Pack 1 pick 1:
Razor Hippogriff and Arrest both give a lot of value but both pale in comparison to the immediate impact on the game that Myr Battlesphere has. The Battlesphere is quite expensive which means that in some games we won’t be able to cast it, but when it resolves it’s very hard to lose the game from that point. We can take advantage of the fact that we have Myr Battlesphere and draft a controlling deck to help ensure that we’ll always be able to summon it.
My pick: Myr Battlesphere
Pack 1 pick 2:
In terms of power-level, there isn’t much that compares to Myrsmith; Gold Myr and Trigon of Thought are options but both are much weaker. The Trigon is quite slow and regarded by many as borderline playable, but I’ve found that it’s a bit underrated and provides a rare source of raw card advantage in decks that are set up to take advantage of long games. Gold Myr is the weakest of the three cards because its functionality is easily replaceable by other Myr that we’re very likely to see at multiple points throughout the draft whereas the other two cards have unique effects. That’s not to say that Myr are not important; they provide an effective way to ensure that can get to five-plus mana reliably to cast powerful spells before being overwhelmed. Taking Myrsmith means that we’ll be cut from White in pack two at the very least because we passed Arrest and Razor Hippogriff in the last pick, but if White is open to our right then it won’t matter.
My pick: Myrsmith
Pack 1 pick 3:
There are a lot of powerful colored cards to choose from along with some Myr. The best card is Engulfing Slagwurm because it will generally stop the opponent’s attack on the turn after you summon it, unless they’re Infect where the life gain is mostly irrelevant. If the board is anywhere close to parity when the Slagwurm is summoned then the game will often play out with the opponent taking a few hits and then transition into being under [card]The Abyss[/card]. Darkslick Drake is another good creature though its impact isn’t as notable as the Slagwurm. Non-artifact flyers are problematic for a lot of decks, especially when their toughness is above two. At some point we should pick up some Myr to make our deck more consistent although it would be nice to not pass up powerful cards to do so. The problem with this pick is that the good non-Myr cards both require double-colored mana and it’s difficult to make a strong commitment this early. The Slagwurm is more of a sign that Green is open than the Darkslick Drake is to Blue. Since it’s unclear which direction is the proper way to go, we are going to defer by taking a Myr and see what shows up in the next pick.
I had a bit more time after this draft to play with Engulfing Slagwurm and was quite impressed. If I had to go back to the pick again I’d take the Slagwurm because it just dominates most boards.
Additionally, it would have been better to take the Iron Myr since the Red spells that are likely to be splashed are only single-Red (Shatter, Galvanic Blast, Arc Trail, and Oxidda Scrapmelter) compared to the good Black spells (Grasp of Darkness and Skinrender)
My pick: Leaden Myr
Pack 1 pick 4:
There’s not much here. Flesh Allergy is fine if we need to kill something big and important, but it’s rather mediocre otherwise because it’s generally card disadvantage. Darksteel Myr is not very good because it’s a mulligan against Infect and only good against the cumbersome big-creature decks. Disperse is the best card because it provides valuable utility against a variety of scenarios ranging from protecting against Untamed Might to dismantling Metalcraft in combat to re-buying cards with CIP effects (Myr Battlesphere).
My pick: Disperse
Pack 1 pick 5:
Ghalma’s Warden and Soliton are the main cards to look at in addition to Bonds of Quicksilver and Trigon of Mending. Bonds is similar to Flesh Allergy in that it deals with a big threat (though not Hoard-Smelter Dragon) but often doesn’t get played because of its high cost. Trigon of Mending is another fine utility card for a deck that wants to play a long game. The main problem with the Trigon is that it is mana-intensive and doesn’t directly impact the board like Soliton and Ghalma’s Warden. Ghalma’s Warden is a bit underrated and is a good creature mainly because a 2/4 is moderately difficult to get fight through. Soliton is a bit weaker than Ghalma’s Warden because it’s more expensive but is absolutely amazing when you’ve got a Heavy Arbalest (a card that I like more than a lot of people). Taking Soliton implies that we’re going into Blue if possible but doesn’t directly tie us to it and is comparable to Ghalma’s Warden because they’re similar when Metalcraft is off.
