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By: xger, Xger
Oct 05 2017 12:00pm
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Ixalan is upon--the dinosaurs have returned, and the pirates are raiding. Of course, in my first foray, neither of those groups are not in the cards for me, so I find shelter with the hordes of Vampires that call Ixalan home....

The Draft

Going into the draft, I assumed that not only was Red Green Dinosaurs likely the strongest if you got the cards, but it was also the most likely pairing people will try to play, and try to force it. So, my plan was to stay open and hope to end up in some form of Naya Dinosaurs...

  Pack 1 pick 1:

  My Pick:

There's a few options here. I think any of Vanquisher's Banner, Imperial Aerosaur, or Ranging Raptors are fine, though nothing amazing. I could also see an argument for Skymarch Bloodletter or Headstrong Brute, but I think both of those want certain decks, so I think they are a bit weaker as first picks. In the end, I decide on the Banner mainly because it let's me stay open and it will go in most any deck. It seems unlikely that I would not be playing it, so it seems the clear first pick.

  Pack 1 pick 2:

  My Pick:

This pack has a number of options, and seems better than my opening pack overall. Conqueror's Galleon seems interesting, though it's not the type of card that I want to be testing out early in a format. It could be great in a controlling deck, but those tend to be the hardest to draft well early on. It seems high risk, but since this was my first draft of the format, I played it safe. Before the prerelease, I was high on Territorial Hammerskull, and the prerelease confirmed that. It's an aggressive card that can do a lot of work, so it seems like the best choice. I think that Marauding Looter could be the right pick as well, as the repeated loot can be huge advantage. Otherwise, either of the green cards seems good, and Adanto Vanguard seems to have promise. None seemed to compare to the Tappasaur, though.

  Pack 1 pick 3:

  My Pick:

Nothing in this pack is inspiring. There are a number of playables, but nothing exciting. Headstrong Brute might be strong, but I am not sure I want to go into the deck at this point. Deathless Ancient is probably the pick I should have made in hindsight. I had heard decent things about the potential of Sunrise Seeker, so I decided on it, basically so that I can stay white and leave my options open.

  Pack 1 pick 4:

  My Pick:

There's an interesting choice as this point. I can grab the Raptor Companion and stay white and try W/G or W/R dinos, but I am unsure of the strength of those based on what I've seen in the packs at this point. Another problem with that is, if I take the white card, I leave Frenzied Raptor, so the signal would be that Red dinos might be open. I am unsure of Frenzied Raptor in itself, because it trades with nearly all of the 2-drops, so it might be deceptive. Then, there is Unfriendly Fire, which seems quite swingy. One game it might be the card that saves the game, and another, the 5 cost might mean it is effectively dead. On the other hand, Skulduggery is a card that greatly overperformed for me and others that I watched play it. So, I let that recent bias guide my decision.

  Pack 1 pick 5:

  My Pick:

Honestly, this pack doesn't seem hard to me. Most of the cards are 20-23rd cards, not something I want pick 5. Paladin of the Bloodstained is serviceable, and since White is my primary at this point, it seems the clear choice. If I had thought Merfolk seems open enough, I would have considered moving on in River Heralds' Boon, but it didn't seem open.

  Pack 1 pick 6:

  My Pick:

By this point, White seems open, so I decide to go in on a second color. I consider trying Blossom Dryad and going big W/G, but that isn't the best intro into. On the other hand, my prerelease showed me that fliers are super valuable. Skymarch Bloodletter seems good in a normal deck, and quite good in vampires, so I decide to try out that.

  Pack 1 pick 7:

  My Pick:

Of course, the turn after thinking White is open, I get a weak pack for B/W. I decide on the Fathom Fleet Cutthroat on the idea that if I attack with an army of tokens, I can kill something that eats one of the tokens.

  Pack 1 pick 8:

  My Pick:

And then, it seems like Vampires might be open overall. While expensive, Anointed Deacon becomes really good when you have an army of 1/1 lifelink tokens. I'm not convinced Wanted Scoundrels isn't a trap, so I passed on that.

  Pack 1 pick 9:

  My Pick:

I guess the trick is fine, though the "vampire" bonus is largely irrelevant, though again it might matter with 1/1 tokens.

  Pack 1 pick 10:

  My Pick:

Having Adanto Vanguard come back around is a clear sign that no one else is drafting Vampires, or at least it seems quite unlikely. For a 10th pick, this seems like quite the catch for how my deck is shaping up.

