Drafting War of the Spark with Pros #4

Jeremy Dezani

Jeremy Dezani

Introduction

Today, we will draft with: War of the Spark

I simulate the 8 first pick of a draft and asked 4 Hareruya Pros Players what they would pick.

Here are the 4 gentlemen who accepted to participate in this experience:

For more details, please visit here: Hareruya Pros.

It will be interesting to see if they will do the same choices or not.

Pick 1

Vivien's ArkbowDevouring HellionJaya, Venerated FiremageGod-Pharaoh's StatueDivine ArrowAven EternalTamiyo's EpiphanyWall of RunesDuskmantle OperativeSpark ReaperGoblin Assault TeamReturn to NatureIron BullySaheeli's Silverwing

Christian Hauck

Jaya, Venerated Firemage

I really like blue in this format but 《Jaya, Venerated Firemage》 is just a little bit more powerful than 《Aven Eternal》 and 《Tamiyo’s Epiphany》.

Luis Salvatto

Vivien's Arkbow

《Vivien’s Arkbow》. Looking for the late game with good green creatures at instant speed seems fine to me. From turn 6+ all your lands are flash creatures.

Brandon Ayers

Jaya, Venerated Firemage

I like 《Jaya, Venerated Firemage》 as the first pick here. A powerful Planeswalker can also be splashed. I really enjoy blue cards in War of the Spark, 《Aven Eternal》 would be my second choice.

Christian Calcano

Vivien's Arkbow

I personally am a big fan of green in this format and think this card is great in most green decks as you generally will have good 5 drops and some 6 drops to dig for at common. It’s great flood insurance as well but it definitely has a major downside in that you have to play a high creature count.

I still think it’s powerful enough to first pick and I’m happy to build around it. Another card I’d consider here is 《Jaya, Venerated Firemage》 but I think 《Vivien’s Arkbow》 is a bit better.

Pick 2

Living TwisterSunblade AngelThe WandererMakeshift BattalionWanderer's StrikeAshiok's SkulkerNaga EternalWall of RunesLazotep ReaverSpellgorger WeirdTurret OgreForced LandingPrismite

Christian Hauck

Living Twister

Getting passed a 《Living Twister》 probably means that our neighbor is not willing to go into Gruul right away. I take the powerful rare here as it goes well with my 《Jaya, Venerated Firemage》 and I suspect Gruul to be open going forward.

Luis Salvatto

Living Twister

I think this is close with the 《Sunblade Angel》but that guy in play just closes the games and makes your combats super good. Also, RG is a good archetype.

Brandon Ayers

Living Twister

I’d select 《Living Twister》. A strong rare that shares a color with our first pick, 《Jaya, Venerated Firemage》.

Christian Calcano

Living Twister

This card is amazing and I’m a big fan of RG in this format so this is an easy pick I feel. Also of note in this pack is that we should easily table 《Forced Landing》 and may even get 《Turret Ogre》 as well if we’re lucky enough. But should get to draft the rest of this pack knowing that a solid sideboard card will likely come back.

Pick 3

Solar BlazeGideon's TriumphAugur of BolasLoxodon SergeantPouncing LynxContentious PlanBanehoundShriekdiverSorin's ThirstJaya's GreetingArboreal GrazerPrimordial Wurm

Christian Hauck

Jaya's Greeting

《Solar Blaze》 is a great card in the right deck but 《Jaya’s Greeting》 goes perfectly with what I have already so I am staying on Gruul for now and log in red as my first color.

Luis Salvatto

Jaya's Greeting

《Jaya’s Greeting》 is all you need in any Limited format, so I’m in.

Brandon Ayers

Jaya's Greeting

I’d take the 《Jaya’s Greeting》. It’s the strongest card in the pack and a perfect addition to our deck.

Christian Calcano

Jaya's Greeting

Easy pick here with a premium removal spell and not much else in our colors.

Pick 4

Tibalt, Rakish InstigatorInterplanar BeaconCharmed StrayRelentless AdvanceDuskmantle OperativeSorin's ThirstToll of the InvasionChandra's PyrohelixSpellgorger WeirdCourage in CrisisReturn to Nature

Christian Hauck

Spellgorger Weird

This is a tough pick, both 《Tibalt, Rakish Instigator》 and 《Chandra’s Pyrohelix》 work well with 《Jaya, Venerated Firemage》 and I would be happy to pick up any of them. That said, I am very high on 《Spellgorger Weird》 and I like him not only in UR Shells, it is just a very powerful creature which fits in other strategies as well. (for example combat tricks or 《Bloom Hulk》 in Gruul).

Luis Salvatto

Tibalt, Rakish Instigator

《Tibalt, Rakish Instigator》 is really good by itself, and in green you have some ways to Proliferate easily.

Brandon Ayers

Tibalt, Rakish Instigator

Powerful on-color Planeswalker in the form of 《Tibalt, Rakish Instigator》. At this point, we have three excellent red cards and we still have no urgency to lock in a second color.

