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By: MysticLancer, Lance Cothern
Apr 29 2007 3:48pm
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Drafting with MysticLancer: Mana Flood and Mana Screw
 
Welcome to the FIFTH installment of Drafting with MysticLancer! Ok, so I'm still doing 999 drafts. Why you ask? To try to get some more points across... (Well in all reality, college has been very hectic lately, 7 exams and a paper in less than two weeks is enough to kill ANYONE). But on a more serious note, as Quentin Martin from MTG.com said, 999 can teach you a lot. Now I'll address those of you that want me to get off my 999 horse and start drafting TTP (oh, believe me I'm in your camp too). Summer starts May 4th and this means I'll have some free time on my hands before I find a summer job. During this time I will be learning Time Spiral and Planar Chaos (and even Future Sight for when it comes out) from a limited perspective. I'll do some TTP drafts, then maybe a FFF draft during the release, then move on to TPF drafts. Speaking of moving on... let's get to this week's draft, which is quite nice if I do say so myself!

Disclaimer for every article:
First, if you don't know what a card does, right click on it and click view image. Second, the original picks I made were what I picked during the draft. I picked the revised picks after the draft, but not looking at my original picks. I paste the pictures in and then pick pack by pack like a normal draft. My picks could potentially change what other people at the table would have taken and therefore affected what I got passed. These articles are for learning, so while the revised picks may not be what I actually would have gotten, it helps people learn what the best cards are based on a certain strategy. Ok, thats it, enjoy the draft.
Pack 1:
 

Pick 1

My Original Pick: Karplusan Forest

My Revised Pick: Forest... I mean Karplusan Forest

Well this was a hard pick, I picked the Karplusan Forest because its worth money. Most people would do the same, but I picked it for another reason too. This pack didn't have too many amazing cards at all. Llanowar Elves is the best card in the pack overall, and Pegasus Charger and Remove Soul are also nice. But without a first color I don't feel the need to take any of those cards over the money, therefore, I took the Forest... I mean Karplusan Forest.

 

Pick 2

My Original Pick: Pacifism

My Revised Pick: Pacifism

Some of the good cards in this pack are Pacifism, Counsel of the Soratami, Treetop Bracers and Bog Wraith. The only good white card in the pack is Pacifism. A common is gone here and there isn't any better white common (besides Master Decoy) than Pacifism. Besides the fact that it is the best card in the pack I'm hoping maybe I can prevent the person next in line from getting into white. Remember, bombs then removal, and Pacifism is removal.



 

Pick 3

My Original Pick: Aven Windreader

My Revised Pick: Aven Windreader

Here I have a really nice blue card in Aven Windreader. Inspirit and Hollow Dogs are the other cards I would consider in this pack this early, but Aven Windreader is by far the best as its a pretty big flier and has a nice ability. Also, passing Inspirit shouldn't make the next guy in line go white, so hopefully I can keep my white source for pack 2.

Pick 4

My Original Pick: Infantry Veteran

My Revised Pick: Infantry Veteran

Nothing amazing here. The good cards are Highway Robber, Infantry Veteran, and Bottle Gnomes. Here I'm going to try to keep white mine, so I'm going to take Infantry Veteran. (Bottle Gnomes are nice, but I like the Veteran's ability.



 

Pick 5

My Original Pick: Time Ebb

My Revised Pick: Time Ebb

This was a really really really tough pick. This pack is full of nice very playable cards including Razortooth Rats, Time Ebb, Infantry Veteran, Nantuko Husk, Leonin Skyhunter. Nantuko Husk is the best card in the pack, but I'm not in black so that makes me sad. Leonin Skyhunter is really good but I need removal here. Hopefully next in line doesn't take this as a hint to get into white. I take the Time Ebb because its removal and removal is good.

Pick 6

My Original Pick: Counsel of the Soratami

My Revised Pick: Counsel of the Soratami

Green has a couple decent cards in Order of the Sacred Bell and Scaled Wurm. The only other good card in this pack is Counsel of the Soratami and it is in my colors so I'll take it.



