Drafting with Noah – Scars of Mirrodin #1!

Thursday, October 28th – Follow Noah Weil’s first Scars of Mirrodin draft on SCG! Does our fabled hero make it to the last round? What are his thoughts on the format? Dive in!

  Pack 1 pick 1:

  My Pick:

Here’s the thing. I had another draft walkthrough all queued up and I kinda sorta lost the data. It was my own fault; back up your data kids! But the first pick was between Glimmerpoint Stag and Darkslick Drake which is(?) an interesting one to discuss. I went with Stag FYI.

But since that draft was gone we had a new one. This one. And this one started with a pick that was not interesting to discuss. Because Sword of Body and Mind is stupid. 5.0. This set has a few 5.0s which is an interesting shift in philosophy but that’s neither here nor there.

But I can contribute this: After the obvious windmill slam let us take a moment to explore the pack and perhaps predict what the next couple drafters will do. I mean when you rent a room for an hour you work on your taxes or something for the remaining 58. It’s just efficient.

The two best cards remaining are Leaden Myr and Glint Hawk. No matter what the person on the left first-picked the Myr is the correct pick. Thus perhaps Hawk goes third or fourth and maybe we can cut white for the remainder of the pack. I admit this is seriously speculative but it’s better than nothing. Sword of Body and Mind probably fits best with a white or infect deck but obviously is still amazing anywhere.

  Pack 1 pick 2:

  My Pick:

This was an aggressive pick but remember a great equipment first pick implies a white deck. I haven’t done that much drafting in this format but green has been disappointing so far. I understand the Replica is splashable and has a great effect but just felt Hawk was worth picking up. Perhaps in a couple months (now?) this pick will look insane but it feels justifiable.

  Pack 1 pick 3:

  My Pick:

Interesting pack. Despite the last pack the Forger is perfectly legit. Emperion is the strongest card in the pack of course but you’re paying a lot for what you get.

While the Glider isn’t as strong as the other two it has the bonus of being “in color” and not so weak as to be ineffective. Glider versus Chrome Steed is just a power versus consistency question. In this format I like the cheap spells even if they’re not as splashy as the big stuff. As such Glider seemed liked the best fit of what we’d drafted so far.

  Pack 1 pick 4:

  My Pick:

This was a tough one. The Edgewright is arguably less powerful but easier to turn on. Shikari can utterly dominate the game but it somewhat warps your board (and your draft). I’m not 100% on this pick but it seemed safer and more flexible overall.

  Pack 1 pick 5:

  My Pick:

An easy pick. Glint Hawk Idol is far more effective than I thought it was and am happy to pick them up quite early. It looks boring but it fits the deck so perfectly.

Instead let’s talk about Golem Foundry. The local players recently debated whether Golem Foundry was ever playable. The consensus was “probably not but if there’s a deck that likes it I hope I’m not playing it.” The design is elegant but it’s also absolutely putrid in Limited. I think people have gotten the word on this but just in case you should know you will never live the dream.

  Pack 1 pick 6:

  My Pick:

Where are people on Plated Pinions? I’m not a fan because it doesn’t do what I want equipment to do namely make a less credible creature a threat. A Pinions-equipped Myr is still a 1/1 and therefore lacks presence. If I had taken the Shikari I would have had to think long and hard about it but luckily I don’t have to. I can take the boring-but-effective metalcraft card and go on my way.

  Pack 1 pick 7:

  My Pick:

Same thing here except there’s even less to debate. Flight Spellbomb is in theme but I’m not willing to waste a perfectly serviceable creature on a marginal card in a new color.

  Pack 1 pick 8:

  My Pick:

Skyguard is an interesting card. It’s the racing player’s wet dream but it fits nowhere into any theme of the set. But I find myself playing them every time because they’re 2/2 fliers for three with a useful ability. It’s nice to build a slick metalcraft/proliferate/infect deck but sometimes draft games are just a mindless brawl. When those happen and it’s common enough the Skyguard does the job. Not that there’s any competition but I’m always happy to have a few “normal” cards available in case a theme doesn’t pan out.

