Welcome to the second installment of What’s the Pick? with Pack 1 Pick 1 selections from Battle for Zendikar. As in the first, in those packs where I ended up selecting a rare, I included a section that explains how I would make a selection if the rare were replaced with a basic land.
Guul Draz Overseer.
Honestly, this card doesn’t even seem that great to me. The pack feels weak, and Guul Draz Overseer’s ability seems strong enough that it’s worth taking here. Pumping all your creatures’ power is potentially effective in a format where you can create swarms of 1/1 Scions, gaining maximum benefit from this effect. A 3/4 flier for 6 mana is not a particularly good rate, so if your deck can’t take advantage of the landfall ability, this really won’t be a very strong pick.
If Guul Draz Overseer were replaced with a basic land
Clutch of Currents
This card looks excellent to me, but it’s the type of card that might not play as well as it looks. For 5 mana you’re effectively getting a 3/3 Man-o’-War. (It’s not quite that simple because your land becomes a 3/3, but it does still tap for mana.) If you cast it later in the game, it’s a 3/3 Man-o’-War with haste. That’s a very powerful effect. Since you can cast it for 1 mana in a pinch,it pairs nicely with Halimar Tidecaller if you can pick one up.
Drowner of Hope.
This card looks like an actual bomb. A 6-mana 5/5 is not the most exciting creature, but getting two Scions and the ability to sacrifice them to tap a creature is absurd. If you have other ways to create Scions, you can tap down your opponent’s best creature for several turns, giving yourself enough time to gain control of the board or attack through for lethal damage.
If Drowner of Hope were a basic land
Cards that kill only a tapped creature have the obvious drawback that your opponent must attack before you’re able to remove it. This also means that when you’re on the offensive, you won’t be able to use it all. Sheer Drop does have the upside of awaken, which will leave you with a 3/3. This is certainly not the strongest removal spell in the set, but this is a pretty weak pack, and I’ll be happy to play a copy of Sheer Drop in my deck.
Also, in a format with a lot of enormous creatures, sometimes your opponent will want to attack with a single large threat. Sheer Drop helps in situations where not many cards would be able to bail you out.
This card is very powerful. 6 mana for four creatures totaling 6 power is great, and three of those creatures can be sacrificed for mana to help cast any expensive spells you might pick up. Also, getting four creatures on a turn you’re behind means that one of your Scions can chump-block and buy time while your other creatures can make profitable double-blocks. This card reminds me of Cloudgoat Ranger—although not quite as good, it’s in the ballpark.
This pack is really poor. Kozilek’s Channeler is not really a card I want to first pick, and the only other choice is Angel of Renewal. Angel is pretty good, especially in a deck that produces Scions, but white doesn’t synergize with Scion-producing cards. Ultimately, the Channeler and Angel are close enough that I’d take the Channeler and remain completely open for later picks—Channeler is colorless, so it fits in any deck I might draft.
Stasis Snare is probably one of the best non-rares in the set. A 3-mana spell that can exile any creature is exceptional. It is vulnerable to enchantment removal, which results in your opponent getting their creature back. This doesn’t happen often, but when it does, it’s a disaster. But, in Battle for Zendikar, Stasis Snare has the upside of powering your Eldrazi Processors, and because Processors return exiled cards to your opponent’s graveyard, enchantment removal become irrelevant.
Thanks for reading the second edition of What’s the Pick? for Battle for Zendikar.
How do you all think I did? Let me know in the comments.