TugaChampion's picture
By: TugaChampion, Guilherme Carmona Alexandrino
Oct 06 2010 10:09am
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  Pack 1 pick 1:

The 2 best cards are blue but they're so much better than anything else that I can't possibly not pick the insane bomb.
  My Pick:

  Pack 1 pick 2:

Now the 2 best cards are white and there's a rare missing. It could be anything really so I can't take any signals from that. It could very well be any titan, a baneslayer or some other stuff, although I ended up knowing it was an Obstinate Baloth because my round1 opp told me in the end. Staying on color means taking a much weaker card so I'll just slam another bomb that happens to put me in UW which is a good color combination.
  My Pick:

  Pack 1 pick 3:

Here I could stay in color and take the Siren but that's just weak this early. I prefer losing a Siren if I end up in blue than losing a good black card if I end up in black. I might even splash one of these. If that's the case than Sickness will be useless so I decided to take the card that is the most powerful and flexible in terms of color options.
  My Pick:

  Pack 1 pick 4:

Frost Titan is better than Serra Angel and Water Servant is better than Wild Griffin so this isn't an hard pick.
  My Pick:

  Pack 1 pick 5:

Cloud Crusader is significantly better than Scroll Thief and Unsummon. I could take the Thief as blue looks like the color I'll be staying with most likely but Serra Angel is that good to make me wanna stay in white too so I picked the flier. Infantry Veteran is also better than the blue cards but doesn't look like it will fit in my deck.
  My Pick:

  Pack 1 pick 6:

And suddenly 0 cards for me, except a random pump spell and a sideboard material counterspell. However there is a good red card so I'll take it just in case.
  My Pick:

  Pack 1 pick 7:

With at least 2 bombs in my deck, having a way to protect them seems nice. Palace Guard and Roc Egg are not good enough and if I want I'll be able to get 1 or 2 Guards easily. I don't want to pick the hound here as I only have 1 red card, although a good one that came late for some strange reason.
  My Pick:

  Pack 1 pick 8:

Only playable.
  My Pick:

  Pack 1 pick 9:

I don't like Diminish that much and I don't really want more than one Ice Cage so I took the Safe Passage.
  My Pick:

  Pack 1 pick 10:

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  Pack 1 pick 11:

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  Pack 1 pick 12:

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  Pack 1 pick 13:

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  Pack 1 pick 14:

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  Pack 1 pick 15:

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  Pack 2 pick 1:

BOOM!!! There is no reason not to take the risk and pick the Titan here. If I don't end up in red I only lose a Wild Griffin and I still make 5 tix out of the Titan. If I do move into red I'll have a Titan and a Phoenix losing a Serra Angel, a Cloud Crusader and the Wild Griffin, as well as some filler cards. This is really worth the risk considering that I passed so few red cards. The late Phoenix probably meant the packs just didn't have good red cards so I should be getting red this pack and probably in the last pack.
  My Pick:

  Pack 2 pick 2:

Even if I end up in white I'll end up in blue for sure. And the wall fits so much better in what is becoming a control deck with several powerful finishers.
  My Pick:

  Pack 2 pick 3:

Best card in the pack.
  My Pick:

  Pack 2 pick 4:

Another strange pack but at least there's a Gargoyle Sentinal. Without it I would take the Hawk but my deck will have several really powerful cards that I just want to make sure that no matter what I'll have enough good playables.
  My Pick:

  Pack 2 pick 5:

Here it's really hard. I just wish one of the 3 blue playable cards was in last pack. If I had both the Drake and the Adept my deck would be able to survive the early game much better. This was the hardest pick for me and I'm not really sure which is better. I felt like I could pick up some defensive ground guys and I would want 2 Drakes against other flier decks.
  My Pick:

  Pack 2 pick 6:

I don't need another 6 mana finisher because I have better ones, and I don't want a 2nd Negate against most decks. The Berserker doesn't fit the deck and will most likely trade for a 2/2 bear after I took 4 damage from it. So I just took the fixing which could allow me to splash Rise from the Grave.
  My Pick:

  Pack 2 pick 7:

Here's a defensive ground guy.
  My Pick:

  Pack 2 pick 8:

I already have 1 Diminish and 1 Ice Cage so I took the creature. It trades with 2/2s and with some bigger green creatures. This is a deck that really wants to trade to reach to the bombs.
  My Pick:

  Pack 2 pick 9:

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  Pack 2 pick 10:

Not exciting but not terrible and I don't want to be out of playables.
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  Pack 2 pick 11:

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  Pack 2 pick 12:

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  Pack 2 pick 13:

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  Pack 2 pick 14:

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  Pack 2 pick 15:

  My Pick:

  Pack 3 pick 1:

No complains about this pack either!
  My Pick:

  Pack 3 pick 2:

An early creature and a removal spell in one. Even if it won't always come down on turn2 it's still something I'm glad to take.

