Hi everyone! I’m home from Pro Tour Eldritch Moon in Syndey, Australia, and I’m happy to report that I had a great time and a great tournament. The Pantheon really killed it as a whole, especially Reid and Owen who both made Top 8, and of course, Owen winning Player of the Year and being elected to the Hall of Fame. I have a lot more experience with Eldritch Moon Limited now, so I’ll hopefully be a bit more helpful with my picks. I did something different in this edition—I took all my packs from the @ChannelFireball Twitter account, and talked about what I’d take and why.
Hanweir Garrison edges out the also-red Galvanic Bombardment as the best first pick here. I’ve had a pretty wide range of experiences with Hanweir Garrison so far. Paired with removal on the play, it feels impossible to lose. At other times, it feels about as good as a Hurloon Minotaur. That being said, Hanweir Garrison has a big upside, and I’d be first picking it out of a lot of packs.
Honorable Mention: Galvanic Bombardment.
Galvanic Bombardment is the best common in Eldritch Moon. For that reason, it’s a card that you’re going to first pick very often, except in the case where you have a great rare or uncommon, which we do here. Galvanic Bombardment is super strong in any red deck, whether it’s controlling, aggressive, or UR spells.
I think Faith Unbroken is probably the best card in the pack, but not by a ton, and I would prefer to draft a blue deck than a white one in this format. UR spells and UG emerge are both among my favorite archetypes to draft, so I’d take Drag Under to steer my draft in that direction. I wouldn’t fault anyone for taking Faith Unbroken here, it might even be the objectively correct pick.
Honorable Mention: Faith Unbroken.
This is an extremely powerful card. I have won some number of games by just throwing Faith Unbroken on a flyer and attacking a few times. On the flip side, I have also lost games by being blown out by removal spells or losing tempo to bounce spells. Faith Unbroken is a fine card to start a draft with, though, and I’ve even talked to people who think that white is one of the better colors in the set. If you’re in that camp, I’d imagine you’d be taking Faith Unbroken over the Drag Under. It’s also worth nothing that if you pick up an early Faith Unbroken, you should prioritize Ironclad Slayer slightly higher.
This card is just a bomb rare. I love Somberwald Stag, but if Thalia is played early in the game, she is extremely difficult to beat. I don’t love white, but even compared to a card like Somberwald Stag, which is very powerful, Thalia is simply too good to pass. When I first saw the set, I thought Thalia looked great, and after playing with her, I think she’s even better than that. Her biggest weakness is that she drops off a lot in power level after the early game.
Honorable Mention: Somberwald Stag.
I thought this would be the best uncommon when I first saw the spoiler, and although in practice it might not actually be number one (that honor goes to Savage Alliance), it’s still great. I’d be very happy to first pick it out of most packs, and I think it’s a powerful enough first pick that I would go out of my way to be sure to stay in green.
This card is among the best uncommons in the set and I’d be expecting to first pick it out of most packs. This pick is actually a point of contention. I do find it to be pretty close between the Garrison and the Werewolf. I asked a number of my teammates and there was a somewhat even split between Smoldering Werewolf and Hanweir Garrison, but I think the Smoldering Werewolf is a slightly better card. There was a game in the Pantheon house where Jon killed 2 copies of Tattered Haunter with a Smoldering Werewolf trigger. There was another game where Owen killed Jon’s Kessig Prowler and Shrill Howler with a Smoldering Werefolf trigger. Those games are almost impossible to lose.
Honorable Mention: Hanweir Garrison.
Close second, but another very powerful card that is capable of single-handedly winning games. If your opponent can get a couple creatures in play, it can be difficult to force through the Garrison, though. And even if your opponent only has a couple 2/2s and is afraid to double block, he or she can still gobble up your tokens for a couple turns and keep the board stable.
This card is not as good as I thought it would be—it’s just not a Wild Mongrel. There are no green madness cards, so you’re relying on having madness cards in other colors to make Noose Constrictor that good. Reach is powerful, though, as Noose Constrictor really can hold down the fort against opposing armies. Even though the card underperformed, this is a weak pack, and I’d still take Noose Constrictor here. It is also worth noting that Noose Constrictor is among the best 2-drops—far above replacement level for its cost.
Honorable Mention: Ingenious Skaab.
This card has overperformed for me, performing even better than I thought it would. 2/3 prowess for 3 is simply very powerful, and tough to block. Given that the punishment for not blocking the Skaab can be very severe, due to the ability to pump its power, it’s understandable why the card has performed so well.
Thanks everyone for reading! I’ll be back soon with some more Pack 1 Pick 1, and then I think I’ll move on to Pack 1, Pick 2. I know some of you like that version better, but be patient—I’ll get there!