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Drafting with Kyle - Khans of Tarkir #6

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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
  • Winner GP Cincinnati 2014
  • 4th place GP: Washington DC
  • Two Limited GP top 16s

Drafting with Kyle - Khans of Tarkir #6

Booster 1 - Khans of Tarkir

Pack 1 pick 1:

Trumpet Blast Hooting Mandrills Alabaster Kirin Swiftwater Cliffs Embodiment of Spring Mardu Skullhunter Mardu Hateblade Leaping Master Shambling Attendants Monastery Flock Briber's Purse Mystic Monastery Suspension Field Empty the Pits Forest

My Pick: Mystic Monastery

I like the tri-land and Suspension Field, but mana fixing is very important for me so I go with the Monastery.

Pack 1 pick 2:

Kill Shot Ainok Tracker Smoke Teller Ainok Bond-Kin Krumar Bond-Kin Taigam's Scheming Rite of the Serpent Thornwood Falls Abomination of Gudul Abzan Banner Burn Away Dazzling Ramparts Waterwhirl Swamp

My Pick: Ainok Bond-Kin

Kill Shot was my second choice, but there are so few 2-drops I want to play.

Pack 1 pick 3:

Bloodfire Expert Sagu Archer Shatter Dutiful Return Disdainful Stroke Mystic of the Hidden Way Wind-Scarred Crag Ponyback Brigade Dragon Grip Timely Hordemate Ride Down Trail of Mystery Mountain

My Pick: Wind-Scarred Crag

I’m trying to stay open so I pass on the Ponyback Brigade in favor of a land that plays well with my first 2 picks.

Pack 1 pick 4:

War Behemoth Savage Punch Highland Game Scoured Barrens Embodiment of Spring Unyielding Krumar Smite the Monstrous Krumar Bond-Kin Crippling Chill Venerable Lammasu Kheru Spellsnatcher Plains

My Pick: Scoured Barrens

I could put myself in Jeskai by taking Crippling Chill or take a land to put me into potentially Mardu. I would rather commit to a wedge by taking a land over a spell.

Pack 1 pick 5:

Canyon Lurkers Longshot Squad Kin-Tree Warden Smite the Monstrous Bloodfire Mentor Archers' Parapet Molting Snakeskin Glacial Stalker Scion of Glaciers Jeskai Elder Mountain

My Pick: Smite the Monstrous

I’m not sure taking this card was right because I don’t always maindeck it. Canyon Lurkers is underrated and Glacial Stalker is fine in Jeskai.

Pack 1 pick 6:

Naturalize War Behemoth Rush of Battle Leaping Master Archers' Parapet Sultai Banner Molting Snakeskin Scaldkin Windstorm Forest

My Pick: Leaping Master

I like this 2-drop in aggressive strategies since it does something good in the late game.

Pack 1 pick 7:

Sagu Archer Highland Game Embodiment of Spring Unyielding Krumar Smite the Monstrous Whirlwind Adept Blinding Spray Sultai Soothsayer Plains

My Pick: Smite the Monstrous

Pack 1 pick 8:

Summit Prowler Feed the Clan Scout the Borders Lens of Clarity Firehoof Cavalry Scaldkin Retribution of the Ancients Plains

My Pick: Summit Prowler

This card is solid in red aggressive decks because it triggers ferocious for Barrage of Boulders.

Pack 1 pick 9:

Trumpet Blast Embodiment of Spring Leaping Master Shambling Attendants Monastery Flock Briber's Purse Forest

My Pick: Leaping Master

I like picking creatures over red support spells because there are many to choose: Act of Treason, Barrage of Boulders, Arrow Storm, and Trumpet Blast.

Pack 1 pick 10:

Taigam's Scheming Abomination of Gudul Abzan Banner Dazzling Ramparts Waterwhirl Swamp

My Pick: Dazzling Ramparts

Pack 1 pick 11:

Shatter Dutiful Return Disdainful Stroke Dragon Grip Mountain

My Pick: Dragon Grip

I think this card is quite strong when enchanted on a 2 drop like Flying Master.

Pack 1 pick 12:

Highland Game Embodiment of Spring Venerable Lammasu Plains

My Pick: Venerable Lammasu

Pack 1 pick 13:

Kin-Tree Warden Bloodfire Mentor Mountain

My Pick: Bloodfire Mentor

Pack 1 pick 14:

Sultai Banner Forest

My Pick: Sultai Banner

Pack 1 pick 15:

Plains

My Pick: Plains

Booster 2 - Khans of Tarkir

Pack 2 pick 1:

Mardu Warshrieker Feed the Clan Disowned Ancestor Rush of Battle Bloodfire Mentor Highland Game Dismal Backwater Mardu Hateblade Rotting Mastodon Disdainful Stroke Swarm of Bloodflies Windstorm Frontier Bivouac Ivorytusk Fortress Plains

My Pick: Mardu Warshrieker

A weak pack for me, but I do like the tempo from the raid trigger.

