Pack 1, Pick 1
This pack doesn’t have all that many good cards. While Brawl-Bash Ogre will make my B/R decks, it’s not powerful enough to speculate on for a first pick. And Star-Crowned Stag is pretty much just a worse tempo card than Exclusion Mage. In fact, the only card that I think you could argue for other than Exclusion Mage is Thorn Lieutenant.
So, between Thorn Lieutenant and Exclusion Mage, what is the correct pick? I think I’m going to start off this draft with the Man-o’-War. While the Lieutenant is an above-rate creature with an abundance of abilities, I’m pretty sure that Exclusion Mage is miles better than a two-mana 2/3. And I don’t think the two additional abilities make Thorn Lieutenant good enough to take here.
Pack 1, Pick 5
The Picks So Far:
This is a phenomenal way to start off a draft. All four cards are blue and considerably good. Is it finally time to delve into a second color here or should you keep going on the mono-color-train?
Enigma Drake has the highest ceiling; however, there are currently no red cards in the pool, and every card is a creature. For Enigma Drake to clearly be the pick, I would want to reliably be able to have the card be a 3/4 flier. This is certainly possible; however, it’s difficult to say how easy that is to facilitate in this format without playing a significant amount of drafts.
Both Take Vengeance and Aviation Pioneer are the safe picks, as they’ll always be a quality card for your deck. One thing that I find interesting about comparing the Pioneer and Take Vengeance is that, if you look at the U/W gold card Aerial Engineer, it’s clear that the U/W archetype cares about artifacts as well as evasive threats. So even though Take Vengeance is an efficient removal spell, I wouldn’t be surprised if U/W preferred Aviation Pioneer due to synergy.
Overall, I wouldn’t fault anybody for taking any of these three cards. I think I’m going to take Take Vengeance here, as it’s an efficient, splashable, removal spell. And you can never really go wrong with those!