According to Webster – Zendikar Draft #6

Zendikar Draft #6

Pack 1 pick 1:


Pitfall Trap, Shatterskull Giant, Windrider Eel, and Scute Mob are the top cards. Scute Mob is okay. It’s slow and vulnerable initially. Shatterskull Giant is solid. It’s good because a 4/3 will commonly set up two-for-one situations with removal/tricks during combat. Windrider Eel is another solid card. It doesn’t block well like Shatterskull Giant, but it is more likely to get damage through because it flies. Pitfall Trap is overrated. It’s hard to use effectively. If the opponent knows about it, then you will lose a lot of tempo leaving mana open to cast it. If you leave one mana open, they’ll attack with more than one creature. If you leave three open, they’ll just play more creatures and not attack. Granted, there are times when Pitfall Trap will be really good. None of these cards are good enough to play the color that they are. It would be better to take a card that is easily splashed if other better cards in different colors get passed that we end up taking. Windrider Eel is the best card to take when you consider the previous point because blue doesn’t have color-intense casting costs like the other colors.

My pick: Windrider Eel

Pack 1 pick 2:


Bladetusk Boar is decent. It’s evasive, though on the slow side and doesn’t block well. It’s similar to Windrider Eel. Kor Skyfisher is a better option. It’s cheap, evasive, and has excellent power/toughness. It’s very good.

My pick: Kor Skyfisher

Pack 1 pick 3:


Burst Lightning is the easy choice here.

My pick: Burst Lightning

Pack 1 pick 4:


Plated Geopede is much better than anything else here. Seeing the two best red commons third and fourth is an indication that red is open. Now we just need to figure out what the next best color is.

My pick: Plated Geopede

Pack 1 pick 5:


Green is probably open. There are lots of fatties left in the pack. Baloth Woodcrasher is the only green card that I like because it packs so much of a punch. Brave the Elements is only good when the majority of your creatures (or important creatures) are white. Explorer’s Scope is only okay. It’s very swingy. Sometimes it won’t do anything while other times it will draw a land every turn that enables two Landfall triggers. Ruinous Minotaur is the best option because it will help us get a better pack two if we cut red. Ruinous Minotaur is okay. It’s not as synergistic as Explorer’s Scope when compared to Plated Geopede and Windrider Eel, but becomes better when you consider the signals we end up sending as a result.

My pick: Ruinous Minotaur

Pack 1 pick 6:


White doesn’t appear to be open. However, blue appears to be so. Seeing Windrider Eel this late is enough to warrant staying in blue. Stonework Puma is okay, but not as good as Windrider Eel. We would need to have many more good Allies to make Stonework Puma the pick.

My pick: Windrider Eel

Pack 1 pick 7:


This is a tough pack. I’m relatively sure white isn’t open. However, there isn’t a good non-white option. Cancel isn’t a card I normally like running because it’s too situational. It’s bad when you’re losing. It would be better to take Kor Outfitter to help give us a good starting point with white in case something weird happens with the packs in pack two that would result in blue or red becoming unplayable.

My pick: Kor Outfitter

Pack 1 pick 8:


Windrider Eel is the best card. I’m concerned with the lack of red cards. I would have thought that after pick three and four, there would definitely be more.

My pick: Windrider Eel

Pack 1 pick 9:


If our deck becomes blue-heavy, then Merfolk Wayfinder becomes playable. As a 1/2 flyer, it’s almost unplayable. However, if it can reliably get a land every time, then it becomes a fine card to run. Tempest Owl is similar, but more situational. It’s really only good against other blue decks when your flyers aren’t unblockable.

My pick: Merfolk Wayfinder

Pack 1 pick 10:


Noble Vestige is better than Tempest Owl. However, our red cards are better than the white cards we have. Given that we are playing blue, playing red is more appealing than white.

My pick: Tempest Owl

Pack 1 pick 11:


My pick: Noble Vestige

Pack 1 pick 12:


My pick: Sunspring Expedition

Pack 1 pick 13:


My pick: Sejiri Refuge

Pack 1 pick 14:


My pick: Carnage Altar

Pack 1 pick 15:


Pack one was very odd. We started off in a wayward fashion and got pointed towards red with two excellent picks that should have been gone earlier. However, red dried up quickly afterwards. It is entirely possible that the two packs that the Geopede and Burst Lightning were in were chock full of good red cards and we got the leftovers that slipped through. However, I suspect that isn’t the case. White seems to be a lost cause. Black is nowhere to be seen. Blue has promise, but it feels like we’re sharing with someone close to us on our right.

Pack 2 pick 1:


Burst Lightning is the best card and it’s not very close. Luminarch Ascension is overrated. It needs to be played early or when you’re ahead to do anything. In stalemates, it’s okay, but still requires you to draw better than your opponent for four turns to do anything.

My pick: Burst Lightning

Pack 2 pick 2:


This pack has a Disfigure and a bunch of nothing. The leftovers are mediocre cards like Slaughter Cry, Highland Berserker, and Reckless Scholar. There’s a moderate amount of green, but we’ve already got a good secondary color. Slaughter Cry isn’t a card we need right now with so many Windrider Eels and Plated Geopede. Highland Berserker is a better option. Reckless Scholar is on the same level as Highland Berserker, but is more expensive. Highland Berserker is much better when you’ve got additional Allies. That isn’t the case right now, but you have to start somewhere. It would be better to have a lower curve to make sure our Windrider Eels are always attacking.

My pick: Highland Berserker

Pack 2 pick 3:


Kraken Hatchling is good when you have a lot of creatures that don’t block well like Windrider Eel and Plated Geopede. Torch Slinger is a better option. In the first few turns, Kraken Hatchling is going to be better than Torch Slinger simply because it costs one mana. However, once you get to three mana, they’re roughly equivalent. A Gray Ogre is going to be able to trade with most creatures that will be attacking you. If you get to the later part of the game, Torch Slinger is going to be more useful because you’ll be able to get a two-for-one with it. Considering the two copies of Burst Lightning, it doesn’t seem unreasonable that we’ll be able to handle most fast creature draws which makes Kraken Hatchling less necessary.