My pick: Soliton
Pack 1 pick 6:
Auriok Sunchaser is the opposite of Ghalma’s Warden: inconsistent; without Metalcraft the Sunchaser is completely miserable. Auriok Replica is another mediocre creature and is played primarily because it counts as an artifact. A second Soliton is a bit unnecessary at the moment because we don’t have a Heavy Arbalest yet and is a mediocre creature otherwise. Riddlesmith is the last option (and not one that I like because it’s difficult to use its utility in the decks that I try to construct). Riddlesmith requires that you cast artifacts to filter your draw, which implies that you’re casting low-cost artifacts to filter your draws which benefits a heavy Metalcraft strategy and not GoodCards.dec because good spells are generally expensive (i.e. you need all your lands). Riddlesmith’s utility is greatly diminished in a non-Metalcraft deck and it is only useful at filtering extra lands once the game has progressed beyond turn five/six.
My pick: Riddlesmith
Pack 1 pick 7:
Wall of Tanglecord is the only useful card and is also underrated by many people; it’s good even when you’re missing Green mana (though significantly worse than when you do have it). Wall of Tanglecord lends itself well to what we have at the moment (because it is difficult to attack through and makes it more likely that we’ll be able to summon the Battlesphere.
My pick: Wall of Tanglecord
Pack 1 pick 8:
This pick is almost a blank. Infiltration Lens is rarely a good card even in an Infect deck because it’s only good at the end of the game when the opponent is forced to block. Bladed Pinions is the best option because its utility can be useful in whatever deck we end up with. It can be used on defense against a White deck with lots of flyers, provide a way to break through other defensive decks, etc. The problem with Bladed Pinions is that it’s moderately slow and doesn’t increase the actual power of creatures.
My pick: Bladed Pinions
Pack 1 pick 9:
Carapace Forger is the best card in the pack. Green (non-Infect), Blue, and White are the colors that have been the most open and Carapace Forger fits in with what we have.
My pick: Carapace Forger
Pack 1 pick 10:
Plated Seastrider is useful if we end up with very few Metalcraft cards because it’s effective at stalling the ground while we either draw the game out or beat down with various flyers.
My pick: Plated Seastrider
Pack 1 pick 11:
My pick: Scrapdiver Serpent
Pack 1 pick 12:
My pick: Fulgent Distraction
Pack 1 pick 13:
My pick: Ferrovore
Pack 1 pick 14:
My pick: Psychic Miasma
Pack 1 pick 15:
The first pack didn’t go as well as it could have mainly because we’re split between three colors: Green, White, and Blue. It’s likely that we’ll be forced into Blue/Green in pack two because of how much White we passed. It’s also possible that Green will be cut because of the Slagwurm. We didn’t see many of the important Green cards in this pack which means that it’s likely that there is an Infect drafter to our right who is cutting us off from the overlapping cards (ex: Sylvok Replica).
Pack 2 pick 1:
Tangle Angler is a good card regardless of whether it’s in Infect or not because it controls the board moderately well (large body and complicates combat). Golem Artisan is another powerful card especially in a Metalcraft deck because it gives so much value to your smaller creatures, greatly complicates combat, and makes use of all of your mana after your hand is depleted. Volition Reins is the option and is one that is hit or miss. Against some decks it will be back-breaking and against others it will be a six-mana spell that takes one of the opponent’s six vanilla 2/2 creatures. Volition Reins is likely to provide our deck with the most utility because it can deal with anything. As the defensiveness of a deck increases, the number of opposing cards that it cares about decreases because killing the opponent is secondary to surviving. Volition Reins fills the niche for dealing with opposing bombs, much like Stoic Rebuttal but using a different approach.
