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According to Webster – Zendikar-Worldwake Draft #3

Pack 1 pick 1:

 

Sphinx of Lost Truths is good, but not on the level of Marsh Casualties. A one-sided wrath is simply unfair.

My pick: Marsh Casualties

Pack 1 pick 2:

 

This is quite a powerful pack. Unfortunately the best cards are all non-black. Burst Lightning is the best by a fair margin. The decision to make is whether you want to risk taking a weaker Black card (Adventuring Gear or Giant Scorpion) versus a more powerful non-Black one (Burst Lightning, Punishing Fire, or even Steppe Lynx). Looking back at last pack, we passed Sphinx of Lost Truths, Windborne Charge, along with a bunch of moderately playable cards. There wasn’t much Black left over which means that passing the Giant Scorpion isn’t a big deal; it won’t be looked at as a sign that Black is open. Additionally, the Blue/White options in this pack aren’t as good as the two removal spells. Adventuring Gear is good, but has a high level of variance; it sucks late-game and is awesome early game. Burst Lightning is more consistent.

My pick: Burst Lightning

Pack 1 pick 3:

 

Disfigure third is usually a good sign that Black is open. The rest of the pack is filled with chaff. Besides the Disfigure, there isn’t much that indicates which color is the best to be in because Pillarfield Ox, Slaughter Cry, Cancel, and Bog Tatters don’t stand out.

My pick: Disfigure

Pack 1 pick 4:

 

Shatterskull Giant is on-par/slightly better than Giant Scorpion. Shatterskull Giant is better at attacking, but more expensive and color-intensive. In close decisions, it’s better to stick with the color that is open/cheaper card/what compliments the rest of the deck. Black is almost certainly open while we’re less certain about Red.

My pick: Giant Scorpion

Pack 1 pick 5:

 

Zektar Shrine Expedition, Ruinous Minotaur, and Hagra Diabolist are all fine; they’re all mediocre. The Ally has the most potential because it’s early in the draft. We could pick up some Pumas, Brigands, and Sell-Swords later on which would make it above average.

My pick: Hagra Diabolist

Pack 1 pick 6:

 

Vampire Lacerator is the best choice. Feast of Blood is better if the deck could support it; generally it’s difficult to get enough Vampires to be able to play it. It’s too early in the draft to pass up Vampire Lacerator, a decent card that we know we’ll play almost all of the time, for a Feast in Blood which we might not even get to play at all.

My pick: Vampire Lacerator

Pack 1 pick 7:

 

Bloodchief Ascension has never impressed me. It takes a while to get active and doesn’t necessarily provide an immediate benefit depending on what the two decks look like. If your deck doesn’t pressure the opponent enough, then it’s difficult to leverage the benefits of the Ascension. Soul Stair Expedition is similar, but is more likely to be good because it doesn’t need to be in an aggressive deck to be good. Bloodchief Ascension requires you to hit the opponent for two three times and then trade creatures with the opponent to be good whereas Soul Stair Expedition only requires that you trade creatures.

My pick: Soul Stair Expedition

Pack 1 pick 8:

 

There hasn’t been much Red floating to us in the last few packs while Blue and White has continued. We could take Paralyzing Grasp or Pillarfield Ox in case Red is indeed being cut or simply take Grim Discovery. Grim Discovery isn’t usually very good unless you’ve got cards like fetchlands, Ruinous Minotaur, Magma Rift, or Reckless Scholar. A deck needs to have a lot of good creatures for Raise Dead to be good enough to play. However, Blue and White don’t seem like options for pack two because of what we passed in the first few packs.

My pick: Grim Discovery

Pack 1 pick 9:

 

It’s quite surprising to see Windborne Charge wheel. It would be good in our deck, though it could make the mana a bit awkward. There hasn’t been an indication of White being open and Red not other than the Pillarfield Ox from last pack. Goblin Bushwhacker is slightly similar to Windborne Charge in the sense that it’s a double-color spell that adds damage when attacking, but it’s harder to use and not as good. Goblin Bushwhacker would be better to take because we already have a Burst Lightning.

In retrospect, it was probably better to hedge our bets and take the Windborne Charge. It’s better than Goblin Bushwhacker and a good sign that White was open, or at least underdrafted in pack one. Having at least one good card in White and Red would have made it easier to go with the flow in the following packs.

