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According to Webster – Mirrodin Besieged Draft #3

Mirrodin Besieged Draft #3

Pack 1 pick 1:

 

Consecrated Sphinx is one of the best cards in the set and incredibly difficult to trade with without the controller getting card advantage (Go for the Throat). Besides Spread the Sickness and a few other cards, it takes multiple sources to deal with the giant flier which makes it that much harder to remove. It’s unfortunate that the next best card (by a fair margin) is also blue (Vedalken Anatomist) and will negatively impact our second pack.

My pick: Consecrated Sphinx

Pack 1 pick 2:

 

This pick is the opposite of the last and is full of mediocre choices, none of which are blue. The only blue option, Quicksilver Geyser, is more of a late-game utility card that isn’t universally useful. Melira’s Keepers and Priests of Norn are very unexciting because they require jumping into a second color which isn’t a good idea for a card of such low quality. Core Prowler is another option, although it’s also rather weak in combination with blue because the color can’t use the proliferate effect very well without the inclusion of black. Between Core Prowler and Quicksilver Geyser, both cards are going to be mediocre, but Core Prowler will be better in a deck with black than Quicksilver Geyser will be in a deck with color X. In order to take advantage of the Geyser a deck needs to either be tempo orientated and use the Geyser to remove blockers or have a moderate number of cards with ETB-triggers (ex: Oxidda Scrapmelter) to get additional value from. Quicksilver Geyser is least useful as a defensive spell because it will often be included in decks that have higher curves than the opponent.

My pick: Core Prowler

Pack 1 pick 3:

 

This pick is similar to the first because there’s a good blue card that will get past us. Serum Raker is quite an efficient beater and a good way to start clocking the opponent. The drake isn’t nearly as good on defense because two toughness it too low to fend off opposing fliers or ground creatures, and the discard effect is usually negative unless you have a low curve and can afford to discard land. The best option is Mortarpod which is quite useful in every archetype. Mortarpod is on par with Contagion Clasp in terms of what it can do (sometimes better and other times worse), and it will often lead to a number of board situations that allow you to easily outmaneuver the opponent from the extra utility that the Mogg Fanatic/Parapet equipment provides.

My pick: Mortarpod

Pack 1 pick 4:

 

Copper Carapace is good because it provides a significant power/toughness boost but isn’t going to be good in a deck with a moderate number of expensive creatures. Vedalken Infuser is very underwhelming without charge-counter artifacts (similar to Thrummingbird) and needs several (three to four) to make it worth running. Leonin Skyhunter is also an option, though it isn’t good except in an extremely heavy-white deck because it loses a lot of value after the first two/three turns of the game without additional aggression to pair it with. Ichor Wellspring is good as a cantrip/metalcraft enabler, but it’s hard to get full value out of it without playing red. Plague Myr is the last option and a fine one because the rest of the pack is rather mediocre and it combos well with Core Prowler.

My pick: Plague Myr

Pack 1 pick 5:

 

Rusted Slasher and Peace Strider are the two best options. The Slasher is good with cards like Ichor Wellspring and spellbombs especially against decks that don’t have a lot of one-toughness creatures to throw in front of it. In a deck with Consecrated Sphinx it’s better to preserve your life total and take Peace Strider to ensure that the Sphinx remains in play for the longest amount of time possible.

My pick: Peace Strider

Pack 1 pick 6:

 

Fuel for the Cause is a fine card but it’s better to pick when the packs wheel. Ichor Wellspring is still a good choice, although not as good without the Rusted Slasher that we passed in the last pick. Silverskin Armor is okay, but it’s better in a metalcraft deck that’s slanted towards aggro as most equipment tend to be. Morbid Plunder is the best non-blue card and should work well with what we have going on right now. Morbid Plunder gets better as the creatures in a deck increase in quality, and when dealing with creatures like Consecrated Sphinx it’s easy to see why taking it and jumping into black is desirable. Black also offers the best support for Core Prowler because a lot of its spells deal with -1/-1 counters (Fume Spitter, Instill Infection, infect creatures, etc.).

