Draft Digest: Don’t Leave Me Yet!

Aether Revolt is about to step in and replace triple Kaladesh as the Draft format of the moment! But not yet…Help Ross conquer the tough picks here!

Previews may have started for Aether Revolt, meaning Kaladesh drafts are nearing their end, but all that means is that we have to cherish the time we have left with what will go down as one of the best draft formats in recent years.

The format is far from stale with how many possibilities there are in a given draft, and it’s never a bad time to sharpen your skills before a new format comes out so you can get the jump on the competition. Ladies and gentlemen, crack your packs.

Pack 1, Pick 1

Interesting. The top three cards are of three different rarities: Kambal, Consul of Allocation; Maulfist Doorbuster; and Renegade Freighter. The natural tendency is to gravitate toward the higher-rarity cards since they tend to be more powerful, and Kambal, Consul of Allocation reads like it can dominate a game. At minimum it will yield a two-point Drain Life after trading with a removal spell, and against a trick-heavy, removal-light deck, it can generate significantly more value.

Given that the cheap removal in Kaladesh answers two-toughness creatures (see: Chandra’s Pyrohelix and Die Young), it even has a well-sized body for the format, although nothing compared to the brutal stats of the other two options. Maulfist Doorbuster makes combat a nightmare for the opponent, and Renegade Freighter is simply bigger than a three-mana common should ever be.

It may not be as exciting as the other options, but Renegade Freighter is just so efficient it can’t be ignored. That it’s colorless and will make our deck regardless of what happens later seals it. Always remember that higher rarity doesn’t automatically imply better. Sometimes the commons are just that good.

Pack 1, Pick 6

Our picks so far:

The pack:

The pick:

This is a very promising start to a draft, with five good-to-great cards to start while still being open to any color that comes our way. And the signal in this pack could not be clearer: the top three cards are all green. It’s possible at this point that we abandon black if it dries up or we open a bomb in another color, but for now we have to decide between Thriving Rhino, Hunt the Weak, and Fairgrounds Trumpeter.

Hunt the Weak is removal, which is always appreciated, and the uncommon has lots of potential in the right deck. But once again I side with the pure efficiency of Thriving Rhino. Three mana for a 2/3 is a fine baseline, and you have the option to feed that energy elsewhere if needed or upgrade into a 3/4, which is well above the curve. So once again I’ll pass the higher-rarity card and take the lowly common.