Zendikar-Worldwake Draft #4
Pack 1 pick 1:
Kalitas is a fatty with an awesome ability. If the format were slower, he’d get the nod over Burst Lightning and Adventuring Gear. Big dragons like Sphinx of Jwar Isle and Hellkite Charger are different because they fly and have better attributes (untargetable, haste, relentless assault). Kalitas dumps you into drafting a controlling strategy that needs a bunch of defensive cards to be able to take advantage of his ability. Burst Lightning is removal and more consistent than Adventuring Gear. Adventuring Gear puts you into a similar situation to Kalitas, but aggro. It’s easier to draft an aggressive deck than a controlling one. Burst Lightning doesn’t commit you to any specific strategy; it’s open-ended.
My pick: Burst Lightning
Pack 1 pick 2:
The Red cards are filler; Molten Ravager, Ruinous Minotaur, and Stonework Puma don’t offer much power. Baloth Woodcrasher and Vines of Vastwood are the most powerful cards. The Baloth is the better of the two because it has such an immediate impact on the board that is continuous. Vines of Vastwood is going to blow out the opponent if they go to double-block in combat or use a removal spell. Baloth Woodcrasher is so big; it’s common that at least three creatures are needed to step in front of it to kill it. Additionally, it’s very hard to race the Baloth because it has Trample. Vines of Vastwood is going to be better in situations where the opponent has removal, but it’s more common that they’ll just have creatures.
My pick: Baloth Woodcrasher
Pack 1 pick 3:
Goblin Guide is quite good. All of my turn-four kills in Zendikar Limited have involved a turn-one Goblin Guide. Geyser Glider is also decent, but not as good as a second Baloth Woodcrasher; both are often unblockable, but the Baloth has the ability to hit twice as hard (50% harder on average). Goblin Guide is best in an aggressive deck that can kill the opponent before the card-disadvantage associated with it catches up to it. In an average/midrange/slow deck, Goblin Guide will often be a creature that you trade away with something that’s attacking you.
My pick: Baloth Woodcrasher
Pack 1 pick 4:
Electropotence is very slow. If a game stalls out, then it can have a moderate effect on the board. However, most games will be over before the enchantment can get rolling. Savage Silhouette is another option at the other end of the spectrum. It’s become less effective with the addition of Worldwake because of Tomb Hex and Urge to Feed. Before Worldwake, it was difficult for non-Blue/White decks to deal with a creature that had Savage Silhouette strapped to it. That’s not to say the card is unplayable now; it’s fine. Stonework Puma is the best choice. It blocks Intimidate creatures and bolsters any Allies that we pick up later on.
My pick: Stonework Puma
Pack 1 pick 5:
This pack is still quite powerful considering four cards have been taken out of it already. Unfortunately there aren’t any awesome Red cards; this doesn’t bode well for the Burst Lightning in our pool. Adventuring Gear isn’t usually the best in Green because the creature curve increases steadily as opposed to White and Black where there are a plethora of two-drops. Oran-Rief Survivalist is good enough to take over Kor Hookmaster and Windborne Charge because we shouldn’t give up on Red just yet.
My pick: Oran-Rief Survivalist
Pack 1 pick 6:
Unstable Footing doesn’t fit well into a Green deck because its creatures are usually big enough to not need additional late-game support. Seismic Shudder doesn’t kill many creatures besides Arbor Elf and Turntimber Basilisk which makes it a good card to help against faster decks. However, it’s easy to pick up a Seismic Shudder later on. Goblin Ruinblaster is the best because it’s the only card that would make it to the maindeck even though it’s more of a filler card.
My pick: Goblin Ruinblaster
Pack 1 pick 7:
Predatory Urge often falls into the category of bad cards because it’s a creature enchantment; many people believe that creature enchantments are bad because they open up the opportunity of being two-for-one’d by a removal spell. However, that generalization doesn’t always apply. If you’re able to connect with Predatory Urge just once, then a removal spell becomes an even trade. Green creatures are usually big enough to survive the fight. An immediate response is necessary from the opponent to not fall behind and lose to your [card]Tracker[/card].
