SCG Daily – Drafting With Rich #2

Rich returns with another RGD walkthrough… one that’ll be close to every MTGO player’s heart. What do the best drafters in the world take when they open not one, not two, but three rare shocklands?

This is an awkward draft to write about, since it shows what happens when you draft on Magic Online instead of in Pro Tours or money drafts. This is an example of trying to maximise your expected value by taking money rares when you are given the opportunity. It’s not often you’ll open three dual lands (in fact, it’s a first for me), but it is a nice treat once in a while.

Pack 1:

Gaze of the Gorgon; Goblin Spelunkers; Greater Mossdog; Gather Courage; Island; Dimir Infiltrator; Necromantic Thirst; Goblin Fire Fiend; Compulsive Research; Last Gasp; Viashino Fangtail; Conclave Phalanx; Belltower Sphinx; Clutch of the Undercity; Watery Grave

Pick: Watery Grave

If there wasn’t a Watery Grave in this pack I would take the Compulsive Research. I was unsure about what I would take if the Watery Grave weren’t there, but after consulting the other pros surrounding me and having them all say Compulsive Research I felt better about it.

Pack 2:

Wojek Siren; Convolute; Dimir Aqueduct; Sabertooth Alley Cat; Gather Courage; Stone-Seeder Hierophant; Leave No Trace; Drake Familiar; Compulsive Research; Shambling Shell; Sandsower; Flame-Kin Zealot; Flame-Kin Zealot; Hunted Phantasm

Pick: Compulsive Research

Here we get the Research and no competition. Easy enough.

Pack 3:

Viashino Slasher; Golgari Rot Farm; Consult the Necrosages; Incite Hysteria; Centaur Safeguard; Lurking Informant; Surge of Zeal; Sundering Vitae; Dimir Signet; Fiery Conclusion; Divebomber Griffin; Remand; Golgari Guildmage

Pick: Remand

Here I was strongly considering taking the Guildmage, but didn’t because the Remand left my options open, something I feel is very important in this format. All the other pros, including Anton Jonsson, said I should take the Remand.

Pack 4:

Selesnya Sanctuary; Stasis Cell; Roofstalker Wight; Nightguard Patrol; Clinging Darkness; Perplex; Shred Memory; Zephyr Spirit; Transluminant; Selesnya Signet; Voyager Staff; Perilous Forays

Pick: Transluminant

Here we took Transluminant because it’s the best card in the pack. It also leaves the preferred option of UGR open.

Pack 5:

Gaze of the Gorgon; Coalhauler Swine; Tidewater Minion; Stinkweed Imp; Quickchange; Rain of Embers; Elves of Deep Shadow; Conclave Equenaut; Netherborn Phalanx; Glass Golem; Congregation at Dawn

Pick: Stinkweed Imp

This time we took Stinkweed Imp because it’s significantly more powerful than the rest of the pack. Powerful enough to take it over the Tidewater Minion or Elves of Deep Shadow, which leave the options open.

Pack 6:

Votary of the Conclave; Benevolent Ancestor; Vedalken Entrancer; Thundersong Trumpeter; Rally the Righteous; Elvish Skysweeper; Conclave’s Blessing; Blockbuster; Reroute; Nullmage Shepherd

Pick: Vedalken Entrancer

Here we take Vedalken Entrancer since Blue is the only color we’re certain we’re going to be playing.

Pack 7:

Terrarion; Votary of the Conclave; Thundersong Trumpeter; Ordruun Commando; Seismic Spike; Boros Recruit; Flight of Fancy; Mnemonic Nexus; Sunhome, Fortress of the Legion

Pick: Flight of Fancy

Once again we take the Blue card, although at this point we’re starting to regret not trying to move into Red White for all the Trumpeters flying around.

Pack 8:

Tattered Drake; Strands of Undeath; Barbarian Riftcutter; Muddle the Mixture; Sadistic Augermage; Caregiver; Island; Thoughtpicker Witch

Pick: Tattered Drake

Here we get the underrated Tattered Drake, which fits well into what looks like it’s going to be a Blue based control deck.

Pack 9:

Goblin Spelunkers; Greater Mossdog; Island; Dimir Infiltrator; Necromantic Thirst; Goblin Fire Fiend; Conclave Phalanx

Pick: Dimir Infiltrator

Now we’re pretty much set into a Blue Black deck, with Red or White depending on what we get in pack two, so we take the Infiltrator over Mossdog.

