Limited Lessons – A Lorwyn/Lorwyn/Morningtide Draft Walkthrough

Read Nick Eisel... at StarCityGames.com!
Tuesday, March 11th – Drafting with Morningtide is now available on Magic Online, every other day at least. In celebration, Nick brings us a Lor/Lor/Mor Draft walkthrough, and demonstrates how remaining flexible in the early stages of the draft can reap considerable rewards later…

The world of Magic Online has been complete chaos lately, with thousands of players rushing to get their first online experiences with Morningtide. I haven’t been able to get into a Sealed Premier Event as of this writing, so my experience is limited to a League and one Draft, which I will be covering this week. I could continue to ramble in an attempt to both keep your attention and take up space, but instead I’m just gonna get right into it.

As usual, this draft is from an 8-4 on Magic Online.

The Draft

Pack One

Pack 1
Weed Strangle, Woodland Changeling, Springleaf Drum, Kithkin Healer, Footbottom Feast, Axegrinder Giant, Heal the Scars, Skeletal Changeling, Shields of Velis Vel, Fire-Belly Changeling, Goldmeadow Stalwart, Flamekin Harbinger, Silvergill Adept, Sower of Temptation, Colfenor’s Urn (foil)

I still remember back to the prerelease when multiple competent players tried to tell me that Sower of Temptation sucked because it automatically died when you played it and it never did anything. I didn’t believe them then, and I’ve had multiple chances to play with the card since, and hopefully by now they realize the error of their ways. There are some other good cards in this pack, but nothing that really measures up. Sower is a stone cold bomb and has proven itself in both Limited and Constructed.

My Pick: Sower of Temptation

Pack 2
Tarfire, Herbal Poultice, Kithkin Greatheart, Oakgnarl Warrior, Lash Out, Hornet Harasser, Deeptread Merrow, Springjack Knight, Ponder, Bog Hoodlums, Protective Bubble, Prowess of the Fair, Merrow Harbinger, Knight of Meadowgrain

This pack is pretty interesting. When you weed through all of the junk, the only real options I have here are Knight of Meadowgrain, Lash Out (better than Tarfire), and Merrow Harbinger. I took a bit of time on this pick, and I believe it’s very dependent on the players you are drafting with.

My first instinct was to take the Harbinger, because I felt that the average Magic Online player hadn’t had much experience with Morningtide and probably wasn’t well practiced. This could allow me to get a very sick Merfolk deck without much difficulty. Then I thought about it again, and realized that anyone playing Online has been drafting LLL for an extremely long time and likely very familiar with Merfolk and possibly even more inclined to draft it. So after a bit of thinking I decided I didn’t like the Harbinger in this spot.

I think if you have a strong preference for UW Kithkin you can make a case for the Knight here. I ended up taking Lash Out because it’s the overall best card in the pack, and I could either go UR or end up splashing it without much difficulty. I’m still operating under the assumption that most of these players don’t have much LLM experience, and I can shift later in the draft if I see an opening. Lash Out is the best choice for that strategy.

My Pick: Lash Out

Pack 3
Bog-Strider Ash, Mudbutton Torchrunner, Springleaf Drum, Oakgnarl Warrior, Goldmeadow Harrier, Boggart Birth Rite, Ingot Chewer, Soaring Hope, Shimmering Grotto, Crush Underfoot, Lys Alana Scarblade, Ethereal Whiskergill, Windbrisk Heights

I was hoping to pick up some real direction with the next few picks, and this pack really wasn’t offering too much in the way of choices.

My initial thought was that maybe I should’ve just went Kithkin and taken the Knight, but there’s also the problem that Finkel won the PT with that strategy and I’m sure some of these guys are eager to try it out. Obviously I’d pick up a Harrier here if I went that route, but instead I’m left with either Whiskergill or Torchrunner as real options.

This pick is pretty simple for the reason that I can splash Lash Out but not Sower, and Sower is also a card I want in my deck if at all possible. While Mudbutton and Whiskergill may not be too far off in value, I don’t think this pick is close with the cards I already have in my pile. I took the Whiskergill.

My Pick: Ethereal Whiskergill

Pack 4
Glimmerdust Nap, Soulbright Flamekin, Kithkin Daggerdare, Surge of Thoughtweft, Judge of Currents, Lace with Moonglove, Blind-Spot Giant, Exiled Boggart, Ponder, Entangling Trap, Turtleshell Changeling, Ghostly Changeling

If you haven’t guessed already, I’m wishing I went Kithkin in this draft. As it stands I could take Soulbright Flamekin here but I’d rather keep my second color options open. The rest of the pack doesn’t really offer a reason to choose a second color, and while I don’t really want to take another four drop so early in the draft, Turtleshell Changeling is a rather good one and also the best option available.

