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By: coolbartbr, Ben Razon
Nov 15 2007 10:29am
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Welcome to my first draft walkthrough. I'd love to say that I'm a great drafter, but I'm not. I read every article I can find about drafting, but I'm still fairly scrubbish. Fortunately, I didn't draft the following deck, JacsUK did. So instead of watching me stumble my way through a draft you get to see someone with way more skill and experience draft XXX. Hopefully, my next article will have a draft by me so you can compare how skill level can affect a draft, but until I get some tix you won't be seeing me draft. Ok so now that we have the introduction out of the way lets get to the actual draft.


Pack 1:

Essence Drain
Remove Soul, Anaba Bodyguard, Essence Drain, Steadfast Guard, Assassinate, Cloud Elemental, Warrior's Honor, Commune with Nature, Crafty Pathmage, Dross Crocodile, Icatian Priest, high ground, MISSING CARD, Loyal Sentry, Forest

JacsUK's Pick: Essence Drain

My pick/analysis: With one uncommon missing, it's impossible to know if
Essence Drain was the correct pick. Out of the cards that Draft Cap did capture though, Essence Drain and Remove Soul seem like the two best options. I prefer Essence Drain because I don't like having to keep counter mana open, and Essence Drain can deal damage to an opponent and gains you life.

Pack 2:
Seismic Assault

Spined Wurm, Gravedigger, Bandage, Sea Monster, Llanowar Elves, Cancel, Robe of Mirrors, Angelic Wall, Spineless Thug, Grizzly Bears, Might Weaver, Flashfreeze, Seismic Assault, Swamp

JacsUK's Pick: Seismic Assault

My pick/analysis: This pick seems pretty obvious even to me.
Seismic Assault is a great bomb and the only other option was gravedigger. Gravedigger is nice, but its not a repeatable removal effect like this. The triple red could be tricky, but assuming Red isn't being splashed it shouldn't be enough of an issue to detract from this card. It makes your late game lands into free shocks, just make sure you don't play out more lands then you have to which you should do anyway.

Pack 3:
Guerrilla Tactics

Viashino Runner, Phyrexian Rager, Aggressive Urge, Loxodon Mystic, Boomerang, Llanowar Elves, Firebreathing, Treetop Bracers, Treasure Hunter, No Rest for the Wicked, Guerrilla Tactics, Evacuation, Island

JacsUK's Pick: Guerrilla Tactics

My pick/analysis: I think the two options here were (Guerilla Tactics) and
Phyrexian Rager, and although the rager is nice card advantage, Guerrilla Tactics and Seismic Assault seem to say that the people to the right don't like red.

Pack 4:
Elven Riders

Wild Griffin, Anaba Bodyguard, Giant Growth, Ravenous Rats, Holy Day, Duct Crawler, Naturalize, Dross Crocodile, Elven Riders, Luminesce, Swamp, Bandage

JacsUK's Pick: Elven Riders

My pick/analysis: Although Elven Riders is a 3/3 pseudo-flier for five, I prefer
Anaba Bodyguard here. We might end up going green, but we don't know for sure and a fourth pick Elven Riders is hardly a good signal whereas the Anaba Bodyguard is a solid
body in red which is nice to have.

Pack 5:
Mogg Fanatic

Uncontrollable Anger, Recover, Giant Growth, Fists of the Anvil, Tundra Wolves, Llanowar Sentinel, Peek, Unholy Strength, Mogg Fanatic, Rule of Law, Forest

JacsUK's Pick: Mogg Fanatic

My pick/analysis: This pick seems excruciatingly close between
Mogg Fanatic and Recover. The fanatic is a nice early creature and can kill stuff while recover is solid card advantage, but the fact that we have more red cards seems to say that we should stick to our main color for now until a clear second color becomes apparent.

