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Drafting with me #3 – ZZZ

October 28, 2009

Hello everyone, I’m back with a Zendikar draft that I’m going to walk you through as I have in the past. After finally getting my products on MTGO after a weeks waiting (thank you PayPal) I managed to get myself into a draft. No reason to delay, let’s get started!

Pack 1 pick 1:
    Scythe Tiger
–> Murasa Pyromancer
    Island
    Spidersilk Net
    Nissa Revane
    Kor Sanctifiers
    Oran-Rief Survivalist
    Slaughter Cry
    Kor Outfitter
    Tajuru Archer
    Trapfinder’s Trick
    Beast Hunt
    Tuktuk Grunts
    Hellfire Mongrel
    Bog Tatters

This is kinda a disappointing pack, since there is nothing really good here. Nissa is fine, but you need a dedicated green deck for that and that is something I want to try to avoid. I picked the Pyromancer here, since I think it’s the card that gives me the highest potential to get a good deck in the end. I might also be able to wheel a Tuktuk Grunts (ally), which is nice.

Pack 1 pick 2:
    Seismic Shudder
    Desecrated Earth
    Elemental Appeal
    Unstable Footing
    Turntimber Grove
    Gomazoa
    Heartstabber Mosquito
    Goblin War Paint
    Spidersilk Net
    Caravan Hurda
    Primal Bellow
    Kraken Hatchling
    Forest
–> Welkin Tern

Another fairly weak pack. Welkin Tern is the best card in the pack so I went for that. Also blue-red do have a good allies base for the Pyromancer, so going into blue is nice here.
 
Pack 1 pick 3:
    Pillarfield Ox
    Stonework Puma
    Quest for Ancient Secrets
    Island
    Vines of Vastwood
    Ruinous Minotaur
–> Merfolk Seastalkers
    Paralyzing Grasp
    Makindi Shieldmate
    Caller of Gales
    Blood Seeker
    Unstable Footing
    Tanglesap

Merfolk Seastalkers is the best card in the pack and it’s on color. No hard debate here.
 
Pack 1 pick 4:
    Mire Blight
    Sunspring Expedition
    Scythe Tiger
    Slaughter Cry
    Ravenous Trap
    Forest
    Pillarfield Ox
    Windborne Charge
–> Gomazoa
    Shoal Serpent
    Joraga Bard
    Explorer’s Scope

Gomazoa is a nice blocker and psuedo-removal for blue, so no problem picking it here. It is besides Windborne Charge the best card in the pack for that matter to.
 
Pack 1 pick 5:
–> Giant Scorpion
    Baloth Cage Trap
    Cliff Threader
    Hedron Crab
    Khalni Heart Expedition
    Magma Rift
    Forest
    Molten Ravager
    Mire Blight
    Zendikar Farguide
    Soul Stair Expedition

This was an interesting pack. Hedron Crab is potentially good, but it’s hard to determine that it will fit your deck at this point. You normally need more than 1 to get some real use of the crab though. Magma Rift is fine removal spell, maybe not that thrilling with a Murasa Pyromancer in the deck though. Then there is 2 great cards in Giant Scorpion and Soul Stair Expedition. The black cards here was just superior to the red cards so I went with Giant Scorpion. Blue-black is also a nice archetype to end up with so…
 
Pack 1 pick 6:
    Caller of Gales
    Nissa’s Chosen
    Archmage Ascension
    Desecrated Earth
    Kabira Crossroads
    Savage Silhouette
    Mold Shambler
    Island
–> Geyser Glider
    Narrow Escape

Slammed a Geyser Glider here. I was really surprised that the glider was still in the pack for pick 6. Besides Nissa’s Chosen and a Mold Shambler there is just nothing anyways.
 
Pack 1 pick 7:
    Mold Shambler
    Seascape Aerialist
    Swamp
    Ondu Cleric
    Narrow Escape
    Stonework Puma
–> Whiplash Trap
    Teetering Peaks
    Graypelt Refuge

I was eyeing the Puma for a bit, since I don’t mind picking up some allies. But Whiplash Trap is just  too good for passing here.
 
Pack 1 pick 8:
    Cancel
    Plains
    Jwar Isle Refuge
    Beast Hunt
    Tanglesap (FOIL)
    Slaughter Cry
    Kor Outfitter
–> Ior Ruin Expedition

I like Ior Ruin over Cancel, so that’s why here. But I hope that I don’t have to play the Ior Ruins though, since I’m not a huge fan of that card.
 
