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According to Webster – M10 Draft #5

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:

 

Plains 

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.

My pick:

Panic Attack 

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:

 

My pick:

 

Pack 2 pick 14:

 

My pick: Serpent of the Endless Sea

Pack 2 pick 15:

Forest

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.

My pick:

 

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:

 

Island

Deck:

 

Round 1:

Game 1:

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.

Sideboard: +2 Emerald Oryx, -1 Windstorm, -1 Wall of Fire.

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.

Game 2:

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.

Round 2:

Game 1:

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.

Sideboard: +1 Emerald Oryx, +1 Runeclaw Bear, -1 Windstorm, -1 Stampeding Rhino.

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.

Game 2:

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.

Round 3:

Game 1:

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.

Evil summons a Goblin Artillery. We kill the Goblin Artillery with Seismic Strike and hit with both our creatures (E: 16). Evil wants no more of this game and concedes prematurely.

Sideboard: nothing.

Game 2:

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.

Sideboard: none.

Game 3:

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.

Happy Drafting.

58 thoughts on “According to Webster – M10 Draft #5”

  1. Pingback: MTGBattlefield

  2. Very nice draft and report. Very readable and enjoyable. Also loved the ‘Keep it a secret, keep it safe’ line 🙂

  3. Web, your drafting skill is top notch. Every pick you show restraint rather than gusto and it is incredibly impressive. Lurking Predators is such a house. Congrats on the win and keep up the finesse.

  4. I’m sorry to say, but your picks and even reasoning to take them were not the best. Taking the assassinate p1p1 over the rhox is wrong, you claim rhox would be a huge commitment, well unless you plan on play green or taking early expanses black is a color that needs a commiment to be good as well.

    Your mistake was shown to you further when you got two more first picks as in the mage and pacifism 3rd and 4th pick. In the same pack is as the pacifism is a troll, by seeing these 2 cards in the pack you know that the pack either had a really good foil in it or the people passing to you are your colors… Pack 2 you find your 2nd rhox 🙂 , and continue to get soldiers and other solid white creatures, along with solid green bombs and creatures.

    You should have be white/green , white/red , or white/blue

    I can’t tell for sure because you sent horrible signels by drafting the wrong deck/cards.

    In the end I feel that in order to find your true place in the draft you should be making your picks pack one based on power level instead of ease of use in a deck, because unless your forcing a deck (which is terrible imo) , There is higher risk in not taking the best cards early pack one, because If you end up getting cut out of your first 2 or 3 picks color, the signals sent wont be as strong as if you passed the more powerful cards that should actually be in the deck that is open to you.

  5. I think borderland ranger is worthy of mention in p1p1. Not that I’d differ from your pick myself. Still..

  6. I second joe’s comment. I enjoyed this report and also loved the “Keep it secret, keep it safe” comment.

    I think reading this made me a smarter drafter! So, thanks. =)

    Cheers,

    Bradley

  7. I feel that P1p1 is really between Borderland Ranger and Assasinate.

    Borderland Ranger commits you to green main or half of your deck green/other color/splash. Starting out in grounded green allows you to splash a third color easily and lets you hold off on settling down with your two colors if you are debating between 3, which is currently why I like green the most.

    While assasinate has a much higher power level, it will only make the deck in 2 situations. Deep black or black removal splash. Even if you end up with the best option of very deep in black, green from my limited experience is what goes with it best and ranger compliments the powerhouses of deep black such as tendrils.

    Thoughts?

  8. Marc, he wasn’t “wrong” for not picking the white card pack 1 just because more white cards came.

    You can’t always assume you are going to get passed pacifism and blinding mage, you have to make the best decision with the known information, the outcome is irrelevant.

    “It’s not about winning or losing, it’s about making the right decision”
    -Doyle Brunson

  9. Why didnt you consider Borderland ranger pick 1? I think its better than all of those other cards. At LEAST worth considering.

  10. I very much prefer this style of report. Even if you never do another one in this style, thank you for doing this one.

  11. I would have definetely taken the Rhox, although I do have a large preference for white, and always seem to get choked out of black pretty quickly whenever I draft it.

  12. We disagree with many of your picks, and we think quite a bit of your commentary is either superfluous or false, so your style of using “we” in every sentence got on our nerves.

  13. Hm, I don’t think I would have passed Cudgel Troll which is the best green nonrare cards after Overrun, but after all everything has turned out well for you.
    I hope the next article is in your old “story style” again.

