Yer Ma Dawg, Blue – A Tim Aten Draft Walkthrough, Part II

The Fifth Dawn picks plus the draft recap.

Fifth Dawn

Pick One: Trinket Mage, Armed Response, Thought Courier, Razorgrass Screen, Mana Geyser, Skyreach Manta, Pentad Prism, Ferocious Charge, Krark-Clan Ogre, Suntouched Myr, Lose Hope, Avarice Totem, Fangren Pathcutter, Magma Jet, Bringer of the Red Dawn

There she is. If Betsy Lou weren’t in this pack, I probably would have taken Magma Jet and splashed it. Unless you’re Green (and sometimes not even then), it’s not a good idea to get your hopes up on Bringers unless you have some mana fixers already. Sometimes the Prisms don’t come. Obviously, it’s fine to hope to open Trinket Mage since Bola and Longbow are fine without the Mage. Looter is much worse in this block than in 7th or Odyssey, but it’s still pretty good.

Pick Two: Summoning Station, Healer’s Headdress, Fleshgrafter, Rain of Rust, Suntouched Myr, Sylvok Explorer, Stasis Cocoon, Sparring Collar, Armed Response, Thermal Navigator, Fill With Fright, Viridian Scout, Shattered Dreams, Spinal Parasite

It sucks that we don’t have any acceleration for this, but it’s so much more powerful than Fleshgrafter, Fill With Fright, or Thermal Navigator that I’m willing to risk having it stranded in my hand. In a more focused and/or more aggressive deck, particularly with more artifacts, I could see taking Fleshgrafter. Our deck seems to want to slow the game down and take control, so we can probably abuse the broken retarded fangren kiblerosity of this card.

Pick Three: Guardian Idol, Thought Courier, Mana Geyser, Anodet Lurker, Viridian Scout, Myr Servitor, Advanced Hoverguard, Heliophial, Cackling Imp, Ferocious Charge, Neurok Stealthsuit, Plasma Elemental, Circle of Protection: Artifacts

This juicy peach will probably allow us to play sixteen lands, something we usually strive for in this format. Turian discovered this way before everyone else. We made fun of him for playing fifteen lands with only a solitary Spellbomb as a”fixer,” but he was closer to correct than we were. He still had no business heaving a mighty sigh when he missed land drop six to play and equip Vulshok Battlegear on turn 6. Anyway, if we had two Myr we might have taken the Looter, which is probably slightly better than the four-mana 2/2 flyers. They are all fine cards, assuming you’re keeping an eye on your mana curve. An artifact mana source seemed to be just what this deck needed here.

Pick Four: Infused Arrows, Thermal Navigator, Vulshok Sorcerer, Serum Visions, Battered Golem, Sylvok Explorer, Thought Courier, Sparring Collar, Mana Geyser, Armed Response, Relentless Rats, Chimeric Coils

Nice common runs. I hate passing the Sorcerer because it seems to decide a lot of games, but we have no chance of playing it. Oh, and Arrows is the superior card. I think Arrows might be better even in a two-color deck since it can’t be pinged itself, and it will get a two-for-one, even if the opponent has removal. Fortunately, we have the Furnace to help put another counter on it. If I have multiple Sunburst cards and my mana base can afford it, I’ll toss in a couple assorted offcolor basic lands. It doesn’t look like that will be happening with this deck, though.

Pick Five: Condescend, Opaline Bracers, Goblin Brawler, Anodet Lurker, Vicious Betrayal, Horned Helm, Spark Elemental, Dawn’s Reflection, Composite Golem, Disruption Aura, Possessed Portal

This pack was not too great for us. I never end up getting to take Condescend, since there’s always something I want more in a given pack. It seems like a Condescend or two couldn’t hurt a deck, but Gerry and the Cack hate it. C’est la vie. It’s definitely better than an overcosted Morningstar though.

Pick Six: Advanced Hoverguard, Krark-Clan Ogre, Sawtooth Thresher, Tyrannax, Fill With Fright, Viridian Scout, Razorgrass Screen, Mana Geyser, Arcbound Wanderer, Feedback Bolt

We don’t have enough fixers to even consider the Thresher, so the obvious choice here is the solid flyer. Fill With Fright is of comparable quality, but it’s not a creature and it’s not removal, and it doesn’t affect combat or the board.

Pick Seven: Fill With Fright, Tangle Asp, Opaline Bracers, Neurok Stealthsuit, Baton of Courage, Abuna’s Chant, Viridian Scout, Composite Golem, Disruption Aura

Fill With Fright is certainly underrated, but I’m still not sure how good it truly is. At this point, I’m sure we assumed that the only”fixer” we’d be playing was the Great Furnace, so Baton would only be for two. If the Baton could be reliably cast for 3, we might have taken it. I imagine Baton would be a better pick in many decks, but our deck is slower and less focused on creatures bashing into each other. We tap ’em down or let them hit us for one. Do you agree with this pick? Of course not. I’m not gonna give you the normal”no one’s reading this” rant, because I’m sure some of you are skimming through this part looking for your names. It’s certainly what I would do. Well, you’re going to be greatly disappointed unless your name is *throws dart at a dartboard* Steeeeeeeve Horowitz! Yes, Steve Horowitz is my gratuitous namedrop of the week. Come back to Modo; the DiVAS need you. Also, wewwo Morgy.

Pick Eight: Wayfarer’s Bauble, Tyrannax, Into Thin Air, Razorgrass Screen, Stand Firm, Vicious Betrayal, Relentless Rats, Feedback Bolt

It’s surprising to see this awesome mana fixer/accelerator that any deck can play still in the pack. We probably won’t be playing any off-color lands for it since the only card that would benefit from such tomfoolery is our Infused Arrows. This makes me even more comfortable with playing sixteen lands.