  Pack 1 pick 11:

  My Pick:

Elaborate Firecannon is a card I have tried to play, but never got the opportunity. It does seem like it could be quite good in an aggressive deck, where it gives reach and helps mitigate flooding. However, it is unlikely to actually make my deck.

  Pack 1 pick 12:

  My Pick:

  Pack 1 pick 13:

  My Pick:

If my deck is aggressive enough, I might play this. It also works well with a swarm.

  Pack 1 pick 14:

  My Pick:

I might play two of Vampire's Zeal, but it is unlikely.

Pack 1 Results:

While not the most inspiring, it seems solid and like a good basis for a deck.
  Pack 2 pick 1:

  My Pick:

Unfortunately, I didn't open anything in the Vampire deck. At the same time, I didn't really open anything super amazing in any tribe. There are respectable dinosaurs in Sun-Crowned Hunters and Colossal Dreadmaw, but neither is enough to try and shift at this point. So, I take the safe pick of another Paladin of the Bloodstained.

  Pack 2 pick 2:

  My Pick:

Here, I am actually considering dropping black and picking a different color. I am still primarily a White deck, so I could pick up the Pounce or Snapping Sailback and attempt a swing into a W/G deck. The concern is that I don't really know how well that will play out over the next two packs, since I wasn't really sending a signal that I was in green--I took no green cards. Neither of the two cards are bombs in their own right, especially to a level to make me switch at this point. So, in the end, I take Skulduggery as a relatively safe pick.

  Pack 2 pick 3:

  My Pick:

This is a fairly clear pick, as there are not many options period, let alone ones that fight my deck. I need the removal, so this is a clear win.

  Pack 2 pick 4:

  My Pick:

This is probably the first real pick of my deck, where I have Queen's Commission, Sheltering Light, Queen's Bay Soldier, or Blight Keeper. I have several 1 CMC tricks, so Sheltering Light doesn't fit a need for my deck, even if it is respectable on it's own. I'm leaning toward a go wide strategy, as that seems like the way to play Vampires, which makes me want Queen's Commission. Blight Keeper seems like a weak option, as it seems best as a Raid enabler.

  Pack 2 pick 5:

  My Pick:

I really want the Contract Killing here, as more removal would be very helpful. But, Mavren Fein, Dusk Apostle will probably do far more work with my deck, and it is an engine on it's own. So, I take it, and really hope to find Rallying Roar--though it's an uncommon...

  Pack 2 pick 6:

  My Pick:

There's not much here to me, as I am unsure that Dusk Legion Dreadnought will be a good choice. It's interesting, but I don't know that a 4/6 for 5 is somewhere a B/W Vampires deck wants to be, and I am not sure what decks it would be helpful against. On the other hand, a second Anointed Deacon can break through a lot of board stalls with relative ease.

  Pack 2 pick 7:

  My Pick:

I am shorter on 2 drops than 4 drops, so Dire Fleet Hoarder is the pick. I hope to not have to play it, as it does not synergize with my deck and that would be the main benefit to playing a mainly vanilla 2/1 for 2.

  Pack 2 pick 8:

  My Pick:

This is a clear win for my deck, as I am short on 2's and this is one of the better 2 drops overall (at least at common). It fits the deck nicely and allows for some good racing.

  Pack 2 pick 9:

  My Pick:

Similar to the black pirate 2 drop, this is card that I am willing to play, but would rather not. I supposed I could have taken Dusk Legion Dreadnought, but I feel less likely to play the ship than the 3 drop.

  Pack 2 pick 10:

  My Pick:

I'm fairly skeptical that I would actually play Queen's Agent as it is at best a 6 mana 4/4 lifelink. It does fit the deck as a Vampire, but it will likely be sidelined as the top of the deck.

  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 1 and 2 Results:

I am happy with how the deck is coming together, but I would like some more lower curve cards and removal. The 5th pick Mavren Fein, Dusk Apostle leads me to believe that I correctly read the signals and am in the right deck, which is nice.
  Pack 3 pick 1:

  My Pick:

By this point of the draft, the only reasonable options are Bishop's Soldier and Inspiring Cleric. Maybe Duress, but that would be a sideboard card, whereas the other two would likely be in the main deck. Overall, I think a 2/2 lifelinker for 2 is better than a 3/2 3 drop that gains a one shot of life. The 2 drop will mostly trade for the same creatures, comes down earlier, and has much more life gain potential. Honestly, I don't even know if Inspiring Cleric is a good card in a deck that needs 3 drops, it just seems so meh.

