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According to Webster – Rise of the Eldrazi Draft #9

Rise of the Eldrazi Draft #9

Pack 1 pick 1:

 

Pelakka Wurm, Staggershock, Vendetta, and Consuming Vapors are the cards that stick out. Pelakka Wurm is an excellent creature and will often stabilize the board in addition to netting a favorable trade (two for zero). Vendetta is the most efficient of the removal spells because it’s so cheap and will allow you to cast it and another spell in the same turn cycle. Staggershock isn’t as efficient as Vendetta in terms of mana cost, but it makes up for that by being able to two-for-one the opponent; Consuming Vapors is similar to Staggershock in that regard. Staggershock is at its best against non-Green decks because the creatures are less likely to have more than two toughness while Consuming Vapors is best against decks that don’t generate Eldrazi Spawn tokens. Setting up a good Consuming Vapors can be difficult at times because there might be too many irrelevant creatures in play. However, Consuming Vapors is the one removal spell (of the three here) that can profitably deal with tough situations like a Makindi Griffin with a Mammoth Umbra on it. Staggershock and Consuming Vapors give you the most value for your money and are generally more unfair than Vendetta, especially when combined with recursive cards like Surreal Memoir and Mnemonic Wall respectively. Getting a two-for-one with Staggershock isn’t always going to happen if the opponent is smart about it while it’s much more difficult to successfully play around Consuming Vapors. Pelakka Wurm is really good, but commits us heavily to Green while Staggershock and Consuming Vapors don’t. If we’re cut from the color of whatever spell we take, then we’ll still be able to easily splash it.

My pick: Consuming Vapors

Pack 1 pick 2:

 

There are a few ways that this draft is likely to unfold from this point. Assuming we stay in Black, we’re likely to end up in Black/Blue/Red Control, Blue/Black levelers, Black/Red tokens, or Black/Green tokens/ramp. It’s entirely possible that we end up drafting a different deck, but those aforementioned archetypes are the most common. There aren’t many cards to choose from; Venerated Teacher, Traitorous Instinct, and Ulamog’s Crusher are the best. Venerated Teacher is only playable if we end up with levelers and is the narrowest of the three cards. Traitorous Instinct is slightly less niche and is especially good in combination with Bloodthrone Vampire, a desirable card if we end up drafting tokens. Ulamog’s Crusher is the card that overlaps the most archetypes; it fits well into all of the token/ramp decks and is a good finisher for a control deck. With the rare missing from the pack, there isn’t much information to gain from which direction we should head. Ulamog’s Crusher is the best option because it doesn’t commit us to a second color which makes it the most flexible.

My pick: Ulamogs Crusher

Pack 1 pick 3:

 

There certainly are a few Green cards here. The problem is that taking one of them now is going to likely have a negative result for us in pack two because of the other two Green cards that we are shipping in this pack, in addition to the Pelakka Wurm we already sent. Our other options are Evolving Wilds, Explosive Revelation, and Null Champion. Explosive Revelation is slow and can be very inconsistent (especially in a deck with Heat Ray). Evolving Wilds is okay but is a bad pick in a pack with so many good spells. If we knew that we were in trouble of getting cut from a color that had spells that we wanted to play, then the Evolving Wilds would be a legitimate option. However, we don’t have any information to make us believe that we are getting cut. Null Champion is the last option, and while it’s not as resilient offensively as Beastbreaker of Bala Ged is, it’s a fine card to run. Also, by taking the Null Champion we’re forcing the drafters to our left away from Black and into Green/Red which should benefit us in the second pack.

My pick: Null Champion

Pack 1 pick 4:

 

There’s a lot of utility in this pack. Bala Ged Scorpion, Cadaver Imp, and Mnemonic Wall all scream value. In case you didn’t get the memo, “Value is sweet!” Bala Ged Scorpion ranges from mediocre to awesome; there will be games where it’ll have multiple important targets and others where it’s worse than a Lagac Lizard. There’s usually something for the Scorpion to kill, but it feels miserable when it doesn’t do anything. Cadaver Imp is less likely to be useless because it only requires that something have died prior to it being summoned and also rewards decks with awesome creatures. Killing a Drana sure feels good but there’s an overwhelming feeling of defeat when they scoop it back up with a Cadaver Imp “Thanx brahski, now go kill it again.” Mnemonic Wall is similar to Cadaver Imp, but more difficult to use (because a deck is generally going to have more creatures in it than instants and sorceries). However, the spells that Mnemonic Wall returns are usually better than the creatures that Cadaver Imp returns. If we didn’t already have Consuming Vapors, then this pick would be a bit different and we’d end up with one of the Black cards. Consuming Vapors is usually pretty good and when it gets played multiple times in the same game with the help of Mnemonic Wall, it’s back-breaking.

My pick: Mnemonic Wall

Pack 1 pick 5:

 

There’s not much to choose from here. Fleeting Distraction is very mediocre when it’s not being used in conjunction with another card (Kiln Fiend, Bala Ged Scorpion, or Sphinx-Bone Wand) whereas Deprive is an essential card in a deck that’s planning on aiming for the long game. As the expected game-length associated with a deck increases, the spells it runs need to be flexible enough to deal with high-impact cards; Deprive is one of those spells.

My pick: Deprive

Pack 1 pick 6:

 

Angelheart Vial is quite slow and ties up a significant amount of resources for little gain if it’s not played early and when you’re at a high life total. Gloomhunter is fine, but doesn’t fit well into a deck that needs creatures that will live through combat while defending us. Prophetic Prism is a good choice for us because it begins to give us access to a splash (presumably Red) for more removal that will help fuel our Mnemonic Wall.

My pick: Prophetic Prism

Pack 1 pick 7:

 

Pawn of Ulamog is less useful in our deck than one that makes effective use of Eldrazi Spawn tokens (such as a deck with Raid Bombardment, Broodwarden, Bloodthrone Vampire, Lavafume Invoker, etc.). Eel Umbra is a nice trick especially when the Umbra remains in play (ex: Umbra in response to a Staggershock on a two-toughness creature), but it is usually at its best in deck that is more aggressive. That isn’t to say that our deck won’t end up attacking a lot, but with cards like Ulamog’s Crusher and Mnemonic Wall the Umbra doesn’t appear as useful. Dread Drone is a fine creature that will trade for something big itself while leaving a few Spawn tokens around to give us a bit of latitude.

My pick: Dread Drone

Pack 1 pick 8:

 

Thought Gorger is difficult to make good if you’re working with the premise that the other cards in your deck have a moderate value attached to them. Thought Gorger can be good in a deck that can’t make good use of excess lands, but those are few and far between in this format of Invokers and Eldrazi. Ogre’s Cleaver doesn’t have much use in a controlling deck because there are usually fewer creatures to put this onto and bash with than other archetypes. Fleeting Distraction at least combines with a few cards that are likely to end up in our deck (Mnemonic Wall/Bala Ged Scorpion/Sphinx-Bone Wand), and despite only having one Mnemonic Wall at this point, and being able to cycle and complicate combat makes Fleeting Distraction somewhat playable.

