Drafting With Kenji – TPF #8

Draft with Kenji... every day at StarCityGames.com!
Richie Hoaen, our resident draft expert for many a month, has decided to hang up his boots… and in his place we’re proud to announce Kenji Tsumura! As before, Kenji will take us through a Time Spiral draft from pick 1 to pick 45, before sharing his draft deck and commenting briefly on the games. Thanks for the great run, Rich, we’ll miss you… and hello Kenji!


Pack 1:

Gaze of Justice, Coal Stoker, Durkwood Baloth, Coral Trickster, Ivory Giant, Glass Asp, Traitor’s Clutch, Plunder, Eternity Snare, Molder, Molten Slagheap, Krosan Grip, Phthisis, Magus of the Jar, Eron the Relentless

Pick: Phthisis

Pack 2:

Grapeshot, Scarwood Treefolk, Slipstream Serpent, Gaze of Justice, Strangling Soot, Mystical Teachings, Thrill of the Hunt, Shadow Sliver, Bogardan Rager, Traitor’s Clutch, Primal Forcemage, Volcanic Awakening, Endrek Sahr, Master Breeder, Evil Eye of Orms-by-Gore

Pick: Strangling Soot

Pack 3:

Urborg Syphon-Mage, Snapback, Aether Web, Cloudchaser Kestrel, Basal Sliver, Sage of Epityr, Ghitu Firebreathing, Momentary Blink, Greenseeker, Careful Consideration, Cavalry Master, Brine Elemental, Grinning Totem

Pick: Urborg Syphon-Mage

Pack 4:

Benalish Cavalry, Orcish Cannonade, Strangling Soot, Mindstab, Brass Gnat, Dream Stalker, Watcher Sliver, Blazing Blade Askari, Tectonic Fiend, Fallen Ideal, Opaline Sliver, Giant Oyster

Pick: Strangling Soot

Pack 5:

Drudge Reavers, Cancel, Pentarch Ward, Assassinate, Pit Keeper, Divine Congregation, Jhoira’s Timebug, Chameleon Blur, Duskrider Peregrine, Chronatog Totem, Weathered Bodyguards

Pick: Duskrider Peregrine

Pack 6:

Deathspore Thallid, Flowstone Channeler, Trespasser il-Vec, Venser’s Sliver, Children of Korlis, Sangrophage, Viashino Bladescout, Smallpox, Return to Dust, Gauntlet of Power

Pick: Trespasser il-Vec

Pack 7:

Errant Doomsayers, Ironclaw Buzzardiers, Jhoira’s Timebug, Savage Thallid, Ancient Grudge, Wipe Away, Pull from Eternity, Norin the Wary, Auratog

Pick: Errant Doomsayers

Pack 8:

Icatian Crier, Goblin
Skycutter, Zealot il-Vec, Flickering Spirit, Call to the Netherworld, Drifter il-Dal, Havenwood Wurm, Scion of the Ur-Dragon

Pick: Zealot il-Vec

Pack 9:

Gaze of Justice, Glass Asp, Traitor’s Clutch, Plunder, Eternity Snare, Molten Slagheap, Krosan Grip

Pick: Molten Slagheap

Pack 10:

Gaze of Justice, Shadow Sliver, Bogardan Rager, Traitor’s Clutch, Volcanic Awakening, Evil Eye of Orms-by-Gore

Pick: Evil Eye of Orms-by-Gore

Pack 11:

Basal Sliver, Sage of Epityr, Ghitu Firebreathing, Cavalry Master, Grinning Totem

Pick: Cavalry Master

Pack 12:

Brass Gnat, Tectonic Fiend, Fallen Ideal, Opaline Sliver

Pick: Tectonic Fiend

Pack 13:

Drudge Reavers, Divine Congregation, Jhoira’s Timebug

Pick: Jhoira’s Timebug

Pack 14:

Children of Korlis, Sangrophage

Pick: Sangrophage

Pack 15:

Norin the Wary

Pick: Norin the Wary

Pack 16:

Spitting Sliver, Veiling Oddity, Synchronous Sliver, Giant Dustwasp, Dawn Charm, Citanul Woodreaders, Firefright Mage, Pallid Mycoderm, Revered Dead, Healing Leaves, Brute Force, Kavu Predator, Saltblast, Damnation, Magus of the Bazaar

Pick: Damnation

Pack 17:

Erratic Mutation, Cradle to Grave, Reflex Sliver, Dreamscape Artist, Pallid Mycoderm, Brain Gorgers, Dust Corona, Vitaspore Thallid, Mana Tithe, Prodigal Pyromancer, Simian Spirit Guide, Dismal Failure, Shrouded Lore, Torchling

