Drafting With Tim – Time Spiral #4

With Mr Hoaen off galavanting around the world, top-eighting Grand Prix tournaments left and right, the brave Mr Aten steps into the “Drafting With X” breach until the grumpy Canadian’s return. Tim will be presenting a draft a day, sharing picks one through forty-five, and adding his own brand of lyrical commentary at the end of each article. For a more in-depth critique of his process, be sure to visit the forums!


Pack 1:

Ivory Giant, Deathspore Thallid, Errant Ephemeron, Flowstone Channeler, Herd Gnarr, Trespasser il-Vec, Dream Stalker, Watcher Sliver, Blazing Blade Askari, Brine Elemental, Primal Forcemage, Calciform Pools, Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir, Thallid, Spell Burst

Pick: Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir

Pack 2:

Ivory Giant, Grapeshot, Mindstab, Slipstream Serpent, Nantuko Shaman, Castle Raptors, Molder, Children of Korlis, Viscid Lemures, Ground Rift, Dementia Sliver, Paradise Plume, Faceless Devourer, Scragnoth

Pick: Castle Raptors

Pack 3:

Aether Web, Assassinate, Amrou Seekers, Temporal Eddy, Mogg War Marshal, Savage Thallid, Ancient Grudge, Flickering Spirit, Opaline Sliver, Voidmage Husher, Krosan Grip, Hail Storm, Dreadship Reef

Pick: Amrou Seekers

Pack 4:

Thallid Germinator, Zealot il-Vec, Ironclaw Buzzardiers, Temporal Eddy, Brass Gnat, Savage Thallid, Screeching Sliver, Momentary Blink, Vampiric Sliver, Thick-Skinned Goblin, Molten Slagheap, Trickbind

Pick: Momentary Blink

Pack 5:

Chromatic Star, Tolarian Sentinel, Flowstone Channeler, Trespasser il-Vec, Thrill of the Hunt, Shadow Sliver, Traitor’s Clutch, D’Avenant Healer, Harmonic Sliver, Skittering Monstrosity, Forest

Pick: Chromatic Star

Pack 6:

Herd Gnarr, Fortify, Two-Headed Sliver, Clockspinning, Sidewinder Sliver, Viscid Lemures, Pendelhaven Elder, Tectonic Fiend, Voidmage Husher, Gaze of Justice

Pick: Fortify

Pack 7:

Pentarch Ward, Ashcoat Bear, Flickering Spirit, Ghitu Firebreathing, Bewilder, Detainment Spell, Psychotic Episode, Ignite Memories, Flying Men

Pick: Flickering Spirit

Pack 8:

Icatian Crier, Goblin Skycutter, Chameleon Blur, Cyclopean Giant, Screeching Sliver, Psychotic Episode, Durkwood Tracker, Scion of the Ur-Dragon

Pick: Icatian Crier

Pack 9:

Ivory Giant, Dream Stalker, Blazing Blade Askari, Brine Elemental, Primal Forcemage, Calciform Pools, Spell Burst

Pick: Ivory Giant

Pack 10:

Ivory Giant, Molder, Children of Korlis, Ground Rift, Dementia Sliver, Paradise Plume

Pick: Ivory Giant

Pack 11:

Ancient Grudge, Opaline Sliver, Voidmage Husher, Krosan Grip, Dreadship Reef

Pick: Krosan Grip

Pack 12:

Zealot il-Vec, Brass Gnat, Screeching Sliver, Molten Slagheap

Pick: Zealot il-Vec

Pack 13:

Shadow Sliver, D’Avenant Healer, Harmonic Sliver

Pick: D’Avenant Healer

Pack 14:

Sidewinder Sliver, Voidmage Husher

Pick: Voidmage Husher

Pack 15:

Detainment Spell

Pick: Detainment Spell

Pack 16:

Amrou Scout, Grapeshot, Scarwood Treefolk, Slipstream Serpent, Gaze of Justice, Traitor’s Clutch, Plunder, Eternity Snare, Molder, Venser’s Sliver, Dementia Sliver, Chronatog Totem, Phyrexian Totem, Thelon of Havenwood, Fire Whip

Pick: Amrou Scout

Pack 17:

Lightning Axe, Mogg War Marshal, Temporal Isolation, Think Twice, Ashcoat Bear, Ancient Grudge, Greenseeker, Foriysian Interceptor, Drifter il-Dal, Opaline Sliver, Celestial Crusader, Spell Burst, Ovinomancer, Fury Sliver

Pick: Celestial Crusader

Pack 18:

Fortify, Flamecore Elemental, Mana Skimmer, Nantuko Shaman, Coral Trickster, Glass Asp, Prismatic Lens, Ground Rift, Eternity Snare, Durkwood Tracker, Plated Pegasus, Word of Seizing, Assault / Battery

Pick: Fortify

Pack 19:

Drudge Reavers, Temporal Isolation, Drifter il-Dal, Havenwood Wurm, Basal Sliver, Sage of Epityr, Thick-Skinned Goblin, Ghostflame Sliver, Return to Dust, Wheel of Fate, Dragonstorm, Island

Pick: Temporal Isolation

Pack 20:

Amrou Seekers, Cancel, Empty the Warrens, Sprout, Aetherflame Wall, Pit Keeper, Sage of Epityr, Weatherseed Totem, Molten Slagheap, Witch Hunter, Ashcoat Bear

Pick: Amrou Seekers

Pack 21:

Scarwood Treefolk, Orcish Cannonade, Amrou Scout, Dream Stalker, Wormwood Dryad, Venser’s Sliver, Clockspinning, Bogardan Rager, Gustcloak Cavalier, Knight of the Holy Nimbus

Pick: Knight of the Holy Nimbus

Pack 22:

Zealot il-Vec, Aether Web, Cloudchaser Kestrel, Jedit’s Dragoons, Sprout, Aetherflame Wall, Faceless Devourer, Fool’s Demise, Gaea’s Liege

Pick: Cloudchaser Kestrel

Pack 23:

Tolarian Sentinel, Benalish Cavalry, Mwonvuli Acid-Moss, Two-Headed Sliver, Blazing Blade Askari, Shadow Sliver, Pull from Eternity, Molten Slagheap

Pick: Benalish Cavalry

Pack 24:

Gaze of Justice, Traitor’s Clutch, Plunder, Eternity Snare, Molder, Venser’s Sliver, Dementia Sliver

Pick: Gaze of Justice

Pack 25:

Ashcoat Bear, Ancient Grudge, Foriysian Interceptor, Drifter il-Dal, Opaline Sliver, Spell Burst

Pick: Foriysian Interceptor

Pack 26:

Glass Asp, Ground Rift, Eternity Snare, Durkwood Tracker, Plated Pegasus

Pick: Eternity Snare

Pack 27:

Drudge Reavers, Drifter il-Dal, Sage of Epityr, Return to Dust

Pick: Return to Dust

Pack 28:

Sprout, Aetherflame Wall, Molten Slagheap

Pick: Aetherflame Wall

Pack 29:

Venser’s Sliver, Gustcloak Cavalier

Pick: Gustcloak Cavalier

Pack 30:

Jedit’s Dragoons

Pick: Jedit’s Dragoons

Pack 31:

Drudge Reavers, Goblin Skycutter, Cancel, Penumbra Spider, Pentarch Ward, Detainment Spell, Thallid Shell-Dweller, Bewilder, Call to the Netherworld, Cyclopean Giant, Dreadship Reef, Ghostflame Sliver, Volcanic Awakening, Weathered Bodyguards, Twisted Abomination

Pick: Weathered Bodyguards

Pack 32:

Benalish Cavalry, Feebleness, Looter il-Kor, Spinneret Sliver, Skulking Knight, Sidewinder Sliver, Mwonvuli Acid-Moss, Viashino Bladescout, Ophidian Eye, Fallen Ideal, Firewake Sliver, Magus of the Jar, Mirari, Benalish Cavalry

Pick: Benalish Cavalry

Pack 33:

Fathom Seer, Flamecore Elemental, Feebleness, Castle Raptors, Children of Korlis, Sangrophage, Viashino Bladescout, Mystical Teachings, Ignite Memories, Saltcrusted Steppe, Urza’s Factory, Pulmonic Sliver, Unstable Mutation

Pick: Castle Raptors

Pack 34:

Mindstab, Gaze of Justice, Coral Trickster, Ophidian Eye, Watcher Sliver, Thrill of the Hunt, Plunder, Skulking Knight, Fury Sliver, Smallpox, Faceless Devourer, Moorish Cavalry

Pick: Moorish Cavalry

Pack 35:

Think Twice, Errant Doomsayers, Divine Congregation, Mindlash Sliver, Thallid Shell-Dweller, Jhoira’s Timebug, Jedit’s Dragoons, Thunder Totem, Fallen Ideal, Gemstone Caverns, Avoid Fate

Pick: Errant Doomsayers

Pack 36:

Strength in Numbers, Errant Doomsayers, Viscerid Deepwalker, Ironclaw Buzzardiers, Search for Tomorrow, Greenseeker, Divine Congregation, Jhoira’s Timebug, Norin the Wary, Evil Eye of Orms-by-Gore

Pick: Errant Doomsayers

Pack 37:

Urborg Syphon-Mage, Cloudchaser Kestrel, Snapback, Subterranean Shambler, Mindlash Sliver, Havenwood Wurm, Chameleon Blur, Foriysian Totem, Primal Forcemage

Pick: Snapback

Pack 38:

Fathom Seer, Chromatic Star, Sangrophage, D’Avenant Healer, Wormwood Dryad, Mystical Teachings, Spirit Loop, Jasmine Boreal

Pick: Fathom Seer

Pack 39:

Drudge Reavers, Detainment Spell, Bewilder, Call to the Netherworld, Cyclopean Giant, Dreadship Reef, Volcanic Awakening