My pick: Torch Slinger

Pack 2 pick 4:


Stonework Puma is fine. The ship has sailed with white. The Kor Aeronaut and Luminarch Ascension from our opening pack are going to wreck us for signals if we take the Kazandu Blademaster. Into the Roil is another decent card. It’s better than Whiplash Trap because it’s much cheaper, draws a card, and can bounce artifacts/enchantments. Zektar Shrine Expedition is a card that I like in super-aggressive decks. It’s okay on defense also, but not as good as Into the Roil.

My pick: Into the Roil

Pack 2 pick 5:


Elemental Appeal does a lot of damage. The tradeoff is that you need to run a lot of Mountains to reliably cast it. It’s another card that’s good in a very aggressive deck. We’ve got more of a mid-range deck that’s lacking the two-drops necessary to make Elemental Appeal good. Highland Berserker is the next best option. It’s going to be better than Goblin Bushwhacker, which is similar to Elemental Appeal. Without multiple Goblin Shortcutters and equipment, Goblin Bushwhacker doesn’t do enough.

My pick: Highland Berserker

Pack 2 pick 6:


We’d need to have the remaining pack be nearly perfect to be able to play mono-red. Valakut isn’t that great outside of mono-red; even with twelve red sources, it will take too long to become active. Spire Barrage is the next best option. It’s still playable in a deck with eleven/twelve Mountains. It turns into an Essence Drain/Lava Axe most of the time.

My pick: Spire Barrage

Pack 2 pick 7:


Bladetusk Boar is better than Aether Figment and Unstable Footing. Aether Figment and Bladetusk Boar are almost comparable, but it is better to pass the Aether Figment because our red has many of our early drops. As a result, it’s better to have more Mountains in our deck. We’re more likely to have lots of Mountains if we have lots of red spells which is less likely if we pass the Bladetusk Boar.

My pick:

Bladetusk Boar 

Pack 2 pick 8:


Paralyzing Grasp would be better in a deck with lots of flyers. We’ve got a mix, with more ground creatures than flyers. Our deck will be attacking early and won’t be able to easily make use of Paralyzing Grasp as a result. We’re unlikely to play two Ruinous Minotaurs unless we play against a green deck with a lot of fatties that we wouldn’t normally be able to trade with. Goblin Ruinblaster is the next best option. It’s not exciting, but is still fine as a 2/1 haste creature.

My pick: Goblin Ruinblaster

Pack 2 pick 9:


Hellfire Mongrel is the only card for us here. It’s okay. It doesn’t survive combat well, but can be quite good in the late game when holding extra cards in hand isn’t an option.

My pick: Hellfire Mongrel

Pack 2 pick 10:


Slaughter Cry is a good combat trick.

My pick: Slaughter Cry

Pack 2 pick 11:


My pick: Lethargy Trap

Pack 2 pick 12:


My pick: Demolish

Pack 2 pick 13:


My pick: Spreading Seas

Pack 2 pick 14:


My pick: Caravan Hurda

Pack 2 pick 15:

Lethargy Trap

Pack two gave us a lot of red cards. I was surprised by the lack of blue. I was expecting much more than what was passed to us. Still, an average pack three will still yield a fine deck. Hopefully the red continues to flow.

Pack 3 pick 1:


Merfolk Seastalkers is the most powerful card. Unfortunately it’s rather slow. Our deck has a lot of slow cards in it already, which makes it less useful. Umara Raptor is the best choice because it fits the deck’s curve much better and works very well in conjunction with our other Allies.

My pick: Umara Raptor

Pack 3 pick 2:


If only we were white. Kor Skyfisher really is _THAT_ good. Stonework Puma is our best option because of our other Allies. The other options (Zektar Shrine Expedition and Teetering Peaks) aren’t much better. Stonework Puma gives our deck more synergy.

My pick: Stonework Puma

Pack 3 pick 3:


I prefer Geyser Glider more than Tuktuk Grunts normally because it’s bigger and attacks better by itself. However, since our Ally package has swelled to a reasonable number, Tuktuk Grunts gets a bit better. Synergy is important.

My pick: Tuktuk Grunts

Pack 3 pick 4:


This pick is much easier. Stonework Puma isn’t as good as Tuktuk Grunts

My pick: Tuktuk Grunts

Pack 3 pick 5:


Adventuring Gear is an excellent card. It will allow our smaller creatures force through damage when they wouldn’t normally be able to attack.

My pick: Adventuring Gear

Pack 3 pick 6:



We’ve got too many high drops to want to play Shatterskull Giant. Goblin Shortcutter is a better choice.

My pick: Goblin Shortcutter

Pack 3 pick 7:


We’re faced with a similar comparison to last pick. Sky Ruin Drake is a fine card. However, we’ve already got three Windrider Eels, Bladetusk Boar, two Tuktuk Grunts, Spire Barrage, and Torch Slinger). That’s a lot of expensive spells. Explorer’s Scope will be more useful because it will be useful at all points of the game.

My pick: Explorer’s Scope

Pack 3 pick 8:


Soaring Seacliff is a good utility card. It’s good when paired with big creatures like Ruinous Minotaur.

My pick: Soaring Seacliff

Pack 3 pick 9:


Highland Berserker is going to be better than Expedition Map. Expedition Map is only going to be able to find Soaring Seacliff as well as fix our mana for Spire Barrage or a Windrider Eel. Having another two-drop Ally to power up our Tuktuk Grunts/Umara Raptor and force through damage seems better.

My pick: Highland Berserker

Pack 3 pick 10:


There’s nothing for us here.

