Peebles Primers – A Triple Lorwyn Draft Walkthrough

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Today’s Peebles Primers sees Benjamin Peebles-Mundy peering over the shoulder of a drafter on Magic Online. He takes us through each pick made, and offers his own picks and opinions on the draft as a whole. If you’re struggling to make waves in the online Draft queues, let BPM show you the way!

This week, I’m going to try my hand at another draft walkthrough. The thing that makes this one different from the others I’ve done is that I didn’t actually do the draft myself; a friend of mine from my Magic Online clan was actually in charge of the picks, which means that we get two different perspectives on the draft.

In addition, there’s a point at which what I would have done and what actually happened diverge quite a bit. While I still follow with my teammate’s chosen path, I’m also taking a look at what might have happened if we’d gone down the other one.

My teammate has asked me not to use his real name, so I’m just going to use his MODO handle, Armor_Thrull. This is one of his first drafts, taken from when the queues became stable.

Pack 1
Thieving Sprite, Gilt-Leaf Ambush, Hillcomber Giant, Streambed Aquitects, Stinkdrinker Daredevil, Nameless Inversion, Battlewand Oak, Lairwatch Giant, Spiderwig Boggart, Boggart Forager, Ringskipper, Ceaseless Searblades, Squeaking Pie Sneak, Kithkin Harbinger, Arbiter of Knollridge

“I hate White, I like Black, I’m probably playing Inversion regardless of my color.”

There are three cards that I’ll consider picking out of this pack: Streambed Aquitects, Squeaking Pie Sneak, and Nameless Inversion. The rest of the cards (including the Ambush and Battlewand Oak) don’t really come close to those three. That said, Inversion is clearly the best of the lot, both because it’s high-quality removal and because it doesn’t lock you into a tribe right away.

Thrull’s Pick: Nameless Inversion
My Pick: Nameless Inversion

Pack 2
Runed Stalactite, Inner-Flame Acolyte, Neck Snap, Leaf Gilder, Boggart Sprite-Chaser, Ringskipper, Black Poplar Shaman, Shimmering Grotto, Elvish Eulogist, Giant’s Ire, Incremental Growth, Marsh Flitter, Woodland Guidance, Thorn of Amethyst

“I think that Incremental Growth has been really bad for me… that said, I don’t know if it is close or not, but I take the Flitter.”

The first card I see in this pack is Incremental Growth. I also take a look at Inner-Flame Acolyte, Leaf Gilder, Neck Snap, and Marsh Flitter, but none of those cards has been as good for me as the Growth. Green/Black is a fine “place to be” two picks in, and we can always splash Inversion or abandon the Growth.

Thrull’s Pick: Marsh Flitter
My Pick: Incremental Growth

Pack 3
Peppersmoke, Paperfin Rascal, Nath’s Elite, Moonglove Extract, Boggart Sprite-Chaser, Oaken Brawler, Smokebraider, Elvish Handservant, Dawnfluke, Broken Ambitions, Nath’s Buffoon, Ego Erasure, Wild Ricochet

“I see Ricochets going around a lot, and they seem good, but I feel like a Braider at 3rd pick is more rare than anything else, so I take it.”

Whether or not I picked Growth over Flitter, I would not consider taking Smokebraider out of this pack. The cards I see are Peppersmoke, Nath’s Elite, and Moonglove Extract. In the end, the decision is going to come down to Elite versus Extract for me, and the colorless removal spell is going to win. If I knew that I was going to wind up in the Faerie deck, and therefore knew that I would have a good chance of cantripping my Peppersmoke, I would take that instead.

Thrull’s Pick: Smokebraider
My Pick: Moonglove Extract

Pack 4
Deeptread Merrow, Kithkin Daggerdare, Herbal Poultice, Avian Changeling, Warren Pilferers, Needle Drop, Soaring Hope, Elvish Branchbender, Wellgabber Apothecary, Battle Mastery, Hoarder’s Greed, Swamp

“I don’t think that this is even close.”

Yeah, this is a pretty mundane pick. The only card in the pack that is close in power level to the Pilferers is Avian Changeling, and we’re nowhere near White. Cards that I might hope to table out of this pack include Kithkin Daggerdare and Elvish Branchbender, as unlikely as that may be.

