According to Webster – Zendikar-Worldwake Draft #2

Worldwake Draft #2

Pack 1 pick 1:


Conqueror’s Pledge is excellent. It wins the games where you’re ahead or at parity and allows you to come back in the games where you’re behind. Disfigure and Windborne Charge are the next best cards; both are good, but don’t have the reach that Conqueror’s Pledge does.

My pick: Conquerors Pledge

Pack 1 pick 2:


The options in this pack are awkward. The best cards (Vampire Hexmage, Vines of Vastwood, and Murasa Pyromancer) all have heavy non-white color requirements. The pick is complicated even more by our first pick costing triple white. Both Magma Rift and Pillarfield Ox are options, though mediocre. Magma Rift kills nearly everything, though isn’t very good in the early game depending on what a deck’s curve looks like. However, later on when there is a bunch of lands sitting around doing nothing, it’s quite good. Pillarfield Ox is the safe choice. It doesn’t attack very well because it’s on the expensive side and will most likely trade for a two-drop barring a trick. However, on defense it’s much better especially when Worldwake’s cycles of multi-kicker/five-mana 3/3s are factored in. The non-white cards aren’t alluring enough to take one of them. Pillarfield Ox will help support Conqueror’s Pledge. Also, when you consider the rare was taken from the pack, staying White will prevent us from straying too far off course of what’s being fed to us and pick a second color that will reveal itself within the next few picks.

My pick: Pillarfield Ox

Pack 1 pick 3:


Marsh Flats, Pillarfield Ox, Vines of Vastwood, and Sky Ruin Drake are the better cards. There are less Red and Black cards in this pack which may indicate that it would be better to be in Blue, White, and/or Green. The second Vines of Vastwood is a good indicator that Green might be open, though it’s usually accompanied by a few other Green cards. If Blue is open, then the packs haven’t been kind because there hasn’t been much of it passed. Pillarfield Ox is still a fine pick because this pack still doesn’t directly point to another color to take. Marsh Flats is the other on-color card and is better than Pillarfield Ox for a few reasons. It abuses Landfall and fixes your mana (sometimes). While it doesn’t appear that we’ll be drafting Black now, we may end up doing so in the future despite what we’re seeing now. In that case, having Marsh Flats is amazing because of the color-intensity of both Black and White.

My pick: Marsh Flats

Pack 1 pick 4:


What happened here? There are lots of Black and Blue cards; at least in this pack. Kor Sanctifiers is good, but Welkin Tern is better. Certain builds would benefit more from having a Kor Sanctifiers because it’s a better defensive/utility creature. However, the direction that the deck will take is still unclear and picking the more powerful card is going to benefit the deck more in the end.

My pick: Welkin Tern

Pack 1 pick 5:


Whiplash Trap isn’t a card that I normally like; it’s really slow. It’s not very good against the decks with low curves which are where the most problems will arise. Sejiri Refuge is obviously fine in a Blue/White deck, though would be better in a version that has a lot of double-White early drops like Kazandu Blademaster. When constructing the manabase for such a deck, it’s necessary to put in a lot of Plains to reliably summon those monsters on turn two. If there are also a lot of Blue spells, then having enough sources to summon Welkin Tern, Kraken Hatchling, and Sejiri Merfolk make Sejiri Refuge crucial. This draft hasn’t developed enough to determine how important Sejiri Refuge will be. It would be better to take a spell in this situation. Stonework Puma is fine because it solves the problem of being unable to block creatures with Intimidate. The Puma would be better if we had an Umara Raptor instead of Welkin Tern, but it’s still fine.

My pick: Stonework Puma

Pack 1 pick 6:


Shoal Serpent is too slow to play. It would only be good against some of the slower Red decks with Molten Ravager and Shatterskull Giant and Green decks. Spell Pierce is okay. So much emphasis is placed on the early game where mana is at a premium. Being able to counter a crucial removal spell can change the course of the game. With that said, it’s very easy to pick up Spell Pierce much later on. Explorer’s Scope is the last option. Its usefulness relies on having a low curve with useful Landfall triggers. While our card pool doesn’t have much that benefits yet from Explorer’s Scope besides strapping it onto the Welkin Tern to hit extra land drops, Explorer’s Scope is generally much harder to wheel than the other options. It may be useful later on when the deck has taken shape.

My pick: Explorers Scope

Pack 1 pick 7:


Nimbus Wings is usually a card I’m more excited to play because it gives provides additional value from two-drops after they’ve been outclassed on the board by other non-flyers. This deck doesn’t appear to be shaping up to the aggressive deck that wants Nimbus Wings. Khalni Gem would be a better choice because it will help the deck cast Conqueror’s Pledge without having to wreck the deck’s manabase in the case where the majority of its spells are not White.

My pick: Khalni Gem

Pack 1 pick 8:


Windrider Eel is the easy choice. While Kraken Hatchling is a good card to have in a deck with a lot of flyers, it’s easy to replace with other creatures like Makindi Shieldmate and Halimar Excavator.

My pick: Windrider Eel

Pack 1 pick 9:


My pick: Kabira Crossroads

Pack 1 pick 10:


My pick: Tempest Owl

Pack 1 pick 11:


My pick: Merfolk Wayfinder

Pack 1 pick 12:


My pick: Ondu Cleric

Pack 1 pick 13:


My pick: Tempest Owl

Pack 1 pick 14:


My pick: Spell Pierce

Pack 1 pick 15:


Pack one was quite mediocre. There weren’t many cards that would make it to the maindeck (Ondu Cleric, Welkin Tern, Stonework Puma, Pillarfield Ox, Windrider Eel, Khalni Gem, Conqueror’s Pledge, Kabira Crossroads, and Marsh Flats); many of the cards are borderline playable like Ondu Cleric.

Pack 2 pick 1:


This isn’t exactly the pack that we wanted to open. Into the Roil is easily the best card because it won’t wheel whereas Cancel, Shieldmate’s Blessing, Seascape Aerialist, and Bold Defense are quite likely to.

