Pack 1 pick 1:
Divine Verdict, Assassinate, Pyroclasm, and Mind Shatter are the better cards. Pyroclasm has the potential to be an X-for-1 if you can set it up properly. However, that’s not always the case. It’s often more even like a 3-for-2 against non-green decks. Being red doesn’t help either. Red is pretty shallow overall and requires a heavy commitment to gain access to its more powerful cards like Seismic Strike and Dragon Whelp. Divine Verdict and Assassinate are both fine. They have the benefit of being in good colors (blue, black, and white). If Mind Shatter weren’t in the pack, then either card would be fine based on preference. Mind Shatter is the best card in the pack. It will be better than Mind Rot most of the time; it’s busted if you make them discard three or more cards.
My pick: Mind Shatter
Pack 1 pick 2:
Diabolic Tutor and Drudge Skeletons are good on-color cards. The value of Diabolic Tutor is dependent on the power-level of your deck. If you have bombs to fetch like Xathrid Demon, then it’s good. However, if you’re spending two turns to get a Dread Warlock, you’d be better off taking Drudge Skeletons. Obviously it’s not really possible to tell what your deck is going to look like so early in the draft. We simply don’t know if we’ll have a bomb or just three Dread Warlock. Giant Spider is an awesome green card. Green as a color is the worst though. Its spells are below average. Spells are much better than creatures. When the best options available are Overrun and Giant Growth, you’re better of looking at other colors. Mind Spring is another bomb. Once a game stalls out around turn seven, Mind Spring will break it wide open. I wouldn’t take Diabolic Tutor just because of Mind Shatter because if you’re spending two turns playing spells that don’t affect the board, then you’re already way ahead and won’t need it. Mind Spring at least allows us to play two bombs or just one if we are forced out of either black or blue.
My pick: Mind Spring
Pack 1 pick 3:
Sign in Blood is quite good. It’s one of the better black spells. Negate is also a good blue spell. However, Air Elemental is way above them (Ha-ha, see what I did there?) in terms of quality. We shouldn’t normally see Air Elemental this late in pack one unless at least one person has chosen to commit to a different color which is good for us.
My pick: Air Elemental
Pack 1 pick 4:
The power-level of this pack is still quite high despite three cards missing from it. Every card is playable. In terms of just blue and black, we’re limited to Illusionary Servant, Kelinore Bats, and Merfolk Looter. Child of Night and Underworld Dreams aren’t as good as the trio of other cards. Both flyers are fine, but Merfolk Looter surpasses them by a fair margin. The lack of card draw in the format makes cards that filter through bad draws quite game-breaking.
My pick: Merfolk Looter
Pack 1 pick 5:
Mind Rot, Child of Night, and Wall of Bone are all options. Seeing Safe Passage still in the pack along with Blinding Mage in the previous one shouldn’t be ignored. If we figure we’re being cut off from a color, white will probably be our best option as an alternate route. Wall of Bone is the best of the three cards followed by Mind Rot and Child of Night in that order. A 1/4 already has the ability to invalidate most of the creatures in the format. Additionally, being black and having regeneration takes care of the other problem creatures like Doom Blade, Berserkers of Blood Ridge, Craw Wurm, Cudgel Troll, et al. Only cards like Pacifism, Mind Control, Entangling Vines, Ice Cage, Celestial Purge, and Blinding Mage can deal with it. By blocking up the ground, we should be able to win easily with whatever flyers we draft.
My pick: Wall of Bone
Pack 1 pick 6:
White continues to be an under-drafted color in pack one. We still have a few options: Ponder and Ice Cage. Ponder is unexciting. If we had a few shuffle effects like Terramorphic Expanse, then its value would increase dramatically; without them, Ponder isn’t very exciting when you see one decent spell and two lands. Ice Cage is a fine card. There are a few cards that really punish it and Illusionary Servant, like Blinding Mage. For the most part, if the opponent is going to break their creature free, they’ll have to use a spell on it; hopefully it’s not an Armored Ascension.
