Pro Perspective – Pimp My Draft #6

Fresh of his fantastic performance at Pro Tour: Yokohama, Raphael Levy brings us the final instalment of his popular Pimp My Draft series! Today, he drafts with two lucky punters of differing skill-levels, and walks us through each draft pick by pick. The second draft in particular is rather juicy… first, second, and third pick Errant Ephemerons! If you want to draft with Raph, be sure to check the forums for instructions… and when Future Sight arrives, this could be you!

Grand Prix: Stockholm is coming up next week, and as usual, I feel unprepared. I haven’t played in any prerealease, and have only drafted a couple of times with Future Sight. That’s a tournament I don’t want to scrub out in, for the reasons you can imagine. That said, that means that I’m currently unable to make an accurate set review predictions. I’m going to draft a few more times before I head back to Sweden on Friday. For those who haven’t been following, I’m currently in France for personal reasons. When I’m ready to analyse the set correctly, I’ll let you know. You can probably expect that the week after the GP. I’ve also received many questions concerning Block Constructed with Future Sight. GP: Strasbourg, held two weeks after the Swedish GP, will not be played with Future Sight. That means that I also have no clue, and I’d rather not make it all up!

This week is going to be the last Pimp My Draft in this current format. I’m not sure when Future Sight will come out on Magic Online, but I feel that people are going to lose interest in the TTP draft format very soon. So the next one will be scheduled for 4 or 5 weeks, hopefully when Future Sight is out on Magic Online, and I’ll be able to share what I’ve learnt.

This week, I drafted with 8_bit and gohon316_1999.

8_bit is a player who has already made it to the Pro Tour a few times, and is a solid Limited player.


Pack 1:

Gaze of Justice, Strangling Soot, Fathom Seer, Flamecore Elemental, Gemhide Sliver, Feebleness, Children of Korlis, Viscid Lemures, Dream Stalker, Conflagrate, Spirit Loop, Faceless Devourer, Ith, High Arcanist, Willbender, Ophidian Eye

Pick: Strangling Soot

“Two very good cards in the pack (Ith and Soot), and two good cards (Seer and Gemhide)… the choice is between the legend and the removal, but I will take Soot because I don t want to take a double-colored card as my first pick (it will be easier to splash a Mountain for the flashback if we don t play Red as a second color )”

Pack 2:

Amrou Scout, Keldon Halberdier, Mana Skimmer, Durkwood Baloth, Fathom Seer, Chromatic Star, Watcher Sliver, Blazing Blade Askari, Glass Asp, Traitor’s Clutch, Truth or Tale, Pull from Eternity, Barbed Shocker, Unstable Mutation

Pick: Durkwood Baloth

“Another Seer, a Baloth, a Scout, a Halberdier…our neighbour took the rare and there is only one Green card left in the booster. I will go for the fatty, and will try to cut the Green (I just passed the Gemhide, who’ll probably be picked fourth in my booster, so it seems really interesting not showing more Green cards to the left)”

Pack 3:

Castle Raptors, Gorgon Recluse, Spiketail Drakeling, Scarwood Treefolk, Thrill of the Hunt, Plunder, Skulking Knight, Brass Gnat, Dream Stalker, Chronatog Totem, Harmonic Sliver, Volcanic Awakening, Valor

Pick: Gorgon Recluse

“A really weak pack for our strategy (no GOOD Green cards) and the contenders are the flyers here: Castle Raptors / Spiketail Drakeling / Sprite Noble… I won’t take this like a signal and will just stay in my color by taking the Gorgon that will make the cut if I m playing Black, and by passing more White and Blue cards I will grab nice things from second booster”

The first pack is a juicy one. Strangling Soot is the right pick for the reasons mentioned above by 8_bit. It’s the best card, and not as color commiting as Ith.

The second pack offers two choices: Durkwood Baloth and Fathom Seer, and Amrou Scout if you’re a big rebel fan. My heart would go for the Seer, as I already explained that I liked the card more than the Green 5/5, but my head would go for the Baloth. Unless we get insane Blue for the rest of pack 1, I don’t think we’ll regret that pick. Because of the first pack we passed, which included Fathom Seer and Ith, we won’t have access to Blue. After we pass the second Seer, there’s even a bigger chance that we won’t see a Blue cards in the second pack.
Taking the Gorgon in pack 3 is a wise decision. The Drakeling is probably better, but even after two packs, we’ve already passed too much Blue.

Pack 4:

Mindstab, Gaze of Justice, Durkwood Baloth, Shadow Sliver, Bogardan Rager, Traitor’s Clutch, D’Avenant Healer, Glass Asp, Krosan Grip, Tectonic Fiend, Basalt Gargoyle, Feldon’s Cane

8_bit : Durkwood Baloth
Raph: Durkwood Baloth

8_bit: “A really weak pack where we can find a 5/5 for our deck, Green is clearly open now”

You know how much I love Mindstab, but the Baloth is just better. The other major difference between the Baloth and Mindstab is that Mindstab doesn’t send any signal when it’s passed, unlike the Baloth. Green seems to be open, so why not try to cut it?