Pack 2 pick 2:

Sagu Archer Kill Shot Barrage of Boulders Woolly Loxodon Kheru Dreadmaw Monastery Flock Blossoming Sands Abzan Guide Abzan Banner Rite of the Serpent Pine Walker Mardu Charm Abzan Falconer Swamp

My Pick: Abzan Falconer

I could dip into mardu for the charm, but I think the Falconer is still better than the removal spell and it’s good to stay flexible.

Pack 2 pick 3:

Defiant Strike Trumpet Blast Leaping Master Scout the Borders Bloodfell Caves Jeskai Windscout Lens of Clarity Firehoof Cavalry Force Away Riverwheel Aerialists Waterwhirl Death Frenzy Swamp

My Pick: Leaping Master

It’s important to start the game on turn 2 with an aggro deck because the control decks will have morphs that bounce off of your threats.

Pack 2 pick 4:

Longshot Squad Defiant Strike Act of Treason Sultai Banner Firehoof Cavalry Arrow Storm Kin-Tree Warden Krumar Bond-Kin Singing Bell Strike Temur Charm Windstorm Plains

My Pick: Arrow Storm

This is another trick that helps push red aggro decks over the edge. This spell is one of the main draws to be aggro red because some decks can’t support the mana cost.

Pack 2 pick 5:

Salt Road Patrol Canyon Lurkers Alpine Grizzly Erase Bitter Revelation Force Away Rakshasa's Secret Jungle Hollow Kheru Bloodsucker Witness of the Ages Island

My Pick: Canyon Lurkers

This is a morph that hits hard as a surprise. It’s also another creature that triggers ferocious for Barrage of Boulders.

Pack 2 pick 6:

Act of Treason Woolly Loxodon Defiant Strike Trumpet Blast Kheru Dreadmaw Lens of Clarity Blossoming Sands Snowhorn Rider Sultai Charm Plains

My Pick: Act of Treason

Pack 2 pick 7:

Tusked Colossodon Erase Smoke Teller Glacial Stalker Rakshasa's Secret Jeskai Banner Weave Fate Rakshasa Vizier Island

My Pick: Glacial Stalker

Pack 2 pick 8:

Alpine Grizzly Alabaster Kirin Tormenting Voice Dragonscale Boon Wetland Sambar Singing Bell Strike Set Adrift Swamp

My Pick: Alabaster Kirin

This creature is great, but I need to mind the number of 4 drops.

Pack 2 pick 9:

Feed the Clan Rush of Battle Bloodfire Mentor Highland Game Rotting Mastodon Windstorm Plains

My Pick: Rush of Battle

This 4 drop problem makes me want to prioritize Trumpet Blast next time because the substitute (Rush of Battle) costs 4 mana. This might be an issue in games because I have so many Leaping Masters that require mana on the same turn.

Pack 2 pick 10:

Sagu Archer Barrage of Boulders Kheru Dreadmaw Abzan Banner Rite of the Serpent Swamp

My Pick: Barrage of Boulders

I haven’t played this card before, but it feels like one of the main draws to being in the archetype.

Pack 2 pick 11:

Scout the Borders Lens of Clarity Firehoof Cavalry Waterwhirl Swamp

My Pick: Firehoof Cavalry

This is a reasonable 1 drop with Trumpet Blast effects.

Pack 2 pick 12:

Act of Treason Sultai Banner Windstorm Plains

My Pick: Act of Treason

Pack 2 pick 13:

Erase Rakshasa's Secret Island

My Pick: Erase

Pack 2 pick 14:

Lens of Clarity Plains

My Pick: Plains

Pack 2 pick 15:

Island

My Pick: Island

Booster 3 - Khans of Tarkir

Pack 3 pick 1:

Shatter Awaken the Bear Mardu Hordechief Swift Kick Rotting Mastodon Cancel Sultai Scavenger Force Away Treasure Cruise Rugged Highlands Roar of Challenge Temur Charm Monastery Swiftspear Sagu Mauler Plains

My Pick: Mardu Hordechief

One of the best warriors in the format.

Pack 3 pick 2:

Summit Prowler Rush of Battle Leaping Master Archers' Parapet Tranquil Cove Unyielding Krumar Sultai Banner Sultai Scavenger Whirlwind Adept Chief of the Scale Stubborn Denial Despise Necropolis Fiend Plains

My Pick: Leaping Master

Summit Prowler is a consideration, but I have so many 4 drops already.

Pack 3 pick 3:

Swift Kick Awaken the Bear Valley Dasher Dragonscale Boon Tranquil Cove Wetland Sambar Siegecraft Dutiful Return Whirlwind Adept Brave the Sands Mardu Roughrider Tuskguard Captain Forest

My Pick: Valley Dasher

This is the first copy I’ve seen, but it’s fantastic in a deck with Act of Treason and Barrage of Boulders.

