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By: TheWolf, Shane Garvey
Dec 13 2016 1:00pm
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I'm an average player at best. My MTGO Rating in Limited hovers between 1670 and 1700 and my Constructed Rating is worse. But I enjoy Magic in all it's forms, and none more so than Limited.

Therefore, when the chance came up to write about drafting, I jumped at it (thanks, Josh!) I am going to walk you through my draft, explaining the choices I made as I go, then give you a brief match report at the end. After all, the most interesting part is the draft itself!

I am sure you will disagree with my picks, and I encourage you to! Post in the comments below, and hopefully you can also help me get better at the game.

Anyway, enough rambling. On to the draft!

PACK 1

  Pack 1 pick 1:

  My Pick:

Right off the bat I had an interesting choice. Aethersquall Ancient is a bomb, but Revoke Privileges is arguably the best card in the pack. I tossed it up for almost the entire pick time before settling on the big blue beast.

 


  Pack 1 pick 2:

  My Pick:

Again, some interesting choices. I'm a big believer of picking the best card in the pack for the first three-four picks, and here, for me, it was out of Welding Sparks, Die Young and Thriving Rhino. Both Die Young and the Rhino work better with our first pick, but I am always careful to not get to married to pick one, so I took the better removal spell.


  Pack 1 pick 3:

  My Pick:

This one wasn't particularly close. It was either Prophetic Prism or Glassblower's Puzzleknot. The Puzzleknot has the synergy with the Aethersquall Ancient, but Prism is the better card overall.


  Pack 1 pick 4:

  My Pick:

This one wasn't even close. Tidy Conclusion is a solid card and can deal with opposing bombs, so Tidy Conclusion it was. 


  Pack 1 pick 5:

  My Pick:

So with this pick, I have noticed there is two decent "black" cards in Die Young and Metalspinner's Puzzleknot. I also noticed the good black cards in the previous pack in the Tidy Conclusion we picked, plus a Dhund Operative. I surmise that black is potentially open and decide to move in, taking the removal spell.


  Pack 1 pick 6:

  My Pick:

Looking back, I'm not entirely happy with this pick. Even though I took Sky Skiff, I was tossing up between the Dukhara Scavenger and the Dukhara Peafowl. I'm wishing I took the Peafowl, but I hadn't seen much in blue I liked to this point and wasn't sure I was going to be playing our first pick. I went for a "safe option" in the Skiff.


  Pack 1 pick 7:

  My Pick:

The rest of the pack was rubbish based on what I had taken so far, and as I was sure I would likely be playing black, I took Die Young.


  Pack 1 pick 8:

  My Pick:

My thinking on this pick was I was pretty sure I was black and, although Die Young is the best card in the pack, I was painfully aware I was low on creatures so far. I decided Wayward Giant would go along well with Welding Sparks.


  Pack 1 pick 9:

  My Pick:

Again, the creature thing. Seeing a Wild Wanderer here made me wonder if I should perhaps be in green. This one was a speculation pick. If I hadn't have done that, it would have been out of Live Fast or Select for Inspection.


  Pack 1 pick 10:

  My Pick:

I'm not sure why I took this over Contraband Kingpin, which is much better. I won't go through the rest of the picks this pack as we are getting into the dregs, but you can see them below:


  Pack 1 pick 11:

  My Pick:


  Pack 1 pick 12:

  My Pick:


  Pack 1 pick 13:

  My Pick:


  Pack 1 pick 14:

  My Pick:


  Pack 1 pick 15:

  My Pick:


PACK 2

Pack 2 pick 1:

  My Pick:

This pick might need some explaining. With the last few picks of pack 1, I had enough average yet playable blue cards that I was happy to play Aethersquall Ancient. I was pretty sure at this point I was playing blue-black, a fact I wasn't overly happy with as I have not had a lot of success with that colour pair, but I thought if I could pick up some Prophetic Prisms I could splash the Voyager. Hence, I took it. The other choices were Malfunction, Die Young or Glassblower's Puzzleknot.