My pick: Landbind Ritual

Pack 3 pick 11:


Seismic Shudder is moderately good against us. It is also a fine sideboard option against similar decks. When both factors are taken into account, Seismic Shudder has more value than Goblin Bushwhacker. Earlier in the draft when we had the option of taking a Goblin Bushwhacker, our deck’s creature assortment wasn’t set up properly to take much advantage of Goblin Bushwhacker. The deck’s curve lowered considerably in this pack which makes Goblin Bushwhacker better, but Seismic Shudder is still worth taking.

My pick: Seismic Shudder

Pack 3 pick 12:


Teetering Peaks is good, but isn’t necessary enough to take over a Stonework Puma. Without Teetering Peaks, we will still be able to force through damage. Having another Ally will help increase the deck’s synergy and lead to multiple Ally draws that are difficult to beat.

My pick: Stonework Puma

Pack 3 pick 13:


My pick: Unstable Footing

Pack 3 pick 14:


My pick: Landbind Ritual

Pack 3 pick 15:

Quest for the Holy Relic

This draft was more difficult than normal. The signals we were sent in pack one suggested that blue and red were both open. Pack two was very light with blue which suggests that one of the people to our left opened up something worth staying in blue despite not getting passed anything in the first pack. Additionally, the presence of the Kor Skyfisher from Pack 1 Pick 2 complicated the decisions we had to make during the draft. Pack two and three yielded a lot of red. There was so much red that we probably would have been able to play mono-red with the Valakut (minus the Spire Barrage) and an Expedition Map or two. However, passing the Spire Barrage would have been a slightly stronger signal that red was open when it was not.


There are a few card choices to go over:

1. Into the Roil: with so few blue cards, the number of blue sources in the deck is obviously going to decrease. As a result, it becomes much more difficult to play Into the Roil with kicker which a very important factor to consider. Without being able to have two blue mana reliably, Into the Roil isn’t worth playing over other cards.

2. Unstable Footing: this card would be better if we already didn’t have cards that can be used to force through damage easily. Cards like Windrider Eel and Bladetusk Boar make Unstable Footing less necessary. Additionally, the high mana curve makes having another five-mana spell undesirable.

3. Ruinous Minotaur: there are too many spells that are at least four mana which makes Ruinous Minotaur a liability. If you’re unable to attack with Ruinous Minotaur because of being potentially locked out from casting multiple spells, then it’s not worth running.

Round 1:

Game 1:

We lose the roll and keep seven on the draw (Mountain, Island, Highland Berserker, Stonework Puma, Tuktuk Grunts, Torch Slinger, and Spire Barrage). Evil plays a Piranha Marsh [G: 19] [d: Mountain] while we can only play a Mountain. Evil plays a Swamp and summons a Surrakar Marauder. [d: Burst Lightning] We play our second Mountain and summon the Highland Berserker. Evil plays an Island, attacks with his Marauder [G: 17], and summons Giant Scorpion. [d: Highland Berserker] We play the last land from our hand (the Island) and summon the Stonework Puma to stop the Marauder from attacking us further.

Evil plays a Swamp and summons a Crypt Ripper. He doesn’t have any good attacks and passes. [d: Goblin Shortcutter] We summon Goblin Shortcutter, which prevents Evil’s Giant Scorpion from blocking, and then attack with the Highland Berserker [E: 18]. Then we’re forced to kill the Crypt Ripper with Burst Lightning before it gets out of control. Evil summons a kicked Gatekeeper of Malakir. What good would a game be without a bit of ritualistic Goblin sacrificing? The Shortcutter bites the dust. Evil still can’t attack and passes. [d: Mountain] We play the Mountain and pass. Summoning a second Highland Berserker wouldn’t be useful because of the Giant Scorpion. It would be better to wait until the Tuktuk Grunts is in play.

Evil plays an Island and attacks with the Gatekeeper of Malakir. We block with Highland Berserker. Then Evil summons a Sky Ruin Drake. [d: Windrider Eel] We summon the Windrider Eel and pass. Evil attacks with the Sky Ruin Drake [G: 15]. [d: Stonework Puma] We attack with the Eel, but Evil is ready with Hideous End [G: 13]. Afterwards we summon our second Stonework Puma. Evil attacks again with the Drake [G: 11] and passes. [d: Tuktuk Grunts] We haven’t found a fifth land yet to unlock our hand (Spire Barrage, two Tuktuk Grunts, Torch Slinger, and Highland Berserker) so we have to pass back.

Evil attacks with the Sky Ruin Drake [G: 9] and summons Guul Draz Vampire. [d: Umara Raptor] A gleam of hope emerges from the cloudy sky of this game as we summon Umara Raptor. Hopefully Evil is unable to deal with the flying Ally before we can grow it. Our hopes are dashed as Evil uses Disfigure to kill it. Evil plays an Island and attacks with his Drake and Marauder. Stonework Puma trades with the Marauder [G: 7]. [d: Mountain] We play our fifth land and summon Torch Slinger to kill the Guul Draz Vampire.

Evil summons a second kicked Gatekeeper of Malakir. We sacrifice our Torch Slinger as Evil attacks with Giant Scorpion and Sky Ruin Drake [G: 4]. [d: Explorer’s Scope] We summon Tuktuk Grunts but are pinned against the wall and can’t attack. Evil attacks with the Sky Ruin Drake [G: 2] and summons a Hagra Crocodile. [d: Hellfire Mongrel] Having not drawn a fifth Mountain to be able to Spire Barrage the Sky Ruin Drake, we see our fate and concede.

Sideboard: nothing.

Game 2:

We keep seven on the play (Soaring Seacliff, Island, 2 Mountains, Adventuring Gear, Highland Berserker, and Windrider Eel) while Evil mulligans to six. We play Mountain and forge our Adventuring Gear while Evil plays a Swamp and a Soul Stair Expedition. [d: Tuktuk Grunts] We play an Island and summon the Highland Berserker. Evil simply plays an Island and passes. [d: Mountain] We equip the Highland Berserker and play a Mountain. Evil kills it with a Disfigure in response.

