Call Me An Awful Player: A Mirrodin Draft Report Part 2
Can't find a Fangren Hunter? Get a Wurmskin Forger. While obviously not as efficient or trampling, R/G still needs fat late game threats. Nick Eisel wrote a little bit on the merits of this card, so I'd direct you there if I knew where it was. Myr Enforcers and Hematite Golems are passable replacements, but they're susceptible to Red decks and slow against White decks.
Can't find a Tel-Jilad Archers? Get a Wizard Replica. In fact, get two. Tel-Jilad Archers are very good and very hard to deal with. The Wizard Replica will help you stave off the smaller flyers, but you still have no answer to Hoverguards. I believe that the Archers may be Green's most important common.
Can't find a Tel-Jilad Chosen? Get a Tel-Jilad Exile. Lots of people rank the Exile a lot higher than I do, but I find that the Tel-Jilad Chosen handle most of the threats (i.e. Golems) that you are worried about. The Chosen often help you determine whether the beginning of the game is a race or a stall. Usually, you'll want to stall out the various Replicas and Golems that your opponent throws down. The Exile is slower at this, but it can start blocking and regenerating on turn 4 with the help of your mana Myr.
Can't find a Spikeshot Goblin? Too bad. There's obviously no replacement for Spikeshot Goblin, but you don't need it to win. If you draft the Spikeshot Goblin, don't put awful cards like Leonin Scimitar in your R/G deck just to make the Goblin better. It will usually draw out a removal spell by itself, because everyone is scared to death of the thing. Get yourself a Pyrite Spellbomb, an Electrostatic Bolt, and a piece of the super removal (Shrapnel Blast, a splashed Terror or Betrayal of Flesh), and you should have enough tricks to take down the large, non-artifact threats.
Can't find a Bonesplitter? That's okay, you don't need one. As I've been saying throughout the article, R/G does not need Equipment. Your combat should involve you swinging an ordinarily large creature into a creature with an axe or a sword. Then the Equipment gets Shattered during combat, and you've just won the combat. Let the other players fight for the Equipment; unless you've got a Spikeshot Goblin, you're usually better off with a creature.
Can't find a Predator's Strike? Get a Bonesplitter. Now I know that's a hard thing to do, but it's probably the only card that can attempt to replace Predator's Strike. Like Tel-Jilad Archers, I believe that Predator's Strike is one of Green's most important commons. It is certainly the most important card in the mirror match (although splashing Black or Blue to Terror / bounce the Predator's Striked creatures is a decent answer).
An efficient piece of equipment like Bonesplitter, Fireshrieker, Loxodon I-Win, or such will give you a chance against the Green decks that aren't packing enough answers. But seriously, you need to have a Predator's Strike or two. At least play like you have one.
Can't find a Deconstruct or Shatter? Get a Goblin Replica, a Turn to Dust, a Creeping Mold, Detonate, Viridian Shaman, Molder Slug, something! G/R hates artifacts, that's their deal. You want to laugh at how feeble their creatures are without Equipment. You'll probably play as many Shatters, Deconstructs, and Goblin Replicas as you draft, though you may sideboard some of them out in the mirror match. While Tel-Jilad Archers and Predator's Strike are the most important individual cards, artifact destruction and fat guys are the backbone of R/G. Get some.
Can't find a Copper Myr or Iron Myr? Get a Talisman or an off-color mana Myr. If you're only playing two colors, then the off-color mana Myr are good enough to play since you're going to want the boost. I strongly prefer the Myr to the Talisman. The Talismans are only better in the case where you draw them during turns four through eight when you want to get them out and use them right away.
Can't find Electrostatic Bolt? Get a Pyrite Spellbomb, of course. You'll almost always play all the burn you get, but don't go overboard. Your noncreature slots should be filled with artifact destruction, Predator's Strike, random bombs like Culling Scales, and burn. Burn comes after all these things. I was R/G once in a draft where the guy feeding me was B/R, and he kept taking Pyrite Spellbombs over Krark-Clan Grunts. He did this three times, and I ended up with absolutely no burn. I whined for a bit about how I got cut off, but then I noticed something.
My deck had fifteen money creatures and three mana Myr. My leftovers were artifact destruction, one Predator's Strike, big, dumb Loxodon Warhammer, and some other bomb that I never drew (I think it was Mindslaver). I went 4-0 that draft, and I promise it wasn't all because of the Warhammer. I played the guy with the B/R deck and I made sure to trade my creatures for his creatures and my artifact removal for his artifact creatures, and he just ran out of guys. The moral of the story is not that Pyrite Spellbomb is worse than Krark-Clan Grunt, but that you want lots of guys. All right? All right.
I think this article is long enough that what's-his-name-new-editor-guy will accept it without reading it, post it, and you can all accuse me of cheating again. [And here I was enjoying the article up until that point. -What's-his-name-new-editor-guy]
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