Pack 1 pick 1:
Oran-Rief Survivalist, Welkin Tern, and Goblin Shortcutter are the best cards. We can ignore Spire Barrage and Nissa’s Chosen because they are narrower than the others. They require a much heavier commitment to their color to be good than the first three cards and are more likely to become unplayable if the draft goes badly. For example, a deck will need at least twelve Mountains for Spire Barrage to have an impact that’s worth its mana cost. Red is one of the better colors because of its depth. The opposite is true with Blue. Green has plenty of playables but doesn’t contain real removal spells which makes it unfavorable. Oran-Rief Survivalist is the best choice. The Ally theme is very powerful when multiple +1/+1-counter Allies can be acquiRed. None of the three cards we’re considering stand out from each other. It would be better to take a card from a commonly underdrafted color and see what gets passed to us in the next few picks to help determine our primary color with the knowledge that we will probably be able to fall back on Green if necessary.
My pick: Oran-Rief Survivalist
Pack 1 pick 2:
Windrider Eel and Rite of Replication are both powerful cards. However, they are both expensive. Rite of Replication is overrated. It’s too slow for this aggressive format. Kor Skyfisher is a better choice. It’s the best White common creature. I’ve frequently mentioned how good Kor Skyfisher is. It provides so much bang for your buck. It’s quite useful in Green which has problems against flyers.
My pick: Kor Skyfisher
Pack 1 pick 3:
This pack is moderately depressing because the power-level is so low. Mold Shambler is decent. It’s not quite as efficient as Kor Sanctifiers, but still gets the job done. Nimbus Wings is quite underrated if you can get past all the people saying that creature enchantments and pump-spells are bad in limited. Nimbus Wings will often wheel still and shouldn’t be taken over the more popular cards. Grappling Hook is bad. It’s very expensive and vulnerable to tricks.
My pick: Mold Shambler
Pack 1 pick 4:
Savage Silhouette is another underrated card. Blue has the most cards to deal with a creature that has the enchantment on it: Whiplash Trap, Into the Roil, and Paralyzing Grasp. Besides the three Blue cards and Journey to Nowhere, there aren’t any other commons that can effectively deal with the monster that you’ve built. Granted, you have to not get two-for-one’d by a removal spell when you go to cast the spell. However, that really shouldn’t be a problem.
My pick: Savage Silhouette
Pack 1 pick 5:
Nimana Sell-Sword is an option. It would add to our Ally package. All the +1/+1 counter Allies are good. When you have opening hands that are comprised with multiples and other Allies, winning the game will be much easier than if you had a random assortment of other creatures. However, if we take the Sell-Sword, we’ll be abandoning the Kor Skyfisher which isn’t appealing. There hasn’t been anything spectacular being passed in black. There’ve been a few Hagra Crocodiles and not much else which isn’t a reassuring sign. We can ignore the Sell-Sword and take the Turntimber Basilisk. It’s going to be better than the Marsh Flats. All the fetchlands are powerful simply because it allows you to trigger Landfall more than once in a turn. Turntimber Basilisk is a solid Green card that can prevent a board from getting out of hand due to some flyer or other card like Merfolk Seastalkers (assuming a few things). The Basilisk is also quite excellent with Savage Silhouette.
My pick: Turntimber Basilisk
Pack 1 pick 6:
Frontier Guide can be powerful later on in the game when you’ve got extra mana to put lands in to play and get Landfall triggers. However, it’s often just a 1/1 that doesn’t do anything. Ondu Cleric is the best choice because it’s fine against the aggressive decks. It helps regain life, grow our Survivalist, and block something like a Cliff Threader or Goblin Shortcutter if needed.
My pick: Ondu Cleric
Pack 1 pick 7:
Baloth Cage Trap is overrated. It’s so hard to play for its trap cost. As a five-mana spell, it’s worse than Territorial Baloth. Grazing Gladehart is the easy choice. Since Green doesn’t have true removal (Vines of Vastwood/Primal Bellow/Baloth Cage Trap), Grazing Gladehart’s life-gaining ability becomes necessary to not get overrun by the opponent’s critters before you can play your larger creatures.
My pick: Grazing Gladehart
Pack 1 pick 8:
Spidersilk Net is mediocre. It can be useful against Blue decks, but isn’t spectacular. Cobra Trap is also mediocre. It’s useful against White if Kor Sanctifiers is going to be problematic for you.
