JXClaytor's picture
By: JXClaytor, Joshua Claytor
Aug 19 2007 6:27pm
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You know, I'm still waiting for the other shoe to drop.  I'm waiting to draft, and find out that I have not really learned anything and I was the benefactor of sitting next to people that clearly had no idea of what was going on in the world of Time Spiral Block drafts.  

Of course, I am hoping that I have actually learned something, and can take this expirence in to the big boys room of the 8-4 queue.  There as I understand, the learning curve is a lot more severe, and the competition much more fierce.  I want to get to the 8-4 room as soon as possible, but a part of me says I have not earned it yet, and another part of me says I am much to scared (maybe horrible.) to survive in the room without having to spend one million dollars on rebuys before I get the point. 

So for now, I am still in the lower room, fighting other mages that want to eventually do the same thing as I do. 

Get better at Magic: the Gathering.

Since I had a draft set laying around in the binder, I decided it was wise to go ahead and run another draft.  Let's take a look at what I took, what went right, and most importantly what went wrong.

Pack 1:

Flamecore Elemental, Mana Skimmer, Nantuko Shaman, Coral Trickster, Benalish Cavalry, Dream Stalker, Wormwood Dryad, Venser's Sliver, Clockspinning, Bogardan Rager, Pull from Eternity, Locket of Yesterdays, Sudden Death, Verdant Embrace, Merfolk Assassin

Pick: Verdant Embrace

I think there were only two correct picks here in this pack, which gave me a little bit or relief because I have a hard time deciding about picks in a very solid pack.  It came down to Sudden Death and Verdant Embrace for me.  Both of the cards have benefits Death deals with just about any random creature in the format and can be dealt with in only a few ways.  Embrace allows me to completly dominate the ground, making essentially two creatures a turn, and turning one of my men into a giant monster.  Of course, this draws a huge target to the guy that is enchanted, but I thought the risk of getting two for one'd was not enough to sway me from the powerful enchantment.

Plus I hate black. 

I bet you thought I was not going to say that right? 

Pack 2:

Zealot il-Vec, Urborg Syphon-Mage, Snapback, Aether Web, Drifter il-Dal, Subterranean Shambler, Havenwood Wurm, Chameleon Blur, Sudden Shock, Thunder Totem, Truth or Tale, Moonlace, Faceless Butcher, Forest

Pick: Faceless Butcher

This pack is a little juicer than the previous pack with Snapback, Sudden Shock, Faceless Butcher and to a point Thunder Totem staring back at me.  Butcher and Sudden Shock are very good pieces of removal, but like Snapback the Butcher is only a temporary solution to something that could be a long term problem.  Passing the Shock and the Snapback, both very good colors, could be good for me though.  I'll set up drafters down stream from me into thinking that other really good cards in that color are going to come to them, but in reality I am just to choke them out.  However, I opted not to use this strategy, and just took the removal on a stick in Faceless Butcher.  I felt he was just the best pick. 

Pack 3:

Search for Tomorrow, Icatian Crier, Dark Withering, Goblin Skycutter, Strength in Numbers, Ancient Grudge, Greenseeker, Foriysian Interceptor, Basal Sliver, Vampiric Sliver, Weatherseed Totem, Chronatog Totem, Browbeat

Pick: Search for Tomorrow

Again we have a pretty solid pack, with Search for Tomorrow and Weatherseed Totem garnering the most attention from me.  Dark Withering would have given me a nice piece of removal if I could come up with some madness outlets, but I strongly doubted madness would be the way for me to go.  I know I could get the lion's share of Deepcavern Imps from Future Sight, but he just seems really underpowered to me.  I stuck with the base green cards here for what seemed like an eternity, and setteled on mana finixing over the totem.   Search seems better because I know I am going to be in two colors, it allows me to find the second color where as the totem just does not. 

Pack 4:

Flamecore Elemental, Feebleness, Castle Raptors, Chromatic Star, Eternity Snare, Skulking Knight, Sidewinder Sliver, Mwonvuli Acid-Moss, Harmonic Sliver, Durkwood Tracker, Pull from Eternity, Mountain

Pick: Castle Raptors

In my mind there was one right pick, even if I was leaning towards Green Black.  Castle Raptors is easily splashable if I need to splash an extra color, plus he is pretty solid in the air, providing great defense against the most played flying creatures in the format.

