Hi everyone. I’m back with another edition of Pack 1 Pick 2 with Battle for Zendikar. I hope everyone has been enjoying this phase of the Battle for Zendikar series. If there are any ideas that any of you have for other ways to expand the series, I’d be happy to hear ideas. In any case, I’ll certainly do a few more Pack 1 Pick 2 before I change anything around. Let’s get to this week’s packs:

Scenario #1

First pick: Drana’s Emissary

The pack:

My Pick

Kozilek’s Sentinel.

Naturally, Kozilek’s Sentinel is not an ideal followup to a first-pick Drana’s Emissary. That being said, this pack is really bad. Brood Monitor is a pretty good card, but it’s green, so I’d rule it out. Kozilek’s Sentinel is the best card overall, and is actually very strong in either UR or BR devoid decks. After the Drana’s Emissary, you’re relatively open to a WB Allies/life gain deck, if it feels open, or you can audible into on of the devoid decks. All of those archetypes are pretty powerful, and you should do your best to get into the one that’s open. If you end up with a pick that’s close in power level between the two decks, I’d likely just err on the side of WB since Drana’s Emissary is the better card of the two.

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Scenario #2

First pick: Outnumber

The pack:

My Pick

Kozilek’s Sentinel, again.

I think this is a pretty close pick that comes down to preference. Firemantle Mage might even be a slightly better card than Kozilek’s Sentinel, but I much prefer to play the devoid decks. Firemantle Mage is versatile enough to play in even non-Ally decks, although that is where it will really shine. That being said, premium 2-drops can be hard to come by in the devoid decks, so I’m happy to get a good one early in the draft as long as I’m not giving up too much, and in this case I don’t feel that I am.

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Scenario #3

First pick: Coastal Discovery

The pack:

My Pick

Clutch of Currents.

Clutch of Currents is among the best commons, and definitely the best card in the pack. The fact that it’s the same color as my first pick is also great. It fits well in almost any blue deck, and somewhat synergizes with the first pick, beyond just color, if you draft a deck with a heavy landfall theme. This is a pretty easy pick, and a great way to start a draft.

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Scenario #4

First pick: Vile Aggregate

The pack:

My Pick

Grip of Desolation.

Grip of Desolation is just an absurdly good card—it’s one of the best non-rares in the entire set, and frankly is better than plenty of good rares. Touch of the Void and Eldrazi Skyspawner are both very good cards, and both pair very well with Vile Aggregate, but I think the power level of Grip of Desolation compared to those picks is high enough that I’d just go ahead and take the Grip. After the first-pick Vile Aggregate and second-pick Grip of Desolation, naturally I’d just try to draft a BR Devoid deck.

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Scenario #5

First pick: Deathless Behemoth

The pack:

My Pick

Complete Disregard.

I actually prefer Touch of the Void slightly here as I do prefer red over black. However, this pack is very deep in red cards and Complete Disregard is the only playable black card. I think this tactic is overblown, as being in the same color as the player to your left doesn’t really matter as much as people think. It does matter a little bit, but what you really want is to avoid being in the color of the person to your right. In this specific instance, though, there are scenarios where you take Touch of the Void, and then the three players to your left all select red cards. That’s a bigger deal than just the player to your left taking a red card. Also, in this case, the power differential is so small that I’d just take the black card. If the Touch of the Void were, for example, a Rolling Thunder, I’d still easily select that.

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Thanks everyone for reading! What did you all think of my picks this time around? Let me know what I did right or what I did wrong in the comments. There aren’t many more major Magic tournaments this year, but one I’m definitely looking forward to, as a fan, not a competitor, is the World Magic Cup. Of course I’ll be rooting for Team USA, but who’s your pick for the best team? I’ll be back soon with some more What’s the Pick!