Pick Nine: Thought Courier, Armed Response, Razorgrass Screen, Mana Geyser, Krark-Clan Ogre, Fangren Pathcutter, Avarice Totem

See? Looter tabled. You’ll have that sometimes. I’d say that it’s about a fifth pick in most cases. Ninth is a little late, given that it’s great in helping with flood.

Pick Ten: Fill With Fright, Viridian Scout, Armed Response, Sparring Collar, Shattered Dreams, Spinal Parasite

It’s the best card in the pack, but I would really rather not play two of these. Maybe we should have”uncommon-drafted” the Dreams.

Pick Eleven: Anodet Lurker, Mana Geyser, Viridian Scout, Heliophial, Neurok Stealthsuit

Here’s where John hopes that we don’t have to play this, and I hope that we do have to play this. Well. not really. Five-mana 3/3s have sorta lost their luster in my eyes.

Pick Twelve: Chimeric Coils, Sparring Collar, Mana Geyser, Armed Response

Pick Thirteen: Possessed Portal, Vicious Betrayal, Spark Elemental


PIck Fourteen: Viridian Scout, Mana Geyser

Pick Fifteen: Viridian Scout

and the decklist:

Myr Moonvessel

Thought Courier

Chittering Rats

Emissary of Despair

Neurok Prodigy

Trinket Mage

Neurok Spy


Nim Replica

Scavenging Scarab

Advanced Hoverguard

Pewter Golem

Looming Hoverguard

2 Leonin Bola

Wayfarer’s Bauble

Lifespark Spellbomb

Guardian Idol

Wail of the Nim


Fill With Fright

Infused Arrows

Essence Drain

Summoning Station

8 Swamp

7 Island

Great Furnace

This deck is neither bad nor spectacular. I don’t know how much could have been done to improve it, though. This deck wanted eight Islands and eight Swamps, but the Furnace had enough synergy with Trinket Mage and Arrows for it to make the cut. To be honest, I don’t remember if the deck had seven or eight Swamps, but I assume it had more Swamps than Islands because of the double-colored requirements on two three-drops. And, once again, it’s time for the close calls:

Irradiate: This deck only has eleven artifacts, one of which costs seven. I imagine this would average -1.5/-1.5, which isn’t enough to justify a spot in the deck over one of the other spells. We have a few ways to kill annoying one-toughness guys in the deck already; if we had none, we may have had to play this.

Regress: Too weak, despite synergy with the Arrows. This is one of several cards that could conceivably have taken Fill With Fright’s slot, but we deemed it to be a weaker card.

Scavenging Scarab #2, Death-Mask Duplicant, Anodet Lurker: If I really have to explain these, I’d be more than happy to do it in the forums.

Condescend: I can see why Cack thinks this is inferior to Fill With Fright. You don’t have to leave mana open, hoping that the opponent will play a spell worth countering without enough mana left over to afford Condescend. Fill is a two-for-one, whereas Condescend is a one-for-one. Granted, Condescend actually makes the opponent spend mana. All told, the two cards are functionally similar in stopping late game bombs and setting up a draw step or two. I take it for granted that in most cases, you don’t want to leave mana open for Condescend in the early game. The counterspell’s value increases if you’re on the play, as you’ll be able to gain a little tempo by neutralizing your opponent’s first threat before dropping one of your own. Anyone have any thoughts on the matter? Didn’t think so. Maybe next time.

In round one, our opponent’s deck was subpar, and he quickly succumbed to Fatespinner and Bola. It’s easy to win when your opponent can’t attack or block. In one game of round 2, we actually had to deck our opponent because he had two Auriok Champions. We nearly made the disastrous misplay of dropping Fatespinner, but we realized that this would allow our opponent to skip his draw, so we looted it away. If he had activated his Mask of Memory one time fewer, we may have lost. The key play of that game was Essence Draining his Auriok Transfixer so he couldn’t tap our Thunderstaff. His board was cluttered with assorted 1/1s (some of which were Pentavites) and 2/2s, but none of them could do anything.

I don’t remember much about the finals. I know that my opponent declined the split, Cack tagged in and won game 1, and then I tagged back in to lose game 2 and win game 3 despite a misplay of some sort. I hope that information is very helpful to you. Durp durr.

I have a few days off”work,” so hopefully I’ll be writing another article in which I discuss underrated and overrated Fifth Dawn cards and recount the increasingly irrelevant and foggy details of the last three rounds of my Pro Tour semi-glory. If this goal proves too ambitious, wish me luck at Worlds. God knows I’m gonna need it.


Josh Ravitz

John Pelcak

Gerry Thompson


Justin Tillman

Bill Stark

that one dude who sorta looks like me except, hopefully, nerdier and goofier who always seems to be in the same location as me at GPs

Matt Rubin

someone else who I can’t remember

Tim Aten


The Most Diabolical Hater This Side of the Mississippi

President of the Morgan Douglass Fan Club

Not Really a Bad Guy Once You Get to Know Him

mixedknuts on MODO

[email protected]

E-mail me. I’m lonely.

I’ve Got It Baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaad!!!!!!!!!

*This is what’s known as”sarcasm,” for all you naifs out there.

**God I love that word.

***Does the purported deplorablity of a particular individual sufficiently counterbalance the hypocrisy of billingsgate aimed at the progenitor of a pilfered concept you’re utilizing for personal gains? Discuss.