  My Pick:

  Pack 3 pick 3:

I always like having one.
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  Pack 3 pick 4:

This clearly shows that red is open but the packs just don't have red cards.
  My Pick:

  Pack 3 pick 5:

Card selection when your deck has so many powerful cards is always good.
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  Pack 3 pick 6:

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  Pack 3 pick 7:

If P3P4 Chandra's Outrage isn't enough to convince you that red is indeed open, this has to be!
  My Pick:

  Pack 3 pick 8:

Yes, I'll take another game breaking card.
  My Pick:

  Pack 3 pick 9:

Nice defensive card against fliers and combos with the pinger. These packs are really strange. If anyone close was red this wouldn't be here along with another playable red card and 2 semi playable.
  My Pick:

  Pack 3 pick 10:

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  Pack 3 pick 11:

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  Pack 3 pick 12:

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  Pack 3 pick 13:

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  Pack 3 pick 14:

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  Pack 3 pick 15:

  My Pick:

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So I end up with this really sick deck:

I decided to leave Diminish out. I'm not a fan of the card, even though I have a Pyromancer to combo with it. If I had 2 pingers I would play it for sure. However I paid attention in the matches in case Ice Cage was bad in which case I would exchange them. I could also side in both 2 power goblins if I faced a matched with several bears.

Thanks to MTGO amazing programming I only have the replays of R2G3 in the Games tab. I was lucky that I saved R1G1 while the draft was still active but after this the two finalists decided to split and kill my chances to get the other replays. So for the 3 games I don't have replays I'll just talk a bit about them.



Not much to say about this game. I played Air Servant because I wanted him to see if he had Doom Blade or Plummet and in case he had one, have a higher chance that my Embraced Servant survived. If I had played the Phoenix, he wouldn't have killed it.


I keep a hand with a Mountain, an Island, both Titans a Prodigal Pyromancer, an Azure Drake and a Gargoyle Sentinel on the draw. He plays a turn2 Nantuko Shade and a turn3 Brittle Effigy while I play Pyromancer on turn3 after drawing land, negate, Terramorphic Expanse. I'm at 16. On turn 4 he just attacks me to 12 keeping GB open. I draw a land and play the Drake. He plays (Sylavn Ranger) getting a Forest and passes. I draw another land and play the fetch and Gargoyle, knowing that in the next 2 turns I'm going to play 2 Titans. He just plays a Baloth which isn't clearly good enough. I play Inferno Titan killing the Shade and on his turn it gets removed. After this Frost Titan enters play and when I play Shiv's Embrace on it with Negate back up it's all over. One thing I missed was that I could have played Frost Titan tapping the Effigy but if he had a Doom Blade for it, he could take out the Titan after I played it anyway so I think taking care of the Shade before he had too much mana was the best play anyway. This is where he tells me he took Baloth over Serra Angel.


From the replays I see that he's playing an unfocused UWb deck. He does have a Mind Control and a Serra Angel but most other cards are aggro cards and several have double color costs.


He gets some early damage in but I'm able to take control, until he draws Serra Angel. I have Negate and Air Servant in hand but only 6 lands. I'm at a point where I can still take one more hit and from Serra and not die and still haven't found a land or anything relevant. I decide to just play the Servant and obviously he has the Mind Control.