Pick 7

My Original Pick: Lumengrid Warden

My Revised Pick: Lumengrid Warden

Black isn't looking good anymore so I'm glad I didn't move into it. The only playable card in my colors is Lumengrid Warden so I take it. Flowstone Shambler is also playable.

Pick 8

My Original Pick: Lumengrid Warden

My Revised Pick: Lumengrid Warden

Hello, and welcome to the Price is Right. Lumengrid Warden come on down! You are the first contestant on the Price is Right! Yah, nothing good left in this pack besides the Warden, which isn't great.


 

Pick 9

My Original Pick: Samite Healer

My Revised Pick: Samite Healer

While Mana Leak is ok, I think preventing 1 damage is a more useful trick, so I pick Samite Healer.

Pick 10

My Original Pick: Counsel of the Soratami

My Revised Pick: Counsel of the Soratami

Best card in the pack by far. No reason to take anything else in this pack.


 

Pick 11

My Original Pick: Mana Leak

My Revised Pick: Mana Leak

Well look at that, we get our Mana Leak from two picks ago anyways.

Pick 12

My Original Pick: Sea Monster

My Revised Pick: Sea Monster

In a blue deck it is always nice to have a Sea Monster as they're great blockers, even better if you opponent has an island and it can attack.

 

Pick 13

My Original Pick: Sea Monster

My Revised Pick: Sea Monster

In a blue deck it is always nice to have a Sea Monster, but you shouldn't play two in your deck unless you're really desparate, or you sideboard it in because your opponent is playing blue.

Pick 14

My Original Pick: Bog Imp

My Revised Pick: Bog Imp

Decisions decisions. JOKE! Take the common.

Pick 15

My Original Pick: Forest

My Revised Pick: Forest

A man walked into a bar... ouch!

 
Summary of Pack 1:
Pack 1 definately puts me semi-nicely into blue, and gives me the opportunity to go into white if I want, which is especially nice with a Pacifism to back your decision up.
Pack 2:
 

Pick 16

My Original Pick: Aven Windreader

My Revised Pick: Aven Windreader

The best card in my colors here is definately Aven Windreader. The best card not in my colors is still Aven Windreader, but Rootwalla and Elvish Piper are also nice cards. Green will like this pack.

Pick 17

My Original Pick: Azure Drake

My Revised Pick: Azure Drake

The Shock in this pack will make whoever is in red really happy. The other good cards in this pack are Wind Drake, Crossbow Infantry, and Azure Drake. Azure Drake is so much better than Wind Drake so I'll take it for the extra 2 defense in the air.





Pick 18

My Original Pick: Phantom Warrior

My Revised Pick: Phantom Warrior

Wow... this pack has a lot of stuff in it. Giant Spider is bad against the fliers in my deck Enfeeblement is pretty good removal against my deck too. Giant Growth is even a great combat trick but I just can't hate draft here. Both Sift and more importantly Phantom Warrior are really good picks for my colors. Phantom Warrior is unblockable, which is really nice to have, so I'll take that over the Sift although this could have been close.

Pick 19

My Original Pick: Crossbow Infantry

My Revised Pick: Crossbow Infantry

This pack is rough. Most of these cards are playable, but nothing amazing. I'm going to take the Crossbow Infantry here because of its nice ability. Storm Crow isn't the best flier to have as it only has 1 power. Levitation is nice, but my good creatures should already have flying so its repetitive. Also if it gets destroyed I could get in trouble. (Dehyrdation) is ok, but isn't anything special at all.



 

Pick 20

My Original Pick: Time Ebb

My Revised Pick: Time Ebb

I really like my Time Ebbs, maybe too much even. Sage Aven would have also been a good choice but Time Ebb puts the creature on top of their deck, so if they want to play it again it is almost like a Time Walk. They have to spend mana to play it again, and it is their next draw so they gain no advantage. Spirit Link is also a good card, but I would rather have the Time Ebb or Sage Aven in this situation.

