Pack 1 pick 1:
There are a few directions to go. Assassinate, White Knight, Rhox Pikemaster, Wind Drake, and Ice Cage are the options. Taking White Knight or Rhox Pikemaster would mean a significant commitment to white which is fine. Rhox Pikemaster is a good start to a soldier deck. I prefer Rhox Pikemaster between the two. White Knight is better against black deck because it’s almost unkillable, but Rhox Pikemaster dominates the board more against non-black decks. Ice Cage and Wind Drake are two of the weaker cards. If you are likely to draft blue because of preference, Wind Drake is the better option. Even though Ice Cage is removal, I’d rather overload my deck with flyers rather than Ice Cages. Ice Cage wheels more often so you’re more likely to pick up multiples whereas Wind Drake rarely wheels. Assassinate is one of the best cards in the pack, although its on the lower end of removal spells that black has to offer. Taking Assassinate helps set up a good pack two assuming the two people to your left didn’t open good black cards and you’re able to cut off black in pack one. Between Assassinate and Rhox Pikemaster/White Knight I prefer the removal spell. It’s more likely we’ll be able to play Assassinate if we get pushed almost out of black whereas it’s unlikely we’d play either creature if white ends up not being our base color.
My pick: Assassinate
Pack 1 pick 2:
This isn’t a very good pack for black. Child of Night is the only card worth playing. It’s good when you’re trying to race. When the opponent leaves back a creature to trade with Child of Night, it’s fairly easy to use a removal spell to clear a path and attack with your two creatures (which creates a significant tempo swing). Cancel and Horned Turtle aren’t good enough to go into blue for. The same is true to a lesser extent with Griffin Sentinel and White Knight. Prodigal Pyromancer is the best choice. It can dominate the board and complicates combat a lot.
My pick: Prodigal Pyromancer
Pack 1 pick 3:
Seismic Strike isn’t quite Tendrils of Corruption, but it’s still good. A deck needs to have a high number of Mountains to make Seismic Strike lethal every time. Kelinore Bat is the other card we’d play, but isn’t on the same level as Seismic Strike. Kelinore Bat is just an average flyer. Blinding Mage is the last option. However, it would be better to pass it. Even though it’s the best card in the pack overall, Seismic Strike helps solidify us in red whereas white isn’t necessarily open because an uncommon and rare are missing from the pack.
My pick: Seismic Strike
Pack 1 pick 4:
It appears that blue and black aren’t open. It looks like white would have been the best color to start off with. However, we still have the makings of a good deck. There are a lot of options here. Pacifism, Seismic Strike, Cudgel Troll, and Inferno Elemental are the choices. Cudgel Troll is an exceptional green card. However, we haven’t seen a reason to go into green up until this point. Taking the Pacifism would be fine. We’d probably get cut pack two, but it’s likely we’d get passed a bunch of red cards which would allow us to fill out our deck. Pack three should look the same as pack one. Alternatively, we could ship the off-color cards for a red one. Inferno Elemental is hard to beat in combat. Unless it’s fighting a regenerator, Stampeding Rhino, or giant Looming Shade, it’s going to beat through all the common creatures. Seismic Strike is a better choice than Inferno Elemental. Even though the elemental is a good finishing creature, it’s more likely that a person to our left would go into red for Seismic Strike than Inferno Elemental. The two cards are almost even, but removal is much more alluring because there’s not very much of it.
My pick: Seismic Strike
Pack 1 pick 5:
Even if black starts to open up more, we’re unlikely to be able to support Looming Shade because of the two Seismic Strikes that we already have. Wall of Fire is the only real option. Wall of Fire goes against the strategy that the rest of red employs. Most red cards are aggressive. Jackal Familiar, Raging Goblin, Goblin Piker, Fiery Hellhound, Viashino Spearhunter, Trumpet Blast, Panic Attack, Lightning Elemental, and Lava Axe are some of the examples of the commons alone. Wall of Fire is obviously a very defensive card. It is best in a deck that wants to reach some part in the late game where its better cards win; it’s important to remember that.
