An RGD Draft Walkthrough

With Ravnica Limited finally becoming a little clearer, it’s time to dust off our walkthrough shoes and watch Nick go though the paces. In today’s informative article, Mr Eisel presents every twist and turn from a successful RGD Draft. He examines each pick in detail, discusses some of the trickier deckbuilding decisions, and shares the plays and pitfalls from the resultant games.

I’ve been playing way too much Magic Online lately. Between the usual amount of drafting I do and my recent unsuccessful attempts to break Standard for Nationals, I’ve been putting in countless hours. While I do feel like I am finally getting somewhere in my Constructed testing, it’s still Limited by far where I’ve had the best results.

Since I have been playing so much, I decided to start keeping track of the past few drafts I’ve done, and then pick one and do a walkthrough. I feel like this will still be very helpful, even though plenty of other people are also doing walkthroughs these days, simply because RGD is such a diverse format. I will say that I think too many pros have subscribed to the RUG or bust draft strategy, and while the archetype is good, you are limiting yourself too much if you aren’t willing to adapt and be flexible.

Of course, sometimes the packs just push you in that direction.

The Draft

Pack 1
Induce Paranoia; Roofstalker Wight; Torpid Moloch; Incite Hysteria; Scatter the Seeds; Benevolent Ancestor; Sewerdreg; Seismic Spike; Stone-Seeder Hierophant; Skyknight Legionnaire; Conclave Equenaut; Ivy Dancer; Bathe in Light; Mnemonic Nexus; Light of Sanction

So where should I begin?

I guess a better question is, of the possible options for a first pick here, which gives an overall better set of options while also remaining likely to end up in my deck at the end of the draft? The only options for a first pick here in my mind are Conclave Equenaut, Scatter the Seeds, and Skyknight Legionnaire. Taking something like Bathe in Light is stupid, because it isn’t even the best solid White card in the pack, and it’s also too flimsy to start out a draft with.

Of the three possible choices I decided right away that I wasn’t going to take the Legionnaire, since it didn’t have as much long-term value as the two other cards that are very comparable in power level. That being said, if you’re a diehard URW junkie, Legionnaire is surely the pick for you.

The choice between Scatter and Equenaut is much closer, since both cards are strong and lead to many good archetypes. What it comes down to is a matter of personal preference, as well as an overall look at the booster as a whole. There are tons of good White cards in this pack, with Benevolent Ancestor (who I might add is still hugely undervalued online) in addition to the already mentioned two fliers and Bathe in Light. There are also no other good Green cards, which makes a much stronger case for Scatter the Seeds.

Being that I really like GR, and that Scatter is excellent in GR or UG or a combination of both, I went with the Scatter here after seeing that there were no other Green cards for my neighbors.

My Pick: Scatter the Seeds

Pack 2
Gaze of the Gorgon; Coalhauler Swine; Civic Wayfinder; Vedalken Dismisser; Dimir House Guard; Sundering Vitae; Leave No Trace; Flight of Fancy; Last Gasp; Galvanic Arc; Golgari Thug; Drooling Groodion; Cleansing Beam

Quite the pack.

Despite this fact, this isn’t a particularly difficult decision after looking back at what I took first. I’m sure there are those of you who have read that you are supposed to keep your options open and wouldn’t mind simply taking the Civic Wayfinder from this booster. This is simply taking the idea too far as both Arc and Last Gasp are miles better than Wayfinder, even if you do plan on drafting mainly UG and would just splash the Arc.

Honestly I found this pick to be very easy because Galvanic Arc is the card that goes best with all of the better Green archetypes.

While you can certainly pick the Last Gasp here I think you are very wrong in doing so, because GB doesn’t work so well in the next couple of packs unless you end up specifically GBR or somehow get GBU to work. Don’t even think about taking Drooling Groodion here, as he is too slow and also too much commitment on the mana. The remaining solid picks, like Cleansing Beam and Vedalken Dismisser, are simply no comparison to the Galvanic Arc.

Had I for some reason known the guy in front of me liked to draft UGR then I would’ve taken Conclave Equenaut first and Last Gasp second.

