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According to Webster – M10 Draft #8

Pack 1 pick 1:

 

There isn’t anything else that compares to Fireball. It functions as spot removal early on and scales up to being able to kill multiple creatures as well as hitting an opponent for seven to finish them off.

My pick: Fireball

Pack 1 pick 2:

 

Green offers some good creatures. Giant Spider and Acidic Slime are both quite good. In the realm of creatures, I’d rather have Giant Spider than Acidic Slime. Giant Spider is worse against the few four-power ground creatures like Berserkers of Blood Ridge and Looming Shade. However, having Reach is invaluable. When you factor in the utility of Acidic Slime, being able to get rid of cards like Pacifism, Mind Control, and Rod of Ruin, the pick becomes much closer. What really matters is what your second color is. If you’re far into the draft, you’ll know which kinds of cards will cause the most problems for you and can pick accordingly. With that piece said, the better pick for this pack is Dragon Whelp for a few reasons:

1. Dragon Whelp doesn’t put us into green which is on average a weaker color.
2. It’s superior in play compared to Giant Spider and Acidic Slime. Dragon Whelp is about even in terms of flying combat with Giant Spider (Dragon Whelp trades with Snapping Drake, Illusionary Servant, and all the uncommon/rare flyers whereas Giant Spider kills Snapping Drake but dies to all the uncommon/rare flyers like Air Elemental), however Dragon Whelp flies while Giant Spider only has Reach.
3. Dragon Whelp keeps red open for pack two.

My pick: Dragon Whelp

Pack 1 pick 3:

 

Seeing Seismic Strike third is an indication that both players to our right are not in red. It’s certainly possible that one is when looking at the pack initially. When you factor in the fact that two commons are missing, then it’s more definite that red is open. Rhox Pikemaster is also an excellent card. Red/white has a lot of aggressive cards, though they don’t always function well together (Jackal Familiar, Veteran Armorsmith, and Fiery Hellhound are some examples). Rhox Pikemaster is what you want at the core of a soldier deck. A 3/3 First Strike for four mana is already good. When that creature also gives one-two other creatures in play First Strike, then it becomes awesome. However, Seismic Strike and Rhox Pikemaster don’t compare in power to Mind Spring. Drawing cards is awesome. One of the three common ways that a game is won is through card advantage. Mind Spring will blow a game wide open. If you get to untap after playing it for four or more, you’re going to be in awesome shape.

My pick: Mind Spring

Pack 1 pick 4:

 

Razorfoot Griffin is good. However, our other cards are good enough to want to keep us in red/blue. Goblin Chieftain isn’t good except in a heavy-red deck. It’s possible that our deck could end up going in that direction, but we’d need to have some exceptional cards in the beginning to make us want to go in that direction such as Manabarbs, multiple Lightning Bolts, and Jackal Familiars. Canyon Minotaur is simply average. He’d make the cut in almost any deck, but it’s easy to pick up that kind of card later on. Ice Cage is okay. I wouldn’t go as far to compare it to Pacifism like I’ve heard others say, but it’s not terrible. Often it will be close. Most cards that target creatures that the opponent will have in their deck are removal spells which won’t help their creature escape the Ice Cage. However, sometimes you’ll play against a green deck with multiple copies of Oakenform and/or Giant Growth, and Ice Cage will be terrible. There are other cards to worry about also like Rod of Ruin, Prodigal Pyromancer, Alluring Siren, Blinding Mage, Sparkmage Apprentice, Panic Attack, etc. Alluring Siren is underrated. Through most of my time playing, I’ve never seen it be bad. I’ve been on both ends of the card and can say she’s for real. If you’re playing a deck that doesn’t care about winning on turn six, then Alluring Siren should almost always make the cut, especially in decks that lack real removal spells. Negate is good, but is much easier to wheel than any of the other blue cards. That isn’t to say that it’s worse, just more undervalued. Spells make the world go round; Negate makes sure you stop your opponents from winning with theirs. Ignite Disorder is more of a sideboard card. It’s definitely fine to play maindeck. However, since we’re one of the blue drafters, it’s more likely that we’ll have to sideboard it out in matches.

