Pack 1 pick 1:
One of the Zendikar cards which symbolizes the truism “it’s always better on the other side of the table.” I’ve as often been disappointed by the card as I’ve lost to it but I still think the pick is obvious here. Not because the 3/2 is better than Lacerator Survivalist or Sanctifiers but clearly because it is a rare. As you have far less opportunity to test them in Limited I always pick the rares over the uncommons and the uncommons over the commons so I’ve the best chance to make the right decision the day when it really matters which will be the day I open the same pack in a Grand Prix or a Pro Tour.
In general I like Kraken Hatchling a little more than Into the Roil. However most people on Magic online seem to like the bounce spell a lot more than the 0/4 causing the Hatchling to often wheel when passing the bounce spell is somehow beign considered a signal. And considering how few good Blue cards there are in Zendikar giving the impression it’s open is the last thing I’m willing to do.
I could go for River Boa and go Blue Green but I don’t like the fact that I’d be passing to excellent Green cards if I did so. Also with 2 Into the Roil this early I should be able to pick Gomozoa and Journey to Nowhere quite high to make both cards better.
I won’t be Mono Blue. The color doesn’t have what it takes to make a good mono-color deck. Therefore I should try and open myself to a second color at some point. Spire Barrage and Timbermaw Larva are not options after four Blue picks which only leaves me with Sanctifiers and a third Into the Roil. I decide to keep safe and cut all the Blue once and for all in the first pack but with 3 of the cantrip bounce spells this early it’s still a pity I’m passing a good three drop.
The allied wall could be good but Spreading Seas can both buy a lot of time in the early game and be bounced by Into the Roil when your opponent has no threat.
Pack 1 pick 7:
Cancel should be good on the play while Aether Figment should simply not be good in this deck.
Pretty good news.
Pack one went… not badly but it was still weird. With no Blue card passed I should have a good second series of boosters but I’ll also have to make a call on the second color pretty soon.
With three Into the Roil (to bounce it with when the enchantment’s trigger’s on the stack) this is the best common I could open.
Pack 2 pick 2:
Killing will be a very tough thing to do with my deck. Therefore I like the Ascension as even though it’s quite slow it is a card which can deal 20 damage on its own.
Nothing I’ll run here and this is definitely not a card I ever want to be facing.
I pick it because it’s here not because I want to play it. I think of it as only good when you need tempo to win a race. And racing with this very deck is not exactly what I’ll be aiming for.
Sad but there is not a single card I could have played here.
Of course the deck is Blue dominant but Sanctifiers is more than a random three-drop. Its ability will allow me to make some card advantage while its toughness will make him survive most fights with early drops.
The combo with Tsunami is worse than Crossroads but still playing almost mono Blue while having Sanctifiers and Luminarch Ascension I’ve the feeling I could use a White mana which wouldn’t cause me to cut an Island.
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1 Jwar Isle Refuge
2 Sejiri Refuge
2 Kraken Hatchling
1 Reckless Scholar
1 Kor Sanctifiers
1 Merfolk Wayfinder
1 Windrider Eel
1 Merfolk Seastalkers
1 Living Tsunami
1 Shepherd of the Lost
1 Sky Ruin Drake
1 Roil Elemental
1 Shoal Serpent
1 Spreading Seas
1 Journey to Nowhere
4 Into the Roil
1 Luminarch Ascension
1 Pitfall Trap
1 Soaring Seacliff
1 Shoal Serpent
1 Emeria the Sky Ruin
1 Bold Defense
1 Spell Pierce
1 Trapmaker’s Snare
1 Whiplash Trap
1 Scythe Tiger
1 Lethargy Trap
1 Soul Stair Expedition
2 Ior Ruin Expedition
2 Beast Hunt
1 Seascape Aerialist
1 Gatekeeper of Malakir
2 Oran-Rief Recluse
1 Caravan Hurda
1 Ruinous Minotaur
In my first two rounds my dream came true. In five games my opponents only cast one guy in total in the first two turns. Once it gets rid of its tempo problems my deck becomes a pretty solid control option and I end up winning four of those games while facing UB and RG. In the control match up turn 4 Luminarch Ascension when there is no pressure on the board ensures game 2 after a triple Into the Roil + Spreading Seas combo slowed him down as much as it gave me enough card advantage to make game 1 quite easy.
In Round 2 we’re land screwed once apiece and I mostly win the last one by winning the dice roll even though I can’t diminish the impact my precious Living Tsunami has had on the game.
My final round was… strange. It actually was stranger than the whole draft itself. My opponent had this great WB deck and we were 1-1 after he had destroyed me once and been land screwed once. In game 3 I had Merfolk Seastalkers on the board and he had Kor Skyfisher and Vampire Lacerator. When he cast Nimbus Wings and attacked it seemed like I would be in huge trouble as my merfolk’s ability had become useless and as I would be losing pretty soon if wouldn’t draw a bounce spell. However 10 seconds later the match was over and it was my win. Indeed my opponent had probably been distracted as he had cast his enchantment on my guy!
When my 3/5 flyer blocked his 2/3 he conceded immediately allowing me to win this strange strange draft.