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According to Webster – Scars of Mirrodin Draft #3

Scars of Mirrodin Draft #3

Pack 1 pick 1:

 

Oxidda Scrapmelter and Carnifex Demon stand out because of how well they control the board. The Scrapmelter sees a lot more play than the Demon because it’s an uncommon, which makes it difficult to compare the two, as is often the case with rares. Many people will say that the Scrapmelter is better because it’s in a better color (Black is more often Infect than not and Carnifex Demon doesn’t really mesh with the rest of the archetype), is easier to summon (both in terms of converted mana cost and color requirements), and doesn’t blow up your creatures like Carnifex Demon will. I prefer the Demon because it’s individually more powerful. I’m not saying to always take the most powerful card in a vacuum; you won’t see me taking Platinum Emperion over Galvanic Blast anytime soon. Carnifex Demon is still within the realm of reasonably-cost spells to have an impact on almost every game, and even though it’s much more expensive and harder to summon than the Scrapmelter, it gives you a huge flying creature and a Damnation rolled into one card. Carnifex Demon is also much better against infect decks whereas Scrapmelter is a Hill Giant most of the time.

My pick: Carnifex Demon

Pack 1 pick 2:

 

Someone must have opened up a good rare/mythic or didn’t know how good Arc Trail is. Had this pack been known to us, it would have been better to take the Scrapmelter because we’d still be able to commit to a second color. As is, there’s nothing else in this pack that comes close to matching what Arc Trail does. In the first few turns of the game Arc Trail is basically Time Stretch in terms of board development, and there are very few games that will be lost after playing it.

My pick: Arc Trail

Pack 1 pick 3:

 

It’s only fair that the third pick balance out the first two, as this pack doesn’t offer anything nearly as good. There are a few close cards to mull over: Throne of Geth, Sylvok Lifestaff, Bleak Coven Vampires, and Nihil Spellbomb. Sylvok Lifestaff is an excellent tool in non-infect matchups because it offers a way to get incredible value both offensively and defensively (extra damage and life gain), although it gets a lot worse as a deck’s curve increases. Throne of Geth is better suited in an infect deck because it turns your excess artifacts into shocks and shrinks/kills the creatures that have blocked yours. The Throne still has applications outside of infect, especially when considering cards like Carnifex Demon, Fume Spitter, Contagion Clasp, Instill Infection, Skinrender, and Trigon of Corruption. Right now we don’t know exactly how much utility the Throne will have in our deck (it could range widely from being almost useless to extremely useful). Bleak Coven Vampires is a solid metalcraft card because it has an immediate effect on the game (unlike Blade-Tribe Berserkers) as well as being a big non-artifact creature. Nihil Spellbomb is the last card to consider, and it is the least powerful of the group because its applications are limited (it’s not often that you’ll exile a Kuldotha Phoenix, take away a Molten-Tail Masticore’s stockpile of ammunition, or turn Corpse Cur into a bad Contagious Nim) and it is only included into decks because it helps achieve metalcraft early and cycles afterwards. Throne of Geth is the best option because it leaves us open to multiple avenues. If we somehow end up in infect after being cut from red, the Throne will be a much better card than any of the other three. If we stay in metalcraft, the Throne will be a cheap card that contributes towards metalcraft, and it will cause future -1/-1 counter cards have a higher value than they normally would.

My pick: Throne of Geth

Pack 1 pick 4:

 

Copper Myr, Clone Shell, and Etched Champion are the best options. Myr are an integral part of metalcraft decks because they serve as acceleration, contribute towards metalcraft, and can replace land slots in a deck if you’ve got enough. The trick with Myr is knowing when to take them over cards that are individually more powerful, and each case of Myr vs. X is going to differ depending on a few factors (ex: what point of the draft is it?). The two non-Myr are both fine cards. Clone Shell is a slow card that has a lot of variance ranging from being a five-mana Barbary Apes to a two-for-one to giving you an extra four draw steps to find a bomb. Clone Shell’s value hinges on the average size of the opponent’s creatures and the number of creatures in your deck; it gets better as the size of opposing creatures decreases and the number of (good) creatures in your deck increases. For example, if you have a Carnifex Demon and Hoard-Smelter Dragon along with a few other moderately-sized creatures (various golems), Clone Shell will have a lot of potential. Clone Shell wouldn’t be good in a deck with only ten creatures, all of which are no bigger than a 2/2. Etched Champion is the last option and a fine one. It’s not very good offensively or against metalcraft mirrors because it will just run into an artifact creature and die, and that makes it far less useful than one would like. Considering that we already have a very powerful creature (Carnifex Demon), Clone Shell becomes a better choice than a Myr. Yes, Myrs are always going to be good, but the advantages gained by having access to the Demon are more significant than the benefits of the Myr.

