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According to Webster – Rise of the Eldrazi Draft #6

 

Pack 1 pick 1:

 

There are some decent cards here, but only two stand out: Overgrown Battlement and Hada Spy Patrol. Some people may question why Boar Umbra isn’t immediately touted as one of the top picks. Boar Umbra will win games at times, and quickly. When it’s strapped onto a flyer or Aura Gnarlid, the game will be over _very_ shortly. However, the problem that Boar Umbra has is that if it goes onto a normal ground-pounder, then it has to get through many problematic cards that are commonly played, like Kozilek’s Predator, Dread Drone, Emrakul’s Hatcher, and every other card that makes Eldrazi Spawn tokens in addition to Regress, Narcolepsy, and Guard Duty; but enough about Boar Umbra. Overgrown Battlement is one of the key cards in any Green deck because it is the cheapest common accelerator that allows Ondu Giant, Kozilek’s Predator, and ultimately Ulamog’s Crusher to be played earlier than they normally would. Hada Spy Patrol is the other option and a fine one at that; it’s an excellent place to start a Blue-based leveler deck. Between the Spy Patrol and Battlement, the pick is really close because of a few factors. The specific archetypes that the Battlement would allow us to go into is Green/Red or Green/Black (either ramp or tokens) while the Spy Patrol would let us go into a Blue/White or Blue/Black leveler deck. If we take the Battlement, then it’s more likely that we’ll be able to recover more easily than if we take the Spy Patrol because Red/Green/Black overlap quite heavily. Cards that go into token decks tend to get passed up for other cards of their color. Black/Red tokens is also a strong archetype and if we find ourselves in Black with Green drying up, then going into Red won’t be difficult.

My pick: Overgrown Battlement

Pack 1 pick 2:

 

We’d be in good shape regardless of which option we went with last pick. There’s a common missing over Joraga Treespeaker and Mammoth Umbra which means that it’s likely a removal spell (probably Vendetta which shows up next to Growth Spasm often). Growth Spasm is good, but like Ondu Giant it is outclassed by the cheaper acceleration. Joraga Treespeaker is basically Sol Ring, and if you’ve ever played with that in a Cube draft (a terrible mistake for Cube construction), you know just how powerful it can be on turn one in a deck with lots of expensive spells.

My pick: Joraga Treespeaker

Pack 1 pick 3:

 

Explosive Revelation is a bit overrated; I’ve voiced my distaste for the card multiple times. It’s very swingy because there’s a degree of uncertainty when the card is played. “Do I whiff or do I kill your three-toughness dude?” “Great, I wasted my turn!” “Oh look, not only do I kill your Sphinx of Magosi _AND_ put ten lands on the bottom of my deck, I also get my Conquering Manticore.” Despite the fact that Green traditionally has a higher curve than the other colors, Explosive Revelation is simply too much of a commitment to Red to justify taking this early. On the other hand, Growth Spasm is exactly what we want because it accelerates us and will allow for splashing sweet cards like Shared Discovery.

My pick: Growth Spasm

Pack 1 pick 4:

 

Ulamog’s Crusher is the best common high-end creature for a ramp deck because very few removal spells deal with it and it is at least a three-for-one if the opponent can deal with it immediately in combat. If a Crusher is able to attack more than once, winning becomes very difficult for the opponent because they are set so far back by the Annihilator.

My pick: Ulamogs Crusher

Pack 1 pick 5:

 

Pennon Blade and Dread Drone are the options. Pennon Blade is slow, but definitely has its merits in a token deck, especially against a deck with a lot of targeted removal. We’re not quite at the point of being a token deck yet. We’re a ramp deck, and yes, there is a difference. Token decks try to keep the tokens in play and utilize them with cards like Lavafume Invoker, Broodwarden, Raid Bombardment, and Bloodthrone Vampire, whereas ramp decks are more focused on playing cards that put extra mana into play. To be fair, that does overlap slightly with tokens because they are non-permanent acceleration. Ramp decks won’t necessarily have a use for tokens beyond using them to accelerate plays. Both Dread Drone and Pennon Blade go into a token deck, but the Drone overlaps into a ramp deck because you get a 4/1 to play on five mana and can then summon an Ulamog’s Crusher on the next turn. The problem with the Dread Drone is that it’s Black, and if our suspicion about the drafter to our right taking Vendetta P1P1 is correct, we are walking a dangerous path and will likely have a removal-light deck. It very possible for two adjacent drafters to be in Black because the archetype-specific cards won’t overlap (ex: Zulaport Enforcer vs. Bloodthrone Vampire), but the removal will get snatched up by the person on the right leaving the person on the left (us) out of luck.

My pick: Dread Drone

Pack 1 pick 6:

 

There’s an equal amount of Black and Red here, but unfortunately no Green whatsoever, which is a bad sign. Splinter Twin is okay, but hard to make good because you really want to put it on a creature with a CIP-ability (like Sea Gate Oracle or Cadaver Imp) to get maximum value out of it. Spawning Breath is also fine but rather limited in its uses because it’s only one damage; it’s mainly good against Blue/White/Black. Gloomhunter is “fine”, but doesn’t really help the ramp archetype because it neither ramps nor puts a large body into play. Cadaver Imp is better than Gloomhunter because it helps the attrition-heavy matchups. Evolving Wilds is the last option and would allow us to easily splash a card like Heat Ray/Narcolepsy with the help of the Growth Spasm along with whatever other fixers that we pick up. Overall, Cadaver Imp is going to be the best choice because it creates a better signal for pack two. The Evolving Wilds isn’t very important because we’re Green (and thus have access to Ondu Giant/Growth Spasm for fixers in addition to Prophetic Prism/Evolving Wilds) and already have one Growth Spasm but no cards that we want to splash.

My pick: Cadaver Imp

Pack 1 pick 7:

 

Shared Discovery is a good way for a token deck (especially a Green-based one) to get far ahead. However it’s quite easy to pick up two in picks ten-fifteen and we should focus on alternatives that we are less likely to see later on, such as Shrivel.

My pick: Shrivel

Pack 1 pick 8:

 

Stomper Cub hopefully won’t see any action, but it’s still better to take than a non-Green card because it sends a better signal and is still playable in an emergency.

My pick: Stomper Cub

Pack 1 pick 9:

 

Prey’s Vengeance is a very mediocre trick whereas Perish the Thought has a chance of being a good sideboard card against decks that have high curves.

My pick: Perish the Thought

Pack 1 pick 10:

 

My pick: Raid Bombardment

Pack 1 pick 11:

 

My pick: Irresistible Prey

Pack 1 pick 12:

 

My pick: Fleeting Distraction

Pack 1 pick 13:

 

My pick: Lay Bare

Pack 1 pick 14:

 

My pick: Goblin Tunneler

Pack 1 pick 15:
Swamp

The pack started off well enough with solid Green picks, but tapered off with little to replace it. We never really got situated with a second color, although we do have a Cadaver Imp and Dread Drone in Black and a Raid Bombardment in Red. We should expect to see more Black than Red in the next pack and a healthy amount of Green (assuming the people to our left don’t like two servings of Boar Umbra with their sliced bread).

Pack 2 pick 1:

 

Well then. No good Green or Black cards and we open a dragon. The Manticore is a trap because we’re unlikely to get the Red support that we need from this pack to sufficiently fill out our deck. However, we can try to run with a heavy Green deck and splash whatever Black removal we see along with the Dread Drone or a Red Splash with the Manticore plus removal. The next best cards in the pack are Forked Bolt and Zulaport Enforcer, both of which are completely underwhelming compared to the Conquering Manticore to justify taking over it.

My pick: Conquering Manticore

Pack 2 pick 2:

 

The decision between Overgrown Battlement and Emrakul’s Hatcher is similar to the Treespeaker/Spasm pick from pack one; the Battlement is a cheaper permanent accelerant. While we do have one Raid Bombardment, we are still looking like a ramp deck and not a token deck.

