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By: MysticLancer, Lance Cothern
Apr 03 2007 9:31am
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This is my first draft article, and my first draft in well over a year, so I find this situation to be very fitting. I made some basic errors from a person's first draft, and I'm going to try to go over what those were. My first draft was 999 as it is a fairly simple format as well as a good place for new drafters to start! The first thing I learned was that draftcap doesn't always work 100% when I'm using it but I'm working on fixing that, so if you see a blank area where a card picture should be, or a * where a card name should be, it didn't record it. Sorry!
So here is my draft. Follow along and prepare to see some mistakes!

The Draft

Pack 1:

Pick 1:

My Pick: Temporal Adept

Looking at this pack there were some very good cards, but I picked the Temporal Adept because if I could have the resources and consistency to play it, it would be a powerhouse.  Other good cards in this pack were Pacifism and Llanowar Elves.

Pick 2:

My Pick: Leonin Skyhunter

Here I picked the Leonin Skyhunter because it was good fast evasion. There is a card missing in this pack. The Nantuko Husk is also a really good card in this pack. However, in retrospect I probably should have taken some removal here. Dark Banishing is an amazing removal card and Master Decoy is also another good semi-removal card.

Pick 3:

My Pick: Pegasus Charger

The Pegasus Charger is a good flier that can do some good damges in games, especially with first strike, and thats why I picked it. The Rootbreaker Wurm is beastly big, but it isn't really a bomb in my opinion because it is so expensive, and its not evasion.

Pick 4:

My Pick: Sift

Sift is a really good card. An arguement could have also been made for Aven Flock and in retrospect since I played black and white I wish I would have picked it.

Pick 5: 

My Pick: Holy Day

Horrid pick. This was me being new to drafting. In reality I most likely should have taken Gravedigger, Quicksand, of Sift.

Pick 6:

My Pick: Sage Aven

Sage Aven has evasion and a great ability on it as well. However, in retrospect now knowing I played black, I should have taken Looming Shade. Sage Aven wasn't a bad pick though.

Pick 7:

My Pick: Angelic Blessing

There wasn't much to pick from in this pack. Nothing is amazing and nothing stands out. Flowstone Crusher is probably the best card in this pack.

Pick 8:

My Pick: Flight

Flight should never be picked with intentions of making your deck. Unfortunately I picked it, I should have taken Looming Shade in this pack.


Pick 9:

My Pick: Storm Crow

Storm Crow is good evasion, however I believe I probably could have gone with Highway Robber or Infantry Veteran because they have better abilities.

Pick 10:

My Pick: Infantry Veteran

Infantry Veteran is a good creature in this pack, but Aladdin's Ring is a game finisher. I should have taken the ring but I didn't really think much about it at the time.


Pick 11:

My Pick: Annex

Annex isn't really playable, but neither is anything else in this pack. The most playable card in this pack in my opinion is Contaminated Bond and I should have taken that.

Pick 12:

My Pick: Plague Beetle

Nothing good in this pack.

Pick 13:

My Pick: Fugitive Wizard

Should have taken the Giant Cockroach.

Pick 14:

My Pick: Honor Guard

Nothing to discuss here.

Pick 15:

My Pick: Sacred Nectar

The best card in this pack is by FAR Sacred Nectar
so I picked it.
 Pack 2:

Pick 16:

My Pick: Hypnotic Specter

The main motivation behind this pick was that it was worth about 7 tix. Other than that it was one of the better cards in the pack. This pick is what got me into black in this draft. Too bad I didn't realize it until after I was done drafting.

Pick 17:

My Pick: Wind Drake

Here I picked Wind Drake because I was thinking I was still in blue. However I should have been picking in Black or White in this pack. There were good cards available such as Aven Cloudchaser, Gravedigger, and Razortooth Rats

Pick 18:

My Pick: Master Decoy

Master Decoy was a good pick in my opinion. It can win games. However some other good cards in this pack are (Aven Windreaver), Aven Fisher, and Cruel Edict. I think I would have still picked the Decoy.

Pick 19:

My Pick: Crossbow Infantry

I like Crossbow Infantry, espcially when you get a couple of them. Festering Goblin is the only other card in my final colors, so this was a good pick in retrospect.