Pack 6:

Shock, Counsel of the Soratami, Looming Shade, Terramorphic Expanse, Plague Beetle, Pincher Beetles, Lumengrid Warden, Mantis Engine, Soul Warden, Plains

JacsUK's Pick: Shock

My pick/Analysis: This pick comes down to shock and counsel of the soratami in my opinion. A case could probably be made for
Terramorphic Expanse, but the other two cards are too powerful to pass up. I think shock was the correct pick here even though this will be ourfourth piece of removal out of six cards, we can always pick up creatures and tricks later whereas removal is usually at a higher premium.

Pack 7:
Hill Giant

Lightning Elemental, Youthful Knight, Hill Giant, Smash, Wall of Wood, Shimmering Wings, Angelic Blessing, Phyrexian Vault, Plains

JacsUK's Pick: Hill Giant

My Pick/Analysis: This is a tough pick between
Hill Giant and Phyrexian Vault. Hill Giant is a solid body for red, but Phyrexian vault is great card advantage in my experience, plus it combos well with one of reds good commons Bogardan Firefiend.  Remember creatures are going to die anyway, being able to get something out of dieing creature is really useful.

Pack 8:
Bogardan Firefiend

Dusk Imp, Bogardan Firefiend, Goblin Sky Raider, Lava Axe, Elvish Berserker, Sudden Impact, Primal Rage, Mountain

JacsUK's Pick: Bogardan Firefiend

My Pick/Analysis: This pick was pretty simple, its an on color creature that also acts as removal if we need it to. Not to mention that at this point we are very creature light. Funny how last pick we got a card that combos with him.

Pack 9:
Icatian Priest

Warrior's Honor, Commune with Nature, Crafty Pathmage, Dross Crocodile, Icatian Priest, High Ground, Forest

JacsUK's Pick: Icatian Priest

My Pick/Analysis: Well this is the first pack that came back so I like checking out what got picked. two of three blue cards are gone.   As are two of five white cards, no green cards, and no  red card, and one of two black card. Now that isn't all that helpful, but we do know that the white cards have been woefully underdrafted so the Icatian Priest very well might be part of a solid white. The other option is dross crocodile which would work well with our abundant removal, but its way to early to pick something like
Dross Crocodile.

Pack 10:
Might Weaver

Bandage, Sea Monster, Robe of Mirrors, Grizzly Bears, Might Weaver, Swamp

JacsUK's Pick: Might Weaver

My Pick/Analysis: I don't really like might weaver especially since red and white creatures aren't really that big. I'd have taken
Bandage since it costs one mana and says draw a card, but either way these cards aren't that great so no big deal either way.

Pack 11:
Llanowar Elves

Llanowar Elves, Firebreathing, Treetop Bracers, No Rest for the Wicked, Island

JacsUK's Pick: Llanowar Elves

My Pick/Analysis: I always thought Llanowar Elves are good, but even if they aren't good at least they don't open yourself up to card disadvantage like the other auras here.

Pack 12:
Dross Crocodile

Duct Crawler, Dross Crocodile, Luminesce, Swamp

JacsUk's Pick: Dross Crocodile

My Pick/Analysis: As I said Dross Crocodile goes well with a lot of removal and now is definitely late enough to pick him up in case we end up going with black.

Pack 13:
Rule of Law

Tundra Wolves, Rule of Law, Forest

JacsUk's Pick: Rule of Law

My Pick/Analysis: Neither of these are really playable, uncommon draft ftw?

Pack 14:
Pincher Beetles

Pincher Beetles, Plains

JacsUK's Pick: Pincher Beetles

My Pick/Analysis: At least its not land.

Pack 15:


Pick: Plains

Ok, so we are one pack down and we have our main color set in red. We have plenty of removal, but we don't really have many creatures or a second color. Speaking of the second color we've only really ruled out blue (and hopefully set someone on our left in blue with that Remove Soul and Cancel), and green doesn't seem too solid either, but it could happen. We have one more decent white card then black card, but Essense Erain is the best card of those five.  Lets get on to the second pack and get us a second color.

