2 drops and 3 drops in value drafts.

Arena Discussion
This is about arena drafting. Arena drafts used to have a lot of 2 drops, 4-6 usually. This was before the introduction of 3 drops with 4 or more health. The introduction of many of these 3 drops,together with some other control options have made 2 drops considerably weaker and it now is a valid strategy to run only a few 2 drops to go for a bit more value.
When using the strategy of only a few 2 drops I am torn between 2 different 3 drops and I can not decide which one is best.
Tar creeper vs hyldnir frostrider. Tar creeper is better later in the game but on turn 3 I think hyldnir is the better play as it allows you to actively value trade any possible 2 drop,something the tar creeper can not do most of the times.

2 drops I find viable picks

-acidic swamp ooze
-stuborn gastropod
-wild pyromancer
-mad bomber
-youthfull brewmaster
-loothoarder
-novice engineer

These are about the only neutral 2 drops I will draft,except when I go for a flood/rush deck with warlock or hunter,maybe rogue.

Good 3 drops
-stoneskin basilisk
-tar creeper
-hyldnir frostrider
-any 3/4 minion
-dragonslayer
-deathspeaker
-egg napper
-banana buffoon (circumstantial)
-scarlet crusader
-phantom militia
-stonehill defender

The very popular lone champion i think is not a good card,not even when you go the strategy of only few 2 drops. I will draft other 3 drops occasionally,if the curve needs it and when i am late in the draw,but the above list is are my preferred 3 drops.
Most of these drops have 1 thing in common,they have the potential to trade 2 for 1 and sometimes even better. That doesn't mean that you will always trade 2 for one but at least the potential is there. This is very important for value oriented arena drafts. trading 2 for 1 gains both tempo and value and can help make a value draft viable.
I will off course draft other 2 and 3 drops if i have to. But then it depends on the cards i already have and the class i am playing,there has to be the potential for added benefits besides simply playing a 2/3 or a 3/2.
Or it has to be some emergency situation near the end of the draft where i have to pick them to fill up big holes in my draft (not neccesarily curve,the lack of aoe or only a few decent 3 drops in a draft makes drafting only a few 2,s considerably more risky)
Hope this helps some people when drafting. Don't use draft guides (even though this is one to some extend) they are not that great. Better think for yourself.
You have to consider most of the time a 2 drop + hero power will kill your 3 drop.
01/24/2019 03:27 AMPosted by Lafiel
You have to consider most of the time a 2 drop + hero power will kill your 3 drop.
True.
But if my opponent has to hero power on turn 3 AND use the 2-drop to end with a clear board, then thhey might be able to play a 1-drop but those are rare - often they end up floating their last mana. And then I have a tempo advantage when I play my 4-drop on curve.
MY rule of thumb for the early turns is: I do NOT play something the opponent can simply remove with their hero power on their turn 2. But I WILL make that same play if it's their turn 3, hoping that they don't have a good 1-drop. If a player then does use their HP to remove my minion and float a mana, I often gain a good advantage. But most opponent in that case choose to play a good 3-drop and let my minion survive.
2 drop+ hero power (on turn 3!) to kill my 3 drop is a big success for me,next turn I play a 4 on empty board for a solid advantage,
And many classes they don't even have the hero power to kill.
I think having 5-6 2-drops is still important for arena, not because of however powerful or not they are, but simply because you can't afford to do nothing on turn 1 and turn 2. It's for consistency, to have something to play on turn 2 that actually gives you board presence. If you do nothing on turn 1 and turn 2, I sincerely hope you have several comeback mechanisms that you can draw and survive until then, and I sincerely hope that your opponent doesn't get Deathspeaker/buffs/Fungalmancer/all the win more cards on you. Otherwise it's GG by turn 6.
01/27/2019 07:12 PMPosted by SuperCuddles
can't afford to do nothing on turn 1 and turn 2
I agree, though it does depend partly on class. For a Priest, skipping turn 2 is devastating. For a Rogue, equipping their weapon and then (ideally) removing a minion, or (more common) passing is often a fair use of mana if you at least have a good collection of 3-drops that you can then use your weapon to defend.
01/27/2019 07:12 PMPosted by SuperCuddles
I think having 5-6 2-drops is still important for arena, not because of however powerful or not they are, but simply because you can't afford to do nothing on turn 1 and turn 2. It's for consistency, to have something to play on turn 2 that actually gives you board presence. If you do nothing on turn 1 and turn 2, I sincerely hope you have several comeback mechanisms that you can draw and survive until then, and I sincerely hope that your opponent doesn't get Deathspeaker/buffs/Fungalmancer/all the win more cards on you. Otherwise it's GG by turn 6.