Pack 5:

Deathspore Thallid, Tolarian Sentinel, Benalish Cavalry, Sangrophage, Viashino Bladescout, Mystical Teachings, Thrill of the Hunt, Stormcloud Djinn, Gustcloak Cavalier, Urza’s Factory, Vhati il-Dal

8_bit: Vhati il-Dal
Raph: Vhati il-Dal

8_bit: “Nice gift here with Vhati; it’s a powerhouse in both our colors, so it will be our obvious choice here”

I wouldn’t consider it a gift, as Vhati is quite hard to pick high in the first pack. It sure is a great card, but that commits you to a combination of colors that isn’t that exciting: Black/Green. Picking it fifth when you were already going Black/Green is a nice surprise, but not a gift.

Pack 6:

Coral Trickster, Ivory Giant, Deathspore Thallid, Ground Rift, Eternity Snare, Skulking Knight, Fool’s Demise, Gustcloak Cavalier, Opal Guardian, Uncle Istvan

8_bit: Deathspore Thallid
Raph: Deathspose Thallid

8_bit: “In order to stay in our Green/Black strategy we will take the Black saproling that could be better if we can add other fungus later, and we are still passing Blue and White playables”

The options for us are either the Thallid or Skulking Knight. I would have gone for the Knight if we weren’t also Green. The other obvious strategy of Black/Green is Thallid. It’s not too late to plan on drafting Thallids, but as we haven’t seen a Germinator, nor opened a Sporesower, that’s not very exciting. In case pack 2 offers more of them, the Thallid is the pick.

Pack 7:

Scarwood Treefolk, Sidewinder Sliver, Mwonvuli Acid-Moss, Viashino Bladescout, Ophidian Eye, Molder, Saltcrusted Steppe, Dementia Sliver, Paradox Haze

8_bit: Scarwood Treefolk
Raph: Scarwood Treefolk

8_bit: “The Treefolk here, even if there is a small chance to see him in maindeck”

I don’t like the Treefolk that much. However, Black/Green is often short on mid-range creatures occupying the four-slot. It’s far from being exciting, but it’s sometimes a decent 23rd card. Mwonvuli Acid-Moss or the dual land have far less chances to shine.

Pack 8:

Plunder, Eternity Snare, Molder, Venser’s Sliver, Children of Korlis, Evil Eye of Urborg, Phyrexian Totem, Stupor

8_bit: Phyrexian Totem
Raph: Phyrexian Totem

Phrexian Totem, Stupor, or Evil Eye of Urborg? There’s absolutely no question here. The Totem is far superior to the other two cards.

Pack 9:

Gaze of Justice, Feebleness, Children of Korlis, Viscid Lemures, Dream Stalker, Spirit Loop, Ophidian Eye

8_bit: Feebleness
Raph: Feebleness

Except for Strangling Soot, we don’t really have removal. 8_bit highlighted also that it was a two-card combo to kill any creature on the board. The evasion ability of Viscid Lemures isn’t as interesting as being able to buy some time, or stunning a flying creature while waiting for the Baloths to arrive.

Pack 10:

Chromatic Star, Watcher Sliver, Glass Asp, Traitor’s Clutch, Truth or Tale, Pull from Eternity

8_bit: Chromatic Star
Raph: Chromatic Star

Along with a mountain and an Evolution Charm from the last pack, we’ll be able to flashback the Soot.

Pack 11:

Scarwood Treefolk, Plunder, Brass Gnat, Chronatog Totem, Harmonic Sliver

Pick: Scarwood Treefolk

Pack 12:

Shadow Sliver, Traitor’s Clutch, Glass Asp, Feldon’s Cane

Pick: Feldon’s Cane

Pack 13:

Sangrophage, Mystical Teachings, Gustcloak Cavalier

Pick: Mystical Teachings

Pack 14:

Ground Rift, Fool’s Demise

Pick: Fool’s Demise

Pack 15:

Dementia Sliver

Pick: Dementia Sliver

The packs were quite weak, but we ended up gathering a coherent pile of fifteen. The Blue probably got cut from the right and will be cut from the left in the next booster. We haven’t seen a single good Red card. Except for an Opal Gargoyle – which is hard to pick early even for White drafters (as there will often be a card that will be easier to play for them) – and a late Watcher Sliver, we haven’t seen much White. Black/Green was an intuitive and solid choice for the first four picks. This is not the best color combination, but it could end up fine if we’re the only ones in these colors.

Pack 16:

Ironclaw Buzzardiers, Temporal Eddy, Tendrils of Corruption, Lightning Axe, Mogg War Marshal, Temporal Isolation, Aetherflame Wall, Detainment Spell, Thallid Shell-Dweller, Bewilder, Vampiric Sliver, Pendelhaven Elder, Quilled Sliver, Dralnu, Lich Lord, Pendelhaven

8_bit: Tendrils of Corruption
Raph: Tendrils of Corruption

“Axe is by far the best card in the pack, but at the moment we’re not sure that we will spash Red and we’ll take the Tendrils that is the safest pick”

I’m not sure that Axe is that much better than Tendrils. There are many situations where I would take Tendrils over Axe. If I’m Black/Red and running 8+ Swamps or B/X/r, I think I would take the life gaining removal spell. I agree, this is very arguable, but in this case it makes no doubt to me that Tendrils is not only a safer pick, but also a better quality pick.

Pack 17:

Amrou Seekers, Temporal Eddy, Mogg War Marshal, Terramorphic Expanse, Drudge Reavers, Temporal Isolation, Divine Congregation, Mindlash Sliver, Thallid Shell-Dweller, Jhoira’s Timebug, Thunder Totem, Barbed Shocker, Spike Tiller, Orgg

8_bit: Spike Tiller
Raph: Spike Tiller

“I will take the Tiller here even if I thought about the Expanse for the Red splash, but there will be a Green Charm in the third booster that will do the same thing even better…”

Expanse or Tiller… I really wanted to take that Expanse, to make sure I can play that Mountain. As 8_bit said, we’ll have other shots at having access to land searchers, and quality cards are required in a deck missing raw power.