Pack 16:

Terror, Ghost Warden, Prodigal Pyromancer, Twitch, Kavu Climber, Goblin Elite Infantry, Overgrowth, Tundra Wolves, Demolish, Cloud Sprite, Ghitu Encampment, Bog Wraith, Aura Graft, The Hive, Forest

JacsUk's Pick: Terror

My Pick/Analysis: Another solid piece of removal in anotherwise fairly weak pack.
The Hive is a repeatable effect, but its way to expensive for a 1/1 each time.

Pack 17:
Spitting Earth

Aggressive Urge, Spitting Earth, Highway Robber, Venerable Monk, Merfolk Looter, Holy Strength, Grizzly Bears, Stun, Elvish Berserker, Fear, Reminisce, Agonizing Memories, Thieving Magpie, Plains

JacsUK's Pick: Spitting Earth

My Pick/Analysis:
Merfolk Looter or Thieving Magpie would have been nice, and also happened to really confuse me. We passed some exeptional blue cards in pack one and yet we're getting this pack. This can only mean that someone isn't liking blue at all. I guess we'll wait one more pick just in case the next guy picked up the blue signals and then we'll jump into blue As it is, Spitting Earth is a solid enough piece of removal that there is no reason to jump the gun.

Pack 18:

Remove Soul, Incinerate, Festering Goblin, Craw Wurm, Aven Cloudchaser, Counsel of the Soratami, Pincher Beetles, Horseshoe Crab, Naturalize, Scathe Zombies, Consume Spirit, Sudden Impact, Forest

JacsUk's Pick: Incinerate

My Pick/Analysis:
Counsel of the Soratami confirms my suspicion that no one wants to play blue, but Incinerate is absolutely amazing removal. Two mana, three damage, a good secondary ability and it is an instant.

Pack 19:
Earth Elemental

Severed Legion, Bandage, Rootwater Commando, Goblin Piker, Demystify, Sage Owl, Treetop Bracers, Fear, Deluge, Earth Elemental, Island, Forest

JacsUK's Pick: Earth Elemental

My Pick/Analysis: This was a weak pack, but being able to real in a nice beefy creature in red a color not known for its size is nice so I totally agree with this pick.

Pack 20:
Aven Fisher

Venerable Monk, Aven Windreader, Youthful Knight, Aven Fisher, Natural Spring, Vampire Bats, Shimmering Wings, Goblin Piker, Wurm's Tooth, Wall of Fire, Mountain

JacsUk's Pick: Aven Fisher

My Pick/Analysis: And just as predicted some really solid blue guys show up, Jacs went with Aven Fisher and I think thats the right thing to do since we don't want to commit double blue quite yet since we have some really solid black.

Pack 21:
Anaba Bodyguard

Anaba Bodyguard, Ravenous Rats, Naturalize, Reviving Dose, Dross Crocodile, Viashino Sandscout, Cloud Sprite, Quicksand, Angel's Feather, Island

JacsUK's Pick: Anaba Bodyguard

My Pick/Analysis: Another solid body for our creature light deck is appreciated. If we didn't have so much removal
Quicksand would be a really easy pick but at this point we need to start getting some solid bodies.

Pack 22:
Bogardan Firefiend

Bogardan Firefiend, Rampant Growth, Holy Strength, Fugitive Wizard, Canopy Spider, Contaminated Bond, Academy Researchers, Stronghold Discipline, Forest

JacsUK's Pick: Bogardan Firefiend
My Pick/Analysis: Another nice man removal that combos with our
Phyrexian Vault.  Well that and there's no other options in red black or blue!

Pack 23:
Rock Badger

Rock Badger, Ravenous Rats, Commune with Nature, Honor Guard, Lumengrid Warden, Distress, Spiketail Hatchling, Forest

JacsUK's Pick: Rock Badger

My pick/analysis: I really wanted to follow through with my blue is going to be really open read, but
Spiketail Hatchling in my opinion is on the same powerlevel as Rock Badger, and why should we pick a blue card when we can make our manabase stronger by taking the red card.

