• Reading the Rainbow Broad Strokes Episode 3 Know Your Economy

    Welcome back folks! Last time we wrapped up our Age of Ultron Draft with a visit from JTHomash, the 2015 Canadian national Champion. Today we're back to some broad strokes for a bit, until War of Light Releases. Specifically, today I'd like to talk about knowing your economy, and how important that is to drafting successfully.

    In any draft setting, the cards you have to chose from are limited, and thus the methods you have for generating resources is also limited. To perform well in a draft, it greatly helps to know and predict what types of cards you need to pull off this sot of economy, to it's best execution. When we look at Economy, we must take in the set as a whole and analyze where we are planning to spend our resources from turn to turn, and know what spending those resources will net us in the long run.

    Let's start with an example that is akin to constructed, and likely something most of our readers can be familiar with, Professor X Global(PXG). If we're drafting Uncanny X-Men(UXM), we should expect to be playing with, or at least against the PXG. We could talk about PXG for a whole article, but someone else has already done that. Instead take my word for it that Having a 2 cost character to buy on turn 1 is dramatically important, and fielding sidekicks is actually less important than in any other draft economy. On turn 1 of a UXM game, you should expect to buy one copy of your two cost character, and save 2 masks to use the PXG global, just like you would do in constructed. As such, knowing how to play in UXM draft, means knowing to pick up at least one, if not more 2 drop characters.

    DC, similarly has some drastically limiting economic choices. The best card to churn with is an uncommon, and very unlikely to get passed around. The next best method of churning through your characters is to field all of those sidekicks and build large walls. Knowing these sorts of win conditions, and board states are likely to happen, it behooves us to plan accordingly, and pick up characters that can get damage to our opponent, over such walls. Paying for these characters, and their fielding costs are also difficult if we are trying to field sidekicks, and at the same time spend 3-4 energy every turn. Each turn that we can field a sidekick and still make a purchase, or at the least ramp a die for next turn ensures we're not missing sidekick fielding or character fielding, keeping our bag nice and tight. Thus, we should ensure that we have 2-3 cost characters, and preferably ones that either keep our wall alive (such as Black Manta) or make our bigger characters cheaper, such as Aquaman. With this type of strategy, we can get our characters out, keep our energy flowing and cycle our aggressive characters or dice fast enough to win the direct damage race.

    Lastly, we can talk about Age of Ultron(AoU) as an example of a set were attacking, and getting KOed, is one of the best ways to ramp. Characters like Beast, Rocket Raccoon and Hawkeye, who pack a reliable amount of offense in extremely cheap dice, give us a way to force our opponent to block our cheap to field characters, effectively ramping them for us so that we can afford the larger beat-sticks.Beast is an extremely good example of this in AoU drafts, because one beast die is the same as one Ultron Drone Global activation. This means that with Beast we either get a 2 damage attacking body, or a global that lets us, the attacker force a character to block how we want, hopefully creating 2 damage from the 1 in a Million drone, or forcing our opponent to block a character we he wasn't likely to block, instead of the one he wanted to.

    As you can see, knowing the set, and analyzing what cards are best to pick up to ensure you have reliable economic foundations in your team, is as key to winning a draft, as picking the right win condition, making the right blocks or knowing when you have lethal damage against your opponent.
    Comments 2 Comments
    1. archivist's Avatar
      archivist -
      Another aspect - probably a good topic for another article - is the integration of which Basic Action Cards you'll play into the team you drafted.
    1. Shadowmeld's Avatar
      Shadowmeld -
      Yes, that is a very good subject. I just haven't gotten around to it yet. Perhaps next Monday.