My pick: Into the Roil

Pack 2 pick 2:


Here’s another lackluster pack. Sky Ruin Drake gets the nod over Aether Figment because it’s harder to kill with the new Worldwake cards; Searing Blaze and Tomb Hex both kill Aether Figment but not Sky Ruin Drake. The Drake is also better at blocking.

My pick: Sky Ruin Drake

Pack 2 pick 3:


A second Khalni Gem isn’t necessary because we don’t have a lot of expensive, color-intensive spells other than the Conqueror’s Pledge. That leaves Stonework Puma.

My pick: Stonework Puma

Pack 2 pick 4:


It would be nice to wheel Spreading Seas to deal with the Valakut deck if we play against it. A second Pillarfield Ox is the only good option.

My pick: Pillarfield Ox

Pack 2 pick 5:


Narrow Escape doesn’t do much in this deck. It would be better with Kor Hookmaster/Journey to Nowhere; sadly we don’t have those awesome cards. If this draft heads south and we get forced out of Blue in pack three, Heartstabber Mosquito is going to be the best starting point compared to Goblin Shortcutter because our deck is more controlling than anything else.

My pick: Heartstabber Mosquito

Pack 2 pick 6:


Finally, here is a pack with some decent cards. Windborne Charge would be better suited in a more aggressive deck; the card provides a lot of reach. Windrider Eel is a better option because it becomes lethal by itself given time as opposed to Windborne Charge which requires a certain gamestate (them being at 8-10 life).

My pick: Windrider Eel

Pack 2 pick 7:


My pick: Windrider Eel

Pack 2 pick 8:


Ior Ruin Expedition isn’t the card-drawing of choice, especially with what Worldwake brings. However, if we don’t see any Treasure Hunt/Mysteries of the Deep, then we’ll regret having passed the Expedition for something else. Ior Ruin Expedition isn’t something that I like running because it has a high level of variance like many of the Landfall cards, but it’s fine in a deck that isn’t as focused on attacking as playing better spells than the opponent.

My pick: Ior Ruin Expedition

Pack 2 pick 9:


Playing the Aerialist doesn’t seem likely unless pack three is very weak (I probably should have hated the Shatterskull Giant).

My pick: Seascape Aerialist

Pack 2 pick 10:


My pick: Nimbus Wings

Pack 2 pick 11:


My pick: Quest for Ancient Secrets

Pack 2 pick 12:


So many Shatterskull Giants”¦

My pick: Shatterskull Giant

Pack 2 pick 13:


My pick: Lethargy Trap

Pack 2 pick 14:


My pick: Demolish

Pack 2 pick 15:



Pack two was filled with mediocre picks. There are only thirteen spells that will make the cut which means Worldwake needs to be above average to end up with something that can 2-1/3-0 a pod.

Pack 3 pick 1:


This deck can’t support Jwari Shapeshifter; there simply aren’t enough Allies (let alone good Allies) in the deck. Perimeter Captain is exactly what this deck needs: a Kraken Hatchling on crack. Perimeter Captain will allow the deck to win with a Windrider Eel more easily while not having to worry about racing the opponent.

My pick: Perimeter Captain

Pack 3 pick 2:


There are quite a few cards that would easily make the cut in the deck (Marshall’s Anthem, Surrakar Banisher, Fledgling Griffin, and Halimar Excavator). The Blue cards are there more for support. However, there are already enough roadblocks present for the deck’s fliers to win to the point of not needing to prioritize Walls higher than threats/good cards. Fledgling Griffin is the ideal two-drop. It functions similarly to Welkin Tern but can block in a pinch. Marshall’s Anthem is an excellent card in every type of deck. Glorious Anthem plus Resurrection is a powerful effect that has an immediate effect on the board.

My pick: Marshals Anthem

Pack 3 pick 3:


Wind Zendikon is good, but doesn’t work well with the deck’s high curve. It would be better if the deck’s curve topped out at three, but that’s not the case here. Playing the Zendikon early is a liability because of the tempo loss if it gets killed. Join the Ranks and Battle Hurda are options as well. However both are slow. Besides the Ondu Cleric, there aren’t any other cards that have synergy with Join the Ranks in the deck. We’d have to wheel a few Halimar Excavators to make it worthwhile playing the card. Battle Hurda is more likely to make it into our deck, but Join the Ranks is more likely to be problematic for us (depending on the assortment of Allies we’re facing) while having the possibility of being played in our deck.

My pick: Join the Ranks

Pack 3 pick 4:


Ruin Ghost is decent in our deck with its three Windrider Eels, Ior Ruin Expedition, and Kabira Crossroads. However, Halimar Excavator is more crucial because it helps stop the initial assault to the point of being able to summon a Pillarfield Ox.

My pick: Halimar Excavator

Pack 3 pick 5:


Sejiri Merfolk is easily the best card in the pack.

My pick: Sejiri Merfolk

Pack 3 pick 6:


Razor Boomerang is expensive and slow. It can be good against certain decks, but this deck has a hard time taking advantage of it because of the high curve. Aether Tradewinds is a nice trick. It can save one of your creatures from removal while bouncing theirs. Thada Adel, Acquisitor is more of a sideboard creature against decks with Islands or multiple artifacts (or just one good one). Treasure Hunt is the best option because it will allow the deck to constantly hit land drops to play its more expensive spells and make Windrider Eel more effective.

My pick: Treasure Hunt

Pack 3 pick 7:


Mysteries of the Deep is awesome in this deck.

My pick: Mysteries of the Deep

Pack 3 pick 8:


My pick: Mysteries of the Deep

Pack 3 pick 9:


Sejiri Steppe would be better if the deck’s main plan is to attack on the ground or if we took the Ruin Ghost; neither is true. Hedron Rover will be useful if the Stonework Pumas aren’t enough to stop an opponent’s Intimidate creatures.

