Let me issue a disclaimer before I jump into the walkthrough for today.
1) I wanted to get at least one walkthrough up from LLM with DraftCap before version 3 launches.
2) None of my other attempts worked so I’m stuck with this draft.
The draft I’m going to cover has some interesting picks, especially early on, but I am in no way claiming that this was a super hard pod to navigate. This is my farewell to LLM article, since next week I plan on bringing you some initial impressions from the Shadowmoor Prerelease. Please take all of this into consideration before bashing me in the forums, as I think this walkthrough will still be entertaining to read even if it’s not as deep as I’d normally want in terms of strategy.
This draft is from the 8-4 Queue on Magic Online, though the players certainly were not top notch as you’ll see in the actual draft.
I’m done rambling for now… onto the draft!
Deeptread Merrow, Lash Out, Kithkin Daggerdare, Herbal Poultice, Avian Changeling, Warren Pilferers, Kinsbaile Skirmisher, Lace with Moonglove, Scarred Vinebreeder, Springjack Knight, Ponder, Merrow Harbinger, Battle Mastery, Final Revels, Garruk Wildspeaker
This pick is essentially a no-brainer. I do want to mention that this is the first time I’ve ever had Garruk in a LOT of drafts, so I was pretty stoked.
Pick: Garruk Wildspeaker
Tarfire, Herbal Poultice, Kithkin Greatheart, Oakgnarl Warrior, Lash Out, Hornet Harasser, Ingot Chewer, Soaring Hope, Shimmering Grotto, Judge of Currents, Lace with Moonglove, Elvish Promenade
I can’t see anyone really making a case here for Elvish Promenade, since it’s nowhere near as good as either burn spell even if it is the only good Green card in the pack. Really, this is another simple pick and I can’t see taking anything but Lash Out.
Pick: Lash Out
Weed Strangle, Mudbutton Torchrunner, Woodland Changeling, Springleaf Drum, Kithkin Healer, Footbottom Feast, Spring Cleaning, Exiled Boggart, Shields of Velis Vel, Mournwhelk, Needle Drop, Sylvan Echoes
Here I think a lot of people would take Weed Strangle, and I can’t say it’s a terrible pick. If you do so, I’d guess the idea would be to either switch to G/B (which is good for both Elves and Treefolk) or to plan on splashing the Lash Out. It’s very possible that’s what I should’ve done here, but I like GR a lot in LLM, and I also absolutely wanted to make sure I was in Green in this draft. I thought if I started cutting the color early then I stood a better chance of getting hooked up in pack 2. I went with the slightly suboptimal card choice here in Woodland Changeling. Thoughts? Flames? Go for it in the forums.
Pick: Woodland Changeling
Kithkin Greatheart, Footbottom Feast, Lowland Oaf, Lignify, Weed Strangle, Kithkin Healer, Shields of Velis Vel, Fire-Belly Changeling, Elvish Branchbender, Amoeboid Changeling, Lys Alana Scarblade
This is possibly the one pick I would change if I could do the draft over again. While it didn’t end up mattering one iota in terms of the final deck, I think the percentage pick here is Lowland Oaf (given that I just took Woodland Changeling). I almost timed out on this pick during the actual draft and took Lignify mainly because it was Green and kept my options open. Obviously if you took Weed Strangle in the last pack then you’d gladly take a second copy here and feel pretty good about it. Like I said, I should’ve taken Oaf here in retrospect.
Axegrinder Giant, Lignify, Quill-Slinger Boggart, Bog-Strider Ash, Aethersnipe, Springjack Knight, Heal the Scars, Inkfathom Divers, Boggart Birth Rite, Prowess of the Fair, Squeaking Pie Sneak
Alright, so a few things.
If I’d taken Oaf last like I should’ve, I think the best pick here is Axegrinder Giant by a mile. If I was in the Weed Strangle plan then I’d say Squeaking Pie Sneak is probably the pick, though you could also take Bog-Strider Ash.
As far as how I’ve actually drafted so far, I really wasn’t sure what the best pick was. I could find good arguments for both Aethersnipe and Bog-Strider Ash, and ended up just going with the ‘Snipe since it’s the more powerful card, splashable, and again I still have plenty of options. I definitely wouldn’t take a second Lignify here, if you’re following my picks to this point.