My pick: Predatory Urge
Pack 1 pick 8:
Vines of Vastwood is the easy pick here.
My pick: [draft]Vines of Vastwood[/draft]
Pack 1 pick 9:
My pick: Baloth Cage Trap
Pack 1 pick 10:
My pick: Paralyzing Grasp
Pack 1 pick 11:
My pick: Explorers Scope
Pack 1 pick 12:
My pick: Spell Pierce
Pack 1 pick 13:
My pick: Trapmakers Snare
Pack 1 pick 14:
My pick: Quest for Ancient Secrets
Pack 1 pick 15:
Green was a good color to fall in to. Our second color is still a bit of a mystery. It’s true that we have the Burst Lightning that we took first. However, there wasn’t much Red after pick three and its abundance of choices. White also didn’t seem like it was open despite having a Kor Hookmaster and Windborne Charge in pick five. Blue offered the longest lasting support with a Sky Ruin Drake, Paralyzing Grasp, and Spreading Seas that wheeled with not much remaining. I imagine that Blue (Red to a lesser extent) will be the option for pack two because we passed more Black and White than the other colors.
Pack 2 pick 1:
Mold Shambler is a good utility creature similar to Kor Sanctifiers. However, Nissa’s Chosen is a better option because it moats so many of the format’s two/three-drops and is a two-drop itself; its double-green mana-cost doesn’t appear like it will be an issue because the deck is shaping up to be heavy Green. The Baloth Cage Trap from the first pack we opened wheeled; hopefully the Mold Shambler does as well.
My pick: Nissas Chosen
Pack 2 pick 2:
Murasa Pyromancer and Oran-Rief Recluse are the two options. We already have an Oran-Rief Survivalist and Stonework Puma, so it’s not like the Pyromancer wouldn’t be fighting without the support of other Allies. The main problems with the Pyromancer are that he’s slow; six mana is a lot considering the two Baloth Woodcrashers that we already have. The Pyromancer also usually needs another Ally in play to reliably kill something. In my experience, the package rarely comes together like it’s supposed to. You need to draw your Allies at the right times and have them survive before if you were forced to play them earlier. There are many hoops to jump through for such a small benefit. Oran-Rief Recluse functions similarly to Murasa Pyromancer with regards to flyers; six mana and it kills something. However, there are a few differences. The Recluse can be summoned earlier to act as a roadblock if you’re on the draw against multiple Welkin Terns. It doesn’t screw with the deck’s mana. Double-Red at six mana shouldn’t require more than seven/eight Red sources; that won’t interfere too much with being able to also summon Nissa’s Chosen on turn two. Green’s biggest problem is that it’s slower than the other colors. Murasa Pyromancer doesn’t help that problem whereas Oran-Rief Recluse can.
My pick: Oran-Rief Recluse
Pack 2 pick 3:
Shatterskull Giant would make the deck’s mana unwieldy. Tajuru Archer is weak enough to wheel. Vines of Vastwood is better than Primal Bellow because it protects our monsters (two Baloth Woodcrasher/Predatory Urge) from removal spells in addition to being a combat trick. Primal Bellow is more powerful offensively when compared to Vines in a mono-Green deck; in two-color decks they’re roughly the same. Being able to protect against removal spells is too important.
My pick: Vines of Vastwood
Pack 2 pick 4:
There are a few options here. Magma Rift is an effective removal spell in terms of damage. However, it’s not going to function well in this deck because of the high end of the curve. Magma Rift gets better as the lands that are in play become less useful. With all the expensive spells in this deck, the necessity of having a lot of lands in play lasts longer than compared with non-Green decks. If we had taken the Murasa Pyromancer, then taking the Tuktuk Grunts here would be more appealing. However, without many reasons to play a five-mana 3/3, it would be better to pass the Ally in favor of the last option: Harrow. Harrow has multiple functions in the deck. 1. It accelerates to six to summon Baloth Woodcrasher. 2. It allows us to splash Red with greater ease, and thus run less Mountains. 3. It serves as a combat trick with Baloth Woodcrasher in play.
