Gatecrash draft 3!

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Both biomass mutation and Ghor-Clan Rampager are solid cards. I would pick the mutation because it doesn't lock me into a deck style as much
Nice pack.

FOIL Treasury Thrull....

I think some of the orzhov should table here which is very compelling.

But the Ghor Clan was very very tempting. First picks are always the hardest in a pack with a lot of even value. 

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Tough call. I like the rampager and the mutation over the Thrull however. My play-style trends toward the rampager, but I think mutation is the pick here.

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Tempted to get into orzhov here, as we know it's so powerful and the vizkopa could possibly wheel. TBH though I'm not crazy about the treasury thrull.

I'm going to go with ghor-clan rampager and be looking at either gruul or simic, the rampager is a great splash.
I've played with mutation quite a bit now, The Rampager is better.
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oh my god, AWESOME! Then changing the Slivers was your idea! haha lol
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Rampager is just awesome and is one of the best uncommon cards in the set.  The 4/4 trample for 5 would be amazing but an uncounterable +4/+4 and trample for is pretty obscene.
Rampager. I really hope the Verdant Haven tables and we can try for a 5 color deck.
Agree on the Rampager. The Thrull has performed underwhelmingly for me so far. Mutation is interesting, but I think the Rampager is stronger.
Ghor-Clan Rampager. I first pick them pretty much any time it's in my pack. The card is amazing and I think it's better than the two rares here.

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Rampager is the strongest single card, but Orzhov is the strongest guild while Gruul is the second weakest. The average Orzhov deck wins 62% of the time while the average Grull deck wins only 43%. I think that has to tip it to Treasury Thrull. Orzhov doesn't have as much difficulty getting to 6 mana as the other guilds and once you have the Treasury Thrull in play it should constistantly tip the game in your favor with extortion and free spells to extort.

It actually appears that a number of experts have rated the Thrull higher than the Rampager, although I would personally put them at 4.0 each. Thrull certainly has more homerun potential but also comes out a minimum of 2 turns later. So it goes back to the strength of Guild argument, no reason to play the 2nd weakest guild when you can play the strongest one.
I don't think gruul is drafted correctly. If we keep the curve low with aggressive creatures and get some removal then its good.
Rampager is nutso
BIOMASS
Thull.

 
Rampager is awesome, but I've seen Thull swing more games (returning enchantment based removal = hilarious)


(and its in the strongest guild)
That's true, I hadn't even considered the Treasury Thrull, Death's Approach interaction. I mainly just see the Thrull returning creatures and then extorting off them. Which is pretty solid by itself.
I feel that Treasure Thrull isn't as bomby as it looks, because of how fast this environment is and because it doesn't always get to repeatedly recover things. I may be underestimating Thrull, but Rampager is probably the stronger choice. But I would still pick the Thrull since it's a fun thing to build around. (It's not terrible either: 6-drop is not too slow for Orzhov, it does have extort if it can't attack, it can at least recover one thing while it attacks to trade with something else, and it keeps the opponent from attacking because they need blockers for the Thrull. It still has great presence outside of the best-case scenario of being able to attack repeatedly.)

Like others said, Death's Approach would be an awesome combo!
Some White or Black Denizens might help too.

Most of all, if we have splash capability, we can keep activating Bloodrush on the Thrull if it gets blocked, and then recover the Bloodrush creature with the next attack trigger to have Bloodrush ready again.
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Nice pack.

FOIL Treasury Thrull....

I think some of the orzhov should table here which is very compelling.

But the Ghor Clan was very very tempting. First picks are always the hardest in a pack with a lot of even value. 



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There are five cards in the pack stronger than the Mutation. Rampager is probably the best of them.
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Rampager is amazing, it's the obvious pick.

Vizkopia SHOULD have zero chance to table as it's highly drafted and a very good card. Treasury Thrull doesn't touch Rampager in terms of card value. 

As a rule you shouldn't draft weaker cards in the hopes that a card that wont table will table.

I can agree with Lobster that a lot of cards here would beat out biomass, that card has been underwhelming for me so far. 
bulletd Guidelines: 5.0: I will take this card no matter what. Creature 1 or playable 1 or hate 1.Archangel of Thune 4.5: Bomb and splashable. Creature 1-2, playable 1-2, removal 1. Jace, Memory Adept 4.0: Excellent first pick first pack, will sway me into same colors. Creatures 1-4, removal 1. Haunted Plate Mail 3.5: Excellent first pack pick two, will confirm colors or possibly sway into second color. Doom Blade 3.0: Good in-color addition, or splashable removal/creature. Creatures 3-9, removal 1-3. wall of Frost 2.5: Solid pick in-color; creatures 5-12, removal 3-5. Dark Favor 2.0: Creatures 10-16; removal 6-7. Elvish Mystic 1.5: My 23rd or 22nd card, depending on removal. Act of Treason 1.0: 23rd card if I don't maindeck an additional land. Lay of the Land 0.5: This card will sometimes be sideboarded in. Brave the Elements 0.0: I will shred this card for counters. Darksteel Forge
Rampager is amazing, it's the obvious pick.