Pack 5:

Pack 7:

Amrou Seekers, Temporal Eddy, Mogg War Marshal, Drudge Reavers, Jedit's Dragoons, Sprout, Foriysian Interceptor, Aetherflame Wall

Pick: Amrou Seekers

Phantom Warrior

I really had no clue that we were related. 

From this pack we still have a very solid white body with evasion in the Seekers.  Having this and the Dragoons so late in the pack could show that white is being under drafted.  If that is indeed the case, than the Seekers is the correct pick, because against most opponents he would be a two powered unblockable creature. 

Pack 6:

Tolarian Sentinel, Trespasser il-Vec, Molder, Children of Korlis, Viscid Lemures, Ground Rift, Harmonic Sliver, Durkwood Tracker, Voidmage Husher, Island

Pick: Harmonic Sliver

I can not even begin to describe what went wrong here.  Maybe, just maybe I thought I was going to be in Green White forever, based on the back of Castle Raptors.  I mean why else would I disregard the correct pick of the Trespasser?  I mean, I may not get that Dark Withering back, but at least I could get a playable man, instead of some stupid sliver.  I mean the chances of me casting this guy are small to begin with, but even smaller when I consider, this might kill my own enchantment. 

This is a really horrible pick, and I apologize, I have no idea what was going through my little pea brain when I clicked on the sliver.

Pack 7:

Drudge Reavers, Pentarch Ward, Flickering Spirit, Ghitu Firebreathing, Bewilder, Detainment Spell, Opaline Sliver, Voidmage Husher, Evil Eye of Urborg

Pick: Flickering Spirit

Well, there was another sliver here, at least I was able to ignore it for a minute so I could grab what I thought was just the best card in the pack remaining.  I grabbed the Flickering Spirit, as again he is easily splashed, plus he is not a bad body for his cost.

Pack 8:

Feebleness, Chromatic Star, Skulking Knight, Viashino Bladescout, Ophidian Eye, Evil Eye of Urborg, Barbed Shocker, Claws of Gix

Pick: Chromatic Star

I disrespect Feebleness, I feel that it does not do enough when I draw it.  Yeah I know that it gets rid of the small men of the format, and can be a decent combat trick, I just feel that I could do better with a pick than use it on what I feel is a piece of subpar removal.  Chromatic Star at least fixes my mana the turn that I need to cast a double casting cost spell and replaces itself with a new card. 

Pack 9:

Flamecore Elemental, Mana Skimmer, Coral Trickster, Clockspinning, Pull from Eternity, Locket of Yesterdays, Merfolk Assassin

Pick: Mana Skimmer

I might end up in black yet.  Mana Skimmer is a solid if unspectacular body that can put the clamps down on any mana screwed opponent.  He's not really a bomb, just more of a minor inconvience to play against though.  This guy by himself is not going to scream out at me to commit to black. 

Pack 10:

Aether Web, Drifter il-Dal, Chameleon Blur, Truth or Tale, Moonlace, Forest

Pick: Aether Web

Pack 11:

Ancient Grudge, Foriysian Interceptor, Basal Sliver, Vampiric Sliver, Chronatog Totem

Pick: Vampiric Sliver

I found it very weird that both of the playable black slivers would be back around this late in the draft.  I like Vampiric more because he can allow your team to get bigger if you have enough slivers.  He does not seem bad in a Black White Sliver deck, where you have Poultice and SInew gumming up the ground. 

Pack 12:

Flamecore Elemental, Eternity Snare, Skulking Knight, Harmonic Sliver

Pick: Harmonic Sliver

At least he is good with Vampiric Sliver. 

I still have no idea of what I was thinking in that pack. Sorry.

Pack 13:

Sprout, Foriysian Interceptor, Detainment Spell

Pick: Foriysian Interceptor

Pack 14:

Ground Rift, Island

Pick: Island

Pack 15:

Ghitu Firebreathing

Pick: Ghitu Firebreathing

Pack 16:

Mire Boa, Battering Sliver, Aven Riftwatcher, Deadly Grub, Dust Corona, Reality Acid, Blightspeaker, Piracy Charm, Skirk Shaman, Revered Dead, Kavu Predator, Saltblast, Blood Knight, Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth, Sinew Sliver

Pick: Sinew Sliver

Again, here I think is a glaring oversight of a bad pick.  Maybe I thought I was short on men.  Maybe I thought I was going to run a sliver deck, or maybe I just got blinded by having a playable constructed foil that is basically worthless in my draft pile.  I can claim that I did not see the Saltblast, and it was pretty clear that I was going to be in White after getting a couple of good fliers.  Saltblast should have been the pick here.

