Alara block draft!

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Oh, this is one of the blocks I missed! SpearBreaker seems awesome.
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oh my god, AWESOME! Then changing the Slivers was your idea! haha lol
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Occassionally when catering, I've been put the task of arranging Fruit and Cheese or Grilled Vegetable platters. More than once a high class buffet has started with the mark of Phyrexia upon it. Since i've got a good eye for color so it looks great to people who don't get the "joke" (it's a niceley divided circle after all: the outline gives you 4-6 "regions" to work with), this has actually got me put on platter design more often, resulting in Phyrexia's presence at more private and industry events.
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Wow. Just. Wow this set looks awesome. I missed this one too. Necrogenesis looks great. So does the Owl and Duelist.

But a bomb's a bomb. Behemoth.

I'll bandwagon when ignorant. Artifact Owl Deathtouch Two-Drop Flier for me.

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Drafted this block when I first got on MODO, and was way worse at drafting than I am now (not saying that I'm very good now).

I'll try the Strix??
This was probably the block I was best at drafting.  I can't quite remember what my record was but I think at one stage I was 8 drafts unbeaten.  Generally, I prefered to be in Esper where I could with an artifact theme although I would often splash a 4th or even a 5th colour. 

Behemoth was not actually very good.  The 5 power deck was great in triple shards but weakened noticably with the inclusion of the other sets.  Here, the pick for me would clearly be the Tidehollow Strix.  A 2 power flyer for 2 is always above the curve.  The deathtouch also makes it relevant in the late game as a block anything.  The fact it is black and an artifact are also very strong reasons to pick it.  Hopefully we will pick up a couple of Sanctum Gargoyle at which point this thing can more or less win the game by itself. 
This was probably the block I was best at drafting.  I can't quite remember what my record was but I think at one stage I was 8 drafts unbeaten.  Generally, I prefered to be in Esper where I could with an artifact theme although I would often splash a 4th or even a 5th colour. 

Behemoth was not actually very good.  The 5 power deck was great in triple shards but weakened noticably with the inclusion of the other sets.  Here, the pick for me would clearly be the Tidehollow Strix.  A 2 power flyer for 2 is always above the curve.  The deathtouch also makes it relevant in the late game as a block anything.  The fact it is black and an artifact are also very strong reasons to pick it.  Hopefully we will pick up a couple of Sanctum Gargoyle at which point this thing can more or less win the game by itself. 



I also like Strix because I see a number of cards that could (hopefully?) come back to us, including Obelisk.
Love these fun drafts, thanks for starting another one. 2/1 flying deathtouch for 2 does seem really undercosted! Is the fact that it's an artifact a drawback in this set, or is it just that good? Anyway, I'll agree with drafting Tidehollow Strix.
I see a number of cards that could (hopefully?) come back to us, including Obelisk.




I expect the 7 to table will be:

Dragon's Herald - unplayable
Vectis Silencers - unplayable
Rockcaster Platoon - very expensive for what it does, okay in 5 colour control 
Welkin Guide - an okay 23rd card in Naya for punching the last bits of damage through
Deft Duelist - best in bant aggro but there are so many better two drops, especially in Reborn
Dragon Fodder - good in Jund, especially with cards like Bone Splinters but pretty weak by itself.
Naya Panorama - generally the obelisks are better than the panorama so the panorama's table.  

Depending on what we pick later on, I would expect the Panorama will be our 9th pick.   
Strix or Duelist for me leaning towards duelist cause I like those colors better!
When I came back to playing Magic after all of those years this was the first set I drafted, I think only the first two parts of the set had been released at that point. If I remember correctly the strongest draft decks were 3 color, and typically in WGR or WGU. There is an uncommon in the final pack, called Behemoth Sledge that was easily the strongest uncommon. There was one time at my local store where every deck in the final 4 (or perhaps it was every deck but one) was playing at least one copy of this card.

Along those lines I like the Behemoth as the pick here.
Oh, this is one of the blocks I missed! SpearBreaker seems awesome.



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I don't know crap about this set, looks fun.
I like the strix as a 2 flyer for 2 with deathtouch added on. The fact that it's an artifact may help or hurt it, I have no idea. I'll go with that over the 7-cost dude, though he's pretty tempting. 
Being an artifact is helpful, there is a very powerful WUB artifact deck you can get if no one else is drafting heavily in those colors. But drafting a tri-color deck that includes WG in this set is still best. There were a lot of powerful low cost creatures in WRG, for example Wild Nacatl and Woolly Thoctar, and if you ended up in WGU you could always go the exalted route.
Love me some Esper. Strix it is.
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Spearbreaker is an extremely endurable finisher. As a person who loves to go for a fivve-color late-game deck, I don't think any of the other cards here play nearly as important a role nearly as well. If we're lucky, we can wheel some mana-fixing (or a Blister Beetle).
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Spearbreaker is pretty awesome but forcing Esper almost always lead to really stong decks. Strix.
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I like Esper and I like 2 color aggro decks (+ splash) in Alara block drafts -> Strix
Spearbreaker Behemoth. I like big green.
When I came back to playing Magic after all of those years this was the first set I drafted, I think only the first two parts of the set had been released at that point. If I remember correctly the strongest draft decks were 3 color, and typically in WGR or WGU. There is an uncommon in the final pack, called Behemoth Sledge that was easily the strongest uncommon. There was one time at my local store where every deck in the final 4 (or perhaps it was every deck but one) was playing at least one copy of this card.