My pick: Overgrown Battlement

Pack 2 pick 3:

 

Explosive Revelation would help us solidify a position in Red to play the Conquering Manticore, but would still be an underwhelming pick for pack three especially after passing the first Emrakul’s Hatcher and the Forked Bolt. Adding another double-Red spell to our pile will just make us want to play a larger amount of Red which is going to be difficult to get. A better plan would be to take the Dread Drone (because we know that Black is going to be more open than Red) and only take the premium Red cards that we see along with all of the Green fixing so we can “easily” splash the Conquering Manticore plus whatever other Red cards we take.

My pick: Dread Drone

Pack 2 pick 4:

 

Evolving Wilds and Dreamstone Hedron are the two good cards for our deck. One of the classic problems with ramp decks is when they don’t draw the proper ratio of ramp spells and fatties. Dreamstone Hedron helps solve that problem by acting as mana or drawing into more threats. Evolving Wilds would help with splashing the Manticore, but it is the worst mana fixer because it goes into the land category. To further explain, a ramp deck is more likely to play only seventeen lands because many of its spells are focused on giving you mana (Overgrown Battlement, Growth Spasm, Ondu Giant, etc.). When you start adding lands that slow the deck down, then you reduce the effectiveness of a deck’s ability to ramp out big creatures.

My pick: Dreamstone Hedron

Pack 2 pick 5:

 

Wildheart Invoker and Rapacious One are the two options. Currently we have no way to take advantage of Eldrazi Spawn besides the Raid Bombardment which makes Rapacious one less useful whereas Wildheart Invoker makes our Dread Drones and other creatures much more threatening.

My pick: Wildheart Invoker

Pack 2 pick 6:

 

It’s good to have removal, though we desperately need more.

My pick: Induce Despair

Pack 2 pick 7:

 

Bala Ged Scorpion provides better support than Gloomhunter because it can kill of the levelers that we passed in addition to the Guard Gomazoa whereas the Gloomhunter only attacks and trades with Skywatcher Adept.

My pick: Bala Ged Scorpion

Pack 2 pick 8:

 

Another piece of removal is nice. Hopefully the amount of Black cards here doesn’t reduce the amount that we see in the last pack.

My pick: Last Kiss

Pack 2 pick 9:

 

We already have a Perish the Thought which makes Inquisition of Kozilek less useful (except against a leveler deck). Ancient Stirrings can get a land to help fix our mana or find a Dreamstone Hedron/Ulamog’s Crusher whereas Essence Feed (in addition to the two Dread Drones and Growth Spasm) will let us take advantage of any token cards that we pick up in the next pack as well as the Raid Bombardment that we already have.

My pick: Essence Feed

Pack 2 pick 10:

 

My pick: Escaped Null

Pack 2 pick 11:

 

My pick: Akoum Boulderfoot

Pack 2 pick 12:

 

My pick: Irresistible Prey

Pack 2 pick 13:

 

My pick: Daggerback Basilisk

Pack 2 pick 14:

 

My pick: Souls Attendant

Pack 2 pick 15:

Mountain 

The second pack was decent, although opening Conquering Manticore was a mixed blessing. Personally I would have preferred Hellion Eruption because it’s easier on the mana. Black was wide open just like expected with good Green throughout. Pack three should be the same as pack one, but with more Green than anything. We passed a moderate amount of Red which means it’s unlikely we’ll see anything after the first few picks. It’s also unlikely that we’ll see any Black removal. We should prioritize color-fixing to ensure we’re able to play both Red and Black.

Pack 3 pick 1:

 

The only thing that It That Betrays is the idea that it’s a bargain; twelve mana ain’t cheap.

My pick: Growth Spasm

Pack 3 pick 2:

 

Lust for War is good (especially when there are a bunch of Walls and tokens to have the offending creature run into) and provides a different way for us to race, which could be more difficult for the opponent to deal with; Lust for War is better than a Wildheart Invoker against a deck with lots of removal for example. Another point to consider is the effectiveness of the Induce Despair that we have. We’re low on creatures and need more to make the Induce consistent; Wildheart Invoker would help in that regard.

I went back to this pick a few times and think that taking the Lust for War would have been a better choice because it can win games that few other cards can. Signals don’t matter anymore because it’s pack three. The pick is close, but Lust for War seems like it’s a bit better.

My pick: Wildheart Invoker

Pack 3 pick 3:

 

There are a few cards here: Nest Invader, Broodwarden, and Bloodthrone Vampire. Nest Invader is the weakest of the three because it doesn’t really do anything compared to the other two. Bloodthrone Vampire and Broodwarden interact with the rest of the token-generating cards in a similar fashion except that Broodwarden does everything better. The Vampire turns every Spawn token into two damage once and is a 1/1 naturally whereas the Broodwarden turns every Spawn token into two damage each turn and is a 4/4. The upside of Bloodthrone Vampire is that it can do more damage early, especially when considering where the token-generating cards fit into the deck’s curve (ex. Essence Feed). There are other niche upsides to the Vampire. For example, Staggershock/Last Kiss/Domestication/Traitorous Instinct/Lust for War aren’t as effective when it’s in play. Despite the random upsides to the Bloodthrone Vampire, Broodwarden provides more value.

My pick: Broodwarden

Pack 3 pick 4:

 

One of the problems that ramp decks have is stabilizing against faster decks before they can win with their huge creatures; Jaddi Lifestrider helps in those situations. The other option is Emrakul’s Hatcher which would help make Raid Bombardment and Broodwarden better. Emrakul’s Hatcher has more synergy with the cards that we have already, but Jaddi Lifestrider adds more versatility. Both cards help stabilize against a more aggressive draw, but the Lifestrider will allow us to climb out of a hole and put us back into a position of being able to make better attacks because we won’t have to hold back as many creatures to defend against taking a few points of damage.

My pick: Jaddi Lifestrider

Pack 3 pick 5:

 

Sporecap Spider is a good sideboard card against aggressive decks because it blocks almost everything and is tough to get around. Lavafume Invoker is a better pick here because it fits well into the maindeck to work with the various token-generating cards.

My pick: Lavafume Invoker

Pack 3 pick 6:

 

This pack must have been insane when it was opened; there are still a lot of excellent cards left in the pack after having five cards taken from it. Ondu Giant is exactly what we’re looking for: more mana-fixing/ramp.

My pick: Ondu Giant

Pack 3 pick 7:

 

We’re light on fatties to accelerate into (though we do have a few Invokers also). Valakut Fireboar often underperforms outside of a deck with Goblin Tunneler/Distortion Strike. Hand of Emrakul is the only real option for us because Might of the Masses tends to not have enough impact on a game outside of a very aggressive draw.

My pick: Hand of Emrakul

Pack 3 pick 8:

 

Bloodrite Invoker is similar to Jaddi Lifestrider in that it adds versatility to a deck so it can come back from almost any board position.

My pick: Bloodrite Invoker

Pack 3 pick 9:

 

My pick: Deprive

Pack 3 pick 10:

 

My pick: Pathrazer of Ulamog

Pack 3 pick 11:

 

My pick: Luminous Wake

Pack 3 pick 12:

 

My pick: Hand of Emrakul

Pack 3 pick 13:

 

My pick: Eland Umbra

Pack 3 pick 14:

 

My pick: Phantasmal Abomination

Pack 3 pick 15:

Plains 

This draft was a bit shaky. While we did get a lot of good Green cards, our secondary color is lacking. We have almost no removal which will probably end up costing us a few games. Hopefully there isn’t more than one of those games in each round.

Deck:

 

This is the deck that was submitted for the draft, but it wasn’t built properly. I tried putting in the Red (Lavafume Invoker, Conquering Manticore, and Raid Bombardment), but couldn’t get the mana to work because there were too many Black cards (Cadaver Imp didn’t help the situation). As a result I abandoned the Red splash for a weaker two-color version with much better mana. In hindsight, a better option would have been to make the following changes:

Cut these:

 

for these:

 

After cutting some of the unnecessary Black cards, splashing Red becomes much easier. The biggest hang-up that I had was keeping the Cadaver Imp in the deck, which was unnecessary. Sure it’s a fine card, but being able to play Conquering Manticore would have been a better option. The idea behind running the Irresistible Prey is that it cycles, nothing more. It would be better to draw into a good threat sooner than run something mediocre like Daggerback Basilisk.

