Hi everyone! Welcome to the first installment of Pack 1 Pick 2 with Battle for Zendikar. I know some people like Pick 1 better and some people like these better, so, apologies if you prefer the first picks, but it was time to move on to Pick 2.
First pick: Complete Disregard
Clutch of Currents.
With a first-pick black card, I’d be looking to take a black card second if there’s a reasonable option. The best black card in the pack is Culling Drone, which is a solid card, but not great. Clutch of Currents is the best common, and I’d definitely take it over trying to stay on color. Tide Drifter is actually a very good card, especially powerful in colorless-based decks, which blue/black does tend to be—but again, I think Clutch of Currents is just too much better most of the time to take Tide Drifter here.
First pick: Eldrazi Skyspawner
The only blue cards in the pack are Anticipate and Blighted Cataract (kind of). Neither of those cards come close to consideration here. The real choice is between Angel of Renewal and Nettle Drone. I do think Angel of Renewal is a better card, but I’d still opt for the Nettle Drone. UW is pretty strong in this format, but unless I’m lucky enough to grab some bomb rares, there’s a cap on how strong the deck can be. The synergies just aren’t as powerful as many of the other top archetypes. UR devoid is great, however, and possibly the best archetype. Red is also a much stronger color than white in this format in general. The best decks tend to be drafted when you’re able to go all-in on a specific archetype early and get rewarded. For these reasons, I think that your deck will end up better, on average, by taking the Nettle Drone.
First pick: Ruinous Path
Touch of the Void.
There really isn’t even very much to consider here. Touch of the Void is a premium removal spell. Red and black are both very good colors, and good to draft together. The best black card is Mire’s Malice, but it’s not even that great and not something I’d really want to be second picking. I’m happy to take Touch of the Void.
First pick: Touch of the Void
The best card in this pack is a Tajuru Warcaller, which is a very good card. Unfortunately, it’s green so I’d remove it from consideration. After that, there isn’t much left. The choices are basically Kozilek’s Channeler and Spawning Bed. Spawning Bed is a pretty good card, but I also like the Channeler, and I’d just take it here and try to play UR devoid, or maybe BR devoid. It’s possible that I’m wrong on this one and Spawning Bed is the better choice, though.
First pick: Grip of Desolation
The best black card in the pack is Demon’s Grasp, which is actually pretty good—not as good as Complete Disregard or some of the premium removal spells of other colors, but good nonetheless. However, Halimar Tidecaller is just a great card. I think the power disparity here makes it worth going off color. You can prioritize awaken cards slightly higher after picking the Tidecaller, and if you’re ever lucky enough to pick up a second you can just start slamming them. This format doesn’t have a ton of card advantage, and a card that can provide selective card advantage is even more powerful. The obvious risk is that the Tidecaller only pays off with specific cards, but given that it’s so early in the draft, I think it’s worth the risk.
What did you think of this week’s decisions? As I mentioned, I think UR devoid is the best archetype in the format. Do you agree? If not, what do you think is the best archetype? I’ll be back with the next installment of the series very soon.