Yer Ma Dawg, Blue – A Tim Aten Draft Walkthrough

Thunderstaff is soooooo underrated and soooooo good. Cards like it and the aforementioned Fatespinner and Sun Droplet seem innocuous enough, and you often don’t realize that they defeated you until after the match is over. Thunderstaff ended up being key in several games this draft. One-power creatures do nothing and two-power creatures are as worthless as one-power creatures; since these comprise the bulk of one’s draft deck, Thunderstaff provides virtual card advantage by neutralizing multiple threats at once.

Warning: Once again, it may be in your best interests to skip the first part of this article. If you want to get to the strategy before you get bored, run a CTRL+F on”pocket aces.”

So let me ask you something. What is it exactly that motivates people to write about Magic? Barring some sort of altruistic intention, it seems counterproductive to divulge deck tech or draft strategies. There must be something else at work. In my experience, there appear to be three primary objectives:

1) Money. Some people actually get paid enough per article on some websites that they’re more than willing to sacrifice quality for quantity. They can write drivel about archaic or untested decks and poker anecdotes, collecting exorbitant sums in the process, and still not have their”good names” tarnished because they’re”pro players.” This seems pretty self-serving.

2) Good Old-Fashioned Ego Stroking. Hey everyone! Look how great I am! I was able to reduce my opponent’s score from twenty to zero numerous times over the course of a single day with this deck that I created with my bare hands and that, incidentally, isn’t the least bit intuitive! I broke this draft format too! Is there anything I can’t do?

In all fairness, reason #2 is why I started writing. My writing has been so sporadic lately that I don’t remember if this has come up recently, and I haven’t scoured my own archives in at least fifteen hours, so there’s a chance I’m presenting redundant information here. That’s a risk I’m willing to take, though, since I am a pro player getting paid thousands of dollars for this article, and you will hang on every word I have to say.*

The legend goes thusly: I tell Geordie Tait I’m one of the best players in the room at a PTQ. He scoffs at me. I realize that despite having been 2001 Ohio Valley Regional Champion, no one respects me or knows who I am. Additionally, I realize that I haven’t actually accomplished anything else Magic-related, so people really have no reason to respect or recognize me. I ponder how I could possibly increase my name recognition while possibly at the same time convincing people that I’m adept at our silly little nerd game without actually winning anything. And then it hits me: Those who can, do. Those who can’t, write.

Am I proud of this sequence of events that was set into motion some two and a half years ago? Of course not. The combination of egomania and, even worse, giving-a-rat’s-ass-about-what-some-balding-Canadian-dorkusaurus-thinks is something that I would much rather have taken with me to the grave. However, I do consider abject honesty an important lost art, plus more importantly, I wanted to give some insight as to why certain other people decide to pick up the pen.

Admittedly, there are still some traces of #2 in my writing. Granted, they are meant to be taken with a grain of salt, but there’s some truth to just about every joke or myth or whatever. I suppose, technically, I’m more about player hating than self-promotion nowadays. I’d rather make sure other people don’t get undeserved recognition than to claim some for myself. In fact, my primary motive for winning Worlds is so that no one else can have the ostensible** glory. I don’t want it, but you can’t have it either, assbite. That’s my ‘tude.

Subsection: Name-dropping: Some people also seem to revel in mentioning their friends, showing baby pictures, or God forbid, gloating that they actually got to bask in the radiance of a Real Life Pro Magic Player, if only for a few minutes. This could possibly be a category all its own, but I’ll leave it here for now.

3)”To entertain.” Annnnnnnnnyway, some writers like to make other people happy by presenting them witty wordplay and amusing anecdotes. These authors, including Osyp Lebedowicz, Joe Black, and Peppermint von Corduroy, produce my favorite type of article. Trying to make other people laugh in a Magic article is the second-purest motive one can have.

