Pack 1 pick 1:
Razor Hippogriff is usually quite powerful and will swing the game in your favor; it’s a legitimate first pick. Argentum Armor is mediocre because it requires two turns with no disruption from the opponent to get an effect out of. Cystbearer is an option if you want to start out in infect (taking infect creatures aggressively in pack one to minimize the number of people drafting it is necessary). Trigon of Corruption is the card that I prefer because it’s the most flexible because it’s good (but slow) removal that doesn’t tie you down to a color.
My pick: Trigon of Corruption
Pack 1 pick 2:
This pack is really weak with the best cards being Thrummingbird and Fume Spitter. Fume Spitter and Thrummingbird would work well with the Trigon (Fume Spitter meaning that the deck is playing Swamps and that we can charge the Trigon). Thrummingbird never seems to work out (based on personal experience) but has a lot of potential because proliferate can be such a powerful effect. Fume Spitter is relatively weak and doesn’t have the potential that Thrummingbird does.
My pick: Thrummingbird
Pack 1 pick 3:
More blue cards, though really only Sky-Eel School because Thrummingbird isn’t exactly a signal. black is likely open because Instill infection and Necrotic Ooze are both good. If we were to take a black card the Ooze would be it because it creates a lot of interesting/tricky board scenarios to take advantage of. Rust Tick is a better choice than the rest because it’s another colorless removal spell with a lot of flexibility.
My pick: Rust Tick
Pack 1 pick 4:
There are a lot of green fatties in this pack which may mean that the color is open also. However, most of those creatures go pretty late and we shouldn’t put a lot of stock into them. Jumping into black is still an option with the Instill infection. infect doesn’t seem open (because we haven’t seen an Ichorclaw Myr/Plague Stinger/Cystbearer) and neither does red; white and blue are undermined. The pick is between Darksteel Sentinel and Iron Myr because it’s difficult to tell which direction to go and the two aforementioned cards are the best colorless options. Typically cheap spells lead towards being more flexible later on because you’re more likely to have a deck that isn’t clogged with five drops and can pick freely.
My pick: Iron Myr
Pack 1 pick 5:
Green/black non-infect is open. black is probably going to be a poor choice for pack two but should be fine in pack three (because we passed two Instill infection and Necrotic Ooze) while green is likely to be more open. Liege of the Tangle is powerful but simply too expensive to summon reliably. On the other hand, Acid Web Spider has a reasonable cost and provides an amazing amount of utility.
My pick: Acid Web Spider
Pack 1 pick 6:
There has been very little red passed so far which means that we will see some goodies pass through us in the second pack. red is unlikely to be our second color, but with an Iron Myr and Copperline Gorge (from this pack) we should be able to splash a Galvanic Blast/Arc Trail/Oxidda Scrapmelter without too much difficulty (especially if we remain in green because of Horizon Spellbomb). The other cards (Saberclaw Golem and Sunspear Shikari) aren’t amazing.
My pick: Copperline Gorge
Pack 1 pick 7:
This pick is rather bleak and offers very little for a green/X deck. Thrummingbird is the only other card we have that’s in another color. If we stick with green/blue, then the only other card we’d be interested in is Golem Foundry because of its synergy with Thrummingbird. Neurok Invisimancer is okay, but it’s better suited in a heavy-blue aggro deck because it makes a deck’s mana terrible.
My pick: Golem Foundry
Pack 1 pick 8:
Green/black metalcraft is an option which would make Painsmith a good way to put a lot of pressure on the opponent early while providing a way to create favorable trades later on. Alpha Tyrranax is easier to make use of because you can put it in almost any deck, just summon it, and it will be good whereas Painsmith requires a specific subset cards along with it for it to be good.
My pick: Alpha Tyrranax
Pack 1 pick 9:
Strider Harness doesn’t work well with creatures like Acid Web Spider and Alpha Tyrranax because you’re mana is tied up elsewhere. Bellowing Tanglewurm is a fine card when combined with enough other green creatures (especially when they’re large and require multiple blockers to trade with it).