My pick: [card]Cobra Trap[/card]
Pack 1 pick 9:
There won’t be much use for Expedition Map. Green/White often won’t be able to support the good lands like Teetering Peaks and Soaring Seacliff. Narrow Escape is the only card that we would play.
My pick: Narrow Escape
Pack 1 pick 10:
Quest for the Gemblades is like Savage Silhouette but worse. It’s much harder to connect with because the opponent will know that it’s coming. Savage Silhouette is the only real choice.
My pick: Savage Silhouette
Pack 1 pick 11:
Kabira Crossroads is fine. It will almost certainly make the maindeck if we end up being White. Zendikar Farguide will not make the maindeck (hopefully), but will be more useful as a sideboard option.
My pick: Zendikar Farguide
Pack 1 pick 12:
My pick: Zendikar Farguide
Pack 1 pick 13:
My pick: Piranha Marsh
Pack 1 pick 14:
My pick: Spreading Seas
Pack 1 pick 15:
Pack one wasn’t stellar. We got a few good cards (Oran-Rief Survivalist, Turntimber Basilisk, Gladehart, and Kor Skyfisher) along with a few Savage Silhouettes. However, beyond that there wasn’t anything. The remaining two packs will need to be better. Green is definitely a good color to be in, but White may not be. There wasn’t much going on in White which, was also true with the other colors. We’ll have to wait it out and see what gets passed to us.
Pack 2 pick 1:
There are a few good cards for us. Journey to Nowhere is the best and is much better than Kor Hookmaster, Oran-Rief Survivalist, and Vines of Vastwood.
My pick: Journey to Nowhere
Pack 2 pick 2:
Kor Aeronaut is good, but its mana-cost will prove troublesome for us assuming the remaining packs flow like the first one did. Timbermaw Larva is the better choice because it compliments the heavy-Green feel of our deck.
My pick: Timbermaw Larva
Pack 2 pick 3:
Oran-Rief Recluse is good. It’s necessary for beating any deck with flyers and is fine as a three-mana 1/3.
My pick: Oran-Rief Recluse
Pack 2 pick 4:
Makindi Shieldmate is fine. It makes Oran-Rief Survivalist better. Timbermaw Larva and Grazing Gladehart are better. Both cards are close when in a two-color deck. Grazing Gladehart is better though. Timbermaw Larva is only useful in heavy-Green decks and is more likely to wheel than Grazing Gladehart. While it appears that our deck is going to have twelve Forests in it (at this point), taking the Gladehart and hoping that the other Green drafter takes a different non-Green card so we can wheel the Timbermaw Larva is the better choice.
Pack 2 pick 5:
Kor Hookmaster is the best choice. Tajuru Archer is good against Welkin Tern, but mediocre against other flyers. Against the rest of the field, a three-mana 1/2 isn’t good enough. Territorial Baloth is just another large Green creature. Those are never in short supply and should be passed up for the cheaper spells.
My pick: Kor Hookmaster
Pack 2 pick 6:
Stonework Puma is good at stopping Intimidate creatures like Guul Draz Vampire, Surrakar Marauder, and Bladetusk Boar. However, Blazing Torch does that and more. Kor Aeronaut and Steppe Lynx are also both good, but would require a surplus of White sources to play effectively. Currently there are only three White cards that we really want to play (Journey to Nowhere, Kor Skyfisher, and Kor Hookmaster) which require a minimum of six White sources to play reliably. If we were to play either Kor Aeronaut or Steppe Lynx, the minimum rises to eight which makes Timbermaw Larva much worse. Blazing Torch would allow us to ignore the changes to the manabase (for now) and is removal (although not excellent).
My pick: Blazing Torch
Pack 2 pick 7:
This pack is a bust. Joraga Bard is the best of the worst. It’s possible that we’d play him if we played the Ondu Cleric (after sideboard).
My pick: Joraga Bard
Pack 2 pick 8:
Stonework Puma is the only option.
My pick: Stonework Puma
Pack 2 pick 9:
There isn’t much for Greenweaver Druid to accelerate into. We don’t have multiple Baloth Woodcrashers or any other huge monsters like that. Kor Hookmaster is going to be much more effective. As a side note, we should be aware that there are two other Green drafters at the table (because the Vines of Vastwood and Oran-Rief Survivalist didn’t wheel) and should take that into consideration when trying to wheel Green cards.
