Drafting With Rich #1

In the first of a daily feature, exclusively for our Premium subscribers, Rich Hoaen shares his drafting techniques. Utilizing the excellent DraftCap draft recording software (availiable for download here), Rich shares a draft a day, from first pick to forty-fifth, with decklist and final draft result. Rich also gives a brief overview of how the deck fared, and is available for detailed deconstruction in the forums. The best players, the best writers… at StarCityGames.com!

I believe that I learned the most about Magic by watching the drafting and playing of players who are better than me. Specifically Gab Tsang. He pretty much tutored me. We would often draft and discuss picks and plays afterwards. Now, thanks to both Magic Online and DraftCap by Mark Schmit, you don’t need to live across the street from one of the world’s best players to learn directly from the pros. This is the first in a daily series in which I will present a draft for your examination, as well as a short discussion of my record, my deck build, some of the decisions I faced, and anything interesting from the games played. I will also respond in the forums as much as I can. I will not be selecting the drafts I present to you. You will get to see all my drafts, good and bad, and how I adapt, and try to deal with every different situation that comes up while drafting. I hope you enjoy this, and think it could prove far more useful than a theoretical discussion, a few draft walkthroughs, or a pick order would. I will be doing my drafts on the account rhoaen so feel free to check on how I’m doing, and message me if you’d like, but I can’t promise I’ll reply because “his grumpy.”


Pack 1:

Wojek Siren, Terraformer, Consult the Necrosages, Ordruun Commando, Nightguard Patrol, Muddle the Mixture, Seismic Spike, Plains, Dimir Infiltrator, Boros Signet, Flight of Fancy, Ethereal Usher, Sunhome, Fortress of the Legion, Netherborn Phalanx, Sacred Foundry

Pick: Sacred Foundry

Pack 2:

Farseek, Boros Garrison, Induce Paranoia, Sadistic Augermage, Scatter the Seeds, Infectious Host, Rally the Righteous, Elvish Skysweeper, Shambling Shell, Transluminant, Undercity Shade, Frenzied Goblin, Rolling Spoil, Molten Sentry

Pick: Boros Garrison

Pack 3:

Selesnya Sanctuary, Stasis Cell, Roofstalker Wight, Incite Hysteria, Centaur Safeguard, Sundering Vitae, Leave No Trace, Zephyr Spirit, Boros Signet, Selesnya Signet, Divebomber Griffin, Remand, Chorus of the Conclave

Pick: Centaur Safeguard

Pack 4:

Mortipede, Torpid Moloch, Terrarion, War-Torch Goblin, Boros Fury-Shield, Surveilling Sprite, Conclave’s Blessing, Dimir Infiltrator, Necromantic Thirst, Watchwolf, Halcyon Glaze, Three Dreams

Pick: Halcyon Glaze

Pack 5:

Barbarian Riftcutter, Greater Mossdog, Courier Hawk, Sparkmage Apprentice, Grayscaled Gharial, Shred Memory, Rain of Embers, Sell-Sword Brute, Glass Golem, Congregation at Dawn, Sandsower

Pick: Sandsower

Pack 6:

Votary of the Conclave, Terraformer, Gather Courage, Sparkmage Apprentice, Perplex, Dryad’s Caress, Caregiver, Shambling Shell, Fiery Conclusion, Clutch of the Undercity

Pick: Fiery Conclusion

Pack 7:

Gaze of the Gorgon, Goblin Spelunkers, Greater Mossdog, Clinging Darkness, Drake Familiar, Thoughtpicker Witch, Goblin Fire Fiend, Voyager Staff, Perilous Forays

Pick: Goblin Spelunkers

Pack 8:

Stasis Cell, Guardian of Vitu-Ghazi, Viashino Slasher, Tidewater Minion, Dryad’s Caress, Dromad Purebred, Dizzy Spell, Psychic Drain

Pick: Tidewater Minion

Pack 9:

Wojek Siren, Terraformer, Muddle the Mixture, Seismic Spike, Plains, Dimir Infiltrator, Ethereal Usher

Pick: Terraformer

Pack 10:

Induce Paranoia, Infectious Host, Rally the Righteous, Undercity Shade, Frenzied Goblin, Rolling Spoil

Pick: Frenzied Goblin

Pack 11:

Stasis Cell, Incite Hysteria, Sundering Vitae, Leave No Trace, Zephyr Spirit

Pick: Stasis Cell

Pack 12:

Torpid Moloch, War-Torch Goblin, Conclave’s Blessing, Necromantic Thirst

Pick: War-Torch Goblin

Pack 13:

