t's Feedback Week here at DailyMTG.com, and that means that it's time for us to draft along with the Magic 2012 Booster Draft Simulator!
While the Booster Draft Simulator isn't as exciting as sitting down for a draft with your friends, at a tournament, or on Magic Online, it's still a good way to hone your skills, answer some interesting questions, and experiment with new ideas—all without having to purchase three booster packs, or set aside two or more hours to draft, build your deck and play out your matches.
In addition to being free, quick, and repeatable, the Booster Draft Simulator also allows you to interact with other players in a pretty unique way.
If you're following along with someone else's prerecorded Magic Online draft, you can say that you would have made a pick differently... but after that pick is made you are forced to follow along as the draft has been irreversibly changed by the pick that the person who is physically drafting the deck.
If you would have taken a Doom Blade where the person drafting the deck took Incinerate, you'll be able to see exactly what would have happened in the alternate reality that you created by making a different choice for the next seven picks... but then you are back to the Doom Blade world where the person to your left got passed a juicy Incinerate plus all the other dominoes that consequently fell into place. There's just no way to figure out what would have happened after that.
By using the Booster Draft Simulator, you can see exactly what would have happened if you made a series of different picks than the person drafting the deck.
Then, once you're done with your draft, you can hop on over to the forums to talk about interesting picks, and share your final draft deck.
Have you done this week's draft yet? Good—now you can see what I did!
Pack 1, Pick 1
Greater Basilisk, Bonebreaker Giant, Stampeding Rhino, Gideon's Lawkeeper, Gravedigger, Bloodrage Vampire, Negate, Peregrine Griffin, Manic Vandal, Runeclaw Bear, Arbalest Elite, Kite Shield, Tectonic Rift, Sphinx of Uthuun, Plains
Looks like we get to start the draft off with a very difficult pick!
If you have a strong preference for black, then Gravedigger is a very appealing pick. During the first week or two following the release of Magic 2012, I probably would have taken the Gravedigger as I was having a ton of success with Black-Red Bloodthirst (in large part because players were undervaluing the one-cost enablers like Goblin Arsonist and Tormented Soul).
However, I think that Black-Red Bloodthirst is a bit overdrafted right now (which, admittedly, is not something that you need to think about when drafting with seven AI drafters... but I'm not going to let the fact that I'm drafting with algorithms rather than people skew my picks).
Given the fact that it's tough to put together a Red-Black Bloodthirst deck right now, I'm simply unwilling to sacrifice card quality early on in an attempt to put the deck together. Yes, I'm still willing to try to draft the deck, but for right now I'll only do so if I open, and/or get passed, a series of good cards for the archetype.
This leaves me with a choice between Sphinx of Uthuun and Gideon's Lawkeeper.
I think that there's a ton of merit to both of these picks.
Gideon's Lawkeeper is an absolute steal of a deal at one mana. It lets you deal with the biggest and priciest of threats that your opponent presents, and it can even sneak in for a few points of damage if you draw it early.
Meanwhile, Sphinx of Uthuun is one of the best finishers in the format. If things are even remotely close when you cast Sphinx of Uthuun, you're probably going to win the game even if your opponent is holding a removal spell to deal with it.
Yes, there are plenty of expensive creatures that are great if your opponent doesn't have an answer, but the fact that you will be up several cards the moment you resolve Sphinx of Uthuun makes it very special.
Pack 1, Pick 2
Æther Adept, Stampeding Rhino, Demystify, Shock, Doom Blade, Merfolk Looter, Tormented Soul, Amphin Cutthroat, Auramancer, Cancel, Goblin Grenade, Circle of Flame, Day of Judgment, Plains
Pack 1, Pick 3
Shock, Doom Blade, Merfolk Looter, Giant Spider, Warpath Ghoul, Runeclaw Bear, Fiery Hellhound, Flight, Benalish Veteran, Dark Favor, Goblin Grenade, Thran Golem, Plains
Pack 1, Pick 4
Blood Ogre, Greater Basilisk, Skywinder Drake, Firebreathing, Goblin Tunneler, Harbor Serpent, Fog, Hideous Visage, Scepter of Empires, Lure, Buried Ruin, Swamp
Pack 1, Pick 5
Firebreathing, Giant Spider, Stave Off, Brink of Disaster, Wall of Torches, Lava Axe, Stormblood Berserker, Tectonic Rift, Sutured Ghoul, Mountain
Pack 1, Pick 6
Divination, Peregrine Griffin, Manic Vandal, Runeclaw Bear, Mind Rot, Devouring Swarm, Ponder, Hunter's Insight, Spirit Mantle
Pack 1, Pick 7
Greater Basilisk, Trollhide, Disentomb, Siege Mastodon, Goblin Arsonist, Alluring Siren, Wurm's Tooth, Mind Unbound, Forest
Pack 1, Pick 8
Angel's Mercy, Garruk's Companion, Jace's Erasure, Lifelink, Plummet, Disentomb, Demon's Horn, Plains
Pack 1, Pick 9
Greater Basilisk, Negate, Manic Vandal, Runeclaw Bear, Kite Shield, Tectonic Rift, Plains
Greater Basilisk is worth considering here. But I didn't get passed many good green cards early, so it's very unlikely that I am going to be able to move into green profitable, and I like having a Negate or two in my sideboard in case I'm playing against a deck with a lot of juicy noncreature spells like Doom Blade, Fireball, and Mind Control to counter.
