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By: TheWolf, Shane Garvey
Dec 14 2017 1:00pm
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This will be my first Ixalan draft in a month. Iconic Masters was a breath of fresh air recently (and before that I was ill), and this weeks article falls just before Vintage Masters and Vintage Cube come out. So I am going to delve into Ixalan one last time. I'm not going to go into as much detail as I normally do - I think everyone is pretty familiar with the format by now. 

THE DRAFT

  Pack 1 pick 1:

  My Pick:

Pirate's Cutlass is an easy first pick out of this pack. It goes in multiple decks and is one of the better first picks you can make in the format. Beyond that, Vance's Blasting Cannons probably would have been my pick, though I also would have been tempted by River Herald's Boon.


  Pack 1 pick 2:

  My Pick:

One With the Wind is another fairly easy pick. I've had the most success with cheap creatures and cards like this and Pirate's Cutlass, and I'll be looking to do that again. Skyblade of the Legion would have been my second pick.


  Pack 1 pick 3:

  My Pick:

I was tempted by Air Elemental in this pack, but I just couldn't go past a second Pirate's Cutlass


  Pack 1 pick 4:

  My Pick:

This pack was a little less clear. I thought about taking Shipwreck Looter or Shaper Apprentice to stay in blue, but they just weren't as strong as Deadeye Tracker. I also thought about Swashbuckling but decided to pass on it at the moment. The Tracker is a Pirate, which goes well with Cutlasses, so took that.


  Pack 1 pick 5:

  My Pick:

This time I'm happy to take Air Elemental. It was easily the strongest card in the pack.


  Pack 1 pick 6:

  My Pick:

Skittering Heartstopper was my pick over Costly Plunder, pushing me in the direction of blue/black. I can still pivot though so will keep an eye out on the packs for any signs.


  Pack 1 pick 7:

  My Pick:

I almost took Tempest Caller here, but I am not that big of a fan of it. I know some people like it, but it has always underperformed for me. I took Desperate Castaways over it, which sticks with the Pirate theme and is a good attacker on turn 3 with a Cutlass.


  Pack 1 pick 8:

  My Pick:

It looks like I will be heading into a blue/black Pirates deck, so Siren's Ruse was the easy pick.


  Pack 1 pick 9:

  My Pick:

Thrash of Raptors seems late here, maybe indicating no one is in Dinosaurs. I did consider it, but every pick of the draft so far has pushed me towards Pirates. For that reason, I took Shipwreck Looter.


  Pack 1 pick 10:

  My Pick:

Cobbled Wings is an artifact, which can be important in blue/black decks, and I have actually found it has been a useful card in previous drafts.


  Pack 1 pick 11:

  My Pick:

Highly doubtful that I will put Headwater Sentries in my deck, but it was the pick here.


  Pack 1 pick 12:

  My Pick:

Shipwreck Looter is whatever, but it is a cheap creature with upside.


  Pack 1 pick 13:

  My Pick:


  Pack 1 pick 14:

  My Pick:


  Pack 1 pick 15:

  My Pick:


  Pack 2 pick 1:

  My Pick:

This is a pretty poor pack for me. If I had have picked up some treasure generators already, I most likely would have taken Ixalan's Binding over Pious Interdiction. Indeed, I considered doing just that, but in the end I took Desperate Castaways. In hindsight, I wish I had have taken the Binding.


  Pack 2 pick 2:

  My Pick:

March of the Damned and Siren's Ruse were the best choices here for me, and neither of them are great second picks out of a pack. I took March of the Damned over a second Siren's Ruse.


  Pack 2 pick 3:

  My Pick:

Another early pick I'm not happy with, but I have to make do with what I get.


  Pack 2 pick 4:

  My Pick:

This pack was out of Skullduggery and Skymarch Bloodletter. I like the Bloodletter a lot, but couldn't go past Skullduggery here. I actually have no removal, which is a bit of an issue.


  Pack 2 pick 5:

  My Pick:

I wonder if I should have taken Dive Down over Desperate Castaways here; in any case, I took the cheap creature as I want to get aggressive.


  Pack 2 pick 6:

  My Pick:

Raider's Wake was no good for me here, so I took Prosperous Pirates. I'm not sure if I will play it, as I already have a better five-drop in Air Elemental, but I will see.


  Pack 2 pick 7:

  My Pick:

I rare-drafted here, to be honest. I didn't want Spell Pierce or Spreading Rot, so I took the rare.


  Pack 2 pick 8:

  My Pick:

Fathom Fleet Cutthroat is worse than it looks, but it can still do good work. It will most likely end up in my deck.


  Pack 2 pick 9:

  My Pick:

Prying Blade was my pick here; I have started to pick up some artifacts-matter cards, and this is a nice cheap one, so it might make my deck. The rest of this pack are all unlikely to make my deck:


  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:

Siren Lookout is an easy pick for me here, as it was either that or Dire Fleet Hoarder, and I'd much prefer the Siren.


  Pack 3 pick 2:

  My Pick:

I considered both One with the Wind and Mark of the Vampire for this pick, but it was pretty hard to go past Storm Fleet Aerialist. A 2/3 (sometimes) with flying for 2 mana is powerful.


  Pack 3 pick 3:

  My Pick:

This time I did take Mark of the Vampire.


  Pack 3 pick 4:

  My Pick:

This was a pretty average pack and the pick was between Duress and Costly Plunder. I took Plunder as it was more likely to make the main deck.


  Pack 3 pick 5:

  My Pick:

I'm not sure if Opt will go into the deck, but it was either this or the sideboard card in Duress.


  Pack 3 pick 6:

  My Pick:

Once again not much to pick from, so Shipwreck Looter gets the pick.


  Pack 3 pick 7:

  My Pick:

I'm extremely disappointed with this pack so far. Dive Down is the only pick for me here.


  Pack 3 pick 8:

  My Pick:

I don't mind Siren's Ruse, and it was either this or yet another Duress, so I took Ruse.


  Pack 3 pick 9:

  My Pick:

Dire Fleet Hoarder is fine, but not great.


  Pack 3 pick 10:

  My Pick:

And now I'll take a Duress. The remaining picks were:


  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

Overall I'm fairly disappointed with how the draft went - and this seems to be a common theme with Ixalan drafts. The power is not there in this deck, and the picks seemed to dry up very quickly. I was probably in the wrong deck; looking back, I the late Thrash of Raptors in pack 1 should have been an indication the Dinosaurs was possibly open. Still, it is what it is, and I have to make the best of it.

RESULTS

I went 1-2 in matches (4-5 in games). The games were all actually very close, with lots of thought having to be given to how the games played out. The deck performed better than I expected, to be honest, which was a surprise. Cobbled Wings, along with One with the Wind, was actually a key part of the games I won; I don't think it's a great card, but it certainly helped my otherwise below-average deck get some wins. 

That's the last Ixalan draft for me. I certainly won't miss the format, and hopefully Rivals of Ixalan shakes it up a bit (though I don't hold out much hope, to be honest, as it will still need to play on the tribal themes). Vintage Masters and Vintage Cube are coming up next, so you will certainly be seeing some of those drafts from me.

Until next time, you can catch me on Facebook and Twitter.

FIRST PICK, FIRST PACK

What would you take out of this pack in a draft?