Pack #1

My Pick

 Dead Weight

One of the ways Dimir decks lose to Boros decks is because they are overrun—a lot of the Dimir cards are clunky and/or expensive (the 5-drop slot is particularly crowded with good options), and by the time you get to cast them the opponent already has a huge board of mentored-up creatures. Dead Weight is the perfect answer in the early turns, and makes sure that your slow hands can catch up by allowing you to double-spell.

Second Pick: Siege Wurm

Siege Wurm is a pretty good creature, even if its decks aren’t. Goblin Electromancer is pretty good in the right deck, but it’s very narrow, and I’d rather have the flexibility of a single-colored card, even if that color is green. The other alternative is Prey Upon, but I don’t think Prey Upon is very good—I’d actually take Electromancer after Siege Wurm here.

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Pack #2

My Pick

 Lava Coil

I like first picking red cards because if you consider the three best decks to be Izzet, Dimir, and Boros (which I think basically everyone does), having red sets you up for two good choices. The issue with some red cards is that not every red deck is a style that would want it, but that’s not true for Lava Coil—it’s going to be great in Boros, control Izzet, and aggro Izzet. It’s even splashable in one of the other three combinations, so it’s a very good first pick.

Second Pick: Izoni, Thousand-Eyed

Izoni is certainly a powerful card, and on power level alone I think it’s better than Lava Coil, but it’s just so narrow. It’ll only go in one deck, and it’s the worst of all the decks you can draft. The fact that it costs BBGG means that it’s not easily splashable (though it is doable), so I’d rather take the “power level 8” card that I’ll play 70% of the time over the “power level 8.5” card that I’ll play 30% of the time.

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Pack #3

My Pick

 Price of Fame

Price of Fame is just too good, and on top of that it’s splashable. I took Trostani over it in a previous pack, but that’s because Trostani is significantly better than Nullhide Ferox (and it’s also a card you can easily play in Golgari, even if it’s 2 colors, so that’s not a big deal).

Second Pick: Nullhide Ferox

I don’t think Nullhide Ferox is a bomb (some games tend to just end around it, especially if you can’t cast some of your removal or tricks), but I think it’s still better than Luminous Bonds, since 6/6 for 4 with protection from expensive removal can close out the game very quickly.

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Pack #4

My Pick

 Deadly Visit

When the format first came out, I was super high on Deadly Visit. Since then, I’ve moved down on it because there are way too many good 5-mana cards, especially in control decks. You often have decks with six or seven 5-mana cards and that’s a lot. Still, I think it’s better than the alternatives here since it’s only one color.

Second Pick: Hypothesizzle

Hypothesizzle is a bit worse than I originally imagined it, since it’s another card that costs 5, but it’s still very good. It’s two colors, but it’s a good two colors, since you can play it in Izzet or splash it in Dimir if you want to. I don’t think it’s a bad first pick at all. I also don’t mind Dimir Spybug—it’s very powerful in some Dimir decks—but it’s strictly a Dimir card and not even phenomenal in all Dimir decks, so I like taking the more flexible card here.

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Pack #5

My Pick

 Status // Statue

Most of the good split cards are great first picks, and Status // Statue is no exception. You’re very happy to play it in a Golgari deck, but you can easily splash it in Dimir or Selesnya, since you can always guarantee that you’ll at least be able to cast the first half of a card, which means you need fewer sources than if you were splashing something like a Price of Fame.

Second Pick: Inspiring Unicorn

I think this set is too creature-centric, so Inspiring Unicorn is better than Luminous Bonds. The aggro decks really want to maximize on creatures, and the control decks are rarely white anyway, even off a splash, since there’s no fixing for white with either black or blue, and those are the control colors. This isn’t to say that Luminous Bonds is bad in an aggro deck—it certainly isn’t—but the effect of pumping all of your creatures while being a decent creature by itself (the Unicorn attacks as a 3/3) is too good to pass up.

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