Thrull’s Pick: Warren Pilferers
My Pick: Warren Pilferers

Pack 5
Oakgnarl Warrior, Goldmeadow Harrier, Glimmerdust Nap, Soulbright Flamekin, Kithkin Daggerdare, Exiled Boggart, Shields of Velis Vel, Mournwhelk, Needle Drop, Springjack Knight

“I think Harrier is pretty good, so it being in here seems bad, because maybe I’m supposed to be in white. I also consider the Mournwhelk and the Flamekin to go with my Smokebraider. I presume the Whelk will still be there in eight picks, so I narrow it down to the Harrier and the Flamekin. As time is running out I go for the Harrier.”

This pack isn’t exactly great news for us, no matter which path we’re on. My stack is Black + Incremental Growth, so I see Oakgnarl Warrior, Goldmeadow Harrier, and Mournwhelk. Armor_Thrull’s is Black + Smokebraider, so I think he should consider Harrier, Soulbright Flamekin, Glimmerdust Nap, and the Mournwhelk. However, I don’t think that we can afford to take a White card here, especially given that we’ve just passed Avian Changeling and Neck Snap. If I were in Thrull’s position, I’d take the Soulbright Flamekin, both because it’s on-color and an Elemental, but also because it lets us filter Smokebraider mana into other expensive spells. For the Green/Black deck I’m shadow-drafting, I’ll take the Treefolk.

Thrull’s Pick: Goldmeadow Harrier
My Pick: Soulbright Flamekin
Shadow Pick: Oakgnarl Warrior

Pack 6
Deeptread Merrow, Fistful of Force, Soulbright Flamekin, Springjack Knight, Heal the Scars, Inkfathom Divers, Boggart Birth Rite, Ingot Chewer, Treefolk Harbinger, Rebellion of the Flamekin

“This makes me happy that the Flamekin is in this pack, and there is no white… Sigh of relief as we can try to be in Red again.”

I think that Armor_Thrull is on the right track for the situation that he’s in, since he appears to be moving back towards Red/Black and Elementals. For the deck that I’m shadow-drafting out of these packs, I’m going to diverge at this point. This pack says to me that Green and Blue are both wide open, and so now is the time to commit to a plan. Because I have the Incremental Growth, I’m defaulting to a Green pick here.

Thrull’s Pick: Soulbright Flamekin
My Pick: Soulbright Flamekin
Shadow Pick: Fistful of Force

Pack 7
Mudbutton Torchrunner, Woodland Changeling, Springleaf Drum, Kithkin Healer, Footbottom Feast, Aquitect’s Will, Mournwhelk, Zephyr Net, Scarred Vinebreeder

“Mudbutton and Feast. I like vinegar, so I elect for the Feast.”

Flavor text references aside, I really don’t like Thrull’s Pick. Footbottom Feast goes up in value with the number of comes-into-play triggers you have, and he has a Marsh Flitter, but I don’t think that he needs to worry about picking one of them up so early in the draft. I’d much prefer to take the Mudbutton Torchrunner in his shoes, even if it looks like right now he’s headed more towards an Elemental deck than a Goblin deck, though I can also see an argument for the Mournwhelk, given that he has many ways to generate large amounts of mana. In my shadow draft, I’m happy to see a Green card as good as Woodland Changeling still in the pack 7th pick, and I will happily grab it up.

Thrull’s Pick: Footbottom Feast
My Pick: Mudbutton Torchrunner
Shadow Pick: Woodland Changeling

Pack 8
Paperfin Rascal, Nath’s Elite, Oaken Brawler, Facevaulter, Hunt Down, Giant’s Ire, Dawnfluke, Hearthcage Giant

“I do like me some large mammals, although he never makes the deck. I don’t think the Vaulter makes it either, though.”

It appears to me as though Thrull is undervaluing the Hearthcage Giant. If he had a second Soulbright Flamekin instead of what appears to be a dead Goldmeadow Harrier, then he would have three different ways to play this guy on turn 6 (and even a shot at playing it on turn 4). Especially nice is that the Giant can then eat the outclassed Elementals that powered him into play for even more bonuses. In his shoes, I would be jumping for joy at this card. My shadow draft gets another late Green gift in Nath’s Elite, a card that I value quite highly.

