Drafting With Tim – Time Spiral #5

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:

Castle Raptors, Gorgon Recluse, Spiketail Drakeling, Orcish Cannonade, Plunder, Eternity Snare, Molder, Venser’s Sliver, Children of Korlis, Locket of Yesterdays, Evil Eye of Urborg, Cavalry Master, Ixidron, Vhati il-Dal, Ib Halfheart, Goblin Tactician

Pick: Vhati il-Dal

Pack 2:

Ashcoat Bear, Amrou Seekers, Search for Tomorrow, Corpulent Corpse, Cancel, Screeching Sliver, Psychotic Episode, Jedit’s Dragoons, Sprout, Foriysian Interceptor, Phthisis, Knight of the Holy Nimbus, Harmonic Sliver, Lotus Bloom

Pick: Search for Tomorrow

Pack 3:

Deathspore Thallid, Tolarian Sentinel, Benalish Cavalry, Orcish Cannonade, Prismatic Lens, Ground Rift, Eternity Snare, Skulking Knight, Smallpox, Fool’s Demise, Weatherseed Totem, Kher Keep, Celestial Dawn

Pick: Prismatic Lens

Pack 4:

Temporal Eddy, Mogg War Marshal, Terramorphic Expanse, Drudge Reavers, Momentary Blink, Ancient Grudge, Greenseeker, Foriysian Interceptor, Wipe Away, Undying Rage, Gustcloak Cavalier, Psionic Sliver

Pick: Psionic Sliver

Pack 5:

Zealot il-Vec, Aether Web, Detainment Spell, Psychotic Episode, Sprout, Aetherflame Wall, Pit Keeper, Vampiric Sliver, Dementia Sliver, Liege of the Pit, Orcish Librarian

Pick: Liege of the Pit

Pack 6:

Scarwood Treefolk, Venser’s Sliver, Clockspinning, Bogardan Rager, Sangrophage, D’Avenant Healer, Molten Slagheap, Krosan Grip, Voidmage Husher, Funeral Charm

Pick: Funeral Charm

Pack 7:

Mogg War Marshal, Drifter il-Dal, Havenwood Wurm, Basal Sliver, Sage of Epityr, Opaline Sliver, Voidmage Husher, Trickbind, Spined Sliver

Pick: Havenwood Wurm

Pack 8:

Flamecore Elemental, Nantuko Shaman, Blazing Blade Askari, Shadow Sliver, Ophidian Eye, Spirit Loop, Calciform Pools, Mountain

Pick: Nantuko Shaman

Pack 9:

Plunder, Eternity Snare, Molder, Venser’s Sliver, Children of Korlis, Locket of Yesterdays, Evil Eye of Urborg

Pick: Evil Eye of Urborg

Pack 10:

Ashcoat Bear, Screeching Sliver, Psychotic Episode, Sprout, Foriysian Interceptor, Harmonic Sliver

Pick: Ashcoat Bear

Pack 11:

Ground Rift, Eternity Snare, Smallpox, Fool’s Demise, Celestial Dawn

Pick: Smallpox

Pack 12:

Ancient Grudge, Greenseeker, Foriysian Interceptor, Gustcloak Cavalier

Pick: Greenseeker

Pack 13:

Psychotic Episode, Sprout, Orcish Librarian

Pick: Psychotic Episode

Pack 14:

Clockspinning, Sangrophage

Pick: Sangrophage

Pack 15:

Sage of Epityr

Pick: Sage of Epityr

Pack 16:

Empty the Warrens, Strength in Numbers, Errant Doomsayers, Corpulent Corpse, Viscerid Deepwalker, Drifter il-Dal, Subterranean Shambler, Mindlash Sliver, Havenwood Wurm, Riftwing Cloudskate, Might of Old Krosa, Tectonic Fiend, Wheel of Fate, Pendelhaven Elder, Firewake Sliver

Pick: Corpulent Corpse

Pack 17:

Empty the Warrens, Icatian Crier, Bonesplitter Sliver, Tendrils of Corruption, Think Twice, Penumbra Spider, Aetherflame Wall, Detainment Spell, Thallid Shell-Dweller, Bewilder, Sudden Death, Careful Consideration, Pull from Eternity, Squire

Pick: Sudden Death

Pack 18:

Keldon Halberdier, Mana Skimmer, Durkwood Baloth, Fathom Seer, Chromatic Star, Sangrophage, Viashino Bladescout, Mystical Teachings, Thrill of the Hunt, Barbed Shocker, Stormcloud Djinn, Duskrider Peregrine, Hunting Moa

Pick: Durkwood Baloth

Pack 19:

Drudge Reavers, Goblin Skycutter, Cancel, Penumbra Spider, Divine Congregation, Mindlash Sliver, Thallid Shell-Dweller, Jhoira’s Timebug, Vampiric Sliver, Pull from Eternity, Pandemonium, Swamp

Pick: Penumbra Spider

Pack 20:

Gaze of Justice, Strangling Soot, Gemhide Sliver, Feebleness, Wormwood Dryad, Mystical Teachings, Two-Headed Sliver, Smallpox, Return to Dust, Sudden Death, Arena

Pick: Strangling Soot

Pack 21:

Ashcoat Bear, Thallid Germinator, Terramorphic Expanse, Ghitu Firebreathing, Momentary Blink, Greenseeker, Pit Keeper, Divine Congregation, Ghostflame Sliver, Chronatog Totem

Pick: Terramorphic Expanse

Pack 22:

Gemhide Sliver, Mindstab, Gaze of Justice, Sidewinder Sliver, Mwonvuli Acid-Moss, Molder, Pendelhaven Elder, Saltcrusted Steppe, Magus of the Mirror

Pick: Gemhide Sliver

Pack 23:

Feebleness, Thrill of the Hunt, Plunder, Brass Gnat, Barbed Shocker, Chronatog Totem, Unstable Mutation, Mountain

Pick: Feebleness

Pack 24:

Drifter il-Dal, Subterranean Shambler, Mindlash Sliver, Havenwood Wurm, Wheel of Fate, Pendelhaven Elder, Firewake Sliver

Pick: Pendelhaven Elder

Pack 25:

Aetherflame Wall, Detainment Spell, Thallid Shell-Dweller, Bewilder, Pull from Eternity, Squire

Pick: Thallid Shell-Dweller

Pack 26:

Sangrophage, Viashino Bladescout, Mystical Teachings, Thrill of the Hunt, Barbed Shocker

Pick: Thrill of the Hunt

Pack 27:

Divine Congregation, Mindlash Sliver, Jhoira’s Timebug, Pull from Eternity

Pick: Jhoira’s Timebug

Pack 28:

Wormwood Dryad, Mystical Teachings, Return to Dust

Pick: Wormwood Dryad

Pack 29:

Ghitu Firebreathing, Divine Congregation

Pick: Divine Congregation

Pack 30:


Pick: Molder

Pack 31:

Snapback, Rift Bolt, Pentarch Ward, Bonesplitter Sliver, Dark Withering, Viscerid Deepwalker, Jhoira’s Timebug, Chameleon Blur, Subterranean Shambler, Cyclopean Giant, Opaline Sliver, Wipe Away, Evil Eye of Urborg, Draining Whelk, Psionic Blast

Pick: Psionic Blast

Pack 32:

Errant Doomsayers, Rift Bolt, Aether Web, Assassinate, Call to the Netherworld, Cyclopean Giant, Brass Gnat, Savage Thallid, Screeching Sliver, Scryb Ranger, Sulfurous Blast, Yavimaya Dryad, Gemstone Caverns, Hunting Moa

Pick: Rift Bolt

Pack 33:

Ironclaw Buzzardiers, Search for Tomorrow, Icatian Crier, Dark Withering, Goblin Skycutter, Chameleon Blur, Flickering Spirit, Ghitu Firebreathing, Bewilder, Thunder Totem, Gustcloak Cavalier, Sarpadian Empires, Vol. VII, Craw Giant

Pick: Dark Withering

Pack 34:

Keldon Halberdier, Ivory Giant, Grapeshot, Mindstab, Slipstream Serpent, Nantuko Shaman, Blazing Blade Askari, Glass Asp, Traitor’s Clutch, Durkwood Tracker, Truth or Tale, Stupor

Pick: Nantuko Shaman

Pack 35:

Ivory Giant, Deathspore Thallid, Flowstone Channeler, Herd Gnarr, Ground Rift, Dream Stalker, Wormwood Dryad, Tectonic Fiend, Fallen Ideal, Dodecapod, Dralnu, Lich Lord