Pick 21

My Original Pick: Maro

My Revised Pick: Maro

There is nothing worth mentioning in my colors... or red... or black... so that leaves us, you guessed it, GREEN! Wood Elves is good, but I'm not playing green, Maro could be bad for me so I'll take that instead.

 
 

Pick 22

My Original Pick: Giant Spider

My Revised Pick: Giant Spider

Nothing in white blue red or black worth mentioning. Giant Spider has potential to be bad versus the fliers I do have, so I hate pick it.

Pick 23

My Original Pick: Phyrexian Hulk

My Revised Pick: Phyrexian Hulk

Skyhunter Prowler is a nice flyer with some good toughness to block, but I really needed something decent on the ground. Phyrexian Hulk is probably better anyways, because Skyhunter only has 1 power. Another advantage is that it can stop the fear creatures of Razortooth Rats and Gluttonous Zombie.


 

Pick 24

My Original Pick: Boiling Seas

My Revised Pick: Boiling Seas

Wow my colors aren't doing me any good right now, so I hate pick Boiling Seas as it could absolutely wreck me.

Pick 25

My Original Pick: Storm Crow

My Revised Pick: Storm Crow

Nothing great here. I can at least play Storm Crow if I absolutely have to. Festering Goblin could be tricky, but I'm not too worried about it at this point.


 

Pick 26

My Original Pick: Demystify

My Revised Pick: Demystify

With nothing good in my colors it is nice to have some enchantment destruction on your sideboard.

Pick 27

My Original Pick: Dehydration

My Revised Pick: Dehydration

Dehydration could potentially be useful, more useful than another Storm Crow at least.

 

Pick 28

My Original Pick: Holy Strength

My Revised Pick: Holy Strength

I picked the most playable unplayable card.

Pick 29

My Original Pick: Crafty Pathmage

My Revised Pick: Crafty Pathmage

And what do we have here... NOTHING!

 

Pick 30

My Original Pick: Mountain

My Revised Pick: Mountain

 
Summary of Pack 2:
I get a lot of nice blue here, but almost nothing in white. I got a couple of good green cards but my 2nd color is going to depend on pack three, but I am definately heavily in blue at this point.
Pack 3:


Pick 31

My Original Pick: Wrath of God

My Revised Pick: Wrath of God

Well the good cards in my colors are... WHO AM I KIDDING?! Wrath of God, yes please, thank you, have a nice day. Nice to have my draft paid for in case it doesn't work out. Plus its a BOMB anyways.

Pick 32

My Original Pick: Pegasus Charger

My Revised Pick: Blaze

And for my first mispick of the draft. Why did I pick the Pegasus Charger? I really felt I needed creatures at this point, however I also knew I should pick Blaze. The clock started ticking at me and I made the wrong choice. Blaze was by far the best card in this pack and I should have taken it to splash it in my deck.



 

Pick 33

My Original Pick: Aven Windreader

My Revised Pick: Aven Windreader

Aven Windreader is the best card in the pack, not just in my colors but overall so this is a great pick for me.

Pick 34

My Original Pick: Boomerang

My Revised Pick: Boomerang

Other colors have good cards such as Enfeeblement and Giant Growth, even Hill Giant, but Boomerang could be useful to me so I will take a potentially useful card rather than a decent card from another color. If it was a bomb in another color I would have taken it over Boomerang.



 

Pick 35

My Original Pick: Oracle's Attendants

My Revised Pick: Oracle's Attendants

Oracle's Attendants is a nice 1/5 creature with a great ability. Best card in the pack for my colors and pretty nice overall. Foot Soldiers and Horned Turtle would have been good if the Attendant wasn't here.

Pick 36

My Original Pick: Tidings

My Revised Pick: Tidings

Card advantage is amazing, and Tidings is amazing card advantage. Other than that both Aven Fisher and Wind Drake are really good.


