High Risk, High Power Drafting

Ryan Saxe can’t believe it, but this Draft format is still largely unsolved! Case in point: this draft where he had several tough picks! Which cards would you have chosen? Vote and share!

Pack 1, Pick 1

The Pack:

The Pick:

This pick is the epitome of Guilds of Ravnica Draft: the flexible
card versus the narrow card that’s of higher power level. And
unfortunately, I can’t just tell you to always take one of the two options.
There are plenty of similar decisions where I lean flexible, but here I’m
going to take the more powerful card, Wee Dragonauts.

District Guide is great; there’s no question about that. While Selesnya and
Golgari are the worst guilds, they’re playable and underdrafted to the
point where I’m drafting green fairly often. However, Izzet with or without
Wee Dragonauts is night and day. Wee is the card that lets Izzet kill out
of nowhere. The card is extremely potent and one I’m very happy to first
pick. The ceiling of the card is too much higher than the ceiling of
District Guide. And it’s in the best archetype.

I wouldn’t fault you for taking District Guide. It makes sense and lets you
be flexible. However, I’ll move off Wee Dragonauts if Izzet isn’t open and
I think the upside is just too high.

Pack 1, Pick 2

The Picks So Far:

The Pack:

The Pick:

If I’m taking a Dimir card, it’s going to be Nightveil Predator. Sure,
House Guildmage is splashable, but have you ever played against a Nightveil
Predator? Have you beaten one?

I’ve played so many games of this format where I say to myself “the only
way I can lose this game is if my opponent casts Nightveil Predator” that I
just started taking the card higher. And I used to take it highly. But now
I have it as one of the best uncommons. Sure, I won’t always play it, but I
like starting out this format with the best possible card out of every pack
such that when I figure out what’s open, I can usually pair that with
something great. It’s very unlikely that both Wee Dragonauts and Nightveil
Predator make my deck, but that’s okay!

How does Nightveil Predator compare to Sunhome Stalwart? They’re both going
to be one of the best cards in their respective decks, but Stalwart goes in
two while Predator goes in one. However, I think Dimir is better than both
Selesnya and Boros and Stalwart can be replaced by a worse card that fills
a similar role, while Nightveil Predator can’t be replaced with anything.
Not even rares!

I’m taking the stupid hexproof card that nobody ever beats. You should
probably stop passing that card if you don’t take it highly.

Pack 1, Pick 3

The Picks So Far:

The Pack:

The Pick:

This pick is easily Chemister’s Insight. I know many players default to
“take the removal spell because removal is always good” train of thought,
but Chemister’s Insight is just too powerful. It’s a three-for-one that you
get to play at instant speed in a format where spells matter. There are
plenty of removal spells at common, so picking some up is not difficult.
Furthermore, Chemister’s Insight can work with both Nightveil Predator and
Wee Dragonauts, where Deadly Visit only goes with Nightveil Predator. This
pick isn’t close to being close.

Pack 1, Pick 4

The Picks So Far:

The Pack:

The Pick:

This pack is really lacking in high quality cards, but that usually happens
around four or so picks into a draft. Swarm Guildmage is the best card in
the pack but doesn’t go with anything we have so far. I did mention that I
like taking the best cards out of the packs early on, but I don’t think the
Guildmage is at the power threshold where I do this. I think taking Swarm
Guildmage is defensible, but I personally don’t like the pick.

Severed Strands is rarely good in Dimir, and I still don’t want to play
more than one copy in Golgari. Both Douser of Lights and Burglar Rat are
solid playables, but I won’t miss them if I don’t have them.

The key to this pick is remembering that there was a Guild Summit in the
previous pack that might wheel. Not only do I want to optimize my mana such
that Nightveil Predator is easier to cast, but I’m a fan of blue-based
multicolor decks that utilize Guild Summit. Take both of those into
account, and I think the correct pick out of this pack is Dimir Guildgate.
It can even help splash an Artful Takedown or Price of Fame in Izzet should
that be the open guild!

Not only did the Guild Summit wheel, but I ended up with three copies! You
may think that’s a bit much, but it meant I could build my deck in such a
fashion that I could consistently draw all the cards in my deck. This deck
trophied fairly seamlessly and most games ended by drawing my entire deck,
pairing Glaive of the Guildpact with Nightveil Predator. When I first
looked at this deck, I thought it wasn’t going to get there, and I don’t
think it’s amazing by any means, but the way the whole deck functions
together really impressed me, and I don’t believe I was drawing
exceptionally well. There’s still lots to learn about this format!

Dimir Guildgate

Dimir Guildgate
Dimir Guildgate
Izzet Guildgate
Izzet Guildgate
Golgari Guildgate
Golgari Guildgate
Golgari Guildgate
Thoughtbound Phantasm
Passwall Adept

Child of Night
Child of Night
House Guildmage
Veiled Shade
Nightveil Predator
Douser of Lights

Watcher in the Mist
Dazzling Lights
Thought Erasure

Glaive of the Guildpact
Unexplained Disappearance
Guild Summit

Guild Summit
Guild Summit
Disinformation Campaign
Mephitic Vapors
Never Happened
Dimir Locket
Capture Sphere

Capture Sphere
Chemister's Insight