My pick: Morbid Plunder

Pack 1 pick 7:

 

Virulent Wound is rather narrow but still deals with a good percentage of the creatures that we’ll face.

My pick: Virulent Wound

Pack 1 pick 8:

 

There’s nothing on-color in this pick except Tangle Hulk as a Frost Ogre which is undesirable. Viridian Emissary would be the best card to play if we went into green and still wanted to play Morbid Plunder because it smoothens out the deck’s mana.

My pick: Viridian Emissary

Pack 1 pick 9:

 

Nested Ghoul and Phyrexian Rager are quite similar because both are effectively two-for-one creatures. The most significant difference between the two is their cost, and while the Ghoul will usually do more on the Battlefield, costing five mana makes it compete with the high number of five-mana spells that easily find their way into most decks (Sky-Eel School, etc.). Filling the three-mana slot is much harder to do and Phyrexian Rager is an excellent way to do it.

My pick: Phyrexian Rager

Pack 1 pick 10:

 

Viridian Emissary is still better than an off-color Tangle Hulk.

My pick: Viridian Emissary

Pack 1 pick 11:

 

Mirran Spy is not very useful, although a 1/3 flier that gives vigilance to a creature every now and then is still fine for three mana.

My pick: Mirran Spy

Pack 1 pick 12:

 

My pick: Silverskin Armor

Pack 1 pick 13:

 

My pick: Horrifying Revelation

Pack 1 pick 14:

 

My pick: Shriekhorn

Pack 1 pick 15:
Mountain

The first pack was somewhat awkward for a few reasons. Well, opening Consecrated Sphinx wasn’t, but the few picks with multiple awesome cards also had good blue cards. Secondly, we weren’t presented with a well-defined direction to go regarding a second color while also being passed groups of artifacts that benefited being other color-combinations (Ichor Wellspring into Rusted Slasher into Ichor Wellspring). The picks that we made were justifiable, but it was mildly annoying to lose out on the incremental synergy within those picks that we could have had.

Pack 2 pick 1:

 

There are no good blue/black options in this pack which is pretty unfortunate and the best options are to splash the Scrapmelter or abandon black as a main color (or entirely altogether) and play the Sunblast Angel along with white. Scrapmelter can be very powerful but Sunblast Angel is actually absurd and we’ll get more mileage from it even if it means giving up Morbid Plunder, Phyrexian Rager, and Virulent Wound and starting over with white.

My pick: Sunblast Angel

Pack 2 pick 2:

 

Darksteel Axe is out of place in a deck with Consecrated Sphinx and Sunblast Angel. Ideally the Seachrome Coast wheels from this reasonably deep pack. Grasp of Darkness is an option if we want to try to splash black still, although it’s going to be quite difficult to manage casting Consecrated Sphinx, Sunblast Angel, and Grasp of Darkness with reasonable consistency especially in the “early” turns of the game. The more conservative option is to take Neurok Replica because it’s exactly the type of cheap, defensive utility creature that the deck needs while not creating any more pressure on the manabase.

My pick: Neurok Replica

Pack 2 pick 3:

 

Glint Hawk and the Idol are out of place in this deck just like the Darksteel Axe from last pick, and the decision here boils down to a choice between Revoke Existence and Golem Artisan. Revoke Existence is the less powerful card because as a removal spell it’s rather restrictive while Golem Artisan is a good, albeit expensive, finisher creature. Normally Golem Artisan would be a better choice because it provides a lot of powerful options on the Battlefield and will win games on its own, but since the deck already has a bunch of late-game power it’s better to take the card that will ensure you get to the late-game in the first place.

My pick: Revoke Existence

Pack 2 pick 4:

 

Unfortunately the off-color Myr wasn’t in the previous pick. Disperse is useful with the deck’s bombs because it protects them but is rather mediocre otherwise (and Neurok Replica does a better job) and not better than a second piece of acceleration.

My pick: Copper Myr

Pack 2 pick 5:

 

This is a nice assortment of cards. Neurok Replica is still the best choice because of what it does to get us to the late-game in addition to protecting our dragons.