My pick: Bellowing Tanglewurm
Pack 1 pick 10:
My pick: Ezuris Archers
Pack 1 pick 11:
My pick: Nihil Spellbomb
Pack 1 pick 12:
My pick: Molder Beast
Pack 1 pick 13:
My pick: whitesuns Passage
Pack 1 pick 14:
My pick: Forest
Pack 1 pick 15:
The first pack was okay. We missed the train on black because of indecisiveness, though the decision wasn’t a bad one. Green and black were obviously open while white appeared to be slightly open but not really; we saw some bits of white but not much. We’re only tied to green at this point and if black is open in pack two, then we should jump into it. Otherwise we should just wait and see how the pack develops and compare our choices based on what we expect to see in pack three.
Pack 2 pick 1:
There are some nice red cards here. Slice in Twain is the easiest card to fit in our deck, but let us talk about red before we slam the removal. Kuldotha Phoenix is an incredibly powerful creature that wins games on its own. The problem with taking the Phoenix is that is totally wrecks our mana. It’s very unlikely that we’ll pick up enough red spells in pack three to justify playing eight/nine Mountains, but we’ll have to if we intend on being able to summon the Phoenix reliably. Additionally, when you look at the multiple double-green spells that we have already, it’s easier to see how awkward our draws will be. If we pass the Slice in Twain, then we’re also setting ourselves up for being cut in the third pack from a color that was flowing freely in the first.
My pick: Slice in Twain
Pack 2 pick 2:
Shatter and Copper Myr are the two options. Panic Spellbomb doesn’t have a place in the deck (yet) because we aren’t trying to metalcraft, utilize Furnace Celebration, or attacking at any point before turn fifty with our dinosaurs. Shatter is fine but with so many expensive spells already, being able to ramp into them reliably is important. Mana Myr get more important as a deck’s curve increases and this deck has a high one. If the Shatter were universal removal (like Arc Trail/Galvanic Blast), taking it would be a good choice. Shatter effects tend to be overrated (or underrated by myself depending on how you look at it) and not something to jump on at the cost of a deck’s other consistencies.
My pick: Copper Myr
Pack 2 pick 3:
Shatter is a much more reasonable pick here because the value of a fifth fatty is much lower than that of a third artifact removal. Pack one demonstrated that green non-infect creatures are going to wheel. With Ezuri and Alpha Tyrranax both in the pack, it seems reasonable that one will come back to us. It’s assumed that we’ll be splashing for Shatter and pick up a second color at some point.
My pick: Shatter
Pack 2 pick 4:
There are a lot of good cards still left but there’s nothing that comes close to competing with Slice in Twain. Arrest is the “best” card but the reasons to pass it and take the Slice in Twain are similar to why we passed the Kuldotha Phoenix in pick one.
My pick: Slice in Twain
Pack 2 pick 5:
It’s remarkable to see how late some of these white cards are going considering what we passed in the first pack (initially). It’s possible that white may be open in the third pack, but that’s a shaky theory after passing the Arrest from last pick. Glint Hawk Idol is a good card but it doesn’t fit as well into our deck as much as Wall of Tanglecord because the Wall helps you survive and summon green fatties whereas the Idol simply beats down.
My pick: Wall of Tanglecord
Pack 2 pick 6:
Molder Beast is the only card from here that has a place in our deck.
Pack 2 pick 7:
Dispense Justice is an option but we only have five artifacts that we want to play which makes it unimpressive. Dispense Justice is also at the start of the deck’s curve which means that it would be best played on turn three or four when we’re still unable to summon a fatty (which function the same way Dispense Justice does when dealing with non-flyers, but we also get to choose which creature dies in addition to being able to attack). Horizon Spellbomb is the best pick because it supports the red splash for Shatter in addition to helping us run enough mana sources while preventing being flooded.
My pick: Horizon Spellbomb
Pack 2 pick 8:
Withstand Death is good when dealing with a lot of large creatures because it will almost always act as a two-for-one. When a game gets to the point where this deck is attacking, the need for cards that support that stage is low. At that point it would be better to just run another fatty. It’s better to focus on getting to the point in the first place. Lifesmith and Golden Urn both function similarly, but Lifesmith also functions as an attacker/blocker.