My Pick: Galvanic Arc

Pack 3
Guardian of Vitu-Ghazi; Boros Garrison; Tattered Drake; Surveilling Sprite; Clinging Darkness; Dimir Infiltrator; Shred Memory; Boros Signet; Carrion Howler; Nightmare Void; Boros Swiftblade; Scion of the Wild

This pack is unusually shallow for this early in the draft, and the only real options I have here are Scion of the Wild, Boros Garrison, or possibly Boros Signet if I want to stay in the colors I’m in so far. I see no reason to jump into Black here since not only are the cards mediocre to begin with, but I just shipped a third pick Last Gasp in the previous pack.

I ruled out the Signet immediately, as bouncelands are always superior this early in the draft and you would only pick a Signet over one later in the draft if the Signet fixed your mana while the bounceland only hit one color, or if you just need some acceleration. Generally speaking, bouncelands are superior since they don’t even cost you a slot in your spells.

So the choice is between the Scion and the Garrison, and having already picked the Scatter I don’t think it’s too difficult to understand why I went with the Scion.

My Pick: Scion of the Wild

Pack 4
Wojek Siren; Convolute; Fists of Ironwood; Bramble Elemental; Screeching Griffin; Nightguard Patrol; Boros Recruit; Smash; Elves of Deep Shadow; Auratouched Mage; Lore Broker; Copy Enchantment

Now here’s a pick where some of you may disagree with me.

The pick here is between Fists, Bramble, Elves of Deep Shadow, and Auratouched Mage. The Mage was the first to go in my analysis since I’m not a huge fan of RGW and there are picks in my colors that are almost as good as the Mage for my purposes. As for the Green cards, I dismissed the Elves first because I like the other two cards better in my aggressive GR decks, and usually end up playing things like Simic Initiate and War-Torch Goblin in the one slot anyway.

Most of you would just automatically take the Bramble Elemental here and not think anything else of it. Unfortunately, I happen to think it’s the wrong pick in this situation.

When I’m looking to draft an aggressive GR deck, the things that matter most to me are having a lot of two drops and also having ways to get Bloodthirst online. Fists of Ironwood fills all of these requirements and can also win a game by being put on Ghor-Clan Savage to stop any plans of chump blocking and racing back in the air. Don’t forget too that I just picked Scion of the Wild, and Fists is a great compliment to him. Finally, while I was hoping for straight GR, that doesn’t always work out and if I should have to enter Blue as well, Vigean Hydropon is amazing with Fists and Scatter, and not picked very highly either.

My Pick: Fists of Ironwood

Pack 5
Woodwraith Strangler; Induce Paranoia; Roofstalker Wight; Fists of Ironwood; War-Torch Goblin; Screeching Griffin; Dromad Purebred; Necromantic Thirst; Wojek Embermage; Molten Sentry

Well, I guess my deck has a theme. This pack is abysmal besides the Fists and Wojek Embermage. Had I been drafting a slower deck I may take the Embermage here, but I don’t think anyone will disagree that another Fists is just huge in this deck.

My Pick: Fists of Ironwood

Pack 6
Tattered Drake; Dogpile; Incite Hysteria; Benevolent Ancestor; Drake Familiar; Thoughtpicker Witch; Dimir Machinations; Instill Furor; Junktroller

With the exception of the second booster, these packs have been very mediocre so far. This one offers Dogpile, Incite Hysteria, and Drake Familiar as options for me. In retrospect, I may have mispicked here by taking the Dogpile over the Drake, but my thinking was that I wanted to draft aggressive GR and avoid splashing if possible, and Dogpile is excellent when you’ve got two Fists and a Scatter already in your pile. It is possible however that I should take the Drake here, with three great enchantments to return with it already.

My Pick: Dogpile

Pack 7
Torpid Moloch; Boros Garrison; Vedalken Entrancer; Perplex; Dryad’s Caress; Caregiver; Goliath Spider; Seed Spark; Cyclopean Snare

Entrancer has become almost non-existent in this format unless you can manage to round up three copies, or get some serious help from Glimpse plus Izzet Chronarch or something similar. I only mention it because I still see some players who will pick the Entrancer in the middle of the first booster and then use it as a partial reason that they should be drafting Blue in a spot where they clearly shouldn’t be.

