According to Webster – M10 Draft #6

Pack 1 pick 1:


Fireball is the best card by a fair margin. It’s very versatile, being able to kill multiple small creatures, one large creature, or end the game when you aim nine points of damage at the opponent’s face. Sign in Blood is the next best card trailing far behind Fireball.

My pick: Fireball

Pack 1 pick 2:


Pacifism and Sign in Blood are the two best cards; Centaur Courser, Mind Rot, and Rise from the Grave are the next best, but don’t offer as much power as the first two. Fireball doesn’t necessarily commit us to heavy red which would let us take Sign in Blood without worry of playing with only six Swamps in our deck. Between Sign in Blood and Pacifism, Pacifism is a better card; it’s cheap efficient removal. Sign in Blood and the other card-drawing spells like Divination are good, but the high-end removal spells like Lightning Bolt, Pacifism, Tendrils of Corruption, and Doom Blade are better in general because it’s important to be able to answer the opponent’s bombs than draw into a land and a Hill Giant.

My pick: Pacifism

Pack 1 pick 3:


Prodigal Pyromancer is an excellent card in this otherwise mediocre pack; it offers excellent board control early. Entangling Vines is mediocre removal because it’s so situational and expensive. Kalonian Behemoth is a large creature, but it’s also very expensive.

My pick: Prodigal Pyromancer

Pack 1 pick 4:


Stormfront Pegasus is the best on-color card. Red/white has more aggressive cards; that makes Palace Guard not a good option. Pegasus Charger is just a better card in the first place as well. Jackal Familiar is in the same boat as Palace Guard. While it’s better at attacking than Palace Guard, it’s harder for either card to be as good as a 2/1 flyer for two mana.

My pick: Stormfront Pegasus

Pack 1 pick 5:


In other color combinations, Safe Passage would be an easy choice; it’s good in defensive decks. It is much easier to maximize Safe Passage when you’re blocking rather than when you’re attacking; the reason why is this: Let’s say the opponent knows you have Safe Passage for whatever reason. If they don’t attack with enough creatures, you should be able to block normally and get a beneficial trade. If they attack with too many, they risk being on the losing side of an X-for-one trade while you take no damage as long as you have a certain threshold of creatures. In white/blue you’re often able to attack around the opponent in the air which forces them to eventually have to attack with too many creatures because they need to race you. The same is true to lesser extent in white/black. White/green offers big enough creatures to create two-for-one trades naturally because you’ve got access to Craw Wurm and Stampeding Rhino. Safe Passage effectively trades your three-mana spell for their one-three creatures instead of your creatures. When you’re attacking, if there are multiple attackers and blockers, it’s much harder to orchestrate the proper blocks because you have no control over it. Sure it’s possible to attack with two 4/4s while the opponent only has 2/2s to block with. Safe Passage would be good there. However, in red/white that’s rarely the case. What red/white needs is cheap creatures that don’t suck backed by tricks. Veteran Armorsmith is the most dominant two-drop creature. It beats everything alone in combat except for itself, Drudge Skeletons, and Black Knight. The soldier theme helps you build a better army than what you pay for, allowing you to not have your creatures outclassed by the opponent’s more expensive creatures.

My pick: Veteran Armorsmith

Pack 1 pick 6:


There isn’t much in this pack. Panic Attack is the only card we would play. There are a few slots that you can dedicate to cards like this, Lava Axe, Excommunicate, Glorious Charge, Trumpet Blast, Act of Treason, etc; they’re miser cards that steal games in the right scenarios.

My pick: Panic Attack

Pack 1 pick 7:


Miser cards like Trumpet Blast are easy to pick up late. You shouldn’t waste early picks on most of them. Griffin Sentinel is okay. It doesn’t attack very well, but it’s good for five damage because it flies.

My pick: Griffin Sentinel

Pack 1 pick 8:


Again, we only have one choice. Viashino Spearhunter is good in conjunction with Prodigal Pyromancer; the two make favorable blocking very tough for the opponent. It’s also very good with removal spells. If the opponent double-blocks the spearhunter, you can use Divine Verdict, Lightning Bolt, or whatever trick you have to neutralize the other.

My pick: Viashino Spearhunter

Pack 1 pick 9:


There’s nothing for us here. Lifelink at least gives us a mediocre sideboard option against Ice Cage and Illusionary Servant.

My pick: Lifelink

Pack 1 pick 10:


There’s nothing for us here. Holy Strength (like Lifelink) at least gives us a mediocre sideboard option against Ice Cage and Illusionary Servant.

My pick: Holy Strength

Pack 1 pick 11:


Every now and then I’ve encountered a deck with LOTS of enchantments.

My pick: Tempest of Light

Pack 1 pick 12:


Shatter and Solemn Offering are always good sideboard cards.

My pick: Shatter

Pack 1 pick 13:


My pick: Island

Pack 1 pick 14:


My pick: Burst of Speed

Pack 1 pick 15:


Pack one was a bit light because no playable cards wheeled. While we have the skeleton of a decent aggro deck, we still have a long ways to go. It’s vital to pick up more soldiers like Veteran Swordsmith.

Pack 2 pick 1:


This pack is deep; most of it is playable. Lightning Bolt plus a lot of chaff creatures is what we’re looking at. There’s not much of a choice here.

My pick: Lightning Bolt

Pack 2 pick 2:


Again we’re presented with an awesome card plus some filler. Pacifism is amazing because it handles every type of creature. It’s also superb at facilitating tempo like Lightning Bolt because it’s cheap enough to play multiple spells in a single turn.

My pick: Pacifism

Pack 2 pick 3:


Whispersilk Cloak isn’t as good in draft as it is in sealed where green and white are the most common colors you’re going to play against. The board stalls more often in sealed. Whispersilk Cloak is a way to force through damage and win before the opponent kills you with their good card(s). In draft, Whispersilk Cloak is unnecessary unless your deck has no way to really close out games. Veteran Armorsmith is better than the equipment. It will add more consistency and synergy to the deck. Soldiers are good when a certain threshold is reached; otherwise, they’re mostly mediocre creatures.