Pick 20:

My Pick: Veteran Cavalier

Veteran Cavalier was the best card in my colors I ended in, however I still thought I was in blue here. If I was, I should have taken Dehydration.

Pick 21:

My Pick: Wanderguard Sentry

Nothing amazing in my colors here. I should have hate drafted against red in this pick, in which I should have most likely taken Sandstone Warrior or possibly Hill Giant.

Pick 22:

My Pick: Skyhunter Prowler

Skyhunter Prowler is good evasion and a good blocking flier. I probably would have stuck with that pick in retrospect, but other good cards in my ending colors include Razortooth Rats and Execute to hate draft against someone playing black against me since i was 100% sure I was playing white.

Pick 23:

My Pick: Holy Strength

Holy Strength isn't really playable, so Slay would be my best pick in this pack, even though its only effective against green. If I had to pick one of the creature enchantments I should have taken Unholy Strength because I had a couple first strike fliers.

Pick 24:

My Pick: Crossbow Infantry

Crossbow Infantry is good with multiples. Highway Robber is probably better on a primarily card vs card basis because it has a nice ability.

Pick 25:

My Pick: Razortooth Rats

I made the right pick here, best card in the pack in my colors, if I was still playing blue, I might have taken the Horned Turtle because it would be a nice blocker.

Pick 26:

My Pick: Holy Strength

Nothing great here. Urza's Tower might have been picked because I don't own any in my collection. Bog Imp isn't that great either.

Pick 27:

My Pick: Fishliver Oil

Nothing good in this pack. Should have taken the Tree Monkey just so a green deck couldn't use it against my fliers.

Pick 28:

My Pick: Honor Guard

Raise Dead is better.

Pick 29:

My Pick: Elvish Berserker

Your choice, basic land or bad common.


Pick 30:

My Pick: Natural Spring

No comment.

 Pack 3:

Pick 31:

My Pick: Zealous Inquisitor

I really like this card, and it is definately the best card in my colors at this point. Blanchwood Armor another great card in this pack, as well as Kavu Climber, but I'm not playing green.
Pick 32:

My Pick: Soul Warden

Soul Warden is a really good card, but there are a couple cards that probably would have worked out better in this pick. Gluttonous Zombie is an amazing creature because of the fear ability, and Enfeeblement is some good removal.

Pick 33: 

My Pick: Pegasus Charger

I like my pick here, although Enfeeblement is a good removal spell which I maybe should have taken.

Pick 34:

My Pick: Pacifism

Unfortunately two cards are missing from this pack. Pacifism is amazing removal in a sense, as it completely immobilizes a creature. Serpent Warrior and Phyrexian Gargantua are also good cards in my color.

Pick 35: 

My Pick: Glory Seeker

I really should have taken Hollow Dogs in this situation. However, I didn't figure out I was playing black until I built my deck so this is a retrospective pick.

Pick 36: 

My Pick: Foot Soldiers

For the same reasons as pick 35 I should have taken Hollow Dogs in this pick. Inspirit is a good trick card too, so that was also a possibility, but Foot Soldiers should not have been picked here.

Pick 37:

My Pick: Suntail Hawk

I made the right pick for my colors in this pack. However I probably should have hate drafted Needle Storm as it could wreck all of my fliers.

Pick 38: 

My Pick: Ravenous Rats

Nothing amazing in this pack, Foul Imp could have some potential if I didn't have a lot of fliers in white.

Pick 39:

My Pick: Holy Day

Note to self: NEVER PICK HOLY DAY AGAIN UNLESS YOU HAVE TO! It is simply BAD. Anyways, I should have taken Foot Soldiers here, or possibly Raise Dead if I had some big use for it.

Pick 40:

My Pick: Lava Axe

This was a premature hate pick. There are two obviously good black cards here in Serpent Warrior and Gluttonous Zombie and I would have picked the Gluttonous Zombie because of the great fear mechanic and no loss of life.

Pick 41:

My Pick: Contaminated Bond

Nothing great in this pack

Pick 42:

My Pick: Fear

Should have taken the Tree Monkey so no one could use it against my fliers.

