Drafting With Oli – M11 #5

Wednesday, September 22nd – Follow Hall of Famer Olivier Ruel, pick by pick, as he drafts the Elixir of Immortality deck!

Hey everyone

I’m sorry to announce that this will be my last column on StarCityGames.com. I just wanted to take the opportunity to thank many people: first let me
thank the SCG crew for giving me my chance when I had very little experience writing in writing in English for their patience when I was more often
late than I should have been and for everything they’ve done for me. I’ve really enjoyed being a part of this team!

And then of course a big thanks to you for reading my articles in the last two years. I hope they have been interesting and insightful.

Take care play fair and hopefully I’ll see you at a tournament. After all the Earth isn’t that big a place when you play Magic! Now let’s draft!

Pack 1 pick 1:

My Pick:

Juggernaut and Foresee are the two options here. Foresee is a better card but it doesn’t fit every deck like Juggernaut would. However “staying open”
is not exactly a requirement for a first pick so I can just pick the better card.

Pack 1 pick 2:

My Pick:

Crystal Ball is pretty interesting too — but I like the cheap card drawer a little more and I don’t really feel like passing a good blue card.

Pack 1 pick 3:

My Pick:

Cloud Elemental or Chandra’s Outrage? The flyer is clearly the safe pick but Outrage is a better card… Plus there are already two commons missing in
that pack meaning that red has pretty good chance of being open. I may be a little greedy here but I’ll go with the removal.

Pack 1 pick 4:

My Pick:

Another tough pick between Combust and Harbor Serpent. The 5/5 is a game-breaker in the right matchup but Combust is good against about 70% of all
decks — and most importantly I love having removal spells when I have lots of card drawers. Even if I draw it against a deck with no blue or white
creatures I can still scry it down to the bottom of my library. Also you can easily get passed one or two Serpents in the late draft so there’s no
rush in picking one.

Pack 1 pick 5:

My Pick:

Pack 1 pick 6:

My Pick:

Pack 1 pick 7:

My Pick:

I don’t like Expanse that much when I scry a lot and I’m pretty short on guys at the moment.

Pack 1 pick 8:

My Pick:

And there they are: the two Serpents!

Pack 1 pick 9:

My Pick:

Pack 1 pick 10:

My Pick:

I’m very unlikely to run two Minotaurs when I already have many playables. On the other hand I really don’t want to face that card!

Pack 1 pick 11:

My Pick:

I think this pick was wrong. I like to have a Demolish in my sideboard when I don’t have access to Naturalize or Solemn Offering.

Pack 1 pick 12:

My Pick:

I have card drawers and Jace’s Erasure so I can pick it just in case.

Pack 1 pick 13:

My Pick:

Pack 1 pick 14:

My Pick:

Pack 1 pick 15:

My Pick:

Pack 2 pick 1:

My Pick:

Given that I already have so many card drawers Elixir of Immortality should be fine — and I should be able to easily splash a third color for more removal.

Pack 2 pick 2:

My Pick:

Pretty much the best card to splash and playing it won’t cost me much.

Pack 2 pick 3:

My Pick:

Pack 2 pick 4:

My Pick:

Pack 2 pick 5:

My Pick:

With that many card drawers the card advantage should be no big deal — but I still need better removal spells here.

Pack 2 pick 6:

My Pick:

Stone Golem would be decent — but in this type of deck Cancel is nearly as good as a removal spell.

Pack 2 pick 7:

My Pick:

I’m quite surprised to receive my deck’s MVP this late… but I understand that most decks can’t make good use of it. Still with three Foresees and two
Preordains I should be able to cast it on every game.

Pack 2 pick 8:

My Pick:

Normally I would pick Preordain right away but I think I already have a deck that wins against anything that’s not a fast U/W aggro deck. I’d rather
reinforce my deck against those.

Pack 2 pick 9:

My Pick:

Pack 2 pick 10:

My Pick:

Pack 2 pick 11:

My Pick:

Pack 2 pick 12:

My Pick:

Pack 2 pick 13:

My Pick:

Pack 2 pick 14:

My Pick:

Pack 2 pick 15:

My Pick:

Pack 3 pick 1:

My Pick:

I have only one Doom Blade — but with two Preordains three Foresees and a Terramorphic Expanse I can clearly play what would be the perfect win
condition for my deck. So I switch out. Also I’d lose instantly to the card if I was to face it.

Pack 3 pick 2:

My Pick:

The perfect pack with two of the best cards I could get (as I assume the Elixir will wheel).

Pack 3 pick 3:

My Pick:

Pack 3 pick 4:

My Pick:

Removal spells are coming one after another but I really need some more win conditions…

Pack 3 pick 5:

My Pick:

…and I couldn’t ask for a better one than the Elixir which will allow me to play my removal and card drawing spells over and over again in the late
game. I could pick Negate and wait for the Elixir that I should be getting in pick 10… but I really can’t afford the chance that I won’t get it.

