According to Webster – Mirrodin Besieged Draft #5

Mirrodin Besieged Draft #5

Pack 1 pick 1:


Flesh-Eater Imp and Into the Core are the best options. Brass Squire and Green Sun’s Zenith can be good but they are much more dependent on your future picks (decent with equipment and excellent green creatures respectively but very marginal without) whereas the Imp and Into the Core have a high-impact on the game alone. Into the Core has a high level of variance depending on the matchup and will range from a mulligan to an insane blowout while Flesh-Eater Imp is more consistent but it’s not as powerful (it’s best in infect it’s also fine in other archetypes). Flesh-Eater Imp won’t turn a game around as much as Into the Core, but the average expected value is higher and generally Flesh-Eater Imp is better in the infect deck than Into the Core in a red deck. Flesh-Eater Imp gets around the larger flyers and can dodge some of the removal that the other infect creatures die to whereas Into the Core overlaps with a lot of the removal available to red.

My pick: Flesh-Eater Imp

Pack 1 pick 2:


Divine Offering doesn’t pair well with Flesh-Eater Imp despite the existence of white infect creatures because there are fewer infect cards to rely on in pack two/three which also means that it’s much harder to get a deck if there are too many people at the table drafting infect. Plague Myr is a weak play on turn two (especially in infect) because it doesn’t impact the board much, and the only exception would be if there is a substantial amount of four-drops in the deck. Skinwing is also a mediocre choice because the equip cost is so high. Morbid Plunder is the best choice because it provides pure card advantage with the potential for more depending on the creatures it’s returning.

My pick: Morbid Plunder

Pack 1 pick 3:


Black/white Infect is difficult to piece together due to your options being cut nearly in half because you don’t get to play any green cards (unless you ruin your manabase). Nested Ghoul isn’t typical in infect but it’s a solid normal creature and the best card overall in the pick. It’s excellent in the mirror and should serve well in at least one match.

My pick: Nested Ghoul

Pack 1 pick 4:


Infect doesn’t appear to be the archetype to be in and we should strongly consider moving out of it. Lumengrid Gargoyle is quite large and will win games alone because of its size in combination with its evasion. However it’s slow and quite vulnerable as an artifact creature while lacking the bomby potential like other creatures of the same cost appealing (Thopter Assembly/Steel Hellkite). The other option is to hedge and take a second Morbid Plunder which allows us to keep the infect option available even though it appears to be dead. A second Morbid Plunder will allow the deck to survive an attrition war with great ease and gives it a lot of reach (assuming it can pick up some five/six-mana monsters). The Gargoyle plays a similar role, but it’s less flexible in terms of archetype (doesn’t go into infect)

My pick: Morbid Plunder

Pack 1 pick 5:


We’ve waited long enough for infect without any reward and should therefore move into a different archetype. Razorfield Rhino is fine, but it’s slow and unexciting. Ichor Wellspring is also fine as a cycler/metalcraft enabler, but black metalcraft isn’t normally impressive. Serum Raker is the best off-color card because it’s a three-power flyer for only four mana. There has been a constant stream of blue which means that taking the flyer is a safe call.

My pick: Serum Raker

Pack 1 pick 6:


Morbid Plunder loses a lot of value when it gets back average creatures, and passing a good creature (Nested Ghoul) for a third one isn’t a good idea. Additionally, Nested Ghoul is half of a Morbid Plunder by itself because it trades with a moderate creature and replaces itself with a 2/2.

My pick: Nested Ghoul

Pack 1 pick 7:


Hexplate Golem isn’t the best choice because we already have multiple four/five-mana creatures to ensure we don’t run out of steam, and while the Golem provides a massive late-game body, it’s too excessive. Steel Sabotage is the best card, and while it’s not the best removal card because it doesn’t individually deal with a resolved threat, it provides a way to combat fast draws while accommodating the deck’s curve nicely.

My pick: Steel Sabotage

Pack 1 pick 8:


Fuel for the cause is quite slow and doesn’t fit the curve well. Mirran Spy is the other option, and while its utility doesn’t have any applications yet, it’s still a flyer that fits well into the curve.

My pick: Mirran Spy

Pack 1 pick 9:


Razorfield Rhino and Hexplate Golem are better creatures than Caustic Hound and especially so in a deck that wants to prolong the game, but they are both vulnerable to Into the Core and other artifact removal which doesn’t do anything against our deck (yet).

