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According to Webster – Scars of Mirrodin Draft #5

Scars of Mirrodin Draft #5

Pack 1 pick 1:

 

There are a lot of options here, so let’s start with the artifacts. Livewire Lash is especially good in an infect deck because it lets you take advantage of the various tricks (Untamed Might, Tainted Strike, Withstand Death, etc) even more than normal. The Lash is also decent in white-based decks (generally when paired with blue) because of the number of evasion creatures available. In other colors it’s only fine because there’s a lot more trading going on (constantly spending two mana to equip will catch up to you with board development). Golem Artisan is an excellent late-game creature because it will dominate a board filled with artifact creatures, making it very difficult for the opponent to get profitable trades in combat.

Sylvok Replica isn’t exactly a colorless card, though it provides amazing utility in the green-based metalcraft decks because it functions as a removal spell, a creature, and an artifact to boost metalcraft. The two-mana creatures in infect decks are very important, although Blight Mamba is the weakest of the commons (Blight Mamba, Ichorclaw Myr, and Plague Stinger) because it’s much easier to block; having to spend two mana to regenerate it on turn three isn’t usually a good tradeoff for putting a -1/-1 counter on their creature. Livewire Lash would be a better choice than Blight Mamba if we were looking to move into Infect.

Volition Reins is really slow and usually isn’t _THAT_ great in most matchups because the creatures tend to be small; spending six mana to steal a 2/2 usually isn’t a good deal. Volition Reins is going to be good against slower decks that grind out wins through attrition. The color combination of the opponent’s deck will play a significant role in determining how good Volition Reins is going to be. Against black/red it can be amazing, while it’s mediocre against blue/white. Cards like Glimmerpoint Stag, Revoke Existence, Disperse, Lumengrid Drake, Neurok Replica, and Stoic Rebuttal make it difficult to stick a Volition Reins, especially because of its high mana cost.

Myrsmith is the next choice and one of the best ways to take advantage of artifacts in a metalcraft deck for a few reasons. When Myrsmith is in play you don’t have to worry about being unable to trade away artifact creatures through making normal attacks/blocks and/or cycle spellbombs to draw cards because you need to keep a Ghalma’s Warden/Chrome Steed/Rusted Relic powered up. Myrsmith provides a nearly free army of artifact creatures to race with and equip with whatever you’ve got laying around (Heavy Arbalest, etc).

Livewire Lash is the most flexible pick because it would allow us to go into infect or metalcraft, but it’s not as powerful as Myrsmith and Golem Artisan. There’s a similar overlapping between the two artifacts because both improve the quality of your creatures (though the Golem only works with artifacts) but it’s easier to play around Livewire Lash in combat than Golem Artisan since you can only equip as a sorcery, whereas the Artisan can be used as an instant. Myrsmith is the card that I prefer because it is the most powerful, and while it commits to a color, the benefits are worth it.

My pick: Myrsmith

Pack 1 pick 2:

 

The options here are far less exciting than the last pick. Darkslick Drake is a solid flyer, though it requires a heavy commitment to a second color. Bloodshot Trainee is only okay because it’s difficult to find +2 power from a single card (Livewire Lash, Darksteel Axe, Trigon of Rage, Painsmith, Barbed Battlegear, Vulshok Heartstoker, and some other rare equipment). Darksteel Sentinel is fine in most metalcraft matchups, but it’s not usually difficult to find one later on. A myr is the best option because they are a necessary component to a successful metalcraft deck. Even though we’ve already passed some blue cards, Silver Myr is the better choice when compared to Leaden because blue is a deeper metalcraft color.

My pick: Silver Myr

Pack 1 pick 3:

 

Blue is open; Grand Architect is such a powerful card. It allows you to accelerate your plays like a myr but also comes with the benefit of being a blue crusade on wheels.

My pick: Grand Architect

Pack 1 pick 4:

 

Shatter is an option, but that would mean we’d have to give up on white when we haven’t seen any indication that it’s being cut. Grand Architect makes Trigon of Thought a lot better because you often have a lot of mana with it in play. The other option is Neurok Replica, a creature that was initially underrated but has become seen as a valuable tool against a lot of strategies. This pack isn’t deep enough for the Trigon to wheel unfortunately, and the Replica is going to be more consistent over the course of the draft because we won’t always have Grand Architect on the battlefield.

My pick: Neurok Replica

Pack 1 pick 5:

 

It’s important to balance the amount of myr/utility/metalcraft artifacts to ensure that a metalcraft deck functions optimally. Chrome Steed is one of the few four-mana creatures that we can use to take advantage of metalcraft (Ghalma’s Warden, Lumengrid Drake, and Rusted Relic are the others), and at some point we’ll need to pick some up. A second Neurok Replica would still be a welcomed addition to our deck, but we’re rather threat-light at the moment (even though we’re only five picks in), and the first Chrome Steed will help more than the second Neurok Replica.