Pack 24:
Ghitu Encampment

Twitch, Goblin Elite Infantry, Overgrowth, Demolish, Cloud Sprite, Ghitu Encampment, Forest

JacsUK's Pick: Ghitu Encampment

My pick/Analysis: I was considering picking
Demolish here for those really good artifacts in XXX, but a 2/1 first striker that doesn't waste deck space so will obviously be played is too good to pass up for a sideboard card. Hopefully we will get one in another couple picks.

Pack 25:
Highway Robber

Highway Robber, Grizzly Bears, Stun, Elvish Berserker, Reminisce, Plains

JacsUK's Pick: Highway Robber

My Pick/Analysis: No real options here Highway Robber is on a different powerlevel than the rest of the cards, and black is still very much an option.

Pack 26:

Horseshoe Crab, Naturalize, Scathe Zombies, Sudden Impact, Forest

JacsUK's Pick: Naturalize

My Pick/Analysis: It is late enough in the pack that picks aren't all that important. There is an outside chance that we would play
Scathe Zombies in the final deck whereas by leaving Naturalize for someone else,  the guy that got the Platinum Angel or warhammer could get beat by the Naturalize that we passed and then we won't have to play them.

Pack 27:
Goblin Piker

Goblin Piker, Fear, Island, Forest

JacsUK's Pick: Goblin Piker

My Pick/Analysis: Its red and its not an aura.

Pack 28:

Natural Spring, Wurm's Tooth, Mountain

JacsUK's Pick: Wurm's Tooth

My Pick: I'd have picked the mountain...

Pack 29:

Angel's Feather, Island

Pick: Angel's Feather

Pack 30:


Pick: Forest

So that second pack brought us important information that blue was really open, unfortanately we only managed to pick up one blue card, so black is still the number one splash color.  Moving along to the final pack, where we solidfy our deck with the final pack, and see where we are at when we build the deck! 

Pack 31:


Afflict, Civic Wayfinder, Benalish Knight, Sea Monster, Bloodrock Cyclops, Dusk Imp, Spineless Thug, Lava Axe, Natural Spring, Fugitive Wizard, Regeneration, Demon's Horn, Condemn, Mortivore, Plains

JacsUK's Pick: Mortivore

My pick/analysis: Mortivore by itself is good, Mortivore in a deck thats chock full of removal is really good. Add to this the lack of good red or blue cards makes this an easy pick.

Pack 32:

Ascendant Evincar

Snapping Drake, Recover, Kavu Climber, Pacifism, Warrior's Honor, Peek, Plague Beetle, Duct Crawler, Rain of Tears, Karplusan Strider, Hidden Horror, Ascendant Evincar, Mountain, Vampire Bats

JacsUK's Pick: Ascendant Evincar

My pick/analysis: Another Black bomb pretty much seals the splash color even though blue would have been pretty nice with a Snapping Drake this pack. The fact that the Evincar hurts most of our creature stinks, but at least our opponent probably won't have any black creatures, and we'll be prepared for all the x/1 creatures leaving play.

Pack 33:

Essence Drain

Steadfast Guard, Rock Badger, Essence Drain, Rootwalla, Skyhunter Prowler, Raging Goblin, Honor Guard, Overgrowth, Crafty Pathmage, Thundering Giant, Forbidding Watchtower, Telepathy, Swamp

JacsUK's Pick: Essence Drain

My pick/analysis: Essence Drain is really solid removal, and although Thundering Giant is a good body, our curve is already top heavy enough. Also, Essence Drain's life bonus could easily buy us another turn to stabilize the board with our great removal package.

Pack 34:


Spined Wurm, Heart of Light, Afflict, Wall of Wood, Terramorphic Expanse, Angelic Wall, Mind Rot, Smash, Recollect, Kraken's Eye, Twincast, Island

JacsUK's Pick: Afflict

My Pick/Analysis: This is a tough choice because we have so much removal. Afflict is solid removal, but we have plenty of removal, and I really like Terramorphic Expanse especially when we have triple red and double black cards.

