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Drafting with me #6 – RRR

June 6, 2010

Hello everyone, I’m back with another draft. Without further ado, here is it!

Pack 1 pick 1:
    Naturalize
    Brimstone Mage
    Aura Gnarlid
    Soul’s Attendant
    Cadaver Imp
    Last Kiss
    Hand of Emrakul
    Beastbreaker of Bala Ged
    Hada Spy Patrol
    Sea Gate Oracle
    Bala Ged Scorpion
    Lagac Lizard
–> Sphinx of Magosi
    Hyena Umbra
    Island

This is a very strong pack. This would be a very interesting debate on what to pick sans the rare. But now there is a Sphinx of Magosi in the pack so we have to take it. A blue bomb, could we start of the draft better? (Fair, we could open Drana but hey, I’m not greedy 🙂 )
 
Pack 1 pick 2:
    Death Cultist
    Goblin Tunneler
    Unified Will
    Lay Bare
    Explosive Revelation
    Grotag Siege-Runner
    Growth Spasm
    Shrivel
    Raid Bombardment
–> Soulbound Guardians
    Distortion Strike
    It That Betrays
    Demystify
    Swamp

As awesome as the last pack was as disappointment this pack is. Growth Spasm is probably the best card in the pack in an abstract. But I don’t really want to place along with Sphinx of Magosi so that is out. When I seem to be blue, I like to go either white or black. Soulbound Guardians is a fine card but not exciting, but it’s white and that’s why I’m picking it.
 
Pack 1 pick 3:
    Umbra Mystic
    Spawning Breath
    Akoum Boulderfoot
    Battle Rampart
    Stomper Cub
    See Beyond
    Hand of Emrakul
    Enatu Golem
    Ondu Giant
    Merfolk Observer
–> Ikiral Outrider
    Bloodthrone Vampire
    Island

Another not to fun pack. The three card I’m considering here is Bloodthrone Vampire, Ikiral Outrider and See Beyond. Bloodthrone Vampire is not too exciting if you’re not green or red, so that is out. Then I like Ikiral Outrider more than See Beyond at this point.
 
Pack 1 pick 4:
    Valakut Fireboar
    Guard Duty
    Bramblesnap
    Lay Bare
    Cadaver Imp
    Induce Despair
    Battle-Rattle Shaman
    Kiln Fiend
    Glory Seeker (FOIL)
    Daggerback Basilisk
–> Hada Spy Patrol
    Plains

Hada Spy Patrol is the best card in the pack, so no debate here.
 
Pack 1 pick 5:
    Akoum Boulderfoot
–> Makindi Griffin
    Cadaver Imp
    Induce Despair
    Battle-Rattle Shaman
    Pathrazer of Ulamog
    Brood Birthing
    Daggerback Basilisk
    Essence Feed
    Halimar Wavewatch
    Mountain

I really like Makindi Griffin is this format, 2/4 flier for 4 is really strong.
 
Pack 1 pick 6:
    Demonic Appetite
    Jwari Scuttler
    Nighthaze
    Living Destiny
    Stalwart Shield-Bearers
    Nema Siltlurker
    Spider Umbra
    Runed Servitor
–> Fleeting Distraction
    Mountain

Toss up here between Runed Servitor and Fleeting Distraction. I’m fairly sure that I won’t be playing either of them, but if I end up blue-white I’m bound to have enough 2-drops. So Fleeting Distraction it is.
 
Pack 1 pick 7:
    Frostwind Invoker
    Vent Sentinel
    Crab Umbra
    Sporecap Spider
–> Mammoth Umbra
    Aura Finesse
    Eland Umbra
    Bloodthrone Vampire
    Swamp

Quite the treat here. As a sideline, I actually like Mammoth Umbra more than Drake Umbra in general in this limited format since the decks that can and want to play Drake Umbra usually have a plethora of evasion guys. So Vigilance is often strictly better in those scenarios.
 
Pack 1 pick 8:
    Goblin Tunneler
    Lay Bare
–> Luminous Wake
    Contaminated Ground
    Spider Umbra
    Harmless Assault
    Traitorous Instinct
    Mountain

Should probably picked a Lay Bare instead. I know that I probably is not going to play either of them but my mindset was that I’m bound to pick up some Totem-Guide Hartebeest later on, Luminous Wake seem like a slightly better pick at the time. But as I said, in retrospect Lay Bare would have been a better pick overall.
 
