Hello everyone, back with another draft walk-through. There is not much to say about the AVR draft format that has not been said before. It may not be the most fun format out there, but I like it and there is a lot of money in that set. I had done an ISD draft but it was not worth writing about. I do not mind writing about losing but there wasn’t a single interesting thing to write about. The match went something like this: I got land screwed, then he got land screwed, then I got land screwed. It was over in about 5 minutes, so I did another draft for you. Anyway, onto the draft.

pack 1 pick 1

Driver of the DeadNightshade PeddlerTimberland GuideBloodflow ConnoisseurCaptain of the Mists
Not the most exciting of packs. If you don’t know, Blue and Green are the strongest colors in AVR. Blue has well-costed fliers and Mist Raven, which gets abused by all the blink and bounce effects in AVR. Green has very strong Soulbound creatures that get very large very fast. The combination of large creatures and bounce make U/G decks the strongest in AVR and something to remember. U/G is a strong deck to go for, but you will most likely be fighting several people for the cards. Black is very unimpressive and usually only works if you are the only Black drafter at the table. R/W aggro is a legit strategy but can fizzle out if you stall a bit. So, all this in mind, I took the Captain. He is good but not amazing. I will not be sending any strong blue cards and that is good for signaling. I plan on cutting blue as hard as possible and hope to pick up a Mist Raven or 2 if I can.

pack 1 pick 2

Nightshade PeddlerTimberland GuideNephalia SmugglerConjurer’s Closet
Another unexciting pack. Neither of the green cards are good enough to move in on, at least, not good enough to send a mixed signal. The blue card in the pack worth taking is Smuggler so I do. I hope I am sending a strong enough green signal. Closet can do some nutty things, but it can also do absolutely nothing for 5 mana and I don’t like that kind of unreliability.

pack 1 pick 3

Borderland RangerWingcrafterAmass the ComponentsBanishing StrokeSpirit Away
An interesting pack. Borderland Ranger is really much better than he looks and is a decent signal, however, I will pass him and use it as a very good signal for the person on my left. Banishing Stroke is good but not good enough to take another color. Wingcrafter, Amass, and Spirit Away are all strong blue cards and a good sign. Spirit Away may be slow, but it is a bomb and I am glad to take it. A little upset to have to pass a Wingcrafter as it is a strong card in the U/G deck and I had hoped that the next drafter would avoid blue with his green.

pack 1 pick 4

Thraben ValiantVanishmentSpectral PrisonDefy Death
For those of you who do not know, Miracles are one of the reasons AVR was disliked by many. They allow people to do very unfair things for very little mana and it is strictly luck-based. This leads to some undeserved wins and always bad feelings. That being said, Vanishment is the best blue card in the pack and I am happy enough with it. White seems to be mildly open and I will have to keep that in mind going on.

pack 1 pick 5

Scrapskin DrakeTimberland GuideMarrow Bats
Drake is a perfectly fine card. Marrow Bats is a strong card but not strong enough to go into another color, especially Black. Still sending a bit of a Green signal with the Guide.

pack 1 pick 6

Voice of the ProvincesFleeting DistractionBloodflow ConnoisseurEvernight Shade
Some decent Black cards but it would take something like a Death Wind or Homicidal Seclusion to put me into Black at this point. Voice is a solid card and White has seemed decently open this draft. Fleeting Distraction is a nice trick but its not good enough to take over Voice here.

pack 1 pick 7

CloudshiftScrapskin Drake
It was hard for me to not take the Cloudshift here. I love blink effects and it is my favorite archtype to draft in cube. But right now, I don’t have anything to abuse with it so I take the safer card in the Drake.

pack 1 pick 8

Soulcage FiendLair DelveBuilder’s Blessing
Nothing really to see here. I have seen some people run Blessing, but defensive is really not the way to go in AVR. I take it to cut White here.