 

Pick 37

My Original Pick: Boomerang

My Revised Pick: Boomerang

Boomerang is the best card in my colors, although Balduvian Barbarians is also a nice card.

Pick 38

My Original Pick: Aven Fisher

My Revised Pick: Aven Fisher

Best card in my colors hands down.



Pick 39

My Original Pick: Sleight of Hand

My Revised Pick: Sleight of Hand

Sleight of Hand is the best card here, it lets you draw a card and put a potentially bad card or a card you don't need on the bottom of your deck so you don't have to draw it.

Pick 40

My Original Pick: Horned Turtle

My Revised Pick: Horned Turtle

The dilemma here is do I want a cheaper creature or an extra power. I thought my deck had a lot of expensive cards, so I took the Horned Turtle here.


 

Pick 41

My Original Pick: Urza's Mine

My Revised Pick: Urza's Mine

I don't have an Urzatron set yet and there is nothing good here, so I took the Urza Land

Pick 42

My Original Pick: Shatter

My Revised Pick: Shatter

Deprive someone else of potential artifact destruction.

 

Pick 43

My Original Pick: Crafty Pathmage

My Revised Pick: Crafty Pathmage

Better of the two bad cards.

Pick 44

My Original Pick: Norwood Ranger

My Revised Pick: Norwood Ranger

 

Pick 45

My Original Pick: Swamp

My Revised Pick: Swamp

 

 
Summary of Pack 3:
Amazing blue overall. Wrath of God definately puts me in white, and if I had taken the Blaze I probably would splash some red as well. Let's see how the deck turned out.
Deckbuilding:

15 Creatures:
1 Aven Fisher
3 Aven Windreader
1 Azure Drake
1 Crossbow Infantry
1 Horned Turtle
1 Infantry Veteran
2 Lumengrid Warden
1 Oracle's Attendants
1 Pegasus Charger
1 Phantom Warrior
1 Phyrexian Hulk
1 Sea Monster


8 Other Spells:
2 Time Ebb
1 Tidings
1 Sleight of Hand
2 Counsel of the Soratami
1 Wrath of God
1 Pacifism

17 Lands:
12 Island
5 Plains

Sideboard:
1 Bog Imp
1 Boiling Seas
2 Boomerang
1 Crafty Pathmage
1 Dehydration
1 Demystify
1 Forest
1 Giant Spider
1 Holy Strength
1 Karplusan Forest
2 Mana Leak
1 Maro
1 Mountain
1 Norwood Ranger
1 Plains
1 Sacred Nectar
1 Sea Monster
1 Shatter
1 Storm Crow
1 Swamp
1 Urza's Mine

     Man, I was really happy with my original deck. I had a lot of nice fliers with 3 Aven Windreaders, Azure Drake, Aven Fisher, and Pegasus Charger. I also had an unblockable Phantom Warrior and some big guys on the ground to block with Horned Turtle, Sea Monster, Phyrexian Hulk, Oracle's Attendants and possibly even the Lumengrid Wardens. My spells were amazing with 4 card drawing and 4 removal, Wrath of God definately being the highlight. This deck could have been better with a couple more fliers, but they just weren't in the draft for me. Overall I was very happy with this deck and thought it definately had potential to possibly win the whole draft.
     The deck to the right, my revised deck, is basically the same as the one on the left with the exception there is no Pegasus Charger. This is because in my revised draft I picked Blaze instead. Because I have 4 card drawing cards, adding the Blaze should only require me to add 1 Mountain to make it work effectively. You can pretty much splash Blaze in any deck, but if you don't have any card drawing you may want to put 2 mountains in. It can be just the right card you need to win the game.