Lowland Oaf, Fistful of Force, Quill-Slinger Boggart, Surge of Thoughtweft, Bog Hoodlums, Protective Bubble, Fire-Belly Changeling, Elvish Promenade, Flamekin Bladewhirl, Lace with Moonglove
Since I’m covering all of the bases here I’m going to continue doing so at least for this pick.
If you’re in the Oaf/Axegrinder plan I think the pick is either Fistful or a second Oaf depending on your overall plan. If you’re aiming to really force Giants hard then it’s clearly Oaf, while if you’re just going for GR aggro/Warriors (which is both the safer and likely stronger route) then I think you should take Fistful.
The Weed Strangle plan doesn’t really have too much of a pick here, so I guess you just shrug and take Fistful or possibly try to get into Elves with Promenade.
As for the actual draft, it’s a pretty clear pick in Fistful for me.
Pick: Fistful of Force
Deeptread Merrow, Fistful of Force, Soulbright Flamekin, Glimmerdust Nap, Cloudcrown Oak, Blind-Spot Giant, Exiled Boggart, Heal the Scars, Guardian of Cloverdell
This is pretty late for a Cloudcrown Oak, and I’m pretty sure it’s the pick no matter how you’ve drafted the previous boosters.
Pick: Cloudcrown Oak
Cloudcrown Oak, Wanderer’s Twig, Hornet Harasser, Axegrinder Giant, Exiled Boggart, Heal the Scars, Rebellion of the Flamekin, Captivating Glance
So yeah, remember how I said that things just fell into place in this draft? About that…
Pick: Cloudcrown Oak
Deeptread Merrow, Kithkin Daggerdare, Herbal Poultice, Kinsbaile Skirmisher, Lace with Moonglove, Scarred Vinebreeder, Battle Mastery
I see no reason to take Deeptread Merrow here, and while I think it’s unlikely I’ll end up playing it, the Daggerdare is really the only choice.
Pick: Kithkin Daggerdare
Herbal Poultice, Oakgnarl Warrior, Ingot Chewer, Soaring Hope, Lace with Moonglove, Elvish Promenade
Apparently nobody wants to draft either Green or Elves in this draft. You could make a case for Oakgnarl Warrior here, but it’s still early enough in the draft for me to get into Elves. Green is also being extremely underdrafted so far, so I could get something like a late Imperious Perfect in pack 2. If I end up wanting an Oakgnarl Warrior, chances are I’ll have a shot at another in the second set of packs.
Pick: Elvish Promenade
Spring Cleaning, Exiled Boggart, Shields of Velis Vel, Needle Drop, Sylvan Echoes
My roommate jokes that I always take this card and never end up boarding it in. Better safe than sorry, right?
Pick: Spring Cleaning
Kithkin Healer, Shields of Velis Vel, Lys Alana Scarblade, Woodland Guidance
Pick: Woodland Guidance
Quill-Slinger Boggart, Heal the Scars, Prowess of the Fair
Pick: Quill-Slinger Boggart
Bog Hoodlums, Lace with Moonglove
Pick: Lace with Moonglove
Pick: Exiled Boggart
Plover Knights, Whirlpool Whelm, Leaf Gilder, Adder-Staff Boggart, Wispmare, Streambed Aquitects, Consuming Bonfire, Spiderwig Boggart, Boggart Forager, Ringskipper, Hunt Down, Changeling Titan, Thundercloud Shaman, Hoarder’s Greed, Mosswort Bridge
For those of you who spent picks taking Weed Strangles in pack 1, I feel sorry for you. I suppose you still get a 7/7 from this pack, but I get to be a complete lucksack and open the walking Wrath of God.
Pick: Thundercloud Shaman
Lys Alana Huntmaster, Runed Stalactite, Inner-Flame Acolyte, Neck Snap, Leaf Gilder, Boggart Sprite-Chaser, Blades of Velis Vel, Elvish Handservant, Dawnfluke, *, Wizened Cenn, Ceaseless Searblades, Rebellion of the Flamekin, Hamletback Goliath
First off, I have absolutely no idea what card is missing from this pack since DraftCap somehow lost the data. I do know that the card wasn’t very good because I remember this pick not being particularly difficult.
I did consider the Leaf Gilder briefly because I already have some Cloudcrown Oaks that I’d like to accellerate into play. Eventually I realized this was a silly idea and just took the Huntmaster.