As far as this pack goes, the Garrison is a pretty easy pick for me since I’d rather not splash the Seed Spark if I didn’t have to.

My Pick: Boros Garrison

Pack 8
Goblin Spelunkers; Woodwraith Strangler; Vedalken Entrancer; Golgari Brownscale; Quickchange; Spectral Searchlight; Grifter’s Blade

This pack does present some options, and we all know Ben Goodman would slam the Brownscale without even looking at the rest of the pack. He’ll probably end up posting something in the forums about this, and his post will likely end with “BIIIG MULLS.”

As far as the actual pick goes, while Brownscale isn’t really as bad as people make it out to be, I’d much rather have the Searchlight or the Spelunkers here. Looking back over the picks, I decided to go with the Searchlight as a possible finisher as well as color fixer if I did end up going into three colors. This really depends on how well Guildpact fills out my deck, but in any case, having Searchlight to do those last 3-4 points is nice.

My Pick: Spectral Searchlight

The lap brings an Ivy Dancer, Flight of Fancy, Surveilling Sprite, and Smash. I was particularly happy about the Flight, but it also made me wish I’d picked the Drake Familiar over the Dogpile since he failed to come back around.


Pack 1
Fencer’s Magemark; Ogre Savant; Gruul Scrapper; Orzhov Signet; Steamcore Weird; Withstand; Douse in Gloom; Wee Dragonauts; Skarrgan Pit-Skulk; Burning-Tree Bloodscale; Vertigo Spawn; Daggerclaw Imp; Ghor-Clan Bloodscale; Abyssal Nocturnus

Those of you who would’ve taken the Last Gasp second pick and ended up in something GB would be very pleased to see the Daggerclaw Imp in this pack. It’s also possible that I overrate the Imp slightly, but it seems like every time I cast him on turn 3 he goes on to win the game for me.

As far as my deck goes, the best options all involve dipping into Blue which I was already considering because of the Flight of Fancy as well as a desire to draft Hydropons in pack 3. The choice between Steamcore Weird and Ogre Savant isn’t too tough in my deck, because my goal is to remove blockers and allow my tokens to get through for a bunch of damage. While both creatures can get the job done in this case, the Savant is simply a much better tempo card and doesn’t care if the creature has more than two toughness or not.

It’s also worth mentioning that taking Savant here is much stronger than staying in just GR by taking something much weaker like Gruul Scrapper or Burning-Tree Bloodscale.

My Pick: Ogre Savant

Pack 2
Torch Drake; Silhana Ledgewalker; Izzet Signet; Ghor-Clan Savage; Guardian’s Magemark; Wee Dragonauts; Runeboggle; Gruul Nodorog; Fencer’s Magemark; Poisonbelly Ogre; Hypervolt Grasp; Orzhova, the Church of Deals; Skarrgan Skybreaker; Leyline of Singularity

I guess the premise of this draft is to have the second pick of every booster be completely insane.

The choices here are Torch Drake, Savage, Hypervolt Grasp, and Skarrgan Skybreaker. Don’t forget that’s without including Ledgewalker and Dragonauts in the decision, just because they are hugely outclassed in this pack.

I eliminated the Torch Drake first since I felt like I couldn’t possibly take it here. I also eliminated the Skybreaker because of the double Red mana and the fact that there were cheaper and possibly more effective options. This isn’t to say that I don’t like the Skybreaker, because I do generally feel that he is underrated and a bomb in the right deck, but this time there are just better options.

The final decision between Savage and Hypervolt isn’t really too easy, but I am a huge fan of Hypervolt Grasp and felt that I would have enough tokens and other dorks to make good use of it, as well as potential Blue mana to keep it safe or use it as a shotgun. There are also plenty of other good five-drops in these colors, and I decided I’d rather have the pinging enchantment with this pick.

My Pick: Hypervolt Grasp

Pack 3
Gruul Signet; Ghor-Clan Savage; Repeal; Scab-Clan Mauler; Tin Street Hooligan; Izzet Boilerworks; Crystal Seer; Silhana Ledgewalker; Restless Bones; Petrahydrox; Vedalken Plotter; Vedalken Plotter (foil); Storm Herd


In addition to living the dream of being passed a pack with not one, but two Plotters in it, I also get to take the Ghor-Clan Savage that I just passed up for the Hypervolt. I spent quite some time on this pick because I couldn’t decide whether I wanted the Scab-Clan Mauler over the Savage or not, and in the end I went with the better overall card in the Savage. Had I been going for straight balls to the wall aggro GR, I think the pick here is Mauler, but since I started dabbling in Blue I think the Savage is the better overall choice.