My pick: Wall of Fire
Pack 1 pick 6:
At this point it’s fair to assume we won’t be playing much black at all, if any. We certainly won’t be able to splash Diabolic Tutor. We could take Entangling Vines in case we jump into green. Taking Wall of Fire is the best option. It’s certain we’ll play the wall. Entangling Vines and Wall of Fire do the same thing, but Wall of Fire is in the color we’re playing for sure. Wall of Fire is also able to deal with more threatening creatures as the game progresses whereas Entangling Vines is going to be stuck on the best creature at the time and be stuck there; it might end up on a Warpath Ghoul.
My pick: Wall of Fire
Pack 1 pick 7:
The best card in the pack is Centaur Courser. It might be possible that green is open. We certainly didn’t pass much to prevent pack two from being good for green with the exception of the Cudgel Troll. While green isn’t the best color, it’s probably going to be our only option.
My pick: Centaur Courser
Pack 1 pick 8:
There aren’t any red cards for us so we need to figure out what our second color is. While drafting white would be a nice choice for this table, given the two Seismic Strikes and two Wall of Fire that we have, it would be easier to pair up with green. Green’s early drops don’t have double-green costs which makes it much easier to support our red cards. Stampeding Rhino is better than Elvish Visionary. Both are good, but Wall of Fire already takes the place of Elvish Visionary; it gets you to the late game where your big creatures beat theirs.
My pick: Stampeding Rhino
Pack 1 pick 9:
In case black opens up, it would be better to have a Duress than not. If we end up going green instead, we won’t miss having a Runeclaw Bear in our Wall of Fire deck. We won’t play Runeclaw Bear if we have a choice. Elvish Visionary and Deadly Recluse are better options.
My pick: Duress
Pack 1 pick 10:
My pick: Berserkers of Blood Ridge
Pack 1 pick 11:
It’s more likely that we’ll play against Forests than a scary artifact like Magebane Armor or Platinum Angel. If we do end up in green, it would be better to have the Emerald Oryx.
My pick: Emerald Oryx
Pack 1 pick 12:
My pick: Runeclaw Bear
Pack 1 pick 13:
My pick: Yawning Fissure
Pack 1 pick 14:
My pick: Firebreathing
Pack 1 pick 15:
Black is turning out to be a bust. With two Seismic Strikes, it will be hard to support splashing black while maintaining the consistency needed to make Seismic Strike awesome. At this point, we could easily go back to red/black instead of red/green depending on how pack two shapes up. It would be best to prioritize red and let the rest of the pieces fall into place. If we end up playing green, we won’t be playing Runeclaw Bear and Emerald Oryx in the maindeck if we have the choice.
Pack 2 pick 1:
This is a very bad pack; certainly not something we want to open. There are no good red, black, or green cards. Stampeding Rhino is the better option between it and Mist Leopard. Mist Leopard lacks board presence. It only shines in removal heavy matchups where each player is killing the others’ with spells. When Mist Leopard is in play, we’re turning our removal into Barbed Lightning whereas the opponent is playing with a bunch of Thunderclaps; it isn’t hard to win that race.
My pick: Stampeding Rhino
Pack 2 pick 2:
Again, we have a sub-par pack. Entangling Vines and Stampeding Rhino are what we can choose from. We already have two Stampeding Rhinos and one Berserkers of Blood Ridge in our five-drop slot. Currently we only have two copies of Seismic Strike for removal. Entangling Vines isn’t the best removal spell; it’s similar to Assassinate, but more expensive. I don’t like it because of its conditionality. However, it’s still removal; green removal at that. We don’t have much of a selection in that category.
My pick: Entangling Vines
Pack 2 pick 3:
It’s a shame the packs have varied so much. There are multiple cards we want here. Overrun is the easy pick. Dragon Whelp is very good and will win some games simply because it hits for five in the air. However, Overrun is able to win more games than Dragon Whelp. It turns your do-nothing Elvish Visionaries into Stampeding Rhinos of death. When you’re playing creatures while racing against your opponent, you’ll suddenly cast Overrun and win. Granted, there are popular spells that completely wreck the card (namely Negate, Cancel, and Safe Passage). Still, Overrun is a card that wins games outright and needs to be respected. You’ll get more mileage out of it than Dragon Whelp. If we’re really lucky, we’ll wheel Rampant Growth.