Barbarian Riftcutter, Grayscaled Gharial, Shred Memory

Pick: Barbarian Riftcutter

Pack 14:

Votary of the Conclave, Perplex

Pick: Perplex

Pack 15:

Goblin Fire Fiend

Pick: Goblin Fire Fiend

Pack 16:

Burning-Tree Bloodscale, Crystal Seer, Cry of Contrition, Beastmaster’s Magemark, Streetbreaker Wurm, Skyrider Trainee, Necromancer’s Magemark, Gruul Signet, Ghor-Clan Savage, Ogre Savant, Repeal, Vedalken Plotter, Caustic Rain, Gruul Guildmage, Borborygmos

Pick: Ogre Savant

Pack 17:

Castigate, Orzhov Signet, Torch Drake, Shrieking Grotesque, Necromancer’s Magemark, Gruul Scrapper, Gigadrowse, Burning-Tree Bloodscale, Cremate, Skarrgan Pit-Skulk, Benediction of Moons, Wreak Havoc, Vertigo Spawn, Culling Sun

Pick: Torch Drake

Pack 18:

Lionheart Maverick, Leap of Flame, Train of Thought, Beastmaster’s Magemark, Wild Cantor, Poisonbelly Ogre, Wildsize, Ogre Savant, Orzhov Signet, Steamcore Weird, Smogsteed Rider, Shattering Spree, Glint-Eye Nephilim

Pick: Steamcore Weird

Pack 19:

Bloodscale Prowler, Ghost Warden, Izzet Signet, Bloodscale Prowler, Leap of Flame, Benediction of Moons, Silhana Ledgewalker, Mourning Thrull, Train of Thought, Conjurer’s Ban, Smogsteed Rider, Dryad Sophisticate

Pick: Train of Thought

Pack 20:

Restless Bones, Fencer’s Magemark, Wee Dragonauts, Skarrgan Pit-Skulk, Lionheart Maverick, Silhana Starfletcher, Pyromatics, Orzhov Basilica, Castigate, Orzhova, the Church of Deals, Harrier Griffin

Pick: Harrier Griffin

Pack 21:

Beastmaster’s Magemark, Wild Cantor, Poisonbelly Ogre, Guardian’s Magemark, Wee Dragonauts, Orzhov Signet, Feral Animist, Droning Bureaucrats, Primeval Light, Ulasht, the Hate Seed

Pick: Wee Dragonauts

Pack 22:

Withstand, Orzhov Basilica, Guardian’s Magemark, Runeboggle, Gruul Nodorog, Fencer’s Magemark, Poisonbelly Ogre, Starved Rusalka, Sinstriker’s Will

Pick: Withstand

Pack 23:

Orzhov Euthanist, Gigadrowse, Wild Cantor, Cremate, Gruul Nodorog, Guardian’s Magemark, Rabble-Rouser, Caustic Rain

Pick: Caustic Rain

Pack 24:

Burning-Tree Bloodscale, Crystal Seer, Cry of Contrition, Beastmaster’s Magemark, Skyrider Trainee, Vedalken Plotter, Caustic Rain

Pick: Vedalken Plotter

Pack 25:

Castigate, Gigadrowse, Cremate, Skarrgan Pit-Skulk, Benediction of Moons, Vertigo Spawn

Pick: Vertigo Spawn

Pack 26:

Lionheart Maverick, Beastmaster’s Magemark, Wild Cantor, Poisonbelly Ogre, Shattering Spree

Pick: Shattering Spree

Pack 27:

Leap of Flame, Benediction of Moons, Conjurer’s Ban, Smogsteed Rider

Pick: Leap of Flame

Pack 28:

Restless Bones, Lionheart Maverick, Castigate

Pick: Castigate

Pack 29:

Wild Cantor, Poisonbelly Ogre

Pick: Wild Cantor

Pack 30:

Starved Rusalka

Pick: Starved Rusalka

Pack 31:

Simic Ragworm, Entropic Eidolon, Cackling Flames, Rakdos Signet, Aurora Eidolon, Enemy of the Guildpact, Riot Spikes, Taste for Mayhem, Simic Initiate, Vigean Hydropon, Nettling Curse, Trial / Error, Rix Maadi, Dungeon Palace, Ignorant Bliss, Experiment Kraj

Pick: Cackling Flames

Pack 32:

Sporeback Troll, Haazda Exonerator, Delirium Skeins, Kill-Suit Cultist, Azorius First-Wing, Simic Initiate, Macabre Waltz, Cytospawn Shambler, Guardian of the Guildpact, Simic Signet, Spell Snare, Hellhole Rats, Slithering Shade, Simic Sky Swallower

