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Author David Ochoa

According to Webster – Scars of Mirrodin Draft #10

Pack 1 pick 1:

 

There are a lot of decent cards available here; Rusted Relic, Revoke Existence, Shatter, Razor Hippogriff, Tangle Angler, Quicksilver Gargantuan, and Tumble Magnet are all good choices. Taking removal would be nice but I don’t put a lot of stock into the Shatter versions because they are too restrictive (they are very mediocre against Infect and don’t kill creatures like Ghalma’s Warden and Sky-Eel School). Tangle Angler and Razor Hippogriff are the most powerful (while still having a reasonable cost), and while the Hippogriff has better stats on the Battlefield, I prefer staying away from White because it tends to be overdrafted, doesn’t pair as well with other colors, and focuses too much on Metalcraft/equipment.

My pick: Tangle Angler

Pack 1 pick 2:

 

Within Infect, Carrion Call and Golem Artisan are the best cards (the Artisan is a good target for Tainted Strike and makes Ichorclaw Myr/Corpse Cur much better). However Oxidda Scrapmelter is the best card overall because it’s a walking two-for-one that takes almost no effort on your part. Seeing a Scrapmelter second is a good sign that Red is open, although the rare is missing which is a legitimate reason to think otherwise. If Red is open, then now is a good time to jump in. We don’t lose much by passing Carrion Call and Blackcleave Goblin, since they shouldn’t be viewed as a signal that Infect is open by the people to the left.

My pick: Oxidda Scrapmelter

Pack 1 pick 3:

 

Rusted Relic is powerful but would greatly restrict the card selections we’d need to make. Iron/Gold Myr are a weak choice because our first two picks don’t rely heavily on Metalcraft, and while Myr are still useful outside of the archetype, they are often overvalued. The pick is really between Untamed Might and Rusted Relic. Red/Green Metalcraft is a fine option but more difficult to build properly than Infect where Untamed Might is almost always exceptional.

My pick: Untamed Might

Pack 1 pick 4:

 

Leaden Myr isn’t usually useful in Infect because the deck wants to curve out with Infect creatures and not mana Myr. At times there will be too many four-drops which make a turn two-Myr very good, but that scenario rarely plays out in practice. Tel-Jilad Fallen and Fume Spitter are the two cards to think about. Fume Spitter is slightly better even though it doesn’t have Infect because it’s very easy to acquire too many four drops between Instill Infection, Corpse Cur, Tel-Jilad Fallen, Blackcleave Goblin, Tangle Angler, Carrion Call, and suddenly you’ve suddenly got a very clunky deck. However it’s possible that Red/Green Infect is where we’re headed (an archetype that eschews away from Black in favor of Red removal). If we end up in Red/Green, then Tel-Jilad Fallen is going to be more useful than Fume Spitter and will still be good if we end up in Green/Black.

My pick: Tel-Jilad Fallen

Pack 1 pick 5:

 

Throne of Geth is a fine card but most Infect decks have low artifact counts and that makes the Throne a bit underwhelming. Leaden Myr is going to be a better choice because we have all four-drops at this point. Even though I explained the point earlier about mana Myr being mediocre, the small potential they have on turn two is higher than the usefulness that Throne appears it will have with what we have so far.

My pick: Leaden Myr

Pack 1 pick 6:

 

We’re not seeing much Red which means we’ll be migrating towards a traditional Green/Black deck. Contagious Nim is fine because it has Infect but Heavy Arbalest is a better card. The Arbalest is slower but offers more power than the Nim. The Arbalest is even better than the Nim in decks that have ultra-low curves because those decks will often pin the opponent against the wall and need a way to finish them off if they don’t have Untamed Might. Heavy Arbalest provides a way to win that isn’t vulnerable to removal the same way Untamed Might is.

My pick: Heavy Arbalest

Pack 1 pick 7:

 

Tel-Jilad Fallen is the only card for us. We should note that it’s good we’re seeing a constant stream of Infect creatures even though they’re not the premium three (Cystbearer, Plague Stinger, and Ichorclaw Myr).

My pick: Tel-Jilad Fallen

Pack 1 pick 8:

 

We’ve got no good picks. Soliton has the most potential if we somehow migrate into Green/Blue because it combos so well with Heavy Arbalest.