Thrull’s Pick: Hearthcage Giant
My Pick: Hearthcage Giant
Shadow Pick: Nath’s Elite

Pack 9
Gilt-Leaf Ambush, Battlewand Oak, Lairwatch Giant, Spiderwig Boggart, Boggart Forager, Ringskipper, Ceaseless Searblades

“I think that the Spiderwig is a decent guy, and if I get some Stinkdrinkers and a few more big giants, he might really shine.”

Well, both Green cards from our opener tabled. This particular draft must be undervaluing Green cards, and my shadow draft is going to get the hook-up for the rest of the day. Back in Thrull’s draft, I would immediately grab up the Ceaseless Searblades. I think that just as a Foot Soldiers they’re better than Spiderwig Boggart, and I think that it’s not going to be difficult at all for him to make them a 3/4 (or much bigger).

Thrull’s Pick: Spiderwig Boggart
My Pick: Ceaseless Searblades
Shadow Pick: Gilt-Leaf Ambush

Pack 10
Ringskipper, Black Poplar Shaman, Elvish Eulogist, Giant’s Ire, Woodland Guidance, Thorn of Amethyst

“I’m raredrafting. In absence of that, I’d take the Giant’s Ire, because it’s the card in the pack most likely to do something.”

That’s pretty much how I feel. Even in my shadow Green deck, I wouldn’t take Elvish Eulogist.

Pick: Thorn of Amethyst

Pack 11
Paperfin Rascal, Oaken Brawler, Dawnfluke, Nath’s Buffoon, Ego Erasure

I don’t think that the Nath’s Buffoon is going to make our deck, but it’s the only card in our colors. I would hatedraft the Ego Erasure, since we might wind up with something like Caterwauling Boggart in our deck, and the Erasure could result in a complete blowout in that situation.

Thrull’s Pick: Nath’s Buffoon
My Pick: Ego Erasure

Pack 12
Kithkin Daggerdare, Herbal Poultice, Soaring Hope, Swamp

The shadow drafter wheels the Daggerdare.

Pick: Foil Swamp

Pack 13
Exiled Boggart, Mournwhelk, Rebellion of the Flamekin

We’ve managed to Wheel a Mournwhelk. Whether or not it makes the final cut is going to depend on how much acceleration we have.

Pick: Mournwhelk

Pack 14
Heal the Scars, Boggart Birth Rite

Pick: Boggart Birth Rite

Pack 15
Zephyr Net

Pick: Zephyr Net

Pack 16
Stonybrook Angler, Nameless Inversion, Fertile Ground, Moonglove Winnower, Plover Knights, Whirlpool Whelm, Faultgrinder, Rootgrapple, Goldmeadow Dodger, Wings of Velis Vel, Flamekin Brawler, Changeling Hero, Wren’s Run Vanquisher, Nectar Faerie, Galepowder Mage

“It worked out okay in the first pack, I guess, so let’s grab more Inversions. I don’t know how saucy the Mage is, but I think Inversion is better for me here.”

Changeling Hero and Galepowder Mage are both very good, with the Mage winning out in my mind. However, we’re in no position to move into White at this point, so we should basically ignore those cards. Meanwhile, we have another Nameless Inversion to snap up, and getting another copy of the best common in our colors is very nice. Even the shadow deck would rather have another removal spell than the Vanquisher, since we’re not guaranteed to be able to cast it on the second turn at this point.

Pick: Nameless Inversion

Pack 17
Hurly-Burly, Plover Knights, Paperfin Rascal, Dreamspoiler Witches, Runed Stalactite, Nath’s Elite, Spellstutter Sprite, Black Poplar Shaman, Elvish Eulogist, Wings of Velis Vel, Seedguide Ash, Glarewielder, Glen Elendra Pranksters, Cairn Wanderer

“I think this came down to the Witches and Wanderer, but I think it is the Wanderer by a long shot.”

We only have a small number of instants at this point, and that’s not enough to push the Witches over the top of a Fomori Nomad with tons of upside. On the other hand, Glareweilder is a very good creature that’s especially at home in a Smokebraider deck. Still, I don’t think that it’s enough to stop us from taking the Wanderer.

Pick: Cairn Wanderer

Pack 18
Fistful of Force, Aethersnipe, Quill-Slinger Boggart, Surge of Thoughtweft, Cloudcrown Oak, Tarfire, Aquitect’s Will, Mournwhelk, Zephyr Net, Scarred Vinebreeder, Gilt-Leaf Seer, Flamekin Bladewhirl, Scattering Stroke

“More removal.”

