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By: samram, Sterling Johnson
Apr 16 2008 1:19am
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Well I suppose since Im new to the block I better introduce myself first. Im Sterling, and Ive been playing Magic for three years now. I first started playing at the release of Ravnica.  Talk about an awesome time to get into the game!  I fell in love with it from the get go.  It didn't take long before I found out about Booster Drafts. This semed like fun but there was a slight problem. At my local store we are lucky to get four for a draft. That's when I decided I need to get an account online. Now I don't get to draft as often as I would like due to monetary constraints; however I do get to draft at least twice a month, which is more than I was getting in real life. Now since I don't get to draft that often I dont get a whole lot of practice and I saw my rating slowly plummet over the months. Thats when I decided I needed to find a group that will help me out. I found this site to be exactly what I was looking for.  So I ask you all to help me improve my draft. So lets join a 4-3-2-2  and get this going. (I used to only do the 8-4 but I want to improve a bit before going back.)


Battlewand Oak, Oaken Brawler, Pestermite, Hurly-Burly, Lys Alana Huntmaster, Elvish Handservant, Dawnfluke, Broken Ambitions, Nath's Buffoon, Faultgrinder, Sentry Oak, Wren's Run Vanquisher, Hoarder's Greed, Primal Command, Bog Hoodlums

Pick: Wren's Run Vanquisher

Honestly I dont know the difference in power lever between Vanquisher and Huntmaster. I believe I made the right choice. 


Fertile Ground, Moonglove Winnower, Plover Knights, Whirlpool Whelm, Leaf Gilder, Adder-Staff Boggart, Wispmare, Flamekin Brawler, Facevaulter, Warren-Scourge Elf, Wizened Cenn, Briarhorn, Scattering Stroke, Elvish Handservant


Combat trick on legs is far better than the accel.




Dreamspoiler Witches, Runed Stalactite, Nath's Elite, Neck Snap, Smokebraider, Black Poplar Shaman, Shimmering Grotto, Elvish Eulogist, Giant's Ire,  Squeaking Pie Sneak

Pick: Nath's Elite

Draft cap drops a few cards here. I probably shouldve taken Witches here. I honestly don't know why I didnt.


Stinkdrinker Daredevil,Battlewand Oak, Hurly-Burly, Plover Knights, Paperfin Rascal, Facevaulter, Warren-Scourge Elf, Cenn's Heir, Ringskipper

Pick: Battlewand Oak

Again more cards dropped. Is there a fix for that? Is Plover worth taking here? I have no second color yet but Ive passed a Plover and Necksnap already. Im happy with the Oak.


Kinsbaile Balloonist, Inner-Flame Acolyte, Peppersmoke, Paperfin Rascal, Nath's Elite, Lairwatch Giant, Spiderwig Boggart, Flamekin Brawler, Tideshaper Mystic, Flamekin Spitfire, Wanderwine Prophets

Pick: Peppersmoke

With all the utility x/1's I figured itd be a perfect time to pick up that Peppersmoke. Maybe with some luck I'll get plenty of changelings to get full use out of it.


Consuming Bonfire, Wispmare, Hillcomber Giant, Rootgrapple, Goldmeadow Dodger, Wings of Velis Vel, Flamekin Brawler, Ethereal Whiskergill, Scattering Stroke

Pick: Consuming Bonfire

Ewwww this pack has nothing for me. So I take the removal spell that has a better chance of making the deck than anything else here.


Adder-Staff Boggart, Fertile Ground, Hillcomber Giant, Stinkdrinker Daredevil, Faerie Trickery, Nightshade Stinger, Blades of Velis Vel, Glarewielder, Flamekin Bladewhirl

Pick: Fertile Ground

I like accel and its the only card here for my deck. I contemplated Flamkin Bladewhirl but thought itd be dead if I didnt get enough changelings.


