Pack 1 pick 1:
Tezzeret is very good and one of the best cards in the set. It’s unfortunate that there are so many other good black cards in the pack (Phyrexian Vatmother and Go for the Throat) because it will negatively impact our second pack. However, we can cut either black or blue hard in the first two packs to maximize our third pack.
My pick: Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas
Pack 1 pick 2:
Fangren Marauder is better than Lumengrid Gargoyle because it’s harder to kill (non-artifact) while also having a very useful ability. We don’t want to take a green card at this point because it’s unlikely we’d play it (because we want to be blue/black) which makes the Gargoyle a better choice in addition to it working with Tezzeret.
My pick: Lumengrid Gargoyle
Pack 1 pick 3:
Divine Offering and Blisterstick Shaman are both decent cards and seeing them still in the pack along with a Fangren Marauder shouldn’t be anything to worry about (seeing a lot of good cards that aren’t blue/black) because the power-level of the set is relatively high. Flayer Husk is fine but it doesn’t do very much unlike Nested Ghoul which is quite good because it’s a walking two-for-one.
My pick: Nested Ghoul
Pack 1 pick 4:
White appears to be open but it’s difficult to tell what else is. Myr Sire, Plague Myr, and Copper Carapace are our options, but it’s unlikely that we’ll play Copper Carapace because it’s not good with expensive spells. Plague Myr is the best option between the two Myr because it’s pure acceleration whereas Myr Sire only delays the opponent’s creatures.
My pick: Plague Myr
Pack 1 pick 5:
Piston Sledge is similar to Copper Carapace because it’s best with small aggressive creatures that can end the game quickly and not in a deck that intends to play for a long-game. There’s not much else in the pick left for us except a second Nested Ghoul which is still good.
My pick: Nested Ghoul
Pack 1 pick 6:
We’ve seen a steady stream of black during these last picks which is a good sign for us, although the lack of blue is somewhat troubling. Nevertheless, we can simply draft a heavy-black deck and splash whatever minor amount of blue cards that we pick up. We don’t have any removal yet which makes Virulent Wound a bit more valuable than it normally would, although its effect is rather minor especially in a non-infect deck. Dross Ripper is also not very exciting but it’s likely to do more against the opponent (except vs. infect) because it’s a medium-sized creature that gets better as the game progresses.
My pick: Dross Ripper
Pack 1 pick 7:
It seems clear that blue and infect are being drafted in front of us in addition to the premium red removal spells which leaves us with black and whatever else we can get from pack two. The two choices here are Spin Engine and Rusted Slasher, although Spin Engine is off-color and inferior because of that (and it would only be considered for curving purposes). It’s still very early in the draft and unclear as to what area, if any, the curve will need support which means that we should take the best card.
My pick: Rusted Slasher
Pack 1 pick 8:
Bladed Sentinel is an option but it’s very weak as an off-color construct. The remaining options are all similar except for Fuel for the Cause which is a fine sideboard card against slower decks.
My pick: Fuel for the Cause
Pack 1 pick 9:
Mirran Spy is mediocre at best because it’s so hard to get value from its utility outside of untapping mana myr to reduce the cost of artifacts during turns where you’re playing multiple spells. The remaining 1/3 flyer body is also underwhelming and doesn’t compensate enough to make it worth playing in the maindeck. The last option is Flayer Husk which isn’t great with so many expensive creatures, but it does make Tezzeret better in addition to creating some breathing room during the early stages of the game against aggressive strategies.
My pick: Flayer Husk
Pack 1 pick 10:
If we have Tezzeret we want to play as many artifacts as possible which means Razorfield Rhino will be a 6/6 in most games (i.e. playable).
My pick: Razorfield Rhino
Pack 1 pick 11:
My pick: Spire Serpent
Pack 1 pick 12:
My pick: Caustic Hound
Pack 1 pick 13:
My pick: Horrifying Revelation
Pack 1 pick 14:
My pick: Horrifying Revelation
Pack 1 pick 15:
The first pack was only okay even though we opened Tezzeret and picked up two Nested Ghouls mainly because we saw no good removal and were completely cut from blue. The second pack should have a lot more blue as a result in addition to a decent amount of black which will be good for us.
Pack 2 pick 1:
Grasp of Darkness is quite good and while Rust Tick provides a longer-lasting (more narrow) effect, it’s simply not as efficient as Grasp which deals with almost everything.
My pick: Grasp of Darkness
Pack 2 pick 2:
This pick is far less interesting because it’s Rust Tick versus nothing. Chrome Steed is fine but it’s replaceable by a lot of spells in blue/black whereas Rust Tick is a solid removal creature.
