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By: draftbetter, Draftbetter
Dec 18 2008 8:45am
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This draft is part of an ongoing series at my site, draftbetter.com.  Check it out for more drafts and other MTGO stuff!

I have to say that I have never drafted this format. Not one time. They released this set during one of my breaks from Magic back in the days pre-MTGO. I am bount to make some mistakes, nevertheless, 3-2-1 Swiss Tempest draft, and we're off.

Pack One

Pick One:


Oh the different art syndrome hit me on this pack. If I had even known that the Master Decoy was in the set, I would have looked closer at the white cards as it is the best card in this pack. As it is, I felt the next best card was...

Dauthi Slayer

Pick Two:


Ouch. Didn't see it again. Obviously, this would have been completely different draft if I had picked the two Decoys. As it is, I have had experience with the Mogg Fanatic and the Knight and though I could maybe get more damage through with the Knight.

Knight of Dusk

Pick Three:


This pack seemed exceedingly empty of decent cards for a third pick. I don't see any cards that make me want to commit to a new color and with no black cards in the pack, I'll go for the artifact creature.

Coiled Tinviper

Pick Four:


I was kind of waiting for a clearer signal to branch out and I decided a 3/3 first striker for five mana that may help my other creatures in an attack was worth it.

Renegade Warlord

Pick Five:


An upgrade to the very standard Hill Giant and not much else. With what I have so far, this seems like a pretty straightforward pick.

Lowland Giant

Pick Six:


2/2 flier for four, in my color and it regenerates? I'm in.

Screeching Harpy

Pick Seven:


Definitely not much left already. An on-color (Grey Ogre) will have to do.

Mindwhip Sliver

Pick Eight:


Now this is a Sliver that I like quite a bit.

Clot Sliver

Pick Nine:


I had figured these packs would dry up fast, there isn't much left. Is a blue counterspell deck viable? There seems to be a bunch of them to pick from in this set.

Power Sink

Pick Ten:


There was a card similar to this one printed a few blocks ago and it was good in an aggro deck. It's worth a try here.

Mogg Conscripts

Pick Eleven:



Pick Twelve:


Pit Imp

Pick Thirteen:



Pick Fourteen:


Circle of Protection: Shadow

Pick Fifteen:

Shimmering Wings

Pack Two

Pick One:


I think in this format, a pinger type of creature is dang good. There are a ton of x/1's in the format. I do wish I could take the Vampire and the other Shadow creature.


Pick Two:


Dirtcowl Wurm is a bomb and I wish could play it, but it seems that I didn't see any good green in the first pack so there is a chance that the guy to my right is in the color, good for him. There just isn't much in this pack at all. With all the good green, I'll check out the green wrath for the board.


Pick Three:


With my first pick, I was thinking Shadow aggro, but my deck has turned a bit more controlling. I like the removal spell more than the creature at this point.


Pick Four:


What a dry pack. I do know that the Buyback spells can be quite swingy in the late game so I'll try one here.

Disturbed Burial

Pick Five:


More quality removal.


Pick Six:


Would you look at that. Pick six and I have to take something off color because of a lack of picks.

Skyshroud Troll

Pick Seven:


Same situation as above. I don't think I want two of the Conscripts or Pit Imps. I could take anything random as this pack is pretty lame.

Shadow Rift

Pick Eight:


I do remember playing with Giant Strength from before this set and it was always decent even with the 2-for-1 risk. Not sure if I'll play it, but it's better than anything else in this pack for me.

Giant Strength

Pick Nine:


Let's face it, this draft has been ugly.

Horned Turtle

Pick Ten:


I most likely would have been playing blue if I knew what I was doing, but I don't.

Dream Cache

Pick Eleven:


Circle of Protection: Black

Pick Twelve:


Thalakos Sentry

Pick Thirteen:



Pick Fourteen:


Sea Monster

Pick Fifteen:

Steal Enchantment

Pack Three

Pick One:


Oh to be in blue, nuts. I do have a good spell with my deck thus far though, and it's foil!

FOIL Dark Banishing

Pick Two:


This pick is pretty straightforward, I'm taking the Bombardment. It reminds me of Skull Catapult or Fodder Cannon. It can mess up opponent's math and make exchanges better for you.

Goblin Bombardment

Pick Three:


Easy pick on the removal here from this pack.


Pick Four:


Good cards in this pack. I'm not sure if I should have made a different pick as there was a choice between the Edict and the Souldrinker.