My pick: Kor Hookmaster
Pack 2 pick 10:
While it’s very unlikely that we’ll actually play Kor Outfitter, taking it over another card is still a better option because we want to still be able to get White cards in pack three.
My pick: Kor Outfitter
Pack 2 pick 11:
My pick: Cobra Trap
Pack 2 pick 12:
My pick: Spreading Seas
Pack 2 pick 13:
My pick: Noble Vestige
Pack 2 pick 14:
My pick: Seascape Aerialist
Pack 2 pick 15:
Pack two was much lighter on Green than expected. However, there was a lot of White. I mean A LOT. Kor Hookmaster wheeled from our opening pack and was the next best White card to the Journey to Nowhere that we took. Despite the amount of White that passed through us, we should be fine for pack three. Green should still be good because there wasn’t much that got past us.
Pack 3 pick 1:
We probably won’t be able to beat a Malakir Bloodwitch. We’ll have to hope that we don’t play against it. Kor Skyfisher is the best card for us. Blazing Torch and Mold Shambler don’t compare to it.
My pick: Kor Skyfisher
Pack 3 pick 2:
This pack is terrible. If we didn’t have two Savage Silhouettes already, Nimbus Wings would be an excellent choice. However, we’ve got enough creature enchantments already. The next best card is Territorial Baloth. We could hate the Merfolk Seastalkers because they’re usually excellent against Green decks. However, our White cards should be good enough to beat one.
My pick: Territorial Baloth
Pack 3 pick 3:
We probably won’t be able to wheel Primal Bellow or Vines of Vastwood. A second Turntimber Basilisk will be better because of the two Savage Silhouettes.
My pick: Turntimber Basilisk
Pack 3 pick 4:
We could use the Graypelt Refuge. However, it seems likely that it will wheel. There has been too much Green available to support three other Green drafters. We know that there are probably two others. When you consider the aforementioned likelihood and amount of White that was seen in the second pack, gambling that both Green drafters will pass the land in addition to the rest of the pod is more likely to happen than the same happening with the Tajuru Archer (which is more likely to be hate-drafted or taken because it’s only one color).
My pick: Tajuru Archer
Pack 3 pick 5:
Devout Lightcaster would be a nice sideboard option, however it would be extremely hard to summon. Nimbus Wings seems like a better option to have against the Blue deck with two Merfolk Seastalkers.
My pick: Nimbus Wings
Pack 3 pick 6:
Yes, it is nice. It’s a shame that the Adventuring Gear and Journey to Nowhere weren’t split up between this pack and the previous one.
My pick: Journey to Nowhere
Pack 3 pick 7:
Oran-Rief is the only option for us. It’s fine, not spectacular like Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle.
My pick: Oran-Rief, the Vastwood
Pack 3 pick 8:
We should be fine against aggro with two Grazing Gladeharts and an Ondu Cleric to not need a second one. Hedron Scrabbler would be hard to justify playing. It would be sideboarded in against a deck with lots of Surrakar Marauders. However, we’ve already got a Stonework Puma and Blazing Torch to save us from them. Territorial Baloth is the remaining choice.
My pick: Territorial Baloth
Pack 3 pick 9:
My pick: Kor Aeronaut
Pack 3 pick 10:
We already have two Zendikar Farguides. Relic Crush is the next most useful card to have in our sideboard.
My pick: Relic Crush
Pack 3 pick 11:
Pillarfield Ox is going to be in the sideboard and probably won’t be brought in before the Joraga Bard.
My pick: Pillarfield Ox
Pack 3 pick 12:
Excellent, the Graypelt Refuge wheeled.
My pick: Graypelt Refuge
Pack 3 pick 13:
My pick: Frontier Guide
Pack 3 pick 14:
Pack 3 pick 15:
Starting with the Oran-Rief Survivalist turned out to be good for us. Green was the most available color to us in pack one, although we never really got to expand on the Ally theme. We saw a second Survivalist and a Makindi Shieldmate, but that was all (in Green/White) besides a few utility Allies. White definitely opened up in pack two which wasn’t a surprise. However, what wasn’t expected was the amount of White that we saw in pack three. Kor Aeronaut wheeled which was nice. Overall, the deck should be successful. It has enough early drops and good White spells to have game against any of the other decks that we play against. The problem cards that we saw that we might encounter are Malakir Bloodwitch and the two Merfolk Seastalkers. The former will prove more difficult to beat than the latter.