Pack 18:

Crookclaw Transmuter, Strength in Numbers, Zealot il-Vec, Urborg Syphon-Mage, Snapback, Momentary Blink, Greenseeker, Pit Keeper, Divine Congregation, Phthisis, Barbed Shocker, Restore Balance, Squire

8_bit: Phthisis
Raph: Phthisis

Phthisis is my choice here because even if I like the Syphon-Mage, we haven ‘t got madness cards to abuse except for the Gorgon. Phthisis can win some games by itself”

I’ve started to love Jhoira’s Timebug. What does it have to do here? Green is a color with which you can abuse Jhoira’s Timebug in Planar Chaos, thanks to Giant Dustwasp. Along with already two Durkwood Baloths (and hopefully more suspend in Time Spiral), it can be surprisingly good. So yes, Phthisis is an obvious pick here, and from there, we’ll want to grab a Timebug, as being able to cast fat twice as fast and on your opponent’s turn is quite amazing.

Pack 19:

Ashcoat Bear, Urborg Syphon-Mage, Cloudchaser Kestrel, Cyclopean Giant, Brass Gnat, Savage Thallid, Screeching Sliver, Opaline Sliver, Dread Return, Fool’s Demise, Darkness, Plains

8_bit: Urborg Syphon-Mage
Raph: Urborg Syphon-Mage

”This time we’ll take the Mage as the lone Black card in the pack”

There’s no real choice here anyway. We gave up the Thallids long ago — the Deathspore is not going to make it to the main deck – and the flash bear is just not good enough.

Pack 20:

Pentarch Ward, Assassinate, Thallid Germinator, Zealot il-Vec, Screeching Sliver, Jedit’s Dragoons, Sprout, Foriysian Interceptor, Ghostflame Sliver, Smallpox, Mountain

8_bit: Assassinate
Raph: Assassinate

“Here again a little thinking between Assasinate and the Germinator, but removal always win”

Removal doesn’t always win… but in this case, it does. We didn’t get a hold of any good removal, and it’s not going to happen in this draft with Planar Chaos soon to be opened. Also, we missed out on any Penumbra Spiders. We might as well take a card that can deal with large or flying creatures.

Pack 21:

Strength in Numbers, Errant Doomsayers, Corpulent Corpse, Jedit’s Dragoons, Ancient Grudge, Flickering Spirit, Call to the Netherworld, Telekinetic Sliver, Durkwood Tracker, Gemstone Caverns

8_bit: Corpulent Corpse
Raph: Corpulent Corpse

Strength in Numbers and the fear zombie to choose from here; I will take the suspend card because we haven ‘t got the Green aggro deck that can attack each turn with all the team in order to maximize the power of the pump spell…and with the inclusion of this 4th suspended card we will try to take wheel a Timebug.”

The fact that we communicate helped making the correct pick! Not that 8_bit considered taking the Strength in Numbers, but now he’s really looking forward to picking the Timebug!

Pack 22:

Cloudchaser Kestrel, Drudge Reavers, Cancel, Jhoira’s Timebug, Chameleon Blur, Cyclopean Giant, Faceless Devourer, Fungal Reaches, Reiterate

8_bit: Jhoira’s Timebug
Raph: Jhoira’s Timebug

“The Timebug that I talked about. Even if it s not the one from our pack, I will take it to be sure to have one”

I didn’t consider Faceless Devourer in this pack, but I did consider the Fungal Reach. A way to flashback the Soot, in case we don’t get land searchers, that will not hurt the manabase like a Mountain would. The Timebug will be too good if we can get one or two Dustwasps…

Pack 23:

Ironclaw Buzzardiers, Icatian Crier, Drifter il-Dal, Havenwood Wurm, Basal Sliver, Sage of Epityr, Locket of Yesterdays, Magus of the Candelabra

Pick: Basal Sliver

Pack 24:

Ironclaw Buzzardiers, Temporal Eddy, Detainment Spell, Bewilder, Vampiric Sliver, Pendelhaven Elder, Dralnu, Lich Lord

Pick: Vampiric Sliver

Pack 25:

Drudge Reavers, Divine Congregation, Mindlash Sliver, Jhoira’s Timebug, Thunder Totem, Barbed Shocker

8_bit: Jhoira’s Timebug
Raph: Jhoira’s Timebug

“What a surprise, the Timebug wheeled. I will take it and will think whether or not I should play it.”

Depending on how many Dustwasps we can get…

Pack 26:

Zealot il-Vec, Pit Keeper, Divine Congregation, Barbed Shocker, Squire

Pick: Pit Keeper

Pack 27:

Cyclopean Giant, Brass Gnat, Screeching Sliver, Plains

Pick: Cyclopean Giant

Pack 28:

Screeching Sliver, Sprout, Foriysian Interceptor

Pick: Sprout

Pack 29:

Flickering Spirit, Call to the Netherworld

Pick: Flickering Spirit

Pack 30:

Chameleon Blur

Pick: Chameleon Blur

The packs were quite weak, but we got the best (or close to it) card from each of them. Blue was, just as planned, cut… and Red was nowhere to be seen.