I think that Armor_Thrull is putting more value than he should on some of the Black cards in his stack, and that he should consider the Aethersnipe for a little bit. However, because he only has one Smokebraider at this point, I think that the Shock wins that fight. The shadow draft has to choose between Cloudcrown Oak and Fistful of Force, and I think that the pick is the Fistful. Usually I would lean more towards the Oak, but we already have two Inversions and an Extract to hold off troublesome fliers. It’s a pretty close pick, though, and I could see someone else deciding on the Oak instead.

Thrull’s Pick: Tarfire
My Pick: Tarfire
Shadow Pick: Fistful of Force

Pack 19
Weed Strangle, Mudbutton Torchrunner, Woodland Changeling, Springleaf Drum, Kithkin Healer, Heal the Scars, Inkfathom Divers, Boggart Birth Rite, Ingot Chewer, Prowess of the Fair, Treefolk Harbinger, Glarewielder

“Getting another shot at a Mudbutton is nice. I contemplate back and forth between that and Weed Strangle, but I think I have a lot of removal as it is (although I guess that’s all the Torchrunner is anyway).”

I think that the Weed Strangle is much better than the Torchrunner, both in our deck and in the abstract. Yeah, it does cost a lot of mana, but it kills everything, Clashes, and might even gain you a boatload of life. I used to value the card lower than this, but right now I put it up there with Warren Pilferers. The shadow draft has a closer call to make, since we don’t have very many early plays at this point. There’s always a chance that the Vanquisher might table, given that both Green cards tabled last time, and removal is still removal, so I think that Weed Strangle is the right call.

Thrull’s Pick: Mudbutton Torchrunner
My Pick: Weed Strangle
Shadow Pick: Weed Strangle

Pack 20
Cloudcrown Oak, Wanderer’s Twig, Hornet Harasser, Axegrinder Giant, Kithkin Greatheart, Soaring Hope, Shimmering Grotto, Judge of Currents, Battle Mastery, Lys Alana Scarblade, Scarred Vinebreeder

“Another removal Goblin.”

I think that he’s is overvaluing the Harasser, since he only has one way to sacrifice it on-demand. In his position, I would pick Axegrinder Giant, since he only has Hearthcage Giant at the top of his curve. He might even be able to find a Stinkdrinker Daredevil later on, making the big guys even better. The shadow draft gets another nice gift in Lys Alana Scarblade, which is very difficult for a lot of Blue decks to handle (though Peppersmoke does a nice job of shutting her down).

Thrull’s Pick: Hornet Harasser
My Pick: Axegrinder Giant
Shadow Pick: Lys Alana Scarblade

Pack 21
Axegrinder Giant, Lignify, Quill-Slinger Boggart, Bog-Strider Ash, Gilt-Leaf Seer, Protective Bubble, Ingot Chewer, Amoeboid Changeling, Spring Cleaning, Hearthcage Giant

“I don’t think the Axegrinder is worth it and I already have a Hearthcage Giant. I’m light on the men, and so I take the Quill-Slinger.”

I am not excited at all by the Quill-Slinger; for me, the pick is between Axegrinder Giant and Hearthcage Giant. Assuming that we have two Soulbright Flamekin, I think that I would go with the Hearthcage, since it’s definitely better than the Axegrinder once it’s in play. Eight mana is a lot though, and so I can see someone being afraid of having it stuck in their hand. The shadow draft gets an evasive Foot Soldiers.

Pick: Quill-Slinger Boggart
My Pick: Hearthcage Giant
Shadow Pick: Bog-Strider Ash

Pack 22
Hillcomber Giant, Sentinels of Glen Elendra, Stinkdrinker Daredevil, Oaken Brawler, Spiderwig Boggart, Flamekin Brawler, Tideshaper Mystic, Rootgrapple, Wild Ricochet

“How nice, another Ricochet. I decide to take it to see how it plays after debating with the Stinkdrinker for a while.”

This time it’s the Red deck that gets a late gift. We have three huge Giants in our deck at this point, and a guy that both holds the ground against two-drops and powers out our fatties is exactly what we’re looking for. The Ricochet can be brutal against decks with a lot of removal spells, but like all Deflection effects, keeping the mana up for it can be extremely awkward. The shadow draft gets nothing out of this pack; I think that hatedrafting the Faerie is better than taking a Rootgrapple for the sideboard.