  Pack 2 pick 2:

  My Pick:

Very good card, though better in black-green. Still, there was really not a lot else in the pack except more Die Young; I could have taken it, but with two already, I went with the creature.


  Pack 2 pick 3:

  My Pick:

This one was a bit of a tossup. With this pick, I had decided I was heading into a controllish deck, so ruled out Embraal Bruiser. I thought about Subtle Strike but went with a card that could help in the long game.


  Pack 2 pick 4:

  My Pick:

Good defensive card for a deck like this. It was this or Whirlermaker, a card I quite like; I'm not sure which was the correct choice.

At this point I am firmly in blue-black control. I am now looking for good early defensive cards, more removal, and some late game win conditions to go with the Aethersquall Ancient. If I can get some energy producing cards, I'd be happy as well.


  Pack 2 pick 5:

  My Pick:

Very solid 3-drop that helps with the defensive side of things by having lifelink. Easy choice.


  Pack 2 pick 6:

  My Pick:

Another easy choice. Let's me find the cards I need twice, while providing energy for later. I did briefly consider Nimble Innovator but the Puzzleknot is just better.

The deck is starting to build itself at this point, so I'll quickly go through the remaining picks:


  Pack 2 pick 7:

  My Pick:


  Pack 2 pick 8:

  My Pick:


  Pack 2 pick 9:

  My Pick:

It was this or the Puzzleknot. I went with the removal spell.


  Pack 2 pick 10:

  My Pick:


  Pack 2 pick 11:

  My Pick:


  Pack 2 pick 12:

  My Pick:


  Pack 2 pick 13:

  My Pick:


  Pack 2 pick 14:

  My Pick:


  Pack 2 pick 15:

  My Pick:

PACK 3


  Pack 3 pick 1:

  My Pick:

Well, I got the card I wish I had have taken in pack 1. I was tempted to take the Gearseeker Serpent as another late game win condition, and Thriving Turtle would also work well in this deck. But I couldn't resist the lure of the gold uncommon.


  Pack 3 pick 2:

  My Pick:

Another Serpent in this pack. At this point, I hoped that one of the Serpents would wheel, so I took the Aether Theorist as another good defensive card and card filterer.


  Pack 3 pick 3:

  My Pick:


  Pack 3 pick 4:

  My Pick:

This pick was out of Aether Theorist, Dhund Operative or the Puzzleknot. In the end I gambled that one of the Gearseeker Serpents would come back, so took an artifact to help cast it.


  Pack 3 pick 5:

  My Pick:


  Pack 3 pick 6:

  My Pick:


  Pack 3 pick 7:

  My Pick:


  Pack 3 pick 8:

  My Pick:


  Pack 3 pick 9:

  My Pick:

And there we have it, we got the Serpent.


  Pack 3 pick 10:

  My Pick:


  Pack 3 pick 11:

  My Pick:


  Pack 3 pick 12:

  My Pick:


  Pack 3 pick 13:

  My Pick:


  Pack 3 pick 14:

  My Pick:


  Pack 3 pick 15:

  My Pick:

 

THE DECK

I'm not entirely happy I ended up in this colour pair, as it's one of my least favourites to draft in this set. I think the deck is probably ok, but it is going to rely on getting to Aethersquall Ancient and Gearseeker Serpent, I think. Let's play the matches and see!

THE MATCHES

Match 1

I kept a slightly sketchy hand in game 1 that had 2 Swamp as the only land, but with a blue and a black puzzleknot I figured I should be able to find blue mana easily enough. It still took until turn 4 to find the Island, and we were off. By this stage, my opponent had shown me he was on Esper colours (though the blue seemed to be for a random Minister of Inquiries splash). I played Puzzleknots into Consulate Skygate and Aether Theorist, while my opponent played a pair of Glint-Sleeve Artisans with the +1/+1 counters on them. My Skygate was killed after a block thanks to Subtle Strike. I managed to draw and play a Gearseeker Serpent, which promptly got killed by a Tidy Conclusion, and from then on I fell way behind and could not stablise fast enough. 0-1.