  Pack 1 pick 9:

  My Pick:

The Golem is the stronger card if you’re red. As it turned out Golem would have been the pick here. But I do like having one Soul Parry available as it’s quite strong against the Infect deck. Counter target Untamed Might comes up now and then.

  Pack 1 pick 10:

  My Pick:

It’s a guy but more importantly between the Ogre and the Golem it looks like red is slightly open at least on my immediate right. It’s not a reason to go into red but it is something to tuck away for later.

  Pack 1 pick 11:

  My Pick:

Strict hate draft. Echo Circlet is unplayable.

  Pack 1 pick 12:

  My Pick:

  Pack 1 pick 13:

  My Pick:

See above on the red talk. In addition I’ve found the remaining 1-3 picks are a good indicator of the color you should be in. People take cards in their color as a reflex even if it’s all dreg. Thus seeing the very last cards in your color is a nice sign that you’re in the right place. Check it for yourself next time you draft.

  Pack 1 pick 14:

  My Pick:

  Pack 1 pick 15:

  My Pick:

  Pack 2 pick 1:

  My Pick:

Possibilities are: Sylvok Lifestaff Chrome Steed Rusted Relic Trinket Mage Mimic Vat. Of those I have no clue on Mimic Vat. Never played with it or played against. Bomby or just annoying? I still don’t know.

Chrome Steed and Rusted Relic are analogous with Steed being a little more consistent and Relic offering a more potent reward. Same difference.

Trinket Mage is great although it’s a new color with only a Spellbomb to find so far. I gave some attention to the Vat but the card I adore is the Lifestaff.

Lifestaff if still going late and I really have no idea why. The effects are not splashy but they are effective and soooo cheap. A point of power adds up especially when you have the secondary effect both of which is about winning a race. It speedily turns on metalcraft returns nice with Hawk inexpensively powers on Shikari and even combos well with Replicas. I think the Lifestaff is one of the strongest commons in the set and I’m happy to pick up at least two whenever possible. For this deck especially it’s a perfect fit. I have zero complaints when I first-pick it including now.

  Pack 2 pick 2:

  My Pick:

Dispense Justice is the most readable card in the format and all the random 1/1s around make the card unpredictable. I’ll play it but I’m not about to throw an early pick on it.

No I was going to take a Myr here and the only question was which one. It’s not much of a question since I think black is dead and red is at least a possibility. The other bonus of taking the Myr here is that a white card may table.

  Pack 2 pick 3:

  My Pick:

Very tough pick. I am completely enamored with Glimmerpoint Stag; I can’t believe it’s not a rare. But Shatter is Shatter. It’s still good in Mirrodin sets right? I was leaning towards red and here we have a Shatter on a platter. I had to go with the spell here. Hard removal beats a guy. It’s a really good guy but still just a guy.

  Pack 2 pick 4:

  My Pick:

I like Spider Harness although we’re getting to the limit of equips without having a special deck. But it’s still the pick because there’s nothing better.

  Pack 2 pick 5:

  My Pick:

Interesting interesting. Is it time to throw a party? Furnace Celebration is kind of pricey but the rewards are there. The issue is that taking it warps the deck and that direction is at odds with the current aggro/metalcraft plan. It’s not a complete 180 e.g. Spellbombs but there would be an impact.

Is there a better pick? Horizon Spellbomb is okay if a little dull. Gaveleer? Hellion? Eh…

I went with Celebration here strictly on potential. And by that I mean I was resigned to the idea the card would not be maindeckable or even playable at all. But it could do something and if it does that something is better than another card in the pack.