Thrull’s Pick: Wild Ricochet
My Pick: Stinkdrinker Daredevil
Shadow Pick: Sentinels of Glen Elendra

Pack 23
Hurly-Burly, Paperfin Rascal, Runed Stalactite, Hunt Down, Triclopean Sight, Nath’s Buffoon, Caterwauling Boggart, Lammastide Weave

“I’m still hopeful that more elementals will be coming my way. My other big tribe is Goblins, so I take the Caterwauler. I think about Hurly-Burly for a bit, though it never seems to be as saucy as I’d like it to be.”

Not much to say here. I don’t really like the Stalactite unless I’m using it to power up Kithkin Greatheart or Boggart Sprite-Chaser, and the Boggart is a good card that will probably make the cut in our final deck, though we might end up in a more Giant-themed deck. The shadow draft is stuck with another hatedraft.

Thrull’s Pick: Caterwauling Boggart
My Pick: Caterwauling Boggart
Shadow Pick: Triclopean Sight

Pack 24
Fertile Ground, Moonglove Winnower, Whirlpool Whelm, Faultgrinder, Rootgrapple, Goldmeadow Dodger, Flamekin Brawler

“I’m taking the best card in the pack that’s in my colors.”

I think that it’s worth thinking about the Faultgrinder and Flamekin Brawler, in addition to the Winnower. We already have an Axegrinder and two Hearthcages, though, so I don’t think that I’d take the Faultgrinder. Another friend of mine really likes the Brawler, both because you can fireball people with it (especially when backed by Smokebraider and Soulbright Flamekin), and because you can trade it for a two-drop or three-drop when you’re a little slow coming out of the gates. I think that it’s a little bit silly, but the Brawler is where I’d end up going in the end. The shadow draft obviously takes the defensive Elf, though if the Fertile Ground were a Leaf Gilder instead, that would be the pick.

Thrull’s Pick: Moonglove Winnower
My Pick: Flamekin Brawler
Shadow Pick: Moonglove Winnower

Pack 25
Paperfin Rascal, Runed Stalactite, Nath’s Elite, Black Poplar Shaman, Elvish Eulogist, Glarewielder


Pretty much. The Red decks get a late Red gift, and the Green deck gets a late Green gift.

Thrull’s Pick: Glarewielder
My Pick: Glarewielder
Shadow Pick: Nath’s Elite

Pack 26
Mournwhelk, Zephyr Net, Scarred Vinebreeder, Gilt-Leaf Seer, Flamekin Bladewhirl

“I want an early play.”

Me too. The top of our curve is all set, so bring on the little guys. The shadow drafter wants an early guy too.

Thrull’s Pick: Flamekin Bladewhirl
My Pick: Flamekin Bladewhirl
Shadow Pick: Gilt-Leaf Seer

Pack 27
Heal the Scars, Boggart Birth Rite, Ingot Chewer, Prowess of the Fair

Pick: Boggart Birth Rite

Pack 28
Soaring Hope, Battle Mastery, Scarred Vinebreeder

Pick: Scarred Vinebreeder

Pack 29
Protective Bubble, Spring Cleaning

I think that the Cleaning is more likely to do something than the Bubble, and the shadow deck might even bring it in from the board.

Thrull’s Pick: Protective Bubble
My Pick: Spring Cleaning
Shadow Pick: Spring Cleaning

Pack 30
Flamekin Brawler

Pick: Flamekin Brawler

Pack 31
Neck Snap, Sentinels of Glen Elendra, Smokebraider, Gilt-Leaf Ambush, Moonglove Winnower, Kinsbaile Balloonist, Inner-Flame Acolyte, Elvish Handservant, Broken Ambitions, Cenn’s Heir, Boggart Forager, Makeshift Mannequin, Guardian of Cloverdell, Kithkin Harbinger, Hoofprints of the Stag

“I might be too in love with these guys, but I think this is between the Braider and the Mannequin. I am still hopeful that I can get some good Elementals and I don’t think you get second chances to grab Braiders.”

I think that the pick comes down to Smokebraider and Inner-Flame Acolyte. The Acolyte is a card that I think is somewhat undervalued in general, but I think that the Smokebraider fits our deck better. We have a reasonable number of Elementals, and I took Moonglove Extract over the original Smokebraider, so I definitely want to get this one. The shadow deck wants some early plays, and a third-turn Ambush is a great way to buy time to make it to the mid-game.