My pick: Ice Cage
Pack 1 pick 7:
There aren’t any on-color picks for us. Soul Warden and Veteran Swordsmith are options we should consider. Soul Warden is good in sealed and against aggressive decks, but has a low value in combat. Veteran Swordsmith can at least trade with another creature and compliments the soldier theme that is so prevalent in white.
My pick: Veteran Swordsmith
Pack 1 pick 8:
This pack ends up being troublesome for me. I don’t know if my pick is right. Divination and Wind Drake are both good. Black is being drafted by more people than blue and white. I don’t want to abandon Mind Shatter and Wall of Bone just yet. We could take Divination or Wind Drake if we want to stay on track with blue/black. Between the two, I don’t know which is better yet (as this is only the second M10 draft I’ve done). I’d probably lean towards Divination because as a flyer, Wind Drake is on the lower end. I’m always a fan of drawing cards. Drawing extra cards is sweet, especially when it’s legal to do it. If we want to consider white at all, we should definitely take Blinding Mage. It’s obvious that white is underdrafted right now. Even though we don’t have any white cards yet that compare to Wall of Bone and Mind Shatter, it seems fair to assume we’ll see more late packs deep with white cards later on. Blinding Mage is the best white common. It’s much better than either of the blue options. If we don’t take one of the blue cards and end up not playing white, not having Divination or Wind Drake shouldn’t hurt us.
My pick: Blinding Mage
Pack 1 pick 9:
Serpent of the Endless Sea is unexciting. We would be better off taking Holy Strength as it doubles for removal against opposing Illusionary Servants and Ice Cages while limiting the cards available to stop ours.
My pick: Holy Strength
Pack 1 pick 10:
If you have the proper board, Alluring Siren can generate card advantage as you force the opponent to attack into your Illusionary Servant and Wall of Bone. That’s not always the case. We may play it, but probably not. It’s much better than a Serpent of the Endless Sea. Unless you’re playing against another blue deck and have at least eleven Islands in your deck, Serpent of the Endless Sea will be a bit underwhelming. Paying five mana for a 3/3 is not a good deal.
My pick: Alluring Siren
Pack 1 pick 11:
With Holy Strength, Lifelink, and Air Elemental, we can build our own Baneslayer Angel with a slight increase in cost. It even battles their Baneslayer Angel and lives. The other option is to just take Lifelink because it functions the same was Holy Strength does with relation to Ice Cage and Illusionary Servant.
My pick: Lifelink
Pack 1 pick 12:
Perhaps I overrate Illusionary Servant. It’s much better than twelfth pick. To be fair, the pack was incredibly deep.
My pick: Illusionary Servant
Pack 1 pick 13:
My pick: Disorient
Pack 1 pick 14:
My pick: Telepathy
Pack 1 pick 15:
Pack 2 pick 1:
This isn’t really close. Mind Control is amazing. Polymorph is okay if you have very little removal and they have an insane monster that you can’t kill with Ice Cage or other removal.
My pick: Mind Control
Pack 2 pick 2:
Here’s another pick that could be discussed for a while. Tendrils of Corruption and Armored Ascension are quite good but require heavy commitments to their respective land types. Rise from the Grave is quite good with and against decks with lots of removal. Divination, Excommunicate, and Divine Verdict are both options as well, although not as powerful. We’re at a juncture point in the draft. I think it’s likely that we’re going to be blue-based which means we’ll have difficulty supporting Armored Ascension and Tendrils of Corruption. If we ignore those two, we’re left with Excommunicate, Divination, Divine Verdict, and Rise from the Grave. Divination is the safe choice. We’ll definitely play it. It’s not as powerful as Rise from the Grave. If we combine Rise from the Grave with Mind Shatter and any Essence Scatter/Cancel we pick up, we’ll be able to support it well enough. Excommunicate and Divine Verdict aren’t as exciting. I still don’t want to abandon black yet.
My pick: Rise from the Grave
Pack 2 pick 3:
This pack is much easier to sort through. Wall of Frost is quite difficult to break through. It’s much better than Horned Turtle. Horned Turtle is still fine, but probably won’t be attacking. Taking that into consideration, a 0/7 is much better than a 1/4.
