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By: MysticLancer, Lance Cothern
Dec 31 1969 8:00pm
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Welcome!

This is my first draft article, and my first draft in well over a year, so I find this situation to be very fitting. I made some basic errors from a person's first draft, and I'm going to try to go over what those were. My first draft was 999 as it is a fairly simple format as well as a good place for new drafters to start! The first thing I learned was that draftcap doesn't always work 100% when I'm using it but I'm working on fixing that, so if you see a blank area where a card picture should be, or a * where a card name should be, it didn't record it. Sorry!
So here is my draft. Follow along and prepare to see some mistakes!

The Draft

Pack 1:

Storm Crow, Trained Armodon, Highway Robber, Infantry Veteran, Rogue Kavu, Contaminated Bond, Llanowar Elves, Remove Soul, Seething Song, Pacifism, Megrim, Fellwar Stone, Kami of Old Stone, Temporal Adept, Swamp

Pick 1:

My Pick: Temporal Adept

Looking at this pack there were some very good cards, but I picked the Temporal Adept because if I could have the resources and consistency to play it, it would be a powerhouse.  Other good cards in this pack were Pacifism and Llanowar Elves.

Infantry Veteran, Rogue Kavu, Sea Monster, Grizzly Bears, Aven Windreader, Firebreathing, Master Decoy, Bog Imp, Nantuko Husk, Leonin Skyhunter, Threaten, Aladdin's Ring, Swamp, Dark Banishing

Pick 2:

My Pick: Leonin Skyhunter

Here I picked the Leonin Skyhunter because it was good fast evasion. There is a card missing in this pack. The Nantuko Husk is also a really good card in this pack. However, in retrospect I probably should have taken some removal here. Dark Banishing is an amazing removal card and Master Decoy is also another good semi-removal card.

Fishliver Oil, Shatter, Pegasus Charger, Contaminated Bond, Angelic Blessing, Lava Axe, Counsel of the Soratami, Treetop Bracers, Annex, Rootbreaker Wurm, Dancing Scimitar, *, Mountain

Pick 3:

My Pick: Pegasus Charger

The Pegasus Charger is a good flier that can do some good damges in games, especially with first strike, and thats why I picked it. The Rootbreaker Wurm is beastly big, but it isn't really a bomb in my opinion because it is so expensive, and its not evasion.

Natural Spring, Reflexes, Aven Flock, Plague Beetle, Sift, Zodiac Monkey, Giant Cockroach, Samite Healer, Soul Feast, Circle of Protection: Red, Defense Grid, Island

Pick 4:

My Pick: Sift

Sift is a really good card. An arguement could have also been made for Aven Flock and in retrospect since I played black and white I wish I would have picked it.

Fugitive Wizard, Holy Day, Gravedigger, Raging Goblin, Sift, Zodiac Monkey, Giant Cockroach, Samite Healer, Quicksand

Pick 5: 

My Pick: Holy Day

Horrid pick. This was me being new to drafting. In reality I most likely should have taken Gravedigger, Quicksand, of Sift.

Pick 6:

My Pick: Sage Aven

Sage Aven has evasion and a great ability on it as well. However, in retrospect now knowing I played black, I should have taken Looming Shade. Sage Aven wasn't a bad pick though.

Plague Beetle, Sea's Claim, Sacred Nectar, Wanderguard Sentry, Spineless Thug, Angelic Blessing, Flowstone Crusher, Telepathy, Forest

Pick 7:

My Pick: Angelic Blessing

There wasn't much to pick from in this pack. Nothing is amazing and nothing stands out. Flowstone Crusher is probably the best card in this pack.

Pick 8:

My Pick: Flight

Flight should never be picked with intentions of making your deck. Unfortunately I picked it, I should have taken Looming Shade in this pack.
Storm Crow, Highway Robber, Infantry Veteran, Rogue Kavu, Contaminated Bond, Seething Song, Swamp

Pick 9:

My Pick: Storm Crow

Storm Crow is good evasion, however I believe I probably could have gone with Highway Robber or Infantry Veteran because they have better abilities.

