Last week, I purposely went a little less deep on the pick discussions because I think William Jensen does a great job in his article series. I still have a few more drafts to cover, let’s see how that went!
Pack 1, Pick 1
Hero of Goma Fada.
Here I took Hero of Goma Fada. I think that pick is quite close and competes with Clutch of Currents and to a lesser extent Adverse Conditions—a card I think is still underrated. Clutch is consistently good, whereas Adverse Conditions can be better but you really need to be attacking. Hero has the biggest upside as it’s incredibly hard to stop if you play Ally after Ally, but if I had to make this pick again I think I’d take Clutch of Currents. It’s just a strong card in one of the best colors.
Pack 1, Pick 2
Angel of Renewal.
This is extremely close. Angel of Renewal is solid, but Exert Influence is a great card as well. Exert does push you toward more colors, but it can be serviceable even in a 2-color deck. Because I started with Hero, I took Angel here with the hopes of curving one into the next and winning games easily.
Pack 1, Pick 3
We’ve got an Ally brew going. I just want to mention how strong this pack is and that it offers a lot of pivot potential if we wanted to move off our early picks. Grove Rumbler, Kor Bladewhirl, Mist Intruder, and Outnumber are all reasonable 3rd picks under the right conditions.
The Final Product
BFZ Archetype Grade Scale
A: Hits every mark of the archetype and has some extra power outside of the archetype itself (usually from strong rares and uncommons).
B: Reaches all the goals of the archetype and has a strong game plan that will lead to many wins. You should aim for this level when drafting (and hope that an A results).
C: There are some elements of the archetype in place, but there are some holes in the deck and it isn’t streamlined.
D: The deck is a pile of reasonable cards within its colors but doesn’t have a cohesive strategy.
F: Often labeled a train wreck, the deck just doesn’t work on basic fundamental levels.
I think this deck ended up just great. As you can see, I managed to pick up a pair of Retreat to Emeria, which are not only great at stabilizing, but can function as a win condition that also triggers Hero of Goma Fada with each land drop. Rush of Ice is a little on the weak side in this strategy, but combines well with 19 lands, Halimar Tidecaller, and Sheer Drop.
Tapping a problematic creature down for a turn only to untap and kill it is quite nice. As a note, I’ve only ever run 19 lands in UW decks in this format, because you have all these very expensive awaken cards, and thus you never want to miss a land drop. I’m still experimenting with that, but for now I think that is the way to go.