  Pack 3 pick 2:

  My Pick:

Sanguine Sacrament appears to be a Vampire card, but it is just bad in limited. So, the choice comes down to Pious Interdiction or Contract Killing. I am hoping to rush offense enough that I believe the 4 CMC removal is better than a 5 CMC, even with the trade off of leaving it on the battle field.

  Pack 3 pick 3:

  My Pick:

While I already have an assortment of 1 CMC tricks and pseudo-removal, I think Sheltering Light is dinstinct enough from my current options that I think it'll be a valuable option to consider. It seems better than the second Vampire's Zeal, for instance. I could have taken the Queen's Commission, but I am feeling slightly heavy on the 3 drop slot, so I decide the trick is better.

  Pack 3 pick 4:

  My Pick:

This is probably one of the most ideal cards for me to get in this pack, as it is a low curve creature, and a particularly strong one in the Vampire deck. It does quite a lot--it allows more life gain through Lifelink, and it makes blocking quite difficult if I am swinging with a lot of creatures. Honestly, I didn't even really consider any other card with any seriousness.

  Pack 3 pick 5:

  My Pick:

At this point, I should have a good assortment of 1/1's, and so this allows a straight upgrade to Sleek Schooner. I could go with another Queen's Commission, but again I think the versatility of other options is going to be better than the extra copy of Queen's Commission.

  Pack 3 pick 6:

  My Pick:

I do debate a bit here between Bishop's Soldier and Steadfast Armasaur. The Armasaur is quite strong and can make attacking a nightmare. But, it is also very different than everything else in my deck. Also, I probably already have enough cards above 3, so I am a bit wary of another high cost card. So, I think the additional Bishop's Soldier is worth it over the dino.

  Pack 3 pick 7:

  My Pick:

It was a black card.

  Pack 3 pick 8:

  My Pick:

It's nice to get another one, and I won't play the first Sunrise Seeker, so a second is worthless.

  Pack 3 pick 9:

  My Pick:

My deck is fairly heavy White, so adding Blight Keeper seems risky and likely to throw off my deck. It will be difficult to have two different color 1 drops that I really want to play turn 1. On that reasoning, a sideboard card that is usually better played later seems like a better choice.

  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:

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The Deck

Overall, I am okay with the draft, but not super thrilled. I am missing a mass pump spell to really pull the deck together. The build process wasn't too difficult as it really came down to a few decisions:

  • Was 16 or 17 lands right? Once I cut Queen's Agent, my curve was pretty low. Given what I was trying to do with the deck, mana flood would nearly guarantee a loss, so I went with 16. Generally, I tend to think less land is okay more often than a lot of players would, though.
  • Which combination of the 1 CMC cards to play? The only super obvious choice was Duskborne Skymarcher. In hindsight, the Encampment Keeper should have been something else, even if the keep significantly helped one of my wins. I went with 2 Skulduggery because it has good chances at being a 2 for 1, and then 1 of each of the remaining as each had their merit.
  • How many Queen's Commission? I dropped down to 2, as I wasn't sure how well the card would play. It did fine when I was anywhere from slightly behind to winning, but it didn't do much when I was losing. I think 2 was the right call, and it provided a good mix of cards.

So, here is the deck:

In the end, 

Match 1 vs. rodixSK

Game 1: I win the roll and keep Encampment Keeper, Vanquisher's Banner, Anointed Deacon, and land. It's a bit land heavy, but I am guessing that the Banner is my best card, and there seems a high chance I will land it on turn 5. My first draw is Mavren Fein, Dusk Apostle, which I am quite happy about. My opponent leads with a Swamp and Mountain but no plays. They add Lightning-Rig Crew, but I can still attack into it to start building up an army of 1/1's. They follow up with Headstrong Brute, which I am quite happy about since it cannot block. I add the banner to pump my team, and swing, bringing the life totals to 20-14. They use Contract Killing to kill my token maker, then use the treasures to cast Chart a Course. I get the Anointed Deacon and swing in for 7, and gain 6 life. I've also drawn a whole 1 non-land. Luckily, my opponent concedes to my board, which iis better than theirs, but the concession seems premature.

I swap a Skulduggery for a Vampire's Zeal, as I didn't see any 1 toughness creatures. 