My pick: Veteran Armorsmith

Pack 2 pick 4:


Dragon Whelp is a nice card. It’s much better than Berserkers of Blood Ridge because it’s the “same” size but flies. At the end of the game, it acts like a Fireball-on-wheels. Generally, a flying creature with four or more power will be the pick over the best targeted removal because they give you so much more reach. You’re going to win more games from having an Air Elemental in your deck than a Doom Blade. While Dragon Whelp isn’t quite a Serra Angel, it’s still in the same category.

My pick: Dragon Whelp

Pack 2 pick 5:


Ignite Disorder is a sweet card at times. It’s not uncommon to get a two-for-one with it. I don’t like it enough to play maindeck though; not here with Lightning Bolt, two Pacifisms, and Fireball already. If we didn’t have any removal yet, then it would definitely be an option. However, we’ve got quite a bit. Stormfront Pegasus is the type of card we want: evasive, fast, and efficient.

My pick: Stormfront Pegasus

Pack 2 pick 6:


This is an interesting pack. Celestial Purge is another type of Ignite Disorder and wouldn’t make the maindeck. Sparkmage Apprentice is the weakest between it, Armored Ascension, and Divine Verdict. It doesn’t have the reach that the other two do. Divine Verdict isn’t the best removal; it’s expensive. It’s much worse on defense because if you leave four mana open with five cards in you hand, the opponent may just not attack you and play some more monsters. You’ve just been set back considerably by not playing anything and their attack next turn is sure to be much more effective. On offense, Divine Verdict is better, but can still be awkward for reasons similar to Safe Passage. If you have two 2/2s and the opponent has two 3/3s, it isn’t worthwhile to attack. If you attack with one 2/2, the opponent is going to double-block. You’re trading Divine Verdict plus your 2/2 for their 3/3; that’s not very good. If you attack with both 2/2s, the opponent will put one 3/3 on each 2/2. You can Divine Verdict one of the 3/3’s, but your other 2/2 gets eaten by their other 3/3. In the end the trade is the same: your 2/2 and Divine Verdict for their 3/3. Now not every board is going to be as unappealing as the one described above. You could have three 2/2s to the opponent’s lone 4/4. Divine Verdict is good there. If they block, you kill their creature. If they don’t block, even better; you get to use your mana to play a real spell while getting free damage in. With everything taken into account, Divine Verdict just isn’t exciting, unlike Pacifism, which is awesome. Armored Ascension is a card I both loathe and love; it’s got a high risk/high reward quality about it. Against decks with removal, you’re begging to get two-for-one’d; it’s not very good there. Other decks will have serious problems dealing with Armored Ascension. You’re basically building your own Nightmare with haste. Decks flat out lose to those types of creatures.

My pick: Armored Ascension

Pack 2 pick 7:


Canyon Minotaur is an average creature. We have eight creatures already so we can pass on this one. If Mesa Enchantress were a 2/2, we’d probably take her. We have three enchantments already that we are going to play for sure. However, since she is a 0/2, there isn’t much use in playing her. Excommunicate is the type of card the deck needs. A deck with a low curve can take advantage of Excommunicate better than others. Excommunicate punishes slower decks with expensive creatures. The aggressive deck will be able to force through more damage and be closer to killing the opponent.

My pick: Excommunicate

Pack 2 pick 8:


Righteousness is powerful. It’s going to trade with virtually any attacking creature. One problem with it and other pump spells is that it opens you up to a two-for-one. Another problem is that it requires you to be attacked which is less likely to happen with this deck than other less aggressive ones. Fiery Hellhound is similar to Lightning Elemental; it does a lot of damage but trades with everything. Lightning Elemental would be better in our deck because it isn’t red-intensive. With so few red spells and Armored Ascension, we are going to minimize red if possible. The only exception to this is Dragon Whelp. Siege Mastodon is the card we want. With our mana, Fiery Hellhound is more likely to be cast when we could cast Siege Mastodon. In that case, Siege Mastodon is just better because it is likely to be able to kill the same creatures as Fiery Hellhound but will be much harder to kill itself.

My pick: Siege Mastodon

Pack 2 pick 9:


Berserkers of Blood Ridge and Siege Mastodon are virtually the same, though the Berserkers can attack through a few other creatures like Giant Spider and Horned Turtle. The downside to Berserkers of Blood Ridge is that you don’t always want to attack. While those times will be few with this deck, they will arise. The question is whether the deck needs another Viashino Spearhunter more than the two slower creatures. The Spearhunter being red is a minor point to consider. With two Veteran Armorsmith and Armored Ascension, we’re going to be playing a minimum of nine Plains (probably at least ten). While having a low mana curve is important for aggressive decks, it’s still necessary to have creatures that carry weight on their own. Not every game is going to go according to plan where we play two-drop, three-drop, pacifism your guy and play another two-drop. We’ll be on the draw, mulligan, or just play against a removal-heavy draw. For those games, our deck will need to cough up more than Viashino Spearhunter or Silvercoat Lion because their creatures will be larger/more numerous than what we have by the time we fight through their spells.

My pick: Siege Mastodon

Pack 2 pick 10:


Jackal Familiar would be a lot better if we weren’t so white-heavy. An opening hand of Jackal Familiar and Veteran Armorsmith would be pretty awkward. Trumpet Blast is a card we’re more likely to play.

My pick: Trumpet Blast

Pack 2 pick 11:


Wall of Faith is the last card out of the pack we want to have played against us.

My pick: Wall of Faith

Pack 2 pick 12:


My pick: Plains

Pack 2 pick 13:


My pick: Tome Scour

Pack 2 pick 14:


My pick: Telepathy

Pack 2 pick 14:


The deck has gotten much better. We have an excellent number of quality two-drops as well as good removal. We need to pick up at least five more creatures. We have too many miser cards and not enough creatures to make them useful.