  Pack 2 pick 6:

  My Pick:

Another tough pack. If it wasn’t for that past Celebration I might have gone with Lifestaff here maybe even start looking at Gaveleer. But we already feel the pull of Shock with buyback so that we take the perhaps slightly worse card to create more synergy. Origin Spellbomb is certainly fine though so if we’re taking a hit it’s not too severe.

  Pack 2 pick 7:

  My Pick:

Nice Darkslick Drake but there’s a card in color that fits the deck. Bonus: Sacrifice!

  Pack 2 pick 8:

  My Pick:

Close call between the Spellbomb and the Replica. I don’t completely remember why I went with the Spellbomb but I probably thought the Wardens made the curve too high. The Replica may have been the better choice but it’s close.

  Pack 2 pick 9:

  My Pick:

Sacrifice! Good with Spellbombs. Unlikely to be maindecked but it’s not unplayable.

  Pack 2 pick 10:

  My Pick:

  Pack 2 pick 11:

  My Pick:

  Pack 2 pick 12:

  My Pick:

Should have been Twisted Image. If you pass Echo Circlet you increase the chances of an opponent playing with it.

  Pack 2 pick 13:

  My Pick:

  Pack 2 pick 14:

  My Pick:

  Pack 2 pick 15:

  My Pick:

  Pack 3 pick 1:

  My Pick:

Metalcraft spells have an interesting tension but Galvanic Blast is fine no matter what mode. We haven’t seen Swirling Sandstorm level yet.

  Pack 3 pick 2:

  My Pick:

Funny how the Idol is so superior to the real thing but there you go. If you’re looking for commons for this deck Idol is pretty high on the list.

  Pack 3 pick 3:

  My Pick:

I wish this pack was more interesting so I could talk about how great Tumble Magnet is in the format. But without a comparison or playing it yourself you’ll have to take my word for it. In brief: every archetype benefits from the Magnet and it’s absurdly cheap. I discounted it when I first saw it on the spoiler but it has a serious effect on the board. Refill tricks are gravy.

  Pack 3 pick 4:

  My Pick:

The late Shatter is welcome but I did debate on the two artifacts. Again if you’re gonna dedicate to a metalcraft aggro deck red spells don’t really contribute. But like the Skyguard discussion above sometimes you just play a mindless Limited game. I realize talking about passing Shatter for a Lifestaff or Glider sounds crazy but it’s a legitimate question. I played it safe but I don’t know if that’s right. If I had a lower power level it probably wouldn’t be. Deciding whether to draft a regular good card versus drafting a worse card for a better deck is where all the fun is. Kudos to this format for making that question come up with regularity.

  Pack 3 pick 5:

  My Pick:

Insanely tough pick. Arc Trail and Embersmith do very similar things which is obliterate an opponent’s board position. Smith has the advantage of being reusable and a beater while Arc Trail is just a consistent power card. It went to the wire and I don’t know why I went with Embersmith over Arc Trail. Maybe it was an equipment issue. Both cards are ridiculous.

  Pack 3 pick 6:

  My Pick:

Easy pick. I have one card that powers on Trainee and if it’s in play I like my chances anyway. Glider is simply an efficient beater that works with the rest of the deck.

  Pack 3 pick 7:

  My Pick:

Pretty close call. Furnace Celebration was never seriously considered. At the time I didn’t think I’d even play the first one. Saberclaw Golem is woefully average but it was a guy and my deck felt short. Trigon of Rage is a great card very intimidating to play against good with the Idols. But having another creature seemed more important so the 4/2 won out.

  Pack 3 pick 8:

  My Pick:

Nothing special just a welcome addition.

  Pack 3 pick 9:

  My Pick:

I kind of hate Wayfarer. The fastest deck infect makes it look impotent after the first attack. It’s just not what white is doing in this set anyway. An adequate sideboard card something probably went wrong if you have to maindeck it.

