We get to start this one off with one of the best bomb rares in the set! How would you follow it up?
Pack 1, Pick 2
The Picks So Far:
Everybody is going absolutely bananas over five-color green in this format. While I do think it is one of the best decks, it is very much being over-drafted. I would rather draft a two-color combination, and if that doesn't seem to be open, then there's a good chance green is flowing and I can back-door into a green ramp deck. Because of this I really don't like taking River Hoopoe. It's very powerful, but given how amazing The Locust God is, I don't see a need to branch out.
Manticore Eternal is a very powerful card, but it suffers from its converted mana cost. The fact of the matter is, Gilded Cerodon and Manticore of the Gauntlet pretty much do the same thing. I rarely take this card early because it's so replaceable, and hence I won't take it here.
If you read my last article, you know how highly I take Deserts. And the pick between Desert of the Mindful and Unsummon is very close. The Desert works quite nicely with the Locust God, but I don't need to take a card that makes my mythic rare better. Now, cycling certainly gets better when you have a bomb, since you can dig for it, but that may be the only reason to take the Desert over Unsummon.
Unsummon, in my opinion, is one of the best commons. It's absolutely absurd in the blue tempo decks, which I have a large preference for. Even outside of them, I want one or two copies in every blue deck. It helps you stay ahead in any racing situations, can save your creatures against removal (saving the Locust God against exile removal is huge too), and is just too efficient at one mana. I'm never unhappy to first-pick Unsummon in this format, and while that might seem odd, it's just been my experience. So I'm going to take it here.
Pack 1, Pick 6
The Picks So Far:
I've solidified into U/R. There's still a chance that I end up U/G and splash The Locust God and Open Fire, but I find that unlikely.
While I do want to pick up something like a Survivors' Encampment or Painted Bluffs in order to cast Oblivion, it isn't necessary and shouldn't be prioritized.
Vizier of the Anointed is very powerful, yet has underperformed. The eternalize cards at common aren't very good (although they are playable, especially when you have the Vizier). And the ones at uncommon, rare, or with embalm in the third pack are hard to guarantee that you'll get, especially with red as your second color, since the best ones are the white ones. I have found U/R to almost always be a tempo deck, and Vizier of the Anointed is often a little too clunky for that.
Aerial Guide fits perfectly into this strategy. Taking two-drops to the skies on turn 4 can win the game by itself. I have gone down on Aerial Guide since the beginning of the format because the three-drop slot is over-saturated, but it's still very good and I'm happy to pick it up here.