My pick: Overrun
Pack 2 pick 4:
One of the problems with our deck is that it’s green. Seriously though, it’s slow. Stampeding Rhino is awesome when you’re attacking with it; when it’s in your hand as you stare down the back-to-back Stormfront Pegasus on turn two and three that your opponent plays, you’ll wish you had a way to get it out there earlier than normal. Enter Llanowar Elves. They accelerate you to your big monsters and become one when you cast Overrun. There’s really no other option we’d even consider. Terramorphic Expanse is good, allowing us to fix our mana for Seismic Strike and Overrun, but it’s not going to allow us to have broken openings like Llanowar Elves does.
My pick: Llanowar Elves
Pack 2 pick 5:
Here’s another pack with an accelerant and a fatty boom-boom. Howl of the Night Pack is nice when it’s on the stack. Being able to play a Grizzly Fate with threshold will turn games around for you or put them away. The problem is that it costs seven mana. We have three creatures and a spell already that costs five mana, and we’re not even halfway through the draft. Granted, we’d probably play Howl of the Night Pack over the Berserkers of Blood Ridge. The better option is to take Rampant Growth and make sure our fatties are coming out a turn earlier. We don’t want to lose with four spells in our hand that we couldn’t cast in time before we died.
My pick: Rampant Growth
Pack 2 pick 6:
Bramble Creeper is another Stampeding Rhino that’s easier to kill. We’ve got enough of that type of card. Windstorm is what we want. Green/red has a problem dealing with flying creatures. The games that red/green loses is either because it’s being outdrawn, out-spelled, a tempo draw, and/or flyers. You won’t be able to do much about being outdrawn. Windstorm helps deal with flyers. I’ve drafted some decks that would easily get blown out by Windstorm. Most decks are going to have one or two flyers at the minimum; some decks will have lots. We should be able to run it maindeck without it being dead.
My pick: Windstorm
Pack 2 pick 7:
Giant Spider is the best green common. It does so much. No common flyer can beat it in combat alone. The amount of time that Giant Spider gives you to set up is invaluable. It lets you cast Stampeding Rhino and Craw Wurm without having to worry about your life total becoming too low to effectively race.
My pick: Giant Spider
Pack 2 pick 8:
Deadly Recluse is similar to Giant Spider. Many people refuse to attack into it with their “better” creature. Instead they choose to wait, which is exactly what you want. While Deadly Recluse doesn’t have the toughness to back itself up like Giant Spider, it’s still able to trade with any non-first strike creature. Being able to hold off Air Elemental for a two mana investment is pretty good.
My pick: Deadly Recluse
Pack 2 pick 9:
Panic attack is not a card we’re going to play. It is a card we could potentially lose to though.
Pack 2 pick 10:
Levitation is another card we could potentially lose to.
My pick: Levitation
Pack 2 pick 11:
Wall of Bone is troublesome enough to take it. We can’t trample through it with Stampeding Rhino like we normally would be able to against Drudge Skeletons. Even though it technically sends a signal that black is open, we didn’t see much in pack one which suggests the drafters to our right are already in it.
My pick: Wall of Bone
Pack 2 pick 12:
We’re lucky to get Terramorphic Expanse so late. It will definitely make casting Overrun easier along with making Seismic Strike more efficient.
My pick: Terramorphic Expanse
Pack 2 pick 13:
Pack 2 pick 14:
My pick: Serpent of the Endless Sea
Pack 2 pick 15:
We’re heavily entrenched in red/green. We’re a bit light on removal but should still be fine with the two spiders and Prodigal Pyromancer to go along with the Entangling Vines, Windstorm, and two Seismic Strikes.
Pack 3 pick 1:
Centaur Courser isn’t what we want. We’re not planning to out-tempo the opponent. We don’t have any Giant Growths to break through crucial blocks. Our creature composition is made for a slower game: two Wall of Fire, multiple 4/4’s for five mana, Prodigal Pyromancer, etc. Rod of Ruin would be a good compliment to Prodigal Pyromancer; however, it’s so mana intensive. We’re going to be so busy casting big creatures; we won’t have many opportunities to use it. That leaves Acidic Slime. It’s not exactly a good offensive creature. It’s quite handy though. Being able to get rid of Pacifism, Ice Cage, Mind Control, Armored Ascension, and lands to mess with Tendrils of Corruption, Seismic Strike, and splash colors makes Acidic Slime very flexible.
