Drafting with DeTora, DII #2
Hi, everyone, and welcome to my second DKA ISD ISD Draft walkthrough! This is another Magic Online 8–4 queue. Let’s get started.
Pack 1, Pick 1:
Gravepurge, Break of Day, Gruesome Discovery, Screeching Skaab, Nearheath Stalker, Heavy Mattock, Fling, Sightless Ghoul, Haunted Fengraf (FOIL), Diregraf Captain, Pyreheart Wolf, Briarpack Alpha, Chalice of Life, Gravecrawler, Swamp
My choices in this pack were Diregraf Captain, Pyreheart Wolf, and Briarpack Alpha. I don’t think Gravecrawler is very strong in Draft. Being a 2/1 makes it very fragile; however, it does combo with certain things such as Falkenrath Torturer. However, if I’m going to take a black card, the Captain is better. Anthem effects are very strong in Limited, but I didn’t want to commit to two colors for the first pick.
That leaves me with Briarpack Alpha and Pyreheart Wolf. Both cards are excellent, and both allow you to two-for-one your opponent. I like combat tricks, and Briarpack Alpha is one of the best combat tricks in the format, so I went with that first.
Pack 1, Pick 2:
Nephalia Seakite, Wild Hunger, Ray of Revelation, Haunted Fengraf, Tragic Slip, Dawntreader Elk, Scorch the Fields, Divination, Tracker's Instincts, Pyreheart Wolf, Strangleroot Geist, Soul Seizer, Sudden Disappearance, Mountain
My possibilities here were Wild Hunger, Tragic Slip, Dawntreader Elk, Pyreheart Wolf, and Strangleroot Geist. Dawntreader Elk is slightly worse than Geist and Wild Hunger, so I ruled that out first. Next, I ruled out Tragic Slip because although it’s excellent removal, I don’t think it’s worth it to move into a second color yet, especially when the pack is full of green cards. The same is true for Pyreheart Wolf.
Wild Hunger is one of my favorite cards in the set. It is a great combat trick, and it can also just win the game outright. Dealing 6 trample damage is a lot of damage, and if timed correctly, Wild Hunger has the potential to do way more damage than that.
Pack 1, Pick 3:
Pack 1, Pick 4:
In this pack, there were quite a few white cards to choose from. Russet Wolves was also a consideration, but I dismissed it because I already had two amazing 4-drops, and Russet Wolves is very sub-par compared to Briarpack Alpha.
Pack 1, Pick 5:
Dawntreader Elk was an easy pick here. It was a great, on-color 2-drop. It also gave me the option fix my mana or to splash a color.
Pack 1, Pick 6:
It was clear that white was open. I wasn’t seeing much red, so at this point in the Draft, I thought I would be G/W with a splash of red.
I chose Loyal Cathar over the other two good white cards because the Elgaud Inquisitor is not as good in the type of deck I was drafting. Inquisitor is better in a more controlling deck, so I wasn’t looking to pick up a card like that. It’s a slow card, and I didn’t want to clog up my 4-drops. Niblis of the Mist is pretty good, but it’s very fragile due to its 1 toughness. Loyal Cathar is a 2-drop, and in an aggressive deck, you can never have too many of those. It also could be a two-for-one, so it seemed like the correct pick.
Pack 1, Pick 7:
Seeing a second Wild Hunger made me very happy.
Pack 1, Pick 8:
Pack 1, Pick 9:
Having only one white card, the Nearheath Stalker gave me the option of staying R/G.
Pack 1, Pick 10:
Pack 1, Pick 11:
Forge Devil is a very underrated card that I always see late. It kills so many annoying utility creatures, and it can even finish a guy off after combat. After this pick, abandoning white and playing just R/G seemed more appealing.
Pack 1, Pick 12:
Pack 1, Pick 13:
Alpha Brawl is almost unplayable. It hardly ever works the way you want it to. The opponent needs to have at least three creatures in play for it to do anything, and if he has some sort of sacrifice outlet, the card does nothing for 8 mana. I could possibly play it or side it in if my deck ended up having no removal or if my opponent’s deck was incredibly slow, but I highly doubt I would ever play this.
Pack 1, Pick 14:
Pack 1, Pick 15:
Pack 2, Pick 1:
Lost in the Mist, Make a Wish (FOIL), Silverchase Fox, Unruly Mob, Skeletal Grimace, Stitcher's Apprentice, Walking Corpse, Vampiric Fury, Deranged Assistant, Slayer of the Wicked, Battleground Geist, Morkrut Banshee, Nephalia Drownyard, Ulvenwald Mystics, Island
Ulvenwald Mystics is a great card. It breaks open green mirror matches due to its huge body and regeneration. However, Slayer of the Wicked is excellent removal, and I had three ways to fetch a Plains, so I was happy to take that first.
