Pack 1 pick 1:
Corpse Cur, Heavy Arbalest, and Chimeric Mass are the best cards. Corpse Cur is one of the better Infect commons, though it’s not as good usually as Cystbearer, Plague Stinger, and Ichorclaw Myr because it’s much easier to kill and is reliant on getting on of the aforementioned three back from the graveyard. Chimeric Mass is another slow card that ranges from amazing to really mediocre. Against decks with a lot of artifact removal the Mass isn’t going to be very useful because you have to spend a lot of mana on it so it won’t trade easily with creatures, which means you should hold it until you’ve exhausted the rest of your hand and the opponent’s known removal (if possible). Chimeric Mass makes Trinket Mage a lot better which is one of its benefits besides being immune to removal like Turn to Slag, Arc Trail, etc.
Heavy Arbalest finishes off the group of slow cards. Heavy Arbalest is the most mana-intensive card of the group. It offers a way to control the board that isn’t directly vulnerable to creature removal (one of the problems with Rust Tick and Vedalken Certarch). Lots of removal still works against the Arbalest in a way because it still takes multiple creatures for the equipment to work. Unopposed, the equipment will take over the board in a few turns and dominate. The main problem is that it is glacially slow and requires the board to be at parity or somewhat close to it (basically not being absolutely crushed), and as a result it won’t always be enough to save you in the most desperate of situations (like Sunblast Angel does).
Starting off in Infect is a high-risk proposition. On one hand we aren’t passing much for the archetype which would lay the groundwork for a plentiful second pack. On the other hand, if we’re behind an Infect drafter then we’re likely to have a poor first and third pack which would yield a mediocre deck. Chimeric Mass isn’t as impressive as Heavy Arbalest because it’s just a big creature whose effect is easily replaceable while the Arbalest provides continuous removal. Also, by taking the Arbalest we are better positioned to draft Infect if it’s opens.
My pick: Heavy Arbalest
Pack 1 pick 2:
Mana Myr are good especially with Heavy Arbalest because they don’t lose their value as the game progresses. Barrage Ogre and Rust Tick are good by themselves. Barrage Ogre is another permanent form of removal and similar to Heavy Arbalest but doesn’t tie up your mana (think of Tumble Magnet vs. Trigon of Corruption). However, Barrage Ogre still requires having artifacts whose value is less than that of what the Ogre is throwing them at; Barrage Ogre isn’t great when you only have good expensive artifacts like Darksteel Sentinel. Rust Tick is a very good removal creature because it can be used on one artifact at point A of the game and then on a more threatening artifact later on at point B. Rust Tick doesn’t require us to commit heavily to a color yet (like Barrage Ogre does) while still being a very effective form of removal and still leaves us open to Infect.
My pick: Rust Tick
Pack 1 pick 3:
Chrome Steed, Clone Shell, and Corpse Cur are the top cards. Chrome Steed isn’t usually a card that I draft aggressively because decks that focus heavily on Metalcraft shouldn’t be forced, like Infect, and are best to jump into when pick four rolls around with two good cards for the archetype (any signal that the archetype is open). Cards that benefit from Metalcraft are usually much easier to get than the support cards. For example, it’s not as difficult picking up Vedalken Certarch, Auriok Sunchaser, Carapace Forger, Blade-Tribe Berserkers, and even Lumengrid Drake because they aren’t exceptionally good without Metalcraft.
When a Metalcraft deck falls short it becomes so miserable to play because you can’t afford to crack Spellbombs to draw cards as well as not being able to throw away artifact creatures in combat to support its four-mana Metalcraft creatures. Clone Shell usually doesn’t work out as well as people would like it to because not every opponent is stupid enough to swing a two-toughness creature into it. Clone Shell is good in decks that have exceptionally large/dangerous creatures and care only about putting them onto the Battlefield even if it costs them five mana to do so. Corpse Cur is the best choice if we were to go into Infect. It’s still relatively early in the pack though so we can’t be sure that the archetype is open even though there are three cards that go into it (Throne of Geth and Contagious Nim aren’t high picks in the archetype).
