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By: TheWolf, Shane Garvey
Oct 19 2017 11:00am
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Welcome to another Limited Edition. I am drafting Ixalan once again - I am so far not thrilled with the format, if I am to be honest. I keep losing to aggro decks, and it seems this is the direction the format is taking; at least in my experience. With that in mind, I am going to be looking to be aggressive as possible with this draft and see how that works out for me.

 

THE DRAFT

  Pack 1 pick 1:

  My Pick:

Despite wanting to draft an aggressive deck, I still want to stay open. Sky Terror and Siren Lookout are fine aggressive cards, but I am not looking to first pick them over either the Deathless Ancient or River's Rebuke, which are just more powerful. I went with River's Rebuke; Deathless Ancient really requires the Vampires deck to shine, while River's Rebuke can go into any blue deck and be good.


  Pack 1 pick 2:

  My Pick:

This pick took me a while. I was considering Run Aground; like my previous pick, it's a card that goes into every blue deck. I was also looking at Skyblade of the Legion and Skymarch Bloodletter as good, evasive threats. I decided to take the cheaper of the two; the decks that have been beating me have played cheap, evasive creatures with enchantments or equipment to make them better, and Skyblade has performed well for me in the past.


  Pack 1 pick 3:

  My Pick:

Bellowing Aegisaur is the strongest card in this pack, but six mana creatures isn't really where I want to be in this format at this stage. Fire Shrine Keeper is a cheap evasive creature, though Fathom Fleet Firebrand is better. I anticipate getting Fire Shrine Keeper back if I want it, so I took Fathom Fleet Firebrand. It's the best aggressive card in the pack.


  Pack 1 pick 4:

  My Pick:

I almost took Pounce here, but it would have meant having four cards of four different colours. I also don't think it's that much better than Skyblade of the Legion, which was my choice. This already gives me two cheap, evasive creatures, exactly what I had in mind.


  Pack 1 pick 5:

  My Pick:

If you have played much of this format, you might have died to this card a few times. Although cards like this are usually unplayable, Swashbuckling is exactly the sort of card you want to put on a Skyblade of the Legion. The main reason you can do this in this format is that the removal is slow and clunky; auras are not as much of a risk as they normally are. Unless something changes, I'll be looking to solidify into a red/white aggro deck.


  Pack 1 pick 6:

  My Pick:

I could have taken another Swashbuckling here, but despite what I said, you don't want too many of them, I think. Instead, Unfriendly Fire, despite being five mana, is quite good; it can kill most creatures you care about, or hit the opponent in the face once your creatures have gotten them low enough on life points.


  Pack 1 pick 7:

  My Pick:

I've now picked three Skyblade of the Legions in seven cards, and I'm okay with this. I have no idea if my plan of drafting an aggro deck will work, but so far, so good.


  Pack 1 pick 8:

  My Pick:

I didn't want Rummaging Goblin for my deck, and I had to pick something.


  Pack 1 pick 9:

  My Pick:

Again, not a card I am actively looking to play. The rest of this pack actually gave me nothing, but here are the picks:


  Pack 1 pick 10:

  My Pick:


  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 pick 1:

  My Pick:

Sky Terror is exactly the card I wanted to see. It's the gold uncommon for the type of deck I am drafting, and I will take as many as possible.


  Pack 2 pick 2:

  My Pick:

While it doesn't look like much, Raptor Companion is decent enough in aggro decks. It can also wear auras like Swashbuckling pretty well and suddenly become a massive threat.


  Pack 2 pick 3:

  My Pick:

Tilonalli's Knight is a good two-drop that will often attack for three damage, especially as I was picking up incidental Dinosaurs.


  Pack 2 pick 4:

  My Pick:

Speaking of Dinosaurs, Shining Aerosaur is a bit expensive for what I am trying to do but it still not a bad card later in the game.


  Pack 2 pick 5:

  My Pick:

I think Fiery Cannonade will probably end up in my sideboard, and I may bring it in against Vampires or other aggressive non-Pirate decks.


  Pack 2 pick 6:

  My Pick:

I was pretty light on removal at this point, and Slash of Talons has actually performed well so far, as it is a cheap answer to other aggro decks.


  Pack 2 pick 7:

  My Pick:

With the amount of two mana creatures I have, I was happy to take another Swashbuckling now over another Tilonalli's Knight.


  Pack 2 pick 8:

  My Pick:

Storm Fleet Pyromancer is not exactly what I want to be doing, but it is a good card. It might make the main deck.


  Pack 2 pick 9:

  My Pick:

Hijack is simply a sideboard card that I will bring in versus Dinosaurs.


  Pack 2 pick 10:

  My Pick:

There is an outside chance Encampment Keeper will make the cut, depending on the amount of playables I have. If you put a Swashbuckling on this on turn two, you suddenly have a 3/3 first striker that is hard to deal with in combat.

The rest of pack two went like this:


  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:

I'm very spoiled for choice in this pack. In the end, this pick came down to Territorial Hammerskull and Adanto Vanguard. I ended up taking the Hammerskull, as it deals with a blocker each turn and I was light on three mana creatures.


  Pack 3 pick 2:

  My Pick:

I haven't had a chance to play with Repeating Barrage yet, and I wasn't going to miss that chance now. In a creature heavy aggressive deck, if the game goes long I can always get it back, and it becomes a good mana sink.


  Pack 3 pick 3:

  My Pick:

Sky Terror was a very easy pick here.


  Pack 3 pick 4:

  My Pick:

I had picked up quite a lot of Dinosaurs by this stage, so took Thrash of Raptors over Fire Shrine Keeper.


  Pack 3 pick 5:

  My Pick:

I'm not going to turn down a fourth Skyblade of the Legion.


  Pack 3 pick 6:

  My Pick:

Nor another Swashbuckling.


  Pack 3 pick 7:

  My Pick:

Again, this may make the cut in the final deck, but we will see.


  Pack 3 pick 8:

  My Pick:

I'm certainly picking up the cards I want, and the deck is coming together nicely.


  Pack 3 pick 9:

  My Pick:

It's debatable how good Tocatli Honor Guard is; it's not an aggro card, but it does do good work at stopping Raid decks.

The remaining picks were:


  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 pretty happy with how this deck turned out. It is ultra aggressive, with eleven two mana creatures and three one mana. It's the exact type of deck I have been losing to frequently, so let's hope it leads to some wins for me.

THE RESULTS

I went 3-0 (6-2 in games), facing two blue/black decks and a white/black deck. The games I won all played out in pretty much the same way; play Swashbuckling on a Skyblade of the Legion or Sky Terror and attack, attack, attack! Repeating Barrage is a bomb; take it and play it. I was able to cast it four times in one game and, needless to say, my opponent felt helpless. Tocatli Honor Guard also worked well versus one of my blue/black opponents, stopping all of their explore and raid and turning them into vanilla creatures.

It might be a small sample size, but this format feels very aggressive. I've had more success with this type of deck than anything else, and will be looking to draft more of this style.

FIRST PICK, FIRST PACK

Here is an Ixalan booster I opened on Magic Online. What would you take from this pack with your first pick?