Drafting Digest: You’ve Been Summoned

The Prerelease is coming up soon! Don’t forget to keep the Kaladesh cards in mind that will shape your drafts as much as Aether Revolt! Ryan Saxe helps you prep!

Although it’s preview season and Aether Revolt is looking pretty sweet, we aren’t done with Kaladesh just yet. Many of you may be sick of this format, but I assure you, you haven’t covered everything yet. There are so many build-around-me uncommons and rares that maybe you’ll get one and do something fun. Draft that Panharmonicon and laugh as you Cloudblazer your opponent out of the game. I doubt many of you have had the wonders of destroying people with the gem in this pack. I know I have, but will I be enticed again?

Pack 1, Pick 1

The pack:

The pick:

Oh, Metallurgic Summonings, how I want you to be good. I have had my fun and don’t need to do it again. The thing is, you have to play too many expensive cards that don’t affect the battlefield to make this card good. Diabolic Tutor is a wonderful addition to a deck playing Metallurgic Summonings. It’s an extra copy of your win condition and generates a relevantly sized creature if you already drew your mythic. But not affecting the battlefield on turns 4 and 5 is a big tax to pay. That said, if you have not played with Metallurgic Summonings yet, draft it. Play it. It’s quite fun, and you’ll only be able to first-pick it for another couple of weeks, so don’t waste an opportunity to have a blast even if you won’t win the pod.

Regarding the rest of the pack, we have two evasive lifelinkers. Which one is better? One is a three-drop, while the other is a four-drop. Aetherborn Marauder has a higher ceiling than Aerial Responder but also has a lower floor. This juxtaposition leads me to conclude that Aerial Responder is a better first pick. Even though a card that gets more powerful with synergy, such as Aetherborn Marauder, is at its best when you first-pick it, there are so many four-drops that the mana reduction pushes Aerial Responder over the top for me.

Before I continue to the next pick, this pack brings up a niche topic I would like to mention: print runs. I have drafted Kaladesh well over 100 times at this point, and I have noticed when cards appear together. The overwhelming majority of the time I see Aerial Responder and Decoction Module in a pack together, the last uncommon is Spark of Creativity. This is actually the first time I have seen Spark of Creativity replaced with another card.

I mention this because, although it doesn’t influence much, as a competitive Magic player, every percentage point counts. So next time it’s Pack 1, Pick 2 and you see an uncommon missing with Decoction Module and Spark of Creativity (maybe Aetherborn Marauder as well, but I’m not confident enough about that one) in the pack, you can probably put the person passing to you into white with a first-pick Aerial Responder!

Pack 1, Pick 6

Picks so far:

As you can tell, white was fairly open to go well with my first pick. In fact, Skywhaler’s Shot was seen Pick 4, so the seat has been treating me well! Unfortunately, this is the point in the draft where the power tends to dry up. Enough teasing. Let’s take a look at Pack 1, Pick 6!

The pack:

The pick:

Just as I suspected, the great cards are gone. I have committed to white and have a very good green common in Thriving Rhino. So what’s the pick, a good green card or a mediocre white card?

I value staying open until Pack 2 quite highly. The opportunity to play a bomb, should I open it, is one I like to have. But I really dislike Impeccable Timing. Every time I find one in my pool, I am actively looking to not play it. Four toughness is the number for this set, so there are a variety of threats this card cannot handle. And it’s much worse when you’re attacking because it doesn’t get a blocker out of the way. Yes, it’s an efficient answer to Renegade Freighter, but also quite easy to play around in that scenario.

Even though I could just take the Impeccable Timing as another white card, I think Elegant Edgecrafters is too much better of a card to ignore. When you need three blockers, it does the job. When you need a big beefy creature, it also does the job. The card is flexible and powerful, and I usually like having one copy in my green decks. Neither of these cards would be missed should I take the other, and so I am just going to lean on power level and take Elegant Edgecrafters.

New Year, New Improvements

Now that I am taking over the Draft Digest, I want to ask you for suggestions. I strive for improvement, and I want to share as much as I can about Limited through this column. If you can think of anything at all, please let me know in the comments!