Game 2:  I keep 2 Queen's Commission, Adanto Vanguard, Bishop's Soldier, Contract Killing, and land. My opponent leads with Daring Saboteur and I drop the soldier. I immediately realized that I should have dropped the Vanguard, since it can be indestructible instead of trading. My opponent attacks without activating the pirate, and so I trade. They then add Siren Lookout which gets the +1/+1 counter on it. I play a Queen's Commission and they add Shipwreck Looter. We attack back and forth, and I play another Queen's Commission. They add Dire Fleet Captain and keep swinging in the air, while I hit land 4 and drop another Bishop's Soldier as well as Adanto Vanguard. They attack with everything, and I pay 4 life to keep my Vangaurd to kill their looter. They add Wanted Scoundrels (they were running at least 2, they milled one with explore) and Deadeye Tracker. The problem with the scoundrels immediately comes up. As a 4/3 it stops my team, so I feel the need to kill it, so I use Contract Killing on it, which nets me 4 treasure in total. I debate for a while for which creature to use Pious Interdiction on. It's either the Dire Fleet Captain or the 2/3 Siren Lookout. The captain is the bigger threat long term, whereas the lookout stops more of my team. I put it on the captain in the end. In hindsight, I probably should have waited. My opponent then plays Dusk Legion Dreadnought, which is quite problematic. I play Anointed Deacon and swing with everything, bringing my opponent to 2, but losing two creatures to do so. I proceed to draw 7 lands and Encampment Keeper in my next 8 cards while my opponent adds Headstrong Brute, 2 Lightning-Rig Crews, and Vance's Blasting Cannons, while also slowly removing my creatures. I eventually concede with my opponent still at 2.

Between Dusk Legion Dreadnought, all the removal, and Vance's Blasting Cannons, I bring in Duress over the second Vampire's Zeal.

Game 3: I mull a 1 lander and then keep Skulduggery, Bishop's Soldier, Queen's Commission, Paladin of the Bloodstained, and 2 Plains. I start quickly, and my opponent's first play is a 1/2 Siren Lookout. I have the chance to kill it with Skulduggery, but decide to use Duress. I can either take the Dusk Legion Dreadnought or Unfriendly Fire. I decide on the removal in an effort to keep my board up. They have enough land for either, but they don't have the power to crew (their only other creature in hand was a Lightning-Rig Crew). I start pushing damage through and losing some tokens to do so, but soon the life total is 33 to 9. Skymarch Bloodletter brings my opponent to 4 (trigger and a boosted attack) before taking a Contract Killing. I use Fathom Fleet Cutthroat to kill the vehicle after it eats a token, and then keep forcing bad blocks with a 5/3 deacon. My opponent plays another Siren Lookout, again as a 1/2. But, at that point they have the 1/2 flier, the 0/5 crew and the 'cannot block' Headstrong Brute. The life totals have reached ~40 to 5, so my opponent concedes.

Match 2 vs. evvn

Game 1: I keep Encampment Keeper, Sheltering Light, Sleek Schooner, Paladin of the Bloodstained, and lands. I play my 1 drop and my opponent has a 2 drop, Blossom Dryad. I drop the Schooner in hopes of starting to get in, but my opponent adds Bonded Horncrest to their board, which is particularly bad for me. After I play Paladin of the Bloodstained, at my end of turn, my opponent untaps their Mountain and uses Dual Shot to kill my 1 drop and my fresh token. They don't throw away their Dryad to get through damage, so all they do is add Fire Shrine Keeper, and I respond with another Paladin of the Bloodstained. They swing with the 5/5 and the 1/1 menace, and I crew my ship. Before I can block, they attempt to use Pounce to kill my vehicle, but I have Sheltering Light, which lets me 2 for 1 my opponent since the ship can now single-handedly kill the 5/5. I double block the menace guy--unfortunately, my opponent has Sure Strike.

And, at this point, my MTGO replay decides to say the game ended. It didn't actually end here, but MTGO replay seems to think it did, for whatever reason. So, I will do my best from memory. My opponent plays some more dinos, including Colossal Dreadmaw, but it takes a while for them to have real profitable blocks. I get an Anointed Deacon down and gain some life with some Queen's Commission tokens, but the deacon quickly dies to Unfriendly Fire. The game drags on for quite a bit, and eventually the Fire Shrine Keeper activates, taking out two of my blocks, and clearing my board enough that my opponent can swing with the team, which includes a Sun-Crowned Hunters by this point. It doesn't take long for me to fall to the onslaught, as I don't find the cards that might let me out.

