According to Webster – Mirrodin Besieged Draft #4

Mirrodin Besieged Draft #4

Pack 1 pick 1:


Vedalken Anatomist and Phyrexian Vatmother are the two best cards. The Vatmother is excellent because it only costs four mana and puts significant pressure on the opponent if it enters the Battlefield early; it’s a great way to start out an infect deck. Vedalken Anatomist is similar to the Vatmother in the sense that it demands attention or else the opposing player is likely to lose to it, although the Anatomist requires a lot more resources to be good. The two are rather close in power (at this point I don’t know which is better), but let’s say for now that the Anatomist is better for the sake of diversity and run with it.

My pick: Vedalken Anatomist

Pack 1 pick 2:


This pick is ideal for infect because Phyrexian Hydra is quite good and similar to Phyrexian Vatmother if it resolves early. Ichor Wellspring is good for metalcraft decks since it acts as free-roll by replacing itself. Outside of metalcraft, Ichor Wellspring works with only a few cards including Throne of Geth, Rusted Slasher, Barrage Ogre, Kuldotha Flamefiend/Forgemaster/Rebirth, Piston Sledge, and some other red creatures for a minor effect. It’s difficult to say that the Wellspring is going to be more than a cantrip this early in the draft because it’s simply unclear where we’re headed. Phyrexian Juggernaut is a solid choice because it acts as a solid plan-B for most decks and carries it out rather quickly.

My pick: Phyrexian Juggernaut

Pack 1 pick 3:


Vivisection is rather mediocre because it takes a lot of time and resources while setting you back on the Battlefield and most decks aren’t going to have a substantial number of creatures to throw away. Pierce Strider and Spin Engine are options, but both aren’t exceptional outside of an aggro deck which is where we’re at right now with Vedalken Anatomist and Phyrexian Juggernaut. The best option is Lumengrid Gargoyle because it’s a reasonably large flyer, and although it’s just a vanilla artifact creature, it’s still going to win games.

My pick: Lumengrid Gargoyle

Pack 1 pick 4:


Nested Ghoul is quite good because it’s a generally a two-for-one if the opponent doesn’t have a removal spell, but the problem is that is requires an extreme color commitment to black. So far we haven’t seen any other indication that black is open, and taking such a color-committing card involves a lot of risk. Another point to consider is the amount of gain from the other pick compared to Nested Ghoul. If the choice were between Burn the Impure and a blue/Artifact card of equivalent value, then the choice would be much easier because both cards have the same value while one has much higher risk. However the value of Nested Ghoul versus Razorfield Rhino/Myr Sire isn’t equivalent and that makes the choice more difficult. Given the amount of late-game already, Razorfield Rhino can be dismissed and Myr Sire compared alone to the Ghoul. The Myr is a lot worse than the Ghoul, but the fact that we’ve seen so little other black up to this point means that we should be cautious and take the Myr.

My pick: Myr Sire

Pack 1 pick 5:


There are multiple decent blue cards to choose from and Serum Raker is the best. Steel Sabotage is a bit overrated and deceptively underwhelming because of its low mana-cost. One mana is really cheap and helps solve the problem of blue decks being unable to curve out while holding counter mana open. Unfortunately the counterspell won’t help you when facing a deck full of Alpha Tyrranaxeseses and Cystbearers. Steel Sabotage is also not the equivalent of Shatter because it doesn’t individually deal with a resolved artifact. Serum Raker is a much better card because it provides a good creature to beat down with that will provide enough offensive mileage to overtake the benefits of Steel Sabotage.

My pick: Serum Raker

Pack 1 pick 6:


There are a number of decent red creatures accompanied by some decent artifacts. Ogre Resister and Spin Engine point towards a red-based deck and are both fine which should be something to keep in mind when deciding on a second color. There hasn’t been anything spectacular passed so far in red which seems to indicate that the packs are just moderately heavy with red and that the best cards (Burn the Impure/Blisterstick Shaman) were scooped up before they could get to us. In any case, we should stick with the non-red options and wait to see what the best options are. Vivisection is a good way to make use of Myr Sire, although without the Myr it’s rather clunky and not good unless the opponent has no pressure on you. Flayer Husk and Rusted Slasher are also both good with Myr Sire, although Rusted Slasher is the best card on its own because it attacks well and lets you trade your worst artifact for their best attacker (when on defense); on offense it will generally let you get ahead when not dealing with a horde of 1/1 creatures (because you usually sacrifice artifacts that are cheaper than what is blocking it).

My pick: Rusted Slasher

Pack 1 pick 7:


This pick is rather mediocre for us, and while Rot Wolf is easily the best card in the pack, it doesn’t fit well in the deck. The best options are Oculus and Quicksilver Geyser, and the Oculus is a better choice because it’s difficult to use the Geyser effectively with the current curve of the deck.

My pick: Oculus

Pack 1 pick 8:


My pick: Serum Raker

Pack 1 pick 9:


Razorfield Rhino is unnecessary fat at the moment while Phyrexian Digester helps fill out the deck’s curve where it needs to be.