Round 1:

Game 1:
We win the roll and choose to play last, and our hand is pretty bad (Forest, Bala Ged Scorpion, Ondu Giant, Ulamog’s Crusher, 2 Growth Spasm, and Perish the Thought) and we’re forced to mulligan after Evil keeps his hand. Our new hand of six is playable, but only moderately (2 Forest, Swamp, Jaddi Lifestrider, Hand of Emrakul, and Growth Spasm). We breathe a sigh of relief as Evil plays a Forest, which means that we’ll most likely have time to develop our board instead of being overrun by Skywatcher Adepts. [d: Last Kiss] We mimic Evil by playing a Forest and pass while he plays a Swamp.

[d: Ondu Giant] Our hand is shaping up nicely as we play our second Forest and pass. Evil continues with his draw/go routine by playing a Swamp while [d: Swamp] we break the standstill with a Growth Spasm (fetching a Forest) after we play a Swamp. At four mana, Evil is able to summon a Wildheart Invoker after playing a Mountain. [d: Essence Feed] We’ve got a few options here and decide to summon the Jaddi Lifestrider and gain two instead of summoning the Ondu Giant to ensure we’ll have land to cast Essence Feed into Hand of Emrakul. The Lifestrider will be able to block the Invoker and save us a bunch of damage (gaining virtual life), so it won’t be a waste to throw it out there now when we can’t take advantage of it fully. We play our Forest and summon the Jaddi Lifestrider [G: 22].

Evil plays a Swamp and summons a Lord of Shatterskull Pass [d: Swamp] while we play our Swamp and point an Essence Feed at Evil’s face [G: 25, E: 17]. Then we use our four Eldrazi tokens to summon the Hand of Emrakul. Evil plays a Forest and levels his Lord (L1). Then he summons a Thought Gorger (5/5) discarding Swamp, Stomper Cub, and Mnemonic Wall. [d: Hand of Emrakul] We attack with the Hand (Evil annihilates a Forest) and trade it with the Lord of Shatterskull Pass (Evil also blocks with Thought Gorger). Afterwards, we summon the Ondu Giant and put a Swamp into play with it.

Evil summons a Beastbreaker of Bala Ged and levels it once (L1). Unfortunately we only have two mana open and can’t use Last Kiss to kill it. [d: Dread Drone] We summon the Drone and pass while Evil only levels his Beastbreaker again (L2) on his turn. [d: Forest] We play our Forest and summon the Hand of Emrakul (sacrificing one Spawn). Evil finds a Forest to level his Beastbreaker up twice (L4) tapping out. [d: Induce Despair] We don’t really want to trade our hand one-for-one here so we wait to draw a creature and make our Induce live.

Evil summons an Overgrown Battlement and passes. [d: Dread Drone] We attack with the Hand of Emrakul (Evil annihilates a Forest) and Evil double-blocks with his Thought Gorger and Beastbreaker. Before damage, we use the Induce to shrink his Beastbreaker (killing his Gorger would have been much worse because he’d draw three cards before damage and potentially find a trick to wreck our play). The Hand survives and we summon the Dread Drone. Evil doesn’t find anything to deal one more damage to the Hand and starts his turn. He plays a Mountain and kills both of our Dread Drones with a Forked Bolt before passing.

[d: Wildheart Invoker] We attack with the Lifestrider and Hand (Evil annihilates a Forest). Evil blocks the Lifestrider with his Overgrown Battlement [E: 10] and we use Last Kiss to finish the Vine Trellis off [G: 27]. Then we summon the Wildheart Invoker and Evil concedes on his turn.

Sideboard: -1 Bala Ged Scorpion; +1 Daggerback Basilisk.

Evil’s deck is pretty slow and full of fatty boom booms. Even though we saw Overgrown Battlement and Mnemonic Wall for the Scorpion to kill, there were many other big creatures that are going to cause trouble (Lord of Shatterskull Pass, Beastbreaker of Bala Ged, Thought Gorger, Wildheart Invoker, and Stomper Cub).

Game 2:

Evil chooses to draw and we are forced to mulligan again after being dealt a bad hand (Swamp, Overgrown Battlement, Cadaver Imp, Broodwarden, Ulamog’s Crusher, Hand of Emrakul, and Dreamstone Hedron). Evil keeps his hand while our hand of six is much better (Forest, Swamp, Ondu Giant, Hand of Emrakul, Growth Spasm, and Essence Feed). We play a Forest and pass while Evil does the same. [d: Forest] We play a Swamp on our turn and pass while Evil shows us that he does indeed have Islands in his deck as he plays one before casting a Prophetic Prism.

[d: Jaddi Lifestrider] We play our Forest and cast the Growth Spasm to put a Swamp into play while Evil only plays a Mountain before passing back. [d: Wildheart Invoker] We’ve got a few options here and decide to go for the Ondu Giant because of the possibility of summoning our Hand of Emrakul next turn if we can draw another land to cast Essence Feed first. The quick annihilator might be able to steal this game if Evil doesn’t have a solution to it. Evil foils our plans by playing a Swamp and summoning a Bala Ged Scorpion to kill our Spawn token.

[d: Forest] Our line of play is still good so we play our Forest and drain Evil with the Essence Feed [G: 23, E: 17]. Evil plays a second Mountain and casts a Kozilek’s Predator. [d: Overgrown Battlement] We summon the Battlement and Wildheart Invoker. Evil plays a Forest, summons his Lord of Shatterskull Pass, and levels it (L1).

[d: Cadaver Imp] We attack with the Wildheart Invoker and Evil blocks with his Kozilek’s Predator. Before damage we pump the Invoker (sacrificing one Spawn token) [E: 11] and pass. Evil attacks with his Lord [G: 17] and then summons an Ulamog’s Crusher. [d: Swamp] We play the Swamp and attack again with the Invoker. The Crusher blocks it and we trade after pumping it [E: 10]. Evil plays an Island and attacks with the Lord while we block with a Spawn token. Then he summons a Stomper Cub and levels up his Lord twice (L3) (sacrificing his last Spawn token).

[d: Last Kiss] We summon the Hand of Emrakul (sacrificing our last Spawn token) and pass the turn. Evil plays a Forest and levels his Lord three times (L6) before attacking with his Stomper Cub, Lord, and Scorpion. Our Ondu Giant and Battlement get destroyed by the Lord and we trade our Hand of Emrakul for it [G: 10]. [d: Broodwarden] We could summon Broodwarden here, but then we wouldn’t be able to play two spells next turn so we decide to summon the Cadaver Imp and Ondu Giant (from our Graveyard). The Ondu Giant searches out another Swamp. Evil is ready with another Bala Ged Scorpion which kills our Imp which prevents us from trading with his Stomper Cub. We block his first Scorpion and let the Cub through when he attacks [G: 5]. Then he summons an Emrakul’s Hatcher.

[d: Dread Drone] We have some options here this turn.
1) We can summon Broodwarden and pass. It’ll appear that he has lethal and attack with everything at which point we will use Last kill gain two and kill the Hatcher after the Ondu Giant blocks it. Then we’ll be at two life facing two Bala Ged Scorpions plus whatever he plays on his turn. If he summons two creatures, then we will have Dread Drone into Jaddi Lifestrider.

2. a) We can summon Dread Drone into Broodwarden or Jaddi Lifestrider. If Evil attacks with everything, the Dread Drone is going to trade with the Hatcher, the Giant and a Scorpion will bounce, whichever creature we summon is going to block the Stomper Cub, and we’ll take two from a Scorpion. However, we’ll also have the option of double-blocking the Cub with the Ondu Giant and Jaddi Lifestrider (going to one).