Pack 1 pick 9:
    Naturalize
    Soul’s Attendant
    Cadaver Imp
    Hand of Emrakul
–> Sea Gate Oracle
    Lagac Lizard
    Island
 
Pack 1 pick 10:
    Death Cultist
    Goblin Tunneler
    Unified Will
–> Explosive Revelation
    Demystify
    Swamp
 
Pack 1 pick 11:
    Akoum Boulderfoot
    Battle Rampart
    Hand of Emrakul
–> Enatu Golem
    Island
 
Pack 1 pick 12:
    Lay Bare
    Battle-Rattle Shaman
–> Glory Seeker (FOIL)
    Plains
 
Pack 1 pick 13:
    Akoum Boulderfoot
–> Essence Feed
    Mountain
 
Pack 1 pick 14:
–> Stalwart Shield-Bearers
    Mountain
 
Pack 1 pick 15:
–> Swamp
 
—— ROE ——
 
Pack 2 pick 1:
    Skeletal Wurm
    Artisan of Kozilek
    Curse of Wizardry
    Evolving Wilds
    Emrakul’s Hatcher
    Eel Umbra
    Bloodrite Invoker
    Puncturing Light
    Haze Frog
–> Drana, Kalastria Bloodchief
    Nema Siltlurker
    Ulamog’s Crusher
    Shared Discovery
    Leaf Arrow
    Swamp

Oh, shoot. There is a Drana. I picked the absurd bomb here for two reasons. A) there aren’t any good cards in my colors and B) Besides the Sphinx and the Hada Spy Patrol, we aren’t really blue yet (arguable). It’s possible that we could end up playing black at this point. So it’s not necessary a pure hate pick here.
 
Pack 2 pick 2:
    Nest Invader
–> Guard Duty
    Unified Will
    Aura Gnarlid
    Nighthaze
    Mnemonic Wall
    Boar Umbra
    Zof Shade
    Kor Line-Slinger
    Aura Finesse
    Lavafume Invoker
    Daggerback Basilisk
    Rapacious One
    Island

Soild pick here, setting up for some hartebeest action later on.
 
Pack 2 pick 3:
    Champion’s Drake
    Frostwind Invoker
    Forked Bolt
    Pennon Blade
    See Beyond
    Skywatcher Adept
    Zulaport Enforcer
–> Totem-Guide Hartebeest
    Ikiral Outrider
    Prophetic Prism
    Virulent Swipe
    Baneful Omen
    Plains

First hartebeest on the team. Keep em’ coming.
 
Pack 2 pick 4:
    Angelheart Vial
    Champion’s Drake
    Vent Sentinel
    Luminous Wake
    Soulsurge Elemental
    See Beyond
    Skittering Invasion
    Brood Birthing
    Repel the Darkness
–> Totem-Guide Hartebeest
    Ikiral Outrider
    Island

That’s two!
 
Pack 2 pick 5:
    Ancient Stirrings
    Mnemonic Wall
–> Cadaver Imp
    Surreal Memoir
    Smite
    Hand of Emrakul
    Lavafume Invoker
    Recurring Insight
    Sea Gate Oracle
    Hyena Umbra
    Forest

This was probably the most interesting pick of the draft in hindsight. Here I had three options, moving into black with the Cadaver Imp, moving deeper into blue with a Sea Gate Oracle or sticking with white, with either the Smite or Hyena Umbra. I ended up with taking the black card, which I regret in retrospect. I was glaring at the Drana which I had in my pool which made picking the black card tempting. But the thing is, in particular in a black-white deck, Cadaver Imp isn’t very exciting. So I should just picked the Hyena Umbra in retrospect.
 
Pack 2 pick 6:
    Jwari Scuttler
–> Deprive
    Wrap in Flames
    Contaminated Ground
    Gravity Well
    Harmless Assault
    Fissure Vent
    Merfolk Observer
    Leaf Arrow
    Mountain

Here is where I felt dumb while I sat down at the actual draft. Why did I pick the Cadaver Imp?
 
