Drafting with Anton - Scars of Mirrodin #4!
The cards that stand out here are Glimmerpoint Stag, Ratchet Bomb, and Galvanic Blast. Ratchet Bomb has been really unexciting for me so far, and I think Glimmerpoint Stag and Galvanic Blast are both clearly better cards. The choice between Stag and Blast is closer though, but the single, colored mana in the latter makes me more inclined to pick it early.
Pack 1 pick 2:
A pretty weak pack apart from the Glimmerpoint Stag. I think it's a trap to pick something like Iron Myr to try and stay away from the white after passing a Stag in the first pack. This will just as likely paint you into a corner as help keep your options open. The reason for this is that there just aren't many colors to choose from in a world where two colors are defined by infect (which typically doesn't go well with red), and in my opinion, not picking white here takes away as many options as it gives.
Pack 1 pick 3:
The best card in the pack is likely Slice in Twain or Cystbearer, but they aren't powerful enough for me to stray from white with Revoke Existence.
Pack 1 pick 4:
There's a really good chance that Trigon of Corruption shouldn't still be in this pack. I guess it's technically possible that the other three drafters took a rare, a foil rare, and something like Skinrender. Anyway, black mana isn't very important for the power of the Trigon, and cards like Glimmerpoint Stag are a much faster way to recharge it anyway. Sucks a bit that we have to pass a late Arrest, but it's definitely not a good idea to pick worse cards to send better signals.
Pack 1 pick 5:
Some solid cards in this pack, but mostly for the infect deck. I haven't found Trigon of Rage terribly exciting outside of infect decks, while Origin Spellbomb always is a nice addition.
Pack 1 pick 6:
Origin Spellbomb beats out Darksteel Sentinel by a good margin here. White usually wants to be somewhat aggressive, and the Sentinel doesn't really fit with that plan.
Pack 1 pick 7:
A late Glint Hawk is a nice gift. A small part of me wishes I was green though so I could pick the Wave and try to get big.
Pack 1 pick 8:
Iron Myr fits perfectly helping us cast the Galvanic Blast. And getting Myr late means I won't be stuck picking them early over better cards.
Pack 1 pick 9:
Vector Asp and Kuldotha Rebirth both got picked out of this pack, which seems wrong. The Edgewright might turn out pretty good in a deck that seems like it will be mostly white.
Pack 1 pick 10:
Sunchaser might also get played, but hopefully not.
Pack 1 pick 11:
Strider Harness is pretty nice in white decks, and I don't mind playing one, so it's definitely nice to get one this late.
Pack 1 pick 12:
This pack was incredibly deep the first time around, so Shikari wheeling isn't all that surprising. It does tell us that white isn't too heavily drafted.
Pack 1 pick 13:
Pack 1 pick 14:
Pack 1 pick 15:
Pack 2 pick 1:
Quite a few strong cards to choose from here. Perilous Myr, Razor Hippogriff, True Conviction, Arrest, and Tumble Magnet are all cards I'm happy to play. I'm not sure exactly how good True Conviction is; when the set first came out I thought it would just be a stone-cold bomb, but I'm not so sure anymore. Three white mana and six mana total is a lot, and some of the answers for artifacts will kill it too. I do know that Razor Hippogriff often is just backbreaking, and I believe that it beats out all the other cards in this pack. I'm sure there are times where I'll pick Arrest or Tumble Magnet for mana considerations, but in general the 3/3 flier is just so strong.
Pack 2 pick 2:
From one strong pack to a very weak pack. Glint Hawk is the best card in the pack and happily in my color so an easy pick for me.
Pack 2 pick 3:
And back to stronger packs again. If it wasn't for the fact that I have multiple Glint Hawks and Glimmerpoint Stag then the pick probably should be Strata Scythe here. I don't have anything meaningful to proliferate, but with all those extra uses out of the Clasp it still wins out.
Pack 2 pick 4:
A horrendous pack. If Leonin Arbiter was worth anything I could just have rare-drafted it since nothing in this pack should make the deck anyway. Maybe I'll end up desperately chasing the sun.
