• Reading the Rainbow Episode 5 - Tough Decisions

    Welcome back! Last time we talked about Player 1's hand prioritizing a bolt team strategy with the Common Firestorm, now things get a lot more complicated. Today Player 2 is getting a flurry of good choices and has to sort through them to decide a plan to help him take the day.

    Here is our friendly rainbow image to open in another tab and follow along:

    Now let's take a look at that first pack!

    Well, first impressions: Options.
    Robin 4, This rare is pretty powerful in draft if we can get Batman. Too bad there's only 1 Batman die.
    Red Tornado 5, Oddly, the worst Tornado is the Rare Tornado. He might have a place in a spin up action dice team, but that's highly niche constructed territory, not draft.
    Robin 4, more Robins. This one isn't half bad either, but to be honest, if we were going to pick Robin, it'd be the common in the draft format; cheaper cost.
    Firestorm 3, wow. 3 Firestorms in the whole draft and one of them is an uncommon. Looks like we know that only 2 people can be building the BEST bolts team. This guy is decent on a JLA team, pair him with the BAC Vulnerability and you're assassinating people each turn or chipping away at your opponent's health.
    Lex Luthor 4, ok, this guy is interesting. Not sure he'd be a first pick, but if we decided to build a Common Flash, Anger Issues team, he'd be great for getting us that one Anger issues turn after turn after turn.
    Green Arrow 2, Only two of this guy, but let me tell you, he's great at removal in draft. Pings for 2, 4 or 6 damage when fielded. If you can get him take him, but maybe not first thing.
    Blue Beetle 4, talked about this guy in the comments last time, he's great villain hate, but if you're first picking hate cards instead of win cards, you're going to be behind when your opponent doesn't bring anything you hate.
    Swamp Thing 5, *sigh* Swamp Thing looks like he has such good draft abilities, but in a set all about synergies and team building, he's just left out in the rain like a puddle of mud.
    Batman 1, Yep, 1. Do we double down on Batman? The dilemma. Will discuss this more below.
    The Atom 3, This guy has some interesting abilities, but as a general rule, he's just not worth his costs. If you do end up taking him, (not first) think about using Polymorph.
    Hawkman 6, The Uncommon is better, but he wouldn't be bad to pick up later down the line.

    Ok, let's look back for a second and see what strategies we might be able to go for with this pack. First, Batman, we can take him, we know there's a Rare and Uncommon Robin, so we've got options to pair him with. On the other hand, the rare might get Rare drafted before wheeling, and in a 6 man draft, it is impossible for us to get Batman and both Robins anyway so we're looking at Batman and 3 Robin dice. If we were to pair them with anything we'd probably want to get Aquaman for cheaper Batman, and then maybe look at Flash for a cycle of unblockable JLA and friends (Robin is not JLA). We definitely need to keep our eye out for common Robin with his +3/+3 when batman is out and 3 cost.

    Other options we can look at are a JLA team, where we take UC Firestorm and Vulnerability for removal and build the rest of the JLA around that. We could also choose Villains or Action dice and pick up Lex Luthor. Lastly we have some good secondary bolt characters, like Green Arrow, we could choose.

    Ok, Pack 2 and hope for something better.

    Alrighty then, I don't have to look very hard to see that things just got ridiculous.

    Cyborg 3, This is not Cyborg's best card. maybe later in a JLA team though.
    Aquaman 5, NICE! this guy is just as good for a JLA team as the common, even though he doesn't give the discount. He gives you a bit of churn instead, and chip damage with Retaliation. Still cheap and still good.
    Green Lantern 4, This Green Lantern is a JLA win condition. get him and some sidekicks on the field and swing for an army of 3/3s. Can we just keep this whole hand and build that instead of drafting? the JLA in this pack is insane.
    Red Tornado 5, Whelp.... there goes the rest of this article. I believe in magic this is what they call a windmill slam.
    Hawkman 6, the best Hawkman still isn't Red. Tornado.
    Red Tornado 5, OH look, something to wheel into.
    Firestorm 3, OH WOW. This pack. Tears. Brain Hurting. Three Firestorms, and you get a chance at one of them, yet instead, Red Tornado.
    Lex Luthor 4, not a Red Tornado. (also, very situational ability)
    Superman 2, not a Red Tornado. (Also, bombs will wheel)
    Green Arrow 2, not a Red Tornado. (and we can always take this guy from the weak pickings pack one)
    The Joker 4, not a Red Tornado. (and we see no Harleys yet, and no reason to build control)
    Solomon Grundy 5, not a Red Tornado.

    So, First pick from the second pack is Red Tornado. Here is why. The Firestorm is tempting, we know there aren't many and letting him go past us means our opponent is going to have some options when it comes to good teams. If we get Red Tornado online though, anything our opponent is buying hits the field that much slower than what ever we bring.

    So, what are we looking to get from pack 1? To be honest, it depends on what is in our opponent's Packs. If we get passed another Firestorm (of which we know there's only 1 left out there) we can do bolts hard with the R.T. synergy. If we get passed an Uncommon Black Manta we can pick up Lex Luthor and go villains. Get an Aquaman? Go JLA. Red Tornado gives us absolute freedom to draft anything we want.

    For now, why don't we plan on drafting Batman, and if we see a Robin or synergistic Batarang, we snag them up along the way.

    BONUS: With our drafts for player 1, what card would he draft from this pack?
    I think I mentioned picking up the common Firestorm last time, and that's what he would do here. Green Arrow wouldn't be a bad choice either, but Firestorm would be the best. If he stuck with it, Player 1 could draft the 2 Common Firestorms and the 1 Uncommon one, leaving him sure that no one else is going for true bolts.
    Comments 6 Comments
    1. Vapedaveb's Avatar
      Vapedaveb -
      Great Article, I agree that after seeing these I would possibly go for the Batman/Robin is in play.
      But I would also like to go for the bolt team.
    1. Bigred92's Avatar
      Bigred92 -
      For player 2, pick 1 probably the

      Wouldn't feel great about it, Pack 2 pick 1 is most assuredly

      As for player 1's second pick from 2's first pack, I would go for the

      knowing I have a first pick ,

      and a second pack

      I would go for as many Hawkman dice as I could get, since multiple Firestorm aren't as useful as multiple Hawkmen.
    1. Shadowmeld's Avatar
      Shadowmeld -
      I agree with you about the Multiple Hawkman dice. There is also the fact that if you draft all of the Common Firestorms, you're the one at the tournament with the biggest gun. Something to keep in mind is that the draft environment is a contained ecosystem. If you take a card not only does it give you the card, but it denies that card to your opponents. This is one reason I recommend taking at least both common Firestorms. After that, get as many Common Cheetahs and Uncommon Hawkmen as you can. If you don't have a great pick for your bolts team, feel free to take an Aquaman or Black Manta to deny them from your opponent. This is what they call hate drafting in Magic, and it will serve you well in the DM scene. Perhaps even more so.
    1. DigitalFirefly's Avatar
      DigitalFirefly -
      I really enjoy these articles.
    1. Shadowmeld's Avatar
      Shadowmeld -
      Thanks DF, I really enjoy writing them. I have 4 more players to run through, and some interesting takes on some of those, then I've got a Yugioh draft in the pipeline, assuming AoU doesn't drop before then. If you guys have any requests or suggestions feel free to drop them here. I know this series could get boring after one or two sets, be happy to spice it up too.
    1. Bigred92's Avatar
      Bigred92 -
      So far they've been stellar and I really enjoy how in depth you've gone.

      As for hate drafting, it certainly has its place, just in my experience I've found it better to draft something that goes in your deck over hating on something else.