There are some crazy old coots, like Eric Taylor and Mike Flores, who actually respect the game, its fundamentals, and its history. These theorists aren’t out for a quick buck or self-glorification; they’re trying to get to the roots of the game, to explore it like a science. And to namedrop John Shuler. Regardless, these select few actually contribute something meaningful to the canon. (Tournament reports can also be classified as worthwhile if done properly).

So there you have it. My three cents on the psychology of deciding to write, instilled with my patented brand of cynical wryness. Or wry cynicism if you’d rather. Not a complete sentence in this paragraph. Unless you count”so there you have it.” Mise.

What happens if you don’t get paid or don’t care about getting paid, you don’t want to stroke your ego or your friends’, you don’t feel funny or pretty, and you don’t have anything worthwhile to say about Magic theory? What could possibly inspire you to write then?

His name is Ted. And he’s taking full responsibility if this article is lacking in quality, whether he wants to or not.

Today, I’m going to do another astonishing, exciting Magic Online draft walkthrough. This is a(n) historic document, as it offers a glimpse at one of the last 9-5 drafts ever. As you will see, I drafted my patented”spells and creatures” archetype, which has led me to a 39-0 record on Magic Online since the release of Fifth Dawn.***

Before I get to the walkthrough of the draft, which I regretfully won (partly because of some Bolas and a Trinket Mage…sigh), I figure I should tie up the loose ends of my Seattle report, by which I of course mean, give a half-assed round-by-round glossing-over of the last five matches to approximate closure for those two people who have been longing for it. Awesome.

Round Seven vs. Jake Smith (Original Slackers)

The Slackers, particularly my opponent, seemed like pretty cool guys, and this draft was a lot of fun for me. I remember that they out-opened and outdrafted us for the first two packs… and then came Fifth Dawn. The Cack somehow managed to get two Eternal Witnesses, and in each pack that he got one of those, I got a most peculiar wheel of a White rare and a Green common. I’m not going to list all of my draft decks, but this one warrants recollection. Note the smooth creature curve.

1 Tel-Jilad Wolf

1 Vulshok Sorcerer

1 Soldier Replica

1 Suntouched Myr

1 Tel-Jilad Outrider

1 Moriok Scavenger

1 Scavenging Scarab

1 Arcbound Hybrid

1 Dross Golem

1 Skyreach Manta

1 Sawtooth Thresher

2 Bringer of the White Dawn

1 Pyrite Spellbomb

1 Predator’s Strike

1 Echoing Decay

1 Pentad Prism

1 Journey of Discovery

1 Barbed Lightning

2 Dawn’s Reflection

1 Goblin Cannon

1 Stand Together

(1 Other Spell/Creature)

8 Forest

3 Swamp

3 Mountain

1 Plains

1 Island

Quite a piece of work, isn’t it? The sad part is, Jake’s deck was almost as bad as mine. At the time I was wondering why the Slackers let me have such a bomb as Bringer of the White Dawn, but it seems like half the time (or more), it will just be a 5/5 trampler that took way too much effort to get into play.

Game One: Jake’s deck is some sort of B/R/g concoction. While he mulligans and stalls on two land, I”stall” on three lands of assorted colors that somehow are not enough to let me cast more than one or two creatures. We both draw out of our land problems, but Jake is far enough behind that an alpha strike puts him in range of his own Ebon Drake. I remember Predator’s Striking a Tel-Jilad Outrider that was blocked by a Dross Crocodile (yes, I knew the Outrider was going to die) just to force extra damage through. Considering that this happened about three years ago, I’d call that a rather impressive memory. Incidentally, Tel-Jilad Wolf was an all-star this game, but not as big an all-star as Ebon Drake, that lumpy piece of dung.

Game Two: I mulligan into some nice land flood, but Jake is flooding too. I play around, of all things, Battlegrowth for several turns while being assaulted by a Cackling Imp. I know it was a Rochester and I should have known whether he had it, but the growth is not exactly the most memorable card. Naturally, when I tap out to Goblin Cannon the Cack for 2, he has the Battlegrowth. The Europeans always have the Battlegrowth. The Japanese always have two. And a Stifle. So yeah, I lose this game.