My pick: Lifesmith
Pack 2 pick 9:
Wing Puncture and Tel-Jilad Defiance are both sideboard cards. Wing Puncture is better because it’s more likely that we’ll lose to flyers than an artifact that Tel-Jilad Defiance is going to be good against (Lux Cannon).
My pick: Wing Puncture
Pack 2 pick 10:
Tel-Jilad Defiance is the only playable.
My pick: Tel-Jilad Defiance
Pack 2 pick 11:
My pick: Alpha Tyrranax
Pack 2 pick 12:
My pick: Vulshok Replica
Pack 2 pick 13:
My pick: Seize the Initiative
Pack 2 pick 14:
My pick: Glimmerpost
Pack 2 pick 15:
The second pack was quite good, although we didn’t determine what our second color is. At this point we might just end up heavy green and splashing red. What we need to look for in the final pack includes more low-end spells like Wall of Tanglecord, mana Myr, and cheap removal such as Galvanic Blast.
Pack 3 pick 1:
Chimeric Mass isn’t quite what this deck needs. We don’t want to cast it for three because we’ll have to delay summoning creatures if we intend to activate it each turn which is a bad plan. We’d also end up with a small Chimeric Mass at the end which wouldn’t have much impact on the board after our hand is empty. Chimeric Mass is still the best card in the pack because it can go over the top of a lot of boards and sets up possibilities if we see a Trinket Mage.
My pick: Chimeric Mass
Pack 3 pick 2:
Embersmith and Arrest are the two cards to consider. It’s more likely that white is going to be open than red because we saw very little red in pack one in addition to passing equal amounts of red and white in pack two. Embersmith is also not going to be very good with only seven artifacts in the deck (so far). Embersmith is better at defending against draws involving multiple low-toughness creatures which this deck will lose to more often than something such as Hoard Smelter Dragon (or other card that only Arrest can deal with). Also, most opponents will respect the fact that there is an Embersmith on the Battlefield (regardless of whether it can do anything) and delay summoning their one-toughness creatures which buys additional time for this deck to start summoning fatties. It seems more likely that this deck is less likely to die to a big flyer than a horde of small creatures, and Embersmith is a better solution.
My pick: Embersmith
Pack 3 pick 3:
Shatter is the only card that we’d play from this pack.
My pick: Shatter
Pack 3 pick 4:
Blight Mamba will hold off potential attackers if we hold mana open to regenerate it, but it’s unlikely that we’ll have that opportunity in most games. Iron Myr is the only card that we are going to play.
My pick: Iron Myr
Pack 3 pick 5:
Myr Galvanizer doesn’t have much use in our deck because we don’t have multiple Origin Spellbombs, other Myr, Heavy Arbalest, or Myr Propagator. Its purpose would be to fill out the curve as a Gray Ogre and make Embersmith better. Horizon Spellbomb is a better choice because we’ll be able to use it with Embersmith more effectively in addition to making sure we don’t flood. We won’t be playing less than seventeen lands with so many five/six-mana spells.
My pick: Horizon Spellbomb
Pack 3 pick 6:
My pick: Horizon Spellbomb
Pack 3 pick 7:
Assault Strobe is cute but another Tyrranax is a better choice because the Strobe is a mulligan without a draw involving Molder Beast and multiple artifacts going to the graveyard.
My pick: Alpha Tyrranax
Pack 3 pick 8:
We’re already above the number of spells that we need for the deck which makes mediocre cards like Myr Galvanizer not as valuable as hating cards that are going to be tough to deal with; Lumengrid Drake is one of those cards.
My pick: Lumengrid Drake
Pack 3 pick 9:
It’s very unlikely that Ogre Geargrabber is going to be useful ([card]Argentum Armor[/card] anyone?). Flameborn Hellion is just outclassed by our green creatures. On the other hand, Untamed Might is a legitimate threat to our survival.