My pick: Volition Reins
Pack 2 pick 2:
Glint Hawk and Glint Hawk Idol don’t really fit well into the “don’t die” plan and are better when used in very aggressive decks. Sylvok Replica is the best choice between it, Bellowing Tanglewurm, Clone Shell, and Horizon Spellbomb because it plays a defensive role on the Battlefield as well as functioning as removal when needed. Bellowing Tanglewurm is better suited in a Green deck that wants to attack because Intimidate is only useful in that capacity. Clone Shell is good in a deck with good creatures (like Myr Battlesphere) but doesn’t shine with a low number of creatures (especially when most of them are passive like Plated Seastrider).
My pick: Sylvok Replica
Pack 2 pick 3:
This pick is somewhat lackluster with the frontrunner cards being Snapsail Glider and Flight Spellbomb. The main function of Flight Spellbomb is to act as a placeholder on the Battlefield to maintain Metalcraft while providing a minor effect and replacing itself once the Metalcraft threshold can be maintained with other more useful permanents. At the moment we only have a Carapace Forger for Metalcraft cards and there is no indication that we’ll acquire a lot more which lowers the value of the Spellbomb. Snapsail Glider isn’t a particularly useful creature defensively because it just trades with an average creature, however it will play a more significant role than the Spellbomb since the value of a 2/2 flyer for three mana is slightly higher than that of drawing a random card for two mana.
My pick: Snapsail Glider
Pack 2 pick 4:
Necropede, Lumengrid Drake, Silver Myr, and Horizon Spellbomb are all options with different benefits. Necropede will function mostly as an early defensive creature much like Perilous Myr and hold the fort while we develop our board. Lumengrid Drake isn’t very useful unless Metalcraft is on because a vanilla four-mana 2/2 flyer doesn’t pull much weight by itself. Silver Myr is a good option because it will accelerate us, is on-color, and helps power up our Metalcraft cards. Horizon Spellbomb is the last card and functionally similar to Silver Myr in the sense that it’s a mana source and helps turn on Metalcraft. Horizon Spellbomb doesn’t accelerate us like a Myr would but would allow us to play Myrsmith (which is looking less likely as the pack progresses) while cycling into another card as well. Including Myrsmith is going to make our deck function more smoothly with regards to the Metalcraft cards that we play in addition to providing a substantial board presence.
My pick: Horizon Spellbomb
Pack 2 pick 5:
Vedalken Certarch isn’t a card that I like playing without knowing that it’s going to be Icy Manipulator 100% of the time (i.e. in a deck with at least eighteen artifacts) because it’s terrible without Metalcraft (much like Auriok Sunchaser). Acid Web Spider is an excellent utility creature because it deals with multiple problematic board situations; it deals with flyers, equipment, and is attached to a sizable 3/5 body. A second Horizon Spellbomb would make playing an early Myrsmith more reliable. Stoic Rebuttal is the last option and would function similarly to Volition Reins assuming that we have it and mana available before the opponent plays one of the cards that we’re saving it for, though it’s far more likely that we’ll be able to pick one up later on. Between Horizon Spellbomb and Acid Web Spider the Spider is a better late-game card because it doesn’t require other cards for support to be good whereas the Horizon Spellbomb is mainly included to support being able to play Myrsmith and make our Snapsail Glider and Carapace Forger better. Horizon Spellbomb also makes it possible to play and additional White cards that we would want to splash (such as Arrest or Revoke Existence) that we’re likely to see in pack three.
My pick: Horizon Spellbomb
Pack 2 pick 6:
A second Plated Seastrider fits more into our deck’s “don’t die” strategy but doesn’t have the potential that Thrummingbird has. Even though we don’t have any charge counter cards yet, it’s possible that we’ll pick some up in the last pack (a Trigon, Tumble Magnet, Golem Foundry, etc). The loss of having a second Seastrider is negligible compared to the potential gain of a good Thrummingbird.
My pick: Thrummingbird
Pack 2 pick 7:
A second Disperse provides very little utility compared to the board presence of a second Soliton.