Pick 10:

My Pick: Infantry Veteran

Infantry Veteran is a good creature in this pack, but Aladdin's Ring is a game finisher. I should have taken the ring but I didn't really think much about it at the time.
Fishliver Oil, Contaminated Bond, Angelic Blessing, Annex, Mountain

Pick 11:

My Pick: Annex

Annex isn't really playable, but neither is anything else in this pack. The most playable card in this pack in my opinion is Contaminated Bond and I should have taken that.

Pick 12:

My Pick: Plague Beetle

Nothing good in this pack.

Fugitive Wizard, Giant Cockroach, Swamp

Pick 13:

My Pick: Fugitive Wizard

Should have taken the Giant Cockroach.

Pick 14:

My Pick: Honor Guard

Nothing to discuss here.

Sacred Nectar

Pick 15:

My Pick: Sacred Nectar

The best card in this pack is by FAR Sacred Nectar so I picked it.

Pack 2:

Festering Goblin, Crossbow Infantry, Lightning Elemental, Storm Crow, Trained Armodon, Highway Robber, Flight, Volcanic Hammer, Mending Hands, Hollow Dogs, Azure Drake, Summer Bloom, Vulshok Morningstar, Hypnotic Specter, Plains

Pick 16:

My Pick: Hypnotic Specter

The main motivation behind this pick was that it was worth about 7 tix. Other than that it was one of the better cards in the pack. This pick is what got me into black in this draft. Too bad I didn't realize it until after I was done drafting.

Gravedigger, Norwood Ranger Wind Drake, Goblin Sky Raider, Aven Cloudchaser, Razortooth Rats, Horned Turtle, Giant Spider, Mind Rot, Veteran Cavalier, Enrage, Spellbook, Thundermare, Swamp

Pick 17:

My Pick: Wind Drake

Here I picked Wind Drake because I was thinking I was still in blue. However I should have been picking in Black or White in this pack. There were good cards available such as Aven Cloudchaser, Gravedigger, and Razortooth Rats

Reclaim, Aven Windreader, Firebreathing, Master Decoy, Bog Imp, Stone Rain, Aven Fisher, Elvish Warrior, Unholy Strength, Holy Strength, Urza's Tower, Cruel Edict

Pick 18:

My Pick: Master Decoy

Master Decoy was a good pick in my opinion. It can win games. However some other good cards in this pack are (Aven Windreaver), Aven Fisher, and Cruel Edict. I think I would have still picked the Decoy.

Goblin Mountaineer, Sleight of Hand, Tree Monkey, Festering Goblin, Crossbow Infantry, Lightning Elemental, Giant Growth, Fishliver Oil, Shatter, Viashino Sandstalker, River Bear, Forest

Pick 19:

My Pick: Crossbow Infantry

I like Crossbow Infantry, espcially when you get a couple of them. Festering Goblin is the only other card in my final colors, so this was a good pick in retrospect.

Bog Imp, Scaled Wurm, Dehydration, Honor Guard, Raise Dead, Horned Turtle, Veteran Cavalier, Angel's Feather, Yavimaya Enchantress, Teferi's Puzzle Box, Mountain

Pick 20:

My Pick: Veteran Cavalier

Veteran Cavalier was the best card in my colors I ended in, however I still thought I was in blue here. If I was, I should have taken Dehydration.

Sandstone Warrior, Wanderguard Sentry, Spineless Thug, Elvish Berserker, Crafty Pathmage, Hill Giant, Demystify, Boiling Seas, Relentless Assault, Mountain

Pick 21:

My Pick: Wanderguard Sentry

Nothing amazing in my colors here. I should have hate drafted against red in this pick, in which I should have most likely taken Sandstone Warrior or possibly Hill Giant.

Overgrowth, Foul Imp, Skyhunter Prowler, Razortooth Rats, Natural Spring, Reflexes, Execute, Kraken's Eye, Plains

Pick 22:

My Pick: Skyhunter Prowler

Skyhunter Prowler is good evasion and a good blocking flier. I probably would have stuck with that pick in retrospect, but other good cards in my ending colors include Razortooth Rats and Execute to hate draft against someone playing black against me since i was 100% sure I was playing white.