Diabolic Edict

Pick Five:


I can't believe how fast these packs are drying up, I'll take the black spell, it might come in handy.

Death Pits of Rath

Pick Six:


This set is filled with late game cards and against an opponent not in black, this guy might do quite a bit of damage.

Marsh Lurker

Pick Seven:


The Fanatic will always have it's uses.

Mogg Fanatic

Pick Eight:


I know this guy has a small toughness, but I can see a couple scenarios where I can get him through and he hits hard.

Lightning Elemental

Pick Nine:


Another pinger is fine with me. He makes combat hard, plus, combined with the other pinger, the Bombardment and the Fanatic, he'll definitely get to use his ability.


Pick Ten:


I'm not playing any of these.

Whispers of the Muse

Pick Eleven:


Might play this.

Giant Strength

Pick Twelve:


I know I'm playing this.

Clot Sliver

Pick Thirteen:



Pick Fourteen:


(Heros Resolve)

Pick Fifteen:

Power Sink

Final Deck

Final Deck

It's definitely not as good as it could have been, but after the mistakes I made in the draft, I'm pretty happy with it.


Three rounds now, no matter what. My last draft left me with a rating of 1763 and I'm taking my pile up against someone rated at 1596. I start just fine:

r1g1 Open

Creatures, removal and mana, I keep. My opponents start is pretty strong with some quality creatures including a 4-drop 4/4 first striker that I can't seem to get around.

r1g1 Midgame1

After his green creatures have gone to the graveyard via exchange, my opponent doesn't play a single non black creature so my Banishing is stuck in my hand. I do draw a solution for his big guy though in the form of one of my Clot Slivers.

r1g1 Midgame2

Eventually, after we both draw a ton of land, he draws his Disturbed Burial and buys it back twice in one turn and casts a creature and I know it won't be long before I can't hold back his army.

r1g1 End

That kind of sucked to draw 15 of 16 land and still have more than ten cards in my library. Hope game two goes better. I start like this:

r1g2 Open1

That's not better, I mull down to this:

r1g2 Open2

That one has a chance, I keep. I play out my hand like normal, but he has the Kezzerdrix early again.

r1g1 Midgame

I slog through as best as I can, but his quick start and big creatures get the job done.

r1g2 End

I meant to put in the Burial over the Stun in the maindeck but I forgot to re-submit the deck after I made the change so I boarded it in for this game, it wasn't ever relevant though.

Well, any packs earned after this are just gravy as I would normally be out of the draft at this point. I don't think my deck is horrific even if it could have been a lot better. I'm now down to 1752 after that match. My opponent for this match is rated at 1556. I start like this:

r2g1 Open

Not too bad, one and two drops and hopefully, I will draw some land before too long, I keep. I do miss some land drops but when I do draw them I am able to roll over my opponents pretty good. I think he conceded a bit early though. Maybe he had nothing for my guys.

r2g1 End

I'll take it. On to game two where I start like this:

r2g2 Open

Similar to my first hand, but I'm on the draw this time. I get down the Imp and the Clot Sliver before I get my Swamp Stone Rained. I get lucky and draw a Swamp for the turn, but that only gets me back to two lands.

r2g2 Midgame1

I have spells in hand waiting for just a bit more mana when he does it again with (Winters Grasp).

r2g2 Midgame2

This is getting silly. Thank god he hasn't put me under any pressure thus far. I do draw another Swamp after this turn and get another soon. The Fireslinger earns a concession from him.

r2g2 End

He told me afterwards that he had no answer for that guy and all but two of his creatures were x/1's and the game was already over.

On to round three with one pack in my pocket. I start this match with a rating of 1755. I'll be facing an opponent rated at 1644 for this final match. I start like this:

r3g1 Open

I'm keeping this. I get down the Slinger on turn two and draw extremely well. I play the Lightning Elemental into his tapped out board and get in once with him. On the next turn, he leaves back a blocker, but I Stun it and get in again. I use the pinger and my other spells to take his life down and do the last bit of damage with a 4/4 Shadow guy and my pinger.

r3g1 End

That worked out nicely. Let's see about game two:

r3g2 Open

It's not amazing, but it wouldn't take much more for it to be so, I keep. I draw my Knight of Dusk for turn four and it sees a Lightning Blast. I play out my 4/3 Giant on turn five and it meets the same fate.

r3g2 Midgame

I have control of the board completely though and through judicious use of the Fireslinger and the Opportunist, along with everything else, I earn a concession.

r3g2 End

Most of the damage done to me was by the Fireslinger, that guy was so good for me.


