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By: JXClaytor, Joshua Claytor
Aug 02 2007 3:58pm
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When we left our Intrepid Hero he was down to his last draft set.  Needing to break off a string of two wins so he could continue his insane need to continue to draft, therefore getting better, his back was against the wall.  Could he put together a competent draft and actually replace some of his lost packs, or would he be among the unlucky few that complain about the MTGO shuffler hating him? 

That was a fun introduction I think.  Anyway, from my last article, you saw that not only did I struggle with learning the DraftCap program, but I also struggled with card values, and not seeing clear signals.  I jumped into another draft soon after.  I had a dirty taste in my mouth from the first one, because I really felt that I could have done better if I had paid attention. 

Let's take a look at my next draft.  Apparently DraftCap hates me, because again, I missing a full pack.  One of these days, I'm either going to learn how to use the program, or I am going to go back to taking screen shots of what I do.  I'm pretty feeble at this entire technology thing. 

Pack 1:

Gemhide Sliver, Gaze of Justice, Coal Stoker, Durkwood Baloth, Blazing Blade Askari, Glass Asp, Traitor's Clutch, Plunder, Eternity Snare, Haunting Hymn, Stormcloud Djinn, Sudden Death, Opal Guardian, Mirari, Mountain

Pick: Sudden Death

I am not going to second guess myself here.  I know that the black cards in Future Sight are generally regarded as horrible because there is no real depth in the common or uncommon slot.  However, this is one quality piece of removal and I felt that I had to take it.  I could have tried the Sliver strategy with the important Gemhide Sliver, but I could not bring myself to take the card. 

Pack 2: 

This pack is missing, but I can tell you from my draft deck that I took Sprite Noble.  Why did I take this guy?  I do know how awesome the fliers are in blue so I figured that the rare could help me in damage races.  There was no other good black cards in the pack. 

Sprite Noble

Hey, I can randomly make flying creatures a whole lot better!

Pack 3:

Gaze of Justice, Fathom Seer, Flamecore Elemental, Gemhide Sliver, Feebleness, Traitor's Clutch, D'Avenant Healer, Glass Asp, Prismatic Lens, Spell Burst, Yavimaya Dryad, Riftwing Cloudskate, Jasmine Boreal

Pick: Riftwing Cloudskate

There was still no strong black, however, I felt the choice was between the Cloudskate and the Fathom Seer.  I ended up with the Cloudskate, and did not feel bad about it at all.  I was looking for a really fast tempo based deck with a lot of flying men.  I also like the chance of grabbing random storm spells as well, and Riftwing is much better with the storm mechanic than the seer is. 

Pack 4:

Cancel, Empty the Warrens, Icatian Crier, Aetherflame Wall, Sage of Epityr, Divine Congregation, Mindlash Sliver, Might of Old Krosa, Weatherseed Totem, Magus of the Mirror, Scragnoth, Plains

Pick: Empty the Warrens

JACKPOT!  I knew there was a reason that I wanted to be in red, and my luck paid off in spades here, as I got the best storm spell that I could possibly want to have.  

Pack 5:

Viscerid Deepwalker, Ashcoat Bear, Amrou Seekers, Corpulent Corpse, Bewilder, Detainment Spell, Psychotic Episode, Sprout, Urza's Factory, Traitor's Clutch, Flying Men

Pick: Viscerid Deepwalker

I could have taken the Corpse here as it is really good in a Black Red or Blue Black.  However, with the recent pick of Cloudskate and the Noble, I decided that I wanted to lock in my place for a share of the blue cards.  Plus, I think blue is really deep in Future Sight, so if I can start cutting if off now, and send a strong signal down table that blue is the wrong color for them to be in. 

Pack 6:

Trespasser il-Vec, Grapeshot, Scarwood Treefolk, Viashino Bladescout, Mystical Teachings, Shadow Sliver, Bogardan Rager, Haunting Hymn, Barbed Shocker, Squire

Pick: Grapeshot

This is a pick that just continues my storm theme.  It's really good, often times setting up a mass change in board position. 