  14. It’s amazing how you almost never flood or screw in all of your drafts, you always draw things like overrun and pyroclasm late, not saying you were lucky you seem to have drafted very well, in my oppinion you did well passing on the white cards and that paid off in green.
    But still, I get flooded, mana screwed and mulliganed to 5 more than often while you in NO draft seem to get that happened, I envy you, OR I would like to see a draft were things go bad, or bad choices you made, or something like that.

    Anyway good article

  15. Adam,

    Yes, he was wrong p1p1, Rhox is the best card in the pack by far, the ranger and assassinate are not close to it power level wise and white is the strongest and deapest color in the set. This draft was just him getting lucky in the end.

  16. There is a lot of hate in this comment section. Everyone is entitled to there own opinions, but I’m pretty sure there is not a single person in this comment section that drafts better than Webster. I believe jealousy runs rampant. This is why a lot magic players don’t get any better. They’d rather argue and try to prove some one wrong or say they made the wrong decision when they should be asking themselves, “why do I believe differently and how has that worked out for me in the past.” Just say’n! Webster explains why he picks the way he does and he is very detailed about it. I am sure it takes him quite some time to produce this article. So ask yourself why do you read this article? The answer most likely is that he is better than you at drafting. So kill your preconcieved notions and try to learn something.

    That doesn’t mean there aren’t points you can make, but you should try to rebutt his reasoning and not just say Rhox Pikemaster over assassinate is the right decision.

  17. Read Shane’s comment, he speaks the truth.

    Plus, taking removal over the Rhox seems fine. Deep black is one of the most powerful decks in M10 limited if you get passed the cards (I got worked over last night at a local draft by mono-black. He drafted 4 tendrils of corruption, 2 doom blades and 2 consume spirits. It was insane).

    His reasoning perfectly explains why he took assassinate over the creature.

  18. I would have taken the Assassinate or the Borderland Ranger. Rhox Pikemaster is a powerful card, but its not powerful enough to make the commitment to W that’s necessary to play it. Assassinate and Borderland Ranger are more flexible and better Pack 1, Pick 1’s than Rhox Pikemaster. I beleive in being flexible that first pick unless you open a solid bomb, and Pikemaster does not qualify for bomb status.

  19. lol shane…

    I did make a rebuttle… And the reason I read his drafting article was because my testing partner sent me the link to see how bad he did lmao. I do consider myself a better drafter than most here and the article writer, since you mentioned it, I do draft almost 10 times a week for practice alone.

  20. Comment by Marc – September 14, 2009 @ 10:00 pm :

    I elaborated why I prefer Assassinate in that pick. Black and White are deep colors, and if we’re pushed out of whatever color we choose there, splashing Assassinate (if the opportunity presents itself) is reasonable whereas it’s not with Rhox Pikemaster.

    You made the comment that my “mistake” is “shown to me” when I get passed Blinding Mage and Pacifism. Frankly, using the information from the future packs to justify why a pick from the current pack is/n’t correct is completely unreasonable. The only information that matters is what is known now, not in the future.

    If I could see everyone’s picks, then sure, I would have started in white. I would have had an amazing pack 1. However, there aren’t do-overs in life.

    I’m out of time, so I’ll comment on the rest later.

  21. ive read all your m10 drafts. the reports here are the best balance of flavor and accurate reporting. please use this as the basis for your future draft reports.

    i like your pick analysis more than the other main drafters that post (LSV, plejades on mtgoacademy, godot on puremtgo, nico on blackborder). many of those other drafts are forced or rely on bombs, so theres really very little analysis involved. thats partly because of the format, but its refreshing to see some reports that arent dominated by one or two mythics.

    im on the fence about p2p5. you probably ran into that howl in a game, and you were fortunate to have your p3p5 in pyroclasm. classic power vs. consistency dilemma in p2p5. at the end of the draft, do you think the consistency that rampant growth provided helped you more than the raw power of howl?

  22. Marc, regardless of how talented you may think you are, your analysis shows that you need work (especially the later white “proving” he picked the wrong card). You EVEN SAY why Assassinate is a more versatile pick in your post (Expanses and Green will both let you play it, and they won’t make Pikemaster very good at all), and yet still manage to miss the point.

    The end of your post has too many grammar errors to fully understand, but it contradicts itself a fair bit. You say you hate forcing colors, but you advocate exactly that: take the power cards early so you can live off of pack two if you’re being cut from the right.