Game Three: My opening hand is Soldier Replica (or some other random fella), Bringer of the White Dawn, Pyrite Spellbomb, Island, Plains, Swamp, Forest. I hope to rip a Mountain for the turn 5 Bringer; instead I draw an admittedly somewhat disappointing Dawn’s Reflection. So what wins in a fight: a mediocre deck with Ebon Drake somewhere in it, or a worse-than-mediocre deck with a 5/5 trampler that deals two damage to any target every turn in play? Gadiel won, so it didn’t matter that the Cack was going to win (which he was). You know I finished 7th, and this information is far from relevant, so I’ll just give you my personal record on the day.


Round Eight vs. Ichiro Shimura (S.A.I.)

This was a feature match, and my match was covered, so rather than give you a walkthrough, I’m going to complain about the coverage.

“Aten decided his best plan was to Morningstar up the Scarab and take a swing.”

This doesn’t look so bad in retrospect, but at the time, I didn’t care for its tone.

Either way, I wish Turian had given me more credit for playing around Condescend, since Ichiro ended up sitting back on his mana for several turns, hoping/knowing that the stupid American would play a spell. Well he didn’t, and he won that game.

Also, in game three, I was stalled on three Swamps or something for about seven turns, and I had a handful of things I could have played with just one more land. I think I may even have discarded. And then…

“Aten started to mutter to himself about how he should have cast the Pulse on his own turn instead of letting Shimura draw.”

I was most certainly not muttering to myself. I knew full well that if Ichiro ripped the Condescend I couldn’t win, regardless of whether the first Pulse attempt was before or after his draw step. I needed it to resolve twice, and there was no way for that to happen if he drew the Condescend. My muttering was actually aimed toward one of my teammates, who was doubtlessly questioning my judgment despite keeping multiple one-landers on the play. Couldn’t Win That Game. Sorry Brahski. I think it’s worth mentioning that Ichiro slow-rolled the Condescend.

Two other notes from this round:

1) My deck was complete garbage except for the two Pulses, and I only drew either Pulse once, and it was countered.

2) The other team raredrafted a Krark’s Thumb with three cards left in the pack, and then they all flashed each other the V-for-victory/peace sign thingy with exuberant grins on their faces.

I’m not nearly as fired up about the coverage as I was five years ago, as well I shouldn’t be, but I’ll leave you with a final complaint before I apologize for postponing the final three rounds until the next time I write, which will likely be sometime between the first and last of Oc-to-ber. Note the inconsistency here:

When describing S.A.I.’s”least decorated” member:

“Arita doesn’t have any Top 8’s to his name, but with the steamrolling performance of S.A.I. so far, that may soon change.”

When describing ours:

“When I asked third member John Pelcak what Magic accomplishments he had to his name, he just shrugged.”

Throw us a bone, Mike. This naturally pales in comparison to Mike Thicke’s intro from GPDC, though.”Tim Aten is a writer for Starcity.” Good intro for the team, Mr. Thicke. Did he mention how the Cack is a MTGO master or how Gadiel once cussed out a bus full of nuns? Of course not. He didn’t do his homework. I imagine that, for some, being lazy and making other people look somewhat foolish is win-win.

Now that I think about it, I actually empathize with Mssrs. Turian and Thicke. Hell, if I’d done the feature match coverage for this round, I probably would have said this about S.A.I.”S.A.I. is from Japan, and you know what that means. Plus the guy in the middle is a dead ringer for Tom Pannell. Like, you know, if he were Asian. The other team is random Americans. Nice feature match, Wizards. Excellent choice.”


Welp, it’s about time to start the relevant content. Tune in next week, or month, or whatever, when I face off against the National Champion (and lose), Igor Frayman (and lose), and poker legend Dave”Thunder” Williams.