Pick: Simic Sky Swallower

Pack 33:

Azorius Signet, Sandstorm Eidolon, Steeling Stance, Simic Growth Chamber, Shielding Plax, Vesper Ghoul, Enigma Eidolon, Gobhobbler Rats, Valor Made Real, Squealing Devil, Condemn, Magewright’s Stone, Muse Vessel

Pick: Condemn

Pack 34:

Enigma Eidolon, Shielding Plax, Whiptail Moloch, Writ of Passage, Plumes of Peace, Psychotic Fury, Macabre Waltz, Guardian of the Guildpact, Silkwing Scout, Cackling Flames, Kindle the Carnage, Stoic Ephemera

Pick: Cackling Flames

Pack 35:

Ogre Gatecrasher, Demon’s Jester, Ocular Halo, Azorius Chancery, Gobhobbler Rats, Delirium Skeins, Sporeback Troll, Valor Made Real, Ignorant Bliss, Ghost Quarter, Odds / Ends

Pick: Odds / Ends

Pack 36:

Vesper Ghoul, Coiling Oracle, Taste for Mayhem, Street Savvy, Vigean Hydropon, Beacon Hawk, Aurora Eidolon, Rakdos Carnarium, Nightcreep, Fertile Imagination

Pick: Aurora Eidolon

Pack 37:

Slaughterhouse Bouncer, Utopia Sprawl, Vision Skeins, Soulsworn Jury, Enemy of the Guildpact, Utvara Scalper, Vision Skeins, Trial / Error, Prahv, Spires of Order

Pick: Soulsworn Jury

Pack 38:

Nettling Curse, Kill-Suit Cultist, Street Savvy, Writ of Passage, Macabre Waltz, Palliation Accord, Blessing of the Nephilim, Vigean Graftmage

Pick: Vigean Graftmage

Pack 39:

Aurora Eidolon, Taste for Mayhem, Simic Initiate, Nettling Curse, Trial / Error, Rix Maadi, Dungeon Palace, Ignorant Bliss

Pick: Aurora Eidolon

Pack 40:

Haazda Exonerator, Delirium Skeins, Kill-Suit Cultist, Azorius First-Wing, Simic Initiate, Slithering Shade

Pick: Azorius First-Wing

Pack 41:

Sandstorm Eidolon, Steeling Stance, Enigma Eidolon, Valor Made Real, Magewright’s Stone

Pick: Steeling Stance

Pack 42:

Enigma Eidolon, Whiptail Moloch, Writ of Passage, Psychotic Fury

Pick: Whiptail Moloch

Pack 43:

Valor Made Real, Ignorant Bliss, Ghost Quarter

Pick: Ignorant Bliss

Pack 44:

Street Savvy, Nightcreep

Pick: Nightcreep

Final Decklist:


1 Harrier Griffin
1 Sandsower
1 Withstand
2 Aurora Eidolon
1 Condemn
1 Soulsworn Jury
1 Halcyon Glaze
1 Steamcore Weird
1 Terraformer
1 Tidewater Minion
1 Torch Drake
1 Train of Thought
1 Vedalken Plotter
1 Vertigo Spawn
1 Vigean Graftmage
1 Fiery Conclusion
1 Ogre Savant
2 Cackling Flames
1 Centaur Safeguard
1 Wee Dragonauts
1 Azorius First-Wing
1 Odds/Ends
1 Boros Garrison
8 Island
2 Mountain
4 Plains
1 Sacred Foundry


1 Barbarian Riftcutter
1 Castigate
1 Caustic Rain [FOIL]
1 Frenzied Goblin
1 Goblin Fire Fiend
1 Goblin Spelunkers
1 Ignorant Bliss
1 Leap of Flame
1 Mountain
1 Nightcreep
1 Perplex
1 Plains
1 Shattering Spree
1 Simic Sky Swallower
1 Starved Rusalka
1 Stasis Cell
1 Steeling Stance
1 Utvara Scalper
1 War-Torch Goblin
1 Whiptail Moloch
1 Wild Cantor

This draft was interesting because the first few packs were quite weak so I was able to base my draft entirely on the signals I was given with the fourth through sixth picks since I didn’t have any first pick worthy cards I needed to worry about squeezing into my deck. The one time I did have a chance to sacrifice my mana for power, I took Simic Sky Swallower, but I never saw any manafix for it, so it was left in my sideboard. I lost round 1 in three close games, bested in the first and third by Debtors’ Knell.

Until tomorrow,


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