Pack 1 pick 1:
There are very few metalcraft cards here but a fair amount of infect. Origin Spellbomb is a fine starting point for a metalcraft deck because it cycles while leaving an artifact in play. One of the problems with metalcraft decks is the necessity to play a lot of artifacts which leads to playing a lot of low-impact cards simply because they’re artifacts (Memnite, Myr, Accorder’s Shield, and spellbombs). Metalcraft decks will often run out of steam when facing a moderate amount of removal because they’re running bad artifacts that make the metalcraft cards good. Origin Spellbomb is different than most of the other bad artifacts because you come out ahead. While there are very few metalcraft cards, there are a lot of infect cards; Necropede, Untamed Might, Ichorclaw Myr, Tel-Jilad Fallen, Plague Stinger, and Tainted Strike. Infect isn’t going to support more than three people drafting it, and even then it’s a stretch. Tainted Strike gets better in a poison deck as the number of people drafting infect at a table increases because you won’t necessarily have all infect creatures and will need a way to make your non-infect creatures relevant offensively. Evasion and removal are very important qualities in infect decks because the creatures are generally smaller than non-infect creatures and competent opponents are going to trade at every opportunity. Plague Stinger, Ichorclaw Myr, and Tel-Jilad Fallen are the better creatures because they are hard to block. Tel-Jilad Fallen isn’t as good as the two-mana creatures because the opponent will be able to trade with a random non-artifact creature unless you’ve got a lot of removal. Untamed Might is almost Fireball because it functions so well with infect creatures (starting life total of ten) and doubles as a combat trick to save/kill creatures; it’s quite underrated. Plague Stinger is the better of the two-mana creatures because it’s harder to block than Ichorclaw Myr. Both are good early, but the Plague Stinger is more likely to be live when drawn late because there are very few ways to deal with flyers. Quicksilver Gargantuan is quite powerful (think about it and Spikeshot Elder) but too slow even in a format with Myr. If infect is being drafted by the appropriate amount of people, then this pack should come back with a few good choices left. If the Origin Spellbomb were a better colorless card, taking it and letting the people to the left fight over the infect cards would also be a good option.
My pick: Plague Stinger
Pack 1 pick 2:
This pack is almost the opposite of the first and there are only a few cards that go into an infect deck. Slice in Twain, Instill infection, and the two Myr are all options. Myr are less important in infect decks because their curve is more evenly distributed and they don’t rely on having a threshold of artifacts in play. Removal is also more important because infect decks don’t want their creatures to trade. There are a lot of one-toughness creatures but there are more artifacts and Enchantments which makes Slice in Twain a bit better. There isn’t an exceptional metalcraft card that would make us want to consider changing archetypes, so taking one of the removal cards for an infect deck is a good choice.
My pick: Slice in Twain
Pack 1 pick 3:
Unfortunately it seems like infect is being cut off because there are a lot of Spellbomb/Myr still in the pack along with Ghalma’s Warden and Wall of Tanglecord but no dedicated infect cards. The pack could simply be light like the first one was with metalcraft cards, but that possibility is less likely. Asceticism is okay; the problem is that it’s a slow card and generally isn’t the type of five-mana spell that you want to tap out for (Untamed Might is much better). Asceticism still functions well enough in an infect deck and gives it inevitability.
My pick: Asceticism
Pack 1 pick 4:
Seeing Arrest in the pack is a sign that white is open and that if we feel uncomfortable with our current archetype now would be a good time to switch. We wouldn’t lose many picks and still be in good shape. If we want to ignore the Arrest and continue with infect, there are still cards to choose from. Tumble Magnet is a good way to dominate the board because infect decks tend to focus on being more aggressive than their opponents. Another reason why Tumble Magnet is good is because the average creature is small and won’t be able to block Ichorclaw Myr or Cystbearer profitably. Tel-Jilad Fallen and Plague Stinger are also suddenly unblockable and good targets for Untamed Might.
