Video Drafting With Noah – Scars of Mirrodin #2!

Tuesday, November 23rd – Noah returns for another of his exclusive hybrid drafts–text drafts with fully commentated match play! Check out his latest B/W concoction and watch it excel!

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  Pack 1 pick 1:

  My Pick:

First off, this pack sucks. There are cards that are castable, technically, but awfully narrow and weak for first picks. I would be annoyed to take anything here second or third, much less P1p1.

When faced with a pack as weak as this, you could look for a color or archetype that’s underdrafted and go for a niche position. In this pack I did give serious consideration to Throne of Geth. It’s not strong but if you’re drafting the right deck it can do some excellent things.

But while that scenario exists, I couldn’t put it above the universal potential of Argentum Armor. Like most equipment, it has a role in infect and aggro. It’s even a win condition for control. Of course that flexibility has a price, in this case 12 mana and spending a lot of prayer points to permit your guy to a) get equipped, and b) attack while equipped. I’m pessimistic about my opponent’s non-intervention, so in general I’m not a fan of cards like this. But the effect is powerful enough, and nothing else in the pack presented an argument otherwise.

  Pack 1 pick 2:

  My Pick:

Another fairly weak pack. I went with Palladium Myr because it’s safe, and seemed to fit with drafting a 6 mana equipment one pick ago. Idol, a card I’m fond of, was in the picture but Palladium is only slightly weaker with a better fit to the deck so far.

  Pack 1 pick 3:

  My Pick:

A 3rd pick Axe is nice, especially as its a card that once again goes everywhere. I wasn’t ready to jump in a color yet, and Axe is arguably better than the options anyway.

  Pack 1 pick 4:

  My Pick:

A very tough pick. The Plague Stinger was drawing my eye, and while it wasn’t amazing with Palladium Myr, it fit fine with everything else. And in some circles, a 4th pick Stinger is a big welcome mat.

But I went with Necrogen Scudder. Results notwithstanding, I think arguments can be made for and against a lot of the cards here. The issue with Stinger is that there’s a Mamba here too. Not that a 5th pick Snake shoves someone into infect, but I was concerned that seeing only infect on the 4th pack was a false signal, and/or that the person on my left had dabbled into infect, and the Mamba would be enough to keep them afloat, and thus cut me off in pack two. Admittedly two things had to go wrong, but if they both did, the Stinger was utterly dead. On the balance, I didn’t find the reward worth the risk.

So why Scudder over Beserkers or Replica? Because I think Black in Scars is deceptively strong, Red deceptively weak, and Scudder is a real threat anyway. Serpent Warrior was always a rock star, and giving him flying doesn’t exactly make him worse. I guess the pick comes down to personal preference, but when the clock’s ticking, that’s as good a reason as any.

  Pack 1 pick 5:

  My Pick:

Untamed Might if we went with the Stinger. But since we did not, Forgemaster is legit. The ability is clunky but has its uses. I wasn’t quite brave enough to grab the Vampires, but did have pipe dreams of it tabling.

  Pack 1 pick 6:

  My Pick:

Trigon of Rage is pretty good, but we already have lots of pricey activations on our cards. Another Myr seemed like a good fit here, again considering the totality of what we had drafted. I don’t care about weighing power in a vacuum, I care about what makes

deck better.

  Pack 1 pick 7:

  My Pick:

Similar principle. A card that keeps us alive while our expensive stuff comes online. I’m liking Shield more and more, but it’s still another pricey card that needed creatures in play to wield.

  Pack 1 pick 8:

  My Pick:

You could make an argument for Corupted Harvester here. Not that it’s any good, but it has a higher chance of being played. I went with Bonds though because I had to start thinking of a second color, and Blue was a possibility. Bonds is hardly impressive, but it gets the job done.

  Pack 1 pick 9:

  My Pick:

Similar thinking, except Soliton is technically playable even absent blue.

  Pack 1 pick 10:

  My Pick:

Hate draft.

  Pack 1 pick 11:

  My Pick:

I had no reason to think black wasn’t going to be played, but for a second color white was also on the table. Acolyte is another card that’s growing on me. It doesn’t make the cut in pure metalcraft decks, but if you can afford some colored creatures its usually more relevant than Moriok Reaver.

  Pack 1 pick 12:

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  Pack 1 pick 15:

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  Pack 2 pick 1:

  My Pick:

Another fairly weak pack. Glider is fine, but a little anemic. Palladium Myr wasn’t any kind of exciting either, but if one was good, two had to at least be playable

  Pack 2 pick 2:

  My Pick:

This one was more interesting. Slice in Twain is very close in power level to Myrsmith. It’s a consistency vs. power argument, but I think the numbers put them roughly equal. So given that, were we more likely to play White or Green?

Well first off, I felt Myrsmith was better in this deck. Lack of artifact kill notwithstanding, double Palladium Myr and double equipment implies Myr will get made and get used. In addition, I could not imagine us playing green; not only had we seen almost nothing, what we had looked at had been passed anyway. White felt more likely to be a maindeck color, and in this case, the rewards were higher too.

  Pack 2 pick 3:

  My Pick:

Easy enough. White was definitely a color. Black, by default, still looked appeared a likely pairing.

  Pack 2 pick 4:

  My Pick:

Auriok Sunchaser is ok, but it actually needs you to warp your deck to accomodate. Warden is always a 2/4 presence, but if Sunchaser isn’t turned on, it may as well be blank. Looking at the deck so far, Sunchaser did not look like a good fit.