Pick 43:

My Pick: Mending Hands

Nothing good in this pack

Pick 44: 

My Pick: Firebreathing

Should have taken the uncommon, simply because it is an uncommon.

Pick 45: 

My Pick: Panic Attack

Last pick... Yay!

Draft recording done by Blargware's MTGO DraftCap. Support Blargware!

I was new to the format and I wasn't a big drafter. I made some horrible picks that should never see the day of light in decks. Here they are:

Pick 5: Holy Day: COMPLETELY unplayable, but my naivity thought it could save me. In reality, its a horrible card and should never be drafted with intentions to put it in your deck. Should have taken Gravedigger
Pick 7: Angelic Blessing: Shouldn't make your final deck either, however there isn't much else amazing in this pack, so it wasn't a HUGE error.
Pick 8: Flight: BAD CARD FOR LIMITED. Once again, my naivity said this could be cool. I should have taken the Looming Shade on this pick.
Pick 21: Wanderguard Sentry: Not that good of a card, shouldn't be making decks. Granted there wasn't anything good in my colors either. I should have picked Spineless Thug.
Pick 23: Holy Strength: Generally these types of enchantments SHOULD NOT MAKE YOUR DECK! I made a mistake here. Nothing amazing in this pack though but should have taken Slay.
Pick 26: Holy Strength: Again, I messed up, should have taken the Bog Imp
Pick 28: Honor Guard: Not that great of a card, should have taken Raise Dead.
Pick 39: Holy Day: DO NOT PICK HOLY DAY! Should have taken Foot Soldiers or Raise Dead.
Pick 41: Contaminated Bond: I should have picked Scathe Zombies.

Ok, so I made some mistakes in this category. I would see a card and click it, sometimes without fully reading the rest of the pack. Don't do this! I'm also using this to point out bad picks I made in error.

Pick 2: Leonin Skyhunter: Probably should have taken the Dark Banishing here! Removal > Evasion
Pick 9: Storm Crow: Both Highway Robber and Infantry Veteran are better.
Pick 10: Infantry Veteran: Aladdin's Ring is a good finisher and should have been taken here.
Pick 17: Wind Drake: Better cards are in this pack. Gravedigger and Aven Cloudchaser would have been better.
Pick 24: Crossbow Infantry: Debatable between that and Highway Robber
Pick 32: Soul Warden: While being a good card, there are some better cards here. Should have take Gluttonous Zombie or Enfeeblement.
Pick 33: Pegasus Charger: Enfeeblement is a better card here. Although it depends on what you have already drafted at this point.
Pick 35: Glory Seeker: Should have taken Hollow Dogs hands down.
Pick 36: Foot Soldiers: Should have taken Hollow Dogs again or Inspirit would have been a nice trick.
Pick 40: Lava Axe: I wasn't paying attention here, should have taken Gluttonous Zombie.

2    Crossbow Infantry
1    Foot Soldiers
1    Glory Seeker
2    Honor Guard
1    Hypnotic Specter
1    Infantry Veteran
1    Leonin Skyhunter
1    Master Decoy
2    Pegasus Charger
1    Ravenous Rats
1    Razortooth Rats
1    Skyhunter Prowler
1    Soul Warden
1    Suntail Hawk
1    Veteran Cavalier
1    Zealous Inquisitor

Other Spells:
1    Contaminated Bond
2    Holy Strength
1    Pacifism
1    Angelic Blessing

11 Plains
5   Swamp

1    Elvish Berserker
1    Fugitive Wizard
1    Plague Beetle
1    Sage Aven
1    Storm Crow
1    Temporal Adept
1    Wanderguard Sentry
1    Wind Drake
1    Annex
1    Fear
1    Firebreathing
1    Fishliver Oil
1    Flight
2    Holy Day
1    Mending Hands
1    Lava Axe
1    Natural Spring
1    Panic Attack
1    Sacred Nectar
1    Sift

Ok, so I just drafted my 45 cards, and now the deck-building screen popped up and my 10 minute clock started counting down. I choose white and black simply because they had the best cards vailable to me. The blue cards I had weren't strong enough. All of my black and white cards that were semi-decent made my deck.
The Matches:
Round 1: I played a 1700+ player who played a really good Black and Blue deck. There were three close games but I triumphed 2 games to 1.
Round 2:
I played a 1650ish player who played a Red and White deck. While this was a good deck, my fliers dominated him and I beat him 2 games to none.