My pick: Neurok Replica

Pack 2 pick 6:

 

Vedalken Certarch and Rusted Relic are the two options and both are not ideal for the deck because of the metalcraft requirement that they demand. Typically control decks want to run cards that are good on their own. Vedalken Certarch has more synergy with Sunblast Angel though it’s more difficult to enable than Rusted Relic. Rusted Relic requires less support because it’s an artifact and is generally better.

My pick: Rusted Relic

Pack 2 pick 7:

 

Glint Hawk has some utility value in the deck along with Mortarpod and Silverskin Armor (equip my Sunblast Angel, gate it, Sunblast you …. AGAIN!)

My pick: Glint Hawk

Pack 2 pick 8:

 

Auriok Replica is barely playable while Sky-Eel School is quite good.

My pick: Sky-Eel School

Pack 2 pick 9:

 

There’s nothing for us here.

My pick: Viridian Revel

Pack 2 pick 10:

 

An off-color Vulshok Replica will be underwhelming especially with three three-drops that we already have (two Neurok Replicas and one Mirran Spy). Flesh Allergy is a reasonable card to hate because it deals with our dragons, but we should be able to play around it because of the two Neurok Replicas. The best option is Vedalken Certarch because even though it’s unlikely to find its way into the deck unless we accumulate fifteen/sixteen artifacts, it still combos quite well with Sunblast Angel.

My pick: Vedalken Certarch

Pack 2 pick 11:

 

My pick: Accorders Shield

Pack 2 pick 12:

 

My pick: Corrupted Harvester

Pack 2 pick 13:

 

My pick: Soliton

Pack 2 pick 14:

 

My pick: Vault Skyward

Pack 2 pick 15:
Swamp

The second pack was good even though we abandoned one of our colors. Sunblast Angel is reason enough to give up a Morbid Plunder because even though black works better with some of the other creatures in the deck (Core Prowler), the whole point of Morbid Plunder is to get back a dragon that needs to be drawn in the first place (Consecrated Sphinx) which is what Sunblast Angel is by itself. We’re a bit low on playables because of having to dump black which means that the third pack will need to be good to ensure we don’t have to play mediocre cards like Accorder’s Shield.

Pack 3 pick 1:

 

Leaden Myr is underwhelming because it’s off-color and we already have two myr to begin with. Snapsail Glider is also a weak pick because the deck wants to trade away its cards to survive to cast a bomb which makes maintaining metalcraft difficult, and as a Gray Ogre the Glider is a poor creature. Ghalma’s Warden isn’t very far behind the Glider, although it’s fine as just a 2/4 (though still unexciting). Dispense Justice is okay especially from a first pick (because it has more surprise value the first time), although it loses a lot of its value afterwards (and the tempo loss associated opponent’s playing around it will be quite hindering). Origin Spellbomb is the best option because it helps find Sunblast Angel/Consecrated Sphinx in addition to supporting Vedalken Certarch, Rusted Relic, and Mortarpod.

My pick: Origin Spellbomb

Pack 3 pick 2:

 

This pick is pretty simple. Razor Hippogriff is an exceptional creature that does everything the deck needs from a card (it provides an excellent body, gains life, and provides card advantage while also comboing well with Neurok Replica).

My pick: Razor Hippogriff

Pack 3 pick 3:

 

Heavy Arbalest isn’t normally a card that I’m wild over… oh wait, it’s amazing. In any type of game where the board is at parity Heavy Arbalest is going to win if unanswered and makes use of the entirety of a deck’s resources on the Battlefield.

My pick: Heavy Arbalest

Pack 3 pick 4:

 

There are quite a few good cards here. Darkslick Drake, Glimmerpoint Stag, and Perilous Myr are all good but they don’t have the ability to effectively answer creatures as efficiently as Arrest does.

My pick: Arrest

Pack 3 pick 5:

 

There’s even less reason to take Dispense Justice now compared to pick one because we’ve picked up several more removal spells. Origin Spellbomb is still a better choice than Ghalma’s Warden especially considering the possibility of the first Warden wheeling.

