Monday, 25 May 2009

Drafting with Jim - #7

By Jim Marlow

Hey everyone,

seeing as Alara Reborn is now up on magic online i decided to treat myself to a couple drafts and record one of them for an article. Sadly, the one i recorded went horribly and the one i didnt i absolutely crapped on everyone - as in i got bloodbraid elf into woolly thoctar 3 times!! (i won those games...and the draft)

Anyways, here's the draft i recorded, it starts awful, gets slightly better, and ends with a 3 game epic with me losing, bawwww.

I apologise in advance for not knowing too much about what else was in my reborn packs, but it took me a while to read all the cards, being a pretty new set to me, so forgive the pretty pants notes.

Pack 1, pick 1 - sanctum gargoyle

I dont really liek esper too much in draft, and it feels like a strategy you have to commit early to in order to get a decent deck. I thought i would have a go though, plus with a branching bolt, jund battlemage, necrogenesis and executioners capsule i didnt want to fight over the jund stuff.

Pack 1, pick 2 - seaside citadel

Tri-lands are always awesome, and only an unexciting wild nacatl and bone splinters make up the pack

Pack 1, pick 3 - resounding silence

The citadel means i can cycle this making it pretty damn good, plus hissing iguanar is the only other playable here

Pack 1, pick 4 - deft dualist

Pack 1, pick 5 - naya panorama

Nothing here so grab the fixing

Pack 1, pick 6 - tidhollow strix

Im pretty suprised to see this dude seeing as i havent seen any other esper cards coming my way so far, maybe it is open after all

Pack 1, pick 7 - call to heel

Remaining picks - puppet conjurer, grixis panorama, vectis silencers, onyx goblet, shore snapper, angelsong, shadowfeed, island

Pack 2, pick 1 - mirror sigil sargeant

little bit bomby, so.... There was also a foil apocolypse hydra in there too, whats the pick here?

Pack 2, pick 2 - esperzoa

pretty bad really, conflux is awful isnt it.

Pack 2, pick 3 - celestial purge

I love this card

Pack 2, pick 4 - voices from the void

Looks like ill be playing quite a few colours, so might be decent as i will be pretty slow and controlling

Pack 2, pick 5 - worldy counsel

Pack 2, pick 6 - pestilent kathari

Pack 2, pick 7 - zombie outlander

Pack 2, pick 8 - brackwater elemental

Remaining picks - cumber stone, darklit gargoyle, scornful aether-lich, jhessian balm giver, infectious horror, toxic iguanar, plains.

Pack 3, pick 1 - slave of bolas

zealous persecution in there too.

Pack 3, pick 2 - lord lich or unx

He seems ok, on colour, why not.

Pack 3, pick 3 - mask of riddles

only a sewn eye drake in there too, and even though i need guys i like this card a lot

Pack 3, pick 4 - monstrous carabid

Pack 3, pick 5 - illusionary demon

Pack 3, pick 6 - kathari bomber (foil)

Pack 3, pick 7 - wall of denial

This guy is definately the droid im looking for in my deck

Pack 3, pick 8 - maelstrom nexus

could be a bomb, guess we'll see.

Remaining picks - jhessian zombies, captured sunlight, fieldmist borderpost, esper sojourners, grixis sojourners, etherium abomination, forest.

Here's my list

1 x mask of riddles
1 x tidehollow strix
1 x zombie outlander
1 x celestial purge
1 x call to heel
1 x puppet conjurer
1 x worldy counsel
1 x esperzoa
1 x fieldmist borderpost
1 x brackwater elemental
1 x illusionary demon
1 x kathari bomber
1 x lord lich of unx
1 x pestilent kathari
1 x wall of denial
1 x sanctum gargoyle
1 x resounding silence
1 x slave of bolas
1 x voices from the void
1 x maelstrom nexus
1 x etherium abomination
1 x jhessian zombies
1 x mirror, sigil sargeant

1 x seaside citadel
1 x naya panorama
1 x grixis panorama
1 x forest
1 x mountain
5 x island
4 x swamp
3 x plains

So i lost in the first round in a 3 gamer, game 1 my opponant made turn 2 guy, turn 3 noob sledge, turns 4-6 bashy bashy.