My pick: Acidic Slime
Pack 3 pick 2:
We’ve got a lot of large creatures, although none are as large as Enormous Baloth. Outside of a removal spell, it would be pretty hard to stop the 7/7. Before we take the giant beast, let’s look at the other options. Craw Wurm is basically inferior to Enormous Baloth. There is not much difference between six and seven mana. “Only” four toughness is a big deal though; it’s so much easier to get a one-for-one trade. Gorgon Flail works very well with Prodigal Pyromancer, almost turning it into Visara the Dreadful. It’s also good at forcing through damage when you’ve got a lot of disposable creatures. It’s a bit unnecessary with Stampeding Rhino; 4/4’s are generally large enough. Lurking Predators offers green a source of card advantage, both actual and virtual; “actual” card advantage would be the situation where you get two or more creatures into play and “virtual” card advantage would be you scrying unwanted cards to the bottom of your deck. The longer a match goes, the more likely Lurking Predators is going to be good; it will trigger more and either gives you a creature or a better chance at drawing something good on your turn. Lurking Predators functions similarly against reactive decks and punishes those strategies by reducing their ability to grind you out with card advantage. There is a certain creature threshold that needs to be maintained to maximize Lurking Predators. If your creature count dips too low, then the enchantment becomes far less useful, though probably still fine. Between Enormous Baloth and Lurking Predators, you’re going to get more value initially from the 7/7. However, against decks that can deal with a bunch of Stampeding Rhino, dealing with an additional slightly larger version isn’t going to be too difficult. Lurking Predators will provide a different angle of attack for us in case we run into the aforementioned scenario.
My pick: Lurking Predators
Pack 3 pick 3:
Sparkmage Apprentice, Lava Axe, and Emerald Oryx are our choices. Lava Axe isn’t what the type of card our deck can utilize well. We aren’t looking for a card to force through those last points of unattainable damage. We have large creatures and cards like Overrun and Lurking Predators to ensure we win the long game. We will struggle in the early game before our army of five-mana creatures joins the party. Emerald Oryx is a good option against other green decks, but we already have one of those. Sparkmage Apprentice is what we want. It functions both as removal for Kelinore Bat and Stormfront Pegasus as well as providing a body to get pumped up by Overrun.
Pack 3 pick 4:
Here’s another deep pack. Unfortunately, we probably won’t be able to wheel anything because it’s too late in the pack rotation. Lightning Bolt is the best option for us. We don’t have any premium removal. Lightning Bolt is the best we can get for our colors. Sure, we have some Seismic Strikes, but Lightning Bolt is cheap and non-conditional.
My pick: Lightning Bolt
Pack 3 pick 5:
Pyroclasm will provide us with more early-game protection as well as being able to set up devastating X-for-1 trades as our opponents try to overpower our board of Wall of Fire and Giant Spider. We only lose a few creatures to Pyroclasm: Prodigal Pyromancer, Deadly Recluse, Llanowar Elves, and Acidic Slime. Ideally, we won’t be playing Runeclaw Bear. Centaur Courser won’t be able to provide us with as much flexibility. While it will be able to control the board in the early game like Pyroclasm, it can’t save us from flyers like Snapping Drake.
My pick: Pyroclasm
Pack 3 pick 6:
There isn’t much here. Bramble Creeper is another five-mana spell that has problems similar to those of Berserkers of Blood Ridge. It isn’t good on defense and is less durable because it has three toughness. Safe Passage is a better card to take. It trumps our Overrun as well as doing what it normally does: almost everything. The fewer cards that are available allowing the opponent to get even or favorable trades with our creatures the better.
My pick: Safe Passage
Pack 3 pick 7:
Prized Unicorn is good with Oakenform, Giant Growth, Gorgon Flail, and other similar cards, but we have none of those. Additionally, there’s a Giant Spider in the pack which is just better because of its ability to defend against all creatures with great effectiveness.