Pack 31:

Dawn Charm, Spitting Sliver, Mire Boa, Battering Sliver, Dust Corona, Vitaspore Thallid, Dash Hopes, Aquamorph Entity, Primal Plasma, Seal of Primordium, Healing Leaves, Psychotrope Thallid, Timecrafting, Gaea’s Anthem, Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth

8_bit: Mire Boa
Raph: Mire Boa

“Two rares in our colors; Anthem is not that good in our deck because, like I said for the Strength, we haven’t got a lot of cheap creatures that can be bigger. We already have big bodies. Urborg can be very good with our Tendrils, but the Boa will be my pick here because of our lack of two-mana creatures.”

What can I say? He has it right. Gaea’s Anthem is a huge card in the right deck, but I didn’t really consider it there. For the same reason I took Spike Tiller over Expanse, I’d take the Mire Boa over Urborg, an efficient creature will be more effective than a land that, except for the one Tendrils we have, won’t have much effect.

Pack 32:

Dreamscape Artist, Ridged Kusite, Dawn Charm, Dust Corona, Uktabi Drake, Blightspeaker, Aquamorph Entity, Merfolk Thaumaturgist, Healing Leaves, Sunlance, Stonecloaker, Jodah’s Avenger, Reckless Wurm, Dichotomancy

8_bit: Uktabi Drake
Raph: Jodah’s Avenger

“A very good pack for the White / Red / Blue mage, but unfortunately we’re the Green / Black one. I will take the Drake here even if it’s not in the spirit of the deck, but even in late game it still have evasion”

I had an argument last time with a friend of mine about Jodah’s Avenger. How good is it really? I think it’s very comparable to Morphling in Limited. I already had the choice between him and Torchling when I was Red/Blue, and picked the Blue shapeshifter without hesitation. The one U in its cost makes it very affordable as a splash. All of his abilities are insane, you can attack for four unblockable damage a turn, or for two if you want it to hold the ground the turn after. All that for zero mana. It gets a lot better with pump spells, but it’s already good enough by itself. In this case, the Drake “might” have been better to take. However, if by any chance we’re passed a couple of Parasites, we might want to splash Blue, and in that case, the Avengers make it to the deck. Sure, it would also add a color to our B/G-which-already-wants-to-splash-a-Mountain deck, but I don’t like the drake so much in Black/Green, so we might as well be a little bit open with very little sacrifice.

Pack 33:

Battering Sliver, Reflex Sliver, Whitemane Lion, Saltfield Recluse, Shade of Trokair, Vitaspore Thallid, Brain Gorgers, Primal Plasma, Essence Warden, Mana Tithe, Dormant Sliver, Sulfur Elemental, Spellshift

8_bit: Essence Warden
Raph: Essence Warden

“Another poor pack for us. I will take the Warden here and the Braingorger will table for sure… I could also take the Gorger because the Warden will table too…”

Nothing really exciting here again. But hey, Black/Green sucks for a reason… it has very few options in Planar Chaos

Pack 34:

Erratic Mutation, Cradle to Grave, Reflex Sliver, Dreamscape Artist, Shade of Trokair, Uktabi Drake, Ghost Tactician, Simian Spirit Guide, Gossamer Phantasm, Bog Serpent, Dismal Failure, Riptide Pilferer

8_bit: Cradle to Grave
Raph: Cradle to Grave

Cradle to Grave over Uktabi Drake. We’re starting to pick up a few removal spells, and we probably won’t have many more.

Pack 35:

Ridged Kusite, Erratic Mutation, Firefright Mage, Wistful Thinking, Keldon Marauders, Revered Dead, Healing Leaves, Brute Force, Hammerheim Deadeye, Sophic Centaur, Dunerider Outlaw

8_bit: Hammerheim Deadeye
Raph: Hammerheim Deadeye

“Nothing Again. I will grab the Deadeye that can be a sideboard weapon against Dragons”

No Parasites either. Let’s just forget about Blue and keep the Mountain in the deck. Another answer to flyers was required, I’m personnaly happy with that pick.

Pack 36:

Mire Boa, Veiling Oddity, Ghost Tactician, Wistful Thinking, Dash Hopes, Reality Acid, Fa’adiyah Seer, Merfolk Thaumaturgist, Gossamer Phantasm, Sophic Centaur

8_bit: Mire Boa
Raph: Mire Boa

Finally a good Green card.

Pack 37:

Cradle to Grave, Synchronous Sliver, Evolution Charm, Pallid Mycoderm, Brain Gorgers, Melancholy, Piracy Charm, Hammerheim Deadeye, Mycologist

8_bit: Evolution Charm
Raph: Evolution Charm

Finally the land searcher!