Pack 3 pick 1:


This is quite unfortunate. There isn’t a single card worth playing in red/white. Doom Blade and Snapping Drake are the best cards in the pack and the only ones worth splashing for if the situation demanded it. With two Veteran Armorsmith, Armored Ascension, and Dragon Whelp, it doesn’t seem likely that we’ll play either card. Snapping Drake is the better choice. Let’s say we end up playing it. Chances are we’ll be playing two Islands or one Island and one Terramorphic Expanse which means it’s likely we’ll be quite late in the game before we cast it. At that point it seems more likely that we’ll be looking for some card to finish the opponent off, not the other way around. We’re the aggressor and Snapping Drake fits that role better than Doom Blade.

My pick: Snapping Drake

Pack 3 pick 2:


Gorgon Flail is better in this deck than most others. 1. It’s good with Prodigal Pyromancer and Viashino Spearhunter. 2. The deck wants ways to force through damage. Veteran Armorsmith would be another good addition, making it much more likely we’d have one in play on turn two. However, both Gorgon Flail and Veteran Armorsmith are inferior to Rhox Pikemaster. Rhox Pikemaster has an incredible board presence for four mana; it is similar to Veteran Armorsmith, besting virtually every creature less than five mana. Rhox Pikemaster also makes Veteran Armorsmith much more effective, requiring three 2/2s to kill it. Gorgon Flail doesn’t provide as much board position as Rhox Pikemaster.

My pick: Rhox Pikemaster

Pack 3 pick 3:


Blinding Mage is the easy pick. It’s removal that scales upward as the threats in play become greater. Blinding Mage is one of the best commons; it’s very dominant on the board.

My pick: Blinding Mage

Pack 3 pick 4:


Again, Blinding Mage is the easy choice.

My pick: Blinding Mage

Pack 3 pick 5:


Excommunicate and Terramorphic Expanse are the two choices. Terramorphic Expanse would allow us to splash Snapping Drake or at the minimum fix our mana to let us cast Dragon Whelp more easily. I don’t like the idea of splashing the Snapping Drake; it’s going to hurt our mana more than it will benefit us. As is, our miser cards aren’t what I’d like them to be like. Panic Attack and Trumpet Blast are marginal; Excommunicate at worst cycles and is better in more situations than the other two. When you’re in a losing position, Excommunicate is going to provide the most help.

My pick: Excommunicate

Pack 3 pick 6:


There’s no choice here. Sixth pick Pacifism. Yes, it is nice. Thanks.

My pick: Pacifism

Pack 3 pick 7:


Mesa Enchantress might not have been bad after all”¦ In all seriousness, a second Armored Ascension is going to provide the deck with the ability to end games quickly.

My pick: Armored Ascension

Pack 3 pick 8:


Undead Slayer is not very exciting. It’s not a soldier so it won’t get any bonuses from Rhox Pikemaster and Veteran Armorsmith. If we were to play another vanilla creature, it would likely be a Viashino Spearhunter or Canyon Minotaur. Undead Slayer isn’t too far off from either against non-black decks. It’s got the ability to steal some games against certain black decks. There are ten cards that Undead Slayer can exile: Cemetery Reaper, Child of Night, Drudge Skeletons, Gravedigger, Rise from the Grave, Vampire Aristocrat, Vampire Nocturnus, Wall of Bone, Warpath Ghoul, and Zombie Goliath. Being able to randomly hose someone makes Undead Slayer much better than Goblin Piker. We wouldn’t even run Goblin Piker because it’s red.

My pick: Undead Slayer

Pack 3 pick 9:


There’s nothing for us here. We might as well take the best card in the pack.

My pick: Diabolic Tutor

Pack 3 pick 10:


Lava Axe is a card we’d play. It’s going to be better than the second Excommunicate.

My pick: Lava Axe

Pack 3 pick 11:


My pick: Glorious Charge

Pack 3 pick 12:


My pick: Act of Treason

Pack 3 pick 13:


My pick: Solemn Offering

Pack 3 pick 14:


My pick: Burst of Speed

Pack 3 pick 15:





Round 1:

Game 1:

We’re on the draw and keep a mana-heavy hand (3 Plains, 2 Mountain, Undead Slayer, and Pacifism). We could mulligan and it would be likely to end up with one more non-land, but we don’t know how useful Undead Slayer will be; it could be awesome. If we were on the play, then a mulligan would be in order because we are so much less likely to have a two-drop.

Evil leads off with Swamps followed by two Drudge Skeletons (G: 19). Undead Slayer is going to be amazing this game unless it dies quickly. The fact that we’re going to potentially two-for-zero Evil counters the fact that we’ve drawn three lands in a row. Undead Slayer enters the battlefield, ready to vanquish its foes.

Evil is stuck on Island/Swamp and attacks with his two skeletons. He could have Weakness and wants to trade two-for-one like that. He could just be bluffing and has nothing. He isn’t at a disadvantage with his attack because he can regenerate whichever we block. If he has Weakness for the Undead Slayer, he’ll have to have another Swamp to keep the skeleton that we block alive. It seems unlikely that Evil will have many more creatures to exile, let alone the mana to summon them; the value of Undead Slayer doesn’t seem likely to go up much more. We’d be fine with trading it for Weakness here because we have Prodigal Pyromancer and two Stormfront Pegasus. After this brief thought we decide to block (G: 18). Evil does not regenerate his skeleton which means he forgot to or has Essence Scatter in hand. It’s too early to want to hold up Negate.

Our draw yields Dragon Whelp, but we decide to exile Evil’s other Drudge Skeleton and hope to see if we’re successful at baiting out Assassinate if Evil draws a land. Evil does draw a land but has no plays. We could just attack with our Undead Slayer and hold onto Dragon Whelp and Prodigal Pyromancer, but we can’t be sure whether Evil is just brain dead or actually has Essence Scatter. We charge in (E: 18) and summon Dragon Whelp; Evil has the Essence Scatter.

Looming Shade joins Evil’s side. It won’t be much trouble though; Evil is mana-light and we have Prodigal Pyromancer to harass his Shade if he taps down too low. We’ve got no plays because we’re drawing more lands than we would have liked to; all spells would have been ideal. We’re SO unlucky. At least we can still attack with Undead Slayer (E: 16). Evil sends in his Looming Shade in retaliation; we don’t block (G: 17). Evil taps out to summon Air Elemental. Good thing we have Pacifism.

