11/17/2009 LI: "The Importance of Vision"

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This thread is for discussion of this week's Limited Information, which goes live Tuesday morning on magicthegathering.com.

The pick's between Burst Lightning and Hideous End. Black is ridiculously strong in Zendikar limited and even with the risk of not getting passed any black, I'd take Hideous End because it's that ridiculous.
Burst Lightning, hands down. Its easily splashible unlike the hidious end, so I can stay flexible on my picks. Its also flexible, and can be early burn, or late game smack someone in the face for the win. That, and red is amazing in Zendikar Limited.
Burst lightning > hideous end.

I admit that there are a few creatures that hideous end can remove that a kicked burst lightning cannot... e.g. Vastwood Gorger... But the flexibility to be able to point 4 damage straight at your opponent's face to end the game has to outweigh the relatively few cases where Hideous end is preferable.

Plus hideous end requires BB colored mana, compared to the single R in burst lightning. I can probably splash burst lightning even if I end up in blue-white, but the same cannot be said of hideous end.

Finally, after passing a disfigure in the previous pack, a hideous end here should pretty clearly say to our right hand opponent "GO BLACK NOW". I haven't properly analysed the rest of the contents of our first pack, but after the disfigure last pick, as long as we're consistent in passing the black we should benefit in pack 2.
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It's between Hideous End and Burst Lightning.  Since there's not a while ton in the way of signalling going on with what we passed pack 1, I'd say it's a matter of personal preference.

That said, I'm tempted to take the Aeronaut.  I love playing white, and am tempted to force it.  But good removal > okay creature, so there you go. 
Burst Lightning all the way.  red is much faster than black and given that a disfigure was in the previous pack, the person to the right is probrably taking black now
Super Shock for sure.  Burst Lightning is going in my deck no matter what colors I'm playing.  It might just be better than Hideous End, but in any case you just passed a Disfigure in a format where black is overdrafted anyway.

If you're being cute, take the Grasp or the Aeronaut.  You've got a shot at cutting blue or white entirely.  White is stronger but it's easier to get mono-blue.
Curious question for y'all:

What uncommons (there's an uncommon missing from the pack) would you take over both Hideous End and Burst Lightning?

You passed disfigure already, and unless the guy beside you is doing landfall and picked up the adventure gear, if you pass hideous end you'll pretty much can guess the color of the person on your left.  So I think it's best to take the Burst lightning.  It's splashable if need be and you're still almost completely open on what color you want.  The person to your right took the uncommon, which doesn't give us many hints.

Uncommons I would take?
I am bias towards:
Quest for the Gravelord
Living Tsunami
Trusty Machete
Blazing Torch
Vampire Nighthawk

First two are bombs in my book.  Trusty is a gamebreaker in the attack heavy world we live in.  Blazing torch is a colorless removal that can sorta double as evasion in a pinch.  Nighthawk is amazing in its own right.
Burst Lightning. It's more splashable than Hideous End, lets you keep your options open (you have Machete). Also, you passed Disfigure, so you can basically ensure that the guy to your left is playing black, and that means that your later pack should be tasty.
I would take Burst Lightning.

Black is amazing, but you just passed Disfigure, and the only uncommon I can see the previous player taking from pack 2 over two great removal spells is Vampire Nighthawk, so it's highly likely they are also in Black. So you're not likely to get any more of that any time soon.

Adventuring Gear is fun, but sending "I'm not interested in Red, Black or White" is probably a bad idea right now.
The pick is Hideous End. It has to be the strongest non-rare black card in Zendikar after Vampire Nighthawk, and you know your opponent took an uncommon, most likely a Trusty Machete, Marsh Casualties or Vampire Nighthawk, as they are really the only uncommons you take over End. One could say that Lightning is the pick because of the less intensive mana cost, but it is not ideal to be taking the weaker card pick two because you aren't sure what your opponent is drafting. The limited information you've received doesn't justify taking a decent removal spell over a good one. It should also be noted that you don't take Burst Lightning over over Hideous End because it goes to the dome. The spell should be looked at as removal. That kind of "burn them out" ideology should be saved for cards like Unstable Footing.