Clone Shell is the least useful because most decks are generally not going to have the proper amount of dangerous creatures to pop out from the jack-in-the-box. Between Corpse Cur and Chrome Steed, both picks restrict us to a very specific archetype (though Chrome Steed still lets us moderate flexibility by letting us chose colors whereas Corpse Cur basically confines us to Green/Black), but the advantage inherent in Corpse Cur is superior to what Chrome Steed provides (an inexpensive 4/4). There are a lot of creatures that will overlap with Chrome Steed (Ghalma’s Warden for example) whereas Corpse Cur provides a unique effect for Infect by bringing card advantage along with it. If we end up staying with Infect, our deck will be much better with a Corpse Cur in it compared to Metalcraft and a Chrome Steed.
My pick: Corpse Cur
Pack 1 pick 4:
There’s not much here to pick from. Grafted Exoskeleton isn’t the ideal equipment in Infect because all of its creatures already have Infect and it turns into a somewhat larger Strider Harness with a huge downside. Accorder’s Shield isn’t great even in the mirror (unlike Strider Harness) because it doesn’t add power AND toughness to a creature. Wall of Tanglecord is also not an ideal Infect card because most decks play as the aggressor and won’t benefit from having a 0/6 defender. However, we may not be Infect and Wall of Tanglecord is fine elsewhere especially considering that it compliments Rust Tick and Heavy Arbalest. Wall of Tanglecord can still be played in an Infect deck that’s playing more of a control game with four-mana spells like Trigon of Infestation and multiple Corpse Cur, but those decks usually don’t work out that well because they’re difficult to assemble, they have smaller creatures than most decks, and have little benefit over other archetypes.
My pick: Wall of Tanglecord
Pack 1 pick 5:
Culling Dias is a fine Metalcraft card when a deck has a lot of disposable creatures. Culling Dias doesn’t usually net card advantage (because it costs a card itself and will only provides one-for-one filtering) unless it’s being used against a removal-heavy deck to sacrifice creatures once they’re targeted. Ichor Rats usually isn’t amazing (except when being used to get in the last few poison counters) because its stats are worse than Contagious Nim. The other choices include Molder Beast and Soliton. Both creatures are slow and would divert us away from Infect into a more controlling archetype. Molder Beast is often used in conjunction with Replicas and Spellbombs to generate lots of damage while Soliton is best used with Heavy Arbalest. Culling Dias doesn’t have much synergy with what we have which can also be said for Molder Beast. The Beast requires a lot of additional components for little gain whereas the Soliton completes a dangerous combination with a higher reward.
My pick: Soliton
Pack 1 pick 6:
Blue/Green Infect is a viable archetype that doesn’t get much air-time when compared to the mainstream Black/Green version mainly because Blue has fewer Infect cards than Black. Thrummingbird is the most important along with other cards like Inexorable Tide. As tangential as that comment may seem, we could eventually become a Blue/Green Infect deck with Soliton/Arbalest thrown in; most versions tend to be controlling which is where we’re at. Steady Progress is useful in the deck but rather mediocre as an early pick because it’s so niche and will _always_ wheel with only a few cards left in the pack. Barbed Battlegear doesn’t benefit most Infect creatures because they have one-toughness, are non-evasive, and will usually just trade with a blocking creature. Sylvok Lifestaff is better when it’s in an aggressive deck with Plague Stingers, Ichorclaw Myr, or a dedicated Metalcraft deck, but not one with Wall of Tanglecord and Soliton. Our last option is Horizon Spellbomb which would give us easier access to Black if we stay in Infect or a source for Metalcraft/mana/cards if we go down another path.
My pick: Horizon Spellbomb
Pack 1 pick 7:
Tel-Jilad Defiance is a miserable card; it really is. Despite “never being dead”, it rarely feels live because getting a zero-for-one in combat happens so infrequently despite what people may actually believe. Every time I give the card another chance and play a copy of it because of being short on playables I’m never pleased. The only other card for us to use is Trigon of Infestation which is another slow card for our pool of slow cards. The Trigon is especially good against Infect if you can get past their initial rush because it fights Ichorclaw Myr and Blight Mamba very effectively. In our deck the Trigon provides a vital source of Infect creatures since Blue doesn’t have any while providing bodies to power up Heavy Arbalest with.