Prodigal Pyromancer sends a shower of sparks hailing down upon the Looming Shade. Its charred form smolders as the Air Elemental develops an odd feeling; for the first time in its life, it feels a bit warm and fuzzy inside. Pacifism makes Evil’s play terrible. We draw some action and play Blinding Mage while the Undead Slayer smites Evil (E: 14). Evil decides to use a lifeline and call his Black Knight (yea, THAT card) to literally cold our offense. Looks like Prodigal Pyromancer is going to be working overtime (E: 13).

We’re stalled out and Blinding Mage is working to keep Dread Warlock on lockdown. Prodigal Pyromancer and Griffin Sentinel are chipping away at Evil’s life total. Evil tries to regain some offense and plays Rise from the Grave on his Looming Shade, but we take care of his plan with Undead Slayer (since it becomes a zombie which Evil apparently forgot about). We summon another Blinding Mage. Evil is playing no relevant spells: Sage Owl (which makes our second Blinding Mage useful) and Gorgon Flail. The Pyromancer and Griffin whittle Evil away over an excruciatingly slow six turns.

Sideboard: nothing.

Game 2:

Our hand is less sketchy this time (Stormfront Pegasus, Rhox Pikemaster, Armored Ascension, 3 Plains, and Mountain). Evil’s clairvoyance is strong and has the Zephyr Sprite on turn one. He goes on the offensive and attacks us not once (G: 19) but twice (G: 18) even after we summon our mighty steed, the Stormfront Pegasus. We’re all too happy to race. We’ve drawn two Pacifisms already.

Warpath Ghoul is the next member of Evil’s offense. We’re ready with Pacifism as Stormfront Pegasus charges over it (E: 18). We could just wait to draw another ground creature to neutralize the Ghoul, like the Rhox Pikemaster we’re going to play next turn, but that means that the Ghoul will get one hit in for sure. If Evil does nothing but hold up Essence Scatter or has removal for our man, we may be in trouble. Since we don’t have another creature at the moment, it would be better to make Evil need to commit more threats to the board and tap out in the process so we can resolve Pikemaster, Ascension, and Lava Axe.

Evil doesn’t have a fourth land, but plays Duress (taking Pacifism). He leaves us with Rhox Pikemaster, Plains, Armored Ascension, and Lava Axe. He’s done racing for now and passes. We play Armored Ascension on our Pegasus. Evil has Essence Scatter mana up and we know he has it (somewhere). We didn’t see removal in his deck in game one. We want to be able to attack, and invalidating the Zephyr Sprite with Armored Ascension seems like the most productive route. Unfortunately, Evil is an aspiring Swiss army knife and has the Unsummon.

Zephyr Sprite continues the beatdown (G: 17); its goal of five damage is almost complete. Evil still doesn’t have a fourth land and passes. We play Stormfront Pegasus and Blinding Mage; both resolve. Evil has Weakness for the Pegasus as Zephyr Sprite swings in again (G: 16). We play Veteran Armorsmith and leave Blinding Mage up instead of playing Rhox Pikemaster. It would be better to wait for Evil to tap down before trying to resolve the Pikemaster.

Evil has a Drudge Skeletons. We can’t attack through it, and unfortunately we see our Rhox Pikemaster get Essence Scattered. Evil Ponders and doesn’t shuffle (he plays a second Island). Zephyr Sprite hits us (G: 15). We crack back with our Mage and Armorsmith (E: 15) then tap out for Siege Mastodon. Evil’s last card is Essence Scatter. Evil retaliates with his two creatures (G: 13) and plays Looming Shade.

Griffin Sentinel is summoned to our side of the battlefield. Evil can’t attack through our creatures and Blinding Mage is tapping his Looming Shade. Armored Ascension turns Veteran Armorsmith into Mahamoti Djinn. Evil’s Zephyr Sprite, having completed its life expectancy of five damage, sacrifices itself while Griffin Sentinel gets in there for one (E: 14). Evil has no plays and we repeat the same attack (E: 8). A second Blinding Mage resolves and Evil concedes on his turn.

Round 2:

Game 1:

We’ve got a nice hand on the play (Veteran Armorsmith, Stormfront Pegasus, Prodigal Pyromancer, Lightning Bolt, 2 Plains, and Mountain). Stormfront Pegasus attacks on turn three (E: 18) and we summon a Prodigal Pyromancer. Evil has a Griffin Sentinel. Stormfront Pegasus attacks into the sentinel, but Evil doesn’t block (E: 16). Rhox Pikemaster joins the party.

Evil doesn’t attack with his Griffin; he only plays a Silvercoat Lion. Something is afoul. If Evil was mana screwed, he would have traded his Griffin for the Pegasus and Pyromancer activation. The fact that he didn’t suggests that he has a trick like Righteousness. Prodigal Pyromancer stings Evil at the end of his turn (E: 15). We play Veteran Armorsmith before attacking and send in the pegasus and pikemaster. Griffin Sentinel block and Evil tries to make it big with Righteousness. We decide it’s worth using Lightning Bolt to save our creature (E: 12).

Evil plays Guardian Seraph and we don’t shoot him with Pyromancer in response (frown town). Sometimes we click too quickly. We hadn’t seen the Seraph in any replays which is unfortunate. If we had known about it, then we would have saved the Lightning Bolt and just let the Stormfront Pegasus die. Our board of pyromancer, armorsmith, and pikemaster would be sufficient to beat through Evil’s creatures. As is, we’re in for a much longer game than anticipated.

The game obviously stalls. Evil gets hit by the Pikemaster (E: 10), and afterwards we play around Divine Verdict for a few turns. Evil has Captain of the Watch and Whispersilk Cloak while we have a second Stormfront Pegasus and Blinding Mage. The Mage starts tapping down the Guardian Seraph while both Pegasi attack. Evil kills one with Divine Verdict. Whispersilk Cloak and Veteran Swordsmith turn the Captain of the Watch into a fast clock. Razorfoot Griffin means we can’t attack in the air profitably anymore. Evil plays White Knight, two Palace Guard, and Siege Mastodon while we get our own Siege Mastodon and second Blinding Mage.