My pick: Rust Tick
Pack 2 pick 3:
Fume Spitter is similar to Virulent Wound except slightly better because it has more usefulness regarding blocking before giving a creature -1/-1. However Fume Spitter is still only providing a minor effect that generally isn’t worth the one-card investment. The other options are Chrome Steed and Necrogen Scudder. Necrogen Scudder is a better card in most decks because a three-mana 3/3 flyer is better than a four-mana creature that might be a 4/4. However, the deck needs a high number of artifacts to maximize Tezzeret’s value which makes Chrome Steed more useful overall even though it’s not as powerful in a vacuum.
My pick: Chrome Steed
Pack 2 pick 4:
Myr Galvanizer isn’t very good with only a few other myr; it needs a sources like Myrsmith/Myr Turbine to be good. The only other option is Moriok Replica which is fine because it can trade early if necessary while being a source of card advantage later on.
My pick: Moriok Replica
Pack 2 pick 5:
Darksteel Juggernaut should be good in the deck because it will be playing a lot of artifacts; however the “must attack” clause isn’t good in our controlling deck. A better option is Trinket Mage because it fits better into the deck’s curve and will be a source of card advantage.
My pick: Trinket Mage
Pack 2 pick 6:
We already have a Fuel for the Cause which makes Stoic Rebuttal less good and that leaves us with Clone Shell. Moriok Reaver fits well into the deck’s curve but it doesn’t have any synergy with Tezzeret or the metalcraft creatures. Clone Shell is also a better creature overall given enough time because it can potentially be a two-for-one (and there are enough large creatures in the deck to make it moderately good).
My pick: Clone Shell
Pack 2 pick 7:
It’s unlikely that we’ll play Sylvok Lifestaff even with a Trinket Mage because it doesn’t do enough in the matchup that we’ll need help with (infect). Liquimetal Coating also doesn’t help much against infect, but it does combo with Rust Tick and Rusted Slasher in addition to whatever else we pick up (although it’s also unlikely that we’ll play it). The other two options (Auriok Replica and Trigon of Mending) are nearly useless.
My pick: Liquimetal Coating
Pack 2 pick 8:
An off-color Saberclaw Golem is quite weak and unnecessary whereas a Nihil Spellbomb will be good because we have a Trinket Mage.
My pick: Nihil Spellbomb
Pack 2 pick 9:
Our pack came back and with some good cards still left in it. A second Rust Tick makes it more likely that we’ll play the Liquimetal Coating, although that will only happen if we end up short on real playables.
My pick: Rust Tick
Pack 2 pick 10:
Neurok Invisimancer is mediocre in this deck because it’s mostly black and defensive whereas the Invisimancer is better suited in an aggressive, blue-based deck. Golem Foundry is too inconsistent in most decks and really needs proliferate effects to be good enough to play which leaves us with Golden Urn.
My pick: Golden Urn
Pack 2 pick 11:
My pick: Necrogen Scudder
Pack 2 pick 12:
My pick: Blistergrub
Pack 2 pick 13:
My pick: Golem Foundry
Pack 2 pick 14:
My pick: Twisted Image
Pack 2 pick 15:
The second pack was quite good and provided us with a moderate amount of removal to support the high-mana spells that we picked in pack one. Unfortunately blue wasn’t as open in the pack as we had hoped, but that ended up not mattering because of how deep black/Artifacts were.
Pack 3 pick 1:
Wraths are always good.
My pick: Contagion Engine
Pack 3 pick 2:
Instill Infection is the best card that gives a -1/-1 effect because it cycles, but it’s not the best card in this pick because there’s also a Sky-Eel School and Trinket Mage. The Trinket Mage will be good except that we also need to run enough good one-mana artifacts to support the vanilla 2/2 which is difficult with two. Sky-Eel School is the best option because it is a creature with excellent stats that comes with a relatively good utility and needs no other cards to support it.
My pick: Sky-Eel School
Pack 3 pick 3:
Contagion Clasp and Grasp of Darkness are both quite close because we’re already playing black which makes the open-endedness of Contagion Clasp mute and turns the central issue into efficiency versus being an artifact. Contagion Clasp is less efficient and interacts with nothing that we want to play (yes, I _know_ we have a Golem Foundry) but brings us closer to the threshold of artifacts necessary for the deck to run smoothly while Grasp of Darkness is the opposite. There are only thirteen artifacts in the deck that we [want/somewhat want] to run which means that we should take the Clasp.
My pick: Contagion Clasp
Pack 3 pick 4:
This pick is rather weak with the options being Bleak Coven Vampires, Strider Harness, and Bladed Pinions. The Vampires isn’t a good option because it’s five mana (a slot occupied by five better spells) and not an artifact.