Pack 7:

Think Twice, Ashcoat Bear, Cloudchaser Kestrel, Foriysian Interceptor, Basal Sliver, Drifter il-Dal, Subterranean Shambler, Cavalry Master

Pick: Think Twice

The only other pick here would have been a hate draft of the Shambler to protect my Empty the Warrens plan.  I like the card draw that I get from Think Twice so I decided to take it, and see if the red guy would make it back around. 

Pack 8:

Terramorphic Expanse, Pentarch Ward, Mindlash Sliver, Havenwood Wurm, Chameleon Blur, Flickering Spirit, Ghitu Firebreathing, Assembly-Worker

Pick: Terramorphic Expanse

Mana fixing at it's finest, I think the Expanse is the only correct pick here.

Pack 9:

Gaze of Justice, Blazing Blade Askari, Traitor's Clutch, Plunder, Eternity Snare, Haunting Hymn, Mountain

Pick: Blazing Blade Askari

Pack 10:

Herd Gnarr, Molder, Venser's Sliver, Children of Korlis, Sangrophage, Krosan Grip

Pick: Venser's Sliver

I could have moved with a few hate drafts here, but I felt the Sliver at least had a chance to make the cut if I was short on men. 

Pack 11:

Gaze of Justice, Flamecore Elemental, Feebleness, Traitor's Clutch, Glass Asp

Pick: Flamecore Elemental

Pack 12:

Aetherflame Wall, Sage of Epityr, Divine Congregation, Mindlash Sliver

Pick: Aetherflame Wall

Sage would have been better for the storm plan, smoothing out my draws, but I really wanted something that could deal with opposining shadow men out of the board. 

Pack 13:

Detainment Spell, Psychotic Episode, Sprout

Pick: Psychotic Episode

Pack 14:

Foriysian Interceptor, Drifter il-Dal

Pick: Drifter il-Dal

Pack 15:

Haunting Hymn

Pick: Haunting Hymn

Pack 16:

Aven Riftwatcher, Cradle to Grave, Dead / Gone, Reflex Sliver, Poultice Sliver, Citanul Woodreaders, Firefright Mage, Pallid Mycoderm, Sunlance, Vampiric Link, Gossamer Phantasm, Stonecloaker, Pouncing Wurm, Harmonize, Radha, Heir to Keld

Pick: Dead / Gone

I took the best red card in the pack.  I think that this pick really set me in the Blue Red deck type.  It also set up me to take the great red removal in Future Sight. 

Pack 17:

Aven Riftwatcher, Stingscourger, Saltfield Recluse, Veiling Oddity, Midnight Charm, Firefright Mage, Blightspeaker, Ghost Tactician, Gossamer Phantasm, Fa'adiyah Seer, Timebender, Hammerheim Deadeye, Muck Drubb, Heroes Remembered

Pick: Stingscourger

Here is the second best common in the set looking back at me.  I have to take him as he is a temporary answer to creatures that I just do not have an answer for sometimes.

Pack 18:

Synchronous Sliver, Needlepeak Spider, Dreamscape Artist, Vitaspore Thallid, Brain Gorgers, Fury Charm, Wistful Thinking, Brute Force, Melancholy, Seal of Primordium, Auramancer's Guise, Waning Wurm, Retether

Pick: Brute Force

I love the timeshifted combat trick.  I think it is one of the better red cards in the set, and probably in the top three as commons go. 

Pack 19:

Battering Sliver, Reflex Sliver, Midnight Charm, Keldon Marauders, Dash Hopes, Shade of Trokair, Fa'adiyah Seer, Revered Dead, Merfolk Thaumaturgist, Frenetic Sliver, Mesa Enchantress, Magus of the Bazaar

Pick: Merfolk Thaumaturgist

I like the Merfolk, because it makes combat a bit more difficult for my opponents, and it combo with any potential 1/5 Aquamorph Entities that I grab in future packs. 