Pack 38:

Poultice Sliver, Citanul Woodreaders, Pallid Mycoderm, Keldon Marauders, Mana Tithe, Simian Spirit Guide, Frenetic Sliver, Detritivore

Pick: Citanul Woodreaders

Pack 39:

Spitting Sliver, Dust Corona, Dash Hopes, Primal Plasma, Seal of Primordium, Healing Leaves, Psychotrope Thallid

Pick: Healing Leaves

Pack 40:

Ridged Kusite, Dust Corona, Aquamorph Entity, Merfolk Thaumaturgist, Healing Leaves, Dichotomancy

Pick: Merfolk Thaumaturgist

Pack 41:

Reflex Sliver, Brain Gorgers, Mana Tithe, Dormant Sliver, Spellshift

Pick: Brain Gorgers

Pack 42:

Reflex Sliver, Ghost Tactician, Gossamer Phantasm, Dismal Failure

Pick: Dismal Failure

Pack 43:

Firefright Mage, Wistful Thinking, Sophic Centaur

Pick: Wistful Thinking

Pack 44:

Wistful Thinking, Dash Hopes

Pick: Wistful Thinking

Pack 45:

Wistful Thinking

Pick: Wistful Thinking

Not giving us a single Dustwasp, Planar Chaos was a bit disappointing. The deck ended up pretty good nonetheless:

Deck and options:

Chromatic Star
2 Durkwood Baloth
Corpulent Corpse
Cradle to Grave
Evolution Charm
2 Mire Boa
Strangling Soot
Phyrexian Totem
Basal Sliver
Citanul Woodreaders
Urborg Syphon-Mage
Tendrils of Corruption
Vampiric Sliver
Vhati il-Dal
Gorgon Recluse
Spike Tiller

And two more cards from here:

Pit Keeper
Essence Warden
2 Jhoira’s Timebug
2 Scarwood Treefolk

Jhoira’s Timebug is a lot less exciting with only four suspend cards. However, I would still want to include one in the deck. As I said about Green/Black decks, they are often missing four-drops. That’s why Scarwood Treefolk is my pick for the 23rd card.

Jhoira’s Timebug
Scarwood Treefolk

1 Mountain
8 Forest
8 Swamp

The draft wasn’t that hard, but it required some insight at the beginning to set the colors right. The deck ended up being fine for Black/Green.

We won the first round against Antoine Ruel and his B/W/r Numot / Ith deck, a matchup in which the Hammerheim Deadeye was really good. We then lost against a G/W/b Saproling deck, featuring Tromp the Domains, Thelon, Sporesower Thallid, and basically all the mushroom family…

I played the next draft with gohon316_1999 (I’ll cut that to “Gohon“ here, as it will be easier for everyone). Gohon is a less experienced player than 8_bit, but is a Magic Online draft regular. He wanted to try the experience, and here is how it went:


Pack 1:

Durkwood Baloth, Coral Trickster, Ivory Giant, Deathspore Thallid, Errant Ephemeron, Flowstone Channeler, Traitor’s Clutch, D’Avenant Healer, Glass Asp, Prismatic Lens, Brine Elemental, Evil Eye of Urborg, Weatherseed Totem, Pulmonic Sliver, Verdeloth the Ancient

Pick: Errant Ephemeron

Gohon: “Errant Ephemeron is just better than everything else. I think it was an easy choice. Some nice Green but Ephemeron is just on a higher level”

Pack 2:

Benalish Cavalry, Orcish Cannonade, Errant Ephemeron, Strangling Soot, Gemhide Sliver, Watcher Sliver, Blazing Blade Askari, Glass Asp, Plunder, Dread Return, Fool’s Demise, Thunder Totem, Orgg, Mountain

Pick: Errant Ephemeron

Gohon: “Wow, Errant Ephemeron again! I think it’s the right choice. It cuts Blue and it is a great card. Soot is a great card, but Ephemeron keeps us in color.”

Pack 3:

Deathspore Thallid, Errant Ephemeron, Flowstone Channeler, Trespasser il-Vec, Sangrophage, Viashino Bladescout, Mystical Teachings, Thrill of the Hunt, Shadow Sliver, Ignite Memories, Paradox Haze, Premature Burial, Sudden Spoiling

Pick: Errant Ephemeron

Gohon: “Yes, that is the third Errant Ephemeron…”

I’ve drafted three Baloths in the first three picks of a draft, but never three Ephemerons. In the first pack, Ephemeron is better than all the other cards. Picking Pulmonic Sliver could make sense, but overall, the Blue flyer is the best pick. In the second pack, the rare was taken. If I had opened this pack, (and let’s just suppose that the rare was a Fungus Sliver, or any bad rare), I would have taken the Strangling Soot. With a first pick Ephemeron, then I definetely take a second one. And in pack 3? Well, no real option, right?

Pack 4:

Coal Stoker, Deathspore Thallid, Tolarian Sentinel, Orcish Cannonade, Molder, Venser’s Sliver, Children of Korlis, Sangrophage, Return to Dust, Brine Elemental, Duskrider Peregrine, Suq’Ata Lancer

Gohon: Brine Elemental
Raph: Duskrider Peregrine

“I think this was the pick that changed the draft. On a power level they are about equal,
but I kinda like staying on color when I have the chance so I would have picked Brine Elemental, but Duskrider Peregrine is also a great card so it is a toss up.”

I don’t think the two cards have the same power level at all. In fact, I believe suspend cards gain in power for every other suspend card you have in your deck. With 3 Ephemerons in you deck, if you manage to get a W/U deck together, you have a quite powerful core to work with. The only Blue card you’ve passed so far is a Brine Elemental in pack 1, which is very unlikely to have been taken right away. You don’t have many clues about what your right neighbours are drafting either, but a 4th pick Peregrine might be a clue. So I take the bird, and am VERY happy about that.

Pack 5:

Mindstab, Gaze of Justice, Ivory Giant, Molder, Venser’s Sliver, Children of Korlis, Pendelhaven Elder, Quilled Sliver, Dreadship Reef, Thelon of Havenwood, Feldon’s Cane

Gohon: Mindstab
Raph: Ivory Giant

“Another hard choice… it was Giant or Mindstab. This is why pack 4 just changed everything, if we took Brine we would of taken Mindstab (or atleast i would have).”