Pack 2, Pick 2:
Ghoulcaller's Bell, Maw of the Mire, Corpse Lunge, Spare from Evil, Nightbird's Clutches, Rotting Fensnake, Caravan Vigil, Infernal Plunge, Ranger's Guile, Desperate Ravings, Falkenrath Noble, Cellar Door, Grizzled Outcasts, Plains
This was a very interesting pick. The on-color cards were Nightbird's Clutches, Caravan Vigil, Ranger's Guile, and Grizzled Outcasts. Nightbird's Clutches is a very situational card. It’s only good in super-aggressive decks like B/R. It’s mana-intensive, and since my plan was to play Wild Hungers in combat, it wasn’t a good fit for this deck. Caravan Vigil is fine, but I didn’t need the mana fixing at that point. Grizzled Outcasts is a very mediocre creature, and I’m usually not happy to play that card.
Ranger's Guile is a great combat trick, and I’d be happy to play one in my deck. In my experience drafting online, Ranger's Guile is a card that I always see very late, so I thought I’d be able to pick one up later. The Falkenrath Noble was easily the best card in the pack, and I could potentially splash it.
Looking back, I think I should have taken the Ranger's Guile. It would have been better to stay on color, and the Noble ended up being a hate pick anyway. It’s not good to hate cards in eight-man Drafts because your chances of playing against that card in the Draft are less than 50%.
Pack 2, Pick 3:
Kindercatch, Stromkirk Patrol (FOIL), Altar's Reap, Gruesome Deformity, Grave Bramble, Urgent Exorcism, Selhoff Occultist, Traitorous Blood, Burning Vengeance, Battleground Geist, Creeping Renaissance, Ulvenwald Mystics, Mountain
The only card for me in this pack was the Mystics, and as I’ve said before, it’s a great card, so I was happy about picking one up.
Pack 2, Pick 4:
The Avacyn's Pilgrim made my white splash look even better. Also, in my deck with quite a few 4-drops, the mana acceleration was very important.
Pack 2, Pick 5:
This was actually a difficult pick for me. Both Pitchburn Devils and Ambush Viper were great cards for my deck. I really like Pitchburn Devils, and normally, I would have taken that, but because I had two Wild Hungers, I went with the Ambush Viper. The interaction between deathtouch and trample is extremely powerful and can win games.
Pack 2, Pick 6:
This pick wasn’t close at all. A second Ulvenwald Mystics was just what my deck needed.
Pack 2, Pick 7:
Pack 2, Pick 8:
I was feeling good about seeing a second Ambush Viper.
Pack 2, Pick 9:
Pack 2, Pick 10:
Pack 2, Pick 11:
Stromkirk Patrol (FOIL)
Pack 2, Pick 12:
Pack 2, Pick 13:
Pack 2, Pick 14:
Pack 2, Pick 15:
Pack 3, Pick 1:
Doomed Traveler, Selfless Cathar, Dead Weight, Somberwald Spider, Riot Devils, Gnaw to the Bone, Ghostly Possession, Rebuke, Typhoid Rats, Curiosity, Bramblecrush, Skirsdag Cultist, Blasphemous Act, Cloistered Youth, Mountain
My deck had very little removal so far, so I was happy to open Blasphemous Act. I even had two regenerators that could survive it.
Pack 3, Pick 2:
Elder Cathar, Grave Bramble, Bloodcrazed Neonate, Frightful Delusion, Cobbled Wings, Travel Preparations, Village Bell-Ringer, Spectral Flight, Brain Weevil, Midnight Haunting, Make a Wish, Invisible Stalker, Kessig Wolf Run, Island
Travel Preparations was a possibility for my deck, but Kessig Wolf Run was too good to pass up. The Wolf Run could make any one of my creatures lethal, not to mention that I had two Ambush Vipers. Kessig Wolf Run is like a Fireball every turn.
Pack 3, Pick 3:
Ashmouth Hound, Doomed Traveler, Selfless Cathar, Dead Weight, Somberwald Spider, Rebuke, Typhoid Rats, Traitorous Blood, Markov Patrician, Mausoleum Guard, Wreath of Geists, Nephalia Drownyard, Forest
Another 2-drop for my deck was just what I wanted. Nothing else from this pack excited me.