My pick: Hedron Rover

Pack 3 pick 10:


My pick: Bloodhusk Ritualist

Pack 3 pick 11:


My pick: Twitch

Pack 3 pick 12:


My pick: Enclave Elite

Pack 3 pick 13:


My pick: Aether Tradewinds

Pack 3 pick 14:


My pick: Walking Atlas

Pack 3 pick 15:



Worldwake ended up being as good as needed. Our deck is decent and shouldn’t have a problem winning.


The last few slots in the deck are being contested by Ior Ruin Expedition, Treasure Hunt, Hedron Rover, Ondu Cleric, Enclave Elite, and Twitch with the last three making the cut.

The Expedition and Treasure Hunt are outclassed by Mysteries of the Deep. Treasure Hunt is better than Ior Ruin Expedition because the level of variance is too high with Expeditions. When an Expedition or another inexpensive Landfall card is in your hand, it’s good/awesome, but is the worst topdeck in the world later on. Treasure Hunt is going to be more consistent.

Hedron Rover is normally good enough to make the cut. However this deck’s four-mana slot is clogged with Windrider Eels and Pillarfield Oxen. The quantity of four-mana spells is also the reason why Twitch wins over another card; its primary function is to buy some time allowing the deck to keep up with faster opposing draws. Ondu Cleric is also present to gain life and function as a pseudo-Twitch.

Enclave Elite is another filler creature, but primarily there to help against all the Shatterskull Giants that were floating around.

Round 1:

Game 1:

Evil wins the roll and keeps his opening seven after choosing to play first; we keep our hand as well (2 Islands, Plains, Ondu Cleric, Welkin Tern, and 2 Pillarfield Ox). Evil plays a Plains while [d: Perimeter Captain] we play the Plains and Perimeter Captain. We laugh at Evil as he plays a Swamp and summons a Cliff Threader. The useless 2/1 is no match for our wall. [d: Sky Ruin Drake] We too summon a 2/1 after playing an Island: Welkin Tern. Evil plays a second Swamp and passes.

[d: Plains] We play an Island and attack with the Welkin Tern [E: 18]. Then we summon the Ondu Cleric [G: 21] Evil plays a Plains and summons a Hagra Crocodile. This Juggernaut will not be stopped by our Perimeter Captain so we’ll have to summon some of the Pillarfield Oxen. [d: Plains] We play a Plains and attack with the Welkin Tern and Ondu Cleric. Evil blocks with the Cliff Threader [E: 16], and then we summon a Pillarfield Ox.

Evil plays a Swamp and bashes with the Crocodile [G: 16]. Then he summons a Kabira Evangel. [d: Plains] We play a Plains, attack again with the Welkin Tern [E: 14], and summon the second Pillarfield Ox. Evil simply plays a Plains and passes. [d: Enclave Elite] Welkin Tern continues the beatdown [E: 12] and we summon the Sky Ruin Drake. Evil plays a Plains and attacks with the Hagra Crocodile. We block with the Perimeter Captain and both Pillarfield Oxen [G: 18]. Evil kills one Ox with Tomb Hex while the Captain dies in combat. After that he is done.

[d: Windrider Eel] We attack with the Tern and Drake [E: 8]. Then we summon the Windrider Eel. Evil summons a Pilgrim’s Eye which fetches a Swamp. He plays the land and attacks with the Crocodile [G: 13]. [d: Marshal’s Anthem] We play the Plains which makes our Eel large. Then we play the Anthem, kicked once, which gets back the fallen Ox. Our newly bolstered creatures are too much for Evil to handle and he concedes.

Sideboard: nothing.

Game 2:

Evil mulligans while we keep our hand of seven (Plains, Island, Sejiri Merfolk, Enclave Elite, Stonework Puma, Windrider Eel, and Sky Ruin Drake). Evil keeps his hand of six cards and plays a Swamp. [d: Plains] Meanwhile, we play a Plains and pass. Evil plays a Plains and passes again [d: Twitch] while we play an Island and summon the Sejiri Merfolk. Evil has no plays on his third turn [d: Mysteries of the Deep] while we play a Plains, attack with the Merfolk [E: 18, G: 22], and summon the Stonework Puma. All Evil can muster on his fourth turn is to summon a 1/1 Quag Vampires.

[d: Pillarfield Ox] We attack with our two creatures [E: 14, G: 24] and summon the Enclave Elite. Evil temporarily stops our defense with a Nimbus Wings on his Quag Vampires. [d: Island] We play the Island and summon the Windrider Eel. Meanwhile, Evil finally finds a third land (Plains) and summons his Pilgrim’s Eye. The Wayfinder fetches a Swamp for Evil. [d: Plains] We play the Plains and attack with everything. Evil blocks the Sejiri Merfolk with his Quag Vampires like we expected [E: 6, G: 26]. Then we summon the Sky Ruin Drake.

Evil plays his Swamp and summons a Vampire Hexmage. [d: Conqueror’s Pledge] We play the Pledge and pass. Evil can only summon a Kabira Evangel. [d: Island] We play the Island, and then tap Evil’s Plains with Twitch to ensure he doesn’t have Arrow Volley Trap. He’s dead on the board.

Round 2:

Game 1:

Evil wins the roll again and chooses to play first. His hand is worth keeping, but ours isn’t (4 Island, 2 Plains, and Stonework Puma). We mulligan into a better hand of six cards (3 Plains, Perimeter Captain, Welkin Tern, and Pillarfield Ox). Evil starts by playing a Swamp and forging an Adventuring Gear. The equipment is going to wreck make our Perimeter Captain a bad blocker this game. [d: Kabira Crossroads] We play the Crossroads [G: 22] and pass. Evil plays a Mountain and summons a Goblin Shortcutter [d: Island] while we play the Island and summon the Welkin Tern.