Pack 10:

Wojek Siren; Sabertooth Alley Cat; Stone-Seeder Hierophant; Leave No Trace; Drake Familiar; Hunted Phantasm

Pick: Hunted Phantasm


Pack 11:

Viashino Slasher; Incite Hysteria; Lurking Informant; Surge of Zeal; Sundering Vitae

Pick: Lurking Informant


Pack 12:

Shred Memory; Zephyr Spirit; Voyager Staff; Perilous Forays

Pick: Voyager Staff


Pack 13:

Gaze of the Gorgon; Coalhauler Swine; Quickchange

Pick: Gaze of the Gorgon

Pack 14:

Votary of the Conclave; Conclave’s Blessing

Pick: Conclave’s Blessing

Pack 15:

Seismic Spike

Pick: Seismic Spike

Pack 16:

Restless Bones; Petrahydrox; Skyrider Trainee; Runeboggle; Mourning Thrull; Cry of Contrition; Izzet Signet; Ghor-Clan Savage; Streetbreaker Wurm; Bloodscale Prowler; Infiltrator’s Magemark; Feral Animist; Droning Bureaucrats; Primeval Light; Stomping Ground

Pick: Stomping Ground

Gotta take the land. Fortunately this time there’s only a Signet we’re missing out on.

Pack 17:

Mourning Thrull; Train of Thought; Restless Bones; Fencer’s Magemark; Wee Dragonauts; Skarrgan Pit-Skulk; Withstand; Douse in Gloom; Silhana Starfletcher; Orzhov Basilica; Blind Hunter; Aetherplasm; Gelectrode; Moratorium Stone

Pick: Douse in Gloom

Here we took Douse in Gloom over the more powerful Gelectrode, in attempt to delay the decision between Red or White until we have more information.

Pack 18:

Skyrider Trainee; Gigadrowse; Wild Cantor; Cremate; Gruul Nodorog; Repeal; Scab-Clan Mauler; Izzet Boilerworks; Ghost Warden; Wildsize; Orzhova, the Church of Deals; Skarrgan Skybreaker; Drowned Rusalka

Pick: Repeal

Repeal and Izzet Boilerworks are the only playables for us, and we’re still trying to delay the decision between Red and White, so we take the Repeal.

Pack 19:

Castigate; Orzhov Signet; Torch Drake; Shrieking Grotesque; Gruul Scrapper; Petrahydrox; Guardian’s Magemark; Gigadrowse; Burning-Tree Bloodscale; Cremate; Cryptwailing; Izzet Guildmage

Pick: Izzet Guildmage

Maybe we’re delaying too long, but we continue delaying and take the Izzet Guildmage with no combos over Orzhov Signet.

Pack 20:

Gruul Turf; Torch Drake; Absolver Thrull; Skarrgan Pit-Skulk; Benediction of Moons; Izzet Chronarch; Crystal Seer; Silhana Ledgewalker; Predatory Focus; Drowned Rusalka; Borborygmos

Pick: Izzet Chronarch

Since we delayed in choosing colors we got rewarded with an Izzet Chronarch, which fits very will into our deck.

Pack 21:

Wildsize; Ogre Savant; Gruul Nodorog; Fencer’s Magemark; Poisonbelly Ogre; Leap of Flame; Benediction of Moons; Revenant Patriarch; Battering Wurm

Pick: Ogre Savant

Once again we have an Izzet card much more powerful than anything else in the pack, and an easy pick.

Pack 22:

Infiltrator’s Magemark; Absolver Thrull; Scab-Clan Mauler; Poisonbelly Ogre; Guardian’s Magemark; Runeboggle; Predatory Focus; Order of the Stars; Witch-Maw Nephilim

Pick: Runeboggle

Hopefully we don’t have to play it, but there are few more fun things in the format than getting to yell “BOGGLE YA.”

Pack 23:

Tin Street Hooligan; Lionheart Maverick; Leap of Flame; Train of Thought; Beastmaster’s Magemark; Withstand; Gruul Signet; Aetherplasm

Pick: Train of Thought

This gives us sufficient card draw, and something to search for with Dimir Infiltrator. Perfect.

Pack 24:

Restless Bones; Petrahydrox; Skyrider Trainee; Runeboggle; Izzet Signet; Infiltrator’s Magemark; Primeval Light

Pick: Izzet Signet

Here’s the Signet that we would have first picked. Free Stomping Ground!

Pack 25:

Restless Bones; Wee Dragonauts; Skarrgan Pit-Skulk; Withstand; Aetherplasm; Moratorium Stone

Pick: Wee Dragonauts

Hopefully we don’t need to play the Dragonauts, since it’s not great in the late game and it probably won’t be very easy to play on turn 3.

Pack 26:

Skyrider Trainee; Gigadrowse; Cremate; Gruul Nodorog; Skarrgan Skybreaker

Pick: Cremate

We took Cremate because we may end up playing it to combo with the Izzet Guildmage.