2.b) If we summon the Broodwarden, then we’ll be able to trade one-for-one with the Cub (taking one) and then go to three from the unblocked Scorpion.

The only cards left in the deck that make Spawn tokens are one Growth Spasm and one Dread Drone which lowers the potential value of the Broodwarden depending on how much longer the game goes on. Having the Lifestrider in our hand would be better because if Evil doesn’t attack with everything, then we’ll have a way to potentially gain more life. However, we don’t want Evil to attack at all, and summoning one creature might cause him to want to trade whereas another might not. Broodwarden has a higher value than Jaddi Lifestrider and is more likely to cause Evil to attack because he knows we have a lot of cards that make Eldrazi Spawn tokens.

So we decide to summon Dread Drone and Jaddi Lifestrider (sacrificing the two tokens to summon it). Evil does nothing on his turn while [d: Forest] we summon our Broodwarden. Evil passes again while [d: Forest] we do the same after playing a Forest. Evil plays a Swamp and attacks with everything. We put the Broodwarden on a Scorpion, the Drone on the Hatcher, and the Ondu Giant and Lifestrider on the Stomper Cub. Evil’s second Scorpion goes through unblocked. Before damage Evil uses Vendetta to kill the Lifestrider [E: 2], but we use Last Kiss to kill it after combat [G: 4].

[d: Forest] Evil has three Spawn tokens to beat through so we can’t attack. We play a Forest and pass. Evil passes on his turn. [d: Overgrown Battlement] We attack with the Broodwarden and Evil blocks with a Spawn token. Then we summon the Overgrown Battlement. Evil attacks with the Scorpion and we block with the Battlement. After combat, Evil kills the Battlement with Induce Despair and summons the Gloomhunter that he revealed.

[d: Dreamstone Hedron] We cast the Hedron and sacrifice it [d: Daggerback Basilisk, Perish the Thought, and Hand of Emrakul]. Unfortunately we needed other cards and must pass. Evil attacks with the Gloomhunter [G: 2] and passes. [d: Swamp] We are dead but cast Perish the Thought (seeing two lands) before conceding.

Sideboard: nothing.

Game 3:

We choose to play last for this final game. Evil keeps his hand as do we (Forest, 2 Swamp, Bloodrite Invoker, Wildheart Invoker, Jaddi Lifestrider, and Induce Despair). Evil plays a Forest while [d: Essence Feed] we play a Swamp. Evil plays a Swamp before passing back again. [d: Joraga Treespeaker] This guy is a little late, but we’ll take him. Unfortunately, he isn’t very safe considering the two Bala Ged Scorpions that we know are in Evil’s deck. Still we play our Forest and summon the Treespeaker, hoping that he stays alive for a while.

Evil plays a Mountain before passing back while [d: Ondu Giant] we Level up (L1) the Treespeaker, play a Swamp, and summon the Bloodrite Invoker. Evil hits his four-color MTGO manabase on stride by playing an Island and summoning his Lord of Shatterskull Pass. [d: Swamp] We offer the trade by attacking with the Invoker, but Evil wants to keep his guy around [E: 17]. Then we play our Swamp and Level up the Treespeaker once (L2). Evil plays a Forest and levels his Lord, but we kill it in response with Induce Despair (revealing Jaddi Lifestrider). Evil repays the favor with his own Induce Despair (revealing Mnemonic Wall) to kill our Treespeaker.

[d: Broodwarden] We attack with the Invoker [E: 14] and summon the Ondu Giant which puts a Forest into play. Evil plays a Forest and summons the Mnemonic Wall, getting back the Induce Despair. [d: Hand of Emrakul] We attack and the Ondu Giant gets through [E: 12]. Then we summon the Broodwarden. Evil drains us with an Essence Feed [G: 17, E: 15] on his turn before passing back.

[d: Swamp] We attack with the Bloodrite Invoker, Ondu Giant, and Broodwarden. The Mnemonic Wall blocks the Invoker again [E: 9] and we follow up our attack with an Essence Feed of our own to return the favor [G: 20, E: 6]. Evil has a monster turn with Forked Bolt to kill our Invoker and deal one to a Spawn token. Then he kills the Broodwarden with Induce Despair (revealing Ulamog’s Crusher). Finally, he taps his three Spawn and Wall to cast Shared Discovery and play a Swamp. This game isn’t looking nearly as good as it was.

[d: Forest] We play our Forest and attack with the Ondu Giant [E: 4]. Then we summon the Wildheart Invoker and pass. Evil summons his Ulamog’s Crusher (sacrificing two Spawn) and kills our Invoker with Vendetta [E: 1]. [d: Swamp] We play our Swamp and summon the Hand of Emrakul (sacrificing a Spawn token). Evil tries to kill our last Spawn token with Staggershock, but we sacrifice it in response to fizzle the spell so it won’t rebound. Then Evil attacks with the Crusher (we annihilate two Swamps) and we block with the Ondu Giant and Hand of Emrakul. Evil has three cards in hand and it seems unlikely that we’ll be able to get that one last damage through. The two Eldrazi trade and Evil follows his attack up by summoning a Gloomhunter.

[d: Forest] We summon the Jaddi Lifestrider and tap both of our creatures [G: 24]. Evil attacks with the Gloomhunter [G: 22] and summons a Kozilek’s Predator. [d: Overgrown Battlement] We summon the Wall and pass back, unable to attack through Evil’s defenses. Evil attacks with the Gloomhunter [G: 20] and passes. [d: Last Kiss] We could likely kill the Kozilek’s Predator with Last Kiss because it will block one of our creatures if we attack (as will the Mnemonic Wall), but there still three Spawn tokens to bash through which will take too much time to make the play worth it, so we decide to pass.

Evil casts a Prophetic Prism and attacks with his Gloomhunter, but we kill it with the Last Kiss before it can damage us [G: 22]. Evil passes after that. [d: Daggerback Basilisk] We summon our Basilisk and pass while Evil passes on his turn without doing anything. [d: Forest] We attack with the Giant, Lifestrider, and Basilisk. A Spawn token blocks the Basilisk and our other two creatures bounce. Afterwards we play a Forest and pass. Evil summons a Stomper Cub and passes.

[d: Wildheart Invoker] We summon the Invoker and pass. Evil plays Consuming Vapors and we sacrifice the Daggerback Basilisk [E: 3]. Then he summons a Thought Gorger and discards the four lands in his hand. [d: Dreamstone Hedron] We play the Hedron and pass without attacking because we’d rather draw three cards instead of having Evil draw four when his Thought Gorger dies. He could make blocks such that he’d go to one. Evil rebounds the Consuming Vapors and we sacrifice the Overgrown Battlement [E: 7]. Evil passes and we sacrifice the Hedron to draw three before starting our turn [d: Forest, Ulamog’s Crusher, Swamp].

[d: Growth Spasm] We play our Swamp and summon the Ulamog’s Crusher before passing. Evil plays a Swamp before passing back again. [d: Swamp] We play our Swamp and attack with everything (Ondu Giant, Jaddi Lifestrider, Wildheart Invoker, and Ulamog’s Crusher). Evil annihilates his Prism and a Forest before blocking. The Stomper Cub blocks the Giant; Mnemonic Wall blocks the Lifestrider, Kozilek’s Predator block the Invoker, and Thought Gorger plus the Spawn token block the Crusher. Before damage we pump the Invoker [E: 1] and pass. Evil plays a Forest and concedes.

Round 2:

Game 1:

Evil wins the roll and chooses to draw first. Our first hand is too slow (Forest, Swamp, Bala Ged Scorpion, Dread Drone, Ulamog’s Crusher, Dreamstone Hedron, and Essence Feed) so we decide to mulligan. Evil keeps his hand of seven and we do the same with our six (3 Forest, Swamp, Hand of Emrakul, and Growth Spasm). We start by playing a Forest and Evil does the same. [d: Wildheart Invoker] The Invoker gives us some hope of being able to win this game as our hand was not good before. We continue by playing a second Forest while Evil plays an Island and passes.

