Another day, another draft.
Pack 1, Pick 2
The Picks So Far:
We have started off the draft with one of my favorite rares. There are a ton of shenanigans that you can do with blink effects in this set. My favorite, which many players don't realize is possible, is with the unearth mechanic. If you unearth a creature and then blink it, you actually get to keep the creature! It's a cool, niche interaction that comes up more often than you would think if you draft Esper.
I'll tell you right now: the pick is Mistmeadow Witch and it's not even remotely close.
I currently have Mistmeadow Witch as the second-best uncommon, right behind Lingering Souls. The card does an absurd amount of things. It saves all of your unearth creatures, makes it difficult for your opponent to attack or block, reuses abilities, kills tokens, blanks your opponent's removal…the list goes on. Sure, the body isn't great and it isn't terribly mana-efficient, but trust me when I say the card is the real deal.
The more important question: Why isn't it close between Mistmeadow Witch and Path to Exile? Yes, Path to Exile is premium removal, but removal really isn't all that great in this format. There is a plethora of removal at common, so getting some is fairly easy if you're in the market for it. Not much is as efficient as Path to Exile, but the downside of giving a land to your opponent in this format is actually pretty huge. Additionally, the majority of creatures in this format either come with value and/or have small bodies. I actually take Dinrova Horror over Path to Exile Pack 1, Pick 1. Removal just isn't as necessary as one would think.
Pack 1, Pick 5
The Picks So Far:
Mystic Genesis is the most powerful card in this pack, and one I like quite a bit. In this format, the way I have been winning many of my games is by getting slightly ahead and maintaining this momentum. This is often by holding Momentary Blink such that I can always out-tempo my opponent and blank their removal spells. But Mystic Genesis also does this; if you're ahead, you really don't need to cast spells, but your opponent does, so chipping in for damage while waiting to “get” your opponent and make a nice Ooze is actually a reasonable plan, especially with a card like Mistmeadow Witch. That being said, I am not a huge fan of Bant, and our other two options are entirely reasonable. I wouldn't fault you for taking the best card, but I think we can do better.
Kor Skyfisher has performed better than expected. The W/U decks in this format actively want five or more ways to reuse enters-the-battlefield effects. Further, the ground really can get gummed up in this format, so the flying body is quite relevant. The card isn't so fancy, but it does do an important job. I'm in the market for a card like this, so it's the current frontrunner.
Last, but not least, we have Tandem Lookout. This card may be the swingiest common in the set. If you ever curve a two-drop into Tandem Lookout and your opponent doesn't have an answer, it's going to be hard to lose that game. But other times it's just a three-mana 2/1, which is pretty bad. I've found I often want one copy of the card in my deck, but they are also not very difficult to come across. Because of this, I think the optimal choice is the on-color card that I know I will want in multiples (or at least cards like it): Kor Skyfisher.