pack 1 pick 9

Fleeting DistractionBloodflow ConnoisseurMass Appeal
I do not have enough Humans to abuse Mass Appeal yet and Distraction is a fine trick.
pack 1 picks 10-15
Moorland Inquisitor, Galvanic Alchemist, Rotcrown Ghoul, Outwit, Second Guess, Swamp

pack 2 pick 1

Cathedral SanctifierGalvanic AlchemistBarter in BloodNearheath PilgrimDemonic Rising
….damn. Demonic Rising is very very good. Barter in Blood is strong as well but not as strong as Rising. I was very sorely tempted to go Black here but White is still a stronger color and Pilgrim is a good card in a better color. Alchemist and/or Sanctifier may wheel.

pack 2 pick 2

Gryff VanguardDeath WindTormentor’s Trident
Death Wind is the best removal spell in the set. Sadly, I think the Black ship has sailed. I am not too upset though as Vanguard is a quality creature in my main color

pack 2 pick 3

Spectral PrisonSpectral GateguardsCrippling ChillAmass the ComponentsVessel of Endless Rest
Amass is obviously really good at refilling your hand with gas later in the game. At least one of the other Blue or White cards will wheel and I hope it will be Chill. Vessel would be more of a consideration if I had something I wanted to splash.

pack 2 pick 4

Scrapskin DrakeVanishmentMidvast Protector
i took Vanishment here but, in retrospect, I should have taken another Drake. I want to be aggressive and Vanishment isn’t really aggressive. I played both in my deck but ended up siding one or both out each time.

pack 2 pick 5

Call to ServePeel from RealityKruin Striker
Peel from Reality is one of the more broken things you can do with Mist Raven. And even though I don’t have any Ravens yet, it is still a great combat trick and tempo play. I took note of the Striker here as it is pretty late for that guy to be going around.

pack 2 pick 6

Crippling ChillNephalia SmugglerCathedral Sanctifier
If I had more ways to abuse blink, I would take the Smuggler. I like Sanctifier, but i can usually get more and I don’t like it more than Chill. Chill is a fine “removal” spell.

pack 2 pick 7

Ghostly FlickerHuman Frailty
Very late Frailty. It is possible I should have taken Frailty for the splash but it is not quite what I want my splash cards to be doing. It can be very strong, sure, but it can also be a dead card. I need my splash card to always be good. Flicker can be good with, again, more ETB creatures like Raven.

pack 2 pick 8

WingcrafterMidvast ProtectorAmass the Components
Very late gift in the Wingcrafter. I am pretty sure blue is pretty open around me. I would not mind either of the other cards but Crafter is just better.

pack 2 pick 9

Galvanic AlchemistCathedral SanctifierFleeting Distraction
Glad to see the Sanctifier made it back and I am happy picking it up. It works well with my Smuggler, Peel, and Flicker.
pack 2 picks 10-15
Tormentor’s Trident, Spectral Prison, Maalfeld Twins, Sheltering Word, Cursebreak, Forest

pack 3 pick 1

Ghostly FlickerAngelic wallEmancipation AngelArchangelSilverblade Paladin
Well, that’s a bomb. There is not a whole lot to say about the power level of Silverblade. Double Strike is obviously very good and none of the other cards can compare.

pack 3 pick 2

Alchemist’s ApprenticeMoonlight GeistAngel’s TombLone Revenant
Revenant is a fine card. It’s Impulse ability will rarely come up in a deck without black but a 4/4 with Hexproof is still perfectly fine. Apprentice is good in that you can bond with it for the moment and then sac it if you have a better creature to bond with. Some people really like Tomb but i am not a fan. It all comes back to unreliability.

pack 2 pick 3

Elgaud ShieldmateCloudshiftTrusted ForcemageTriumph of Ferocity
Unexciting except for the good green I’m passing. I still don’t have the cards to abuse with Cloudshift so I go with the creature.

pack 3 pick 4

Moorland InquisitorCall to ServeDevout Chaplain
Moorland is a solid aggressive 2-drop. Unexciting but solid.

pack 3 pick 5

Elgaud ShieldmateCloudshiftCathedral SanctifierMass Appeal
I have enough Humans at this point to make Mass Appeal worth running.