My pick: Trigon of Infestation
Pack 1 pick 8:
Culling Dias is the only card that we’d consider playing and works “well” with Trigon of Infestation as a build-your-own-Trigon of Thought… yea, that’s it. As I said earlier, Culling Dias is especially effective against creature removal-heavy decks
My pick: Culling Dais
Pack 1 pick 9:
Wing Puncture and Ezuri’s Archers both have similar uses in the sideboard. Wing Puncture can be used offensively but it’s more dangerous/unreliable on defense than Ezuri’s Archers because the Archers doesn’t open you getting two-for-oned and doesn’t need a high power creature on the Battlefield.
My pick: Ezuris Archers
Pack 1 pick 10:
Fume Spitter is not likely to be useful in our deck because the most impact that it has on a game is in the early turns where mana is at a premium. As a splash there are better cards, such as Instill Infection, which will at least replace itself if it’s dead when drawn late. Neurok Invisimancer is our other option though not great in the Wall of Tanglecord deck. The Invisimancer does have its uses: it can make an Infect creature unblockable and strap on a Grafted Exoskeleton if it wheels.
My pick: Neurok Invisimancer
Pack 1 pick 11:
My pick: Oxidda Daredevil
Pack 1 pick 12:
My pick: Golems Heart
Pack 1 pick 13:
My pick: Tel-Jilad Defiance
Pack 1 pick 14:
My pick: Glimmerpost
Pack 1 pick 15:
The first pack had a few picks that made our deck somewhat murky and we’ve been left with an unfocused deck. We have a reasonable amount of control with cards that grind out wins like Heavy Arbalest, Corpse Cur, and Trigon of Infestation. However, we don’t have any other Infect cards to go along with our Corpse Cur. We need to figure out quickly in the second pack whether we want to continue down the Infect path or abandon it for a mid-range control deck.
Pack 2 pick 1:
Well then. Wall of Tanglecord, Molder Beast, and Putrefax are the three cards to consider. Myrsmith is very powerful but splashing it usually doesn’t work out because by the time you’ve fixed your mana to cast it, many of the opportunities to trigger it have been missed and you’re left with a nearly empty hand and a 2/1 creature. Of the three cards mentioned above, Putrefax is the most powerful and effectively a Searing Wind on wheels that can be abused quite well with the Corpse Cur that we have. Molder Beast is just another five-mana creature from a color-combination that provides a hearty supply of (Sky-Eel School, Soliton, Molder Beast, and Alpha Tyrranax to name a few). Wall of Tanglecord is a fine option, but it’s not as exciting because it doesn’t help define our position like Putrefax does.
My pick: Putrefax
Pack 2 pick 2:
usually isn’t a great creature unless you’ve got a lot of fatty Green creatures to overwhelm the opponent’s supply of blockers; most decks generally won’t have a sufficient amount to make the Tanglewurm awesome. Horizon Spellbomb isn’t very exciting because we don’t have anything good to splash yet, don’t have any cards dependant on Metalcraft to be awesome, and already have a Spellbomb. Myr Galvanizer is underwhelming because we don’t have any other Myr. The Galvanizer does make Myr more useful in conjunction with Heavy Arbalest, but it would just be better to take the Soliton if we’re looking for good Arbalest synergy.
My pick: Soliton
Pack 2 pick 3:
Alright, it would appear as though Infect is not the best archetype to be in for this draft. Kuldotha Forgemaster is somewhat similar to Clone Shell in the sense that it takes some terrific artifacts to make it better than an Ironroot Treefolk; I’m talking about Myr Battlesphere-level cards. Snapsail Glider is mediocre even with Metalcraft on because a 2/2 flyer just isn’t that great. Kemba’s Skyguard and Lumengrid Drake often go very late, and when it takes a lot of work to build one of those creatures you have to ask yourself if it’s worth the time. Galvanic Blast is an option because there’s nothing really tying us to Green except being able to give Wall of Tanglecord Reach, charge Trigon of Infestation, and cantrip from Horizon Spellbomb. Galvanic Blast would be a good addition to our meager removal suite. The last option is Rusted Relic which is a powerhouse in a dedicated Metalcraft deck. We’ve already used up enough picks with the Infect cards to make switching out of pseudo-Green quite harmful for just a Galvanic Blast. Also consider the lack of Red that we saw in pack one and you’ve got a recipe for disaster. Using Kuldotha Forgemaster to Tinker up a Soliton or Heavy Arbalest if we’ve got the other half is cute but unrealistic. Rusted Relic offers the most power without needing too much more help.