Evil equips his Shortcutter with the Gear, plays a Piranha Marsh [G: 21], and attacks with the Goblin [G: 17]. [d: Island] We play a Plains and attack with the Welkin Tern. Then we summon the Perimeter Captain. Evil plays a Swamp and attacks with the Shortcutter [G: 13]. He summons a Nimana Sell-Sword after combat. [d: Marsh Flats] We play an Island, attack with the Tern [E: 16], and summon the Pillarfield Ox. We need to draw spells now! Evil destroys the Perimeter Captain with a Smother, plays a Swamp, and attacks with his two creatures. We block the Ally with our Ox [G: 9]. Fortunately he’s out of plays afterwards. [d: Island] We can do nothing except for play the Island and attack with the Tern [E: 14].

Evil repeats his turn with a land and attacking with both creatures. We block similarly and take the hit from the Goblin [G: 5]. Then Evil plays Electropotence but only has one Mountain. [d: Conqueror’s Pledge] We attack with the Tern and Ox [E: 10]. Then we play an Island and cast the Pledge. Evil summons a Pulse Tracker and uses Electropotence to kill the Welkin Tern. [d: Windrider Eel] We attack with five Kor Soldier tokens. The Sell-Sword kills one [E: 6]. Then we play Marsh Flats and summon the Windrider Eel. Evil does nothing on his turn and passes. [d: Windrider Eel] We play the Plains in our hand and attack with everything. Evil can’t survive the attack and dies.

Sideboard: nothing.

Game 2:

Evil chooses to play first and keeps his and. We keep as well (2 Plains, Island, Stonework Puma, Windrider Eel, Aether Tradewinds, and Mysteries of the Deep). Evil plays a Swamp [d: Island] while we play a Plains and ship the turn back. Evil plays a Mountain [d: Island] while we play an Island and wait for his play. Evil plays a Swamp and summons a Giant Scorpion while [d: Sejiri Merfolk] we play a Plains and summon the Sejiri Merfolk that we should have drawn last turn.

Evil plays an Akoum Refuge [E: 21] and summons a Goblin Shortcutter, but doesn’t feel like racing against the Merfolk. [d: Plains] We play an Island and summon the Windrider Eel, content with letting our fliers work their magic. Evil summons a Crypt Ripper, but misses his land drop. The Merfolk continues to moat his team. [d: Windrider Eel] We click ahead too quickly and miss playing a land before attacking with the Windrider Eel [E: 19]. Then we play a Plains and summon the second Windrider Eel.

Evil plays a Forest and summons a Scute Mob. Then he attacks with the Crypt Ripper (pumping once after we don’t block) [G: 17]. After combat he taps out to summon a second Giant Scorpion. [d: Island] We play an Island, attack with our Eels [E: 11], and play [card]Mysteries of the Deep[/card] (drawing Island, Conqueror’s Pledge, and Pillarfield Ox). The Scute Mob grows to a 5/5. Evil attacks with it and the two Scorpions. We block the Mob with the Sejiri Merfolk, taking no damage in the process. Then Evil passes the turn with three cards in hand and five mana untapped.

[d: Mysteries of the Deep] We play an Island and attack again with the Eels. Evil plays Slingbow Trap in an attempt to kill off one of the Eels. However, we are ready for this game of chicken and use Aether Tradewinds to bounce our Eel and Evil’s Scute Mob [E: 7] Evil attacks with everything (pumping his Crypt Ripper twice) [G: 9]. Then he summons the Scute Mob again as well as a Pilgrim’s Eye (which fetches a Mountain).

[d: Pillarfield Ox] We could play Mysteries of the Deep and search for the Twitch or Into the Roil that would win the game, but would settle for a win next turn. We play the Island and attack with both Eels. The Pilgrim’s Eye blocks one [E: 3]. Then we summon the Stonework Puma and play Conqueror’s Pledge. The Scute Mob grows as Evil plays the Mountain and puts Claws of Valakut on his Goblin Shortcutter. He attacks with everything, but it is futile. We block the Shortcutter, Crypt Ripper, and Scute Mob with Kor Soldier tokens [G: 7]. Evil concedes afterwards.

Round 3:

Game 1:

We finally win the roll and choose to play first. We keep our hand of seven (2 Island, 2 Plains, Kabira Crossroads, Welkin Tern, and Halimar Excavator) and Evil follows suit. We play the Kabira Crossroads [G: 22] while Evil plays a Teetering Peaks. [d: Mysteries of the Deep] We play an Island and summon the Welkin Tern. Evil continues to mimic us by playing a Mountain and summoning a Goblin Shortcutter. [d: Twitch] We play a Plains, attack with the Tern [E: 18], and summon the Halimar Excavator (milling a Mountain).

Evil can’t return the damage and simply plays a Mountain and summons a Goblin Roughrider. [d: Stonework Puma] We play the Island, attack with the Tern [E: 16], and summon the Stonework Puma (milling two more Mountains). Evil laments about our lucky hits with the Excavator and attacks with this Roughrider. We immediately trade our Puma for it and watch as Evil summons a Molten Ravager. [d: Khalni Gem] We play the Plains and attack with the Welkin Tern [E: 14]. Then we cast Mysteries of the Deep (drawing Pillarfield Ox, Island, and Aether Tradewinds).

Evil finds a Mountain on top of his deck and summons one of the ten Shatterskull Giants in the draft. [d: Island] We attack with the Welkin Tern [E: 12] and then cast the Khalni Gem (returning Kabira Crossroads and Island). Then we replay the Island and summon the Pillarfield Ox. Evil attacks with the Molten Ravager and Shatterskull Giant. We block neither and only take four [G: 18]. After combat, Evil summons a second Shatterskull Giant.

[d: Conqueror’s Pledge] We replay the Kabira Crossroads [G: 20] and attack with the Welkin Tern [E: 10]. Then we drop the hammer and cast Conqueror’s Pledge. Evil untaps and thinks. After a bit of deliberation he plays a Mountain and attacks with his two Giants. We block one with the Ox and a Kor Soldier token [G: 16]. Then Evil summons a Goblin Ruinblaster (kicked) that destroys our Kabira Crossroads. [d: Plains] We tap the Molten Ravager with Twitch (drawing Plains) and attack with everything. Evil tries to kill the Welkin Tern with Burst Lightning, but we bounce it and the Shatterskull Giant with Aether Tradewinds in response. The Shortcutter and Ruinblaster each trade with a Kor Soldier token while Evil takes the rest [E: 5].