I have a good feeling about this draft. I usually feel reluctant to draft White, but with five good quality suspend cards (and hopefully some Timebugs!) this is going to be a juicy deck!

Pack 6:

Slipstream Serpent, Gaze of Justice, Strangling Soot, Traitor’s Clutch, D’Avenant Healer, Glass Asp, Plated Pegasus, Haunting Hymn, Squire, Swamp

Gohon: Strangling Soot
Raph: Strangling Soot

“Black is open”

Now this is odd. What kind of sick pack was that? A sixth pick Strangling Soot? That’s the pick for sure, I don’t really see us picking a Slipstream Serpent over Strangling Soot. At this point I just hope some crazy Black cards were opened and that they will let me draft my W/U suspend deck…

Pack 7:

Flamecore Elemental, Gemhide Sliver, Feebleness, Ground Rift, Eternity Snare, Sidewinder Sliver, Paradox Haze, Firewake Sliver, Swarmyard

Gohon: Feebleness
Raph: Feebleness

“I think with Black being open we should get on the train and ride it, though haze was something to think about with all the suspends.”

Feebleness is the pick here, no doubt about that. Gemhide Sliver is my favorite Green common, and I’m surprised it’s still in the pack. I’m now more and more concerned about our first 5 picks. Hopefully it’s only two packs that were not meant to be…

Pack 8:

Mindstab, Gaze of Justice, Viashino Bladescout, Mystical Teachings, Thrill of the Hunt, Shadow Sliver, Bogardan Rager, Volcanic Awakening

Gohon: Mindstab
Raph: Mindstab

Black would be our backup plan for now, so might as well take the Mindstab.

Pack 9:

Ivory Giant, Deathspore Thallid, Flowstone Channeler, Traitor’s Clutch, D’Avenant Healer, Glass Asp, Weatherseed Totem

Gohon: Ivory Giant
Raph: Ivory Giant

We have no Green or Red cards, and we’re passed our sixth good quality suspend creature. Sure, the pack was good, but no one took the Giant. We haven’t passed so much White either, so is White open or not?

Pack 10:

Orcish Cannonade, Blazing Blade Askari, Glass Asp, Plunder, Fool’s Demise, Mountain

Gohon: Orcish Cannonade
Raph: Orcish Cannonade

Both White cards – Watcher Sliver and Benalish Cavalry – are gone… not a good sign.

Pack 11:

Viashino Bladescout, Mystical Teachings, Thrill of the Hunt, Shadow Sliver, Paradox Haze

Gohon: Thrill of the Hunt or Paradox Haze
Raph: Paradox Haze

I’ve tried this card in many decks, and I don’t remember it being good a single time. Maybe with 10 or 12 suspend cards it could be good.

Pack 12:

Molder, Children of Korlis, Sangrophage, Return to Dust

Pick: Molder

Pack 13:

Molder, Children of Korlis, Pendelhaven Elder

Pick: Pendelhaven Elder

Pack 14:

Gaze of Justice, Glass Asp

Pick: Gaze of Justice

Pack 15:

Ground Rift

Pick: Ground Rift

The good feeling I had after five picks is gone. No good Blue cards showed up to go along with our three Ephemerons (and picking the Brine Elemental wouldn’t have made a difference). We had hints tellings us that White was open, but it doesn’t seem that open after all. The way the deck will evolve will depend a lot on the second pack…

Pack 16:

Goblin Skycutter, Cancel, Penumbra Spider, Pentarch Ward, Assassinate, Ancient Grudge, Flickering Spirit, Call to the Netherworld, Drifter il-Dal, Havenwood Wurm, Wipe Away, Firemaw Kavu, Yavimaya Dryad, Flagstones of Trokair, Stupor

Gohon: Firemaw Kavu
Raph: Firemaw Kavu

“Kavu, easy pick”

In this case, Firemaw Kavu is an easy pick. Had there been a good Blue or White card, that would have been another problem. From there, we can go W/U splash Red, or U/B splash Red (the Red would also support the soot). With U/W, we can hopefully grab a Momentary Blink too…

Pack 17:

Errant Doomsayers, Viscerid Deepwalker, Ironclaw Buzzardiers, Search for Tomorrow, Icatian Crier, Bewilder, Detainment Spell, Sprout, Firemaw Kavu, Ghostflame Sliver, Paradise Plume, Restore Balance, Darkness, Terramorphic Expanse

Gohon: Firemaw Kavu
Raph: Firemaw Kavu

“Wow! Kavu again just nuts.”

I have to say I was really tempted to take the Deepwalker….

Pack 18:

Dark Withering, Goblin Skycutter, Crookclaw Transmuter, Strength in Numbers, Zealot il-Vec, Aetherflame Wall, Pit Keeper, Sage of Epityr, Divine Congregation, *, Assembly-Worker, Dralnu, Lich Lord, Valor

Gohon: Dark Withering
Raph: Dark Withering

Dark Withering is a great card. It was this or Transmuter, but if I remember we really did not think about Transmuter for very long. I think in this format that a toughness of one for a high casting cost guy just loses a lot of value due to Charms and the sort.”