My pick: Soliton
Pack 2 pick 8:
We have a moderate amount of five-mana spells which makes Molder Beast somewhat unnecessary whereas Flight Spellbomb will increase the deck’s consistency.
My pick: Flight Spellbomb
Pack 2 pick 9:
My pick: Plated Seastrider
Pack 2 pick 10:
It’s too bad that we didn’t take the Acid Web Spider (I didn’t expect the Horizon Spellbomb to wheel).
My pick: Horizon Spellbomb
Pack 2 pick 11:
My pick: Painful Quandary
Pack 2 pick 12:
My pick: Wing Puncture
Pack 2 pick 13:
My pick: [draft]Wing Puncture[/draft]
Pack 2 pick 14:
My pick: Plated Seastrider
Pack 2 pick 15:
The second pack yielded a lot of utility cards though most of them are low-impact (Horizon Spellbomb). White was cut like we thought while there were moderate amounts of Green/Blue. In the last pack we should look for specific cards (Heavy Arbalest) in addition to flyers like Sky-Eel School to win the game with.
Pack 3 pick 1:
This pick is moderately disappointing. Clone Shell still isn’t very good in our deck because the threat density is rather low. Trinket Mage is quite useful because we have multiple Spellbombs though it’s not as amazing as it could be since we don’t have a Chimeric Mass or Darksteel Axe to fetch. Cystbearer is another wall-type creature in our deck but it doesn’t function well with the rest of our cards (non-Infect, doesn’t help Metalcraft). Ghalma’s Warden could be splashed but would be unexciting. Leaden Myr would help our acceleration/Metalcraft. We’ve seen a number of packs with late Myr throughout the draft which means that the trend is likely to continue and we should take “good” cards before them. Of the three other cards, Trinket Mage offers the most card advantage.
My pick: Trinket Mage
Pack 3 pick 2:
Again we’re in the position of taking a Myr or good card (Revoke Existence). We don’t have much removal (Sylvok Replica and Volition Reins) and another piece would be more than welcome.
My pick: Revoke Existence
Pack 3 pick 3:
This pick is similar to the last one with the difference that there are more non-Myr cards to look at. Perilous Myr is good and functions as a pseudo-Moat against a lot of decks as it’s able to trade with most of the creatures that people play (Cystbearer, Saberclaw Golem, Glint Hawk when attacked by a ground creature, etc). Blight Mamba is another way to creature that can be used well on defense, although spending mana each turn to regenerate will compromise your ability to efficiently develop your board. Rust Tick is another form of removal-on-wheels; it’s basically a superior Blinding Mage for artifacts since it also stops artifacts with tap abilities. Myr Propagator is the last option and while it’s not the best card to play in the early portion of the game, it can take over after both players’ hands have been depleted. Perilous Myr is going to be best against the really aggressive decks and against Infect but Rust Tick is more likely to be better against the average deck because you won’t be under heavy pressure as quickly and can be used to deal with different threats as they scale up in importance.
My pick: Rust Tick
Pack 3 pick 4:
Grindclock would work well with our Thrummingbird and is a legitimate win condition especially against slower decks with little artifact removal. However it seems unlikely that we’ll be playing the Thrummingbird because we haven’t picked up any other good cards with it yet and there are very few new packs to see. Bonds of Quicksilver is still a good sideboard option and will help deal with problematic creatures if we don’t have Volition Reins handy. A third Soliton is also an option though it’s rather unlikely we’ll see a Heavy Arbalest in the next few picks. Soliton is only mediocre in our deck (basically a 3/4 with Vigilance for five mana) without an Arbalest. Accorder’s Shield is the last option though not very good even with a Trinket Mage because our creatures already have a high toughness or Vigilance. Bonds of Quicksilver and Soliton are the two best cards and it’s more likely that Bonds will wheel.