Pack 35:


Unsummon, Stalking Tiger, Assassinate, Samite Healer, Viashino Sandscout, Cloud Sprite, Distress, Raging Goblin, Sylvan Basilisk, Fountain of Youth, Forest

JacsUK's Pick: Assassinate

My Pick/Analysis: The only other potential option was a Viashino Sandscout, and (Assasinate) is just way better than that.

Pack 36:

Spined Wurm

Spined Wurm, Mind Rot, Demystify, Robe of Mirrors, Canopy Spider, Telling Time, Megrim, Femeref Archers, Doubling Cube, Plains

JacsUK's Pick: Spined Wurm

My Pick/Analysis: I don't understand why Spined Wurm would get picked. One, our curve is really top heavy, and two, there's no way we're gonna play green. I'd have picked the telling time just in case we end up splashing blue.

Pack 37:

Uncontrollable Anger
Uncontrollable Anger, Llanowar Sentinel, Goblin Elite Infantry, Fists of the Anvil, Holy Day, Lure, Shatterstorm, Sleeper Agent, Mountain

JacsUK's Pick: Uncontrollable Anger

My pick/analysis: I don't like Uncontrollable Anger. It does kinda eliminate the whole two for one problem by having flash,but its still four mana for +2+2 with a somewhat significant drawback. I much prefer Shatterstorm because its getting kinda late and we still don't have artifact destruction.

Pack 38:

Rampant Growth

Heart of Light, Rampant Growth, Goblin Sky Raider, Stun, Contaminated Bond, Creeping Mold, Angel's Feather, Mountain

JacsUK's Pick: Rampant Growth

My Pick/Analysis: Nothing here would make a deck so we might as well take the best card.

Pack 39:

pic=(Lave Axe)
Spineless Thug, Lava Axe, Natural Spring, Fugitive Wizard, Regeneration, Demon's Horn, Plains

JacsUK's Pick: Lava Axe

My Pick/Analysis: Lava Axe is a nice finisher, and its not like there's anything else competing with it for this pick.

Pack 40:

Kavu Climber

Kavu Climber, Peek, Plague Beetle, Duct Crawler, Rain of Tears, Mountain

JacsUK's Pick: Kavu Climber

My Pick/Analysis: Kavu Climber is a really solid card so we might as well hurt one of the green mages sitting at the table.

Pack 41:

Raging Goblin, Honor Guard, Crafty Pathmage, Telepathy, Swamp

Pick: Crafty Pathmage

Pack 42:

Wall of Wood, Recollect, Kraken's Eye, Island

Pick: Recollect

Pack 43:

Viashino Sandscout, Raging Goblin, Forest

Pick: Viashino Sandscout

Pack 44:

Demystify, Plains

Pick: Demystify

Pack 45:


Pick: Mountain

Final Decklist:


1 Afflict
1 Ascendant Evincar
1 Dross Crocodile
2 Essence Drain
1 Highway Robber
1 Mortivore
1 Terror
1 Assassinate
1 Anaba Bodyguard
2 Bogardan Firefiend
1 Earth Elemental
1 Goblin Piker
1 Guerrilla Tactics
1 Hill Giant
1 Incinerate
1 Mogg Fanatic
1 Rock Badger
1 Seismic Assault
1 Shock
1 Spitting Earth
1 Uncontrollable Anger
9 Mountain
8 Swamp

1 Angel's Feather
1 Aven Fisher
1 Crafty Pathmage
1 Demystify
1 Elven Riders
1 Forest
1 Ghitu Encampment
1 Icatian Priest
1 Kavu Climber
1 Lava Axe
1 Llanowar Elves
1 Might Weaver
1 Mountain
1 Naturalize
1 Pincher Beetles
1 Plains
1 Rampant Growth
1 Recollect
1 Rule of Law
1 Spined Wurm
1 Swamp
1 Viashino Sandscout
1 Wurm's Tooth

