Fog’s Draft Spot
Let’s look at black in Return to Ravnica for drafting. Once again we’re looking at commons and uncommons that you’ll run into during a draft and we’ll see what’s worth scooping up and what’s worth leaving be.
Black/green and black/red decks seem to both be good in draft as long as you can handle some fliers. If you can, then you usually have a great chance of taking down the draft with speed, removal, and scavenge.Also as a basic note on drafting, try and remember that from the first pick, it goes past just your cards.
When you open that first pack think of what you are passing and what will be taken out of your pack by the people to your left. You can pass a bunch of one color taking a lesser card of a different color to make the people to your left fight over that color, hurting them and hopefully helping you on the second pack. You can also just take the best card of the deepest color knowing that they’ll be getting into your same color but you get 2 of the 3 packs going that way so they should be suffering on those packs. You’ll get less on the second pack but that’s where you can work on your other color. Whatever you do try and find what’s being passed in the first pack so you get the hook ups then, and in the third pack. Stay flexible, don’t try and force a deck unless you find a loophole. If you get experience with many different decks and colors, then you’ll be at your prime for drafting.
I consider it a success if I don’t have to ever play this guy.
Assassin’s Strike: Six mana for a removal and they have to discard a card. Looks pretty good except for the mana cost and that’s the problem I have with this card. I feel like you usually get to 6 mana and removal is good but I’m not a huge fan of this card. If this is the only high drop I have in the deck then I’ll run it but there can be no other 6 drops so I have no chance of getting multiple in my first ten cards.
Catacomb Slug: A whopping 2/6 for 5 mana, WOW! I consider it a success if I don’t have to ever play this guy. He could be ok in a hold it down deck that wins in a freaky way but if you can play anything else, you’re smart.
Cremate: One black to remove a card from the graveyard and draw a card. You can run this as a 23rd card if you have to but it belongs in the sideboard. You don’t lose much having to run this straight up except for curve right off the bat which is reason enough to draft one super late and throw it in the board.
Daggerdrome Imp: I’ve drafted this flying 1/1 behemoth a few times and he’s a good 2 drop. Definitely good if you have ways of making him bigger, scavenge or anything else. Not my favorite dude but can be annoying. I would never take him high but if there’s nothing better and you’re already locked in black, go for it.
Dark Revenant: A 2/2 flier for 4 mana isn’t the best. The fact that if he dies, he goes back to the top of your deck makes him a mystery. I could see that ability helping and hurting in different situations. The best thing he has going is that he flies, not too many fliers in either red/black or green/black. So don’t take him early but if I have to play one, I’m going to be alright.
Dead Reveler: This cat’s pretty decent, a ¾ unleashed beast for three mana. A good way to keep the beats going after a two drop. He’s good with tricks too and removal. He gets tired of running into 4 butts so have a way to clear the way. I’d take him whenever there’s not something clearly better for your deck, never terrible.
Destroy the Evidence: Yet another 5 mana cost land destruction spell that is a loser. Don’t look at it, just skip over it and you’re going to be alright.
Deviant Glee: The ol’ Unholy Strength plus possible trample. I’m never a huge fan of this kind of card, if you need a 23rd card, then you could do worse. The hope of making a behemoth and running your opponent down is good but one removal or bounce and booyow, you lose. You’re investing two cards into something that can be handled with one, try not to play this one unless you have to.
Drainpipe Vermin: A 1/1 rat that can make your opponent discard when it dies. When I go into a draft, it’s a small goal not to have to play this guy. But he’s cheap to play, he’s a body, and has a small useful ability. He’s a 23rd card again, nothing better available, you can play this guy and not be too ashamed.
Grim Roustabout: This guy is a 1/1 unleasher regenerator for two mana. This guy I only want in a deck that holds it down until a bomb comes out. If you are D’ng up, you can run him, but overall not my favorite. On the beats he’s a grizzly bear that regenerates and can only attack, otherwise a 1/1 regenerator for two mana is pretty booty.
Launch Party: I’ve played this plenty of times to try it out. I’m not a huge fan of this card but what are you going to do, it’s removal and it’s an instant. You can do a lot worse than removal so pick up one late and run it unless you have plenty of better removal than skip over it or cut it in the draft to keep people away from black.
