Draft Digest: The Hypersonic Dragon Chronicles

Ryan Saxe’s latest Iconic Masters draft is off to a good start, but he has some tricky decisions ahead! Which way would you steer him?

I’ve recently been on a control kick in Iconic Masters. The one thing that I’ve observed is how brutal Grisly Spectacle can be against these kinds of decks. They can be very threat-light or require very specific pieces such as Vent Sentinel and Doorkeeper. Murder is always great, but I’ve lost a surprising amount of games this week to Grisly Spectacle milling two out of my five-or-so win conditions in my control decks. While this is mostly just incidental value, it is something to be aware of, especially when mill is a supported archetype.

Our deck today could end up anywhere on the spectrum based on where it’s started so far. An interesting note for the spell-oriented decks is to prioritize velocity. This way, even though the decks are threat-light due to the fact that they need to be spell-dense, you should see multiple threats across the course of any game.

Pack 1, Pick 4

The Picks So Far:

The Pack:

The Pick:

I’m pretty down on Jhessian Thief. While the card is solid, the cheaper prowess cards tend to be more important. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still going to play the card in most of my blue decks, but I don’t believe the Thief is a necessity, so I don’t feel the need to prioritize it here.

Guardian Idol is a solid playable, but given the abundance of mana rocks in the set, you just don’t need to take them as highly as important archetypal cards. It’s definitely a solid pick-up here if that’s what you’re into, but the fact of the matter is it’s a replaceable card.

Blinding Mage is a pretty good white card that goes in all of your white decks and is always fine, but never great. While I may have started this draft with a Hypersonic Dragon, it wouldn’t be hard to draft U/W and splash the card, given the two red bounce-lands. But if I’m drafting U/W, there is a card in the pack that I value higher than Blinding Mage.

I’ve been extremely impressed by Seeker of the Way. I have it as the best white common, and it’s what I’m going to take here. If U/R happens to be open, then I’m missing out on a Jhessian Thief, but I think the Seeker opens the door for the most possible paths towards success in this draft!

Pack 1, Pick 6

The Picks So Far:

The Pack:

The Pick:

So I’m not going to take the bounceland or Survival Cache here. While I do like bouncelands a lot, I already have two that are more likely to be on-color and I don’t need to prioritize another one this early. Survival Cache is much better than I thought, and it works quite nicely with Seeker of the Way, but it just doesn’t compare to the other two options.

Lightning Helix is an extremely powerful card and does suggest that W/R is open. The key toughness of this set is four, though, so Lightning Helix isn’t as premium as you would expect (though it’s still very good). I wouldn’t fault you for taking it here as a hedge towards W/R, as it’s also splashable off the Boros Garrison if we should end up U/R, but it’s not what I’m going to take.

Amass the Components is actually a card I’m not unhappy to first-pick in this format. A lot of games can come down to a long grind, and card advantage is a great way to pull ahead under those conditions. Additionally, there really aren’t that many good forms of raw card advantage available, and so I do prioritize them when possible. Combine all that with the fact that I think blue is the best color by a large margin, and it pushes Amass ahead of Lightning Helix for me.