Pick: Lys Alana Huntmaster
Thieving Sprite, Kinsbaile Balloonist, Boggart Loggers, Adder-Staff Boggart, Fertile Ground, Nath’s Buffoon, Faultgrinder, Rootgrapple, Goldmeadow Dodger, Wings of Velis Vel, Guardian of Cloverdell, Forge[/author]-Tender”]Burrenton [author name="Forge"]Forge[/author]-Tender, Twinning Glass
Not only do I love Fertile Ground more than the average human, but it also happens to be a perfect fit for this deck. Nuff said.
Pick: Fertile Ground
Moonglove Extract, Hillcomber Giant, Sentinels of Glen Elendra, Dreamspoiler Witches, Battlewand Oak, Oaken Brawler, Flamekin Brawler, Facevaulter, Warren-Scourge Elf, *, Makeshift Mannequin, Hoarder’s Greed
I wish I knew how or why cards keep disappearing from the packs but maybe the designer of DraftCap can post something on this in the forums. [It’s to do with the amount of “background” programs you run… zero is the correct amount for perfext DraftCappage. – Craig.] Anyway, Moonglove is far better than Battlewand Oak here even though I do have some Treefolk undertones going on. It’s kind of odd to see all of the good Black coming from this direction too after passing those Weed Strangles semi-late.
Pick: Moonglove Extract
Leaf Gilder, Adder-Staff Boggart, Wispmare, Consuming Bonfire, Boggart Loggers, Wings of Velis Vel, Caterwauling Boggart, Goldmeadow Dodger, Faerie Trickery, *, Familiar’s Ruse
I love packs like this, that offer only one reasonable option and it’s a perfect fit for your deck. They don’t really help too much when you’re doing a walkthrough, unfortunately.
Pick: Leaf Gilder
Nath’s Elite, Gilt-Leaf Ambush, Moonglove Winnower, Elvish Eulogist, Giant’s Ire, Lairwatch Giant, Spellstutter Sprite, Spiderwig Boggart
Here’s a pick that I really could go either way on. This was the second time during the draft that I almost timed out, and I’m honestly still not sure which card I like better. On one hand I already have a lot of high end and could use the early game defense generated by the Ambush. On the other hand, the game is likely to stall out thanks to the Cloudcrown Oaks, and this makes Nath’s Elite more attractive. I ended up going with the Elite but started to have doubts right after the pick and wished I’d taken the Ambush.
Pick: Nath’s Elite
Oaken Brawler, Fertile Ground, Moonglove Winnower, Nightshade Stinger, Faultgrinder, Warren-Scourge Elf, Lairwatch Giant, Flamekin Bladewhirl, Eyes of the Wisent
Sometimes things just go your way, eh?
Pick: Fertile Ground
Inner-Flame Acolyte, Nath’s Elite, Boggart Sprite-Chaser, Flamekin Brawler, Rootgrapple, Triclopean Sight, Seedguide Ash, Battle Mastery
When I saw this pack it only made me regret not taking the Ambush a few picks ago. Anyone who thinks this is a close pick between Seedguide Ash and Nath’s Elite simply hasn’t drafted enough LLM.
I can’t really think of a situation where I’d ever take the Seedguide Ash and I’m certainly taking Nath’s Elite here.
Pick: Nath’s Elite
Leaf Gilder, Spiderwig Boggart, Boggart Forager, Ringskipper, Hunt Down, Hoarder’s Greed, Mosswort Bridge
I was tempted to take the Mosswort Bridge here but decided to grab yet another accelerator instead.
Pick: Leaf Gilder
Leaf Gilder, Boggart Sprite-Chaser, Blades of Velis Vel, Elvish Handservant, Dawnfluke, Rebellion of the Flamekin
This is just getting silly now.
Pick: Leaf Gilder
Boggart Loggers, Nath’s Buffoon, Rootgrapple, Goldmeadow Dodger, Guardian of Cloverdell
Rootgrapple is an option here but I already have Spring Cleaning, and the Guardian could concievably make the maindeck with so much acceleration. Even if it doesn’t make the maindeck I like to have it against decks that are fast and capable of burning me out.
Pick: Guardian of Cloverdell
Facevaulter, Warren-Scourge Elf, Blades of Velis Vel, Hoarder’s Greed
Pick: Hoarder’s Greed
Wispmare, Goldmeadow Dodger, Familiar’s Ruse
Elvish Eulogist, Spiderwig Boggart
Pick: Elvish Eulogist
Pick: Warren-Scourge Elf
Winnower Patrol, Seething Pathblazer, Final-Sting Faerie, Latchkey Faerie, Lunk Errant, Earthbrawn, Mudbutton Clanger, Deglamer, Ink Dissolver, *, Merrow Witsniper, Inspired Sprite, Daily Regimen, Recross the Paths, Shared Animosity
With the trend this draft has been following I’m surprised I didn’t open a complete bomb here.
