Hi everyone! I’m writing this edition of What’s the Pick? on the eve of my flight to Australia for Pro Tour Eldritch Moon. I’m really excited, although I confess, with being so tall, I’m really dreading the long flight.
Let’s get to this edition’s packs:
Again, this card has a high price tag, requiring a creature and a card from your hand, but the reward is huge. Disposal will effectively always remove your opponent’s two best creatures no matter how big they are, even getting around some sort of indestructible monster like Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger. Ruthless Disposal will be good in any black deck, and you should expect to first pick it very often.
Honorable Mention: Bloodhall Priest.
I don’t like to first pick gold cards too often, but this is a very good card. Even just a 4-mana 4/4 is fine, and Bloodhall Priest has a lot of upside. I expect RB Vampires to be one of the better archetypes—Vampires and madness tend to pair together because so many Vampires have built-in madness costs or even discard outlets. I would take the Bloodhall Priest here and try to draft RB Vampires from here on out.
This card looks really good. I have talked to some friends and they don’t necessarily feel the same way, but we’ll see. If this is your 4-drop, you can basically tap it do 7 damage to your opponent, then have a creature that can block any card in the format for the rest of the game. There are also some cute things you can do with Tree of Perdition, like open a copy of Triskaidekaphobia, or perhaps make your Tree an 0/15, then Ruthless Disposal it, and tap it to reduce your opponent’s life total to 2. Cute combos aside, though, I just think this is a very powerful card.
Honorable Mention: Smoldering Werewolf.
This card is going to vary wildly in power and feel based on your opponent’s decks. If this is coming into play and killing a creature, it’s nearly a bomb. If it’s coming into play and killing two creatures, it’s practically a game-ender. A card with that kind of upside is exactly what I want in my Limited decks. The 2 toughness does make it a bit weak in games where you aren’t killing anything, or your opponent has cheap removal like Galvanic Bombardment.
The choice is between Savage Alliance and one of the white cards. I think Savage Alliance is a little bit better than Choking Restraints, which I think is the best white card. The versatility of Savage Alliance makes it really strong. You’re sometimes killing two or more creatures, and sometimes using the third mode to do a lot of damage in a hopefully lethal combat. The obvious downside is that you can’t remove a creature with more than 3 toughness. My big problem with Choking Restraints is that it doesn’t do anything about activated abilities, and it can give your opponent an easy choice of what to sacrifice to pay an emerge cost. Don’t get me wrong, though, Choking Restraints is a great card, which I expect to first pick some of the time.
Honorable Mention: Choking Restraints.
I think the only other choice here is Thalia’s Lancers. Thalia’s Lancers has a massive upside, but getting a legendary card in Limited is not easy. There aren’t just tons of legends floating around. Also, even if you get exactly one legendary card, you are going to draw it and the lancers together some percentage of the time, which also negates the Thalia’s Lancers upside. If you’re going to get two legendary cards, though, Thalia’s Lancers would become the clear pick (it might even be the pick with one legendary card, but it’s impossible to guarantee that in advance).
I actually had this card at the prerelease and it was way better than it looked, and it looks pretty good. It comes down on turn 4 often, and decimates your opponent’s game plan. In addition to making them discard 1 or 2 cards, you are left with a 5/5, which is almost always the biggest creature on the board that early in the game. Naturally, because you’ve stripped your opponent’s best cards, they’ll rarely have an answer left for the Mindbender.
Honorable Mention: Galvanic Bombardment.
After the Mindbender, the pick out of this pack is the 1-mana removal spell. The fact that Galvanic Bombardment only costs 1 mana is its biggest strength, as you can remove your opponent’s creatures while also gaining massive tempo.
This is a truly great card. Even though it’s unlikely you’re also going to find Gisela, the Broken Blade to meld into Brisela, this card is a great late-game threat with a lot of upside. A lot of creatures in white decks are Humans, and by the time you reach 7 mana, you’re likely to have traded one off in combat, or lost one to a removal spell. So for 7 mana you’re getting a 5/7 flying vigilance and a Human back from your graveyard, which is very good. The high toughness in combination with vigilance allows you to be aggressive with Bruna, while staying back on defense.
Honorable Mention: Drogskol Shieldmate.
This looks like a great effect. Often, a 3-mana 2/3 flash will allow you to eat an attacking 2/2 on the third turn. Later in the game, you can use it as a combat trick to do something turn a trade into a kill. This is the type of combat trick where you can be less afraid of casting it into open mana—if your opponent is able to remove the creature you blocked with, you’re only losing 1 card, unlike with a card like Giant Growth where you’re getting 2-for-1’d.
Thanks everyone for reading. That’s it from me for a little bit. By the time I write again, I will have a lot more experience playing with Eldritch Moon: a Pro Tour, a Grand Prix, and a couple weeks in the Pantheon testing house, playing against many of the best players in the world. Thanks for reading these past couple weeks!