14 Creatures:
1 Aven Fisher
3 Aven Windreader
1 Azure Drake
1 Crossbow Infantry
1 Horned Turtle
1 Infantry Veteran
2 Lumengrid Warden
1 Oracle's Attendants
1 Phantom Warrior
1 Phyrexian Hulk
1 Sea Monster

9 Other Spells:
1 Blaze
2 Time Ebb
1 Tidings
1 Sleight of Hand
2 Counsel of the Soratami
1 Wrath of God
1 Pacifism

17 Lands:
11 Island
5 Plains
1 Mountain
Sideboard:
1 Bog Imp
1 Boiling Seas
2 Boomerang
1 Crafty Pathmage
1 Dehydration
1 Demystify
1 Forest
1 Giant Spider
1 Holy Strength
1 Karplusan Forest
2 Mana Leak
1 Maro
1 Mountain
1 Norwood Ranger
1 Plains
1 Sacred Nectar
1 Sea Monster
1 Shatter
1 Storm Crow
1 Swamp
1 Time Ebb
1 Urza's Mine
The Match(es):

Game 1: Game 1 was a really good game for me. I found out my opponent was playing a green and red deck, with a white splash. I have to mulligan down to 6 due to a 1 land hand, but my opponent does the same so we're still on even ground. Turns out he gets stuck on 1 mana for the first couple turns, and then finally got stuck on 3 mana. I got all the mana I needed and used 2 Time Ebbs on the creatures he did play which further prolonged his mana problems. I got an Aven Windreader out and flew over him for the win. I won, but it was unfortunate for my opponent as he was mana screwed.


Game 2: What I didn't see from the previous game was that my opponent's deck was extremely fast. By Turn 4 he had five mana, thanks to Wood Elves and really got a lot of nice creatures out early. I started the game with three Islands in my hand, and you guessed it, I got mana screwed. I didn't draw another land until turn 6 or 7 and the problem was, instead of drawing cheaper blue cards, I was drawing white cards. My opponent stopped me due to the lack of creatures I had on the board. I even managed to Time Ebb him but it just wasn't enough, when I finally got enough mana to do something he cast Thundermare and I lost this game.

Game 3: Ah, the most important game of the match! We both got nice starts, I got a couple fliers out and he got out a few ground creatures. Then something happened that everyone hates. Draw, oh look a land I don't need, thats nifty. Next turn's draw... Land?! Ok, I really would like something else. Next turn, OK Grog, what is going on, what did I do to make you angry?! Yup, I got mana flooded. He managed to play about 3-4 more creatures than me, and I just couldn't handle it when I kept drawing lands. I was ANGRY! He ran over me and I lost the match with my nice deck. At least I got some money in the draft. I lose in the first round 1-2.
 

Lesson of the Week: Use Information You Learned from Previous Games, But Do NOT Get Frusterated

    I bet you were worried I wasn't going to have a lesson. This week I felt this would fit best at the very end of the article. Both parts of this week's lesson are VERY important. The first is to use information you learned from previous games. This is extremely important, especially if you have potential sideboardable cards.
Say you have a card on you sideboard with swampwalk and your opponent is playing black. It would be great to sideboard that in, especially if it was a Bog Wraith. Also, if you realize your opponent has Wrath of God (like I did, unfortunately I never got to play it), Pyroclasm, or another mass destruction spell it might be best not to go all out and hold some creatures back. You can also learn to hold back your Pacifism or Time Ebb or Dark Banishing for the opportune time when they play one of their best creatures like Mahamoti Djinn or Silklash Spider (if you're playing a flying deck).

    Now for the part of the lesson that I need to learn. DO NOT GET FRUSTERATED, especially on things you can't control like MANA SCREW and MANA FLOOD. I experienced both of these during this match and boy did it make me angry. Granted, you can't do much about these, but if you're still angry after game 1 when you got mana screwed it can really mess up your play in game 2. You may be too quick to play cards, or make silly mistakes by overlooking an ability on a creature or forgetting to play an instant on your opponents turn. Take a few seconds or a minute to just calm down, collect yourself and get ready to play a level-headed game 2 or 3, whichever the case may be. By doing this you can avoid a lot of those stupid little misplays due to anger that cost you games.