My Pick: Turtleshell Changeling

Pack 5
Lignify, Quill-Slinger Boggart, Bog-Strider Ash, Elvish Branchbender, Amoeboid Changeling, Kinsbaile Skirmisher, Lace with Moonglove, Scarred Vinebreeder, Kithkin Harbinger, Sylvan Echoes, Seedguide Ash

When this pack popped up I really had no idea what to do with it. I really dislike my pick in retrospect, and I only made it because I thought too long and was about to time out. My best guess is that I should take either the Harbinger or the Seedguide Ash from this pack, leaning towards the Harbinger since Kithkin seems wide open. As I said, I almost timed out and went with Amoeboid Changeling simply because it was on-color and I really had no idea what to take as none of the picks were that attractive.

My Pick: Amoeboid Changeling

Pack 6
Fistful of Force, Soulbright Flamekin, Glimmerdust Nap, Cloudcrown Oak, Skeletal Changeling, Aquitect’s Will, Kinsbaile Skirmisher, Spring Cleaning, Elvish Promenade, Crush Underfoot

If you went UG so far in this draft with Seedguide Ash earlier, I’d advocate Cloudcrown Oak here over Fistful. Kithkin, obviously nothing would change and you’d take Skirmisher.

If you’re following with my picks, this was the point where I decided to dive straight into UR Elementals if the cards kept coming. I took Soulbright Flamekin from this pack and was hoping to stick with Red as a second color.

My Pick: Soulbright Flamekin

Pack 7
Wanderer’s Twig, Axegrinder Giant, Kithkin Greatheart, Blind-Spot Giant, Wellgabber Apothecary, Gilt-Leaf Seer, Boggart Birth Rite, Pollen Lullaby, Plains

Not too much to choose from here. You could possibly take Twig if you were planning to keep the second color option available and splash Lash Out, but honestly Twig doesn’t make my maindeck very often nowadays and I think it’s probably the weakest fixer available in Lorwyn. I continued down the Red path with a meaty Giant.

My Pick: Axegrinder Giant

Pack 8
Glimmerdust Nap, Soulbright Flamekin, Kithkin Daggerdare, Bog Hoodlums, Protective Bubble, Fire-Belly Changeling, Nectar Faerie, Lammastide Weave

Looks like I got lucky and nobody is drafting Elementals with this late Soulbright.

My Pick: Soulbright Flamekin

On the way back around I got a super lucky Flamekin Harbinger, an Ingot Chewer for the board, and two Glimmerdust Naps. I was relatively happy with how the first pack turned out for me, since Elementals are clearly open and I got some excellent cards in the later picks of the booster. I think if you knew the contents of the packs in advance, Kithkin would’ve been the strongest choice so far, but obviously that situation will never come up and I feel that my picks were pretty reasonable.

Pack Two

Pack 1
Hurly-Burly, Peppersmoke, Lys Alana Huntmaster, Consuming Bonfire, Wispmare, Stonybrook Angler, Thieving Sprite, Spellstutter Sprite, Spiderwig Boggart, Flamekin Brawler, Tideshaper Mystic, Marsh Flitter, Flamekin Spitfire, Rebellion of the Flamekin, Timber Protector

Well, I guess those of you that would be UG with some Treefolk at this point would be happy to see the Rare in this booster. I considered splashing the Marsh Flitter for a brief moment before remembering that I had two Soulbright Flamekins and needed a sink to abuse all of that mana. This pack offers one of the best sinks available in Flamekin Spitfire, and I’m perfectly happy first picking it in this deck. If you’re wondering I don’t think Consuming Bonfire or Stonybrook Angler are even close in this instance, and picking anything but Spitfire in this deck would be criminal.

My Pick: Flamekin Spitfire

Pack 2
Streambed Aquitects, Stinkdrinker Daredevil, Battlewand Oak, Hurly-Burly, Plover Knights, Paperfin Rascal, Dawnfluke, Spellstutter Sprite, Black Poplar Shaman, Elvish Eulogist, Inner-Flame Igniter, Benthicore, Hoarder’s Greed, Rings of Brighthearth

Some of you may be tempted by Streambed Aquitects in this pack, but I had absolutely no trouble picking the Inner-Flame Igniter, and picking it rather quickly at that. I’m not sure what else to really say here except that the pieces are coming together perfectly and I’m happy with how my deck is shaping up.