Taking the Dark Withering now would also mean giving up White (Duskrider Peregrine and two Ivory Giants, basically the “nut suspend deck”) for Strangling Soot and Dark Withering. At the time I’m writing this, I’m unsure it was the right pick…

Pack 19:

Snapback, Aether Web, Lightning Axe, Cloudchaser Kestrel, Thallid Shell-Dweller, Jhoira’s Timebug, Jedit’s Dragoons, Savage Thallid, Urza’s Factory, Fallen Ideal, Wheel of Fate, Squire

Gohon: Lightning Axe
Raph: Lightning Axe

”Tough choice here. Snapback works great with just about everything in the deck, but Axe is one of the best removal spells in the game. I also felt that Blue was dead so we went with Axe.”

This was a tough one again. I don’t see a configuration where I wouldn’t play the two Kavus. So if I play Red, might as well play the Lightning Axe too, right? The Snapback though, would have worked great with the Kavus too. I got my mind set on the Axe, but I’m still unsure it was the right pick…

Pack 20:

Cloudchaser Kestrel, Terramorphic Expanse, Snapback, Basal Sliver, Drifter il-Dal, Subterranean Shambler, Mindlash Sliver, Spirit Loop, Mangara of Corondor, Consecrate Land, Swamp

Gohon: Terramorphic Expanse
Raph: Terramorphic Expanse

“Tough choice again with the same card. I thought that Expanse was better for mana fixing for or whatever the splash might be.”

At this point in the draft, we have a little clearer idea of where we’re going. It’s not going to be White, but Black, Red, and Blue. With only 3 Ephemeron as Blue cards, it might be the third color and we won’t have access to the Dreamscape Artist as a fixer. In this case, Terramorphic Expanse has to be the pick.

Pack 21:

Thallid Germinator, Zealot il-Vec, Ironclaw Buzzardiers, Temporal Eddy, Basal Sliver, Sage of Epityr, Ghitu Firebreathing, Foriysian Totem, Paradise Plume, Sarpadian Empires, Vol. VII

Pick: Foriysian Totem

Pack 22:

Mogg War Marshal, Think Twice, Pit Keeper, Divine Congregation, Jhoira’s Timebug, Chameleon Blur, Cavalry Master, Trickbind, Feldon’s Cane

Pick: Mogg War Marshal

Given the fact that any way we build, our deck is going to be slow, the Mogg War Marshal is going to be of some help if we’re playing Red as a primary color.

Pack 23:

Mogg War Marshal, Think Twice, Urborg Syphon-Mage, Screeching Sliver, Ancient Grudge, Greenseeker, Wipe Away, Skulking Knight

Gohon: Urborg Syphon-Mage
Raph: Urborg Syphon-Mage

“Kinda late for a Mage to come around, but great for us.”

Pack 24:

Cancel, Pentarch Ward, Ancient Grudge, Flickering Spirit, Call to the Netherworld, Drifter il-Dal, Havenwood Wurm

Pick: Havenwood Wurm

Pack 25:

Ironclaw Buzzardiers, Bewilder, Detainment Spell, Ghostflame Sliver, Paradise Plume, Restore Balance

Pick: Ghostflame Sliver

Pack 26:

Goblin Skycutter, Aetherflame Wall, Sage of Epityr, Divine Congregation, Assembly-Worker

Pick: Goblin Skycutter

Pack 27:

Jhoira’s Timebug, Jedit’s Dragoons, Savage Thallid, Fallen Ideal

Pick: Jhoira’s Timebug

Pack 28:

Drifter il-Dal, Spirit Loop, Swamp

Pick: Swamp

Pack 29:

Ghitu Firebreathing, Paradise Plume

Pick: Paradise Plume

Pack 30:

Divine Congregation

Pick: Divine Congregation

The draft took a strange turn. A lot of good Red showed up, and what was supposed to be a little splash became one of the primary colors. The Orcish Cannonade that was supposed to end up in the sideboard became of the good cards in the deck…

Pack 31:

Whitemane Lion, Midnight Charm, Saltfield Recluse, Synchronous Sliver, Needlepeak Spider, Evolution Charm, Pallid Mycoderm, Brain Gorgers, Revered Dead, Prodigal Pyromancer, Vampiric Link, Necrotic Sliver, Big Game Hunter, Blood Knight, Retether

Gohon: Big Game Hunter or Prodigal Pyromancer
Raph: Prodigal Pyromancer

Gohon probably overrated Big Game Hunter a little… heh.

Pack 32:

Cradle to Grave, Dead / Gone, Reflex Sliver, Poultice Sliver, Spitting Sliver, Uktabi Drake, Ghost Tactician, Firefright Mage, Gossamer Phantasm, Rathi Trapper, Primal Plasma, Timebender, Keen Sense, Magus of the Arena

Gohon: Magus of the Arena
Raph: Magus of the Arena

“More removal, a bomb, or a tapper. Arena is just great for this deck.”

I considered Dead / Gone for a while, but Magus is just too good. Oh, along with two Firemaw Kavus, it’s just… well, you know.

Pack 33:

Reflex Sliver, Dreamscape Artist, Poultice Sliver, Ridged Kusite, Reality Acid, Citanul Woodreaders, Pallid Mycoderm, Seal of Primordium, Sinew Sliver, Melancholy, Enslave, Timecrafting, Calciderm

Gohon: Enslave
Raph: Enslave

I guess we have no doubt about our colors any more.