Well, another article comes to an end. Like I said, I'm really looking forward to drafting TTP, but it probably won't be untill my 8th article. So that means probably two more 999 draft columns but there is PLENTY to learn from this format. College is winding down and I only have a couple more finals and a paper to do before it is over, but then I have to get a job. I'll still try to get articles out on a regular basis, but more importantly I'd like to thank all of my readers who come back week after week. You are the ones that make my column possible, I write these for you. I'd also like to thank JacsUK and Gus from MTGO TRADERS for helping me out with my drafts and Heath for giving me the shot to write that turned into this column. Until next time...
Thats a wrap!
 
Need boosters to do a 999 or other drafts? Check out MTGO TRADERS who has great prices on boosters. Click here to see for yourself!

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Back to Pack 1

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Back to Pack 3

Back to Deck-Building

Back to Match(es)

Back to Lesson

0 Comments

regarding the deck by Anonymous (Unregistered) 64.207.69.42 (not verified) at Thu, 05/10/2007 - 19:03
Anonymous (Unregistered) 64.207.69.42's picture

Hi,

I stumbled upon this page randomly and wanted to offer some advice. About myself, I am an 1870 rated limited player, and 999 is a format I am comfortable with it. So if nothing else, I am rather solid. Please take this criticism as my trying to help you get better; no offense or denigration is meant in this post despite the fact that it is critical.

The first thing I need to get out of the way is the notion that this is a very good deck. It has some great cards, but it will play in a good-but-not-amazing way due to a strategic flaw and a weak mana base. The strategic flaw is the deck's lack of strong threats and permanents which unfortunately cuts into the value of your ridiculous card advantage via wrath and card drawing like the broken tidings. Unless tidings lets you win on attrition, an opponent whose deck is one solid threat after another, will fairly often just beat yours or outrace you even when you draw your broken stuff. The way to solve this problem would have been to go after more solid or evasive threats rather than early blockers and stuff -- and to instead fall back on mana leak / remove soul for early defense.

In this regard you made a better choice than I would have during the draft, taking phantom warrior over sift although you don't do this in general. You can somewhat deal with this problem by boarding in your countermagic, which serves multiple roles by protecting your more limited number of threats, stopping your opponent's showstoppers, and serving as an early defense. This is the reason Lumengrid Warden belongs in the board: they get obsoleted very quickly, whereas countermagic is probably a better defense and doesn't become obsolete as fast.

Another issue is the mana base. Regardless of your mana flood, 18 lands is the right recipe for this deck given its copious card-drawing. You also need to have far more plains than you do. Even a relatively light splash of one color in a two-color deck justifies a 10/7 land ratio, and in this case, I would at least have done 10/7 if I could not convince you to run 10/8 lands. I am not sure about splashing blaze; it's an absolutely awesome card, but regardless, you have to run more than one mountain and no mana fixers to have a realistic hope of casting any red card. Is it worth two or three mountains? Personally, I don't like to do that when your card quality is fairly high in two colors, but I could be wrong.

All that said, your draft choices were very sound even if your deck construction was a little off. Best of luck!

regarding the deck by Anonymous (Unregistered) 64.207.69.42 (not verified) at Thu, 05/10/2007 - 18:57
Anonymous (Unregistered) 64.207.69.42's picture

Hi,

I stumbled upon this page randomly and wanted to offer some advice. About myself, I am an 1870 rated limited player, and 999 is a format I am comfortable with it. So if nothing else, I am rather solid. Please take this criticism as my trying to help you get better; no offense or denigration is meant in this post despite the fact that it is critical.