My pick: Origin Spellbomb

Pack 3 pick 6:

 

In the previous pick with Revoke Existence and Golem Artisan the preference of Revoke was defensible because we had no removal and all late-game. Now that the draft has unfolded and we have an idea of how well the deck is going to be able to defend itself, it’s easy to see that taking the more powerful card is a better idea this time.

My pick: Sky-Eel School

Pack 3 pick 7:

 

Trigon of Rage is good with fliers, although it loses a lot of value when most of the fliers are five/six mana because it won’t be useful until the portion of the game where the deck has already won and is simply going through the motions of actually killing the opponent. Ghalma’s Warden is still a better choice than Snapsail Glider because it’s sturdier.

For whatever reason, we got auto-picked here and received a near-useless Myr Reservoir.

My pick: Myr Reservoir

Pack 3 pick 8:

 

My pick: Ghalmas Warden

Pack 3 pick 9:

 

My pick: Culling Dias

Pack 3 pick 10:

 

My pick: Panic Spellbomb

Pack 3 pick 11:

 

My pick: Ezuris Archers

Pack 3 pick 12:

 

My pick: Soliton

Pack 3 pick 13:

 

My pick: Moriok Reaver

Pack 3 pick 14:

 

My pick: Auriok Replica

Pack 3 pick 15:
Forest

The third pack was good and gave us enough playable cards to let us construct a good deck. There are some cards that are missing, such as a counterspell, but for the most part we should be able to deal with most board scenarios.

The core of the deck includes the following eighteen cards:

 

Afterwards the remaining options are:

 

There are a number of ways to approach filling the last slots of the deck; the most obvious is to build it to support metalcraft because it lets us run the best group of cards. Vedalken Certarch and Rusted Relic are both quite powerful, and building to support both of them will be quite advantageous.

Core Prowler is underwhelming as a four-mana spell even though it’s an artifact because it’s small and proliferate effect is useless in the deck. Glint Hawk, while not an artifact, still has a moderate amount of synergy with Mortarpod, Peace Strider, and Silverskin Armor (if we run it). Auriok Replica isn’t ideal, but it still has utility against infect (specifically Untamed Might). Mirran Spy is underwhelming because it provides very little value outside of potentially untapped a creature equipped with Heavy Arbalest. Ghalma’s Warden is fine as a 2/4 but may not make the cut if the number of artifacts in the deck is too low. Accorder’s Shield is a weak option because it’s slow to equip and only benefits the deck by being a cheap way to enable metalcraft. Culling Dais isn’t a great option because the value of the smaller creatures in the deck is high due to the presence of Mortarpod and Heavy Arbalest. Silverskin Armor is another mediocre card but it helps solve the metalcraft problem even though many of the non-artifact creatures cost five mana.

The easiest cards to eliminate are Mirran Spy, Core Prowler, and Culling Dais which leaves seven cards for five or six slots. With two mana Myr and two spellbombs, the deck should be able to get away with sixteen lands although running seventeen is also fine because the deck also has a lot of ways to reward having a lot of land in play. If we run seventeen lands and don’t run either of the equipment, then there will be thirteen artifacts in the deck to support Vedalken Certarch and Rusted Relic which is too low to have them consistently active. The alternatives include running sixteen lands, cutting Glint Hawk and/or Ghalma’s Warden for the equipment(s), or both. The deck is going to benefit more from having an active Certarch compared to a Ghalma’s Warden because the Certarch is much better with Sunblast Angel and it’s more likely that the deck will be in the situation where it has a bunch of expensive spells in hand while only being able to play one of them (and having a one-mana with similar capabilities as a four-mana spell allows you to have turns that are more productive). Reducing the number of lands to sixteen along with cutting the Ghalma’s Warden is going to provide the most hospitable setup for the Certarch and Rusted Relic.