There wasn’t much to play around with for the final slots. Narrow Escape is a lot better with two Journey to Nowhere, Mold Shambler, Kor Aeronaut, Oran-Rief Recluse, and two Kor Hookmasters.
We lose the roll. Evil takes a mulligan to six while we keep our hand of seven (3 Forest, Plains, Kor Aeronaut, Kor Hookmaster, Oran-Rief Recluse). Evil mulligans again to five and keeps his hand. Evil plays a Forest [d: Graypelt Refuge] while we play the Graypelt Refuge that we drew [G: 21]. Evil plays a Mountain [d: Kor Skyfisher] while we play a Plains and summon the Kor Aeronaut. Evil plays a Mountain and summons a Torch Slinger. [d: Plains] We attack with the Aeronaut [E: 18], play a Forest, and summon the Oran-Rief Recluse. Summoning the Hookmaster now would have less impact than if we save it for later because we don’t have many ground creatures in play to attack through a troublesome blocker.
Evil plays a Teetering Peaks which allows his Torch Slinger to attack through our Oran-Rief Recluse [G: 17]. He passes with no other plays. [d: Mold Shambler] We attack back with the Aeronaut and Recluse [E: 15]. Afterwards we play a Forest and summon the Mold Shambler. Evil plays a Forest and summons a Nissa’s Chosen. [d: Forest] We play a Plains and summon the Kor Hookmaster which taps down the Nissa’s Chosen. We are able to safely attack with everything. Evil’s Torch Slinger blocks the Oran-Rief-Recluse [E: 10]. Then we summon the Kor Skyfisher and return the Kor Hookmaster to our hand. Evil draws, realizes he is doomed, and concedes.
Sideboard: -1 Oran-Rief Recluse, -1 Timbermaw Larva; +2 Zendikar Farguide
Red/Green doesn’t usually have flyers which makes the Oran-Rief Recluse underwhelming as a three-mana 1/3. Timbermaw Larva is one of the bigger creatures in the deck, but would be better as something that is more resilient to Torch Slinger.
Evil chooses to play first and keeps his hand. We also keep our seven (Forest, 2 Plains, Kor Aeronaut, 2 Kor Skyfisher, and Oran-Rief Survivalist). Evil plays a Forest [d: Zendikar Farguide] while we play a Plains and pass. Evil plays a second Forest and passes again [d: Plains] while we play our second Plains and summon the Kor Aeronaut. Evil plays a Mountain and passes for a third time with no plays. [d: Plains] We attack with Kor Aeronaut [E: 18], play a Forest, and summon the Oran-Rief Survivalist. Evil plays a Mountain and plays a Khalni Gem (returning a Forest and Mountain).[d: Narrow Escape] We play a Plains and attack with the Kor Aeronaut and Oran-Rief Survivalist [E: 14]. Afterwards we summon a Kor Skyfisher returning a Plains. Then we summon the other Kor Skyfisher and return the Oran-Rief Survivalist. This play is actually wrong. Looking at Evil’s play this game, it seems likely that he has Torch Slinger in hand. The better play would have been to return the Kor Aeronaut. If Evil does indeed have Torch Slinger, he’ll only be able to kill the Survivalist. If Evil has some other creature like a Territorial Baloth, we’ll still be able to attack through it with the Survivalist by kicking the Kor Aeronaut when we summon it.
Evil plays a Forest and passes. [d: Forest] We attack with our three flyers [E: 8], play a Plains, and pass. We could have summoned the Oran-Rief Survivalist again, but it seemed better to hold Narrow Escape up to play around Oran-Rief Recluse. Evil plays a Mountain, summons a Hellkite Charger, and passes. [d: Forest] We attack with our three flyers. The Hellkite blocks our Kor Aeronaut [E: 4]. Afterwards we play a Forest and summon the Zendikar Farguide. Evil plays a Forest and concedes.