This pick is actually a bit more difficult than it looks on the surface as I have the choice between Earthbrawn, Winnower Patrol, and also Inspired Sprite. With two Fertile Grounds my mana is looking very solid and I could splash the Sprite and Aethersnipe. As I said in my splashing article I’m a bit more eccentric than the average player, and most of you should just take a Green card here.
After some thought I decided I’d be crazy to decrease my consistency just for the slightly better Blue card.
The question now is which Green card is a better fit? If you take a look back I don’t have much in the way of three-drops though it’s arguable that with three Leaf Gilders and two Fertile Grounds I don’t even particularly need them. I also have Fistful of Force already. The deciding factor was that basically every card in my deck will turn on the Winnower, and I don’t really need another trick at this point.
Pick: Winnower Patrol
War-Spike Changeling, Distant Melody, Fertilid, Ballyrush Banneret, Brighthearth Banneret, Stonybrook Schoolmaster, Negate, Prickly Boggart, Hostile Realm, *, Stinkdrinker Bandit, Orchard Warden, Revive the Fallen, Cream of the Crop
This is another interesting choice.
I discounted Orchard Warden right away despite the possibility that it may be good in the deck. I already have a lot of high end with double Nath’s Elite anyway. The pick is definitely between the War-Spike and the Brighthearth Banneret.
I decided that I already had plenty of acceleration and I wanted to boost my Thundercloud Shaman a little, as well as take another great attacker in the Changeling.
Pick: War-Spike Changeling
Elvish Warrior, Dewdrop Spy, Earthbrawn, Kithkin Zephyrnaut, Fire Juggler, Weed-Pruner Poplar, Merrow Witsniper, Morsel Theft, Stingmoggie, Lys Alana Bowmaster, Rage Forger, Cloak and Dagger, Vengeful Firebrand
I already have two Cloudcrown Oaks for air defense but the Bowmaster is just so good, and the only way I can really see losing is to a swarm of small fliers. There are lots of great Green and Red cards in this pack but the pick is still clearly in favor of the Elf. If I had some Shamans then Rage Forger might push the issue, but nothing else is close.
Pick: Lys Alana Bowmaster
Sunflare Shaman, Fertilid, Burrenton Bombardier, Disperse, Brighthearth Banneret, Frogtosser Banneret, Blightsoil Druid, Forfend, Obsidian Battle-Axe, Wandering Graybeard, Release the Ants, Gilt-Leaf Archdruid
This should pretty much never happen, especially not in an 8-4. Axe is playable in most archetypes and an absolute bomb in this one.
Nath’s Elite plus Axe, anyone?
Pick: Obsidian Battle-Axe
Order of the Golden Cricket, War-Spike Changeling, Ambassador Oak, Moonglove Changeling, Shard Volley, Blightsoil Druid, Kindled Fury, Bosk Banneret, Noggin Whack
Quite possibly the most interesting choice of the draft.
My gut told me to take Shard Volley right away but for some reason I always end up straying when it comes to this card. I already have a good amount of four drops but I did still want to boost my Thundercloud. It’s possible the Shard Volley is still the best choice here, but I decided to take another War-Spike Changeling.
Pick: War-Spike Changeling
Winnower Patrol, Seething Pathblazer, Burrenton Shield-Bearers, Pulling Teeth, Roar of the Crowd, Everbark Shaman, Shinewend, Bramblewood Paragon, Meadowboon, Stomping Slabs
Another bomb for me, and far later than it should go. There was just an overall dislike for Green in this draft, I guess.
Pick: Bramblewood Paragon
Squeaking Pie Grubfellows, Reins of the Vinesteed, Game-Trail Changeling, Pulling Teeth, Mosquito Guard, Floodchaser, Luminescent Rain, Diviner’s Wand, Daily Regimen
I’m not even going to comment.
Pick: Game-Trail Changeling
Sunflare Shaman, Stream of Unconsciousness, Burrenton Shield-Bearers, Elvish Warrior, Mudbutton Clanger, Shinewend, Waterspout Weavers, Research the Deep
Sunflare Shaman doesn’t do enough in my deck, and I’m happy to take the Warrior.
