Drafting Digest: Better Days

Sometimes the packs just don’t open up the way you want them to! Ross Merriam guides you through a pair of seemingly lackluster yet truly tricky picks!

Do you hear that sound?

That’s the sound of the last Draft Digest of 2016.

You don’t hear anything? You should definitely get your ears checked. But first, take a look at these sweet packs. The doctor will be there in the morning.

Pack 1, Pick 1

Here’s the pack.

What’s the pick?

Okay, not a great one to start.

The top two cards by a significant margin are Bomat Bazaar Barge and Ovalchase Daredevil. I have Daredevil as the better of the pair, but there are two compelling reasons to consider the Vehicle here.

First, it’s an artifact and keeps us open. That’s a factor, but not one that I’m likely to use to take a weaker card early in the draft. Second, the next-best cards in the pack are mostly black, with Subtle Strike and Live Fast amidst a sea of mediocrity. Taking the Ovalchase Daredevil could lead us to not getting a lot of black cards back in Pack 2.

However, when considering signals, you should be much more concerned with reading those from your right than sending those to your left. Even in the scenario that the players downstream end up in black, you can capitalize on that by taking cards from an undervalued color in Pack 2 before reaping the rewards of them cutting black in Pack 3. So while these are indeed considerations, they aren’t large enough for me to take the worse of the two cards. Ovalchase Daredevil it is.

Pack 1, Pick 5

The picks so far:

Black clearly hasn’t been flowing, so we’ve dipped into white, notably with enough artifacts to pivot back into black and play the Ovalchase Daredevil should the option arise.

The pack:

The pick:

This is another mediocre pack, so we’re choosing among some weak options.

Quicksmith Genius is the most powerful card in the pack and gives us another card to capitalize on the artifacts we already have. This is a little beneath the bar of a card I’d want to move into another color for, but I think it’s a reasonable gamble in a pack like this.

Herald of the Fair is filler material that I would rate lower than Consulate Skygate. But Skygate is a reasonable pick here in a deck that can play a longer game with a high-cost Vehicle and the potential card advantage from Ovalchase Daredevil. It’s also a fine two-drop, and you all know how much I like those. I’m inclined to take the Consulate Skygate here and keep our options open for a stronger signal, but if you like Quicksmith Genius a lot, that’s reasonable here too.

It’s not the highest of notes for 2016 to end on, but soon we’ll have shiny new Aether Revolt cards to draft, so keep looking forward!