    Which is a reasonable strategy. I’m just saying your posting shows that you aren’t analyzing a draft properly.

    Assassinate goes in more decks, and requires less commitment. You can disagree with the pick, but you can’t disagree with that statement. David is interested in getting a strong deck while avoiding early commitments. Picking Pikemaster is basically a gamble on white, which is a fine choice, but isn’t what David was trying to do.

    Argue your case on the right merits.

  23. As said in the report “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.” This is why assassinate is the better pick. Rhox is not a bomb. And your decision p1p1 has nothing to do with what will come in the next few picks unless you’re psychic. You remind me of the people who do the weekly draft simulator on wizards.com who grab all garbage white cards first pack because theyve run through the draft 30 times and know that theyre going to open a baneslayer 2nd pack and get passed two serr angels and then post up their list thinking theyre so smart.

  24. I’ve got to agree with Marc. The Pikemaster is, in a way, a more efficient card. A 3/3 First Strike eats most creatures played pre-turn4 anyways. Not to mention you can easily race the cards you can’t block (drake, bats, etc.). Now in P1P2 you see all three commons still there. So you know he didn’t pick a Serra Angel, Harm’s Way, or Pikemaster. Therefore, I would be fine assuming that the rare he picked wasn’t white and that the person before is not in that color. P1P3 shows a Blinding Mage. Your comment of “missing uncommon and rare” is a poor assumption. Air Elemental, Overrun, Fireball, Banshee, and much more are all fine first/second picks and are not white. It also goes along with the belief the person to your right is not white. Finally, pick four shows Pacifism. Lets think about that. Had the the guy two to the right picked a white card, there are not many cards he would pick over a Pacifism (it would send a terrible signal). This also concludes that the guy to your right is also definitely not white.
    I believe you misread your signals and didn’t pick too wisely.

  25. “I do consider myself a better drafter than most here and the article writer, since you mentioned it…”

    delusion – noun: a false belief or opinion: delusions of grandeur.

  26. Excellent report, loved this style. I guess there’s a spectrum and I’m at one end; I can’t stand the story-style articles, but found this ideal. What you did, why you did it, and what happened – that’s the meat that I want, and you present it without frills. Superb.

    Agreed with most of your picks, and came around on some of those I disagreed on. Weiss, be constructive, be specific! Sheesh.

  27. To Glenn,

    You point out that I believe taking the more efficient/more powerful cards pack one is the best way to go. And that is true, but then you claim that this means I’m doing what im against and that is forcing. I don’t understand why you feel taking the most efficient/powerful cards = only taking one color, but that is not my view, Pack one I look for signals for the deck to draft, while taking the most efficient cards early (regardless of color).

    And by me sayin that the auther finding good white cards later in pack1 showed him his mistake, was nothing more than that. (I wasn’t expecting him to predict the future.)

    Also to the author, to be fair I have only payed close attention to this one draft by you and am only judging you based off of this one article. Ill give you the benifit of the doubt in that you don’t make these mistakes every draft..

    My arguement is not just on the Rhox pic, but reading signals better as well.

    and because I like giving trolls attention lol….
    To ownageville,
    jealous – noun – resentment against a rival, a person enjoying success or advantage, etc., or against another’s success or advantage itself.

  28. Its easy to call any pick a ‘mistake’ with 50/50 hindsight.

    Well written article.

    I find it strange that there’s so much heat over P1P1. In my honest opinion, P1P1 is the /least/ important pick you could make throughout your entire draft, because it is the least likely to effect what you are actually going to be drafting.

    Rhox Pikemaster is not a bomb, its a solid creature, and the fact of the matter is that you can get quite a number of solid creatures throughout the entire draft, each with various strengths and weaknesses. Some, the Pikemaster can’t deal with.

    Assassinate deals with almost all of them.

  29. I think taking Assassinate first is fine…Black is a better color than White, Assassinate is easier to splash, and ultimately removal is what defines your deck, not Hill Giants. Granted, Pikemaster is a really good Hill Giant, but many games in this format come down to who can stop their opponents best cards, and Pikemaster doesn’t really do that much. I would definitely take Assassinate here.

  30. I second Shane’s comment.

    Thanks again David for another great draft. You make it look easy. I would have gone white in the beginning but it didn’t seem to make a difference. Each article is very helpful. I just wish I could get your articles before the prereleases!

