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Category: Shards Draft
Hissing_Iguanar

-Bryan Dowse

I mixed it up last night and played a 4-3-2-2 online Shards of Alara draft last night. The first pack didn’t have anything too exciting so I took a Hissing Iguanar to leave me open for grixis, naya, and jund. A second pick Branching Bolt set me up for a nice naya or jund deck with a third pick Vithian Stinger solidifying the picks.

But it got interesting when I got a 4th pick Grixis Charm. When dealing with shards, the general rule of thumb is when you see a late pick charm, that’s a good signal that the shard is open. I pick up the charm, since my only green was a Branching Bolt. Pick five I get a second Hissing Iguanar and pick six I get a Magma Spray, very late for such a great card.

I was planning on building a red deck with a splash of grix and jund. It didn’t exactly turn out that way though.
continue reading…

-Steve Bahnaman

Jund_Charm

Hindsight is 20/20, but I have made a concerted effort *not* to look at Bryan’s results in writing this commentary.  Starting only from the first pick without looking ahead, I’m going to redraft this myself.  To start with though, Bryan makes the good point that when you first-pick Jund Charm, you don’t exactly commit yourself as hard as some people think…in fact, you really still have three or four plans theoretically open because Naya Splash Black and, to a lesser extent, Grixis Splash Green, are options too.  Jund-based 5-color control and Jund-based control decks can both be quite strong.  So can Jund Aggro.  The 5-color control draft archetype often uses rather underdrafted Jund-based cards like Pestilent Kathari, to stall the opponent until it can start to play big beaters, and Black and Red have the most removal options in every set in the format.  Black-Red is a good base for 5-color control, and having green if Bryan does play all three of these colors heavily allows access to Druid of the Anima and Trace of Abundance.

But I wouldn’t have taken the Jund Charm.  This is a matter of preference, not a matter of power, but let me tell you why. continue reading…

-Bryan Dowse

Pack 1 pick 1:
Couriers Capsule
Akrasan Squire
Bone Splinters
Jungle Weaver
Thorn-Thrash Viashino
Obelisk of Jund
Volcanic Submersion
Rakeclaw Gargantuan
Onyx Goblet
Spell Snip
–> Jund Charm
Scavenger Drake
Corpse Connoisseur
Lichs Mirror
Forest
Pack 1 pick 2:
Tortoise Formation
Tidehollow Strix
Coma Veil
Sanctum Gargoyle
Relic of Progenitus
Hindering Light
–> Vithian Stinger
Wild Nacatl
Outrider of Jhess
Qasali Ambusher
Grixis Battlemage
Rockcaster Platoon
Ethersworn Canonist
Swamp
Pack 1 pick 3:
Bloodthorn Taunter
Knight of the Skyward Eye
Cavern Thoctar
Cancel
Obelisk of Jund
Volcanic Submersion
Rip-Clan Crasher
Elvish Visionary
Souls Grace
–> Fleshbag Marauder
Topan Ascetic
Ranger of Eos
Forest
Pack 1 pick 4:
Sunseed Nurturer (FOIL)
Naya Panorama
Onyx Goblet
Obelisk of Esper
Godtoucher
Gustrider Exuberant
Shore Snapper
Mosstodon
Goblin Mountaineer
–> Scourge Devil
Behemoths Herald
Forest
Pack 1 pick 5:
Dreg Reaver
Call to Heel
Yoked Plowbeast
Dregscape Zombie
Mighty Emergence (FOIL)
Guardians of Akrasa
Goblin Deathraiders
Goblin Mountaineer
–> Crumbling Necropolis
Thunder-Thrash Elder
Swamp
Pack 1 pick 6:
Etherium Sculptor
Marble Chalice
Deathgreeter
Bant Panorama
Gustrider Exuberant
Souls Might
Undead Leotau
Obelisk of Esper
–> Algae Gharial (FOIL)
Plains
Pack 1 pick 7:
Kathari Screecher
Sighted-Caste Sorcerer
Shore Snapper
Gift of the Gargantuan
Windwright Mage
Dawnray Archer (FOIL)
–> Grixis Panorama
Mighty Emergence
Swamp
Pack 1 pick 8:
Shadowfeed
Tidehollow Strix
Kathari Screecher
Incurable Ogre
Esper Panorama
–> Carrion Thrash
Puppet Conjurer
Swamp
Pack 1 pick 9:
Thorn-Thrash Viashino
Obelisk of Jund
Volcanic Submersion
Onyx Goblet
Spell Snip
–> Lichs Mirror
Forest
Pack 1 pick 10:
Tortoise Formation
Coma Veil
Relic of Progenitus
Outrider of Jhess
–> Grixis Battlemage
Swamp
Pack 1 pick 11:
Bloodthorn Taunter
Cancel
–> Obelisk of Jund
Souls Grace
Forest
Pack 1 pick 12:
Godtoucher
–> Shore Snapper
Behemoths Herald
Forest
Pack 1 pick 13:
–> Mighty Emergence (FOIL)
Goblin Mountaineer
Swamp
Pack 1 pick 14:
–> Souls Might
Plains
Pack 1 pick 15:
–> Swamp

Some people will say picking up a Jund Charm too early puts you into a color commitment early, but I see jund charm as one of the exceptions to the rule. Jund Charm lets me either go Jund, or 5 color control. 5 color likes mass removal, especially instant mass removal. The following picks put me into a strong red black deck, with 2 grix fixers.
continue reading…