Consuming Bonfire, Inner-Flame Acolyte, Blades of Velis Vel, Cenn's Heir, Ringskipper, Black Poplar Shaman, Shimmering Grotto, Mosswort Bridge

Pick: Mosswort Bridge

I like playing spells for free. It shouldn't be too hard to get down either a horde of cheap creatures or a couple big guys to power this up.


Hurly-Burly, Elvish Handservant, Dawnfluke, Nath's Buffoon, Faultgrinder, (Sentry Oak), Hoarder's Greed

Pick: Elvish Handservant

Ive read about Handservant decks in LLL but havent heard much about them since the addition of Morningtide. Now I want changelings even more than before.

I pick up another Elvish Handservant and  a Ruined Stalactite to finish off pack 1.

So with the end of pack one Im Green and still looking to solidify my second color. I'm looking for some good Red or Black cards in the next pack.


Lash Out, Hornet Harasser, Deeptread Merrow, Goldmeadow Harrier, (Fistful of Force), Eyeblight's Ending, Amoeboid Changeling, Spring Cleaning, Exiled Boggart, *, *, Elvish Promenade, Flamekin Bladewhirl, Thundercloud Shaman, (Incandescent Soulstoke)

Pick: Lash Out

Darn you draft cap! So I dont know what I was thinking here. The choices are Eyeblight, Thundercloud, and Lash Out. It appears I went with the weakest of the three. No wonder my rating keeps dropping :( How much of a bomb is Thundercloud? Is it the pick here?


Quill-Slinger Boggart, Bog-Strider Ash, Aethersnipe, Tarfire, Herbal Poultice, Kithkin Greatheart, Oakgnarl Warrior, Scarred Vinebreeder, Gilt-Leaf Seer, Protective Bubble, Ingot Chewer, Battle Mastery, Vivid Creek, Wren's Run Packmaster

Pick: Wren's Run Packmaster

Wow! Im not fond of the Champion ability, but this guy is just nuts.


Weed Strangle, Kithkin Healer, Deeptread Merrow, Lash Out, Kithkin Daggerdare, Herbal Poultice, Lace with Moonglove, Blind-Spot Giant, Exiled Boggart, Ponder, Kithkin Harbinger, Prowess of the Fair, Incremental Growth

Pick: Incremental Growth

This just seems to go perfect with my last pick.


Kithkin Greatheart, Footbottom Feast, Lowland Oaf, Lignify, Boggart Birth Rite, Ingot Chewer, Soaring Hope, Shimmering Grotto, Judge of Currents, Lammastide Weave, Rebellion of the Flamekin, Glarewielder

Pick: Shimmering Grotto

Wow I have no clue what to pick here. Since the Oaf is a Warrior I probably shouldve taken him. I wouldve preffered an on color Vivid land but I guess Ill take any fixer I can for splashes.


Eyeblight's Ending, Springleaf Drum, Oakgnarl Warrior, Glimmerdust Nap, Ponder, Heal the Scars, Skeletal Changeling, Shields of Velis Vel, Kithkin Harbinger

Pick: Eyeblight's Ending

At least there's no Lash Out to lead my astray!


Soulbright Flamekin, Glimmerdust Nap, Cloudcrown Oak, Wanderer's Twig, Hornet Harasser, Axegrinder Giant, Needle Drop, Springjack Knight, Heal the Scars, Kithkin Harbinger

Pick: Cloudcrown Oak

Im very happy to get this guy. He'll stall the ground AND the skies.


Wanderer's Twig, Shimmering Grotto, Judge of Currents, Lace with Moonglove, Blind-Spot Giant, Exiled Boggart, Elvish Promenade, Flamekin Bladewhirl, Thorntooth Witch

Pick: Elvish Promenade

Yet again I must've been smoking something. Why would I pick Promenade here? Ive got so few eleves and NO CHANGELINGS so far. Witch has pretty good ability but its probably not gonna trigger very often in this deck. So whats the correct pick here?


Soulbright Flamekin, Kithkin Daggerdare, Surge of Thoughtweft, Fire-Belly Changeling, Kinsbaile Skirmisher, Lace with Moonglove, Lammastide Weave, Rebellion of the Flamekin

Pick: Fire-Belly Changeling

This was between the Daggerdare and the Changeling. I wanted make sure I could cast Vanquisher as early as possible so I went with the Changeling.

