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By: TheWolf, Shane Garvey
Jun 12 2018 12:00pm
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Hey everyone! Boy, this draft was a bit confusing. I have found this happens sometimes in Dominaria; the signals are difficult to read and you feel like you are all over the place. This was one of those drafts; as you'll see below, it took me quite a while to figure it out!

 

Pack 1 pick 1:

This pack has a number of good cards in it. Caligo Skin-Witch has been a solid performer as both an early blocker or a Mind Rot on legs. Windgrace Acolyte and Divination are also solid cards that go any decks of their appropriate colours. Sporecrown Thallid is a fantastic card in a Saprolings based deck, but it's not a card I'd be looking to first pick; it's a card that if I had already picked up some Saproling makers and saw it fourth or fifth pick I would move in. 

The two best cards in the pack are Cloudreader Sphinx and Rite of Belzenlok. The Sphinx is a solid creature who's scry ability is quite useful, and it is also in what I consider to be the best colour in the set. Rite of Belzenlok, on the other hand, is powerful if it gets to the third chapter; I have won quite a few games off of it. It's also in what I think is probably the second best colour.

My Pick:

In the end, I chose the rare. It's a powerful effect if it goes off, and the Clerics it gives you can act as chump blockers or fodder for cards like Whisper, Blood Liturgist or Thallid Omnivore as well.



Pack 1 pick 2:

Here, I have another Windgrace Acolyte and Divination, but I also have a Blessed Light, Knight of Grace and a Tempest Djinn. The Djinn is probably the best of the three, but the triple blue casting cost makes me uninterested unless I was already heavily blue. That leaves me with the two white cards to choose from.

My Pick:

Removal is removal, and while Knight of Grace is a good creature, I'm happy to take Blessed Light early.



Pack 1 pick 3:

The best cards in this pack are red and green: Shivan Fire and Fiery Intervention are two fine removal spells, with Shivan Fire being slightly better; while Grow from the Ashes and Yavimaya Sapherd are two of greens best commons. I ruled Fiery Intervention out, but would have been happy with either of the other three, and I deliberated long and hard on it.

My Pick:

I took Shivan Fire on the grounds that it is flexible removal, but I'm not entirely sure I made the right pick. Yavimaya Sapherd goes much better with Rite of Belzenlok (for multiple reasons - it provides two bodies to sacrifice to the demon and black/green is a good colour combination), while Grow from the Ashes allows you to splash quite easily. 



Pack 1 pick 4:

This pack is a bit of a stinker, with Deep Freeze and Memorial to Unity being the two best cards; picking either would put me into my fourth colour in four picks. If I want to stay with the colours I've chosen, I could take either Stronghold Confessor or Rampaging Cyclops, neither of which I am thrilled with taking at this point in the draft. 

My Pick:

The utility lands are still underrated by some people, as they are very good (except the red one). Having seen the Yavimaya Sapherd and Grow from the Ashes in the previous pack, it made me wonder if this was an early sign that green was possibly open. So, I took the Memorial over Deep Freeze.



Pack 1 pick 5:

Well.... this pack didn't get any better. Blink of an Eye is the best card, but taking it would put me into five colours in five picks, something I really didn't want to do. Beyond that, there was Dark Bargain, which is playable in most black decks, and Memorial to Glory which, while not the best utility land, is serviceable.

My Pick:

I chose Dark Bargain as I think I'd rather go heavier into black than white, based on my first two picks. It also lets me find that rare faster.



Pack 1 pick 6:

Again, nothing much exciting here apart from Grow from the Ashes, a clear (or so I thought) sign green was open. 

My Pick:

This now gives me two black and two green cards (counting the Memorial as green), though I am not seeing much good black coming my way. 



Pack 1 pick 7:

Ugh. Well, at this stage I am all over the place and I have no idea what direction I am heading in. None of the cards here are overly exciting, though Syncopate and Keldon Raider are somewhat playable.