Pack 1 pick 9:
    Scythe Tiger
    Island
–> Slaughter Cry
    Kor Outfitter
    Tajuru Archer
    Trapfinder’s Trick
    Beast Hunt
 
Pack 1 pick 10:
    Seismic Shudder
–> Unstable Footing
    Turntimber Grove
    Spidersilk Net
    Caravan Hurda
    Forest

Unstable Footings is actually really good in the right deck in this format. I have won countless games by just Lightning Axing people out in Zendikar limited.
 
Pack 1 pick 11:
    Quest for Ancient Secrets
    Island
–> Makindi Shieldmate
    Caller of Gales
    Tanglesap
 
Pack 1 pick 12:
    Sunspring Expedition
    Scythe Tiger
–> Ravenous Trap
    Forest
 
Pack 1 pick 13:
    Forest
–> Molten Ravager
    Mire Blight

Molten Ravager is pretty poor, but I’m kind of happy to get one at pick 13.
 
Pack 1 pick 14:
–> Kabira Crossroads
    Island
 
Pack 1 pick 15:
–> Graypelt Refuge
 
Pack 2 pick 1:
    Jwar Isle Refuge
    Giant Scorpion
    Electropotence
–> Burst Lightning
    Spell Pierce
    Vampire’s Bite
    Relic Crush
    Kor Aeronaut
    Plains
    Æther Figment
    Magma Rift
    Adventuring Gear
    Savage Silhouette
    Nimbus Wings
    Mindless Null

Electropotence is hard to evaluate. In sealed I would play it 9/10 times but not so much in draft. It’s pretty slow so it can be tricky to have time to get in online. Burst Lightning is always amazing however so no real contest here on what to pick.
 
Pack 2 pick 2:
    Into the Roil
    Armament Master
–> Inferno Trap
    Ruinous Minotaur
    Beast Hunt
    Baloth Woodcrasher
    Explorer’s Scope
    Bold Defense
    Shieldmate’s Blessing
    Shoal Serpent
    Plains
    Molten Ravager
    Soul Stair Expedition
    Khalni Heart Expedition
 
Pack 2 pick 3:
    Joraga Bard
–> Hellfire Mongrel
    Island
    Mindless Null
    Sunspring Expedition
    Vastwood Gorger
    Noble Vestige
    Bold Defense
    Explorer’s Scope
    Tempest Owl
    Ruinous Minotaur
    Hideous End
    Murasa Pyromancer

A second Murasa Pyromancer wouldn’t be wrong but here I drew here from earlier experience on drafting blue-red. In blue-red, many of the good commons and uncommon tends to be on the higher end of the curve so you will lose games to really fast decks if you don’t watch your curve mid-drafting. So that is why Hellfire Mongrel got the nod over Murasa Pyromancer here.
 
Pack 2 pick 4:
    Slaughter Cry
    Kor Hookmaster
    Magma Rift
    Bog Tatters
    Spidersilk Net
    Island
    Shieldmate’s Blessing
    Ior Ruin Expedition
    Surrakar Marauder
    Cancel
–> Living Tsunami
    Hagra Diabolist
 
Pack 2 pick 5:
    Lethargy Trap
    Goblin Bushwhacker
    Expedition Map
    Swamp
–> Umara Raptor
    Kor Sanctifiers
    Ondu Cleric
    Makindi Shieldmate
    Spreading Seas
    Murasa Pyromancer
    Frontier Guide

Same reason here as for pack 3. Umara Raptor is though very good and the ally creature type is nothing we say against here.
 
Pack 2 pick 6:
    Kabira Crossroads
    Molten Ravager
    Sunspring Expedition
    Mire Blight
    Savage Silhouette
    Quest for the Holy Relic
–> Tempest Owl
    Plains
    Soul Stair Expedition
    Khalni Heart Expedition

I rather be casting Tempest Owls instead of Molten Ravager. I rather not cast any of them if I can’t help it though… Tempest Owls is fine though if you have some equipments.
 