My pick: Caustic Hound

Pack 1 pick 10:


My pick: Flensermite

Pack 1 pick 11:


My pick: Caustic Hound

Pack 1 pick 12:


My pick: Concussive Bolt

Pack 1 pick 13:


My pick: Neurok Commando

Pack 1 pick 14:


My pick: Rally the Forces

Pack 1 pick 15:

The first pack went alright considering that we got cut off from our initial preference (infect) and shifted more into a blue/black control deck. We didn’t pass anything spectacular in our colors (Morbid Plunder, Serum Raker, and Gust-Skimmer) and should be rewarded for it in the next pack. We’ve got a nice base for a control deck with two Morbid Plunders and two Nested Ghouls, and we just need to fill in the gaps to make it quite good.

Pack 2 pick 1:


There’s not much in this pick to help the deck. Grand Architect is quite good with a lot of artifacts, but we’re on the opposite side of the spectrum with none and a bunch of black creatures (although we still have two packs to change that). The Architect is still fine as a partial crusade to boost our blue creatures even if we’re unable to acquire many artifacts (depending on how many there are).

My pick: Grand Architect

Pack 2 pick 2:


Galvanic Blast is good but requires too much of a sacrifice (ditching blue) to make it worth taking and starting over in red. Also consider the fact that red was being cut noticeably well in pack one and it becomes easy to see that we should pass the Blast. There isn’t much that remains in the pack to help out a traditional control deck with the exception of Moriok Replica, which is fine but unexciting without being able to stack damage. The only other cards include Nihil Spellbomb, Bleak Coven Vampires, Rusted Relic, and Neurok Invisimancer which all very mediocre.

My pick: Moriok Replica

Pack 2 pick 3:


This is another bad pick for us that is filled with metalcraft/infect cards but nothing that’s truly exceptional in a control deck. It’s possible that infect may still be an option even though there wasn’t much of anything to indicate so in pack one (the runs simply could have been unfavorable) and that Plague Stinger is actually a good choice. Even if it’s not, the Stinger will still be a moderately good sideboard card against an infect opponent.

My pick: Plague Stinger

Pack 2 pick 4:


Tainted Strike is a good card with Nested Ghoul because blocking it is generally unfavorable. However, Darksteel Sentinel is a better choice because it’s more likely that we stay in blue/black rather than migrating back over to infect because we have more cards for the former archetype than the latter (and also because infect isn’t open).

My pick: Darksteel Sentinel

Pack 2 pick 5:


Infect isn’t going to happen because the cards simply aren’t there, and we should focus only on the blue/black deck. Lumengrid Drake and Soliton are both sub-par without metalcraft/Heavy Arbalest mainly because their cost is significant and the creatures don’t provide enough benefit for the investment. A second Moriok Replica is going to be more useful if we can find more removal, otherwise it will be as good as the other two cards.

My pick: Moriok Replica

Pack 2 pick 6:


Bonds of Quicksilver is technically removal but it suffers from the problem of being expensive and conditional. Halt Order is similar to Bonds in most ways, although it’s slightly less expensive, replaces itself, a bit more restrictive, and more of a sign that blue open.

My pick: Halt Order

Pack 2 pick 7:


Wall of Tanglecord is a good way to start the curve in the deck so that it doesn’t get run over before it can resolve a Nested Ghoul and take over the battlefield.

My pick: Wall of Tanglecord

Pack 2 pick 8:


Scrapdiver Serpent is a bit expensive and unnecessary to consider taking over a second Wall of Tanglecord at this point. Plus, it’s likely that we’ll have another opportunity down the line to pick one up.

My pick: Wall of Tanglecord

Pack 2 pick 9:


My pick: Neurok Invisimancer

Pack 2 pick 10:


My pick: Neurok Invisimancer

Pack 2 pick 11:


It’s unlikely that we’ll be able to trigger metalcraft with any sort of consistency which makes both Lumengrid Drake and Bleak Coven Vampires both underwhelming, but the Drake is still useful as a blue flyer compared to the Vampires which overlaps too much with Nested Ghoul.

My pick: Lumengrid Drake

Pack 2 pick 12:


My pick: Screeching Silcaw

Pack 2 pick 13:


My pick: Scrapdiver Serpent

Pack 2 pick 14:


My pick: Vault Skyward

Pack 2 pick 15:


The second pack was very bad for us because we didn’t get any real removal and the creatures we had to choose from were suited for a metalcraft deck or infect. The last pack needs to be above average for the deck to have a good chance of winning without leaning too much on the attrition cards from pack one for support.

Pack 3 pick 1:


All the options are quite miserable. Arrest is the best card but uncastable in the deck. A mana myr is the only “good” option, and Iron is going to be better because it’s more likely to splash a red card than white even though red is being cut.