Pack 3 pick 6:

My Pick:

Pack 3 pick 7:

My Pick:

Pack 3 pick 8:

My Pick:

I already have three Cancels so I’d like a little more flexibility.

Pack 3 pick 9:

My Pick:

With this pick I now have two alternative plans: I can either run Purge and Arbiter or Doom Blade and Deathmark.

Pack 3 pick 10:

My Pick:

One Elixir should be enough — and even though I think the Berserkers are extremely underrated it wouldn’t fit my deck at all.

Pack 3 pick 11:

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!

1 Armored Cancrix

3 Cancel

3 Foresee

1 Harbor Serpent

2 Maritime Guard

1 Mind Control

2 Preordain

1 Unsummon

2 Chandra’s Outrage

1 Combust

1 Destructive Force

1 Earth Servant

1 Deathmark

1 Doom Blade

1 Elixir of Immortality

1 Swamp

7 Mountain

9 Island

1 Terramorphic Expanse


1 Tome Scour

1 Incite

1 Blood Tithe

1 Forest

1 Greater Basilisk

1 Merfolk Spy

1 Island

1 Bloodcrazed Goblin

1 Viscera Seer

1 Angelic Arbiter

1 Flashfreeze

1 Combust

1 Harbor Serpent

1 Swamp

1 Thunder Strike

1 Silvercoat Lion

1 Plains

1 Goblin Piker

2 Jace’s Erasure

1 Canyon Minotaur

1 Celestial Purge

Running Armored Cancrix was a painful decision but I was a bit short in guys and couldn’t afford to have infinite spells that might be dead (which is
why a Flashfreeze and a Combust remained in the sideboard).

Round 1 vs. R/G

Five lands Foresee Combust. Keep. But my opponent lays turn 1 Forest turn 2 Mountain and I think this game is going to be a little tough.

However his start is slow and by the time I cast Foresee the only spell he’s played is Sylvan Ranger. Foresee allows me to put three lands on the
bottom and a second copy of Foresee on top helping me get continually good draws one after another from then.

He does resolve Giant Spider on turn 4 but his next three guys are killed or countered and the 2/4 is stopped by Maritime Guard when I’m still at
fifteen. From then on the game is under my control and there is just nothing he can do as I got a ton of card advantage and eventually shuffled eight
spells back into my deck with Elixir. He didn’t concede yet because I wasn’t showing any kind of direct threat… but attacking wasn’t what I’m after
and I wind up decking him without having swung a single time.

Game two looked pretty similar except that Flashfreeze replaced Combust — and was immediately useful by countering Sacred Wolf on turn 2. Once again
I control the game from the beginning to the end and once again I can afford not to cast Destructive Force since I don’t want my next opponents to be
aware of it.

I could have attacked at the end of game 2 but I wanted to win a complete match without swinging. Yes I’m aware that’s a little lame — but it’s not
every day you can do things like Foresee Elixir sacrifice Foresee Elixir sacrifice and pass with Cancel back up two turns in a

Round 2 vs. W/B

I’ve spoken countless times about how I dislike this archetype in Limited — it has a terrible lack of synergy between cards. My opponent wasn’t really
worried about synergy however as he picked a few very strong cards (Royal Assassin Sword of Vengeance Serra Angel) and built a so-so deck around

That plan works very well against some decks… but I have tons of solution for the Angel and Royal Assassin is nothing but a useless 1/1 that only
becomes broken when it’s on my side of the table.

Only the Sword is really annoying — but I manage to counter it in the first game and (as is the case against every deck that isn’t much into the
beatdown game) it’s not too difficult for me to control the game until the point when he concedes. In game two he manages to resolve Sword but I
kill every single one of his guys until he manages to play Royal Assassin and to equip it. At which point I cast Mind Control and steal his super 3/1
which attacks right away. Three turns and two removal spells later I push him to concede.

Round 3 vs. U/W

In game one he resolves Siege Mastodon and… I can’t do a damn thing about it. I dig dig and dig again but can’t find an answer until when I’m at
five life I chump block with Maritime Guard and trade with Chandra’s Outrage. But he immediately plays a second copy of the 3/5 and finishes me off.

In game two I take in a second Combust and this time I don’t have too much trouble stopping his first wave. Eventually I leave a couple of guys alive
just to make Destructive Force deadlier and a few turns later we move to game three.

In the third one I keep Island Swamp Preordain Foresee Elixir Combust Combust but I don’t find a red mana in the first four draws. Eventually I
cast Foresee on turn 4 and get a Mountain — but I’ve already taken too much damage and couldn’t come back in that game. Just before dying though I
manage to destroy both Siege Mastodons. Not twice sir!