My pick: Giant Spider
Pack 3 pick 8:
A third Stampeding Rhino will let us cut Berserkers of Blood Ridge or some other less useful card. Fiery Hellhound will be difficult to support. While we do have two Wall of Fire and two Seismic Strike, the majority of our cards are green. Supporting those four cards will be difficult with the number of green cards we have in addition to Overrun. We don’t want to increase the number of spells difficult to cast in our deck. Additionally, Fiery Hellhound is better in a deck that has a low curve, allowing you to pump it while playing spells; our deck is the opposite.
My pick: Stampeding Rhino
Pack 3 pick 9:
Runeclaw Bear is the only playable. We might play it if there are no alternatives. It doesn’t fit into our deck’s plan. It might be sideboarded in if we need to answer multiple early drops.
My pick: Runeclaw Bear
Pack 3 pick 10:
There’s really not a reason to pass good cards in pack three if there is not a playable card; it’s the last pack so sending signals is irrelevant. We would just be passing more cards that make it easier to beat us.
My pick: Weakness
Pack 3 pick 11:
With two Emerald Oryx, we’ll have a good sideboard against any opposing deck with Forests.
My pick: Emerald Oryx
Pack 3 pick 12:
I was expecting Serpent of the Endless Sea to wheel before any of the other three spells. Regardless, we get to make a real decision very late in the draft. Craw Wurm is another fatty which is all well and good. We already have three Stampeding Rhino and one Berserkers of Blood Ridge so we don’t really need another big guy. Elvish Visionary is going to perform better for a few reasons: 1. It cycles itself so we can dig deeper for useful non-Craw Wurm cards like a land or removal spell. 2. It provides a body for Overrun. 3. It can provide a crucial block to relieve pressure from us so we can cast a creature better than theirs such as Giant Spider.
My pick: Elvish Visionary
Pack 3 pick 13:
My pick: Regenerate
Pack 3 pick 14:
My pick: Trumpet Blast
Pack 3 pick 15:
We keep a hand with Pyroclasm, Deadly Recluse, Sparkmage Apprentice, and Stampeding Rhino. With Pyroclasm and Sparkmage Apprentice, we have the opportunity to set up a devastating play depending on what Evil is playing. Unfortunately for us, Evil is Green/Blue/White and sitting on an Essence Scatter so he doesn’t want to tap out for anything. The first play of the game is on turn five when our Stampeding Rhino gets Essence Scattered.
Evil goes on the offensive and hits us with a Forest via Awakener Druid (G: 16). We can use Sparkmage Apprentice to kill the druid, but it is better to play Prodigal Pyromancer and Deadly Recluse to get more value out of the Sparkmage Apprentice. Evil opts to not attack his Forest into our recluse, and plays Merfolk Looter and Emerald Oryx (main, nice deck). We kill the Awakener Druid instead of the Merfolk Looter with the Prodigal Pyromancer because we didn’t actually want to trade our recluse with Evil’s Forest. Despite “setting him back” a turn, it wouldn’t have mattered in the long run because we weren’t putting pressure on him. After that we play a second Stampeding Rhino after getting in with the recluse (E: 19)
It turns out that not being presented with a good opportunity to play Pyroclasm early was for the better. After Emerald Oryx hits us (G: 14), Evil plays Howl of the Night Pack for four (in his three color deck). We use the Pyromancer to shoot his Oryx and Pyroclasm the board away except for our Stampeding Rhino which attacks (E: 15). Things are looking good.
Evil isn’t out of gas yet and plays Captain of the Watch. We can use Sparkmage Apprentice and Seismic Strike to kill the captain, but go with the greedy play of playing Lurking Predators instead. If Evil had removal for our Rhino, we would be in trouble. Evil has nothing except a second Emerald Oryx (yes, this is preboard) which puts Elvish Visionary into play for us.
We don’t draw a Mountain and use the Apprentice and Strike to kill the Captain of the Watch. Stampeding Rhino hits Evil (11). Entangling Vines traps the Rhino and our two 1/1s trade with two Soldier tokens (11) leaving Evil with one Soldier and the Oryx. Wall of Fire and Centaur Courser give us a board. Emerald Oryx hits us (9) and Evil plays Borderland Ranger.
The next few turns involve us getting attacked by Emerald Oryx, with us playing Giant Spider and Acidic Slime, eating the Entangling Vines. Evil plays a Deadly Recluse, Borderland Ranger, and Centaur Courser which leaves him with nothing untapped. We cast Overrun and win.
