Another week, another draft. #PTKLD unsurprisingly revealed a more nuanced format than we had seen before as players evolved past straightforward aggressive decks and learned to exploit the synergies in the set to their fullest. Still, having a good curve of quality creatures and removal to handle opposing threats is paramount, as it will continue to be in Draft forever.
So today's draft starts with a pick between two quality removal spells:
As I noted, for me this pick comes down to the two removal spells: Fateful Showdown and Skywhaler's Shot. They key principle to keep in mind here is to not be seduced by the rarity of a given card and to evaluate it objectively.
Fateful Showdown has more text and it's attractive to imagine killing an opposing creature while simultaneously looting away some lands and turning them into more gas to keep the pressure on. The upside on the card is very high, which is why it gets upgraded from uncommon to rare.
But that upside comes with downside as well. Fateful Showdown diminishes in value as the game progresses since you will naturally empty your hand, and casting it early to avoid that scenario means you have much less control over the second effect. You certainly don't want to cast it when you have good plays for the next turn or two, but you will often be forced to do so if you want it to function as a quality removal spell.
Skywhaler's Shot, while simple and straightforward, is still quite powerful. You will almost always target a creature that costs three or more mana and the scry is always valuable. It being an instant means it can more easily target Vehicles, which is important when Renegade Freighter is one of the best commons in the set. There's no need to get fancy here, so the white card gets the nod.
In looking at our pool of cards, it's tempting to say we're G/W already, but in reality we're just green. That openness makes this pick much more interesting, as none of the cards here is a real standout. As such, we have the option of staying open with Cowl Prowler or making a more speculative pick by branching out into another color.
Given that Cowl Prowler is at best filler, I'd rather take a flyer here on one of the other cards. Cogworker's Puzzleknot is a fine card in an artifact-based deck, but green isn't the best color for such a deck, so I would look elsewhere. That leaves Eddytrail Hawk and Select for Inspection.
In the abstract I would prefer Select for Inspection as a cheap tempo spell, but Eddytrail Hawk goes nicely with the big green creatures we already have and are sure to get more of. As an underpowered card by itself, Eddytrail Hawk isn't a card I want a lot of, but in small doses it can break open a ground stall or serve as a final piece of reach in a race. I lean toward the Bird here, even though we're not in Canada and so Thanksgiving is a month away. Fortunately, Thanksgiving food is great any time of the year.