My pick: Clone Shell

Pack 1 pick 5:

 

There isn’t much here to compete with Iron Myr. We could pick Gold Myr in case we take an Arrest out of a blank pack later, but the same could be said about Arc Trail and Iron Myr. We don’t have the awesome white card to make Gold Myr good, whereas we already have Arc Trail to make use of the Iron Myr if we end up going into white or blue.

My pick: Iron Myr

Pack 1 pick 6:

Our deck hasn’t changed much since last time to indicate how good Etched Champion will be. While we do have Clone Shell and Carnifex Demon, we aren’t necessarily a defensive deck. It appears that red and blue are open, while infect is being cut hard and white is also being drafted (though not as heavily as infect). We’ve seen a number of solid blue fliers being passed and should take note of that. Blade-Tribe Berserkers is another card that’s similar to Etched Champion, although it’s on the other end of the spectrum in terms of the type of deck it fits into. The 3/3 non-artifact body is much better when you’re off of metalcraft because it’s so much harder to kill. Silver Myr is the best choice here because neither the Etched Champion nor Blade-Tribe Berserkers are awesome on their own, while the Myr is going to be a necessity if we’re going to include any of the aforementioned cards and want them to be better than Hill Giants and Gray Ogres.

My pick: Silver Myr

Pack 1 pick 7:

 

Saberclaw Golem is fine, though it’s slow and dies to a lot of stuff (Perilous Myr is the most annoying). Panic Spellbomb would be a better choice because it functions well with Throne of Geth, helps achieve metalcraft early and for little cost while cycling later, and can have a small effect on the board.

My pick: Panic Spellbomb

Pack 1 pick 8:

 

Bladed Pinions isn’t very good outside of an infect deck or an aggressive metalcraft deck. Myr Galvanizer isn’t a great card by itself and only slightly better even when you have a few Myr to pump with it because the two groups of cards have such a small impact on the board alone. Bleak Coven Vampires is a better choice because it’s fine as a 4/3 creature and will generate a significant tempo swing when you have metalcraft.

My pick: Bleak Coven Vampires

Pack 1 pick 9:

 

My pick: Nihil Spellbomb

Pack 1 pick 10:

 

My pick: Plated Seastrider

Pack 1 pick 11:

 

My pick: Dross Hopper

Pack 1 pick 12:

 

My pick: Golem Foundry

Pack 1 pick 13:

 

My pick: Golem Foundry

Pack 1 pick 14:

 

My pick:

 

Pack 1 pick 15:

Swamp 

The first pack was decent because we managed to open/get passed a few awesome cards (Carnifex Demon and Arc Trail) while also acquiring the necessary cheap artifacts (Spellbombs/Myr) that make a metalcraft deck function well. Additionally, we have a few other random cards like Bleak Coven Vampires and Clone Shell. The second pack is likely to have less blue than the first, slightly more red than what we saw (almost none) because of the Scrapmelter that we passed in pick one, and a moderate amount of green, black, and white cards.

Pack 2 pick 1:

 

There are quite a few cards here that we’d like to play including Furnace Celebration, Trigon of Corruption, Galvanic Blast, Bleak Coven Vampires, Moriok Replica, Spikeshot Elder, and Tumble Magnet; that’s a lot! Obviously, most of the creatures are worse than the spells. Spikeshot Elder is good and some decks will straight up lose to him, however he takes a lot of mana to get going, and often a piece of equipment to be truly dominating. Furnace Celebration isn’t the most mana-efficient card and requires a moderate number of cards that sacrifice to make it good. We’ve already got two Spellbombs and a Throne of Geth, and that’s a good start but we’d still need to roughly double what we already have to make the Celebration consistent enough; it would be better to pass the Celebration for an individually good card and wheel it. Trigon of Corruption is an excellent card in sealed; in draft it’s not as good because the format is a bit faster, but it’s still a powerful card because of the number of low-toughness creatures that a lot of decks rely on (Myr, ‘smiths, poison creatures); being black already and having Throne of Geth makes the Trigon a powerful tool for our deck. Galvanic Blast is the benchmark removal; it’s very good, especially when you can deal four for one mana. Tumble Magnet is the last card and effectively the weakest because it doesn’t deal permanently with whatever threats we’ll be dealing with. Tumble Magnet is the opposite of Trigon of Corruption; it’s cheap, efficient, and has temporary benefits, whereas the Trigon is expensive, slower, and has a more lasting effect. Tumble Magnet is basically a weaker version of Galvanic Blast. Spikeshot Elder is comparable to to the Trigon, but the Elder is a bit different because it can be more efficient if there is equipment present. The Trigon is the best pick because it has the most synergy with Throne of Geth and Carnifex Demon.