My Pick: Ghor-Clan Savage

Pack 4

Leap of Flame; Train of Thought; Beastmaster’s Magemark; Wild Cantor; Poisonbelly Ogre; Necromancer’s Magemark; Gruul Scrapper; Order of the Stars; Souls of the Faultless; Exhumer Thrull; Siege of Towers

Not a whole lot here to think about, since I’m not playing Black. Seriously though, how is Exhumer Thrull still in this pack after I passed Last Gasp third?

I get a Gruul Scrapper, which isn’t the worst thing that could happen.

My Pick: Gruul Scrapper

Pack 5
Gigadrowse; Wild Cantor; Gruul Nodorog; Petrahydrox; Guardian’s Magemark; Izzet Signet; Orzhov Euthanist; Goblin Flectomancer; Plagued Rusalka; Sky Swallower

You Make The Card (Worse)!

Sky Swallower fifth? How Lucky!

Except… wait… this is Guildpact and this is the 8/8 Sky Swallower that is never playable in a Limited deck. I know this because if there was a possible way to get him in a deck besides playing five Wild Cantors, I would’ve done it already – just as I did with Eater of Days.

This pack presents a couple of options in the Nodorog, Izzet Signet, and Goblin Flectomancer. Flectomancer is a great card but I was worried about ever being able to cast it, since my deck is base Green with two splashes and I didn’t know what would happen in Dissension. Nodorog is clunky and unnecessary at this point so I went with the Signet, which is a big help in the mana department as it fixes both of my splashes.

My Pick: Izzet Signet

Pack 6
Crystal Seer; Cry of Contrition; Beastmaster’s Magemark; Izzet Chronarch; Orzhov Basilica; Skyrider Trainee; Ghost Warden; Schismotivate; Battering Wurm; Leyline of Lightning

Speaking of underrated cards, there are a couple of them here in this pack.

Schismotivate is a great trick in this format that often gets passed over for cards that aren’t as good, like Train of Thought on a three-color manabase. Battering Wurm is a bomb, and often goes unnoticed simply because people haven’t played with him. Try him out and you’ll see what I mean.

If you look back over the cards I’ve already drafted, you’ll see that the Chronarch really isn’t very good in this deck so far. Schismotivate would be a fine pick for the deck, but it suffers from the problem of being hard to cast based on the direction I’m going right now. I think Battering Wurm is far and away the best pick from this pack, as he will win the game almost every time you play him with Bloodthirst and is nigh unstoppable if you also Graft onto him.

My Pick: Battering Wurm

Pack 7
Orzhov Basilica; Castigate; Necromancer’s Magemark; Gigadrowse; Skarrgan Pit-Skulk; Gatherer of Graces; Rabble Rouser

Steve Sadin is correct in saying that Pit-Skulk is awesome with Graft, but there is another card in this pack that works extremely well in my deck. If you look back to Ravnica you’ll see all of the 187 enchantments that I drafted, and they all work extremely well after you’ve cast a turn 2 Gatherer of Graces. Sure, they’re no Moldervine Cloak, but they turn the innocent little two-drop into a strong beater while also doing something else.

You could make a small case for Rabble Rouser in this pack, with all of the tokens I have, but I prefer the two-drop here and would rather have the Rabble Rouser at a time when I’m URW with nothing but fliers.

My Pick: Gatherer of Graces

Pack 8
Skyrider Trainee; Runeboggle; Mourning Thrull; Cry of Contrition; Orzhov Euthanist; Castigate; Crash Landing; Thunderheads

I’m not a huge fan of Crash Landing in this format, simply because you never know how many Forests you’ll end up running with all of the Signets and bounce lands available. I decided to take the more flexible Thunderheads as a sideboard card against decks with lots of fliers, and could possibly make the maindeck if I end up getting enough Blue in pack 3.