Evil plays a Swamp and summons a Stonework Puma. [d: Burst Lightning] we play a Mountain and summon Windrider Eel. Evil still has answers. He plays a Swamp, attacks with the Stonework Puma [G: 18], and uses his other Disfigure to kill the Eel. [d: Hellfire Mongrel] We summon the Hellfire Mongrel and equip it with the Adventuring Gear. Evil takes damage from the Mongrel on his turn [E: 18]. He attacks with the Stonework Puma [G: 16] and summons a Hagra Crocodile.

[d: Island] We play the Island, summon Tuktuk Grunts, and counter-attack. Evil absorbs all the damage [E: 11] and takes two more during his upkeep [E: 9]. He attacks with only the Hagra Crocodile while holding back his Stonework Puma [G: 13]. [d: Mountain]. We equip the Tuktuk Grunts with the Adventuring Gear, give it flying with Soaring Seacliff, and attack over Evil’s defenses. He has no tricks [E: 4]. Evil attacks again with the Hagra Crocodile [G: 10] and summons a Vampire Lacerator.

[d: Goblin Shortcutter] We play Mountain, summon the Goblin Shortcutter which prevents the Lacerator from blocking, and attack with the Hellfire Mongrel and Tuktuk Grunts. Stonework Puma blocks the Tuktuk Grunts [E: 2] and we point Burst Lightning at Evil’s face to deal the last two damage.

Sideboard: nothing.

Game 3:

We keep seven on the draw (2 Mountains, Island, Adventuring Gear, Goblin Shortcutter, Highland Berserker, and Windrider Eel). Evil plays a Swamp [d: Hellfire Mongrel] while we play a Mountain and forge our Adventuring Gear. Evil plays a second Swamp which threatens a Gatekeeper of Malakir. [d: Plated Geopede] We play an Island and summon the Highland Berserker. Evil simply plays a third Swamp and passes.

[d: Umara Raptor] We attack with the Highland Berserker [E: 18] and summon the Umara Raptor. Evil is ready to kill it with Disfigure. Evil plays a fourth Swamp, summons a Crypt Ripper, and attacks with it [G: 18]. [d: Mountain] We equip the Highland Berserker, play a Mountain, and attack [E: 14]. Afterwards we summon a Hellfire Mongrel. Evil plays a fifth Swamp, summons a Bloodghast, and holds his Crypt Ripper back on defense.

[d: Mountain] We play the Mountain, summon Goblin Shortcutter, and attack with the Hellfire Mongrel and Highland Berserker [E: 8]. Then we summon the Plated Geopede. Evil plays a Swamp and summons a Giant Scorpion. [d: Island] We equip the Plated Geopede with Adventuring Gear, play the Island, and attack with it. Giant Scorpion jumps in front of the Hellfire Mongrel and we summon the Windrider Eel afterwards. Evil takes damage from the Hellfire Mongrel [E: 6] and passes with three cards in hand. [d: Stonework Puma] We attack with the Windrider Eel [E: 4] and pass. Evil summons a Stonework Puma. [d: Island] we equip the Plated Geopede, play the Island, and Evil concedes.

Round 2:

Game 1:

Evil wins the role and keeps his seven. We mulligan our seven (2 Burst Lightning, Explorer’s Scope, Highland Berserker, Stonework Puma, Bladetusk Boar, and Tuktuk Grunts) and keep our six (Mountain, Burst Lightning, Highland Berserker, Slaughter Cry, Windrider Eel, and Spire Barrage). Evil plays a Swamp and forges an Explorer’s Scope [d: Mountain] while we simply play a Mountain. Evil plays a Forest and summons a Frontier Guide. [d: Stonework Puma] We play our last Mountain and summon the Highland Berserker.

Evil plays a Swamp, equips his Frontier Guide, and attacks with it. The Explorer’s Scope hits a Forest and then we block with the Berserker. [d: Island] We play the Island and summon Stonework Puma. Evil plays a Forest, summons a Nimana Sell-Sword, and equips it. [d: Highland Berserker] We pass the turn and wait to use Slaughter Cry to kill the Sell-Sword. Evil plays a Forest and summons an Oran-Rief Survivalist. Then he attacks with the Nimana Sell-Sword. The Explorer’s Scope misses. We block with the Stonework Puma and play Slaughter Cry. Evil doesn’t have anything to stop our trick and equips the Survivalist with the Explorer’s Scope after his Sell-Sword perishes.

[d: Plated Geopede] We attack with the Stonework Puma [E: 18] and summon a Highland Berserker. Evil attacks back with the Oran-Rief Survivalist. We block with the Berserker. Afterwards, Evil summons a Vastwood Gorger. [d: Island] We play the Island and summon a Windrider Eel. Evil equips the Explorer’s Scope to the Vastwood Gorger and attacks. The Scope misses [G: 15] and Evil summons a Hagra Crocodile. [d: Soaring Seacliff] We attack with the Stonework Puma and Windrider Eel [E: 14] and summon a Plated Geopede.

Evil plays a Trusty Machete, equips his Hagra Crocodile, and plays a land. We use Burst Lightning to kill the Crocodile in response. He moves the Machete over to the Gorger and attacks [G: 8]. [d: Goblin Shortcutter] We play Soaring Seacliff and attack with everything [E: 5]. Then we summon the Goblin Shortcutter. Evil summons a Grazing Gladehart and attacks with the Vastwood Gorger. The Explorer’s Scope hits a Forest [G: 7]. We don’t block and Evil plays Vampire’s Bite with kicker to make the Wurm lethal.

Sideboard: nothing.

Game 2:

We keep seven on the play (2 Islands, Mountain, Soaring Seacliff, Highland Berserker, Slaughter Cry, and Windrider Eel). We play an Island while Evil plays a Mountain. [d: Mountain] We play a Mountain and summon the Highland Berserker. Evil plays a second Swamp and summons a Vampire Hexmage. [Windrider Eel] We play Soaring Seacliff and attack over the Hexmage [E: 18]. Evil plays a Forest, attacks with the Hexmage [G: 18], and summons a second Vampire Hexmage. [d: Hellfire Mongrel] We play the Mountain and summon the Windrider Eel.

