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I am writing this the day before I leave for GP: Milan. I hope that by the time you read this, I will have already won it. Ah, it’s good to dream. To prepare for Milan, I have been doing Sealed and Draft practice left, right, and center, trying to get a better grip on the format than my opponents will have. In one particular Draft, I ended up with such a sweet, synergistic deck that I felt the need to share it with you all. It has also prompted me to look at some other Draft archetypes available in this set and what good versions of them would look like. I have included some sample deck lists from my thoughts.

First, I want to look at my deck from the other day. Here is the list:

[cardlist]

[Creatures]

1 Abattoir Ghoul

1 Armored Skaab

1 Ludevic's Test Subject

1 Makeshift Mauler

1 Mindshrieker

1 Walking Corpse

2 Deranged Assistant

2 Markov Patrician

2 Stitcher's Apprentice

3 Ghoulraiser

[/Creatures]

[Spells]

1 Victim of Night

2 Forbidden Alchemy

1 Moan of the Unhallowed

1 Silent Departure

1 Unburial Rites

1 Dead Weight

1 Blazing Torch

[/Spells]

[Lands]

2 Plains

6 Island

9 Swamp

[/Lands]

[/cardlist]

This list was pretty sweet. Once you have two Ghoulraisers in hand with an active Stitcher’s Apprentice, you are nearly unattackable. You can make one Homunculus a turn at no cost, since you sacrifice a Ghoulraiser, which you can return with the other one, and eventually you will overwhelm your opponent with 2/2’s. However, this plan is ruined when another Zombie ends up in your graveyard, as Ghoulraiser’s ability is random; however, it is still card advantage, and you don’t want to cut your other Zombies, since the Ghoulraisers then become lackluster. Forbidden Alchemy, Deranged Assistant, and Armored Skaab are pretty good at stocking your graveyard with Zombies to return, creature cards to exile for Makeshift Mauler, and creatures to resurrect with Unburial Rites. I was disappointed not to see another Mauler or even a Stitched Drake during the draft, since they would have powered up my deck something fierce.

If you want to have fun with Stitcher’s Apprentice, but hate Black, try drafting something a little like this. A list similar to this one beat my Zombie deck listed above in three close games, and eventually it won the draft.

[cardlist]

[Creatures]

1 Angelic Overseer

1 Avacynian Priest

1 Champion of the Parish

1 Elder Cathar

1 Fiend Hunter

1 Selfless Cathar

1 Slayer of the Wicked

1 Thraben Sentry

2 Chapel Geist

2 Doomed Traveler

2 Stitcher's Apprentice

2 Unruly Mob

[/Creatures]

[Spells]

1 Spare from Evil

2 Feeling of Dread

1 Grasp of Phantoms

2 Silent Departure

1 Claustrophobia

1 Silver-Inlaid Dagger

[/Spells]

[Lands]

7 Island

9 Plains

[/Lands]

[/cardlist]

This time, you are making and sacrificing the Homunculus tokens to power up your Unruly Mobs. For even better value, you can trade in your Doomed Travelers for a 2/2 Homunculus, a 1/1 Spirit, and a +1/+1 counter on Unruly Mob. This list is really annoying to play against, though a well-timed Silent Departure targeting the Mob can at least slow it down. Feeling of Dread allows it to push through the final points of damage in the late game, since it essentially reads, “2wu: Tap four target creatures.”

If you aren’t a fan of Blue and want to justify drafting all the Werewolves, look to pick up this list:

[cardlist]

[Creatures]

1 Feral Ridgewolf

1 Gatstaf Shepherd

1 Grizzled Outcasts

1 Kessig Wolf

1 Tormented Pariah

1 Village Ironsmith

2 Darkthicket Wolf

2 Festerhide Boar

2 Reckless Waif

2 Villagers of Estwald

[/Creatures]

[Spells]

1 Brimstone Volley

2 Moonmist

2 Spidery Grasp

1 Traitorous Blood

2 Prey Upon

1 Full Moon's Rise

[/Spells]

[Lands]

8 Forest

8 Mountain

1 Kessig Wolf Run

[/Lands]

[/cardlist]

Notably, Moonmist says “Werewolves” and “Wolves,” and with twelve creatures matching that description in this deck, plus eight cards to transform, you are going to get some big blowouts. This list depends on the Transform cards not being overdrafted. I am coming to realize that most of them are not super-strong and will go mid-pack, so once things settle down, I look forward to drafting a Moonmist list like this one. I do hope that if you draft this strategy with a Traitorous Blood that you get to live the dream of stealing your opponent’s Human Werewolf, then flipping it during combat with Moonmist for the win!

Here is a strategy for those who loved Furnace Celebration in Scars Draft: Burning Vengeance!

[cardlist]

[Creatures]

1 Charmbreaker Devils

1 Lantern Spirit

1 Pitchburn Devils

1 Selhoff Occultist

2 Armored Skaab

2 Delver of Secrets

2 Fortress Crab

2 Moon Heron

[/Creatures]

[Spells]

1 Desperate Ravings

2 Geistflame

2 Think Twice

1 Grasp of Phantoms

1 Rolling Temblor

2 Silent Departure

2 Burning Vengeance

[/Spells]

[Lands]

10 Island

7 Mountain

[/Lands]

[/cardlist]

The problem with Burning Vengeance, compared to Furnace Celebration, is that, with the Celebration, you could run creatures with sacrifice effects to trigger the enchantment. No creatures have Flashback, so you are limited in the number of cards you can run to trigger Burning Vengeance. That’s why this list runs some very defensive ground creatures and has a complement of flyers to help deal damage. Someone drafted this strategy at my local release event, and he won the first round, but then I crushed him with a lot of aggressive Green creatures in Round 2. I don’t think this strategy is the strongest out there, but if you are looking to have some fun, this may be the deck for you.

I was going to put together a token-producing deck for you that you could draft if you opened a copy of Parallel Lives. Unfortunately, a quick Gatherer search assured me this strategy is not currently available, since most of the token-producers are at rare or higher, which is unrealistic for a Draft. So, instead, we should remember the good ol’ strategy of W/U flyers. But, for added excitement, let’s pretend we’ve opened an Angel of Flight Alabaster in Pack 1. We should draft with the intention of ending up with something like this:

[cardlist]

[Creatures]

1 Angel of Flight Alabaster

1 Lantern Spirit

1 Mausoleum Guard

1 Spectral Rider

2 Battleground Geist

2 Chapel Geist

2 Doomed Traveler

2 Moon Heron

2 Voiceless Spirit

[/Creatures]

[Spells]

1 Think Twice

2 Feeling of Dread

2 Silent Departure

1 Bonds of Faith

1 Claustrophobia

2 Spare from Evil

[/Spells]

[Lands]

10 Plains

7 Island

[/Lands]

[/cardlist]

With luck, we will get to pick up a Moorland Haunt as well, but that might be asking too much. This deck doesn’t mind if it doesn’t find the Angel. It will probably just win with all its aggressive flyers, but the Angel will provide nice card advantage should we get into a long game. Even if you can only get six or so Spirits, you really only need one when you cast the Angel, and the game will rapidly go in your favor. The Doomed Travelers and Mausoleum Guard are good if we manage to pick up the two Battleground Geists, since our 1/1 Spirit tokens become quite a fast clock.




I hope this has given you some thoughts for your next draft. Remember never to go with the intention of drafting a particular deck, since that way lies disaster. Just keep in mind all good strategies, and see what comes your way. See you next week.

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