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By: bdgp009, Beau Darryl G. Panizales
May 18 2017 12:00pm
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Hello again to the patrons of MTGOTraders and the readers of PureMTGO. I do not know how to write a draft article but I used to love it when I was able to draft a lot. I mostly read Ars Arcanum and Rick's Picks but my interest started to wane when they started streaming their thoughts about the draft instead of writing it. There is just this fundamental difference when you are listening to someone and reading about their thoughts. I guess I can say that I can process information more when I am reading rather than when I am listening.

In this article I will be discussing what to pick in an Amonkhet draft if the open cards are black and blue. You heard me right (Er... read me right?) You won’t see how I did in my draft because I did poorly but what I saw is the synergy of cards from UB decks and it’s awesome when it works.


If you haven’t heard yet cycling is back and with it are creatures that use the power of cycling to do other things.  Some of these are adding counters to creatures whenever you cycle or discard, or giving your creatures a small buff. 

                                               Ruthless_Sniper          Shadowstorm_Vizier        Hekma_Sentinels

Ruthless Sniper: If you haven’t read the reviews about Amonkhet one thing that critics are saying is that there is an absence of good removal. Ruthless Sniper is one of the cards that can and will help you in the removal department. For one mana it will put a -1/-1 counter on any creature every time you use cycling. Take note that the counters are not until the end of turn. It will stick and even if you are not able to remove the creature you are going to weaken the offensive power of your opponent.

Shadowstorm Vizier- This is a flying (evasion) 1/3 creature for UB and it pumps itself by +1/+1 every time you cycle or discard a card. If you can get this creature early in the game, chances are your opponent will get a beating on the 3rd turn.

Hekma Sentinels- A 2/3 blue creature for 2U. It has the same pump ability as Shadowstorm Vizier. 

Just imagine what havoc you can create if these three creatures will come out as your first three turns creatures.

Creatures with cycling

Of course the three cards above will be the usual creatures if you won’t get the cards with cycling. Here are the 3 creatures that you should get to cycle if you see them.

                                   Vizier_of_Tumbling_Sands                 Horror_of_the_Broken_Lands           River_Serpent

Vizier of Tumbling Sands-This 1/3 creature is already good by itself even if it does not have cycling. It is a 2Ucreature that has the ability to untap another permanent. I really would rather cast it than to cycle it because it can help you a lot if you have mana problems. If it is needed to cycle it to win the game you would be drawing a card and will be untapping a permanent because of this card's ability. Just imagine an end game where your opponent attacks thinking you have no blocker then you cycle this guy and you untap Shadowstorm Vizier or Hekma Sentinels.

Horror of the Broken Lands- A huge 4/4 creature that has the ability to pump itself by +2/+1 every time you use cycling. The 4B mana to cast it will be a bit of a problem though that is why the card above have more value if it is cast. The Black mana you need to cycle this is in the cheap side and it is better if your cycling cards are using one mana only in this kind of deck. Remember that you are trying to pump your creatures to ensure the win. If you can cycle more in a turn to get that pump the better.

River Serpent-when you pick this card make sure that it is not Cryptic Serpent because I pick cryptic thinking that it is this creature. You don’t pick this card because of its 5/5 vanilla body. You pick this card for its cheap cycling ability.

Non-Creature Spells

Of course you will need other spells to win the game so let’s see what spells adds to our deck synergy.

            Sacred_Excavation     Cartouche_of_Ambition   Cartouche_of_Knowledge    Decision_Paralysis     Bontus_Monument 

Sacred Excavation-Since we are a pro cycling deck what better card is there to make sure we won't lose cycling cards. The 3U mana you will use to get those cards with cycling will be worth it.

Cartouche of Ambition-For 1B you can remove a creature by giving it a -1/-1 counter for good plus giving your own creature a +1/+1 and lifelink. Yes, it gives lifelink and the life swings that this creates could be the difference between losing and winning the game.

Cartouche of Knowledge-For 1U you get to draw a card and give your creature a +1/+1 boost and Flying. It gives the flying ability. When I first read bout drafting the acronym BREAD was rampant and the third letter is for evasion. Flying is an evasion ability so you cannot go wrong with this card.

Decision Paralysis- Sometimes I keep forgetting to use the ability of a card because I was waiting for the right moment. The ability of this card to tap two creatures and detain them for a turn is a good game changer at crunch time. You have to remember to use its ability the first time that you can. Do not wait for big creatures to tap.

Bontu's Monument- This legendary artifact will help you cast your big creatures faster if you care to have them but having the extra 1 damage and 1 life gain for every creature that you will cast is not too shabby for three colorless mana.

Compelling_Argument        Floodwaters        Wander_in_Death        Unburden


Compelling Argument-The U mana for cycling is the one that makes me pick this card. I haven’t tried to actually use its ability to mill you opponent for 5 cards. If I could draft again I might try that.

Floodwaters-The ability to return 2 creatures is good and its cycling ability is a bonus. The high 4UU cmc will be a problem though if you get this early. Not a problem at all if you cycle it. We can get it back later.

Wander in Death-This card has 2 colorless mana to use its cycling ability. Make sure you use that unless you can get two creatures that have cycling abilities.

Unburden- Cycling is a pain when it works for your opponent. Discarding 2 cards from your opponent for 1BB is the best way to use this to disrupt that cycling cycle. If it can win you the game then cycle for 2.

Best Possible Deck


In the deck the one that I remove was Decision Paralysis. My reason for removing that in my best scenario deck is because it works the same way as Floodwaters without the upside of cycling.

If you can get at least two creatures for each creature above and at least one copy of each spell then your chances of winning your draft have come up big time. Another observation that I get is that since you are drafting in a league right now the chance that you are not fighting the people you have drafted with is big and having mirror decks may happen more. Of course, there is always the luck factor of MTGO screwing your mana and it is just bad luck. Make sure to follow the MTGO advice of using 15 creatures, 8 non-creature spells and 17 lands. It usually works for me.

Until next time MTGO Peeps. God bless and peace out!