Pack 17:

Ridged Kusite, Dawn Charm, Shaper Parasite, Cradle to Grave, Brain Gorgers, Fury Charm, Wistful Thinking, Citanul Woodreaders, Rathi Trapper, Primal Plasma, Skirk Shaman, Riftmarked Knight, Venarian Glimmer, Calciderm

Pick: Calciderm

I approve of picking the Calciderm here.  He is an machine for four turns, and he plays well with any potential rescue creatures that I can grab out of this pack. 

Pack 18:

Needlepeak Spider, Mire Boa, Dreamscape Artist, Evolution Charm, Reality Acid, Deadly Grub, Citanul Woodreaders, Revered Dead, Melancholy, Vampiric Link, Mantle of Leadership, Pyrohemia, Intet, the Dreamer

Pick: Pyrohemia

I saw the Pyrohemia, and I wish I had a video camera on me when I did the classic spit take on my computer.  Let me tell you, sometimes Mountain Dew does not want to come off of a monitor.  Pyrohemia is a FIRST PICK.  IT REALLY IS THAT GOOD! 

Wait, there is a Dragon in the pack too.  I could have shipped both of these bombs and hoped for the best, but I decided to take the Pyrohemia because I did not want to have to play against it later. 

Pack 19:

Reflex Sliver, Whitemane Lion, Midnight Charm, Saltfield Recluse, Synchronous Sliver, Ghost Tactician, Fury Charm, Simian Spirit Guide, Fa'adiyah Seer, Riftmarked Knight, Cautery Sliver, Jedit Ojanen of Efrava

Pick: Jedit Ojanen of Efrava

I think that there were four picks that could have been viable in this pack.  Jedit (number one super bomb, closest thing to Verdant Force in the set, because it makes men when he attacks.) Saltfield Recluse, Riftmarked Knight, and Whitemane Lion were all considered.  I figured I could let the commons through, really if white is being underdrafted, than there is a pretty good chance that one of those two would come back around.  Riftmarked Knight seemed a little mediocre when compared to the giant cat legend, and even if there may be a mana issue when casting him (Those three green mana symbols can be a little scary.) he just seemed to be the type of creature that could dominate a game. 

Pack 20:

Reflex Sliver, Poultice Sliver, Spitting Sliver, Brain Gorgers, Keldon Marauders, Ghost Tactician, Essence Warden, Simian Spirit Guide, Shivan Meteor, Retether

Pick: Poultice Sliver

First Pyrohemia and now Shivan Meteor.  There is a red mage that is going to have a really good deck because of this pack.  Maybe.

Poultice Sliver was the pick for me, I have a soft spot in my heart for this guy.  With my FOIL Sinew Sliver, I have a cheap 3/3 for three that can regenerate!  He can also blow up enchantments and artifacts with my Harmonic Slivers!  What a deal!!!

Pack 21:

Synchronous Sliver, Utopia Vow, Dawn Charm, Firefright Mage, Uktabi Drake, Mana Tithe, Vampiric Link, Treacherous Urge, Aether Membrane

Pick: Utopia Vow

I am sure that I am in Green White, Vow is pretty decent removal in these colors (Not as good as Saltblast, but it at least stops a White creature or something with Protection from White.)

Pack 22:

Reflex Sliver, Poultice Sliver, Fury Charm, Seal of Primordium, Bog Serpent, Tidewalker, Frozen Aether, Fatal Frenzy

Pick: Reflex Sliver

Well this is another horrible pick, and it should have been the Poultice Sliver.  Maybe I have no idea what I am doing and I deserve to be in the 4-3-2-2 queue for as long as I play MTGO.  I am sure that I could have gotten a Reflex Sliver at the 12th or 13th pick instead of here. 