pack 3 pick 6

Latch SeekerCathedral Sanctifier
Another very late blue gift. Sadly there is a severe lack of Mist Ravens in this draft but hopefully I can be fast enough without them.

pack 3 pick 7

Zealous StrikeGeist SnatchNarstad Scrapper
A little early for packs to be dried up but O well…I take the Strike and am unimpressed.

pack 3 pick 8

Angelic WallCrippling Chill
I like the second Chill here. Really helps the aggro plan.

pack 3 pick 9

Spectral GateguardsGhostly FlickerArchangel
Not playing any of them.
Pack 3 picks 10-15
Crypt Creeper, Gang of Devils, Necrobite, Hunted Ghoul, Uncanny Speed, Forest

This deck is ok. I would give it a 6.5-7. I am missing Mist Raven and Into the Void. However, it has the potential to be rather fast and has enough bounce spells to clear the way.

M1G1 against TrueReindeer

I keep 2 Plains, Island, Vanishment, Scrapskin Drake, Elgaud Shieldmate, Captain of the Mists. He is on the board first with a Thraben Valiant. I stop it with a turn 3 Captain of the Mists. He misses his next 2 land drops while i make the Shieldmate. I attack him down to 16 and play a Moorland Inquisitor before he drops a Haneweir Lancer and bonds his 2 creatures. I tap his Lancer at EOT. I swing in to knock him down to 12 and play a Scrapskin Drake. He summons a hasty Fervent Cathar, rendering my Inquisitor unable to block. He attacks me down to 12 with his team. Next turn I play Mass Appeal to draw 3 cards. Here is a mild screw up. I meant to play Nearhearth Pilgrim and bond to Drake before I swing but I click too fast into my attack phase. I attack with my 3 2/3s to put him to 6. I play the Pilgrim after combat and the Captain untaps; I bond with the Drake. He plays a Seraph of Dawn to try and stem the bleeding and it may have but I untap and play Spirit Away, taking the aforementioned Angel and he concedes.

M1G2

I keep a risky hand of 2 Plains, Cathedral Sanctifier, Nearhearth Pilgrim, Scrapskin Drake, Gryff Vanguard, and Mass Appeal. We both have a 1 drop, mine is Sanctifier and his is Bladed Bracers. I follow up my 1-drop with the Pilgrim and Bond. I considered not bonding here as a 1/1 with lifelink is not all that impressive and if I had an Island, I would not have bonded and waited to bond with a flier. But since i did not, I wanted to gain as much life as possible and I could chump block with a 1/1 later and not felt bad about it. the scores sits at 19 to 24 after the attack. He has no turn 3 play and I play my third Plains and attack him down to 16. He finally gets a creature out with Mad Prophet. I miss my fourth land drop and I elect not to offer the Pilgrim in trade so i pass. He drops Slayer’s Stronghold and plays Spectral Gateguard and bonds with Prophet. I draw my Island and play Drake to race. He equips Bracers to Prophet and attacks with both taking me down to 22. He plays Vigilantes Justice after combat and passes. I fail to draw a land again and play Mass Appeal in hopes to draw land and I draw another Plains. I can’t complain but I really wanted an Island. I attack with the Drake to take him to 14. He kills my Pilgrim with his Justice when he plays Holy Justicar next turn. He attacks with just the Guards and I am back to 20. I draw and play my second Island and follow that with a Wingcrafter bonding to my Sanctifier. I attack with both putting him at 11. I play a post-combat Gryff Vanguard and i am feeling pretty good about things now. He takes me right back to worried with a Pillar of Flame on my Vanguard. He attacks with his 2 vigilant creatures and activates Stronghold to hit me down to 13. I draw and play Captain of the Mists and put a Spectral Prison on his Justicar, he taps Captain of the Mists in response. I attack for 4 in the air, putting him to 7. He simply attacks me down to 6 and activates Prophet on his turn. He has 1 card in his hand at this point. I attack for 4 again putting him to 3 and I play Smuggler and a second Drake. I feel really good. 2 removal spells won’t even kill me at that point. So he topdecks Zealous Conscripts and plays it. Vigilantes Justice kills my Smuggler, and he steals my Captain. I tap his Prophet in response but he still has lethal with the Slayer’s Stronghold. A very upsetting end.