Pack 2 pick 5:
Origin Spellbomb is usually better than the Skyguard, and with my Glint Hawks I want to make sure I have enough cheap artifacts that they don't get stuck in my hand.
Pack 2 pick 6:
Chrome Steed is the only interesting card for me. Right now it's not looking that strong in my deck, but we still have a whole round of packs left to draft.
Pack 2 pick 7:
How many Glint Hawks does it take to win a draft? Or to screw in a light bulb? No clue.
Pack 2 pick 8:
Bladed Pinions hopefully won't make the maindeck, but it could be a nice sideboard card, and it's also pretty good against me.
Pack 2 pick 9:
I figured Viridian Revel could be good against all my Spellbombs, but really I should just have picked the Serpent or Withstand Death.
Pack 2 pick 10:
Pack 2 pick 11:
Pack 2 pick 12:
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Pack 2 pick 15:
Pack 3 pick 1:
Another easy pick. Revoke Existence is definitely better than Sylvok Lifestaff, even with the Sunspear Shikari.
Pack 3 pick 2:
This is more interesting. At this point I only have the Galvanic Blast in red, and I could easily just ditch that and pick the Demon here. It would definitely give me a lot more late-game power, but it would also dilute my plan of the aggressive deck with lots of fliers. In this case I went with the more consistent approach and picked up the excellent Glint Hawk Idol. If I had a less focused deck at this point I'd be more inclined to go for the Demon, or if the Idol was some less exciting card.
Pack 3 pick 3:
If I'm not willing to change my plans for a Carnifex Demon then I certainly won't change them for a card that is even harder to cast. Picking up another Chrome Steed makes the first one better and with two Revoke Existences and Glimmerpoint Stag, I'm not terrified of playing against the Reins.
Pack 3 pick 4:
Very nice to finally be able to pick up an Arrest and not pass it for a better card.
Pack 3 pick 5:
Accorder's Shield is exactly what my deck was missing up to this point. It enables turn 1 Hawks and combines really well with Sunspear Shikari.
Pack 3 pick 6:
Don't think you really can have too many Origin Spellbombs. I don't really have a need for Leaden Myr, and while Darkslick Drake is excellent it's not something I'll jump into blue for.
Pack 3 pick 7:
You can definitely have too many Glint Hawks though. Still, four sounds like a pretty good number with the other cards I have. Contagion Clasp should be ridiculous any time I draw it.
Pack 3 pick 8:
Now I can't really say what was in this pack to begin with, but eighth-pick Myrsmith confirms my belief that white was under-drafted. I think that stuff like this happens because many drafters get too attached to their early picks. They'll first pick something and then just run with it, even if it becomes painfully obvious that it won't work out. Obviously no one likes to switch strategy in the middle of the first pack but sometimes you really do have to bite the bullet. Happily, for me this was not one of those drafts.
Pack 3 pick 9:
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Pack 3 pick 14:
Pack 3 pick 15:
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2 Chrome Steed
1 Glimmerpoint Stag
4 Glint Hawk
1 Iron Myr
1 Razor Hippogriff
1 Sunspear Shikari
1 Accorder's Shield
1 Contagion Clasp
1 Galvanic Blast
1 Glint Hawk Idol
1 Strider Harness
1 Trigon of Corruption
2 Revoke Existence
4 Origin Spellbomb
1 Corrupted Harvester
1 Viridian Revel
1 Sky-Eel School
1 Bladed Pinions
1 Wing Puncture
1 Auriok Edgewright
1 Flameborn Hellion
1 Saberclaw Golem
1 Seize the Initiative
1 Plated Seastrider
1 Fulgent Distraction
2 Auriok Sunchaser
1 Vulshok Heartstoker
1 Withstand Death
1 Moriok Reaver
Sunchasers and the Edgewright didn't make the cut, since I needed to maximize the amount of artifacts in my deck for Glint Hawks and Chrome Steeds. The Chrome Steeds are definitely not insane in this deck, and I could see playing Saberclaw Golem over one of them, but I think that the Myrsmith makes the Steed slightly better. Overall, I was very happy with this deck. It has the potential for some really fast start, and Glint Hawks can also generate card advantage with the Clasp or Trigon. The deck also has good removal to follow up the early aggression.