  31. @ Comment by Awesome7574 – September 14, 2009 @ 10:43 pm :
    I don’t like picking Borderland Ranger first because green doesn’t have good spells. You get some solid creatures like Giant Spider, but are lacking in forms of real removal.

    If you end up playing green/x/splash y (for good fixing like Rampant Growth and Borderland Ranger), you’re basically playing a X/y deck with worse mana and maybe better creatures, but with less good spells.

    @ Comment by eidolon – September 15, 2009 @ 5:39 am :
    I passed Cudgel Troll because I didn’t see the point of going into green at that point. If I were to take a non-red card there, the only choice would be Pacifism.

    @ Comment by Adrian – September 15, 2009 @ 6:01 am :
    This isn’t directed only at you, but since you’re the first person to comment about it (this week), here it goes:

    The fact of the matter is I do get mana screwed and flooded like everyone else. It’s only natural for people to have similar draws as a sample size increases to an arbitrarily large number given appropriate ratios of spells to non-spells. Sure, I even lose also.

    So many people have commented about how I seemingly “never lose” that my interest was piqued. I went back and looked over all the M10 drafts I’ve done on MTGO. I’ve played in 16 drafts online in the 8-4 queue. Of those drafts, I won 10 and “didn’t win” 6. I lose in round 3 once, round 2 once, and round 1 four times. One of the round 1 loses was because I got disconnected and couldn’t reconnect. Ignoring that one loss, my cumulative match record to date is 33-5. Now I’m not posting this to say, “Look at me, I’m awesome.” I’m not trying to convince you that I’m awesome. I’m just writing draft recaps and letting you decide on your own. If you want to count that disconnect as a loss, you can take a look at the deck and tell me how far you think I would have gotten in the draft:

    1 Black Knight
    1 Dread Warlock
    1 Kelinore Bat
    3 Looming Shade
    2 Gravedigger
    1 Berserkers of Blood Ridge
    1 Magma Phoenix
    1 Siege-Gang Commander
    1 Inferno Elemental

    1 Disentomb
    1 Duress
    2 Lightning Bolt
    1 Doom Blade
    1 Pyroclasm
    1 Sign in Blood
    1 Mind Rot
    1 Tendrils of Corruption
    1 Rise from the Grave
    1 Consume Spirit

    6 Mountain
    11 Swamp

    @ Comment by beer – September 15, 2009 @ 2:17 pm :
    I would take Rampant Growth again if I had the choice. With two Seismic Strike and Overrun along with 4/5-cc fatties, it’s vital to have perfect mana. Howl of the Night Pack is going to be better than most fatties because it dumps more creatures into play, but you need more than just a bunch of slow powerful cards in your deck.

    @ Comment by American_Kid – September 15, 2009 @ 4:05 pm :
    Pack1 Pick2: *I see all 3 UNcommons there.*
    I can’t assume anything about what color the guy to my right is in. The pack is weak so it’s hard to gauge he took.

    You posted that you would have taken the Rhox Pikemaster first. Obviously you would naturally want to take Blinding Mage third. However, pretend for a moment that you instead took Assassinate first. What is your next pick? Don’t lie to me and say White Knight. Prodigal Pyromancer is a pretty easy choice there. Now, what is your third pick when you have Assassinate/Prodigal Pyromancer and why? Do you not think it is worth cutting off red by taking Seismic Strike? Same questions for next pick.

    Regarding the missing Uncommon. I personally haven’t opened enough packs to know the print run. It could be X/Dragon Claw/Megrim, Dragon Claw/Y/Megrim, or Dragon Claw/Megrim/Z. Without knowing the print run I can’t eliminate specific cards. Sure there are plenty of non-white mythics/rares/uncommons that could have been taken over Blinding Mage; the same is true for white mythics/rares/uncommons.

    At the point pick 4 comes around, I’m fairly certain white is open, however I’m presented with the opportunity to have Prodigal Pyromancer and two Seismic Strikes along with a removal card in another color versus Prodigal Pyromancer, one Seismic Strike, and two removal cards in two different colors. I have enough cards to want to be red along with an incentive to be black which seems fine to me.

  32. No I agree with you, if I had picked Assassinate, I would have totally gone in the same direction you did. I still think, however, Pikemaster is better than Assassinate.

    Here’s why:
    White is a deeper color than black. The chances white ends up being one of your colors is higher than black. Plus, because white is deeper, the chances you will get decent cards for your deck is also higher. This makes Pikemaster a more likely addition to the deck. Yes, Assassinate can be splashed into a deck, but really? If you need to splash in Assassinate to make a deck better, I would believe the core of the deck is subpar in the first place.