Evil taps out to summon a Grotog Thrasher on his turn [d: Island] while we take the opportunity to bash with the remaining four Kor Soldier tokens and the Halimar Excavator. The Thrasher eats the Excavator and the Ravager blocks a token [E: 2]. Then we play a Plains and summon the Welkin Tern. Unable to find an answer to our trusty bird, Evil concedes.

Sideboard: nothing.

Game 2:

Evil chooses to play first and keeps his hand. We also keep ours, though it is on the slow side (Kabira Crossroads, Plains, Island, Windrider Eel, Pillarfield Ox, Conqueror’s Pledge, and Mysteries of the Deep). Evil plays a Mountain [d: Windrider Eel] while we play the Kabira Crossroads [G: 22]. Then Evil plays a second Mountain and summons a Highland Berserker. [d: Island] We can only play an Island and watch as Evil plays a third Mountain and summons a 2/2 Skitter of Lizards. He attacks with it and the Berserker [G: 18].

[d: Plains] It becomes clear how this game is going to end. We play an Island and pass while Evil plays a Mountain and summons a second 2/2 Skitter of Lizards. He attacks with his trio of two-power beaters [G: 12] and passes. [d: Halimar Excavator] We could have used the Excavator at any other turn prior to this one. However, we have better plays now. We play a Plains and finally summon the Pillarfield Ox, hoping that it survives the next turn to stop Evil’s onslaught. We are in no such luck as we see Evil play a Mountain and tap out to kill the Ox with Burst Lightning.

The freshly-cleared path lets Evil’s creatures attack us freely [G: 6]. [d: Island] We play a Plains and cast Conqueror’s Pledge. Hopefully that will be enough to stabilize; otherwise we are surely done for. Evil untaps and thinks. He summons a 3/3 Skitter of Lizards and attacks with the three of them. We trade five Kor Soldier tokens for two of them [G: 4]. [d: Plains] We play the Island and summon Windrider Eel as well as the Halimar Excavator (milling a [card]Deathforge Shaman[/card]).

Evil kills the Excavator with a Magma Rift. Then he attacks with his Skitter or Lizards. It dies in combat along with our Windrider Eel. After combat, Evil empties his hand by summoning a Walking Atlas. [d: Plains] We play a Plains and summon the other Windrider Eel. It looks like we’ve finally stabilized. Evil passes on his turn [d: Twitch] We play the Plains and cast Mysteries of the Deep (drawing Island, Sejiri Merfolk, and Marsh Flats). Then we attack with the Windrider Eel [E: 16] and summon the Sejiri Merfolk.

Evil summons a Shatterskull Giant and passes the turn back. [d: Windrider Eel] We play the Marsh Flats and attack with the Windrider Eel [E: 12]. Then we summon the Windrider Eel that we just drew. Evil attacks with the Shatterskull Giant and we block with the last remaining Kor Soldier token and the Sejiri Merfolk [G: 6]. Evil summons a [card]Molten Ravager[/card] after combat. [d: Sky Ruin Drake] We play the Island and attack with the two Windrider Eels. Before damage, we use the Marsh Flats [G: 5] to fetch a Plains. The Eels get larger and finish Evil off exactly. We are victorious.

Happy Drafting.

45 thoughts on “According to Webster – <i>Zendikar-Worldwake</i> Draft #2”

  1. Wow those first two packs seemed pretty terrible, glad things came through in the 3rd.

    I enjoy your draft reports, and I would like to hear more about drafting particular archetypes that are not aggro based (I liked this draft for that reason). I would also like to know more about how you and LSV know so much about collation distribution etc. In LSV’s report he seemed to know that a Burst Lightning was missing from the pack. Is this something that Channel Fireball/ PT players discuss?

  2. I think you got cut off from white pack two because you let the sanctifiers pass. People value that card highly and see it as a signal that white was open.

    Obviously it didn’t matter as the welkin turn was an utter all star in your matches. Well done =).

    By the way you can post drafts where you lose. We won’t judge you… much ;).

  3. By the third pack you had sooo many 4 drops that I would have prioritized cheaper spells higher, but what do I know

  4. lol i love this draft.

    U/w fliers is amazazing with wwk.

    First 2 packs were… Rough. Good to see you pull through!

  5. @Jethro
    Didn’t his last draft report go 2-1?

    Loved this draft report, I would definetly have been pretty depressed after the first two ZEN packs.

    Seemed pretty amazing that you were able to not only turn it around but also 3-0 the draft without losing a game no less!

    Tough blockers on the ground and the beats up top were pretty awesome.

    Can’t wait for the next one.

  6. Wow, that deck was an absolute abortion. No way you deserved a 3-0. Oh well, a little good luck never hurt anyone (execpt your opponents).

  7. lol to everyone who commented on his packs being “rough” packs one and two are always “rough” if half your picks are playable you consider yourself lucky. pack 3 is so strong that it pulls the archetype through.

  8. @Jim Varney

    i just think it was a weak overall card pool meaning his slow defensive deck was able to survive and triple windrider eels are ganna finish it quick once it has stabilized

  9. “Our deck is decent and shouldn't have a problem winning.”
    Yeah, when your opponent in the finals plays “mono R 7th pick commons.deck”
    Is this draft from a MWS room?

  10. @anonymous

    when wizards started printing Zendikar they messed up and only have a finite number of card runs. I think the number of different runs of commons they print are just under 80 if I remember correctly. So if you see a certain amount of cards in a pack you can surmise what was in the pack.

  11. I think what some people here don’t get is that the better the drafters are at the table, the worse the decks will be. The mono r deck was definetly good enough to make the finals.