Thrull’s Pick: Smokebraider
My Pick: Smokebraider
Shadow Pick: Gilt-Leaf Ambush

Pack 32
Footbottom Feast, Axegrinder Giant, Lignify, Silvergill Douser, Soaring Hope, Shimmering Grotto, Judge of Currents, Lace with Moonglove, Blind-Spot Giant, Merrow Commerce, Summon the School, Vivid Marsh, Vigor, Changeling Berserker

“It’s an Elemental, right?”

Sure is. I don’t think that it’s reasonable to take the Axegrinder here, even though I like the Berserker less than a lot of people. I just find that it’s hard to get it to hit for five and then trade, and I usually find myself paying four mana to Edict someone. Still, it’s the best card for us. The shadow deck gets shipped a nice bomb to go with its double Nath’s Elite.

Thrull’s Pick: Changeling Berserker
My Pick: Changeling Berserker
Shadow Pick: Vigor

Pack 33
Wanderer’s Twig, Avian Changeling, Bog-Strider Ash, Eyeblight’s Ending, Mudbutton Torchrunner, Springleaf Drum, Protective Bubble, Ingot Chewer, Amoeboid Changeling, Spring Cleaning, Vivid Grove, Nectar Faerie, Guardian of Cloverdell

“A battle ensues between Torchrunner and the Ending, and I eventually pick the ending.”

The Ending is top-notch removal, and its only competition is middle-of-the-road removal.

Pick: Eyeblight’s Ending

Pack 34
Hurly-Burly, Peppersmoke, Lys Alana Huntmaster, Wispmare, Triclopean Sight, Nightshade Stinger, Faultgrinder, Faerie Trickery, Warren-Scourge Elf, Inner-Flame Igniter, Elvish Promenade, Fallowsage

“More elementals, please.”

The Igniter is a great guy to pick up this late in the draft. It’s an early drop when that’s what you need, and it’s a late-game powerhouse when you’re trying to break through with your smaller men. I also have two copies of its best friend, Soulbright Flamekin. The shadow drafter has to pick between Huntmaster and Promenade. Without a whole lot of ways to get a sizeable number of Elves into play already in the stack, the Huntmaster is a better card.

Thrull’s Pick: Inner-Flame Igniter
My Pick: Inner-Flame Igniter
Shadow Pick: Lys Alana Huntmaster

Pack 35
Aethersnipe, Tarfire, Herbal Poultice, Kithkin Greatheart, Oakgnarl Warrior, Hornet Harasser, Exiled Boggart, Shields of Velis Vel, Mournwhelk, Needle Drop, Fodder Launch

“Mise again.”

Fodder Launch is ridiculously powerful when you can actually cast it, and Thrull has even more Goblins in his stack than I would, since he picked up a Mudbutton and a Harasser in pack two. I think even the shadow drafter takes the Fodder Launch, since it’s rare to get hit by it and still win the game.

Pick: Fodder Launch

Pack 36
Footbottom Feast, Lowland Oaf, Weed Strangle, Kithkin Healer, Boggart Birth Rite, Zephyr Net, Judge of Currents, Woodland Guidance, Flamekin Bladewhirl, Fallowsage

“I guess everything I have only kills three-butts or less, so I like the Strangle. Only Feast #2 attracts me for a little bit.”

I don’t think you should ever consider Feast when you could take Weed Strangle. The shadow drafter is getting desperate for early drops.

Pick: Weed Strangle

Pack 37
Smokebraider, Kinsbaile Balloonist, Inner-Flame Acolyte, Caterwauling Boggart, Goldmeadow Dodger, Faerie Trickery, Nightshade Stinger, Blades of Velis Vel, Faerie Tauntings

“I have problems.”

That may be, but the Smokebraider helps our deck out quite a bit. I think that he should have taken the Acolyte, since he has fewer Elementals (and more Smokebraider) in his stack than I would, but I want the acceleration to make sure that my top-end doesn’t slow me down too much. The green deck has to hatedraft again, and snags the Balloonist.