My pick: Chrome Steed

Pack 1 pick 6:

 

Our choices include Thrummingbird, Accorder’s Shield, and Bladed Pinions. Salvage Scout can be fine, but it will always wheel. It would appear that we’ll be able to clog up the ground quite well if necessary, though we don’t have a good way to break through, which makes Bladed Pinions a better choice between the two equipments. Thrummingbird doesn’t have any synergy with the cards that we have yet, but it has the potential to be good if we are able to pick up a Tumble Magnet, Necrogen Censer, Golem Foundry, or a Trigon. As I said earlier blue/white decks tend to have a lot of flyers which means the Thrummingbird would fit well into how the color combination wants to play out.

My pick: Thrummingbird

Pack 1 pick 7:

 

We’ve got a choice between a metalcraft enabler (Origin Spellbomb), a metalcraft beneficiary (Ghalma’s Warden), and a utility creature (Myr Galvanizer). Creatures that benefit from metalcraft are generally easier to pick up than the good enabler cards, which is why you will often see Ghalma’s Warden, Blade-Tribe Berserkers, Bleak Coven Vampires, Carapace Forger, and Lumengrid Drake wheel a lot more often than Origin Spellbomb. Origin is the best Spellbomb because it’s the only one that you can cycle and still get +1 artifact on the battlefield. It provides an excellent way to cheat closer to having metalcraft. Myr Galvanizer usually isn’t that great because most decks will only have a few myr to make better. Even in our deck, with a Myrsmith, Myr Galvanizer won’t be worth the addition because a lot of events have to go our way (you have to draw them both and have them survive which usually isn’t the case).

My pick: Origin Spellbomb

Pack 1 pick 8:

 

This pack must have been incredibly deep to have a Glint Hawk Idol still in the pack, or the table is light on white drafters. Lumengrid Drake is fine, but the Idol functions better overall because it’s so cheap and an evasive artifact creature (basically everything that Snapsail Glider is trying to be but much better).

My pick: Glint Hawk Idol

Pack 1 pick 9:

 

As I said earlier, it’s much easier to pick up the creatures that get better when metalcraft is on compared to the cards that get you there. There are four metalcraft creatures left in the pack and also an on-color myr. Vedalken Certarch is a very swingy card because it’s so good with metalcraft but useless without. If we were deeper into the draft and knew that the Certarch would consistently be an Icy Manipulator, taking it would be good. However, this early it is better to err on the side of caution and take the Silver Myr because we know that we’ll need more, and it’s on-color.

My pick: Silver Myr

Pack 1 pick 10:

 

My pick: Kuldotha Rebirth

Pack 1 pick 11:

 

Golem Foundry is a fine card when you consider that we have a [card]Thrummingbird[/card], but without it the Foundry would just be too slow.

My pick: Golem Foundry

Pack 1 pick 12:

 

Soul Parry is a decent sideboard option against removal-light infect decks, and especially against those with at least one Untamed Might.

My pick: Soul Parry

Pack 1 pick 13:

 

My pick: Fulgent Distraction

Pack 1 pick 14:

 

My pick: Seize the Initiative

Pack 1 pick 15:

Mountain

The first pack was good for us. We settled into two colors that weren’t being aggressively drafted in front of us and were able to benefit from that fact. Blue felt wide open, while there was probably one person within a few seats of us who was drafting white because we didn’t see Arrest or Revoke Existence. The next pack should have less blue, thanks to the person who took the Volition Reins and Darkslick Drake, though it’s unlikely that we’ll be completely cut off.

Pack 2 pick 1:

 

Embersmith is good because it will easily dominate a board of one/two-toughness creatures (a rather common game state), and its presence on the battlefield will often act as a “one-toughness” Meddling Mage for the opponent who is hoping to draw into removal for it before it’s too late. However, we must pass the smith because we know that red is not a color that is available (from what we saw in pack one), and we have two good colors that are. Tempered Steel is a super-upgrade to Myr Galvanizer because it’s much harder to kill and pumps all of your artifacts creatures twice as well (think of Tempered Steel as the ultimate metalcraft beneficiary). Our last option is Golem Artisan, and while our deck is well equipped to take advantage of the Swiss army golem, it’s simply not as good as Tempered Steel because it requires so much more mana.