My pick: Wall of Frost
Pack 2 pick 4:
Another pack that is generally unexciting. Ice Cage is the only card we want to consider.
My pick: Ice Cage
Pack 2 pick 5:
We’ve got two options. We could take the second Blinding Mage and abandon our black spells. The other option is to take Terramorphic Expanse and splash the one Blinding Mage that we already have with the land and two Plains. We haven’t seen much black in either direction. White on the other hand is the opposite. It’s unfortunate that we couldn’t make the decision earlier and take different cards. However if we don’t switch now, I fear we’ll end up short on playable cards.
My pick: Blinding Mage
Pack 2 pick 6:
Illusionary Servant is much better than Horned Turtle and Siege Mastodon. It flies and is big.
My pick: Illusionary Servant
Pack 2 pick 7:
Ponder, Zephyr Sprite, and Palace Guard are our options. Ponder and Zephyr Sprite are low-impact spells. Palace Guard is fine. It functions better than Horned Turtle considering we have a Veteran Swordsmith.
My pick: Palace Guard
Pack 2 pick 8:
Sleep is a good card in sealed. In draft, there tends to be fewer games that degenerate into huge board stalls. It’s still okay, but not nearly as good as most people would think. Negate is a solid card. It answers many of the format’s problem cards like Safe Passage, Fireball, Overrun, etc. Overall, Negate is more useful.
My pick: Negate
Pack 2 pick 9:
Siege Mastodon is the only card for us. It stalls out the ground like Palace Guard and Wall of Frost as well as being able to attack.
My pick: Siege Mastodon
Pack 2 pick 10:
Here’s another pick I’m not sure on. I’d like some feedback on this one. Divine Verdict is removal, but expensive. Towards the late game it won’t be as much of an issue. In the early game, it’s a big tempo loss to hold up mana for this card and have the opponent play another creature and not attack. Divination is fine both early in the game when you need to hit land drops and later on when you’re digging for gas. Considering we don’t have much real removal yet, I’m opting towards Divine Verdict.
My pick: Divine Verdict
Pack 2 pick 11:
We aren’t going to play Coral Merfolk. Tempest of Light at least has some narrow applications with Ice Cage, Pacifism, Mind Control, and Armored Ascension.
My pick: Tempest of Light
Pack 2 pick 12:
My pick: Serpent of the Endless Sea
Pack 2 pick 13:
My pick: Lifelink
Pack 2 pick 14:
My pick: Bountiful Harvest
Pack 2 pick 15:
Pack 3 pick 1:
Essence Scatter is a good card. It’s like removal for their best creatures. The mana investment used for Essence Scatter in relation to what you’re countering often leads to tempo boosts. Safe Passage is the other card to take. It is much better than Essence Scatter. It deals with many of the format’s bombs like Fireball and Overrun as well as creates ridiculous trades in combat as the number of creatures involved increases.
My pick: Safe Passage
Pack 3 pick 2:
Ice Cage is only okay in terms of removal. It’s bad if the opponent has cards like Blinding Mage, Prodigal Pyromancer, equipment, etc. Otherwise it’s fine. Essence Scatter is better most of the time. Being able to put an opposing card into the graveyard without having to worry about the aforementioned cards is much better.
My pick: Essence Scatter
Pack 3 pick 3:
Razorfoot Griffin is a solid flyer. It’s superior in combat against all other common flyers with the exception of Illusionary Servant and bouncing off of Griffin Sentinel. Ice Cage and Palace Guard are the other options. Ice Cage is better than Palace Guard, but we don’t want to overload on that type of card. We already have multiple Ice Cage and Illusionary Servant. If we get paired against one of the decks that have multiple Blinding Mage-type cards, we’ll be at a severe disadvantage.
My pick: Razorfoot Griffin
Pack 3 pick 4:
Despite what I just said about multiple Ice Cages/Illusionary Servants, having Celestial Purge as a sideboard card isn’t going to be as good as another Illusionary Servant.
My pick: Illusionary Servant
Pack 3 pick 5:
Siege Mastodon is a fine card. We have a number of more expensive spells that already block up the ground. Stormfront Pegasus is fragile just like our Illusionary Servants, but it’s still going to be better than a second Siege Mastodon.