My pick: Fleeting Distraction

Pack 1 pick 9:

 

My pick: Lay Bare

Pack 1 pick 10:

 

My pick: Shrivel

Pack 1 pick 11:

 

My pick: Evolving Wilds

Pack 1 pick 12:

 

My pick: Goblin Arsonist

Pack 1 pick 13:

 

My pick: Fleeting Distraction

Pack 1 pick 14:

 

My pick: Haze Frog

Pack 1 pick 15:

Plains 

The first pack wasn’t great, but it wasn’t bad either. Black was definitely the color to be in and our first pick was rewarded by a string of Black playables afterwards. While we picked up some decent Blue cards, many of the key Blue spells were absent, which is moderately troubling when thinking about pack three. Cards like Halimar Wavewatch, Regress, Narcolepsy, and Sea Gate Oracle were nowhere to be seen. White was the next best color to be in, but the cards didn’t mesh very well with how we ended up drafting. Pack two is likely to yield a moderate amount of Blue and Black, though more Blue because a few Black spells managed to get past us initially (Vendetta).

Pack 2 pick 1:

 

Vendetta and Nirkana Revenant are the only two cards to consider here. Nirkana Revenant is tough to deal with when you untap with it in play, but it doesn’t affect the board enough to warrant taking it over a good removal spell like Vendetta. Cards like Guul Draz Assassin, Drana, Kalastria Bloodchief, and Magmaw (to name a few) are better than Vendetta because they provide lots of reach; they let you “do things” other than attacking that affect the board in a significant fashion. Nirkana Revenant doesn’t do much else besides attack and let you use Invokers/cast Eldrazi/level up more easily.

My pick: Vendetta

Pack 2 pick 2:

 

Regress is an excellent utility card for any Blue deck to have in this format of Levelers and Umbras. There’s also nothing else in the pack.

My pick: Regress

Pack 2 pick 3:

 

There are quite a few cards to pick from here. Artisan of Kozilek, Bala Ged Scorpion, Hada Spy Patrol, Frostwind Invoker, and Deprive would all make the cut in our deck (although not really with Deprive since we already have one in addition to one Lay Bare). Bala Ged Scorpion is mediocre in comparison to the Blue options; both Hada Spy Patrol and Frostwind Invoker provide a more efficient clock than the Scorpion because of their evasiveness. However, all three creatures pale in comparison to the effect that Artisan of Kozilek will have on a game. Artisan creates massive swings, and despite costing nine mana, it’s an excellent way to seal a game up. Frostwind Invoker and Hada Spy Patrol are surely going to affect a game much sooner than an Artisan, but they often just die whether it be in combat or more likely to a removal spell. Artisan might also fall prey to the same fate (though the list of cards that deals with it is short), but it reanimates the next best creature that you have and that will often win the game for you.

My pick: Artisan of Kozilek

Pack 2 pick 4:

 

If Arrogant Bloodlord were a 4/4 for three mana with no strings attached, then it’d be pretty good. However, the sacrifice clause it has makes it very unimpressive at times; the feeling I get when the opponent summons a Sea Gate Oracle when I have a Bloodlord in play is nauseating. Our other options are Bala Ged Scorpion and Cadaver Imp. I mentioned earlier how the Scorpion has a wide range of usefulness and that it’s pretty easy to use Cadaver Imp because there is usually a good amount of creatures that you can return with it. With the way our deck is shaping up, we’ve got all of these cool Eldrazi (Crusher and Artisan) and sweet removal spells (Consuming Vapors), but we are lacking in terms of actually being able to defend ourselves with real creatures. Both Arrogant Bloodlord and Bala Ged Scorpion can play defense, but Bala Ged Scorpion has the additional possibility of value. When you also consider the two Fleeting Distractions that we have already, then finding prey for the Scorpion becomes much easier. The problem with Cadaver Imp is that it doesn’t affect the board effectively by itself in the absence of dead creatures, and while finding creatures that are good at trading in combat usually isn’t a problem, we’re starting to run out of time to do so.

My pick: Bala Ged Scorpion

Pack 2 pick 5:

 

Dreamstone Hedron is pretty slow if it’s being used only to get ahead of the opponent in the card-advantage department, but it’s excellent when you also have expensive spells to accelerate into.

My pick: Dreamstone Hedron

Pack 2 pick 6:

 

Cadaver Imp is the only card for us here.

My pick: Cadaver Imp

Pack 2 pick 7:

 

My pick: Bloodthrone Vampire

Pack 2 pick 8:

 

My pick: Perish the Thought

Pack 2 pick 9:

 

My pick: Wrap in Flames

Pack 2 pick 10:

 

My pick: Shared Discovery

Pack 2 pick 11:

 

My pick: Bala Ged Scorpion

Pack 2 pick 12:

 

My pick: Reality Spasm

Pack 2 pick 13:

 

My pick: Battle Rampart

Pack 2 pick 14:

 

My pick: Demonic Appetite

Pack 2 pick 15:

Plains 

Pack two was similar to pack one. We picked up some solid Black and a few colorless fatties, but there weren’t many opportunities to pick up good Blue creatures. I wouldn’t go as far to say that Blue is being aggressively cut, but there is definitely a moderate squeeze going on. White was more open than Blue, but unfortunately didn’t have much synergy with what we were trying to draft. Pack three needs to be a bit above average in the creature department for us to make a functional deck.

Pack 3 pick 1:

 

With Prophetic Prism and Evolving Wilds, splashing Gelatinous Genesis would be quite easy, and it certainly is a powerful spell to splash. However we’ve already got a lot of late-game action with the Ulamog’s Crusher and Artisan of Kozilek while being short on ways to get there. Finishing the game isn’t going to be a problem (while getting there might) and Induce Despair is going to help provide a safer way to get to it.

My pick: Induce Despair

Pack 3 pick 2:

 

This pick is terrible for us. There’s nothing in Blue or Black to play while the best splash card is Knight of Cliffhaven.

My pick: Knight of Cliffhaven

Pack 3 pick 3:

 

Here’s another sub-par pack. There aren’t many options besides Zulaport Enforcer. We don’t have sufficient Eldrazi Spawn to support Bloodthrone Vampire well enough which makes the 1/1 quite underwhelming. As I mentioned earlier about Eel Umbra, it would be better in a deck that attacks a lot. Lastly, Reinforced Bulwark is simply inferior to Zulaport Enforcer because it can’t attack and change into a game-ending nearly-unblockable creature.

My pick: Zulaport Enforcer

Pack 3 pick 4:

 

We haven’t picked up any good cards to splash yet (except for the Knight of Cliffhaven if it comes to that) while having an Evolving Wilds and Prophetic Prism ready which makes a second Evolving Wilds not very useful to say the least. Gloomhunter is the best choice because it’s the only card (besides Jwari Scuttler, and we don’t need more do-nothing Bala Ged Scorpions).

My pick: Gloomhunter

Pack 3 pick 5:

 

My pick: Essence Feed

Pack 3 pick 6:

 

My pick: Demystify

Pack 3 pick 7:

 

Finally we get a pack with a card that isn’t terrible. We don’t have any sweet auras to fetch with Totem-Guide Hartebeest which means See Beyond will be a better choice because it will filter away counterspells, Eldrazi, and land when we don’t need them.

My pick: See Beyond

Pack 3 pick 8:

 

My pick: Skeletal Wurm

Pack 3 pick 9:

 

The pack that we opened came back, and while it was above average to start with, it didn’t seem good enough to expect all the cards that came back to do so. Halimar Wavewatch is generally better than Frostwind Invoker because it can play multiple roles more effectively at nearly every point in the game than Frostwind Invoker. When you also consider the amount of high-end that we have in the deck already it’s easy to see that the cheaper, sleeker, more streamlined Halimar Wavewatch will be a better choice.