I recieved a Blind Spot giant as the only decent card from the rest of the packs.

So going into pack 3 Im G/R. Morningtide seems to have a nice plethora of changelings Im hoping to get. A Battle Axe would be gravy as well.


Dewdrop Spy, Earthbrawn, Kithkin Zephyrnaut, Fire Juggler, Weed-Pruner Poplar, War-Spike Changeling, Lys Alana Bowmaster, Stonybrook Schoolmaster, Negate, Prickly Boggart, Hostile Realm, Pyroclast Consul, Revive the Fallen

Pick: War-Spike Changeling

This is definately a good start and an obvious pick.


Violet Pall, Distant Melody, Fertilid, Ballyrush Banneret, Brighthearth Banneret, Squeaking Pie Grubfellows, Reins of the Vinesteed, Everbark Shaman, Pulling Teeth, Mosquito Guard, Floodchaser, Obsidian Battle-Axe, Daily Regimen, Rhys the Exiled

Pick: Obsidian Battle-Axe

Well this is a nice pack. The Banneret would be nice as reinforce is an awesome mechanic. The card is never dead. I like removal and Violet Pall is easily splashed. But neither of those picks seem as powerful as the Battle-Axe. Invest 3 mana 1 turn then get hasty pumped up dudes for free. This is exactly what this deck needed.


Changeling Sentinel, Latchkey Faerie, Pack's Disdain, Seething Pathblazer, Roar of the Crowd, Luminescent Rain, Ink Dissolver, Frogtosser Banneret, Mothdust Changeling, Inspired Sprite, Nightshade Schemers, Thieves' Fortune

Pick: Roar of the Crowd

Wow I do not like the lack of green here. But theres a choice between two removal spells and I took the on color option.


Burrenton Bombardier, Distant Melody, Order of the Golden Cricket, Weed-Pruner Poplar, Morsel Theft, Luminescent Rain, Mudbutton Clanger, Stonybrook Banneret, Shinewend, *, *, Recross the Paths

Pick: Burrenton Bombardier

UGH!!! Since Im already splashing black I probably shouldve taken the Poplar. Green is not flowing at all.


Earthbrawn, Order of the Golden Cricket, Disperse, Kithkin Zephyrnaut, Moonglove Changeling, Stonybrook Banneret, Mosquito Guard, Orchard Warden

Pick: Earthbrawn

As the only on color pick Ill take it. Its still a great pick. As I said before I love the Reinforce mechanic.


Seething Pathblazer, Final-Sting Faerie, Lunk Errant, Festercreep, Deglamer, Forfend, Floodchaser, Noggin Whack, Recross the Paths, Luminescent Rain

Pick: Lunk Errant

Not the worst of choices. If he didn't get trample he'd be unplayable in my opion. He's a warrior so he could do something sick with a Battle-Axe.


Pack's Disdain, Fertilid, Disperse, Negate, Prickly Boggart, Stingmoggie, Cenn's Tactician, Nevermaker, Fendeep Summoner

Pick: Pack's Disdain

Doesn't this seem late for both Pack's Disdain and Nevermaker?


Squeaking Pie Grubfellows, Fencer Clique, Dewdrop Spy, Reins of the Vinesteed, Stonybrook Banneret, Shinewend, Hostile Realm, Boldwyr Intimidator

Pick: Boldwyr Intimidator

Wow does he cost alot. But he has a chance of really turning a game.

I didnt pick up anything else in the remaining picks as Green and Red had both dried up. Overall I was happy with the looks of the deck. It had some decent power cards But looked rather slow and clunky.