Pack 2 pick 7:
–> Highland Berserker
    Vastwood Gorger
    Soul Stair Expedition
    Shieldmate’s Blessing
    Khalni Heart Expedition
    Mountain
    Nimbus Wings
    Trapmaker’s Snare
    Zendikar Farguide
 
Pack 2 pick 8:
    Beastmaster Ascension
    Goblin War Paint
    Ondu Cleric
    Narrow Escape
–> Spire Barrage
    Landbind Ritual
    Runeflare Trap
    Forest
 
Pack 2 pick 9:
    Giant Scorpion
    Spell Pierce
    Vampire’s Bite
    Plains
–> Magma Rift
    Nimbus Wings
    Mindless Null

Kinda surprised that Giant Scorpion wheeled. It tells us that going into black in the first pack might have worked.
 
Pack 2 pick 10:
–> Ruinous Minotaur
    Shieldmate’s Blessing
    Shoal Serpent
    Plains
    Molten Ravager
    Khalni Heart Expedition

Ruinous Minotaur is a nice man. He mostly blocks, but that is fine.
 
Pack 2 pick 11:
–> Island
    Sunspring Expedition
    Vastwood Gorger
    Noble Vestige
    Bold Defense
 
Pack 2 pick 12:
    Slaughter Cry
    Island
    Shieldmate’s Blessing
–> Ior Ruin Expedition

I didn’t matter much but looking back I think I would rather have a Slaughter Cry than a Ior Ruin Expedition.
 
Pack 2 pick 13:
–> Expedition Map
    Swamp
    Spreading Seas
 
Pack 2 pick 14:
    Sunspring Expedition
–> Mire Blight
 
Pack 2 pick 15:
–> Mountain
Pack 3 pick 1:
    Scythe Tiger
    Gatekeeper of Malakir
    Mire Blight
    Zektar Shrine Expedition
    Territorial Baloth
    Kor Sanctifiers
–> Geyser Glider
    Tempest Owl
    Vampire Lacerator
    Quest for Pure Flame
    World Queller
    Hedron Scrabbler
    Noble Vestige
    Island
    Spire Barrage

No real contest here. Geyser Glider is awesome and the other cards is not.
 
Pack 3 pick 2:
    Highland Berserker
    Beast Hunt
    Demolish
    Sky Ruin Drake
    Mountain
    Noble Vestige
    Trapmaker’s Snare
    Turntimber Basilisk
–> Hellkite Charger
    Adventuring Gear
    Molten Ravager
    Grim Discovery
    Cancel
    Punishing Fire

A very good pack for us and it’s a shame we only get to pick 1 card here :). Hellkite Charger can’t be beaten by any of the other cards here.
 
Pack 3 pick 3:
    Adventuring Gear
    Harrow
–> Burst Lightning
    Sejiri Refuge
    Khalni Gem
    Cliff Threader
    Giant Scorpion
    Spire Barrage
    River Boa
    Mold Shambler
    Soaring Seacliff
    Kor Sanctifiers
    Forest
 
Pack 3 pick 4:
    Shoal Serpent
    Pitfall Trap
    Demolish
    Beast Hunt
    Kor Cartographer
    Heartstabber Mosquito
    Molten Ravager
    Grim Discovery
    Cancel
    Forest
    Kazandu Refuge
–> Tuktuk Grunts
 
Pack 3 pick 5:
    Hedron Scrabbler
    Kor Aeronaut
    Ior Ruin Expedition
    Steppe Lynx
    Noble Vestige
    Mindless Null
    Oran-Rief Recluse
    Spell Pierce
    Plains
–> Tempest Owl
    Graypelt Refuge
 
Pack 3 pick 6:
    Teetering Peaks
    Reckless Scholar
    Hagra Crocodile
    Trapmaker’s Snare
    Kabira Crossroads
    Swamp
    Vastwood Gorger
    Caravan Hurda
–> Goblin Shortcutter
    Nissa’s Chosen

It has been stated before but Reckless Scholar is not that good in this format. In a lot of formats, Reckless Scholar would be a first pick for sure but that is not the case here. I want more 2-drops for my deck so Shortcutter it is.
 