This pick should have actually been Silverskin Armor because it turns Myr Sire and Oculus into more impactful 2/2 creatures while also turning it (Oculus) into an artifact to utilize with Rusted Slasher.

My pick: Phyrexian Digester

Pack 1 pick 10:


My pick: Oculus

Pack 1 pick 11:


My pick: Distant Memories

Pack 1 pick 12:


My pick: Turn the Tide

Pack 1 pick 13:


My pick: Kembas Legion

Pack 1 pick 14:


My pick: Rally the Forces

Pack 1 pick 15:

The first pack went well, and although we have a bit of filler, we’ll be open to whatever color is most available to also pair with blue.

Pack 2 pick 1:


Iron/Leaden Myr are both fine but worse than actual good cards because the acceleration in non-metalcraft decks is usually only relevant on turn two/three and mediocre afterwards. The only card that is actively good is Heavy Arbalest because it dominates a game that’s anywhere close to parity.

My pick: Heavy Arbalest

Pack 2 pick 2:


This pick presents a situation where we must decide whether it’s worth going into red for Arc Trail or wait for a potentially better option by taking Perilous Myr/Trigon of Thought. Arc Trail is still quite good although the average toughness in MBS is a bit higher which makes the neo-Arc Lightning not as good. Going back to pack one, there were a number of instances of decent red creatures but no good uncommons/top commons which indicates that the color was being cut (but not heavily). However, red did seem more open than the remaining three colors and indicates that taking Arc Trail is a fine choice; it’s much better than Perilous Myr and Trigon of Thought.

My pick: Arc Trail

Pack 2 pick 3:


Soliton is good with Heavy Arbalest, but weak without it and not as good as a real removal spell.

My pick: Turn to Slag

Pack 2 pick 4:


This pick is really bad for us and the options are all mediocre creatures/utility spells. There aren’t any metalcraft cards or good off-color spells to splash yet which makes Horizon Spellbomb bad. Similarly, none of the creatures have synergy with what we have which leaves Disperse as the only choice.

My pick: Disperse

Pack 2 pick 5:


Darksteel Sentinel is decent against non-infect but is rather slow like the rest of the deck. There’s already a reasonable amount of late-game which means that a Copper Myr will be a better card to include because it accelerates to the part of the curve where this deck’s spells start taking over the game.

My pick: Copper Myr

Pack 2 pick 6:


Halt Order is never quite as consistent as desired, and on average it’s underwhelming. Yes, there will be times when you get a Battlesphere with it, but that’s rarely the case. The other option is Thrummingbird which is another inconsistent card (but one that doesn’t rely on being reactive) whose potential is open-ended considering there’s still one pack left to draft. It’s unlikely that we’ll acquire enough charge counter cards to make the Thrummingbird, but if it happens we’ll be happy to have taken it.

My pick: Thrummingbird

Pack 2 pick 7:


Nice pick. Sky-Eel School is quite a good card because of its size, evasion, filtering ability, and dodging artifact removal.

My pick: Sky-Eel School

Pack 2 pick 8:


My pick: Flesh Allergy

Pack 2 pick 9:


My pick: Leaden Myr

Pack 2 pick 10:


My pick: Stoic Rebuttal

Pack 2 pick 11:


My pick: Exsanguinate

Pack 2 pick 12:


My pick: Ogre Geargrabber

Pack 2 pick 13:


My pick: Salvage Scout

Pack 2 pick 14:


My pick: Glimmerpost

Pack 2 pick 15:

The second pack gave us very few picks for the deck, but the average quality of non-myr cards is high. Heavy Arbalest, Arc Trail, Turn to Slag, and Sky-Eel School are all quite good and will benefit the deck a lot. Going into the third pack it looks like we don’t need anything specific for the deck and should just take the best card on a pick-by-pick basis.

Pack 3 pick 1:


Prototype Portal is too slow for most matches and quite vulnerable to hate unless you wait for enough mana to play the Portal and make a copy of whatever is imprinted on it in the same turn. Shatter is the best option for us because it’s a cheap removal spell. Neurok Replica is tempting because it’s a very useful Horned Turtle that fits the curve nicely, but it’s just not as good on average as Shatter.

My pick: Shatter

Pack 3 pick 2:


There’s nothing competing with Sky-Eel School here. Darksteel Juggernaut can be good, but it’s much more difficult for it to be good because of the number of artifacts that if requires.

My pick: Sky-Eel School

Pack 3 pick 3:


Vulshok Replica is good for curve purposes, but like last pack it doesn’t compare to a removal spell.

My pick: Turn to Slag

Pack 3 pick 4:


Strider Harness would be good on the two-drops like Oculus to make them able to handle a wider range of threats, but overall is a weak card because the average spell cost is quite high and it’s unlikely to find time to play the equipment and use it compared to playing something like a Sky-Eel School or Serum Raker. Golem Artisan is the best choice even though it’s another five-drop in a deck chalk full of them because it provides a lot of power and flexibility (it will take over most games by itself).