I like digging nice, deep holes for myself. I knew I wanted to jabber for a bit about the PT, but I didn’t realize it would be so long-winded. I guess years of introspection have taught me nothing. It’s also impossible to salvage anything remotely resembling a segue into my MTGO draft walkthrough, so as usual, I’ll cleverly circumvent the difficulty by giving you insight into my thought process and laziness until you all get bored and go back to your 300/600 game because you’re all such f$#&ing masters now. You Have Pocket Aces!! Go Look!!

For this draft, I had the help of good friend and draft master John Pelcak. Writing down every card in the pack by hand, as I still insist on doing, doesn’t leave a whole lot of time for making tough decisions when they arise, so his assistance was invaluable. I’m sure pro player Gerry Thompson would have helped too, but he was at the bar looking for”my ideal woman…a female Paul Ziegler.” Having him help me too wouldn’t have been fair to the other drafters, so I guess it all worked out. The card we chose is conveniently italicized and at the front of the list for your convenient convenience.


Pick One: Looming Hoverguard, Copper Myr, Nim Replica, Tel-Jilad Archers, Tel-Jilad Chosen, Consume Spirit, Auriok Transfixer, Frogmite, Steel Wall, Dream’s Grip, Incite War, Tanglebloom, Lightning Greaves, Leonin Skyhunter, Trash for Treasure

Looming Hoverguard is the strongest card here, and incidentally, there are no other good Blue cards in the pack. If for some reason you hate Blue, I could see taking Skyhunter or something, but I’m pretty sure the Hoverguard is”right” for this pack.

Pick Two: Fatespinner, Silver Myr, Goblin Replica, Cobalt Golem, Thoughtcast, Malachite Golem, Wail of the Nim, Yotian Soldier, Leonin Elder, Auriok Transfixer, Clockwork Condor, Sun Droplet, Pearl Shard, Nim Shambler

Nothing in this pack was strong enough to make us want to commit to a second color. Goblin Replica is okay, but it’s not exactly the Green light to start drafting Red. This leaves Sun Droplet (which we admittedly didn’t really consider, even though it’s incredibly underrated and can be a quiet gamebreaker), Silver Myr, and Fatespinner. We deliberated for quite some time about this ostensibly difficult decision, but in retrospect, this isn’t actually a close pick. If you’re Blue, Fatespinner is the correct choice. Like Sun Droplet and Thunderstaff, it severely hampers an opponent’s ability to race. It’s particularly crippling in the early game, often serving as a Peacekeeper. Mana acceleration is still very nice, but Fatespinner is much more potent than a silly little 1/1.

Pick Three: Neurok Spy, Deconstruct, Scale of Chiss-Goria, Moriok Scavenger, Predator’s Strike, Nim Shrieker, Yotian Soldier, Wanderguard Sentry, Galvanic Key, Seething Song, Battlegrowth, Clockwork Vorrac, Bloodscent

There are two very good cards in the pack (Neurok Spy and Deconstruct), with Predator’s Strike as a close third. Needless to say, there’s no reason to dip into Green when there’s a great card in our color.

Pick Four: Lifespark Spellbomb, Contaminated Bond, Scale of Chiss-Goria, Titanium Golem, Moriok Scavenger, Regress, Tel-Jilad Exile, Viridian Joiner, Clockwork Beetle, Nuisance Engine, Banshee’s Blade, Rustmouth Ogre

Spellbomb stock has risen thanks to assorted Fifth Dawn cards, so this isn’t as awful a pick as it might seem. We were debating between the bomb and the Scavenger, and I ultimately decided I didn’t want to commit to a second color yet. Sometimes I seem to have a problem with color commitment, which can result in passing several good cards in a color I end up playing. I’m cautious about what I consider a”signal,” and I like to leave my options open in case I open a nice bomb in Darksteel. Nonetheless, I think the Scavenger probably would have been worth the risk, and the Spellbomb probably wouldn’t have been missed. We’d obviously given up on green after having passed so much of it, plus the green cards in this pack were mediocre. Banshee’s Blade is a card that I’m always unhappy to play, and Rustmouth Ogre, while decent, costs six mana and isn’t enough to pull us into a potentially overdrafted color.