My pick: Soliton

Pack 1 pick 9:

 

Withstand Death is usually fine but not great. It never feels good to trade away a Tel-Jilad Fallen and Withstand Death at least lets you swing away into a non-artifact to clear a path for next turn. However, it’s quite easy to pick up Withstand Death later on and I wouldn’t want to play more than one. Wall of Tanglecord is a good sideboard option for the mirror and will have more value.

My pick: Wall of Tanglecord

Pack 1 pick 10:

 

There’s most likely only one other Infect drafter at the table because this pack only had a Carrion Call in it when we last saw it.

My pick: Blackcleave Goblin

Pack 1 pick 11:

 

My pick: Plated Seastrider

Pack 1 pick 12:

 

My pick: Ezuris Archers

Pack 1 pick 13:

 

My pick: Wing Puncture

Pack 1 pick 14:

 

My pick: Twisted Image

Pack 1 pick 15:

Forest 

The first pack went well because it felt like the number of Infect drafters is below average, although a lot of our Infect cards aren’t top-tier with the exception of Tangle Angler. It’s unclear if we’ll be able to work the Oxidda Scrapmelter into the deck. Red doesn’t seem like a reliable option because of how little we saw. Black was also surprisingly light with only Green being constant throughout the entire pack.

Pack 2 pick 1:

 

Corpse Cur is the only card that stands out because everything else is mediocre. That also means we’ll unfortunately not wheel anything good from this pack.

My pick: Corpse Cur

Pack 2 pick 2:

 

Again we’ve got another pack with very little in it except two Rust Ticks. Generally taking the non-foil is best because it provides the most information to the person you’re passing to in terms of print runs. However since we’re passing to the right and can’t really give the person we’re passing to any credit, the foil is a better choice. Besides, foils are sweet.

My pick: Rust Tick

Pack 2 pick 3:

 

It’s important to keep track of the number of artifacts we have in order to properly evaluate Throne of Geth. It’s entirely possible that we’ll wheel the first Throne from pick one which lets us pass this one up for Horizon Spellbomb. The Spellbomb is usually out of place because it’s slow, but our deck doesn’t appear to be your average deck that is trying to curve out and kill you with Untamed Might on turn six. Horizon Spellbomb also opens up the door to splashing Oxidda Scrapmelter without totally wrecking the deck’s manabase.

My pick: Horizon Spellbomb

Pack 2 pick 4:

 

Darkslick Shores would add some spicy backdoor Soliton/Heavy Arbalest action OR we could just take Trigon of Infestation. The Trigon is really slow and isn’t liked by a lot of people because of that fact but it’s a great way to grind out the opposition (especially in the mirror).

My pick: Trigon of Infestation

Pack 2 pick 5:

 

This pack must have been stacked. Slice in Twain is easily the best card. Blight Mamba is okay but not great (generally considered the weakest two-mana Infect creature) and doesn’t compare to the advantage that Slice in Twain provides.

My pick: Slice in Twain

Pack 2 pick 6:

 

Moriok Replica is another mediocre card. If damage still stacked then it would be good but it’s simply a filler card to utilize with Heavy Arbalest. The Replica WILL put you ahead by one card but takes a lot of time and mana which are already in short supply.

My pick: Moriok Replica

Pack 2 pick 7:

 

Carrion Call is better than Blackcleave Goblin, especially in the mirror because it will usually be able to kill two creatures. Carrion Call is also good for ambushing problematic creatures like Embersmith or feigning weakness only to have a lethal Untamed Might on the following turn.

My pick: Carrion Call

Pack 2 pick 8:

 

Molder Beast is a good target for Tainted Strike but we don’t have any of those yet and haven’t seen any in this pack. Nihil Spellbomb is a better choice against opposing Corpse Curs and provides a good artifact to sacrifice to Throne of Geth if we wheel one while being short on artifacts.

My pick: Nihil Spellbomb

Pack 2 pick 9:

 

Viridian Revel can be okay at times but it’s usually difficult to utilize properly. Throne of Geth is somewhat similar but fits more into the deck’s general gameplan.