Seething Song, Fear, Elvish Warrior, Unholy Strength, Holy Strength, Slay, Peace of Mind, Plains

Pick 23:

My Pick: Holy Strength

Holy Strength isn't really playable, so Slay would be my best pick in this pack, even though its only effective against green. If I had to pick one of the creature enchantments I should have taken Unholy Strength because I had a couple first strike fliers.

Festering Goblin, Crossbow Infantry, Storm Crow, Highway Robber, Flight, Mending Hands, Plains

Pick 24:

My Pick: Crossbow Infantry

Crossbow Infantry is good with multiples. Highway Robber is probably better on a primarily card vs card basis because it has a nice ability.

Norwood Ranger, Goblin Sky Raider, Razortooth Rats, Horned Turtle, Spellbook, Swamp

Pick 25:

My Pick: Razortooth Rats

I made the right pick here, best card in the pack in my colors, if I was still playing blue, I might have taken the Horned Turtle because it would be a nice blocker.

Firebreathing, Bog Imp, Holy Strength, Urza's Tower, Swamp

Pick 26:

My Pick: Holy Strength

Nothing great here. Urza's Tower might have been picked because I don't own any in my collection. Bog Imp isn't that great either.

Goblin Mountaineer, Tree Monkey, Fishliver Oil, Forest

Pick 27:

My Pick: Fishliver Oil

Nothing good in this pack. Should have taken the Tree Monkey just so a
green deck couldn't use it against my fliers.

Honor Guard, Raise Dead, Mountain

Pick 28:

My Pick: Honor Guard

Raise Dead is better.

Elvish Berserker, Mountain

Pick 29:

My Pick: Elvish Berserker

Your choice, basic land or bad common.

Natural Spring

Pick 30:

My Pick: Natural Spring

No comment.

 Pack 3:

Lumengrid Warden, Coercion, Foot Soldiers, Goblin Piker, Raise Dead, Kavu Climber, Fugitive Wizard, Shock, Holy Day, Blanchwood Armor, Diabolic Tutor, Zealous Inquisitor, Booby Trap, Swamp, Horned Turtle

 Pick 31: 

My Pick: Zealous Inquisitor

I really like this card, and it is definately the best card in my colors at this point. Blanchwood Armor another great card in this pack, as well as Kavu Climber, but I'm not playing green.

Crafty Pathmage, Hill Giant, Demystify, Enfeeblement, Lava Axe, Counsel of the Soratami, Treetop Bracers, Serpent Warrior, Venerable Monk, Gluttonous Zombie, Ornithopter, Soul Warden, Blood Moon, Swamp

 Pick 32:

My Pick: Soul Warden

Soul Warden is a really good card, but there are a couple cards that probably would have worked out better in this pick. Gluttonous Zombie is an amazing creature because of the fear ability, and Enfeeblement is some good removal.

Enfeeblement, Giant Growth, Fishliver Oil, Shatter, Pegasus Charger, Contaminated Bond, Sea Monster, Grizzly Bears, Scathe Zombies, Glory Seeker, Demon's Horn, King Cheetah

Pick 33:

My Pick: Pegasus Charger

I like my pick here, although Enfeeblement is a good removal spell which I maybe should have taken.

Pacifism, Fear, Rootwalla, Serpent Warrior, Venerable Monk, Goblin Mountaineer, Sleight of Hand, Tree Monkey, Phyrexian Gargantua, *, *, Swamp

Pick 34: 

My Pick: Pacifism

Unfortunately two cards are missing from this pack. Pacifism is amazing removal in a sense, as it completely immobilizes a creature. Serpent Warrior and Phyrexian Gargantua are also good cards in my color.
Fear, Rootwalla, Flight, Mending Hands, Hollow Dogs, Sea Monster, Scathe Zombies, Glory Seeker, Baleful Stare, Elvish Bard, Swamp

Pick 35:

My Pick: Glory Seeker

I really should have taken Hollow Dogs in this situation. However, I didn't figure out I was playing black until I built my deck so this is a retrospective pick.