Evil plays a Forest, attacks with both Hexmages [G: 14], and summons a Surrakar Marauder. [d: Umara Raptor] We play an Island and summon the Umara Raptor. Then we attack with the Highland Berserker and Windrider Eel [E: 12]. Evil plays a Swamp and attacks with the Marauder and one Hexmage [G: 10]. He has no other plays afterwards. [d: Mountain] We attack with the two flyers [E: 8] and summon the second Windrider Eel. Evil plays a Forest and attacks with everything. Highland Berserker blocks one Vampire Hexmage [G: 6]. Evil then summons a Baloth Woodcrasher. [d: Mountain] We play a Mountain and Evil concedes.

Sideboard: nothing.

Game 3:

We keep seven on the draw (2 Mountains, Island, Plated Geopede, Stonework Puma, Bladetusk Boar, and Tuktuk Grunts). Evil plays a Piranha Marsh [G: 19] [d: Soaring Seacliff] while we play a Mountain. Evil plays a Swamp and forges a Trusty Machete and Explorer’s Scope. [d: Hellfire Mongrel] We play an Island and summon the Plated Geopede. Evil has no plays on turn three. [d: Windrider Eel] We play a Mountain, attack with the Geopede [E: 17], and summon a Hellfire Mongrel. Evil plays a Forest and summons a Grazing Gladehart.

[d: Tuktuk Grunts] We play the Soaring Seacliff, giving the Hellfire Mongrel flying, and attack with both creatures [E: 12]. Then we summon a Stonework Puma. Evil plays Spidersilk Net and equips it to his Gladehart along with the Explorer’s Scope. [d: Goblin Shortcutter] We summon a Windrider Eel and pass. Evil summons a second Grazing Gladehart. [d: Spire Barrage] We summon a Bladetusk Boar and pass.

Evil plays a Forest [E: 16], equips his Trusty Machete to his first Grazing Gladehart, and attacks with it. The Explorer’s Scope hits a Forest [E: 20]. We don’t have any good blocks [G: 15]. Evil summons a Frontier Guide afterwards. [d: Island] We play the Island, summon Tuktuk Grunts, and attack with everything (Geopede, Mongrel, Puma, Eel, Boar, and Grunts). Evil thinks for a minute and decides to not block [E: 3]. Evil plays a Forest [E: 7] and passes.

[d: Burst Lightning] We also have Tuktuk Grunts, Goblin Shortcutter, and Spire Barrage in hand. After a moment of thinking, we use Spire Barrage to kill Evil’s second Grazing Gladehart. He uses Frontier Guide to put a land into play in response [E: 11]. Then we attack with just the Bladetusk Boar [E: 8]. Evil summons a Turntimber Basilisk and passes the turn. [d: Mountain] We play the Mountain, summon Goblin Shortcutter (which prevents the 4/5 Gladehart from blocking), and attack with everything. Evil thinks for a moment and then concedes.

Round 3:

Game 1:

Sadly MTGO lost the replay for this game which means it won’t be as detailed.

We mulligan our seven on the play (Island, 5 Mountain, and Explorer’s Scope) but keep our six (2 Mountain, Highland Berserker, Hellfire Mongrel, Torch Slinger, and Tuktuk Grunts). We play a Mountain while Evil plays a Plains. We play another Mountain and summon the Highland Berserker. Evil counters our play by summoning a Kazandu Blademaster. We haven’t drawn a third land and can’t do anything. Evil attacks with the Blademaster [G: 18] and plays a Swamp. We summon a Goblin Shortcutter and attack past the Blademaster with our Highland Berserker [E: 18].

Evil attacks us with the Blademaster [G: 16], plays a Swamp, and summons a Heartstabber Mosquito. We play a Mountain and summon a Stonework Puma. The Ally allows us to attack with Highland Berserker again. Evil doesn’t want to trade with his Blademaster or Mosquito [E: 16]. Evil attacks with his Heartstabber Mosquito [G: 14], plays a Plains, and summons a Bog Tatters. We don’t have any good attacks and must pass.

Evil attacks with Heartstabber Mosquito, Kazandu Blademaster, and Bog Tatters. We block the Kazandu Blademaster with our two creatures, the Stonework Puma and Highland Berserker. Evil kills off the Berserker [G: 8] and then summons a Kor Skyfisher which returns the Heartstabber Mosquito. We summon a Hellfire Mongrel but Evil kills it with his Heartstabber Mosquito. Bog Tatters and Kor Skyfisher attack us. Our Stonework Puma trades with the Bog Tatters [G: 6]. We draw another blank and concede.

Sideboard: nothing.

Game 2:

We keep seven on the play (2 Mountain, Island, Burst Lightning, Goblin Shortcutter, Hellfire Mongrel, and Tuktuk Grunts). We play a Mountain while Evil plays Emeria, the Sky Ruin. [d: Highland Berserker] We play another Mountain and summon the Highland Berserker. Evil plays a Plains and summons a Kor Aeronaut. [d: Mountain] We play the Mountain, attack with the Berserker [E: 18], and summon a Hellfire Mongrel. Evil plays a Plains, attacks with the Aeronaut [G: 18], and summons a Makindi Shieldmate.

[d: Tuktuk Grunts] We play our Island and summon Goblin Shortcutter which allows our two creatures to attack past Evil’s defender [E: 14]. Evil plays a third Plains, attacks with the Aeronaut [G: 16] and passes. [d: Mountain] We summon Tuktuk Grunts but don’t attack (we know Evil has Pitfall Trap). Evil attacks with the Aeronaut again [G: 14] and passes. [d: Mountain] We summon our second Tuktuk Grunts and pass again.