My pick: Goblin Bushwhacker

Pack 1 pick 10:

 

It’s not surprising to see good cards still left in this pack considering what was in it when we saw it the first time. What is worth noting is that when we passed the pack the only Black card in the pack was Giant Scorpion.

My pick: Giant Scorpion

Pack 1 pick 11:

 

My pick: Cobra Trap

Pack 1 pick 12:

 

My pick: Noble Vestige

Pack 1 pick 13:

 

My pick: Scythe Tiger

Pack 1 pick 14:

 

My pick: Soaring Seacliff

Pack 1 pick 15:

 

Plains 

Pack one was good, though I’m concerned about Red. We passed a moderate amount in the early packs and didn’t see much of it return which leads me to think that pack two won’t be kind to us. However, Black should be good.

Pack 2 pick 1:

 

There isn’t much that compares to Disfigure. Kor Skyfisher is very close, but not really a consideration when looking at our heavy-Black deck that is already splashing a Burst Lightning. It would be better to pass the White card.

My pick: Disfigure

Pack 2 pick 2:

 

If the packs continue to churn out the Black cards to us, going mono won’t be a problem. At that point Crypt Ripper becomes good, although it’s more of a late-game card. Alternatively, Goblin Shortcutter is an excellent two-drop for a Black/Red version. It seems more likely that we’ll end up heavy-Black opposed to mono-Black so we can play the six-seven decent red cards that we end up with.

My pick: Goblin Shortcutter

Pack 2 pick 3:

 

There are very few options here. A second Sour Stair Expedition isn’t very thrilling considering the lack of CIP effects that our creatures have. Spire Barrage and Molten Ravager both don’t function well outside of heavy-Red decks. Spire Barrage is going to be more problematic for us while Molten Ravager won’t be because of the removal/Giant Scorpions that we have.

My pick: Spire Barrage

Pack 2 pick 4:

 

Magma Rift and Mark of Mutiny are both undervalued cards in aggressive decks. However, Mind Sludge is a better choice because it creates a vise between it and Marsh Casualties. Being able to wrath someone on multiple fronts greatly hinders their ability to play around one specific card. Each card will keep them off balance from the other forcing them to make suboptimal decisions.

My pick: Mind Sludge

Pack 2 pick 5:

 

Bog Tatters is filler against most decks whereas Heartstabber Mosquito is decent. There are usually other ways to spend your mana while a deck ramps up to seven mana and kicks the Mosquito.

My pick: Heartstabber Mosquito

Pack 2 pick 6:

 

Highland Berserker would work fine with the Hagra Diabolist, but isn’t as good as Guul Draz Vampire (the Vampire being a one-mana Bladetusk Boar that requires some hoop-jumping to get it to that point).

My pick: Guul Draz Vampire

Pack 2 pick 7:

 

Teetering Peaks, Goblin War Paint, and Hagra Crocodile are filler cards compared to Blood Seeker. Teetering Peaks gets worse with the addition of Worldwake because it’s fighting with Smoldering Spires for the few slots of tapped lands that a deck can play. Blood Seeker tends to do more damage than Teetering Peaks and can create situations where the opponent is locked out from summoning creatures. For example, if they’re at eleven and you have a Guul Draz Vampire that they can’t deal with, it’s pretty insane.

My pick: Blood Seeker

Pack 2 pick 8:

 

Quest for the Gravelord is hit or miss, especially when you consider the number of Kor Sanctifiers that we’ve seen. Giant Scorpion is going to be more consistent.

My pick: Giant Scorpion

Pack 2 pick 9:

 

Sadistic Sacrament would make our deck totally unfair. A deck can only have so many three-for-ones and still be fun to play against”¦

My pick: Teetering Peaks

Pack 2 pick 10:

 

My pick: Mindless Null

Pack 2 pick 11:

 

My pick: Grim Discovery

Pack 2 pick 12:

 

My pick: Zendikar Farguide

Pack 2 pick 13:

 

My pick: Spell Pierce

Pack 2 pick 14:

 

My pick: Quest for Pure Flame

Pack 2 pick 15:

 

Island 

Pack two was ok, but not as good as pack one. Red didn’t seem to be an option, though we may be able to get away playing heavy Black with a small Red splash.

Pack 3 pick 1:

 

Cunning Sparkmage is awesome. It kills all the X/1 creatures and makes your two-power creatures trade with all the X/3 creatures.