1 Eyeblight's Ending
1 Pack's Disdain
1 Boldwyr Intimidator
1 Fire-Belly Changeling
1 Lash Out
1 Lunk Errant
1 Roar of the Crowd
1 War-Spike Changeling
1 Fertile Ground
1 Battlewand Oak
1 Briarhorn
1 Cloudcrown Oak
1 Elvish Handservant
1 Elvish Handservant [FOIL]
1 Incremental Growth
1 Nath's Elite
1 Oakgnarl Warrior
1 Wren's Run Packmaster
1 Wren's Run Vanquisher
1 Earthbrawn
1 Runed Stalactite
1 Obsidian Battle-Axe
9 Forest
7 Mountain
1 Mosswort Bridge'
1 Shimmering Grotto

I apologize for the match report being vague. I forgot replays were disabled and I can't remember much of Round 1.

Round 1: UB Faeries


I remember stalling him with Cloudcrown. Then I finally get Packmaster out and equip Stalactite to the Oak. Slowly I get a swarm going. I eventually cast Incremental Growth on the Oak and 2 wolves. He's got Marsh Flitter and multiple ways of recurring it to stall. Inspired Sprite does lots of diggeing for him but he comes up with nothing. Eventually the Wolves do their dirty work.


I get the nuts this game. Turn 2 Vanquisher. Turn 3 Battle-Axe. Turn 4 Blind Spot Giant. Turn 5 Kill.

Round 2: UR Elemental

Game 1:

Hes very fast with Turns 1 and 2 Flamekin Bladwhirl. I dont recall doing much this game as I die quickly.

Game 2: I thought I had a chance as I get a Battle-Axe out and I get him down to 5 while Im stilt at 20. I wish I had a replay for this because I cant remember for the life of me how he was able to get control and beat me. I think it was just the massive amount of aggressive creatures he had.

All in all it wasnt a horrible draft. The deck was fun to play. Now for your help. Please pick this draft apart for me. Show me where I went wrong. Did I miss out on any important signals. If this was dull for you to read I apollogize. Writing is another area I need improvement on. If you stick it out with me I promise things will get more entertaining.


by brian e (Unregistered) (not verified) at Wed, 04/16/2008 - 18:52
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No offense, but you seem to be stuck on taking the "best" card, in terms of playability, in each pack and not signaling. For example, pack one is LOADED with midrange and good green cards, and you chose to pick a one of those, and on top of that a tribal card! You should draft your first few picks as flexable as possible, and Pestermite gives you the most options. Picking the Vanquisher is IMO a wasted pick if you continue drafting green, because you're going to get cut from green so bad. I mean the people to the left of you are going to pick the Primal Command and Lys Alana Huntmaster pretty highly.

by Anonymous (Unregistered) (not verified) at Wed, 04/16/2008 - 11:35
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p1p1: primal command -> it's a huge bomb. although vanquisher is very nice too.

 p1p3: smokebraider -> don't let this go far.

p2p1: thundercloud shaman -> this is too good. 1st pick material. and red was flowing pack 1. and you already have handservant ...

 p2p4 is hard ... although i'm sure i'd have picked lowland Oaf or lignify over the grotto... probably the oaf...

p2p7: blind-spot giant if had picked the thundercloud, with your cards i would pick the witch. it's very good.


overall you didn't draft too bad... but ended with an average deck that could have more focus, it's very disperse. 

by Klutz (Unregistered) (not verified) at Wed, 04/16/2008 - 12:58
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I'm not a great drafter but I do draft Green a lot so I can comment on this one at least somewhat knowledgeably.  Here's what I had following along with you:

1: Vanquisher is the best card IMO but keep in mind you may be setting up a few Green drafters to the left with Primal Command, Huntmaster, and even Battlewand.  Pestermite is the best "avoid a fight" pick but I agree with Vanquisher, and if you're lucky your left neighbor will pick the Mite.

2: Note rare missing so right neighbor could be green.

3: I'm not sure what's right here.  This is early for an Elite but it does cut Green, so that's probably your best pick.  Dreamspoiler is fine for G/B though it's suboptimal in that color combo, or Smokebraider for G/R/x (and can cast Briarhorn) are the other good picks.

4: Battlewand or Plover.  I agree with cutting Green here, and hope it's not being cut on us.