My Pick: Inner-Flame Igniter

Pack 3
Adder-Staff Boggart, Fertile Ground, Moonglove Extract, Hillcomber Giant, Sentinels of Glen Elendra, Stinkdrinker Daredevil, Boggart Forager, Ringskipper, Hunt Down, Triclopean Sight, Nath’s Buffoon, Familiar’s Ruse, Ashling the Pilgrim

It looks like jumping into Elementals was the best move possible in this draft, and I can’t say I’ve ever been passed Ashling later than 2nd. If we’re talking about mana sinks and powerful Elementals, this guy is easily the best one in a heavy Red build, and I nearly broke my mouse clicking Ashling into my pile so quickly.

My Pick: Ashling the Pilgrim

Pack 4
Dreamspoiler Witches, Battlewand Oak, Oaken Brawler, Hurly-Burly, Peppersmoke, Caterwauling Boggart, Tideshaper Mystic, Elvish Handservant, Broken Ambitions, Flamekin Spitfire, Rebellion of the Flamekin, Knucklebone Witch

In case you were wondering, the answer is a definite “Yes.”

The question, of course, is whether this deck would want a second Flamekin Spitfire over Broken Ambitions. If you’re following closely, all of my picks in this pack have been ways to abuse Soulbright Flamekin’s mana ability, which is both very lucky and also exactly what you should be hoping for in a deck like this.

My Pick: Flamekin Spitfire

Pack 5
Boggart Sprite-Chaser, Thieving Sprite, Kinsbaile Balloonist, Whirlpool Whelm, Boggart Loggers, Faerie Trickery, Warren-Scourge Elf, Lairwatch Giant, Spiderwig Boggart, Flamekin Spitfire, Faerie Tauntings

In this case, the answer is actually “No.”

The question has changed to, “Do you ever want more than two Spitfires in a deck with other good mana sinks available?”

This set of boosters has just been silly and also perfect for me. In all seriousness though, I decided that three Spitfires was just too many for a maindeck and taking the third would be at best a sideboard option. Since I felt Whirlpool Whelm could actually make my maindeck and give me a way to buy time until my combos got online, I opted to take that from this pack.

My Pick: Whirlpool Whelm

Pack 6
Sentinels of Glen Elendra, Stinkdrinker Daredevil, Oaken Brawler, Black Poplar Shaman, Shimmering Grotto, Elvish Eulogist, Giant’s Ire, Lairwatch Giant, Squeaking Pie Sneak, Heat Shimmer

This deck is certainly lacking in the flier department with only Sower and Whiskergill at the moment. While I do like Heat Shimmer in decks like this, I think Sentinels is a much better pick in this situation. What the deck wants is cards that can stall out the game until my Soulbright + pick your mana sink combo gets online. Sentinels is a great blocker and helps shore up the air at the same time while I don’t have any real combos with Heat Shimmer yet.

My Pick: Sentinels of Glen Elendra

Pack 7
Consuming Bonfire, Wispmare, Gilt-Leaf Ambush, Cenn’s Heir, Boggart Forager, Facevaulter, Hunt Down, Giant’s Ire, Vivid Marsh

I could certainly use another removal spell, and the only thing that sucks is that I didn’t see any Smokebraiders to power out the Bonfire on an earlier turn.

My Pick: Consuming Bonfire

Pack 8
Runed Stalactite, Inner-Flame Acolyte, Tideshaper Mystic, Rootgrapple, Triclopean Sight, Faultgrinder, Elvish Promenade, Exiled Boggart

I know, I know, another tough pick, right?

My Pick: Inner-Flame Acolyte

On the lap, I got I got lucky again and tabled Consuming Bonfire (taken over Flamekin Brawler, which I actually considered for a few seconds before realizing how many mana sinks I already had); Benthicore, which may or may not make the cut; Caterwauling Boggart; and a likely useless Stinkdrinker Daredevil.

I realize this set of packs was pretty simple for the deck I’m drafting, but I do think that the first set had their share of decisions and possible routes I could take. Clearly going into Elementals paid off, as a third pick Ashling is extremely unlikely.

Pack Three

Pack 1
Latchkey Faerie, Winnower Patrol, Pack’s Disdain, Seething Pathblazer, Burrenton Shield-Bearers, Shard Volley, Deglamer, Ink Dissolver, Coordinated Barrage, Merrow Witsniper, Blightsoil Druid, Diviner’s Wand, Pyroclast Consul, Warren Weirding, Sigil Tracer

I think this is a pick where many players in my position may make the wrong choice. The first thing most people would take from this pack is probably Pyroclast Consul, because I’m heavy Elementals and can trigger it whenever I want. I think this is a huge mistake, because it kills almost all of my guys and I won’t really want to activate it very often. If I’m losing on board it’s likely because they have a bunch of big guys since I have Spitfires and removal to handle the small ones, and the Consul isn’t going to get me out of that situation. I also have to get lucky to an extent to even trigger it in the event I want to.

