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By: IYankemDDS, Jeff Nowacki
Feb 11 2014 1:00pm
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Welcome to Drafting with IYankemDDS! This week we are drafting Triple Theros for one of the last times, before it goes away. The theme for this week's draft is identifying an open color and staying as close to that color for as long as possible. This allows us to stay open in case we see a bomb in a second color later in the draft. It also makes a light splash a lot easier. If we can play 11 or 12 of one type of land, it really takes pressure off of us if we do want to splash a card or two. With that, let's take a look at the first pack.

  Pack 1 pick 1:

  My Pick:

I think that there are a couple of viable picks here. Rageblood Shaman is fine if we want to try and build a Minotaur deck. I've actually had quite a bit of success in this format with the deck, but I haven't had many chances to play with the Shaman. I think I am going to go with what I see as a safer pick this time though - Lightning Strike. It will be easy to splash this card if necessary, and who knows - Red may be open for us.

  Pack 1 pick 2:

  My Pick:

Right off the bat we've got a tough choice. Do we stick with the Red card in Purphoros's Emissary? Or do we lean toward the Boros deck with the Favored Hoplite? I did not want to draft Boros this time if I could avoid it, so I picked the Emissary to stay on the Red path. We may end up Boros anyway, but I decided to stay open here.

  Pack 1 pick 3:

  My Pick:

The next pick is another tough one for me. I don't find anything here overwhelming, but I am looking at Akroan Horse and Titan's Strength. I've had good success with the Horse in the past, but usually in blue decks with a lot of fliers. There is still a chance that we end up with a Blue deck here, so I go with the Horse. Strength would be a welcome addition in a Red deck, but I pass on it this time.

  Pack 1 pick 4:

  My Pick:

Here in the 4th pack I see a couple of red cards and I'm really starting to feel comfortable going into red. I decide to go with the Minotaur because I've seen Rage of Purphoros come around, and I'd rather have the Turn 4 threat.

  Pack 1 pick 7:

  My Pick:

Skipping ahead a few picks, this is an interesting choice. By this point I had taken a couple of green cards, thinking I might actually be Gruul, but I am still open to something else. Omenspeaker and Baleful Eidolon are both good cards, but I actually decide to go with the fixing in Temple of Mystery. This, again, keeps me open for later in the draft in case I need to splash something, and it keeps me from committing entirely to a second color.

  Pack 2 pick 1:

  My Pick:

Here is the second pack. I think the best card in the pack is Nimbus Naiad and I am still not really committed to a second color, so I could certainly go that way. Instead I went with Fanatic of Mogis. I figure that I am going to have a lot of red creatures so this guy could be a really strong top deck.

  Pack 2 pick 2:

  My Pick:

And it looks like we're immediately rewarded for going heavy into Red! Ember Swallower is one of the strongest Red cards in the set, so I am slamming this. This is especially good on the heels of the Fanatic of Mogis pick.

  Pack 3 pick 1:

  My Pick:

Now I want to skip ahead to the final pack. The rare is Steam Augury which is a card that I actually like quite a bit, especially in a heavy red deck without much card draw. Unfortunately, I can't justify taking it over a second Lightning Strike, so I'm just going to hope that no one else is interested in it.

  Pack 3 pick 2:

  My Pick:

In the next pack we're once again rewarded for going heavy into Red with a second Ember Swallower! This was exactly the type of card that I was hoping for here. Now I'm starting to feel pretty good about the deck.

  Pack 3 pick 3:

  My Pick:

A few options here. I think Anger of the Gods is actually pretty bad in my deck because it kills so much of my team. Conversely, I really want a couple of Dragon Mantles with so much Red going on, so that's the direction that I have to go in.

  Pack 3 pick 9:

  My Pick:

One last pick that I'd like to highlight. Looks like the Steam Augury wheeled! This makes me really happy and I am taking. It also makes the Temple of Mystery pick from early in the draft pay off because it's going to make the Augury easier to cast. The majority of my deck is going to be red, but I'm going to be able to splash a couple of Green cards as well as the Steam Augury by playing just a few Forests and Islands. Here is the deck that I went with:

I am running mostly Red cards, but splashing Time to Feed, Leafcrown Dryad, and Steam Augury. Time to Feed is good removal in my deck, especially with a couple copies of Ember Swallower. The Dryad is not normally a card that I would splash for, but being just a few Red playables short, it seems like a good card to Bestow onto one of my more aggressive creatures. Let's see how the deck performs.

Round 1 Game 1

Not exactly sure what our opponent is running. Looks like some sort of Golgari deck. One thing is for sure - he missed some land drops and paid for it. He was able to get one creature down, but I was able to burn it away and bash. I'm able to play Ember Swallower on T4 and he's seen enough.

Round 1 Game 2

Opponent is running a little better this time. Looks like he's also running Blue, and he was able to get set up. Unfortunately for him, we're drawing pretty well and getting our board set up as well. I'm able to play Ember Swallower on curve while i have a second one in hand! I try to Dragon Mantle onto my Elemental, but my opponent has an answer ready:


As the game goes on we pull ahead, but here I may have made a play mistake. I attack and he sets up his blocks. We've got both of our Lightning Strikes in hand and he's at 4 life. I decide to go to damage and then double Strike him after combat. We end up winning, but it may have been correct to Strike the Pharika's Mender and give him one more draw step, but we ended up winning here anyway.


Round 2
Sadly our opponent never showed up for Round 2. I guess we'll have to take the win and advance to the finals!

Round 3 Game 1

As you can probably tell from the screenshot just by the number of lands in play, this game went very long. I actually didn't have a good answer for his (Asphodel's Wanderer) and he finishes me off with some Voltron action.


Round 3 Game 2

This game is a different story. We're able to get out ahead and stay there. We put a Dragon Mantle on our Spearpoint Oread and just eat his guys with First Strike. We're not eating into his life much, but a big Fanatic of Mogis will help with that.


From there we just take over. We're able to Monstrous our Ember Swallower and then we just bash.


Round 3 Game 3

Sadly I don't have any screenshots from this round, but I can tell you that we curve out really well. We're able to Bestow Spearpoint Oread onto Purphoros's Emissary and make short work of our opponent and win the draft!

What Did We Learn?

The big lesson from this draft is that staying close to mono-color can really pay huge dividends. It's not always going to work out this well. We were fortunate to get two copies of Ember Swallower, and we can really hurt ourselves if we misidentify the open color. However, if it's open and we can get it flowing from both sides, we'll put ourselves in a great position to win the draft!

Thanks for reading! Please leave comments, or contact me on twitter @Jeff_LR1!