Along those lines I like the Behemoth as the pick here.



Ah, I remember.  I think that led to your first ever 'Bombs are causing all my losses' rant.  I'm tearing up at the memories...

Anyway, I think this is pretty clearly between the strix and the behemoth.  If I remember right, there was not a whole lot that could kill the behemoth in this set, but I do remember he could suffer from the 'too little, too late' effect.  Strix was probably my favorite card in the set, it was just so fakking annoying to deal with.  It was great aggro early, and absolutely screwed so many bombs to keep the opponent from stabilizing. (Spearbreaker, ironically, being one exception).

I find I lean towards the strix.  That being said, both are reasonable, and I can't fault anyone for other picks.  (Although setting up to pick a sledge is NOT a good reason.  It's an uncommon that should just about always be first-picked, second at latest, so we're essentially hoping for a 6-in-45 or whatever shot of getting one.  Those odds are not worth it)
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Behemoth Sledge should be the first pick for anyone that can play it, but not everyone can and not everyone is willing to hate-draft it or splash it into a deck that doesn't already include WG. That being said it is near impossible to lose once you've equipped a creature with Behemoth Sledge. It's really that good, in constucted not a lot of people maindecked artifact removal, and there were even Limited decks around the same time that ran it with exalted.

Knowing the both WGR and WGU are solid in the set should be a factor in which cards you pick. The best WUB decks I remember needed to be near all artifact, due to the number of cards that triggered off of artifacts. Which means it is a difficult deck to put together, because everyone in WUB is shooting for the same one. WGR and WGU by constrast gave you a lot of good options and if you could get a Behemoth Sledge in pack 3 you generally won every game you drew it.
That's a tough one, and if I'm not mistaken a really weak pack. Blightning is probably the strongest single card, but I don't like any of them. Savage Lands? Grixis Charm? I suppose the first pick technically fits in Grixis, and Grixis Charm is a strong individual card, but Grixis was the weakest card pool in Alara Block.
Grixis Charm looks aight.

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Grixis Charm seems like the best card, definitely. If that color combo is really weak, I'd go with Grixis Battlemage, ignoring the red ability. Looting is fine, in my experience. Or if there are ways to abuse Unearth, the Screecher is nice and on-color. Having no experience with the set, I'd have to go with Grixis Charm, though it sounds like Battlemage/Screecher may be a smarter pick to stay Esper?
Blightning, screecher, guildmage for me
Grixis Charm and its not even close.  This can act as a finisher with the 2 pump to all your creatures or removal (either permanently through -4 or temporarily through bounce). 
Kathari Screecher - although Grixis Charm is better card. I'm not going into Grixis with pick 2. But as I said - my picks were often far from other players in this set - few colors and more aggro.
This is a weak pack?  I would not have thought that.

I think it's Grixis Charm (other people seem on board with that so I won't disrupt it).

I wouldn't be sad if people wanted to take Blightning though.
What a wretched pack 2.

I don't think grabbing the charm hurts since color fix in alara block is great.... and its a very versatile card. I wish there was something better, but taking the grixis charm leaves us in a high profit position when this pack comes back around later if nothing else pans out in the meanwhile.

Grixis Charm.

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It's close between the looter and Charm for me. Probably leaning Charm though.
Grixins Charm was possibly the best charm, and I like it more than the battlemage.  That being said, I'm surprised no one is mentioning Savage Lands.  The tri-lands were always very high picks, and in an otherwise underwhelming pack, we could really shor up fixing and give us freedom for out-of-shard splashing, even if we end up Esper.
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After that first pick I think Charm is even more attractive.
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I'm not sure how good the fixing is here. We clearly want to commit to a shard at some point, but not yet. Screecher.
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You should never explain layers to people unless one of the following is true: they're studying for a judge exam, you're both in a Ben Affleck movie and it's the only way to save the world, or you hate them.
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oh my god, AWESOME! Then changing the Slivers was your idea! haha lol
56734518 wrote:
Occassionally when catering, I've been put the task of arranging Fruit and Cheese or Grilled Vegetable platters. More than once a high class buffet has started with the mark of Phyrexia upon it. Since i've got a good eye for color so it looks great to people who don't get the "joke" (it's a niceley divided circle after all: the outline gives you 4-6 "regions" to work with), this has actually got me put on platter design more often, resulting in Phyrexia's presence at more private and industry events.
I have 6917 Planeswalker points, that's probably more than you. [c=Hero's Resolve]"Destiny, chance, fate, fortune, mana screw; they're all just ways of claiming your successes without claiming your failures." Gerrard of the Weatherlight[/c]
Definitely Charm. Fixing was incredible in this block, and the charms were pretty much all fantastic, iirc.
Ohgrrr.

I found Carmen Sandiego before you were born unless you're Zlehtnoba.

Windwright mage is so good... I hate to let it go... but FFO is a beast. What's nice is there's a chance Blister Beetle will table, maybe Silencers.

Fire-field Ogre.

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"It is the province of knowledge to speak, and it is the privilege of wisdom to listen.” - Oliver Wendell Holmes

Tough call here between the Ogre and the Resounding Thunder.  I think I would take the Resounding Thunder removal is removal after all and in the late game we will probably be able to cycle it.
From what I remember of this set, it was best to avoid Grixis. Windwright Mage looks like it should be the pick here for an Esper deck.