My pick: Stormfront Pegasus
Pack 3 pick 6:
Divination and Rhox Pikemaster are the two choices. Here’s another pick I am not sure on. I took Rhox Pikemaster because I wanted more creatures in case my Illusionary Servants were bad.
My pick: Rhox Pikemaster
Pack 3 pick 7:
Griffin Sentinel is going to be better than Undead Slayer in every matchup except against a mono-black deck. In that case, the value of Undead Slayer is a variable dependant on the number of creatures you can exile. The consistent flyer is better overall.
My pick: Griffin Sentinel
Pack 3 pick 8:
Cancel is an excellent card. I’d always be happy playing at least one. Being able to stop the opponent’s few spells that matter is important. We could also take Palace Guard, but Cancel is better. If we already had three counters, then I’d consider taking Palace Guard instead.
My pick: Cancel
Pack 3 pick 9:
Sage Owl is similar to Ponder but worse. Instead of drawing a card immediately with the option of shuffling if you see three bad cards, you don’t get to shuffle at all with the trade-off of getting a 1/1 flyer and seeing an additional card. Wall of Faith is not a good card either; however, it helps defend against problematic green creatures like Bramble Creeper and Craw Wurm that we might have problems against if we don’t draw a Blinding Mage, Ice Cage, or Wall of Frost.
My pick: Wall of Faith
Pack 3 pick 10:
Horned Turtle may be the right pick here. At this point I don’t know. Maybe we don’t have enough creatures yet. Ice Cage was more appealing to me at the time because it seemed like I had enough creatures.
My pick: Ice Cage
Pack 3 pick 11:
We don’t really want to play against Ignite Disorder.
My pick: Ignite Disorder
Pack 3 pick 12:
My pick: Glorious Charge
Pack 3 pick 13:
Pack 3 pick 14:
My pick: Yawning Fissure
Pack 3 pick 15:
The manabase requires more Islands than Plains. Considering that, [card]Rhox Pikemaster[/card] was put into the sideboard and [card]Siege Mastodon[/card] was put in its place. In this deck with its lack of soldiers, [card]Siege Mastodon[/card] is better defensively than the [card]Rhox Pikemaster[/card]; it can defend better alone against four-power creatures.
Game 1: We win the die roll and keep a nice opening hand (Mind Spring, Razorfoot Griffin, Illusionary Servant, Plains, and three Islands). If our foe manages to deal with our armada of flying creatures, he’ll still have to deal with our game-breaker: Mind Spring. In formats where card advantage is scarce, spells like Mind Spring often turn the tide of battle.
We have no plays before turn three, but our foe Evil summons a servant of darkness to match his swampy domain; Child of Night lurks forth onto the battlefield. The vampire’s strength pales in comparison to that of our fragile Illusionary Servant. The fleeting illusion holds back Evil’s vampire as he summons a Warpath Ghoul. Our flyers are superior in every way to Evil’s minions. Razorfoot Griffin joins the battle as Illusionary Servant is free to attack without fear.
Evil shows his might as he puts a Deathmark on our defensive griffin and plays Vampire Aristocrat. His maneuver catches us off guard and allows Child of Night to reclaim its master’s precious life force as it and Warpath Ghoul attack us unchallenged. We are not in the mood to race against Evil’s lifelink minion. Stalling the board out will ensure that we have time to cast Mind Spring and break the game open with it. Keeping with that plan in mind, we hold back with Illusionary Servant as we call forth our Siege Mastodon. The enormous elephant will surely ensure we are not overridden by the forces of the night.
Evil can do nothing but watch as our larger forces flow onto the battlefield. With no good plays or attacks, he can only pass the turn. We take advantage of the respite and draw four cards with Mind Spring. The surge of spells available to us will be difficult to overcome. Evil decides our actions must not go unmatched. A Doom Blade slices into the heart of our magnificent Siege Mastodon. The mighty beast collapses without having ever seen the glory of combat.
