Get More Guilds Of Ravnica Draft Practice!

Ryan’s about to start writing in depth guides to the archetypes, but before he does, he wants to test you on which one to jump into! So what’ll it be in this set of picks? Are there any you disagree with?

Now that Guilds of Ravnica has been out for over a week, I’ve
played both with and against every archetype a variety of times. And with
the Grand Prix from this past weekend, there’s plenty of content to learn
what matters. My newest observation is that early plays matter a lot.
Selesnya, Boros, and Izzet all have draws that kill extremely quickly, and
you need to respect that. So, prioritize two- and three-mana plays because
you need to have a good curve.

And just to tease you a little bit, I’ll be writing an archetype guide for
Thursday for whatever archetype I end up in in the draft below. So, let’s
see what that is!

Pack 1, Pick 1

The Pack:

Omnispell Adept Crackling Drake District Guide Roc Charger Bartizan Bats Collar the Culprit Command the Storm Crushing Canopy Healer's Hawk Izzet Locket Portcullis Vine Selesnya Guildgate Severed Strands Take Heart Undercity Uprising

The Pick:

Lots of solid options to start off this draft. Command the Storm is a solid
removal spell, although I wouldn’t be happy to first pick it. District
Guide is a valuable three-drop that’s a key card to the five-color gate
deck. Roc Charger is maybe the best three-drop for aggressive decks. And
lastly Crackling Drake is one of the best possible threats for Izzet. I
think outside of Command the Storm, all of these options have merit. Don’t
get me wrong, Storm is solid, but it doesn’t compare well to the uncommons
in the pack.

So, which do you take?

Personally, I think the pick is Crackling Drake, and I don’t actually think
it’s all that close. While District Guide is a mono-colored two-for-one, if
you’re not in more than two colors the card just isn’t fantastic. It’s
still a card you’ll play, but it’s unexciting. And Roc Charger is just at a
competitive slot on the curve. Yes, it will be fantastic in both your Boros
and Selesnya deck, but your deck without it isn’t all that worse than your
deck with it since you’ll be able to find another card to fill a similar
role. And there’s really no other card like Crackling Drake for Izzet. It
closes the game quickly and is card advantage. Both it and Nightveil
Predator are the two cards of their cycle that I’m ecstatic to first pick.

Pack 1, Pick 2

The Picks So Far:

Crackling Drake

The Pack:

Crackling Drake District Guide Inspiring Unicorn Barging Sergeant Burglar Rat Fearless Halberdier Fire Urchin Fresh-Faced Recruit Generous Stray Izzet Guildgate Izzet Locket Moodmark Painter Rosemane Centaur Wishcoin Crab

The Pick:

This is one of the few picks in Draft that, in my opinion, isn’t even close
to being close. I started off with a Crackling Drake, and I think not
following this up with a Crackling Drake would be a mistake. However,
there’s one thing that this pack poses that I think is important to
discuss: two-drops in Izzet.

Fresh-Faced Recruit and Fire Urchin are creatures I’ve included in my Izzet
decks before, and I actually think that Fresh-Faced Recruit is better. This
format has so many small creatures that a 2/1 first striker attacks through
a lot of blockers and can trade well. The 1/3 body on Fire Urchin hasn’t
been all that impressive, and Izzet decks tend to be somewhat aggressive
because of the card Sonic Assault. So, a creature that consistently attacks
for two is preferred to one that conditionally attacks for two.

Don’t get me wrong: I’ll play the card in my Izzet decks, but it’s not
fantastic. Furthermore, I actually like it a lot in Boros. Mentoring onto
Fire Urchin turns it into a fantastic threat, so pairing it alongside cards
like Parhelion Patrol is a better way to utilize the little critter.

Pack 1, Pick 3

The Picks So Far:

Crackling Drake Crackling Drake

With two Drakes it’s going to be quite hard to get me off Izzet. It’s
rarely correct to put blinders on this early in a draft, but this start is
close to facilitating that. If Izzet is entirely dry, I’ll have to
re-evaluate, but for now I’m not considering other colors if there are
Izzet options.

The Pack:

Vivid Revival Grappling Sundew Inescapable Blaze Capture Sphere Centaur Peacemaker Darkblade Agent Goblin Electromancer Hypothesizzle Izzet Guildgate Loxodon Restorer Never Happened Prey Upon Rubblebelt Boar

The Pick:

There are plenty of options here, and they all serve different purposes.
The first thing to note is that Capture Sphere is not a spell. I’ve
actually cut Capture Sphere from my Izzet decks before for synergistic
reasons, but I’ll sideboard it in against green decks where my
Hypothesizzles and Command the Storms don’t kill every threat.

Speaking of which, both Hypothesizzle and Inescapable Blaze are fantastic
removal spells. I’ve been impressed with both of the cards, but between
them I would take Hypothesizzle. It’s instant speed Murder plus draw a
card… the card is just unfair for a common. Inescapable Blaze being able to
deal six damage upstairs is nothing to scoff at, but I don’t think that
flexibility is worth more than both the mana efficiency and card advantage
of Hypothesizzle.

Goblin Electromancer has overperformed for me. I’ve found that Izzet often
wants to cast multiple spells in the same turn thanks to jump-start and
cards like Wee Dragonauts. I don’t think the Electromancer is so good that
I’d take it over Hypothesizzle, but the card is good.

So, the decision comes down to Hypothesizzle and the last option in the
pack: Izzet Guildgate. In my opinion, Hypothesizzle is just too powerful to
pass up. With two Crackling Drakes, the importance of Izzet Guildgate
skyrockets, but I still don’t think it’s correct to take it over a high
value card.

Pack 1, Pick 4

The Picks So Far:

Crackling Drake Crackling Drake Hypothesizzle

The Pack:

Deafening Clarion Disdainful Stroke Garrison Sergeant Izzet Guildgate Pitiless Gorgon Radical Idea Siege Wurm Skyline Scout Sonic Assault Tenth District Guard Vicious Rumors Vigorspore Wurm

The Pick:

Another pack with great cards and an Izzet Guildgate. With three
gold-cards, two of which are Crackling Drake, that Izzet Guildgate is
looking good, and I don’t think Sonic Assault nor Radical Idea are good
enough to take over it here. I do think both Sonic Assault and Radical Idea
are good cards that I always play the first copy of in my Izzet decks (more
on that in the archetype guide you’ll read here on Thursday), but I don’t
think I need to prioritize them here. I do, however, feel the need to
prioritize mana.

But Deafening Clarion is a fantastic Magic card. It works so unbelievably
well with Crackling Drake because you can abuse the lifelink portion of the
card. And Boros Guildgates are often easy to pickup because the Boros
drafter isn’t interested in the card in the same way that a Dimir drafter
is interested in their Gate.

I think the ceiling is too high on Deafening Clarion, and that even though
the mana may get a little worse with the Drakes, you should take the
sweeper. Overall, this draft went quite well, and I was rewarded for my
initial pick of Crackling Drake. In fact, my deck ended up with four of
them. You can view my entire draft


, and we took it all the way to a trophy!