The game gets to a really bad state for me where I'm at 15 and he has an Infantry Veteran, one or two irrelevant ground guys and an Assault Griffin. I'm pretty sure he has Mind Control in hand from the way he played but I don't have Negate so eventually I'll have to take a risk. I have Azure Drake, Magma Phoenix and Air Servant in hand and 6 lands in play. I have three ground creatures including a Wall of Frost. I play the Drake to see if he decides to steal it. He doesn't and gets me to 11. I play the Phoenix and pass. He steals the Drake, Pacifies the Phoenix and takes me to 7. I draw Unsummon so I play the Servant and hope he doesn't have much else. He attacks with both fliers, I block the Drake, he pumps it and I return it to my hand. I'm at 4 now and there's a Phoenix on the board, as well as a 3/2 flier that can attack for 4 if he deals with my Servant. I decide to now play around Condemn as it would give me an extra turn anyway because I don't want to give him more turns to topdeck a Doom Blade or something. So I keep beating for 6 until he dies.


I made the mistake not returning the Phoenix once but it wasn't relevant I think. However I should have waited until the end of turn to ping the Veteran. I was playing around Safe Passage but that would be just bad for him. I was really surprised by the Flashfreeze as I was pretty sure he had 1 counter in hand but not 2. Also if he didn't have Mind Control in hand I would have probably win if he wasn't playing Inspired Charge which after 2 replays and 3 games doesn't seem a card he should be playing. Sure, his deck can get some aggro draws but when you have Serra Angel and Mind Control you don't want situational racing/pump cards I think. The second gravedigger was game breaking too.

I feel I was really unlucky to not win the whole thing and I wish MTGO didn't have all these annoying bugs so I could have all the replays. Still this draft was interesting enough for me to write about. I hope you liked it.


I enjoyed it. I almost didn't by Westane at Wed, 10/06/2010 - 12:10
Westane's picture

I enjoyed it. I almost didn't read it due to the title, but that just goes to show how much psychology revolves around every facet of presentation. I'm not speaking down to you at all, just thinking out loud. That said, I actually really like the format, and will consider, um, borrowing it for my future draft articles XD. I, like so many other readers/writers here, read Pure from work, so having the hybrid written/video format is just great, and has only made me realize how much I've fallen back on that media for my articles. I say an article that makes others want to improve is a 5-star in my book! Also, nice draft, pulling two titans is good tech, I'll try to mimic that strategy in the future XD.

thanks by TugaChampion at Wed, 10/06/2010 - 12:45
TugaChampion's picture

Thanks for the reply. I'm sorry about the title but I'm not very creative when it comes to titles. It doesn't help that English is not my first language.

I like the videos CFB style but that's not something I want to do because even the pros make mistakes when they're not focused only on the draft, so I can't imagine how many times I would punt if I was doing it that way. I realize it's the best way to describe what is going on at the time of the picks/plays but I'll leave that to the pros.

But if I'm not doing it CFB style, I prefer putting the draft there because it's so much easier and faster to do it and the same is true for the reader. I don't like the way some articles here do the pick presentation because you have to keep click to go forward instead of just scrolling down and that way you can't comment on each pick.

For the games, again if it's not CFB style, I like videos and than some written commentary. That way it prevents some comments "why did you do this?" or "you should have this instead of that" when you already have an explanation for those situations.

One word about the format: I hated M10 limited, both sealed and draft but I really like M11 in both. Sure it's a core set so it won't have much synergy but they still managed to make the RB sac outlets + skeleton and act of treason archetype viable while balancing the colors much more than in M10. One year ago I only played in M10 ptq but this time I played both M11 ptqs and I plan on playing the 3rd even though it starts at a bad hour for me. The only thing I don't like in M11 is Primeval Titan because it makes ramp deck viavle in constructed.

"Cloud Crusader is by Odindusk at Wed, 10/06/2010 - 14:21
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"Cloud Crusader is significantly better than Scroll Thief"

To me, it's not even better yet alone significantly better. I slam the Scroll Thief here.

Fun draft! Double titan... livin' the dream.

Bah, just two by Effovex at Wed, 10/06/2010 - 14:28
Effovex's picture

A player opened Frost, Inferno and Grave titan in his three packs at my local store 3 weeks ago. He played all three (and lost to a deck with two mind controls, har har har)

That's not true so early in by TugaChampion at Wed, 10/06/2010 - 15:03
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That's not true so early in the draft. If you already have some removal and 1 or 2 eather adepts than scroll thief becomes much better but that's in a specific deck. There are more decks where the crusader is better.

i think u played very wrong by seydaneen at Wed, 10/06/2010 - 16:06
seydaneen's picture

i think u played very wrong last game. why didnt u play air servant, when you played drake?