Okay, the pack is missing an uncommon.  What uncommon would you take over Burst Lightning or Hideous End in this format?  I think the odds are higher that the pack is missing a good black uncommon (Nighthawk, Marsh Casualties, Gatekeeper) than something like Punishing Fire.  After all, if you had p1p1 Hideous End, Burst Lightning, and Punishing Fire, or Hideous End, Burst Lightning, and Inferno Trap, I think the inclination would be to take the Hideous End and let your neighbors fight over red. If, however, you saw Vampire Nighthawk, Hideous End, and Burst Lightning, you'd snap up the Nighthawk and fight for some black. So even if you think Hideous End is the better card, Burst Lightning would probably be the safer pick, particularly since you just shipped a strong black card in Disfigure (and you would now have at least one card that can deal with a Nighthawk).

I think this has been covered more than adequately but I think the Burst Lightning is obvious.  At first glance, I thought about taking the Aeronaut because: 1) we passed so much good Black and Red stuff early 2)White is probably the second or third best draft color in Zendikar 3) White is largely underdrafted in Zendikar 4) We can probably cut white.  However, I quickly talked myself out of this. 

I think it is much more likely that the person next to me took Disfigure and went black rather than anything else.  Spire Barrage and the Pyromancer are very strong, but the Barrage requires a heavy red commitment and the Pyromancer requires a heavy Ally commitment-the opponent directly next to me probably does not want to commit this early.  Also, there is a small chance that he took the Armament Master . . . there are a lot of Kor and equipment in Zendikar so it's not a bad second pick.  Thus, it is almost as likely that someone to my close left is going white as it is they are going red.  It would be irrational to take the Aeronaut on the assumption that white will be more open than red.  So I will not pick the Aeronaut and it becomes down to Hideous End or Burst Lightning. 

Based on these beliefs, I don't want the Hideous End because: 1) someone to my immediate left is likely in black 2) It requires a heavy black commitment 3) I personally think black is very weak in Zendikar limited.  Once I decided not to take white or black, it is glaringly obvious that Burst Lightning is the best pick.  It doesn't require a heavy commitment and in any case I wouldn't mind committing to red early because I believe it is the best color in Zendikar limited.
1. The analysis of mulligan is wrong because you're forgetting to count Harrow as a land, which would get you to 16 of 33 remaining cards being land, which is as close to half as you're going to get.  If you wound up with 2 land, 4 spells in the next hand, you'd be tempted to ship that too.  There just aren't a lot of 2 and 3 drops in this deck, so having 3 land even if you've got nothing to play right away is worth keeping.

2. I love the booster pack graphic thingy!

3. The first pick Machete is okay, although Disfigure should not be overlooked.  It's still too early to be restricted by what signals you've made.  You passed good everything except blue, so one might be tempted to pick Paralyzing Grasp here next, but you should feel free to go into any color on the second pick.  White is possible with the Quest for the Holy Relic and Kor Aeronaut, but you probably won't see that Armament Master again.

I think most people have it right when they say it's a toss-up between Hideous End and Burst Lightning.  But I'm going the other way and say Hideous End is better.  Why?

A. The problem with Kicked Burst Lightning is it only does 4, and for the bigger creatures you need bigger removal.  Hideous End can't get rid of black creatures, true, but it can still get rid of the bigger creatures sooner than the Kicked Birst Lightning can, if at all.

B. People overlook the fact that Hideous End also causes 2 loss of life.  In a fast format like Zendikar this can be the difference between winning and losing.

C. It's turn 4, you've got 4 land, and he's got a 2 Toughness creature you'd like to get rid of.  Would you rather cast Burst Lightning to remove his creature, or cast Hideous End which eqiuals like TWO Burst Lightnings, one at the creature and one at its controlller?

Of course, if you draft Hideous End, you're probably committed to black as a color; if you draft Burst Lightning, you're only commited to red, which is easier to splash with other colors.  So I think, depending on your metagame strategy for the draft, either are valid picks; I just like black a little better.

