Hello Readers! I’m royalfishness and you may see more of me here, bringing you articles on gameplay and strategy with plenty of walk-throughs. Let me give you some background information on me. I started playing in 1998 with Portal and fell in love with, not going to lie, the pictures. I quickly moved onto the Tempest block where my mother, yes my mother, quickly became the Sliver Queen of the household. Any deck I built was based on its ability to take on the Sliver deck. My dad was all about Crypt Rats, my little sister had Elves, and I had Viashinos, it was a fun family.

I became interested in limited Magic at the start of the Mirrodin block and played in my first sealed event at the Mirrodin release tournament. It was a limited size event and the winners of the round took the loser’s cards, rebuilt their deck, and continued playing. The winner of the event won all the cards opened that night. I tried to build a 60 card deck at first and then got stomped by Broodstar and the Clockwork/Skeleton Shard combo. It was a rough intro to my world of limited. But I shook it off. I read all the articles and draft walk-throughs I could find and by the time the Fifth Dawn pre-release rolled around, I felt ready. I played in that one and in everyone since, except for Betrayers of Kamigawa and Saviors of Kamigawa as my girlfriend at that time hated Magic.

I have played in several limited PTQs and every time is a heart-breaker. I will go X-0 to the point of needing to win one more then draw and instead I just lose the rest. This has happened 4 or 5 times and my friends refer to anyone doing this as “pulling a fish”. I play sealed and drafts as often as I can get them fire at my LGS and draft more than I probably should online. I love older draft formats just as a chance to mix things up a bit. Speaking of, I am going to give you an AVR draft walk-through today. I will list the cards that I am interested in for each pack and give a reason as to why I made the pick.

Pack 1 Pick 1

Wolfir SilverheartThunderous WrathDeath WindVoice of the ProvincesSeraph of Dawn
WingcrafterFervent Cathar
this is a very strong and deep pack. The easy pick is Wolfir Silverheart though. It is also nice that the rest of the good cards are not green. My plan is to cut green hard. Green is one of the best colors in AVR though, so it could be tough. Let’s say, for discussion’s sake, that Silverheart was some bad rare, what do we take? I would take Seraph of Dawn as this is a generally very aggressive format and Seraph can either just play very good defense or beat face in the air and gain you life in the process. You would also not be passing much of a white signal with just a Voice of Provinces.

Pack 1 Pick 2

Thunderous WrathNephalia SmugglerJoint AssaultDefang

Rare missing so not much of a signal there. I was hoping for a better green card to cut but I will go with Joint Assault. Passing a second Wrath and a strong red signal.

Pack 1 Pick 3

Banishing StrokeGoldnight CommanderMad ProphetAbundant Growth

Not looking good for green here. I go with Growth still to try to cut green and hope that these packs have been just bad for green but I’m not happy. The idea with signals here and not jumping into white with the Stroke is this; if I pass zero good green cards then the person/people on my left will not get into green and I will get all the good green cards they open and I, hopefully, will be able to take enough green cards away from the people on my right to dissuade them from green also. The problem is, I am on someone’s left as well and it looks like they are doing that exact same thing to me. Getting out of green here may have been the right call, but I can be stubborn.

Pack 1 Pick 4

Moorland InquisitorGhoulfleshSearchlight Geist

Not a single green card in the pack. Sad face. I go with Inquisitor here as white seems the most open. I have to keep in mind that I have passed some good white cards though and may get cut in pack 2.

Pack 1 Pick 5

Lightning ProwessCathedral SanctifierMad Prophet

Lightning Prowess is very good and I was surprised to see it this late. It is possible that red is open. Not passing anything that I would miss anyway.

Pack 1 Pick 6

Hanweir LancerJoint AssaultRighteous Blow

Lancer is a very late gift and I snap it up. Red is open. I also like seeing the Blow as that is a good sign white is open as well. The green ship has sadly sailed but I would not mind splashing for Wolfir as it is just that good.

Pack 1 Pick 7

Voice of the ProvincesGalvanic AlchemistDriver of the Dead

Voice is easily the best card in the pack and is also in my colors. Easy pick.

Pack 1 Pick 8

Raging Poltergeist

Only card in the pack in red, white, or green. Hope I don’t have to play it but signals so I take it.

