Drafting Digest: A True Enigma

Get the jump on the competition at your next Limited event! Core Set 2019 isn’t in hands yet, but you can still let Ryan Saxe teach you to draft it!

Pack 1, Pick 1

The Pack:

The Pick:

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?

The Pack:

The Pick:

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!