Hi everyone! Welcome back to Pack 1, Pick 1. This time around I’ll be drafting from Eldritch Moon. These are random packs, created for the previewed cards. The set hasn’t been released yet, so all of these decisions are based on instinct and experience from past formats. I’m sure I’ll end up being wrong on some of them, but that’s how I learn. Here are the packs:
This cards looks pretty good, and I have a feeling it plays even better than it looks. Wharf Infiltrator seems like a great card to start a draft with, as if you’re able to get other discard outlets and madness creatures, you can get continual value by discarding a card like Bloodmad Vampire, paying 4 mana, and getting not 1 but 2 creatures out of the deal. Playing Shadows over Innistrad Limited, I’ve felt that skulk was a surprisingly annoying ability. Wharf Infiltrator will often be difficult to block, and if you’re connecting with your opponent, you have the ability to generate tons of value.
Honorable Mention: Alchemist’s Greeting.
I think this could end up being an incorrect pick, maybe due to colors, or even just card quality. Choking Restraints (or possibly even Grizzled Angler) could turn out to be the better pick. The upside of Alchemist’s Greeting being cast as an instant due to madness is really good. That being said, it only does 4 damage, and doesn’t deal with giant monsters as well as Choking Restraints does. Another weakness of Choking Restraints, though, is that if you’re trying to deal with a creature with some sort of activated ability, you’re going to need to spend 8 mana altogether.
1-mana interaction is tough to come by in Limited, and 1-mana interaction this powerful is even tougher. Worst-case scenario is you’re doing 2 damage to a creature at instant speed. To be fair, best-case scenario is not that much better, as you’re unlikely to be able to get very many copies of such a powerful card, but when the worst-case scenario is that good, I’ll take it.
Honorable Mention: Savage Alliance.
This card is somewhat hard for me to evaluate without playing it. I suppose it could be possible that its worse than Certain Death, or better than Galvanic Bombardment. The upside on Savage Alliance is quite high. For 4 mana you can kill a 3-toughness and a 1-toughness creature. Also, Savage Alliance could be used as a powerful finisher. Giving all of your creatures trample and dealing 1 damage to each of your opponent’s creatures means that you’re able to trample over each blocker for 1 additional point of damage.
Wow, this card is really powerful. Although when you play it, you’re not always going to be able to remove your opponent’s best creature while leaving yourself with a 4/3—that will happen some of the time. Also, in the case where you really need to remove a bigger creature with 4 or less toughness, you can play Somberwald Stag as a 5-mana removal spell. This looks like it will be one of the best uncommons in the set and I’d be happy to first-pick it.
Honorable Mention: Collective Effort.
Collective Effort is a pretty cool card. I figure most of the time it will read “1WW, tap a creature you control: Destroy target creature with power 4 or greater and put a +1/+1 counter on each creature you control.” That’s a very good card, and you get the added versatility of being able to only use one of the modes, or to add a third mode. Destroying an enchantment is an extremely powerful effect to “randomly” put on one of your already powerful cards, and frankly if all Collective Effort did was kill a creature, it would already be pretty good.
Thalia, Heretic Cathar.
A 3/2 first strike for 3 mana and no other abilities is already a decent card. In Limited, your opponent’s nonbasic lands coming into play tapped won’t matter much, but their creatures coming into played certainly will. As long as you keep Thalia in play, it’s going to be very hard for your opponent to mount a defense if your draw is at all aggressive, as all their plays are delayed by a turn. In a draw with Thalia and a well-timed bounce or removal spell, the game will end quickly.
Honorable Mention: Sigardian Priest.
I have to admit, I’m a sucker for tappers. I naturally remember the days when tappers were close to the best common whenever they were printed, in any color. This one has a natural drawback in that it cannot tap Humans, which could prove to make Sigardian Priest a lot worse than it looks, but I doubt it. Most of the giant creatures you’re having trouble with tend to not be Human and that will allow Sigardian Priest to do its job.
Maybe I’m overrating this card since I have such found memories of Repulse. Being an instant makes Repulse a far superior card, of course. This pack does seem kind of weak overall to me. The rare seems decent, but probably pretty hard to get going. I think the tempo created by Drag Under is just so valuable that I’d go ahead and take it.
Honorable Mention: Ruthless Disposal.
This card has a lot going for it, and a lot going against it. Costing 5 mana, a card, and a creature is pretty rough. Beyond that, if your opponent has only one giant monster in play, you can’t even cast it unless you have a second creature of your own that you’re willing to get rid of it. Even still, in Limited, when you’re going to invest this much in a card, you’ll be able to remove two of your opponent’s creatures, and nearly always their best two creatures. That’s plenty enough upside to take this card over what I believe, like I said before, is a pretty weak pack.
That’s all for this edition of Pack 1, Pick 1. I’m hoping this format will be as fun to draft in real life as it looks on paper. In any case, I’ll be back with more soon, so keep your eyes peeled! Thanks for reading!