Because he had Mind Control by TugaChampion at Wed, 10/06/2010 - 16:13
TugaChampion's picture

Because he had Mind Control in his deck and almost for sure it was in his hand. Not only that but at the end of G2, before I topdecked Unsummon (without it on that turn I would have lost almost for sure) he told me he had 2 Mind Control in his deck.

you cant play around by seydaneen at Wed, 10/06/2010 - 17:07
seydaneen's picture

you cant play around everything. imho, That is not a good reason to hold air servant at hand, while he is beating you with angel. you only have that luxury if you already have the board dominance.

In this case his plays by TugaChampion at Wed, 10/06/2010 - 17:59
TugaChampion's picture

In this case his plays suggest it does have (and if fact he had). So it was correct to play around it at least for a while. After that I got 2 better options which got countered.

Your ratings are very by Baldr7 at Wed, 10/06/2010 - 16:39
Baldr7's picture

Your ratings are very off.
crusader>scroll thief?
Azure drake> Aether Adept?
these arent even negotiable.
also, you're overrating Ember Hauler and Shiv Embrace. the embrace suffers from the same problem as armored ascension, in that its effect is not powerful enough for its cost and the risk of a 2-for-1. also, ember hauler is good, but i would never take it as a sign that red is open

not even negotiable is a bold by TugaChampion at Wed, 10/06/2010 - 18:03
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not even negotiable is a bold statement. Drake vs Adept it's close and I admit I wasn't sure and it was probably a mistake. Crusader vs thief? The thief is only good when the deck goes a certain way. Crusader dominates every other common flier except for the black shade but that is very mana intensive.

And sure, embrace opens yourself to a 2 for 1. But it is so powerful that it's worth it. Usually 2 or 3 hits kill your opp. When paired with blue you'll have counters anyway. Ember Hauler is a signal if it comes late.

Those are definitely very by StealthBadger at Thu, 10/07/2010 - 06:41
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Those are definitely very very negotiable.

I'd probably take scroll thief over crusader, but i'd take azure drake over aether adept a lot of (if not all of) the time.

Hacking your mygames file by Godot at Wed, 10/06/2010 - 17:35
Godot's picture

Pro Tip: track your game numbers during matches of drafts you are considering writing up. Any missing games can be added to your [username].mygames file by opening it in notepad. Simply copy an existing game line, paste it in, and change the game number only (the other stuff doesn't need to be changed), and save. The added games will be replayable upon restarting MTGO.

Does that work with any games by Flippers_Giraffe at Wed, 10/06/2010 - 17:38
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Does that work with any games ie; non draft ones as well?

See below: yes. Any game by Godot at Wed, 10/06/2010 - 19:18
Godot's picture

See below: yes. Any game played on MTGO that is not casual/unwatchable can be viewed from your games tab with this technique.

Godot. I love you. by Westane at Wed, 10/06/2010 - 17:47
Westane's picture

Godot. I love you.

WOW! Thanks for the great by TugaChampion at Wed, 10/06/2010 - 18:05
TugaChampion's picture

WOW! Thanks for the great info! It's funny that I asked the ORCs if it was possible to see a replay when the draft is over if they aren't in the GAMES tab and they said it was impossible. They should have mentioned this. It's really something I don't understand...

I'm not even sure all the by Godot at Wed, 10/06/2010 - 19:17
Godot's picture

I'm not even sure all the ORCs know about the trick, and I'm sure the ones that do aren't allowed to openly condone hacking an MTGO file like that. It's like turning to Apple Customer Support for details on how to jailbreak your iPhone.

It works for ANY game that was not specifically listed as not watchable in one of the casual rooms, not just games you were in. If you add a game you weren't in, you will view it as though observing, with no hand info revealed.

Also, some old games just flat-out aren't watchable, I think it's a server-side thing. This hack works for all recent games though.

The real trick is remembering to note your game numbers before the end of a draft. If your opponent concedes game three in the finals of an 84 and you didn't screen cap it or write it down, if the replay was lost, you are pretty out of luck at that point.

That is great! Thanks once by TugaChampion at Wed, 10/06/2010 - 19:23
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That is great! Thanks once again!

Try it at home! by Godot at Wed, 10/06/2010 - 19:26
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Here's an entry from the "Notes" column of one of my ROE drafts:

"74242232 was quite a game, esp for R3G3"

I have no idea why I wrote that note, but you could go hack your file and find out for yourself.


