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[M:tG] Draft Practice

[M:tG] Draft Practice

My Magic post last week spawned an e-mail from a local friend who had the inside scoop on a small casual draft party every weekend.  Since I want to cut my teeth in a friendly, low key environment, this seems like just the ticket.  Before I dive in with both feet, though, I figure I should test the waters.

I nabbed a single Theros booster at Target when I was stocking up on extra Halloween Candy last night, and I figure I’ll do an analysis, much like AbsoluteMTG does in videos like this:

So, here’s what was in my booster:

Yeah… So I pulled a foil rare.  The Temple of Mystery.  Not a bad start!  But, what’s the pick of the booster…


To me, the obvious bomb picks are the Deathbellow Raider and Prophet of Kruphix.

The Deathbellow Raider is more straight forward, and has a decently cheap Regenerate.  The Prophet of Kruphix is as powerful as the Deathbellow Raider, but costs three more to cast.  It’s real power, though, is in letting you basically keep all your resources for your turn and your opponent’s turn.  Each opponent’s turn, in fact.  So, I think it’s more powerful than Deathbellow Raider in the long run, but it’ll take a while to get it onto the board, and if you do, it doesn’t have a ton of staying power.

Secondary bomb picks would be the Baleful Eidolon, Akroan Hoplite and I suppose the Spellheart Chimera.  The Baleful Eidolon is nice due to Deathtouch.  The Akroan Hoplite isn’t here because of efficiency, but if you happen to be using lots of little creatures in your strategy, he’d be a good pick.  I see him being drafted a few rounds in, once you know what your general strategy is going to be.  The Spellheart Chimera is just as situational as the Akroan Hoplite, but has the added bonus of Flying and Trample.  If I was doing a Red Deck Wins type approach with lots of burn spells and quick, cheap Shocks or Lightning Bolts, he’d be perfect.


The only real removal here is Annul, and in constructed it’s probably fine, but in limited, where most people will be aiming for creatures, this has limited use.  Now, Theros has lots of really good enchantments, so this card’s more powerful in a Theros Draft environment.  Our other choice is Vanquish the Foul which is pretty cool in that it gets rid of a big nasty (Power 4 or greater), and lets you Scry 1, but at 6 mana, it’s a hefty price to pay.


Well, that Spellheart Chimera has some in its Flying and Trample.  Unfortunately, there’s just not much else.


I would put March of the Returned, Omenspeaker and Settesan Battle Priest here.

March of the Returned brings back things that die, which means that the few creatures you can pack into your 40 card deck in a draft will do more work for you.  That’s pretty handy.  Settesan Battle Priest would be a great way to boost your life total if you had lots of cheap buffs and things.  A 1/3 for 2 isn’t terrible either, but if you can pop a Giant Growth on it for a turn or two, then for one mana, you’re putting out 3 more damage, and gaining 2 health for a push in your favor of 5.  Not too shabby.   Omenspeaker is just here because of the Scry 2.  Take it or leave it.


Spares.  What’s left?  Yoked Ox, Loathsome Catoblepas and Battlewise Valor.

Yoked Ox is a nice turn one blocker, though beware of something like Baleful Eidolon.   Loathsome Catoblepas is cool that you can force your opponent to block you.  That’s nice in some situations, but a 3/3 for 6 is just not worth it to me, especialy when its other ability triggers when it dies, which you don’t want to happen in the first place!  Battlewise Valor is fine, +2/+2 and Scry1 for 2, but it’s not a Bomb or Removal, so it’s a late round pick.  Goes well with the Settesan Battle Priest.

Yay, cards!  Now what?

Well, my fingers are crossed for my draft event this weekend.  I’ll do my best to document what I get in each round, and what I pick, and then y’all can tell me what I did wrong.

In the mean time, what do you think of this booster?  What would you draft from it?  What do you think of the fact that there were no green cards in it (except the foil Scry Land)?

View Comments (3)
  • When I was learning to draft, I really felt that comparing cards in any one pack was a super-valuable task. so, i went looking and found this: Its a draft simulator that pretends its 8 people. While its not always handy in trying to simulate an actual draft deck that you would build, it helps with card familiarity, making hard decisions, and seeing if base concepts exist. Try it out man!


  • Honestly nothing in that pack excites me. Two rares and I wouldn’t draft either of them. I like Akroan Hoplites, but it’s tough to actually get them on the board as a two drop. That’s kinda the worst sort of first pack, as it doesn’t suggest a strategy or even a direction really. I’d probably take the Ox. It blocks above its cost, and isn’t a defender so you can get it to do damage.


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