Vizkopia SHOULD have zero chance to table as it's highly drafted and a very good card. Treasury Thrull doesn't touch Rampager in terms of card value. 

As a rule you shouldn't draft weaker cards in the hopes that a card that wont table will table.

I can agree with Lobster that a lot of cards here would beat out biomass, that card has been underwhelming for me so far. 



Comments like this puzzle me. 

Other people have thrown up some valid counterpoints of why Thrull should be considered, but you don't really offer up anything why Rampager blows Thrull out of the water. You are stating that there is a pretty obvious gap in power, and I just am not seeing it. There's a difference between preferring a choice between two cards close in power, and stating things in a way that you requires you to explain yourself.

I think both are extremely solid cards (4.0's for sure), that play to the strengths of their guilds. That being said, Thrull is in a better guild. I'm tired of playing Gruul decks with nothing but massive raids for removal because Simic took all the pitfights and Boros took all the muggings...

Treasury Thrull doesn't touch Rampager in terms of card value.



Picking the first 3 experts with numerical ranking systems we find:
 
"Treasury Thrull:

Limited: 4.0


The extort ability is just gravy, as this was already a very strong card in Limited. There are some boards where it might have to hold back, but those boards are the ones where the extort really starts to come in handy, and if this is attacking freely, you can’t possibly be losing.

Limited: 4.5
Extort is awesome. Recurring things from your graveyard is awesome. Big bodies are awesome.  Need I say more?

A 4/4 extort creature for 6 is pretty good by itself. The fact that it may net me some card advantage on top is perfect. Definitely a strong promo card. 4.25

Ghor Clan Rampager

Limited: 3.5


In Limited, you’d rather cast this than use the bloodrush, but either way you’re happy. As the game goes later, you are more and more likely to want the trick, and unlike most groundpounders, this is a great topdeck in the final turns of a close race.


Limited: 3.5

This guy is going to be a steal at anything later than 2nd pick and he will often just be snagged in the opening pack. A huge body with trample and a devastating combat trick make for quite the limited pick up.

Draft: 4.0


Ghor-Clan Rampager can’t win the game on his own and isn’t exactly a bomb, but he’s an extremely high priority card for red/green mages. The value he provides lies in the ability to break stalls and push through your opponent’s defenses – a role either of his modes can fill.


He’ll also just get you a few free wins by coming down on turn four and swinging for twelve damage before your opponent can reasonably answer him. I’d be surprised to see him anywhere after about the fourth pick."

Here we learn that the experts who reviewed Gatecrash rank the Rampager in the 3.5-4.0 range, while ranking the Thrull in the 4.0-4.5 range. So in a vacuum, the experts rate the Thrull as the better card. Likely because repeatable graveyard recursion is bonkers if it goes on for any length of time and both Grisly Spectacle and Smite make Bloodrush look foolish. The guild that owns both of these cards is Orzhov, which incidentally also has the highest winning rate at 62% and has strong matchups against every other guild. Gruul, by contrast has a win rate of only 43%, the second lowest of all guilds. This means that Orzhov decks are winning a match more per tournament than Gruul decks.

Given that the expert opinion places the Thrull as the best card in a vacuum, and Orzhov is empirically the best guild in a vacuum, that leads to the Thrull as the easy first pick from this pack. There is no objective reasoning that lands on any other card in the pack.



 

Treasury Thrull is shiny.  Also, Orzhov is fun.
Treasury Thrull doesn't touch Rampager in terms of card value.




Given that the expert opinion places the Thrull as the best card in a vacuum, and Orzhov is empirically the best guild in a vacuum, that leads to the Thrull as the easy first pick from this pack. There is no objective reasoning that lands on any other card in the pack.




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Screw vacuums. All of those experts were ranking cards prior to playing in the environment. Hell, one of them gave Reckoner a 1.0 in Constructed.

You know what's awesome? A board full of weenies, then a 6 CMC Biomass Mutation. I've played all of these cards, and the mutation's the only won that consistently won me games when I drew it.

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Great post, bobus, very well reasoned.

Personally I know how to draft a good orzhov test and want a little more practice in drafting a good gruul deck.