Pack 23:

Battering Sliver, Deadly Grub, Dust Corona, Reality Acid, Skirk Shaman, Revered Dead, Kavu Predator

Pick: Kavu Predator

Pack 24:

Ridged Kusite, Dawn Charm, Brain Gorgers, Fury Charm, Wistful Thinking, Venarian Glimmer

Pick: Dawn Charm

Pack 25:

Needlepeak Spider, Reality Acid, Deadly Grub, Revered Dead, Melancholy

Pick: Revered Dead

Pack 26:

Synchronous Sliver, Fury Charm, Simian Spirit Guide, Fa'adiyah Seer

Pick: Fa'adiyah Seer

Pack 27:

Battering Sliver, Firefright Mage, Healing Leaves

Pick: Battering Sliver

Pack 28:

Reflex Sliver, Keldon Marauders

Pick: Reflex Sliver

Pack 29:

Firefright Mage

Pick: Firefright Mage

Pack 30:

Foresee, Emberwilde Augur, Putrid Cyclops, Augur il-Vec, Ichor Slick, Blind Phantasm, Virulent Sliver, Ghostfire, Mass of Ghouls, Blade of the Sixth Pride, Dust of Moments, Reality Strobe, Festering March, Seht's Tiger, Even the Odds

Pick: Seht's Tiger

I guess the only good thing that came out of this pack was I did not just up and pick the Sliver.  Tiger is good in those rare situations when your opponent makes an alpha strike hoping to just win the game, and this guy can make sure you stay in the game by preventing most of the alpha strike damage. 

However, based off of previous picks, I'm really surprised I did not mindlessly take the foil here.  Maybe I am not horrible, and am just getting bored of the 4-3-2-2 room.

I'm going to stick with being horrible though. 

Pack 31:

Venser's Diffusion, Judge Unworthy, Kavu Primarch, Oblivion Crown, Emberwilde Augur, Aven Augur, Whip-Spine Drake, Lymph Sliver, Homing Sliver, Sporoloth Ancient, Emblem of the Warmind, New Benalia, Magus of the Moon, Emberwilde Augur

Pick: Judge Unworthy

I'll take some removal over a big dumb dude most of the time, and this pick was no different. 

Pack 32:

Rift Elemental, Augur il-Vec, Llanowar Empath, Grave Peril, Marshaling Cry, Sarcomite Myr, Death Rattle, Homing Sliver, Edge of Autumn, Lymph Sliver, Utopia Mycon, Haze of Rage, Dakmor Salvage

Pick: Edge of Autumn

Well third pick mana fixing seems to be a surprise here, I'll take the multitalented Edge of Autumn, who can accelerate me into bigger creatures, or get me a new card in the late game. 

Pack 33:

Petrified Plating, Bogardan Lancer, Venser's Diffusion, Oblivion Crown, Saltskitter, Grinning Ignus, Whip-Spine Drake, Mass of Ghouls, Lucent Liminid, Keldon Megaliths, Ravaging Riftwurm, Shah of Naar Isle

Pick: Lucent Liminid

I'll take another solid flyer in white.  With both Whip-Spine and the Liminid in the same pack, it was a harder pick, but considering I am heavier in white, I can take the Liminid and hope to grab some morphs later on. 

Pack 34:

Cutthroat il-Dal, Gift of Granite, Quiet Disrepair, Lumithread Field, Mesmeric Sliver, Deepcavern Imp, Nessian Courser, Blade of the Sixth Pride, Cloudseeder, Skirk Ridge Exhumer, Llanowar Reborn

Pick: Lumithread Field

I think this pick was a toss up between the Field and the Courser.  I stuck with the Field because it is really annoying to play against.  When my 2/3 creatures get to bounce of the opposing 2/2 creatures and live through it, it seems like a pretty good deal.  It also can be a tricky tricky morph creature that can assign damage, and then turn face up. 

Pack 35:

Grave Peril, Wrap in Vigor, Samite Censer-Bearer, Putrid Cyclops, Grinning Ignus, Deepcavern Imp, Logic Knot, Llanowar Mentor, Sliversmith, Dust of Moments

Pick: Llanowar Mentor

There was nothing else that I was too impressed with in this pack.  Mentor can turn extra lands or dead cards into blockers so he at least seemed to be a better pick than anything else.  Of course Deepcavern Imp could have also been nice here.  Splashable flier with no real draw back. 