My pick: Rusted Relic
Pack 2 pick 4:
Accorder’s Shield is okay but not great. It’s a good way to turn Metalcraft on a turn sooner than normal and provides a way to be on both offense and defense. However one of the main problems is that it’s slow to equip; it would make Rusted Relic a bit more difficult to get through. Mindslaver is the next option and it’s one of the more difficult cards to evaluate because it’s a Mythic. Mindslaver is quite slow and its value depends on both decks. Mindslaver can be good if your deck is set up to be defensive and can use it as a pseudo-wrath via combat. There will be other times against decks with a lot of removal where the game will be drawn out to the point of being able to cast and activate Mindslaver in the same turn and force the opponent to use whatever removal they have stored up on their own creatures (this doesn’t happen TOO often). The benefit of Accorder’s Shield isn’t great and at this point only directly helps the one Rusted Relic in terms of Metalcraft. The potential for Mindslaver is greater even though it’s slow because we have very little removal and are in a color combination that is unlikely to provide more.
My pick: Mindslaver
Pack 2 pick 5:
Rusted Relic and Flight Spellbomb are the best options; both cards directly help with Metalcraft though the Spellbomb is more of a support card for the actual fatties. It’s unclear whether there will be an abundance of Metalcraft beneficiaries or enablers, although enablers are traditionally harder to get. The value of Rusted Relic as a 5/5 is high enough to take it and delay picking up Spellbomb/Myr/Replica for another pick.
My pick: Rusted Relic
Pack 2 pick 6:
The Red/White drafter on our right is reaping the rewards for cutting his colors off in the first pack. Still, we’re left with a number of good options. Leaden Myr, Neurok Replica, and Chrome Steed round out our options and we’re presented with another choice between enabler and beneficiary. At this point we’ve got two Rusted Relic and two Soliton for beaters (a lot) which suggests that we should take the Myr or Neurok Replica, otherwise we will lose to having draws that are too clunky. Leaden Myr is fine and provides a way to accelerate out a Rusted Relic one turn early if it’s summoned on turn two; otherwise mana Myr are usually underwhelming compared to their alternative. Neurok Replica is a good way to curve out at three mana because it offers reasonable defense and security when it’s on the Battlefield. Having Neurok Replica ready to stop shenanigans from happening is always a good thing.
My pick: Neurok Replica
Pack 2 pick 7:
Flight Spellbomb and Snapsail Glider are the two options. Flight Spellbomb makes enabling Metalcraft easier than Snapsail Glider because it costs less, though the overall benefit of Flight Spellbomb is temporary because it’s not a “real” card (it cycles for an effect after its place on the Battlefield loses its usefulness). Snapsail Glider is more expensive but offers a mediocre creature. The key difference between the two cards is that Snapsail Glider is a creature which will at least provide us with more options in combat. It’s unlikely that we’ll be dominated in the late-game with cards like Mindslaver (with lots of creatures) and Soliton/Arbalest so surviving until then is what should concern us the most.
My pick: Snapsail Glider
Pack 2 pick 8:
Darksteel Myr doesn’t usually make an appearance in decks but with one such as ours that is looking for cheap artifacts to help it survive, the Myr could have a place. Darksteel Myr can be amazing against some decks (Green dinosaurs) and trash against others (Infect). Disperse is generally a weak card because damage doesn’t stack anymore and is only useful against specific cards like Untamed Might, Volition Reins, and expensive removal (Turn to Slag).
My pick: Darksteel Myr
Pack 2 pick 9:
Golem Foundry takes a lot to work and usually doesn’t. Contagion Clasp/Engine, Inexorable Tide, and Thrummingbird are usually necessary to transform Golem Foundry from an inconsistent wreck to a well-oiled machine. The other option is Vedalken Certarch which is usually not great because it’s pathetic without Metalcraft (1/1’s for one). However, if we end up with at least sixteen artifacts then the Certarch will provide some much-needed control over the Battlefield.
My pick: Vedalken Certarch
Pack 2 pick 10:
There’s not much to be said here. With the two Rusted Relic, Vedalken Certarch, and Snapsail Glider, it’s rather apparent that Horizon Spellbomb is the pick. Bellowing Tanglewurm doesn’t have any creatures to upgrade and is simply an unkicked Thicket Elemental.
