In evaluating this pack, the first things I'm noticing are: the rare isn't good, there are a lot of good black removal spells, and there are solid two-drops in blue, white, and green. In this pack, you could reasonably argue that the three best cards are all black: Golden Demise, Impale, and Moment of Craving. This kind of pack will sometimes convince someone that they'll be fighting too much if they take a black card, which will make them take a weaker card of another color, but in this case I think Golden Demise is sufficiently more powerful than all the other cards that passing it would be a significant mistake.
Golden Demise is a bomb, not just due to what's written on the card but also the fact that there's no other effect in the format similar to it. Don't sleep on this card. There are two other black removal spells and a few premium Vampires, so it may be difficult to have a good Pack 2 in this color/archetype, but the card's just too good not to take.
We're two-for-two now on cards I'm now taking over Impale that I would never have fathomed doing in my first few drafts. Impale is a great removal spell, but it's a replaceable effect in most decks. There are many ways to stop big creatures from attacking you in Rivals of Ixalan, but limited ways to interact with an early assault. Moment of Craving is a unique removal spell relative to the format, making it all the more important.
Impale may be a safer pick than Forerunner of the Legion, but I've found being safe in this format is a formula for failure. Forerunner of the Legion is, again, a unique effect in a Vampires deck that can help you find bombs you pick up later, start the chain of Legion Conquistadors, or simply pump up your lifelinkers for combat.
Golden Demise is very good. If you were watching Grand Prix coverage last weekend, you probably saw a bunch of times it just ended games, though why would you when you could watch Standard, Modern, and Legacy instead?
After that, the pick is close between Kitesail Corsair and Impale. I think I default to taking the card that doesn't cost four right now, but worse things have happened than starting a draft with a good removal spell.
3. Baffling End
Captain's Hook is a powerful colorless rare, which is generally a great baseline for a first pick, but a lot of the strength of taking a colorless card is that it's extremely flexible and you can play it in any deck. Unfortunately, I don't think that describes Captain's Hook very well. I think it's only good in aggressive decks, which still leaves you very open but means it's not actually that much more flexible than the best alternative, Bombard.
Bombard will be great in any red deck. If we assume a two-color deck, that's 40% of decks, but given that it's fairly easy to splash in this format, I'd say we'd end up playing Bombard about half the time if we didn't factor it into any of our future picks at all, and we'll be trying to play it, making its odds far better. So does that mean it's more or less versatile than Captain's Hook?
Honestly, I think that depends on the player drafting. Some players will end up aggressive a lot more than half the time and some a lot less in this format, I suspect. For me personally, I think I'd have to go less out of my way to expect to use the Bombard, and I'd take it here. I think Baffling End is close enough in power that if you have a substantial preference for white over red, it would be an acceptable choice, and Captain's Hook is strong enough that it's probably a better choice if you have a preference for drafting aggressive decks.
Ultimately, I think this pick is close enough that my recommendation would vary from person to person depending on their play style.
3. Baffling End
Just play with the Captain's Hook once and you'll realize you don't ever pass this card. Not even for Patrick Sullivan's pet dog, Ravenous Chupacabra! I currently have Bombard as the best common from Rivals of Ixalan as being a cheap, instant-speed removal spell is perfect for this format. That said, Baffling End is pretty good as well, so I'm still unsure about this pick. I still lean towards Bombard, since it kills more things.
I'm not in love with Baffling End, given it can't handle the big issues, but it's a great removal spell for decks that are trying to win longer games with the city's blessing. It's also extremely cheap, making it a nice answer to hyper-aggressive decks like U/G Merfolk and B/R Pirates.
3. Baffling End
I think you could shuffle these three cards in any order and come up with a reasonable ranking. Just choose whichever card or color you like the best and go from there.
Bombard is the generic good answer. Captain's Hook is a pretty good rate for Equipment and a colorless card, but it's the clunkiest of the three and it isn't like Bombard or Baffling End can't be splashed off an Evolving Wilds, making them close to colorless. Baffling End is really good for a two-drop removal spell and has big connotations for ascending, both adding a permanent to your battlefield and removing one of theirs, but is the narrowest of the three cards. Not in a way that would make me think the card is bad, but it has the lowest floor where you just die to a four-mana flier instead of Bombarding it or racing it with Captain's Hook.