[d: Induce Despair] We play our Swamp and cast Growth Spasm to put another Swamp into play while Evil plays an Island and summons an Aura Gnarlid. [d: Cadaver Imp] We play our Forest and summon the Wildheart Invoker. Evil plays a Forest and summons a Nest Invader before attacking with the Aura Gnarlid. With the Cadaver Imp in our hand and nothing else going on we decide to play into Might of the Masses/Eel Umbra. Evil has the Might and passes afterwards.

[d: Dread Drone] Summoning the Drone seems like a better idea than the Cadaver Imp at this point, so we do. Evil plays an Island before attacking with the Nest Invader [G: 18]. We don’t bother trading with our Drone because it’s holding off the Gnarlid and should be able to trade for a better creature than a vanilla 2/2. Afterwards Evil summons a Halimar Wavewatch and levels it once (L1).

[d: Dreamstone Hedron] We play the Dreamstone Hedron (sacrificing a Spawn token) and pass. Evil plays a Forest and attacks with the Nest Invader again [G: 16] before leveling his Wavewatch twice (L3). [d: Forest] We play our Forest and summon the Hand of Emrakul while Evil puts Eel Umbra on his Aura Gnarlid before starting his turn, where he plays a Forest and puts Narcolepsy on our Hand of Emrakul. Then he summons a Wildheart Invoker and passes back. Nice turn!

[d: Jaddi Lifestrider] We summon the Cadaver Imp and the Wildheart Invoker that it gets back before passing back. Evil attacks with his Aura Gnarlid [G: 11] before summoning a Pelakka Wurm (sacrificing his last Spawn token) [E: 27]. [d: Overgrown Battlement] We kill the Aura Gnarlid with Induce Despair (revealing Jaddi Lifestrider), summon the Overgrown Battlement, and then summon the Lifestrider (sacrificing one Spawn token, leaving Dread Drone and Lifestrider untapped) [G: 19].

Evil summons a Skywatcher Adept and levels it once (L1) along with the Halimar Wavewatch (L4). [d: Forest] We play our Forest and pass. One option is to attack with the Cadaver Imp and use the Invoker to try and race against his Skywatcher Adept. However, he’s at twenty-seven versus our nineteen and it will be our [six damage for eight mana a turn] racing against his [four damage and zero mana a turn] (assuming he levels his Adept twice more on his turn) which doesn’t seem like a favorable race. The other option is to crack the Hedron and draw into more options.

On his turn, Evil summons a second Wildheart Invoker, levels his Wavewatch (L5), and plays an Island. Before we start our turn, we sacrifice the Hedron [d: Perish the Thought, Swamp, and Essence Feed]. [d: Swamp] Those draws were rather mediocre. We play our Swamp and pass. Evil plays an Island and attacks with the Skywatcher Adept [G: 17]. Then he levels his Wavewatch once (L6) just in case it loses a level somewhere.

[d: Forest] We play our Swamp and attack with the Cadaver Imp [E: 26] and pass. Evil attacks with Nest Invader [b: Wildheart Invoker], Wavewatch [b: Eldrazi Spawn], Wildheart Invoker [b: Dread Drone], Pelakka Wurm [b: Jaddi Lifestrider], and Skywatcher Adept. This attack seems rather poor for him, but he’s ahead on the board so we can’t completely crush him. Before damage Evil pumps his Nest Invader and we do the same to our Wildheart Invoker. Evil looses his Invader and Invoker while we lose our Dread Drone and Eldrazi Spawn while taking two damage [G: 15].

[d: Ondu Giant] We play Perish the Thought and make Evil shuffle a land back in. Then we play our Forest and attack with the Cadaver Imp and Wildheart Invoker [E: 21]. We can’t afford to lose our Invoker and if Evil makes another bad attack and puts himself in a position where he can lose his Invoker, we have to create a board that makes him want to attack. On his turn Evil suits up his Skywatcher Adept with a Boar Umbra and attacks with it [G: 10]. Then he levels the Adept up once (L2). [d: Joraga Treespeaker] We can’t deal with the Adept anymore and will lose to it in two turns so we concede.

Sideboard: -1 Bala Ged Scorpion; +1 Daggerback Basilisk.

Game 2:

We choose to play last. Evil keeps his hand as do we (2 Forest, Swamp, Cadaver Imp, Jaddi Lifestrider, Growth Spasm, and Perish the Thought). Evil plays a Forest while [d: Swamp] we play a Swamp and pass back. An Island from Evil allows him to summon a Nest Invader like last game [d: Forest] while we can only play a Swamp. Evil plays a Forest and attacks with his Invader [G: 18] before summoning a Skywatcher Adept. [d: Bloodrite Invoker] We play our Swamp and summon the Invoker.

Evil levels up his Adept (L1) and sends in his team. We block the Invader and it trades with our Invoker [G: 16]. Then Evil passes the turn. [d: Induce Despair] We believe something is up and cast Perish the Thought to see what’s brewing in Evil’s hand; we make him shuffle Frostwind Invoker and leave him with Might of the Masses, Forest, and Eel Umbra]. Evil plays his Forest and attacks with the Adept [G: 14] before leveling it up once (L2).

[d: Induce Despair] We play out our Forest and cast Growth Spasm to put another Swamp into play before passing the turn. Evil plays an Island and levels his Adept before attacking (L3) with it. However, we cast Induce Despair (sacrificing the Spawn token, revealing Jaddi Lifestrider) which will get around both Might of the Masses and Eel Umbra. Evil passes after that.

[d: Last Kiss] We play our Forest and summon the Cadaver Imp as well as the Bloodrite Invoker that it gets back. Evil plays an Evolving Wilds before passing the turn. [d: Swamp] We attack with the Cadaver Imp [E: 19] and then play the Swamp as our eighth land. Evil uses his Evolving Wilds to fetch a Forest before starting his turn where he plays a Forest and summons a Nest Invader (giving us perfect information about his hand: Eel Umbra and Might of the Masses). Before starting our turn, we drain Evil with the Invoker [G: 17, E: 16].

[d: Swamp] We repeat our attack from last turn [E: 15] and play our Swamp. Evil puts a Boar Umbra on his Nest Invader and attacks with it [G: 12]. We drain Evil with the Invoker at the end of the turn [G: 15, E: 12]. [d: Daggerback Basilisk] We attack with the Cadaver Imp again [E: 11] and pass the turn. Evil attacks with the Nest Invader [G: 10] and then summons a Jaddi Lifestrider (tapping his two Spawn tokens) [E: 15]. Then we drain Evil with the Invoker [G: 13, E: 12].

[d: Dread Drone] We decide to dump our hand and summon the Dread Drone and Daggerback Basilisk (leaving a Swamp open). Then we attack with the Cadaver Imp [E: 11]. Evil summons a Wildheart Invoker and passes. [d: Growth Spasm] We play our Growth Spasm (putting a Forest into play) and then summon the Jaddi Lifestrider (leaving the Lifestrider and Basilisk untapped) [G: 25]. Evil passes on his turn.

[d: Forest] We attack with the Cadaver Imp [E: 10] and play our Forest with one card in hand (Last Kiss). Evil summons a Pelakka Wurm (sacrificing a Spawn token, leaving Deprive up) [E: 17] while we drain him at the end of the turn [G: 28, E: 14]. [d: Forest] We repeat our attack [E: 13] and pass. Evil attacks with the Pelakka Wurm and we block with the Basilisk. Before damage, Evil puts Eel Umbra on it as well as pumping it with Might of the Masses “¦ for value [G: 17]. At the end of the turn we drain Evil [G: 20, E: 10].