My pick: Golem Artisan

Pack 3 pick 5:


Lumengrid Drake is an option even though it will only be a vanilla flyer almost every time; the downside is that it’s expensive and not very powerful. Vedalken Certarch isn’t an option because it’s like the Lumengrid Drake and will be a vanilla 1/1 (aka useless). The only other option is Strider Harness.

My pick: Strider Harness

Pack 3 pick 6:


Shatter over nothing.

My pick: Shatter

Pack 3 pick 7:


The deck has almost no three-mana creatures and tons of action at five mana which allows Vulshok Replica to edge out Saberclaw Golem fairly easily.

My pick: Vulshok Replica

Pack 3 pick 8:


Apparently no one at the table is drafting dinosaurs, let alone green, because Acid Web Spider is quite good.

My pick: Acid Web Spider

Pack 3 pick 9:


My pick: Wing Puncture

Pack 3 pick 10:


My pick: Acid Web Spider

Pack 3 pick 11:


My pick: Myr Reservoir

Pack 3 pick 12:


My pick: Kembas Skyguard

Pack 3 pick 13:


My pick: Viridian Revel

Pack 3 pick 14:


My pick: Oxidda Daredevil

Pack 3 pick 15:


The last pack was similar to the second, above average card quality but not enough quantity to fully fill out the deck; the deck will have to include a few bad cards as a result. Overall the draft went alright, although blue wasn’t nearly as open as it was in the first pack.

The core of the deck includes the following nineteen cards:


The remaining cards to fill out the deck include the following:


There are a lot of bad cards in the group that we have to pick from, and the only interesting cards are 2 Oculus, 1 Disperse, 1 Stoic Rebuttal, 1 Strider Harness, and 1 Distant Memories. There’s no synergy with Oxidda Daredevil or Thrummingbird, and both are too small to play as vanilla creatures. Phyrexian Digester is okay as a sideboard card, but it doesn’t mesh well with the bulk of our non-infect creatures. The deck’s curve is quite high, doesn’t have many low-mana threats, and as a result needs to hit every land-drop until turn five which means that seventeen lands will be necessary; that leaves four slots to fill in the meantime.

Oculus is a good way to get to the late-game without taking much damage while also providing bodies for Heavy Arbalest. Disperse is rather weak because there are very few profitable ETB-triggers to take advantage of (Sky-Eel School). Stoic Rebuttal is good in a deck that plays long games, although this deck won’t be able to cast it and also another spell in the same turn until much later in the game. The deck already has two Shatter and two Turn to Slag to deal with large threats which should be enough against most decks. If there are a lot of expensive threats in the opponent’s deck, then the Stoic Rebuttal can be brought in from the sideboard. Strider Harness is rather mediocre because the deck’s curve is too high to take advantage of it. The Harness does make the Myr Sire, Oculus, and the two mana Myr more effective in combat, but that’s the only major benefit. Distant Memories is fine in the deck because the card quality is rather even towards the high-end and there’s also a moderate amount of redundancy. Either way, drawing three or tutoring is going to be good. The major problem is that Distant Memories is better suited to be played against a deck that’s controlling because it doesn’t affect the board and takes a complete turn to cast it. With the amount of late-game this deck has, including cards that are geared towards the aggro matchup is better because that’s where the deck will need the most help.


Round 1: Black/red metalcraft(ish)

We started off with a mulligan after choosing to draw and stumbled on mana for a turn while Evil developed his board with an Ichor Wellspring and Pierce Strider. We drew into a third Island to throw a Vulshok Replica onto the battlefield to trade, but Evil was ready with Arc Trail to clear a path. The Oculus drew us into a Mountain which let us cast Shatter on the Strider, but Evil wouldn’t relent and replaced it with a Rusted Slasher. The Slasher was going to be a problem with the Wellspring in play, but we had our Vedalken Anatomist ready for it. However, Evil had plans to get rid of the Anatomist and killed it with Turn to Slag after not attacking. At that point the Slasher ate us alive because we had to throw creatures in front of it like Sky-Eel School and Serum Raker; the second attack phase had a Flameborn Hellion also racing towards us. Evil’s last attack brought us within reach of a lethal Concussive Bolt. Game two was similar.


The games that we played in round one didn’t let any specific card in our deck shine.

Serum Raker gets much worse when you need six lands to cast spells because extra lands in your hand have a much higher value than normal.

Both Strider Harness and Disperse would have been quite terrible if we had drawn them.

Oculus and Myr Sire were both mediocre and need other cards to make them function better (Rusted Slasher would have been good with Myr Sire, etc.). Low-impact creatures just aren’t amazing even if they conditionally cycle.

Vedalken Anatomist was awesome until it died (which was very quickly).

The deck never got a chance to get going and was always on its back foot (mainly because of Arc Trail followed by Turn to Slag along with a clock in game one). The game replay for game two can’t be accessed and I don’t remember what happened, but I’m assuming it played out similarly. The deck really wanted to be on the play because it was so slow, and for this deck to have been successful, it needed a better early game involving cards like Neurok Replica.

Happy Drafting.


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