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Hello! I’m FelipeSkizzik and I love drafting. Today I’ll try to share my thoughts over the way I make my decisions in a draft. Hope that can help you with some insights and a different perspective. I’m always open to talk over the picks and everything, so please send your comments.
This draft was made on MTG Arena, so it is not a real draft, with real players picking on the packs. Anyway, I will try to pick as if it were a regular draft, and comment accordingly, because I believe it can be more profitable to the reader that way.
This is a hard pick, because we have many options with similar power level. Some of them are riskier build-arounds, like Yawgmoth’s Vile Offering or Cold-Water Snapper. Raff Capashen is the best card but is golden. Gideon’s Reproach, Deathbloom Thallid and Krosan Druid are solid playables. The pack is overall weak, and it is possible that any card we pick here won't make the deck anyway, so I’m going to risk more. Raff Capashen
Now we have a removal at Deep Freeze, the green spell land Memorial to Unity, Deathbloom Thallid and Soul Salvage. I don’t think staying on color is relevant this early, but it is likely that some of the playables from pack 1 wheel around, so by now I’d prioritize white, blue and black, just by a little, though. Deep Freeze
Here I consider picking Shanna, Sorcerer’s Wand, Aven Sentry, Cold-Water Snapper and Windgrace Acolyte. The lack of good red and green cards so far makes me move away from those colors, because I already know we won’t be getting those in picks 9 to 11. That moves Shanna down. The Arcane Flight on pack 1 moves up the Cold-Water Snapper, which is also aligned with Deep Freeze. This is not a good pick, but still looks better than the other options.
I like Jousting Lance, Soul Salvage and Baloth Gorger. And I considered picking a Dub to go with the Snapper. But we will play safer and just go with the Jousting Lance because it is a better card overall, and our deck archetype isn’t locked yet.
I choose Tolarian Scholar over Sergeant-at-Arms because we have just one white card right now (and still can move off from white), and there was a Sorcerer’s Wand in pack 3.
Lots of good picks on this one. Don’t refuse your first Divination though.
A black card as predicted. Soul Salvage
No Snapper, but a Sorcerer’s Wand.
It is nice to have picked just one color so far, leaving the second still open, probably to white or black. Let’s check pack 2.
A hard pick again. Cast Down is the best here, followed by Raff and Blink of an Eye. And we are going to pick a second white/blue/black card from this pack. Since we haven’t got any historic card to profit from Raff, I’ll just drop him, which takes me off white and more open to black, increasing the value of Cast Down.
Adeliz is the best card here, but I don’t think we have the cards to support an UR Wizards right now, so we’ll go with a card that is sure to make the deck. Blink of an Eye
Very good cards on green, but not enough for a change. Vicious Offering is on black, which we were already going to.
More green cards. I’m not changing yet because picks 9 and 10 won’t have any green. Thallid Omnivore
Isn’t it just awesome to find the golden legendary on your color? Except if you are at red-white, of course. Rona
Two great blue picks, we could go either way. We don’t have too many playables so far, so we’ll go with Academy Journeymage
Pardic Wanderer is historic. And playable.
Just another Tolarian Scholar
I’d get Divination, but we already have one, and also a Dark Bargain after deciding to go to black. So, let’s pick Windgrace Acolyte
After pack 2:
In Bolas’ Clutches is the correct pick here. But I’ll just rare draft. Lyra Dawnbringer
A second chance to pick correctly. In Bolas’ Clutches
Eviscerate is great. When there’s no In Bolas’ Clutches, of course.
The first syncopate is a good card. But we have sort of 25 playables to choose from, so the spell land goes up in value. Memorial to Folly
A Voltaic Servant in case we need to side in a two-drop.
Two good choices, a creature - Deathbloom Thallid - and a removal. We’ll go with the removal because the deck is getting very slow. Deep Freeze
A third Cold-Water Snapper probably won’t make the deck, so let’s go with the legendary, because of Rona and maybe Raff. Yargle
The blue or the black wizards. They’re both great, and we’ll go with the black one because we’re looking for a grindier game. Caligo Skin-Witch
Done drafting, now to deckbuilding. We have 6 removals, 2 draw spells, 2 cantrips, 2 flying turtle combos, the self-mill cat with Rona, Memorial and Salvage, 5 wizards and a Wand, and a Lyra. We can’t fit everything in a 40-card deck though, so we have to choose and take out some cards. We cut one Arcane Flight because the floor on the Snapper is a 4/5 hexproof, while the Flight is really bad without its turtle. We also cut some creatures, it shouldn’t be a problem with that much removal. Making the game longer should be better, since our plan is to finish with a big bomb like Lyra, Snapper or Clutches. It is important to keep the value cards like Rona and Salvage to get back those game-winning cards.
Lyra is very risky splash here, making the mana base compromised. We’ll take the risk and see how this plays out. We probably gonna win the games we don’t get run over. Decklist:
Great play here with the Caligo Skin-Witch discarding their last two cards. Discarded an In Bolas’ Clutches. Stall and just use that wand over and over until they’re dead. 1-0
One of the few cases where it is good to cast a Caligo Skin-Which without kicker is when we don't have other early plays and need to hold an attacker until we can get back in the game. With removal to hold off the early game and draw spells to gain value it is natural to get a lot of card advantage, as we can see in the number of relevant cards in hand. 2-0
That’s why you don’t splash spells that cost two colored mana. 3-0
71% chance to get the third land for Divination. Missed it. 3-1
Grinding until eventually Lyra takes the game. Here I made a mistake, should have enchanted the Snapper to win the game. Don’t give your opponents an extra turn. 4-1
Go Flying Turtle Go! 5-1
Another tricky keep.I got the land, but the clock was too fast. 5-2
Stealing a Helm of the Host precombat is just mean… 6-2
Wrapping up, I think taking out the second Opt was a mistake, specially when trying to force three colors. Lyra wasn’t any better than a flying turtle anyway. Not worth it. Maybe taking out the Dark Bargain for a third Tolarian Scholar could be better against aggro, but I’m not really sure.
Keeping track of those games made me come to think that maybe I should mulligan more.
What do you think? Would change any picks? Let’s hear your thoughts!