My pick: Soliton
Pack 3 pick 5:
Barbed Battlegear is good when you’ve got a high number of flyers or Bloodshot Trainee but rather mediocre at other times; it’s expensive to equip and ground creatures will almost always trade with something inferior because of the reduction in toughness. Turn Aside and Withstand Death are useful sideboard cards from the sideboard but it’s unlikely that we’ll get much value from them.
My pick: Putrefax
Pack 3 pick 6:
Neurok Invisimancer doesn’t fit in well to our deck because it’s better suited in an aggressive deck; the same can be said about Trigon of Rage. Wall of Tanglecord would be a welcome addition because it fits well into the curve and what the deck is trying to accomplish. Carapace Forger and Chrome Steed are functionally similar though the Steed is the better of the two because even though it costs twice as much, the benefit of being an artifact for Metalcraft purposes trumps the additional cost. We’ve got a lot of high-end cards already along with a few Metalcraft creatures which means that we need cheap cards to support our early game.
My pick: [draft]Wall of Tanglecord[/draft]
Pack 3 pick 7:
Tel-Jilad Fallen can be used well on defense to some extent but seems unnecessary because of the number of Plated Seastrider/Wall of Tanglecord that we already have. Additionally we don’t have a substantial amount of removal to make it possible for the Fallen to reliably poison the opponent. A better choice would be Lumengrid Drake because it functions well with how our deck is set up (early artifact defense while winning with Myr Battlesphere, Bladed Pinions on a Soliton, or various flyers.
My pick: Lumengrid Drake
Pack 3 pick 8:
Golden Urn is useful at times despite how little it seems to impact the board. A second Carapace Forger could be useful, though it would be difficult to take advantage of the early pressure because we don’t have many other aggressive creatures to accompany it. If we have Metalcraft early, then it’s likely to be from cards like Horizon Spellbomb, Wall of Tanglecord, and a small three-mana creature instead of Chrome Steed and Rusted Relic. It’s more likely that Carapace Forger will become a late-game 4/4 that is simply cheap enough to play in conjunction with another spell in the same turn. Wall of Tanglecord is going to be better than Golden Urn (despite having no synergy by Trinket Mage like the Urn) because it gains more virtual life through blocking creatures than the amount of real life that the Urn will gain. In the late game it’s likely that Carapace Forger will be better than Wall of Tanglecord because it will be a 4/4, but early on Wall of Tanglecord will be a superior creature because it deals with a wider range of creatures and has more benefits than Plated Seastrider when considering Metalcraft.
My pick: Wall of Tanglecord
Pack 3 pick 9:
There’s nothing for us here except for Golden Urn which isn’t very impressive whereas Flesh Allergy could prove problematic for our threat-light deck.
My pick: Flesh Allergy
Pack 3 pick 10:
My pick: Twisted Image
Pack 3 pick 11:
It’s more likely that our deck is going to stall out the game to the point where Myr Propagator will become a real threat.
My pick: Myr Propagator
Pack 3 pick 12:
My pick: Abuna Acolyte
Pack 3 pick 13:
My pick: Ogre Geargrabber
Pack 3 pick 14:
My pick: Withstand Death
Pack 3 pick 15:
The draft didn’t go as well for us as it could have. It seemed like Blue and Green weren’t truly open in the sense that we saw very few awesome cards. Perhaps the packs were simply bad. Infect was far more open in the last pack compared to the first which implies that some people shifted colors/strategies which could also be why we ended up with so few good cards.
We only have one Myr but we have three Horizon Spellbombs to accompany it which means that sixteen lands will be enough even though we have a number of expensive spells (2 Soliton, Volition Reins, Myr Battlesphere, and Scrapdiver Serpent).
We have a number of utility cards and combat tricks (Bladed Pinions, Abuna Acolyte, Twisted Image, Wing Puncture, and Withstand Death). It’s unlikely that Twisted Image is going to be good because we have most of the Seastriders and Walls. Abuna Acolyte is a rather weak card to splash unless we play against Infect or lots of flyers; Wing Puncture is in the same position. Withstand Death would be fine if we had a lot of fatties like Alpha Tyrranax, but otherwise unimpressive if it’s just a one-for-one. Bladed Pinions is the card most likely to be played from the group.
