Well hello! It's been a while hasn't it? What have I been doing lately? Well as some of you know I am an attorney. I've been spending a lot of time over the last few months trying to put my practice together. I'm excited to report that I have opened my doors (shameless plug for Facebook page) which is a big milestone for me. With the business structure in place I have slightly more time for hobbies and why not cards and why not a recorded draft?
I decided to do the hybrid structure again since people liked that last time and there were complaints about slowdown with excessive loading. Although my submissions will be infrequent as always I bow to the desires of my audience towards the format. If people like all vid or no vid that can be arranged.Pack 1 pick 1:
A strong pack to kick things off. Corrosion is an interesting card in that it has a Cerebral Eruption-like variance. Not by rarity or casting cost but rather if it does its thing it obliterates your opponent's position. Unlike Eruption Corrosion's effect is reliable which is why Corrosion is the stronger card. Its impact may be lesser or greater but we know what happens when we cast it. In addition we can build our deck around the effect to make it unsymmetrical. The potential for a blowout an honest-to-God blowout is highly appealing.
Second strongest is the Viridian Corrupter by all accounts a power uncommon in Infect and green in general. I'm still with the rare. The reason is that while Corrupter is a great removal + creature card it doesn't have the potential of Corrosion. Viridian Corrupter will always be excellent and reliable. But I don't mind injecting a touch more randomness in my draft for high potential at least P1p1. There are limits to this e.g. Goblin Bomb. And your willingness to gamble is a personal choice. But for my style Corrosion was appropriate.
As for the rest of the pack Crush is good; Juggernaut is good; Divine Offering is good; Marauder is good etc. All fine cards but not on the level of the two power green spells. The signals here are wonky but for P1p1 I'm okay with it.
Pack 1 pick 2:
I'll go on record on saying I love Viridian Emissary and I think it's hugely underrated. It's a testament to green's strong commons in Besieged that it doesn't get snapped up faster. Marauder is a monster and I took it here but I still don't know if it was correct. Maybe I just love Viridian Emissary more than most but I've always been pleased with the end result.
Pack 1 pick 3:
In a vacuum I like Blightwidow more but I'm already picturing this deck as simply a green monster-filled brew. No I don't want them to play Blightwidow on me. Yes Tangle Mantis sometimes tables (probably not with this pack though). Yes that's a semi-late Into the Core. Blah blah. I'm still trying to win and I'm still trying to take the best cards possible for the deck I foresee drafting. I think Tangle Mantis is very serviceable and while it doesn't meet the raw power of Blightwidow in a normal draft in the deck we appear to be drafting it gets the nod.
Pack 1 pick 4:
I think this was a misclick although not by much. Ichor Wellspring does little in the deck we're drafting. That deck could turn into a pro-Wellspring deck later but it seems unlikely. The advantage here is taking a playable card on curve in a semi-weak pack. Divine Offering is legit although note that Corrosion makes all other artifact removal worse. The pack itself implies white is fairly open. I actually think Mirran Mettle almost certainly a straight G for +2/+2 was the right pick. Ichor Wellspring is likely third but only by a little.
Pack 1 pick 5:
Signal Pest is good in the right deck but this ain't it. Another Marauder is fine locking up our six slot.
Pack 1 pick 6:
Galvanoth catches the eye of course but it's really a 3/3 for five a high percentage of the time. Tangle Mantis is a 3/4 for four 100% of the time. If I were definitely R/G the rare would be closer but at this stage sticking on-color seemed best. Interestingly I do end up R/G and am still much happier I took Mantis.
Pack 1 pick 7:
Does everyone love Virulent Wound as much as me? Such a cheap spell for such an appealing effect. Oh well the theme of dumb green bodies proceeds apace. Another card that randomly wrecks certain decks.
Pack 1 pick 8:
A tougher pick. Blue is a legit option here but if so what is the pick? Vivisection is solid although weak in a deck where you're playing only one spell per turn. Vivisection is amazing if you play it on turn 5 and have a mana left over for Steel Sabotage. Here we play it on turn 5 (on a Tangle Mantis??) then play Fangren Marauder on turn 6 with more fatties in hand. That's an easy way to get run over.
Treasure Mage is more appealing. True we have nothing to search and perhaps nothing will ever be found. But it's on curve and you're certainly happy to have the Mage if Steel Hellkite or whatever does materialize.
Rusted Slasher although playing well with Ichor Wellspring and (kind of) with Corrosion just lost out on numbers. I didn't need a body especially at 4CC.