My pick: Tumble Magnet
Pack 1 pick 5:
Engulfing Slagwurm is pretty big; in fact it’s huge. The Slagwurm isn’t quite a Baneslayer Angel though it tries pretty hard to be because it’s pretty difficult to attack profitably into it unless it’s with a horde of small creatures or infect creatures. Once the Wurm gets a few hits in you’ll start gaining life and be in a similar position. The obvious problem with the Slagwurm is that it’s seven mana and doesn’t impact the board as effectively as something like Wurmcoil Engine. I mentioned before that Myr aren’t as important in infect but there’s a caveat regarding on-color Myr. infect decks are more color-intensive than metalcraft and often have cards like Grasp of Darkness and Tel-Jilad Fallen that need to be played early which make Copper/Leaden Myr quite valuable. Bladed Pinions is a good way to make infect creatures unblockable but is more likely to be seen on the wheel and can be picked up later on whereas Copper Myr won’t.
My pick: Copper Myr
Pack 1 pick 6:
It seems like starting out with Origin Spellbomb would have been a better choice given the packs that we’ve encountered. The infect cards have dried up faster than metalcraft which means that we should look for an alternative strategy. Shatter and Rusted Relic are the best cards in the pack. I don’t value Shatter as highly as most other people because while artifacts do make up 3/8 of the set, it’s bad against infect and doesn’t always help against metalcraft because the creatures are so mediocre (with the exception of Golems/Chrome Steed/Rusted Relic). Rusted Relic is quite good because it allows you to take advantage of a quick draw involving a Myr and will outclass almost every other four-mana spell. Bleak Coven Vampires and Wall of Tanglecord are also both quite playable but not as good as Shatter and Rusted Relic.
My pick: Rusted Relic
Pack 1 pick 7:
Artifacts tend to be a bit more valuable than non-artifacts because they keep your options open (for example, Vulshok Replica is a fine card in a non-red deck). Sunspear Shikari is an underrated card because it’s fine as a bear and is quite difficult to race/kill when it’s equipped. We’ve seen that white is open (Arrest fourth) and should take advantage of that fact. Necrogen Censer is another fine card in an aggressive deck but it really wants cards like Glint Hawk and Proliferate cards to be really good.
My pick: Sunspear Shikari
Pack 1 pick 8:
Neurok Invisimancer is fine but we haven’t seen any good blue cards yet to indicate that the color is open (only a sea of Scrapdiver Serpents). Darksteel Myr is bad most of the time because it doesn’t do anything against infect and metalcraft tends to be more swarm-based. The Myr is fine against a slower deck with a bunch of Golems but generally doesn’t carry enough weight.
My pick: Bladed Pinions
Pack 1 pick 9:
None of the five infect cards wheeled from our original pack, but we could tell that was likely to happen after seeing how much infect had dried up mid-pack. Culling Dais is good against a deck with a lot of creature removal or token generation (Myrsmith, Origin Spellbomb, Kuldotha Rebirth, and Furnace Celebration), but is also another artifact that doesn’t do much on its own. Flameborn Hellion is fine but doesn’t make the cut often because it’s so expensive. High-toughness non-artifact creatures are quite resilient and when you factor in its Haste ability, it’s easier to see why the Hellion is playable.
My pick: Flameborn Hellion
Pack 1 pick 10:
Salvage Scout generally isn’t playable because it’s only a 1/1 unless you’ve got a deck with a lot of Equipment and good artifacts to get back. Razorfield Thresher is also not good because it’s seven mana, although it’s still a large creature that will get the job done in a bad deck.
My pick: Razorfield Thresher
Pack 1 pick 11:
Soliton is playable in a non-blue deck, but it’s not great.
My pick: Soliton
Pack 1 pick 12:
My pick: Golden Urn
Pack 1 pick 13:
My pick: Seize the Initiative
Pack 1 pick 14:
My pick: whitesuns Passage
Pack 1 pick 15:
The first pack was a bit of a disaster for a few reasons; the first being that we went into infect which ended up being overdrafted; the second being that we didn’t go into white and towards a metalcraft deck earlier when we were presented with the opportunity at taking [card]Arrest[/card] in pick four. infect isn’t going to be an option and we should try to pick up mostly artifacts in the second pack so we can be open to whatever color is passed to us in the third.
Pack 2 pick 1:
There aren’t many good options here. Galvanic Blast, Riddlesmith, and Chrome Steed are the best cards. There was a decent amount of red being passed late in pack one which indicates that it should be a safe color to go into in terms of pack three. Galvanic Blast is easily the best card because it’s cheap, efficient, and we’re drafting a metalcraft deck where it has the potential to be absurd. Chrome Steed is also quite good but better in the first pack when colors haven’t been established yet. I’m not as much a fan of Riddlesmith because it only helps bad hands by filtering excess card types (lands) into whatever is needed and doesn’t attack/block very well.