Despite Evil having Awakener Druid, I didn’t want to cut Centaur Courser over Wall of Fire. We already have a second wall, and Awakener Druid is the only card we saw that the wall answers better than any other creature. Centaur Courser at least lets us be able to kill Evil before he draws into Captain of the Watch or Howl of the Night Pack. If we don’t have Pyroclasm, we’ll be in trouble.
This game is far less exciting. Evil does nothing on turns one through five except play Forest, Forest, Forest, Forest, and Plains while we curve out with Llanowar Elves, Prodigal Pyromancer, Giant Spider, Stampeding Rhino, and Emerald Oryx. Evil plays a 5/5 Protean Hydra on turn six, but it doesn’t matter. The Hydra trades with our Rhino plus Pyromancer activation. Evil dies on the next turn.
We run into a Red aggro deck here. Our hand is good against his deck. Goblin Piker is answered by Elvish Visionary. Evil plays a Jackal Familiar, but it’s nothing compared to our Prodigal Pyromancer. Fortunately Evil doesn’t have removal for the Pyromancer. We don’t block his Piker with Visionary when his two guys attack (G: 16). Giant Spider joins our team and we pick off the Goblin Piker as Visionary attacks (E: 19).
Evil uses Seismic Strike and kills our Pyromancer, but its damage has been done. Evil is also stuck on three Mountains. We take advantage of his stunted development, hit him (E: 16), and play Stampeding Rhino. Evil can only play a Fiery Hellhound. We use Lightning Bolt to two-for-one him when he double-blocks the Giant Spider (E: 11). Afterwards, we play a [card]Deadly Recluse[/card] and Centaur Courser.
There’s no coming back after the two-for-one along with being mana-screwed. Evil manages a Raging Goblin which chumps Centaur Courser (E: 4). Evil concedes on his next turn after we don’t show him any more spells.
Evil’s second color is unknown. It seems unlikely that he’s Green because of the amount of late Green picks we saw in the draft. Combine that with our last opponent being Green as well and that makes it reasonable to assume we aren’t playing against Forests. However, since we’re on the draw against an aggressive deck, Stampeding Rhino might be a bit too slow. Windstorm has not proven to be very good against our opponents yet. Playing it maindeck still seems like a fine decision. Most decks have a few fliers. Even if there are only two, Windstorm is still a good spell.
We have Runeclaw Bear for turn two for the first spell of the game. Evil plays Plains and Palace Guard. We are happy with this change of pace. Our late game should favor us. Fiery Hellhound is Evil’s next play. We’ll trade Runeclaw Bear with it at the first opportunity. We play a Giant Spider.
Evil is out of lands and can only play Rod of Ruin on turn five; very unexciting. Not only does it affect very little of our board, Evil won’t be able to play a spell and use it in the same turn. Stampeding Rhino is our next play. Evil cycles Excommunicate for free on our rhino.
Evil is apparently frustrated with not doing anything. He attacks his Fiery Hellhound into our Runeclaw Bear and then plays Sparkmage Apprentice to shoot us (G: 19). We counterattack with Stampeding Rhino (E: 16) and play Lurking Predators. Evil hits his fifth land and plays Chandra Nalaar, but not before Lurking Predators dumps a second Stampeding Rhino into play. Chandra eats one of the rhinos before dying when we attack it with Giant Spider and our other Stampeding Rhino. Evil could have saved Chandra by throwing away his Palace Guard and Sparkmage Apprentice, but thought it was better not to. Emerald Oryx joins our team.
Evil plays Solemn Offering to destroy Lurking Predators (E: 20), but not before it puts Centaur Courser into play. We untap, play Overrun and attack. Evil blocks with his two creatures (E: 2). Lightning Bolt finishes him off.
Evil goes first and has Child of Night on turn two. We get hit by it before we can play Wall of Fire (G: 18, E: 22). Lightning Elemental also attacks, but doesn’t get by our wall (G: 16, E: 24). We’re able to start stabilizing. Giant Spider enters the battlefield. Evil can do nothing but cast Looming Shade with three Swamps total.