My pick: Ice Cage

Pack 1 pick 5:

 

Lurking Predators is another undervalued card. It gives green decks a way to keep up with the card advantage of other decks. Sparkmage Apprentice and Alluring Siren are our choices. Both cards function well in terms of prolonging the game which is what we want. With spells like Fireball and Mind Spring, we’re going to win in the late game whereas the opponent will have to settle with drawing cards like Warpath Ghoul. Unchecked, Alluring Siren is better; it offers continual card advantage. Sparkmage Apprentice is better by itself and requires nothing of it besides being cast. It can’t be disrupted by removal. Alluring Siren functions better in decks with larger creatures because it’s easier to eat one of the opponent’s. Red offers a few good creatures like Canyon Minotaur and Viashino Spearhunter. While it’s certainly likely that we’ll be able to pick up those creatures later on, it’s also possible that we’ll wheel one of the two Alluring Sirens. If we wheel one of them, we can draft red creatures over cards like Horned Turtle which don’t interact as efficiently with Alluring Siren. Additionally, if we take the Sparkmage Apprentice, we’ll be better suited with using it in conjunction with other red removal if any damage spells we pick up later on prove insufficient at accomplishing what we need them to.

My pick: Sparkmage Apprentice

Pack 1 pick 6:

 

Coat of Arms is another card that can be utilized quite well in underpowered tribal decks like Goblins. For us, we’re stuck with Canyon Minotaur. It’s nothing to complain about, just not exciting.

My pick: Canyon Minotaur

Pack 1 pick 7:

 

Horned Turtle and Ice Cage are the two interesting cards. Goblin Piker doesn’t provide much by itself and should be disregarded. Ice Cage and Horned Turtle often wheel. The problem with Horned Turtle is that it is a support card; it is very weak offensively. Ice Cage/Illusionary Servant is dangerous in multiples. It may be fine against half the decks, but eventually you’re going to get paired against a deck that just wrecks the card. In that situation, you’re going to be at a severe disadvantage by having multiple dead cards in the removal slot. The situation is similar to having a deck with all Dread Warlocks and Horned Turtles for creatures. You’ll be fine most of the time until you play against a black deck where you won’t be able to win without some broken spells. We already have one Ice Cage. Being only halfway through pack one, it seems reasonable to assume we’ll be able to pick up at least one more Ice Cage. Horned Turtle is going to function well in our deck. It helps get to the late game like Ice Cage (but without being situational) where our spells are better than the opponent’s.

My pick: Horned Turtle

Pack 1 pick 8:

 

Coral Merfolk is bad in our deck. It would only be good if we were facing a deck with multiple one/two-drops where our three-drops were insufficient. Sage Owl is a very weak flyer. It’s not the type of card I would want to run given the choice because it doesn’t provide much once in play. Lave Axe is an okay finisher card. It provides much more than either Coral Merfolk or Sage Owl. Lava Axe also has some synergy with Fireball because you can randomly burn the opponent out from thirteen or somewhere around there.

My pick: Lava Axe

Pack 1 pick 9:

 

Twincast is difficult to evaluate. It should be good with most removal spells, though not with Tendrils of Corruption, against Essence Scatter, perhaps Assassinate, and the color-hoser cards like Deathmark and Ignite Disorder. It’s good with Fireball in the super late game where you have more than ten/eleven lands in play; it essentially becomes a Lava Axe if you’re aiming it at the opponent. Twincast isn’t as good with Mind Spring as you’d think; it won’t actually net you cards until you play it for three or more. If you would normally draw five with Mind Spring, you’re effectively turning Twincast into Reach Through Mists but without the sweet arcane cards to splice on. The point is that Twincast requires lots of lands in play to be good with our X spells. Twincast is also fine against cards like Mind Rot/Divination, Safe Passage (depending on the situation), and assorted cards like Sleep. Like I said, it’s difficult to evaluate. Horned Turtle is going to function well in the deck and is certainly not as situational as Twincast.

My pick: Horned Turtle

Pack 1 pick 10:

[draft]Viashino Spearhunter
Ponder
Regenerate
Tome Scour
Angels Mercy
Plains[/draft]

Viashino Spearhunter is similar to Horned Turtle, but more effective in combat. Two Runeclaw Bears will be able to attack into a Horned Turtle forever, but not a Viashino Spearhunter. However, Horned Turtle is much better against anything with more than two toughness. Ponder is going to be excellent in our deck because we already have a few very powerful spells. Being able to search for game-breaking cards like Fireball and Mind Spring makes Ponder much more appealing than if we only had Canyon Minotaurs.