We play first and keep our hand of seven (2 Forest, Oran-Rief Survivalist, Oran-Rief Recluse, Turntimber Basilisk, Kor Hookmaster, and Mold Shambler). We play a Forest and pass while Evil plays a Swamp and summons a Vampire Lacerator. [d: Kor Hookmaster] We play our second Forest and summon the Oran-Rief Survivalist. Evil loses one life to the Lacerator [E: 19], plays an Island, attacks with the Vampire [G: 18], and passes. [d: Territorial Baloth] We attack back with the Survivalist [E: 17] and pass.
Evil loses another life to the Lacerator [E: 16]. He plays a Swamp, attacks with the ravenous Vampire [G: 16], and summons a Giant Scorpion afterwards. [d: Oran-Rief, the Vastwood] We play the land and pass, unable to attack through Evil’s Scorpion. Evil pays his upkeep to the Vampire [E: 15]. He plays an Island and attacks with the Lacerator. We block with our Survivalist. Then Evil summons a Windrider Eel. [d: Grazing Gladehart] We summon the Turntimber Basilisk and pass.
Evil plays a third Swamp and summons a Crypt Ripper. The hasty shade attacks alongside the emboldened Windrider Eel. Our Basilisk trades with the Crypt Ripper [G: 12]. [d: Forest] We summon the Grazing Gladehart, play a Forest [G: 14], and pass. Evil plays a third Island and attacks with Giant Scorpion and Windrider Eel. We don’t have any good blocks and take the damage [G: 9]. Afterwards, Evil summons a Sky Ruin Drake. [d: Kor Skyfisher] We summon the Mold Shambler and pass. Evil plays a Swamp and attacks with his flyers [G: 3]. Then Evil plays a Mind Sludge (for four) which would leave us with one card in hand. We wouldn’t be able to win from that position and concede rather than showing Evil four cards.
Sideboard: -1 Savage Silhouette; +1 Tajuru Archer
Savage Silhouette is at its worst against Blue decks. Aside from the normal removal to play around in the other colors, Blue has three spells at common that easily deal with the enchantment: Paralyzing Grasp, Into the Roil, and Whiplash Trap.
We keep our hand of seven on the play (2 Plains, Journey to Nowhere, 2 Kor Skyfisher, Tajuru Archer, and Territorial Baloth). We play a Plains while Evil plays an Island. [d: Forest] We play the Forest and summon a Kor Skyfisher (returning the Forest). Evil plays another Island and summons a Welkin Tern. [d: Grazing Gladehart] We attack with the Kor Skyfisher [E: 18], replay the Forest, and summon the second Kor Skyfisher (returning the Forest again).
Evil plays a third Island and plays Paralyzing Grasp on our tapped Kor Skyfisher. [d: Turntimber Basilisk] We play a Forest and attack with the other Kor Skyfisher [E: 16]. Evil attacks back with the Welkin Tern [G: 18] and passes. [d: Plains] We attack with the Skyfisher [E: 14], play a Plains, and pass. We could summon Grazing Gladehart or Tajuru Archer but we know Evil has both Cancel as well as Summoner’s Bane. It appears likely that he has a Cancel in hand.
Evil attacks with his Welkin Tern again [G: 16] and passes. [d: Oran-Rief, the Vastwood] We play the Oran-Rief, attack with Kor Skyfisher [E: 12], and pass. Evil plays a Swamp, attacks with the Welkin Tern [G: 14], and passes again. [d: Plains] We play a Plains, attack with the Kor Skyfisher [E: 10], and pass again. We are happy with racing against Evil. He will lose if he holds counter mana up for the rest of the game unless he finds removal for our Skyfisher. When he goes to play a threat, Journey to Nowhere will be able to deal with almost anything that he plays (excluding Sphinx of Jwar Isle or Malakir Bloodwitch if he has either). We’ll also be able to summon the Tajuru Archer to kill the Welkin Tern.
Evil attacks with the Welkin Tern [G: 12] and discards Ior Ruin Expedition. [d: Journey to Nowhere] We play a Plains, attack with Kor Skyfisher [E: 8], and pass. Evil doesn’t attack and discards Mind Sludge. [d: Oran-Rief Survivalist] We summon Grazing Gladehart before attacking. It resolves and we use Oran-Rief to make it a 3/3. The ability resolves and we pass the turn. Evil plays a Swamp and passes. [d: Plains] We play the Plains [G: 14] and attack with the Gladehart [E: 5]. Then we play Oran-Rief Survivalist and make it a 3/3 with the Vastwood. Evil bounces the Survivalist and Gladehart with Whiplash Trap before starting his turn.
