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By: TheWolf, Shane Garvey
Aug 15 2018 12:00pm
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I'm back this week with another look at Core Set 2019 draft. I have to admit I haven't played a great deal of it - after Dominaria, this set hasn't held my attention anywhere near as much. Still, it's not a bad format, and I still enjoy drafting it a few times a week. 

Let's jump into a draft - if you disagree with any of the picks or the reasons, I would love to hear them in the comments below.

 Pack 1 pick 1:

As always, we want to start with the most powerful card in the pack, and for this one it's pretty easy: Murder. It's the best removal spell in the set and head and shoulders above anything else in the pack. In fact, the only other card I'd be interested in first picking is Meteor Golem, and it's just not on the level of Murder.

My Pick:

Pack 1 pick 2:

This is a pretty good pack. Vampire Neonate is one of the top black commons and has proven to be good time and again. Pegasus Courser isn't as good as it was in Dominaria, but it's still good. Take Vengeance is solid removal and, while conditional, white decks will run it. I'm a fan of Aven Wind Mage as blue/red spells is my favourite archetype. Rabid Bite is a good green removal spell and works quite well in this set. I quite like Gravedigger, especially if you have some good creatures to return. Volley Veteran is a mini Flametongue Kavu and is a solid red card you can draft around. Finally, there is Spit Flame, an excellent removal spell that, if you are lucky, can be bought back and used again and again. 

Whew! Indeed, quite a good pack.

My Pick:

Let's break down how I came to pick Spit Flame. There are three removal spells in the pack, and Spit Flame is the best of them, so I could eliminate Rabid Bite and Take Vengeance straight away. Out of the creatures, they are all of a similar power level. Vampire Neonate and Gravedigger go better with my first pick, but Volley Veteran is probably the strongest creature. This rules out Aven Wind Mage and Pegasus Courser.

So that brings me down to four cards. Out of the creatures, I think Volley Veteran is the best, and the upside is better than staying with a black card to go with Murder. Now, I have Spit Flame versus Volley Veteran. I think Spit Flame is a bit better, especially if I can buy it back, so that was the pick.

Pack 1 pick 3:

In this pack, there are a couple of good blue cards, with Aviation Pioneer and Essence Scatter, as well as a couple of good green cards in Bristling Boar and Pelakka Wurm. There is also Druid of Horns which is an alright build around card. There are no good black or red cards to go with my first two picks. 

My Pick:

Pelakka Wurm is a bomb and so was an easy pick here. 

Pack 1 pick 4:

This pack has a few good cards I'd be happy to pick. Skyscanner is a good card that can go in most decks; Electrify is probably a sign that red is open; and Skilled Animator is one of the best cards in the white/blue artifacts deck. In fact, if I had have taken Aviation Pioneer in the previous pack, I would have been thrilled with the Animator next.

My Pick:

As good as Skilled Animator is, I don't want to take a fourth colour. I think Electrify signals that red is open, so I am going to take that to go with Spit Flame.

Pack 1 pick 5:

This pack was a very interesting pick. The best card in the pack is probably Brawl-Bash Ogre, but there is also a Disperse, Boggart Brute, Suspicious Bookcase and Gigantosaurus.

My Pick:

With the cards I had so far, I wasn't looking to take Disperse or the Bookcase here. I also only had one green card, so didn't want to commit heavily by taking Gigantosaurus. So that leaves me with Boggart Brute and Brawl-Bash Ogre. I could have taken the Ogre and gone into black/red, as it would have gone well with three of the picks. Or I could take the Boggart Brute and stay in red and stay open, waiting to see if it was going to be black or green that would be my secondary colour. In the end I played it safe by taking the Brute.

Pack 1 pick 6:

This pack also has some good picks. Divination is a good blue card, but do I want to move into blue? There is Gallant Cavalry in white, and I also have Poison-Tip Archer in black/green. Finally, there is Rhox Oracle and Ghirapur Guide in green.

My Pick:

I don't want to move to another colour, so ruled out Divination and Gallant Cavalry. I also didn't want to move away from red by taking the gold card. So that left the two green cards. They are both about equal power level, and I always default to the lower cost card in this circumstance.