Pack 20:

Veiling Oddity, Synchronous Sliver, Deadly Grub, Dust Corona, Reality Acid, Seal of Primordium, Mana Tithe, Dormant Sliver, Mantle of Leadership, Blood Knight, Mycologist

Pick: Blood Knight

Here is what I felt was the first mistake of my draft.  I should have taken the Oddity because it was better synergy with the powerful storm cards, plus it allows me to make a better alpha strike than my opponent could.  I think of this guy as a blue Ivory Giant that does not tap your team down. 

What I should have picked: Veiling Oddity, however, I am almost sure that this bad boy will eventually end up in my draft pile. 

Pack 21:

Dawn Charm, Stingscourger, Whitemane Lion, Midnight Charm, Blightspeaker, Brute Force, Piracy Charm, Phantasmagorian, Magus of the Library, Aven Riftwatcher. 

Pick: Stingscourger

I think red to this point has horribly been underdrafted, and I am beginning to benefit from this.  The second Stingcouger is a card I wil gladly take.  I am also a bit surprised to see Aven Riftwatcher hanging out this late, maybe I value him a bit higher than he should be?  If Stingscourger is still available at this point in the draft, have I done a good enough job of cutting red?  Where there really that many better cards in other player's colors than him?

Pack 22:

Needlepeak Spider, Utopia Vow, Spitting Sliver, Fury Charm, Vitaspore Thallid, Deadly Grub, Aquamorph Entity, Seal of Primordium, Timecrafting

Pick: Needlepeak Spider

Speaking of the Entity, I passed on up here so I could have some more flying defense.  I also have Needlepeak in my top five common list for red in Planar Chaos. 

Pack 23:

Battering Sliver, Mire Boa, Fury Charm, Reality Acid, Deadly Grub, Revered Dead, Vampiric Link, Aether Membrane

Pick: Aether Membrane

Reality Acid would have been cute, it is slow removal.  The sliver crossed my mind as well, but I figured I would just take another blocker for any opposing air forces. 

Pack 24:

Reflex Sliver, Firefright Mage, Pallid Mycoderm, Vampiric Link, Gossamer Phantasm, Timecrafting, Radha, Heir to Keld

Pick: Gossamer Phantasm

I love the phatasm.  I think he is one of the more underrated cards in the set for blue.  I see this guy as a four point swing.  He may get in for more, or get killed as soon as he enters play.  However, both are good outcomes.  If he gets in for four, than well that is less work I have to do.  If he gets targeted by any of the spells or abilities in the block, than that is one less bad thing that I have to worry about. 

Pack 25:

Veiling Oddity, Firefright Mage, Ghost Tactician, Gossamer Phantasm, Fa'adiyah Seer, Serra's Boon

Pick: Veiling Oddity

Hooray, there is my Oddity.  I should maybe not be getting so excited about that.  However, this creature is really good with my storm spells.  I might over value them a bit, but the storm mechanic is still really powerful in my mind.

Pack 26:

Fury Charm, Wistful Thinking, Auramancer's Guise, Waning Wurm, Retether

Pick: Fury Charm

Pack 27:

Keldon Marauders, Dash Hopes, Fa'adiyah Seer, Revered Dead

Pick: Keldon Marauders

Pack 28:

Deadly Grub, Seal of Primordium, Frozen Aether

Pick: Frozen Aether

Pack 29:

Dust Corona, Mantle of Leadership

Pick: Dust Corona

Pack 30:

Dawn Charm

Pick: Dawn Charm

Pack 31:

Gift of Granite, Augur of Skulls, Lost Hours, Fatal Attraction, Petrified Plating, Sporoloth Ancient, Grinning Ignus, Whip-Spine Drake, Mass of Ghouls, Lucent Liminid, Thornweald Archer, Arc Blade, Ravaging Riftwurm, Lost Auramancers, Grove of the Burnwillows

Pick: Arc Blade

This was a very tough pick.  I mean I considered the rare draft here, but than I remembered that I needed to actually get two wins.  That left my choice between the Drake and Arc Blade.  I felt a bit removal light here, and I took the powerful suspend card not only because it is removal, but because it could allow me to have really dumb turns with my storm spells. 