We win the roll and choose to play last. Evil keeps his hand of seven and so do we though it’s quite borderline:
[Turn 1] Evil plays a Mountain while we [d: Island] play a Forest.
[Turn 3] Evil attacks with his Gold Myr [G: 19] and passes without playing a land while [d: Forest] we play another Forest and summon our Rust Tick. Evil destroys the Tick with a Shatter before starting his turn.
[Turn 4] Evil plays a Mountain and attacks with his Gold Myr [G: 18] while we [d: Soliton] cycle the Flight Spellbomb [d: Wall of Tanglecord], play a Forest, and summon the Wall of Tanglecord.
[Turn 5] Evil summons an Oxidda Scrapmelter and passes while we [d: Carapace Forger] play a Forest and summon the [card]Soliton[/card].
[Turn 7] Evil summons a Trinket Mage (Accorder’s Shield) and passes while we [d: Island] play an Island and pass.
[Turn 8] Evil plays a Mountain, summons a Kuldotha Phoenix, and attacks with it [G: 14]. [d: Myr Battlesphere] We play a Forest and summon our Myr Battlesphere before attacking with our Soliton and Carapace Forger. After deliberating for a while Evil blocks the Soliton with [card]Golem Artisan[/card] and Gold Myr and also blocks the Carapace Forger with his Trinket Mage and Oxidda Scrapmelter (the two 3/3s die).
[Turn 9] Evil attacks with his Kuldotha Phoenix [G: 10] and then points an Arc Trail at our face and a Myr token [G: 8]. [d: Revoke Existence] We play a Plains and exile the Gold Myr with Revoke Existence and Evil casts Bonds of Quicksilver on our Battlesphere in response.
[Turn 10] Evil summons a Riddlesmith and then casts his Accorder’s Shield while using the Riddlesmith to filter away an Island. Afterwards Evil equips his Phoenix with the Shield and attacks with it but we use Disperse to temporarily remove it from the Battlefield. [d: Horizon Spellbomb] We play and cycle the Spellbomb [d: Myrsmith], play the Island that we search out, and summon the Myrsmith.
[Turn 11] Evil summons his Phoenix for a second time and attacks with it [G: 4]. [d: Island] We lose.
We choose to play last again; Evil keeps his hand and so do we:
[Turn 1] Evil plays an Island while we [d: Forest] play a Forest.
[Turn 3] Evil plays a Mountain and attacks with his Necropede (we block with the Wall). [d: Island] We play an Island and summon the Myr Propagator. Evil kills the Myr with a Galvanic Blast before starting his turn.
[Turn 4] Evil plays a Plains, attacks with the Necropede (we block with the Wall again), and summons a Blade-Tribe Berserkers afterwards. [d: Horizon Spellbomb] We play a Forest and summon the Lumengrid Drake.
[Turn 5] Evil summons an Oxidda Scrapmelter and destroys our Wall of Tanglecord before attacking with his Necropede and Blade-Tribe Berserkers while we block the Necropede with our Lumengrid Drake [G: 17]. [d: Island] We play and Island and cast the Horizon Spellbomb before passing the turn.
[Turn 6] Evil attacks with his Scrapmelter and Berserkers [G: 11] before summoning a Sky-Eel School (discarding an Island). We cycle the Horizon Spellbomb [d: Snapsail Glider] for a Plains before starting our turn. [d: Island] We play a Forest and take the Sky-Eel School with Volition Reins.
[Turn 7] Evil kills the Sky-Eel School with Turn to Slag and attacks with his Berserkers and Scrapmelter [G: 5]. [d: Island] We play an Island and summon the Snapsail Glider.
[Turn 8] Evil attacks with his Berserkers and Scrapmelter while we chump one with the Glider [G: 2]. [d: Soliton] We lose.