The first thing I need to get out of the way is the notion that this is a very good deck. It has some great cards, but it will play in a good-but-not-amazing way due to a strategic flaw and a weak mana base. The strategic flaw is the deck's lack of strong threats and permanents which unfortunately cuts into the value of your ridiculous card advantage via wrath and card drawing like the broken tidings. Unless tidings lets you win on attrition, an opponent whose deck is one solid threat after another, will fairly often just beat yours or outrace you even when you draw your broken stuff. The way to solve this problem would have been to go after more solid or evasive threats rather than early blockers and stuff -- and to instead fall back on mana leak / remove soul for early defense. In this regard you made a better choice than I would have during the draft, taking phantom warrior over sift although you don't do this in general. You can somewhat deal with this problem by boarding in your countermagic, which serves multiple roles by protecting your more limited number of threats, stopping your opponent's showstoppers, and serving as an early defense. This is the reason Lumengrid Warden belongs in the board: they get obsoleted very quickly, whereas countermagic is probably a better defense and doesn't become obsolete as fast.

All that said, your draft choices were very sound even if your deck construction was a little off. Best of luck!

just a couple of comments by fracguru (Unregistered) 38.113.135.196 (not verified) at Fri, 05/04/2007 - 14:23
fracguru (Unregistered) 38.113.135.196's picture

kingritz had some very good comments. Especially about the skyhunter. Big time. Here's a few more:

- time ebb is not removal. It is a tempo card and is probably more suited for GU. It is a solid card, but I think you are overrating it.
- Dehydration IS decent removal for UW, a deck type that normally lacks such.
- UW needs some ground cloggers (the horned turtle cards kingritz alluded to). infantry veteran isn't any good here since most of your attackers are flying overhead anyway. There are a couple of other mistakes, I think, in the creature build.
- There are two few plains. Even though the 12/5 ratio is probably correct when you just consider mana costs in the deck, the fact is that you need plains early and you have the double white in WOG. In a two color deck like this I would never go less than 7 lands for a main color and think you would have been better off going 10/7 islands/plains.

Changes in the maindeck that I think would have helped:
-2 ebb
- infantry veteran
- sea monster (to be sided in versus an opponent with islands)
+ dehydration
+ boomerang
+ storm crow
+ mana leak

If you are on the play for a game I'd think about bringing in the second mana leak.

You can argue a bit about the suggested changes. But I think the land ratio was a big mistake, as you found out in game 2.

Oh, and if you splash a card, I think 2 mana sources are minimum, card draw or not.

All that said, you are a much better drafter than when you first started, for sure. Keep up the good work. Nothing wrong with 999 drafts, either.

by Kingritz (Unregistered) 208.58.202.217 (not verified) at Thu, 05/03/2007 - 02:02
Kingritz (Unregistered) 208.58.202.217's picture

Your pick of Time Ebb over Leonin Skyhunter at pick 5 was a mistake. Time Ebb is solid, but your characterization of it as removal is perhaps a bit strong; it is no more than a temporary solution to a problem, and really plays a different role than something like Pacifism or even Dehydration would. But aside from that, Skyhunter is fantastic, AND passing it almost guarantees that you put a player to your immediate left into white. The first player will be looking at a choice between Husk and Skyhunter, with Razortooth Rats and Infantry Veteran also in the pack. Even if that player goes Husk, the second player down would definitely snatch the 2/2 flier. Note when you ended up finding nothing for you and having to resort to hate drafting -- the middle of Pack Two, when cards were coming from your left. In particular, look at the white cards you got in Pack 2. Let's see.... Crossbow Infantry and.... NOTHING.This often indicates either bad signaling on your part or a bad player next to you who doesn't read signals.

As a minor point, the Sanctum Guardian at pick 4 deserved at least a mention. Horned Turtle-like cards are very important to UW air force type decks. They allow you to hold the ground long enough to get through in the air. Sanctum Guardian is a strictly better Horned Turtle, aside from a slightly more difficult mana cost. Would I still have taken the Infantry Veteran? Quite possibly. But I would have considered it a close pick, and I surely would have looked at (and mentioned) Sanctum Guardian over Bottle Gnomes and Highway Robber.