Pick: Cyclopean Giant

Pack 40:

Skulking Knight, Sidewinder Sliver, Viashino Bladescout, Ophidian Eye, Fallen Ideal, Firewake Sliver

Pick: Fallen Ideal

Pack 41:

Children of Korlis, Sangrophage, Viashino Bladescout, Mystical Teachings, Ignite Memories

Pick: Children of Korlis

Pack 42:

Gaze of Justice, Plunder, Smallpox, Faceless Devourer

Pick: Gaze of Justice

Pack 43:

Divine Congregation, Mindlash Sliver, Fallen Ideal

Pick: Fallen Ideal

Pack 44:

Greenseeker, Divine Congregation

Pick: Divine Congregation

Pack 45:

Chameleon Blur

Pick: Chameleon Blur

Final Decklist:

5 Island
12 Plains
1 Amrou Scout
2 Amrou Seekers
2 Benalish Cavalry
2 Castle Raptors
1 Celestial Crusader
1 Cloudchaser Kestrel
2 Errant Doomsayers
1 Flickering Spirit
2 Fortify
1 Gaze of Justice
1 Icatian Crier
2 Ivory Giant
1 Knight of the Holy Nimbus
1 Momentary Blink
1 Snapback
1 Temporal Isolation
1 Moorish Cavalry

1 Chameleon Blur
1 Children of Korlis
1 Chromatic Star
1 Cyclopean Giant
1 Detainment Spell
1 Divine Congregation
1 D’Avenant Healer
1 Eternity Snare
2 Fallen Ideal
1 Fathom Seer
1 Foriysian Interceptor
1 Gaze of Justice
1 Gustcloak Cavalier
1 Jedit’s Dragoons
1 Krosan Grip
1 Return to Dust
1 Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir
1 Voidmage Husher
1 Weathered Bodyguards
1 Zealot il-Vec
1 Aetherflame Wall

A monkey could have drafted this deck. I won.

Despite this fact, there are a few things to discuss. In the first pack, there were three good Blue cards and little else. Signaling is relevant, but I’m not going to first-pick a Flowstone Channeler or an Ivory Giant just to avoid stepping on toes. As to my chosen card, I believe that Teferi is superior to Errant Ephemeron, but that Ephemeron is nearly as good. Mana cost is not a concern, as I’d rather not splash a third color at all (unless I’m Green), especially not for a card like Ephemeron that I’d want the appropriate mana for on turn 2.

Ivory Giant is only good if some 75% of your creatures are White (and in that case, it’s REALLY good), and the percentage is even higher for Gaze of Justice. I don’t care for Icatian Crier in general, but when I took it I had the feeling my deck would be the rare type that I’d like to play it in. You want several cards like Fortify, Celestial Crusader, and Ivory Giant before you should play it; additionally, Gaze and Crier kind of enable one another to be played.

While the deck was beautiful, the games were not. In the first round, I mulliganed a one-land hand into a two-land hand. I played a Benalish Cavalry, hit land three on turn 3, and played a Crier. On my fourth turn, I missed my land drop (with 2 Castle Raptor and Fortify in hand) and played another Cavalry. My opponent Avalanche Rider’ed me, and he didn’t even have to pay the upkeep because of Thick-Skinned Goblin. I kept making two townspeople each turn, hoping to draw the third (fourth) land for Fortify, but I never got there. However, since my opponent failed to trade his Blazing Blade Askari for a Cavalry in the early game, and because the only cards he played were lame ground creatures, I was still able to overwhelm him. For game 2, I kept two Plains, Fortify, Kestrel, Flickering Spirit, Celestial Crusader, and Castle Raptors on the draw. I hoped to hit one land in three turns and maybe two lands in four turns. I died with two lands in play and an Avalanche Riders on the stack. Game three I bashed the $%&$* out of him.

In game 1 round 2, I was making lots of Citizens to set up a lethal Fortify. On the last turn, if I had attacked, my opponent would have needed to have two cards in his hand that could each stop an attacking creature in order to live. I was persuaded by SOMEone else in the room to wait a turn, and I got Tromped out. (I blame myself, really, since I take responsibility for my own actions, but I’d like to think I would have won that game if I had been alone.) I won the second game with Ivory Giant and Momentary Blink, and I won the third game with Amrou Seekers (thanks in no small part to my Doomsayers tapping his Gemhide Sliver every upkeep).

The funny thing is, I didn’t actually win every draft these past few days. The first draft I did was the one you saw on Tuesday. I won, but I thought Draftcap was still faulty (it wasn’t – I just had to change some settings), so I ignored it and didn’t use the program for my next several drafts. I lost the next three in a row, albeit with a good deck each time, and then Craig told me the problem was with me and not the program, so I resumed recording and rattled off these last three consecutive wins. Next week, I’ll try to draft Blue cards and Black cards, and maybe I’ll even lose!

Until tomorrow,

Tim Aten

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