Evil refuses to commit his team to an attack, possibly for fear of Safe Passage. We’re down to two life and Evil is still high at nine. We draw Armored Ascension to make our Rhox Pikemaster very big and flying. We’ve got exactly lethal and Evil has only one mana open. However, he has the Harm’s Way to kill us.

Sideboard: nothing.

Game 2:

We have another decent hand (Blinding Mage, Griffin Sentinel, Rhox Pikemaster, 2 Plains, and Mountain). Veteran Armorsmith makes his debut on turn two. He crashes in (E: 18) and we play Griffin Sentinel, which gets matched by Evil. Our Sentinel gets past his because his is busy fighting our Armorsmith (E: 17). Rhox Pikemaster joins the party.

Evil summons his champion again: Guardian Seraph. We’re ready to plow through his defense with Armored Ascension. The now larger Pikemaster hits Evil (E: 11). Unfortunately, he is ready with Pacifism. Blinding Mage allows us to start making Evil’s board less difficult to battle through.

Evil goes on the offensive, attacking with Guardian Seraph (G: 17). Afterwards he plays Soul Warden and Palace Guard (E: 12). On our upkeep, Evil plays Silence, limiting our plays to Mountain or Plains in our two card hand. What a play! Evil enchants his Griffin Sentinel with Lifelink and attacks us (Blinding Mage is always tapping his Seraph). The two Griffins bounce off each other, netting Evil one life (E: 13). His last card is Wall of Faith (E: 14). The sequence repeats next turn (E: 15) and the following after Evil plays Silvercoat Lion (E: 17).

We finally draw a spell: Excommunicate. Griffin Sentinel has gained its last life. Soul Warden hasn’t (E: 18). Armored Ascension makes Veteran Armorsmith a 9/10 as we retrace our footsteps undone by the Soul Warden (E: 10). Evil can only play a Razorfoot Griffin (E: 11). The Griffin Sentinel cashes its life in to save Evil eight points of damage while we play a Prodigal Pyromancer (E: 12).

Siege Mastodon joins the growing ground army on Evil’s side (E: 13). He should be attacking more aggressively but doesn’t understand his position well enough to do so. Our Veteran Armorsmith has turned into The Abyss on wheels. Razorfoot Griffin blocks it. Prodigal Pyromancer ends the life of Soul Warden. However, its damage (so to speak) has already been done. Stormfront Pegasus bolsters our airborne forces.

Evil taunts us, “Good Game.”

We attack with the Armorsmith, but Evil has drawn Divine Verdict. What a trickster! We replace our large flyer with Dragon Whelp. The Dragon and Pegasus hit Evil (E: 8) and we play our last card: Siege Mastodon. Safe Passage prevents Evil from taking damage on his next turn. We both play a Veteran Armorsmith. Evil has Harm’s Way on our next attack, but the spell is misused. Two damage from the Dragon Whelp is redirected to Dragon Whelp (E: 4) (Maybe he should have read Riki’s articles – LSV). Evil is out of tricks on his turn and resigns to his fate.

Sideboard: nothing.

Game 3:

Our hand is a bit slow (Lightning Bolt, Mountain, Rhox Pikemaster, Armored Ascension, Siege Mastodon, Plains, and Pacifism); apparently, so is Evil’s. He plays Mesa Enchantress on turn three and nothing on turn four. We have to assume he has Pacifism, but we don’t have any bad creatures to play so we run out the Pikemaster. Sure enough, a drooling expression forms on the Pikemaster’s face as Evil draws a card with Mesa Enchantress from Pacifism. We aren’t concerned because Evil hasn’t played anything to pressure us.

Siege Mastodon is the next monster that we summon to the battlefield. Evil matches our play in anticipation of blocking. However, his wishes are far from reality. Armored Ascension lifts the white elephant to the skies as it flies in for six (E: 14). Pacifism of our own neutralizes Evil’s Siege Mastodon. Evil passes the turn without playing anything. Five cards in hand you say? We don’t attack on our turn, but play a second Siege Mastodon.

Evil only plays a White Knight while leaving Divine Verdict mana open again. We don’t want to play into it and only attack with our non-flying elephant. Evil cashes in his Mesa Enchantress instead of taking the damage. Veteran Swordsmith joins Evil’s cause but is stopped by our second Pacifism. White Knight declines to block our elephant (E: 11).

Evil plays a Blinding Mage, trying to regain control of the board. We use Lightning Bolt to kill it at the end of his turn, but Evil uses Safe Passage to save it. Our snare was successful. We draw the second Armored Ascension and give it to our smaller Siege Mastodon. The two elephants fly over their opposition and slay Evil. We didn’t even need to use the Fireball in our hand.

Round 3:

Game 1:

We’ve got a nice hand (Mountain, Veteran Armorsmith, Lightning Bolt, Stormfront Pegasus, Armored Ascension, and 2 Plains) on the draw. Veteran Armorsmith is summoned on our second turn and answered by Borderland Ranger (fetching Mountain, Evil is G/R/b). The Armorsmith has no problems attacking through the ranger (E: 18); we follow up with a Stormfront Pegasus. Our draw threatens to end the game quickly if Evil has but mediocre cards.

Borderland Ranger isn’t good at blocking so it attacks (G: 18). Evil makes a better defense with Giant Spider. Our creatures can’t attack through the spider’s intricately-spun web without aid. Armored Ascension transforms our Pegasus into a flying Fire Elemental. Evil is wary of blocking (E: 13) and we soon find out why. Assassinate ends the life of the pegasus. A Runeclaw Bears is also summoned, but Evil has no profitable attacks while we have Veteran Armorsmith in play.

Siege Mastodon complicates the board. Evil can only answer back with a Berserkers of Blood Ridge. Veteran Armorsmith dons the second Armored Ascension and charges in to battle. Again, Evil is wary of throwing away his Giant Spider (E: 8). Berserkers of Blood Ridge attack us alone. Siege Mastodon waits in anticipation for a trick to finish it off as it defends us. Sure enough, Seismic Strike kills the elephant. With the turn passed, Evil is at our mercy. Eight life separate us from victory. Lightning Bolt at the end of Evil’s turn and Lava Axe on ours ends Evil’s hopes at winning the game as we burn him alive.