My pick: Trigon of Corruption

Pack 2 pick 2:

 

This pack has far fewer options than the last one, and Instill Infection is the only card that we are realistically going to use. Wall of Tanglecord and Sylvok Replica are okay, but without green mana they are underwhelming.

My pick: Instill Infection

Pack 2 pick 3:

 

There are a few reasons explaining why an Arc Trail is still here when also considering that we passed Scrapmelter in our opening pack. For now we can just assume that the red drafter to our left opened the pack and took the rare while we count our blessings.

My pick: Arc Trail

Pack 2 pick 4:

 

Horizon Spellbomb would support a splash if needed while the other cards that we would play that don’t need splashing are Moriok Reaver and Flameborn Hellion; both of which aren’t terribly exciting. The deck’s curve has a number of expensive creatures with a few Myr and nothing in between, which would make Moriok Reaver a fine addition though unexciting because it dies rather easily. On the other hand, Flameborn Hellion is much harder to kill though twice as expensive. We’ve got a moderate amount of removal which makes getting to the later part of games where we’ve got a lot of mana an easy task, and at that point Flameborn Hellion becomes a good way to finish the opponent. Also consider the synergy between the Hellion and Clone Shell.

My pick: Flameborn Hellion

Pack 2 pick 5:

 

Oxidda Daredevil and Blistergrub are mediocre because they don’t fit well into the deck; they are simply small creatures that don’t benefit metalcraft or help drag a game into the later stages where our deck’s expensive creatures can/will take over the board and dominate. Accorder’s Shield is a fine card, though we’ve got very few small creatures to make use of it, and that would make us even more susceptible to removal. On the other hand, Wall of Tanglecord and Neurok Replica would function similarly to Accorder’s Shield in terms of defense while letting us not need another creature in play to do so. Neurok Replica is a better choice than Wall of Tanglecord because we can still attack with it and take advantage of our Silver Myr to use it as an Unsummon.

My pick: Neurok Replica

Pack 2 pick 6:

 

Our options are Strider Harness, Exsanguinate, and Fume Spitter. We saw a few Exsanguinates earlier in the pack and it’s likely that one will wheel, which makes the one here far less appealing. Strider Harness is nice card to have in play and it can be difficult to play against because it’s unknown what will be attacking you on the next turn (for example, at GP: Toronto I played turn one Infiltration Lens, turn three Strider Harness, turn four Ezuri’s Brigade, and hit my opponent for thirteen on turn five after playing and equipping a Molten-Tail Masticore). Strider Harness gets better as the value of the added pressure that is placed on the opponent matters more. A deck that will naturally put the opponent on their back foot quickly will be able to make more use of a Strider Harness than a slow deck with fewer creatures (a deck like ours). Fume Spitter is a better choice because it functions as removal, mini-beats, and has a lot of synergy with Throne of Geth and Carnifex Demon.

My pick: Fume Spitter

Pack 2 pick 7:

 

With all of our removal, running cards that generate card-advantage is, well… advantageous. We have very few creatures at this point and need to concentrate on acquiring more. Between Sylvok Lifestaff and Moriok Replica it’s clear which one is going to play a more important role.

My pick: Moriok Replica

Pack 2 pick 8:

 

Ichorclaw Myr doesn’t do much in our deck because infect isn’t our core strategy. Vulshok Replica and Saberclaw Golem are the two creatures that we’re interested in. The Replica would help fill out the deck’s curve but is far more fragile compared to the Golem; the Replica basically trades with everything. The Golem is a lot slower than the replica but isn’t going to die easily in combat. Another benefit of the Replica is that it is a semi-cheap artifact to help us get to metalcraft earlier, although the only metalcraft card that we have right now is Bleak Coven Vampires. Vulshok Replica is a much weaker creature than the Golem and won’t be able to stand against anything which would put us in the position of wanting to use removal to be able to attack with it. When you consider the removal that we have (mainly the two Arc Trails), it doesn’t seem likely that we’ll be overrun to the point of needing a defensive Vulshok Replica to survive often.

My pick: Saberclaw Golem

Pack 2 pick 9:

 

My pick: Bleak Coven Vampires

Pack 2 pick 10:

 

My pick: Exsanguinate

Pack 2 pick 11:

 

My pick: Trigon of Mending

Pack 2 pick 12:

 

My pick: Necrogen Censer

Pack 2 pick 13:

 

My pick: Oxidda Daredevil

Pack 2 pick 14:

 

My pick: Trigon of Mending

Pack 2 pick 15:

Forest 

The second pack wasn’t as good as the first even though we picked up a second Arc Trail. The primary problem was that black and red’s creatures aren’t very good and the artifact creatures that we got were unexciting overall. There isn’t much that we’re specifically looking for in the third pack beyond whiffing on picks.