He wins the roll, chooses to play first, and keeps his seven. I keep two Plains, Mountain, Origin Spellbomb, Glint Hawk Idol, Arrest, and Razor Hippogriff.
He opens with Island, Mountain, and Silver Myr while I decline to play Spellbomb on turn 1 (no reason to, and I could draw Myrsmith). On my turn 2 I play the Idol, and he has Neurok Replica and gets in for one with the Myr. I draw Glint Hawk and play Spellbomb, then Hawk, and then Spellbomb again. He's stuck on three lands and plays a non-crafted Lumengrid Drake which trades with my Glint Hawk next turn.
I draw another Glint Hawk to replace the first, and he finds a fourth land to summon Sky-Eel School. I Arrest the School and attack again, but he has another School next turn. I simply cast Razor Hippogriff and recur the Spellbomb that I used last turn, leaving mana up for the Idol to double-block if the School attacks. He Volition Reins my Hippogriff and does indeed attack with the School, letting me trade my Glint Hawk for it.
At this point my hand is Myrsmith and two Origin Spellbombs, and I spend my turn playing the Smith and one of those Spellbombs, making a Myr in the process, giving me three Myr, Myrsmith, and Glint Hawk Idol in play against his Silver Myr, Neurok Replica, Razor Hippogriff, and Arrested Sky-Eel School.
He plays Furnace Celebration on his turn, and then sacrifices the Replica to kill Myrsmith and bounce one of the Myr tokens. Then for some reason he attacks with Razor Hippogriff, putting me at seventeen, while he is at twelve facing four points of damage on my turn. I cycle another Spellbomb for a Myr into a third Spellbomb which also gets cycled and finally play a Sunspear Shikari and attack him down to eight.
On his turn he once again attacks with the Hippogriff and plays another non-crafted Lumengrid Drake. I just attack with my whole team again, and his Drake trades for my Idol, Silver Myr for one of my Myrs, and he goes down to three. When he draws nothing relevant for the next turn he concedes. I have literally no clue why he would attack with the Hippogriff, and if it had stayed back, we certainly would've played for several turns more. Still think my position was pretty good, but it helps when they make it easy for you.
I don't really have anything relevant to sideboard for this matchup. Bladed Pinions could be nice if I had more big creatures to equip it to, but it really doesn't help my Myrs block his Sky-Eel Schools.
He opts to play first and keeps his seven, and I keep Plains, Mountain, Origin Spellbomb, Glint Hawk, Myrsmith, Sunspear Shikari, and Chrome Steed.
I obviously don't play the Spellbomb on turn 1 and match his Riddlesmith with Myrsmith on turn 2. He offers to trade Smiths, but I politely decline, going to eighteen. He follows up with Silver Myr, looting away Iron Myr. I have luckily drawn two more lands and Revoke Existence at this point, so I just play Spellbomb, pay one more to make a Myr, and then Glint Hawk the Spellbomb back to my hand. He predictably plays a turn 4 Sky-Eel School, stopping my aerial assault. I draw another Glint Hawk and simply repeat my action from last turn, gaining another Myr. He plays Darkslick Drake, but this time he doesn't attack and offer to trade his School for a Hawk.
I hit my fifth land on turn 5 and play Chrome Steed and make another Myr. This prompts an attack from him, sending both fliers. I figured that this either means that he has some sort of removal to get the 2-for-1 or more likely he wants to try to race and has another School to play after combat. I go for the double-block, and he luckily doesn't have a removal. He also doesn't have another flier as backup but plays Ratchet Bomb which can wipe out my three Myr and metalcraft at any point.
I decide to attack with everything except the Myrsmith, and he blows the Ratchet Bomb to kill my Myrs and then blocks Chrome Steed with Riddlesmith. I could've not attacked with the Steed here, but I want to make sure that he uses the Bomb, and even a 4/4 Steed would at best trade for Darkslick Drake. I play the Glint Hawk I just drew and make another Myr with the Smith in the process. He hits eight mana on his turn and attacks with Darkslick Drake before playing Platinum Emperion.