Pick: Cradle to Grave

Pack 18:

Synchronous Sliver, Needlepeak Spider, Dreamscape Artist, Aven Riftwatcher, Keldon Marauders, Dash Hopes, Shade of Trokair, Primal Plasma, Seal of Primordium, Healing Leaves, Riftmarked Knight, Venarian Glimmer, Mycologist

Pick: Riftmarked Knight

Pack 19:

Cradle to Grave, Dead / Gone, Reflex Sliver, Poultice Sliver, Vitaspore Thallid, Brain Gorgers, Fury Charm, Simian Spirit Guide, Gossamer Phantasm, Bog Serpent, Treacherous Urge, Whitemane Lion

Pick: Cradle to Grave

Pack 20:

Dawn Charm, Spitting Sliver, Battering Sliver, Blightspeaker, Evolution Charm, Fa’adiyah Seer, Merfolk Thaumaturgist, Psychotrope Thallid, Saltblast, Hedge Troll, Spellshift

Pick: Saltblast

Pack 21:

Reflex Sliver, Whitemane Lion, Uktabi Drake, Ghost Tactician, Firefright Mage, Wistful Thinking, Melancholy, Piracy Charm, Dormant Sliver, Blood Knight

Pick: Whitemane Lion

Pack 22:

Synchronous Sliver, Pallid Mycoderm, Dust Corona, Uktabi Drake, Healing Leaves, Revered Dead, Big Game Hunter, Hammerheim Deadeye, Dunerider Outlaw

Pick: Big Game Hunter

Pack 23:

Poultice Sliver, Ridged Kusite,
Battering Sliver, Dash Hopes, Shade of Trokair, Merfolk Thaumaturgist, Healing Leaves, Sophic Centaur

Pick: Shade of Trokair

Pack 24:

Spitting Sliver, Veiling Oddity, Synchronous Sliver, Dawn Charm, Firefright Mage, Revered Dead, Healing Leaves

Pick: Dawn Charm

Pack 25:

Reflex Sliver, Dreamscape Artist, Dust Corona, Vitaspore Thallid, Mana Tithe, Shrouded Lore

Pick: Dreamscape Artist

Pack 26:

Synchronous Sliver, Dash Hopes, Seal of Primordium, Venarian Glimmer, Mycologist

Pick: Mycologist

Pack 27:

Reflex Sliver, Vitaspore Thallid, Brain Gorgers, Simian Spirit Guide

Pick: Brain Gorgers

Pack 28:

Spitting Sliver, Battering Sliver, Fa’adiyah Seer

Pick: Spitting Sliver

Pack 29:

Ghost Tactician, Firefright Mage

Pick: Ghost Tactician

Pack 30:

Revered Dead

Pick: Revered Dead

Pack 31:

Fatal Attraction, Petrified Plating, Judge Unworthy, Leaden Fists, Gathan Raiders, Lucent Liminid, Vedalken Aethermage, Virulent Sliver, Frenzy Sliver, Ghostfire,
Fomori Nomad, Even the Odds, Reality Strobe, Pooling Venom, Horizon Canopy

Pick: Judge Unworthy

Pack 32:

Fatal Attraction, Cutthroat il-Dal, Gift of Granite, Quiet Disrepair, Foresee, Rift Elemental, Mesmeric Sliver, Deepcavern Imp, Flowstone Embrace, Nessian Courser, Blade of the Sixth Pride, Sparkspitter, Cyclical Evolution, Sword of the Meek

Pick: Blade of the Sixth Pride

Pack 33:

Augur il-Vec, Grave Peril, Marshaling Cry, Sarcomite Myr, Death Rattle, Homing Sliver, Lymph Sliver, Blind Phantasm, Even the Odds, Mystic Speculation, Stronghold Rats, Daybreak Coronet, Bound in Silence

Pick: Bound in Silence

Pack 34:

Putrid Cyclops, Augur il-Vec, Ichor Slick, Petrified Plating, Bogardan Lancer, Frenzy Sliver, Mesmeric Sliver, Patrician’s Scorn, Sarcomite Myr, Aven Mindcensor, Zoetic Cavern

Pick: Ichor Slick

Pack 35:

Quiet Disrepair, Saltskitter, Unblinking Bleb, Llanowar Augur, Riddle of Lightning, Venser’s Diffusion, Grave Scrabbler, Henchfiend of Ukor, Tolaria West, Ravaging Riftwurm, Even the Odds

Pick: Grave Scrabbler

Pack 36:

Oblivion Crown, Emberwilde Augur, Aven Augur, Lymph Sliver, Homing Sliver, Grave Scrabbler, Lumithread Field, Lost Auramancers, Delay, Skirk Ridge Exhumer

Pick: Skirk Ridge Exhumer

Pack 37:

Llanowar Augur, Augur of Skulls, Samite Censer-Bearer, Aven Augur, Deepcavern Imp, Logic Knot, Lucent Liminid, Narcomoeba, Fleshwrither

Pick: Lucent Liminid

Pack 38:

Oblivion Crown, Saltskitter,
Cutthroat il-Dal, Henchfiend of Ukor, Blind Phantasm, Grinning Ignus, Witch’s Mist, Phosphorescent Feast

Pick: Cutthroat il-Dal

Pack 39:

Petrified Plating, Vedalken Aethermage, Virulent Sliver, Frenzy Sliver, Even the Odds, Reality Strobe, Pooling Venom

Pick: Reality Strobe

Pack 40:

Cutthroat il-Dal, Gift of Granite, Quiet Disrepair, Rift Elemental, Mesmeric Sliver, Cyclical Evolution

Pick: Cutthroat il-Dal

Pack 41:

Augur il-Vec, Grave Peril, Lymph Sliver, Blind Phantasm, Mystic Speculation

Pick: Lymph Sliver

Pack 42:

Augur il-Vec, Bogardan Lancer, Frenzy Sliver, Patrician’s Scorn

Pick: Augur il-Vec

Pack 43:

Quiet Disrepair, Saltskitter, Llanowar Augur

Pick: Saltskitter

Pack 44:

Oblivion Crown, Lymph Sliver

Pick: Lymph Sliver

Pack 45:

Samite Censer-Bearer

Pick: Samite Censer-Bearer

Final Decklist:


1 Shade of Trokair
1 Duskrider Peregrine
1 Errant Doomsayers
1 Skirk Ridge Exhumer
1 Big Game Hunter
1 Riftmarked Knight
1 Trespasser
1 Urborg Syphon-Mage
1 Cavalry Master
1 Grave Scrabbler
1 Evil Eye of Orms-by-Gore
1 Lucent Liminid
2 Cradle to Grave
1 Judge Unworthy
1 Bound in Silence [FOIL]
1 Ichor Slick
2 Strangling Soot
1 Damnation
1 Saltblast
1 Phthisis
1 Molten Slagheap
9 Swamp
8 Plains


1 Augur il-Vec
1 Blade of the Sixth Pride
1 Brain Gorgers
2 Cutthroat il-Dal
1 Dawn Charm
1 Dreamscape Artist
1 Ghost Tactician
1 Jhoira’s Timebug
2 Lymph Sliver
1 Mycologist
1 Norin the Wary
1 Reality Strobe
1 Revered Dead
1 Saltskitter
1 Samite Censer-Bearer
1 Sangrophage
1 Spitting Sliver
1 Swamp
1 Tectonic Fiend
1 Whitemane Lion
1 Zealot il-Vec

This draft was so hard for me. The final deck looked a little like a Rogier Maaten special. His decks are always three to seven creatures, with fifteen to nineteen spells. I wanted to try that strategy, but it didn’t quite work. After the draft, I asked him if my deck was good, with twelve creatures and ten spells. He told me that a near even split of creatures and spells is not good… a 5/17 or 6/16 creature/spell split is best.

Round 1: U/R/w
Game 1: He started well, but I killed his Crookclaw Transmuter with a Strangling Soot, and his Numot the Devastator with a Bound in Silence. Unfortunately, his Arc Blade was a huge problem for me. My creatures are so weak to that spell. I eventually played Damnation and dropped a Shade of Trokair… but the Arc Blade was still suspended (with two counters), and my opponent added a Prodigal Pyromancer. I was on four life, while he was on seven. I needed removal, but it didn’t come, and I lost the game.

In 2 Lymph Sliver, 1 Spitting Sliver
Out: 1 Skirk Ridge Exhumer, 1 Grave Scrabbler, 1 Evil Eye of Orms-by-Gore

I needed good creatures to shrug off the Arc Blade. My deck is not quick, therefore in the long game my opponent will draw the Arc Blade for sure.

Game 2: I draw Damnation, Phthisis, and some other removal early in the game, but my opponent only had one guy on the board. Then he proved his deck was superb against mine, by neutering all my removal. Cancel, Logic Knot, Dismal Failure, Momentary Blink… I lost the match.

If Rogier were in my shoes, I think he could’ve won easily. I think I need to study Rogier’s technique!

Until Monday,


Draft recording done by Blargware‘s MTGO DraftCap. Support Blargware!