My pick: Halimar Wavewatch

Pack 3 pick 10:

 

My pick: Soulbound Guardians

Pack 3 pick 11:

 

My pick: Naturalize

Pack 3 pick 12:

 

My pick: Shared Discovery

Pack 3 pick 13:

 

My pick: Puncturing Light

Pack 3 pick 14:

 

My pick: Contaminated Ground

Pack 3 pick 15:

Plains 

Pack three was quite bad for us and we will struggle to make a good deck because of it. I didn’t think that passing only the Nirkana Revenant in pack two was going to have such an impact on the last pack, but apparently it was seen as a sign from God by a guy to our right to go all-in on Black in the last pack.

There are a few ways to build the last portion of the deck:

1) A White splash for Knight of Cliffhaven and Soulbound Guardians off of the Prophetic Prism, Evolving Wilds, and a Plains. The problem with splashing White is that the mana in the deck is already somewhat awkward with its multiple counterspells and abundance of cheap Black creatures.

2) A token sub-theme for Bloodthrone Vampire, Essence Feed, and Shared Discovery. Shared Discovery is one of my favorite ways for the token/X decks to get ahead because they’re already running the token-making cards; it’s not much of a step to include a Shared Discovery or two. The problem with this option is that our deck doesn’t consider Bloodthrone Vampire and Essence Feed and auto-include and are both rather suboptimal without the Shared Discovery.

3) A utility package of Fleeting Distraction and Prophetic Prism to cycle through the deck and find the better cards. The two Fleeting Distractions can combo with the two Bala Ged Scorpions when both are in hand and at other times just cycle in combat (perhaps even getting ahead by a card along the way) when we don’t have a Scorpion.

The problem with running Shared Discovery when it requires us to play cards that we wouldn’t want to run otherwise is that the card advantage gets mitigated. Running Fleeting Distraction becomes better because it doesn’t force you to run cards that are more expensive and don’t interact well with the deck. The White splash is legitimate, but it will be super clunky and cause us to mulligan and stumble in game.

Deck:

 

Round 1:

 

Game 1:
Evil wins the roll and chooses to play first, keeping his hand while we do the same (Evolving Wilds, Island, 2 Swamp, Zulaport Enforcer, Deprive, and Lay Bare). We don’t have the greatest hand, but without any other information it’s not one that we can send back.

[T: 1] Evil plays an Island and casts Training Grounds while [d: Fleeting Distraction] we play a Swamp and summon our Zulaport Enforcer.

[T: 2] Evil plays a Forest and casts See Beyond while we [d: Swamp] play our Evolving Wilds and attack with the Enforcer [E: 19].

[T: 3] Evil plays a Forest on his turn and passes while we use Evolving Wilds to find an Island. One our turn [d: Island] we play an Island and attack with the Enforcer [E: 18] and pass.

[T: 4] Evil plays an Island and summons a Kozilek’s Predator. We have nothing going on so we counter it with Deprive (returning an Island). [d: Island] We replay our Island and attack again with the Enforcer [E: 17]. Afterwards we cycle Fleeting Distraction on our Enforcer [d: Island] and pass.

[T: 5] Evil plays a Forest and summons a Broodwarden while [d: Swamp] we play a Swamp and level up the Enforcer. We can’t attack through Evil’s 4/4 so we have to pass.

[T: 6] Evil plays a Forest and puts a Drake Umbra on his Broodwarden before sending it in to attack us [G: 13]. [d: See Beyond] We’re behind and need to find some action with this See Beyond [d: Fleeting Distraction and Gloomhunter]. We shuffle an Island back into the deck and won’t be missing it anytime soon. Afterwards, we play an Island, summon the Gloomhunter, and attack with the Zulaport Enforcer [E: 14].

[T: 7] Evil attacks again with his Broodwarden [G: 6] and passes with six mana and three cards in hand. [d: Island] We play an Island, attack with the Zulaport Enforcer [E: 11] and pass the turn.

[T: 8] Evil attacks again with the Broodwarden. Before blocking, we cycle Fleeting Distraction to make the Broodwarden smaller [d: Dreamstone Hedron]. This time, we’re obliged to block with the Gloomhunter. Afterwards, Evil summons a Merfolk Skyscout but we counter it with Lay Bare and see his hand of Skittering Invasion, Spawnsire of Ulamog, and Boar Umbra. Evil passes afterwards. [d: Cadaver Imp] We play a Swamp and attack with the Zulaport Enforcer [E: 8]. Then we summon the Cadaver Imp and the Gloomhunter that it got back.

[T: 9] Evil attacks again and we block with the Gloomhunter. Then he plays a Forest and casts Skittering Invasion. [d: Prophetic Prism] We play the Prism [d: Island] but find nothing of use and die to the horde of Spawn tokens.

Sideboard: -1 Fleeting Distraction; +1 Shrivel.

Game 2:
We choose to play first and keep out hand of seven (2 Swamp, Zulaport Enforcer, Dread Drone, Artisan of Kozilek, See Beyond, and Lay Bare) while Evil does the same.

[T: 1] We play a Swamp and summon our Zulaport Enforcer while Evil just plays an Island. Thankfully he doesn’t have the first-turn Training Grounds from last game that almost wrecked us.

[T: 2] [d: Island] Sometimes you just run well. We’ll need to continue doing that if we’re to slay our formidable adversary. Continuing on, we play our Island and cast See Beyond [d: Vendetta and Mnemonic Wall] (shuffling Lay Bare back into the deck). Then we attack with the Zulaport Enforcer [E: 19] and pass. Evil simply plays a Forest and passes back.

[T: 3] [d: Induce Despair] We play our last land (a Swamp), attack with the Enforcer [E: 18], and pass. Evil plays another Island and summons a Sea Gate Oracle.

[T: 4] [d: Deprive] We can’t do anything and pass the turn. Evil plays a Forest and tries to suit up his Sea Gate Oracle, but we kill it with Vendetta in response [G: 17].

[T: 5] [d: Lay Bare] We’re obviously miserable and pass the turn after attacking with the Enforcer [E: 17]. Evil plays a Forest and summons a Daggerback Basilisk. Then he casts See Beyond and passes.

[T: 6] [d: Bala Ged Scorpion] We still can’t do anything and have to pass. Evil has no fear as he plays a Forest and tries to put a Drake Umbra on his Basilisk, but we kill it with Induce Despair (revealing Dread Drone) in response.

[T: 7] [d: Swamp] Finally. We play our Swamp and level up the Zulaport Enforcer before attacking with it [E: 14]. Evil summons a Merfolk Skyscout on his turn and passes.

[T: 8] [d: Dreamstone Hedron] We attack with the Enforcer and Evil blocks with the Skyscout (Island untaps). Before damage, he pumps the Skyscout with Might of the Masses, which kills our Enforcer. We’re left with no good plays and have to pass again. Evil makes his Merfolk Skyscout huge with a Boar Umbra and attacks with it [G: 12]. Then he summons a Sporecap Spider and passes.

[T: 9] [d: Swamp] We play the Swamp and summon our Mnemonic Wall (getting back Induce Despair) before passing the turn. Evil attacks with his Skyscout [G: 7] and summons a Nema Siltlurker.

[T: 10] [d: Shrivel] We cast Induce (revealing Artisan of Kozilek) immediately to kill the Skyscout and pass. Evil plays a Forest and attacks with his Sporecap Spider and Nema Siltlurker. The Spider gets past our Wall [G: 6] and Evil passes afterwards with one card in hand.

[T: 11] [d: Fleeting Distraction] We cycle Fleeting Distraction [d: Bala Ged Scorpion] and summon one of the Scorpions to kill the Sporecap Spider. On his turn, Evil casts Skittering Invasion and then summons a Hand of Emrakul (sacrificing his fifth Spawn token for mana along the way).

