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By: TheWolf, Shane Garvey
Jan 25 2018 12:00pm
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Welcome to Limited Edition! If you are a regular reader, you are going to notice some changes in the structure of the articles. First, I am moving to video content for the draft itself. I am doing this for two reasons: I feel you can better hear my thoughts on the draft while watching me actually make the picks live instead of me writing about it after the fact. Plus, it actually frees up a couple of hours for me; as a father of two who works full time, time is important, and means I can continue doing what I love while still being able to make content.

Don't fret too much though - you'll still see every pick of every pack below, plus how I went in the draft and my thoughts on the deck. The only change is if you want my thoughts on why I picked why I did, you'll have to watch the video.

Anyway, let's get to it!

THE DRAFT

 

THE PICKS

(Note: if you have trouble reading the cards here, you can also view the draft by clicking here)

  Pack 1 pick 1:

  My Pick:


  Pack 1 pick 2:

  My Pick:


  Pack 1 pick 3:

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  Pack 1 pick 4:

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  Pack 1 pick 5:

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  Pack 1 pick 6:

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  Pack 1 pick 7:

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  Pack 1 pick 8:

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  Pack 1 pick 9:

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  Pack 1 pick 10:

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  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:


  Pack 2 pick 1:

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  Pack 2 pick 2:

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  Pack 2 pick 3:

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  Pack 2 pick 4:

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  Pack 2 pick 5:

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  Pack 2 pick 6:

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  Pack 2 pick 7:

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  Pack 2 pick 8:

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  Pack 2 pick 9:

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  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:

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  Pack 3 pick 1:

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  Pack 3 pick 2:

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  Pack 3 pick 3:

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  Pack 3 pick 4:

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  Pack 3 pick 5:

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  Pack 3 pick 6:

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  Pack 3 pick 7:

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  Pack 3 pick 8:

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  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:

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THE DECK

I'm reasonably happy with how the deck turned out. After first picking Ghalta, Primal Hunger, I think I was able to successfully build around it. I have four 3-power creatures at two mana, and three 4-power creatures at three mana. If I can play a Kinjali's Caller on turn one, one of the 3-power creatures on two and Orazca Frillback on three, I can play Ghalta on four, and that just seems very unfair. It also seems very unlkely, but one can dream, right?

Other than "cast Ghalta", the plan for the deck will be to be aggressive if possible. I don't have a lot of removal or evasion, which is a problem; I think that, unless I draw either Vona, Butcher of Magan, Polyraptor or Ghalta, I might be in a bit of trouble. Also, I keep drafting these decks that look strong and then lose to aggro decks... so I am not confident. 

THE MATCHES

Match one was against another green/white deck. This match was certainly not an aggro match up - we were both looking for bombs. For my opponent, that meant Verdant Sun's Avatar and Zetalpa, Primal Dawn. For me, it meant my three. I went 0-2; in both games I drew both Swamps in my opening hand and had to mulligan, which I guess is the risk you take when splashing. My opponent also drew both of their bombs in both games, and I didn't draw mine. Good games.

Match two was against a black/green opponent, who had some minor Merfolk synergies with Deeproot Elite and some explore synergies with Wildgrowth Walker. I had to mulligan to 6 in both games yet again, but this time the results were reversed; I was able to go 2-0. In game one I drew Settle the Wreckage to wipe the opponent's board and then was able to cast Polyraptor, while in game two I performed the same trick with Settle the Wreckage but this time casting Ghalta instead, which got a concession from my opponent immediately.

In match three my opponent was playing with a red/white aggro deck, utilizing multiple Relentless Raptors, Radiant Destiny and Legion's Landing. I went 0-2 in this match, once again having to mulligan to 6 in both games. It was kind of the same as the first round; I never drew bombs. In this case it wasn't my opponent drawing theirs, but rather they just killed me before I had a chance.

CONCLUSION

I have to admit, the 1-2 result (2-4 in games) is really disappointing to me. The deck seemed fine to me, but the variance was extremely high. And now having done half a dozen drafts or so, this seems to be a common theme - the format seems very high variance with the presence of so many bomb rares. Who can draw their bombs? If they do draw their bombs, do you have an answer for it? If not, you lose. 

The way to combat this variance, I think, is to just race. Draft an aggro deck and not let them get a chance to draw their bombs. If this is the case, then we go back to a situation where we have an aggressive format. 

At the moment, I'm fairly frustrated with Rivals draft, but will persevere and see how the format shakes out. I'll see you again next week!

FIRST PICK, FIRST PACK

What would you take out of this pack? Let me know in the comments below.