[d: Swamp] We attack with the Imp [E: 9] and play out our Forest before passing the turn. Hopefully we can hold on for another few turns. Evil attacks with his Nest Invader and Pelakka Wurm. We block the Wurm with the Lifestrider and Evil doesn’t use his Invoker [G: 15]. Then Evil steals our Bloodrite Invoker with Domestication, but not before we drain him [G: 18, E: 6]. [d: Dreamstone Hedron] We play our Swamp, cast the Hedron, and sacrifice it [d: Forest, Overgrown Battlement, Hand of Emrakul]. Then we point Last Kiss at our traitorous Bloodrite Invoker, but Evil is ready with the Deprive that we suspected he’s had for a few turns. We attack with the Cadaver Imp [E: 5] and pass the turn with a Swamp open.

Evil attacks with the Nest Invader, Jaddi Lifestrider, Wildheart Invoker [b: Dread Drone], and Pelakka Wurm [b: Jaddi Lifestrider]. Evil uses his Wildheart Invoker to pump itself [G: 3] and passes the turn. [d: Dread Drone] That is not Wildheart Invoker. We die.

Happy Drafting.

42 thoughts on “According to Webster – Rise of the Eldrazi Draft #6”

  1. I’m somewhat confused as to why you played a second hand over Pathrazer, I understand it’s easier to cast, but I don’t feel like this deck is weak enough to go for cheap wins and Pathrazer is actually a threat where Hand isn’t. Would you mind explaining your thought process, I want to know what I missed/misevaluated.

  2. I love reading these reports, but I get so confused by some of you build choices. I agree with the retrospect on the red splash, but I don’t understand the Hands of Emrekul. With 2 Overgrown Battlements, a Joraga Sol Ring (Treespeaker), 2 Growth Spasms, Ondu Giant, Dreamstone Hedron, and all of your tokens 11 mana is not a stretch at all. Wouldn’t Pathrazer be a far better finisher? You can’t even get to four tokens before turns 5 or 6 anyway, and if you opponent can’t deal with an overcosted 7/7 with no evasion by then, you really don’t need it anyway.

  3. In Game 2 of round 1, he vendettas your lifestridder going to two, and after combat you last kiss to finish his dude off, couldn’t you have just Last Kissed him FTW?

  4. Even though Cadaver imp is 1BB, you never want to cast it on turn 3, so it can stay in the deck with fewer swamps. I think you could have made the cuts you suggested while still including Imp over Irresistible Prey.

  5. Last kiss can only target creatures…

    Also I am also curious about playing hand vs pathrazer. Your deck can easily support it, and it does so much more than hand…

  6. I feel picking cadaver imp over splinter twin was a definite mistake… Splinter Twin is vastly underrated and goes great on an ondu giant, emerakuls hatcher, or pellaka wurm

  7. haha, I find it funny how after conley’s video everyone thinks pathrazer is playable of all a sudden whereas before you wouldn’t see anyone playing it.

  8. Great draft report as always! One thing i would like to comment on is that i recently played you in an 8-4 queue and was surprised that you didnt have the courtesy to at least say ‘Hello and good luck’. I appreciate that you are no doubt mobbed with messages while online, but as far as i can recall the only thing you said during the match was ‘no’ when i asked if you would be writing an article about the draft. Given that you should have surmised i was therefore a fan of your column, I would have hoped that you would at least show some sort of basic politeness, if only to say ‘gg’ at the end of the match. While you are no doubt a talented magic player, i do feel that you should maybe consider your interactions with the players for who’s benefit you write these columns. Thanks.

  9. Tough draft. But was your thinking not a little blinkered? “I’m green, therefore I can only draft red or black cards” – and you make that decision at P1P1, after a Battlement! Green-blue and green-white are both valid in this format – especially if you can get some Aura Gnarlids (which duly come in pack 3).

    Since you did go green, and were removal-light, P3P7 should be Might of the Masses over Hand of Emrakul – you need tricks, and Might with all those tokens could steal a win.

    In hindsight, green may not have been the colour to go with – blue, red and white all seemed more open. I’d probably have made the same mistake, but would have gone green-blue – Battlements, Frostwind Invokers, Adepts, Deprives, and a couple of Mnemonic Walls. No removal, but with all your acceleration (2 Battlements + 2 Mnemonics is insane), the Wildheart and Frostwind Invokers get very scary very quickly. UG is actually one of my favourite archetypes in this format – lots of mana for your levellers, Narcolepsy + Aura Gnarlid, Snake Umbra on a flyer, Unified Will and Shared Discovery suddenly become playable…

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  11. I’d agree with cigar smoker, a little courtesy both online an IRL go a long way. Even if I don’t wish my opps good luck, I do try to say hello and maybe even ‘hf’.

  12. PelakkaIwantYourBabies

    Do you consider stomper cub so bad that prefer hand of emrakul over it?
    Generally can you express your thoughts about what creatures a ramp deck should play, cause your choice for hands puzzles lots of people.

  13. This is one of the few Ochoa draft reports where I didnt agree with a good amount of picks:

    P1P6 Splinter Twin is a bomb in RG ramp. Cadaver imp is ok, but not great in this deck. I gamble and take the bomb.
    P1P8 Might of the Masses over Cub. More likely to play MoM.
    P2P2 If I had taken Splinter Twin then I likely take Hatcher. People have caught onto Bala Ged Scorpion being good so my valuation of the wall is a lil lower than Ochoa’s.
    P3P3 I take Invoker 100% of the time. You lack finishers and absoletly need this guy IMO.
    P3P4 Hatcher is just alot better than Lifestrider. I dont think its close unless you are deciding to NOT play red with your Manticore, which seems awful.
    P3P5 I prolly hate up the Gnarlid as that deck will probably beat this one.
    P3P7 Might of the Masses seems better than the very mediocre Hand. Wouldnt be close with Hatcher x2 but I guess with the deck you drafted then it would be a tougher decision.
    P3P8 Hate draft up the Wrap in Flames as its very good versus your Dread Drones and could come in on some matchups.

    Dunno…but a deck with Might of the Masses x2, Hatcher x2, and Splinter Twin seems like it would be just a little better than the deck you fielded.

    Another totally opposite direction would be to first pick Boar Umbra and second pick Mammoth Umbra. That deck could have been ridiculous…but we will never know if it would win or not. Heh.

    -M

  14. Hah, I hadnt read the results of the matches and the Aura Gnarlid deck made the finals. Kinda funny.

  15. I am curious, pack 2 pick 10, I think. Why did you pick the escaped null (which probably wouldnt make the cut) over the second Essence Feed? (has a higher chance of making the cut, imo)

  16. I agree with Moogy. Blue was wide open and could have yielded a much better deck as the removal wasn’t coming from B/R…in fact nothing much was coming in B at all so sticking with it for little more than a Dread Drone and an Imp seems weak.

    Thanks for the report though, always a good read!

  17. Thanks for the draft….I agree with not playing the Hand over Pathrazor….hindsight maybe?

  18. He built a spawn deck (which could have been better with some different draft choices), then played it like a ramp deck (sacking spawn like they were candy). Need to get focused, Web.

  19. Web doesn’t talk a whole lot, online or live, so I don’t think him being mostly silent is meant to be rude.

  20. Reading these drafts convinces me that I’m doing things right. Every pack, I think to myself, “Well, I would take this hands down with what I have, and Ocho is gonna take this.”

    And for all six drafts so far, I would have rather had my pick when it came to deck construction.

    As an aside, let’s not pretend that the cipt clause on evolving wilds is relevant, or that prophetic prism has an opportunity cost. You’ll always play them, they’ll always be amazing, so I just don’t understand why every pro on this site fills their sb up with cards they won’t play over those two specific cards. By taking them earlier you improve overall card quality by having the option to take off-color removal and bombs later.

  21. Another fantastic article, Ocho! Keep up the good work!

    A couple picks I disagreed with, if you wouldn’t mind commenting:

    P1P1: Is the U/W Levelers deck really that overdrafted? LSV has made note of it before, but Hada Spy Patrol seems like it’s in a better deck than Overgrown Battlement, so I’d think you’d want to draft the card that goes in the better deck, given all else being equal.