My roommate was also trying to tell me to take Diviner’s Wand from this pack which I think is a bad idea, considering all of the mana sinks I already have available. He seems to have a love affair with the Wand after a few good experiences, and I pretty much ignored him since I knew it couldn’t be right here. I can also see someone possibly taking Latchkey Faerie because I don’t have a ton of fliers, but again, I don’t like that pick.

Shard Volley is the card that best fits my plan from this pack, and I think it is by far the best pick. I can wait until I’m going off with Soulbright Flamekin and sacrificing a land won’t even matter, and it’s just great removal anyway.

My Pick: Shard Volley

Pack 2
Burrenton Shield-Bearers, Elvish Warrior, Ballyrush Banneret, Fencer Clique, Lunk Errant, Stream of Unconsciousness, Mudbutton Clanger, Stonybrook Banneret, Shinewend, Festercreep, Cenn’s Tactician, Rage Forger, Thieves’ Fortune, Gilt-Leaf Archdruid

If you take a look back over the cards I’ve already drafted, you’ll see that most of them are Shamans. What better card could I really hope for than Rage Forger? I think taking Fencer Clique would be an enormous mistake from this booster as the Forger fits my gameplan and is an absolute bomb in this deck.

My Pick: Rage Forger

Pack 3
Distant Melody, Game-Trail Changeling, Order of the Golden Cricket, Sunflare Shaman, Weed-Pruner Poplar, Stream of Unconsciousness, Mosquito Guard, Floodchaser, Morsel Theft, Luminescent Rain, Rivals’ Duel, Recross the Paths, Rustic Clachan

I debated over this pick for a little while because I’ve had mixed results with Rivals’ Duel. In the end I decided the Sunflare Shaman was the more reliable kill spell in this deck, and also another Shaman for Rage Forger. I’m still not sure if this was the best pick, so I’m interested to hear some opinions on it in the forums.

My Pick: Sunflare Shaman

Pack 4
Disperse, War-Spike Changeling, Kithkin Zephyrnaut, Moonglove Changeling, Shard Volley, Changeling Sentinel, Mothdust Changeling, Blightsoil Druid, Forfend, Waterspout Weavers, Sage’s Dousing, Auntie’s Snitch

This was yet another close pick. I had to decide between the War-Spike and a second Shard Volley. Ultimately I went with the 3/3 because I already have two Bonfires, Lash Out, two Spitfires, Sunflare Shaman, and Sower for removal. I also want to be able to hit six lands to turn on my Soulbright Flamekins, and I just think two Shard Volleys might be too much.

My Pick: War-Spike Changeling

Pack 5
Changeling Sentinel, Dewdrop Spy, Reins of the Vinesteed, Sunflare Shaman, Stingmoggie, Deglamer, Floodchaser, Noggin Whack, Obsidian Battle-Axe, Offalsnout, Preeminent Captain

If the picks in pack two were very straightforward, pack three is presenting quite a number of interesting decisions. This was another pick I almost timed out on because I was debating between the Sunflare Shaman and Battle-Axe. I’ve had good results with the Axe even in decks with few Warriors so I decided to take it here to beef up some of my smaller Elementals. It’s possible that I should’ve just taken another Sunflare though and I’m still not really sure. One thing that’s nice is that I do have Turtleshell and War-Spike Changelings to enable some sick draws with the Axe, and I can still pick up a few more Warriors.

I want to mention too that I planned on being very heavy Red and didn’t even consider Dewdrop Spy here, as I wanted to minimize my Blue commitment.

My Pick: Obsidian Battle-Axe

Pack 6
Game-Trail Changeling, Fire Juggler, Squeaking Pie Grubfellows, Hostile Realm, Negate, Bosk Banneret, Prickly Boggart, Orchard Warden, Heritage Druid, Slithermuse

It seems Green would’ve been a solid choice as well, as there are some late Game-Trails going around as well as the Warden in this booster. Thankfully there’s a great card for me too in Slithermuse. His Evoke ability is excellent in a deck like this that can just explode with Soulbright Flamekin, and it also only uses one Blue mana.