Pick: Elvish Warrior
Final-Sting Faerie, Lunk Errant, Mudbutton Clanger, Deglamer, Merrow Witsniper, Daily Regimen, Recross the Paths
Here I decided to hate-draft rather than take Deglamer or Recross the Paths. I already have Spring Cleaning, and Recross is never making the cut in this deck. It’s possible I should’ve taken Lunk Errant, but again I have way too many playables already.
Pick: Final-Sting Faerie
Fertilid, Prickly Boggart, Hostile Realm, Everbark Shaman, Orchard Warden, Revive the Fallen
I could take Fertillid here if I went the Blue route and splashed for Inspired Sprite and Aethersnipe. As it is, the Warden is by far the pick.
Pick: Orchard Warden
Elvish Warrior, Fire Juggler, Merrow Witsniper, Morsel Theft, Stingmoggie
Pick: Elvish Warrior
Sunflare Shaman, Fertilid, Blightsoil Druid, Forfend
Neither card is making the cut so I might as well take the one that can be best used against me.
Pick: Sunflare Shaman
Ambassador Oak, Blightsoil Druid, Bosk Banneret
This didn’t really make sense to me at all.
Pick: Ambassador Oak
Pick: Luminescent Rain
1 Elvish Warrior
2 Fertile Ground
1 Fistful of Force
1 Lash Out
3 Leaf Gilder
1 Woodland Changeling
1 Bramblewood Paragon
1 Moonglove Extract
1 Lys Alana Bowmaster
1 Obsidian Battle-Axe
1 Winnower Patrol
2 Cloudcrown Oak
1 Garruk Wildspeaker
1 Lys Alana Huntmaster
1 Ambassador Oak
2 War-Spike Changeling
1 Nath’s Elite
1 Thundercloud Shaman
1 Game-Trail Changeling
1 Elvish Eulogist
1 Elvish Promenade
1 Elvish Warrior
1 Exiled Boggart
1 Final-Sting Faerie
1 Guardian of Cloverdell
1 Hoarder’s Greed
1 Kithkin Daggerdare
1 Lace with Moonglove [FOIL]
1 Luminescent Rain
1 Nath’s Elite
1 Orchard Warden
1 Quill-Slinger Boggart
1 Spring Cleaning
1 Sunflare Shaman
1 Warren-Scourge Elf
1 Woodland Guidance
This was one of the best draft decks I’ve had in a while, and as you can see there were plenty of good cards that didn’t make the cut in the maindeck. I apologize again if there weren’t too many super-difficult picks in this draft, but I really had no other options if I wanted to do a LLM walkthrough before the prerelease this coming weekend.
Round 1 I was paired againts my friend Megan Holland. Megan’s deck was likely the second best in the whole draft just based on card quality. She was UWB Merfolk featuring such hits as Shriekmaw, Summon the School, two Weed Strangle, etc. The games weren’t really that exciting though, as it’s a pretty good matchup for my deck. Game 1 I played some Cloudcrown Oaks and started forcing through damage before wrecking her board with Thundercloud Shaman. She had Summon the School going, and if I didn’t have the Shaman I don’t think I had a chance. Game 2 she put up a bit more of a fight and I didn’t have Red mana for a bit and had Thundercloud stranded in my hand. I had Battle-Axe out, and eventually got to Thundercloud which sealed the deal. She did mulligan both of these games, which certainly didn’t help.
Round 2 my opponent was playing mono-Red Elementals. Game 1 I absolutely wrecked him with Axe, Cloudcrown Oak, Nath’s Elite, and then Garruk.Game two he started with Brighthearth Banneret into Nova Chaser. I ended up trading for the Chaser but it still hit me for six. He then finished me with some guys and two burn spells to the face. Game 3 my opponent got a quick start again but I managed to stabilize on 16, and he got a bit flooded. Winning from there was not difficult for me.
My opponent offered the split in the finals and I declined for a couple of reasons. First off, I prefer to play when my deck is really good, and second, I knew this was going to be for a walkthrough. It ended up being a heartbreak finals though as my deck didn’t come out to play, and my opponent’s UB Rogue build beat me soundly in two games after mulligans and flood/screw.
This was a fun draft for me (despite the loss in the finals), and hopefully entertaining to read. See you guys next week with Shadowmoor impressions.
Draft recording done by Blargware‘s MTGO DraftCap. Support Blargware!