My Pick:

Keldon Raider is the pick, as I was still planning to ignore blue so I wasn't spread out over five colours. At this point, I was deciding to just continue to take the best card from each pack and hope a direction became clear.



Pack 1 pick 8:

This pick is out of Windgrace Acolyte and another Memorial to Unity, the rest of the cards being almost unplayable.

My Pick:

I like Windgrace Acolyte, more than the average person it seems. If I end up playing black, I would like to now pick up a Soul Salvage or something along those lines as well.



Pack 1 pick 9:

The two best cards in this pack are blue: Divination and Weight of Memory. I was a little surprised to see them here, as there were certainly worse cards in my opening pack than these two. Is this a sign blue is open? The next best card is Invoke the Divine, which is main-deckable but sometimes sided out.

My Pick:

I decided to speculate on blue a bit and took Divination. I hadn't seen many Wizards yet, but had picked up some good red cards to go with it if I do end up in blue/red; in addition, blue/black can be quite powerful as a controlling archetype. 



Pack 1 pick 10:

Radiating Lightning is a fine sideboard card versus Saprolings, while Llanowar Scout, while not great, has been better than it looks.

My Pick:



Pack 1 pick 11:

Relic Runner has been fairly mediocre for me, so I wasn't overly interested here. There is also Pardic Wanderer which is somewhat playable, and Firefist Adept which is just Flametongue Kavu in a Wizards deck.

My Pick:

I almost took Pardic Wanderer here due to the way my draft was going; it would at least make the cut if I ended up short on playables. But Firefist Adept is just a much more powerful card, and it's not too difficult to end up with some incidental Wizards, so I took it instead.



Pack 1 pick 12:

My Pick:

Rampaging Cyclops is the only somewhat playable card here.



Pack 1 pick 13:

My Pick:


Pack 1 pick 14:

My Pick:


Pack 1 pick 15:

My Pick:

So after pack one, I have more red cards than any other colour, with some black and green, one white and one blue. I have zero idea where I am heading yet and really need pack two to give me a clear direction or this will be a disaster.



Pack 2 pick 1:

Ok, so what I am excited to take here? Evra, Halcyon Witness is probably the best card, though I've only taken one white card so far. Thallid Omnivore is probably the next best, and it goes well with green if you can pick up some Saproling makers. I have no synergy with Jhoira's Familiar at this stage, though the card is otherwise decent. There is a Divination and Deep Freeze in blue, and an Aven Sentry, though it is also in white.

My Pick:

I was off white at this stage, so I took the next best card in Thallid Omnivore. I'll want to pick up some token makers with this guy; it goes well with Rite of Belzenlok too.



Pack 2 pick 2:

At this stage, I'm really looking only at red, black and green cards; so what does this pack give me? In red, I have a Ghitu Chronicler, a card I really like if you have some good removal spells. In black, there is Whisper, Blood Liturgist, which goes quite well with many of the black cards I have picked up already. There is nothing really in green, and there is also Howling Golem, though it's not as good as the other two cards.

My Pick:

In hindsight, this was the wrong pick, though I know why I did it at the time. I was still heavier in red, but I only had one removal spell at this point. The correct pick should have been Whisper, as it synergises much better with the cards I had already picked.



Pack 2 pick 3:

The best card in this pack is white: Kwende, Pride of Femeref, followed by Academy Drake in blue. Both were in colours I had barely any cards in, and at this stage I have no idea what is going on in this draft.

My Pick:

In the end, decision paralysis got me and I went with a "safe" pick in Voltaic Servant. While not exciting, being colourless will at least mean I get to play it in whatever deck I finally end up in.



Pack 2 pick 4:

These packs are truly all over the place. Blink of an Eye and Valduk, Keeper of the Flame are the best cards here, and Valduk will only be good if I can pick up some equipment or auras. 

My Pick:

Again, I went with a safe pick, as I already had a few red cards. I will need to pick up some auras and equipment, as I said, but at worst this is a 3/2 for three mana that i can at least play. 



