Mirrodin Besieged Draft #6
Pack 1 pick 1:
Glissa, the Traitor and Vedalken Anatomist are the two best cards. Glissa isn’t actually as good as many people make her out to be for a few reasons: One, she commits you immediately to black/green (or at least green/X splash black) which puts you in a tough spot for pick one because you have no flexibility. Two, she requires that you draft a deck with a lot of artifacts which isn’t supported very well by black/green. On the plus side, Glissa is nearly unstoppable in combat, puts the opponent on a moderate clock, and will win the game if unchecked. However, Vedalken Anatomist is quite similar to Glissa in that it will win the game if it survives for a prolonged amount of time while leaving you much more flexible in terms of the deck/colors that you draft.
My pick: Vedalken Anatomist
Pack 1 pick 2:
Galvanoth usually isn’t very good in most decks because five mana is a lot to spend on a 3/3. Most decks won’t have very many instant/sorcery cards to reveal which makes it just another mediocre creature. Vivisection is another slow card that requires too many resources to make it worthwhile playing in most matchups. Fangren Marauder and Morbid Plunder are the best cards, and even though Morbid Plunder works better with Vedalken Anatomist by being able to get it back, the Marauder is a better choice because of how well it matches up against the different archetypes (it makes most interactions very difficult for artifact-based decks, both combat and removal, because of how much life it gains for you while being a very large creature against the mid-range decks).
My pick: Fangren Marauder
Pack 1 pick 3:
Leonin Relic-Warder and Leonin Skyhunter are both quite good and should be viewed as a sign that white is open. However, white decks generally require a huge commitment which means that we would need to be absolutely certain that the color is open, and with a rare and common missing we can’t be that sure yet. There are some fine on-color options still and they are Pierce Strider and Rusted Slasher. Rusted Slasher is better in a metalcraft deck because you are effectively trading your worst artifact in play for whatever creature they choose to block with (or their best attacker) and punishing them with a significant amount of damage if they don’t block at all. Pierce Strider is usually better in non-metalcraft decks because it has a higher toughness and the decks themselves won’t have as many cheap bad artifacts to throw away. Since we aren’t certain which direction this deck is going, it’s better to take the Pierce Strider because its value is more consistent.
My pick: Pierce Strider
Pack 1 pick 4:
Copper Carapace doesn’t usually work out well in a deck with Fangren Marauder because there aren’t many small creatures accompanying it. Quilled Slagwurm is no Engulfing Slagwurm, but it still REALLY hard to kill in combat. However, there are some less expensive fatties that are less likely to wheel than the 4GGG Wurm like Tangle Hulk and Meliras Keepers. The Keepers is actually quite good against infect (although still five mana which makes it late to the party sometimes) which is the matchup that Fangren Marauder has the most trouble against.
My pick: Meliras Keepers
Pack 1 pick 5:
The last two picks haven’t revealed what the next best color(s) to be in are. Flayer Husk is similar to Copper Carapace, although a bit better because it can block for a turn, but it still doesn’t play very efficiently in the deck. Rot Wolf is an excellent creature to play outside of infect because it’s secretly a Phyrexian Rager that can draw multiple cards depending on what combat looks like and what tricks you have to use with it (Heavy Arbalest, Untamed Might, etc.).
My pick: Rot Wolf
Pack 1 pick 6:
Red didn’t appear to be open in the beginning, however the last pick had an Ogre Resister (not a great sign but starting to get late at fifth pick) followed by a Blisterstick Shaman and Crush in this pick (Crush being fairly mediocre). Still, combination of red cards hasn’t been significant enough to abandon either color we’re in and especially so when considering that there’s a Gust-Skimmer here also. Gust-Skimmer is better suited in an aggro deck because it will have extra mana more often than a deck that’s curving into Pierce Strider, Melira’s Keepers, and Fangren Marauder, but it’s still a good card to play against aggressive decks and will trade with most early drops if our draft continues the direction it’s headed in.