Pack 3, Pick 4:
Avacynian Priest, Bloodcrazed Neonate, Silverchase Fox, Curse of the Bloody Tome, Cobbled Wings, Village Bell-Ringer, Brain Weevil, Rotting Fensnake, Lumberknot, Village Cannibals, Village Ironsmith, Forest
It seemed that I was being cut off from my colors. There was nothing that I wanted to play here. However, since I was already splashing white for the Slayer of the Wicked, I took the Avacynian Priest. I probably wouldn’t be able to play it on turn two, but it is still good in the late game because it can shut down a creature every turn.
Pack 3, Pick 5:
I really didn’t need another 2-drop, and by the time I saw this pack, I was looking for something a bit more powerful. However, this pack really didn’t give me any other options.
Pack 3, Pick 6:
Pack 3, Pick 7:
I think the Scourge of Geier Reach is actually pretty good. Usually, he is huge and must be chump-blocked every turn. I took the Spidery Grasp because my deck was pretty removal-light, and I wanted another combat trick.
Looking back, I think the Scourge was the better pick because I had three ways to give him trample, and he could have been a huge threat.
Pack 3, Pick 8:
Although not great removal, Harvest Pyre is still removal, so I was happy to pick it up.
Pack 3, Pick 9:
The Riot Devils from my first pack tabled, and I was pretty happy about that. He wasn’t the best creature, but any creature was good for me at this point since I had a ton of combat tricks.
Pack 3, Pick 10:
Pack 3, Pick 11:
Pack 3, Pick 12:
Pack 3, Pick 13:
Here, I took the sideboard card over the creature because I had a lot of 4-drops, and I wouldn’t play it anyway.
Pack 3, Pick 14:
Pack 3, Pick 15:
Here’s the deck I played.
The only choice I had was which 5-drop to leave in the sideboard. I chose to not play the Nearheath Stalker. Grizzled Outcasts was better because it worked well with my Wild Hungers and Kessig Wolf Run and because it had the potential to be a 7/7 that would have to be chump-blocked. The Somberwald Spider was better because in my deck, I would be trading a lot of creatures in combat, and therefore, I would have morbid very easily.
Round 1 – W/U Flyers
My opponent began the game with a Champion of the Parish and I followed it up with a Forge Devil. From there, I was able to trade creatures with my opponent in combat until I dropped an Ulvenwald Mystics. Once it transformed, he had no answer for it.
Round 2 – U/R Control
Game 1, I mulliganed into a land-light hand. I was stuck on two lands for a while, but I drew plenty of 2-drops, an Avacyn's Pilgrim, and a Dawntreader Elk. My opponent chose not to kill my Dawntreader Elk with his Skirsdag Cultist when I was tapped out of green, which gave me the chance to untap with it in play. I was then able to sac the Elk for my fourth land. On my turn, I drew another land, allowing me to cast Grizzled Outcasts with Ranger's Guile backup. Soon after that, the Grizzled Outcasts transformed into a 7/7, and my opponent had no way to stabilize.
Game 2, my opponent chose to play, mulliganed to six, and then conceded. It appeared that my opponent was frustrated by losing Game 1, then when he had to mulligan, he got angry and conceded. That doesn’t make any sense to me. With eight packs on the line, you should at least play it out. For all he knew, I could have kept a bad hand, been mana screwed, and lost. People who become frustrated that easily probably shouldn’t be playing Magic Online.
Round 3 – R/G Aggro
Game 1, we were both racing and trading creatures. I had Kessig Wolf Run and was winning the damage race. However, I made the stupid mistake of tapping out with Wolf Run instead of dropping a chump-blocker. He then dealt 7 damage to me by attacking with a 7/7 Lumberknot, then he cast Fling targeting me, dealing me another 7, and I died. Had I just played a blocker, that wouldn’t have happened.
Game 2, we were again racing and trading creatures. He cast a Gnaw to the Bone and flashed it back the turn before I would have killed him, gaining him 12 life. However, I had an Ambush Viper and Kessig Wolf Run, making it so if he blocked, he would still take lethal damage.
Game 3 was very similar. He drew two Gnaw to the Bones, and he gained over 20 life throughout the game. Because he was drawing Gnaw to the Bones, he was not drawing any threats, so although he gained so much life, he never put up much of a defense, and I was able to win easily.
I really liked this deck, and it was possibly among the best decks I’ve drafted in this format. I didn’t have the bomb rares, but I did have plenty of solid creatures, combat tricks, and removal.
Thanks for reading, and feel free to comment about any Draft picks you would have made differently. Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @AllWeDoIsWinMTG!