Pack 2 pick 5:

Finally, a clear signal! Adeliz, the Cinder Wind pick 5 of pack 2 means no one is on blue/red Wizards. There is also a Knight of Grace, one of white's best creatures. 

My Pick:

A quick look over my cards told me I only had one other Wizard - the Ghitu Chronicler that was probably the wrong pick. But I took Adeliz here and decided to try and make blue/red work. It was going to take a bit of work and luck, but it's the first clear sign I've had of what I should be doing.



Pack 2 pick 6:

Shivan Fire is clearly the best card in this pack. Broken Bond and Warcry Phoenix are also playable, but not in the league of Shivan Fire.

My Pick:

Adeliz, now a 6th pick Shivan Fire. Red is open, Wizards is open, I just need to try and make this work. 



Pack 2 pick 7:

This isn't a great pack, with Memorial to Unity being the best card, and Tolarian Scholar the next best. 

My Pick:

This was an easy Tolarian Scholar. Being a Wizard certainly helps, as I will need as many of them as possible.



Pack 2 pick 8:

This pack has a Ghitu Journeymage, which is not a great card but playable in Wizards. There is also a Short Sword which goes well with the Valduk I picked up earlier. 

My Pick:

Having as many Wizards to synergise with Adeliz and Firefist Adept is going to be important, so I took the Journeymage over the equipment.



Pack 2 pick 9:

This pack has Keldon Raider, Champion of the Flame and Diligant Excavator in my colours, and Keldon Raider is the only playable one out of them.

My Pick:


Pack 2 pick 10:

For this pack, there is Run Amok which works will in aggressive Wizards decks and helps trigger Adeliz; Befuddle which is more of a defensive card but replaces itself, and another Ghitu Journeymage.

My Pick:

I took the Journeymage again for the reasons listed above.



Pack 2 pick 11:

My Pick:

Fire Elemental is not a card that is likely to make my deck unless I end up short on playables.



Pack 2 pick 12:

My Pick:

The same goes for Fervent Strike. I'm happy to play it, but I would hope to be playing more removal spells over it.



Pack 2 pick 13:

This pick is interesting: do I take a card in Befuddle, which is just okay but might make the main deck, or a good decent sideboard card in Radiating Lightning?

My Pick:

Without knowing how many playables I would have, I took the main deck card.



Pack 2 pick 14:

My Pick:

This one might actually make the main deck; one mana, replaces itself, has a useful effect and triggers Adeliz.



Pack 2 pick 15:

My Pick:

Well, it took way longer than I liked, but at least I have a clear direction for the deck now. I want to be looking for more good Wizards and more removal in the last pack.



Pack 3 pick 1:

Now that I am cemented in a deck, let's see what cards we have here. Vodalian Arcanist is a Wizard and provides an early blocker plus helps to cast our spells. Opt and Warlord's Fury are fine additions that trigger Adeliz and replace themselves. There is also Merfolk Trickster which is not only a Wizard but helps provide a bit of trickery to deal with your opponent's creatures.

My Pick:

Merfolk Trickster is clearly the best card for me in this pack, and was an easy pick. 


Pack 3 pick 2:

This pack has some interesting choices. Firstly, there is Blink of an Eye, a perfect tempo card for the deck. There is Tolarian Scholar, which is an okay card in general and also has the upside of being a Wizard. Cold-Water Snapper is a fine Magic card as well, and Goblin Barrage is a useful removal spell. There is also Jodah, Archmage Eternal which, in limited, is essentially a 4/3 flying Wizard, but would require me splashing white. 

My Pick:

This pick was close. I ruled out Cold-Water Snapper, as it doesn't really fit in this style of deck. I also wasn't interested in splashing white at this point, so ruled out Jodah. This left me with Blink of an Eye, Goblin Barrage and Tolarian Scholar. The Scholar is the weakest of these, so it left me with two cards to chose from. I settled on Goblin Barrage; I was still heavier red, and it was permanent removal as opposed to a tempo play.