A removal-ish spell at 3CC on the other hand well that's a great fit. As I said we should be winning the late game with this deck. If the only issue is getting there a three-drop that kills their two-drop is lovely. The card is underrated as is.
Pack 1 pick 9:
Well if that's not a signal...Crush's restriction certainly comes up but you're always happy to have it. Nothing else here even comes close.
Pack 1 pick 10:
Another three-drop that kills a two Gore Vassal seems to go late and I don't get why. It's white removal with slight added flexibility. It's a weird package but it certainly does the job.
Pack 1 pick 11:
While it would be an unlikely inclusion I don't want it played against me and there sure ain't better.
Pack 1 pick 12:
A nice get this late and another indicator I'm in the right color.
Pack 1 pick 13:
Pack 1 pick 14:
Pack 1 pick 15:
Pack 2 pick 1:
Like you can go the big green monster route but there's a limit. Slagwurm is fine but is that going to be the decider when the double Fangren Marauders fall short? We can all imagine fantasy scenarios but the expectation is that if the green monsters are in play and attacking the game should be going our way. Our job is not to overload them with more and more and more ridiculous green creatures but to reach the stage where 1) we're still alive to cast the first monster and 2) we're able to win a race. In other words once the deck's late game is secured the issue becomes getting there. Now to be fair our late game isn't "locked up" on Hoard-Smelter level but the flipside is we have multiple six-drops rather than a single Dragon. On balance it comes to the same place: stay alive to allow your deck to do what it does. Thus a welcome Galvanic Blast. It will always be a Shock and that's okay.
Pack 2 pick 2:
Pack 2 pick 3:
As I said above the point is to be alive to get your late game in motion. An alternative is to accelerate your mana to hasten the arrival of the late game. Removal is infinitely more flexible but that's why they call it removal. I'm almost certainly playing seventeen lands anyway but a random Myr helps too.
Pack 2 pick 4:
This was an odd pick. My sacrifice outlet so far was I believe Gore Vassal. I took this on the hope of something materializing in the future with the understanding it probably wouldn't. In other words I felt okay wasting a pick on "potential." The value of that has to be compared to what we didn't take.
Mindslaver is fine; you're happy to activate it. Sometimes a blowout. But if we're taking "sometimes" cards why not Celebration which has equitable potential and is far easier to cast? Mindslaver is really all over the place in effectiveness although everyone has a story of when it's great. I'd like it lots more if we had Treasure Mage or didn't have a higher curve already etc. But the fact is while I would play Mindslaver now I'd probably replace it for Flameborn Hellion down the road. If it's that excisable and its lateness shows other people feel the same way why take it at all?
Grafted Exoskeleton makes no sense in an almost artifact-less deck. Equipment is for making your weaker creatures better not making your awesome creatures bizarrely poisonous and vulnerable.
Honestly the card I most wanted was Viridian Revel. It has Furnace Celebration connotations but it's already better set up. I took Celebration because I thought/hoped Revel would table.
Pack 2 pick 5:
But here's where it kind of bites you. Perilous Myr is just a better card than Spellbomb except one sacrifices. Although Spellbomb is actually quite good in this deck this is an example of throwing good money after bad.
Pack 2 pick 6:
In for a penny although unlike the last pack there's no credible alternative. Yes Barrage Ogre loves to throw Ichor Wellspring. No it never came up.
Pack 2 pick 7:
The Carapace Forger is a true Grizzly Bears in this deck. The Lifestaff is weak in this deck but it does work in a couple of ways with the previous Barrage Ogre. I wasn't sure either card would make it but the Lifestaff seemed more likely to have presence.
Pack 2 pick 8:
Blunt the Assault remains underrated but I still preferred having more guys. Hill Giant.dec has been and always will be a viable Limited archetype.
Pack 2 pick 9:
I debated this pick for quite a while before making the wrong one. Both are sacrifice effects but the Urn is both a better fit to what the deck does and better for triggering the Celebration. Neither got played but this was a mistake.
Pack 2 pick 10:
Maybe Bonds was the better hate draft? I can't ever see playing Shield in this deck.
Pack 2 pick 11:
Woot sacrifice. Some Panic Spellbombs and Rebirth and we really have something going.
Pack 2 pick 12:
Pack 2 pick 13:
Pack 2 pick 14:
Pack 2 pick 15:
Pack 3 pick 1:
I'm not sure Turn to Slag is the strongest card in the pack. However I know I'm happy with any of the green cards and there's a good chance in a deep pack like this that one tables. While the cards I like have slightly varying power levels they're pretty close. Thus I want to maximize my chances of getting two of those cards in my deck; thus I took the card that improved the chances of that pickup occurring.