Pack 32:

Llanowar Augur, Riddle of Lightning, Venser's Diffusion, Judge Unworthy, Kavu Primarch, Henchfiend of Ukor, Thornweald Archer, Blind Phantasm, Lumithread Field, Grinning Ignus, Fleshwrither, Soultether Golem, Chronomantic Escape, Darksteel Garrison

Pick: Riddle of Lightning

There sure are some juicy ones here am I right?  Riddle, Diffusion, Phantasm, and Ignus all lept out at me as playables, however, the Riddle got invited to the party because I was sure I was going to get two of the four cards I wanted out of this pack.  I might as well take the best one! 

Pack 33:

Llanowar Augur, Riddle of Lightning, Venser's Diffusion, Judge Unworthy, Kavu Primarch, Patrician's Scorn, Logic Knot, Nessian Courser, Henchfiend of Ukor, Whip-Spine Drake, Phosphorescent Feast, Bound in Silence, Narcomoeba

Pick: Whip-Spine Drake

Riddle or Drake?  That was the question.  I felt okay with the amount of removal I now had, so I took the flying beast, even though I would never be playing it face down. 

Pack 34:

Grave Peril, Marshaling Cry, Foresee, Putrid Cyclops, Logic Knot, Grave Scrabbler, Henchfiend of Ukor, Whip-Spine Drake, Chronomantic Escape, Cloudseeder, Steamflogger Boss, Marshaling Cry

Pick: Whip-Spine Drake

Drake or Foresee?  I took the Drake, and never really looked back.  I felt that I needed more flying guys, because that is the true strength of any blue based strategy.  Well, at least it is in my opinion.  Blue has so many evasive dorks, and this guy was another welcome addition. 

Pack 35:

Quiet Disrepair, Rift Elemental, Augur il-Vec, Llanowar Empath, Vedalken Aethermage, Virulent Sliver, Frenzy Sliver, Fomori Nomad, Patrician's Scorn, Shivan Sand-Mage, Cyclical Evolution

Pick: Fomori Nomad

I took the giant over the sand-mage, because I felt I needed more fat.  Sand-Mage however would have been a better pick just based of the amount of suspend spells that I already had. 

What I should have picked: Shivan Sand-Mage

Pack 36:

Oblivion Crown, Aven Augur, Fatal Attraction, Gift of Granite, Fomori Nomad, Logic Knot, Lucent Liminid, Mystic Speculation, Stronghold Rats, New Benalia

Pick: Fatal Attraction

I can not begin to tell you what I was thinking in this pack.  Fatal Attraction is really weak removal in my mind, while the Augur would have been a better pick to begin with.  He takes to the skies and removes blockers when I think I am ready to win.  The Nomad could have also been the pick here, but I did not want too many five drops in my deck.  

What I should have picked: Aven Augur

Pack 37:

Oblivion Crown, Fatal Attraction, Cutthroat il-Dal, Gift of Granite, Homing Sliver, Lumithread Field, Fleshwrither, Skizzik Surger, Centaur Omenreader

Pick: Skizzik Surger

Rumor had it that one mage had a Damnation.  I took the Surger because I wanted to be the beat down deck.  This guy is a very good post Damnation play.


Man, what a rough beat for aggro decks. 

Pack 38:

Leaden Fists, Quiet Disrepair, Saltskitter, Unblinking Bleb, Frenzy Sliver, Patrician's Scorn, Sarcomite Myr, Sparkspitter

Pick: Leaden Fists

Pack 39:

Gift of Granite, Lost Hours, Petrified Plating, Grinning Ignus, Lucent Liminid, Ravaging Riftwurm, Lost Auramancers

Pick: Grinning Ignus

Well I got an Ignus, who plays so well with storm cards he is constantly over at their house for play dates. 