Which left Instill Infection, unless we wanted to play it safe with Necrogen Censor, or branch out with Thrummingbird. Since again the deck did not look like it would appreciate either of those cards as much as Instill, and I still thought I would be B/W, Instill was the pick. As a bonus, two Palladium Myr made the 4cc a lot more palatable.

  Pack 2 pick 5:

  My Pick:

I think this pick is debatable, but I’m fine with the Replica. Sunchaser still offered nothing, and while I like Skyguard, I wanted the option to turn on Myrsmith/future metalcraft. You could make an argument for Harness, but Replica felt more likely to be impactful. You still need dudes to equip.

  Pack 2 pick 6:

  My Pick:

Beserkers caught my eye, maybe as replacing black, maybe as a splash. But it felt like a lot of work for not much gain. Trigon of Thought is pretty weak, but again double Palladium made it more manageable. I didn’t really want to use it, but if the deck ended up like it was looking, it wouldn’t be unplayable.

  Pack 2 pick 7:

  My Pick:

This was a weird pick. I’m not exactly sure what I was thinking. Shield ended up being an MVP, but if I were faced with this pack again, I think I’d take Trigon or Replica first. Maybe even Instill.

  Pack 2 pick 8:

  My Pick:

What a gift. For the record, I think Tumble Magnet is a top common; its stock just keeps rising. I’ve taken them over Shatters before, and been happy with the choice. To get one this late is awesome.

  Pack 2 pick 9:

  My Pick:

Hated up Thrummers. Probably didn’t need to if it was going this late, the proliferate deck hadn’t materialized. Normally I would pick up Soul Parry, but I did remember there were two in a row on the last pass, and that it was likely the second one would also table.

  Pack 2 pick 10:

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  Pack 2 pick 14:

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  Pack 2 pick 15:

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  Pack 3 pick 1:

  My Pick:

Oh the forums would erupt if I passed this one.

Since the last discussion on Vat, I have played with it and against it. And while it is good, and sometimes unbeatable, it is often beatable, and sometimes dead. Everyone loves to see upside, but sometimes you spend your three mana on Vat rather than playing another creature or equipping something, and it just sits there or gets destroyed immediately. I’m not talking about activation, because you’ll usually get value if it emits anything at all. But three mana to plop down nothing is a lot, and if you glaze over that part, you’re not seeing the bigger, interactive picture. Actually I’ll revise that. Vat is probably amazing when you’re playing against opponents who are a little more timid, who play clunkier spells and thus pass more early turns without doing anything. If that is truly your opposition, than Vat looks pretty sweet.

I can’t rely on that. If my opponents are playing bad or building bad, than I should win anyway. But I give my unknown opponents the credit that any turn I spend three mana and do nothing, they will punish me. And the games I play below bear this out.

Nonetheless, in this deck Vat was the right pick. Not because it’s an unstoppable bomb, but because it was the best fit for the cards drafted so far.

PLu$ foil rare y’all!

  Pack 3 pick 2:

  My Pick:

Now Skinrender is an out and out bomb, and makes the Vat pick look even better. Also a lock on the Black vote.

  Pack 3 pick 3:

  My Pick:

Not that there was much competition, but our deck is morphing into a more controlling build, with Vat and Armor as late game winners. And again, that style fit what we had taken so far.

  Pack 3 pick 4:

  My Pick:

This one probably looks weird, but a creature count showed the deck was dangerously low on actual critters. I’d have still taken Grasp or whatever here, but otherwise I wanted a creature over a non-creature.

  Pack 3 pick 5:

  My Pick:

Similar to above, although a lot closer. True Conviction is certainly a game changer, and often a game winner. I like the card, although there are times it does nothing for the caster. And my thoughts on Lifestaff are well known, although it would be third behind Conviction and Painsmith.

I went with Painsmith here, and I stand behind it. I needed creatures and I did not need an expensive non-creature. Conviction is ideal when its the last card in your hand when you have a board full of stuff. That was not the deck we were building. Painsmith is good, but more importantly it appeared more likely to impact the board.

  Pack 3 pick 6:

  My Pick:

Easy get. While that Shield pick above was still really weird, it did make the Shikari here even stronger. I have no idea how to interpret the weird glut of Infect in this pack.

  Pack 3 pick 7:

  My Pick:

This pick was a mistake. I should have taken Flesh Allergy. It’s not a great card, but you do feel comfort having it available. And with Mimic Vat and Myrsmith, it had a little more gain. I do think Replica was right over the Vampires, but it was still a mispick.

  Pack 3 pick 8:

  My Pick:

Untammed Might was the correct hate draft.

  Pack 3 pick 9:

  My Pick:

Dross Hopper was probably correct, although I didn’t think it would be maindecked. But have you ever seen someone equip Armor only to get Defianced out? Seedtime 2.0.

  Pack 3 pick 10:

  My Pick:

I’d like to say I knew the Hopper was coming, but nope. Just lucky I got to undo the last mispick.

  Pack 3 pick 11:

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  Pack 3 pick 12:

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  Pack 3 pick 13:

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  Pack 3 pick 14:

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  Pack 3 pick 15:

  My Pick:

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Here’s the final deck:

Overall I liked this deck. I thought we read the packs well, and it came together in a reasonable package.

The 24th card was that Soul Parry. I don’t maindeck it often, but there was nothing else that intersected on the axis of presence and mana cost. Soliton was close, but I just didn’t want more expsneive stuff. Dross Hopper was too weak to maindeck here.

As for the games, see for yourself:

Round 1:

Round 2:

Round 3:

Thanks for watching. Questions and constuctive comments are always welcome.


Coolnoah _at_ Geemail dot com