My pick: Cunning Sparkmage

Pack 3 pick 2:

 

Tomb Hex is the easy pick.

My pick: Tomb Hex

Pack 3 pick 3:

 

Death’s Shadow is quite good. It’s usually played as a 1/1-5/5 depending on the opposing deck; at that point most decks won’t be able to attack you. However, in a heavy-Black deck, Bloodhusk Ritualist is going to be better/more consistent. Considering the three Giant Scorpions in the deck, it won’t be difficult to get to the point of playing this guy and getting two/three cards from the opponent’s hand.

My pick: Bloodhusk Ritualist

Pack 3 pick 4:

 

There’s nothing good here. Akoum Battlesinger is unplayable with the number of Allies we have. Dead Reckoning doesn’t do much with only one/two-power creatures. Brink of Disaster isn’t playable unless you’ve got no outs against a bomb like Hellkite Charger. Lightkeeper of Emeria is the best card in the pack, even though we won’t end up playing it.

My pick: Lightkeeper of Emeria

Pack 3 pick 5:

 

The deck needs more creatures so we can’t afford to take the Smoldering Spires.

My pick: Quag Vampires

Pack 3 pick 6:

 

Hedron Rover is better at attacking than Corrupted Zendikon when you’re able to make land drops. However, in less-than-ideal situations, Corrupted Zendikon is better because it’s more consistent and cheaper. Corrupted Zendikon always attacks and blocks for three whereas Hedron Rover is four and two respectively. On average, Hedron Rover will attack for two as many times as it would be able to attack for four. The Zendikon is more vulnerable to bounce and cards like Paralyzing Grasp/Iona’s Judgment than Hedron Rover, but its consistency on offense/defense trumps that.

My pick: Corrupted Zendikon

Pack 3 pick 7:

 

Skitter of Lizards is unlikely to be larger than a 2/2 with our Black-heavy manabase. Making it a 3/3 would be very difficult. Kitesail is a good way of forcing through damage when the board gets cluttered up by our Giant Scorpions.

My pick: Kitesail

Pack 3 pick 8:

 

My pick: Bloodhusk Ritualist

Pack 3 pick 9:

 

My pick: Ruthless Cullblade

Pack 3 pick 10:

 

My pick: Ruin Ghost

Pack 3 pick 11:

 

My pick: Wind Zendikon

Pack 3 pick 12:

 

My pick: Dead Reckoning

Pack 3 pick 13:

 

My pick: Sejiri Merfolk

Pack 3 pick 14:

 

My pick: Dispel

Pack 3 pick 15:

 

Plains 

The deck ends up being far more controlling than when envisioned at the start of the draft. Marsh Casualties, three Mind Sludges (effectively), Cunning Sparkmage, three Giant Scorpions, combines with a robust removal suite to form an above-average deck.

Deck:

Round 1:

Game 1:

We win the roll and choose to play first. We keep our hand (2 Swamp, Ruthless Cullblade, Bloodhusk Ritualist, Giant Scorpion, Mind Sludge, and Burst Lightning) as does Evil. Leading off the game, we play a Swamp. Evil chooses a more elevating road with a Jwar Isle Refuge [E: 21]. [d: Disfigure] However, we are ready to take first blood by playing a Swamp and summoning the Ruthless Cullblade. Evil follows suit by playing a Swamp and summoning a Ruthless Cullblade of his own. [d: Blood Seeker] A land would have been better for us. However, at least we can summon the [card]Blood Seeker[/card]. We don’t have enough of a board position to warrant wasting the Disfigure on a do-nothing 2/1.

Evil plays an Island and summons an Umara Raptor with the Blood Seeker stealing a life from Evil in the process [E: 20]. [d: Bloodhusk Ritualist] Our hand is clogged with gas while we are unable to find the lands necessary to get our monster-truck-of-a-deck rolling. However, we still need to kill the Umara Raptor before it gets out of hand; Disfigure dispatches the flying Ally. Afterwards, we attack with the Blood Seeker. Evil blocks with the Cullblade.

Evil plays a Swamp and summons a Crypt Ripper. The Shade can’t attack safely past our Cullblade yet so Evil passes the turn. [d: Goblin Shortcutter] Our lack of land is becoming a problem now. We can’t do anything except attack with the Cullblade [E: 18] and pass. Evil plays a Swamp and attacks with his Shade. He pumps it three times [G: 15] and passes. [d: Heartstabber Mosquito] We repeat our attack [E: 16] and pass. Evil kills the Cullblade during our end step with Disfigure.