Game 2: I make a mistake right of the gate, by keeping Bishop's Soldier, Adanto Vanguard, Paladin of the Bloodstained, Anointed Deacon, Fathom Fleet Captain, and 2 Swamps. I debated for a while, but (wrongly) decided that keeping and hoping for a Plains was a good choice. I literally cannot play anything in the hand, so I should have shipped it. Unsurprisingly, I don't see a Plains for a bit, having to discard to hand size and then finally hitting a Plains, playing Queen's Commission. By this point my opponent has Ravenous Daggertooth and Frenzied Raptor on the board. They play Atzocan Archer to kill one of my tokens, and then also add Fathom Fleet Firebrand. I miss on land again, so I can only play a 2 drop, and am 1 removal spell away from dead on board. My opponent still has three cards, and I just cannot come back. In hindsight, this loss of pretty much entirely on me for a questionable keep. 


Match 3 vs. D3st1ny

Game 1: I mull a one lander into Encampment Keeper, Skymarch Bloodletter, Anointed Deacon, Paladin of the Bloodstained, and land. While not exciting, it seems really unlikely that I could get a 5 card hand better than this. I get very lucky and draw Bishop's Soldier and Plains, so that I can go 1, 2, and 3 drop in a row. My open leads with Fathom Fleet Firebrand, but does not trade when I offer the Bishop's Soldier. I am quite happy to not trade, as I have lifelinkers--I will win the race. I honestly don't know why my opponent didn't trade at this point, as I have an aggressive start and it is quite hard to race when your opponent is gaining life. My opponent adds Headstrong Brute and then attacks! Again, I am winning the race, so I am perfectly fine taking 2 which allows me to swing back for 5 and gaining the 2 back. I draw and add Duskborne Skymarcher is my board. My opponent adds another Headstrong Brute and attacks again. I don't block, so the life totals are 18-11 in my favor. I swing, and use the flier to pump my lifelinker, bringing me to 21 and opponent to 5. This emphasizes that the opponent should have traded way back on turn 2. If they had, I would be at 18, and they would be at 11. I add another Bishop's Soldier. My opponent adds Deeproot Warrior and finally leaves back the 2/2 Firebrand to block. I swing with the team, and can save one of my Soldier's with Duskborne Skymarcher, and bring my opponent to 2. They Hijack the Bishop's Soldier and then add Deeproot Warrior, but I simply have too many creatures for them to do anything, so they concede.

Game 2: I keep a risky hand with Anointed Deacon, Contract Killing, Mavren Fein, Dusk Apostle, and land. I don't have any early action, and my opponent's deck is aggressive enough that no early plays may be quite bad. They lead with 2 Fire Shrine Keeper and Tishana's Wayfinder before I make a play. Turns out Skulduggery requires you to have a creature on your side as well. I finally drop Mavren, and my opponent plays Emergent Growth to take her out. I play Queen's Commission and pass. When my opponent attempts to use Swashbuckling on one of the 1/1's, I use Skulduggery to kill it. My opponent responds with Dual Shot, and I get the feeling they hoped it would make Skulduggery fail as well. I drop to 12. I draw Vanquisher's Banner and try to determine if I should play it or the Anointed Deacon. I think that for the long game, I need the banner down to get advantage, as I think they gives me the best shot of winning. My opponent attacks me down to 9 and then adds Fathom Fleet Firebrand. Turns out neither the banner or the deacon would actually save me, as my opponent has Hijack for when I play the deacon, hitting me for lethal--it was lethal immediately this turn, but had I played the deacon and it was Hijacked then, I would have been at 1 facing 3 creatures.