Pack 27:

Castigate; Guardian’s Magemark; Gigadrowse; Cremate

Pick: Cremate


Pack 28:

Skarrgan Pit-Skulk; Benediction of Moons; Crystal Seer

Pick: Crystal Seer


Pack 29:

Gruul Nodorog; Benediction of Moons

Pick: Gruul Nodorog

Pack 30:

Poisonbelly Ogre

Pick: Poisonbelly Ogre

Pack 31:

Kill-Suit Cultist; Street Savvy; Azorius First-Wing; Writ of Passage; Vesper Ghoul; Simic Ragworm; Steeling Stance; Wrecking Ball; Sandstorm Eidolon; Slaughterhouse Bouncer; Rakdos Carnarium; Vigean Intuition; Condemn; Skyscribing; Breeding Pool

Pick: Breeding Pool

At this point they started calling me "the luckiest man alive". There was a scare as MTGO went down before I could pick the Breeding Pool. Fortunately I got back on before I timed out and got a random card.

Pack 32:

Utopia Sprawl; Rakdos Ickspitter; Simic Signet; Ogre Gatecrasher; Demon’s Jester; Riot Spikes; Taste for Mayhem; Simic Initiate; Vigean Hydropon; Nettling Curse; Beacon Hawk; Azorius Guildmage; Mistral Charger; Ghost Quarter

Pick: Rakdos Ickspitter

Since we probably won’t be able to have sufficient White sources to make the Azorius Guildmage good, we took the Rakdos Ickspitter.

Pack 33:

Coiling Oracle; Taste for Mayhem; Street Savvy; Vigean Hydropon; Beacon Hawk; Enemy of the Guildpact; Cytospawn Shambler; Carom; Seal of Fire; Entropic Eidolon; Brain Pry; Might of the Nephilim; Unliving Psychopath

Pick: Seal of Fire

Seal of Fire is the best card in the pack, and a good fit for our deck. At the prerelease Unliving Psychopath looked insane to me, but after playing with it (and against it) I now realize how mana intensive it can be, and how rarely it’s game-dominating.

Pack 34:

Minister of Impediments; Utopia Sprawl; Freewind Equenaut; Azorius Signet; Whiptail Moloch; Writ of Passage; Plumes of Peace; Sporeback Troll; Haazda Exonerator; Delirium Skeins; Prahv, Spires of Order; Squealing Devil

Pick: Minister of Impediments

Best card in the pack, and a good fit for the deck.

Pack 35:

Sandstorm Eidolon; Steeling Stance; Macabre Waltz; Kill-Suit Cultist; Azorius First-Wing; Simic Initiate; Vision Skeins; Riot Spikes; Magewright’s Stone; Palliation Accord; Blessing of the Nephilim

Pick: Macabre Waltz

Waltz is the only card that fits in our deck since Riot Spikes just isn’t powerful enough.

Pack 36:

Coiling Oracle; Whiptail Moloch; Thrive; Haazda Exonerator; Overrule; Verdant Eidolon; Guardian of the Guildpact; Macabre Waltz; Stoic Ephemera; Hellhole Rats

Pick: Hellhole Rats

We’re lacking dudes and already have a Waltz. Hellhole Rats fits our deck, which just wants to gain card advantage and doesn’t really care what it actually wins with.

Pack 37:

Ocular Halo; Freewind Equenaut; Psychotic Fury; Overrule; Utvara Scalper; Plumes of Peace; Soulsworn Jury; Vision Skeins; Paladin of Prahv

Pick: Ocular Halo

Halo doesn’t fit well into our deck, and we have no combos, but it’s powerful enough to play anyway.

Pack 38:

Gobhobbler Rats; Valor Made Real; Enigma Eidolon; Shielding Plax; Slaughterhouse Bouncer; Slithering Shade; Might of the Nephilim; Trial / Error

Pick: Enigma Eidolon

Enigma Eidolon gives us early defence and can help the Entrancer and Lurking Informant mill someone out. Both are more important to us than a conditional counterspell.

Pack 39:

Kill-Suit Cultist; Street Savvy; Writ of Passage; Steeling Stance; Slaughterhouse Bouncer; Vigean Intuition; Skyscribing

Pick: Slaughterhouse Bouncer

Hopefully we don’t have to play the Bouncer, but he’s a body in case we need it.

Pack 40:

Ogre Gatecrasher; Simic Initiate; Vigean Hydropon; Nettling Curse; Beacon Hawk; Ghost Quarter

Pick: Ogre Gatecrasher

Now we get a late Ogre Gatecrasher, which the forums apparently underrate.

Pack 41:

Street Savvy; Vigean Hydropon; Carom; Entropic Eidolon; Brain Pry

Pick: Entropic Eidolon

Early throwaway defence and decent lategame.

Pack 42:

Whiptail Moloch; Writ of Passage; Haazda Exonerator; Delirium Skeins

Pick: Delirium Skeins

Pack 43:

Steeling Stance; Vision Skeins; Blessing of the Nephilim

Pack 44:

Whiptail Moloch; Haazda Exonerator

Pick: Whiptail Moloch

Pack 45:

Vision Skeins

Pick: Vision Skeins

See you tomorrow!