I think the draft went pretty well we have a solid two color deck with plenty of bombs and removal. It did only go 1-1, but the first round opponent had a sick deck with TWO Persuasions. It was kind of frustrating that the draft had to be in the 4-3-2-2 queue where signalling doesn't work nearly as well, but the 8-4 XXX queues never fire. I'd love to hear your comments especially if you prefer seeing drafts done by a very good drafter or myself where the revised picks will be significantly

Also, just to make this completely clear, this did not violate the terms of service in anyway. JacsUK drafted a normal draft while having draftcap running. After he was completely done the draft and finished playing his games he emailed me the draftcap file and a little summary about how the games went. I then used the information he gave me to analyze the draft and create the article you see here.

Draft recording done by Blargware's MTGO DraftCap. Support Blargware!


by Anonymous (Unregistered) (not verified) at Sun, 11/18/2007 - 04:07
Anonymous (Unregistered)'s picture

I probably wouldn't have taken the assault pick 2 for the same reason the person who opened it didn't take it. It's impossible to splash, and it really makes you force red from then on. The person who passed it probably wasn't worried about the signal, and he should know that you know this, so I don't think that necessarilty would have stopped him picking up red cards. I probably would have gone gravedigger or spined wurm, as they are both top picks in their colors, and both easily splashable. I think its just lucky that he actually wasn't in red. Your deck ended up ok, but mostly thanks to the bombs you got early in pack 3.


by coolbartbr (Unregistered) (not verified) at Fri, 11/16/2007 - 15:46
coolbartbr (Unregistered)'s picture

I totally agree about the picture issue. I had some really bad technichal issues when I wrote the article, and it wasn't fair to ask Josh to format all the pictures. My next article will probably be one of my own drafts since I have 11 credits left over, so I'l be able to give you a much more in depth game summary. Thank you very much for the advice though, I'll do my best to take all of it into account in my next article.

by t0v at Fri, 11/16/2007 - 07:52
t0v's picture

ty for nice article.

i'd rather like to see the cards of the pack than the pick => this way i could make 1st my pick and then read, what a good drafter did pick.

 in addition, it would be nice to know, to what kind of deck did JacsUK loose on round 2...

by hamtastic at Fri, 11/16/2007 - 01:09
hamtastic's picture

To comment on the pack 4 pick:

I'm guessing Jacs figured green was open with so much being passed to him (2x elves, Treetop Bracers, and a spined wurm).  I was also surprised to see the llanowar elves wheel the table.  A pretty clear sign that green was being drafted by maybe one other person at the table at the time.

Pick analysis by Anonymous (Unregistered) (not verified) at Thu, 11/15/2007 - 11:32
Anonymous (Unregistered)'s picture

P4-Riders are def correct pick here.  Not set for second color(or perhapse even 1st at this point) and if we go green E. Drain gan be EASILY splashed.

P9-I would take Dross Croc. over I. Priest.  No way am I going white now, esp heavy white which is required by the Priest.

P21-I also considered Quicksand over A. Bodyguard, but you really need the warm bodies.

P36-I would take Mind Rot over Spined Wurm.  After 1st 5 picks of pack 3 we are clearly R/B, and I am never sad to run the Rot.

P37-I would also consider Shatterstorm here, and probally would take it.  U. Anger is a soild combat trick, but let someone else take it and 2 for 1 them with all your instant removal.

 All in all good draft, thanks for posting it, agree with most of the picks.  Shame you had to run into the big blue second round(at least it wasn't 1st :p  ), and I don't think that blue was as underdrafted as you say, as there were very few of blue's elite fliers passed around, and I don't recall seeing 1 sift.



___helper_monkey on MTGO

Very good post, thanks a lot. by dido (not verified) at Sun, 12/27/2009 - 07:50
dido's picture

Very good post, thanks a lot.

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