[T: 12] [d: Island] We play our Island and cast the Dreamstone Hedron before passing. Evil attacks with his Hand of Emrakul and Nema Siltlurker while we sacrifice our Bala Ged Scorpion to the Annihilate trigger. Our Mnemonic Wall blocks the Hand [G: 3] and Evil passes afterwards.

[T: 13] [d: Island] We play the Island and summon the Artisan of Kozilek (getting back the Mnemonic Wall) (getting back Induce Despair) and pass the turn. Evil summons a Sea Gate Oracle and then casts Distortion Strike to make his Hand unblockable. We lose.

Happy Drafting.

71 thoughts on “According to Webster – Rise of the Eldrazi Draft #9”

  1. Sucks that the draft went so terribly, but sometimes it just happens. That being said, the opening hand you kept for game 2 seems TERRIBLE on the play. Are you sure you didn’t mistype part of it? It seems unkeepable. I suppose it’s decent if you draw an Island, but I feel that you can probably do a little better than “decent” with a 6 card hand.

  2. I may be wrong here but i TOTALLY disagree with the vendetta over revanant pick. Like it will win you way more games then a vendetta well imo and it affects the game as in your opponent has to deal with it or die to it. and u were lacking ways to win the game and make a solid deck. and if u pass a vendetta its not a strong signal that black is open but passing the revenant sent big signals to ur opponent to move in on it and u got punished for it. Just my two cents maybe i’m wrong

  3. I wanted to complain that you value distortion strike so low, taking the unplayable knight over it, and then you lost to it. I can’t decide how much that strengthens my argument, if at all, but I like the strike at least a little bit, and I would have run one over one of the fleeting distractions.

  4. word. nirkhana revenant is a bomb. also the white invoker is a MUCH better splash. it wins games by itself and works better with induce, and u don’t have to pump mana in to get value. also i woulda picked the pelakka p1 p1 and have the guys to your left fight over black. U/G ramp looked like a pretty open theme, and vapors really isn’t that strong in this format.. kinda like staggershock.

  5. I love the ending…

    “He casts Distortion Strike….We lose. Happy Drafting.”

    straight and to the point. Good draft cap, keep it up! always interesting read.

  6. i think you underrate revenant by a good bit. yeah, when you compare it to those creatures of course its not as good. but 9 out of 10 times i think id rather have revenant in hand than vendetta. i think id rather be trying to win the game through getting far ahead of my opponent with my access to double black mana or crashing in with a creature that gets bigger than eldrazi.
    yeah vendetta is sometimes going to get there and be better. but not often enough to justify taking it, pack 2 pick 1 over revenant (hence the other one time in that ten).

    just another players perspective.

  7. ROFLMAO"¦

    I think I finally get it…hahahah…These drafts are a joke ol’ Webster is playing on all of us…Man I feel like such a noob, there is obliviously no way a player of Webster’s caliber would continually be this bad so it must be a joke.

    Even his analysis of what/why he is drafting is so off, it’s just a running joke and I finally get it…I mean he lays out every different deck he might want to draft before he makes Pac 1 Pic 2 and then picks a vanilla Crusher instead of the Teacher which would put him into a leveler deck, and then…Hahahahahahaha…in the very next Pac 1 Pic 3 when given the opportunity to get one of the better ramp cards to actually go the token/ramp direction he "of course" picks a lame leveler…hahahahahahah…

    These reports are getting funnier every time I swear…

    Good one Webster, you are the man…

  8. @ Oz

    I would take Crusher over Teacher in a heartbeat there, since I like the archetypes it fits into better. Also, Consuming Vapors combines quite well with Crusher, and is a great start to a control deck. Feel free to assume that I’m joking, but that really is what I would do.

  9. For the record, I actually agree with the Vendetta over Revenant pick. First of all, in your deck it eats removal much more often than in others because you have very few creatures. Second, If you’re trying to attack with it, more often than not it just gets chumped by hordes of spawn tokens and/or wall of omens/sea gate oracle/mnemonic wall. You don’t really have any ways to use the mana ability, so that leaves it as a moderately expensive giant blocker that usually eats removal and will occasionally get to attack. At that point, I’d rather just have the vendetta.

    It kind of sucks that the person to your right over-valued the Revenant, though, because otherwise you would have had a pretty playable deck. Not exciting by any means, but good-not-great decks tend to make for the best draft reports (at least when they’re piloted by pros)

  10. I’m okay with Vendetta over Revenant (who doesn’t have any evasion btw). Less okay with the bad keep in game 2 (on the play even).

  11. Man, bad beats. This felt like what happens when I draft. I don’t know that I can really disagree with any of your picks (I would have went different ways at some points, but I can’t really say that one way was right and the other wrong).

    The only thing I think I’ll mention (although in retrospect it wouldn’t have worked out any better than how this draft played out) was that I’d give some consideration to Venerated Teacher p1p2 over Crusher. Crusher’s good, of course, but it’s so often easy to pick up big guys later on that it might not be worth taking too early. Teacher is more of a gamble, but when it’s good it’s really good, and it’s at its best in UB levelers. Of course with the knowledge of hindsight that path wouldn’t have worked out either, but it might have been worth the risk.

  12. Definitely disagree with Vendetta ove Revenant, because Nirkana not only allows you to play a bunch of spells in the same turn(you can play that Ulamog’s or Null Cahmpion and almost fully level it etc), and if it connects, game is over in like 2 turns.

    And, oh, yeah, it is pretty much unaffected by best removal spells(Corpsehatch, Vendetta, Staggershock, and also Heat Ray if u untap with it), and with it, picking Distortion Strike and playing it would also be nice.

    Or, u could just avoid playing bad cards in the deck because guy to ur right wouldn’t take a bunch of black that u wanted.

  13. You are a man truly unafraid to commit. I’m much more flip floppy in drafts. Also, I think you may be a victim of your own success and discipline. While vendetta may be the better card for the deck your trying to build, and thus was the pick, I think most people, including myself, would slam the Nirkana without much thought. But put yourself in your neighbors shoes as well. I’d be thinking that I cant imagine what someone in black would take over this. And most times that would be sound reasoning. Although for the record, In my experience, the only time Nirkana gets busted is when shes used for ramp. Other than that, shes just a fatty that gets chumped and raced.

  14. Revenant is a bit of a trap – it’s really just a fattie, since late game you essentially have enough mana to make the optimal play, regardless of the doubling of your mana. More importantly, Eldrazi spawn block Revenant all day. If it had fear or flying, it’d be a different story, but it doesn’t.

  15. Kool,

    LSV thanks for responding…

    To clarify, if I may, I didn’t say that the Crusher was a good or bad pick, what I did say was that the Crusher, combined with many other picks, made very little sense and this draft as a whole was a was bad…

    Can you say you would have 3rd picked Null Champion when there was a very good ramp card in the pack. Webster says after Pac 1 how great Black was to be in, but IMO Green was the oblivious color to be in, he could have spashed the Vapors and had a pretty good G/x ramp deck.

    This is Draft #9 for Webster and he has done pretty poorly in at least 6 of them…I think he didn’t complete 2 of the 9, so we’ll never know if he would have won those or not.

    I truly respect you guys and know that you are putting yourself out there and facing the comments by us less-than-pros, but even you have to admit that this was a terrible draft…

  16. @ Oz
    Oh and by the way Oz. Besides pack 3 of course, did you see a single green card in any of the latter packs worth taking? Webster would have ended up with a beast breaker and a snake umbra. Woopty freakin do.