Mind Rot: This card I hardly ever run but I hate when my opponent plays it against me. Not a bad card at all especially if you don’t have a lot of three drop creatures. That way you’re not passing up playing a beater turn three for discard because you can still lose tempo in the game. Also, if you top deck this later in the game, it can be irrelevant and depressing.
Ogre Jailbreaker: A 4/4 for four mana that can’t attack unless you control a gate. For right now, it’s pretty easy, only play it if you have a lot of gates. After the next set comes out, this guy should be good in blue/black with fliers and this guy to hold the ground down.
Perilous Shadow: I’ve played this guy a couple times now, 0/4 for four mana that pumps +2/+0 for every two mana. This guy’s not terrible, he can hold it down early and become a threat later. The part I don’t love is that if they’re flying over, it’s hard to race with this guy, pump him, and still play spells to keep up with game. Take him late or if you’re already in black but definitely not a reason to go black.
Sewer Shambler: Little big stuff, this guy is a 2/1 swampwalking scavenging fool. I’m not a huge fan of this guy either, I know some people like having him. He’s just so small for three mana, I know he has this ability and that ability but 2/1 is just not enough. I’d say this guy belongs in the sideboard for the swampwalking ability. If you run him straight up and don’t play against black, it’s just not good.
Shrieking Affliction: This is the kind of card to stay away from. Some people might have discard or something that makes them think that playing this card is a good idea, it’s not. Think of each card in your deck having to hold it’s own in a match and this card could be a creature, a removal, or a combat trick. Playing this card makes your deck worse and less reliable.
Slum Reaper: A 4/2 for four mana that makes both players sacrifice a creature when it comes into play. I’ve played this guy several times and never loved him. I don’t think he’s bad in the right decks, maybe with scavengers or something but I don’t need him in the deck. I think if he’s top of the curve and you’re sacrificing a small-fry then maybe he’s good. Or most likely, if you’re playing against a deck with a higher mana curve, he’d be good to kill their bombs.
Stab Wound: Finally, a really good card for black. I have no complaints about this beast and would take 5 in a deck if I could. It shrinks a creature, it’s pretty cheap to play, it’s only one black and two colorless, and it can do direct damage. That’s a lot of upside, also it can just kill a flier. I have no problem taking this super early, late, or whenever, get it get it.
Tavern Swindler: “Little Filthy” This guy is a trap, every time I see him play or try playing him myself, I find myself relying on the ability he has. I think it’s because he’s only a 2/2 for two mana that he puts me in the position of losing because he’s just a grizzly bear. So by playing him, I’m losing, and then I’m forced to use his risky ability to try and stay in the game. You can do worse because he is a two drop, any creature over not having one on the second turn is good but this guy should be stayed away from if you can.
Terrus Wurm: A huge behemoth, 5/5 but for 7 mana. He does have scavenge for 7 mana but that doesn’t make this wurm good. Way too much mana for what you get, not worth clogging your hand up early to play this guy later, the payoff is not good enough. Don’t play this guy, avoid Wurmy Johnstone.
Way too much mana for what you get, not worth clogging your hand up early to play this guy later, the payoff is not good enough. Don’t play this guy, avoid Wurmy Johnstone.
Thrill-Kill Assassin: I’ve really been liking this dude. Unleashed, he’s a 2/3 deathtoucher for two mana. He can come down normal if they have a threat you need to neutralize or the reason I like him is that you can unleash him and he just beats and beats until they trade a higher casting creature with him. I say take him and run him and his brothers.
Ultimate Price: Removal, that’s good. This only kills a mono-colored creature but there’s plenty of those. I’d take this early to mid pack and be fine with it. Run it all day unless you notice 90% mutli-colored creatures in their deck, then you can sideboard it out but this should be good for you.
Zanikev Locust: 6 mana for a 3/3 flier that scavenges pretty cheap. This guy is borderline, it depends on the deck. If you’re doing a black/red aggro, you probably want your curve to stay pretty low but in any other color combo, this guy shouldn’t be that bad. Flying is good, 3/3 flying is good, and cheap scavenge is good. I like him in green/black but don’t love him in red/black just because of the six mana. Also, probably not worth running in green/black if you have other high costing spells that are legitimate bombs.
– Sam Fog
Check back in soon for the Green Bean!