  12. Yea numdiar is right, the better the drafters the less good picks going around.

    Conq pledge was p good for you, but I dislike comitting to a triple CC card so early, and I love disfigure, I would have definitely taken it 1st pack 1st pick.

    Then you could have had kalitas if u wanted him (slow but dominating), a few heartstabbers and stuff. Red was p open, you coulda had a battery of Shatterskull giants. They don’t need landfall to swing for 4 8-).

    Gratz and keep them coming!

  13. Although packs one and two seemed poor there were good cards but in different colours each time. I’ve found, since Worldwake, that people tend to not fix themselves in colours early and drafts are all over the place with signals being unclear. In part this is due to people drafting 4/5 colour ally decks. Worldwake gives you a chance to pull a draft round but in ZZZ it was far easier to fix your colours in a draft and know what other people were doing. Am I the only one who feels that to be the case?

    Great draft report. I always look forward to reading them. Far better than the waffly limited info reports on the official mtg site which are absolutely dire. Thanks for keeping it simple.

  14. I believe you got stuck in the beginning of pack one with the white because of opening the bomby rare and I believe you should have abandoned white overall at some point. Pillarield ox definitely is not a card to take p1p2 to stay in white, since most likely it won’t even make the main deck whereas there were definitely maindeckable cards in the pack next to it.

    Other than that you made the best out of weak packs.

  15. @ Anonymous
    after you open so many packs then you eventually see the same cards in the same packs over and over and over again, it’s likely that this pack was in line with distribution cuts so that’s how they know.

    Overall I enjoyed this draft (albeit I was concerned after the first 2 packs) and personally didn’t see any outs to winning with this deck. Great games and thanks again

  16. Why do I always get 3rd pick conquerer’s pledge? I was definitely expecting you to slam the disfigure but I’m glad you value it as high as me. Can I ox you a question? Do you think 2nd picking an ox could later lead to you being institutionalized somewhere down the road?

  17. Nice picks Web, this one would not have been won by someone without your mastery; pack 3 really came through for you. See you Saturday if you’re going to be birding.

  18. Why mill your opponent R3G1 when you have a deck featuring Marshal’s Anthem? Seems like it’s better to mill yourself with the Excavator, especially if you don’t know if your opponent has random recursion effects, and you definitely do.

  19. @Adam

    I’ve noticed the same thing once Worldwake came out. People have been bouncing in and out of 3-4 colors alot more and makes reading / sending signals harder.

    Had one of those oh well looks like red is being cut by the guy to my right in pack 1 time to jump to white which is open. Then getting passed Mordant Dragon in the Worldwake pack 5th pick. =/ Makes one second guess about forcing colors when people aren’t commiting as much.

  20. Good draft report, good to see somebody drafting that archtype. The deck was actually fine, it wins even though it looks rancid.

  21. Vampire Weak Knights

    seems like you could’ve drafted a pretty decent monoblack deck had you first picked disfigure. hexmage, kalitas, etc.

  22. Wow, I was sure you were doomed after packs 1 & 2. I’m not sure I get how you pulled it off, but you did it, so good job!

  23. tern over sanctifies after 1st picking conq pledge def seems wrong. and calcite sniper over the o/4 dude seemed obv but you chose the 0/4. seems completley wrong

  24. P3P6 is a perfect example of somewhere you could really stand to improve: your explanations. I’m not saying you made the right or wrong choice, but your ‘explanation’ of why you made the choice doesn’t explain anything!

    Imagine if I am looking at a menu, and say, “The cake is good because it’s sweet and decadent. The burger is good because it’s savory and filling.” I have perfectly described what the options do for me, but if I stopped right there, you’d have no idea which I was about to pick!

    That is exactly how this pick was: you told me that Aether Tradewinds is a good bounce trick, and Treasure Hunt is a good draw spell. Aaaand….? You don’t justify why we don’t need a trick, or why we need to take this draw spell, right now (especially frustrating when it ends up on the bench!).

    This is not the only time you do this, even in this draft, but it’s the one that stood out the most in my mind. For an example of you doing it right, look at P3P4, where you talk about each option in terms of what you’ve already drafted, and what you expect to face. THAT is real explanation that someone can learn from. “Card A does this, card B does that, card A is better” is useless to read.

  25. to the people suggesting disfigure as p1p1.
    This is never in any circumstance, no matter what is next to it the right pick.
    With black being so overdrafted you need something a lot better to go into black than a disfigure.
    Also, didn’t anyone notice the Pledge next to it?

  26. wow that’s a pretty good example of how forcing the color of your opening pick is a mistake, how much better would this deck have been as black blue? Pretty lucky in the rounds to win the draft. Good articles for analyzing plays, but not how to draft the cards or build the deck (wth is ondu cleric doing in this deck?).

  27. @chaos_noise

    Totally agree. How can you force colours when people don’t commit. I’ve gone from regularly winning 3-0 in ZZZ to regularly 1-2ing in ZZW. I just can’t get a read any more on the drafts due to the erratic nature of ZZW but can’t win them all.

    Still not a big fan of the format. As many people say there is little interaction and plays are almost automatic now which just isn’t fun. Looking forward to Rise of the Eldrazi. Hope it’s better than Rise of the Robots. Was looking forward to that too but was very disappointed.

  28. @MH
    huh … P3 pick 6
    Ochoa gave the following explanation :
    “Treasure Hunt is the best option because it will allow the deck to constantly hit land drops to play its more expensive spells and make Windrider Eel more effective”
    Basically both cards (treasure hunt and Aether Tradewinds )are at the same power level… BUT
    Treasure Hunt is the best option because …. (see above).

    @ Ochoa
    Your draft reports are awesome.
    if I wanted to criticize, I would say too many 3-0 drafts…
    Like seriously , 90% of your draft reports are 3-0.

