Drafting Digest: Knightly Valor Or Removal Spell?

It’s Knightly Valor against the removal spells to start this Core Set 2019 Draft! Do you agree with Saxe’s take? What about his follow-up?

Pack 1, Pick 1

The Pack:

The Pick:

It’s pretty rare that the first pack offers a card from every color. First and foremost, one card isn’t like the rest: Knightly Valor. This pick is between a removal spell and a powerful Aura.

For those of you who have never played with Knightly Valor, I assure you it’s extremely good. Vigilance is great once you buff the stats of the creature, and a 2/2 body in addition to help mitigate the downside of Auras is quite nice.

So which removal spell is in contention? Fiery Finish and Lich’s Caress are a bit too expensive for my tastes when it comes to a first-pick card. Neither is splashable and both are inefficient. Essence Scatter is a good card in Limited but requires proper timing and hence is never a premium card. Meanwhile, Rabid Bite is always going to be great. So, the decision is between Rabid Bite and Knightly Valor.

I tend to take removal a bit lower than most, so it’s unsurprising that I’m on Knightly Valor here. One of the reasons I want to take the enchantment here is that W/G is an enchantment-based archetype, and so I’m expecting Auras to have a bit more utility than usual.

Pack 1, Pick 3

The Picks So Far:

The Pack:

The Pick:

I think this pick is quite interesting from a variety of angles. Cavalry Drillmaster will be extremely potent in any aggressive deck, but likely worse than Gargoyle Sentinel in most decks that have a desire to play to the late-game. And given the start with two enchantments, Satyr Enchanter looks very promising if green turns out to be open.

But is speculating on green worth taking a card you’re not guaranteed to play? Because the probability of Gargoyle Sentinel or Cavalry Drillmaster making the deck, given the cards in the pool, must be close to 100%.

I believe that the correct pick out of this pack is going to be Cavalry Drillmaster, as I have a sneaking suspicion that this format is going to be on the aggressive side. If the format ends up being a bit slower, then Gargoyle Sentinel or Satyr Enchanter could certainly end up taking the cake. I just think that the Drillmaster is an efficient two-drop that pushes damage both early and late, and that’s nothing to scoff at. I think it could be one of the top commons in the set if the speed of the format is on the faster side.