I'm still holding Revoke Existence though, and my attack brings him down to thirteen. It should've been to eleven, but due to a misclick one Glint Hawk didn't attack. The Darkslick Drake is finally back on defensive duty, and I can't really attack, but every turn I'm building a bigger army while he doesn't do much. Strider Harness on Razor Hippogriff gives me enough power to start alpha-striking, and even though he has a Turn To Slag he soon dies to my horde of little men.
I win the roll and keep four Plains, Revoke Existence, Strider Harness, and Razor Hippogriff. Obviously not the greatest of hands but still a keep in my book.
He plays Infiltration Lens and Livewire Lash off Forest and Swamp, while I only play lands. On turn 3 I draw a Spellbomb and play it. He only has land on turn 3 and still no creatures in play. On turn 4 I simply play and equip Strider Harness to my Myr and get in for two. He plays Tel-Jilad Fallen on turn 4, and I waste no time using the Arrest I have drawn, before getting in for two more. On his turn he plays Blackcleave Goblin and equips Infiltration Lens to it, but misclicks away his attack. Since that means I'm still on zero poison, I felt safe enough to play Hippogriff, equip it with Strider Harness, and attack him down to eleven, since one Untamed Might is not enough poison to kill me.
Sure enough, next turn he does equip the Goblin with Livewire Lash, attack, and play Untamed Might to put me at nine poison. Ideally I wanted to use my Revoke Existence on Infiltration Lens, but when he plays this way it really does seem like he has another targeted effect to kill me with the Lash, so I'm forced to Revoke that instead. I also have enough mana to play Spellbomb, two Glint Hawks, and equip one with the Harness to attack him down to five. He attacks with the Goblin, and I block with Myr, but the two cards don't give him an answer to my lethal flying force, and he concedes. Definitely a very close game that I probably lose if he doesn't misclick.
Once again, I don't sideboard anything. Bladed Pinions are often good against infect, but it is slow, and my maindeck doesn't really have anything bad.
He goes first and mulligans to six while I keep Plains, Mountain, Origin Spellbomb, Iron Myr, Revoke Existence, Chrome Steed, and Trigon of Corruption.
He plays a turn 2 Trigon of Rage while I play Origin Spellbomb (since it can give me a 4/4 Chrome Steed on turn 3) on turn 1, and Iron Myr on turn 2. He has Contagion Clasp to kill the Myr, giving me no play for turn 3. He plays Cystbearer on turn 4, and I fail to cycle into a fourth land, but I do draw Arrest for his 2/3. He has no creature on turn 5 and just plays and equips Livewire Lash to the Arrested Cystbearer.
I once again fail to find land but draw and play Myrsmith. He has Blight Mamba, and I again miss the fourth land but play Glint Hawk Idol, getting a Myr. He casts Tainted Strike end of my turn on his Cystbearer to give me two poison. The Myr chump-blocks the Mamba, and he plays Plague Stinger.
I draw the fourth land but decide to just Revoke the Existence of Contagion Clasp and pass the turn back. He attacks with both creatures and a Myr chump-blocks the Blight Mamba while Plague Stinger and a Trigon of Rage-activation trades with Glint Hawk Idol. I draw and play Sunspear Shikari, with four lands in play and Myrsmith.
At this point my hand is two Chrome Steeds, Glimmerpoint Stag, Trigon of Corruption, and Razor Hippogriff against his board of Blight Mamba, Trigon of Rage, Livewire Lash, Arrested Cystbearer, and five lands with one card in hand. On his turn he plays Bellowing Tanglewurm and gets through for one poison (bringing me to three) with Blight Mamba.
Once again I don't draw land, but I do draw something even better, Contagion Clasp. Clasp lets me kill the troublesome Mamba and make a Myr to potentially chump-block the Tanglewurm. On his turn he equips and attacks with Tanglewurm (bringing me to sixteen) and plays a Tel-Jilad Fallen. He also equips the Livewire Lash to the Tanglewurm after combat, which I guess was a mistake since he could've attacked for two more.