    P1P8: How good do you think Stomper Cub is? Especially in a tokens deck (and I know you were building a ramp deck, but it had tokens so it can use some tokens effects, can’t it?) you probably want Might of the Masses over it. I think Might is just a stronger card anyway, and seeing a Might instead of a Cub would probably not be the signal you were hoping to send, if I was the receiver (although I might just be wrong).

    P1P9: I know Prey’s Vengeance is terrible, but isn’t Perish even more terrible? One’s a combat trick, the other is…a Coercion sometimes maybe possibly kind of?

    P2P7: I’m probably just flat-out wrong on this, but I would think Virulent Swipe might be good in a deck that makes a bunch of tokens. Trading a token for a fat monster seems really good. Scorpion is really good too, probably better than Swipe, but if Scorpion wasn’t in the pack, what would you think about Swipe?

    P3P5/7: It seems like you took 2 bad cards that 100% won’t make the deck (since you’re not in red and Hand of Emrakul is terrible) over 2 Suffer the Pasts. LSV likened Suffer the Past to Fireball in his last draft video (if I remember correctly), and it seems really strong when you can pump a bunch of Spawn mana into it. I wouldn’t take Suffer highly, but if it’s in your colors and the next best card is completely unplayable, why didn’t you take it?

  22. Suffer the Past is best in a heavy removal deck, because that removal puts cards in the opponent’s graveyard (as opposed to cards like Narcolepsy/Guard Duty which do not) and helps you live long enough for there to be enough there for it to be relevant.

    Web’s deck was, as he noted, short on removal.

    Perish is good in non-ramp against ramp to get their bombs before they can ramp them into play, giving you enough time to set up a board presence to better deal with them when they hit.

  23. I know this has already been noted, but I really don’t understand the Pathrazer in the board. Your deck had Joraga Sol Ring, 2 Overgrown Battlements, 2 Growth Spasms, an Ondu Giant, Dreamstone Hedron, and a bunch of ways to make spawn late. It could pump out Pathrazer on turn 4 (1 Joraga, 2 level, Battlement, 3 another battlement plus Drone, Giant, or Spasm, 4 11/11 with evasion). Obviously that’s the nut draw, but 11 mana would not be hard. Also, the only ways you have to get to four spawn tokens would take until turn four or five anyway (or later if you don’t draw acceleration), so Hand isn’t going to blitzkrieg anyone. Maybe I’m being narrow-minded, but the only good thing I’ve seen Hand do is two for one itself on a Palaka Worm.

  24. @ Comment by Deck Tech – June 28, 2010 @ 9:30 pm :
    Hand of Emrakul is mediocre, but not unplayable. In the deck it was an inferior Crusher because it came out roughly the same time.

    @ Comment by Jules – June 28, 2010 @ 10:50 pm :
    @ Comment by DarthDuckky – June 28, 2010 @ 10:58 pm :
    Pathrazer costs too much mana. It doesn’t matter if it’s in a deck with the acceleration that I had; eleven mana is still eleven mana.

    @ Comment by Zivvy – June 28, 2010 @ 11:10 pm :
    If Last Kiss could target players then I would have done that. However, it can’t.

    @ Comment by gherrin – June 29, 2010 @ 1:28 am :
    If you aren’t interested in the game summaries, then I suggest you read only the part about the drafting (i.e. the important part).

    @ Comment by Moogymatch – June 29, 2010 @ 3:56 am :
    By starting in Green, I’m not opposed to only drafting Red or Black. You can pair any color with Green and play a deck with lots of good cards. However, only Red and Black have synergy with Green. Yes, I will concede that Aura Gnarlid does exist and there are non-Green aura, but beyond that, I’d rather start drafting a second color that synergy in addition to good cards.

    The problem with taking Might of the Masses over Hand of Emrakul is that it just doesn’t do enough comparitively. For Might to steal a game, I have to be in position where the opponent is low on life or has life less than or equal to the number of creatures in play while not having more creatures in play than I do. Hand of Emrakul is going to provide more impact over the spectrum of situations.

    In pack one Green was definitely the color to be in; then Blue/White; then Red; then Black. After that, the picks get influenced by what was passed and you can’t speculate accurately enough to have a good discussion.

    @ Comment by PelakkaIwantYourBabies – June 29, 2010 @ 7:38 am :
    Stomper Cub trades with everything. It doesn’t ramp, dominate the board, or provide utility which makes it a poor inclusion in a deck.

    @ Comment by abdallah – June 29, 2010 @ 8:42 am :
    When I was talking about Lust for War, I started a new paragraph, started talking in the past tense, and in the first person singular (aka hindsight).

    @Comment by nakia – June 29, 2010 @ 8:43 am :
    Blue wasn’t wide open in pack one. Besides the Invoker in pick five, there wasn’t any reason to jump into Blue. The best card in pick five was definitely the Dread Drone because it pairs much better with Green. I mentioned the fact that the deck would be light on removal, but that isn’t really a topic for debate if you’re arguing for Green/Blue.

    @ Comment by Feantur – June 29, 2010 @ 11:19 am :
    The deck started as a ramp deck, got a Raid Bombardment and Broodwarden along the Way, and ended as a ramp deck (which is what I played). If you’re saying that I built a spawn deck because I played _AN_ Essence Feed, then I guess you’re right.

    @ Comment by Lyle – June 29, 2010 @ 12:02 pm :
    P1P1: The pick can go either way. It’s pretty close. As for whether U/W levelers is overdrafted, it’s hard to say.

    P1P8: If the draft turns south, Stomper Cub has a higher chance of being better than Might of the Masses because it’s a vanilla creature whereas Might requires a certain threshold of token-cards to be good.

    P1P9: Perish the Thought is fine against ramp decks or controling decks.

    P2P7: Virulent Swipe: For Virulent Swipe to be good with tokens, one of a few situations has to be true:
    1. You’re attacking with either A) Raid Bombardment, B) Broodwarden, or C) Lavafume/Wildheart Invoker in play.
    2. You’re being attacked by ~something~.
    If any of “1” is true, then Virulent Swipe is overkill. If “2” is true, then you’re on defense. If a ramp deck is on defense against a fatty, then the game went wrong somewhere.

    P3P5/7: Suffer the Past is not Fireball. Hand of Emrakul is “fine”.

  25. Hindsight is always 20/20 eh? Finding a way to play that Manticore would’ve made the deck a lot better. I think playing a boomboom over a cadaver imp is always the right play :). I’m glad you posted a draft where you did auto3-0.

  26. I’m saying:

    a. the game you actually had Broodwarden in hand, it might have been a good idea to conserve your spawn.

    b. once you had the Warden (and to a lesser extent, the Bombardment and the Manticore) you windmill slam those late Hatchers and get your Flamewave on. Your ramp (Spasm and Giant) also serves to fix your colors, and Battlement can keep you alive long enough to get your colors.

    Might of the Masses has a lot more upside than Stomper Cub as well, as you already had the two Drones and an Essence Feed. Obviously you couldn’t count on getting the Hatchers, but you keep your options open better there. You can always run Scorpions and black levelers over Cub if the spawn plan doesn’t work out, and you already had the Wildhearts.

    Spawn is better deck if you’re light on removal than ramp with weak bombs.

  27. wall of text makes these drafts hard to work through sometimes. Vids would be great…if you need more time in depth explanations then you can do a recap at the end of each vid in your own time.

    thanks for drafts anyway though!

  28. This is why I’m not a huge fan of the ramp deck…

    Firstly, the quality of your big cards matters quite a bit with ramp. Ramping into Hand of Emrakul is distinctly underwhelming compared to ramping into, say, Eldrazi Conscription. Deciding to go for the ramp deck after seeing an excellent ramp card such as Treespeaker can lead you down a dangerous road.