My pick: Horizon Spellbomb
Pack 2 pick 11:
My pick: Kuldotha Forgemaster
Pack 2 pick 12:
My pick: Moriok Reaver
Pack 2 pick 13:
My pick: Steady Progress
Pack 2 pick 14:
My pick: Moriok Reaver
Pack 2 pick 15:
The second pack was very helpful for us because we were showered with an incredible amount of Metalcraft cards and now have a good framework to fill out with the third pack. We should look to fill out the cheaper end of the curve by getting more mana Myr along with whatever replicas we can pick up to ensure that our four-drops are fully powered when we summon them.
Pack 3 pick 1:
There are some heavy-hitters in this pack. Splashing Arc Trail is definitely an option with two Horizon Spellbombs. Perilous Myr is a more conservative approach to removal that functions well with our Metalcraft cards. Iron Myr is in the same board as perilous Myr in terms of helping Metalcraft although it doesn’t have as much presence at its Perilous brethren in terms of keeping opposing creatures in check. Shatter isn’t really an option because Arc Trail is a better card. Iron Myr doesn’t benefit our curve enough to justify taking it over Perilous Myr or Arc Trail because we have a number of three-mana artifacts already. If we have no three-mana artifacts then the case for Iron Myr would be stronger because it functions as a three-mana spell on turn two to accelerate into a four mana spell on turn three. However, we have Rust Tick, Neurok Replica, Snapsail Glider, and Darksteel Myr already to help curve out in addition to Wall of Tanglecord, two Horizon Spellbombs, and Culling Dias for turn one/two. Arc Trail is more powerful than Perilous Myr because it’s a two-for-one that the opponent won’t see coming … the first time. Afterwards it’s more difficult to get the two-for-one, but still possible. Perilous Myr won’t get the number of two-for-ones that Arc Trail does, but it directly helps our need to Metalcraft which puts it over the top.
My pick: Perilous Myr
Pack 3 pick 2:
Riddlesmith isn’t going to work out well in this deck because its main purpose is to filter excess lands into gas to push a low-curve Metalcraft deck beyond the threshold of spells needed to win the game. Our deck has a moderately high curve and is unlikely to have excess lands to throw away which makes Riddlesmith somewhat useless until the very late portions of the game. A second Kuldotha Forgemaster is simply unnecessary because we still don’t have any awesome artifacts to Tinker up (except the backdoor Mindslaver!); the same can be said with Clone Shell and creatures.
Our last options are Shatter and Iron Myr/Gold Myr. Shatter will be useful because we’ve got no real artifact removal at this point besides the one Rust Tick. However, the benefits of a mana Myr are going to help ensure that we open with more consistent draws and reliably curve out. Iron Myr is usually the default Myr because Red has better splash cards than White, but this late in the draft it’s not going to matter once we also factor in that there’s a Red/White drafter on our right.
My pick: Iron Myr
Pack 3 pick 3:
To be honest I wasn’t expecting to see a Shatter at this point. We’ve got to decide between Shatter, Copper Myr, and Neurok Replica. We have seventeen potential artifacts to run so far (including Mindslaver, Trigon of Infestation, and Darksteel Myr) which is about the number that we want to have our Metalcraft cards be turned on reliably. Shatter becomes a real option and still has all of the benefits that were described in the last pick. Copper Myr is on-color and would add more consistency to our openings while not being dead later on because of Kuldotha Forgemaster, Culling Dias, and Heavy Arbalest. Neurok Replica would offer increased defensive fortifications against ground attacks but doesn’t provide much beyond that because we’ve got no good CIP-triggers (Skinrender, Oxidda Scrapmelter, etc). Ideally we can replace some of the lower-tier artifacts like Darksteel Myr and Trigon of Infestation, and if so we’d need more artifacts to replace them with which suggests that Shatter is not going to be as good an option. Shatter would give our deck more power but make it inconsistent. Between Copper Myr and Neurok Replica, the utility of Neurok Replica is harder to duplicate whereas it’s still possible to pick up a Myr in the next few picks. We saw a lot of Metalcraft cards in pack two even towards the end which suggests that pack three is going to be the same and that a pack with a Myr will come around for us.