M1G3

This game is much less tense. i keep Plains, Island, Captain, Inquisitor, Wingcrafter, Vanishment, and Sanctifier. I play Wingcrafter, Inquisitor, and Sanctifier before he gets on board with a very unimpressive Angel’s Tomb. I play Drake and attack him to 12 with the team. He makes a Riot Ringleader and hits me for 3 with the Tomb. I attack with my 3 fliers putting him at 7 and play Captain of the Mists. He kills my Inquisitor with a Pillar of Flames. and plays a Farbog Explorer. I bounce his Farbog and my Sanctifier with Peel from Reality. I replay the Sanctifier and bond it with the Wingcrafter. I don’t bond with the Captain because I want him to have to chump block. I attack with the team and he chumps the Captain putting him at 4. on his turn he concedes.

M2G1 (forgot to record the name, sorry)

I keep 2 Plains, Shieldmate, Paladin, Spirit Away, Drake, and Vanishment. It was not a good keep, I admit that. But I draw 3 lands in a row so i am obviously very skilled. He plays a turn 2 Abundant Growth and we both play our first creatures on turn 3, mine a Silverblade and his a Trusted Forcemage. My next turn gives me a Shieldmate bonded to the Paladin. I swing with the double-striking knight to put him at 16. He misses his next land drop. plays Tandem Lookout, bonds it to his Forcemage, and attacks with his 3/3. Not wanting him to draw a card and having a 3/2 flier in hand that I want to give double strike, I accept the trade. Next turn I play the Gryff Vanguard, bond the 2, and attack for another 4, putting him at 12. He simply passes his next turn without land again. On my turn I expect a trick and I luckily have Peel from Reality in hand. I play a pre-combat Sanctifier and attack with my double strikers. He blocks the Paladin and attempts to Zealous Strike his Lookout. I bounce it and my Sanctifiers with Peel. He goes to 6. I replay my Sanctifier and pass. He plays a Plains and concedes.

M2G2

I mulligan a hand with no land into an ok hand with an Island, Plains, 2 Crippling Chills, Sanctifier, and a Silverblade Paladin. We both have the same first turn of Plains into Sanctifier. His second turn gives him a Wandering Wolf and attacks me to 22. I play an Island and offer the trade for his Wolf, he obviously declines and goes to 22. He runs out his Trusted Forcemage and bonds it to his Sanctifier and attacks for 4. I play my Paladin and bond it to my 1/1. He Miracles a Blessing of Nature and makes his Wolf a 6/5. He attacks with his team and I attempt to trade Sanctifiers but a Zealous Strike saves his. I don’t have anything for my next turn so I just play Crippling Chill on his Wolf during his turn. The rest of his creatures get though, dropping me to 4. He plays Druid’s Familiar. I draw land and scoop.

M2G3

I mull again into a hand consisting of 2 Islands, Smuggler, Drake, Shieldmate, and Moorland Inquisitor. I play my Smuggler on turn 1 and he answers with an Abundant Growth. I just attack for 1 next turn and pass. He plays a 2/2 Timberland Guide. I play a Scrapskin Drake and pass. He plays a Triumph of Ferocity that threatens to get out of hand very quickly. I miss my next land drop and am stuck on only Islands. I attack for 2 and cycle Mass Appeal and I miss my land again. He attacks me down to 18 and plays a Wandering Wolf and a Thraben Valiant. I miss my land again and attack him to 15. He plays a Sanctifier and attacks with his 3 guys. I block his Valiant with my Smuggler and his Joint Assault denies me the trade. I draw and play my Plains and make a Shieldmate with no bond. I attack him for 2 in the air again. He plays a Goldnight Redeemer, and having nothing in hand that can stop a 4/4 flier, no lands, and him drawing 2 cards a turn, I concede.

Thanks for reading. Please feel free to comment. See you next week.