Hi everyone! Welcome back to What’s the Pick? Pack 1 Pick 2 with Hour of Devastation. Writing about second picks is a nice change of pace after doing pick 1 articles for a few weeks. We have these scenarios:

Scenario #1

Your First Pick: Ambuscade.

Your Pack

My Pick

Desert of the Indomitable.

This is an interesting pick. The best card in the pack is Sunscourge Champion, though G/W is not a deck I really want to start in. Sunscourge Champion is not quite as good in a multicolor green deck as a normal deck because of the double-white in the eternalize cost, although it is still good. One risk of the rampy midrange green decks is flood. Picking up a green Desert early is pretty useful, as Deserts are one of the best ways in the format to prevent mana flood. I think Sunscourge Champion is below the power level necessary here to take it in a different color over a green Desert.

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Scenario #2

Your First Pick: Desert’s Hold.

Your Pack

My Pick

Steward of Solidarity.

The best card in this pack is Consign // Oblivion. The problem with the split card after the first pick Desert’s Hold is that Consign // Oblivion requires two colors of mana in order to be used for maximum value. On the other hand, Steward of Solidarity is also a strong card, and it goes with your first pick, which is also a white card. If you take Steward, you get to keep your options open, and can really still go into any second color. While Consign // Oblivion is a better card, I feel it correct once again to take a bit of a weaker card in order to stay on color with your first pick.

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Scenario #3

Your First Pick: Samut, the Tested.

Your Pack

My Pick

River Hoopoe.

This is a pick that is “kind of” in the colors of your first pick. Obviously, Samut and the Hoopoe share a color, but both are gold cards with a different second color. The problem with Samut is that it’s a green-red card. I don’t really like straight R/G as an archetype, so right away I’d be looking to play a ramp deck. The best two-color base for the ramp decks is U/G, so River Hoopoe is a natural continuation of that first pick. It does help that River Hoopoe is also the best card in the pack by a reasonable margin.

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Scenario #4

Your First Pick: Ominous Sphinx.

Your Pack

My Pick

Farm // Market.

This is easily the best card in the pack. The next best card is Sandblast, which is just a strictly worse version of Farm // Market. The fact that your first pick is blue does matter a little bit since you’re more likely to be able to cast the Market half, but Farm // Market is so much better than the rest of this pack that there are basically no first picks I can imagine where I wouldn’t take it here.

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Scenario #5

Your First Pick: Angel of Condemnation.

Your Pack

My Pick

Ominous Sphinx.

Here’s a case where there’s a very good card in the color of your first pick in Sandblast. I am probably a little higher on Sandblast than a lot of people—I currently have it as the best white common. It’s grown on me the more I’ve drafted the format. That being said, Ominous Sphinx is just too much better than Sandblast. Ominous Sphinx wins so many games by itself. It doesn’t have any particular synergy with Angel of Condemnation, other than the fact that they are both  threatening flyers. Even still, starting a Draft with 2 cards of this power level, even of different colors, will generally lead to great decks and a great record.

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Again, please let me know if there’s anything you would have done differently in the comments. Further, please let me know if you think there are any things I could adjust to provide more value with the pick two series. I don’t include an honorable mention for these because it makes a bit less sense. The main purpose of the honorable mention in the pick one articles is because sometimes those articles seem like an article talking about rare after rare, and the honorable mention was the way around that. Thanks, and I’ll be back soon!