Pack 34:

Mire Boa, Dust Corona, Vitaspore Thallid, Dash Hopes, Aquamorph Entity, Shade of Trokair, Piracy Charm, Essence Warden, Sunlance, Psychotrope Thallid, Timecrafting, Frozen Aether

Gohon: Bah…
Raph: Mire Boa

Might as well take the most annoying card…

Pack 35:

Battering Sliver, Keldon Marauders, Dust Corona, Uktabi Drake, Blightspeaker, Aquamorph Entity, Gossamer Phantasm, Fa’adiyah Seer, Brute Force, Pongify, Rebuff the Wicked

Gohon: Pongify
Raph: Aquamorph Entity

I don’t know how much Blue we’re going to play. A random morph might end up in the deck, unlike Pongify, which is very likely to end up in the sideboard.

Pack 36:

Erratic Mutation, Cradle to Grave, Brain Gorgers, Keldon Marauders, Ghost Tactician, Wistful Thinking, Dash Hopes, Brute Force, Piracy Charm

Gohon: Cradle to Grave
Raph: Cradle to Grave

Cradle to Grave or Brute Force. To me this is no match, especially in a deck loaded with removal like the one we have.

Pack 37:

Dawn Charm, Midnight Charm, Brain Gorgers, Fury Charm, Piracy Charm, Skirk Shaman, Treacherous Urge, Pyrohemia, Fury Charm

Gohon: Pyrohemia
Raph: Pyrohemia


Pack 38:

Veiling Oddity, Wistful Thinking, Keldon Marauders, Dash Hopes, Vitaspore Thallid, Mana Tithe, Vampiric Link, Tidewalker

Gohon: ?
Raph: Mana Tithe

With more than five cards that can cost six or more in the deck, this is a card you really don’t want to play around.

Pack 39:

Whitemane Lion, Midnight Charm, Synchronous Sliver, Pallid Mycoderm, Brain Gorgers, Revered Dead, Vampiric Link

Gohon: Midnight Charm
Raph: Midnight Charm

Could have taken the Whitemane Lion. Good playable versus hate draft… As I wasn’t sure how many cards we could play, I opted for the Charm.

Pack 40:

Cradle to Grave, Uktabi Drake, Ghost Tactician, Firefright Mage, Gossamer Phantasm, Keen Sense

Pick: Cradle to Grave

Pack 41:

Poultice Sliver, Ridged Kusite, Pallid Mycoderm, Seal of Primordium, Timecrafting

Pick: Poultice Sliver

Pack 42:

Dust Corona, Dash Hopes, Aquamorph Entity, Timecrafting

Pick: Aquamorph Entity

Pack 43:

Battering Sliver, Dust Corona, Rebuff the Wicked

Pick: Battering Sliver

Pack 44:

Ghost Tactician, Dash Hopes

Pick: Dash Hopes

Pack 45:

Fury Charm

Pick: Fury Charm

Draft recording done by Blargware‘s MTGO DraftCap. Support Blargware!

Strange how a draft can go, hmm? And even after I wrote the article, I’m really not sure about a few picks (feel free to discuss them in the forums).


Lightning Axe
Midnight Charm
2 Cradle to Grave
Ghostflame Sliver
Goblin Skycutter
Mogg War Marshal
Orcish Cannonade
Strangling Soot
Forysian Totem
Prodigal Pyromancer
Urborg Syphon-Mage
Paradise Plume
Dark Withering
2 Firemaw Kavu
Magus of the Arena
2 Errant Ephemeron
Terramorphic Expanse
1 Island
7 Swamp
8 Mountain

“I though building the deck was really fun, and we did not really know how many Errant Ephemerons we wanted to play because they are so good. But I think I could not have been happier with the deck we built.”

Left in the sideboard, we have:
1 Errant Ephemeron
2 Aquamorph Entity

While deckbuilding, we had a couple of decisions to make.

1 – How many lands?
I really wanted to play the Paradise Plumes. No one really likes this card, but I do. The life gaining ability is not that irrelevant, and in this deck it’s another way to have access to the Blue mana, and also a way to accelerate to one of your six-drops – two Kavus, Enslave, and Magus. More than seventeen lands with both Totem and Plumes would have been wrong.

2 – How many Ephemerons?
They are very likely to be late-game cards. With only one Island, one Expanse, and one Plumes to cast them, they are just big dragons that win the game when you’re done controling the board. Three is definitely too many, as you don’t want them to jam your hand in the early game.

3 – More Swamps or Mountains?
With more cards costing RR, and the early creatures being Red, and extra Mountain is required.

I was quite satisfied with how the deck ended up. Sure, it wasn’t the nut White/Blue deck I was expecting after the first five picks, but it definitely looked sexy.

“We lost round 1 to what looked to be a bad W/U deck. Yeah, I know… with all the bombs we had, we lost to a deck with zero bombs that we say and not a very good aggro deck. Game 1, the deck just flowed like magic and it was not even close. Game 2 we Mulliganed a hand with just one land – and that was an Island. We then mulliganed again to a hand with just one Island, then again to a land with just one Island… what are the odds? We then lost Game 3, despite our opponent’s best efforts (he killed his Zealot en-dal with its own ability, suspended a Shade of Trokair and burnt for three in the late game), we couldn’t recover from our fve-spell / thirteen-land draw…”

I hope the folks I drafted with enjoyed the experience, and tune it next time for some Swedish action!


By the way, I updated the instructions on the forums, so check them out!