My pick: Harrow
pack 2 pick 5:
It’s unlikely that Predatory Urge will wheel with three cards left in the pack. Grazing Gladehart it a better choice because it makes racing more difficult for the opponent while not putting you in the position of being two-for-oned by removal. It’s much easier to fit Gladehart somewhere into your curve rather than Predatory Urge which requires a creature to be in play that’s both larger than the opposing creatures and not attacking.
My pick: Grazing Gladehart
Pack 2 pick 6:
There isn’t anything that the deck really wants. Lavaball Trap is the most powerful card that would wreck us.
My pick: Lavaball Trap
Pack 2 pick 7:
Kazandu Refuge will help fix the deck’s mana.
My pick: Kazandu Refuge
Pack 2 pick 8:
Slaughter Cry is good with creatures that require being double-blocked to kill. However, we already have two Vines of Vastwood to get the job done. A second Kazandu Refuge would be more helpful.
My pick: Kazandu Refuge
Pack 2 pick 9:
My pick: Savage Silhouette
Pack 2 pick 10:
My pick: Joraga Bard
Pack 2 pick 11:
My pick: Spell Pierce
My pick: Emeria, the Sky Ruin
Pack 2 pick 13:
My pick: Turntimber Grove
Pack 2 pick 14:
My pick: Landbind Ritual
Pack 2 pick 15:
The second pack was less exciting than the first. Unfortunately, most of the Green dried up at the same time that the Red stopped flowing. We passed up on some Allies to go with the Stonework Puma and Oran-Rief Survivalist, but they wouldn’t have helped much. Hopefully Worldwake will be as good as pack one was.
Pack 3 pick 1:
Cunning Sparkmage is the best card. There are so many X/1 creatures in the format. A hasted source of constant removal should never be underestimated.
My pick: Cunning Sparkmage
Pack 3 pick 2:
Unfortunately, trying to support Archon of Redemption along with Burst Lightning and Cunning Sparkmage will be difficult to say the least. Graypelt Hunter is the next best choice.
My pick: Graypelt Hunter
Pack 3 pick 3:
Quicksand is fine, though it doesn’t come close to Bestial Menace (one of the more unfair Green cards to play for five mana). Bestial Menace is almost always a two-for-one.
My pick: Bestial Menace
Pack 3 pick 4:
There’s not much to take here. Hedron Rover is fine. I took Join the Ranks because I felt as though the deck didn’t need another four-drop that can’t block compared to taking away one of the better tricks that the Ally deck can have.
My pick: Join the Ranks
Pack 3 pick 5:
Leatherback Baloth is huge and only three mana.
My pick: Leatherback Baloth
Pack 3 pick 6:
A deck would need to have multiple problematic flyers to board Slingbow Trap in, especially if the opponent isn’t playing with Swamps. Joraga Warcaller is more of a filler card in this deck, but has a minor amount of synergy with the Nissa’s Chosen and Joraga Bard in the deck.
My pick: Joraga Warcaller
Pack 3 pick 7:
My pick: Vastwood Zendikon
Pack 3 pick 8:
My pick: Vastwood Zendikon
Pack 3 pick 9:
My pick: Arbor Elf
Pack 3 pick 10:
My pick: Walking Atlas
Pack 3 pick 11:
My pick: Feral Contest
Pack 3 pick 12:
My pick: Feral Contest
Pack 3 pick 13:
My pick: Cosis Ravager
Pack 3 pick 14:
My pick: Twitch
Pack 3 pick 15:
The draft could have gone better. After looking at all of the picks, it becomes apparent of how much higher this deck’s mana curve is compared to an average green deck. There are a lot more five/six-mana spells than normal; compromises will have to be made as a result of that. It was difficult to identify the appropriate second color to be in. At first it seemed like Red was going to be fine. However, most of the Red came in packs where the Green picks seemed a bit stronger. Perhaps it would have been better to change some of them because of the apparent unpopularity of Green in pack one; it might have been safe to take some Red cards because no one would take the Green ones.