Pick Five: Nim Replica, Clockwork Condor, Contaminated Bond, Incite War, Leonin Elder, Wail of the Nim, Malachite Golem, Annul, Myr Prototype, Blinkmoth Well, Slith Strider

Nice pack. The only possible choices are Nim Replica, Annul, and Wail of the Nim. Nim Replica is a decent man, and it doesn’t necessarily commit us to black like Wail would. Annul is alright, but it usually ends up in my sideboard. It can’t deal with an artifact once it has hit play, it can be hard to leave a Blue mana open in the early game without being conspicuous, there seem to be fewer artifacts that you would want to counter nowadays, and so on. Now that I think about it, since Annul can counter enchantments, it might be maindeck worthy, what with Stasis Cocoon and Arrest, and the odd Dawn’s Reflection or Relic Bane. Nonetheless, I stand by our decision.

Pick Six: Great Furnace, Duskworker, Groffskithur, Clockwork Beetle, Neurok Familiar, Awe Strike, Dross Prowler, Dross Scorpion, Clockwork Vorrac, Psychic Membrane

Another lovely pack. Great Furnace can be searched out by Trinket Mage and can help with any affinity, splash, or sunburst cards. Having just picked up a soso artifact creature, we weren’t in any hurry to scoop up another one. There will still be plenty of opportunity for Drill-Skimmers and Anodet Lurkers in the coming packs, although to be honest, I can understand taking the Duskworker or the Vorrac here.

Pick Seven: Irradiate, Inertia Bubble, Welding Jar, Wurmskin Forger, Sphere of Purity, Goblin Striker, Necrogen Spellbomb, Rust Elemental, Dead-Iron Sledge

Okay, fine, we’re Black. The Black seems to be flowing more than any color, and despite lower artifact counts in decks, Irradiate is still a reasonable removal spell. It’s slightly better than the Spellbomb (much like the Scavenger was), but it was time to make a decision. Passing the Irradiate would probably cement the player on our left into black if he was considering it as an option, leaving us with slimmer pickings in Darksteel. The Black is definitely flowing from the right, and even if it’s a bit late for this to be useful”pack one” information, we know we’ll get hooked up in Fifth Dawn.

Pick Eight: Pewter Golem, Krark-Clan Shaman, Hematite Golem, Override, Wrench Mind, Myr Adapter, Relic Bane, Brown Ouphe

The Black is definitely flowing from the right. I really hate passing Relic Bane, since it’s a Neurok Spy with haste and could send a bad signal, but it’s just not as versatile as the Golem.

Pick Nine: Tel-Jilad Archers, Tel-Jilad Chosen, Steel Wall, Incite War, Tanglebloom, Dream’s Grip, Trash for Treasure

That’s pretty late for that. I prefer the Chosen to the Archers in most Green decks, but there’s only an outside chance we’ll end up playing Green at all. That said, Archers are a better hate draft since they shut down ground artifact creatures and our flyers of all colors. If there were no chance we’d dip into green, we would have taken the marginal Steel Wall; seeing Archers and Chosen both in the pack this late means that green is still an option, albeit an unattractive one.

Pick Ten: Wail of the Nim, Malachite Golem, Leonin Elder, Yotian Soldier, Clockwork Condor, Nim Shambler

Wail of the Nim is a nice trick/removal spell, whereas Nim Shambler is an X/1 for four mana. Some artifact heavy decks might prefer Shambler, but there are fewer artifacts and more Vulshok Sorcerers nowadays, so this occurs infrequently. Shambler is playable nonetheless, which means that passing it this late might sting a little. Yotian Soldier is neither awful nor good, but it’s certainly worse and more replaceable than Wail.

Pick Eleven: Wanderguard Sentry, Battlegrowth, Galvanic Key, Seething Song, Bloodscent

It miiiiiight make the cuuuuuuuuuuuut…

Pick Twelve: Regress, Viridian Joiner, Clockwork Beetle, Contaminated Bond

Regress is mediocre, especially when compared to Echoing Truth, but bounce is still alright. If things go poorly, or if we get multiple Infused Arrows, this also may make the cut.