Ha! I actually tried it for this game, and got a "replay unavailable" error. I don't know if they clear out old game data or what, but it has been reliable for recent games when working on an article, etc.

Seems like you had a good by Xaoslegend at Wed, 10/06/2010 - 19:59
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Seems like you had a good opportunity to splash a few black recursion cards to make your titans that much more unstoppable if you have just given up on white earlier.


pack1 I picked 4 white cards. by TugaChampion at Thu, 10/07/2010 - 06:55
TugaChampion's picture

pack1 I picked 4 white cards. The last 2 there was nothing else in the pack and I certainly wouldn't pick anything p1p2 other than Serra Angel. And when I picked Crusader there were no good black cards. It was between Crusader vs Thief. How could I have splashed black by giving up on white earlier?

Mostly I'm looking at the by Xaoslegend at Thu, 10/07/2010 - 07:14
Xaoslegend's picture

Mostly I'm looking at the wall of frost pick vs gravedigger, and not splashing the rise from the grave in the final build, these are inclusions I would have made and would rather have had the gravedigger in my pile at that point than the wall of frost. I think you had a mentality because of earlier white picks that you weren't going to splash anything but white and so overlooked other options i picking and building.


Actually if I splashed it by TugaChampion at Thu, 10/07/2010 - 07:54
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Actually if I splashed it wouldn't be white because the only card worth splashing was Serra Angel and she has double cost. I would never pick gravedigger over wall of frost in that situation. At that point I'm firmly in blue. The second color is probably red and maybe white. Since I haven't made a final decision on the 2nd color I couldn't risk taking a card that I could splash instead of a card in my main color. Also the wall was what my deck needed: a defensive creature that could hold most ground creatures. I did consider splashing Rise from the Grave but the deck was so good that it didn't need the extra power by sacrificing consistency.

Tuga, With 2 azure drakes and by Xaoslegend at Thu, 10/07/2010 - 20:08
Xaoslegend's picture


With 2 azure drakes and lots of filler that serves similar roles like armored cancrix and cayon minotaur in your maindeck I don't see the arguement that the deck didnt need any extra help.

Ive never been that thrilled with wall of frost except in a dedicated skies deck anyway. I tend to shy away from splashing myself but in this case i think it was warrented.

I agree about the double white which is why it was easy for me to discount the white early on. In any case thats fine I'll agree to disagree here.

Good luck in the future with it


Uhm, I see something strange by Thisismich at Thu, 10/07/2010 - 09:38
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Uhm, I see something strange going on in pack 2... After you passed an air servant, augury owl, 2 quag sicknesses, a gravedigger and a scroll thief I would say that your opponent on the left was most likely to be in blue/black with a possible white splash for the pacifism instead of the owl, then in pack 2 you suddenly get passed 2 azure drakes, an aether adept and another scroll thief...
Also, I agree with the aether adept being better than the drake, a little less with the scroll thief being better than the cloud crusader (in that situation, overall the thief is probably the pick) and I totally agree on the ember hauler not being necessarily a sign that red is open, I would consider the fire servant in that very pack to be a better signal along with the act of treason. The hellhound is not a terrible card also in red heavy decks and it wheeled too, so...
I don't see any particular mistakes in the last game, I would probably have played the air servant instead of the titan but it would have been stolen instead of the pyromancer.
Gratz on your 4 packs anyway.

Thanks but I lost in the by TugaChampion at Thu, 10/07/2010 - 10:11
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Thanks but I lost in the second round so no packs for me :(

Deck construction by Jyalt at Fri, 10/08/2010 - 15:10
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The deck you used is too clogged at the 4cc slot. You have a great long term strategy of titans, so the point is surviving until turn six and stopping quick races, and also digging for the bombs. In P2P7 that means I'd have taken Sorcerer's Strongbox above Armored Cancrix. Personally I like Diminish more than Ice Cage because I always draft my decks with a random creature than can remove it. Diminish also throws off combat math in a real pinch situation, and I would have jumped at playing it in the same deck as Prodigal Pyromancer.

The deck I'd have submitted for the draft would be like yours, but
-Armored Cancrix
-2 Canyon Minotaur
-Ice Cage

+Sorcerer's Strongbox
+Bloodcrazed Goblin (it can still block and save you a bunch of early damage)
+Goblin Piker