Hi again, everybody! Welcome back to another installment of What’s the Pick? Pack 1 Pick 1 with Eldritch Moon. This is the third installment in the series for Eldritch Moon, and these picks are still just my initial instincts of things. The set hasn’t been released yet so I haven’t had a chance to play with actual cards, but hopefully this will help you get ready for some Drafts very soon.
Ulvenwald Abomination is probably the best green common in Eldritch Moon. Acceleration in Limited is also great, and as I’ve mentioned before, a big problem with mana acceleration and mana creatures is that it’s often hard to count them as mana sources. So they contribute to drawing too many mana sources in the late game. But Ulvenwald Captive has a built-in mechanism to solve this problem—the transform ability, which allows you to spend 7 mana and turn it into Ulvenwald Abomination. Even if you don’t need the 2 colorless mana, at least you have a 4/6.
Honorable Mention: Sigardian Priest.
Sigardian Priest will take control of the game. The Priest is good on both offense and defense, forcing your opponent’s best creature out of attacking or blocking (or both). There is the drawback of being unable to tap a Human but overall, this is a great card that I’d expect to be among the best white commons.
This card is really a bomb. Typically, a card has to be great to take first pick as a gold card. Spell Queller meets that requirement, especially in this pack, which isn’t terribly strong. Even if it were, though, Spell Queller could easily still be the best pick. 3 mana for a 2/3 flash flyer is already a great card, and the ability on Spell Queller is bonkers. Plenty of Limited games will end with a Spell Queller in play that still has a spell locked under it, effectively giving you a Counterspell and an evasion creature. I’d be happy to first-pick Spell Queller out of most packs.
Honorable Mention: Dusk Feaster.
This card requires some setup, but if you’re able to draft a deck that can get delirium consistently, a 5-mana 4/5 flyer is an extremely good card. I would try to draft a deck that would optimize for Dusk Feaster if I drafted one early. Enchantments, artifacts, and lands tend to be the card types that you are least often able to put in your graveyard in Limited, so I’d slightly prioritize cards that help there.
This card is a great aggressive Vampire card. It provides you with two things you really want in a good Vampire deck—a madness outlet and an aggressive 2-drop. It is especially powerful because it’s a madness outlet with a terrific ability. In a Vampire deck, Stromkirk Condemned will make combat a nightmare for your opponent for both reasons—the ability to pump many of your creatures, and also the fear of walking into madness cards.
Honorable Mention: Prey Upon.
Prey Upon is a card that is going to pair well with a lot of the common green creatures from Shadows over Innistrad. Many of them have high toughness, and traditionally, green has been a color that has struggled to find quality removal. Cards like Prey Upon are always a risk because they are vulnerable to opposing bounce and removal spells, but the upside is still high enough that I would take Prey Upon here.
Okay, I sometimes say that a pack is weak, but this pack is exceptionally bad. I don’t even particularly like Rise from the Grave, but at least it has some upside in a format with giant Eldrazi. The next best card is probably a 2/2 for 2, which isn’t very high above replacement, although neither is Rise from the Grave. I certainly wouldn’t be married to your first pick here, and would place a much lower than normal emphasis on staying in your color.
Honorable Mention: Guardian of Pilgrims.
At least this card is good in an aggressive deck, filling in an important spot on your curve as well as allowing a creature to punch through, hopefully doing a few extra damage later in the game. Guardian of Pilgrims is a Spirit also, so it’s even better if you’re able to pick up some Spirit synergies.
This card is great. It’s sort of a new Goblin Rabblemaster. If Hanweir Garrison is able to attack a couple times, either against a slow draw or due to a couple well-timed removal spells, the game will get out of control very quickly. Of the 2 cards that meld into Hanweir, the Writhing Township, you are much more likely to get Hanweir Battlements later, although it’s unlikely that the possibility doesn’t largely effect your decision.
Honorable Mention: Ruthless Disposal.
The first time I wrote about this card I think I made a couple mistakes. First of all, if your opponent only has 1 creature, you are able to target your creature then sacrifice it, so you don’t have to target a different creature of your own. Sorry for the error. Also, I think I just underrated the card in general. It is true that Ruthless Disposal is expensive in general—beyond just mana cost—but the effect really is absurd. It will be the case 99.9% of the time that you get to kill your opponent’s 2 best creatures. It’s typically very easy to win games with that ability at your disposal.
Thanks again for reading. By the time I write the next installment, I’ll have some prerelease gaming under my belt so I’ll be able to make better informed decisions after playing the format a bit. Let me know what you thought about this edition’s picks in the comments.