My pick: Gust-Skimmer
Pack 1 pick 7:
Mirrorworks is slow and requires a moderate number of artifacts (non-expensive) to gain a significant advantage; otherwise it’s just a five-mana spell that doesn’t affect the board. There’s not much else to choose from besides Phyrexian Digester and Pistus Strike, and both are going to be sideboard cards at best. Mirrorworks demands a lot and restricts our future picks to support it without guarantee that the advantage gained from it will be significant to justify the initial sacrifice. Between the Digester and Pistus Strike, it’s more likely that Pistus Strike will be better because it deals with the majority of bomb rares/mythics (or just normal flyers) that we’ll encounter while the Digester is easily replaceable by almost any infect creature.
My pick: Pistus Strike
Pack 1 pick 8:
Unnatural Predation can be quite good especially when dealing with creatures that are naturally large because often the opponent won’t have enough combined power to reliably play around combat tricks which makes the card quite devastating. However, much of the time a dinosaur deck won’t be in the position of using a combat trick offensively because it’s generally behind on the board and constantly tapping out each turn to summon fatties. A dinosaur deck has won in most cases when it’s attacking, and there are better cards to utilize at that point than Unnatural Predation like Darksteel Plate. The equipment is quite bad against infect but shines elsewhere and especially against decks that have a lot of non-Grasp of Darkness/Skinrender removal.
My pick: Darksteel Plate
Pack 1 pick 9:
My pick: Steel Sabotage
Pack 1 pick 10:
Myr Sire is not usually great because most decks won’t have a substantial number of one-toughness creatures for the Myr to dominate, and what it ends up doing in most games is absorb some damage for two turns. Preventing damage is fine, but rarely desirable when you’re throwing away a card from the get-go; there are many other cards that can be used to a similar end that don’t have the same extreme cost. A second Pistus Strike will be useful against a heavy-flier deck even though we’re blue and will have access to flyers of our own.
My pick: Pistus Strike
Pack 1 pick 11:
My pick: Pistus Strike
Pack 1 pick 12:
My pick: Fuel for the Cause
Pack 1 pick 13:
My pick: Phyresis
Pack 1 pick 14:
My pick: Flensermite
Pack 1 pick 15:
The first pack was somewhat mediocre because blue wasn’t totally open while green provided more sideboard cards than fatties. Still, we have a fine base for a deck and should be able to work with it successfully.
Pack 2 pick 1:
Skinrender is quite good but we saw no black in pack one as well as passing Glissa which means that we will likely to be cut in this pack if we abandon a color for black. The next best card is Sylvok Replica by a fair margin as it’s only “competing” with Silver Myr.
Pack 2 pick 2:
Trinket Mage and Wall of Tanglecord are useful cards in this deck but lack the power that Darkslick Drake possesses. The Drake is quite difficult to beat through and is an excellent way to start curving into dinosaurs.
My pick: Darkslick Drake
Pack 2 pick 3:
Perilous Myr and Wall of Tanglecord are both very similar because they are both good defensive two-mana creatures. Perilous Myr is better against infect because it will trade one-for-one with almost every creature they have access to while threatening to two-for-one them if they play too aggressively while having a high number of one-toughness creatures. Wall of Tanglecord is usually better against non-infect because six toughness and reach make it very difficult to get damage through. Perilous Myr is a better choice than the Wall because the Myr is desirable to play in almost every deck, this archetype needs the most help against infect, and we have access to three Pistus Strikes if we play against a flyer deck. Additionally, it’s quite possible that the Wall will wheel because it’s not desirable in many decks.
My pick: Perilous Myr
Pack 2 pick 4:
Clone Shell is usually good with lots of large creatures but doesn’t help the deck in its time of need (the early game) nearly as much as Tumble Magnet does. The Magnet is good against infect and aggro because it provides a way to prolong a game for a minimal mana investment.
My pick: Tumble Magnet
Pack 2 pick 5:
Liquimetal Coating can be good if a deck has a substantial amount of artifact removal while also including metalcraft cards, but otherwise it’s very bad. At this point we only have a Fangren Marauder and Sylvok Replica that would benefit from the Coating which isn’t good enough to justify taking it at this point. Steady Progress and Scrapdiver Serpent are also mediocre because of their cost which leaves Seachrome Coast. The Coast isn’t useful in the deck yet, although it opens up the door for being able to splash for a Revoke Existence/Arrest if we get one in the first few picks of pack three which is quite possible when looking back to how the first pack flowed.