Thrull’s Pick: Smokebraider
My Pick: Smokebraider
Shadow Pick: Kinsbaile Balloonist

Pack 38
Leaf Gilder, Adder-Staff Boggart, Boggart Loggers, Facevaulter, Warren-Scourge Elf, Blades of Velis Vel, Squeaking Pie Sneak, Captivating Glance

“Pie Sneaks > Adder-Staff”

I think that the second Goblin to look at is Boggart Loggers, not Adder-Staff. My stack’s Goblin count at this point is around ten, and that’s enough that I think the (potentially) faster drop is worth taking over the Loggers, who have a very strong ability. The Green deck gets exactly what it’s looking for.

Thrull’s Pick: Squeaking Pie Sneak
My Pick: Squeaking Pie Sneak
Shadow Pick: Leaf Gilder

Pack 39
Moonglove Winnower, Inner-Flame Acolyte, Elvish Handservant, Broken Ambitions, Boggart Forager, Guardian of Cloverdell, Kithkin Harbinger

“Time to hatedraft.”

I don’t really get this. Kithkin Harbinger is good only for its harbinger ability, and its awkward size is usually quite bad in the average Kithkin deck. On the other hand, Inner-Flame Acolyte is in our colors, in one of our tribes, and an overall good card. The shadow drafter takes the Elf.

Thrull’s Pick: Kithkin Harbinger
My Pick: Inner-Flame Acolyte
Shadow Pick: Moonglove Winnower

Pack 40
Footbottom Feast, Axegrinder Giant, Soaring Hope, Lace with Moonglove, Blind-Spot Giant, Vivid Marsh

“No comment.”

We definitely don’t have enough Giants to support the Blind-Spot one, so the pick is between the Axegrinder and the Feast. I didn’t take either of the two Feasts in this draft previously, and I already have three big Giants and only one Stinkdrinker, so I’ll pick up the Feast too. The shadow drafter wants the Feast to go with his Scarblade.

Pick: Footbottom Feast

Pack 41
Bog-Strider Ash, Protective Bubble, Ingot Chewer, Spring Cleaning, Guardian of Cloverdell

I think that the Bog-Strider Ash is a better card overall than the Guardian, and I think that it’s more likely to beat us because we’re going to have Swamps. The shadow drafter will probably run it, since it’s defensive and that deck is low on early drops.

Thrull’s Pick: Guardian of Cloverdell
My Pick: Bog-Strider Ash
Shadow Pick: Bog-Strider Ash

Pack 42
Hurly-Burly, Nightshade Stinger, Faultgrinder, Warren-Scourge Elf

The shadow drafter might want the Elf as a desperation two-drop or to board in against uncommon Changelings.

Thrull’s Pick: Hurly-Burly
My Pick: Hurly-Burly
Shadow Pick: Warren-Scourge Elf

Pack 43
Herbal Poultice, Oakgnarl Warrior, Exiled Boggart

The Boggart is not making our deck. That Warrior might make someone else’s.

Thrull’s Pick: Exiled Boggart
My Pick: Oakgnarl Warrior
Shadow Pick: Oakgnarl Warrior

Pack 44
Boggart Birth Rite, Zephyr Net

Pick: Boggart Birth Rite

Pack 45
Caterwauling Boggart

Pick: Caterwauling Boggart

Armor_Thrull’s Deck

3 Smokebraider
1 Soulbright Flamekin
1 Squeaking Pie Sneak
1 Inner-Flame Igniter
1 Mudbutton Torchrunner
2 Caterwauling Boggart
1 Changeling Berserker
1 Hornet Harasser
1 Marsh Flitter
1 Cairn Wanderer
1 Glarewielder
1 Warren Pilferers
1 Mournwhelk

1 Tarfire
2 Nameless Inversion
2 Footbottom Feast
1 Fodder Launch
1 Weed Strangle

8 Mountain
9 Swamp

Relevant Sideboard:
3 Boggart Birth Rite
1 Eyeblight’s Ending
1 Flamekin Bladewhirl
1 Flamekin Brawler
1 Hearthcage Giant
1 Hurly-Burly
1 Moonglove Winnower
1 Nath’s Buffoon
1 Quill-Slinger Boggart
1 Spiderwig Boggart
1 Wild Ricochet

The thing that stands out most to me is that he decided against running Eyeblight’s Ending, which I would almost never do. I also think that it would be worth considering the Boggart Birth Rites, since they regrow Warren Pilferers, Tarfire, Nameless Inversion, and Fodder Launch (and more). The cards in his deck that I like the least are Smokebraiders and the second Footbottom Feast. The Smokebraiders are very good with Cairn Wanderer, Inner-Flame Igniter, and Mournwhelk, but I really don’t think that this deck needs three of them.