Of course we should, above all, read signals and draft what's open.
I think the point is P1P1 you have to draft in a vacuum based on abstracted power. Not what you think is going to work out, or personal preference.

However we all force personal preference during drafts anyway; it's a subconscious thing. So that said it doesn't like its going to matter since a majority is chubbing over Rampager instead of Thrull for no good reason. I looked at the pack again and if we get Rampager P1P1 when this pack comes back around I don't think we'll have anything playable left to take since the supporting green/red is really good and won't come around. That was part of my logic in grabbing Thrull, knowing the green/red would dry up and a strong white/black would come back.

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

I think the point is P1P1 you have to draft in a vacuum based on abstracted power. Not what you think is going to work out, or personal preference.



I agree, however bobus's point was what people like LSV and Woods were saying prior to testing the environment, as well as what statistic data he's pulled from one or two bloggers and his own experience.

I wouldn't call that a vacuum. I also believe the winningest Orzhov decks decidedly don't play fatass 6-drops with attack-based abilities.

I do think the pick is between the thrull and the mutation, though. Rampager is great but it's not the bomb-level of the thrull or mutation. The thrull makes a great splash in Dimir, especially for Death's Approach.

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However we all force personal preference during drafts anyway; it's a subconscious thing. So that said it doesn't like its going to matter since a majority is chubbing over Rampager instead of Thrull for no good reason. I looked at the pack again and if we get Rampager P1P1 when this pack comes back around I don't think we'll have anything playable left to take since the supporting green/red is really good and won't come around. That was part of my logic in grabbing Thrull, knowing the green/red would dry up and a strong white/black would come back.


So you're picking the Orzhov card because this particular pack doesn't have any Gruul cards that will table?  That seems like very bad reasoning.

I would take Rampager over the Thrull.  At the core, we're looking at a 4-mana 4/4 against a 6-mana 4/4, both with relevant abilities, so the Thrull has to be pretty insane to overcome that.  Personally, I think the ability more directly related to combat is going to be better in a typical Draft game, so I'll take trample and bloodrush over returning things to my hand.

Biomass Mutation has been very underwhelming for me, so I don't want to take it over a solid creature.
Rampager.

Too much talk about "this is the best guild, this is the worst guild."

If you get a good deck in your guild, that kind of stuff doesn't matter.
However we all force personal preference during drafts anyway; it's a subconscious thing. So that said it doesn't like its going to matter since a majority is chubbing over Rampager instead of Thrull for no good reason. I looked at the pack again and if we get Rampager P1P1 when this pack comes back around I don't think we'll have anything playable left to take since the supporting green/red is really good and won't come around. That was part of my logic in grabbing Thrull, knowing the green/red would dry up and a strong white/black would come back.


So you're picking the Orzhov card because this particular pack doesn't have any Gruul cards that will table?  That seems like very bad reasoning.

I would take Rampager over the Thrull.  At the core, we're looking at a 4-mana 4/4 against a 6-mana 4/4, both with relevant abilities, so the Thrull has to be pretty insane to overcome that.  Personally, I think the ability more directly related to combat is going to be better in a typical Draft game, so I'll take trample and bloodrush over returning things to my hand.

Biomass Mutation has been very underwhelming for me, so I don't want to take it over a solid creature.



Nice way to sum it up! as has been mentioned, these same people you're taking ratings for rated reckoner as a 1.0. Not exactly expert prognostication on that one. Doesn't mean they aren't right about this, but their opinions certainly don't represent a vacuum.

I'm sorry about not making more of an original diagnosis but I really thought this was a no-brainer for most of the folks I've chatted with in here.

4/4 trample for 4CMC can be used as a game-ending(removal type combate trick for only two mana! vs a 6CMC 4/4 with graveyard attacking ability. Maybe it's just me but I like badass 4 drops over 6 drops.Attacking me with that thing on turn 6 (more likely turn 7-8) isn't all that scary. Great card, I'll use it, but not on the level of this Rampager. 

Which powerful orzhov card are people feeling will table? Orzhov is over-drafted at this point and artificially stronger (people aren't drafting Dimir so Orzhov gets an unrealistic amount of black removal at this point.) That Confessor shouldn't table. That would mean there is no one playing Orzhov at our table (in fact their should be 2-3). if we don't get a Gruul card back than it isn't the end of the world guys. We are shifting through 24 packs here that are being passed around!

I don't mind people wanting the Thrull, I just feel Rampager is a pretty easy pick here.