There are a few ways to build the deck with regards to the last few slots. You’ll notice that in the list I used that Savage Silhouette, Feral Contest, both Vastwood Zendikons, and Turntimber Grove are in the sideboard with Walking Atlas, Joraga Bard, and Predatory Urge in the maindeck.
There is a high number of five/six mana spells in the deck (1 Baloth Cage Trap, 1 Bestial Menace, and 2 Baloth Woodcrashers). With that many expensive spells, I decided to include Walking Atlas for a few reasons: 1. It accelerates you to these expensive powerful spells and 2. It functions as a trick with the Baloth Woodcrashers, being able to trigger them multiple times when attacking and on defense when blocking/playing around removal like Tomb Hex/Magma Rift.
The amount of late-game spells made me want to include spells that would allow me to survive to that point in the game and win; thus Joraga Bard got the nod over cards like Vastwood Zendikon and Savage Silhouette (I normally like Savage Silhouette but felt it to be excessive when taking the Feral Contest and Predatory Urge into consideration. I don’t want to put a lot of cards into my deck that require me to play around a trick from the opponent).
Joraga Warcaller isn’t very impressive at any point in the curve; a three-mana 2/2/five-mana 3/3 doesn’t raise any eyebrows especially when considering that this deck is playing Forests. However, it does have minor synergy with a few other creatures in the deck (Arbor Elf, Nissa’s Chosen, and Joraga Bard). The free synergy makes Joraga Warcaller a bit more attractive. It also fits into the early part of the curve where it can be traded away for something to drag out the game.
I’ve seen very few people play Predatory Urge. I think it’s a bit underrated. When you consider that the deck also has two Vines of Vastwood to protect the Tracker, then putting yourself of being two-for-oned initially doesn’t become as bad.
We win the roll and choose to play first. Our hand is quite slow, even when taking into consideration that we’re on the play. We decide to keep it and gamble that we’ll draw lands (3 Forest, Graypelt Hunter, Bestial Menace, Baloth Woodcrasher, and Feral Contest). Evil keeps his hand as well. We play a Forest while Evil plays a Plains and summons a Hada Freeblade. This isn’t quite the start that we were hoping for. [d: Burst Lightning] We play a second Forest and pass while Evil plays a second Plains, attacks with the Freeblade [G: 19], and forges a Kitesail.
[d: Cunning Sparkmage] We can only play a Forest and pass the turn; our Red cards looking back at us mockingly: “Should have played a sixth Red source brah!”
Evil plays a Swamp, equips the Freeblade and attacks in the air [G: 17]. Thankfully his follow-up to his first turn hasn’t been very good. [d: Walking Atlas] Our draws have been pretty lacking here, which is unfortunate. The deck isn’t _THAT_ bad, though from the other side it probably looks abysmal. We summon the Walking Atlas.
Evil plays another Plains, attacks with the Freeblade [G: 15] and passes with four mana open. If he had Join the Ranks, he would have played it before damage. [d: Leatherback Baloth] We can freely attack with the Walking Atlas [E: 19] and summon the Leatherback Baloth afterwards. Had it. Evil attacks again with his airborne Freeblade [G: 13]. Afterwards, he plays a Plains and summons a Shepherd of the Lost. It looks like we need to start drawing some action, and soon.
[d: Forest] We play the Forest and use Feral Contest to force Evil’s Shepherd of the Lost duel our Leatherback Baloth. We attack with it and the Walking Archive [E: 18] and pass the turn after watching Evil’s Angel get run over. Evil finds a second Swamp and kills the Leatherback Baloth with Hideous End [G: 11]. Then he attacks us with the Freeblade [G: 9]. [d: Joraga Bard] We attack with the Walking Archive [E: 17] and summon the Graypelt Hunter.