My pick: Iron Myr

Pack 3 pick 2:


Darksteel Axe is good with all of our evasion creatures and Nested Ghouls, but Grasp of Darkness is more necessary because the deck is better set up to take advantage of having a lot of removal (with two Moriok Replicas and Morbid Plunders) but has none.

My pick: Grasp of Darkness

Pack 3 pick 3:


Chrome Steed is always going to be a 2/2 in this deck, while Neurok Replica is quite a useful utility creature.

My pick: Neurok Replica

Pack 3 pick 4:


Iron Myr and Necrogen Scudder are the two options. Iron Myr would normally be the pick because it accelerates the deck but there’s not much to ramp into. Another point to consider is that the deck can change into a beatdown deck because it also has a pair of Neurok Invisimancers which makes the Scudder a better choice.

My pick: Necrogen Scudder

Pack 3 pick 5:


There’s nothing for us here, and it’s not likely we’ll play either Moriok Reaver/blackcleave Goblin which leaves taking the best card against us.

My pick: Ezuris Brigade

Pack 3 pick 6:


Instill Infection may be removal, but it’s not nearly as applicable as Grasp of Darkness and doesn’t provide the same exceptional value. Darkslick Drake is quite good in every case and is a solid flyer.

My pick: Darkslick Drake

Pack 3 pick 7:


My pick: Soliton

Pack 3 pick 8:


Exsanguinate helps the deck’s aggro plan if it ends up being built that way.

My pick: Exsanguinate

Pack 3 pick 9:


My pick: Plated Seastrider

Pack 3 pick 10:


My pick: Soliton

Pack 3 pick 11:


My pick: Nihil Spellbomb

Pack 3 pick 12:


My pick: Goblin Gaveleer

Pack 3 pick 13:


My pick: Golems Heart

Pack 3 pick 14:


My pick: Melt Terrain

Pack 3 pick 15:

The third pack was only average and didn’t give enough to make the deck exceptional, although it still workable. Overall the draft was disappointing because we were in the right colors but the cards available to us weren’t suited for the strategy that we chose. There were tons of cards that benefitted from metalcraft in the last two packs, but the metalcraft cards in pack one weren’t as powerful as the non-metalcraft options.

The core of the deck includes the following seventeen cards:


The remaining slots in the deck will be chosen from the following group:


This deck is geared to play like a Horned Turtle/Wind Drake deck. That is to say that the deck wants to beat down with evasive creatures while throwing walls in the way of the opposition. There are quite a few evasion creatures left to choose from in the second group of cards. Neurok Invisimancer and Lumengrid Drake are both decent attackers and are almost assured to make the cut, which leaves roughly three slots to fill.

The infect group isn’t going to work out at all because it’s so counter-productive with the deck’s A-plan (even Flesh-Eater Imp). Mirran Spy isn’t a very good creature to beat down with, but it still flies and has power. Neurok Commando isn’t going to be good because there’s not enough removal in the deck to support blasting away at irrelevant creatures. Soliton is very underwhelming without Heavy Arbalest because more creatures trade/outclass it in MBS than in SOM. Caustic Hound is an option, although the deck isn’t aggressive enough for it to take advantage of it. Additionally, between Necrogen Scudder and Moriok Replica, Caustic Hound could become a liability. Scrapdiver Serpent is more likely to be a sideboard card because it’s so expensive while not being good in every matchup. Nihil Spellbomb is another weak card because it doesn’t have much functionality outside of a metalcraft deck unless the opponent has graveyard-reliant cards like Morbid Plunder and/or Corpse Cur. Halt Order is fine in this deck because the curve isn’t above average and there are multiple ways to reward leaving mana open (Moriok Replica, Neurok Replica, Darksteel Sentinel, Steel Sabotage, and Grasp of Darkness). Exsanguinate is good in the deck because it’s just trying to race with evasion creatures.

The strongest cards of the remaining bunch are Halt Order and Exsanguinate, but everything else beyond that is chaff. Even though the curve isn’t above normal, the deck doesn’t want to stumble on lands because it has Moriok Replicas, Morbid Plunders, and some five/six-mana spells along with Exsanguinate to take advantage of having lots of mana.



Good and Evil


Round 1: Black/green Infect
Evil started off with a Plague Stinger but couldn’t follow up the pressure on turn three and played a Lead the Stampede (Viridian Emissary and Blightwidow). Meanwhile we were busy with Grand Architect into Wall of Tanglecord with Darksteel Sentinel for turn four. Evil had had enough of the Architect and killed it with a Skinrender, but before it died we responded by playing the indestructible 3/3. The Sentinel crashed into the Emissary and it turned out that Evil was splashing red and got a Mountain. We could only make a Moriok Replica afterwards.

