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By: TheWolf, Shane Garvey
May 10 2018 11:00am
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Dominaria has been out for a little while now, and I have played a bunch of sealed deck with the set and really enjoyed it. However, circumstances have conspired against me and prevented me from drafting - until now!

This draft is my first Dominaria draft, though I have played about 20 sealed matches (and have had a blast doing it). The games are long, deep and interesting, and I am enjoying this set much more than any since Kaladesh.

Read on to see what my first draft was like, as I break down every pick of every pack.

 

Pack 1 pick 1:

My Pick:

This wasn't an overly strong pack. Seal Away and The Eldest Reborn were the best cards here; I think either would have been a good choice. I favoured The Eldest Reborn slightly simply because I have had great fun playing it in sealed deck.


Pack 1 pick 2:

My Pick:

Wizard's Lightning slightly edged out Academy Drake and Academy Journeymage in this pack. These are three good cards and high picks, but Wizard's Lightning is the card I want to pick this early. I've found (in sealed at least) having good removal is important, and saving it for creatures you can't deal with is even more important than normal.

Pack 1 pick 3:

My Pick:

This pick was a bit harder. Aven Sentry and Deep Freeze are both okay, but I felt like Hallar, the Firefletcher has more upside. I don't know if I'll end up in this deck but I think it's the best card in this pack. I also think that by passing the white and blue cards, the player to my left will likely be in those two colours.

Pack 1 pick 4:

My Pick:

Baloth Gorger is the strongest card in this pack, and goes well with Hallar, the Firefletcher as well. Seeing that, Thorn Elemental and Yavimaya Sapherd here makes me think no one to my right is picking green, so I'm happy to move in on that colour now.

Pack 1 pick 5:

My Pick:

This is not a great pack for me. Vodalian Arcanist is probably the best card but I'm not interested in blue now. I took Gift of Growth over Aesthir Glider.

Pack 1 pick 6:

My Pick:

Again, not a fantastic pack for me. Bloodtallow Candle, while not the best card, is probably a bit underrated (just having it on the battlefield with 6 mana up - something that seems easy to do in this format - messes with combat in a profound way). It can also go in any deck, so I took it.

Pack 1 pick 7:

My Pick:

Seeing an Academy Journeymage seventh pick leads me to believe no one to my right is picking blue. I still think the player to my left will likely be in it, but with the abscence of any thing else in this pack, I took it.

Pack 1 pick 8:

My Pick:

I debated taking Arcane Flight here, but I really don't think I want to move in on blue. I took Arbor Armament as an average combat trick.

Pack 1 pick 9:

My Pick:

Back to my first pack, and every single red card I opened is still here. Of course, I'm not taking that as any sort of massive sign, as none of them are very good. Still, I decided to take Bloodstone Goblin over Run Amok, as I already had two tricks.

Pack 1 pick 10:

My Pick:

Llanowar Envoy was the obvious pick here. I'm leaning towards a red/green deck, but having one of these will help me splash The Eldest Reborn if I decide to.

Pack 1 pick 11:

My Pick:


Pack 1 pick 12:

My Pick:

Rampaging Cyclops is better than it looks, I think, especially in a beatdown deck where the opponent is trying to block as much as possible. I was not unhappy to take it here.

Pack 1 pick 13:

My Pick:


Pack 1 pick 14:

My Pick:


Pack 1 pick 15:

My Pick:


Pack 2 pick 1:

My Pick:

Well... this is a bad pack. Rite of Belzenlok is the best card, but the double black means I am not going to be splashing it. There is also nothing at all in red or green that I want. Luckily, there is a Skittering Surveyor; once again this will allow me to include a Swamp and splash The Eldest Reborn. 

Pack 2 pick 2:

My Pick:

This is a card I'm happy to pick up! Shivan Fire is a useful removal spell at multiple stages of the game, plus it synergises with Hallar nicely.

Pack 2 pick 3:

My Pick:

I've heard people say that Llanowar Elves is not that great in limited. I disagree. Being able to ramp out a Baloth Gorger on turn 3 will usually end badly for your opponent. I will happily play 1-2 Llanowar Elves in any green deck, and was very happy to take it here.

Pack 2 pick 4:

My Pick:

Thorn Elemental was the only pick for me in this pack. Having taken Llanowar Elves in the previous pack, Thorn Elemental will likely not be that difficult to cast, and I feel this is a good pick up.