Edit: I see people are talking about Vampire Nighthawk likely being picked in the previous pack.  While I think that's a clever notion, I've played in too many drafts to know that people sometimes draft stupid stuff, and you can easily outthink yourself trying to make picks by assuming the other guy got a particular card.  If you really thought he had a Nighthawk, then you should probably take Paralyzing Grasp, as that card eliminates Nighthawk's threat sooner than a Kicked Burst Lightning.
Burst Lightning, unquestionably. It's more splashible, faster, and more consistant than Hideous End. I have heard some pros state that Zendikar draft is so fast that disfigure is better than Hideous End - the point is certainly arguable, but I'd say Burst Lightning is better than both.

In response to Kcostel's question about which uncommons I would take over it, I'd say only the following:
Vampire Nighthawk
Marsh Casualties
Trusty Machete
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Burst Lightning.

The only three uncommons I would take over Hideous End are Nighthawk, Marsh Casualaties, or Living Tsunami.  2/3s chance the guy to your right first picked a black card as far as I'm concerned, easy pick.
I'd have to say Adventuring Gear for this pick, reason being I havent chosen a color yet and having an Equipment that can go for all colors broadens the horizons for what will be coming next. Think about it if you've chosen Trusty Machete first pick. and the choice does come to the speed of Burst Lightning or the reliability of Adventuring Gear I'll go with the Gear.  Why the Gear is an  early drop, and if i lay down a minimum of one land per turn if I don't go with Green i got a continious "Steppe Lynx" that I could give to any other creature that falls in play, as well as a potential stop to the Burst Lightning and Hideous End. So for more adaptable reasons I have to say Adventuring Gear.
That is an interesting notion that I think merits some consideration, although I do consider Burst Lightning to be significantly stronger than the equipment.  I am fairly certain the people around me are in Black, so red is open.  Thus, I would take the Burst Lightning.  Also, you need to commit to a color at some point, may as well commit to red now rather than sending a great red pick down.  If you pass the Burst Lightning, someone will likely pick it, which means you are now cut out of red and black.  Inn Zendikar limited, I never want to cut myself out of both red and black.
thats true but in Zendikar White does go in the equpiment phase here i would be taking an underdog and flip it into a big threat. so you have at least one more choice to the color spectrum than Black and Red. Which are my 2 fav colors but I'm looking to win not play and hope they do come around, with most ppl choosing Red and Black as the top colors you would have a better chance for white and green which both equipments are great to add to as well. Blue I hate to say is not a color I would jump on unless I chose that from the first pick
I am very fond of Red/White in Zendikar limited, however in this situation it is going to be removal... Removal is more important than creatures (because there are a lot more creatures in boosters than there are removal spells). So, I would go for either the hard removal (Hideous End) or the flexible removal (Burst Lightling). Because of the easy color requirements of Burst and it's in the colors I tend to do best with (red/white), I am more inclined to take that... However I know neither card will table so I have to look at what will likely make it's way back around to me!

So, what five cards do I think will be in the pack when I see it again:

Cosi's Trickster
Island
Relic Crush
Quest For the Holy Relic
????

So, if I think it's a playable blue card, I will want to draft the Hideous End. If it is a playable white card, then Burst Lightning.... The logic is that the majority of the playable white cards are more color intensive in Zendikar limited than the color intensive blue cards. What I am drafting right now is essetially my first color specific pick... So, if I go with Hideous End and black, then blue will make an easier second color. If I go with Burst Lightning and Red, then I can go for an aggressive red/white deck. That will allow me to tilt my mana base toward white, for easier casting of the white cards I will be drafting.
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I am Blue/Green


whatcolor_isblue.jpg

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Edit: I see people are talking about Vampire Nighthawk likely being picked in the previous pack.  While I think that's a clever notion, I've played in too many drafts to know that people sometimes draft stupid stuff, and you can easily outthink yourself trying to make picks by assuming the other guy got a particular card.  If you really thought he had a Nighthawk, then you should probably take Paralyzing Grasp, as that card eliminates Nighthawk's threat sooner than a Kicked Burst Lightning.