My pick: Seachrome Coast
Pack 2 pick 6:
Five people made poor picks here because Heavy Arbalest is still in the pack. Some people just have no idea how good the card is.
My pick: Heavy Arbalest
Pack 2 pick 7:
Neurok Invisimancer is a bit out of place in a dinosaur deck because it doesn’t defend very well. On the other hand, Carrion Call is quite good in the infect matchup.
My pick: Carrion Call
Pack 2 pick 8:
Horizon Spellbomb would solidify the deck’s ability to splash white, but the cost is significant when having to take it over a Neurok Replica especially considering that we don’t even have a card to splash yet. The Replica is excellent in this archetype because the deck needs good two/three-mana creatures that won’t die easily while also providing a very useful utility ability.
My pick: Neurok Replica
Pack 2 pick 9:
Between Fuel for the Cause and Steel Sabotage we have enough counters to deal with artifacts while Flight Spellbomb makes Trinket Mage good if it wheels in addition to making it much harder for flyers to kill us.
My pick: Flight Spellbomb
Pack 2 pick 10:
We saw a few living weapon equipment cards to warrant the inclusion of Tel-Jilad Defiance in the maindeck.
My pick: Tel-Jilad Defiance
Pack 2 pick 11:
Unfortunately the Wall of Tanglecord didn’t wheel, which leaves a Turn Aside for the sideboard against decks with a lot of removal.
My pick: Turn Aside
Pack 2 pick 12:
My pick: Razorfield Thresher
Pack 2 pick 13:
My pick: Steady Progress
Pack 2 pick 14:
My pick: Melt Terrain
Pack 2 pick 15:
The second pack was slightly better than the first and really filled out the middle of the curve which is good because we won’t have to put much priority into bad three-mana creatures like Snapsail Glider when considering them versus fatties like Alpha Tyrranax.
Pack 3 pick 1:
Razor Hippogriff is quite good but too color-intensive to splash reliably which leaves Sky-Eel School and Sylvok Replica to choose from. Sky-Eel School would be better in any other color combination but green gives access to a lot of good expensive creatures, and the cheaper Sylvok Replica ends up becoming more important (especially when considering that we don’t have much removal).
My pick: [draft]Sylvok Replica[/draft]
Pack 3 pick 2:
It’s unlikely that Darksteel axe is going to make out Fangren Marauder and company better while Soliton makes Heavy Arbalest insane.
My pick: Soliton
Pack 3 pick 3:
Prototype Portal is slow and will be clunky in this deck even though there are a number of good cards to imprint (Perilous Myr, three Replicas, Pierce Strider, Flight Spellbomb, and Tumble Magnet). A second Soliton would be good but it’s quite possible that it will wheel while last pack demonstrated that Trinket Mage won’t wheel. At the moment we only have one Flight Spellbomb to combo with the Mage, but we should be able to pick up more before this pack is finished.
My pick: Trinket Mage
Pack 3 pick 4:
Thrummingbird rarely works out and even though we have a Vedalken Anatomist and a Tumble Magnet that would directly benefit from having in on the Battlefield, the cards rarely come together and stick. A second Flight Spellbomb is the best choice because of the Trinket Mage we picked up from last pick.
My pick: Flight Spellbomb
Pack 3 pick 5:
Bonds of Quicksilver is a fine sideboard card against problematic creatures like the Kuldotha Phoenix that we passed earlier, but it’s likely that one will wheel. A mana myr will most helpful because the deck’s curve ends at six and could use the one-turn acceleration in addition to providing another body to take advantage of with Heavy Arbalest.
My pick: Gold Myr
Pack 3 pick 6:
Even though we have a Trinket Mage, Accorder’s Shield doesn’t benefit the deck if it’s drawn naturally because it takes so much mana to utilize with marginal returns before turn seven when it’s equipped to a dinosaur. Wall of Tanglecord is the exact opposite and benefits the deck greatly in the early game.
