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Drafting With Kyle - RTR/RTR/RTR #5

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Kyle Boggemes
Kyle Boggemes

About Kyle Boggemes

Kyle is a tournament Magic player who enjoys writing about the game and drafting is his favorite format. He has a number of high-profile finishes under his belt:

  • Second place finish at Pro Tour San Diego
  • 4th place GP: Washington DC
  • Two Limited GP top 16s

Drafting with Kyle - RTR/RTR/RTR #5

Booster 1 - Return to Ravnica

Pack 1 pick 1:

Crosstown Courier Grim Roustabout Terrus Wurm Splatter Thug Dynacharge Towering Indrik Centaur Healer Skull Rend Selesnya Guildgate Rakdos Ringleader Runewing Azorius Justiciar Street Sweeper Growing Ranks

My Pick: Azorius Justiciar

I can take Growing Ranks and commit myself to green white populate, but I’m sending a bad signal with Centaur HealerTowering Indrik is one of the only other good cards in the pack which means green may appear open even after the next two people pick selesnya.  I would rather avoid that mess by taking the solid white card that can put me in Azorius.

Pack 1 pick 2:

Tenement Crasher Swift Justice Drainpipe Vermin Grim Roustabout Survey the Wreckage Aerial Predation Chemister's Trick Tower Drake Chronic Flooding Sluiceway Scorpion Goblin Rally Savage Surge Skymark Roc

My Pick: Skymark Roc

This is one of the top uncommons and it goes well with my first pick.

Pack 1 pick 3:

Sunspire Griffin Armory Guard Korozda Monitor Skull Rend Selesnya Guildgate Syncopate Rakdos Keyrune Cancel Runewing Bellows Lizard Horncaller's Chant Coursers' Accord

My Pick: Sunspire Griffin

I don’t have any three mana flyers yet which are important for this archetype.  Another consideration is the Selesnya Guildgate to splash for any strong green cards that come my way in the early picks of pack 2 and 3.

Pack 1 pick 4:

Rootborn Defenses Mizzium Skin Inaction Injunction Dynacharge Drudge Beetle Grisly Salvage Rakdos Guildgate Lyev Skyknight Rakdos Charm Urban Burgeoning Tavern Swindler

My Pick: Lyev Skyknight

I can’t ask for a better fourth pick.  I’m certainly in the right guild.

Pack 1 pick 5:

Crosstown Courier Electrickery Search Warrant Rakdos Charm Giant Growth Perilous Shadow Centaur's Herald Druid's Deliverance Psychic Spiral Destroy the Evidence

My Pick: Centaur's Herald

At this point I’m getting late green cards and I haven’t seen any solid blue cards.  I consider the possibility of drafting Selesnya splashing my bomby Azorius uncommons.  At the same time, I’m certainly aware Selesnya is being drafted next to me in all likelihood.

Pack 1 pick 6:

Eyes in the Skies Survey the Wreckage Towering Indrik Selesnya Charm Knightly Valor Stealer of Secrets Axebane Stag Sundering Growth Palisade Giant

My Pick: Selesnya Charm

I can be safe with Knightly Valor, but it’s just far too weak compared to the charm.  This is a safe pick overall because I will splash this in Azorius because it performs a key function in the strategy.  Since blue white decks get a decent amount of defensive creatures, the charm can take out the big guys that attack through the walls.

Pack 1 pick 7:

Seller of Songbirds Selesnya Sentry Swift Justice Rubbleback Rhino Chemister's Trick Minotaur Aggressor Batterhorn Golgari Longlegs

My Pick: Seller of Songbirds

This card appears weak at first, but it’s pretty solid.  I pass up on Swift Justice because it’s weak in Selesnya due to having so many options for pump effects.  The pump effects are also weaker in decks that splash heavily because they tend to be less aggressive, too.

Pack 1 pick 8:

Sunspire Griffin Electrickery Chemister's Trick Azorius Guildgate Fall of the Gavel Paralyzing Grasp Chorus of Might

My Pick: Azorius Guildgate

I pass on Sunspire Griffin because I know Bant is almost a sure thing at this point.  The double white can be a challenge, but it’s worth noting that the dual lands all produce white.

Pack 1 pick 9:

Crosstown Courier Dynacharge Skull Rend Selesnya Guildgate Rakdos Ringleader Street Sweeper

My Pick: Selesnya Guildgate

I would like to have three gates for this manabase and I’m lucky this tabled.  To be fair, there were plenty of GW cards in this pack.

Pack 1 pick 10:

Swift Justice Drainpipe Vermin Survey the Wreckage Chemister's Trick Chronic Flooding

My Pick: Swift Justice

At this point, it feels as if neither Bant guild is open, but only white.

Pack 1 pick 11:

Armory Guard Skull Rend Runewing Horncaller's Chant

My Pick: Armory Guard

This creature goes well with all of my guildgates.