My pick: Galvanic Blast
Pack 2 pick 2:
Golem Artisan is a good way to make low-impact artifact creatures good in the late-game (Myr), although it’s a bit slow. Gold Myr is another good option because when enough (two-three) are obtained, and then replacing land slots with Myr becomes an option. When slots in a deck are artifacts and acceleration, there’s an increase a deck’s ability to curve out with broken metalcraft draws (turn one Spellbomb/Equipment, turn two Myr, and turn three Chrome Steed/Rusted Relic/Ghalma’s Warden/etc.) that are difficult to answer. If Contagion Clasp weren’t in the pack, then there would be much more debate about the pick. Contagion Clasp trumps both the Artisan and Myr but it isn’t quite obvious why. A simple -1/-1 counter is good and when Contagion Clasp being colorless is considered, its versatility becomes more apparent. The subtle advantage of Proliferate will often be overlooked because the ability doesn’t appear to be very powerful in theory when in fact it plays out quite differently in practice. Proliferate adds so much value to cards like Tumble Magnet, Necrogen Censer, Trigons, Poison, and -1/-1 counters. Clasp being so cheap, an artifact, and being able to kill almost everything (eventually) makes it quite good.
My pick: Contagion Clasp
Pack 2 pick 3:
Grasp of Darkness is good but black was non-existent in the first pack which makes the double-black removal unattractive. Turn to Slag is another option and a fine one, but it’s pretty slow. Being committed to red is apparent so the mana-cost won’t be an issue especially when considering what we saw in the first. Trigon of Corruption is the last option and the best for a few reasons; the format has a lot of low-toughness creatures and makes the Trigon a two-for-one more often than Turn to Slag when dealing with Equipment; the Trigon is an artifact to power up Rusted Relic; the Trigon has quite a bit more synergy with Contagion Clasp.
My pick: Trigon of Corruption
Pack 2 pick 4:
This pick is a bit more difficult. Arrest and Darksteel Axe are both quite good. At this point in the draft, I’d say that Arrest is a better card because colors should have been partially established by now. However we’ve got good cards in two other colors at the moment (red-Galvanic Blast and green-Slice in Twain/Asceticism) and taking the Arrest would mean that we’re most likely replacing green. white was open in the first pack a bit more than green was and is a better color because it doesn’t overlap with infect cards, but we already used up a lot of picks on infect and are low on playables. Switching colors again is a risky plan. Darksteel Axe is a good pick because of the value it (and [card]Asceticism[/card]) gives to our Myr.
My pick: Darksteel Axe
Pack 2 pick 5:
Myr are very important for metalcraft decks (as explained earlier) and are one of the baselines to compare to. “How many Myr do I have?” is a question that you should always be asking yourself when drafting metalcraft and evaluating non-removal spells. It’s surprising to see so much white being passed after passing such a late Arrest in pack one.
My pick: Iron Myr
Pack 2 pick 6:
Saberclaw Golem is fine and moderately difficult to kill in combat in a red deck, although it’s rather slow. Panic Spellbomb is also fine and functions to establish metalcraft early while being able to cycle late with a moderately useful effect. Tel-Jilad Fallen is the last option and is another fine creature but doesn’t combine well with our non-infect creatures. The Spellbomb is the weakest card because we don’t have much metalcraft already (Rusted Relic/Galvanic Blast) and there aren’t many in green/red metalcraft cards. Between the Fallen and the Golem, it’s more likely that we’ll be cut off from a color if we pass the Fallen. Despite not having any more infect creatures to work with, there’s still the Contagion Clasp to add synergy. If we get in one hit with the Fallen and have the Clasp, then that gives us a reasonable chance to Poison the opponent. The moderate amount of removal that we have (Tumble Magnet, Galvanic Blast, and Asceticism) for non-artifact creatures also gives us a reasonable chance to clear a path for the Fallen by itself.