  17. These are interesting, but already old news. I love triple RoE drafts (it’s my favorite draft format of all time) but with M11 coming in that’s what will be drafted most for the next three months; especially where I play magic. I guess magic online is a few weeks behind and won’t get m11 yet (or is it? I don’t even know anymore) but RoE drafts feel outdated already. I’ve already drafted m11 a couple of times and seeing RoE drafts feels weird.

  18. Another person who tries to build around Mnemonic Wall. The fact is that the card is bad. a 04 body is quite pointless, so basically you are looking to spend 6 mana on a vendetta. A really bad deal in my opinion and this is actually an example where the wall shines.

    Also taking a Vendetta over Revenant is just wrong. there cannot be any justification to it.

  19. White Invoker seems like a MUCH stronger splash… And I’ve found Ogre’s Cleaver to be pretty nice in controlling decks. Having one around means that you’ll eventually be able to set up something, no matter what creature comes along. Bala Ged Scorpion on an empty board? Not so bad when there’s a cleaver around.

  20. Timothy J. Aten

    I’m firmly in the “Revenant is a bomb” camp. I can’t think of any reason I’d take Vendetta over it when black is one of my main colors.

  21. @Adam

    Your right, I should have prefaced my remark; I agree that all of the packs were a very poor bunch. There’s where the players skill to pick through the trash and build a deck that can compete comes in.

    Hindsight is 20/20 after all, and given the general lack of high powered picks available in pack 1 I can only say that I would have picked differently.

  22. My two criticisms –
    1) Dawnglare Invoker seems like a better splash than the Knight. When played late game, it demands an answer or else the opponent loses. Knight can be raced or blocked, and takes a little longer to get online, making it a worse topdeck than the Invoker.

    2) 3rd turn Deprive is awful. You need to give yourself the out of drawing into relevant spells. In the meantime, the Predator can be easily held off by your Enforcer. I would have saved the Deprive until after the Enforcer was leveled at least. I think this was the single worst decision in the whole draft, the only other bad move from my perspective being the game 2 keep.

    Vendetta over Revenant is debatable but fine. I think the pick is rather close, and both options should be considered and are viable. I myself probably would have taken Vendetta here, but considering how shitty the packs ended up being, having the power of Revenant would have been good.

  23. The idiot trolls are impressively ubiquitous in these comments. There were definitely some mistakes made, but given the packs he got/where he was sitting, he built a pretty decent deck, though definitely not one likely to 3-0.

  24. For the most part I think you just got really unlucky in not getting anything in blue the last two packs. The Revenant-Vendetta pick is really interesting to me though. Like a lot of people I would definitely have slammed the Rev but I can buy that Vendetta is a better and certainly more consistent card. I wonder if you consider it a mis-pick in hindsight however because of the signal it sent, although perhaps it’s just bad luck that the next drafter seemingly went all out on black because of it. Anyways, good stuff as always.

  25. this was worth posting? i don’t expect you to win all the time but if you put this much effort into writing a draft why not make it exciting for the readers.

  26. Magicthegatherin

    Ya’ll stupid talkin that Nirkana nonsense over vendetta. Ditto on Crusher and Teacher. None of you noobs mention his true mistake, not taking gomazoa p1p3. He’s clearly aiming for control and gomazoa is the nuts in such an archetype.

  27. It’s weird how circular logic is actually kinda true in this situation.

    If people like Nirkana Revenant and think it’s a bomb, then passing it is a mistake because the person who thinks it’s a bomb will hoover up all the black.

    David, did you think that other people would think it’s a bomb?

  28. Thanks so much for posting this draft. I’ve been a fan of your walkthroughs for some time, but in my view this pushes you into serious contention as the best draft writer of all time.

    Far too often good players only post walkthroughs where everything works out for them. I found it really useful watching you looking for ways to recover from poor signals and weak packs and then trying to take on a tricky opponent with the resulting deck.

    Full marks. More of this please!

  29. I actually think the first pack is the most interesting. I probably wouldn’t have picked the consuming vapors, but I tend to draft a more agressive style. I have been unimpressed with the vapors and I think picking it is wrong because it encouraged you down a very narrow route – its only really good in mnemonic walldecks. Obviously you can’t ever tell which is the best route, because the picks you make affect the whole draft.

    Anyway, thanks for the post.

  30. I just saw your first pick, and felt it warranted comment, then I saw a bunch of “bad beats” posts, and I think you set yourself up for failure from p1p1. I realize Vapors is the best of the three removal spells available, and I know you porbably prefer black to red, but if you take Vendetta/Vapors you’re passing a bomb black card and setting yourself up for trouble in pack 2.

    To me, Staggershock was the right choice p1p1

  31. Interesting draft.

    I find this happening a lot in this format where you just have no possible way to draft a powerful deck. Sometimes the packs just suck for you and the other people get more value out of their picks/packs.

    I definitely agree with Vendetta over Reverent because you have some fat already at that point, and it’s much easier to come by compared to removal.

  32. Nirkana vs vendetta is close, in a vaccum. In a deck that already has some late game but only a couple of removal spells, the pick is less close. Vendetta ftw.

    Thanks for posting these, Web.

  33. I probably would have taken the Revenant over the Vendetta as well, for reasons listed above, and the fact that it is a few dollars as well, IRL! I know that last part doesn’t help my credibility, however, it seems like a double-mana producer is great in a format that has a bunch of fatties. If you took it, it would help power out an Artisan, or a Crusher, or a Bloodrite Invoker, or a Pestilence Demon, or Kozilek or Ulamog (the legendary one).

    Also, if you took the Revenant in that pack (say there wasn’t a Vendetta), then would you be more likely to pick (and play) the Spawnsire of Ulamog Pack 2, Pick 7?

  34. Hi Web,

    I was sitting to your right on this draft I believe.
    I opened Drana P1 P1 and didn’t pass that much black (I thought anyways). When I got the Revenant P2 P2 I was really happy. Too bad I got manascrewed round 1 both games and lost. My deck turned out to be retarded good. I was wondering what your thoughts were or anybody else’s if you have a deck that is really good and will only lose to manascrew because it so powerful, should you play 18 land to make sure you don’t get manascrewed. I draft alot and don’t usually have a deck that I would say can only lose if you get manascrewed but this was definetly the case this draft.

    Thanks to anybody’s thoughts on this question.

    Bluehaze

  35. I would have taken Growth Spasm P1P3. The Pellaka Wurm you passed is not as strong a signal as it might normally be since the pack is chockablock with removal and you took the rare which indicates absolutely nothing. For the people you are passing to, the removal is the much safer (and probably better) pick. On top of that, the two guys down from you likely aren’t going to want to get into a green war after passing the Wurm (along with who knows what) so the beastbreakers probably wont start to go till about 5-7th pick. So even though the best 3 cards in the pack are all green (evolving wilds aside), I think it’s actually quite a decent time to start cutting it. G/B is a good combination to be in, Growth Spasm will help accelerate out your crusha, and if you decide to ditch black and play green you can still splash vapours easily. It’s risky, but I would rather cut open my gut with a rusty spoon and eat my stomach than take Null Champion 3rd pick. (ok maybe not).

    Also, your articles are great and I have found that applying your way of thinking to my drafts has helped me improve a lot (although you may think differently after reading all that) so thanks!

  36. SpoonSpoonSpoon

    I’m not sure about revenant over vendetta. I think either is probably fine. You seemed to have a lot of removal already, so I’d’ve maybe taken the revenant. Also, passing a good black mythic does tend to make noobs like me move into black(!).