Evil plays an Island and attacks again with the Crypt Ripper. He only pumps it twice [G: 11] and passes the turn which indicates Summoner’s Bane. [d: Mountain] The land is too late to the party. We’re so far behind that we can’t play around anything. After playing the Mountain we summon the Giant Scorpion. Evil casts Summoner’s Bane. We’re effectively dead.

Sideboard: nothing.

Game 2:

We choose to play first again and keep another two-lander (2 Swamp, Guul Draz Vampire, Blood Seeker, Goblin Shortcutter, Giant Scorpion, and Soul Stair Expedition). Evil keeps his hand as well. After playing a Swamp, we summon the Guul Draz Vampire. Evil leads off with his Jwar Isle Refuge as he did in game one [E: 21]. [d: Giant Scorpion] However, our Vampire is ready to take away the life he so recently gained [E: 20]. Then we play the last Swamp and summon the Blood Seeker. Evil plays an Island and summons his Ruthless Cullblade while our Blood Seeker drains his life away [E: 19].

[d: Swamp] We attack with the Guul Draz Vampire [E: 18], play the Swamp, and summon one of the two Giant Scorpions. Evil simply plays a Swamp and passes the turn back. [d: Corrupted Zendikon] We attack with the Guul Draz Vampire and Giant Scorpion, unafraid of Disfigure. Evil has nothing and takes the hit [E: 16]. Then we summon the other Giant Scorpion. Evil plays a Swamp and summons a Windrider Eel as the Blood Seeker continues to chip away at his life total [E: 15].

[d: Tomb Hex] We play Corrupted Zendikon to make our Swamp more threatening and attack with it as well as the two Scorpions. Evil doesn’t block anything [E: 10]. Evil plays an Island and attacks with his Windrider Eel [G: 16]. Then he sets us back on multiple fronts by playing Paralyzing Grasp on our animated Swamp. [d: Swamp] It’s time to strike. We play the Swamp and kill Evil’s Cullblade with the Tomb Hex. The path is cleared for our army to attack unimpeded [E: 4]. Evil concedes on his turn.

Sideboard: nothing.

Game 3:

Evil decides to play first in the final game of the match. He keeps his hand while we do the same (2 Mountain, 2 Swamp, Cunning Sparkmage, Bloodhusk Ritualist, and Marsh Casualties). Jwar Isle Refuge starts the game off on Evil’s side [E: 21] [d: Swamp] while we simply play a Swamp. Evil doesn’t have Ruthless Cullblade this time. Instead, he plays a Swamp and forges a Blazing Torch. [d: Swamp] We simply play a second Swamp and pass back.

Evil takes action and summons a Tideforce Elemental after playing an Island. [d: Vampire Lacerator] We play a Mountain and summon the Cunning Sparkmage. The hasty pinger quickly dispatches the Elemental. Evil plays an Island and kills the Sparkmage with a Disfigure. Then he summons a Reckless Scholar. [d: Kitesail] We play a Swamp and summon the Bloodhusk Ritualist, kicked once. Evil discards a second Disfigure.

Evil plays a Swamp and summons a Crypt Ripper with the Jwar Isle Refuge untapped. He attacks past our Ritualist but doesn’t pump [G: 18]. Evil passes with no cards. [d: Mountain] We forge the Kitesail, equip it to the Ritualist, and attack with it [E: 18]. Then we play a Swamp and summon the Vampire Lacerator. Evil equips the Blazing Torch to the Crypt Ripper and attacks with it and the Reckless Scholar [G: 14]. Then he summons a Stonework Puma.

The Lacerator drains us [G: 13]. [d: Quag Vampires] We play a Mountain and cast Marsh Casualties with kicker. Evil pumps his Shade to save it while his Stonework Puma and Reckless Scholar are consumed by the deadly Swamp. Then we attack with the two Vampires [E: 13] and pass. Evil plays a Swamp and attacks with the Crypt Ripper, pumping it four times [G: 7]. The Lacerator drains us again [G: 6]. [d: Swamp] We can’t stop the Crypt Ripper because of the Blazing Torch. We lose.

Happy Drafting.

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