Hi everyone! Pro Tour Dragons of Tarkir is over, and it’s time to move this series along from Pack 1 Pick 1 to Pack 1 Pick 2. I’ll start by letting you know what we’ve taken first pick and then give an explanation of what I would pick out of the next pack, given that context. I know some of the readers tend to like the first picks better, and others prefer when the articles start moving toward later picks with more context, so hopefully I can do enough of each to make everyone happy.
My pick: Draconic Roar.
While I think black is a slightly better color than red in Dragons of Tarkir Limited, I think Draconic Roar is a little bit better than Flatten. In addition, after Draconic Roar there are several good black cards in the pack: Flatten, Silumgar Butcher, and Vulturous Aven. Maybe most importantly, Draconic Roar is actually the best card in the pack, and I’ve had a reasonable amount of success with white/red in the format. There’s not a single white card in the pack, so you don’t really have the option of staying on target even though it’s unclear if we’d even take that option against a card like Draconic Roar, but I would still hope to play white given how powerful our first-pick Hidden Dragonslayer is.
My pick: Rending Volley.
This is certainly not where I want to be with my 2nd pick of a draft. That being said, this pack is really, really bad. There are very few cards that are even playable, and I’ve found that in Dragons of Tarkir draft getting to 23 playables isn’t a huge problem. The upside of Rending Volley is very high. In any matchup that you’re going to sideboard it in, it’s going to be one of the 4 or 5 best cards in your deck. It’s not quite as good as a card like Encase in Ice, because blue has a few looting effects that let you play it in your main deck. But when your next-best pick is a Herald of Dromoka that puts you into a 2nd color, I think the upside still makes it worth taking Rending Volley here.
My pick: Ultimate Price
Well, this is basically a no-brainer. First-picking a black card and following it up with Ultimate Price is about the best start we could ever ask for. There really isn’t much to say about this pack, Ultimate Price is by far the best card, and on color. I’d take it and be exceptionally happy about my deck.
Our first pick: Thunderbreak Regent.
My pick: Tail Slash.
Here’s a case where the difference in power level is made up for by staying on color. Flatten is certainly a better card than Tail Slash, but given that my first pick is an exceptionally powerful rare in Thunderbreak Regent, I’d definitely opt for the Tail Slash here. While it’s clear Flatten is a better card, Tail Slash is still a premium removal spell. I wouldn’t go so far as to take an average red card over Flatten, but Tail Slash is close enough in power that it is the comfortable pick.
Our first pick:
My pick: Death Wind.
Here’s the alternate example. We have a first-pick bomb rare in Sunscorch Regent and the choice between a very good white card in Sandcrafter Mage and a premium black removal spell in Death Wind. In this instance the power disparity is just too high to pass the Death Wind. If Sunscorch Regent doesn’t make our deck, that will be unfortunate, and we should try to make sure that doesn’t happen, but not at the cost of passing a Death Wind for a Sandcrafter Mage.
I hope you all enjoyed the first set of pack 1 pick 2 for Dragons of Tarkir, and I’ll be back with more of them soon! As always, if you think I overlooked anything or strongly disagreed with any of the decisions, let me know in the comments.