Pick Thirteen: Slith Strider, Incite War, Contaminated Bond

Pick Fourteen: Clockwork Beetle, Groffskithur

Pick Fifteen: Sphere of Purity


Pick One: Leonin Bola, Unforge, Spire Golem, Auriok Glaivemaster, Darksteel Ingot, Tel-Jilad Wolf, Grimclaw Bats, Arcbound Hybrid, Echoing Calm, Drooling Ogre #1, Magnetic Flux, Coretapper, Second Sight, Death-Mask Duplicant, Chromescale Drake

Yes, the Bola is that good, especially with You-Know-What in Fifth Dawn. At some point, I may make a list of cards I would take over Bola. I feel like such an impotent moron for not realizing how good Bola is and, relatedly, how to draft MMD and MDF, much earlier than I did. I hate the Bola/Barbed Lightning run because I always want to take the Lightning, but it’s rarely right to do so. Fireball’s still better though.

Pick Two: Leonin Bola, Echoing Decay, Pteron Ghost, Arcbound Worker, Vedalken Engineer, Spire Golem, Reap and Sow, Drooling Ogre #2, Magnetic Flux, Myr Landshaper, Echoing Courage, Mirrodin’s Core, Dragon’s Claw, Mycosynth Lattice

Yes, I’m that good. It’s a talent I have. Believe it or not, I’m better known for being able to win with utter garbage than for mising multiples of the best common in a set. Judging from the uncommon run, I’d posit that the person to my left took a Leonin Battlemage over the Bola, which is totally acceptable.

Pick Three: Chittering Rats, Krark-Clan Stoker, Echoing Truth, Tangle Golem, Ritual of Restoration, Vex, Ur-Golem’s Eye, Echoing Courage, Myr Moonvessel, Burden of Greed, Dragon’s Claw, Neurok Transmuter, Darksteel Reactor

Toward the end of the MMD days, I thought Rats were greatly overrated. Now, on Magic Online at least, they seem to be underrated once more. This format is about tempo. Earth-shattering revelation, I know. It seems that all formats are about tempo once people figure out what’s going on. Maybe you and I should try to draft tempo-oriented decks from the get-go in CoK CoK CoK and be months ahead of everyone else. Anyway, this format is about playing your 2/2 for three mana before your opponent and then equipping it with a Bola; 2/2s for three mana with a noticeable ability are all above average in this format. Stoker obviously doesn’t qualify.

Pick Four: Essence Drain, Hallow, Arcbound Bruiser, Dross Golem, Auriok Glaivemaster, Myr Landshaper, Echoing Courage, Scavenging Scarab, Darksteel Citadel, Arcbound Slith, Wurm’s Tooth, Pulse of the Tangle

That Pulse almost makes me care that we’re not Green. Dross Golem is very good, especially now blah blah artifacts blah, but it’s no Essence Drain. Removal is at a premium in the last pack, so you have to scoop it up in the first two.

Pick Five: Emissary of Despair, Neurok Prodigy, Reap and Sow, Arcbound Worker, Myr Landshaper, Drooling Ogre #3, Vex, Nourish, Arcane Spyglass, Geth’s Grimoire, Death-Mask Duplicant

I guess the other person who finally decided to play Black was several seats down. This is a weak pack and an easy pick.

Pick Six: Thunderstaff, Tel-Jilad Wolf, Pteron Ghost, Oxidda Golem, Hallow, Arcbound Hybrid, Inflame, Machinate, Karstoderm, Arcbound Overseer

The Cack was overseeing most of the draft; I pretty much did what he said in most cases. This wasn’t too problematic, since I agreed with just about everything he decided. Here, he was leaning toward Hybrid, but since I was manning the keyboard, I didn’t allow it. Thunderstaff is soooooo underrated and soooooo good. Cards like it and the aforementioned Fatespinner and Sun Droplet seem innocuous enough, and you often don’t realize that they defeated you until after the match is over. Thunderstaff ended up being key in several games this draft. One-power creatures do nothing and two-power creatures are as worthless as one-power creatures; since these comprise the bulk of one’s draft deck, Thunderstaff provides virtual card advantage by neutralizing multiple threats at once. I would totally make out with Thunderstaff if we were both girls. Equipment is pretty good against Thunderstaff, though.