    Pikemaster gets in there… Yes assassinate is removal and that is hard to come by. But as a removal card it is slow and clunky and doesn’t guarantee it will really help that much. Pikemaster, on the other hand, can make a deck better (especially with 4+ soilders). He is a 3/3 First Strike and that is also hard to come by.

    Finally, looking at the jank that is in the rest of that pack, and its pretty bad… I think passing Assassinate sends a more appropriate signal. By shipping Drake, Ice Cage, Borderland Ranger, Pikemaster, and I guess White Knight, you are passing on the three deepest colors in M10. Come pack two, you won’t expect to see much in terms of playable cards in a deep color. However if we pick the Pikemaster, I would guess the people after us would pick: Assassinate, Ice Cage/Drake, Borderland Ranger/White Knight. This means that white would probably be open in the pack 2 and possibly some green.

    Perhaps I’m wrong, but I would honestly pick the Pikemaster over the Assassinate. Yet, I accept the fact you would pick the Assassinate, but I thought you would as least like to here another opinion. For all we know, you could have picked the Pikemaster and then saw a Doomblade for pick 2 and a Ttendrils for pick 3. Just in this case, it turned out white was probably the better color to be in. In any case, again, I agree that if I were to pick Assassinate in P1P1, I would have done something very similar. I also realize that once you saw the Pacifism, after what you passed and already picked, you couldn’t really snag it.

    LMK what you think…

  33. I agree with American Kid last comment as well,

    After the initial passing of Rhox and the mage there was no way to go white.

    If for some reason the Rhox was no longer a .. Rhox and I had to pick assassinate my second pick would be the same, however since the Rhox magicaly changed to a different card/color , I still would not have sent a strong white signal to the left and the blinding mage then pacifism/troll would still be the correct picks in those spots.

    White is a stronger/deeper color than black and the above reasoning by American Kid to why Rhox is the correct pick is right.

    I also agree with when he said that If your splashing black for assassinate to make your deck better, It must have been sketchy to begin with. I consider a one card splash to be a doom blade/bolt/fireball type of card.

  34. Better writing than in the last articles, you kept your flowery style to a minimum – an improvement in my book!
    I would have taken the Rhox first, and in hindsight would have been very happy with the white getting passed, cutting it off for the second pack. Your arguments for the Assassinate are valid, however. As long as any author gives sound reasons for his picks, I will never complain.

  35. I would also have taken the Assassinate P1P1. Partly because I find B/x to be the best archetype, partly because you cut off playable black for the guy you’re passing to. Seeing as a common is missing, he’ll figure out you’re either black (Doom Blade, Tendrils) or Red (Lightning Bolt) as these are the commons you would normally take over a Pikemaster (nobody picks Pacifism, with other playables when there’s a second good white card, right?).

    With Assassinate chosen, and P2P1’s mediocrity, you definitly have to take the Pyromancer, even with a Stone Giant in there still making red a good option for those coming after you. Pyromancer having more effect on the board, and being splashable.

    The P1P3 Seismic Strike seals it, going R/b. If Black would come, but it doesn’t, forcing us into green as only open color (Hence the Troll).

    Oh, for those wanting to go white knowing the picks, if hindsight is 20/20: He won the draft. So he must have done everything correctly!

  36. This report is not as exciting as your other articles. Although I really enjoy your match-reports since they are very in-depth and the “new” style isn’t bad I really wish for some more fluff because ultimately that’s what pulled me to this article-series in the first place.

    Keep up the good work!

  37. @ Marc (with some constructive criticism this time)

    “And by me sayin that the auther finding good white cards later in pack1 showed him his mistake, was nothing more than that. (I wasn't expecting him to predict the future.)”

    This is the part where you’re really killing your own argument. If you think that Rhox Pikemaster is the right pick, since white is a deep color, then make that the argument (it is a fair one). Talking from hindsight, on the other hand, does not contribute much.

    “Also to the author, to be fair I have only payed close attention to this one draft by you and am only judging you based off of this one article. Ill give you the benifit of the doubt in that you don't make these mistakes every draft..”