Finally, I actually didn't mind your Pegasus Charger pick at the start of Pack Three. Blaze is obviously insane, but it requires splashing (always a risk) and you had a very, very strong deck at that point. Charger is a great card, and it didn't compromise your mana base at all. On the contrary, it really helped your curve by fitting in the three-drop slot where you were looking shallow. Blaze, on the other hand, would have made a deck with an already high curve (three Windreaders, Tidings, etc.) even more top-heavy. With a particularly strong draft, you want to shift at least a little bit to favoring consistency over power, because the more you minimize luck the more your stronger deck will shine through. With a weaker deck, sure, take a shot and splash the Blaze (off TWO Mountains instead of one, please).

Notwithstanding these criticisms, congratulations on making substantial strides and becoming a far better drafter over the course of these articles so far. I'm looking forward to seeing more in the future.

by pwred (Unregistered) 71.42.147.98 (not verified) at Mon, 04/30/2007 - 13:31
pwred (Unregistered) 71.42.147.98's picture

You got pretty lucky with what you opened and what you were passed, so it sucks when you bow out round 1 due to forces beyond your control. I've been there too many times and what you said about "going on tilt" (playing recklessly after a bad beat) is very true. Also, I think you should have ran at least 2 mountains in your revised build, even with your card drawing. After all, you do have to draw both your blaze and your mountain in order to cast it.

by AHammer (Unregistered) 65.54.154.48 (not verified) at Tue, 05/01/2007 - 22:12
AHammer (Unregistered) 65.54.154.48's picture

Your articles are awesome, i like all the detail in your work and the walkthroughs on every card choice. In my opinion your the best article writer on puremtgo.com. Keep up the good work!

Comment about the draft by Anonymous (Unregistered) 155.201.35.50 (not verified) at Wed, 05/02/2007 - 12:14
Anonymous (Unregistered) 155.201.35.50's picture

One comment on the draft. Mana Leak should always make the maindeck in 999 drafts and especially in UW. It allows you to counter their turn 3 spells like rootwalla going second (something you should always be doing unless you have an extremely aggressive deck). Mana leak is also sometimes your only way of fighting against cards like Royal Assasin and spells like Flamebreak.

Comment about the draft by Anonymous (Unregistered) 155.201.35.50 (not verified) at Wed, 05/02/2007 - 12:14
Anonymous (Unregistered) 155.201.35.50's picture

One comment on the draft. Mana Leak should always make the maindeck in 999 drafts and especially in UW. It allows you to counter their turn 3 spells like rootwalla going second (something you should always be doing unless you have an extremely aggressive deck). Mana leak is also sometimes your only way of fighting against cards like Royal Assasin and spells like Flamebreak.

:) by Anonymous (Unregistered) 137.205.74.67 (not verified) at Sun, 04/29/2007 - 19:51
Anonymous (Unregistered) 137.205.74.67's picture

Great article! It's really nice to see someone write these types of articles with an honest slant, and it's nice to see how you've improved since your first article! Glad you got those good rares in your draft. Good luck with your finals!

Suggestion by flashstorm at Sun, 04/29/2007 - 23:07
flashstorm's picture

Yay! I love your articles Mystic. Cept, I gots me one suggestion. In Pick 41, I would have taken the Mending Hands. Sure, the Urzatron is Great, but so are Combat Tricks, and Mending is one of the best white ones IMHO.

by Lord Erman at Mon, 04/30/2007 - 09:29
Lord Erman's picture

Nice packs! The lesson I learn from this draft of yours is actually not how mana screw and mana flood can effect your game in a draft but rather that sometimes with perfect decks you just lose in the first round and sometimes with less perfect decks you can even win the draft! So drafting is a way of gambling if you'd ask me and this article of yours is another proof of it. You have here a great deck and a great cardpool but you lost in the first round. Great article and it was fun to read it as always.