Drafting Digest: When Everyone Else Is Going Blue…

Ryan Saxe thinks players are overdrafting blue in Rivals of Ixalan Limited, so it’s switch-up time! Watch him navigate a pair of picks where it seems everyone else will be lining up for Islands at the land station!

I know you’ve heard over and over again that Sailor of Means is spectacular and blue control decks are alive and well. While this certainly was the case, it seems that everybody is blinding themselves with this potential memory. I find it quite difficult to end up in blue because it’s overdrafted and have since moved away from drafting it. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll still take great cards like Warkite Marauders first-pick and see if I can draft a blue deck, but it just feels like blue cards have a lower probability of making the final cut, and I’ve adjusted accordingly.

Pack 1, Pick 1

The Pack:

The Pick:

Bishop of Binding is a great rare, but it is not as awesome as it looks on first glance. With the abundance of ways to kill one-toughness creatures, the Bishop doesn’t stick around as much as you would hope. While I’m happy to first-pick the card, I just think that another card in this pack fills a similar role and does a better job.

I know plenty of people are down on red, but I’ve recently been having success with red midrange decks. Needletooth Raptor combined with a variety of other cards in this format is pretty much game over (my favorite being Makeshift Munitions). While the Bishop kills a threat without combining with other cards, the Raptor makes sure that threat stays dead. And given that I’m first-picking it, I’ll have time to optimize a build-around for the Dino.

Pack 1, Pick 4

The Picks So Far:

I would like to mention that the two packs didn’t have any blue cards that were even close to contention. Maybe that’s how the packs broke, but maybe that just how this format is going to be until people calm down about the color blue. Draft is self-correcting.

Anyways, this is a solid way to start out a draft with a couple of good red cards. Will the next pack tempt me to deviate from red?

The Pack:

The Pick:

The pick between these three cards is pretty close.

I’m either going to take a red card or not, so the first thing I need to figure out is which nonred card I should be comparing to Charging Tuskodon. Luminous Bonds versus Hunt the Weak Pack 1, Pick 1 pretty clearly goes to Luminous Bonds. However, W/R is a color-combination that doesn’t come together as often as others, and Hunt the Weak goes very well with Needletooth Raptor. I think that’s enough to give Hunt the Weak the edge, but the pick is very close.

All in all, I think it’s best to stay on-color here. While removal is often a higher priority than finishers, I’m almost certainly going to be red. If I were to assign a value to each card in this pack and multiply it by the probability the card makes my deck, Charging Tuskodon would end up with a higher result because it’s much more likely to end up in the final build. Any pick here is solid, but that’s my logic.