I win a long game 2, getting slow advantage

Game 3 he gets the sledge, which i have no way in my deck to deal with. But am drawing cards with mask of riddles and blocking his guy avec sledge with wall of denial. Eventually i find my Lord lich of Unx and start milling but my opponant finds the domain goblin guy to put his penis extension on and attacks me with a 21/5 lifelink trampler....i obviously survive on 1 life, with my lord lich still about too. I make a guy, but my opponant draw resounding thunder, bum.

Hope you all enjoyed that, more drafts coming soon a la my prize boosters for winning my other draft.

Until then,


As always, feel free to comment on anything about this article, or anything unrelated to magic whatsoever. If you would like to contribute to the TLM blog, please email any ideas, articles, pictures or anything else to


  1. Bah.. bloody thing won't let me copy/paste into here.. anyway, some comments


    I know this is the accepted wisdom but there is a growing idea that it is wrong. Paulo Vitor Damo da Rosa wrote an article on StarCity a couple of weeks back where he talks about this and I think he has the right idea. The argument is that if you see a bunch of red/jund whatever cards in a pack then staying out of them is actually the LAST thing you should do, especially if they are far and away the best things there.
    You dive right in and take the best card and then do a little victory dance because you can be fairly sure that the guy on your left is also going that way... but he's downstream of you for 2 packs so almost by definition he will have a worse deck than you will because you will get first look at more of the goodies than he will.

    Branching bolt was the pick here I think


    Bombtastic much :)

    I agree on the Mirror Sigil Sergeant for your deck. You need to be fairly heavy into red to truly abuse Apocalypse Hydra, otherwise he's just a huge guy. Never the worst but not quite the retardo-bomb he could have been.

    This is a flat out mistake. Mask of Riddles is really not a good card.
    Fear is not actually any kind of evasion in Alara block. It will be the rare deck that is not playing any black or artifact guys even if they are not in those shards. Your guys will need other evasion before mask of riddles will get through to draw you a card and if thats the case why are you not just killing your opponent instead of dicking about with your mana. I'm sure people will come up with stories where its been amazing for them but I honestly don't think its worth a space in the deck.
    The hasty flyer seems much better imho.


  2. Yeah i read PV's article on that whole issue of fighting over colours, but on the whole im still not convinced.

    I know your feeding for 2 packs, but you ruling out the possibility of tabling cards that you want, such as panoramas and dregscapes etc... the sort of cards your getting great value later if they swing round 9th or 10, which they obviously wont if your fighting for colours.

    Also, the booster they are feeding you - conflux, is pretty poor on the whole anyway, so you may end up with only 3 or 4 playables, if that.

    I think if the card was like a broodmate then obviously you slam it, but when the power levels are'nt too different then i think its better to ship it.

    Saying that i think i probably still should have picked the branching bolt, i prefer r/g anyways and its such a good card in the format. I went on to play a guy who had 2!. Also, i can always move into naya even passing the jund type cards.

    Then again - im pretty sure Pv knows what he's on about so i could be talking crap.

    P3,p3 - yeah, this is a bad pick. Mask of riddles wasnt actually too bad, but i would much have preferred the guy.

    Jimbo Vitor Damo De Marlow

  3. If there are more cards in a shard, they are more likely to table as there are more cards but still only 8 drafters. If Conflux is poor then you don't care much if that's the one you're getting in return. Take powerful cards, they win drafts. I'm undecided on Mask of Riddles though, I guess there are more black creatures now that Reborn is in the mix (you're taking all the Artifact creatures) but all your dudes have flying anyway.

  4. Yeah i think mask of riddles is actually ok with flyers, i had it on a sanctum gargoyle which basically drew me about 7-8 cards.

    I think it depends on the quality of the cards you have in the booster. If you open broodmate plus a jund panorama, elvish visionary and a battlemage, you might get the visionary or panorama back....and obv either way your slamming the broodmate.

    i think its just a case if being aware if what your passing, so the branching bolt into a potential naya plan was probably the best here.

    Im obv no expert at draft so your probs both right here.