grab in bolt team or if you get the Uncommon card. But Firestorm is needed first, and we don't see any uncommon Red Tornado's yet.

    So out the gate we're looking at Firestorm, let's see how Pack 2 treats our theory.

    Shazam! So, right out the gate, no rares or super-rares for us to worry about (see above note on Shazam!)
    Hawkman Uncommon Hawkman, best Hawkman, and look he's a bolt character for our Firestorm.
    Aquaman 5, Hrm, this make our decision tougher. Aquaman is really good ramp in a set where ramp is hard to get. Even just being able to ramp our Firestorm makes it all worth it. But is it worth passing up on a second uncommon Hawkman? Will a common Aquaman come around?
    Booster Gold 3, nope. Sorry Dave. doesn't fit into any of our plans, and isn't so good stats wise that we don't care.
    Solomon Grundy 5, there are many many Grundys in this rainbow, and he is probably the least important villain to take for our villain team.
    Catwoman Ok, we mentioned her earlier, but now we're looking at 2/3 of her dice in our hands. We COULD take them both and wait for the other die to come around (assuming it's a common, 90% chance) and have a decent ramp engine. But we could also just take Aquaman and Firestorm and ramp into an actual win condition, not more ramp.
    Captain Cold 3, good Bolt character with high damage potential and evasiveness, all around pretty good. Better than Hawkman? that's really up to you, but i like Hawkman's 3 cost.
    Darkseid 3, expensive, but if we got a reliable method of KOing things, maybe he'd be good. *checks set list* nope no reliable KO mechanisms in the whole set.
    Sinestro If we really preferred villains over bolts, this guy would be the guy to get after uncommon Black Manta.
    Superman 2, He's a great bomb for the JLA faction, but bombs wheel in DC. Get the tools you need to drop the bombs first. No sense having a bomb without a plane to deliver it.
    Shazam! ... again? No, no, no. This ability says, if you win the game, win it harder. No.

    Ok, looking these packs over before we make our first pick. Things are looking up for Uncommon Hawkman into Firestorm (remember we draft our second pack first then go back to our original pack). If we get lucky and pull a Firestorm that wheels to us in the first 6 packs, great, we will instead get 2 Uncommon Hawkman dice, denying the 3 drop Hawkman from our opponents, and possibly letting the Firestorm go so late that no one else is drafting bolts.

    Player 1 Strategy: UC Hawkman into C Firestorm, Bolts team. Looking to pick up any Cheetahs, Blue Beetle, Hawkman, C Red Tornado or Green Arrow we come across. Still prioritizing UC Red Tornado if we see it, and wouldn't mind denying our opponents with a C Aquaman pick up. C Black Manta could be a good fist pick up and Zatanna wouldn't hurt us in the mask department. After that, other bolt characters (Captain Cold, Vibe, Stargirl and Martian Manhunter).

    Basic actions we might look at:
    We will have a lot of bolts, magic missile wouldn't hurt us. Even if our opponent globals away our low health characters, our high health Firestorm will just be ready to ping him in the face when you refield the KOed characters.
    Another Bolt-centric BAC includes Horn of the Unicorn. Give a buff to those Hawkmen and Cheetahs and still get in for some overcrush damage, all while keeping the option to pump them open.
    We don't have any innate ramp yet, we could look at Villainous Pact or Resurrection.
    Other than those, it kind of just depends on what you're most comfortable with. You strategy is to get Firestorm on the field and then play Bolt characters every turn, swing with them and then play them again next turn if your opponent blocks them. Choose a basic action you think works well into that strategy for you.

    Next time, we look at Player Two's cards, and are forced to make one of the most complicated decisions possible in the DC draft format.
    Comments 6 Comments
    1. RJRETRO's Avatar
      RJRETRO -
      Awesome, looks like I'm learning a lot here. I was also thinking Firestorm/Hawkman, although I like Blue Beetle too. Looking forward to next article.
    1. Shadowmeld's Avatar
      Shadowmeld -
      Yeah Blue Beetle is pretty good, the difference is, that Blue Beetle is a common, and there are 4 Beetles in the Rainbow. You might see one wheel, where the chances of the best Hawkman, an Uncommon, coming around to you, even at 6 dice, are relatively low, especially since you already see two of them. It really is about playing the numbers game.
    1. Chris's Avatar
      Chris -
      Yeah...that's true. I was able to nab 4 Blue Beetle dice in the last draft, which was crazy. Compare that to the fact that I could only snag 1 Aquaman, Arthur Curry. So I guess it depends partially on your local draft meta and the player base.
    1. fun4willis's Avatar
      fun4willis -
      This was an awesome idea @Shadowmeld , to simulate a draft.

      When I began reading the initial article, I thought "Oh wow, another Rainbow draft article." But breaking down the choices during the draft is exactly what I didn't know I wanted. Looking forward to the next one!
    1. Shadowmeld's Avatar
      Shadowmeld -
      Thanks Willis, I knew I wanted to do this series after watching some YouTube videos that do something similar. The problem with the video format was that I could watch the player make draft choices, but didn't get a reason or explanation of why he made those choices until after his draft was complete. I felt that more discussion on how to make decisions in the moment was needed.
    1. GrahamA's Avatar
      GrahamA -
      I'm a little confused by the fact that you were able to look at both packs before you made the first pick - in the PDF issued by WizKids it says each player picks from the first pack as is passed around to the right until it's exhausted. This is the point at which you get to review the pile of cards you've picked, decide a strategy and then start picking from the 2nd pack passing to the left.
      Have the Rainbow Draft rules been updated, or is this a local variant?

      Thanks for any clarification (we're an isolated group and I'd like to know we're playing the game correctly).