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By: TheWolf, Shane Garvey
Apr 26 2017 12:00pm
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Welcome to Limited Edition. If you are new to this article series, glad you can join me! I am Shane, and have been playing Magic since 1994, and am a massive fan of limited. I will take you through a draft of the format, step by step, without having to watch a video - read it at your leisure! I will show you which cards I considered and tell you why, and guide you through the draft as best I can.

This is my first draft of the format; you can see my early thoughts on the format here. I will point out my initial impressions of it being a slow format were wrong, I think; the format seems quite aggressive. I have played in two pre-releases; in the first I was able to build two decks, one white/red with Angel of Sanctions and Glorybringer, and the other a black/green deck with a lot of -1/-1 counter synergy. I didn't lose a game in that event. In the second, I built red/green with yet another Glorybringer, and went 3-1 with it, one of the highlights being playing the same Trial of Zeal three times in one game. The format seems fun, but I did see a lot of bombs running around, so it will be interesting to see if it turns out to be a bomb-reliant format.

On with the draft!

THE DRAFT

  Pack 1 pick 1:

  My Pick:

The all exciting pick 1 pack 1 of a new format! My eyes are immediately drawn to two cards - Magma Spray and Liliana's Mastery. These are easily the best two cards in the pack. The set has a lot of 2 toughness creatures floating around, so Magma Spray kills a lot of things, not to mention taking care of pesky embalm creatures. However, Liliana's Mastery is a bomb in a deck full of zombies. Even by itself, it provides you with two 3/3s, which is not the end of the world, and also buffs any other random zombies you might have (including embalmed creatures). I'm going to take it here and see if I can build a tribal zombies deck.


  Pack 1 pick 2:

  My Pick:

The best card in the pack here is easily Electrify. It kills just about anything for 4 mana, and is a first pickable card. However, there is also Blighted Bat, which is a zombie.... I agonized over this pick. The correct pick was likely Electrify, but I am keen to test zombie tribal to see how it is, so decided to take the Bat.


  Pack 1 pick 3:

  My Pick:

No zombies here, so I decided to look further afield (note: In Oketra's Name works perfectly fine in a zombie tribal deck, but I don't want to third pick it. I will be able to get them later if I can pull the deck off). The cards I looked at were Cartouche of Ambition and Splendid Agony, two pretty good cards. Splendid Agony is probably better by itself, but if you can pick up one of the Trials, the Cartouches become so much better. In the end I went with the Cartouche.


  Pack 1 pick 4:

  My Pick:

I took another Blighted Bat here to stay on theme. I also looked at Tah-Crop Elite; the zombie decks are white/black, so this would have been a fine card as well. 


  Pack 1 pick 5:

  My Pick:

Miasmic Mummy is a zombie, but I don't particularly like the card. There was also another Splendid Agony, which I almost took. However, I took Sacred Cat and moved into white. According to people who have played with it, this card is better than it looks and it also synergizes with my zombies. I decided to move into white and try it.


  Pack 1 pick 6:

  My Pick:

I see a zombie in Binding Mummy, so I took it. It was better than Mighty Leap, which was the next best pick.


  Pack 1 pick 7:

  My Pick:

Here is where I am happy to take In Oketra's Name. No other deck really wants this so, if you are playing zombies, don't take it early. You will always get them late.


  Pack 1 pick 8:

  My Pick:

Supernatural Stamina and Cartouche of Solidarity are okay cards here, but Cradle of the Accursed might be better. If my deck isn't mana greedy, the fact I can create a zombie out of it later in the game is good value. 


  Pack 1 pick 9:

  My Pick:

2/4 for 3 mana is fine stats, and Those Who Serve is a zombie, so pretty happy to take it here.


  Pack 1 pick 10:

  My Pick:

Djeru's Resolve is a mediocre combat trick, but it can be used to ambush an opponent. Cycling makes it a non-dead card, so it's an okay trick to have.


  Pack 1 pick 11:

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  Pack 1 pick 12:

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  Pack 1 pick 13:

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  Pack 1 pick 14:

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  Pack 1 pick 15:

  My Pick:

To recap the picks after pack one:

So far so good. I would like to pick up some number of Lord of the Accursed and/or Wayward Servant before I am truly happy.


  Pack 2 pick 1:

  My Pick:

Well, hello Angel of Sanctions. This is a bomb, is on colour, and I'm not passing it. The fact it also comes back from the dead as a zombie is pure gravy. 


  Pack 2 pick 2:

  My Pick:

Splendid Agony, Fan Bearer and Baleful Ammit were all cards I was looking at here. All are decent cards, but Fan Bearer is the only zombie, so I snapped it up.


  Pack 2 pick 3:

  My Pick:

In hindsight, a second Cartouche here was probably correct. My thinking at the time was this comes back as a zombie should it die, but otherwise it is very mediocre.


  Pack 2 pick 4:

  My Pick:

I discovered at the pre-release that evasion is pretty important in the format, and something like a 3/3 flyer is very good. Oketra's Attendant fills that role, cycles in the early game, then comes back as a zombie in the late game. Perfect card for my deck.


  Pack 2 pick 5:

  My Pick:

This pick was never going to be anything other than Evolving Wilds. Unburden is actually okay due to the fact it has cycling; if you can hit them with only 2-3 cards in hand on turn 4-5 you often get their bombs, and if you can't, you cycle it. But I was taking the land.


  Pack 2 pick 6:

  My Pick:

Hey, a Wayward Servant! It's a pity it's in the same pack as two other zombies, but I wasn't passing it.


  Pack 2 pick 7:

  My Pick:

Like I said earlier, I don't really like Miasmic Mummy, but there was really nothing else here.


  Pack 2 pick 8:

  My Pick:

I'm not sure how good Festering Mummy is; the fact the -1/-1 is permanent when it dies makes me think this is better than it looks, though to be clear, I still don't think it's great. Still, it is a zombie, so it got picked.

The rest of the picks are nothing I'm likely to play:


  Pack 2 pick 9:

  My Pick:


  Pack 2 pick 10:

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  Pack 2 pick 11:

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  Pack 2 pick 12:

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  Pack 2 pick 13:

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  Pack 2 pick 14:

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  Pack 2 pick 15:

  My Pick:

Here are the playable cards heading into pack 3:

I'm very unlikely to play both In Oketra's Names, and may not even play one; we'll see how this pack goes.


  Pack 3 pick 1:

  My Pick:

I saw first-hand at the pre-release how good Glory-Bound Initiate is, especially on the play. It often got in for 3 damage, then when the opponent played a creature, it would get in for 4 lifelinking damage. Although it has no particular synergy with my deck, it's a good card, so I took it.


  Pack 3 pick 2:

  My Pick:

And now I am very happy. Lord of the Accursed is the perfect card; a zombie lord that makes all my zombies hard to block. This is a card my opponents must deal with or they will die soon after.


  Pack 3 pick 3:

  My Pick:

I didn't want a second Cradle of the Accursed, as I don't want to stretch my mana base. Devoted Crop-Mate is also fine, but has no synergy with my deck. Now that I have the 3 zombie build arounds, though, the pick was easy: another Blighted Bat.


  Pack 3 pick 4:

  My Pick:

Not a zombie, and slightly overcosted, Winged Shephard is still a 3/3 flyer, and can be cycled away in the early game for only 1 mana. I did also consider Painful Lesson here, but it was hard to go past an evasive creature that also draws a card.


  Pack 3 pick 5:

  My Pick:

This pick was out of Cursed Minotaur or another Binding Mummy. I went with the black one due to having menace; while this means it doesn't benefit from Lord of the Accursed as much, I won't always draw it, so an evasive creature is better than a non-evasive one.


  Pack 3 pick 6:

  My Pick:

Glad I took Cursed Minotaur last pack!


  Pack 3 pick 7:

  My Pick:

This is a fine aggressive creature, but not particularly what I'm looking for. Still, it would work in my deck.


  Pack 3 pick 8:

  My Pick:

Took a while, but finally picked one of these.


  Pack 3 pick 9:

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  Pack 3 pick 10:

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  Pack 3 pick 11:

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  Pack 3 pick 12:

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  Pack 3 pick 13:

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  Pack 3 pick 14:

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  Pack 3 pick 15:

  My Pick:


THE DECK

I'm pretty happy with how this went. I'm light on removal, with no good removal except Angel of Sanctions, so that is somewhat of a concern. Still, I am hopeful that this will turn out okay.

THE MATCHES

Match 1

Versus: Red/Green

Result: 2-0

I opened up with Sacred Cat, Fan Bearer and 2 Binding Mummies, while my opponent did nothing other than playing a Nef-Crop Entangler. Once I played Lord of the Accursed, my opponent conceded.

We both mulliganed to six in game 2, and I could not find anything other than a Swamp and a Plains for my land early, and was only able to play a Binding Mummy. My opponent meanwhile played Initiate's Companion, enchanting it with Cartouche of Strength and declining to fight my tapped Mummy. They attacked but I had Impeccable Timing in hand and 2-for-1'd them. My opponent must have either been drawing blank or tilted, for they conceded shortly after.

Match 2

Versus: Red/Green

Result: 2-0

I curved Fan Bearer into Glory-Bound Initiate and Blighted Bat game 1, while my opponent played Magma Spray to kill Fan Bearer, and Emberhorn Minotaur, which I used Impeccable Timing to kill. I followed up with Wayward Servant and a Festering Mummy, while my opponent played out some more ground beaters. They then attacked - which was a mistake on their behalf. I had a second Blighted Bat and enough mana to give it haste and, along with the drain from Wayward Servent, had exactly enough to kill them.

Game 2 I kept a decent hand but no black mana; I was confident that if I could find a Swamp I could win this game. Thankfully, that happened. My opponent played Pathmaker Initiate, Pouncing Cheetah, and Exemplar of Strength and Bitterblade Warrior. For me I played Blighted Bat, enchanted it with the black Cartouche (to kill Exemplar), and Splendid Agony to kill the Cheetah. The followed up with Colossapede which I took with Angel of Sanctions, following up the next turn with Festering Mummy and Oketra's Attendant. With In Oketra's Name in hand, I won the following turn.

Match 3

Versus: Blue/Green splashing White

Result: 2-1

Game 1 was a non-event, with me being unable to find white mana. Game 2 went the opposite way, with my opponent not getting past two land before conceding.

Game 3 was more interesting, though not particularly close. I was able to go Wayward Servant, Binding Mummy (Supernatural Strength on it to kill Temmet, Vizier of Naktamun, Blighted Bat, Liliana's Mastery. For my opponent, they had an Ornery Kudu which they enchanted with the green Cartouche to kill my Binding Mummy, as well as a Trueheart Duelist. But they were not on a very high life total, and when I drew and cast Angel of Sanctions to take the Kudu, they conceded.

CONCLUSION

Off to a good start in Amonkhet. The format seems quite aggressive, which is the opposite of what I thought it would be, and so it suits my play style. So far it has been quite enjoyable, and I plan on drafting a lot more of this format at this stage. Join me again next week!