The cards I'm looking at here are Hunt the Weak, Moment of Craving, and The Immortal Sun. I believe The Immortal Sun does enough different powerful things that it's fairly easily the pick over a solid common removal spell. This is a powerful artifact that I actually will plan to play in almost any deck (cutting it becomes considerable only if you're playing fewer than seventeen mana sources).
The Immortal Sun is an amazing first pick for many reasons. First off, it's insane when on the battlefield and almost wins every game it comes down on a stable one. Second, it's colorless, which means it will always make the deck! I'd love, love, love to first-pick this at the Pro Tour this weekend! The rest of the pack plays out similarly to Round 1.
2. Please don't take anything else
3. Why are we still talking about this
(CEDitor's Note: Claaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaassic Ari.)
I think Moment of Craving is a fairly clear pick out of this pack. The rare is horrible, and the next-best card, Resplendent Griffin, requires starting in two colors, which it's always best to try to avoid.
This is an extremely weak pack, and one I'd also be fine opening at the Pro Tour. It's nice to take the one good card out of the pack and pass garbage. That said, the exercise is picking three cards, which makes this more difficult. Resplendent Griffin is a good card, but in a less-represented color combination. It's rare you'll take this first pick and stick with it, so abandon ship if necessary. Jungleborn Pioneer is probably the best card behind that, but I'm not in love with first-picking it. I think I'd rather take the Evolving Wilds, as the upside of having good lands is high in certain decks. Plus, I'll only miss the Jungleborn Pioneer if I end up in a good Merfolk deck, and then I'll be happy anyway.
My first choice here is definitely the removal spell. Don't be tricked by it looking like a fairly average Pharika's Cure. Moment of Craving's -2/-2 lets you trade up your 3/3s into 4/4s, much like the mirrored Moment of Triumph, on top of just killing stuff. After that, the picks come in converted mana cost order. Jungleborn Pioneer costs three and Dead-Eye Rig Hauler costs four. Easy enough when the cards are close in power level.
Zetalpa, Primal Dawn is a unique effect. For eight mana you get a creature that will with the game very quickly that your opponent basically can't interact with unless they're playing blue or white, and even then, their options are limited. That said, eight is a ton of mana, like, enough mana that, in some Limited formats, you might not play a card that literally just said "You win the game" if it cost eight (though those formats are the exception, and in most formats that card would be a top-tier bomb).
Given that this format has Treasure and a decent number of other ramp cards as well as reasonable ways to block or otherwise build a control deck, I think it's reasonable to consider an eight-mana spell castable, and as such, I'd take Zetalpa, Primal Dawn, and I'd look to draft Treasure as well as ways to free it from Luminous Bonds and Waterknot, the two most likely answers.
Zetalpa, Primal Dawn is expensive but effective. It also opens you up to play cards that normally just table, like Knight of the Stampede, so you'll almost always get one if you want one. It fits well in U/W thanks to Treasure makers, and of course G/W. I've been happy with the card, but I do understand it looks like it costs a little too much for what it is.
This is another time I take Moment of Craving over hard removal. This could easily be wrong, as I've only recently started prioritizing this card over Luminous Bonds and Impale. I've just had too many drafts where I don't draw something to do on Turn 2 and find myself falling behind. I also dislike four-mana removal in decks like B/R Pirates, as I want to kill things for cheap so I can keep deploying threats. There are just a slew of reasons why I like Moment of Craving more.
I'm very curious to see what the others say about this card.
I like hard removal over more conditional answers, hence the pick of Luminous Bonds over Moment of Craving. Three mana isn't that much more than two, so you can't even bring efficiency into the discussion.
Once we clear the obvious removal tier, I would much rather take a flexible two-mana spell than an eight-drop, no matter how powerful that eight-drop is when it resolves. I haven't seen Zetalpa, Primal Dawn do much outside of G/W decks, effectively making it a multicolored card that is only a little better at finishing games than Colossal Dreadmaw.