I also feel the Zhur-Taa Swine has an excellent chance to table compared to the confessor. So using Niche's notion, the Rampager is the better pick in that regard as well!

bulletd Guidelines: 5.0: I will take this card no matter what. Creature 1 or playable 1 or hate 1.Archangel of Thune 4.5: Bomb and splashable. Creature 1-2, playable 1-2, removal 1. Jace, Memory Adept 4.0: Excellent first pick first pack, will sway me into same colors. Creatures 1-4, removal 1. Haunted Plate Mail 3.5: Excellent first pack pick two, will confirm colors or possibly sway into second color. Doom Blade 3.0: Good in-color addition, or splashable removal/creature. Creatures 3-9, removal 1-3. wall of Frost 2.5: Solid pick in-color; creatures 5-12, removal 3-5. Dark Favor 2.0: Creatures 10-16; removal 6-7. Elvish Mystic 1.5: My 23rd or 22nd card, depending on removal. Act of Treason 1.0: 23rd card if I don't maindeck an additional land. Lay of the Land 0.5: This card will sometimes be sideboarded in. Brave the Elements 0.0: I will shred this card for counters. Darksteel Forge
Rhetorical and Offtopic point, directed at no one = Crazy, I was certain I had been ignored. Obviously not, since if someone is incensed about how right they are about everything and better than another user they obviously cannot stand to not see what that person is saying. How else can such a person justify themself as better?

JBTM, please don't put words in my mouth. I decided on Treasury Thrull over Biomasss and then over Rampager first simply because its a more powerful card. After making that decision I then look for other clues in the pack that can predict behavior to my left and then decide what the pick order in the pack actually is. Based on that information, derived from my initial pick, I can determine what should table assuming competence at each side after mine. Conversely I alter my pick to the next 2 choices and reorder the draft picks based on absence of each card as the pack proceeds. If I see something compelling that should shake out over the course of X further picks I consider changing my initial decision. Note that these last two things generally don't change my mind, but it can happen if in the context of the table I'm sitting at I know people undervalue certain cards and something absurd will table. Example; taking a 4.0 is the right decision normally and you'll usually identify a 1.5-2.0 card that should come back around in the pack that may or may not make the cut. However if I can take a 3.5 and know that another 3.0 card will table I'll submarine my initial pick by a minor amount to bank on the table.... and have a higher average power as a result.

UA, I disagree that Zhur-Taa will survive 7 picks. It's a generally higher power card. You'll likely be stuck with the 4th most powerful gruul card in the pack since Simic and Boros will both snipe the next two best cards in green or red... and the odds of there being a second gruul in 7 more chairs is high since people avoid Dimir like the plague... as everyone has said.

At no one in particular, maybe what we should do is start predicting draft order .... or things that will not table.... with our picks in a spoiler block to see who actually knows what happens at a table. Then when the pack returns it becomes easy to have a 'pissing' contest... which is what some people really want.

EDIT: If you take Ghor Clan, the next simic deck will take biomass, the next boros deck will take griffin/act, the orzhov deck will slam thrull, then the next gruul deck will take zhur taa, the next boros deck will take the griffin/act, second orzhov takes confessor/griffin/ruffian, the bullied dimir draft takes ruffian if left, or starts drafting bug and takes Denizen... and you're probably left with act of treason. Not a great pick, but its a not unplayable... somewhere around 1.5-2.0... but it should be quickly pushed out. The odds of there being a leftover Confessor or Ruffian > Zhur Taa/Value Red/Value Green. I just cannot think of any scenario where Zhur Taa survives and if its gone are we saying Rampager + Act/Denizen > Thrull + Confessor/Ruffian?

I'm of the opinion that no, the rampager scenario is less powerful overall than the orzhov scenario... particularly because the gruul play is just as slow but less powerful.

All my opinion. 

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Rampager.

Too much talk about "this is the best guild, this is the worst guild."

If you get a good deck in your guild, that kind of stuff doesn't matter.



It matters because of the vast disparity in average Guild Win rates. Gruul is currently underdrafted at 18% of people playing it in any given draft, and those people are winning only 43% of the time. Orzhov by contrast, is played by 21% of people in a given draft, and the people playing it are winning 62% of the time. This shows that even though there is less competition for Gruul cards, the people playing those cards are still doing considerably worse. WB not only got the strongest guild mechanic, but also the most removal out of any guild.

On powerlevel I think the two cards are a wash. The Rampager is more efficent, but the Thrull has the potential to completely take over the game. I've seen games where the player playing Thrull has gotten every single artifact, enchantment or creature ever put into their graveyard back again. With the two cards even in terms of overall powerlevel, the 62% vs 43% average win disparity becomes extremely compelling. Certainly that 43% includes people who got the few solid cards in Gruul like the Rampager and Ground Assault.
I love the "obvious" pick talking and then no real reason to pick it other than "you're wrong". 
Rampager.