My pick: Throne of Geth

Pack 2 pick 10:

 

My pick: Painful Quandary

Pack 2 pick 11:

 

My pick: Ezuris Archers

Pack 2 pick 12:

 

My pick: Steady Progress

Pack 2 pick 13:

 

My pick: Neurok Invisimancer

Pack 2 pick 14:

 

My pick: Forest

Pack 2 pick 15:

Assault Strobe 

The second pack was okay but not great. There were a few weak picks in the beginning but they were balanced out by some of the later picks including the fifth pick Slice in Twain. The deck is a bit of a mess because it’s really slow. Being slow isn’t always a bad thing, but with Infect it’s much harder to win because its creatures are generally smaller than the opposition’s.

Pack 3 pick 1:

 

Acid Web Spider is an option though it concedes to the fact that we’d be moving into a weird hybrid-control deck which will play out quite awkwardly. With the high curve and lack of low-cost Infect creatures, taking a mana Myr is a good idea. Iron Myr is more useful than Leaden Myr at because it helps fix our mana for Oxidda Scrapmelter, but it’s less likely that the opponent will want to kill it if the Myr is Leaden. It would be better to have a Mountain and Leaden Myr instead of a Swamp and an Iron Myr because we actually want the Myr to survive because we have Heavy Arbalest and need the extra mana.

My pick: Leaden Myr

Pack 3 pick 2:

 

Contagion Clasp and Skinrender are two of the best uncommons in the set. Skinrender, like Oxidda Scrapmelter, is always a two-for-one that takes virtually no effort on our part. Contagion Clasp is not nearly as efficient as Skinrender but offers a higher return on the investment into the card as the game progresses; Contagion Clasp will outright win the game _EVENTUALY_. It’s vulnerable to artifact removal but we already have a lot of artifacts that we don’t want destroyed (Heavy Arbalest, Throne of Geth, Trigon of Infestation) which makes overloading the number of targets for the opponent good.

My pick: Contagion Clasp

Pack 3 pick 3:

 

Fume Spitter is fine, and with the help of Contagion Clasp could become equivalent to what Galvanic Blast does on its own. However, we aren’t necessarily going to always have the Clasp to work in tandem with Fume Spitter. Splashing for the Scrapmelter is almost guaranteed at this point and throwing in a Galvanic Blast also is going to be nearly free. Galvanic Blast provides a cheap way for the deck to deal with threats while some of the other options (Trigon of Infestation) are just too slow to take highly.

My pick: Galvanic Blast

Pack 3 pick 4:

 

We have twelve artifacts (including Nihil Spellbomb) that we can run to power Embersmith, but it’s very unlikely we’ll be able to summon it early because of not having sufficient Red sources to do so. Sylvok Replica is a better choice because it’s on-color and doesn’t require additional help.

My pick: Sylvok Replica

Pack 3 pick 5:

 

For a moment I had forgotten that this is an Infect deck because we hadn’t been drafting many Infect cards. Putrefax is an excellent card, though better in a deck with lots of Plague Stingers and Ichorclaw Myrs because the sudden additional pressure is usually enough to win the game outright. In our deck Putrefax is less likely to be a game-ending play and more like a card used to accelerate a win by a few turns.

My pick: Putrefax

Pack 3 pick 6:

 

Blight Mamba is the only card we’re interested in.

My pick: Blight Mamba

Pack 3 pick 7:

 

A third Leaden Myr is unnecessary when taking it requires passing up a cheap removal spell in the form of Fume Spitter.

My pick: Fume Spitter

Pack 3 pick 8:

 

Vector Asp is usually really bad because it’s so small and only good if a deck also has a ton of equipment. Blackcleave Cliffs is the best choice because it helps fix the deck’s mana and splash the Oxidda Scrapmelter/Galvanic Blast.

My pick: Blackcleave Cliffs

Pack 3 pick 9:

 

We’re not going to play anything here except possibly Corrupted Harvester out from the sideboard.

My pick: Corrupted Harvester

Pack 3 pick 10:

 

There’s nothing for us here and Vedalken Certarch is the best card of the bunch.