Game 3: Learning my lesson from earlier, I mull a 2 lander that cannot cast any of the cards in hand. I get and keep Duskborne Skymarcher, Pious Interdiction, and lands. Not great, but again I doubt I have enough of a chance at a better 5 to make it worth it. I get Bishop's Soldier a turn later than ideal, but start building my board nonetheless. My opponent leads with Fathom Fleet Firebrand. This time when they attack it makes more sense, as they follow up with Vineshaper Mystic. It does not take me long to decide to use Pious Interdiction on it as a 2/4 road blocks a lot of my deck and I don't have a swarm. It also uses my mana efficiently. My opponent just adds Deeproot Warrior, attacks, and passes--again trying to race against lifelink. I add Vanquisher's Banner and swing. My opponent 1.5 for 1 themselves with River Heralds' Boon to trade with my Bishop's Soldier and leave a counter on the Firebrand. They attack with the Firebrand, bringing the life totals to 20 to 13 in my favor, and they add Raging Swordtooth--luckily my banner saves my creature. I feel I am far enough ahead that I am not terribly concerned at this development, so I add Anointed Deacon and swing for 4 in the air. My opponent attacks me to 11 and plays Tishana's Wayfinder as a 3/3, revealing another Firebrand. I decide to attack with both, on the assumption my opponent will feel obligated to block--1 more damage will win me the game and I have 5 untapped mana and 2 cards in hand. They do not block, and drop to 1. I add Paladin of the Bloodstained to get two more blockers. My opponent plays Headstrong Brute and Swashbuckling on it and then swings with the team. I have several blocking options that let me live, so I win the game on the next turn. I was surprised my opponent dropped to one. Not only were they relying on me not having a pump or damage, but also that I couldn't either drop a lifelinker or multiple creatures. My opponent had seen plenty of my deck, with plenty of both of those options, so I don't think dropping to one was correct. Of course, it is also possible that my opponent determined that was their best chance at winning regardless.

Wrap Up

I am pretty happy with my record at 2-1 for my first draft of the new set, and not even piloting either of the two most promising archetypes (dinos and pirates). If I had gotten one or two Rallying Roars I think the deck would have been quite good. It's also interesting that 3 of my 4 game wins were where I mulled to 6.

How is Ixalan going for you so far?

I hope you enjoyed the draft! As always, I appreciate comments and suggestions!


xger21 on MTGO


I like the XLN draft format, by Cauchy at Sat, 10/07/2017 - 01:29
Cauchy's picture

I like the XLN draft format, I currently have 7 trophies in the Intermediate draft league, and a limited rating of 1831.

I would prioritize differently during your initial picks.

P1P1: I would go for the Imperial Aerosaur. It is a very cheap flying creature in a format with few other flying creatures. I don’t think I usually get enough of 1 creature type to make the Banner work. But it seems to work for you.

P1P2: The Hammerskull is fine. I have a preference for Conqueror’s Galleon. It is a good blocker and it brings a lot of value late game with card draw or fetching removal repeatedly from your graveyard.

P1P3: I like playing with the Headstrong Brute.

P1P4: I like the red removal. So I would have taken the Unfriendly Fire. But Skulduggery is a very good combat trick.

P1P5: Ok. The Paladin is one of my favorites so I often play Vampires if it is open.

P1P6: Ok. I very often prioritize the Skymarch Bloodletter because it is a nice flying creature for early game.

P1P7: Ok.

P1P8: I would play the Wanted Scoundrels in any black deck, I would pick it very early, and it works great with the
Skulduggery you picked earlier (and the Vampire’s seal you pick later). The downside of the card is not too bad. The Anointed Deacon is likely to come again later in the draft (and I would only play one even in a pure Vampire deck). The Scoundrels is not.

P1P9: Ok. You should also consider Skittering Heartstopper. Deathtouch is great. So I would pick that.

P1P10: Adanto Vangaurd is ok, especially if you need it for optimizing your curve, but you are underestimating the Dire Fleet Interloper. Menace and explore are great. I would play 1-3 copies of this card in a black deck (depending on the rest of my curve). I really like explore cards.

P2P1: You should give some consideration to the Dreadnought. It is one of the only vehicles that I would play.

P2P10: Again, consider the Skittering Heartstopper. But Queen’s agent is also nice.

P3P1: I would probably go with the Inspiring Cleric it is a good card. But Bishop’s Soldier is good as well and fits your deck.

P3P4: I would not pick the Duskborne Skymarcher. I don’t like playing with it, not even in a vampire deck. It is not very good early in the game because you don’t want spend mana pumping your creature, you want to play creatures from your hand. And later the +1/+1 does very little to win the game. I would maybe still go for the Paladin. Did the Duskborne Skymarcher work out for you?

P3P5: I would probably pick the Queen’s Commissioner because the body of the vehicle is too small. But then again, I would not play more than max 2 copies of the Commissioner.

It seems that I might have ended up in white and red. It would have killed me to pass 2 copies of the Snapping Sailback, I really like that card but they came a little too late and I would not have first picked the Ranging Raptors over the Aerosaur.