My pick: Untamed Might
Pack 3 pick 10:
My pick: Auriok Sunchaser
Pack 3 pick 11:
My pick: Kuldotha Rebirth
Pack 3 pick 12:
My pick: Screeching Silcaw
Pack 3 pick 13:
My pick: Assault Strobe
Pack 3 pick 14:
My pick: Glimmerpost
Pack 3 pick 15:
There was far more red and far less black/white in the last pack than expected. Regardless, we were able to piece together the rest of what we wanted to get from the last pack and should be able to make a good deck that won’t have too much difficulty winning.
There are only a few issues to go over concerning deck construction. The main one is how many lands to run. The two points to consider are 1) The deck can’t afford to stall on lands until it hits six mana because there are eight big creatures to cast. 2) There are three mana Myr and three Horizon Spellbombs.
Having six spells that also produce mana makes it seem like sixteen lands would be adequate. However, Horizon Spellbomb is similar to Palladium Myr because it takes a considerable amount of mana to get mana from the card itself. With three mana Myr, most decks would run sixteen lands, but this deck’s curve is much higher than the average (and should therefore run seventeen).
Would the eighth fatty be better than a Lifesmith? There are eleven artifacts in the deck to power up the ‘smith. To get a good idea of which creature will be better, we should look at the different scenarios that we’re likely to be in.
Molder Beast is a real threat whereas Lifesmith is just a 2/1. Molder Beast is obviously better against infect because Lifesmith’s ability is irrelevant and it only trades with Contagious Nim, Corpse Cur, and Blackcleave Goblin. With seven other big creatures, it’s not likely that we won’t have one to play on five/six mana without the eighth.
Lifesmith is better before five mana because it gives you the option of possibly trading with a creature which could be very important depending on how much damage it would deal otherwise. Lifesmith handles fliers better because it can counteract some of the damage they’re doing each turn. Lifesmith lets you dig yourself out of a hole if you’re low on life to the point of being able to attack effectively.
The important point is this: the most common way this deck is going to lose is by taking too much damage before it can stabilize the board with fatties and then dying to something that slips through.
Round 1: black/green (splash red) infect
Game 1: Evil played a Contagious Nim and Infiltration Lens against our Iron Myr, Wall of Tanglecord, and Horizon Spellbomb. He had a Strider Harness in addition to the Lens but we stopped his shenanigans with Shatter and Acid Web Spider. Corpse Cur raised the Nim after it ran into our Spider but we soon took over the Battlefield with a Rust Tick and Trigon of Corruption. The Cur got double-blocked by our Spider and Tick and we summoned an Alpha Tyrranax. Evil had a Hand of the Praetors but it didn’t do much against our Trigon which we emptied to kill it. Evil was stuck on no green mana (though it wasn’t apparent at the time) but was still able to Arc Trail away our Iron Myr and 0/1 Spider. A second Tyrranax joined the fray and that was all she wrote.
Game 2: We started out with another Iron Myr, Vulshok Replica, and Horizon Spellbomb to Evil’s Strider Harness and Tangle Anger. We sacrificed the Replica to bolt Evil after being forced to chump the Angler and Evil summoned a Tel-Jilad Fallen. Then we answered back with a Tyrranax but Evil used Vector Asp plus Flesh Allergy to kill it which was really bad for us. Slice in Twain got rid of the Strider Harness and we summoned a Copper Myr which got lured by the Angler. We went to eight poison but Evil was out of gas for the moment which let us summon Embersmith and a 4/4 Chimeric Mass which killed the Fallen in the process. All was lost though, because Evil found a Cystbearer on his turn while we drew nothing to stop the Tangle Angler.
Game 3: We started out with Horizon Spellbomb and Copper Myr again while Evil had an Infiltration Lens and Ichorclaw Myr. However he was stuck on two Forests which became apparent after he did nothing on his third turn. We had summoned a Rust Tick which locked down the Myr and gave us time to cycle the Spellbomb and play a second one. Vector Asp joined Evil’s side but without lands his plays simply couldn’t match ours. We summoned a Molder Beast followed by Embersmith. The game was over shortly.