Pack 1 pick 7:

Well, this pack isn't great; Rhox Oracle is the only decent card. This is beginning to cement me in red/green.

My Pick:

Pack 1 pick 8:

Snapping Drake and Daggerback Basilisk are the best cards left here.

My Pick:

I'm not taking a blue card so Basilisk it is.

Pack 1 pick 9:

My Pick:

Oakenform is the only card for me in this pack.

Pack 1 pick 10:

I'm quite surprised to see Pegasus Courser come this late; it might be a sign white is open, though I haven't seen that much good white. There is also another Oakenform.

My Pick:

I don't really want to move into white, so I took Oakenform.

Pack 1 pick 11:

Here I had a choice between a good sideboard card in Plummet, or the Druid of Horns from earlier. 

My Pick:

Having just taken two auras, I decided to take the Druid of Horns.

Pack 1 pick 12:

Talons of Wildwood goes well with the Druid of Horns I just took, while again, Plummet is a good sideboard card.

My Pick:

This time I decided to take Plummet.

Pack 1 pick 13:

My Pick:

Pack 1 pick 14:

My Pick:

Pack 1 pick 15:

My Pick:

Pack 2 pick 1:

This pack is pretty bad for me, considering what I had taken so far. The best cards are Essence Scatter, Skymarch Bloodletter and Horizon Scholar, with the cards in red and green being nothing to write home about. I already had some Oakenforms and with what my deck was shaping up to do, Goblin Instigator probably wouldn't make the cut. 

My Pick:

I decided to hedge my bets a little bit here and took Skymarch Bloodletter. I had a very good black card in Murder already, and I only had three playable red cards, so maybe I would end up in black green.

Pack 2 pick 2:

In this pack, I have no good black cards, which puts the plan of looking at black to rest. Instead, the best card for me is Sparktongue Dragon, followed by either Thornhide Wolves or Hostile Minotaur.

My Pick:

Pack 2 pick 3:

This pick was actually a little tough. Here I have Boggart Brute, a good attacking beatdown creature that wears an Oakenform really well, or Elvish Rejuvenator, which will help me ramp into the Pelakka Wurm. There is also a Skeleton Archer if I want to try and go into black, or a Skyscanner if I want to take a colourless card.

My Pick:

It quickly came down to either Boggart Brute or Elvish Rejuvenator. I think either pick would have been correct, but I went with Boggart Brute, which has been a solid performer for me so far.

Pack 2 pick 4:

This pack has four interesting picks for me. Talons of Wildwood is one of the better auras, and goes well with Druid of the Horns; Hostile Minotaur and Havoc Devils are both average four drops but do solid work in a beatdown deck; and Giant Spider is a good defensive card for green decks.

My Pick:

I like Havoc Devils a bit more than Hostile Minotaur simply due to one having trample. I also like them better than the green cards for the type of deck I was trying to build here.

Pack 2 pick 5:

This is a pretty bad pack for me; two of the cards are essentially unplayable while the third is very replaceable.

My Pick:

Pack 2 pick 6:

A sixth pick Electrify? There is also a Plummet - which is a good sideboard card - and another Oakenform, but I wasn't going to take them over Electrify.

My Pick:

Pack 2 pick 7:

Ghastbark Twins is not better than Pelakka Wurm at seven mana, but it's still serviceable. Plus it's the only on-colour card.

My Pick:

Pack 2 pick 8:

My choice of taking Boggart Brute earlier has paid off, as I now end up with an Elvish Rejuevnator.

My Pick:

The rest of this pack went as follows:

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:

Our rare for the final pack is Patient Rebuilding and it makes me wish I was in blue. This is a very strong card, but I won't be able to take it here. Instead, I'm looking between Ghirapur Guide, Reclamation Sage and Siegebreaker Giant.

My Pick:

I needed to lower my curve a little as I had not found much in the way of ramp yet, so I ruled out the Giant. I decided to pick Ghirapur Guide over Reclamation Sage as it means my bigger creatures cannot be chump blocked, and allows me to possibly squeeze through that extra damage.

