Drafting a New World

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This will be a relatively personal blog, but don’t fret, I’ll get back to my normal limited experiences later.  If you’re here just for magic, just skip to the last paragraph.

I have been away from home for several years and being an expat is indeed a difficult task that has tested a lot about who I am and at times, I felt like the challenge was insurmountable.  I remember how alone I felt at times and how my terrible language skills alienated me regardless of how often I tried to communicate in Korean.  Then, I went into my first card shop in Gangbyeon. I befriended an awesome shopkeeper, Michael, and met friends I still have to this day.  Magic didn’t just give me friends though, it gave me a community.  The competitive people pushed my magic abilities as well as giving me that sense that I do belong, breaking barriers of language and culture.

I couldn’t have asked for anything more.  The people I have met playing magic, both Korean and fellow foreigners, have been some of the best and I’ve always been very thankful for that.  With just some months left before I leave this country, I’ll be spending my remaining time going to shops throughout Seoul.

With all that said, I started my first draft.  It was the new Figure of Destiny that brought me back to the fold.  Back in old standard, I played magic online and my first winning deck, Red Deck Wins, featured this powerful Kithkin.  I originally meant to only get a few packs, hopefully open a cool looking dragon and then be on my way.  However, fate intervened and I opened this:

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Warden of the First Tree

1[W/B]: Warden of the First Tree becomes a Human Warrior with base power and toughness 3/3.

2[W/B][W/B]: If Warden of the First Tree is a Warrior, it becomes a Human Spirit Warrior with trample and lifelink.

3[W/B][W/B][W/B]: If Warden of the First Tree is a Spirit, put five +1/+1 counters on it.

At one mana it brought back all the memories of the old Figure of Destiny.  It had quite the reputation to live up to.  Personally, I wished the second ability boosted its stats or at least gave it a relevant ability like Hexproof.

However, a second glance, shows that this doesn’t work the same way Figure did.  If the old kithkin went unchallenged, it’d grow and let the player keep valuable creatures in hand to be unleashed should the figure meet his final destination.

Instead, this is meant to be a threat that grew with the likes of other Abzan creatures. While not a gamebreaker, it still feels like a solid card.  I was quite excited to open a foil version.  Regardless of its low price now, I still think it’s a special card with fantastic art.

Anyway, this was the card that brought me back from my magic hibernation.  I went to my first draft and I had big hiccups.  The biggest issue with going with Abzan was that.. everyone seemed to go into white and black.  There was a huge blue signal and I’m not sure why I didn’t go into blue.  On the second pack, I even managed to open a Sarkhan, but I still kept staying on my first pick, a green/white dragon that while is a great bomb, influenced my future picks so much that I ignored good red cards like Pyrotechnics and Bathe in Dragonfire.  Being out of the game and not really focused cost me a match as well.  However, it was nice being able to play and I look forward to my drafts against Korean players next.

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