Pack 1 Pick 9

Voice ofProvincesMoonlight Geist

This was probably the wrong pick. Voice is a strong card but it is not great in such a fast format. O well.

Picks 10 – 15: Raging Poltergeist, Narstad Scrapper, Ghoulflesh, Ghostform, Plains, Mountain.

Pack 2 Pick 1

Wandering WolfVorstclawInfinite ReflectionThraben Valiant

It was very hard to not pick Wandering Wolf here out of a pretty weak pack. But I stuck with the open color and went with the Valiant. Also, its cute with Lightning Prowess.

Pack 2 Pick 2

Ulvenwald TrackerLightning MaulerScalding Devil

Still felt the desire for green here. At least there is something almost just as sweet this time to make me feel better about myself. Mauler is a very solid 2-drop and I am happy to take him.

Pack 2 Pick 3

Righteous BlowBarter in BloodSpectral GateguardTimberland Guide

Stupid green, messing with me… but sticking with the open color is still right. I would not see any green pack 3 if I tried getting into it now.

Pack 2 Pick 4

Borderland RangerCathedral Sanctifier

Ok, I took a green card. First, there wasn’t really anything else in the pack and secondly he would help me splash Wolfir. Now this seems a bit counter-intuitive. Splashing for fixing is usually a terrible idea and I would never recommend it. But Wolfir can end games so I really want to play him and Ranger lets me get the awkward double green as long as I have 1 Forest. Not an ideal splash but, again, Wolfir is Just. That. Good.

Pack 2 Pick 5

Mad ProphetCursebreak

Not much else in the pack so it was an easy pick.

Pack 2 Pick 6

ThunderboltWandering WolfGang of DevilsAngel’s Tomb

Wandering Wolf, while very good, is not splashable. I already have 2 6-drops so I don’t need the Gang. And I am not a fan of cards that rely on other cards to do anything. Thunderbolt is also a solid card so it was my pick

Pack 2 Pick 7

Vessel of Endless RestAbundant Growth

I should not have a problem splashing after this pick and it helps accelerate into my late game.

Pack 2 Pick 8

Abundant GrowthBladed BracersDemolish

This was probably another wrong pick. I used to love trying to force 4 or 5 colors with all the Growths and Rangers I could find and I guess I had a flashback to those decks. I should have just picked Bracers here.

Pack 2 Pick 9

Scalding DevilWildwood Geist

on color 2-drop, can’t get enough of those.

Picks 10 – 15: Dangerous Wager, Rush of Blood, Uncanny Speed, Malicious Intent, Natural End This was a very late gift and was very happy to grab the solid sideboard card, Mountain.

Pack 3 Pick 1

ArchangelHomicidal SeclusionHeirs of StromkirkGeist Trappers

Angel costs way too much for this deck and Heirs is really good. I also only have 1 4 drop at this point so Heirs helps fill in the curve.

Pack 3 Pick 2

Nearheath PilgrimBorderland RangerMidvast ProtectorMoorland InquisitorKessig Malcontents

Pilgrim is a very good, on-color, 2-drop. I mentioned those were really good before and that hasn’t changed. It was hard to pass the Ranger but I don’t need him at this point and I have no way to abuse Malcontents in this deck.

Pack 3 Pick 3

Heirs of StromkirkPillar of FlameFervent CatharDefang

This was the hardest pick of the draft I think. Removal, evasion, or aggro? I think any one of them would be fine here but I decided on staying aggressive with the Cathar.

Pack 3 Pick 4

MalignusStonewrightVoice of the ProvincesKruin Striker

Malingus looks splashy but he is unpredictable and I hate unpredictable. Kruin is perfect for this deck and keeps us aggressive. I would not fault anyone for taking Stonwright here either.

Pack 3 Pick 5

Midvast ProtectorBladed Bracers

Its boring but it definitely has its uses.

Pack 3 Pick 6

Scalding DevilYew SpiritWildwood Geist

See previous explanations for 2-drops…

Pack 3 Pick 7

Tormentor’s TridentAggravateSnare the Skies

not a huge fan but can be amazing in the right match-up.

Pack 3 Pick 8

Reforge the SoulCall to Serve

Not a huge fan of enchantments but I am a bit short on playables at this point and this one does allow additional beats so I don’t complain.

Pack 3 Pick 9

Geist TrappersSnare the Skies

Both hose flying dudes but Catchers does it repeatedly.