Evil attacks with the Kor Aeronaut [G: 12] and summons a Stonework Puma. [d: Island] We attack with all five of our creatures. The Makindi Shieldmate blocks the big Tuktuk Grunts and the Stonework Puma trades with the Hellfire Mongrel [E: 7]. Afterwards, we play Burst Lightning with kicker to finish off the Shieldmate. Evil summons a Cliff Threader and passes. [d: Stonework Puma] We summon the Stonework Puma and attack with the Highland Berserker and both Tuktuk Grunts (leaving the Shortcutter behind to play around the Arrow Volley Trap we saw in the draft). Evil surveys the Battlefield and concedes.

Sideboard: -1 Slaughter Cry; +1 Goblin Ruinblaster.

Game 3:

Evil keeps his seven. We mulligan our seven (Soaring Seacliff, Explorer’s Scope, Burst Lightning, Goblin Shortcutter, Stonework Puma, Windrider Eel, and Tuktuk Grunts) but keep our six (3 Mountains, Burst Lightning, Hellfire Mongrel, and Umara Raptor). Evil plays a Plains and summons a Steppe Lynx. [d: Highland Berserker] We play a Mountain and kill the Steppe Lynx with the Burst Lightning. Evil plays a Kabira Crossroads [E: 22] [d: Torch Slinger] while we play a Plains and summon a Highland Berserker.

Evil plays a Plains, summons a Kor Skyfisher, and returns Kabira Crossroads to his hand (instead of playing the Skyfisher, returning the Crossroads, and replaying it immediately). [d: Mountain] We play a Mountain and summon a Hellfire Mongrel. Evil replays the Kabira Crossroads [E: 24] and holds back with his Skyfisher. [d: Mountain] We play a Mountain and pass, unable to attack through the Skyfisher. Evil summons a Stonework Puma.

[d: Tuktuk Grunts] We play our last Mountain, summon the Tuktuk Grunts, and attack with it [E: 21]. Evil decides to attack back with both of his creatures. The Highland Berserker trades with his Stonework Puma [G: 18]. Then Evil summons a second Kor Skyfisher, returns Kabira Crossroads, and replays it [E: 23]. [d: Highland Berserker] We attack with Hellfire Mongrel and Tuktuk Grunts. Evil doesn’t block either [E: 18]. There wasn’t a good point to playing the Highland Berserker. Holding it would be better in case we draw an Island to summon Umara Raptor and make it a 3/3 which would be much better against Kor Skyfisher.

Evil plays a Swamp, attacks with both Kor Skyfishers [G: 14], and passes. [d: Goblin Ruinblaster] We summon the Goblin Ruinblaster with kicker and destroy Evil’s Kabira Crossroads. Then we attack with the Ruinblaster and the Hellfire Mongrel. Evil kills the Mongrel with a Disfigure [E: 16]. Evil plays a Swamp, attacks with both flyers [G: 10], and summons a Pillarfield Ox. [d: Windrider Eel] We attack with the Grunts and Goblin. Pillarfield Ox blocks the Tuktuk Grunts [E: 14] and we summon a Torch Slinger with kicker to finish it off.

Evil attacks with both Kor Skyfishers [G: 6] and summons a Heartstabber Mosquito. [d: Island] We play the Island, summon Umara Raptor, and summon Highland Berserker. Then We attack with the Tuktuk Grunts [5/5], Goblin Ruinblaster, and Torch Slinger. The Heartstabber Mosquito trades with the Torch Slinger [E: 7]. Evil summons an Ondu Cleric [E: 8] and passes. [d: Windrider Eel] We attack with Goblin Ruinblaster and Tuktuk Grunts. Evil blocks each with a Kor Skyfisher. Before the end of combat, Evil plays Pitfall Trap to destroy our Tuktuk Grunts. Then we summon a Windrider Eel.

Evil summons a Hagra Crocodile and passes. [d: Mountain] We play the Mountain, attack with the Windrider Eel [E: 4], and summon the other one. Evil attacks with the Hagra Crocodile, but we block it with our Highland Berserker. Then he summons a Kor Aeronaut and passes. [d: Spire Barrage] We point Spire Barrage at Evil’s face and watch as he is crushed by a volley of boulders.

We are victorious.

Before we part ways, I need to cover a few points about cards like Soaring Seacliff and Teetering Peaks. People are often too hasty in playing the two cards. Their function is not to get a free two damage in (when speaking of Teetering Peaks). Rather, the function of these lands is to get damage through when you wouldn’t normally be able to do so. I’ve seen too many instances of someone playing their Teetering Peaks against an open board only to see their Kor Outfitter turned into a dud by a Kraken Hatchling.

In a few games of the draft, you’ll notice that I didn’t immediately play my Soaring Seacliff. At times that hurt me for a few reasons. I didn’t draw the number of lands that I had anticipated. The deck’s curve was higher than average. All things considered, I would still make the plays with the information available at the time. Remember that the last damage points of damage are more important than the first. Knowing when to use your tricks for when their effect will have the most impact is an important skill to develop.

Happy Drafting.

30 thoughts on “According to Webster – Zendikar Draft #6”

  1. Brilliant article and analysis. A pleasure to read and a great learning experience. Well done on explaining some difficult draft decisions. I disagree with you on the minotaur pick in pack 1 because I almost never run that card, but great article.

  2. Good article, only difference is I would’ve taken the warren instigator. They’re close, but without hatchlings the instigator is very castable on turn 2 and provides good early defense. The ability is not very relevant but it could be great with adventuring gear or slaughter cry. 5 drops don’t help your curve, and picking up some value helps too.

  3. Thanks again for posting these! The bit about Peaks / Seacliff helped my understanding of why and how to value and play those cards. As with the past couple drafts, I’m ever-appreciative of you posting drafts where your colors were difficult to figure out at some point or another 🙂

    As a quick sidenote: My home tournament group has been begging me to do a triple SoA draft and I wanted to do some preparation for it (I’ve never drafted SoA). The article/video archive doesn’t seem to have anything from you or lsv on the subject – do the archives not go that far back? Were you guys doing your draft stuff back then? If there’s any way I could get a hold of some channelfireball stuff from back then, that would be awesome!