    The grumbling I don’t get at all though is the suggestion that you should be taking teacher over crusher before having picked up any levellers? I’d never pick teacher over something comparable in quality unless I already had some levellers. With no levellers in the pile, crusher seems like a much better pick.

  37. This is one of your best writeups despite the disappointing finish. I agree with your picks — those quibbling over Revenant do not “get” this format. A really good Shade without evasion is just another big dumb dude. It doesn’t even have Annihilator like most of the other available options to fill that role, plus you can’t tap out with it against Flame Slash. Vendetta on the other hand is great against just about any opponent and wrecks specific archetypes, like the janky Aura deck that is popular.

    I did use Revenant to mindtrick my opponent once. I guess he wasn’t very good at math and didn’t realize that Revenant + 3 Swamps + 2 other lands = Invoker activation.

  38. Agreed on Revenant over Vendetta; but not because it ‘is a bomb’ but, because at this point I’d be thinking mono-black.

    Also, no disrespect intended Mr. Ochoa, but you do commit to your archetypes earlier than anyone I’ve ever seen. If you were a lesser player, your win % would suffer more because of it.

    Thanks for staying non-video David, I love drafts but can’t stand videos.

  39. wheel of armageddon

    As always, thanks for taking the time to write this up. In this case, seeing you navigate your way through some pretty awkward packs while trying to put together a decent deck was educational in a different way than your usual reviews.

    Much appreciated, looking forward to #10! RoE is such a fun set to draft.

  40. Thank you for the draft Mr. Ochoa. I have been wanting to see how to best try to deal with bad packs and having your color cut halfway through a draft and I was happy to see your logic is such a situation. I wasn’t sure if you would try to abandon your weaker color and try to pick up whatever seemed open or not.

    As far as the Revenant vs. Vendetta, I have gotten to draft the Revenant first or second pick early in the draft about four times. It shines if you are heavy black, but every time I put it into a deck that is lighter on black, even when it is still two colors, it is much less of a beast. The only time I put it in three colors it was a very disappointing draw (compared to removal). Also, everything (tokens!) blocks it. It’s often a Hand with no annihilator. If you have nothing else to ramp to and no way to give it evasion I do not feel it is overwhelming. Just my take, and I wanted to add it.

    I am glad you took the crusher over the teacher. I thought you should, but didn’t expect you to.

    What is your thought on the Spawnsire? I have pretty much considered him unplayable in draft; a bad Hand that you can’t even cheat into play. I assume you agree as you took a vampire over it, and I don’t think even the synergy with the Revenant would make it worthwhile.

    Thanks for writing out the draft. I’m glad you write them and give reasoning. Also, your wry style is enjoyable to read. Looking forward to the next one!

  41. Are you assuming your opponent is bad (apparently correct)? If not, one would assume that they are levelers because they chose to play, thus a double counterspell hand is unkeepable…

  42. Pingback: MTGBattlefield

  43. @bluehaze

    I generally prefer 18 lands unless I’ve got some cheap green ramp to help me out. Seems like the pros on CF (web uses 18 here) go the same way usually.

  44. You always talk about sending signs and then you pass a revenant? it just seems that some casual drafter next to you would think OMG REVENANT BLACK iS OPEN

  45. Oof… rough draft, David.

    Thank you for not just posting the winners and for sharing your thought process through some way less than impressive packs.

    Videos of your drafts soon? Hmm? HMMM??? =P

    Love, love, love the limited content, guys!

    -Andy

  46. Why is BW bad? Going back over the cards, it was a very hard table to read, but white seemed the most open by the end of pack 1, and I myself would have been Bwu and unsure of my second color (pack 2 would have solidified easily in BW levelers).

    People are actively avoiding BW because it’s “bad.” Why is it bad (just wondering if somebody could articulate it, because it is not at all obvious to me).

  47. If this were a Pro Tour draft or something I’d agree with Vendetta over Nirkana. But on MTGO you have to know that the typical drafter (8-4, or otherwise) is going to windmill that and see that as their green light to dive into black.

    I do think Vendetta is the better card, however. That was a very tough pick to deal with.

  48. mmm…strange draft

    Well, as I am quite OK with most of the picks, passing the Revenant seems akward. As you said yourself, you have a chance to got cut from black in pack 3, what happened.
    Also Revenant is utility, and not just a fatty. With playing blue/black I take it in a heartbeat and pick up a distortion strike. Also it helps to play invoker abilities for 4 swamps.

    As others have said, the white invoker makes a very good splash (much better imo than the knight), and at that time it was conceivable you might have picked up a black invoker, which would have been decent in your deck as early blocker/traders as well. And there where some blue invokers as well.

    To survive the early game, Arrogant Bloodlord might have helped you as blocker. I have the feeling you neglected that sometimes you just need “meat” to trade with or keep of attackers. Bloodlord does that.
    Also with some critters on the board, you can keep your instant removal for really problematic guys.

    So all in all thanks for posting this, but it was a difficult draft with some strange choices imo.

  49. Timothy J. Aten

    The people who think Revenant vs. Vendetta is close probably have never played with or against Revenant.

  50. First off, I love these walkthroughs. Posting the mediocre results generates more discussion and is often better than the all star drafts.

    I do think you missed a great opportunity in pack 3 to solidify a white splash that would have increased your chances of winning, especially when you seemed to be cut off from your main colors.

    Starting with pack 3, pick 2, you took knight of cliffhaven, which is a much stronger card than gloomhunter. I may have chosen the dawnglare invoker here, but that’s unimportant. When you get to pack 3 pick 4, and choose the gloomhunter over evolving wilds, I think you could have instead compared the gloomhunter to the knight of cliffhaven (or dawnglare invoker if you picked that). At this point the third mana fixer makes it much easier to splash and if you take the evolving wilds, I think you are able to splash your white flier instead and have a good late game threat instead of a vanilla dude that ended up a chump blocker.

    Then when you get to pack 3 pick 6, I really can’t understand demystify over kor line-slinger. The deck is very light on removal and would love the slinger to get through the early game. If you make those changes, you can also support a couple puncturing lights which were available throughout the draft. While they are not extremely strong, they definitely would have helped in the above games, and they help keep the board relatively clear for consuming vapors to work its magic.

    The point is I think it’s important to always think about which strong cards you can pick up along the way in case the strategy has to change late. If you can pick up some powerful cards as a plan b instead of weak cards in color that shouldn’t make the cut, sometimes it pays off down the line. Anyway thanks for another thought-provoking article.

  51. Probably the worst draft I’ve ever read/watched, but I’m really glad you posted it. Doesn’t seem like there was anything you could have done to make it much better other than not passing the Revenant.

    I’m glad you posted it because it helps people (me particularly) understand that you can’t always win packs in every draft you participate in. Sometimes, the cards you’re passed are just awful.

  52. I guess I don’t understand your hatred of Distortion Strike. You could have had one as late as 12th pick in pack 3. At that point I think you knew you would need to get lucky to win games and that’s what the card does — lets you get lucky. Good with Crusher, Artisan, Dread Drone, Wavewatch, Skeletal Wurm, and Null Champion — not to mention insane with Revenant. You really needed some evasion.

    You took your second Shared Discovery instead.

  53. Why do so many people like vendetta so much? I personally agreed with every pick he made beside that one. And even then my biggest thing is that revenant doesnt even die to vendetta. I have found that removal isnt as good in this format as bombs even if “all it does is attack”.

    p.s. I have no problem with your love of shared discovery. Whenever I draft it I can never actually put it in my deck though XD. Distortion Strike is almost at the same level and same mana cost so I say its all about your opinion in that case

  54. “Another person who tries to build around Mnemonic Wall. The fact is that the card is bad. a 04 body is quite pointless, so basically you are looking to spend 6 mana on a vendetta. A really bad deal in my opinion and this is actually an example where the wall shines.