Pack 40:

Llanowar Augur, Venser's Diffusion, Henchfiend of Ukor, Grinning Ignus, Cyclical Evolution, Even the Odds

Pick: Grinning Ignus

Pack 41:

Llanowar Augur, Patrician's Scorn, Logic Knot, Henchfiend of Ukor, Phosphorescent Feast

Pick: Logic Knot

Sometimes you need to have a counter spell to deal with cards that you have no outs too.  Besides, if there is a Damnation at the table, I want to have as many answers as I can in the sideboarded games.

Pack 42:

Putrid Cyclops, Logic Knot, Henchfiend of Ukor, Chronomantic Escape

Pick: Henchfiend of Ukor

Pack 43:

Rift Elemental, Augur il-Vec, Frenzy Sliver

Pick: Rift Elemental

Pack 44:

Oblivion Crown, Gift of Granite

Pick: Gift of Granite

Pack 45:

Gift of Granite

Pick: Gift of Granite

Here is the deck that I plated in this draft.


1 Think Twice
1 Leaden Fists
1 Merfolk Thaumaturgist
1 Riftwing Cloudskate
1 Sprite Noble
1 Veiling Oddity
1 Viscerid Deepwalker
2 Whip-Spin Drake


1 Arc Blade
1 Riddle of Lightning
1 Empty the Warrens
1 Grapeshot
1 Fatal Attraction
1 Blazing Blade Askari
1 Blood Knight
1 Fomori Nomad
2 Grinning Ignus
1 Skizzik Surger
2 Stingscourger

Split Cards

1 Dead/Gone


1 Terramorphic Expanse
8 Mountain
8 Island



Bouncy Bouncy!


So I'll keep this short, I won the first round, my opponent had a pretty poor deck, and that was further impacted by excellent draws by my part.  I had the insane storm hand, where I got to vomit out Empty the Warrens after Oddity,  and Riftwing Cloudskate came off of suspend.  The second game my fliers took over. 

Round two I got paired against the mage with Damnation.  After getting blown out by the sorcery in game one, I went on to have the nutty suspend storm hand in game two to cruise to victory.  Game three I knocked him to ten before he played Damnation, I followed that up with the Surger, and took him to four.  He drew a blocker, but I ripped Cloudskate off the top to clear my path to victory.

My round three opponent dropped while I was still playing the second match, I have no clue why, but hey, I have a win to my name.  Hooray me!

Anyways, I know I made mistakes in this draft pod.  Even though I won, I want to be able to take some kind of lesson out of this.  How do you guys rate my picks?  What would you have drafted? 

I'm going to end this now.  I have four packs on my account, and my rating has started to hover around the 1664 mark.  I want to get to 1700 before I start to try out the 8-4 room and start to apply the lessons I have learned against a higher caliber of opponent.

I'll have another draft recap for you all here soon.  Thanks for reading, and I look forward to all responses in the forums!


by Rob (Unregistered) (not verified) at Fri, 08/10/2007 - 18:14
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Thanks. That clears it up a bit and seems more on-target with what I would have expected.

Noobie question 1: When you draft and create a deck, you get to keep all the cards you draft, right? So even if you lose horribly, at least get to keep the cards you drafted?

Noobie question 2: What's the difference between 8-4 and 4-3-2-2? Which is better for a noobie?

by dragonmage65 at Wed, 08/08/2007 - 21:33
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That's only, of course, when you lose in the first round, which coupled with the actual drafting of cards takes about an hour (all drafts are single-elimination). If you're going to do a draft, you should probably set aside at least 3 hours of time to complete it, though it may or may not take that long. For new players it can be a hard lesson learned, though, so if it's your first draft, be sure to read up on drafting strategy. Start drafting 10th edition before you move on to other sets, since with core sets, the power level of cards are far easier to decipher.