Christian Calcano

Chandra's Pyrohelix

This is a tough pick as 《Spellgorger Weird》 and 《Tibalt, Rakish Instigator》 are also good options. But RG has an abundance of 3 drops, so I like having the burn spells at 2 to help deal with early pressure and get to the mid/late game where most green decks should be casting bigger threats.

Pick 5

Grateful ApparitionBond of RevivalHuatli, the Sun's HeartTeyo's LightshieldAshiok's SkulkerThunder DrakeBanehoundInvading ManticoreSarkhan's CatharsisWardscale Crocodile

Christian Hauck

Grateful Apparition

《Grateful Apparition》 is by far the best card left in the pack, at this point I will play red for sure but the only non-red card I have is the 《Living Twister》. 《Invading Manticore》 is a perfectly fine card, but I am willing to surf a little bit for my second color.

Luis Salvatto

Grateful Apparition

The card is just busted, and maybe we can splash it or just go GW or RW.

Brandon Ayers

Thunder Drake

This is the toughest decision so far. 《Grateful Apparition》 is the strongest card but I think that UR is stronger than RW and if we take 《Thunder Drake》, it’s also possible that we wheel 《Contentious Plan》 from pack three. I’d take 《Thunder Drake》.

Christian Calcano

Huatli, the Sun's Heart

I’m a big fan of 《Huatli, the Sun’s Heart》 in decks like GW/GB and it’s early enough in the draft where I could still end up in a different color combo depending on how the packs go. I feel like the other cards I can get later so this is more of a hedge pick.

Pick 6

Gideon's TriumphVizier of the ScorpionSamut, Tyrant SmasherIronclad KrovodAshiok's SkulkerKasmina's TransmutationNo EscapeDavriel's ShadowfugueDuskmantle Operative

Christian Hauck

Samut, Tyrant Smasher

A powerful Planeswalker in an aggressive deck fits my colors. It’s an easy pick here.

Luis Salvatto

Samut, Tyrant Smasher

It’s a strong card and there is nothing in our colors.

Brandon Ayers

Samut, Tyrant Smasher

I like 《Vizier of the Scorpion》 a lot, but I’m not a big fan of BR. I’d take 《Samut, Tyrant Smasher》 because it’s a solid Planeswalker that is easy to cast.

Christian Calcano

Samut, Tyrant Smasher

Only clear pick for us in this pack but it’s concerning to not have been passed a premium green card yet.

Pick 7

Liliana's TriumphGod-Pharaoh's StatueBulwark GiantNo EscapeLazotep ReaverChainwhip CyclopsPrimordial WurmSteady Aim

Christian Hauck

Chainwhip Cyclops

I usually play one 《Chainwhip Cyclops》 in my red decks and it never disappointed me.

Luis Salvatto

Primordial Wurm

You need some beef in your RG decks.

Brandon Ayers

Lazotep Reaver

Here, I’d take 《Lazotep Reaver》. When this pack loads up, I’d instantly feel bad for not taking 《Vizier of the Scorpion》 in our last pack!

Christian Calcano

Chainwhip Cyclops

《Chainwhip Cyclops》 is another solid mid-late game finisher that has a powerful mana sink for the late game.

Pick 8

Heartwarming RedemptionIronclad KrovodBanehoundGoblin AssailantForced LandingWardscale CrocodileIron Bully

Christian Hauck

Goblin Assailant

You never know if you will be short on 2 drops in the end and 《Goblin Assailant》 could fill the gap.

Luis Salvatto

Goblin Assailant

In this archetype, you need some 2 drops, and 2/2 for 2 is decent.

Brandon Ayers

Iron Bully

This pack has nothing that I’d be thrilled to play. I’d pick 《Iron Bully》 due to the colorless casting cost and potential Proliferate synergies.

Christian Calcano

Wardscale Crocodile

We know we’re likely to get a 《Forced Landing》 down the road so we can pass this one up for another 5 drop. I generally only play 《Wardscale Crocodile》 if I’m low on 5 drops and or if I have multiple 《Kronch Wrangler》 in my deck but also nice to have in the board vs decks with a lot of removals.

Conclusion

Apparently, some of our Pros found 《Vivien’s Arkbow》 great while some people think it’s medium.

This draft shows us how difficult it is to evaluate cards, especially rares and mythic you don’t face/play a lot. In a new draft format, it’s important to pick them and try them before you open it in an important event.

Jeremy Dezani (Twitter/Twitch)

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Jeremy Dezani

Jeremy Dezani He was the 2013-14 Player of the Year with his crowning achievement taking place at Pro Tour Theros where he won in spectacular fashion with Blue Devotion back in 2013. He has a stunning over 10 Grand Prix Top 8s to his name including 3 wins and Runner-up 4 times. He will also be the first Non-Japanese player to join the ranks of the Hareruya Pros. Read more articles by Jeremy Dezani