 
Interesting conclusions.  I'm with this guy in saying that you can't guess what your opponent took based on what you think are the best cards in draft.  Besides, it's Magic Online--the guy "sitting" next to you could be a total newbie, or someone who drafted a valuable uncommon (a refuge, perhaps?) over the inexpensive rare.

If you choose either Burst Lightning or Hideous End because you passed a lot of that colour to the next person, it's important to remember that there were both good red cards and black cards in that pack.  Blood Seeker and Disfguire as well as the Pyromancer (sometimes) and the Barrage are all powerful cards in their colour.  As well, the person next to you might not think that these cards mean much yet, since only one card is out of the pack--and they'd be right, because you haven't settled on a colour yet.

I suppose I'd take the Burst Lightning and see what my opponent does, as it's more splashable than Hideous End and ultimately, the two cards are of comparable power.  However, I think this discussion is underrating Adventuring Gear, which would actually be my second choice, and very nearly my first.  I've won a lot of games in local tournaments packing 4-6 pieces of cheap, pumping equiplent with evasion creatures--Surrakar Marauder, Welkin Tern, Bladetusk Boar, Aether Figment, etc.  Trusty Machete is one of the best cards for this archetype, and picking the Adventuring Gear would allow you to see more of what colours are being sent your way--though, I admit, possibly at the expense of making a presence for yourself at the table.
I've been heavily drafting Zendikar since its release, but I am still pretty new to drafting overall, so I don't know if all my pick-logic is sound yet, so I'm certainly welcome to any challenges over what I have chosen. That said, here's my thinking on the whole thing (I'll start by answering the 1st-page poster's question, and then move from that into the article's question):

Curious question for y'all:
What uncommons (there's an uncommon missing from the pack) would you take over both Hideous End and Burst Lightning?

Here's what I see when looking at this pack:

1) No other red but the Burst Lightning, which is, generally speaking, better, IMO, than anything else in the pack in simple side-by-side comparisons.

2) Two black, one of which being an easy first pick under many circumstances.

3) Three white, none of which are spectacular, IMO, so probably won't all get picked too early unless somebody commits to white right away.

4) Three blue, somewhat better than white's representation, I think, but definitely not competing with the black or red, so, again, not going to be early picks unless someone goes blue quickly. Probably will fill out a good bit of the mid-picks in the pack, though.

5) Three green cards, all of which will probably be at the bottom of the pick list since this is 1st pack, unless somebody commits to the color early. The Joraga Bard might get picked soon if somebody goes with an ally theme early on, but otherwise, I'll probably see it again before it gets picked.

6) One artifact that is likely to get picked reasonably early on.


I would say that if that missing uncommon is red or black, then it would have to be something amazing since passing a Hideous End and a Burst Lightning is going to highly encourage others to fight with me for those colors (as if Zendikar didn't give enough reasons before even cracking the first pack to want to go red and/or black...). It would also probably have to be something splashable just in case I got completely cut off from the color in question.

I can't think of any red uncommons that I would take over a Burst Lightning in this situation (or in most any other situation as a 1st pick, really), so I'm guessing the missing card is not red.

Moving on to black, there is really only one thing I can see taking with the knowledge of potentially battling over more black cards: Vampire Nighthawk. Yeah, it's not quite so easily splashable, so it's unlikely to come out early if I had to splash it, but the card is just so damn good that it works fine late game, too. It's also a card that I really don't want anybody else having. I think the only cards at all in Zendikar that I would pick higher than the Nighthawk are all rares.

As for green, I would probably take Quest for the Gemblades since: A) I doubt I'd be competing over green too heavily come 2nd pack, and will likely even be able to grab one of the other green cards in the pack when it comes back around; and B) the card is far too easy to activate most of the time when you consider the impact that said activation usually has on the game when it happens. It will also put any creature I target with it out of reach of that Burst Lightning somebody else is getting, to boot.