Pack 3 pick 1:

 

Speaking of whiffing… this pack isn’t exactly the kind that we want to open. Sure, there are multiple cards that we’d play, but none are in the realm of awesome. Leaden Myr, Bloodshot Trainee, Chrome Steed, Saberclaw Golem, and Fume Spitter are our options. We’ve already got two (Iron/Silver) Myr and a third on-color Myr would be a good addition, especially considering how the deck’s curve spikes at five. Bloodshot Trainee doesn’t have any synergy with the rest of the deck as we currently have no way to pump it, though could pick up some equipment/Vulshok Heartstoker/Painsmith/Trigon of Rage later on in theory. Chrome Steed is a fine card, and with ten other artifacts (including the Neurok Replica), it wouldn’t be impossible to pick up a few more to support the 4/4. We wouldn’t be interested in another Saberclaw Golem because we already have a lot of five-drops. Fume Spitter is fine, though we have one already, along with an Instill Infection; drawing multiple Spitters could be underwhelming against mid-range decks. Leaden Myr is the best option because we have a lot of expensive spells and need to be able to support any good metalcraft cards that we may pick up later on in this pack.

My pick: Leaden Myr

Pack 3 pick 2:

 

Ugh, this pack is bad! Trigon of Infestation is very underwhelming, even with Throne of Geth, because it’s so slow. Vulshok Heartstoker and Blistergrub are do-nothing creatures, though the Grub is a fine sideboard card. Our best option is Wall of Tanglecord because our deck is slow and it’s a fine defensive artifact that can be brought in against more aggressive decks.

My pick: Wall of Tanglecord

Pack 3 pick 3:

 

This pack is more like it, as it presents a few options for us. Grasp of Darkness and Turn to Slag would both easily make it into our deck. Grasp is a better card when we consider that, with our curve being a bit high, having cheap removal is important. There is the chance that we’ll play against the Kemba, Kha Regent that we passed in the last pick, and if the opponent attaches an equipment that pumps its toughness, then Grasp of Darkness isn’t going to save us whereas Turn to Slag will. However, the chances of playing against the Kemba are unlikely and we also have a lot of other removal that we can use in tandem with the Grasp of Darkness if need be. Against most decks the Grasp is going to be a better card because it’s two mana.

My pick: Grasp of Darkness

Pack 3 pick 4:

 

Memnite doesn’t do much in our deck because we aren’t hard-pressed to get metalcraft early, aren’t aggressive, and don’t have many metalcraft cards in the first place. The value of a 1/1 do-nothing artifact is very low and for metalcraft purposes, it would be better to have a Spellbomb because it can cycle into a real card when needed to later on. Strider Harness is another option, though it is still unimpressive with the assortment of creatures we have. The main problem is that our creatures are either Myr or good enough on their own; we don’t have enough Gray Ogres to need the harness.

My pick: Nihil Spellbomb

Pack 3 pick 5:

 

With three Myr and three Spellbombs, Chrome Steed should be a 4/4 on turn three/four regularly. Flesh Allergy is another option, though unnecessary because we have a lot of good removal already.

My pick: Chrome Steed

Pack 3 pick 6:

 

There’s not much in this pack for us. We could use Accorder’s Shield but it wouldn’t be stellar. On the other hand, our deck is rather slow and thus vulnerable to Volition Reins (because we’ve got a bunch of large slow creatures). This pick can go either way. Blanking a pick to hate Volition Reins isn’t the best, but the Accorder’s Shield isn’t going to benefit us significantly.

My pick: Volition Reins

Pack 3 pick 7:

 

There’s nothing for us here. Soliton and Flameborn Hellion are the only cards that we’d play but we’ve already got a lot of high end which makes them undesirable. Asceticism is another card that we’ll have problems against and we find ourselves in the same position as with the last pick.

My pick: Asceticism

Pack 3 pick 8:

 

Tunnel Ignus is a do-nothing 2/1 and worse than Oxidda Daredevil, a card that we wouldn’t play. Soliton might see play, but probably not.

My pick: Soliton

Pack 3 pick 9:

 

My pick: Fume Spitter

Pack 3 pick 10:

 

My pick: Auriok Edgewright

Pack 3 pick 11:

 

My pick: Nihil Spellbomb

Pack 3 pick 12:

 

My pick: Alpha Tyrranax

Pack 3 pick 13:

 

My pick: Neurok Invisimancer

Pack 3 pick 14: