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By: TheWolf, Shane Garvey
Aug 15 2017 11:00am
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So I have a confession to make. I have not been drafting anywhere near as much as I normally would. This is due to a number of factors, one of which was that I have been playing a lot of Standard due to Ramunap Red. But I am back, rearing and ready to dive into draft!

There is one problem - I feel like I am way behind in the format. My last draft was a train wreck, and this one could possibly be that bad as well. I have been trying to catch up by reading and listening to Limited Resources, so we will see. Feel free to correct my picks in the comments!

Anyway, let's see how I go.

 

THE DRAFT

 

  Pack 1 pick 1:

  My Pick:

I think the best two cards in this pack are Ambuscade and Chaos Maw, followed by Ramunap Ruins. I took Chaos Maw, though Ambuscade might have been the correct pick.


  Pack 1 pick 2:

  My Pick:

Open Fire is the best card here and matches my first pick, so this was an easy choice. I was tempted by Crested Sunmare but went with a safer pick.


  Pack 1 pick 3:

  My Pick:

For this pack, Rhonas's Stalwart is likely the best card, though I was tempted by Frontline Devastator to stay in one colour. I think the Stalwart is stronger overall though and it's still early, so took it.


  Pack 1 pick 4:

  My Pick:

Lethal Sting is not fantastic, but it is a card that kills anything for just three mana. I think it's more powerful than anything else here, and it's always good to stay open.


  Pack 1 pick 5:

  My Pick:

I like Bitterbow Sharpshooters and Dauntless Aven, but I like Ifnir Deadlands even more. I'm pretty high on this card and seeing it pick 5 is a signal that black might be open.


  Pack 1 pick 6:

  My Pick:

Not a great pack here. Lots of black cards but they are all average. I think Sidewinder Naga is better, so went with that. I also have noticed not much in the way of red coming around, so I assume it is cut off at this point.


  Pack 1 pick 7:

  My Pick:

The second Lethal Sting is a lot worse than the first, in my opinion. Wall of Forgotten Pharoahs is good with deserts and, having picked up Ifnir Deadlands, I'll be looking to pick up a lot of them.


  Pack 1 pick 8:

  My Pick:

I think this pick was pretty close between a second Sidewinder Naga, Feral Prowler and Khenra Eternal. I took the Prowler.


  Pack 1 pick 9:

  My Pick:

The Sidewinder Naga is better than the other cards here for me.


  Pack 1 pick 10:

  My Pick:

I'm not sure who good Razaketh's Rite is in draft; my gut instinct says it's not, but the cycling gives me hope.



  Pack 1 pick 11:

  My Pick:

At this point I am green/black, but I have two very good red cards as well. This can help me find the mana to cast them if I decide to splash.


  Pack 1 pick 12:

  My Pick:

Gift of Strength is an okay combat trick. I might play it, I might not.


  Pack 1 pick 13:

  My Pick:

In much the same way as Beneath the Sands, Traveler's Amulet can help me find Mountains if I splash.


  Pack 1 pick 14:

  My Pick:


  Pack 1 pick 15:

  My Pick:


  Pack 2 pick 1:

  My Pick:

Whilst Burning-Fist Minotaur is the best card in this pack, I'm pretty sure I'm not in red now. Rhonas's Stalwart is still a good card, so I took it.


  Pack 2 pick 2:

  My Pick:

I don't mind a Rampaging Hippo or two, and it was better than the black cards.


  Pack 2 pick 3:

  My Pick:

I'm pretty keen on picking up deserts, and Desert of the Glorified is exactly what I want. 


  Pack 2 pick 4:

  My Pick:

The people to my right are certainly getting hooked up with red... Wretched Camel is okay, and I did consider Manalith as well.


  Pack 2 pick 5:

  My Pick:

A second Rampaging Hippo. I certainly don't want any more than two, though.


  Pack 2 pick 6:

  My Pick:

This isn't a great pack; I took Carrior Screecher simply because it flies.


  Pack 2 pick 7:

  My Pick:

Not the greatest of deserts, but it is a desert and also lets me splash the red cards if I want to.


  Pack 2 pick 8:

  My Pick:

Ruin Rat is an effective early defensive creature. I'm happy to run one or two.

The final picks of this pack were:


  Pack 2 pick 9:

  My Pick:


  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 pick 1:

  My Pick:

Channeler Initiate is a good pick up to help me with the red splash (at this stage I'm pretty sure I'll splash for Open Fire at least). I was also tempted by Decimator Beetle but don't have a lot of the -1/-1 counter synergy at the moment.


  Pack 3 pick 2:

  My Pick:

This is a very nice pack, with cards like Nef Crop Entangler, Tah Crop Elite and Glory-Bound Initiate. However, I was choosing between Evolving Wilds, Trial of Ambition and Destined//Lead. In the end I chose Evolving Wilds; the Trials are somewhat worse now that there are not as many Cartouches, and although Destined//Lead is nice, it can get stuck in your hand a bit.


  Pack 3 pick 3:

  My Pick:

There are three very nice cards here in Hooded Brawler, Stir the Sands and Crocodile of the Crossing. I wouldn't mind all three of them, but I took the Crocodile.


  Pack 3 pick 4:

  My Pick:

This pack is much less exciting for me, with Watchful Naga being my choice.


  Pack 3 pick 5:

  My Pick:

Another great pack: Hooded Brawler, Greater Sandwurm, Soulstinger and another Crocodile of the Crossing. Looking at my mana curve, I decided that Hooded Brawler was the best pick (and probably the most powerful of the cards).


  Pack 3 pick 6:

  My Pick:

Defiant Greatmaw was a pretty easy pick here.


  Pack 3 pick 7:

  My Pick:

Lord of the Accursed is the best card, but doesn't suit my deck at all. Instead I took Scarab Feast, which can come in out of the sideboard in some situations.


  Pack 3 pick 8:

  My Pick:

Baleful Ammit is a pretty good limited card, and was an easy choice over the others.


  Pack 3 pick 9:

  My Pick:

Wasteland Scorpion is nothing special, but I wouldn't expect it to be this late in the draft. The last few picks went as follows, including me picking up some more playables.


  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 unsure how good this is, to be honest. Hopefully it's fine, but I was black/green last time as well and went horribly. Let's find out.

 

THE MATCHES

Match 1

My first opponent was on Jeskai colours and seemed to be some sort of spells deck. I started off with Rhonas's Stalwart, Hooded Brawler and Sidewinder Naga (with a Desert in play), whilst my opponent played Scribe of the Mindful and Champion of Wits, followed up by Sandblasting my Naga when I attacked. I was able to flood the board with creatures and kept attacking, forcing my opponent to block and trade. Despite them gaining some life, they were prolonging the inevitable and I took game one.

Game two started in a similar manner, with me playing Hooded Brawler, Crocodile of the Crossing and Defiant Greatmaw, whilst my opponent played a Steadfast Sentinel and Thorned Moloch. Like the first game, I kept the pressure on whilst attacking, forcing my opponent to trade, eventually opening the way for a Rampaging Hippo. I was able to attack my opponent down to 3 life and then top-decked Open Fire to take the match.

 

Match 2

Match number two was a mirror match, both of us on black/green. Our decks seemed pretty similar, with my opponent playing Hooded Brawlers, Rampaging Hippos and Rhonas's Stalwarts. Like most black/green mirrors, this was a bit of a grind fest. My opponent was able to take out game one, however, when they cast a Sifter Wurm revealing Archfiend of Ifnir. I had no answers, and we were on to game two.

The second game was the longest of them all, with both of us playing ground creatures and trying to find an opening to attack. The difference was this time that a) my opponent didn't find their bombs, and b) I managed to get Ifnir Deadlands plus the other two deserts in my deck. This was enough to let my creatures profitably attack and I was able to win game two.

A little bit of luck went my way in game three, with my opponent not able to find green mana until turn four. This allowed me time to deploy some early attackers and keep my opponent on the back foot. They were eventually able to play their Archfiend, but I used Razaketh's Rite to find Lethal Sting and destroy it. Try as they might, they couldn't keep my creatures from eventually wearing them down, and I won the match 2-1.

 

Match 3

My opponent for this match was on white/green and managed to play an early Oketra's Monument. After generating approximately a million Warrior tokens, they began to flood out, whilst I was drawing more and more creatures. I kept the pressure on and slowly started to kill their creatures. After what was an incredibly long game that took my clock down to only ten minutes remaining, my Rampaging Hippos were able to get the job done.

Game two was much quicker, with me stumbling; my only early play was a Rhonas's Stalwart, while my opponent curved out. I ended up just conceding the match as I saw the writing was on the wall, and I needed time to try and win game three.

I sideboarded in Chaos Maw for this game, after seeing that my opponent did not have that many creatures. Unfortunately this is a bit of a hard luck game; I got stuck at five land (and a Channeler Initiate) and could not find the seventh to cast the Chaos Maw in my hand, despite cycling everything I drew and trying my hardest. In the end, I had only five land on the board after having drawn twenty-four cards from my deck, and while I did a good job of stalling the board, my opponent draw and used Shefet Dunes to pump their army and win the game.

CONCLUSION

A 2-1 result, only stumbling at the very end, was better than I expected to do. It's interesting being so far behind everyone else in terms of knowing the format, yet also refreshing; while I am aware of a few archetypes that are supposed to be the best in this format, I kind of had to go back to basics in evaluating my picks. This made me think long and hard about each pick I made, and I think the deck worked out okay in the end.

I'll be back again next week with another Hour of Devastation draft. See you then!

 

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