Yesterday I happened to come to the LGS when a draft was supposed to start. After rather long debate about whether to draft Conspiracy or Eternal Masters it was decided that CN2 would be drafted. I joined because I wanted to draft this set at least once in my life and I did not feel like doing anything that day except play some ZEN/ZEN/WWK drafts.
I haven't really seen the spoiler so I didn't know what to expect. I knew what interesting Mythics and Rares were in the set but I did not really know what cards in general there were and knowing chase rares and mythics certainly wouldn't help me during the draft.
I went through the first pack and I saw 9 cards realizing I know all of them - the cards were simply reprints. Then I had to read few Conspiracy cards and finally I reached the rare - Charmbreaker Devils - that seemed to me as a killer card even though I wasn't really sure what that would do in multiplayer. I passed 2 very cool red cards though so I wasn't really thinking about drafting that color much. In the original Conspiracy I wasn't really drafting multiplayer cards much except those that really had a big impact on the game. This time I drafted the same or rather there wasn't even possibility to draft in another way.
Since I passed good white and red cards I wanted to avoid those colors and started soon picking black cards since there was removal and few creatures I liked - Custodi Lich, Carnage Gladiator and Blood-Toll Harpy. Green was obviously open from both sides since there were really good cards being passed. I did not want to switch though. I did not have anything 'cool' though or something that would swing the game in my favor when things would get bad for me. I had more removal than creatures drafted but in 5 player death match game this certainly wouldn't be enough unless Charmbreaker Devils would stick in the game and I wasn't even sure if I would manage to play the card. When it seemed I would just have to pick ANY creature coming my way being either red or black I got the chance to pick Capital Punishment! Voting Death or Taxes seemed cool even though I expected this to end up 1 creature sacrificed, 4 cards discarded. But even that seemed good enough to ruin some plans.
I put together my black-red deck and looked forward to the game. I was interested in what others drafted. Before the game started I remembered that I picked two Conspiracy cards that I could actually play since they were in my colors. One of them was giving the named card Firebreathing ability and the second one would replace the creature with a 2/2 Zombie which actually was relevant in the game later. I put the Firebreathing ability on Carnage Gladiator and the other one on Blood-Toll Harpy. Doing it vice-versa would have been way better but doing it this way made sense to me.
We were then seated and the game could start. Majority of the players started with Island except me and a Boros player. The Boros player drafted an aggro so it was him who was actually doing something early game. He played few creatures (and attacked us with them) and then he played Guttersnipe which made him the target of more or less everything. I tried killing Guttersnipe expecting the player to have God's Willing in his hand but not expecting him to have 2 God's Willing cards (I passed 2 though so it was likely). In the end that player attacked the player to my left for lethal thinking he would get his first point. Unfortunately for him the player to my right thwarted his plans by killing one of his creatures letting him stay at one life so he could claim the victory point for himself. On his turn he simply attacked and eliminated the first player. I was stuck on three lands and couldn't draw a fourth one so I just simply passed my turns waiting for a land so I could play a creature. When one of the opponents helped me and allowed me to search for a land I decided to try playing my Lich and see what the Monarch status would do. It wasn't a good idea. I could have played Garrulous Sycophant first and then the Lich which would allow me to drain life first and draw a card (which I forgot 3 times anyway...). When the Crown started to move from player to player I just waited for someone to eliminate me. My hand was full of removal so I knew I could survive an attack but simply someone else would kill me. In the end there was debate who would kill me. I went outside for a while so I didn't know how it ended but the game was over then.
In the second round I started with 3 lands in my hand once again and hoped to draw few more unlike in the previous game. In this game I was flooded but that was actually a good thing. I played few creatures and Blood-Toll Harpies - MVPs of my deck^_^. Later I even managed to get The Lich in play and the Harpies were really good at taking the Crown back always so I could let someone sacrifice a creature each turn. But what decided the game was Capital Punishment and another player's Illusion of Choice and his additional vote which pretty much destroyed everything except my creatures. He had Ghostly Prison in play and obviously some removal in his hand (and a blocker that could block everything) so it seemed that this was rather safe for him. This though meant that I could start eliminating all the players and since I played before the UW player I would be ahead no matter if I had some board presence or not.
My creatures started dying as well as it was me being the 'everyone's enemy no. 1' and the Lich received a nice 'upgrade' in the form of Followed Footsteps. But before the player could make a copy of it I still could eliminate someone else and I decided to eliminate the Boros player since he was making scenes during the first game and in the second game he also had some not really nice remarks. One of the players played Subterranean Tremors killing all my creatures except the Harpies and Gladiator. Anyway this was enough for me to kill everyone at the table since I had all the removal in the world and some power still in play (even though one Gladiator died and the other one ended up tapped for the rest of the game). My creatures in general were dismal and I never managed to trigger Melee correctly (even though I possibly could with the help of my flyers).
I collected the most points (there was one Victory Point per player eliminated and 1 for being the last in the game) so I won the draft. This meant I would get three packs. I decided to crack them but unfortunately for me there wasn't anything worth mentioning. My feelings about the set from this one experience are rather mixed. What I can say though is that I liked the Monarch mechanic. Seeing it on paper did not seem appealing or anything but playing with the mechanic proved to be totally different. The Conspiracy cards seemed better to me in this set since they impact the game more. On the other hand the regular cards in the set did not really appeal to me much. I did not really see a way how one could build a funny deck without the use of the Conspiracy cards (not that I would be expert in building funny decks, my decks are usually pretty boring and not too much multiplayer focused). The politics in our games were good though so I can't say that the games were bad. I'm glad I participated in this draft.