Pack 3 pick 2:
I really like Mass – not that there was much competition here. Myr is okay I guess but Mass is far more likely to have a positive effect on win percentage. If it's not clear yet that's the metric I put my picks against.
Pack 3 pick 3:
I had completely forgotten about this pack when I wrote the analysis for Pick 1. Funny to see a similar setup here but perhaps even funnier to see the opposite pick. So why Scrapmelter?
There were a bunch of little reasons. This late in the draft I realize Scrapmelter is probably my last chance to secure an artifact removal spell. But besides Cerebral Eruption being worse than Corrosion overall it's particularly worse in this deck. The reason as in all things in this game comes down to mana.
Let's assume I draft Eruption and play it on turn 4 against an aggressive opponent. Since my deck is slower I doubtfully have as many things in play. If I hit I probably wipe everything and I'm happy. If I don't hit I'm in a bind. When do I get to start playing my own creatures? If I were a deck with lots of two- and three-drops then I love Eruption since I can crush their side and have some good follow-up. If it doesn't hit at least I have some ground troops to hold on or whatever. On turn 6 I can try an Eruption and have another spell leftover. With this deck any turn I cast Eruption is probably my turn. That makes the card more critical which is tough for a spell that's inherently unreliable.
Scrapmelter's praises are well-known. It's always a Shatter. It's always a 3/3. If I play it on turn 4 it's probably excellent. If I play it on turn 6 it's probably excellent. And so on. If we look at all the cards drafted so far Scrapmelter just fits better. And that's why I took it.
Pack 3 pick 4:
In no world will I play any of these cards so hate-drafting a potential game-ender is fine. With our deck Strike seemed scariest.
Pack 3 pick 5:
A lot of blue there. Defiance is playable and I even sided it in a few times. Much more chance of that seeing play than anything else here.
Pack 3 pick 6:
Trigon of Rage is also the victim of mana needs. I don't care about 8/5s anyway but the turn I'm spending two mana to activate it is often my turn period. Not worth it here. The Myr is though.
Pack 3 pick 7:
A close call between the Hellion and Golem. I figured with my limited artifact count the Hellion is more likely to be impactful. I think Saberclaw is stronger overall but if I'm stranding Shatters in their hand why give them a target? Unlikely either would make the cut although the Hellion can be a good sideboard sometimes.
Pack 3 pick 8:
Occasional sideboard plus an actual annoying card to deal with plus nothing else of value made this easy.
Pack 3 pick 9:
And a big green monster came back. An excellent addition and a nice combo with Corrosion.
Pack 3 pick 10:
Pack 3 pick 11:
Pack 3 pick 12:
Pack 3 pick 13:
Pack 3 pick 14:
Pack 3 pick 15:
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1 Barrage Ogre
1 Blade-Tribe Berserkers
1 Blisterstick Shaman
1 Copper Myr
2 Fangren Marauder
1 Glissa's Courier
1 Leaden Myr
2 Melira's Keepers
1 Molder Beast
1 Oxidda Scrapmelter
1 Spin Engine
2 Tangle Mantis
1 Arc Trail
1 Chimeric Mass
1 Creeping Corrosion
1 Galvanic Blast
1 Horizon Spellbomb
1 Ichor Wellspring
1 Sylvok Lifestaff
1 Turn to Slag
I played around with Furnace Celebration builds but they just looked worse compared to this version. Overall I miss a pump spell but otherwise I'm pleased with a solid if unexciting deck. Sometimes you draft synergy and sometimes you end up with monsters plus removal.
Run Time 18:56
Living the dream!
Nothing too exciting happened. His deck was a touch unfocused and we drew our strongest stuff.
Run Time 18:30
I made some errors here. I could have Blasted the Hero in game 1 before it attacked. Now not doing so allowed him to commit to an attack and allowed me to make a good attack back but I still should have considered it.
And on game 2 I pulled the trigger on Corrosion way too early. I was overly obsessed with Molder Beast/Corrosion combo and did not reflect on how to maximize. (Cool Things.) The Barrage Ogre should've been in play first and with perhaps another attack or two from Spin Engine. It worked out because my hand was so good but they were definite errors.
Unfortunately due to technical issues this round was lost. I did win the match although we went to three games when I punted in g1 against his bizarre G/W/b metalcraft deck with double Viridian Emissary. I had a play that involved killing a Relic Warder to get metalcraft to kill Priests of Norn and I did something ineffective instead. But the deck came together in games 2 and 3 with my not blowing it as badly.
Thanks for watching. While I'll be contributing less than I used to Magic's hooks are in pretty deep. See you next time.