Game 2 was much closer. I did have to mulligan a 1 land opening hand into a 3 land, 6 card hand which included both of my 7 drops, which was not ideal. The game started out with me playing an Aether Theorist into a Prakhata Pillar-Bug, and my opponent starting with a Glint-Sleeve Artisan, which I killed with a Die Young. My opponent followed up with a Minister of Inquiries, Dhund Operative and an Ovalchase Daredevil while I sat there digging for land. Eventually I found one and played my Gearseeker Serpent for 6, which died to a Tidy Conclusion. But on my next turn I found another land and was able to cast my Aethersquall Ancient, which managed to stick around long enough to bounce the entire board. I was able to get my opponent down to 4 life before he killed the Ancient. Luckily, I managed to find a Dukhara Scavenger and redrew the Ancient, but it died once again to another removal spell. At this point, my opponent had an Aerial Responder and a Foundry Screecher out and I could not find an answer. 0-2.

Record: 0-1

Match 2

Game 1 started with yet another sketchy hand, containing 2 Island as the only land, but it did have a Prophetic Prism, so I kept. My opponent was on green-white and led off with a Thriving Rhino, while I played a Prism and a black Puzzleknot to dig for land. Eventually I found it on turn 5, by which time my opponent had also played a Fairgrounds Trumpeter and had gotten off to a flying start. The next few turns was me trying to stabilize until I was able to cast a Gearseeker Serpent, but by this time I was on only 7 life. The Trumpeter was up to a 7/7 by the time I was able to get Aethersquall Ancient out. In response, my opponent cleared the board with Fumigate! They were on 21 life and 5 at this point, and I still had two creatures in hand (an Aether Theorist and a Prakhata Pillar-Bug). The Magic gods smiled on me here, for my opponent started to flood, while the Theorist was able to smooth my draws. Eventually the Bug was able to wear him down and I took out the first game. 1-0

In game 2 my opponent started off mana screwed, not hitting their third land drop until turn 5. In the meantime, I was attacking with a Lawless Broker and had killed their only creature with a Die Young, and then was able to cast a Vedalken Blademaster as well. I was also sitting on Aethersquall Ancient in my hand, and my opponent was still on 3 land. However, it took me a while to find land number 7, and by the time I had my opponent was up to 6 land themselves. Eventually I found it and, with the help of Dukhara Scavenger bringing back a continually sacrificed Glassblower's Puzzleknot, I was able to keep the board clear and won rather easily.

Record: 1-1

Match 3

My opponent in match 3 was on white-black. In fact, their deck was almost the same as my opponent in match 1, so much so I had to double check to make sure the league hadn't paired us twice. I curved rather nicely with Prophetic Prism into Wind Drake into Aetherborn Marauder. Or so I thought - my opponent had answers for all of them. I was able to stay alive though and was on a healthy life total when Aethersquall Ancient landed on turn 7. That's when my opponent Fumigated the board. I then proceeded to flood, and we were on to game 2. 0-1.

Game 2 was a non-event, unfortunately. I kept a hand of 2 Island as my land, a blue Puzzleknot, and 2 Die Young. I was never able to find a Swamp though. I finished the game of 6 Island, Aethersquall Ancient, Gearseeker Serpent and three copies of Die Young in my hand. Magic: the Gathering, ladies and gentlemen. 0-2

Record: 1-2

CONCLUSION

Once again I couldn't get any success with blue-black in this format. I'm pretty sure I was in the two colours that were open to my seat, but I'm just convinced this colour pair doesn't work very well in Kaladesh draft. Let me know in the comments if you agree or disagree.

I'm interested to hear your thoughts on the column in general as well, so please, let me know! Join me again soon for another draft, and thanks for reading.

Follow me on Twitter: @The_Wolf_MTG