Evil attacks with the Freeblade [G: 7], summons a Bog Tatters, and equips it with the Kitesail. [d: Forest] We attack with both of our creatures. There’s no way Evil will block with his Tatters; he doesn’t [E: 13]. Then we pay the Forest and cast Bestial Menace. However, Evil is ready with Windborne Charge on his turn to ensure we don’t get another.
We choose to play first again and see a hand that’s much easier to mulligan (Forest, Joraga Warcaller, Cunning Sparkmage, Oran-Rief Recluse, Vines of Vastwood, and Predatory Urge). Our hand of six is “better” (4 Forest, Arbor Elf, and Joraga Bard). Evil keeps his hand of seven. We play a Forest and summon the Arbor Elf while Evil plays a Swamp and casts a Soul Stair Expedition. [d: Forest] We play a Forest and attack with the Elf [E: 19]. Evil plays a Plains [Soul Stair: 1] and casts an Ondu Cleric [E: 20]. [d: Harrow] We play a Forest and summon the Joraga Bard.
Evil plays a Plains [Soul Stair: 2] and summons a second Ondu Cleric [E: 24]. This could be a long game”¦ [d: Joraga Warcaller] We play a Forest and summon the Joraga Warcaller [Multikicker: 2]. Then we attack with our invigorated Bard [E: 21]. Evil plays a third Plains [Soul Stair: 3] and summons a Hada Freeblade [E: 27]. [d: Forest] We could have played Harrow during our Upkeep, however we wouldn’t be able to play a Baloth Woodcrasher if we drew one. Additionally, if we did draw one, having the Harrow in hand would have been much better. As is, we have few options. We play a Forest and attack with the Arbor Elf and Joraga Bard [E: 21].
Evil plays a Swamp and summons Shepherd of the Lost. We cast Harrow during his End Phase to fetch out two Mountains. [d: Predatory Urge] We strap on the Urge to the Joraga Bard and let him duel Evil’s Shepherd. Then we attack with the Arbor Elf [E: 18]. Evil summons a third Ondu Cleric [E: 30] and then kills the Bard with Hideous End [G: 18]. [d: Forest] We decide not to attack and pass without playing a land.
Evil summons a Bog Tatters and passes the turn. [d: Forest] We play a Forest and pass. Evil summons a Nimana Sell-Sword [E: 45] and attacks with the Hada Freeblade [3/4] and the Bog Tatters. We trade our Arbor Elf for the Wraith [G: 15]. [d: Baloth Cage Trap] We pass the turn with no plays. Evil attacks with everything [Freeblade, Sell-Sword, and three Ondu Clerics]. We cast the Baloth Cage Trap before blockers and ambush his Freeblade. The Joraga Warcaller also blocks his Sell-Sword. Silently we wish he has Join the Ranks to put us out of our misery. Sadly, he doesn’t and the game continues G: 12]. Evil sacrifices his Soul Stair Expedition to get back the Sell-Sword and Shepherd. He promptly summons the Angel and passes.
[d: Oran-Rief Survivalist] We attack with the Baloth [E: 41] and summon the Survivalist. Evil attacks with the Shepherd [G: 9] and summons the Sell-Sword again [E: 53]. [d: Kazandu Refuge] We play the Refuge [G: 10] and pass. Evil attacks in the air again with his Shepherd [G: 7] and has nothing more. [d: Walking Atlas] These draws have been abysmal. We summon the Atlas and pass. Evil attacks with the Shepherd [G: 4] and passes. [d: Cunning Sparkmage] Finally, we find more action. However, we’re drawing on slim odds thanks to the Shepherd. We summon the Sparkmage and pass. Evil attacks with the Shepherd [G: 1] and passes. We kill an Ondu Cleric during his end phase. [d: Forest] Dead at last!