Draft Digest: White Open Spaces

White has solidified itself as the best color in Amonkhet Draft. Today, Ryan Saxe explores the question of whether it’s right to take a white common to start a draft! In this pack, is it worth the risk?

Another day, another Amonkhet draft. Let’s see what this pack has to offer:

Pack 1, Pick 1

The Pack:

The Pick:

This pick is very straightforward in my opinion. It’s Compulsory Rest by a fair margin.

While Naga Vitalist is good and very important to some decks, it’s not what I want to start my draft with. I would probably take Electrify over Naga Vitalist as well. The thing is, given the aggressive nature of the format, W/G and R/G don’t always want Naga Vitalist, which makes the card substantially worse.

Electrify is also notably worse than we all initially expected. Don’t get me wrong, the card is solid, but I have cut it from my red decks. The fact of the matter is, when it’s common to only play small and cheap creatures, four-mana removal is clunky. It’s a card I still play, but I’m not happy to first-pick the card.

The reasons for not taking Electrify are exactly the reasons why I like taking Compulsory Rest here. Even though it doesn’t work well on embalm creatures and the two life can be relevant to the race, the card is two mana. Efficiency is of utmost importance in this format. The aggressive decks want to double-spell and clear blockers early, and the non-aggressive decks often need to cast removal starting on turn 2 in order to live long enough for their end-game. Compulsory Rest enables both of these strategies!

Pack 1, Pick 4

The Picks So Far:

This is a great start to a draft! White is the best color, and all of these white cards are premium commons. Hopefully the next pack has some great card so we can solidify into a second color, but I also wouldn’t complain if I just get some decent white card.

The Pack:

The Pick:

I guess I can’t complain; I’m in white and have two pretty good white options. While there will be versions of this deck where Cartouche of Knowledge or Cartouche of Zeal will actually be the best options, this is very unlikely and requires getting multiple Trials. For now I would like to stay on the safe route and take either Fan Bearer or Vizier of Deferment.

Vizier of Deferment is quite the difficult card to evaluate, especially when it comes to an aggressive strategy. It works quite well with exert and certainly can help swing a racing situation. It also can save valuable creatures like Honored Crop-Captain from dying during an alpha strike. The card has a lot of use and flexibility, but a three-mana 2/2 is very bad rate. It’s a card I play in aggressive decks, but almost any other three-drop will suffice, and hence I will not take it here.

I have already mentioned that one-drops are king in this format. And while it’s harder to draft decks with twelve one-drops now that the world knows about it, you still need to prioritize them. Fan Bearer is arguably the best one-drop in the format, and I’m ecstatic to take it here. It’s the second-best white common, right behind Gust Walker, so it’s a pretty easy pick in my opinion.

It’s funny; in the beginning of the format, I didn’t expect the card to be that good…still good, but not a card I’m happy to first-pick (which it is, by the way). The thing is, the fact that it’s a one-mana creature gives it a huge boost, and then there is added value in the fact that it’s a Zombie, white, and so on.