Pack 3 pick 3:

This pack has three cards I am interested in: Ghitu Chronicler, which has three removal spells to bring back; Blink of an Eye, and Academy Journeymage

My Pick:

I had enough Wizards at this point that I would be able to cast Journeymage for four mana, so I decided to take it here. I had a Chronicler already and although I like Blink, this has almost the same effect but leaves a body behind.



Pack 3 pick 4:

This pack really only has Divination, which is a fine blue card, and Academy Drake, which is also okay and helps mitigate flood somewhat.

My Pick:

I decided to take the Academy Drake over another Divination. I like evasion in this format, and the Drake certainly provides that.



Pack 3 pick 5:

This pack really only has the Vodalian Arcanist and the Ghitu Chronicler for me. I don't really want Cold-Water Snapper as discussed before, and The Flame of Keld is just not a good card, in my opinion.

My Pick:

Either Arcanist or Chronicler would have been a fine pick, I think, but I think Chronicler just has a higher upside. Having multiples also means I can be a bit more liberal with my removal spells knowing I can get them back later.



Pack 3 pick 6:

Here I have a Tolarian Scholar, but I quickly ruled this out in favour of two other cards: Sorcerous Wand, which has overperformed in the Wizards decks I have had it in, and Haphazard Bombardment, which has been quite good for me so far. 

My Pick:

I took Sorcerer's Wand, which as I said, has performed really well for me in Wizards decks. If you get stalled, this puts your opponent on a serious clock. And here's a tip - for 3 mana, you can hit your opponent for 4 each turn. I know this seems obvious, but I see so many people miss this!



Pack 3 pick 7:

There are only two cards in this pack I am interested in: Ghitu Lavamancer, a Wizard and an okay card, but one I haven't been that impressed with, and Memorial to Genius, a card I have been very impressed with.


My Pick:

This was an easy Memorial for me. I like having 1-2 Memorials in my deck, and this works perfectly.



Pack 3 pick 8:

This pack has yet another Ghitu Chronicler, as well as Syncopate and Ghitu Lavamancer

My Pick:

Syncopate is not a card I really want in an assertive deck like Wizards usually is, and Chronicler is better than Lavamancer, so this was an easy pick.

Pack 3 pick 9:

My Pick:

Opt is the only card in this pack I want.



Pack 3 pick 10:

I have a choice here: Blink of an Eye or Tolarian Scholar.

My Pick:

I have enough Wizards now and not as much removal, so this was an easy Blink of an Eye.



Pack 3 pick 11:

Yet another Ghitu Chronicler and the only card I really want.

My Pick:


Pack 3 pick 12:

This is a super late Divination and an indication I went into the open colour for certain.

My Pick:


Pack 3 pick 13:

My Pick:


Pack 3 pick 14:

My Pick:


Pack 3 pick 15:

My Pick:

Here is how the deck ended up:

 

 

This isn't the strongest Wizards deck I have ever drafted but with the way the draft started, I'm pretty happy with it. There are eleven Wizards in total, with Adeliz, Firefist Adept, Merfolk Trickster and an Academy Journeymage being the best of them. I have some decent removal, with four copies of Ghitu Chronicler to buy them back, plus a Sorcerer's Wand which I am pretty happy with.

The deck ended up going 2-1 (and 4-3 in games). I lost round two 0-2 after not drawing a single Island for the entire match, and the game I lost in round three was due to a misplay on my behalf. The deck was strong enough, and I think I probably could have gone 3-0 if variance hadn't kicked my butt. But these things happen. I was happy with the deck in the end and with the way I navigated the draft, and that's the main thing.

Next week, I'm going to take a look back on Dominaria as the format begins to come to a close. If you have any feedback, feel free to follow me on Twitter: @The_Wolf_MTG