  Pack 3 pick 10:

  My Pick:

Acolyte is randomly strong against poison and the occasional combat matchup. Maybe in a deck with infinite Vulshok Replicas it would be a happy maindeck but either way it’s a reasonable sideboard card. It seemed the best of the pack weak sacrifice effects notwithstanding.

  Pack 3 pick 11:

  My Pick:

Can you imagine a Scoria Elemental equipped with Bladed Pinions??? What terrible cards.

  Pack 3 pick 12:

  My Pick:

  Pack 3 pick 13:

  My Pick:

  Pack 3 pick 14:

  My Pick:

  Pack 3 pick 15:

  My Pick:

This draft converter created by Benjamin Peebles-Mundy.
Visit the draft converter today!

Final deck:

1 Auriok Replica

1 Auriok Edgewright

1 Blade-Tribe Berserkers

1 Embersmith

2 Ghalma’s Warden

1 Glint Hawk

1 Kemba’s Skyguard

1 Ogre Geargrabber

1 Saberclaw Golem

2 Snapsail Glider

1 Galvanic Blast

2 Glint Hawk Idol

1 Origin Spellbomb

1 Panic Spellbomb

2 Shatter

1 Strider Harness

1 Sword of Body and Mind

1 Sylvok Lifestaff

1 Tumble Magnet

8 Mountain

8 Plains


Furnace Celebration

Oxida Daredevil

Salvage Scout

Kuldotha Rebirth

Goblin Gavaleer

Seize the Initiative

Soul Parry

Abuna Acolyte

Overall a good deck but not an amazing one. There was synergy and a few standouts but also some suspect inclusions e.g. Geargrabber. As for
Celebration I could make it work in the maindeck but it would have required making the rest of the deck weaker. Keeping Celebration for the
appropriate matchup while the maindeck remained tight seemed the best avenue.

Round 1 – UW

Game 1:
I have a slow draw with Shatters Spider Harness and Blade-Tribe Berserkers. His draw is slow too although his Stag is just an efficient beater. He
throws out Rust Tick and keeps my Auriok Replica tapped while continuing to hit with Stag. However I’m winning the race with a 4/4 Berserkers
and create a nice turn undoing Rust Tick with Glint Hawk allowing a key defensive position. Next turn he clicks too fast with MODO causing him to not
untap Tick one turn. This was hilarious although irrelevant to the final outcome.

At the end of one of my turn he debates a spell making me think of Disperse. He waits until drawing to cast it but I have enough defense to take a
hit especially with Replica out. Eventually my steady pressure with the occasional Shatter alongside Hawk and Harness is enough to take g1.

I debate Furnace Celebration. Is this guy vulnerable to its effect e.g. he has lots of two-toughness creatures or a life total? I decide against it
here and go with Abuna Acolyte on the belief the games seem to be combat oriented and U/W generally doesn’t like utility creatures.

Game 2:
He leads with Plated Seastrider then attacks and uses Twisted Image! Bam 3 damage draw a card. Blue even does Sizzle better. Post combat a Darksteel
Axe comes down promising a credible threat.

Seastrider does hit then an even more credible Darkslick Drake comes down and takes up Axe. That’s a tough spot for the deck. But I still have
some guys running back and my Ogre Geargrabber puts a little more pressure on. It attacks Opponent double blocks with a Stag and Seastrider to kill
it and I use an Embersmith to finish both off.

I continue to bring attacks but obviously the 4/4 flier rules the skies. A Kemba’s Skyguard chump gives some much needed breathing room. And
then Sword. I was perfectly willing to trade my Glint Hawk with the Sword against the Drake until I remembered pro blue also! What a nutty card. I
decide I can’t just wait around never attacking or unequipping Hawk and give him a single turn to draw Disperse. He doesn’t do so. After
a couple token “Jack the Ripper over here” I get the match.

Round 2 G/B

Game 1:
Necrogen Scudder is tough to deal with but so is my Embersmith. Smith goes pop pop poppop on two Myr and two Lifesmith. This left him without a
source of black or anything but the Scudder. Smith continues to plink away I metalcraft up blah blah.