  29. Pingback: MTGBattlefield

  30. Jeremy Mac Donald

    I’m fairly certain we are looking at this draft because its an unusual and interesting one (I get the impression that’s the reasoning behind all the drafts you choose to post – something unusual and interesting occurred).

    That said I’m unclear what the lesson is here. After reading the article and the comments I went back and reread your comments on your unusual P1P2 choice and they made a certain amount of sense but I still find myself looking for the Magic Equivalent of an Aseop in all this.

    For example I expected your deck to be heavy white with a splash of some other colour. That would make sense in terms of taking the Pillarfield Ox. The other choices where mana intensive so one could argue that the real choice was whether Vines (or one of the other alternatives in P1P2) was better then conquers pledge – the argument being that your not going to play a deck with awkward mana just because the cards happen to be good. Something that I suspect from reading your drafts (lots of cards that are often considered subpar – but your mana base almost always seems to be solid).

    But I’m really not sure if that is actually part of your strategy. An alternative could easily be that you were pretty sure you where going to try and force blue/white fliers the moment you picked up Conquers Pledge since that card made that archetype extremely good.

    The fact that your ultimate mana base seems to argue for this interpretation – 9 white and 9 blue mana sources is a recipe for the odd awkward draw.

    I guess what I’m saying is if your picks have become influenced by a choice to start trying to force a particular archetype I’d like to know that. or, as another example if your choices are based on considerations of your expected manabase I’d like to know that as well.

    Having read your explanation for the Pillarfield Ox yet again I see that you call it the ‘safe pick’. I guess I’m just hoping that you try and be a little more clear when you make controversial choices. These are the key points of the draft where your play differs from most of the readership and its here that most of us could probably learn something.

    I would have almost certainly taken Vines of the Vastwood there – apparently I’m wrong and I have an inkling idea on why (mana base issues) but I’m not by any means sure and getting information to improve my drafting is a big part of why I’m reading this article – to find out the why.

    Despite all my criticism this was an excellent article that clearly has me thinking and I thank you for it.

  31. It was a very interesting and difficult draft, thank you. Very much picking the best of several bad cards which is more subtle than choosing between good cards. As the card pool in general was weak one would expect weaker decks across the board.

    The only pick that I have a real problem with is Pack 1, pick 9, Crossroads over Shield Mates Blessing. I have slowly grown to appreciate the Blessing a lot. And while the crossroads saves 2 life with out taking up a spell spot, the Blessing is an effective combat trick that is particularly usefull against first strike and death touch, which comes up quite a bit in this format.

  32. @ Comment by Anonymous – March 8, 2010 @ 9:29 pm :
    @ Comment by Eklypze – March 9, 2010 @ 3:02 am :
    @ Comment by Huck101 – March 9, 2010 @ 5:58 am :
    re: print runs. When cards are manufactured, they are cut from a large sheet into a linear sequence known as the “print run”. The print run is then broken up into smaller segments of five-six cards. Each booster pack contains various complete/incomplete segments. Each common is has a place on the run and will appear twice on it. So in a pack that you open, you’ll see something to this affect for each rarity: [3D][3E][6A][6B][6C][6D][6E][1A][1B][1C][1D]

    @ Comment by Jethro – March 8, 2010 @ 10:41 pm :
    Passing the Windborne Charge and Kor Sanctifiers wasn’t ideal, but I prefer Welkin Tern over Kor Sanctifiers. Seeing the Tern fourth was a clear sign to me that Blue was where I wanted to be.

    @ Comment by Travis – March 8, 2010 @ 10:53 pm :
    I wasn’t going to pass Marshall’s Anthem for Fledgling Griffin and Mysteries of the Deep for garbage like Marsh Threader/Kitesail Apprentice. In each case, the more expensive card is just better. Even in a straight-up aggro deck, I wouldn’t take the cheaper cards.

    @ Comment by Rak – March 9, 2010 @ 12:03 am :
    I don’t undervalue Calcite Snapper. Trust me, I love myself some Horned Turtles. Perimeter Captain and especially Sejiri Merfolk are both just better than Calcite Snapper.

    @ Comment by Niksodus – March 9, 2010 @ 2:50 am :
    Like the article header says, this draft (and all that I play in) is an 8-4 queue. This particular one was:
    Event #: 1008541
    Time: 3/5/2010 10:00:07 AM
    –> DavidOchoa
    Dark Tyrael

    @ Comment by Someguy – March 9, 2010 @ 4:56 am :
    Conqueror’s Pledge is so much better than Disfigure. What percentage of the time have you seen the card played with the caster losing the game later? Personally, almost never.

    @ Comment by Adam – March 9, 2010 @ 5:20 am :
    I haven’t found it the case that there are more people drafting 3+ colors.

    @ Comment by hannes – March 9, 2010 @ 5:54 am :
    I thought it was worth staying in White longer than I normally would a color because Conqueror’s Pledge is so good.

    @ Comment by Aaron – March 9, 2010 @ 6:19 am :
    I think MTGSalvation’s forums has a thread where print runs are compiled each time a set comes out.

    @ Comment by Freshlop – March 9, 2010 @ 6:50 am :
    I’d always take Conqueror’s Pledge 1st over Disfigure unless I knew I was sitting at a table where the majority prefered White. The card is just too good.

    re: Ox. Yes, I’ll probably be sent to the madhouse eventually.

    @ Comment by DSA – March 9, 2010 @ 8:29 am :
    Milling yourself with Excavator is only right if you have Anthem in your hand. Otherwise it’s better to mill the opponent. I’d rather take the opportunity to possibly mill a card that I’m unable to deal with otherwise, like Valakut (which he had).

    @ Comment by MH – March 9, 2010 @ 1:18 pm :
    I’ll explain a bit more thoroughly regarding decisions like this from now on.