We summon a second Illusionary Servant and freeze Evil’s Vampire Aristocrat in an Ice Cage. Our first Illusionary Servant flies over the battlefield and attacks Evil, reopening the wounds which Child of Night had so quickly healed. Evil has a strong bond with the countless nosferatu legions. Showing his strength, he summons a second Vampire Aristocrat and uses his will to Consume Spirit our newly-summoned Illusionary Servant. Like before with the Razorfoot Griffin, Evil’s maneuver has left us completely off guard. Evil’s Warpath Ghoul and Child of Night waste no time and march forth in bloody conquest. We have been attacked down to ten life. The leeching Child of Night has brought Evil to a healthy eighteen.
We need to regroup. A Palace Guard will help secure our front on the battlefield as we wait for more troops to arrive. The steadfast sentry will prove difficult to get around. There are many tricks we possess to help stave off Evil’s forces. Negate and Safe Passage will provide pivotal support for our forces. Evil wastes no time. He sends a second Consume Spirit at our Palace Guard. The soldier is crucial to our survival. Negate proves its usefulness and keeps our defenses strong.
Evil goes wild with rage as his spell is foiled. His Vampire Aristocrat surges forth past his other forces. We defend with our Palace Guard and Illusionary Spirit. The vampire consumes its brethren but cannot overcome our Safe Passage. The intertwined fate of the two vampires becomes evident as Evil shows his desire to keep Child of Night and Warpath Ghoul alive.
Our position has greatly improved and we are able to attack again. Blinding Mage joins our team as Evil can only watch as our Illusionary Servant continues its attack. Rise from the Grave reanimates our Siege Mastodon. The elephant’s decomposed body lumbers towards Evil to join his minions. Evil’s forces are growing stronger. He begins his attack and sends a second Doom Blade at our Palace Guard after we have used Blinding Mage to neutralize our traitorous Siege Mastodon. We can do nothing but watch as our work is undone by the Child of Night.
We have been pushed back on the battlefield again, but we still have many options to work with. Stormfront Pegasus flies down from the heavens to join our cause. Ice Cage grips the Siege Mastodon tightly in a glacial coffin; it is unable to escape. Illusionary Servant attacks again. Evil wants to attack, but our Blinding Mage prevents Child of Night from doing any more damage. Alone, his Warpath Ghoul charges forth. Our Pegasus valiantly defends us.
Illusionary Servant’s devotion to combat has taken its toll on Evil as he has been attacked down to five life. Our superior intellect manifests itself with Mind Control. The Child of Night is no match for our sharp wit. Defeated, Evil realizes his fate is sealed after he summons a Prodigal Pyromancer. The only thing Evil can see is the light at the end of the tunnel as Blinding Mage leaves him defenseless against our forces.
Game 2: We have an Island-light hand on the draw, but it is fine. We have many sources rich with Blue mana to ensure we do not falter (Island, 3 Plains, Razorfoot Griffin, Cancel, and Illusionary Servant). Again, Child of Night shows itself on turn two. The vile creature dragged the first game on much longer than we had anticipated. It attacks us as Evil summons a Kelinore Bat. An Illusionary Servant is summoned to halt Evil’s offense.
The battlefield becomes cluttered with the forces of Good and Evil. Vampire Aristocrat is trumped by our Razorfoot Griffin. Evil takes advantage of us being tapped out and sends his Aristocrat into combat. We have no desire to trade. Our creatures are better than his. A Dread Warlock is summoned from the darkness of Evil’s realm. We are tired of waiting for reinforcements. Cancel and Negate protect our defensive Razorfoot Griffin from any tricks as Illusionary Servant begins a counter-assault. We do not want to be in the position of being unable to attack because of being too far behind.
Evil had been waiting for the moment of our aggression. Assassinate is used to disperse our Illusionary Servant. The timid phantasm could not be protected by our countermagic. The elusive Dread Warlock continues its attack against us. We can do nothing as we draw land each turn like Evil. However, his Dread Warlock’s attacks are unopposed. We have been beaten to ten life.
A gleam of hope appears as Stormfront Pegasus allows us to begin rebuilding our forces and mount an offensive. Evil’s plan remains constant. His Dread Warlock is a workhorse slashing at its foe. Illusionary Servant forms in front of our lines as the Stormfront Pegasus and Razorfoot Griffin look onward with grateful eyes. They know we must begin to attack soon or else all will be lost.