Pack 3 pick 4:

Alpine Grizzly Tormenting Voice Naturalize Kheru Dreadmaw Cancel Rite of the Serpent Rugged Highlands Abomination of Gudul Temur Banner Mardu Blazebringer Temur Ascendancy Mountain

My Pick: Tormenting Voice

Pack 3 pick 5:

Tusked Colossodon Sage-Eye Harrier Bloodfire Mentor Highland Game Dismal Backwater Molting Snakeskin Scaldkin Dazzling Ramparts Quiet Contemplation Rakshasa Vizier Island

My Pick: Sage-Eye Harrier

Pack 3 pick 6:

Ainok Tracker Naturalize Firehoof Cavalry Kin-Tree Warden Jeskai Windscout Dutiful Return Stubborn Denial Venerable Lammasu Witness of the Ages Mountain

My Pick: Witness of the Ages

I like the Witness much more than Ainok Tracker.

Pack 3 pick 7:

Salt Road Patrol Scout the Borders Dismal Backwater Sultai Banner Siegecraft Dutiful Return Crippling Chill Become Immense Forest

My Pick: Salt Road Patrol

This would be better in a defensive deck, but I think the patrol is still strong enough in such an aggressive strategy.

Pack 3 pick 8:

Barrage of Boulders Sultai Scavenger Taigam's Scheming Mardu Banner Weave Fate Goblinslide Villainous Wealth Mountain

My Pick: Barrage of Boulders

Pack 3 pick 9:

Shatter Awaken the Bear Swift Kick Rotting Mastodon Cancel Force Away Plains

My Pick: Swift Kick

Pack 3 pick 10:

Archers' Parapet Unyielding Krumar Sultai Banner Whirlwind Adept Despise Plains

My Pick: Unyielding Krumar

Pack 3 pick 11:

Siegecraft Dutiful Return Whirlwind Adept Brave the Sands Forest

My Pick: Siegecraft

This card is strong with Valley Dasher.

Pack 3 pick 12:

Kheru Dreadmaw Cancel Rite of the Serpent Mountain

My Pick: Rite of the Serpent

Pack 3 pick 13:

Tusked Colossodon Bloodfire Mentor Island

My Pick: Bloodfire Mentor

Pack 3 pick 14:

Dutiful Return Mountain

My Pick: Dutiful Return

Pack 3 pick 15:

Forest

My Pick: Forest

I’m going out of my element so I will learn a lot from this deck regardless of my performance. Here’s what I registered:

Notable sideboard cards:

Swift Kick

Barrage of Boulders

2 Smite the Monstrous

Match 1 Game 1

Opponent mulligans to 4 and I keep seven on the draw.

My opponent has Mardu Hordechief, Monastery Swiftspear, and Mardu Skullhunter in the deck; this can lead to awkward draws as you want to cast these three cards on curve. I would assume that not picking two colors and splashing the third caused most hands to play out badly for my opponent.

Sideboard in: Barrage of Boulders and Swift Kick

Sideboard out: Act of Treason

Match 1 Game 2

My opponent mulligans to 5 cards and concedes before the game starts.

Barrage of Boulders looked very impressive here as dealing 1 damage to opposing creatures is good against aggressive red decks.

Match 2 Game 1

I mulligan to 6 on the play and the opponent keeps seven.

Act of Treason was very unimpressive as I had to attack through two Archers' Parapet. I liked the combo of Mardu Charm and Raider’s Spoils and Mardu Charm for the surprise Sign in Blood. My only chance to win was to get numerous creatures to trade in combat to power up the Swarm of Bloodflies to steal with Act of Treason, but my life was too low.

Sideboard out: 2 Act of Treason (because of the multiple Archers' Parapet)

Sideboard in: Swift Kick and Barrage of Boulders

Match 2 Game 2

I’m on the play and we both keep seven.

Ankle Shanker is typically a strong card, but it’s less impressive versus an aggro red deck because midrange should be on defense. Barrage of Boulders came in handy here as Witness of the Ages triggered the ferocious.

Match 2 Game 3

Opponent mulligans to 5 on the play and I keep seven cards.

I kept a 2 Plains hand and missed Mountains early which made this game very close. Raider's Spoils continued to be great as there was plenty of incidental warriors in play such as Tuskguard Captain. Siegecraft was surprisingly effective at getting creatures to attack through big butts like Disowned Ancestor and also plays well with Swift Kick and Barrage of Boulders.

Match 3 Game 1

I’m on the play and we both keep seven cards.

I was very far ahead this game until my opponent cast End Hostilities followed by Sarkhan to kill my next creature. I thought Act of Treason was going to be good in this deck, but it ended up poor due to high toughness creatures not wanting to attack like Disowned Ancestor and Archers' Parapet.

Sideboard out: Act of Treason

Sideboard in: Swift Kick

Match 3 Game 2

I’m on the play and we both keep seven.

This game was very close and the race was decided by my opponent’s Arrow Storm. Since my opponent’s deck was more defensive than the average Mardu deck (End Hostilities) I felt like the previous turn all-out attack signaled I was facing an Arrow Storm. I couldn’t win the following turn and didn’t have a good line to play around it.

Overall this deck felt weak and I caught some breaks to make it to the finals. My mana worked well because I had numerous mana sinks while still playing early threats which makes a recipe for success. I think the red aggro deck is currently under drafted and I don’t mind pairing it with any other color.

Here are some quick tips I learned from this draft:

I hope to try this deck again in the future and possibly pair it with a different color.

Thanks for reading!

-Kyle

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