Saturday, 3:20 p.m. - Draft Dilemma Deliberation

Posted in Event Coverage on July 2, 2011

By Chapman Sim

The Scars of Mirrodin block has been very enjoyable to draft so far and so many strategies in varying colors have proven to work. Such an interesting block is not devoid of conundrums. Here are some of the commonly encountered decisions drafters are facing in recent times.

Volt Charge or Grim Affliction

There is still much discussion between the Pros on this issue and trust me, its a situation that comes up pretty often. While Volt Charge has the ability to kill bigger creatures and finish off an opponent at low life, Grim Affliction has the possibility to alter the board in conjunction with the help of Fume Spitter, Instill Infection and its spread of infect creatures. It really depends on the deck you have but when the luxury of opening this booster last is absent, it creates a rather agonizing decision. Blinding Souleater is pretty close behind as well, but let's not complicate matters for the time being.

Best "Phyrexian Mana" Common?

I am referring to the cycle of Porcelain Legionnaire, Spined Thopter, Pith Driller, Slash Panther and Thundering Tanadon. A couple of these commons show up all the time in the same booster and all seem pretty good on their own. Personally, I like Pith Driller most since it deals with its blue, white and red counterpart. The green monster seems too risky to cast sometimes but threatens to end games really cast if their opponent fails to remove it. Porcelain Legionnaire hits like a truck on full gear though, and Slash Panther is pretty good at punishing an opponent with a slow draw. What do you think? Will you pick Gremlin Mine over these five?

Most Bombish Common of the Block?

Shriekmaw was ever accused of being in the wrong rarity slot since it was better than a ton of rares during its time. More recently, there is probably a common that is more deserving of such malice. I am referring to Fangren Marauder, a card so efficient and easily splashed that it is almost a bomb on its own.

For one, it's monstrous size makes a pretty reliable speed bump and turns all "Shatter" effects into Divine Offerings. For any beatdown deck trying to reduce your final life points to zero, they can forget about activating their spellbombs or replicas and be extra wary of attacking with artifact creatures.

Perhaps the only drawback is that it costs six mana but then again, most dragons and angels of such porportions cost about the same. Whatever the decision is, the award certainly isn't going to Plated Seastrider.

Infect or no?

While many agree that the power level of infect has gone down due to the infect creatures being in all colors now, it remains a force to reckon with. It has also been said that drafting infect is like contra-trading, something with a high risk and high return but could potentially get your fingers burnt. Just last round, Yu Chao managed to pick up the signal that Infect was open and was rewarded with four Blighted Agents. The burning question is, what do you need to get in your first booster before taking the plunge or are you able to switch gears in booster two or three?

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