Pack 1, Pick 10
Demystify, Tormented Soul, Amphin Cutthroat, Goblin Grenade, Circle of Flame, Plains
I don't love playing Amphin Cutthroat, but sometimes you just need a warm body to help fill out your curve.
Pack 1, Pick 11
Runeclaw Bear, Fiery Hellhound, Flight, Goblin Grenade, Plains
If I can help it, I don't want to get double Goblin Grenaded out any time soon...
Pack 1, Pick 12
Firebreathing, Goblin Tunneler, Fog, Swamp
Pack 1, Pick 13
Firebreathing, Wall of Torches, Mountain
Pack 1, Pick 14
Runeclaw Bear, Plains
Pack 1, Pick 15
Pack 2, Pick 1
Arachnus Web, Mighty Leap, Slaughter Cry, Blood Seeker, Harbor Serpent, Pride Guardian, Zombie Goliath, Gladecover Scout, Merfolk Mesmerist, Goblin Piker, Levitation, Hunter's Insight, Diabolic Tutor, Warstorm Surge, Forest
Pack 2, Pick 2
Gideon's Lawkeeper, Gorehorn Minotaurs, Æther Adept, Stampeding Rhino, Demystify, Phantasmal Bear, Tormented Soul, Mighty Leap, Act of Treason, Scepter of Empires, Diabolic Tutor, Flashfreeze, Grand Abolisher
Pack 2, Pick 3
Stampeding Rhino, Gravedigger, Divination, Vastwood Gorger, Chandra's Outrage, Pride Guardian, Gladecover Scout, Merfolk Mesmerist, Hunter's Insight, Spirit Mantle, Jade Mage, Plains
Pack 2, Pick 4
Goblin Arsonist, Coral Merfolk, Lightning Elemental, Harbor Serpent, Gladecover Scout, Ice Cage, Goblin Tunneler, Pride Guardian, Wurm's Tooth, Kraken's Eye, Smallpox, Plains
Pack 2, Pick 5
Naturalize, Stonehorn Dignitary, Tormented Soul, Amphin Cutthroat, Goblin Fireslinger, Titanic Growth, Armored Warhorse, Flight, Sacred Wolf, Smallpox, Forest
Pack 2, Pick 6
Lifelink, Divination, Duskhunter Bat, Goblin Tunneler, Harbor Serpent, Fog, Hideous Visage, Combust, Warstorm Surge, Plains
Pack 2, Pick 7
Disentomb, Coral Merfolk, Gladecover Scout, Pride Guardian, Wall of Torches, Divine Favor, Levitation, Time Reversal, Forest
Pack 2, Pick 8
Manic Vandal, Warpath Ghoul, Llanowar Elves, Dark Favor, Turn to Frog, Alluring Siren, Angel's Feather, Plains
Pack 2, Pick 9
Pride Guardian, Zombie Goliath, Gladecover Scout, Merfolk Mesmerist, Goblin Piker, Levitation, Forest
I don't mind having a Pride Guardian in my deck...
Pack 2, Pick 10
Demystify, Phantasmal Bear, Tormented Soul, Mighty Leap, Grand Abolisher, Forest
This late Phantasmal Bear is actually a huge boon to my deck. If I get a Phantasmal Bear in my opening hand, it'll provide me with some early pressure, and give me a good blocker if my opponent has a cheap creature of his or her own.
Additionally, I really want one- and two-cost spells that I can cast after I resolve a Divination. I don't want to take full turns off just to draw cards, especially if I'm backpedalling.