well that's the thing imo. Manny classes and drafts now CAN afford to do nothing on t2. (this was very different 2 years ago) It all depends on your class and the rest of your deck. It is important to have comeback mechanics like shadow madness (or anything really that can trade 2 for 1 actively on turn 4) but simply a tarcreeper is already good enough.
Deathspeaker is very popular I saw,its a good card but not that amazing and imo its not better then tar creeper (most likely weaker). It also means you lose tempo by not going face or losing the buff.
Say I go first and I pass on t2 opponent plays a croc on 2 and I play tar creeper on t3 (or hyldnir or any 3/4, even stonehill sometimes). one of the best things opponent could do is coin dwarf or the 3/3 deal 2 damage for 4 and trade my tarcreeper (deathspeaker is weak in this situation as you can see for yourself). I can then respond with my 4 (preferably a stealth minion to make sure I can keep value trading and to make sure it does not get removed with a spell after which you would start taking to much damage) though this is slightly dangerous I admit,but that is against the best possible response.
Sometimes you get rushed down off course but in my experience that is pretty rare these days. There is many good taunts and many good control cards offered that can exploit being behind on board by a number of small minions.

Am not saying this is the only way to draft but you can definitely afford to skip your turn 2 quiet often. Most punishing 2 drop is the gastropod. Its not really punishing,it will kill your 3 and then opponent plays his 3 and you will be behind and in a bit uncomfortable position. But on the other hand gastropod is only 1 attack and if you have say shadow madness or something that deals 2 damage on t4 (the 3/3 elemental) you could maybe afford to skip another turn.

I think a big advantage comes not directly in the opening. You will often get behind against someone playing a 3/2 on t2 which is logical,after all you did spend 2 less mana on the board.
But being behind is not that dangerous these days if your draft allows for it and sometimes you can gain enormous amount of tempo and value at turns 4-7 from aoe. It difinitely is less dangerous then it was before. The biggest advantage comes after t4 at which point most 2,s become very bad (with exception of the ones I did list above) while most 3,s are still pretty decent.

It also depends on your opponents class. I find hunter the by far most dangerous class to skip a 2 against,followed (with considerable distance) by rogue. Against hunter I would hard mulligan for a 2 drop or tar creeper and against rogue 2 drop or any 3/4. Against shaman and paladin a 2 is nice as well to kill a possible totem/recruit but I would not hard mull for it against them I think.
I mean, they can skip turn 2 if they want to risk getting blown out by turn 5 or 6, sure. If they have faith they'll draw their specific answer in their first 7 cards, sure. I usually don't like taking that risk, too many win more cards and fungalmancers.
If we are talking about 2-drops for the sake of having 2-drops, I agree with OP's list (although Novice Engineer is arena garbage and I would add Amani Berserker). Bomber is generally the best to play on turn 2 but Stubborn Gastropod is the overall best as it is not a terrible top deck. Other 2 drops can be worth drafting as tech choices or for synergy though (Crazed Alchemist, Direwolf Alpha, etc.). But (as stated) 2-drops are not nearly important as they once were although still critical for some classes (Priest and Hunter).
Yes it depends on the class a lot. When i wrote this i had been playing lots of warrior and warrior can quiet easily do without to many 2,s. with other classes i still regulary draft multiple 2,s but less then i used to.
Anything above 4 feels to much for me. 1 drops i also still draft now and then,mostly shard and flame elemental.
You can get a lot of fast wins with a highly tempo oriented draft but those drafts seems to hit a wall after 4-5 wins. I rarely see tempo drafts without to much value after 5 wins about. The good control decks which end up on top,they are to strong to have a change against with a tempo draft. I never ever see a hunter after 7 wins for example,hut they are still my biggest nemisis when i play warlock.

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