    That’s precisely where you’re not being fair: judging the author’s level of skill based on one draft, and then calling a first pick that is by no means obvious, a mistake. In the same situation as the author, I would probably first pick the Assassinate, but it is much closer than you would indicate. I like what American_kid said here, which is similar to your argument, but at least suggests that the pick is open to opinion:

    “Perhaps I'm wrong, but I would honestly pick the Pikemaster over the Assassinate. Yet, I accept the fact you would pick the Assassinate, but I thought you would as least like to here another opinion.”

    And btw, jealous is an adjective, Marc. Jealousy is a noun.

  38. ^ I just copied and pasted from dictionary.com lol, I did originaly look up jealousy for you 🙂 .

    I wasn’t talking from hindsight… I don’t think you get it lol, pikemaster is not a bomb but is a firstpick, assassinate generally goes 2-3 pick based on the pack. This is the second time some here posted trying to make me look foolish but all your doing is misreading what I wrote. I’m done explaining on this topic cus I feel im wasting my time with it now, Ill read his next article and judge that to be fair with the author.

  39. It could have used a little more flavour but this was pretty excellent.

    Also I’m very happy that you post reports of wins instead of the ones where you get mana-screwed, mulligan to 5 and drop out after 1 round.

    Good must prevail over Evil!

  40. I have played a number of drafts of M10, but by no means am an expert. That said I would still like to give my opinion as to assassinate vs Pikemaster and why Assassinate is the right pick. It’s all about the casting cost right. One splashes and one doesn’t. You are much more likely to play the assassinate then the pikemaster and assassinate deals with the pikemaster. Also, I tend to think black is as deep as white it just requires you to be heavier in black. Also, white has a lot of WW casting costs that I am not a fan of not to say the black doesn’t have a lot of it’s own BB. So if you pick pikemaster you are commiting to white as your main color or you are abandoning it later, whereas the assassinate can still make it on the splash. It’s probably a preference for me to be in black over white, but I based that on my own results in drafting, which is another reason I read this column…for new perspectives.

  41. dammit it’s “keep it safe, keep it secret” in the book.

    I like this one web. Very technical while still illustrating that fantasy element. You may have made some changes to your style for your readers, but I don’t sense any bitterness. Instead, your choice of verbs continually reminds the reader that this is a fantasy game as well as a technological struggle between resources, tempo, and card advantage. Unless they’re playing EDH, most 1800 and + play the game in the mindset of the latter; It’s refreshing to ingest this sort of information in the framework it was meant to be played.

    ~Killer Bee.

  42. I have to say I have read all of David’s articles and I have come to the conclusion his analyis is the thing that keeps me coming back for more. (the flowery writing style can be quite fun, it can also be too much, but either way I read ya)

    While a number of people registered their opinions on the closness of various picks during this particular draft the intellect demonstrated by the author is continually shown in all of his picks in all of his articles. By this I mean: every pick is explained and defended before he ever publishes it.

    I have to say after reading countless other draft articles on SCG and the mothership, having the reasoning behind every pick explained to your readership is truly excellent and deeply appreciated.

    Oh, and to the fact that you are something like 33-5 on MTGO I only have 1 response: Of course you are…you are one smart a-hole who keeps on kicking people’s rumps who don’t think about their picks as much (read: me).

    Keep up the good work (not the beating me online thing…but the writing thing).

  43. wheel of armageddon

    Dear Mr.Ochoa,

    Thanks very much for doing these weekly draft reports. I enjoy reading your choices and reasons for making said choices. I learn something new each week from these reports.

    However, the lack of flavor in this weeks report made it a little bland to read. I feel that the style you used last week and in m10 draft #2 are much more enjoyable to read (the adjustment to add life totals was a brilliant idea, by the way). Today’s article was very much like a cut and dry draft report which can be found in many places. I really enjoy the flavor you add to an article and I think that is what sets you apart from every other draft review writer.

    I think last weeks article hit a good balance between the two extremes. I hope you continue to write things like:

    “The battle is sure to be a bloody one. Undead Slayer is given the business end of a Doom Blade while Evil summons a Dread Warlock. The wizard is shrouded in a mystical cloak allowing it to pass through our defenses undetected. We must not falter or else we'll be slain by the warlock. We summon a Snapping Drake to outrace Evil in the air.”

    because that makes things so much more enjoyable to read.

    Thanks again for the great reports!

  44. I don’t buy the excuse that Assassinate is more likely to make the deck than Pikemaster if you get cut from your color. Assassinate is not strong enough to splash a third color for, and obviously neither is the Pikemaster. If you end up changing colors then both cards will be cut, so that’s no excuse.

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