Sideboard: nothing.

Game 2:

We’ve got another decent hand, though not as good as the first game (Siege Mastodon, Veteran Armorsmith, Excommunicate, Rhox Pikemaster, and 3 Plains). Again, Veteran Armorsmith is our play on turn two. The trusty Elvish Warrior is sure to help end the game quickly. Evil responds with a Fiery Hellhound. The Hellhound is not a match for Veteran Armorsmith yet. We play a second one and attack (E: 18).

Evil is quick to attack back with his Hellhound (G: 18). Viashino Spearhunter is summoned next to aid in the race. Confident that our ace will live, we summon Rhox Pikemaster. Our army of soldiers has united; together they form an unbreakable phalanx. Evil can’t defend against them as our two Armorsmiths attack (E: 14). Neither of Evil’s minions can break through the pikemaster. Evil must summon a Berserkers of Blood Ridge in the hopes that next turn will be more fruitful.

Evil is doomed to repeat his previous turn. Excommunicate sends the Berserkers of Blood Ridge back to the top of his deck. Our three soldiers attack in; Evil is helpless against them (E: 7). Entangling Vines snares the Rhox Pikemaster. It is helpless as it becomes covered in overgrowth. Evil counterattacks with his Spearhunter and Hellhound (G: 13). With Lava Axe in hand but no Mountain, we send in only one Veteran Armorsmith (E: 5) while holding the other on defense to stave off Evil’s forces.

Evil begins to stabilize and plays a Giant Spider. We know that the Berserkers of Blood Ridge still lurk in his hand. A fifth Plains lets us summon Siege Mastodon. We still have no good attacks though. Evil replays his berserkers and we play Pacifism on his Giant Spider in anticipation of drawing Armored Ascension. Our two first-strikers wait to slaughter the horde of Berserkers when they attack next turn.

Evil uses Seismic Strike and Sparkmage Apprentice to kill off one Veteran Armorsmith. Slowly, our army is being disassembled one piece at a time. Berserkers of Blood Ridge gets teamed up by our other armorsmith and Siege Mastodon. We are down to three uncastable red cards: Fireball, Lava Axe, and Dragon Whelp in our hand. Pacifism removes Fiery Hellhound from battle. Siege Mastodon tramples onto the battlefield to finish what our army of soldiers started. Without fear, Evil doesn’t block (E: 2).

Magma Phoenix is summoned to Evil’s side; his Sparkmage Apprentice remains on defense to block our Siege Mastodon as the Viashino Spearhunter tries to close the gap in life totals (G: 11). We draw our last Pacifism and leave only Magma Phoenix to block. Faced with defeat from every angle, Evil’s demise is at the hands of his own creature. We are victorious.

Happy Drafting.

32 thoughts on “According to Webster – M10 Draft #6”

  1. Might be just me, but i find it really strange that nobody wants the Pacifismn in the Boosters and especially the Armored Ascension’s .

    However, lucky to get this bombs and removal.

    The hardest choice for me is the Gorgon Flail , as its potentially so powerfull in decks like this , with pingers, first striker, any creature with it more or less gets “unblockable” , while the Pikemaster “can” be outclassed by the 4+ thoughness cards.

    As a hate pick i would allways prefer Doomblade, and its really not clever to think you go for blue splash in the 3rd booster without anything blue before, the Doomblade has the ability to win games against you , i just see a creature with Armored Ascension running in the Doomblade, i would hate it enough to pick it (especially as its the strongest card in the booster anyway).

    Another is Berserker vs Siege Mostodon, here i would prefer the Berserker, as we are going to be Beatdown anyway , and the are strong “commons” as theirs not much creatures that trade 1-1 with it in common and the small creatures are not a problem for us anyway.
    The argument for white exists, however, with 5 mana we should have 1 red, even if we run a heavy white manabase, so the mana for the 5 mana creature doesnt really matter much in this case.

    Another thing is that i would not picked the Armorsmith so high, as i think they need a big commitment to white, without 10+ plains its hard to cast them turn 2, and later on they have not much effect with just 2 power, and the Sparksmith allways ends in my running 40 , even if its just a small hate aswell, as it might not kill my own 1 thoughness creatures (which white/red has quite a lot).

    Overall, the differences aren’t too drastic, my deck would end with a tiny more removal, less mana problems (due to easier manacosts) , but slighty weaker creatures , means less gamble, but less potential.

    In the end a suggestion to make the text better to read.

    Is it possible to put a colored border around the possible picks in the booster ? You allready name the candidates in the text, but it could be done in the booster view allready , like green for the possible picks.

    For some extra i would like Screenshots of the games (if done in MTGO) , just some “Highlights” of the game.

    A last point that it could be great to have the picked cards on the left / right side of the text “block” , just beside the next booster pack, that makes it simpler to follow and keep an overview of the cards that are currently in the pool, its a pain to “backtrack” just to analyze a booster while reading.

    Could be great to include this suggestions, im sure it makes the article even more enjoyable to read.

  2. “Evil doesn't have a fourth land, but plays Duress (taking Pacifism). He leaves us with Rhox Pikemaster, Plains, Armored Ascension, and Lava Axe. He's done racing for now and passes. We play Armored Ascension on our Pegasus. Evil has Essence Scatter mana up and we know he has it (somewhere). We didn't see removal in his deck in game one. We want to be able to attack, and invalidating the Zephyr Sprite with Armored Ascension seems like the most productive route. Unfortunately, Evil is an aspiring Swiss army knife and has the Unsummon.”

    You didn’t think he had an armored ascension answer when he took your pacifism?

  3. Draft was done well in my opinion, only things I could disagree with are minor, taking a land over a fog or a regenerate, which are both fine miser tricks is just bad. Also doom blade should have been taken over the drake. I also agree with taking the 4/4 over the mostodon would be better.