I hope that didn’t sound like I was saying the Cack is poo, since he’s easily as good a drafter as I am. In fact, some might argue that he’s better than I am at drafting. Tony Gregg isn’t afraid to draft me, for instance, but he’s simply mortified of the little blond kid. Mortified. Offer to draft against Tony Gregg with the Cack on your team sometime and watch his reaction. It’ll be about the same as if you asked him to join you at the gay bar for arsenic shots.

Oh God No!!! Anything But That!!! Noooooooooooo!”

But uh.

Perhaps Mr. Pelcak didn’t realize the power of the Staff, is all’s I’m sayin’. He still doesn’t believe me that Avarice Totem is good. He’ll come around.

Pick Seven: Scavenging Scarab, Auriok Glaivemaster, Darksteel Citadel, Hallow, Myr Landshaper, Drooling Ogre #4, Wirefly Hive, Carry Away, Surestrike Trident

The only card we have that really benefits from Citadel is Irradiate, and unlike the Furnace, the Citadel actually hurts your ability to splash or play sunburst cards. I avoid playing Wirefly Hive when possible, since it’s a lot of mana that doesn’t always do something right away. I can see taking Carry Away, but it’s situational and would be left in the sideboard. Scavenging Scarab is a solid beater that may make the maindeck.

Pick Eight: Neurok Prodigy, Darksteel Pendant, Krark-Clan Stoker, Nourish, Hunger of the Nim, Echoing Calm, Voltaic Construct, Soulscour

Best card in the pack, in our colors. Yeah, uh uh. Uh, uh yeah. Voltaic Construct’s stock has risen a little since it combos well with the best common in Mirrodin and helps combat the best common in Darksteel. It’s still not great. As an aside, I took Viridian Longbow over Spikeshot Goblin the other day. Is that right? It seemed like it was the logical choice under current drafting standards, but I felt so vile doing it.

Pick Nine: Death-Mask Duplicant, Auriok Glaivemaster, Tel-Jilad Wolf, Echoing Calm, Drooling Ogre, Magnetic Flux, Second Sight

I wish there were ever any room in my decks for Second Sight. It just doesn’t do enough, though. Here, the pick is between Death-Mask Duplicant and Tel-Jilad Wolf, and we decided that the odds of us playing Dupes exceeded the odds of the Wolf destroying us.

Pick Ten: Echoing Courage, Reap and Sow, Drooling Ogre, Magnetic Flux, Myr Landshaper, Dragon’s Claw

Hated it! Had there been a rare in the pack, I would have rare-drafted. That’s how pointless hating tends to be in 8-mans. I almost never hate unless there’s a chance I could play the card I hated.

Pick Eleven: Myr Moonvessel, Ritual of Restoration, Vex, Burden of Greed, Dragon’s Claw

It’s a 1/1 for one and it’s an artifact for Irradiate. Sometimes those little beaters get in there for a few damage. Unless I have a heavy affinity element, I don’t like having more than one or in some rare cases two cards like this in my deck, but the one can be AOK.

Pick Twelve: Scavenging Scarab, Myr Landshaper, Hallow, Wurm’s Tooth

I knew this Scarab would table. We should have taken the Carry Away earlier since two Scarabs is a little janky in all except the most dedicated beatdown decks. One Scavenging Scarab, shame on you. Two Scavenging Scarabs, blee blee blee.

Pick Thirteen: Vex, Nourish, Myr Landshaper

Pick Fourteen: Machinate, Inflame

Pick Fifteen: Myr Landshaper

[This article is continued in Part II.]