Pack 36:

Cutthroat il-Dal, Llanowar Augur, Augur of Skulls, Frenzy Sliver, Mesmeric Sliver, Patrician's Scorn, Sarcomite Myr, Soultether Golem, Shapeshifter's Marrow

Pick: Llanowar Augur

Pack 37:

Samite Censer-Bearer, Bogardan Lancer, Henchfiend of Ukor, Lumithread Field, Stronghold Rats, Dakmor Salvage, Arc Blade, Nessian Courser

Pick: Nessian Courser

Again this was a toss up, I think I wanted to have a 3/3 man, instead of another morph. 

Pack 38:

Emberwilde Augur, Putrid Cyclops, Augur il-Vec, Mass of Ghouls, Dust of Moments, Reality Strobe, Festering March

Pick: Augur il-Vec

Pack 39:

Oblivion Crown, Emberwilde Augur, Homing Sliver, Cyclical Evolution, Sliversmith, Chronomantic Escape

Pick: Chronomantic Escape

Pack 40:

Augur il-Vec, Grave Peril, Sarcomite Myr, Homing Sliver, Haze of Rage

Pick: Augur il-Vec

Pack 41:

Petrified Plating, Bogardan Lancer, Oblivion Crown, Grinning Ignus

Pick: Petrified Plating

Pack 43:

Gift of Granite, Quiet Disrepair, Mesmeric Sliver

Pick: Quiet Disrepair

Pack 44:

Samite Censer-Bearer, Putrid Cyclops

Pick: Samite Censer-Bearer

Pack 45:

Oblivion Crown

Pick: Oblivion Crown

A small part of me says I have learned nothing from this expirement at all.  I think I do not actually deserve to win a game, let alone a match with the pile that I drafted.  Many mistakes were made, and I feel like I have taken a full step backward in this process.  Anyway, enough of drama, here is the deck that I played.


1 Dawn Charm 
1 Judge Unworthy
1 Luminthread Field
1 Amrou Seekers
1 Calciderm
1 Flickering Spirit
1 Lucent Liminid 
1 Castle Raptors
1 Sinew Sliver
1 Poultice Sliver
1 Seht's Tiger


1 Edge of Autumn
1 Search for Tomorrow 
1 Verdant Embrace
1 AEther Web
1 Utopia Vow
1 Kavu Predator 
2 Reflex Sliver
1 Nessian Courser
1 Kavu Predator 
1 Llanowar Mentor
1 Jedit Ojanen of Efrava


1 Chromatic Star


9 Forest
8 Plains 

Lucent Liminid

This creature may have been the best card in my deck.  Note the sarcasm here. 

Yes, I am very dissapointed with this deck.  It has fourteen creatures in it, and that is a very low number in this format.  I typically want to have seventeen at a minimum, and this deck just seemed to be really awful.

I'm not going to lie.  Homer would have written an epic poem about how awful this deck was.  

Surprisingly though, I actually won a round.  Sometimes no matter how bad the deck is you get those opening hands where you get to curve out perfectly.  I was against a Red Green deck in the first round, and I just got to curve out well.  I had the turn two Edge both games, got to cast an early man, and then followed that up with the Embrace.  There is very little the Red Green player can do to remove an Embraced man, short of me you know attacking into a superior board. 

Thankfully, that board never really developed, and I was able to cruise to victory. 

Round two, I actually got paired against a good player, and my event was done. 

So, I need to get my head on right.  I can not let school or an upcoming surgery to rattle me and make me do poorly.  As long as I have packs on the account I am going to keep fighting for my goals though.  There is no point in giving up just because I did so poorly. 

I'm now left with at bit fewer points, 1668 to be exact, and 1700 now seems like miles away.  I have a pack of Planar Chaos and two Future Sight packs to my name.  After selling some rares, I got my Time Spiral pack and it was time to draft again. 

Well, not yet at least, i'm much to disgusted with what I just did. 

