Hi again, everyone! I’m back with some more Pack 1 Pick 1 featuring Eldritch Moon. Here are today’s packs:
Voldaren Pariah is obscene—one of the best rares in the set. It often comes down and instantly wraths your opponent, while leaving you with a 6/5 flyer. It’s possible to draft cards that synergize very well, like any sort of cards tokens, Exultant Cultist, and madness enablers. It would be exceptionally rare that I’d ever pass this card, and certainly wouldn’t in this instance.
Honorable Mention: Incendiary Flow.
Incendiary Flow is a premium removal spell, better than any common, though maybe not as good as some of the other top uncommons. Still it’s the second best card in this pack, and will be a card you’re often going to first pick. The only thing Incendiary Flow guides you into is the color red, as it will be one of the strongest card in any red deck regardless of your second color.
This card is a complete bomb. I mean, did it really have to have flying? Anyway, this is another card that I’d basically never pass. It also goes exceptionally well in UR Spells, which is one of my favorite archetypes. After first-picking Niblis of Frost, I would start prioritizing spells slightly higher than normal when compared to creatures of similar power level. Niblis of Frost backed up with a couple spells can very easily win a game on its own.
Honorable Mention: Lashweed Lurker.
I like the UG emerge decks quite a bit in this format and Lashweed Lurker is one of the more important cards in that archetype. I don’t love first-picking a gold card, but this pack is weak otherwise, and Lashweed Lurker is such a strong card in the archetype, I think it’s worth taking it here. Naturally, from there, I’d have a preference toward a UG deck.
This card is stronger than it looks. It’s “just” a 5/5, and certainly not a bomb rare, but it’s actually pretty difficult to deal with. Double-blocking is very hard to do, and costly in terms of life, due to the fact that all of the blockers take 3 damage. It would have to be blocked by something like a 4/4 and a 3/4, cost 6 life, and still the two would trade for it. Some of the removal spells only deal with 4 toughness creatures also: Alchemist’s Greeting and Throttle. At the Pro Tour, LSV was on defense with an Assembled Alphas, and his opponent made a huge attack. Luis cast Give No Ground on the Assembled Alphas and blocked 7 creatures, dealing 21 points of damage to his opponent and winning the game. I can’t let Luis be the only one to live the dream either, so I have to take the Alphas here.
Honorable Mention: Wretched Gryff.
Wretched Gryff is a really good card. It’s actually better than I thought it would be from just looking at the spoiler. I usually play up to two and sometimes more in any blue deck. Of course, the more emerge synergies you have the better. Wretched Gryff is cheap enough that you sometimes just cast it for 7 mana, and there are plenty of games where your 2- or 3-drop becomes obsolete and you’re happy to sacrifice it to power out a 3/4 flyer and draw a card.
Murder is one of the best removal spells in the set, and also one of the top uncommons. Instant, unconditional removal is very hard to come by in this day and age, but Murder is just that. Murder goes into any black deck and doesn’t particularly dictate which second color you should try to delve into.
Honorable Mention: Ulvenwald Captive.
Ulvenwald Captive is a top common. Mana acceleration, especially at 2 or less, has always been very strong in Limited, and Ulvenwald Captive is no exception. The major drawback of mana acceleration is always that when you draw it later in the game, it’s usually a dead draw. This isn’t the case with Ulvenwald Captive, as it provides you with a late-game mana sink to make a 4/6 creature.
This card is a bomb rare. If you draw it in your opening hand, it’s very hard to lose if it isn’t instantly removed. Although Cryptbreaker can self-power your Zombie engine, it’s very good if you’re able to cast an untapped Zombie like Thraben Foulbloods or Ingenious Skaab on the third turn so that it is untapped and you can start drawing cards right away. I’d also be sure to pick up a Cemetery Recruitment or two.
Honorable Mention: Savage Alliance.
Savage Alliance is the best non-rare in the set, and I’d expect to take it most of the time I open it. In this case, though, I found a better pick. Savage Alliance continually gets 2- or 3-for-1s, and I’d be thrilled to start any draft with it.
As always, thanks for reading! Please let me know in the comments what you think about my picks. Also, which cards have overperformed and underperformed for you now that you’ve had the chance to play the set a bit?