My pick: Ponder

Pack 1 pick 11:

 

My pick: Zephyr Sprite

Pack 1 pick 12:

 

My pick: Underworld Dreams

Pack 1 pick 13:

 

My pick: Burning Inquiry

Pack 1 pick 14:

 

My pick: Island

Pack 1 pick 15:

 

Plains 

Pack one was above average. We picked up a few excellent spells as well as some good creatures. Pack two should be good because we didn’t pass many on-color cards.

Pack 2 pick 1:

 

Royal Assassin is a nice card. We won’t have to worry about it too much because we have a decent amount of removal already. It’s good that we opened up only one card that we’re interested in: Lightning Bolt. It will be much easier to make sure we’ll have a good pack three if we’re able to cut off red/blue.

My pick: Lightning Bolt

Pack 2 pick 2:

 

Again, here’s another pack where there’s one exceptional card we want and not much else. Djinn of Wishes is quite good.

My pick: Djinn of Wishes

Pack 2 pick 3:

 

Here’s the Manabarbs we wanted to see early to spice up an average aggressive red deck. We’re presented with a few picks. Wind Drake, Ice Cage, and Negate are our choices. Wind Drake is the least likely to wheel because it’s above average. The Negate from pack one didn’t wheel, but it was in pick four. Still, we should be able to pick one up. The situation with Ice Cage is similar to that of Negate.

My pick: Wind Drake

Pack 2 pick 4:

 

Phantom Warrior is another excellent creature; it’s basically what every flying creature wants to be: unblockable every single time. Viashino Spearhunter doesn’t even compare to Phantom Warrior. Ponder is another card that will wheel, though not in this pack; there aren’t enough playables.

My pick: Phantom Warrior

Pack 2 pick 5:

 

Viashino Spearhunter is the only card we’d play. Unsummon isn’t quite good enough in our deck. There isn’t any synergy outside of using it to reset Djinn of Wishes.

My pick: Viashino Spearhunter

Pack 2 pick 6:

 

There are no cards for us. Safe Passage isn’t a card we want to play against.

My pick: Safe Passage

Pack 2 pick 7:

 

Again, there’s nothing here for us. Mind Rot is the only card that would be bad to play against.

My pick: Mind Rot

Pack 2 pick 8:

 

It’s too bad the last few packs had so much variance. We’re presented with three cards that would make the cut in this pack yet had no playables in the previous two picks. Divination would help us well. Besides Ponder and Mind Spring, we don’t have any card-drawing yet. Berserkers of Blood Ridge an underrated creature. Large creatures are good in M10. Being able to produce two-for-one trades naturally in a format with limited card advantage is an excellent quality. Wall of Frost is an excellent defensive creature; it’s nearly unkillable in combat and works double-time with its “doesn’t untap” trigger. Wall of Frost is going to be better than Berserkers of Blood Ridge because it’s so dominant in play. Between Divination and Wall of Frost, I prefer Wall of Frost. While actual card advantage is important, virtual card advantage is also important. Wall of Frost negates so many possible attacks that it provides more advantage through the virtue of just being in play than the additional card drawn by Divination would provide.

My pick: Wall of Frost

Pack 2 pick 9:

 

My pick: Trumpet Blast

Pack 2 pick 10:

 

My pick: Serpent of the Endless Sea

Pack 2 pick 11:

 

My pick: Ice Cage

Pack 2 pick 12:

 

My pick: Tome Scour

Pack 2 pick 13:

 

My pick:

 

Pack 2 pick 14:

 

My pick: Firebreathing

Pack 2 pick 15:

Forest

None of the Berserkers of Blood Ridge/Negate wheeled and that is unfortunate. We picked up some excellent defensive creatures as well as some removal. Given an average pack three, we should end up with a good deck.

Pack 3 pick 1:

 

Gorgon Flail is an excellent way to make Horned Turtle and Viashino Spearhunter good. Bogardan Hellkite is much better though. Despite the high mana cost, it’s an incredible card. It’s a giant flying creature that kills multiple creatures when it comes into play. It’s very good.