Pack 2, Pick 11
Pride Guardian, Gladecover Scout, Merfolk Mesmerist, Hunter's Insight, Plains
If things go awry, I might start two Pride Guardians...
Pack 2, Pick 12
Pride Guardian, Wurm's Tooth, Kraken's Eye, Plains
I have no plans to main-deck three Pride Guardians... but I might find myself in a match-up against a deck full of Runeclaw Bears and such where I want to board in as many life-gaining 0/3s as I can get my hands on.
Pack 2, Pick 13
Tormented Soul, Flight, Forest
Pack 2, Pick 14
Pack 2, Pick 15
Pack 3, Pick 1
Garruk's Companion, Jace's Erasure, Lifelink, Bonebreaker Giant, Sorin's Thirst, Assault Griffin, Arachnus Web, Brindle Boar, Mighty Leap, Distress, Volcanic Dragon, Goblin Bangchuckers, Combust, Cemetery Reaper, Swamp
Pack 3, Pick 2
Shock, Doom Blade, Merfolk Looter, Giant Spider, Stormfront Pegasus, Sorin's Thirst, Tormented Soul, Cancel, Arachnus Web, Mighty Leap, Turn to Frog, Fireball, Reverberate, Island
There are a lot of good options here.
Fireball is the best card in the pack... but I already have one copy of Doom Blade, so I'll opt for the black removal spell if I'm going to take a splash card.
Stormfront Pegasus and Merfolk Looter are also quite good (and in the deck's base colors).
Pack 3, Pick 3
Plummet, Disentomb, Act of Treason, Brindle Boar, Goblin Piker, Divine Favor, Reclaim, Brink of Disaster, Taste of Blood, Goblin Bangchuckers, Consume Spirit, Rootbound Crag, Island
Pack 3, Pick 4
Auramancer, Cancel, Goblin Arsonist, Phantasmal Bear, Ice Cage, Stave Off, Lava Axe, Merfolk Mesmerist, Brink of Disaster, Gladecover Scout, Elite Vanguard, Island
Pack 3, Pick 5
Firebreathing, Mana Leak, Goblin Fireslinger, Aven Fleetwing, Peregrine Griffin, Llanowar Elves, Warpath Ghoul, Runeclaw Bear, Reassembling Skeleton, Monomania, Swamp
Pack 3, Pick 6
Giant Spider, Stormfront Pegasus, Firebreathing, Bountiful Harvest, Devouring Swarm, Goblin Fireslinger, Aven Fleetwing, Peregrine Griffin, Thran Golem, Island
Pack 3, Pick 7
Child of Night, Greater Basilisk, Fiery Hellhound, Flight, Benalish Veteran, Dark Favor, Bountiful Harvest, Phantasmal Dragon, Mountain
Pack 3, Pick 8
Greater Basilisk, Skywinder Drake, Trollhide, Griffin Sentinel, Disentomb, Coral Merfolk, Spirit Mantle, Swamp
Pack 3, Pick 9
Jace's Erasure, Lifelink, Brindle Boar, Mighty Leap, Distress, Goblin Bangchuckers, Swamp
Pack 3, Pick 10
Tormented Soul, Arachnus Web, Mighty Leap, Turn to Frog, Reverberate, Island
Pack 3, Pick 11
Plummet, Reclaim, Brink of Disaster, Taste of Blood, Island
Pack 3, Pick 12
Stave Off, Merfolk Mesmerist, Gladecover Scout, Island
Pack 3, Pick 13
Firebreathing, Llanowar Elves, Swamp
Pack 3, Pick 14
Bountiful Harvest, Island
Pack 3, Pick 15
Final Deck List
Steve's Draft Simulator Deck
Magic 2012 Draft Simulator
(Note that I've included only relevant sideboard cards.)
Because pretty much all of my damage sources have flying and I have two Divinations, I opted to run two Pride Guardians instead of my Armored Warhorse and/or my Coral Merfolk.
I would usually fit a Turn to Frog or two into my deck, but I only have a handful of creatures with more than 1 toughness, so I'm not going to be getting much value out of them.
While I'm not ecstatic about the way this deck turned out (especially given the high quality of cards in the draft), it has all the tools that I need to win: a good curve, good evasive creatures, some solid removal spells, several ways to gain card advantage, and a couple of absolutely game-breaking bombs at the top of my curve.
How did your draft go?
Did you start out your draft with a Gravedigger, and end up with an amazing black-red deck?
Did you take Gideon's Lawkeeper first, and end up with a very different type of white-blue evasion deck?
Let me know in the forums!