Round 2: blue/white
Game 1: Evil started off with Flight Spellbomb, Sunspear Shikari, and Myr Galvanizer against our Iron Myr and Rust Tick. Strider Harness made an appearance and let the Shikari get one hit in before our Acid Web Spider destroyed the equipment and stalled up the board. Evil regrouped and summoned a Soliton while we had a Lifesmith along with a Horizon Spellbomb and Iron Myr. Evil seemed to have nothing so we Shattered the Soliton and started attacking with the Spider and Lifesmith. Evil had a Glint Hawk and we couldn’t resist the temptation to Slice in Twain his only artifact (Galvanizer) to kill the Hawk. Revoke Existence exiled the Tick but we had an Alpha Tyrranax to replace it. Evil found an Infiltration Lens to let his Sunspear Shikari stave off death from our creatures which gave him enough time to find the third Island for a Volition Reins on our Tyrranax. The play bought him a few turns but had no answer to our Bellowing Tanglewurm plus green creatures.
Game 2: We had a slow hand with two Horizon Spellbombs while Evil had a turn-two Glint Hawk, but he could only follow it up with a turn–three Wall of Tanglecord. We developed our board but Evil had a Revoke for our Trigon. Evil found a Sky-Eel School at five mana and threatened to win in the air but we drew Acid Web Spider to hold off his team. Infiltration Lens gave his Hawk a free pass but we already had Shatter in hand and set up a play for next turn which gave us a two-for-one. Wall of Tanglecord joined our side to defend against more fliers but Evil only had an Auriok Edgewright. Evil reinforced his position with a Golem Artisan and Myr Galvanizer but we paid no attention to them even though we had Slice in Twain because we needed to hold it for Volition Reins. There were other spells to cast, namely Alpha Tyrranax, Molder Beast, and Chimeric Mass. We held the Mass because we used Slice in Twain to destroy the Golem Artisan so we could start attacking. A few turns later we drew the second Slice in Twain and played out the Mass for ten to set up a lethal attack on our next turn.
Round 3: black/green infect
Game 1: Evil started with a Blight Mamba, Culling Dais, and Carrion Call against our Copper Myr, Wall of Tanglecord, and Lifesmith. We held off on trading with his tokens for a turn and went to three poison so we could summon a Tyrranax. Evil used a Perilous Myr along with the Dais to clear a way for his team and had Untamed Might for exactly lethal.
Game 2: We started with Iron Myr and used Slice in Twain aggressively on Evil’s turn-two Copper Myr because we had Molder Beast and Alpha Tyrranax to curve into. The Molder Beast stopped in its tracks and traded with a Contagious Nim after the Nim got pumped by Painsmith (Perilous Myr). We summoned the Tyrranax and Evil killed our Iron Myr with Instill infection. Then we attacked and summoned an Embersmith to which Evil answered with a Tangle Angler. The Embersmith killed the Painsmith when we made a Trigon while the Tyrranax and Angler started at each other. The Embersmith traded with the Perilous Myr after we summoned Wall of Tanglecord and our Tyrranax got ambushed by a Carrion Call inside combat. The Trigon took care of the other token and Evil made a Grafted Exoskeleton. Evil tried to stall with a Tumble Magnet but we had a Shatter for it and summoned a second Tyrranax. Evil equipped his Tangle Angler with the Exoskeleton and conceded when we summoned the Acid Web Spider we’d had since the beginning of the game.
Game 3: Evil opened with a Plague Stinger and Copper Myr against our Horizon Spellbomb, Iron Myr, and Trigon of Corruption. Evil summoned a Tangle Angler and attacked with everything but we only took one poison after killing the Plague Stinger. The two myr traded with each other and Evil made a Tower of Calamities. The game looked to be in good shape but we began drawing lots of land. The Trigon shrank the Angler to a 0/4 but Evil summoned a Cystbearer. We used Slice in Twain to destroy the Tower when Evil was on seven lands. Evil began attacking with the Angler and Cystbearer (1/2) and we began taking one poison a turn. The loop repeated itself roughly five times before Evil killed us with Untamed Might.
The Lifesmith only made it to the show once against non-infect but wasn’t needed because we hadn’t taken much damage prior (it gained nine life).
The deck flowed quite well and didn’t get flooded often despite running twenty-three “mana sources.”
Most of the game wins never felt like they were because of getting overly lucky. For example, Evil didn’t repeatedly mulligan, get flooded, etc.