Hey everyone, welcome to Pick 1 Pack 1 #2 for Magic Origins. Let’s get to this edition’s packs:

Pack #1

My Pick

Pia and Kiran Nalaar.

Even without the ability to sacrifice artifacts this would be a great card. Add it, and this card is a true bomb. Even if your opponent removes it, you still have two 1/1 fliers that they will have to deal with. Factor in that this card, especially when taken early, can be heavily drafted around for its artifact synergies, and it’s an easy first pick.

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Honorable Mention

Ampryn Tactician.

This pack is pretty weak, other than the rare. Ampryn Tactician does seem like a pretty powerful card in a white aggressive deck, though. A 3/3 for four is certainly not an absurd rate, but it’s fine. The turn you cast it, you’ll often get a creature through unblocked that would have been blocked otherwise. Sometime it will force a trade, most likely where you’re trading up, and other times you’ll just get in an extra few damage. These effects are all valuable, and although this isn’t a card that I’d typically want to first pick, I’d take it here.

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Pack #2

My Pick

Harbinger of the Tides.

This card is simply too good to pass. Although I could point out that it doubles as a turn-two play, I actually think that it’s close to irrelevant. It will be so incredibly rare that you want to play this on turn 2 in Limited, when you can save it for such a powerful effect later. The fact that you can cast Harbinger of the Tides with flash allows you some protection from combat tricks, and simply incredible tempo. You can cast it for 2 mana on your own turn later in the game as well, still bouncing a creature. I suppose it’s possible that some of the premium uncommons could end up being better than this card, but definitely nothing in this pack.

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Honorable Mention

Thunderclap Wyvern.

Here’s another extremely powerful card. Flash creatures are great, as you just get to eat an attacking 2/2. In this case, you can also set up some real blowouts in combination with another flyer, eating two or more of your opponent’s creatures. Although most are red, there are also some blue cards that make 1/1 flying Thopters, which are greatly enhanced in value by Thunderclap Wyvern.

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Pack #3

My Pick

Fiery Impulse.

Cheap removal spells are not very common in this day and age, so I try not to miss an opportunity to take one. One mana for 2 damage will always be a rate you are happy with. With Fiery Impulse you can even get 3 damage for one mana, which is as good as it gets. Naturally, there is the drawback of only being able to target creatures, but for 2- and 3-damage burn spells in Limited, creatures are the target the vast majority of the time anyway.

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Honorable Mention

Claustrophobia.

An all-purpose blue creature removal spell and a super strong card that I would not be unhappy to first pick out of this pack.

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Pack #4

My Pick

Nissa, Vastwood Seer.

Yeah. This card is just unreasonable. A 3-mana 2/2 that searches for a for a Forest is already pretty good. Clearly Nissa is absurd, because she turns into a planeswalker with three great abilities on top of that. Not that it would change anything, but it’s worth noting that Nissa is an Elf while unflipped, so she can combine well with cards in Origins that have Elf synergies. I would never pass Nissa under any circumstances.

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Honorable Mention

Consul’s Lieutenant.

This is a card that immediately struck me as very powerful. It’s admittedly possible that I’m overrating how easy it will actually be to get the Lieutenant through unblocked and trigger its renown. However, once it is renowned, the effect it provides is just so powerful, especially in an aggressive deck. I would take it here, and try to draft an aggressive deck with some combat tricks/protective cards.

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Pack #5

My Pick

Kothophed, Soul Hoarder.

A 6-mana 6/6 flier with massive upside, Kothophed is great in any deck, but particularly great in a deck with a lot of removal spells. Kothophed will also make combat particularly tough on your opponents as they really don’t want to trade creatures and net you a card. One downside is that you don’t have the option to draw a card and lose a life, you simply have to, so on the flip-side, if your life total gets too low, it might be easy for your opponent to simply attack with all his or her creatures every turn, putting you in an impossible position. But, the upside is just so high, this is an easy first pick.

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Honorable Mention

Swift Reckoning.

2-mana white removal is great. It does require your opponent’s creature to be tapped, and can only be cast at sorcery speed until you achieve spell mastery, which might not be as easy in white as it is in a color like red. But even without spell mastery, this is a good card that I’d be happy to pick.

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What do you think about my picks this time around? Are there certain cards or strategies that I’m overlooking? This set does seem more difficult to draft on instinct than previous core sets, but maybe that’s just because it’s so new, and I’m forgetting how difficult it can be to do a first draft of any set in general. I’ll be back soon with more, see you then!