My Pick: Thunderheads

On the lap I grab a Burning-Tree Bloodscale, Fencer’s Magemark, and somehow Goblin Flectomancer managed to table. This is odd because Flectomancer is an excellent card if you can reasonably cast it. He did, however, go down a bit in value with the introduction of Dissension, since the Seals provide more removal that is not in Instant or Sorcery form.


Pack 1
Plumes of Peace; Sporeback Troll; Haazda Exonerator; Delirium Skeins; Minister of Impediments; Utopia Sprawl; Freewind Equenaut; Azorius Signet; Seal of Doom; Prahv, Spires of Order; Azorius Ploy; Azorius Herald; Pillar of the Paruns

This is a strong pack, but there aren’t many options for me. The only card I can possibly take here is the Minister of Impediments, as I’m not wasting my first pick on a Sporeback Troll when it’s likely I’ll get some good Simic cards based on what happened in pack 1.

Of course, I’m perfectly happy taking Minister first here, as he gives me a nice answer to the evasive or large creatures that my opponent may play

My Pick: Minister of Impediments

Pack 2
Ogre Gatecrasher; Ocular Halo; Aurora Eidolon; Rakdos Carnarium; Simic Ragworm; Gobhobbler Rats; Nettling Curse; Kill-Suit Cultist; Novijen, Heart of Progress; Indrik Stomphowler; Sky Hussar; Wit’s End

This pack contains a number of medium strength cards and the powerful Ocular Halo. Fortunately there is also the Indrik Stomphowler, who is amazing at smashing Pillories, Plumes of Peace, and Signets. I’ve watched people take Sporeback Troll or Aquastrand Spider over the Stomphowler before, and this is just flat-out wrong. Stomphowler is excellent in this format, and also a 4/4 for five even if he has no targets.

My Pick: Indrik Stomphowler

Pack 3
Macabre Waltz; Silkwing Scout; Assault Zeppelid; Carom; Enemy of the Guildpact; Utvara Scalper; Taste for Mayhem; Shielding Plax; Vesper Ghoul; Enigma Eidolon; Supply / Demand; Stomp and Howl; Aethermage’s Touch

Now this is what I’m talking about…

I briefly considered splashing the Supply / Demand before realizing that it was a really stupid idea. Once I came back down to Earth, I had no problem taking the Assault Zeppelid from this pack. It is the card I want in my deck most when I’m in Simic colors. I’d still take Minister over Zeppelid most of the time, though I wouldn’t exactly be happy about doing so.

My Pick: Assault Zeppelid

Pack 4
Azorius Signet; Simic Ragworm; Steeling Stance; Sandstorm Eidolon; Simic Initiate; Vigean Hydropon; Nettling Curse; Overrule; Utvara Scalper; Flame-Kin War Scout; Magewright’s Stone; Momir Vig, Simic Visionary

Momir Vig is simply amazing. And no, I’m not talking about the MTGO avatar.

If you get him out in Limited and have a couple of Gold creatures that are both Green and Blue, you should almost always win the game. He will allow you to tutor your deck for all of your good men at no additional cost. Even just putting creatures on top is very strong.

If you look closer at this pack, you’ll also notice that it contains a better pick for this particular draft deck – the Vigean Hydropon. With all of my token generation and my current lack for Simic guys to maximize the Simic Visionary, the Hydropon is a much stronger pick. Not to mention that it gives me the ridiculous opening of turn 3 Hydropon, turn four Scatter for three 2/2s.

In most cases I couldn’t possibly see taking anything over the Momir if I could cast it, but this deck is in need of something else.

My Pick: Vigean Hydropon

Pack 5
Azorius First-Wing; Vesper Ghoul; Entropic Eidolon; Rakdos Signet; Aurora Eidolon; Verdant Eidolon; Blessing of the Nephilim; Court Hussar; Azorius Aethermage; Walking Archive

Ever wish you were Azorius? I did as I was looking at this pack.

The only card I can really take is the Verdant Eidolon, which will at least help me cast Battering Wurm I guess, and is something that I can reasonably get back a couple of times over the course of a game.