Pack 1 pick 12:

Mizzium Skin Dynacharge Urban Burgeoning

My Pick: Mizzium Skin

This can do an okay Dispel impersonation, but I would rather have the real thing.

Pack 1 pick 13:

Search Warrant Psychic Spiral

My Pick: Psychic Spiral

Pack 1 pick 14:

Survey the Wreckage

My Pick: Survey the Wreckage

Booster 2 - Return to Ravnica

Pack 2 pick 1:

Azorius Arrester Eyes in the Skies Arrest Mizzium Skin Rubbleback Rhino Vassal Soul Dark Revenant Izzet Charm Selesnya Keyrune Blood Crypt Isperia's Skywatch Catacomb Slug Axebane Stag Transguild Promenade

My Pick: Arrest

I’m not 100% on which guild is my main strategy, but Arrest is very good in both.  Azorius will likely be open in this pack which is certainly considered.

Pack 2 pick 2:

Crosstown Courier Splatter Thug Electrickery Chemister's Trick Selesnya Guildgate Vandalblast Rakdos Cackler Dreadbore Stealer of Secrets Dead Reveler Druid's Deliverance Sluiceway Scorpion Soulsworn Spirit

My Pick: Soulsworn Spirit

This card has been very impressive for me so far and it costs enough to be splashable in Selesnya.  It’s worth noting the detain creatures push me into Azorius for aggressive flyers. 

Pack 2 pick 3:

Grim Roustabout Towering Indrik Grisly Salvage Dreg Mangler Tablet of the Guilds Runewing Dispel Perilous Shadow Pursuit of Flight Horncaller's Chant Hussar Patrol Underworld Connections

My Pick: Hussar Patrol

The only real card for my deck in this pack.

Pack 2 pick 4:

Tenement Crasher Grim Roustabout Electrickery Korozda Monitor Trestle Troll Archon of the Triumvirate Paralyzing Grasp Chorus of Might Coursers' Accord Hover Barrier Soulsworn Spirit

My Pick: Archon of the Triumvirate

Azorius is certainly flowing.

Pack 2 pick 5:

Trostani's Judgment Stealer of Secrets Dispel Dead Reveler Racecourse Fury Pursuit of Flight Horncaller's Chant Common Bond Golgari Longlegs Thoughtflare

My Pick: Trostani's Judgment

I decide to stick with the white card over Common Bond since I have a decent amount of blue at this point.  I would rather not splash another card if I can help it.

Pack 2 pick 6:

Keening Apparition Avenging Arrow Deviant Glee Viashino Racketeer Skull Rend Seek the Horizon Mind Rot Urban Burgeoning Skyline Predator

My Pick: Keening Apparition

I really like this card as you may know.  This deck has the tools to go late so I need something to stem the early bleeding and kill Deviant Glee to protect my walls.

Pack 2 pick 7:

Tenement Crasher Crosstown Courier Electrickery Azorius Guildgate Runewing Perilous Shadow Druid's Deliverance Pyroconvergence

My Pick: Azorius Guildgate

Pack 2 pick 8:

Sewer Shambler Search Warrant Rest in Peace Doorkeeper Catacomb Slug Mind Rot Axebane Stag

My Pick: Doorkeeper

I don’t have too many early drops and this can stop an early Rakdos assault.

Pack 2 pick 9:

Azorius Arrester Mizzium Skin Vassal Soul Isperia's Skywatch Catacomb Slug Axebane Stag

My Pick: Vassal Soul

I need cheap cards so I take the aggressive three drop over Isperia's Skywatch.

Pack 2 pick 10:

Crosstown Courier Chemister's Trick Vandalblast Stealer of Secrets Druid's Deliverance

My Pick: Stealer of Secrets

There’s enough detain to possibly make this creature strong.

Pack 2 pick 11:

Tablet of the Guilds Dispel Perilous Shadow Horncaller's Chant

My Pick: Dispel

I’m happy to maindeck this since it’s preferred over Mizzium Skin.

Pack 2 pick 12:

Electrickery Paralyzing Grasp Hover Barrier

My Pick: Hover Barrier

Pack 2 pick 13:

Dispel Racecourse Fury

My Pick: Dispel

Pack 2 pick 14:

Skull Rend

My Pick: Skull Rend

Booster 3 - Return to Ravnica

Pack 3 pick 1:

Aquus Steed Azorius Arrester Armory Guard Daggerdrome Imp Deviant Glee Gatecreeper Vine Golgari Guildgate Selesnya Charm Izzet Staticaster Isperia's Skywatch Hussar Patrol Spawn of Rix Maadi Grave Betrayal Izzet Guildgate

My Pick: Selesnya Charm

If I’m splashing one, I might as well splash two, right?  This is a combat trick I’m happy splashing since it’s so versatile.