My pick: Tempered Steel

Pack 2 pick 2:

 

Trinket Mage isn’t what it used to be in MD5 draft because there aren’t busted commons to go get in Scars that can compare to Viridian Longbow and Leonin Bola. It’s still fine, but will usually only have a few average cards to get (maybe two Spellbombs and an Accorder’s Shield/Sylvok Lifestaff). Glint Hawk is another high-variance card because sometimes you have it and Accorder’s Shield in your opener with a Plains, and other times you have to return an Auriok Replica. How often have you summoned a do-nothing Lumengrid Drake and felt good about it? Glint Hawk bouncing my Auriok Replica is about the same but gives the opponent the opportunity to blow you out with a removal spell. Back in the realm of good cards we have Kemba, Kha Regent, which is fine as a three-mana 2/4 and gets pretty busted when you throw equipment into the mix. While we don’t have any equipment yet, picking up a few won’t be a problem.

My pick: Kemba, Kha Regent

Pack 2 pick 3:

 

Liquimetal Coating has some synergy with Tempered Steel, Chrome Steed, and any other metalcraft creatures/Revoke Existence that we pick up, but we don’t have any of those and there’s really no need to make Tempered Steel better. The best choice for us is Strider Harness because of Kemba, in addition to it being an excellent way to play a good tempo game.

My pick: Strider Harness

Pack 2 pick 4:

 

Kemba’s Skyguard is fine because it fits into the blue/white flyer theme, but it doesn’t contribute towards any of _OUR_ deck’s other themes (metalcraft, Kemba, Grand Architect), and will be fighting for those precious non-artifact slots that usually end up being given to removal/on-theme cards. Rust Tick is the best option because it’s a Blinding Mage for artifacts and can deal with different cards at multiple stages of the game as their threat values change.

My pick: Rust Tick

Pack 2 pick 5:

 

Scrapdiver Serpent isn’t usually a creature that gets played main because it’s generally too slow and really bad against infect. Accorder’s Shield is a better option because it’s good with Kemba in addition to being a fine metalcraft enabler.

My pick: Accorders Shield

Pack 2 pick 6:

 

There’s very little card-drawing in the format, and with the addition of myr it’s relatively easy to get flooded, which is where Riddlesmith shines. If a deck has a relatively low curve and can function well on five-six mana, then throwing away those extra land in favor of spells with the help of Riddlesmith will ensure that you play more spells than your opponent and win because of it. Heavy Arbalest is a better card than Riddlesmith because it provides a consistent source of removal for colors that won’t necessarily have access to a lot of it. Riddlesmith and Heavy Arbalest both make use of extra lands, but the Arbalest will kill the opponent, whereas the Riddlesmith will only draw into more cards that might. Heavy Arbalest is a lot more mana-intensive than Riddlesmith, but with the presence of Grand Architect and Kemba, Kha Regent in our deck it is a better choice.

My pick: Heavy Arbalest

Pack 2 pick 7:

 

Seize the Initiative and Turn Aside are both fringe cards and won’t usually make the cut in a deck because they’re too narrow. We’ve got no real options in this pack.

My pick: Throne of Geth

Pack 2 pick 8:

 

There’s nothing for us here. We haven’t picked up any cards that function well with Steady Progress, while Grasp of Darkness is going to be a card we don’t want to play against. [card kemba kha regent]Kemba[/card] sends her regards.

My pick: Grasp of Darkness

Pack 2 pick 9:

 

Disperse is going to be better than the Vedalken Certarch against the [card]Volition Reins[/card] that we passed, while being worse on average against the rest of the field because the Certarch has a more lasting effect when it’s active.

My pick: Vedalken Certarch

Pack 2 pick 10:

 

It’s unlikely that we’ll end up playing both Certarchs unless we pick up all artifacts from this point on.

My pick: Vedalken Certarch

Pack 2 pick 11:

 

My pick: Steady Progress

Pack 2 pick 12:

 

My pick: Stoic Rebuttal

Pack 2 pick 13:

 

My pick: Tainted Strike

Pack 2 pick 14:

 

My pick:

 

Pack 2 pick 15:

 

Forest 

The second pack was decent, but didn’t have as much white as expected. Nevertheless, we managed to pick up a few nice cards like Tempered Steel and Kemba, Kha Regent, along with three pieces of equipment (one more piece would be good). In the next pack we should focus on removal and artifacts because we have enough utility cards.

Pack 3 pick 1:

 

Prototype Portal can be good against decks with little removal, but it’s incredibly slow. Clone Shell doesn’t have much use for us because our creatures are all small. There’s really nothing competing with Revoke Existence; there’s great utility in being able to exile an artifact/enchantment to get around cards like Wurmcoil Engine, Perilous Myr, Razor Hippogriff, etc.