Round 3:
Another 1700+ player who was playing Red and Green. His deck didn't have enough answers for my fliers and I swept over him for the win 2 games to none.
I just won my first 999 draft I had played in over a year! Some will call this beginner's luck (and rightfully so to a point). I overcame a lot of mistakes as well as two 1700+ players and some good decks to win! If this tells you anything, its that you too can draft 999. Until next time, I'd like you guys to go out and try a 999 draft if you're willing and want to have some fun! 

Special Thanks to: Heath for publishing this article. Lord Erman for teaching me how to format my articles better so I could get them published. JacsUK and Gus from MTGO TRADERS for some drafting tips that helped a lot when writing this article.

Have any comments? Post them! I'm new to both drafting and writing so any and all advice is welcome. My MTGO handle is MysticLancer if you'd like to contact me personally.

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Back to Pack 3

Back to Lessons


draft timespiral block.... by ogre (Unregistered) (not verified) at Sat, 04/07/2007 - 09:44
ogre (Unregistered)'s picture


good work, there are obvious picks that should've been made, but still good work....
anyways, draft some timespiral block and comment on that. would like to hear some perspectives on that.


Volcanon by MysticLancer at Thu, 04/05/2007 - 16:57
MysticLancer's picture

Volcanon I actually I forgot about the MOTL thread when I wrote my article about this draft, however, looking back we had a lot of similarities. Hopefully that means I'm getting better. Suggestions for things to make my next article better are still welcome so feel free to comment.

Cool by Volcanon (Unregistered) (not verified) at Thu, 04/05/2007 - 16:05
Volcanon (Unregistered)'s picture

Lol sorry if I was harsh on MOTL commenting on your draft. Nice Article. Mb ill write one.

by Volcanon (Unregistered) (not verified) at Thu, 04/05/2007 - 16:10
Volcanon (Unregistered)'s picture

Oh and no props to me for commenting on your draft?

Drafting 101 by thescale99 at Thu, 04/05/2007 - 11:54
thescale99's picture

Good Stuff! This site defiantly needs a regular draft column - whether or not this becomes it, the article certainly serves as a good model to build on. Also, LOVE that you were willing to point out drafting errors, and how you could have done better. Keep it up!

by kolu at Thu, 04/05/2007 - 09:44
kolu's picture

Hey! good job buddy! great job.
NOW will you be my drafting tutor?

by Montan at Tue, 04/03/2007 - 15:47
Montan's picture

Good one to be the first. What I would like to see next ones is a little more in-depth games if you can, take notes while you're playing and describe good/bad plays from you or your opponent, stuff like that. Keep it up, I'll be there to slap you for taking Holy Days anytime =)

Noice! by jinx_talaris at Tue, 04/03/2007 - 11:31
jinx_talaris's picture

Cool man! Keep it up if you can :) I know the funds can end things short if you can't exactly go "infinite". I'm still having a hard time with limited but starting to break even so I'll be doing more drafts in the future. I love the layout, easy to follow, and looks clean. Good work.

Signaling by thejitte at Tue, 04/03/2007 - 12:31
thejitte's picture

No article about drafting is complete without some talks about signaling.

Your passed so much removal in black you should of taken that as a signal and drafted it. By passing all those black cards you were probably cut off from black by round 2.

Nice layout though, it was easy to understand the tone of the draft.

by Lord Erman at Tue, 04/03/2007 - 10:36
Lord Erman's picture

Congratulations! You finally have it online. I know how hard you worked on it. Now consider this as a start and continue from here. A draft article was really something we needed here on and you are filling a huge gap. My only comment is, as you also know, that it takes a while to load the article. A reader with a dial-up connection may have serious problems. Perhaps you will be able to find a solution to this in the future. And put that Hypnotic Specter into good use! :)))

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