The game was close to parity until Evil summoned a Phyrexian Hydra, all the while pinging away with his Plague Stinger. We used the Moriok Replica to draw some cards and found a second Replica along with a Necrogen Scudder to stop the Plague Stinger, however Evil’s next turn was quite huge. Evil attacked with the Stinger and Hydra while we were forced to block with the Scudder and Sentinel respectively, and before blocks Evil gave the Hydra trample with Unnatural Predation sending us to nine poison. A Galvanic Blast finished off the Scudder after the Plague Stinger had shrunk it to a 2/2. Evil also summoned a Plague Myr but we used Steel Sabotage to counter it.

We summoned the second Moriok Replica and bounced it off of the 4/4 Hydra when it attacked again, drawing into an Invisimancer and Serum Raker, and Evil kept up the pressure with the Blightwidow that he had gotten from Lead the Stampede. blackcleave Goblin made Evil’s next attack better than we had planned for and we traded Serum Raker for the Blightwidow and an Iron Myr for the Goblin while Wall of Tanglecord shrunk to two toughness after blocking the Hydra. We drew into a Mirran Spy and had to trade away the Invisimancer to kill the Skinrender (because we were at ten life) while the Wall of Tanglecord chumped the Hydra. Evil summoned a second Blightwidow and it was on us to draw a solution, but we only found a Lumengrid Drake. Our draw hadn’t mattered much though because Evil found a second blackcleave Goblin to force through the last poison damage. Game two was similar.


The match that we played didn’t feel like it accurately represented how the deck would play out on average (besides being defensive against infect). For example, we never drew Nested Ghoul which would have made it less likely that we’d have been ground out by the opponent. Additionally, dying from Bellowing Tanglewurm along with Plaguemaw Beast was quite out of the ordinary.

The main strategy of the deck was to trade, trade, and trade some more until we could play a Morbid Plunder and win. However the strategy became bad if the creatures didn’t match up evenly enough which is what happened. Without the higher-end creatures there were very few that could trade with opposing high-toughness creatures.

If the deck were played in more matches, it would be more successful than the first outing.

Happy Drafting.

29 thoughts on “According to Webster – Mirrodin Besieged Draft #5”

  1. I would have started the Flesheater Imp. Your deck was low on power level, and the imp will just win some games. In a deck with as many creatures as yours, it’s easy to kill them in 3 hits. 2 power infect guys are never the worst, even when they are just being walls.

  2. Yeah, what a train wreck. Not web’s fault at all, the cards just weren’t there, but it’s always ugly to watch.

  3. Although I’d take different directions than your choices, I always read your reasoning carefully. This time, however, I guess I’d taken a very similar path and died the same way.

    I have this feeling that in some drafts theres simply nothing you could do.

  4. Yup, bad packs. That being said, saying game two was similar is becoming a major theme. It ignores the relevant side boarding and different game aspects that come from it. It would be helpful to not take this escape route in the future.

  5. Great article. I was with you all the way (which always makes me feel good about my own card valuations). Sometimes the packs just don’t work out, and you know you’re going to lose to the nutty Infect deck across the table from you.

    The raw power and simplicity of a good Infect deck in this format makes it very difficult to grind out wins with a mediocre deck. The Infect player is rarely in a position to make a mistake. Just keep applying pressure.

  6. I like your walkthroughs, but I’m always a little disappointed when they end with “Game 2 was similar.” I know the important part is really the actual drafting, but I like hearing about all the games too. Just saying.

  7. I think this is a good example of “failure to make opportune middle/late picks”. This format is very kind to risk taking and quite easier to splash in than normal formats, which makes me think some of your picks just didn’t grasp at the possibilities.

    p1p8, MIrran Spy has rarely ever seemed impressive for me, people I’ve watched draft, or my opponent’s. Priests of Norn, however, represent the one possible notion of playing/splashing white for infect. Knowing that a handful of Flensermites are likely to table (an underrated card that actually works well enough in the deck its intended for), taking the card for the possibly busted archetype seems better than the fringe playable card.

    p1p9 is the same. Hound is likely to not make the deck, but grabbing this Flensermite and the next few ones could be the foundation for an infect deck coming in the next two packs. I think you gain a lot from prospecting on small infect dudes here over the outside possibility that Hound will make the deck.

    This might not have set you up for a proper infect list, but it would have at least allowed the option for it at the cost of almost nothing. Later on, I think you undervalue the ability to splash in this format entirely.

    p2p2, taking the burn spell over the mediocre 3-drop seems much stronger. Its an easy card to splash for the will be effective at multiple points in the game.

    p3p1, taking Arrest offers the same conclusions, especially considered to an ordinary mana myr.