I took Strider Harness even though the haste ability wasn’t very useful but should have taken Bladed Pinions because First Strike is much better against Infect.
My pick: Strider Harness
Pack 3 pick 5:
There are a few options here between Trigon of Infestation, Necrogen Scudder, Vedalken Certarch, and Neurok Replica. The Certarch would be good in the deck except for the fact that there were a lot of -1/-1 cards floating around in addition to the artifact-count not being quite high enough to risk having it being a vanilla 1/1. A second Necrogen Scudder doesn’t seem necessary because it doesn’t have as much synergy with the deck as Neurok Replica and the Trigon, and simply trading it away at first chance doesn’t give us much value (since we also lose life). The Trigon could be quite devastating even though we can’t recharge it because of the Contagion Clasp/Engine, but it’s really slow which will cause the deck to stumble too much. Neurok Replica is the best choice because it’s a cheap, good defensively, an artifact, and has a good ability.
My pick: Neurok Replica
Pack 3 pick 6:
Darksteel Sentinel is usually good but it’s rather slow in our deck especially when considering the other high-mana spells in addition to the lack of mana myr. Nihil Spellbomb is a better choice because it will allow us to cut the Flayer Husk and just run the other Nihil Spellbomb to support the Trinket Mage.
My pick: Nihil Spellbomb
Pack 3 pick 7:
There’s not much in this pick except for some random creatures and an Accorder’s Shield (it’s unlikely that we’ll play anything here). However Accorder’s Shield may be useful if we end up playing against a deck that also has a lot of flyers because it will allow us to attack/block more easily.
My pick: Accorders Shield
Pack 3 pick 8:
My pick: Halt Order
Pack 3 pick 9:
My pick: Vector Asp
Pack 3 pick 10:
My pick: Soliton
Pack 3 pick 11:
My pick: Neurok Replica
Pack 3 pick 12:
My pick: Razorfield Thresher
Pack 3 pick 13:
My pick: Necrogen Scudder
Pack 3 pick 14:
My pick: Dross Hopper
Pack 3 pick 15:
The last pack was good (even though a few of our picks whiffed) because we got multiple good picks on the wheel and opened a Contagion Engine. Overall the draft went quite well and we’ll be able to build a deck that should be able to 3-0 the pod without too much difficulty because of the number of high-power cards in it.
The best cards include the following twenty-one (thirteen artifacts):
Clone Shell is usually on the fringe of playables mostly due to a low creature count and/or a below average creature quality, however in this deck most of the creatures are solid (and with Rusted Slasher the Clone Shell gets a lot better). Nihil Spellbomb is also good in the deck because of Rusted Slasher, [card]Trinket Mage[/card], and the two bombs that the deck is searching for ([card tezzeret, agent of bolas]Tezzeret[/card] and Contagion Engine).
The following groups of cards are what we have to choose from to fill the remaining two slots. This deck is going to run seventeen lands despite having six spells that cost at least five mana because of the Spellbombs, Plague Myr, and Moriok Replica which should be enough to find lands when needed:
This cards in the group above are bad for various reasons ranging from being inferior to the options below (Halt Order < Fuel for the Cause) to just being bad (Golden Urn). The better cards that we should be looking at are in the following group:
The deck has fifteen creatures in it already which is good, but there aren’t many that handle combat well that cost less than five mana. Necrogen Scudder is good but isn’t the creature that you want to trade away, and it would be good to have more creatures of similar size. Chrome Steed and Dross Ripper are options, although the former isn’t as consistent because the artifact count is only at thirteen at the moment (fourteen including the Steed). Liquimetal Coating would help alleviate the low-artifact concern better than any other artifact but it’s not very useful with the rest of the decks cards (Rusted Slasher and two Rust Ticks) which means that it would be a mulligan a lot of the time. The case with Golem Foundry and Razorfield Rhino is similar to that of Chrome Steed, but the two cards are much slower than the four-drop and thus inferior. The last option is Flayer Husk which makes the early-game creatures better at blocking in addition to having a moderately low equip cost which should be fine for what we’re trying to have the two slots do. Other cards like Accorder’s Shield (low impact) and Fuel for the Cause aren’t suitable for the deck’s curve because it’s too high to consider for the maindeck.