    If not, I’ll just shut up and watch lsv’s AAC drafts and make do. Thanks again!

  4. so much green, so much green…

    but hey, you won, so it’s not like you were the one who should have switched

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  6. By far my favourite drafts posted online (including all the major sites). Your analysis and writing style are both excellent! Thanks and keep up the good work!

  7. Much much better than last time. Thanks for this. Some difficult picks there with alot of mixed signals. Well done.

  8. David, thank you for giving me exactly what I asked for last week. You did more with less this draft, and that in itself adds value and makes this worth reading. I’m pretty sure I would have been tempted by the seastalkers pick, and would have lost that final game to his skyfishers as a result. I kept scrolling through wondering “when is he gonna get something good?” this draft, and while you had servicable men….these are the same cards that are available to all of us most drafts. Fighting to push each point of damage through, eliminating play mistakes made by the good guys, and capatilizing on the ones made by your opponents earned you this win. I enjoyed reading it in it’s entirety, and I think I’ll log on and read it again after lunch today to see if I find any more nuggets of wisdom in your gameplay decisions. Thanks again!

  9. One more thing. I find that when I get multiples of certian cards(not allies) like you did with the windrider eels, I start raising the value of other cards that will improve the ones I already have in my stack. Do you, and if so, how do you; resist the temptation to go for the “big play”? As a poster mentioned above, it seemed green was open for most of this draft. Shouldn’t a enabler like harrow jump way up the pick order when we have cards like geopedes or eels? You obviously didn’t go green here, but I’m curious to hear you opinion on this.

  10. What about RW Aggro? If those colors would’ve been drafted the result would’ve looked something like this:

    4 Highland Berserker
    3 Goblin Bushwacker
    3 Kor Skyfisher (or 2 + Steppe Lynx but I prefer the 3 Skyfisher)
    1 Kazandu Blademaster
    1 Kor Outfitter
    1 Plated Geopede
    1 Bladetusk Boar
    1 Goblin Shortcutter
    1 Cliff Threader
    1 Stonework Puma


    2 Burst Lightning
    1 Windborn Charge
    1 Slaughter Cry
    1 Adventurer’s Gear


    plus 18 Lands or 17 with 1 Bold Defense.

  11. ehk: I agree with you on the Instigator pick. You mention the ability not being relevant, however, which simply isn’t the case. Tuktuk Grunts is a Goblin =D. One of my favorite ZZZ games I’ve ever seen (didn’t get to play it myself sadly) involved T2 Instigator, T3 Umara Raptor + 2x Grunts, T4 Soaring Seacliff the Instigator and Slaughter Cry ftw lol. And Web’s deck could have managed that in some sick scenario haha.

  12. Match 1, game 3, you have his Giant Scorpion blocking your Hellfire Mongrel, but then he takes damage during his upkeep from Mongrel. Did you attack w/ Mongrel, or just the pumped Geopede?

  13. Good stuff…

    I have to agree with others about the second Tuktuk Grunts pick… You probably would have wheeled the grunts given that Ondu Cleric and Bushwhacker were still in the pack when it came back around. I would have taken the Warren Instigator (out of stupidity rather than intelligence, however) since it’s worth 2 tix and hoped to wheel the grunts or bushwhacker.

  14. Ben Stark – November 5th, 2009
    “Scute Mob – A first pick. I know this is getting repetitive in Green, but unlike Black and Hideous End, the Green commons are all very solid and good but unspectacular. Scute Mob is solid, good, and spectacular. If you have not had him yet he grows and grows and grows. Attacking as a 5/5 on turn six or a 9/9+ later, all for the hefty price of one Green mana, he goes a long way to win games. If you get him you might want to draft Vines of Vastwood even higher for the rest of the draft to protect him.”

  15. I was in that draft I think =[ I defiantly remember picking up the Disfigure over the Theif due to no black allies. I could be wrong though, a shame I got mana screwed Round 1 would have loved to play you Ochoa.

  16. Very nice article overall but it could use some editing. There are a time where the wrong card is mentioned, [G:] is used when you mean [E:] and a few other typos (role instead of roll).

  17. I have enjoyed all off your drafts, but sometimes skip the detailed pick debate because the right pick is so obvious. This time the discussions were insightfull, and you several times stated “the pick is obvious”.

    I have been struggling lately with how to choose the first card (given equally strong picks in several colours) and with no obvious colour being open. Your discussion on picking a support color first was valuable. Sadin also wrote an interesting article discussing how picking early drops over 4-5 drops at the beginning of the draft leaves your options more open. Not sure if that would lean to picking the Scut Mob or not. It is not really what you want for a one drop.

    I am a sucker for splashy cards. I would would have picked the Scut Mob.

    I have noticed when a color flows well from the right and I cut it fairly well, I will often see none of that color in the second pack. I see a lot of this in the drafts I follow on line. I assume this is because the players to my left are going to see good cards in those colors passed to them, and will jump on them and steal my cards.

    Decks are often made primarily from cards from the first and third packs. What do you think of this?

  18. pick 31 was the worst pick I have ever seen/heard of, except maybe the eldrazi Monument that went 7th in pt austin. You passed the best uncommon of the set over a 2/2 flier.

    Also, do you really win every draft you go in?

  19. @Hannes

    Not to talk about that particular pick, but I don’t see a Nighthawk in the pack, so.

  20. Pack 31, you mean Pack 3 pick 1, Umbra Raptor over Merfolk Stalkers?

    He explaine it very well, Stalkers is more powerful but is not what his deck needs at that point. The Sadin article on MTG covers this very well, in pack three if you curve is too high you will be forced to pick inferior cards to give you enough early drops to stay alive. And given the allies he had I could even argure that Raptors is more powerful.

    Like most powerful cards in this set (Marsh Casualties is not so hot against most green decks) they just blow against certain decks. Stalkers is pretty useless when you are being killed by 2/1 fliers. Ca

    Everyone rags on this format because they can not just draft uber powerfull cards, do nothing for 5 turns and then take control of the game with broken (blue) cards. They have to draft shity 2/1s for 2.