My Pick: Slithermuse

Pack 7
Fertillid, Disperse, Brighthearth Banneret, Kindled Fury, Lys Alana Bowmaster, Frogtosser Banneret, Stonybrook Banneret, Spitebellows, Cloak and Dagger

I have absolutely no idea how Spitebellows is still in the pack this late. I guess players have less experience than I was even giving them credit for, as someone should’ve taken this. I can also search it up with my Flamekin Harbinger for a catch-almost-all solution.

It kind of sucked to pass the Banneret here as I was hoping to get one, but there’s no way I’m taking it over ‘Bellows.

My Pick: Spitebellows

Pack 8
Seething Pathblazer, Final-Sting Faerie, Lunk Errant, Mosquito Guard, Roar of the Crowd, Luminescent Rain, Nightshade Schemers, Graceful Reprieve

I think Pathblazer is amazing in this deck, and Roar of the Crowd would probably only be okay. It’s also a Warrior for my Axe, ding!

My Pick: Seething Pathblazer

I managed to pick up another Pathblazer (!), Floodchaser, and Stingmoggie as relevant cards on the lap. Here’s how I built this monster.

The Deck

6 Island
11 Mountain
Ashling the Pilgrim
2 Consuming Bonfire
Flamekin Harbinger
2 Flamekin Spitfire
Inner-Flame Acolyte
Lash Out
Sentinels of Glen Elendra
2 Soulbright Flamekin
Sower of Temptation
Inner-Flame Igniter
Turtleshell Changeling
Obsidian Battle-Axe
Rage Forger
2 Seething Pathblazer
Shard Volley
Sunflare Shaman
War-Spike Changeling

Amoeboid Changeling
Axegrinder Giant
Boggart Sprite-Chaser
Caterwauling Boggart
Ethereal Whiskergill
2 Glimmerdust Nap
Ingot Chewer
Stinkdrinker Daredevil
Whirlpool Whelm
Hostile Realm
Waterspout Weavers

Quite a few good cards stayed on the sidelines this time, and I’d like to talk a bit about that. My main goal was to build with a very heavy commitment to Red, so I only played the best Blue cards. I also planned on boarding in Whiskergill and Floodchaser against another Blue opponent. This deck is more controlling than a normal Elemental build with all of the mana sinks, so Caterwauling Boggart wasn’t as attractive as usual. As far as the bounce spells, I just couldn’t fit them and figured I’d board them in if necessary. Any other questions you have about cards not making the cut will be addressed in the forums.

The draft went really well, but little did I know that it was just the beginning of one of the weirdest days ever.

Round 1 went by like lightning, as my opponent was UG and in game 1 all he did was play guys that died to Flamekin Spitfire, and I eventually killed him with a bunch of small Elementals. Game 2 I played turn 1 Flamekin Harbinger searching for Spitebellows and turn 2 Ashling the Pilgrim. To my surprise my opponent instantly conceded to the turn 2 Ashling, as I guess he just had no outs or something.

My opponent was UW in round 2, and I got stuck on three lands for a very long time in game 1. All I did was pump Ashling and sit there while he attacked me with a lone flier. He was very flooded though, and once I drew a couple of lands I made short work of him. In game 2 I mulled to five and again got stuck on lands. This time he had spells and beat me pretty handily.

I was hesitant to write about game 3 because I can’t even believe it happened, and I felt like people would think I was just making it up or something. Anyway…

I’m stuck on three lands again but I have Ashling out and a few other guys. He has a Harrier and Stonybrook Angler but isn’t really applying too much pressure on me. Eventually I draw lands and kill everything he has in play. At the turning point in the game he is at 4 life and has nothing but lands in play and one card in hand. My board is 6/6 Ashling, Flamekin Spitfire, Inner-Flame Igniter, Sower of Temptation, and his Stonybrook Angler. I decide that since I have about 9 minutes left on my clock I have time to run to the bathroom, since my opponent is taking forever on his turn when it’s obvious he has nothing. Oh, I also have four spells in hand. When I return from the bathroom I’m very surprised to see that my internet somehow went out, and I was back at the login screen for MTGO. After rebooting the router and still failing to get back in, I was starting to get very annoyed, also realizing that I probably was going to time out with the win on board in round 2 of an 8-4. At any rate, the internet doesn’t come back for a couple of hours despite multiple phone calls to the service provider, and so I lose round 2 due to weather conditions.

It also snowed a foot and a half last night, and I managed to lose a thousand dollar pot with AA against AA in poker when my opponent hit four clubs after we were all in preflop. Needless to say it was a weird day, and I’m sorry I couldn’t bring coverage from the finals since my internet decided to screw me over.

See you guys next week.

Nick Eisel
[email protected]
Soooooo & ThatsGameBoys on MTGO