Lumengrid Warden, Coercion, Foot Soldiers, Goblin Piker, Hollow Dogs, Firebreathing, Horror of Horrors, Inspirit, Goblin King, Island

Pick 36:

My Pick: Foot Soldiers


For the same reasons as pick 35 I should have taken Hollow Dogs in this pick. Inspirit is a good trick card too, so that was also a possibility, but Foot Soldiers should not have been picked here.
Panic Attack, Mana Leak, Naturalize, Ravenous Rats, Suntail Hawk, Balduvian Barbarians, Norwood Ranger, Needle Storm, Mountain

Pick 37:

My Pick: Suntail Hawk

I made the right pick for my colors in this pack. However I probably should have hate drafted Needle Storm as it could wreck all of my fliers.

Ravenous Rats, Balduvian Barbarians, Foul Imp, Sea's Claim, Sacred Nectar, Regeneration, Ur-Golem's Eye, Swamp

Pick 38:

My Pick: Ravenous Rats

Nothing amazing in this pack, Foul Imp could have some potential if I didn't have a lot of fliers in white.
Lumengrid Warden, Coercion, Foot Soldiers, Raise Dead, Fugitive Wizard, Holy Day, Swamp

Pick 39:

My Pick: Holy Day

Note to self: NEVER PICK HOLY DAY AGAIN UNLESS YOU HAVE TO! It is simply BAD. Anyways, I should have taken Foot Soldiers here, or possibly Raise Dead if I had some big use for it.

Crafty Pathmage, Demystify, Lava Axe, Serpent Warrior, Gluttonous Zombie, Swamp

Pick 40:

My Pick: Lava Axe

This was a premature hate pick. There are two obviously good black cards here in Serpent Warrior and (Glutonous Zombie) and I would have picked the (Glutonous Zombie) because of the great fear mechanic and no loss of life.
Fishliver Oil, Contaminated Bond, Scathe Zombies, Demon's Horn, Mountain

Pick 41: 

My Pick: Contaminated Bond

Nothing great in this pack
Fear, Tree Monkey, Tempest of Light, Swamp

Pick 42:

My Pick: Fear

Should have taken the Tree Monkey so no one could use it against my fliers.
Fear, Mending Hands, Swamp

Pick 43: 

My Pick: Mending Hands

Nothing good in this pack

Pick 44:

My Pick: Firebreathing


Should have taken the uncommon, simply because it is an uncommon.
Panic Attack

Pick 45:

My Pick: Panic Attack

Last pick... Yay!

Draft recording done by Blargware's MTGO DraftCap. Support Blargware!

Lesson Number 1: DON'T PICK UNPLAYABLE CARDS
I was new to the format and I wasn't a big drafter. I made some horrible picks that should never see the day of light in decks. Here they are:

Pick 5: Holy Day: COMPLETELY unplayable, but my naivity thought it could save me. In reality, its a horrible card and should never be drafted with intentions to put it in your deck. Should have taken Gravedigger
Pick 7: Angelic Blessing: Shouldn't make your final deck either, however there isn't much else amazing in this pack, so it wasn't a HUGE error.
Pick 8: Flight: BAD CARD FOR LIMITED. Once again, my naivity said this could be cool. I should have taken the Looming Shade on this pick.
Pick 21: Wanderguard Sentry: Not that good of a card, shouldn't be making decks. Granted there wasn't anything good in my colors either. I should have picked Spineless Thug.
Pick 23: Holy Strength: Generally these types of enchantments SHOULD NOT MAKE YOUR DECK! I made a mistake here. Nothing amazing in this pack though but should have taken Slay.
Pick 26: Holy Strength: Again, I messed up, should have taken the Bog Imp
Pick 28: Honor Guard: Not that great of a card, should have taken Raise Dead.
Pick 39: Holy Day: DO NOT PICK HOLY DAY! Should have taken Foot Soldiers or Raise Dead.
Pick 41: Contaminated Bond: I should have picked Scathe Zombies.