Too much talk about "this is the best guild, this is the worst guild."

If you get a good deck in your guild, that kind of stuff doesn't matter.



It matters because of the vast disparity in average Guild Win rates. Gruul is currently underdrafted at 18% of people playing it in any given draft, and those people are winning only 43% of the time. Orzhov by contrast, is played by 21% of people in a given draft, and the people playing it are winning 62% of the time. This shows that even though there is less competition for Gruul cards, the people playing those cards are still doing considerably worse. WB not only got the strongest guild mechanic, but also the most removal out of any guild.

On powerlevel I think the two cards are a wash. The Rampager is more efficent, but the Thrull has the potential to completely take over the game. I've seen games where the player playing Thrull has gotten every single artifact, enchantment or creature ever put into their graveyard back again. With the two cards even in terms of overall powerlevel, the 62% vs 43% average win disparity becomes extremely compelling. Certainly that 43% includes people who got the few solid cards in Gruul like the Rampager and Ground Assault.


Where did you get these stats from? 
More Powerful = More Overdrafted = Weaker Decks on average

But we're talking about an 8-man pod, where this may be the case or not.

You might be "looking" to draft into a certain guild but going out of your way to force your way in when it's not there is a losing proposition.

Now, at this stage, we don't know what's open or not.

If you'd rather hope for Orzhov, go for it.  I know if someone passes me Rampager I am fit as a fiddle.
Even if Orzhov is the stronger guild, the Thrull is not pulling me into it. It is not the bomb many people believe it is, because it is too slow to have any real impact. It doesn't do enough the turn it enters the battlefield. And it won't come out until rather late in the game. In the prerelease I actually sided it out of my Orzhov deck for exactly that reason. Experience and too little expected immediate impact are why I chose the Rampager over it.
More Powerful = More Overdrafted = Weaker Decks on average

But we're talking about an 8-man pod, where this may be the case or not.

You might be "looking" to draft into a certain guild but going out of your way to force your way in when it's not there is a losing proposition.

Now, at this stage, we don't know what's open or not.

If you'd rather hope for Orzhov, go for it.  I know if someone passes me Rampager I am fit as a fiddle.



As stated earlier, the problem with this theory is that Gruul has a lower draft popularity in addition to having a lower average win rate. So in addition to being drafted less it is also substantially weaker. As for what will happen if more people start drafting Orzhov, it will be interesting to see, but right now it's at 21% which is neither under, nor overdrafted. The best color combination in AVR was G/U by far before people started drafting it heavily, and it remained the best color combination (albeit by a smaller margin) after it became the most heavily drafted combo.

The inability to see the long game is a problem people seem to have consistantly on these boards. Having played both Gruul and Orzhov I can safely state that the Orzhov decks I have built have overperformed the average card strength in the deck, while the Gruul decks have underperformed. The 62% vs 43% average win rates is simply confirmation that everyone is experiencing the same reality.
Where did you get these stats from? 



These are from the Pure Ars Arcanum article:
puremtgo.com/articles/ars-arcanum-gatecr...

While we are talking about that article, how do we apply his recommendations (at the very end) to this pick? He discourages 6 cmc cards unless they're very powerful. He also recommends going with the cheaper card if you have trouble deciding. He also breaks the guild win %'s down further with splash considerations and gruul-white has done very well.

I guess I'm suggesting this pick isn't as obvious as it looks. Further, I'm with UA on the thought of vizkopa confessor wheeling (it won't). We are more likely to get a second playable green or red card from this pack.

Maybe if I'd played more with/against thrull and had more faith in his ability to matter, I would be more confident in his bombiness. But since I'm not, I'm sticking with the rampager.
I agree with that recommendation of picking the lower cost card if your are deciding between two, but that only makes sense once you've settled into a guild. Otherwise you're just falling into whichever guild happens to have the best low cost card in the pack with no consideration to which color has the strongest cards overall. Lower cost cards make better picks because you need more of them to fill out your curve than higher cost ones, but the power level of a card is a separate consideration. Another factor to consider is that Orzhov has the tools to both reach and win the long-game which makes a 6 CMC Orzhov card less cost prohibitive than a 6 CMC card in any other guild. I recently played an Orzhov deck with 3 6 CMC cards (2 Urbis Protectors and 1 Merciless Eviction) and I didn't have trouble getting to 6 mana at all. Neither did any of my opponents, one of whom had the Treasury Thrull in question.