Pick: Dodecapod

Pack 36:

Looter il-Kor, Fortify, Bogardan Rager, Traitor’s Clutch, D’Avenant Healer, Glass Asp, Fungal Reaches, Krosan Grip, Urza’s Factory, Uncle Istvan

Pick: Fortify

Pack 37:

Pentarch Ward, Zealot il-Vec, Ironclaw Buzzardiers, Jedit’s Dragoons, Savage Thallid, Ancient Grudge, Call to the Netherworld, Thunder Totem, Sindbad

Pick: Savage Thallid

Pack 38:

Tolarian Sentinel, Clockspinning, Viscid Lemures, Mwonvuli Acid-Moss, Two-Headed Sliver, Volcanic Awakening, Faceless Devourer, Darkness

Pick: Faceless Devourer

Pack 39:

Pentarch Ward, Jhoira’s Timebug, Chameleon Blur, Subterranean Shambler, Cyclopean Giant, Opaline Sliver, Wipe Away

Pick: Subterranean Shambler

Pack 40:

Aether Web, Call to the Netherworld, Brass Gnat, Savage Thallid, Screeching Sliver, Gemstone Caverns

Pick: Gemstone Caverns

Pack 41:

Ironclaw Buzzardiers, Chameleon Blur, Ghitu Firebreathing, Bewilder, Gustcloak Cavalier

Pick: Ironclaw Buzzardiers

Pack 42:

Mindstab, Glass Asp, Traitor’s Clutch, Truth or Tale

Pick: Mindstab

Pack 43:

Deathspore Thallid, Ground Rift, Fallen Ideal

Pick: Deathspore Thallid

Pack 44:

Traitor’s Clutch, Glass Asp

Pick: Traitor’s Clutch

Pack 45:

Ancient Grudge

Pick: Ancient Grudge

Final Decklist:

7 Forest
1 Island
1 Mountain
1 Pendelhaven
1 Psionic Blast
5 Swamp
1 Vhati il-Dal
1 Ashcoat Bear
1 Corpulent Corpse
1 Dark Withering
1 Durkwood Baloth
1 Faceless Devourer
1 Feebleness
1 Gemhide Sliver
1 Greenseeker
1 Havenwood Wurm
1 Liege of the Pit
2 Nantuko Shaman
1 Penumbra Spider
1 Prismatic Lens
1 Rift Bolt
1 Savage Thallid
1 Search for Tomorrow
1 Strangling Soot
1 Sudden Death
1 Terramorphic Expanse
1 Thallid Shell-Dweller
1 Funeral Charm
1 Dodecapod

1 Ancient Grudge
1 Deathspore Thallid
1 Divine Congregation
1 Evil Eye of Urborg
1 Fortify
1 Gemstone Caverns
1 Ironclaw Buzzardiers
1 Jhoira’s Timebug
1 Mindstab
1 Molder
1 Psionic Sliver
1 Psychotic Episode
1 Sage of Epityr
1 Sangrophage
1 Smallpox
1 Subterranean Shambler
1 Thrill of the Hunt
1 Traitor’s Clutch
1 Wormwood Dryad

The short story is, I played a Greenseeker and I lost round 1. Real “cautionary tale” stuff. The longer version will take some time to tell. Since the draft was fairly “interesting” this time, I’ll discuss several of the picks here instead of waiting for inevitable questions in the forums. As always, if there’s something I don’t address, feel free to ask/criticize.

Pack 1: Vhati il-Dal is the most powerful card in the pack, but it’s sort of a color preference deal. Since Green allows you to splash colors easily, it wasn’t like I was trapping myself into two specific colors right off the bat. I’m actually not a huge fan of Ixidron, so in my opinion, the “correct” pick was either Vhati or Castle Raptors.

Pack 2: The pick here is between Phthisis and Search for Tomorrow. I don’t care too much for Phthisis in draft (even though it’s a bona fide bomb in sealed), but it’s still fine. The consideration here was whether I wanted to commit all-out to Black/Green, (or Black/x SPLASHING Green *shudder*), or if I wanted to test the waters and see what was coming. I think Search is the safer play, as it would easily let me splash Vhati if I don’t end up with Black as a main color.