In white, the Kazandu Blademaster would be an easy pick over the removal/direct damage. I'd also be likely to get at least one of the other white cards in the pack when it came back around, if I so desired. I could also maybe grab that Joraga Bard to provide another ally, and attempt an ally theme. Like green, I also won't be sending a bad signal with that pick either.

There are no blue uncommons that I would take over the Burst Lightning or Hideous End as a 1st pick.

As far as artifacts go, I actually would take a Trusty Machete over the BL and HE as well. It leaves my options wide open still, allowing me to resond to the signals sent my way in the next few packs, as well just plain being an incredibly strong piece of equipment.

Given that thought process, putting myself back in the perspective of that pack being for my 2nd pick instead of first (as the article originally asked), I would have to assume my neighbor took a Nighthawk, Gemblade, Blademaster or Machete... or made a bad choice. Odds of another Machete (seeing as I just took one myself as 1st pick) are rather slim, so I have to bet on him taking one of the other 3, leaving red and blue fairly wide open for me.

The Burst Lightning still seems like an excellent choice, and I would definitely take it over Hideous End. However, the fact that I know I just passed an Armament Master makes passing that Adventuring Gear just a bit more dangerous. There is also a chance, given the other cards that got passed with the AM, that he might actually make his way back around to me. If the people that get passed him haven't seen much/any equipment yet beforehand, they might pick other things in their color(s) more highly.

It is a bit of a gamble, but one that could pay off huge if it happens. If it doesn't, an Adventuring Gear is still a very welcome addition to any deck, so it's not like I'd be taking a potentially dead card. On top of that, now with two shiny pieces of equipment, my color options remain wide open, granting me the flexibility to respond to future signals in the next few picks.

I think, given all of the above, that I would actually take that Adventuring Gear over anything else in that 2nd pack.
You are Red/Blue!
Another vote for Burst Lightning - yes I'd agree that Hideous Lightning is slightly better in the abstract, but I'm doubtful about committing to black so early.

What uncommon was taken?  People already mentioned most relevant possibilities (Vampire Nighthawk and Marsh Casualties in black, Trusty Machete in artifact, and Living Tsunami in blue), There is also the possibility of Hedron Crab being picked (though it would take balls to take the Crab over two removal spells that can kill it).  But any way you look at it, the player passing to us is more likely to be in black than red (or possibly in blue with which black pairs well, or the artifact which is a wash), so take the red Burst Lightning with every hope of mainlining red.
Burst Lightning.

1) We passed a Disfigure, so would slightly prefer not to be in Black.

2) If the player to our right took a Nighthawk (don't laugh - there aren't that many Uncommons which go higher than top removal) we definitely don't want to be in Black.

3) Passing Hideous End now gives us a clearer picture of what the player to our left will draft (Black!).

4) It's close in power to Hideous End anyway.
Burst Lightning is the clear pick here. Even though you have passed a heavily red pack, you are passing no red cards at this point. Hideous End costs more and is more color intensive than Burst Lightning. In this format, that matters more than you think.

Guys, the missing uncommon could also be Shepherd of the Lost or Kazandu Blademaster!
Curious question for y'all:

What uncommons (there's an uncommon missing from the pack) would you take over both Hideous End and Burst Lightning?




marsh casualties
Vampire nighthawk
Shepherd of the lost
Living tsunami
maybe quest for the gravelord
blazing torch? - colourless removal seems good.

Definately there are no red uncommons I would take over the cards passed, and several black ones.

Son on that basis Burst lightning seems like the best pick

Edit: I see people are talking about Vampire Nighthawk likely being picked in the previous pack.  While I think that's a clever notion, I've played in too many drafts to know that people sometimes draft stupid stuff, and you can easily outthink yourself trying to make picks by assuming the other guy got a particular card.  If you really thought he had a Nighthawk, then you should probably take Paralyzing Grasp, as that card eliminates Nighthawk's threat sooner than a Kicked Burst Lightning.