Evil plays Hideous End to destroy our Kor Skyfisher [G: 12], attacks with the Welkin Tern [G: 10], and passes with three Islands untapped. [d: Turntimber Basilisk] We summon Grazing Gladehart. Evil is ready with Cancel. Then we summon Tajuru Archer and shoot down the Welkin Tern. Evil plays a Swamp and summons Sphinx of Jwar Isle. [d: Kor Hookmaster] We summon Territorial Baloth and Oran-Rief Survivalist. Evil plays Gomazoa and passes with two Islands/Swamps untapped.[d: Forest] We summon Kor Hookmaster. Evil taps out to counter it with Summoner’s Bane. We play both Journey to Nowhere and remove the Gomazoa and Illusion token from the game. Then we play the Forest and attack with the Tajuru Archer, Oran-Rief Survivalist, and Territorial Baloth. Sphinx of Jwar Isle gets run over by the Baloth [E: 2] and Evil dies shortly thereafter.
Evil plays first and keeps his hand. We mulligan our seven (2 Forest, 2 Journey to Nowhere, Stonework Puma, Kor Hookmaster, and Territorial Baloth) but keep our six (2 Forest, Plains, Kor Skyfisher, Journey to Nowhere, and Mold Shambler. Evil plays an Island and summons a Kraken Hatchling while [d: Narrow Escape] we play a Forest and pass. Evil plays a Swamp and passes again [d: Oran-Rief Survivalist] while we play the Plains and summon the Kor Skyfisher (returning the Forest). Evil plays a Swamp and summons a Reckless Scholar. [d: Grazing Gladehart] We replay a Forest, attack with the Skyfisher [E: 18], and summon the Oran-Rief Survivalist.
Evil plays an Island and destroys the Kor Skyfisher with Hideous End [G: 18]. [d: Territorial Baloth] We play a Forest and summon the Grazing Gladehart. Evil plays an Ior Ruin Expedition followed by an Island. Afterwards he uses Disfigure to kill the Gladehart. [d: Oran-Rief, the Vastwood] We play the Vastwood and pass. Evil plays a third Swamp and passes. [d: Savage Silhouette] We suit up our Survivalist with the Silhouette and attack [E: 14].
Evil plays an Island and draws two cards with his Expedition. Afterwards he attacks with the Reckless Scholar [G: 16] and enchants our Survivalist with Paralyzing Grasp. [d: Tajuru Archer] We pass the turn. Evil attacks again with Reckless Scholar [G: 14] and passes. [d: Kor Hookmaster] We summon the Kor Hookmaster but Evil counters it with Summoner’s Bane. Evil attacks with the Reckless Scholar and Illusion token [G: 10]. Afterwards, he summons a Surrakar Marauder.[d: Forest] We play the Forest and summon the Territorial Baloth. Evil does nothing on his turn. [d: Plains] We play the Plains and summon the Mold Shambler with kicker. Evil counters it with Cancel. We can’t attack and must pass the turn. Evil plays a Swamp, attacks with the Surrakar Marauder [G: 8], and passes. [d: Plains] We play Journey to Nowhere (targeting the Marauder) and use Narrow Escape [G: 12] to return it to our hand before the “comes into play” trigger resolves. Evil returns the Marauder to his hand and the Territorial Baloth to ours with Whiplash Trap in response. After that whole mess resolves, we play the Plains and replay the Journey to Nowhere to remove the Illusion token from the game.
Evil attacks with the Reckless Scholar [G: 10] and summons the Surrakar Marauder again. He also summons Sphinx of Jwar Isle. [d: Kor Skyfisher] We summon the Territorial Baloth as well as Kor Skyfisher (the Skyfisher returns the Savage Silhouette on the Oran-Rief Survivalist to our hand). Evil attacks with the Sphinx [G: 5] and passes. [d: Kor Hookmaster] We put the Savage Silhouette on the Kor Skyfisher. However, Evil is ready and destroys it in response with Hideous End [G: 3]. Reckless Scholar had never been used the entire game. Still had all these? We can’t recover and get eaten alive by the Sphinx.