Good luck to those playing in the future, and I of course, look foward to the comments. 




by JohnnyHardcore at Fri, 08/24/2007 - 15:38
JohnnyHardcore's picture

I agree that the drafting in this one was a step backwards.  Sudden Death is definately one of the best, if not the best removal spells in the format.  Embrace is really cool IF you can get it to stick, but there is way too much removal and bounce in this format you spend your turn 5 trying to pants up a dork only to get it Snapbacked.  That's no good.  If you'd gone Death, Butcher, Withering then you have 2 good removal spells and a decent-good one, and are primed to snag the castle raptors 4th and go for what I can presume would have been a pretty boss WB deck. 

 Also, I whole heartedly agree with the poster who said signals mean nothing in 4-3-2-2, again, this is one of the reasons I have been prodding you this whole time to start doing 8-4s.  You may be a bad drafter, but all you will learn in 4-3-2-2 is how to beat bad drafters, and worst case is you'll pick up bad drafting habits and get eaten alive when facing good drafters.  Long point short, the longer you spend in 4-3-2-2, the longer it will take you to shake the bad drafting habits in 8-4, and the more money you will end up spending to get good.  Try doing an 8-4 in XXX, core set is notoriously easier to draft all around, it's easier to learn when you're processing less complex information.

draft by Tyler (Unregistered) (not verified) at Thu, 08/23/2007 - 09:27
Tyler (Unregistered)'s picture

My only problem that I don't see addressed was that I would have taken the sudden shock 2nd pick IF you pass the black removall first pick, so you signal to him black is open, and have set yourself up in r/g, a strong combination.

by JXClaytor at Wed, 08/22/2007 - 19:54
JXClaytor's picture

I think it is okay to underrate cards, I def overrate most removal, even if it is a situational sorcery speed card like Saltblast.

Honestly I think if Pyrohemia is in your pack, and you're not in red, it is okay to run with it.  I'd rather have a dead card in my board, than face down a dominating one that I could have stopped and lose to it. 

Weatherseed Totem by Anonymous (Unregistered) (not verified) at Wed, 08/22/2007 - 11:25
Anonymous (Unregistered)'s picture

I agree it would have made more sense to pick the totem, I think the only thing you have to worry about is ovinize, which did happen to me in a draft a few weeks ago.  Weatherseed can almost be considered a removal spell because it most always will be blocked, plus it returns to your hand when it hits the graveyard, if you're lucky enough to get this out turn 3, your opponent will be trying to find answers for it the rest of the game.

by JXClaytor at Wed, 08/22/2007 - 19:52
JXClaytor's picture

I absolutly love this train of thought, and looking at it from your point of view, it is correct. 

Very good idea.

Sorry about the lack of replies. by JXClaytor at Wed, 08/22/2007 - 17:26
JXClaytor's picture

I want to thank you all for the replies, and I am taking this all to heart.  You're going to see a brand new donkey in the series to follow, and hopefully this is a donk that can be more than a beast of burden.

However, this will be my last reply for a while.  I just had surgery today, it was a success, and now I have no gallbladder.  I'm under intense pain meds, and stitting up like I am now for longer than 2 minutes sucks. 

I have a laptop, and I have a back load of drafts, I'll write them up tomorrow-Sunday. 


Thanks again you all.  I do appreciate it. 

by Kev (Unregistered) (not verified) at Wed, 08/22/2007 - 03:58
Kev (Unregistered)'s picture

How come nobody is actually thinking about the search vs green totem pick? The totem is an absolute house in draft being almost impossible to deal with. Search has lost a lot of its value because its easily replaced with edge of autumn now in FUT. The Totem can win games by itself

Dear Donkey by Anonymous (Unregistered) (not verified) at Wed, 08/22/2007 - 11:12
Anonymous (Unregistered)'s picture

Dear Donkey.  You are indeed a horrible drafter. But you are a fine writer.  Listen to the advise and try again.  and more importantly. Think about it. Now. And tonight in bed.  And next time you play.

I became a better player with the WWKD  method.   That is keep saying to yourself (or write a note and stick it to your monitor):  What Would Kamiel DO?  (Kamiel Cornellisen is out local town magic hero  with 200+ pro points, insert your own local hero if appropriate)

why does it work?  It makes you THINK just that little longer.  Every time you read the WWKD note your brain stops a moment and think.  ok BEFORE I click this card or pass priority.. WHAT WOULD KAMIEL DO?  would he draft that sliver? NO!  