As it turns out, he easily obtained the 3-0. This doesn’t surprise me, even though I don’t agree with a lot of the choices, because the deck has so many good cards in it. Even the cards that I don’t like as much as the others are good cards.

My Deck

2 Smokebraider
2 Soulbright Flamekin
1 Inner-Flame Acolyte
1 Inner-Flame Igniter
1 Mudbutton Torchrunner
1 Stinkdrinker Daredevil
1 Ceaseless Searblades
1 Changeling Berserker
1 Caterwauling Boggart
1 Cairn Wanderer
1 Glarewielder
1 Warren Pilferers
2 Hearthcage Giant

1 Tarfire
2 Nameless Inversion
1 Eyeblight’s Ending
1 Moonglove Extract
2 Weed Strangle

10 Mountain
7 Swamp

Relevant Sideboard:
1 Axegrinder Giant
3 Boggart Birth Rite
1 Caterwauling Boggart
1 Flamekin Bladewhirl
2 Flamekin Brawler
1 Fodder Launch
1 Footbottom Feast
1 Hurly-Burly
1 Mournwhelk
1 Squeaking Pie Sneak

I think that the Goblin sub-theme isn’t worth pushing in this version of the deck, which leaves the Pie Sneak and Fodder Launch stuck in the board. By cutting these cards, we can focus more on the Elemental theme, and on powering out our huge creatures fast. The Mudbutton Torchrunner is a concession to the fact that we might not come out of the gates as fast as we’d like if we don’t draw a Smokebraider. The Axegrinder is riding the bench because we have two Soulbrights and a Stinkdrinker to accelerate to the Hearthcage Giants, but if you want to play it a little bit more conservatively, you could cut one Hearthcage for the Axegrinder.

You could also leave the Giant sub-theme out altogether, giving you the space you need for the Goblins. Cutting the two Hearthcages and the Stinkdrinker gives just enough room to put Squeaking Pie Sneak, Fodder Launch, and the second Caterwauling Boggart into the deck. It is possible that this is a better way to build the deck. Either way, I don’t think that the Mournwhelk is good enough to make the cut.

Shadow Deck

1 Kithkin Daggerdare
1 Leaf Gilder
1 Woodland Changeling
1 Lys Alana Scarblade
2 Gilt-Leaf Ambush
1 Lys Alana Huntmaster
1 Bog-Strider Ash
2 Moonglove Winnower
1 Cairn Wanderer
1 Warren Pilferers
2 Nath’s Elite
1 Vigor

2 Fistful of Force
2 Nameless Inversion
1 Eyeblight’s Ending
1 Moonglove Extract
2 Weed Strangle

9 Forest
8 Swamp

Relevant Sideboard:
1 Bog-Strider Ash
1 Fodder Launch
1 Footbottom Feast
1 Gilt-Leaf Seer
1 Incremental Growth
1 Mournwhelk
2 Oakgnarl Warrior
1 Scarred Vinebreeder
1 Spring Cleaning
1 Warren-Scourge Elf

This section must be taken with a grain of salt, because obviously the whole draft would have gone differently if we’d been taking Green cards instead of Red ones. It is possible that we would have better cards to work with, but it is also possible that something else could have happened and we could be stranded without many playables.

It is a little bit sad that the Incremental Growth that started the division doesn’t even end up making the cut. Unfortunately, the deck is lacking early plays, and so it’s not likely that we’d be able to curve out and follow up with the Growth. However, the cards in this deck are all very good, so as long as we don’t fall too far behind in the first three turns, we should be okay for the rest of the game. Luckily, we have plenty of ways to make sure that we don’t get too hurt early on, specifically Leaf Gilder, Nameless Inversion, and Gilt-Leaf Ambush.

Hopefully you’ve found this draft as interesting as I did. The number of places where Thrull and I disagreed on picks was surprising to me, as was the fact that the draft could have gone in a completely different direction if we’d made a few different choices in pack 1.

As always, if you have any questions, feel free to contact me in the forums, via email, or on AIM.

Benjamin Peebles-Mundy
ben at mundy dot net
SlickPeebles on AIM