Pack 2 pick 7:
    Death Cultist
–> Lone Missionary
    Curse of Wizardry
    Living Destiny
    Ogre Sentry
    Nema Siltlurker
    Perish the Thought
    Shared Discovery
    Forest
 
Pack 2 pick 8:
    Eel Umbra
    Soul’s Attendant
–> Survival Cache
    Aura Finesse
    Perish the Thought
    Gravity Well (FOIL)
    Eland Umbra
    Forest
 
Pack 2 pick 9:
    Skeletal Wurm
–> Puncturing Light
    Haze Frog
    Nema Siltlurker
    Shared Discovery
    Leaf Arrow
    Swamp
 
Pack 2 pick 10:
    Unified Will
    Nighthaze
–> Kor Line-Slinger
    Aura Finesse
    Lavafume Invoker
    Island
 
Pack 2 pick 11:
–> Champion’s Drake
    See Beyond
    Ikiral Outrider
    Baneful Omen
    Plains

Pretty tight call. Champion’s Drake has the most potential, that why I went with that card here.
 
Pack 2 pick 12:
    Vent Sentinel
    Luminous Wake
–> Repel the Darkness
    Island
 
Pack 2 pick 13:
    Sea Gate Oracle
–> Hyena Umbra
    Forest
 
Pack 2 pick 14:
–> Harmless Assault
    Mountain
 
Pack 2 pick 15:
–> Forest
 
—— ROE ——
 
Pack 3 pick 1:
    Demonic Appetite
    Naturalize
–> Venerated Teacher
    Forked Bolt
    Stalwart Shield-Bearers
    Shrivel
    Ogre Sentry
    Broodwarden
    Goblin Arsonist
    Glory Seeker
    Emerge Unscathed
    Lord of Shatterskull Pass
    Harmless Assault
    Fleeting Distraction
    Mountain

I’m not too much to choose from. Emerge Unscathed is good, but I have from the draft I have done seen that it’s more likely to wheel that card compared to Venerated Teacher. So the hero trainer it is!
 
Pack 3 pick 2:
    Death Cultist
    Wildheart Invoker
    Gloomhunter
    Lust for War
    Shrivel
    Wrap in Flames
    Pathrazer of Ulamog
    Flame Slash
    Essence Feed
    Halimar Wavewatch
–> Knight of Cliffhaven
    Echo Mage
    Mountain
    Leaf Arrow

Echo Mage can be very strong, but from the card pool we have at this point it doesn’t look too good. Knight of Cliffhaven is very good so I can’t afford speculative pick here.
 
Pack 3 pick 3:
    Wildheart Invoker
    Lone Missionary
    Emrakul’s Hatcher
    Arrogant Bloodlord
    Surreal Memoir
    Raid Bombardment
    Skywatcher Adept
    Null Champion
    Reinforced Bulwark
–> Enclave Cryptologist
    Spider Umbra
    Demystify
    Mountain

The battle of one drops!. Enclave Cryptologist is overall stronger than Skywatcher Adept so, picking up the pseudo-looter here.
 
Pack 3 pick 4:
    Ancient Stirrings
    Naturalize
    Tajuru Preserver
    Nighthaze
    Makindi Griffin
    Ogre’s Cleaver
    Skywatcher Adept
–> Regress
    Brood Birthing
    Lagac Lizard
    Prophetic Prism
    Plains

Finally some quality tricks. I was started getting worried that I would be left out of both Regresses and Narcolepsy, both which are very key in the blue-white aggressive archetype. I have plenty of creatures I don’t feel bad at all picking up the bounce spell here over a Makindi Griffin or Skywatcher Adept.
 
Pack 3 pick 5:
–> Rage Nimbus
    Battle-Rattle Shaman
    Zof Shade
    Prey’s Vengeance
    Haze Frog
    Hand of Emrakul
    Enatu Golem
    Sea Gate Oracle
    Totem-Guide Hartebeest
    Prophetic Prism
    Plains

A little loose hatepick. I don’t really need a third hartebeest and Rage Nimbus can be a total baller against a deck like mine. So I took that away from somebody. Not sure that I would do that again since in general I’m not to keen on hatedrafting (at least in traditional booster draft). After all, there is at least 2 reasonable picks for otherwise.
 