You see, people read 100 articles on the internet, but they forget 90% of what they read.  The next time the go to FNM or crack some virtual packs for a draft they make the same mistakes again and again.  The Kamiels (Kai's Finkel's, Kenji's etc of this world stopped making those mistakes years ago and they keep getting better and better. because they take the time to think.  and reflect etc

good luck 








The Error... by Isotope (Unregistered) (not verified) at Tue, 08/21/2007 - 11:16
Isotope (Unregistered)'s picture

It was just a generic IE error: page not found, I think, which I found strange...

by Anonymous (Unregistered) (not verified) at Tue, 08/21/2007 - 20:38
Anonymous (Unregistered)'s picture

Maybe I underrate Saltblast, but I would have taken Mire Boa over both it and Sinew Sliver. 

And Pyrohemia is ridiculous, but if you had known you were going to end the draft as GW, would you still have hated the Pyrohemia over the boa?

I would have taken the Boa in both situations.

by JXClaytor at Tue, 08/21/2007 - 08:34
JXClaytor's picture

I actually like the Spirit more than ward.  I think ward is pretty playable however.  It has a lot of uses, but when I pick between the two, I'm almost always taking the flyer.

Red Cards&Signals by iceage4life (Unregistered) (not verified) at Tue, 08/21/2007 - 10:50
iceage4life (Unregistered)'s picture

To comment on other comments, Marauders is not good unless you have a hyper agressive deck.  It does not deal five to their face or trade with a creature.  Often late game it bounces off a Dream Stalker or gets murdered by a 5/5 or something.  Browbeat again not a good card, only in a very agressive deck will it be worth it and even then I wouldn't pick it super high.  In the third pack there were 4 cards clearly better then it and 3 that were toss-ups.

 As far as bad signals from passing the black card, I partly agree.  However my experance in 4-3-2-2s is that singals mean squat.  Take what you want other people will still be forcing a color based on their first pick.

 And on switching to Red after the Pyrohemia, that wouldn't have worked out well.  He would have ended up with very few Red playables and Pyrohemia is not a good card for a splash.

ok by Isotope (Unregistered) (not verified) at Mon, 08/20/2007 - 12:23
Isotope (Unregistered)'s picture

I agree that you might be overvaluing slivers.  :)  It seems to be that you either want to be drafting all Slivers or none.  Going up against sliver and non-sliver decks alike with only a small sliver sub-theme is definitely underpowered, in my experience.

First Pick?  Ok, I could go either way here.  Embrace is a fine pick.  Second Pick?  Here's where I think you went wrong.  You already passed a Sudden Death, putting at least one guy to your left in heavy black.  With both Butcher and Syphon-Mage in this pack, there's no way you can now cut it.  Even if you take Butcher, they'll likely take the Mage, and now you're fighting for Black with a creature that requires heavy Black.  If you take the Sudden Shock here, you're sending a clear signal that Black is open, putting at least one guy in Black and maybe two, plus a decent signal that Red and Green are not open, as Wurm, Web, and Shambler are mid-late picks.  This should clear you up to get good stuff in PLC, as one or more guys to your left will be heavily favoring Black, due to Death, Butcher, Mage, and Withering.  I would have passed the Butcher, and every subsequent Black card.

Next, in Planar Chaos, you get Pyrohemia.  It's still early enough to do WgR or RGw.  Not that you could have known at the time, but you could have followed that pick with Meteor, Spider, Membrane, Shaman, Spider, Charm, and Marauders*.  FUT obviously didn't see much Red, but that's because you passed so much good Red in PLC.

I also would have hate-drafted before picking 2 Augur il-Vecs.  You were passing some decent stuff and getting nothing yourself.

* Don't underestimate Keldon Marauders.  90% of the time, it's a Lava Axe for 1R.  Otherwise, it's "Destroy target creature and deal 2 damage to its controller."  Even if you don't draw it early, it can still deal the final 2 damage to kill your opponent, or trade with one of their guys on the ground.

by JXClaytor at Tue, 08/21/2007 - 08:32
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I like Mire Boa just fine, he is just really lower on my list of green commons I noticed two chances to take the snake, and the first time I took Sinew over it and Saltblast, and the second time, I took Pyrohemia.

I'm not going to pass that card in most situations.