Dread Warlock has attacked us for the last time. The warlock is enchanted with an Ice Cage, never to attack again. Evil’s plan for victory has been stopped temporarily. However, the setback of losing his Dread Warlock to the icy prison is but a minor inconvenience. From the far reaches of his domain, Evil calls forth his Prodigal Pyromancer. The ember wizard threatens to demolish our defenses as we control Ice Cage, Illusionary Servant, and Stormfront Pegasus. Such a loss to our position on the battlefield would cripple us beyond the point of recovery. We use our willpower and Cancel Evil’s Prodigal Pyromancer. The other Planeswalker is furious at the sight of what has happened. He commands the return of his wizard with Rise from the Grave. Using our last bit of strength we Negate Evil’s attempt at reanimation.
Our last exchange of spells has left us defenseless with no cards in hand. The same is true regarding Evil. However, he has a better position on the battlefield. Furious, Evil sends his Vampire Aristocrat into combat. There are enough creatures in league with Evil for the vampire to feed on to make him lethal. Therefore we are forced to defend. Together, all of our forces defend against the ravenous vampire. Evil takes the opportunity to trade armies by sacrificing all of his other three creatures to kill ours while leaving him with just his Vampire Aristocrat. The trade is fine for us. We still have powerful spells like Mind Spring, Air Elemental, Mind Control, and Ice Cage left to claim victory with. We also have the benefit of starting to draw before Evil.
Alas the scales of chance are not tipping in our favor. Our first draw yields a land while Evil manages a Warpath Ghoul. Together with his Vampire Aristocrat, the two creatures of the night will be able to slay us before we are able to find a solution. Divine Verdict can only stop one of our assailants. The Vampire Aristocrat is finally dealt with. However, we are beaten to a meager three life as Evil summons a Child of Night. We resign to our fate as we see a land as our draw for the turn.
Game 3: We have a solid hand staring back at us for the final game (2 Plains, Island, Stormfront Pegasus, Palace Guard, Safe Passage, and Mind Spring). Evil decides to mulligan down to six cards. He charges onto the battlefield with an Acolyte of Xathrid. We match his creature with our Stormfront Pegasus. Like lightning, Evil is quick to deal with our flyer. Doom Blade eviscerates the flying steed. We replace our fallen pegasus with a Palace Guard.
Evil’s army of vampires begins to emerge now that the battle is in the twilight hours of the match. An aristocrat leaps out from the dark shadows and threatens to overpower our Palace Guard. We have failed to draw a land and are forced to pass the turn. Child of Night joins in on the feasting as Vampire Aristocrat seeks out the blood of his enemies. We can do nothing to stop him.
Again we take our turn and see another spell we cannot cast. It seems fate is not on our side. How can this be? We are the light. We are good. Such blatant favoritism towards the forces of darkness casts great doubt upon our soul. All will be lost.
Ice Cage is the spell we have drawn. In such gloomy times, there is still a way out. The prison captures Vampire Aristocrat while granting us a brief respite. Evil will have none of that. Finding his last land needed, he sends Tendrils of Corruption at our Palace Guard. The dark bonds of black mana suck the life from him as he falls to the ground dead. Child of Night spots an opening for attack and scurries forward with gleeful anticipation of feeding upon us.
We continue to draw spells we cannot cast and must pass the turn. Evil takes full advantage of our situation by sending his Child of Night again to feed. Prodigal Pyromancer joins his forces and threatens to undo what little work we’ve done to beat back Evil. A Blinding Mage is all we can play, but it is not enough. Evil’s Prodigal Pyromancer thaws the Ice Cage on his Vampire Aristocrat. The two nosferatu bound forward towards us. Blinding Mage’s usefulness is almost non-existent because of its mana requirement. We send our one creature to defend against the aristocrat; the vampire feeds upon Evil’s Acolyte of Xathrid and slays our defender. Gravedigger recovers the fallen Acolyte and is the final nail in our coffin of defeat. We have failed to draw a land in eight draw steps. We have been beaten.