My pick: Tel-Jilad Fallen
Pack 2 pick 7:
Golem Foundry is pretty slow for what it does even when you factor in Contagion Clasp and also requires a lot of artifacts to be effective. Necrogen Censer isn’t likely to be better than Golem Foundry. It’s better in an aggressive deck and isn’t reliant on a high artifact count. The Censer also has obvious synergy with Contagion Clasp. Alpha Tyrranax is just a big creature; slow but you get what you pay for. None of the three cards are good. We’ve already god a number of expensive creatures and won’t need the Tyrranax while not enough artifacts to make the Foundry make two Golems reliably. The Necrogen Censer is the last option, and while it would be better in a white deck with Glint Hawks, it still offers an aggressive option to what we have.
My pick: Necrogen Censer
Pack 2 pick 8:
There’s nothing here for us.
My pick: Nihil Spellbomb
Pack 2 pick 9:
My pick: Tel-Jilad Defiance
Pack 2 pick 10:
My pick: Soliton
Pack 2 pick 11:
My pick: Saberclaw Golem
Pack 2 pick 12:
My pick: Screeching Silcaw
Pack 2 pick 13:
My pick: Alpha Tyrranax
Pack 2 pick 14:
My pick: Vault Skyward
Pack 2 pick 15:
The second pack wasn’t great for us, although we did pick up a few removal spells. We don’t have a good creature base yet; most of the creatures are expensive or Myr. The next pack should have more green/red to pick from and we should prioritize artifact creatures over random non-removal support cards.
Pack 3 pick 1:
Ezuri’s Brigade is on the expensive side but is the perfect creature for our deck. It’s reasonable without metalcraft and insane with. Bellowing Tanglewurm isn’t very good in our deck because we don’t have many green creatures (though it does combo pretty well with the Tel-Jilad Fallen).
My pick: Ezuris Brigade
Pack 3 pick 2:
There’s not much to compare Kuldotha Phoenix with. It’s good just as a 4/4 flyer with Haste and when you factor in metalcraft it becomes absurd.
My pick: Kuldotha Phoenix
Pack 3 pick 3:
Metalcraft is a powerful mechanic and draws that combine a metalcraft card with cheap artifacts against a hand without removal are going to steamroll over the opposition. Memnite functions similarly to spellbombs on turn one, but Memnite functions better for curving purposes afterwards when you’re tapping out for other spells.
My pick: Memnite
Pack 3 pick 4:
Our deck is rather color intensive (Kuldotha Phoenix/Ezuri’s Brigade) and that makes Horizon Spellbomb a better choice than Blight Mamba and Vulshok Replica, both of which would be rather mediocre filler in our deck.
My pick: Horizon Spellbomb
Pack 3 pick 5:
Carapace Forger and Snapsail Glider are the two options. Both are good but we’re short on artifacts and that makes the Glider a better choice even though it’s slightly less powerful when curving out.
My pick: Snapsail Glider
Pack 3 pick 6:
What a loaded pack. Ezuri has synergy with two creatures in our deck and can also overrun to combo with himself. Turn to Slag is the other option and is a better choice because it’s a removal spell that we don’t have many of. Ezuri can be powerful but takes a lot of mana and can just be blocked by four-power worth of creatures when attacking alone.
My pick: Turn to Slag
Pack 3 pick 7:
My pick: Strider Harness
Pack 3 pick 8:
My pick: Furnace Celebration
Pack 3 pick 9:
My pick: Panic Spellbomb
Pack 3 pick 10:
My pick: Necrogen Censer
Pack 3 pick 11:
My pick: Ezuris Archers
Pack 3 pick 12:
My pick: Necrogen Scudder
Pack 3 pick 13:
My pick: Vault Skyward
Pack 3 pick 14:
My pick: Sunspear Shikari
Pack 3 pick 15:
The draft didn’t go very well mainly because we ignored white after it became clear that it was open. Even though we sent signals in pack two, pack three didn’t yield as much as we needed it to.
There isn’t much to discuss in terms of deck construction because we have so few playables. There are a number of expensive fatties to choose from: two Soliton, Alpha Tyrranax, Flameborn Hellion, and Razorfield Thresher along with some utility cards like Tel-Jilad Defiance, Strider Harness, and Necrogen Censer. Without any of those cards there are thirteen artifacts and nine creatures and we should try to increase the count in both categories. Soliton isn’t very good in our deck because it doesn’t effectively have vigilance, but it’s still okay. Tel-Jilad Defiance is fine because it cycles and can be sideboarded out against infect decks and other decks with a low artifact count in favor of another creature. The problem with running another one of the expensive creatures is that the deck’s draws will become more awkward and we’ll have to keep mana-heavy hands.