My pick: Bogardan Hellkite

Pack 3 pick 2:

 

Cancel and Wall of Fire aren’t as good as Sleep and Snapping Drake. Sleep works well in standoffs, allowing you to break through for a lot of damage; it also functions as Tangle if you need time to set up a board. Sleep requires a threshold of creatures to function well offensively. Snapping Drake is one of those offensive creatures. It’s the best common flyer. Sleep is a better pick than Snapping Drake because of a few reasons:

1. If we accumulate enough creatures, Sleep’s effect will be deadly.
2. With Fireball, Mind Spring, Lava Axe, Bogardan Hellkite, and Djinn of Wishes, finding the damage necessary to close out the game once Sleep is played won’t be necessary.
3. With no countermagic yet, our deck is very vulnerable to Sleep.

My pick: Sleep

Pack 3 pick 3:

 

Essence Scatter and Divination are both good cards, but Lightning Bolt is better. Removal is going to be better than a draw-two most of the time because being able to kill the opponent’s good creatures is more important. Essence Scatter isn’t as good as Lightning Bolt because Lightning Bolt can usually kill any creature, can be drawn at any time, and doesn’t require mana left open to cast it.

My pick: Lightning Bolt

Pack 3 pick 4:

 

Seismic Strike, Cancel, Berserkers of Blood Ridge, and Pyroclasm are cards we’re interested in. Berserkers of Blood Ridge would make Sleep much better, but we’re presented with two forms of removal spells. Pyroclasm fits into the deck quite well. Not many of our creatures die to Pyroclasm, and it’s an excellent way to ensure we aren’t overrun by a horde of Silvercoat Lions and Runclaw Bears (oh my)! Seismic Strike is much harder to utilize than Pyroclasm because it forces you to run a certain threshold of Mountains to ensure you have enough in play to make it lethal.

My pick: Pyroclasm

Pack 3 pick 5:

 

Berserkers of Blood Ridge is larger than Stone Giant, but puts you in awkward situations at times when you don’t want to attack. Additionally, Stone Giant can let you kill off attacking flyers or force though the last points of damage. Being able to defend is what makes Stone Giant a better creature for our deck.

My pick: Stone Giant

Pack 3 pick 6:

 

Sparkmage Apprentice is very good against some decks. Against others, it’s only mediocre. It’s good with Pyroclasm and Lightning Bolt. Against the decks that Sparkmage Apprentice is good against, it would be good to have more than one. The second one will most likely be in the sideboard.

My pick: Sparkmage Apprentice

Pack 3 pick 7:

 

Canyon Minotaur is going to be better than Lightning Bolt because it survives Pyroclasm. Passing the Lightning Elemental gives more targets for our Sparkmage Apprentices.

My pick: Canyon Minotaur

Pack 3 pick 8:

 

Divination eighth pick is pretty nice. We should be able to wheel one of the Cancels in the next few picks.

My pick: Divination

Pack 3 pick 9:

 

A second Ponder will help us find whatever bomb we’re looking for whether it is Mind Spring, Fireball, Djinn of Wishes, or Bogardan Hellkite.

My pick: Ponder

Pack 3 pick 10:

 

Wall of Fire is okay. It’s mana intensive. At this point, we’re more likely to play Viashino Spearhunter maindeck. Wall of Fire will be a good sideboard card against green decks and decks with other four-power creatures than bash through our Horned Turtles.

My pick: Wall of Fire

Pack 3 pick 11:

 

Essence Scatter this late is nice.

My pick: Essence Scatter

Pack 3 pick 12:

 

We finally wheeled a Cancel/Negate.

My pick: Cancel

Pack 3 pick 13:

 

My pick: Yawning Fissure

Pack 3 pick 14:

 

My pick: Firebreathing

Pack 3 pick 15:

 

Island 

Deck:

A few cards don’t make the cut. Ice Cage presented vulnerability in the deck. There are enough removal spells to exclude the auras. If need be, they will be brought in against decks with large creatures and no ways to remove the Ice Cages. Lava Axe isn’t as productive as Ponder. Ponder functions as Lava Axe when we want to search for a finisher while being able to look for other cards as well. It’s more versatile. Sparkmage Apprentice isn’t always awesome. Sometimes it’s just a 1/1. Playing one maindeck is enough. Viashino Spearhunter dies to Pyroclasm whereas Horned Turtle doesn’t. Wall of Fire isn’t as effective as Wall of Frost most of the time. It’s worse than Horned Turtle because it can’t attack.