    Good draft overall

  4. Nice draft! R/W is my favorite M10 archetype after U/G.

    The Veteran Armorer over Safe Passage pick is the sort of subtle optimization that would have eluded one such as myself in an actual draft situation.

    Maybe I’ve simply heard LSV say “Safe Passage is good” too much.

    Here’s a question: when should one splash a third color in M10? When the deck is underpowered otherwise? When you’re running Rampant Growth/Borderland Ranger? When you’re in a B/W but want to throw in a Fireball for spice? Should one always splash red for Fireball? I presume it would be bad to do so in Mono Black…

  5. Nice draft, awesome deck, good commentary as always. Keep it up! (Someone needs to balance out the LSV losses…. BURN!)

  6. I’m surprised at all the late in-color bombs you got, I never have this kind of luck. Getting Armored ascension that late seems kind of disrespectful. Same with the late pacifism and those pegasus as 5th pick isn’t too bad, but still… Must be nice, lol.

    Nice deck though, The Pikemaster really helps the soldier synergy late game, especially being in red. It’s a great archetype when you get the essentials. Without those acsencion’s I’m not sure how powerful your deck would have been mid-late game.

  7. Hating Snapping Drake over Doom Blade is just wrong. Even your explanation of the Drake being a better splash then Doom Blade because the Drake is better played late is just plain wrong.

    Doom Blade is just as good turn 10 as it is turn 2. Much more so then a random 3/2 flier. But this doesn’t even matter as there’s pretty much no chance we’re playing either anyway and then Doom Blade is just a much better card to hate draft.

    Aside from that an excellent draft.

    Match reports are still unreadable though. Lots of people seem to have fallen for your trick of making the reports 10 times worse that 1 week and then undoing that so that everybody says “much better then last week!!”. Uhh, duhh. Still unreadable.

  8. Joe: You disqualify yourself for a “burn” if you actually state “BURN” when making fun of someone. So, in fact, you have NOT burned LSV, and instead you are just a failure at the internets. 😛

  9. More flavour please. Just reciting the Pacifism flavour text a few times isn’t enough!

    But very nice draft other than that.
    One minor thing is I would’ve taken Berserkers of Blood Ridge over Siege Mastodon, but all the other picks I agree with. The explanation for the Siege Mastodon pick didn’t really make a lot of sense to me either I must say.
    (I definately agree Drake was a good pick over Doom Blade though.)

  10. Seems like you mispicked Snapping Drake over Doom Blade and tried to justify it with some off the wall explanation…

  11. Seriously? mastadon over berserkers?
    Mastadon is pretty insane, ya it’s a 3/5 and not a 4/4 but having 5 toughness allow’s it to outclass the berserker’s in 1 on 1, as well as outclass just about every other ground creature besides craw wurm and the other “big green” creatures, and loaming shade. I would have snap picked the mastadon over the berserkers easy.

  12. @ Comment by Orie – September 21, 2009 @ 10:12 pm :
    I knew he had at least one Essence Scatte in his deck. That’s all I know for sure.

    Him not taking Armored Ascension can mean a few things:
    1. He has an answer for it in hand.
    2. He doesn’t have an answer to it in hand, but has enough answers in his deck to make a reasonable bet that he’ll draw one before he dies. He beleives the game will go long, and Pacifism will hurt him more because he has a low number of creatures that are good in combat.
    3. He believes he can bluff me and that I won’t cast Armored Ascension into untapped mana.
    4. He’s bad and just made the wrong choice given his best options.

    Game one went long and I didn’t see any real removal. Based on what he did against Undead Slayer, I couldn’t give him much credit about making good decisions which complicates points 2 and 3. In the end, I figured it was better playing around what I knew.

    @ Comment by SomeNoob – September 21, 2009 @ 10:32 pm :
    I’d only splash under a few circumstances:
    1. The deck is very weak and don’t have enough playables otherwise.
    2. The splash is free virtue of fixing cards like Rampant Growth, Birds of Paradise, Borderland Ranger, and Terramorphic Expanse.
    3. You’re splashing a card in a deck that is built to reach for long games and the card you’re splashing is high power like Fireball.

    Splashing in a mono-color deck is actually the easiest to do. You don’t really _NEED_ 17 swamps to have a sick mono-black deck. Sure, your tendrils will only gain seven instead of eight sometimes. You can easily play four Mountain.

    I won’t splash, even Fireball, in a deck that has a stressed manabase or is an aggressive deck unless I’m short on playables and there’s no other option.

    @ Comment by Rak – September 22, 2009 @ 1:26 am :
    First off, I’m not “hating” Snapping Drake over Doom Blade. “Hating” implies picking a card with the intention of not playing it/it not being played. If I wanted to HATE a card, I would have taken Doom Blade because it’s better against the deck. I took Snapping Drake because it’s better IN the deck. Yes, Doom Blade is good on turn two and turn ten, however you’re overlooking the mindset of the deck. The deck wants to race. Turn ten is going to “happen” because you haven’t killed them yet. A Doom Blade isn’t going to help your Veteran Armorsmith and Viashino Spearhunter beat their board of double Centaur Courser whereas they’ll be more likely to be cold to a Snapping Drake.

  13. “I'm surprised at all the late in-color bombs you got, I never have this kind of luck. Getting Armored ascension that late seems kind of disrespectful. Same with the late pacifism and those pegasus as 5th pick isn't too bad, but still"¦ Must be nice, lol.

    Nice deck though, The Pikemaster really helps the soldier synergy late game, especially being in red. It's a great archetype when you get the essentials. Without those acsencion's I'm not sure how powerful your deck would have been mid-late game.”

    He got the ascension “late” (though pick 6-7 isn’t THAT late) because of how heavily he ended up drafting white in the first pack. Ascension really requires being able to count on having 3+ plains in play, nobody else was as “white” as David so he got them.

    The Pacifisms were a little late – but weird stuff happens. Look at his first pick in pack 3… nothing *at all* of consequence in your two colors is pretty freaking unlucky for a first pick.