Deck:

 

Battling Evil

Round 1: Red/white metalcraft
Game one Evil had a Myrsmith, Glint Hawk Idol, and Barrage Ogre that were being problematic, and while we were able to neutralize the board with a Glint Hawk, Neurok Replica, and Arrest, Evil found a Glimmerpoint Stag to get rid of the Arrest. Evil only had one card left in hand and we took the risk of tapping out to summon the Consecrated Sphinx, but it turned out to be Turn to Slag. Accorder’s Shield let the Glint Hawk Idol begin attacking again while we set up Soliton/Arbalest, however Evil had also drawn a Galvanic Blast to rid us of the Soliton. Still, we weren’t out of gas yet and began the process of piecing back our combo with a Razor Hippogriff. Evil attacked with everything on his turn and dealt enough damage to us to use the Vulshok Replica in his hand to finish us off.

Game two Evil had an Ogre Resister on turn three followed by Into the Core to exile our Plague Myr and Peace Strider and beat down. We followed it up with a Ghalma’s Warden and Accorder’s Shield but it fell victim to Turn to Slag. Thankfully Evil only had two Myr in addition to the Resister instead of real creatures and so we weren’t taking a ton of damage. Consecrated Sphinx stabilized us on turn six and all Evil could do was flicker it with a Glimmerpoint Stag and bash us to six. Afterwards we Revoked Evil’s Gold Myr (second white mana) and summoned a Neurok Replica with mana open to use it. Evil used his attack phase, Galvanic Blast, and Arc Trail to trade his Ogre Resister for the Sphinx while getting his Stag bounced. Evil had very little gas left and the Sphinx had drawn us into Razor Hippogriff and Neurok Replica to go along with the Sky-Eel School already in our hand which finished him off very easily. Game three was similar to game two.

1-0

Round 2: Green/white splash blue
Game one was quite easy to win because Evil played very few spells that mattered. He had a Sunspear Shikari without equipment and finally a Tangle Hulk to go along with it after Revoking our Rusted Relic. Soliton and Accorder’s Shield held the ground while we summoned Consecrated Sphinx and rode it to victory, never attacking into Evil’s Dispense Justice mana. Evil had a Mimic Vat which meant that we had to be careful, but he tapped out for a Fangren Marauder at which point we killed him with fliers plus Soliton/Arbalest.

Game two Evil had us play first and we curve out with Vedalken Certarch, Plague Myr, Neurok Replica, Peace Strider, Accorder’s Shield (equip) plus Mortarpod, and Soliton against very little resistance. Evil played Tangle Angler on turn five as his first creature (which got tapped down by the Certarch) followed by a Hero of Bladehold (which got bounced by the Neurok Replica) but died before being able to do anything else.

2-0

Round 3: Blue/black control
Game one we leveraged the board in our favor early while making a more efficient use of our resources than Evil. Our Mortarpod token traded with Perilous Myr (two to our dome) which let us safely play a Certarch. Evil tapped out for Trigon of Corruption, but we equipped the Certarch and summoned a Neurok Replica and began tapping Evil’s Trigon during his upkeep (which forced him to put counters on the Certarch while not playing other impactful spells). He summoned an Oculus and we shot it with the Certarch after Evil tried to kill it off with the Trigon. Sky-Eel School came down for us to reapply pressure and Evil felt obliged to kill it with Go for the Throat which gave us the window to safely resolve Consecrated Sphinx. Evil didn’t have a good answer for the Sphinx and died to the card advantage we’d gotten from it despite trying his best to kill us with a Lumengrid Drake and Razorfield Rhino. Game two was similar.

3-0

Overall the deck performed quite well, and not once we were short on lands for multiple turns to the point of severely hindering us. The card quality we were working with was obviously absurd.

Consecrated Sphinx was absolutely amazing.

We never once summoned Sunblast Angel despite having it in our hand in multiple games.

The metalcraft creatures were fine with the number of artifacts and there was only one time where we had Rusted Relic out but not enough other artifacts to animate it.

Silverskin Armor never made an appearance, although it would have been fine in most games.

Happy Drafting.

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