Round 1:

Game 1:

Evil wins the roll and elects to go first. We are comforted as a good hand looks back at us (Lightning Bolt, Ponder, Island, Dragon Whelp, Phantom Warrior, Horned Turtle, and Mountain). Evil’s green/black deck yields nothing in the first few turns. We are content with holding Ponder and playing it later when we need to find action; however we are forced to play it after not finding a second blue source to ensure we can summon Phantom Warrior on turn three. We see Island, Mountain, and Canyon Minotaur and prepare for Evil’s onslaught which is sure to begin next turn. The villainous Planeswalker summons a Vampire Aristocrat deep from within his Bayou stronghold.

Phantom Warrior appears on our side as the Aristocrat attacks us (G: 18). Deadly Recluse is summoned afterwards. We send Phantom Warrior in to match pace with the Vampire Aristocrat (E: 18). Horned Turtle is summoned to bar the way from any further attacks from the Aristocrat. The Horned Turtle doesn’t stop the Deadly Recluse from stinging us (G: 17). Evil has no plays afterwards.

We continue to circumvent Evil’s forces with Phantom Warrior (E: 16) and summon Canyon Minotaur. Hopefully the 3/3 will be alluring enough to the Deadly Recluse so our Dragon Whelp will be free to roam the skies. Evil casts Mind Rot and we are forced to make a choice. Our hand is Lightning Bolt, Bogardan Hellkite, Dragon Whelp, and Lightning Bolt. We keep Lightning Bolt and Bogardan Hellkite. If the game goes long, Bogardan Hellkite will win it for us.

Phantom Warrior and Canyon Minotaur attack. The Minotaur feels the sting of the Deadly Recluse as they trade (E: 14). We summon a Stone Giant afterwards. Borderland Ranger searches out a Swamp. Phantom Warrior continues its assault (E: 12). After seeing we have no further plays, Evil uses his Swamps to power a massive Tendrils of Corruption to suck the life from our Illusion (E: 16). The dark Planeswalker summons a Phantom Warrior of his own in the form of Dread Warlock. We are at high life and do not fear it. We aim Lightning Bolt at the Warlock and it perishes. With seven lands in play, our Hellkite will soon be summoned.

Evil summons Nightmare. The 5/5 steed will be a quick death it we are unable to draw our eighth land. Djinn of Wishes is our draw for the turn. We summon the crafty Air Elemental and prepare to face Evil’s Nightmare. The flying steed hits us for five (G: 12). Evil summons a Cudgel Troll afterwards. We find our land and attack with the Djinn (E: 12). Bogardan Hellkite soars down from the clouds. Its fiery breath slays Evil’s Nightmare.

Cudgel Troll attacks us. We are quick to defend with Horned Turtle. On our turn we attack with our flyers and Stone Giant. Vampire Aristocrat and Borderland Ranger team up against the oncoming Giant. Evil’s Borderland Ranger perishes (E: 3). We can do nothing except pass the turn. Evil draws and concedes.

Note: Our attack with Stone Giant was to play around Overrun. As is, if Evil played Overrun and attacked with Vampire Aristocrat (5/5), Borderland Ranger (5/5), and Cudgel Troll (7/6), we would have to use Djinn of Wishes to find a card to save us. Lightning Bolt kills Evil. If we find a creature, it would need at least two toughness for us to survive. We would block the Cudgel Troll with Stone Giant, Vampire Aristocrat with creature X, and take eleven (going to one). We can’t block Borderland Ranger with more than three toughness because Vampire Aristocrat will eat it and effectively do an additional damage. By attacking with Stone Giant and killing Borderland Ranger, we are effectively removing five power from the board if Evil does have Overrun. At that point, any creature will save us. What this all boils down to is that Sparkmage Apprentice becomes an out.