    I can appreciate the desire to stay on color, but in a format so welcoming and forgiving, especially one so bomb-laden, splashing is much more of a boon than a liability.

    Anyways, loved the walk-throughs… thanks for the content!

  8. Id have started the flesh eater imp too but this eck wasnt atrainwreck, it didnt have a ton of removal but otherwise was pretty solid. his opponent just beat him down with a poison bomb. happens.

  9. @ Henry says: March 22, 2011 @ 7:08 am:

    Some game replays aren’t viewable for whatever reason. A possible solution had been explained earlier but I was unable to make it work.

  10. Did your opponent miss a kill in game 1? he couldve blasted the sentinel before combat damage, unnatural predationed and gotten in for 2 extra poison.

  11. Reading about the play is ok. Your writing is good but it’s not the same as watching the actual game and hearing your thought process as you make plays. When O’ when Ocho will you start recording drafts? Id also like to see you in std. and ext. matches.

  12. Infect just seems like a major trap. There seems to always be at least two people drafting it and you can never go half-ass on it. You either get the cards or you don’t, I never experience any real middle ground. I think this set/format would be so much better without infect. I mean, there’s not many constructed applications and it’s usually not that fun in drafts. What’s the point?

  13. Anytime I’m not playing infect in this format I feel like I’m bringing a knife to a gun fight. I also would have taken the FEI over the Into The Core. I had a deck with double ITC and double burn the impure and Hoard Smelter Dragon. Lost in rd 1 to poison. Having to stop every point of poison damage due to proliferate, virulent wound, unnatural predation, pistus strike, untamed might, blackcleave goblin tricks is really old. I feel like 90% of my infect matches are oops I win scenarios.

  14. I love your draft write-ups a lot more now that CFB has adopted the terrible video player.

    Thanks for the content.

  15. Yep, the write-ups are great , its even better to make your “own” thoughts and then read the text.

    Its nice to read a draft with your Phone, its even a lot quicker then watching videos.

    Drafts are really bad as videos, but everyone who likes videos, has enough of them anyway.

    *Read this draft section everytime and its allways at least something that makes it worth reading it.

  16. Love these drafts but I want to echo the dislike for ending with “Game two was similar.” Especially when you then say that you lost to Bellowing Tanglewurm and Plaguemaw Beast when you got poisoned game 1 and never saw those cards. The draft part was great but I still miss the old play by play.

  17. Ochoa’s write ups are solid gold. When will people stop complaining about a lack of videochoa?

  18. P1P9 – Caustic Hound over Hexplate Golem? The argument “we don’t have any artifacts yet, let’s take the non-artifact card” seems pretty questionable when you’re halfway through pack 1 and looking to draft a non-poison black deck. Especially when the non-artifact card is pretty bad and the artifact one just fine. For just one more mana you get a creature that a) doesn’t hurt you when it dies, b) has +1/+3, and c) might actually see play in your deck. Seems like a fine deal to me.

  19. Totally with you on the first pick. However, p1p2 is where you could have saved it. BW infect is not hard at all to put together, because Tine Shrike and Priests of Norn go so late. And by taking Divine Offering here you are 1) possibly going BW infect 2) hedging against a wasted p1p1. Card advantage is great and all, but it’s a pretty aggro format and you often don’t have time to make it count (esp in black, with its dearth of defensive cards). As I think is borne out by the fact that you got passed Morbid Plunder 6th.

    BW would have netted you, on top of Divine Offering, 2 Tine Shrikes, Ichor Wellspring/FlayerHusk (pretty decent in Infect), a Priest of Norn, Arrest p3p1, plus all the black infect cards you passed in p2 because you ducked out of it.

    Just saying BW infect is actually a decent strategy – as long as it stays a secret.


  20. I’ve played flensermite in triple MBS and found they were quite good with multiple plunders. Attrition decks really make them shine at times! As for flesheaterimp..play ’em; I’ve won on the back of them alone more then a few times (even with imp being the only infect in the deck). Just my experience..not gonna tell an exceptional player and drafter how to do things. Still not a bad build with what you had..and capable of grinding out some wins..just bad beats from the other side. Thnx again and good drafting!

  21. Rather amusing, because almost exactly the same draft happened to me last night. I first picked the Flesheater Imp, 2nd pick Go for the Throat, and then a rotwolf, and no more infect cards after that. Wound up switching into blue and drafting blue/black control instead.

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  23. I’ve been reading Ochoa’s write-ups for some time now. I really appreciate the written style over the videos. I am also glad he can show where things can go seriously wrong. Great writer and player.

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