Once again I do not draw land, but it doesn't matter since my best play is to cast Glimmerpoint Stag and move Arrest to his unblockable Fallen. On his turn the Cystbearer and Tanglewurm attack again, and I chump the Bearer with my Myr. He pumps the Tanglewurm with Trigon of Rage, putting me at seven life. I draw and play Glint Hawk, returning Clasp to my hand and then playing it again to shrink the Cystbearer, making another Myr.
Since most of my creatures can't block with Tanglewurm in play, they attack him and bring him to thirteen. At this point I'm dead to any pump effect or removal he could have, but there's not really anything I can do about that.
Luckily he doesn't have anything and simply attacks with the Wurm (which I obviously block with my Myr), re-equips the Livewire Lash to Cystbearer, and ships the turn back to me. I finally draw my fifth land, and attack with Glint Hawk, Stag, and Shikari. His 3/2 Cystbearer trades with the Stag, and after combat I summon Chrome Steed and a Myr, giving me metalcraft in the process. He has Corpse Cur on his turn to rebuy the Cystbearer but with five mana in play, I have no problem clogging up the ground with Steeds and Myrs while Glint Hawk finishes him off.
I win the roll and keep two Plains, Mountain, Origin Spellbomb, two Revoke Existences, and Razor Hippogriff while my opponents mulligans to six.
I run the Spellbomb out on turn 1 since I don't have any other two-drop and spend my second turn making a Myr. On turn 3 I play and equip Accorder's Shield to the Myr and get in for one. He plays his third straight Swamp and summons Ichor Rats. I attack with the Myr again, and he doesn't block. After combat I play Glint Hawk, bouncing the Shield and then spend three mana to put it back on the Myr. On his turn, he attacks with Ichor Rats, and I block with the Myr. After combat he plays Corpse Cur to bring the Rat back. I guess he drew Corpse Cur that turn since he declined to block the Myr when I attacked.
I attack him down to sixteen with the Glint Hawk and play Hippogriff, getting the Spellbomb back. My -1/2 Myr blocks the Corpse Cur, and he replays the Ichor Rats. My next turn brings him down to eleven, and I cycle the Spellbomb and Revoke his Corpse Cur. He plays a main-phase Tel-Jilad Defiance on the Rat to get in for two poison, bringing me to four.
After combat he taps out for Heavy Arbalest. I equip the Shield on the Myr, Revoke his Arbalest, and attack with everything to put him on five life. Next turn he plays Skinrender, killing my Hippogriff while I draw Myrsmith, play it and Strider Harness, equip the Harness to the Hawk, and attack him down to two.
He untaps and plays Steel Hellkite. I'm out of gas and can do nothing but equip the Accorder's Shield on the Hawk and pass it back. Hellkite predictably attacks and Hawk chump-blocks. After combat, he plays a Fume Spitter, which kills Myrsmith and taps out for Tangle Angler. Like a true master I topdeck Glint Hawk, equip it with Strider Harness and attack for the win.
He plays first and keeps his seven, and I keep two Plains, Glint Hawk, Sunspear Shikari, Arrest, Glimmerpoint Stag, and Razor Hippogriff. Certainly not the least risky of hands but definitely a keep.
He plays Fume Spitter on turn 1, and a turn 3 Mimic Vat. For my third turn I haven't drawn another land, but Accorder's Shield lets me play Glint Hawk. The Hawk gets Skinrendered though, and although I draw a land next turn, I have to spend it casting Revoke on the Vat before it gets out of hand.
His follow-up is Ichor Rats, and when the Shikari gets equipped, he stalls the board. I also draw a fourth land and play Trigon of Corruption, and the game suddenly is looking very good for me. That is until he casts Carrion Call end of turn and follows it up with Asceticism. Suddenly my Trigon, and my Arrest are blanks, and although I put up a fight for a while (mostly since he's stuck on only five lands and doesn't want to spend all his mana to get like one poison through), I never find my second Revoke. Steel Hellkite gets me in the end.
I choose to play and keep Plains, Accorder's Shield, Origin Spellbomb, Glint Hawk, Sunspear Shikari, Contagion Clasp, and Revoke Existence. Keeping one-landers on the play is definitely risky, but I think it's correct to do so in this case. Just one more land gives me a pretty ridiculous draw, and even if I miss for a turn or two, I could be okay.