My pick: Vedalken Certarch

Pack 3 pick 11:

 

My pick: Fume Spitter

Pack 3 pick 12:

 

My pick: Trigon of Infestation

Pack 3 pick 13:

 

My pick: Golem Foundry

Pack 3 pick 14:

 

My pick: Relic Putrescence

Pack 3 pick 15:

Forest 

The third pack was pretty good although we still didn’t pick up a lot of Infect creatures. We did get a number of above-average cards and should be able to construct a deck with enough play to deal effectively with a variety of matchups.

The first thing to take notice of is the number of Poison counter sources:

 

To a lesser extent:

 

These cards are all very slow, which implies that games are likely to be long and drawn out, which lowers the value of some of the weaker cards like Blackcleave Goblin because they are fragile. Only ten sources of Poison is rather low, which only adds to the length of games.

Most of the cards listed above are very good for an attrition war which is good when also considering the amount of removal that we have:

 

The low Poison count and slow nature of those cards in addition to the heavy removal leads towards a controlling deck and there are two main ways to build it that use an overlapping core of cards. The first makes use of only Green/Black and is on the aggressive side while the other is more controlling and uses only the sturdier cards.

Core:

 

Version #1 (Aggro):

 

Version #2 (Control):

 

The first version is likely to be better in the mirror because Infect damage is crucial to have in order to blank Ichorclaw Myr and Blight Mamba. Oxidda Scrapmelter isn’t always nuts against them although Galvanic Blast is obviously still good (especially against Plague Stinger). However the second version is a bit more powerful and should generally play to the deck’s strengths because the added removal slows the opponent down to the pace that this deck is playing at.

The mana isn’t terrible in the deck because there are surprisingly few non-Green spells. Black includes a total of two Fume Spitter and Moriok Replica while Red is represented by Galvanic Blast and Oxidda Scrapmelter. With the presence of two Leaden Myrs and a Horizon Spellbomb, it’s possible to run mostly Forests. With such a great difference between Green and non-Green spells along with single-colored requirements in non-Green we can dedicate ten slots to Forests. Four sources of Red is the most that we need and fine because of how minimal Black is; if we had more intense Black (like Grasp of Darkness) then the number of Red sources would have to be cut down to three to make room. Here is the finished product:

 

 

 

Round 1: Green/White Metalcraft/equipment

Evil had lots of flyers, including two Glint Hawk Idols and a Glint Hawk to go along with an Ezuri’s Brigade. The various removal spells in our deck were all good and it was relatively easy to win this match. Our deck wasn’t too slow, even though the first hand we kept was and it never felt like we were losing. Putrefax and Corpse Cur won game one with the help of Throne of Geth. The second game was won by stabilizing with Oxidda Scrapmelter and Wall of Tanglecord and winning with Trigon of Infestation in conjunction with Contagion Clasp and Throne of Geth.

Round 2: Mono-Red with lots of removal.

Evil had an Oxidda Scrapmelter, two Turn to Slags, three Shatters, and two Bloodshot Trainees (plus Barbed Battlegear) to go along with a Kuldotha Phoenix. Despite the good removal, Evil didn’t use it as effectively as possible and provided us with a bit of room to maneuver. Evil didn’t respect Heavy Arbalest and went to destroy our creatures with his Shatters instead. By the time the game was over, he’d lost a Barrage Ogre and Kuldotha Phoenix while we were at six life with Clasp and Arbalest. He could have easily won the match.

Round 3: Red/Black Metalcraft

Evil had a number of Metalcraft creatures including a Darksteel Juggernaut and multiple Chrome Steeds. We won the first game on the back of Putrefax after getting a few hits in with Blight Mamba and Contagion Clasp with Slice in Twain on cleanup. The second game was lost after stalled on Green mana so we couldn’t summon a Tel-Jilad Fallen before dying to two Steeds and the Juggernaut. The last game Evil mulliganed and got a bad draw against our average hand of removal plus a creature and Trigon; it wasn’t close.

Overall the build we settled on was very good and there were never any situations where we drew a specific card and were unhappy about it. The awesome cards like Galvanic Blast, Oxidda Scrapmelter, Heavy Arbalest, Contagion Clasp, Slice in Twain, and Putrefax were all good. Tangle Angler wasn’t as good as it could have been but that was because we never drew it much and had a lot of other removal to mop up with. Trigon of Infestation was good also because of the amount of removal.

Happy Drafting.

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