Lesson Number 2: DON'T JUMP TO CONCLUSIONS! LOOK AT EVERY CARD!
Ok, so I made some mistakes in this category. I would see a card and click it, sometimes without fully reading the rest of the pack. Don't do this! I'm also using this to point out bad picks I made in error.

Pick 2: Leonin Skyhunter: Probably should have taken the Dark Banishing here! Removal > Evasion
Pick 9: Storm Crow: Both Highway Robber and Infantry Veteran are better.
Pick 10: Infantry Veteran: Aladdin's Ring is a good finisher and should have been taken here.
Pick 17: Wind Drake: Better cards are in this pack. Gravedigger and Aven Cloudchaser would have been better.
Pick 24: Crossbow Infantry: Debatable between that and Highway Robber
Pick 32: Soul Warden: While being a good card, there are some better cards here. Should have take Gluttonous Zombie or Enfeeblement.
Pick 33: Pegasus Charger: Enfeeblement is a better card here. Although it depends on what you have already drafted at this point.
Pick 35: Glory Seeker: Should have taken Hollow Dogs hands down.
Pick 36: Foot Soldiers: Should have taken Hollow Dogs again or Inspirit would have been a nice trick.
Pick 40: Lava Axe: I wasn't paying attention here, should have taken Gluttonous Zombie.

Creatures:
2    Crossbow Infantry
1    Foot Soldiers
1    Glory Seeker
2    Honor Guard
1    Hypnotic Specter
1    Infantry Veteran
1    Leonin Skyhunter
1    Master Decoy
2    Pegasus Charger
1    Ravenous Rats
1    Razortooth Rats
1    Skyhunter Prowler
1    Soul Warden
1    Suntail Hawk
1    Veteran Cavalier
1    Zealous Inquisitor

Other Spells:
1    Contaminated Bond
2    Holy Strength
1    Pacifism
1    Angelic Blessing

Lands:
11 Plains
5   Swamp

Sideboard:
1    Elvish Berserker
1    Fugitive Wizard
1    Plague Beetle
1    Sage Aven
1    Storm Crow
1    Temporal Adept
1    Wanderguard Sentry
1    Wind Drake
1    Annex
1    Fear
1    Firebreathing
1    Fishliver Oil
1    Flight
2    Holy Day
1    Mending Hands
1    Lava Axe
1    Natural Spring
1    Panic Attack
1    Sacred Nectar
1    Sift

Deck-Building:

Ok so I just drafted my 45 cards, and now the deck-building screen popped up and my 10 minute clock started counting down. I choose White and Black simply because it had the best cards available to me. The Blue cards I had weren't strong enough and everything in the deck is all of my Black and White cards that were semi-decent.
The Matches:
Round 1: I played a 1700+ player who played a really good Black and Blue deck. There were three close games but I triumphed 2 games to 1.
Round 2: I played a 1650ish player who played a Red and White deck. While this was a good deck, my fliers dominated him and I beat him 2 games to none.
Round 3: Another 1700+ player who was playing Red and Green. His deck didn't have enough answers for my fliers and I swept over him for the win 2 games to none.
Summary:
I just won my first 999 draft I had played in over a year! Some will call this beginner's luck (and rightfully so to a point). I overcame a lot of mistakes as well as two 1700+ players and some good decks to win! If this tells you anything, its that you too can draft 999. Until next time, I'd like you guys to go out and try a 999 draft if you're willing and want to have some fun!

Special Thanks to: Heath for publishing this article. Lord Erman for teaching me how to format my articles better so I could get them published. JacsUK and Gus from MTGO TRADERS for some drafting tips that helped a lot when writing this article.

Have any comments? Post them! I'm new to both drafting and writing so any and all advice is welcome. My MTGO handle is MysticLancer if you'd like to contact me personally.

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1 Comments

Pick 5: Holy Day: COMPLETELY by oliviajane at Wed, 02/18/2015 - 06:56
oliviajane's picture

Pick 5: Holy Day: COMPLETELY unplayable, but my naivity thought it could save me. In reality, its a horrible card and should never be drafted with intentions to put it in your deck. Thanks for posting such a useful article. Paid to click is an online business model that draws online traffic aiming to earn money from home.