Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Crack-a-Pack #3

You're drafting The Mighty Morphin' Cube. It's pack 1, pick 1 and you open the following cards:

What would you pick?

If I opened these cards, here's what my initial evaluation would be:
  • Selesnya Signet and Talisman of Indulgence - As always, I don't think mana rocks are worth first picking in good packs and this pack is a good one.
  • Lay Waste - This is probably going to be one of the last picks in the entire booster.
  • Fledgling Mawcor and Gravel Slinger - Perfectly fine morph creatures that you'd be happy to pick up 6th-12th out of the pack.
  • Mnemonic Sliver - Not worth going slivers for.
  • Assault/Battery and Duress - Role players to fill out your deck, but not first pickable.
  • Raven Guild Master, Whetwheel, Cover of Darkness, and Nameless One - Now the pack finally gets interesting. There are a total of 3 mill cards in the Cube and this pack has 2 of them. (The missing 3rd mill card is Screeching Sliver.) Raven Guild Master may take a little more work to activate than some of the other "mill 10" cards that have been printed in Magic's history, but it's still a mill 10. If he connects once, your opponent has to watch his library for the rest of the game. If he connects two or more times, you've pretty much won the game at that point. And the great thing about this pack is that Whetwheel, Cover of Darkness, and Nameless One will be welcome additions when the pack comes back around.
  • Tundra - You can't go wrong with dual lands.
  • Journey to Nowhere - Probably the best spot removal card in the Cube, maybe even above Oblivion Ring. The Cube is so creature heavy and most of those creatures are at the 3cc level that efficient 1 and 2 drops are a luxury whose value can't be ignored or undervalued.
  • Silent Specter - It always seems like there's at least one first pickable creature with morph in every pack. And if you enjoy playing the morph archetype, then the spector is your man. And never forget that "Mono Black" is definitely a thing in this Cube and Silent Specter opens up that route as well.

I narrow it down to 3 possible picks:
  1. Raven Guild Master
  2. Journey to Nowhere
  3. Silent Specter

I also give an honorable mention to Tundra. I saw that at least one person voted for Taiga in Crack-a-Pack #1 and I can't fault them for it. Duals will almost always make their way into your deck no matter what type of deck you end up with.

The pattern that I've seen in drafting the Cube is that there is almost always at least one "serious pick" and one "fun pick." If you just want to play morph and it's the sole reason you were looking to drafting a Morph Cube, then that archetype is absolutely supported and you can't go wrong with picking either a big fatty or an enabler. Morph is always fun. It's just that there's an abundance of morph in this Cube so it becomes the "serious pick" by default because it's drafted so much. I almost always like going for the fun decks in any draft format and in this Cube, if I opened this pack, my pick would definitely be the Raven Guild Master. There will be plenty of opportunities to draft the morph deck later, but when the (barely supported) mill strategy presents itself like this to you, I think it's hard to not go for it. Raven Guild Master + Cover of Darkness = GG.

(Although, it should be noted that every deck will have access to "non-artifact, non-black creatures" and fear isn't nearly as good in this format as it is in others.)

Journey to Nowhere seems like the pick for people who have experience drafting this Cube in particular and really like how white is put together. They've drafted white multiple times, they've never been disappointed, and they see no reason to not go for it again now. Like I said, Journey to Nowhere is probably the best spot removal card in the entire Cube.

(Starting today, I'm probably going to slow down with the Crack-a-Packs and limit myself to doing them on the 1st of the month, every month. So if you enjoy participating in these polls, please check back from time-to-time and see what's cracked open next.)

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