Tumble Magnet is a good card. Tumble is a good word /Tait.

Game 2:
His draw is far more aggressive with Necrogen Censor his own Magnet Carapace Forger Blistergrub. I start with a mull. My own Tumble Magnet (tapping
his Magnet) lets me trade hits before he makes Forger 4/4. I’m petrified of Lifesmith or any artifact really but he seems to be missing some
key pieces. On the other hand I’m flooding out. Eventually with him at 1 life my Magnet switches to defensive duty which is generally the
death knell. I have a turn to draw Blast or Panic Spellbomb but don’t find either and lose g2.

In goes Furnace Celebration and Salvage Scout.

Game 3:
This game goes surprisingly long. My start is great with Salvage Scout and Origin Spellbomb. Ghalma’s Warden gets big big enough to get past
Necrogen Scudder. But he legitimately puts together a defense stopping Warden and kind of controlling the board. He’s at far too low a life to
attack but my guys are 2/2 or smaller now and so are also stuck. His Clone Shell is a scary card.

But lo Sword of Body and Mind. Sword goes on top of Glint Hawk Idol and swings in and connects. I could theoretically have been more aggressive but
it would have required killing the Shell. My big concern was not some ridiculous threat but the Sylvok Replica I saw earlier in the match killing my
Sword and my best source of winning. But since the Idol gets through I mill him for 10 seeing the Replica (as well as Geth). The next turn’s
attack with Idol sees a block with Scudder then a post-combat Instill Infection. This is a misplay since I may screw up and move Sword after combat
to an untapped creature auto-killing the Idol. I would not have done this but it’s common and he may as well see if I do. Regardless I am
able to move Sword post-combat although there’s no way he’s attacking anyway. I play the last card in my hand: Furnace Celebration.

He plays some stuff and then it’s my turn and I draw an interesting card. What do you do here?



2 Lifesmith


Necrogen Censor

11 life (thanks to Lifesmith)

14 cards in library

Nothing in hand


Myr token equipped with Sword

-1/1 Warden (thanks to infect)

Wolf token

Furnace Celebration

20 life

Just drawn Glint Hawk.

The first thought is to play Hawk pickup and replay Sword and swing with whatever. He blocks with Grub and the game continues. While it puts more
stuff in play I’d rather just take the turn away. Instead I play Hawk not return anything sacrifice it to its own effect Furnace Celebration
the Blistergrub attack and mill for another 10. Now he’s down to 4 cards in library and needs to find an artifact removal or black card right
now. Then he has to win with the remaining three cards in his deck. None of this stuff happens and I take it. Hidden third Scars victory condition for
the win.

Between rounds I received this message:

Opponent: Hey want to split?

Me: Sure!

Me: I mean go @#%& yourself. SCG Premium demands better.

Opponent: …fair.

Round 3 –UB

Game 1:
He has a slow start which involves not killing Embersmith. My hand is also a little slow so that if he played a Myr in the beginning it would have
lived for a while. But how was he to know? I just keep laying lands and Wardens then drawing and playing more artifacts. His Myr are played and are
quickly killed and after a turn of Shatter and Galvanic Blast on some Replicas the game ends with him having no non-land permanents in play.

Game 2:
Lifestaff with Replicas is good. But beats plus my own Lifestaff is better. He has a slick turn with Skinrender equip Lifestaff onto Neurok Replica
bounce Skinrender. But my draw has just been pure aggression; he keeps switching between control and aggro and it’s not working for him. He was
actually playing it right but my out-aggroing him in the midgame undid a lot of his good works.

Tumble Magnet was crucial because the card is just great. For two turns it tapped down Scrapdiver Serpent then I let him hit me on the final turn in
case he played a flier that needed tapping. He didn’t have it and scooped it up. No Sword needed.

Until next time thanks for reading.