Pack 3 pick 6:
    Irresistible Prey
    Vent Sentinel
    Sporecap Spider
    Dread Drone
    Last Kiss
    Kor Line-Slinger
–> Regress
    Goblin Arsonist
    Hyena Umbra
    Island
 
Pack 3 pick 7:
    Spawning Breath
    Lay Bare
    Survival Cache
–> Dawnglare Invoker
    Stomper Cub
    Hand of Emrakul
    Kiln Fiend
    Gravity Well
    Island

Always feels nice to pick up Dawnglare Invoker this late. It not too uncommon that it happens since most people don’t like white as a color in this format. I’m certainly not complaining here.
 
Pack 3 pick 8:
    Inquisition of Kozilek
–> Champion’s Drake
    Smite
    Perish the Thought
    Glory Seeker
    Fissure Vent
    Merfolk Observer
    Forest

I’m not too big of a fan of Smite (at least in the archetype I’m drafting here) since it’s a little awkward. Most of my guys have some sort of evasion which means that for the most part I will be attacking every turn. Then leaving some guy back is going to be awkward. It also don’t handle threats well that are really problematic for you, like something like a big Eldrazi, an Enclave Cryptologist, Rage Nimbus etc. I might be bashing Smite a little much but that is the experience I have of the card at this point.
 
Pack 3 pick 9:
    Demonic Appetite
    Stalwart Shield-Bearers
    Shrivel
    Goblin Arsonist
    Harmless Assault
–> Fleeting Distraction
    Mountain
 
Pack 3 pick 10:
    Death Cultist
    Shrivel
–> Wrap in Flames
    Pathrazer of Ulamog
    Essence Feed
    Mountain
 
Pack 3 pick 11:
    Lone Missionary
    Surreal Memoir
    Raid Bombardment
–> Spider Umbra
    Mountain
 
Pack 3 pick 12:
    Ancient Stirrings
    Nighthaze
–> Lagac Lizard
    Plains
 
Pack 3 pick 13:
–> Hand of Emrakul
    Enatu Golem
    Plains
 
Pack 3 pick 14:
–> Goblin Arsonist
    Island
 
Pack 3 pick 15:
–> Island

The deck pretty much built itself and ended up looking like this:

9x Island
8x Plains
1x Enclave Cryptologist
1x Kor Line-Slinger
1x Ikiral Outrider
1x Hada Spy Patrol
1x Knight of Cliffhaven
2x Champion’s Drake
1x Dawnglare Invoker
1x Venerate Teacher
1x Sea Gate Oracle
1x Makindi Griffin
2x Totem-Guide Hartebeest
1x Sphinx of Magosi
1x Guard Duty
1x Hyena Umbra
1x Deprive
1x Puncturing Light
1x Repel the Darkness
2x Regress
1x Survival Cache
1x Mammoth Umbra

As I suspected when I took that early Soulbound Guardians, I ended up not playing it. But it was clearly worth is since it got me down into white.

I did manage to take down the draft. I won the quarters against a fairly slow GBr deck, where I won game 1 with cheap fliers and game 2 with a Mammoth Umbra on a Knight of Cliffhaven. In the semis it was a GBr deck again but this was much faster. I won game 1 after he missed a couple of land drops but game 2 was very tight. I manage to stabilize at 1 life with a squad lead by my Sphinx of Magosi. He couldn’t penetrate and mean while he couldn’t do anything I manage to peel a Dawnglare Invoker which sealed the deal. At last the finals, which was very weird. Game 1 his deck looked really crappy, GU with a white splash. After he played a couple of Sea Gate Oracles and a couple of Narcolepsy he rolled over to my Sphinx of Magosi into Dawnglare Invoker combo. Then in the second game I saw why he was in the finals after he showed me a plethora of Aura Gnarlids and our all favourite Coralhelm Commander. I did however win the race with the help of some bounce and hartebeest shenanigans.

That was all for this time. I have my last exam before the summer next week so I’m kinda soaked into that right now but after that I will pretty much sink all my energy into Magic since my Nationals is only two weeks away (roughly)! I’m starting to feel quite comfortable with the limited portion of the event but Standard is still an enigma to me. I hope I will be able to straight out some of those question marks until it’s time to play for real.

Until next time!

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