Draft Digest: What In Oketra’s Name?

Choices, choices! Is Bounty of the Luxa the right card to start a draft? And when three great white Zombies show up in a row, is it the right time to commit with In Oketra’s Name? Practice for your Grand Prix Richmond weekend with Ryan Saxe!

Another day, another draft. So let’s just jump right into this one!

Pack 1, Pick 1

The Pack:

The Pick:

Sorry for those durdle lovers out there, but Bounty of the Luxa is just too slow.

Don’t get me wrong; you absolutely can durdle in this format, and it’s not all aggro, but even in those decks, this card is kind of clunky. I would be happy to take Bounty of the Luxa in Pack 2 or 3 if I were already some U/G ramp durdlefest (my least favorite archetype, by the way), but it does not make me want to play U/G. I’ll safely let somebody downstream try that.

Shefet Monitor is a very good Magic card. That being said, it has underperformed. Six mana for a 6/5 is below rate, and four mana to ramp and draw a card is also pretty bad. Throw these options onto a single card and you have something solid. But it’s also kind of slow, and I’ve already addressed that I have a preference for aggro decks.

Speaking of which, I love W/B Zombies. So Lord of the Accursed is certainly my first pick! It’s great in that archetype and playable in others too. Don’t forget it makes all the Embalm cards better too, like Sacred Cat. Shefet Monitor is definitely the safe pick, but I haven’t been as impressed with the green go-big-style decks.

Pack 1, Pick 5

The Picks So Far:

The Pack:

The Pick:

So we have a Zombie to go with our theme so far, an effect that pumps Zombies, or a premium removal spell. First off, if Magma Spray were not in this pack, I would take In Oketra’s Name. But that’s not the world we live in. Magma Spray, in my opinion, is the second-best common, right behind Gust Walker. So should I take Magma Spray or In Oketra’s Name?

I like In Oketra’s Name quite a bit. It isn’t very good when behind (although I have used it to good effect on blocks), but it’s quite good when you’re ahead or at parity. And even though In Oketra’s Name is better with what we currently have, I’m not going to take it here for a couple of reasons.

First, although you as the reader wouldn’t necessarily know this, the last three packs had almost no black cards, so it’s quite likely that black is not open. Second, In Oketra’s Name is the kind of card that will wheel if nobody else is in W/B.

With Magma Spray as the best card in the pack by far, I’m going to snap it up, as it could be a signal that red is open. The goal is to stay nearly mono-white for the rest of this pack (unless another very powerful red or black card comes soon) so that I can be flexible, depending on how Pack 2 flows. And if the In Oketra’s Name wheels and I don’t see much other great red, I can certainly take it and lock into W/B Zombies, because I know I’ll be the only player at the table drafting it!