 
Interesting conclusions.  I'm with this guy in saying that you can't guess what your opponent took based on what you think are the best cards in draft.  Besides, it's Magic Online--the guy "sitting" next to you could be a total newbie, or someone who drafted a valuable uncommon (a refuge, perhaps?) over the inexpensive rare.


I have no knowledge whatsoever of Magic Online, but...
You are in an 8-4 draft on Magic Online.


Do newbies actually choose 8-4 drafts to be in???


With my limited knowledge of limited, I was going to think the other guy took a red uncommon since there's only 1 red card left in the pack, no idea there actually are no nice red uncommon cards =)

(then I would've taken the Kor Aeronaut, passing a Disfigure pack 1 and not much white pack 1 & 2)

I have no knowledge whatsoever of Magic Online, but...
You are in an 8-4 draft on Magic Online.


Do newbies actually choose 8-4 drafts to be in???



Newbies can be in anything.  But more to the point, even experiened MTGO players make odd picks in draft.  You can pick almost any draft to look at from the magic online website and see all sorts of questionable picks.  But even so, people have already provided several examples of cards other than Nighthawk that could have been selected, so I think assuming the missing card is Nighthawk is just way too presumptuous.


(then I would've taken the Kor Aeronaut, passing a Disfigure pack 1 and not much white pack 1 & 2)



I'm not jumping on you here, but I wanted to reiterate my feeling on this point.  The fact that you already passed Disfigure is not a reason to avoid black; it's only one pick, and it wasn't necessarily the 1st pick of the next person; they could have taken Adventurer's Gear, Armament Master, Grazing Gladehart, or even Brave the Elements or Goblin Warpaint.  Even if they did, they're not necessarily going to play black just because they have Disfigure.  If they try to draft black and you keep all the choice black for yourself, even better.
Burst Lightning is hands down the correct pick here. There is a good chance that the person to our right has taken a black card - Vampire Nighthawk, Marsh Casualties, Mind Sludge, Gatekeeper of Malakir. They could have taken something else like Shepherd of the Lost or Living Tsunami or even their own Trusty Machete but the odds are they took something black. Either way, they are not in red because there is no red uncommon that you pick over Burst Lightning.

Burst Lightning is fundamentally better than Hideous End and the player to your right can easily take a black card without worrying about you picking the Hideous End and moving into black because they know you will take the Burst Lightning.

You have already passed Disfigure which is so much better than anything else left in your first pack that the person to your left almost definatly took it. Passing them more black is good as it means they will go into black and you can control their draft better.

Finally, mono red is so strong in trip Zen draft that it would be worth taking the Burst Lightning over something better in a different colour in order to cement yourself in that archtype. We can safely assume that the player on our right didn't take a red card so, for now at least, we can expect some more red to come our way. Even if the person on our left opened something good in red, or just decided to force from the start, and took the spire barrage, we only have to fight with them in pack 2 and so would be better off than them anyway. If they have decided to force, shipping them lots of strong black is the best was to change their mind.
Burst lightning.

You've passed a disfigure in the first pack, which is gonna be taken by the drafter to your left.

The only uncommons that would be drafted over Burst lightning and Hideous end would be Eiter vampire nighthawk, Marsh casualties, Trusty machete or Blazing torch.
2 of them being black, i don't want to commit to a color that is already drafted on my left, and on my right.
I would take the Island. Awsome art.


Nah. I would pick burst lighting, Easily spalashable, and we still have not much of an idea of what colors to play.

Come to think of it, I would actually take Punishing Fire over Burst Lightning >.>

For a possible bonus bonus exercise, on what uncommon would the person on your left put you? The same list as for the one on your right?
Personally, I have a major bias towards white and love to play it in drafts. For me, the pick is Aeronaut. If it were a competetive draft and not a more casual affair, then yeah I would take the Burst Lightning because you shouldn't just go for a bias in a competetive draft.
am i weird in that i would take the cosi's trickster for an early 1 drop creature to go with the machete, and with the potential for increased power over time, rather that the removal
am i weird in that i would take the cosi's trickster for an early 1 drop creature to go with the machete, and with the potential for increased power over time, rather that the removal



Yes.