    How is that bad? It is just different. Get used to it.

  21. if it was about pick 3-1 the raptor was a nobrainer to me. He said “bad” things about the 2/1 ally but even without allies he had to cast SOMETHING at turn 2 and see how many times he did.

  22. Yea the mongrel being blocked by scorpion has to be a typo, it must have been the scorpion chump blocking the huge geopede.

    Kudos on another win, thanks for adding the draws, it is a shame PT / worlds matches don’t get covered in this detail.

    Questionable keep on six in the middle match, it was a 1 lander (though it was mountain, burst L, red 2drop). You drew 2x land like a champ and won so goes to show but still, I would have probably mulled to 5 as bad as that is.

    There was some bad plays by your opps, seems like they missed some good attacks to do more damage than they did. In the interest of improving everyone’s game (safe assumption given this is a strategy site), feel free to hightlight the correct lines of play that should have been pursued.

    Thanks and keep em coming!

  23. @ Comment by Aoret – January 6, 2010 @ 12:40 am :
    ChannelFireball was launched in March 2009 which was after Conflux came out. As a result, the time for covering AAA drafts had unfortunately passed. I’d recommend reviewing our AAC content.

    @ Comment by SlowRoll – January 6, 2010 @ 6:58 am :
    If I had several Windrider Eels and saw a Harrow, I’d consider taking it if my other color (assuming I had one at this point) wasn’t panning out. The cards in not-green/blue would have to be weaker than what I feel green would offer me. For example, if I had a Burst Lightning plus some other okay card, I would need to consider if shifting my color base to heavy blue with a red splash. If I felt that wasn’t an option, I’d switch to green, take the Harrow (and in this example, try to splash Burst Lightning).

    @ Comment by Shyft- – January 6, 2010 @ 7:59 am :
    With three cards left, I only get punished by passing the Oran-Rief Recluse if:

    1. There’s a green drafter within the two people to my left.
    2. The person directly to my left isn’t green and doesn’t take spider.
    3. I play against the green drafter two to my left who got the Recluse.

    All three points have to be true. I felt that having the option of playing/sideboarding Unstable Footing would be more beneficial.

    Warren Instigator: Unless I’m on the play, I often get more value out of casting the Goblins that Warren Instigator could put into play. Tuktuk Grunts is obviously the best Goblin to use with it because it doesn’t have a CIP-ability and get pumped by the less expensive Allies that you’re likely to have (such as Stonework Puma and Highland Berserker). The other Goblins in hte set are: Goblin Bushwhacker, Goblin Shortcutter, Warren Instigator, Torch Slinger, and Goblin Ruinblaster. Barring a draw with all Goblins and removal, having a do-nothing 2/1 in play isn’t quite going to do it on the draw.

    @ Comment by Josh G – January 6, 2010 @ 9:07 am :
    I just attacked with the Geopede.

    @ Comment by grannyspayback – January 6, 2010 @ 2:04 pm :
    If you cut a color well in pack one, it’s likely to be well represented in pack two. What usually happens in pack one during a typical draft is this:

    1. Two colors are obviously available (green is almost always one).
    2. One color is available, but not to the same degree.
    3. Two colors are unavailable after pick two/three.

    Pack one is also divided into a few parts. The first five/six picks will almost always be different than the folowing five/seven picks. In the first five, it can be difficult to determine what you should be drafting because of the varying strength/weakness of each pack. After the initial picks, you’ll see what color(s) are available.

    Pack two is going to be the opposite of pack one.

    Pack three is likely to default to pack one but is heavily influenced by pack two and can canged accordingly.

    @ Comment by Hannes Kerem – January 6, 2010 @ 2:45 pm :
    Merfolk Seastalkers is not the best uncommon. It’s not even the fourth best. It takes too much mana.

    No, I don’t win every draft I play in.

    @ Comment by Corey – January 6, 2010 @ 3:04 pm :
    You may like Scute Mob more than Windrider Eel. That’s cool. I get it.

    As I explained earlier, I took the Windrider Eel because I was unsure about where I would end up colorwise. If I found that being in another color was better and switch out of blue, into a heavy-white color base, I can still play whatever blue cards that I get in addition to white because blue’s good commons are _not_ color-instensive. Now compare that to green with Timbermaw Larva, Nissa’s Chosen, and Oran-Rief Recluse.

    @ Comment by Someguy – January 7, 2010 @ 4:59 am :
    I think keeping Mountan, Burst Lightning, Highland Berserker, Slaughter Cry, Windrider Eel, and Spire Barrage on the draw is fine. Burst Lightning is the best card in the deck at this point. The hand contains a two drop and the correct colored mana to cast it. There’s also Slaughter Cry which allows you to set up a play to kill something and give you more time to play whatever you’ve drawn/Windrider Eel.

    The main problem with going to five cards is the unknown card quality. It’s likely that you’ll have two lands. However, you’re going to have to compare three random draws with Burst Lightning, Highland Berserker, Slaughter Cry, Windrider Eel, and Spire Barrage. I think that three randoms is going to be much worse.

  24. No response to my question about the RW alternative? Even if Kor Skyfisher is _THAT_ good (P3P2)? Okidoki then.

  25. @ Comment by DasManuel – January 8, 2010 @ 8:48 am :
    From the information we had about white from pack one and two, drafting R/W didn’t appear to be an option going into pack three. In pack one we saw very little white. In pack two we passed a lot of white. When you combine those two factors, it seemed unlikely that white would be an option.

    When pack 3 pick 2 came around with Skyfisher and the rare missing, I didn’t feel that it was right to interpret that as a sign of white being open. By the time pack 3 pick 4 came around, it was too late to switch.

    While it’s convenient to look back on a draft and see what could have happened, I don’t find it productive because you’re dealing with information you didn’t have at the time that you made the decisions that you did.

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