5: Agreed with Peppersmoke here but Red is really looking open now; Elementals specifically.  We have another Elite but don't really want two, so if we had taken it it would be purely for signaling.

6: Agreed with Bonfire here.

7: Red Elementals is wide open (Glarewielder, Bladewhirl), but that Fertile Ground is just too perfect.  Agreed with Ground.

8: This is where I finally diverge and officially say I'm going Elementals.  Mosswort is cute but Bonfire is the pick.

9: Hurly-Burly over Handservant.

16: What an insane pack to open.  Our choices are Lash Out, Ending, Thundercloud, and Soulstoke.  Lash Out and Ending are both top removal spells, and Ending even helps Vanquisher.  With Fertile Ground G/R/b for removal is fine.  Soulstoke helps if we go Elementals, which looked wide open in pack 1 and there are lots of good Elementals in Morningtide.  However, Thundercloud Shaman is simply a step above the rest.  Even with just a few Giants/Changelings, it's on the Shirekmaw power level, and settles us in G/R.

18: I had Lash Out over Incremental Growth here.  Growth is strong but you don't have many weenies which is where Growth shines.  Lash Out will always be excellent.

19: Grotto is pretty bad as manafixing goes, and there's strong on-color picks here.  Oaf if you had Thundercloud, but since you don't my pick would be Glarewielder.  Lignify is fine too just to have an out versus Incarnations and other creatures out of Lash Out / Bonfire range.

22: Thorntooth Witch is the pick here.  It might not make the deck but if you get enough Treefolk/Changelings it will be great.  You already want to splash Black for the Ending you just took and have a Fertile Ground to help.

23: This is a deceptively important pick here, and depends precisely on what you have actually drafted and where you want to go or be able to go.  Out of what you have actually drafted, the only card that currently demands more than a splash of Red is Bonfire, and all your Black cards are splashable.  Fire-Belly is mediocre but it is a Changeling, which would help us greatly.  The problem is that to cast it in a timely manner (to champion with Packmaster for instance) commits us to Red as a full second color.  Daggerdare while not tribally helpful is a solid Green creature, and keeps us flexible to still go G/r/b, G/R/b, or G/B/r.  Fire-Belly "forces" you into G/R/b.  Despite our constant languishing for changelings, here I would have gone Daggerdare.

32: Tough pick.  Pall is fantastic and Rhys would have been very handy, but agreed with Axe.

34: Poplar over Bombardier.  Our mana doesn't look to be good enough to splash two colors into G/R, and we already have Eyeblight's Ending demanding the black splash.

37: Fertilid over Pack's Disdain.  Fendeep Summoner is a very strong card too, but Fertilid along with Fertile Ground makes our mana considerably better.  Pack's Disdain would be great if you had tons of Leaf Gilders, Woodland Changelings, and Huntmasters, but in this deck even though you're almost mono-Warrior you'll have trouble getting it to even hit for 2.

My guess is your upstream neighbor opened a Green rare pack 1, switched into Red pack 2 for Thundercloud, and took Bramblewood Paragon over the Axe.

Better next time!

by ShardFenix (Unregistered) (not verified) at Wed, 04/16/2008 - 02:31
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man i hate trying to critique drafts because we as readers have soo much more knowledge after the fact...but there seemed to be a good tide of red elementals in there at least in my opinion i mean there was a second lashout, the 2 bladewhirls, acolyte, soulbright, 2 pathblazer plus you had the few i am by no means saying this may have been the build to go with if i picked pack by pack but i do have a soft spot for them.  Though without drifters, maws, and braiders elementals may be a bad choice.  Though i would have taken the command P1p1.

by nachtpirschjager (Unregistered) (not verified) at Wed, 04/16/2008 - 10:44
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you left yourself too closed off in pack one....if you draft a color, draft a tribe.  Only take the off color cards that hurt you (defensive draft).  you are a little cost heavy on spells.  never pass a smoke braider, whether you are playing red or not....should have went green red