Pack 2 pick 5:

My Pick:

A second Llanowar Elves (especially after taking the seven-drop before) makes me quite happy. As I said earlier, I probably don't want any more, but I will run both. It allows me to now look at some higher-cost spells as well.

Pack 2 pick 6:

My Pick:

I quite like Triumph of Gerrard, but it's not a card I want to splash. Instead, I'll take the Yavimaya Sapherd. 3/3 worth of stats spread across two creatures is a good rate.

Pack 2 pick 7:

My Pick:

As above.

Pack 2 pick 8:

My Pick:

I considered taking Memorial to Unity here, but in the end decided I wanted another beefy creature and took Primordial Wurm. With two Llanowar Elves I should be able to power this out easily and, while it is just a dumb vanilla creature, there is something to be said for the size of it, especially if I can get it on turn 5.

The rest of pack 2 was just dregs:

Pack 2 pick 9:

My Pick:


Pack 2 pick 10:

My Pick:


Pack 2 pick 11:

My Pick:


Pack 2 pick 12:

My Pick:


Pack 2 pick 13:

My Pick:


Pack 2 pick 14:

My Pick:


Pack 2 pick 15:

My Pick:


Pack 3 pick 1:

My Pick:

Okay, so, the adult pick here would have been Baloth Gorger. It fits my deck and would have made it better overall. But even though I am not going to play Mox Amber, it was worth enough tix that it paid for half the draft. So, I took it.

Pack 3 pick 2:

My Pick:

Thankfully, it didn't matter that I didn't take the Baloth Gorger last pack, as I got one here anyway.

Pack 3 pick 3:

My Pick:

Shivan Fire was another easy pick, for all the same reasons I said earlier. I wouldn't mind having the Mammoth Spider either though, so I hope it comes back.

Pack 3 pick 4:

My Pick:

At this point, I am looking to fill out my curve. I was low on three-drops so this pick came down to Llanowar Envoy or Aesthir Glider. I actually think I should have taken the Glider upon reflection, as evasive creatures are important in this format. 

Pack 3 pick 5:

My Pick:

I had two cards I was looking at here, Keldon Overseer or Yavimaya Sapherd. Both of them filled the three-drop slot I was looking for, but in the end I decided that because of the ramp I had, I would take the Overseer. Hitting your opponent with two haste creatures out of nowhere seems good.

Pack 3 pick 6:

My Pick:

Another kicker spell, and another useful one. It's probably better in green/white but I'm happy enough to take it here.

Pack 3 pick 7:

My Pick:

This is another card that I won't necessarily play, though the rummage ability can be useful. 

Pack 3 pick 8:

My Pick:


Pack 3 pick 9:

My Pick:


Pack 3 pick 10:

My Pick:

It's possible that Pardic Wanderer might come into the deck instead of Primordial Wurm. The trample ability is probably more useful than 2 extra power and 1 extra toughness.

Pack 3 pick 11:

My Pick:


Pack 3 pick 12:

My Pick:


Pack 3 pick 13:

My Pick:


Pack 3 pick 14:

My Pick:


Pack 3 pick 15:

My Pick:

 

 

The deck ended up as nothing fancy: just a classic red/green monsters/beatdown deck. I have some strong beaters in Baloth Gorger, Hallar and Thorn Elemental, and ways to ramp into them early with Llanowar Elves. I decided to put The Eldest Reborn in; the splash might not be worth it, but I like the card in sealed and wanted to play it. Including it, I have five removal spells, so I feel like I am set up to do reasonably well.

RESULTS

I ended up going 3-0 with the deck, facing a mirror match in round one (2-0), blue/red wizards in round two (2-1), and blue/black in round three (2-0). The deck played really well as a curve out, beat down deck; it was nothing fancy, but it worked. I even had my third round opponent concede after my turn 3 when I was on the play after I went Llanowar Elves into Llanowar Envoy into Baloth Gorger.

Speaking of Baloth Gorger, while it is just a dumb big green beast, the flexibility you get from it is great. I had no hesitations running it out as a 4/4 on turn 3 or 4, as that can be back breaking for the opponent. But a 7/7 for 8 mana - while not a great rate - is handy to have as well. 

Hallar wasn't as good as I hoped, but did the job. The black splash for The Eldest Reborn was well worth it - this is one of my favourite cards at the moment, having been able to play it in a few sealed decks as well. 

Dominaria is shaping up to be a fantastic set and I look forward to drafting it a bunch more.