All right, you guys asked for pack one, pick two because of the rare density in Fate Reforged. What I’m going to do in this article is take all the first picks from my previous article, take the best card out of five packs, and see what we’d second-pick if passed those packs.
Our first pick was: Kolaghan, the Storm’s Fury.
We are passed:
My pick: Battle Brawler.
The options here are Battle Brawler and Reach of Shadows. Given that your first pick was Kolaghan, you already want to draft an aggressive deck. Even though he’s good in any deck, he really shines there. You are also likely to end up in Mardu, since that’s the only three-color deck that Kolaghan fits into. Battle Brawler is a premium 2-drop, on par with something like Heir of the Wilds. If he’s “turned on” early in the game, it is very difficult to block him, and your opponent will usually take a lot of damage from Battle Brawler very quickly. The fact that you’re likely to be Mardu makes it even easier to activate the Battle Brawler. Reach of Shadows is a very good card, but in this case, comes up a little short to Battle Brawler.
First pick was: Citadel Siege.
We are passed:
My pick: Sandblast.
Sandblast is not the best card in the pack, Aven Surveyor is. Also, Sandblast isn’t the best followup to Citadel Siege. You really want a lot of creatures. However, you know that you’re playing white as close to 100% of the time as possible. Because you have Citadel Siege, which might be the best card in the entire format, you are going to be very, very, unlikely to not play white. Assume that it’s a given that you’re going to play white and you now have a choice of Mardu, Jeskai, and Abzan. Aven Surveyor only fits into Jeskai (or occasionally straight U/W no splash), I’d choose to take another white card here, both in order to stay open to additional colors, and to try as hard as I can to solidify playing white.
First pick was: Mistfire Adept.
We get passed:
My pick: Goblin Heelcutter.
This pick has some of the same similarities to the previous pick. In this scenario, you are choosing between Whisk Away to stay in color, or Goblin Heelcutter. There are a few differences this time. Most importantly, Goblin Heelcutter is much, much, better than Whisk Away. Also, Goblin Heelcutter is an enemy-color card to the Mistfire Adept, which means you can still choose from two different wedges: Temur and Jeskai. Also, Mistfire Adept is a great first pick, but not one that you need to “protect” as much as Citadel Siege. It’s also worth noting that Mistfire Adept and Goblin Heelcutter play very well together—both are cards that shine in aggressive decks.
First pick was: Sage-Eye Avengers
We get passed:
My pick: Pyrotechnics.
This is a pretty easy one. The two best cards both happen to be red. There is not a blue card even in the same stratosphere as Pyrotechnics, so you don’t even have to consider taking anything to try to keep options open and stay in color. I have liked Vaultbreaker more and more as time goes on, and I take it higher now than I did a few weeks ago, but it still hasn’t reached the level of Pyrotechnics. Pyrotechnics is so often a 2-for-1, and occasionally even a 3-for-1, that I really couldn’t see passing it here.
First pick was: Mardu Strike Leader
We get passed:
My pick: Reach of Shadows.
It’s interesting that the next two best picks are Douse in Gloom and Goblin Heelcutter because the value of both of those cards is increased by their synergy with your very strong first pick, Mardu Strike Leader. Reach of Shadows is the best black card in the pack, and the marginal upside gained by Douse in Gloom being slightly better in opening hands in which you draw both it and Mardu Strike Leader does not make up for the fact that Reach of Shadows is a better card. It makes up some of the gap, but even factoring it in, Reach is still better. Goblin Heelcutter is probably a better card that Reach of Shadows in a vacuum, but it’s an allied color to black, and give that your first pick is black, it would restrict you to only Mardu (or straight RB) if you want to end up playing both of your first two picks. Goblin Heelcutter is not enough better than Reach of Shadows to make it worth selecting it with those potential downsides.
I hope you all enjoyed some picks twos. This series is a bit of a work in progress, so if you have further suggestions on things that I can do to improve it, please let me know in the comments.