Time consuming by mtgotraders at Tue, 08/07/2007 - 21:47
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If your good it can be pretty time consuming.  Honestly it depends on how far you get.  Usually for me it doesn't take more than an hour but I rarely win drafts.

by Rob (Unregistered) (not verified) at Wed, 08/08/2007 - 15:04
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So you draft, play, and complete everything in about an hour? That's shorter than I thought...

by JXClaytor at Mon, 08/06/2007 - 13:45
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I'm working on it, I promise :) I hope to have it finished by the end of the week.

Drafting by Rob (Unregistered) (not verified) at Tue, 08/07/2007 - 13:34
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I haven't drafted yet in MTGO. How long of a time commitment is it? Are there any draft leagues or anything like that where you could draft and then play off and on with the deck over the next week or more?

Drafting sounds like fun, but I have a lot of trouble blocking off more than an hour or so at a time to play, so I haven't really given it a shot yet. If drafting and then playing several rounds takes several consecutive hours, then I'm likely not going to be able to do it very often.

by JXClaytor at Sun, 08/05/2007 - 23:41
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I am pretty sure I never actually activated the Noble, She was too busy turning sideways to get in for two. 

I really love ETW.  It's at least really close to being FTW, which is what ETW does when I play it. 

I think I have cast ETW 1 millions times and have lost once on MTGO when it resolved.  (this by the way is a lie, it does however make me giggle.)

I disrespect the artist, I think he is really good in a three color base blue deck when you need to have all three colors, but in this deck i just felt he would be lacking.

Rift elemental is something I have overlooked, I've never thought of him being good, but then again I have a pretty narrow mind when I sit down.  Thanks for the suggestion, I'll look into him if I ever draft something this similiar again.

Draft Cap by JXClaytor at Sun, 08/05/2007 - 23:44
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I love draft cap, I think it is a great program, and a solid learning tool.  It lets you know what is going on, you can show it to people and see where you are messing up.

However, Draft Cap thinks it is funny to skip packs.  However, this is much better than the alternative that I can think of which is capturing a screen shot, opening MS PAint and copy pasting that bad boy in there. 

That is a lot of work, and slows down the draft a lot.  Hopefully, I'll get the kinks out soon, and I'll stop looking so computer illiterate with the program.

by JXClaytor at Sun, 08/05/2007 - 23:36
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Yeah I recognize that when I say that mono black is shallow in Future Sight that I am not drafting mono Black.  I know that I going to be playing another color. 

Another thing that you are correct about is me being married to my first pick.  That is a very true statement, and I can not argue that fact.  It's a horrible habit that I have, and as you'll see in later articles in the series it is a huge point that I need to confront in order to get better at drafting.  I have not tried the grabbing the best card in the pack and looking for signals method yet, because I have yet to evolve to that point in drafting, I constantly catch myself taking my first pick, and then building around it. 

I know 4322 are horrible, however, I wanted to get a grasp on the format before I jumped into the big boys pool.  I'll be in the 8-4 queue soon enough I promise, and I bet I'll be able to learn a lot more from that than I would from a 4322. 

When I started to play paper magic, i was around a lot of really good players, and we drafted all the time.  The catch to that was the winner got all the rares, so I was able to adapt a lot quicker using that draft style.  It was either learn how to do it right, or lose a lot of money every week. 

The 4322 queue however, has been really good in showing me what color combinations are the strongest.  It has shown me what is playable and what is chaff. 

I appreciate the comments, they were well thought out, and I hope they help.  Thank you.

by dee33 at Mon, 08/06/2007 - 09:36
dee33's picture

Nice article, I always enjoy reading about drafts :)

Just thought seen as you kept mentioning a list of top five commons/uncs/rares in each of the different draft packs it might be useful to actually name them in a article. I'm sure this would help drafters that were new to the draft and would also be an intresting point of debate.