Pack 3 pick 7:
    Kraken Hatchling
–> Stonework Puma
    Kor Duelist
    Swamp
    Makindi Shieldmate
    Arrow Volley Trap
    Goblin Bushwhacker
    Tanglesap
    Bold Defense
 
Pack 3 pick 8:
    Swamp
    Arrow Volley Trap
    Bold Defense
–> Kraken Hatchling
    Turntimber Grove
    Vastwood Gorger
    Caravan Hurda
    Trailblazer’s Boots
 
Pack 3 pick 9:
    Scythe Tiger
    Mire Blight
–> Kor Sanctifiers
    Quest for Pure Flame
    Hedron Scrabbler
    Noble Vestige
    Island
 
Pack 3 pick 10:
    Beast Hunt
    Demolish
    Mountain
    Noble Vestige
–> Trapmaker’s Snare
    Cancel

I actually had to think here for a 10th pick. Cancel I often don’t want to play unless I have to. We probably won’t play Trapmaker’s Snare either but with a Whiplash Trap and an Inferno Trap we could have.
 
Pack 3 pick 11:
    Sejiri Refuge
–> Khalni Gem
    Mold Shambler
    Soaring Seacliff
    Forest

Khalni Gem is really good but it’s hard to evalute when to pick it if you ask me. Manafixing, smooths out your draw, gets you another 2 landfall triggers… it’s nice. 
 
Pack 3 pick 12:
    Beast Hunt
    Kor Cartographer
–> Molten Ravager
    Forest
 
Pack 3 pick 13:
–> Ior Ruin Expedition
    Noble Vestige
    Plains
 
Pack 3 pick 14:
–> Swamp
    Caravan Hurda
 
Pack 3 pick 15:
–> Tanglesap

There was definitely some highlight in this draft as I managed to collect several game ending cards. However I was a bit short on playables, so I ended up with 2 Ior Ruins and a Molten Ravager in the deck that I didn’t really want to play. The deck:

1x Murasa Pyromancer
1x Hellkite Charger
2x Geyser Glider
1x Tuktuk Grunts
1x Living Tsunami
1x Merfolk Seastalkers
1x Stonework Puma
1x Umara Raptors
1x Molten Ravager
1x Hellfire Mongrel
1x Ruinous Minotaur
1x Goblin Shortcutter
1x Highland Beserker
1x Welkin Tern
1x Kraken Hatchling
2x Ior Ruin Expedition
2x Burst Lightning
1x Whiplash Trap
1x Inferno Trap
1x Khalni Gem
9x Mountains
8x Islands

Unstable Footings didn’t end up in the main, since the deck isen’t aggressive enough for that. Besides, I had multiple ways to end the game with anyways. Molten Ravager got the nod over Gomazoa in the main, since it can attack when I need it to (I made the swap however during sideboarding during my second match). I wasn’t pleased with the Ior Ruin Expiditions either, Tempest Owl might have been better…

I won round 1 as my opponent didn’t bother to show up. Round 2 was pretty tight versus my opponent who had a respectable blue-black deck. I took an early lead in both games of the match, then he took control of the midgames before my endgame took over and won me both games. In game 1 Hellkite Charger did 15 damaged to him followed by a kicked Burst Lightning to the dome. Game 2 it was Murasa Pyromancer + 2 following allies that took control of the board. One alphastrike after that along with a Burst Lightning sealed the deal.

Then I lost in the finals against a pretty sick almost mono-black deck. In game 1 my hand was very reactive, alot of removal which got all Mind Sludged on turn 5. The turn after he dropped a Halo Hunter, which was basically game over right there since he had forced my to drop all my removal in the bin the turn before. Then next game was however really close. I dropped a Living Tsunami on turn 4 and started to beat down. I got him down to 4, but then Hideous End along with a team of Hagra Crocodile and Halo Hunter got me. It was a bit frustrating since I had Unstable Footings in hand (sideboarded) but I couldn’t cast it since I had to pick up a land every turn since turn 4.

That was all folks, hope you enjoyed it. See you next time.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Tobbe permalink
    November 17, 2009 19:50

    So why didn’t you just let the Tsunami die when he was at 4 and cast your Unstable Footings, since he was mono-black it must have been better since i can’t think of any answers to a burn-to-the-dome-spell in those decks.

    • balthazar88 permalink*
      November 17, 2009 20:13

      I might have been a little unclear on that situation. I got him down to 4 on that turn thanks to the Tsunami, but died on the following turn since I couldn’t cast Unstable Footings due to I had to return a land to keep my Tsunami around in the first place.

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