My Pick: Verdant Eidolon

Pack 6
Macabre Waltz; Cytospawn Shambler; Simic Signet; Kill-Suit Cultist; Shielding Plax; Whiptail Moloch; Rix Maadi, Dungeon Palace; Ignorant Bliss; Sprouting Phytohydra

Here I can take the Shambler or the Signet, and with only Battering Wurm at the top of my curve, I definitely want the fatty. Also remember that Shambler is excellent with Ghor-Clan Savage, or with damage on the stack and Scatter the Seeds.

Also, please stop casting Shielding Plax unless you really have some dire need for enchantments. The card doesn’t do anything except open you up to get two-for-one’d.

My Pick: Cytospawn Shambler

Pack 7
Vigean Hydropon; Enemy of the Guildpact; Beacon Hawk; Riot Spikes; Psychotic Fury; Drekavac; Hide / Seek

Now I know that most people don’t like Hydropon that much, but this is just lucky for me to get another one 7th pick. I’ll happily play one copy in any deck that can cast it early, but this deck would probably play up to three copies with the token generators. I considered taking Psychotic Fury before realizing that I would have to be out of my mind to do so.

My Pick: Vigean Hydropon

Pack 8
Kill-Suit Cultist; Simic Initiate; Soulsworn Jury; Sandstorm Eidolon; Steeling Stance; Ghost Quarter; Bond of Agony

With absolutely nothing here for me to take, I decided to hate the best card in the pack – the Soulsworn Jury.

My Pick: Soulsworn Jury

On the lap I get literally nothing after raredrafting a Pillar of the Paruns and then getting Utvara Scalper and Flame-Kin War Scout. Here’s a look at the final product.

The Deck

Relevant Sideboard
Ivy Dancer
Leap of Flame
Goblin Flectomancer
Fencer’s Magemark

I think this deck is solid but not amazing. I wish it had a couple of on-color bounce lands to fix the mana, but didn’t have any reasonable shot at any of them where I didn’t have to take some really strong card for my deck.

The only thing I wanted in the main that didn’t make it there was the Fencer’s Magemark, due to the fact that I had a ton of Auras already in the deck. I decided I’d board it in if it didn’t look like I could get easily two-for-one’d by doing so.

I forgot to write down my opponents’ names so I am working completely from memory here, as my replays are no longer available on Magic Online since I was too tired to write this report up right after the draft.

Round 1 against Dish
Game 1, and my opening hand is amazing. I start with Hydropon on turn 3, Scatter on turn 4, and then Stomphowler his Signet on turn 5. His only play was a Sell-Sword Brute, and this game was over quickly.

Game 2 we are racing somewhat, because on a key turn he attacked with Bioplasm and flipped up Siege Wurm with it. This wouldn’t normally be a problem, as I just chumped with my Verdant Eidolon, but he had the Wildsize to deal nine trample. I eventually drew the Ivy Dancer that I had sided in, which gave me a fighting chance with my Scion of the Wild, and on my last turn I could draw Dogpile, Galvanic Arc, Scatter, Fists #2, or Flight of Fancy for the win with him at nine life… and I topdecked the Scatter to make the Forestwalking Scion lethal.

Put Pondering on the Stack?

Dish and I have played a few times before, and due to his tendency to type “hmm” a lot on his turn, we determined that he needs to be issued a special version of MTGO that actually has a “Hmmm Step,” so that Dish can save the effort of typing it every turn.


Round 2
This was possibly the most ridiculous match of Magic I have ever played.

The game started out with him playing out four colors of mana and completely blowing me out on a number of occasions. His first couple of plays were Petrahydrox and Drekavac, and then he Cleansing Beamed my Gruul Scrapper and Verdant Eidolon on turn 5. I was about ready to concede, due to not having a second Green mana to cast my Ghor-Clan Savage on the one turn I hit him for damage, when I realized that my opponent was playing extremely slow. Not the kind of slow like when you have a senior citizen driving in front of you and the speed limit is 25 while they are only going 10 miles per hour, but the kind of slow that actually makes molasses jealous.

So, I untapped and drew my card and it was Assault Zeppelid, which gave me a glimmer of hope since it also got back my Eidolon.