I play the Hawk on turn 1, and he has Horizon Spellbomb while I miss my land for turn 2, simply casting Origin Spellbomb. He does nothing but play land on turn 2, and I find another Plains and cast the Glint Hawk Idol I drew the turn before. He plays Ichor Rats, and I draw another Plains, letting me cast Sunspear Shikari and attack with both my fliers, bringing him down to twelve. At this point I'm just looking to race, and I have no intention of blocking the Rats if he attacks.
He plays Mimic Vat on his turn, and then attacks which makes it even more obvious that I should block. His attack doesn't really make sense at all, until he plays Ezuri Archers after combat. On my turn I play Accorder's Shield, equip it to the Shikari, and attack with everything.
Archers trade with Glint Hawk and he goes down to eight. He just plays a Fume Spitter and passes the turn back, with four mana up. I Revoke the Mimic Vat, and he makes an Archers token in response. I attack with my Shikari anyway, just to gain two life.
On his turn he attacks with Ichor Rats, and I decide to call his bluff with the Shikari. My reasoning is that if he's holding Corpse Cur then his bluff doesn't cost him much. Also I have Glint Hawk Idol or Spellbomb that I could activate and block with, so it's not like I'm forced to block with the Shikari or die to Untamed Might, making his bluff better. He doesn't have anything, and the post-combat Corpse Cur makes me look like a genius.
I'm still stuck on three lands at this point, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing when I can still play spells and apply pressure. I play a Spellbomb, giving me two in play and attack with Idol. He uses the Fume Spitter to make the Idol smaller and goes to seven.
On his turn he replays the Ichor Rats and then sacrifices the green Spellbomb to draw a card and search for a land. I see people do this a lot; if you plan on using mana to draw cards then it's almost always a better idea to do that before casting other spells. He could very well have drawn something here that he'd rather cast than Ichor Rats.
I cycle one Spellbomb end of turn to make a Myr. I draw another land, play Contagion Clasp to kill Ichor Rats and then attack with Shikari and Idol, bringing him to four. He plays another Corpse Cur, once again bringing back the Rats and playing it again. Three infect creatures means Shikari can't attack, so I just cast Glimmerpoint Stag to remove Contagion Clasp. When the Clasp comes back it kills the Rats again. He's not out of Rats though, playing another one from his hand, as well as Asceticism, which leaves him tapped out.
I play Iron Myr and attack with Stag, Shikari, and the 1/1 Idol. He double-blocks the Stag with his two Curs and goes to one from Idol and Shikari. After combat I use my second Revoke to kill his Asceticism. This leaves me with five creatures to his two and him at one life. On his turn he tries the desperate all-out attack, but I don't misclick and block both his creatures. For funsies, he taps out for Untamed Might before conceding the match!
Definitely nice to win a draft, which I don't do nearly often enough (who does?). Kind of a crazy deck this time, and a lot of fortunate late picks that fell in my lap. Still I had some tight matches against infect, which really shows you how good that deck is. Infect is usually a really bad deck when it's on the defensive, and in some games I managed to accomplish just that. The problem is of course that infect only has to deal ten and just the threat of an Untamed Might often makes racing a bad idea. I do believe that there's a tendency to become paranoid when playing against infect though, sometimes you just can't afford to play around what they may or may not have.
Still for me, infect is the strongest archetype you can draft, so whenever you can get it, you should be in good shape. Obviously there are greater risks involved with going down that road though, but Magic isn't chess, and some risks are definitely worth taking.
Not counting infect I think the kind of deck I drafted this time around is among the stronger. I'm not sold on strong metalcraft themes, but fast decks with lots of fliers are usually pretty hard to deal with. My other preferred deck to draft is more controlling with hopefully a high amount of removal and low amounts of cards that only enable others, like equipment or Spellbombs or such. Defensive cards to survive the early game and then winning with bigger spells (hopefully bombs) is definitely a real strategy since you can get good defensive cards and late-game cards almost for free.
That's it for this time, hopefully you enjoyed it and I'll be back soon again, hopefully with video if this cold I have ever goes away.