    Also taking a Vendetta over Revenant is just wrong. there cannot be any justification to it.”

    This is just nonsense. In a limited deck adding value in the form in the form of an additional removal spell from a later pick is excellent. At the very worst you get to fog a creature, also.

    There are so many spells in a UB archetype that are nuts when returned. Any black removal, recurring insight, and the blue counterspells, to name a few, are all generally nuts when brought back for a second time around.

  55. I liked most of your picks save for the Vendetta over revnant.. I sound like a broken record here, but I would have been tempted to assume there that some moron downstream of me whose draft is going terribly is going to pick that thing up and latch on to black. I don’t particularly like it, but I’m definitely not as strongly opposed to it as a lot of people seem to be based on the comments.

  56. My only two issues are:

    A) I’d have taken the Beastbreaker pick 3 and just say to hell with it. I do understand your logic about not creating competition pack 2 but I have never felt comfy with picking a Null Champion that high and the Beastbreaker messes with the format pretty hard. Considering the single G mana symbol and the control of the board a 4/4 on turn 3 gives you I’d have just forced it. Based on what you saw later you could have ended up with a couple Stomper Cubs, Growth Spasms, at least one Deathtouch Basilisk and even a couple of umbras. Hindsight is 20/20 and I guess it’s a question of styles but I’d feel better about that pile than the blue you ended up with.

    B) I understand you were trying for creatures at that point but considering you were already drifting away from any potential Eldrazi Token nonsense does it REALLY make sense to pick the Bloodthrone Vampire pick 7 in the 2nd pack? Isn’t Virulent Swipe the better choice simply because it’s instant speed kill (sure it’s a trade but nobody said it had to be a GOOD trade) and then “Don’t you dare block this guy” on your next upkeep. Again, this may be a question of styles but I’d feel more comfy with that pick.

    RE: Vendetta, the only problem with this pick was that it doesn’t kill the Revenant but the rest of your draft did a fine job in terms of addressing how to contain her if she showed up later so I don’t see the problem.

    Thanks a lot for this writeup, I enjoyed it greatly.

    PS Pack 3 Pick 3 Zulaport Enforcer = brutal. I understand and would completely have made the same pick based on previous choices but WOW is that a terrible situation to be in. My condolences.

    -nina

  57. I don’t agree with your logic on p1p3 null champion over beastbreaker.
    Ok, yea, passing the 2nd one will send a signal green is open to the player on your left. However, passing two will send a signal to both players on your left that green is open, which will COMPLETELY cut off green. I mean, this decision is likely the same that the guy on your right figured. Dunno what he took p1p2, but he didn’t take a beast breaker as it’d tell you that green is open if he did.
    The question becomes, when do you take the more powerful card over (potentially) sending a signal?

    Let’s think of hypothetical situations here.

    If you pass one, and cut off any decent green from there on, the player to your left will see that green has dried up (having only 1, or possibly 2 good green spells from the first 4 picks) and he may go into a different 2nd (or 3rd) color by the end of pack 1. In pack two, he may be cutting off some green, but it’s only one person cutting it rather then 2. You could potentially pick up the 2nd best green card in each pack, with just the guy to your left in green. Or, best case scenario, he abandoned green as a main color after it dried up.

    I’d rather be in that situation, with a beast breaker already, then taking null champion there.

    With two players to your left both in green, there is no chance of getting any decent green cards in pack 2 at all.

    Passing the null champion doesn’t send the same signal about black, and
    after you cut it the rest of the pack, you still stand to get hooked up in p2.

    Lastly, revenant vs vendetta, gonna have to go with the peanut gallery here. Vendetta p2p2 is not a strong signal that HEAVY black is open, but revenant is. Revenant is better in a heavy black deck, while vendetta can be splashed easily. If someone sees that you passed them a revenant, then yes, they will assume you are not heavy black. If you pass them a vendetta, they are just happy to see a vendetta and don’t think it’s as strong a signal.
    If you think the cards are roughly equal in power level, then passing the revenant sends a much stronger, and incorrect, signal then you want to send and you pick it simply for that reason.

    Think of it like this, in m10, would you be more inclined to think the guy passing to you is not in black if you received a doom blade or a nightmare/tendrils of corruption?

    Maybe I’m more inclined to take revenant, as I would have preferred to be a B/g/ramp deck, and hopefully got a few more decent green cards passed to me then you did, as I would have cut green a bit more then you did. The Dread drone and Revenant, then hopefully some kind of nest invader/kozilek predator/ondu giant might have been passed had you gone into green in pack1. Combine that with the crusher and artisan, and you have a good heavy black deck that ramps into big threats. Might not have won the draft, but could have made the finals potentially.

    The other option, and I seem to say this every time I walk through the draft with you, was trying to force a kiln fiend deck 😀 splashing the vapors. But, that’s just my pet draft deck there.

  58. I don’t understand your P1P1 choice of Consuming Vapors. In the token-filled ROE limited environment this will often be subpar removal. It also leaves Vendetta in the pack for the next drafter. Even if that guy takes Staggershock or Pelakka Wurm over Vendetta, the second guy upstream will def be in black.
    If you want to play black that badly, Vendetta is the better pick.

    However, I don’t think you want black here. Ship those 2 good black cards and let your opponents fight over black and go Big Green yourself with Pelakka Wurm or RG/RU Fiend with Staggershock. Pelakka Wurm does put you in heavy green, which is hard for a P1P1, but Green def is a color you want to be in in ROE.

  59. If you think that passing the Revenant caused someone who wasn’t black to move into the color you are delusional. Firstly, it’s not _that_ good even in heavy black since it’s so easily chumped. Secondly, it requires a heavy black commitment and is totally unsplashable which makes it a poor card to move in on. It’s more likely that you were already cut off in black starting pack 1 considering you got passed 0 Vendetta/Induce/Invoker/Bloodthrone Vampire (4 best commons) and 0 Corpsehatch/Nirkana (2 best uncommons).

    The only picks I really disagree with is Null Champion over a green card and passing Bloodthrone Vampire. I find the Vampire to almost always be useful, if nothing else it screws up Staggershock/Last Kiss/Trainerous Instincts and it’s annoying to combat against. In the end a BGx deck wouldn’t really have been any more powerful, but early in pack 1 it was reasonable to assume you would be getting passed more green in pack 1 and 3 than you were. Personally I would have taken Pelakka Wurm p1p1 which would have changed the entire draft, but that’s debatable and depends on what the current mtgo trend is. I feel that Consuming Vapors rarely kills more than 1 relevant creature and is totally dead against token decks while Pelakka Wurm consistently wins the game every time I cast it.

  60. re: Nirkana Revenant v Vendetta:

    @ Comment by Blind Fremen – July 19, 2010 @ 9:29 pm :
    @ Comment by Raven Fox – July 19, 2010 @ 9:44 pm :
    @ Comment by Damine – July 19, 2010 @ 10:26 pm :
    @ Comment by Just_a_guy – July 19, 2010 @ 11:13 pm :
    @ Comment by hannes – July 19, 2010 @ 11:34 pm :
    @ Comment by Bolt – July 20, 2010 @ 9:20 am :
    @ Comment by Wes – July 20, 2010 @ 9:11 pm :

    I’ve played with/against Nirkana Revenant a few times and this is what I’ve noticed:

    1) It’s usually a 10/10 attacker which will usually be problematic.
    2) It’s slow without support against levelers and gets outraced in the air.
    3) It’s hard to race against tokens if you’re trading attacks. It’s good as a Moat for a few turns until you stabilize and can start abyssing them.
    4) It’s a walking Dreamstone Hedron which makes casting Eldrazi and using Invokers quite easy.