My pick: Wall of Tanglecord
Pack 3 pick 7:
Lifesmith is not ideal in most matchups because it’s not necessary except against very aggressive decks where life-gain is needed to put you in the position of being able to attack well.
My pick: Thrummingbird
Pack 3 pick 8:
Golden Urn provides very little benefit even with Trinket Mage or when played on turn one and is below the value of a card. A second Tel-Jilad Defiance is excessive because it’s unlikely that we’ll play against a deck with over eighteen artifacts. Accorder’s Shield is the only other card that we would potentially play.
My pick: Accorders Shield
Pack 3 pick 9:
My pick: Flight Spellbomb
Pack 3 pick 10:
My pick: Strider Harness
Pack 3 pick 11:
My pick: Bonds of Quicksilver
Pack 3 pick 12:
My pick: Moriok Reaver
Pack 3 pick 13:
My pick: Furnace Celebration
Pack 3 pick 14:
My pick: whitesuns Passage
Pack 3 pick 15:
The last pack was quite mediocre because we only picked up average low-mana creatures and no dinosaurs. As is, we’re a bit short on large creatures to win with, although we have enough mid-range value creatures to not have to worry about having only a few large creatures.
The following twenty-one cards are definitely making it into the deck:
There aren’t enough mana Myr/Spellbombs to justify sixteen lands which means that there will be seventeen to accommodate the deck’s average curve. With seventeen lands, there are only two additional slots to fill with the following group of cards:
We can immediately eliminate Turn Aside, Pistus Strike, and Carrion Call because those are only good in specific matchups and not great in the maindeck. Other cards like Thrummingbird and Steady Progress are just bad because they don’t have synergy with any spells in the deck.
Looking at the list it’s easy to see that the deck may have trouble closing games because it doesn’t have very many large creatures. Unfortunately Razorfield Thresher isn’t good enough to play because it’s too expensive and only has four toughness which means it will be easy to kill simply by double-blocking with two average creatures. Another problem with the threat density is that games will drag on and longer than average which makes Fuel for the Cause a good choice to play.
The last slot is between Accorder’s Shield, Flight Spellbomb (number three), Tel-Jilad Defiance, Strider Harness, and Bonds of Quicksilver. Accorder’s Shield and Flight Spellbomb make the Trinket Mage more consistent because it’s less likely that there won’t be an artifact to fetch out, however both of the cards just don’t have much impact on a game. The deck needs a card that does something and neither card is strong enough. Accorder’s Shield would be fine if there were more large creatures to force through damage, but there aren’t. Tel-Jilad Defiance is another weak option because it’s just like Flight Spellbomb and doesn’t have a major impact on most games. Strider Harness suffers from the same problems that plague Accorder’s Shield. The only card left is Bonds of Quicksilver which is fine, but not spectacular. The major problem with Bonds is that it does very little on an untapped creature, but fortunately this deck is more of a defensive deck and cards like Wall of Tanglecord increase the likeliness that most creatures will be tapped. There are other cards that work well with Bonds of Quicksilver like Tumble Magnet and Vedalken Anatomist which makes the removal aura fine.
Most of the deck’s colored spells are blue-based by a significant margin which means that there should be more Islands than Forests.
Unfortunately there aren’t any rounds to view from this draft. From what I remember the deck made it to round three, but I don’t recall what happened afterwards.
Rot Wolf was fine simply as a pseudo-Phyrexian Rager and was especially good at one point when it got a Heavy Arbalest strapped to it.
Vedalken Anatomist was quite good whenever we drew it because most of the games went on for a long time.
Melira’s Keepers was fine because it acted as a creature that was moderately difficult to get through and would have given an infect deck a lot of trouble if the game wasn’t a blowout.
Darksteel Plate was good because we didn’t play against infect and there were large creatures to equip it to. In one game it got equipped to a Fangren Marauder, which was enough offense to win by itself.
Bonds of Quicksilver was fine; we drew it once and put it on a creature that got tapped by Tumble Magnet.
Fuel for the Cause was also fine because the games went on for longer than average.
The biggest problem with the deck was its threat density which was quite low; the deck was effectively a dinosaur deck but without the dinosaurs. A more comfortable number of large creatures would have been at least four which would have made winning games much easier.