    I do disagree with the drake over doom blade though. You have a lot of answers to drake already at that point, and the deck is solid enough that splashing for a 3/2 flier seemed like a very long shot. Of course, he also only had 1 ascension at that point – if he had two in his pocket already then doom blade is much more likely to be a 2 for 1.

  14. @ David (I was typing when you made your response)

    “I took Snapping Drake because it's better IN the deck. Yes, Doom Blade is good on turn two and turn ten, however you're overlooking the mindset of the deck. The deck wants to race. Turn ten is going to "happen" because you haven't killed them yet. A Doom Blade isn't going to help your Veteran Armorsmith and Viashino Spearhunter beat their board of double Centaur Courser whereas they'll be more likely to be cold to a Snapping Drake.”

    I can see that.

    Though at the point you made the pick you also lacked some of the powerful removal that you ended up with (Pacifism and 2x Mage in pack 3). In the end the deck needed neither, but a doom blade would have helped your pegasi and whelp punch through spiders/air elementals etc.

    That is the kind of pick that helps me think most critically about how I am assessing my decks needs… so it is amusing that what to me was the most interesting pick in the draft had absolutely no impact on the actual deck.

  15. Fantastic report. I think you’ve struck the perfect balance of flavor text and specific reporting. This was your most insightful draft report yet, in my opinion. Can’t wait until we start seeing Zendikar reports from you! The flavor in them should be amazing.

  16. Great write up. I understand why you took the Drake, but I would have gone with doomblade. The real issue for me was the Mastadon over the Beserkers. In an aggressive deck. Beserkers seems really good in that archtype, then again, my buddies think I overrate that card. In any case, great draft, great commentary.

  17. I still think it’s funny how many people want to disagree with picks from a draft that you won.

    I thought that this was a great draft and, frankly, that the picks you made were more correct than some of the inclinations that I originally had. My first instinct would have been to take the doom blade there, but I think that the snapping drake is definitely the right pick. One thing that I still struggle with when drafting is realizing what my deck is trying to do and what it still needs to be successful. Keeping the larger picture in mind is one of the more important skills when drafting, and seeing your picks here is a good reminder of the need to improve that area of my drafting skillset.

    I recently had a draft that featured 2 armored assensions as picks 5 (of the second pack) and 6 (of the third pack). I know that you’re begging for the two-for-one with that card, but if they don’t have an answer for it right then, they lose. How is the card being left for so long?

    Thanks again for the report. I’m really looking forward to Zendikar drafts as I will be pushing to get a lot better now, so reading your article will prove to be an invaluable tool in that process.

  18. I would have taken Doom Blade, but only because I don’t plan on losing two picks in this pack to splash a third color (assuming I nab a Terramorphic). The RW-only deck was good enough and clearly open, so I don’t think splashing was every really a concern.

    If you were going to splash, the decision becomes more complicated. If I knew I was going to splash, I’d probably have snap-picked Doom Blade, but that doesn’t make it right. Thanks for the food for thought.

  19. “I still think it's funny how many people want to disagree with picks from a draft that you won. ”

    Results based analysis at its worst.

    I have won lots of drafts where I made heinous draft (and play) blunders, or made intentionally sub-optimal picks (rare draft!). I have also lost drafts with a really solid deck and tight play. Assuming a draft is perfect because it won a queue is a good way to not gain anything more valuable than the packs from the experience.

  20. Do videos, videos are awesome (and easier for you to do).

    as is, i love limited reports, great job. I’ll always read these type of articles.

  21. @ Robin


    @ Randomtask

    Armored ascension is a bomb, they go around that late because it’s underrated and you “can” get two for oned by using it.
    Even if the amount of games you get 2 for 1’d equals the amount of games that card wins in a white deck, it’s more than worth it.

    2 for 1’s are always a possibility, stealing games with a card like that is huge.

  22. I’m no stranger to potshotting, but if you’re going to bash Riki’s articles, wouldn’t it make more sense to do that in the comments for Riki’s articles?

    Web – Nice work on this draft. I think you and I share more agreeability for going red than most M10 drafters, and it looks like it’s working out for both of us. Congrats on another successful operation.
    I may think more highly of Excommunicate than you; I would never cut it, especially in a deck as aggressive as this. Did 13 creatures just not feel like enough?

  23. Great report like always. Frankly, I like yours better than LSV’s draft videos (and you’ve been getting better results too). Keep it up!

  24. you had a pick where you took the armorsith over a sparkmage. i think the sparkmage is wicked underrated, and this was before you had armored asencions, so you werent highly white at the time of the pick…pack one pick 5, at the time of the pick, you had fireball, pacifism, tommy, and a pegasus. It seems like you are actually forcing yourself into a more white base with the WW card as opposed to staying flexible with the 1R card (whose job is basically removing the best cards in every color{looter, pegasus, looming shade when they tap out, tommys, soul warden, etc}). you covered why the 2/3 was better than the safe passage, but not why it was better than the sparkmage. Just curious about why you didnt even mention it

  25. Aha, figured out one more reason why I can’t stand your writing style. You use too many semicolons. Seriously, go check out how many there are.

  26. Great article, as always. Though I do have one issue with your otherwise very insightful draft recaps. Would it kill you to do an article on a draft you didn’t win for once? I don’t know if you only write articles on your 3-0 wins (at least for all of your draft recaps that I have read) out of some weird sense of pride, but it would be really helpful and interesting to see you examine what went wrong with a draft that you lost. Even in drafts that you do win it would be nice to see a section on what you would have done differently. I think it’s just as important to talk about incorrect picks as well as correct ones as they can illuminate pitfalls to avoid while drafting.

    It’s also harder to understand what makes a bad pick when a player says “this would be a bad pick because of ‘blah’, ‘blah’ and ‘blah’, so I picked this instead” rather than “this pick I made here was bad because of ‘blah’, ‘blah’ and ‘blah’ AND it impacted my actual game in this specific instance.” Also, any incorrect pick a player of your caliber would make is naturally going to be a very close pick, which makes it even more important to discuss it. With a close pick it is just that much more likely that the average reader is not going to catch it, and just assume you made the right pick, especially if you go on to win the draft.

    Anyway, just something to keep in mind. Keep up the good work.

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