    The problem that I had with Revenant was that it was just another clunky creature whereas Vendetta was going to be more efficient and better with Mnemonic Wall which made it a better pick for this draft at this specific point.

    That’s the way I see it and if you disagree with me, fine.

    re: Knight of Cliffhaven v Dawnglare Invoker:

    @ Comment by Richard – July 19, 2010 @ 11:36 pm :
    @ Comment by alex – July 20, 2010 @ 12:02 am :
    @ Comment by Gerwin – July 20, 2010 @ 10:08 am :

    Dawnglare Invoker is good in the lategame against decks with minimal removal. However, I was working under the assumption that the lategame wasn’t what I’d need help with because I had Artisan/Crusher/Cadaver Imp/multiple levelers/Vapors/Mnemonic Wall, etc. The deck’s weakness would be in the early game where Knight of Cliffhaven is a 2/3 flyer and Dawnglare Invoker is a 2/1 flyer. Yes, Dawnglare Invoker can eventually hold off a literal army of opposind creatures, but if I need some help in the early game, then it’s just a defensive Gloomhunter. Whooptee-Doo.

    @ Comment by MBraids – July 19, 2010 @ 9:36 pm :
    The hand I kept game two wasn’t above average, I’ll tell you thtat. However, when you look at the spells that he played game one, you can see that he wasn’t a very aggressive deck. The Zulaport Enforcer was going to be very good against him. While the Artisan and Lay Bare are dead in that hand, the See Beyond plus eleven Blue sources in the deck would mitigate the hand’s clunkiness. If I didn’t have the Enforcer in hand, then I would have definitely mulliganed.

    @ Comment by pt – July 19, 2010 @ 9:49 pm :
    The problem with Distortion Strike is that it is very niche; it applies to a very narrow set of games with specific (aggro) decks.

    Running Distortion Strike over Fleeting Distraction would have been a bad idea because:
    1) The deck isn’t aggro enough to take advantage of it (Mnemonic Wall, 2x Bala Ged Scorpion, etc)
    2) When the deck attacks, it won’t be having any trouble getting through whatever defense remains (Artisan/Crusher).
    3) You would have had a dead card in your hand most of the time whereas Fleeting Distraction can cycle if it’s not being useful with what’s in hand/play.

    Making the point of card A (Distortion Strike) being better than card B (Fleeting Distraction) because I “lost” to it is a baseless claim. I also took Regress over Nema Siltlurker and proceded to “lose” to the 3/5. Does that make Siltlurker better? Absolutely not. Knight of Cliffhaven was fine to take because I had Evolving Wilds and Prophetic Prism. Combine those two fixers with a Plains and splashing the Knight becomes a real option and a better one than Dawnglare Invoker (because Dawnglare Invoker sucks in the early game whereas Knight is much better since it can block).

    @ Comment by Nicol Bolas – July 19, 2010 @ 11:27 pm :
    @ Comment by vathda – July 20, 2010 @ 12:41 am :
    M11 won’t on MTGO until the beginning of August.

    @ Comment by hannes – July 19, 2010 @ 11:34 pm :
    Yes, you are right. Mnemonic Wall is a “bad” card. A 0/4 isn’t that great. However, when you’ve got the potential to rebuy Consuming Vapors and Staggershock it get’s much much better.

    @ Comment by alex – July 20, 2010 @ 12:02 am :
    I figured that the Enforcer was going to be good against him because he was Blue/Green, and thus didn’t want to simply trade it away. Additionally, Predator would have made Consuming Vapors awful if I drew it in the next few turns.

    @ Comment by gherrin – July 20, 2010 @ 1:55 am :
    I’m not sure what you’re getting at.

    @ Comment by merl – July 20, 2010 @ 2:51 am :
    I knew that opening Vendetta and Revenant was going to put me into a bad position. Yes, I knew that most people like the Revenant more than I do.

    @ Comment by Shane – July 20, 2010 @ 8:41 am :
    Spawnsire is quite expensive for what it does. It is only good in a token deck. It doesn’t have immediate value like Artisan and a low Annihilator.

    @ Comment by Jules – July 20, 2010 @ 8:46 am :
    I can’t assume that by him choosing to play when it’s game one of round one. Without knowing anything about a matchup, I wouldn’t fault him for wanting to play first.

    @ Comment by Jeff Stewart – July 20, 2010 @ 9:42 am :
    Black/White is “bad” because:
    1) As a leveler deck, you’re really reliant on Time of Heroes to make your guys good since you don’t have access to Venerated Teacher and Champion’s Drake.
    2) The non-leveler themes of each color don’t overlap well.
    3) You’re forced to play with just “good cards” which is fine, but I’d rather have synergy on my side as well. Building a deck with all “good cards” is perfectly acceptable. Cards like Makindi Griffin are fine, it’s just that you won’t have as many broken openings as the decks with a lot of synergies.

    You’re right that White was open, and had I taken something more vanilla like Vendetta P1P1, then I would have moved in on it. However, I wanted to be able to abuse Consuming Vapors as much as possible.

    @ Comment by anthony – July 20, 2010 @ 11:46 am :
    I took Demystify over Kor Line-slinger because I wanted to be able to deal with the Boar Umbra, Time of Heroes, and Lust for War that I saw go by instead of having to rely more heavily on Regress.

    @ Comment by Nolan – July 20, 2010 @ 11:11 pm :
    There are two reasons why I didn’t take a Beastbreaker over the Null Champion P1P3:
    1) With the way that I assumed the picks were going, the three people to my left took the Vendetta, Staggershock, and Pelakka Wurm. Having passed very little of another color, I am sure that they were also looking for a second color to be in. My pick two didn’t have much to choose from afterwards (Traitorous Instinct and Venerated Teacher with no levelers in the previous pack). Then low and behold there’s a pack with two Beastbreakers and a Growth Spasm which they would see as picks 4-6 depending on their seating. At that point, I would interpret that amount of Green as a sign that it’s open and be likely to go into it depending on what I’d drafted/passed.
    2) I was holding out to see if Blue was open as a main/splash because I wanted to be able to abuse Consuming Vapors with Mnemonic Wall(S).

    I don’t like the M10 example because Nightmare was a flyer compared to Revenant where there are infinite spawn to chump it.

  61. tl;dr on most of the comments but I can only concur with the people disagreeing on the Nirkana Revenant pick. On the surface it just looks like a big Shade, but once it comes into play it just rules the board. It doubles your black mana so it’s always gigantic and all your mana problems are out the window. There are so many activated abilities and the like in this format having that extra mana is invaluable and will put you far ahead quickly. Vendetta is just another removal, which always have and always will be overvalued, usually a really solid creature is a better pick over it and this was a such case.

    Also I think you are way to inclined in your reasoning to draft an archetype, instead of taking what’s coming. In this draft the cards for that control deck or whatever were never there at any point beyond perhaps the first picks of some of the packs.

  62. I hate drafts like this. Thanks for posting and keep up the good work. Your draft articles always show me different perspectives to drafting, and I appreciate it.

  63. Thx David for taking the time to comment to the questions / remarks.
    It helps even better to understand the thinking process. Still think Revenant was a better pick though…
    But thanks again for posting the drafts, it is really enjoyable and learnful.

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