Drafting Digest: Tango For Three

Today’s first pick offers a classic choice: the finisher, the removal, or the acceleration? And fair warning on the follow-up: Ryan Saxe doesn’t think it’s close, but you might!

Pack 1, Pick 1

The Pack:

The Pick:

You can make a good argument for all three of the listed cards out of this pack. Cloudreader Sphinx is a phenomenal finisher in the best color that pairs up well versus removal thanks to the enter-the-battlefield effect. Vicious Offering is an extremely efficient removal spell that is absurd in certain go-wide strategies. Elfhame Druid is the most explosive mana acceleration in the set.

Between the ramp, the removal, or the threat, what should you take? Classic Limited knowledge would have you lean towards the removal spell here, but I think the pick is Elfhame Druid. The card is just an absolute house. Have you ever kicked an Untamed Kavu or Skizzik on Turn 3?

Okay, maybe that’s a bit too Magical Christmas Land, but even a Turn 4 Caligo Skin-Witch is pretty dirty. If the card always only produced one mana, it would be very good, but not the pick. However, the ceiling on the card is just too high for me to pass up, especially when I can draft kicker cards a smidge higher to help optimize the card.

Pack 1, Pick 4

The Picks So Far:

The Pack:

The Pick:

I think this pick is between Run Amok and Yavimaya Sapherd, and between them it quite easily goes to the Saproling card.

While Tolarian Scholar is a Wizard to go with Adeliz, it’s just too bad of a card to pick up this early (you can wheel Scholars for a reason). It makes the deck a fair portion of the time, sure, but it’s not a reason to stick with Adeliz.

On the other hand, Kwende, Pride of Femeref is probably the best card in the pack. The problem is that, given the cards we have so far, I just don’t see a successful path for this draft ending up in a deck that contains Kwende.

If you’ve heard me talk about this format, I often say that decks that identify by either Run Amok or Divination is where you want to be in this format. Unfortunately, my Run Amok decks really haven’t been feeling that great lately. Sapherd, however, is going to be great in every single green deck, and one of the best cards in this pool so far is green.

While it may appear there are many options for this pick, I don’t believe it’s all that close.