I’ve decided to stop caring about spam and embrace this thread as a repository of my sweet draft lists, but this time I’m also going to try to parlay it into a discussion of Gauntlet-relevant topics.
First, some of the latest lists:
I started a Starhorn draft because I was on the Magmar quest and he was the only Magmar general offered to me. When I chose him I was just hoping to not go 0-3, and after the draft came together nicely I figured I had a decent shot at getting to 7 wins, but I was not anticipating one of the rare 12-0s. Mandrake is always great, but with the relatively low curve here he consistently came out around the 6 or 7 mana turn, which is the real sweet spot for maximum board impact.
Overall good card quality. It was a little difficult dealing with backline threats, but chaining proximity-based answers usually let me find a way. The Iceshatter Gauntlets in particular were extremely strong (more on this below).
This leads to the discussion: As I see it, there are several components which make up a successful Gauntlet run:
- Luck: in what Generals/cards are offered to you in the draft, draw luck in the games themselves, and in whom you’re matched up against.
- Skill in drafting: card evaluation and deckbuilding considerations.
- Skill in playing: both knowing your deck and knowing what to play around.
Originally, I put a lot of credence into picking generals with “good” BBS, and it’s certainly true that doing so makes the run easier. Over time, however, I’ve come around to the notion that even “bad” generals can consistently perform well as long as you draft around them properly. It requires a little bit of luck, but there are generally a few lower-rarity cards that support each lesser-played general, and if you prioritize picking them up you can go quite far. Iceshatter Gauntlet for Ilena is a good example: while Faie is much better at being aggressive, Gauntlet gives Ilena access to hard removal (which Vanar can otherwise have trouble with) and allows her to control the lategame very well. Even for generals without common synergy cards (e.g., Starhorn), something as simple as drafting to a lower curve helps get you some benefit.
I’d like to hear other people’s thoughts on this: how important do you find the choice of general? Is it more important for some factions versus others? Does anyone have any more examples of a less popular general performing well, and what were the key cards that allowed them to do so?