Round 1: Green/red Dinosaurs
Game one, we start off slowly with Nihil Spellbomb and Rust Tick while Evil accelerates into Blade-Tribe Berserkers and Molder Beast with a Sphere of the Suns. A Contagion Clasp turns the Berserkers into a 2/2 which allows our Tick to block it which gives us more time to develop our board while Evil can’t follow up with more pressure and only has a Viridian Revel. We both stall on mana although we do summon a Plague Myr and then use Rust Tick to tap down the one-counter Sphere after summoning a Nested Ghoul. Evil isn’t worried about the Ghoul and bashes with his Berserkers and Beast. Shatter from Evil means we take exactly lethal.
Game two, Evil starts off with a Carapace Forger (which gets held off by a Trinket Mage) and Ogre Resister which gets a few hits in after using Turn to Slag to deal with our Sky-Eel School. Nested Ghoul stops the ground assault, but Evil finds a Kuldotha Phoenix to go over the top with in addition to sending the Carapace Forger (which trades with the Trinket Mage). Contagion Clasp shrinks the Phoenix to a 2/2. Evil uses Shatter to kill the Clasp and keep his Phoenix around as he attacks us down to four; however he’s out of gas at this point. We still have a lot of options and play both Tezzeret (+1, Rust Tick) and Necrogen Scudder (going to one life). From there Evil doesn’t find anything to finish us off before Tezzeret can drain him and loses.
Game three starts off with us mulliganing to six while Evil accelerates into a turn three Blade-Tribe Berserkers off of a Sphere of the Suns, which we immediately trade for with a Necrogen Scudder. Evil doesn’t have anything very good on his next turn and can only summon a Carapace Forger while we play Tezzeret (+1, Nihil Spellbomb). Evil attacks the Tezzeret down to two and summons a Barrage Ogre while we summon a Rust Tick and make a 5/5 Nihil Spellbomb. The Barrage Ogre finishes off Tezzeret after Evil uses his last counter from the Sphere to summon a Fangren Marauder while we tap out for a Dross Ripper. Evil stops attacking and summons a Molder Beast while we play a Contagion Engine to shrink his board and wrath (except the Marauder) it a turn later. From there we win easily.
Round 2: Blue/white
We start off with Trinket Mage (Nihil Spellbomb) which gets answered back by a Vedalken Anatomist. We don’t have removal for the Anatomist yet and have to power through it with lots of creatures, so we summon a Dross Ripper. Evil has to use his turn tapping down out Ripper and we follow up with a Sky-Eel School to put us farther ahead. Evil has a Perilous Myr to pair with his Anatomist which kills the Sky-Eel School but that doesn’t stop us from playing creatures as we summon a Clone Shell (Neurok Replica) and a Nihil Spellbomb. Evil passes with six mana open while we bash him down to ten after he shrinks the Ripper to a 1/1 and then cast Contagion Engine. Evil summons a Tine Shrike and kills the Ripper when we go to attack while also blocking the Trinket Mage. Afterwards we kill the Anatomist. Evil has his mana free now and uses it to summon a Scrapdiver Serpent which he uses to block our Clone Shell after we play Tezzeret, animate our Necrogen Spellbomb, attack with it, and summon a Necrogen Scudder after combat with Evil at three life. Volition Reins from Evil steals the Neurok Replica as he kills Tezzeret with the Scrapdiver Serpent; he uses the Replica to stall our attack by blocking/bouncing our Spellbomb/Scudder. We replay the Scudder and a Nested Ghoul which is enough to take the game.
Round 3: Black/green Infect
We start off with an aggressive hand of Flayer Husk into double Necrogen Scudder, but Evil stops our air force with a Blightwidow to accompany his Trigon of Rage. The Tick taps down the Trigon which Evil uses to pump the Blightwidow and we opt to not trade with our 4/4 Scudder. Evil finds a Bladed Pinions to make his Blightwidow the actual show-stopper. Our draws are rather mediocre from that point while Evil has a normal infect draw involving Tel-Jilad Fallen, Flensermite, and Corpse Cur to grind us out in combination with Bladed Pinions and a Viridian Claw.
Most of the spells in the maindeck are commonly known as solid and don’t need to be talked about, however there are still a few good points to make.
Tezzeret is very good. If you haven’t played with/against him and are in the position to take him in a draft, I suggest doing exactly that.
Nihil Spellbomb was never bad because it gave the deck ways to use its extra mana and dig towards its bombs when Tezzeret wasn’t in play. At other times it turned into a 5/5 Oculus.
Flayer Husk performed slightly above expectations. The equip cost of two wasn’t much of a concern because of Living Weapon which made it less of a tempo drain.
Lumengrid Gargoyle was fine, but it felt like it wanted to be the card that I played because of how vulnerable it is (as an artifact creature) in relation to its power level.
Necrogen Scudder was quite effective and gave the deck a way to put on considerable pressure if needed.