Sideboard: -1 Sparkmage Apprentice, -1 Horned Turtle, +1 Ice Cage, +1 Wall of Fire

Game 2:

We’ve got another good hand staring back at us (Mind Spring, Essence Scatter, Ice Cage, 2 Islands, and 2 Mountains). Evil is faster to act this game. Black Knight on turn two is followed by Vampire Aristocrat on turn three. We use Essence Scatter to deal with the vampire. The Black Knight gets a hit in (G: 18). We summon a Wall of Fire to halt Evil’s offense for the moment. The board clogs as Evil summons Borderland Ranger and Deadly Recluse. Nothing can break though our Wall of Fire. We summon Canyon Minotaur to help control the board.

Evil has no plays after summoning the Deadly Recluse. We decide to wait no longer and fire off Mind Spring for four. Again, Evil has no plays. We summon Wind Drake while Evil finds a Dread Warlock. Sleep taps Evil’s team as we attack with Canyon Minotaur and Wind Drake (E: 15) Cudgel Troll is summoned to Evil’s side, but we have Ice Cage for it. Our creatures attack again (E: 10).

We cast Ponder and see all lands. Stone Giant is drawn and summoned. Evil untaps his weary forces and adds Mold Adder to his collection of bears. We aim Lightning Bolt at Evil’s face (E: 7), untap, and Fireball him for seven in an attempt to cleanse the world of his existence. Unfortunately, he has Tendrils of Corruption to kill our Stone Giant (E: 6).

We are attacked by Dread Warlock (G: 16). Evil summons a Stampeding Rhino. Divination finds more spells for us (Mold Adder 2/2). We decide to sit on Cancel for a turn so we can have mana up when we summon Djinn of Wishes. Evil summons his Nightmare and we are thankful for our caution (Mold Adder 3/3) Dread Warlock attacks us again (G: 14).

Wind Drake attacks Evil. Deadly Recluse blocks it and we play Djinn of Wishes (Mold Adder 4/4). Rise from the Grave unearths the fallen Nightmare as Evil attacks again with his Dread Warlock (G: 12). Evil uses Weakness to cripple our Wind Drake. We use Djinn of Wishes three times to find a land and Ponder (Mold Adder 5/5) which sees Lightning Bolt, Canyon Minotaur, and an Island. We summon Phantom Warrior (Mold Adder 6/6).

Mold Adder and Dread Warlock attack. Our now-useless Wind Drake steps in the way of the giant snake (G: 10). We play Canyon Minotaur and attack with our Phantom Warrior (E: 4) A second Tendrils of Corruption eliminates our Djinn and all hope of us winning the game.

Sideboard: nothing.

Game 3:

We decide to draw first. The first two battles with Evil were difficult enough. Every card counts. Evil mulligans to six and we keep our hand (4 Island, Mountain, Lightning Bolt, and Pyroclasm). Evil uses Sign in Blood to regain the lost card from his trip to Paris (E: 18). We have drawn a Mountain and Canyon Minotaur and are content with waiting. Dread Recluse makes its appearance again. We match Evil’s creature with our own: a Horned Turtle.

Evil doesn’t want to race with his Recluse which suggests either a weak hand or a hand with expensive spells. He has no play on turn four except for a third Swamp. We summon our Canyon Minotaur to bait out another creature so we can cast Pyroclasm and get more card advantage. Dread Warlock is summoned by Evil.

We cast Ponder before anything else and see Essence Scatter, Mind Spring, and Lightning Bolt. Drawing the counterspell to protect against Nightmare, we burn Evil’s two creatures alive with Pyroclasm and send in our unscathed Horned Turtle and Canyon Minotaur (E: 14). Evil uses Rise from the Grave to resurrect his fallen arachnid. Evil is hoping the Deadly Recluse will stave off our attacks. Evil’s hopes are dashed as we kill the Recluse again with a Lightning Bolt.

The path has been cleared again for our two creatures. They swing in and slash at Evil (E: 10). Evil finds a second Forest to summon Cudgel Troll. We are ready with the Essence Scatter. Our next attack brings Evil down to six life. Afterwards, we fire off Mind Spring for four. Evil waits in anticipation of our next attack. He aims Tendrils of Corruption at our Canyon Minotaur. With one card left in his hand, we decide to go for the kill. Lightning Bolt kills our Canyon Minotaur before Evil can gain life. Horned Turtle’s attack is successful (E: 5). Finally, Fireball for five is the last spell the Planeswalker sees before he is no more.