My pick: Neurok Replica
Pack 3 pick 4:
We’re fortunate that we’re in pack three because Ezuri’s Brigade wouldn’t have made it this far otherwise.
My pick: Ezuris Brigade
Pack 3 pick 5:
Perilous Myr is pretty good in combination with Myr Reservoir but we’ve only got one which makes the combo rather inconsistent; the Reservoir would likely be a mulligan in most games. Our curve is rather high which makes Halt Order too stifling for our board development (leaving up three mana constantly would set us back too much). Golden Urn is an option though it’s likely that we’ll wheel one. The Urn is useful in this type of deck because we’re a Metalcraft deck with a lot of late-game power. Golden Urn helps ensure that Metalcraft is on and that we don’t die prematurely. Acid Web Spider is the last option and the best one because it closes one of the routes to victory against our deck: an air attack. Despite playing Islands, our deck has very few flyers and is very vulnerable to them, an area where the Spider is at its best; a 3/5 is quite difficult to attack through.
My pick: Acid Web Spider
Pack 3 pick 6:
Liquimetal Coating would basically ensure that Metalcraft is always on, but we’re at a high enough artifact count to not need it simply for that use. We don’t have any ways to really abuse the coating which makes it rather underwhelming (no, Kuldotha Forgemaster is not a combo). Acid Web Spider is still the best choice.
My pick: Acid Web Spider
Pack 3 pick 7:
Ichorclaw Myr and Blight Mamba are both good options against an Infect deck. Against other decks Blight Mamba is going to be better than Ichorclaw Myr because it’s more likely that we’ll be on defense which is where Blight Mamba is superior. However we won’t bring Blight Mamba in against those matchups. If we play against Infect, it’s more likely that we’ll survive if they have the Blight Mamba instead of the Ichorclaw Myr because the Mamba is more manageable.
My pick: Ichorclaw Myr
Pack 3 pick 8:
There’s nothing for us here. Bloodshot Trainee shouldn’t be a problem for us (considering that we have two Acid Web Spiders) unless the opponent also has a Darksteel Axe. Everything else in the pack is bad so we should hate the most troublesome card.
My pick: Bloodshot Trainee
Pack 3 pick 9:
A second Darksteel Myr is unnecessary because the first one is almost unnecessary, whereas Alpha Tyrranax is a real option, though it joins a slot already bursting at the seams.
My pick: Alpha Tyrranax
Pack 3 pick 10:
We’ve acquired a number of expensive creatures the last time a Clone Shell came by which makes it more of an option (though still not a great one considering our curve).
My pick: Clone Shell
Pack 3 pick 11:
My pick: Tainted Strike
Pack 3 pick 12:
My pick: Blunt the Assault
Pack 3 pick 13:
My pick: Golden Urn
Pack 3 pick 14:
My pick: Oxidda Daredevil
Pack 3 pick 15:
The last pack was okay though we didn’t pick up as many low-cost spells as desired. Fortunately for us there were still many good cards going around which filled out the rest of our deck quite well. We’ll be able to build a decent deck that should have a reasonable shot at winning the draft.
The core of cards we’re playing include the following:
The spells above represent the core of our deck (the best spells available to us). Beyond the initial group of sixteen cards is another group of secondary-level cards of which we’ll have to include a few to fill out or deck and have the rest make up our sideboard:
The bad cards like Ezuri’s Archers, Steady Progress, and Blunt the Assault can be eliminated immediately because they have nearly zero value in any deck. The primary group also doesn’t pair well with Infect cards and that eliminates Ichorclaw Myr, Corpse Cur, Putrefax, and probably Trigon of Infestation. The remaining group of eleven cards needs to be trimmed to down to seven for the deck. Seventeen lands should be adequate even with a moderately high number of five-mana spells because we have two Horizon Spellbombs along with an Iron Myr.
The cards that immediately stand out as weak are Neurok Invisimancer, Darksteel Myr, Clone Shell, Golden Urn, Culling Dias, Tel-Jilad Defiance, and Mindslaver, with Vedalken Certarch, Snapsail Glider, Kuldotha Forgemaster, and Alpha Tyrranax pulling a bit more weight. Before considering which of these cards to cut it’s important to understand how the deck is going to play out most of its games. The deck’s core has a lot of powerful cards which increases the value of cards that help promote survival. The two Rusted Relics also increase the value of any artifacts that cost less than four mana because they increase the likeliness that the Relics will be animated when they first enter the Battlefield. Another point to consider is artifacts versus non-artifacts because we also have Vedalken Certarch and to a lesser extent Snapsail Glider to go along with the Rusted Relics.