We’re going on the offensive. Seismic Strike kills Lightning Elemental and we hit with the Giant Spider (E: 22). Gravedigger brings back the Lightning Elemental, but Looming Shade dies to our Lightning Bolt. Rampant Growth fetches a third Mountain because we have a second Seismic Strike in hand. The Lightning Elemental comes back into play, but Evil has no good attacks because of the Wall of Fire.
Acidic Slime eats a Swamp, leaving Evil with two. Evil goes on the offensive again and attacks us with his Elemental and Child. We are tapped out so Wall of Fire won’t do anything. Giant Spider eats the Child of Night (E: 24) and Acidic Slime trades with Lightning Elemental. Evil casts Fireball on our Wall of Fire for five. We retaliate with Giant Spider (E: 22) and play a Stampeding Rhino.
We’re looking good with Rampant Growth and some fatties and Seismic Strike. Evil has Goblin Artillery on turn three. We play a Centaur Courser over Giant Spider. We need to get in damage to reduce the effectiveness of the Artillery. Evil summons a Looming Shade. Centaur Courser attacks (E: 17) and we play Giant Spider. Looming Shade is on defense as Evil only plays a third Swamp on turn five.
On our fifth turn we kill the Artillery with Seismic Strike, but not before it shoots the Child of Night (E: 14). We play Prodigal Pyromancer even though we know Evil has some sort of removal spell. Tendrils of Corruption finishes off the Spider (E: 17). Evil summons Child of Night and kills the Prodigal Pyromancer with Consume Spirit for one (E: 18) to regain some life. We attack with Centaur Courser (E: 15) play a Stampeding Rhino, which gets killed with Fireball. Fireball lets Child of Night and Looming Shade get a hit in (G: 15, E: 17).
We play Llanowar Elves and Wall of Fire after choosing to hold back with Centaur Courser. If Evil attacks with Looming Shade, we can trade our Elf and either Centaur Courser or Wall of Fire for it. It’s become too large to race against. Evil attacks and leaves us with the Centaur Courser. We don’t want to trade hits with Child of Night so we hold back.
Gravedigger comes into play and gets back Looming Shade, which is also played. That leaves Evil tapped out and makes our Pyroclasm that we draw incredible. Centaur Courser hits Evil (E: 14). Deathmark kills our Centaur and Evil also plays a Dread Warlock. We draw nothing. Evil draws and plays Lightning Elemental and attacks (G: 9). We draw Overrun and concede in response to Evil’s Duress (G: 3). In theory, we could have drawn Elvish Visionaryinto Lightning Bolt/Seismic Strike to not die. However, we don’t knowRampant Growth if Evil knows we have Overrun and would rather keep it a secret. Keep it safe.
We start off with Deadly Recluse on turn two. Evil matches it with Drudge Skeletons. Recluse attacks (E: 19) and we play Centaur Courser. Child of Night joins Evil’s side. Deadly Recluse and Centaur Courser attack; the Centaur trades with Child of Night when it gang-blocks with Drudge Skeletons (E: 20). The attack was not good. Afterwards, we play Giant Spider. Evil answers with Looming Shade.
We don’t hit our fifth land to play Stampeding Rhino. Instead we must cast Rampant Growth. Stampeding Rhino comes into play, but dies immediately to Tendrils of Corruption (E: 24). Evil plays a Goblin Artillery. Elvish Visionary leads to a Wall of Fire. Evil plays Sign in Blood (E: 22) while we play Lurking Predators. Goblin Artillery kills our Deadly Recluse (E: 19). Looming Shade attacks; we don’t have any good blocks (G: 15). We draw Seismic Strike and deal Looming Shade exactly lethal damage (how lucky!).
Evil summons his other Child of Night, which lets Lurking Predators put Giant Spider into play. We both play draw/go for a few turns. We cast a Stampeding Rhino. Evil begins to make his move by shooting us with Goblin Artillery (G: 13, E: 16). Evil passes again. We play Overrun, then Pyroclasm to clear blockers. Evil concedes.
The attack on turn four with Centaur Courser and Deadly Recluse was terrible. There was no reason to trade there. There are multiple cards we can draw that make Child of Night useless, like Sparkmage Apprentice, Prodigal Pyromancer, and Pyroclasm. Additionally, we don’t want to trade Deadly Recluse with Child of Night because it would be better to save it for something we can’t handle, like Looming Shade.