Keep drafting and writing !

Hard by Sam Brown (Unregistered) (not verified) at Sun, 08/05/2007 - 23:23
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It's very hard to evaluate your draft because pack 2 is missing, but I found myself wanting the baloth over the sudden death, but I think i'm the one that's wrong. I have to assume I got something useful in green in pack 2. My first 4 picks were green, then I chose my second color on 5 with the corpulent corpse followed by tresspasser. Knowing this about my deck, I have to value madness higher in the planeshift pack and value the deepcavern imps highly in Future Sight. It looks like black gets cut off after looking deep in pack 1, so I have to assume someone else saw that signal too.... So I end up with a green beatstick machine, never a bad thing.  I just don't like first picking sudden death because of how bad it is in P and F unless you're dealt a bomb. My deck would probably win round one at least unless I got paired up badly.

by emk at Sun, 08/05/2007 - 21:54
emk's picture

Nice to see another draft article Mr. Claytor!

P2:  While Spirit Noble is clearly playable, keep in mind that the times you can swing with enough fliers to make the +1 Power ability a better deal than just swinging with the Noble is pretty rare.  I still love the card though!

P4:  You and your Empty the Warren! Makes me lol. After the exceptional green in the last pack, Weatherseed Totem was the correct pick here.

P10:  Though signals have gotten mixed at this point, I would have taken the Herd Gnarr.

P18: In general, I feel that Artist is better than Brute Force since it's an exceptional deck manipulation tool.  Brute Force seems better in a GR or WR deck, though it's certainly playable in UR too.

P43: I cannot begin to tell you how good Rift Elemental can be in a deck like yours.  Whenever I get an early Arc Blade, I start looking for Rift Elementals.  The trick is to try to hold them back until the late game.  I've won quite a few by using my pile of mana to do 2 to 6 direct damage to my opponent each turn with my Blade (targetting critters can be risky with the Blade since there are tons of bounce effects int he format).  While attacking with the Elemental early might look sexy, it's really just an invitation to get him killed before he becomes really useful.


by JohnnyHardcore at Sun, 08/05/2007 - 20:20
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I know it's a few days after the fact, but hopefully you're still reading comments.  First off, I noticed in both your drafts you seemed afraid to draft black because of a supposed weakness in FS.  Well, though it is not the deepest color, black does have Ichor Slick, Death Rattle, Deepcavern Imp, Mass of Ghouls, Cutthroat Il-Dal and Stronghold Rats as excellent to acceptable picks, and it's doubtful that you're drafting mono-black so you DO have another color to go into.  That said, you also seem to get married to your first pick a lot of the time.  ETW in your first draft big time, and seemingly the Death (just by your comment on the second pick that there were no other good black cards) in your second draft, though you did jump out of black when appropriate.  That early in the draft it is better to snag the best card in the pack and watch for signals to hopefully figure out what your upstream neighbors are in, then cement your colors in.  Even then it is important to be able to switch colors or pick up a different supporting color in pack 2, as you have no real control over what your downstream neighbor takes, regardless of the signals you send.  Last general comment is that you should really draft 8-4s.  Yes, they are hard.  Yes, half the people there are 1800+.  But the fact is that you do not learn ANYTHING drafting 4-3-2-2.  The average quality of drafter in 4-3-2-2 is horrible.  8th pick Expanse?  You cannot with a straight face tell me that every person in the draft before you had a better option for his/her deck than the second best mana fixer in the block.  Simply put, you can learn to draft 4-3-2-2 well, and you can even get your rating above 1700 in a fairly short time.  But if you try to move to 8-4 from there, you will do terribly, as the people in 8-4 know what they are doing.  You cannot lucksack your way into a good deck in 8-4, the only way to do it is to have good drafting skills.  Which you only learn in 8-4.  Try it out.  You'll probably get slaughtered your first few times (I know I did), but if you're any good at picking up strategies at all, you'll learn quicker.

by one million words at Fri, 08/03/2007 - 07:47
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Hey, welcome aboard!