Neurok Invisimancer is particularly weak as a defensive creature and doesn’t help Metalcraft; Darksteel Myr on the other hand is much better in those two categories. Clone Shell isn’t awesome because there aren’t any bomb creatures to put into play. There are a number of moderately large creatures including Alpha Tyrranax but none that would completely dominate the Battlefield. Clone Shell helps with Metalcraft, but it’s on the expensive side. Golden Urn is a low-impact card but it’s a cheap artifact with a minor-moderate life-gain effect. Culling Dias doesn’t have much interaction with the deck’s other cards without including Clone Shell or Trigon of Infestation but it’s still a cheap artifact that can do something against removal-heavy draws. Tel-Jilad Defiance doesn’t accomplish much in the maindeck other than acting as a cycler because we don’t have cards like Liquimetal Coating to really take advantage of it. Mindslaver is in the same place that Clone Shell is in because it’s an expensive artifact and won’t help out until after a game has developed greatly. However, once the game has progressed to the point where we’ll want to complete our sequence of winning plays, Mindslaver will allow us to utilize our medium-sized creatures as a Wrath of God.
Normally I would include the Alpha Tyrranax, but in this deck the curve is already quite high and the Tyrranax is one of the few non-artifact cards that don’t provide utility (compared to Acid Web Spider); it just sits there and attacks once it’s convenient. If the Tyrranax bites the dust then Clone Shell loses a lot of its value. Neurok Invisimancer is an easy cut. Tel-Jilad Defiance is the last card that is going to get cut because it’s difficult to use when dealing with a high curve.
Round 1: Blue/White Metalcraft
Game one started off well enough with a lot of creatures trading. Evil’s deck appeared to be more of an aggro deck which made the trades seem like a good idea until he played Elspeth Tirel and started making a bunch of tokens. We used Mindslaver to “get rid of Elspeth” but that only equated to leaving Evil with nine Soldiers which killed us shortly afterwards. Game two was not really a game because we kept two lands on the draw and never drew a third land.
The deck seems like it handles Metalcraft decks reasonably well because of the Acid Web Spiders and Neurok Replicas in addition to the Perilous Myr, Wall of Tanglecord, and Darksteel Myr. Those cards contain opposing aggressive starts well and draw out the game to the point where this deck can go over the top with its own four-drops, Soliton/Arbalest, or Mindslaver. Additionally, the deck can overpower other decks with its own aggressive draws because Rusted Relic and Ezuri’s Brigade trump most of the four-mana Metalcraft cards. Neurok Replica will protect the four-drops from being double-blocked in combat and set up tempo-generating plays that will create enough incremental board advantage to put the opponent on defense.
The deck is somewhat weak game one to Infect because there are a number of virtual mulligans, namely Darksteel Myr, Golden Urn, and Mindslaver (because it’s so expensive). However after board the deck gets to replace those bad cards with Ichorclaw Myr, Corpse Cur, and Trigon of Infestation which make it a lot more difficult for them to win by trying to grind. Draws involving Plague Stinger/Ichorclaw Myr into Cystbearer are difficult because there aren’t many three-power creatures this deck has to trade with them. Once the deck gets to four mana then its creatures match up well with what Infect is throwing against it because they’re all very large. Most games are going to be tough wins though and it is important to not keep slow hands.
The deck should be favored against removal-heavy decks because it lacks equipment besides Heavy Arbalest and has a lot of big creatures which should trump the opposition. The games where this deck will lose will be tempo-orientated where the opponent sticks a Vulshok Replica and something else (basically any combination of creatures with four-six power) and then use each removal spell they have as a Time Walk plus Lava Axe.
The deck will lose to bombs because Mindslaver is one of the only cards that will potentially deal with anything. If the deck had a Stoic Rebuttal and another mana Myr/Perilous Myr/Wall of Tanglecord then it would have been quite good and one that I would gladly draft again.