However, the first pick with the Boa, I should have taken saltblast anyway.  I have a lot of respect for a 2/1 with evasion that can stick around and block forever.

by Anonymous (Unregistered) (not verified) at Mon, 08/20/2007 - 22:12
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You seem not to like Mire Boa.  Why is that?

Wow by Isotope (Unregistered) (not verified) at Mon, 08/20/2007 - 12:25
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Apparently I learned nothing from the previous comments.  I also apologize for my repeated posts.  I got errors every time.  Can an administrator clean that up?  It's terrible...

Fixed by mtgotraders at Mon, 08/20/2007 - 13:57
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Should be fixed now.  If you get an error just make sure to check and make sure it's not already posted.  Also if you don't mind sending me an e-mail with the error code that would be great so i can get it fixed.

by khirareq at Mon, 08/20/2007 - 19:36
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/me shakes fingers at editors

 Is Flickering Spirit better than Pentarch Ward?  It's been pretty bruising, in my experience.

by emk at Mon, 08/20/2007 - 10:00
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I hope I'm not starting to get a reputation for giving harsh critiques.  Oh well.

"Plus I hate black."  *sigh*  I'm glad there's people like you out there, because you just make my draft decks better.

Anyhow, here are the picks I would have made thru the first booster (TSP) and first pick of booster 2 (PLC), since what I would be passed would obviously be different:

Sudden Death (In general, I would take Lava Axe, Soot, Sudden Death, and possibly Tendrils over an Embrance.)

Faceless Butcher (Sudden Shock is tempting, but since they are both solid removal and one is already in my color, I'll give the nod to the Butcher) [note: passed good W B R]

Dark Withering [note: passed good  B R G]

Castle Raptors (I'm no big fan of white, but getting such a good card so late is a great signal) [note: good W B R]

Amrou Seekers (finally a pick we agree on) [W U R...but it would be nice to see the rest of the cards from this pack]

Tresspasser il-Vec [U B]

Flickering Spirit [WB]

Feebleness [B] 

Mana Skimmer [UBR]

AEther Web [UG] 

Vampiric Sliver [B] 

Skulking Knight [BR]




You basically seem to have been blinded by the sexiness of Embrance and totally ignored the fact that, aside from pack 3, you had no signals that Green would ever be open.  Notice how the green cards quickly dried up in the third booster (FUT) because the same guy taking all the good green in TSP was still taking all the good green in FUT.

I'll conceed that you didn't see as much good black in FUT as I would have expected (only 1 Rattle), so I would guess someone who wasn't set in black in TSP opened a Damnation or somesuch in PLC, and since you let the PLC black pass you by, he gobbled them up and switched to black.



Picks by iceage4life (Unregistered) (not verified) at Sun, 08/19/2007 - 23:41
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P18 Hate drafting here is so bad I can't put it into words.  All three of the green cards were better picks.

P32 Empath

P34 The 3/3 is much better.  In 8-4s you rarely see them past pick 4 or 5, you see Feilds sometimes as late as 12th.

P35 You really thought about Deepcavern Imp?  Is isn't that good in black decks and worse in a non black deck with no madness cards.  A 2/2 hasted flyer with built in card disadvantage won't win you games in this format.

P39 Sliversmith, decent SB card if you face a Sliver deck.  You have nothing to abuse Escape with.


Last comment, overall I'd say you highly overvalue slivers.  Having 2-5 slivers in your deck is pretty sub-par most of the time. 

by PureFirePower at Mon, 08/20/2007 - 02:07
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P28 Marauders still around with 2 cards left? that is amazing.

P18 def the charm or green critters


Over all the choices you had wasn't really all that great. I don't see anyway to have made a better deck out of same selection than what you did other than going red as one of color. But the deck is really not bad. Don't be so hard on yourself, you won the first game so couldn't be COMPLETELY wrong :) 


Personally though 3rd pack I would go part red since browbeat wasn't picked after 3rd pick

Also I enjoyed your article as usual, keep up the good work 

by emk at Mon, 08/20/2007 - 10:01
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Sorry 'bout the double post, got an error message both times. =P

by Anonymous (Unregistered) (not verified) at Mon, 08/20/2007 - 10:20
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not good black in future sight?  first pick ichor slick over the ghostfire- 2 deepcavern imps- death rattle- STRONGHOLD RATS-- and mass of ghouls is not that bad.