    @ Comment by Jeremy Mac Donald – March 9, 2010 @ 9:18 pm :
    The reasoning behind Pillarfield Ox versus the other cards is all about casting Conqueror’s Pledge. Vines, Hexmage, and Pyromancer make the mana awkward from the start and aren’t as alluring as Pledge. At this point, I know I’m going to try and play Pledge because it’s so good. The benefits of any of the other three cards don’t justify ruining my mana off the bat. I’d rather take White cards that I know I’ll end up playing so it will be easier to play Pledge. Basically, if I’m going to ruin my mana, it will need to be for a truly good card.

    I felt that by randomly picking a non-white card pick two wasn’t going to be as good as having Pledge and Ox. I wanted to wait until pick three/four/five to see what was the safest color to go into because I wasn’t necessarily going to get out of White even if I should have.

    My mana ended up being split down the middle despite not having many White spells because of Pledge in addition to playing Blue. Blue doesn’t have many double-Blue spells. As a result, you can get away with only playing 8 Islands in a deck with a slight Blue majority.

    Having your mana work out is very important. If a pick is close, I’ll lean towards which card makes it less awkward.

  33. Pledge over Disfigure is right. There’s no need to take Ox that early even though the pack really sucks for you. There are a ton of cards that can replace Ox easily that go very late, Guardian Zendikon and Battle Hurda go late and those cards give you diminishing returns, so the Ox is almost a blank pick. Pyromancer won’t be too hard on the mana like Hexmage or Vines, and it has the most potential, especially with Join the Ranks in town. It lets you completely change gears with the draft if you need to, can be played with Pledge some percentage of the time, and still encourages the guy on your left into other colors (he probably takes Disfigure then Hexmage.)

    I really disagree with pick 4 as I think Sanctifiers is the stronger card in most UW decks not to mention that you are still only white at this point. Even if you value Tern higher and Sanctifiers lower than I do, it still feels wrong to me.

    Nothing wrong with passing the Snappers, that guy doesn’t gain you life.
    Gratz on taking it down.

  34. Agreed, Pledge over Disfigure is right. And very impressed that you managed to 3-0 despite the mediocrity – although you had good draws, and opponents with slow decks and little removal.

    However, winning doesn’t make what you did right: like other commentators, I think you’d have ended up with a better, more consistent, less luck-dependent deck if you hadn’t been swayed by your opening pick. Red and black BOTH looked quite open, weirdly – there’s a playable in one or t’other in almost every pack – and while I can see why no one was drawn into black, the signals for red are there from the start. Rift/Ravager p1p2, Bushwhacker (ever played that kicked after Conqueror’s Pledge?), Ravager, Ravager, Inferno Trap, and then with all the Giants…

    OTOH, Ox rox, think it is a very underrated card (I quite often see it 15th), and hope this draft makes people give it more respect!

  35. Oh, and isn’t Walking Atlas an auto-include in a deck with Khalni Gem, 2 Mysteries of the Deep, Marshal’s Anthem, Pledge, and 18 land? Over, say, Twitch? There’s this guy that posts draft videos called LSV….

  36. Ochoa says in comments:
    “Milling yourself with Excavator is only right if you have Anthem in your hand. Otherwise it's better to mill the opponent. I'd rather take the opportunity to possibly mill a card that I'm unable to deal with otherwise, like Valakut (which he had).”

    I assume you are just lazily justifying your decisions post-hoc, but this is completely incorrect. While milling your opponent has an X% chance to bin their Valakut, for every non-valakut card you mill there is a corresponding X% increase in the probability that they will draw that Valakut from their now smaller card pool. Of course, this doesn’t hold if they are playing Expedition Map.

    Conversely, milling yourself has a chance to dump your Marshall’s Anthem into the GY, but when it doesn’t it increases the odds that you draw your Anthem AND gives you a chance at a wider assortment of creatures as resurrection targets.

    If you feared the Expedition Map, and didn’t have anything better to grab than that Ox or whatever, your decision was entirely reasonable. It’s still a non-obvious strategic play so you should probably offer an explanation in your write up.

    PS, very edifying draft — it really highlights what a different ballgame this is post-worldwake.

  37. Jeremy Mac Donald

    Comment by David Ochoa – March 10, 2010
    Thank you for the detailed response. I believe I understand your reasoning and it certainly provides me something to mull over and keep in mind in my future drafting.

  38. Jeremy Mac Donald

    Frig …. I wish there was an edit here.

    The above comment should be @Comment by David Ochoa, the way it is now it looks as if David Ochoa made the comment and that is not the case.

  39. @ Comment by InNeutral – March 11, 2010 @ 12:56 pm :

    There are a few things wrong with your stance:

    1. You only have to mill Valakut versus milling creatures in addition to drawing Marshall’s Anthem. It’s more likely to accomplish “do A” than “do A, then have gamestate X be true”.

    2. The natural progression of nearly every game of Limited will lead to having creatures in your Graveyard. Milling yourself with Halamar Excavator in order to “get creatures into your bin/make Anthem better” is not very well thought out. Think about it. Do you honestly believe that you won’t have at least one creature to bring back when you have six mana in play? What about two creatures and eight mana?

    There really isn’t more for me to say.

  40. My thinking on milling some cards in a situation where you’re near-certain the game won’t end by decking is that in a situation where neither deck uses the graveyard, it’s pretty neutral. In a game that’s going to last N more turns, I’d think you’d have roughly equal odds of shifting their deck (or yours) into a situation where their next N cards are more powerful overall, or one where they are less powerful. (With some chance in the middle of the draws being about equally good either way.)

    Against a deck with unearth, I wouldn’t want to mill the opponent, as they might stand to gain from me doing so. If I had unearth, I’d consider milling myself.

    With an Anthem in the deck, surely there’s a small possibility you might have one creature in the graveyard in that 8 mana situation, and wish you had two. Even if it only happens in one or two games out of 100. What if a rigorous mathematical analysis were to show that milling your opponent leaves you better off 40% of the time, worse off 40% of the time, and neutral 20%… But milling yourself was 41% better off, 39% worse off, 20% neutral? Just to make up numbers out of the air.

    Wouldn’t even that tiny edge make milling yourself the theoretically better play?

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