Picks 10 – 15: Scalding Devil, Heirs of Stromkirk Was not expecting to see such a good card go this late but I was very happy to get it. Uncanny Speed, Demolish, Leap of Faith, Island

Well, it was not a bad draft. It started out a bit rough but this was a perfect example of letting yourself be open to signals. It is so easy to get bomb-blinded when you see your first bomb and just automatically assume you will be in that color. But by reading signals you can get late gifts in your colors, like an eleventh pick Heirs of Stromkirk. I cannot recommend splashing double color cards like this but my fixing is good enough and Wolfir Silverhear is amazing enough that I am ok with it. This is how I built the deck.

Overall I would give this deck an 8.5 or so. It has a very good curve and some quality creatures but it does suffer from a lack of removal. A quick recap of the games:

M1G1 against Locrian666
Keep 2 Mountains, 2 Plains, Moorland inquisitor, Mad Prophet, and Silverheart. I play dudes while my opponent plays his first creature on turn 4. He plays Cathars Crusade on turn 5. I continue to play smaller guys and trade some of them off to get damage through. If I let the game go on much longer, the Crusade will just over-power all my smaller guys so I am ok with letting some of them die as they are going to be useless soon anyway. I get Lightning Prowess on my Scalding Devil and use that to burn him out when the board stalls and I run out of guys to throw at him. I side out 1 Voice of the Provinces and 1 Geist Trapper. I bring in Natural End for his Crusade and Spectral Prison, I also bring in Tormentors Trident as his deck seemed really slow and Trident can really punish that.

M1G2
Keep 2 Mountains, Forest, Nearheath Pilgrim, Heirs of Stromkirk, Hanewair Lancer, and Tormentors Trident. This game is a bit more interesting. We both start playing guys. I get a Lancer on turn 3 and he gets an Emancipation Angel. I follow with Heirs and he drops Moonlight Geist. I get Heirs and Pilgrim bonded to put me pretty firmly in the lead while he plays a Scrapskin Drake. Next turn he drops Favorable Winds and swings for 6 putting me to 8 and leaving a 4/4 flier back to block. I draw and slam Cathar to swing past his Angel and hit him for 11 putting him to 3, Thunderbolt to his dome finishes the match.

M2G1 against jikorra
Keep Mountain, Plains, Kruin Striker, Voice of the Provinces, Fervent Cathar, Scalding Devil, and Wolfir Silverheart. Very boring game. I play guys and attack with them. He plays Riot Ringleader, Wingcrafter, and a Ghostly Flicker and he scoops.

M2G2
Keep 2 Plains, Borderland Ranger, Fervent Cathar, Mad Prophet, Lightning Prowess, and Wolfir Silverheart. This was a very iffy keep but I have 8 Mountains and 3 Forests that make this hand very good. I am also on the draw. I draw a Mountain my first turn (skill game) and we both just play lands for the first couple of turns. I drop Ranger turn 3 and he runs out Riot Ringleader, I fetch up my second forest. He attacks with Ringleader and I gladly trade and then he drops Vigilantes Justice. I play Mad Prophet and attack. He bounces my Prophet with Mist Raven and I slam Silverheart while he is tapped out, there is a pause while I’m sure he is off kicking something. He comes back and plays Stern Mentor and bonds. I replay Prophet and Bond and attack for 14 which he takes. He mills me for 2 at end of turn and gets Righteous Blow and Heirs of Stromkirk. He plays his own Mad Prophet and passes. I play Cathar and make his Prophet unable to block and swing with the team. He takes it all and I take the match.

M3G1 against rayoga
Keep 3 Mountains, Plains, Thraben Valiant, Righteous Blow, and Lightning Prowess. He mulls to 5, keeps a 1 lander, doesn’t see any land by turn 3 and scoops.

M3G2
Keep Mountain, Plains, Kruin Striker, Vessel of Endless Rest, Wolfir Silverheart, and Call to Serve. I play some guys and he plays Kessig Malcontents on turn 4. I put Call to Serve on Kruin Striker and get in there. I play some more 2 drops as I do not draw a third land the whole game but apparently 2 is plenty. He draws only Mountains and can’t find an answer to a 3/3 flier and I take the draft.

Thanks everybody for reading! Let me know how you feel about the walk-through and if you would like more.