Pack 3: This was another “safe” pick. Prismatic Lens is better at accelerating than Weatherseed Totem, plus it enables splashes. Later in the draft, if I know I’m a simple G/X deck, or if I’m G/X with just a touch of a third color, I’ll opt for the Weatherseed Totem.

Pack 4: This was a weak pack, and based on my previous picks, I’d be able to play some sort of GWU Watcher Sliver concoction splashing Vhati. I even might have been able to abandon Vhati entirely (not an attractive option) and go G/W/U Slivers straight up. Ironically, the Sliver keeps my options open more than the Terramorphic Expanse. I can completely understand taking the land there, though; I was just trying to increase the potential power level of my deck at every turn.

Pack 31: This was a raredraft. Ya got me. Even though my mana fixing enabled me to play it, it’s still better to take a comparable card in a color that I was already planning on splashing (I was going to play a Mountain for the Soot). I probably would have taken the Rift Bolt; Ben Lundquist says he would have gone with the Dark Withering.

Pack 32: Sulfurous Blast is a little greedy. You have to draw the line somewhere.

As I said, I finally lost one. I hope you’re happy. I know I am. In the first game, my opening hand was Savage Thallid, Durkwood Baloth, Sudden Death, Nantuko Shaman, Forest, Swamp, Terramorphic Expanse. My opponent, on the play, started off with a Sidewinder Sliver and a Thick-Skinned Goblin. I topdecked a Gemhide Sliver for turn 3, which traded with his Thick-Skinned Goblin (the Sidewinder Sliver actually decided to stay home that turn). Post-combat, he Coal Stoked into a Two-Headed Sliver. On my fourth turn, a suspended Search for Tomorrow resolved, and I dropped my Savage Thallid. My opponent played his last card, a Fury Sliver, and I traded for his Coal Stoker when he attacked, leaving me at 12. On the following turn, I Sudden Deathed his Fury Sliver and dropped my awesome Greenseeker. My opponent topdecked a Plains for his Thunder Totem and hit me to 8. My Baloth unsuspended, and I hit him with it before suspending Nantuko Shaman (my last card). I was hoping to draw into a little action to turn the race in my favor; I couldn’t really hold the fort on the ground and lose to his Totem. On his turn, my opponent topdecked a Bonesplitter Sliver, and the rest was academic.

The next game started off a little better. I Searched into a turn 3 Penumbra Spider, while my opponent suspended a Peregrine and played a Two-Headed Sliver and a Coal Stoker (burning for 3). I failed to find a fifth land, and I had no black sources in play but 3 black cards in hand. When my Search had unsuspended, my hand was Island, Spider, Savage Thallid, Soot, and Rift Bolt. Since I had 5 Swamps in my deck but only 1 Mountain, and since I already had a Red card in my hand (plus a sided-in Shambler in my deck that I’d want to be able to cast), I went for the Mountain (and then drew two consecutive Black cards). On turn 6, my suspended Rift Bolt hit his Peregrine, and I drew and played a Gemhide Sliver, which he Sudden Shocked. My opponent’s turn 6 netted him a Pardic Dragon, and he hit me to 14 with his Two-Headed Sliver. Still on 4 land, I drew and suspended Nantuko Shaman, and then my opponent played a Bonesplitter Sliver and hit me down to 7. I drew Prismatic Lens off the Shaman (and land for the turn), leaving my board as the Spider, the Shaman, five lands (three untapped), and the Lens, and my hand as Savage Thallid, Corpulent Corpse, Funeral Charm, and Strangling Soot. My opponent drew and played a Mountain, leaving him empty-handed. He attacked with all five of his guys (Two-Headed, Bonesplitter, Dragon, Stoker, and a Thick-Skinned Goblin). I Sooted his Bonesplitter, traded Shaman for Stoker, and chumped his dragon, giving me a Spider token. I played a Swamp and shipped the turn. He attacked with his three remaining guys. I flashed Soot back on his Sliver, and I blocked his Dragon with my Spider and Funeral Charmed it to 4/3. With my Baloth coming off suspend the next turn, I thought I’d be in pretty good shape as long as he didn’t draw a burn spell or a flier for a couple of turns. However, the card he drew that turn was Momentary Blink, so his Dragon lived, and I died the next turn.

Until tomorrow,

Tim Aten

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