Storm? by Isotope (Unregistered) (not verified) at Fri, 08/03/2007 - 10:06
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Grats' on winning.  Much better draft than the last one.  The first pick was pretty close between Djinn, Baloth, and Death as they all cut their respective colors fairly well, and Sudden Death is a reasonable pick there.  I'm not sure why you value storm so high, though.  It was really good in TTT due to the probability of multiple Warrens, Stokers, etc, but I don't see it being very relevent in TPF.

I agreed with you on most of the essential picks.  There were just a few that I would have done differently:

Feebleness > Flamecore Elemental: with so much bounce out there, I'd hate to be playing a big echo guy without Haste

Sage of Epitr > AEtherflame Wall: he sets up your first few draws and just might get a few beats in before big stuff starts dropping.

Keldon Marauders > Merfolk Thaumaturgist: I would never pick Thaumaturgist that high.  In your tempo-y deck, Marauders will likely hit for 5, making it easier for your evasive guys and burn to finish the job.

by Isotope (Unregistered) (not verified) at Fri, 08/03/2007 - 11:55
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Storm definitely has the potential to be good due to the enablers and its synergy with Suspend, but I guess I try to avoid it because I don't want the temptation of being cute.  If you value Storm too highly, and you see a few suspenders and a Warrens in your hand, you may try to hard to suspend things on the right turns to setup a big storm while ignoring a stronger play to setup your board.  If you can use it without becoming single-minded, then more power to ya.  I guess seeing that much emphasis on it made me think you might be too focused on a storm deck, rather than a good deck that happens to run Warrens.

You're right that Feebleness vs. Elemental probably didn't matter, but at least you could have robbed some decent removal from someone in Black.  That early in the draft and with Sudden Death in your pool, it never hits to have some more Black cards in case Red takes a bad turn.

Well done overall, though.  You ended up with a very strong deck.

by JXClaytor at Fri, 08/03/2007 - 10:44
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I think I value storm so high now because if it works in the three pack format it is very powerful.

Again though this is a very bad habit that I have picked up, and I am trying very hard to not let my habits dictate what I do anymore.

As for feebleness v wall, I'm not sure it really mattered, but I was sure I had a better chance of playing the wall at least out of the board.  I want to avoid black as much as possible.

Maruader v Merfolk may have been an oversight. 

by JXClaytor at Thu, 08/02/2007 - 19:35
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This draft went very smooth, and thankfully I have a disposition to not playing black as it already is. I know it is weak in Future Sight, and I do not want to have to try to split the good black between me and a few other people.  I'll fight for the blue and white in FS because it is very deep across the common level.

Of course, this draft went well, but there are a few coming up that are absolute wrecks. 

Thanks for the good words. 

by Tyler (Unregistered) (not verified) at Thu, 08/02/2007 - 22:19
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I liked the picks overall, however, did disagree with pack 18, I woulda picked the dreamscape, although brute force is not BAD there, and your philosphy that blue is about evasive beats... I mean, they are, but I feel like the primary reason to run blue is card advantage and selection, like foresee (woulda been my pick), and counters (you have a choice to stop any given spell), and all-around utility (bounce for example, can make a teamblock on your strong creature a disaster, set them back on lands if they stumble, remove key blockers, etc).  There were no points I woulda actually TAKEN a counter, but I just wanted to point out those things.

draft recap by Anonymous (Unregistered) (not verified) at Thu, 08/02/2007 - 17:39
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Congratualations on the 3-0.

 Very nice draft. I like the first pick even though you had to go away from black it was the right pick and you made a good read going UR.

Actually the only pick I disagree with you on this draft is skipping the forsee over the second drake, and that is more a preference pick. Forsee has been an outstanding card for me so far.

Anyway congrats again and keep up the good work.