A turn or so went by, and I traded with his Drekavac. He played his splashed Sporeback Troll. At this point he was down to 19 minutes, and this was still game 1, so I was having visions of timing him out if I could snag game two against his mess of a deck.

To cut a long story short, I somehow got Eidolon back out and attacked him with it when I was on six life, which allowed me to then sacrifice it post-combat and play a Bloodthirsty Savage as well as put Fists of Ironwood on it against his Troll and Petrahydrox. This ended up being enough to stabilize the board for a bit, until I started adding more creatures including the Minister of Impediments that I drew.

As I start beating him down and bounce his Petrahydrox on his end step, I start to feel like I’m somehow going to win this game despite the absolute beating I took in the early game. And to think I was ready to give up so much earlier.

Just when I thought I was in the driver’s seat, things took a turn towards weird.

He had drawn Izzet Chronarch on a previous turn, and for some inexplicable reason had not cast it to get back his Cleansing Beam. You may be wondering how I knew this tidbit of information. It had come to my attention when he topdecked Kindle the Carnage and pitched his ‘Hydrox and Chronarch to Wrath the board. And I mean literally Wrath the board, as he was apparently unaware that he could regenerate his Sporeback Troll.

At this point it was a topdecking game, with him at eight and me at six.

I drew Stomphowler on my turn and blasted his Signet.

Remember now, he has zero cards in hand and nothing in play but lands.

He drew his card, played a land and passed, which then allowed me to attack him down to four on my turn, after I also drew land. One draw step away from victory, right? I sure thought so.

At this point he went into complete lag mode during his upkeep, and we literally just sat there for seven minutes. I guessed that he just had an extremely bad connection, but he never actually disconnected from the game, and he didn’t speak English so I had no real way of finding out.

He drew Steamcore Weird, which didn’t really do much but hit me for two and chump-block.

I drew Spectral Searchlight, manaburned him, and made him chump with the Steamcore.

So he was at three, and completely on the ropes… what did he draw?

Another Steamcore Weird. Okay, now I was starting to get annoyed.

Then I looked at his timer and noticed that he was down to only four minutes remaining to complete the match! Not just this game, but he would somehow have to win this one and win another game where I could merely stall his attack and let him run out of time.

I drew land on my turn and the same thing happened, which put both of us on two life. I passed the turn and wondered if he could possibly topdeck again to win a game that seemed so far out of his hands after I had stabilized. I decided that he couldn’t possibly topdeck again.

You probably won’t believe me, but he drew his card, tapped four mana and cast…. a third Steamcore Weird in a row off an empty grip!

You know how when you’re playing a live game of Magic, and your opponent casts two of the same insane card and you actually pick up their graveyard to make sure that they do in fact have two of this card? Well, I checked his graveyard on Magic Online! That’s how deep my state of disbelief was.

Regardless, he was down to two minutes, I couldn’t possibly lose this match could I?

I sided out my Battering Wurm and Cytospawn Shambler for cheaper men like Ivy Dancer and Thunderheads since my opponent was so low on time.

Without taking up too much space here, my opponent had what was probably the fastest draw he could possibly muster in game 2, and I barely timed him out on the turn before he was going to kill me. His draw also included 2 Steamcore Weird and 2 Fiery Conclusion, which were used to kill basically everything I threw out there to try to block with.

So, yeah, I should’ve never won this match if my opponent had actually not timed himself out. I was also very close to going on full tilt when he played his seemingly endless number of Weirds and Fiery Conclusions in game 2, and I really felt like I might lose to someone who let themselves get down to two minutes with a game left to play.


Round 3
I know I will get yelled at for this, but due to the fact that it was very late at night, I decided to accept the intentional draw when my opponent offered it. I know I’ll hear about it in the forums and I know I’m supposed to play out the finals, even in an 8-4, when I’m doing a walkthrough on it, but at least I actually provided some game summaries.

So, my apologies, but I do usually accept the intentional draw in 8-4s anyway, since it is so much better than gambling for the two extra packs, and you still profit a draft set out of the deal.


Hopefully this draft was informative as there were a couple of interesting picks. If nothing else, my second round of playing should be entertaining enough to make this a worthwhile read.

See ya next week.

Nick Eisel
[email protected]
Soooooo & ThatsGameBoys on MTGO