Round 2:

Game 1:

What’s more awkward than writing about another M10 draft that I played Islands in when I said I wouldn’t is having finished part of another draft prior but not having game replays to use because I reformatted my computer. Even more awkward than that, the game replay for this is lost somewhere so I’ll have to use my steel trap memory to recount what happened in paraphrase form.

We keep a five-land hand on the draw because it has Mind Spring in it. Evil rips it from our hand with Duress on turn one; so much for that plan. With our awesome spell gone, the game drags on longer than we had wished as we are unable to bury him in card advantage. We trade a few creatures and are in topdeck mode. Ponder shows Essence Scatter and two lands. Displeased with two lands, we shuffle and draw Essence Scatter. Apparently fate was telling us we need Essence Scatter which became apparent when Evil plays Nightmare. “Essence Scatter. Thanks. Had it.”

We are really low on life because of the slugfest we’ve been involved in. Djinn of Wishes looks like it’s going to win it for us, but Evil steals it with Act of Treason. The traitorous Djinn does us in because we are at one life. On to game two, this time in replay mode”¦

Sideboard: nothing.

Game 2:

We know our opponent’s deck is excellent and that we will need every card we can get to tip the scales in our favor. We decide to draw and keep our hand (Sparkmage Apprentice, Canyon Minotaur, 3 Island, and 2 Mountain). Evil uses Duress to rip the Divination that we just drew from our hand. Having seen our hand, Evil casts Diabolic Tutor on turn four to find the perfect weapon for this battle.

We summon our Stone Giant. Hopefully it will stay alive long enough to strike at Evil. Magma Phoenix is Evil’s next play. The powerful Phoenix will be tough to beat. We attack Evil with our Stone Giant (E: 17) and then summon Canyon Minotaur. Evil is quick to strike back with his Phoenix (G: 17). Berserkers of Blood Ridge is Evil’s next creature.

Both our creatures attack Evil. He is quick to defend against our Stone Giant (E: 14). We summon Sparkmage Apprentice to finish off the Berserkers and then summon a Wind Drake. Evil sends his Phoenix in again (G: 14) and then kills it with his own Assassinate. The Phoenix explodes sending a molten rain over our creatures; they perish along with the Phoenix. Evil summons a Warpath Ghoul afterwards.

Our forces have been wiped out from the Phoenix’s blast. We have but one Canyon Minotaur left that we have just summoned. Evil is confident of victory and attacks with his Warpath Ghoul (G: 8). We see why he is so confident as he summons a 5/5 Nightmare. We have no choice but to use Fireball to kill the flying demon. Canyon Minotaur claims another chunk of Evil’s life (E: 8).

Warpath Ghoul attacks us (G: 5). Zombie Goliath is the next monstrosity summoned by Evil. The Canyon Minotaur attacks into the Zombie Goliath. Evil doesn’t block with it (E: 5). Horned Turtle is summoned to defend us. The battle is drawing to a close.

Evil attacks with his Zombie Goliath and Canyon Minotaur. Together, the two creatures demand attention. Our Horned Turtle valiantly defends against the Warpath Ghoul while we use Lightning Bolt to kill the Zombie Goliath. Evil summons another creature: Canyon Minotaur. We need to draw something, and fast. Magma Phoenix still lurks in Evil’s graveyard.

The two Minotaurs kill each other off. We can only watch as Evil summons a Kelinore Bat and returns his Phoenix to his hand at the end of our turn. The Kelinore Bat sinks its fangs into us (G: 3). From the ground, our Horned Turtle watches on helplessly. Desperately, we use Essence Scatter to delay the return of Magma Phoenix in the hope of drawing Bogardan Hellkite.

It seems as though all is lost. We have drawn a land. Kelinore Bat attacks us again (G: 1). Gravedigger returns Magma Phoenix and it is summoned by Evil. Down to the last minutes, we draw and find nothing staring back at us. We have been defeated.

Happy Drafting.

Discussion

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