My pick: Revoke Existence

Pack 3 pick 2:

 

Again, there’s nothing here to compete with Revoke Existence. Dispense Justice can be amazing, and it can also be terrible for multiple reasons ranging from being attacked by an army of myr to the opponent playing around it by attacking with irrelevant creatures in addition to the important ones. Other times you’ll get a Hoard-Smelter Dragon with an Engulfing Slagwurm thrown in for free. Not even Billy Mays would be able to give you a deal that sweet. Ideally, the Sunspear Shikari wheels from this pack.

My pick: Revoke Existence

Pack 3 pick 3:

 

There are lots of big creatures to choose from here. Myr Galvanizer would help our Myrsmith, Origin Spellbomb, and two Silver Myrs. Ghalma’s Warden would provide a large body to attack with and a not-so-dainty 2/4 without metalcraft. Snapsail Glider would be an evasive flyer to beat down with and a useless Gray Ogre without metalcraft. Soliton would perform similarly to Ghalma’s Warden without metalcraft, but would combo quite well with the Heavy Arbalest. An artifact is the most ideal pick here, and while Ghalma’s Warden is fine on its own, it’s not an artifact. We want more artifacts for Tempered Steel, Grand Architect, Myrsmith, and our Ghalma’s Warden/Vedalken Certarch. Soliton has the most benefit because its 3/4 body is fine alone, and being such a powerful combo with Heavy Arbalest pushes it way over the top.

My pick: Soliton

Pack 3 pick 4:

 

Kemba’s Skyguard may literally be miles above Palladium Myr on the battlefield, but when it comes to quality there’s a lot more going on with the super-mana myr than the flying Venerable Monk. Palladium Myr provides a significant boost to resources (enabling explosive draws), in addition to being good with metalcraft, Tempered Steel, etc.

My pick: Palladium Myr

Pack 3 pick 5:

 

Darksteel Myr, Wall of Tanglecord, and Accorder’s Shield are all similar cards, but the Accorder’s Shield has additional functionality with Kemba and attacking creatures. Salvage Scout would be good if we had some amazing artifact(s) that the opponent couldn’t deal with, but most of what we have is average. Halt Order is an option, though it doesn’t really work out that well because decks tend to tap out a lot (especially with Heavy Arbalest) and it is easy to sense because of that. Scrapdiver Serpent is likely to be a sideboard card and would come in against decks that can effectively deal with artifacts, providing a way to circumvent their hate. It’s unlikely that whatever card we take here will end up in our deck, which means that taking the most annoying card to play against is going to provide more value than taking the most useful card for our sideboard.

My pick: Halt Order

Pack 3 pick 6:

 

Thrummingbird doesn’t have any cards to interact with besides the Golem Foundry, which greatly reduces its value. Rusted Relic is the best choice because we don’t have many threats that we can actively bash with in combat.

My pick: Rusted Relic

Pack 3 pick 7:

 

With Kemba and Soliton, a second Heavy Arbalest is going to provide more utility than the mere contribution to metalcraft that a Flight Spellbomb will.

My pick: Heavy Arbalest

Pack 3 pick 8:

 

Against a controlling deck with a lot of removal, Grindclock provides an alternative win condition that the opponent may not have an answer to, especially when considering the Stoic Rebuttal that we also have.

My pick: Grindclock

Pack 3 pick 9:

 

My pick: Flight Spellbomb

Pack 3 pick 10:

 

My pick: Dispense Justice

Pack 3 pick 11:

 

My pick: Blackcleave Goblin

Pack 3 pick 12:

 

My pick: Turn Aside

Pack 3 pick 13:

 

My pick: Screeching Silcaw

Pack 3 pick 14:

 

My pick: Kuldotha Rebirth

Pack 3 pick 15:

Island

The third pack gave us a number of removal spells (two Revoke Existence and a second Heavy Arbalest) in addition to some other key cards (Soliton), and we should be able to construct a good deck that should be able to win the draft or yield a 2-1 record.

The proliferate package of Golem Foundry, Thrummingbird, and Steady Progress doesn’t do enough to warrant the slots, while Grindclock and Screeching Silcaw are even weaker against the average deck.

There are a number of cards fighting for the last slot in the deck: Turn Aside, Halt Order, Stoic Rebuttal, Seize the Initiative, Soul Parry, and Dispense Justice. There are a lot of mana sinks in the deck (Heavy Arbalest), which makes most of these cards rather awkward. With so much control (two Certarch and two Arbalest), it seems like the late-game should be under our control which means that it would be better to include a card that will help us get there in the first place (combat trick) rather than another card that’s only good once we get there (counter); Dispense Justice is the easiest combat trick of the three that we have to choose from.