Evil wins the roll and chooses to play first however he isn’t satisfied with his hand and decides to mulligan. The journey to Paris is a lonesome one as we keep a moderately slow hand (2 Forest, 2 Mountain, Rusted Relic, Tel-Jilad Fallen, and Saberclaw Golem). Evil keeps his hand of six.
[Turn 1] Evil plays a Forest while we [d: Memnite] play a Forest and summon our Memnite.
[Turn 2] Evil does nothing and passes the turn while we [d: Darksteel Axe] attack with the Memnite [E: 19], play a Forest, and forge our Darksteel Axe.
[Turn 3] Evil plays an Origin Spellbomb and passes while we [d: Tel-Jilad Justice] play a Mountain and equip the Axe to our Memnite before attacking with it [E: 16].
[Turn 4] Evil plays a Swamp and sacrifices his Origin Spellbomb to put a Myr token onto the battlefield while we [d: Mountain] play a Mountain and summon our Rusted Relic.
[Turn 5] Evil passes again while we [d: Mountain] attack with the Rusted Relic (Evil chumps with his Myr). Afterwards we play another Mountain and summon our Saberclaw Golem.
Evil chooses to play first again and decides to keep his hand this time. Our hand is more explosive this time and we decide to keep it as well (2 Forest, Mountain, Memnite, Iron Myr, Horizon Spellbomb, and Asceticism).
[Turn 3] Evil plays another Mountain and summons an Iron Myr to match ours but declines to attack with his Leaden Myr. [d: Snapsail Glider] We summon our Rusted Relic and pass the turn. We could attack with the Memnite again but it would be better to keep artifacts around to make sure the Relic is always active.
[Turn 5] Evil summons a Vulshok Replica and attacks with his Vampires. It’s obvious that Evil doesn’t have real removal because he would have killed our Myr which would have made the Relic inanimate (I should have blocked here but didn’t). We don’t block [G: 12] and Evil passes. [d: Darksteel Axe] We play Asceticism and pass but not before Evil domes us with his Replica [G: 9].
[Turn 7] Evil plays a Panic Spellbomb and draws a card as he sacrifices it to play another Kuldotha Rebirth. [d: Ezuri’s Brigade] We summon the Brigade and pass.
[Turn 8] Evil passes while we [d: Mountain] attack with the Brigade [E: 15]. Afterwards we play our Mountain and Trigon of Corruption.
[Turn 9] Evil summons another Vulshok Replica and then attacks with his Bleak Coven Vampires and five Goblin tokens (Rusted Relic blocks the Vampires and Memnite, Iron Myr, and Snapsail Glider block Goblins). Before damage we use the Trigon to kill an unblocked Goblin [G: 8]. [d: Tel-Jilad Justice] We attack with the Brigade [E: 7]. Afterwards we use the Trigon to kill Evil’s Iron Myr and he throws his Replica at us in response [G: 5]. Then we play our Tumble Magnet and pass.
[Turn 10] We tap Evil’s Leaden Myr with the Magnet during his upkeep and he taps out to drain our life with Exsanguinate (for two) [E: 9; G: 3]. Evil concedes after realizing that his Fireball won’t be enough to survive our next attack.
[Turn 1] Evil plays a Plains while we [d: Iron Myr] play a Mountain and forge our Darksteel Axe.
At this point, trading Myr didn’t seem like a good idea because the two equipment and Asceticism meant that I’d get a lot more value by keeping them around.
[Turn 4] Evil plays an [card]Origin Spellbomb[/card] and passes while we [d: Forest] play the Forest and cast Asceticism before attacking with the Rusted Relic. Evil casts [card]Dispense Justic[/card]e and we’re forced to sacrifice our 5/5.
[Turn 5] Evil attacks with the two Myr [G: 17] and passes while we [d: Soliton] summon our Soliton. Before starting his turn, Evil cycles his Origin Spellbomb.
I should have attacked this turn with the Soliton but was too caught up with trying to play around the Mimic Vat. I thought that the Vat made you sacrifice the token (instead of what it actually does: exile) which would have been amazing with the Perilous Myr. If Evil was going to use the Vat as a [card]Fog[/card] effect, I’d still have the Pinions to trump the strategy.
[Turn 7] Evil casts a Liquimetal Coating and passes while we [d: Mountain] play the Mountain, forge our Bladed Pinions, and equip it to the Soliton before attacking with it [E: 15]. Afterwards we move the Pinions over to the Iron Myr. Evil uses his Liquimetal Coating to make our Asceticism an artifact and destroys it with Shatter before starting his turn. Then we use the Galvanic Bolt to kill his Gold Myr.
I knew that Evil had Turn to Slag in his deck and was trying to play around it which was probably not worth it considering that he didn’t have a second red source. Using the Blast to kill his Myr was also bad because I didn’t have enough pressure to take advantage of the tempo that I was gaining. I should have played the Strider Harness, put it onto a Myr and attacked on the ground with it and the Soliton but was still trying to make his Mimic Vat bad. In short, I was trying to play around too many cards and that equated to giving Evil a lot more time than he should have had.
[Turn 8] Evil passes while we [d: Turn to Slag] equip the Soliton with the Pinions and attack with it. Evil kills it with Galvanic Bolt (imprinting the Soliton with Mimic Vat). Afterwards we equip the Axe and Pinions to the Iron Myr. Evil makes a Soliton with the Vat before starting his turn.
[Turn 9] Evil attacks with the Perilous Myr and Soliton [G: 13] before summoning an Auriok Edgewright. [d: Panic Spellbomb] We kill the Edgewright with Turn to Slag (Evil imprints it with the Vat) and attack with the Iron Myr [E: 12]. Then we cast the Spellbomb.
[Turn 12] Evil attacks with his Perilous Myr [G: 6] and passes. We cycle the Panic Spellbomb [d: Memnite] before starting our turn. [d: Mountain] We play the Mountain and attack with our Myr [E: 9] before we summon our Memnite. Then we cast the Trigon of Corruption. Evil makes an Edgewright token before starting his turn.
[Turn 13] Evil attacks with everything. We block (Edgewright with Memnite and Stag with Copper Myr) and kill the Myr token with the Trigon [G: 5]. Evil summons a Glint Hawk afterwards and returns his Liquimetal Coating. [d: Forest] We lose.
I played this game incorrectly throughout its entirety. I should have played into Mimic Vat and been more aggressive with my Myr and kept equipment on them. I lost too much tempo by trying to play around cards that by the time Evil started drawing lands he was still at a high enough life to utilize his grip of spells.
[Turn 1] Evil plays a Plains while we [d: Forest] play a Forest.
[Turn 2] Evil plays a Mountain and summons a Perilous Myr while we [d: Mountain] play a Mountain.
[Turn 3] Evil attacks with the Perilous Myr [G: 19] and passes while we [d: Panic Spellbomb] play a Forest and cast the Spellbomb.
[Turn 4] Evil attacks again with the Myr [G: 18] before playing a Plains and forging a Barbed Battlegear. [d: Mountain] We play a Mountain and summon our Ezuri’s Brigade.
[Turn 5] Evil plays a Mountain and passes while we [d: Asceticism] play a Forest and summon our Soliton before passing. We could attack but Evil is representing Dispense Justice and it would be better to Time Walk him by not attacking.
[Turn 6] Evil casts a Trigon of Rage and then summons an Auriok Edgewright. [d: Forest] We play a Forest and cast our Trigon of Corruption before attacking with the Soliton and Ezuri’s Brigade [E: 9].
[Turn 7] Evil plays a Plains, attacks with the Edgewright, and pumps it with his Trigon. However, we kill the Perilous Myr with our Trigon [G: 16] to take Evil off of metalcraft [G: 11]. Evil removes our Soliton with Revoke Existence afterwards. [d: Soliton] We summon the Soliton and attack with the Brigade [E: 1]. Evil concedes.
Unfortunately the game replay wasn’t saved from this game. Evil mulliganed but had a removal heavy draw, prevented me from stabilizing, and was victorious in the end. The game was a game of heavy attrition and he ended up drawing creatures sooner than I did after we had emptied our hands.