This draft should have gone a lot differently though and I think I might have won it all if I take those Decoys to start. I probably end up in blue/white with blue pingers and counter spells with a bunch of fliers.

I end the draft at 1761 losing two points for an almost complete wash. I do win two packs after losing in the first round. Not sure if I'll do another of these for the project but I might do some with my other account as this set just doesn't seem to be designed as good as current sets when set side-by-side. I had fun though and I'm looking forward to the feedback for this draft.

Until then,



by dolemiteX at Thu, 12/18/2008 - 23:21
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Sorry, didn't mean to sound so mean. I mostly stopped because I didn't have time. But yes, that was a bad pick. PM me online for a place to get some decent pick orders and card evalutaions for Tempest. Even though were at the tail end of the release events now heh.

by dolemiteX at Thu, 12/18/2008 - 17:37
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I stopped watching after 2nd pick. Evincar's Justice is insane and one of the best cards in the set.

by draftbetter at Thu, 12/18/2008 - 18:53
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Actually, I had no idea.  If I had known how much it was, I would have taken it for sure.

by draftbetter at Thu, 12/18/2008 - 18:55
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Like I said in my opening statement, if the card never appeared in an 8th or later core set, I would never have even seen it.  I had no idea the Evincar's Justice was so good.  That's why I do these so that I can learn.

Nice Article... Interesting Take by GlacierFrost(Unregistered) (not verified) at Thu, 12/18/2008 - 21:17
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I don't mind the picks... Some have suggested some better alternatives, but different people prefer different play styles.  So be it.  I wish they would make a winner takes ALL packs draft.  Instead of giving the winner packs, give the winner ALL the cards from the draft.  People go home with nothing.  At least that is how we use to play it here in So Cal.  Of course people would whine about it... but at least have the option of this.  That way if you pass a Grindstone or another valuable card for cards that better suit your deck, it wouldn't be such a drawback.  Draft to win, instead of drafting for cards.

by tempesteye at Thu, 12/18/2008 - 21:59
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There are two or three major archetypes in TTT drafts, all of them aggressive because, as a rule, Triple tempest is a FAST format;
R/B Shadow decks
R/G Fatties
U/W Fliers

Black and Red are the best colors, no question. You have Dark Banishing, Rolling Thunder, Evincar's Justice, Diabolic Edict, Aftershock, Kindle, Disturbed Burial and Lightning Blast all at COMMON, and Searing Touch at uncommon.
That doesn't even take into account the Hyper aggressive shadow creatures in black. You also have to remember that an (effectively) unblockable 2/2 for 2 mana is very efficient for the era. Most of the Black shadow creatures are x/1 but they generally aren't going to be blocked and if they are they'll trade.
I've found that it pays to force Black, and even then you'll sometimes still have to pass amazing cards in your colors.

Really ? by Blade(Unregistered) (not verified) at Thu, 12/18/2008 - 16:59
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I dont want to sound too harsh but your picking or the thought process involved could need some improvement. That you can play 2-1 anyway is a testament to your playing skill I guess. :)

I dont have time to mention everything but it already begins with the first pick where you dont even mention the removal but instead take a guy that already kinda commits you to black as a main color.

At two times you are passing the in-color uncommon Tangarths Rage, which is actually a solid and flexible card. 

Fireslinger over Grindstone (bye bye $15) is fine in a PE T8 or something, but this leaves the impression that you are not checking all the cards in a pack.

And what is up with your late/hate picks ? Dream Cache over Wind Drake, Pit Imp over Mounted Archers, Thalakos Seer over Giant Crab ?

by Anonymous(Unregistered) (not verified) at Thu, 12/18/2008 - 16:49
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of the 4 tempest drafts i played i won 3 with powersinks, counterspells, capsizes and some finishers. yes counterspells are viable in this format. The one I lost I branched out with green white. overall hate drafting the set though.

tempest by chiznad at Thu, 12/18/2008 - 11:11
chiznad's picture

thanks for covering tempest. i have no idea how to draft it and have been waiting for a walk through to appear. also, thanks for doing this column. my online rating has gone up more than 70 pts in the last 6 weeks from reading your draft reviews.

pass a grindstone... by country_hillbilly (not verified) at Thu, 12/18/2008 - 12:16
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In a swiss draft where you are guaranteed to have a pack minimum (if you are decent) I cannot understand passing the most expensive card in the set, no matter what.  Can you explain this move?  Did you not know?