Pack 3 pick 2:

If the person I am passing to is in blue, they are going to be very happy after having Patient Rebuilding and now Psychic Corrosion. I quickly ruled out the Oakenform,  which left Rhox Oracle, Havoc Devils and Greenwood Sentinel.

My Pick:

Whilst the Sentinel is the worst of the three cards I was looking at, once again I had a curve to consider. Plus, Oakenform onto the Sentinel on turn 3 gives you a 5/5 vigilance creature, which is pretty good.

Pack 3 pick 3:

This was a tough pick. I quickly narrowed it down to Colossal Majesty, a fantastic card if you can support it, or Declare Dominance which essentially reads "you win the game" when it is cast.

My Pick:

Declare Dominance on a Daggerback Basilisk does a pretty good impersonation of a one-sided Wrath of God if you can pull it off, and having taken a Basilisk earlier, I decided to go with this over Colossal Majesty.

Pack 3 pick 4:

My Pick:

This was sort of a nothing pick - it's not likely I'll play any of the cards in this pack.

Pack 3 pick 5:

It's quite interesting seeing another Electrify this late into a pack. It seems to be a massive signal for red, but yet I am not seeing a ton of good red cards. There is also a Gift of Paradise here which goes well with wanting to ramp into Pelakka Wurm.

My Pick:

I decided to take the Gift of Paradise over the third Electrify. Removal is pretty important in this format, but ramping to the Wurm will probably win me most games.

Pack 3 pick 6:

My Pick:

This pick was a pretty easy Centaur Courser over Giant Spider, as I wanted to be attacking instead of blocking.

Pack 3 pick 7:

Trumpet Blast is not a card I want unless I'm in a go-wide strategy, which this deck does not do. But this pack does have a Titanic Growth, which is probably the best or second best combat trick in the set and is something my deck wants, or Goblin Motivator which can also be useful in a deck like this.

My Pick:

Titanic Growth has more power than the Goblin, so that was what I took.

Pack 3 pick 8:

Well... apart form Loxodon Line Breaker, every other card is on colour. And apart from Lava Axe, everything would fit into my deck. 

My Pick:

The Declare Dominance pick from earlier decided what I was taking here. It just combos so well with Daggerback Basilisk that I took it here.

Pack 3 pick 9:

I'm really only interested in highland Game or Goblin Motivator here, and both are very replaceable.

My Pick:

Giving something like a Havoc Devils haste is not too bad, so I think it was a better pick than Highland Game.

The remaining picks to round out the draft were:

Pack 3 pick 10:

My Pick:

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 turned out fine, giving me a 2-1 record and losing 1-2 in the finals. I could blame mana screw in the last game, as I drew only two lands, but in truth I think my opponent would have run over the top of me anyway.

The deck performed well as a beatdown deck, though having 1-2 Druid of the Cowl would have made a huge difference, I feel. I did get to love the dream of casting Declare Dominance on a Daggerback Basilisk, attacking into my opponent's board of exactly 5 creatures which meant I killed all of them. Needless to say, I won that game!

That's all for this week. As always, you can catch me on Twitter. Until next time, happy drafting!


Poison-Tip Archer by IYankemDDS at Wed, 08/15/2018 - 22:28
IYankemDDS's picture

Love it! I think I would have taken Poison-Tip Archer at P1P6, even though RG seemed like the right base. I have not been around to splash, or even double splash due to the dual lands in this format.

Nice article, thanks. How by MichelleWong at Fri, 08/17/2018 - 09:42
MichelleWong's picture

Nice article, thanks.

How could there be only 1,600 reads and 2 comments despite all the mothership support? Hope more people see this article.

I think the views counter is by TheWolf at Fri, 08/17/2018 - 20:07
TheWolf's picture

I think the views counter is broken, which I believe it has been an issue in the past as well. This article has ten times the views of others from the same time period, so I think that is what has happened.

Yeah the bug that hits the by JXClaytor at Fri, 08/17/2018 - 20:11
JXClaytor's picture

Yeah the bug that hits the view counter is back!

I have sent the appropriate emails.

I can't wait for M19 to go by CheshirePlaysGames at Tue, 08/21/2018 - 00:27
CheshirePlaysGames's picture

I can't wait for M19 to go away, TBH :P