    Secondly, your threat density is low. Growth Spasm and Overgrown Battlement and Ondu Giant leave you in a position to play something horrid, but are not in themselves any reason for your opponent worry. When you power out Ulamog’s Crusher on turn 5 and it’s met with a Narcolepsy or Deprive or Vendetta or Guard Duty or even Smited a turn later, you’re generally desperately reliant on rapidly drawing into another big threat. Control decks playing blue generally have an edge against you, especially after sideboarding into the zillions of Lay Bares going round late.

    Thirdly, there generally isn’t enough early game to compete well with leveller decks, and if you’ve prioritised ramp over removal (e.g. the claim that you should pick Joraga Treespeaker over Staggershock) it’s very hard to disrupt the leveller game plan before you’re overrun.

  29. @ Comment by Feantur – June 29, 2010 @ 10:39 pm :
    A) If you’re refering to Round1/Game2 where I draw Dread Drone and have Broodwarden in hand, then I already explained about the options for that turn in depth. If I summon Broodwarden there and hold Dread Drone to “make use of Broodwarden”, then not only do I get attacked by everything (2 Bala Ged Scorpion, Stomper Cub, and Emrakul’s Hatcher) while having Broodwarden, Ondu Giant, 5 life, and Last Kiss to work with while having Dread Drone and Jaddi Lifestrider in hand. The main reasoning behind not playing like you suggest is because that would have made me waste Last Kiss on a creature that didn’t matter for little gain. Broodwarden blocks Hatcher and Ondu Giant blocks Stomper Cub with me having to use Last Kiss on the Cub before damage. I go to one and then summon Dread Drone on my next turn against his two Scorpions plus hwatever else he plays. I looked for the line of play that would make him _not_ want to attack because I put more value on having Last Kiss in hand for something that I wouldn’t be able to deal with. It’s true, playing like you suggest _may_ have been a better outcome in your book, but not in mine.

    B)”b. once you had the Warden (and to a lesser extent, the Bombardment and the Manticore) you windmill slam those late Hatchers”
    “Might of the Masses has a lot more upside than Stomper Cub as well, as you already had the two Drones and an Essence Feed.”

    Seeing these two lines makes me wonder just how much you actually read.

    One of the Hatchers came before the Broodwarden in pack three and the only pick where it was Stomper Cub v. Might of the Masses was P1P8 when I only had 1 Growth Spasm and 1 Dread Drone. The only time after that when I had a choice of Might of the Masses v. X was against a Hand of Emrakul which I already went over as believing to be superior. I’m not trying to be harsh here and I realize that your eager to comment, but it would be good to take some time and research a bit before posting one.

    @ Comment by Quirk – June 30, 2010 @ 3:58 am :
    Well put.

  30. No, I recognize that when the choice had to be made between Cub and Might, you weren’t spawn yet, but my argument was premised on the need to keep the possibility of spawn open (by taking Might) versus the need to get a Cub that probably would (and indeed did) not make your deck. Although you can’t anticipate the late Hatchers, around the time of that pick I would have been looking to get into spawn due to your paucity of removal anyway, and you need to have the support cards to back them up in case they (or Predators, or more Drones – with all the ramp you already had) start falling into your lap.

    I recognize (and disagree somewhat) with your reasoning on the specific Broodwarden turn (Last Kiss isn’t doing a great deal v. Green anyway), but there were several situations where spawn were sacrificed for dubious advantage before, and after, that telling turn.

    They’re creatures, not just Lotus Petals, even if you have few ways to abuse them.

  31. Hm, maybe I’m a little bit more all-in in my style than you are. The way I tend to feel is that if the draft goes south, then I’m losing anyway, so I may as well give myself the best shot of winning. Thanks for the comments, though!

  32. Quirk, one solid aspect of Web’s draft is that he’s also ramping into repeatable effects (Invoker activations) rather than just one-off threats. I’ve lost to a lot more of the former than the latter playing levelers.

  33. Cards like Treespeaker, Battlement, Spasm, and Giant do three things (aside from the fixing), in order of importance:

    1. They give you (way) more total mana than the opponent. This makes repeatable effects (Invokers, Levelers, Keening Stone) better for you than the opponent. I’ve actually had decent luck with WG levelers for this reason (usually splashing a third color for removal/bombs).

    2. They make you more consistent. All other things equal, the chances of a deck missing it’s fourth land drop are around 25%, and fifth 50%, and without ramp, those chances don’t go down very fast on succeeding draws. There are a lot of key cards at 4 and 5 in this format, and although it is “slower”, those cards are also dead draws for you until you get the mana to play them.

    If BU levelers tries to run Corpsehatches, Mnemonic Walls, and Frostwinds, not to mention Drones, it is very susceptible to this problem, for instance. Likewise BR spawn can have trouble getting off the ground if they’re relying on Drones, Hatchers, and Feeds.

    The downside of ramp is of course the case where you’re threat light, which is why I think levelers/Invokers (including spawn) may be the better overall plan to take advantage of you mana than weak “bombs” like Skeletal Wurm and Hand.

    3. Ramp does give you explosiveness, which is way better with threats like Genesis than more easily countered ones like the ones Web ran, though those can steal games too. Artisan shines brightest here, I think, and of course Pelakka Wurm is very solid.

  34. Feantur, having played around with ramp some myself, while the invokers are good, and in some ways better than big threats in spawn decks, you still have gas issues.

    Looking at Web’s deck, his major threats are:
    2 x Hand of Emrakul
    1 x Ulamog’s Crusher
    2 x Wildheart Invoker
    1 x Broodwarden
    1 x Bloodrite Invoker
    7 threats, and Bloodrite barely counts as a threat.

    He also has 10 ramping cards that add mana or land or make tokens (Essence Feed and Dread Drone are more ramp than threat), a Cadaver Imp, a discard spell, 2 removal spells, Bala Ged Scorpion, which is removal of sorts as well, and Jaddi Lifestrider, which is a stalling card.

    Without seeing one of these threats it’s difficult to see how he’s going to win the game. He has only 4 answers he can hope to draw into amidst a wealth of ramp, and one of those relies on forcing a threat to be discarded before it’s played. Only Induce Despair is a really solid answer to most serious threats he’s likely to face by late game.

    So, the deck is going to have some difficulty late game if its threats are dealt with. How many threats can it expect to see in the first ten turns, ignoring Dreamstone Hedron for now and any thinning effects? On the draw, 3 or better with 70% probability, 4 or better with 38% probability. If you prefer to think about it the other way around, there’s a 30% chance by turn 10 that you’ve only seen two threats.

    Hence the importance of threat quality. If the majority of what you’re drawing is ramp, your threats need to be really hard to answer, and they need to win the game fast. You’re likely to see less than 4 of them by turn 10. The threats Webster got passed weren’t bomby enough.

    Against control, if they can answer that first threat, they’re likely to dominate as the game goes on. They’re drawing into bombs or evasive damage, removal, counters and draw. Much of what the ramp deck draws into is more ramp.

    Against levellers, the flyers alone are likely to cause wreckage, but it’s not difficult for them to come out hard and aggressive even if it’s a poor leveller deck. Null Champion at 4 power turn 3 greatly reduces the value of Growth Spasm, Overgrown Battlement, Joraga Treespeaker. If they have Time of Heroes, Venerated Teacher, Champion’s Drake, these all make it very hard for the ramp deck to survive.

    I don’t think a good ramp deck’s impossible to draft, but I think it needs to be drafted rating threats and removal higher than the more mediocre ramp. For example, pack 3 pick 1, I think Growth Spasm was worse than Null Champion. Null Champion grows dangerous given a lot of mana, and can draw removal early on.

    Zof Shade might also be better than Daggerback Basilisk, mana to feed it is not something the deck was likely to have a problem with. It’s bad in levellers precisely because the mana needs to be used elsewhere, but I think it might be better in black-green.

  35. I agree with nearly all you say, which is why I think Web should have been looking for spawn and/or black levelers in the draft instead of ramping into weak threats.

  36. @roflsaurus:

    Don’t people pay to read Chapin’s draftcaps over at that other website?
    And here, you have these and videos for free?
    Aren’t you a bit sassy and presumptious.

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