I'd pick Burst lightning based on reasons previously mentioned: We passed on disfigure, 1R vs 2B red is easier to be splashed, and if in late game can go to the face for 4.

Burst Lightning. My fun factor side of me says, "Take the Aeronaut!!!!!" He's a fun trick on the board when playing some heavy white. Buuuuut the color commitment is ridiculous. So I also choose Burst Lightning.

My fun factor also wants to take the aeronaut in hopes that we table the armament master, but for reals I would have to go with the Burst lightning, since I like red, and its a bit more easily splashable than the hideous end.
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You passed a great black card (Disfigure) and some nice red cards (Tuktuk, Murasa and Spire Barrage)

My pick would be the Aeronaut and try to force fast blue/white flyers... you should get rewarded in pack 2.
First of all - props to the web team for the cool draft pack viewer. Great job - it looks, feels and works great.

Now I have to say I'm unconvinced with Mr. Sadins analysis of the opening hand in the article. First of all it seems he just can't make up his mind. Second, he fails to take his deck's content into consideration. Sure, the odds are poor if you think you can pull 3 lands out of 5 draws, but think what you will be pulling if you WON'T be pulling lands - Greenweaver Druid, Timbermaw Larva, one of two Grazing Gladehearts, Torch Slinger, Shaterskull Giant, Oran-Rief Survivalist and Recluse. In fact - the only other thing worth more than 5 in that deck is a Vastwood Gorger and pulling him during these 5 draws is ~16% (yes, I calculated that). Every other thing - whether it's a land or a cheaper spell is beneficial to you.

So, there is basically just a 16% chance of you drawing ONE poor card on your next 5 draws for this hand. Now, I know the format is faster than M10 and that you wouldn't want your opponent to open with Goblin Guide followed by Plated Geopede and Vampire Nighthawk, but let's face it - this kind of draw on the opposite side kills 99% of decks that can be made with during Zendikar limited. The bottom line is that the hand in the article has very good potential for the deck that we have and shipping it is just asking for trouble.

As for the Bonus Exercise, I'd probably take straight Burst Lightning. It's easy to splash, effective both early and late (with kicker) and sets us up for pack two, because we shipped some solid green and black to our left. Plus, if nobody is going heavy red, we will be getting at least one of the following, come pick nine: Goblin War Paint, Murasa Pyromancer, Tuktuk Grunts or Spire Barrage.
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Count me in the Burst Lightning camp, for the same reasons stated above.

It is a bit of a gamble, but one that could pay off huge if it happens. If it doesn't, an Adventuring Gear is still a very welcome addition to any deck, so it's not like I'd be taking a potentially dead card. On top of that, now with two shiny pieces of equipment, my color options remain wide open, granting me the flexibility to respond to future signals in the next few picks.

I think, given all of the above, that I would actually take that Adventuring Gear over anything else in that 2nd pack.


Adventuring Gear is rarely second pick-worthy. It's good, but unlike Trusty Machete, you should never pass good removal over it. Not having to commit to a color is an argument, but the fact that Burst Lightning is splashable in nearly anything somewhat partly cancel it, and pushes the Bolt over the Gear.
You passed a great black card (Disfigure) and some nice red cards (Tuktuk, Murasa and Spire Barrage)

My pick would be the Aeronaut and try to force fast blue/white flyers... you should get rewarded in pack 2.


The red cards we passed all are OK, but none of them are good enough to count as a signal for pack 1 (anyway, pack 1 should almost never be counted for signals, because the chance of two first-pick worthy cards of the same color in a given pack is too high), and more importantly, the Disfigure was the clear best card there. Aeronaut is an okay pick, but it demands too heavy a color commitment for my tastes.
Magic The Gathering DCI Lvl 1 Judge Don't hesitate to post rules question in the Rules Q&A forum for me and other competent advisors to answer : http://community.wizards.com/go/forum/view/75842/134778/Rules_Q38A
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