Pack 3 pick 2:

Selesnya Sentry Avenging Arrow Drudge Beetle Skull Rend Rakdos Guildgate Azorius Keyrune Voidwielder Ogre Jailbreaker Bellows Lizard Coursers' Accord Bazaar Krovod Soul Tithe Firemind's Foresight

My Pick: Voidwielder

Pack 3 pick 3:

Aquus Steed Trained Caracal Arrest Inaction Injunction Cremate Drudge Beetle Goblin Electromancer Skull Rend Giant Growth Chronic Flooding Batterhorn Security Blockade

My Pick: Arrest

Pack 3 pick 4:

Seller of Songbirds Cremate Viashino Racketeer Dynacharge Trestle Troll Zanikev Locust Codex Shredder Izzet Keyrune Ethereal Armor Paralyzing Grasp Epic Experiment

My Pick: Paralyzing Grasp

I don’t want a second Seller of Songbirds because I already have enough three drop creatures.  The grasp will be a decent sideboard card versus a big green deck.

Pack 3 pick 5:

Terrus Wurm Viashino Racketeer Dynacharge Goblin Electromancer Trostani's Judgment Runewing Perilous Shadow Common Bond Skyline Predator Heroes' Reunion

My Pick: Skyline Predator

I like this creature more than a second Trostani's Judgment since I have plenty of removal.

Pack 3 pick 6:

Rootborn Defenses Dryad Militant Knightly Valor Tower Drake Dispel Cobblebrute Tavern Swindler Destroy the Evidence Havoc Festival

My Pick: Knightly Valor

When I play white control, a Knightly Valor helps me close a game.  I think it’s very crucial to this archetype.

Pack 3 pick 7:

Eyes in the Skies Mizzium Skin Skull Rend Doorkeeper Catacomb Slug Mind Rot Sphere of Safety Search the City

My Pick: Eyes in the Skies

Instant-speed threats are very good because a critical mass enables me to trick my opponent. 

Pack 3 pick 8:

Selesnya Sentry Downsize Viashino Racketeer Seek the Horizon Chorus of Might Essence Backlash

My Pick: Selesnya Sentry

Pack 3 pick 9:

Aquus Steed Armory Guard Deviant Glee Isperia's Skywatch Hussar Patrol Izzet Guildgate

My Pick: Hussar Patrol

Pack 3 pick 10:

Selesnya Sentry Skull Rend Azorius Keyrune Coursers' Accord Bazaar Krovod

My Pick: Azorius Keyrune

I don’t have many expensive spells, but rather my curve averages around the middle.  It can be tricky to have a deck that wants keyrunes.

Pack 3 pick 11:

Aquus Steed Trained Caracal Skull Rend Chronic Flooding

My Pick: Trained Caracal

Pack 3 pick 12:

Cremate Codex Shredder Ethereal Armor

My Pick: Ethereal Armor

Pack 3 pick 13:

Dynacharge Heroes' Reunion

My Pick: Dynacharge

Pack 3 pick 14:

Destroy the Evidence

My Pick: Destroy the Evidence

I was very pleased with my deck, but it was evident I was lacking early action.  Although most decks typically start going in the mid game, it’s important to have some early plays while being on the draw.  You don’t want your first play of the game to be a three mana 2/2 flyer.

Notable Exclusions:

Armory Guard- I prefer Hussar Patrol because of flash.  There are enough guildgates to make it a very close call.

Azorius Keyrune- Although I have some expensive spells, my three drops are cluttered and it would likely be my first play of the game.

This deck is a few two drops away from being completely insane, but I will need some luck to escape the early game.

Match 1 Game 1

I lose the die roll and mulligan to six while he keeps seven.

My hand is pretty defensive and bird tokens peck me to death.  This game demonstrated the flexibility of Eyes in the Skies in an aggressive strategy.  In most cases, a Selesnya deck would be halted by 2/4s, but the flying proved to be too much for me.

I sideboard in a second Dispel because he showed me double Eyes in the Skies.  It also entered my mind that Common Bonds were going around late.  The Doorkeeper goes out because the flyers were the main problem.

Match 1 Game 2

I’m on the play and he mulligans to six.

The tables are turned as I’m the one who draws all flyers.  He had a good chance of racing with the powerful Martial Law, but my deck had enough removal to stave off the offense.  The Dispel rotted in my hand this game, but it would be difficult to win without a way to stop it if he drew one.

Match 1 Game 3

I mulligan to six on the draw and he keeps seven.

This game was frustrating as I only made it to five lands on the last turn of the game.  Meanwhile, my opponent missed his third land drop and then drew four in a row.  Had we both made our land drops, this would have been a close game.  My lack of early plays certainly bit me this game.

Reflection

I knew going in that my deck’s curve was too high, but I didn’t see many early spells in the draft in my colors.  In retrospect, I should have played 18 lands because the later spells were too good.  On top of that, I needed to draw at least 5 lands to have a shot at winning the game.

The reason I bothered posting a deck where I get land screwed in game three of round one is because there’s always something you can do differently.  Drafting requires so many decisions and there’s always room for improvement (even if you win).

Thanks for reading,

Kyle

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