Drafting Ixalan with Pros #4

Jeremy Dezani

Jeremy Dezani

Today, we will draft with Ixalan cards!

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

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

You can see their profiles, more in details, here: Hareruya Pros

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

PICK 1

Jace, Cunning CastawayBonded HorncrestSeekers' SquireKumena's SpeakerBishop's Soldier
New HorizonsSunrise SeekerJade GuardianSkittering HeartstopperRile
Pious InterdictionStorm Fleet PyromancerOne With the WindHierophant's ChaliceMountain

Kenji Tsumura

《Pious Interdiction》

On the first pick, we want a card that can be used in a wide range so if it’s not vampires, dinosaurs, or pirates, it’s a removal that can go with everything.

Tomoharu Saito

《Pious Interdiction》

Difficult to choose since we have a huge sized《Bonded Horncrest》but if I am in a situation to choose, I will pick white because I want to play that color. We can use this in a white deck for sure and also, we can use this when we splash white. Green for certain, blue and black have treasure tokens so it is easy to splash the third color in this format.

Riku Kumagai

《One With the Wind》

This is a tough pack, there are enough card that will go around the table that are not great but good. 《Jace, Cunning Castaway》, 《Bonded Horncrest》, 《Bishop's Soldier》, 《One With the Wind》are the one to think of picking. Though I want a card that will lead me to win in the first pick, so I pick 《One With the Wind》.

Sebastian Pozzo

《One With the Wind》

This is a very hard pack. Many options, but 《One With the Wind》 is my choice. 《Pious Interdiction》 would be my second choice but I think 《One With the Wind》 leads to many free wins and it’s an effect hard to replace. I also like blue in combination with any other colour.

Player’s choice:

Pious InterdictionPious InterdictionOne With the WindOne With the Wind

PICK 2

Sword-Point DiplomacymtgDark NourishmentRaging SwordtoothShaper Apprentice
Firecannon BlastTishana's WayfinderDeeproot WarriorQueen's CommissionThrash of Raptors
SkulduggeryCobbled WingsRummaging GoblinRun AgroundMountain

Kenji Tsumura

《Raging Swordtooth》

It is a very strong pack so it was very hard to choose, but I decided to take the most powerful card.

Tomoharu Saito

《Skulduggery》

There is nothing interesting in this pack, so we will pick this card so we can head on to the strongest color combination which is black and white.

Riku Kumagai

《Raging Swordtooth》

Leaving 《Firecannon Blast》 and 《Tishana's Wayfinder》 is sad but 《Raging Swordtooth》has the same power level as the first pick, so I pick this. If it turns out to be a green deck, splashing another color isn’t a big deal.

Sebastian Pozzo

《Skulduggery》

Another hard pick for us. I could see arguments for taking 《Shaper Apprentice》to stay in colour. But 《Skulduggery》 it’s just amazing, you almost always 1×1 for just 1 mana, and sometimes it leads to blowouts. Furthermore, UB it’s probably my favourite combination, since in this set it’s really easy to trainwreck and I’ve found UB to be the most consistent combination.

Player’s choice:

Raging SwordtoothSkulduggeryRaging SwordtoothSkulduggery

PICK 3

Admiral Beckett BrassmtgSleek SchoonerWildgrowth Walkermtg
Ixalli's KeeperShining AerosaurUnfriendly FireSkyblade of the LegionKinjalli's Caller
Mark of the VampireStorm Fleet PyromancerShipwreck LooterRiver Heralds' BoonForest

Kenji Tsumura

《Wildgrowth Walker》

I just like this card. Also, I am guessing on the ninth pick, 《Sunrise Seeker》will come around to pick.

Tomoharu Saito

《Skyblade of the Legion》

Picking this in the third pick is a little sad, but in the first and second pick, there were no cards that could make us decide the colors we want, so we are going to pick 《Skyblade of the Legion》 to go for white.

Riku Kumagai

《Wildgrowth Walker》

I was wanting to play green and at the perfect time we got 《Wildgrowth Walker》. The other cards aren’t cards to argue with.

Sebastian Pozzo

《Mark of the Vampire》

I know, I don’t have creatures yet, and I’m taking 2nd aura, and also have one trick. I don’t have much experience with 《Admiral Beckett Brass》, it doesn’t seem very powerful to me to splash it. 《Mark of the Vampire》, in combination with flyers (《One With the Wind》 maybe) it’s great as long as you can protect your creature. So now I’m putting 《Dive Down》 and Flyers a bit higher in my pick order.

Player’s choice:

Wildgrowth WalkerSkyblade of the LegionWildgrowth WalkerMark of the Vampire

PICK 4

mtgmtgRanging RaptorsRuthless Knavemtg
Anointed DeaconCobbled WingsSun-Crowned HuntersVampire's ZealSailor of Means
Crash the RampartsPaladin of the BloodstainedFrenzied RaptorIxalli's DivinerIsland

Kenji Tsumura

《Ixalli's Diviner》

It’s a 2 mana drop that works with《Wildgrowth Walker》.

Tomoharu Saito

《Anointed Deacon》

When we are able to make a BW deck, 《Anointed Deacon》 will shine like a uncommon. We are not going to stop by anything, we are just heading to the strongest color combination.

Riku Kumagai

《Ranging Raptors》

The green seems good to go, as I wish that 《Ixalli's Diviner》 comes around the table, lets pick 《Ranging Raptors》.

Sebastian Pozzo

《Anointed Deacon》

I’m not sure about this pick, the truth is we didn’t get anything super exciting blue, and 《Anointed Deacon》 is the key to have a good vampire deck. We would only be losing our first pick if we ended BW vampires. Even though we’ve passed many white and black good cards they are not only vampire cards, and usually the 《Deacon》 is what makes you jump into vampires. However, if we don’t make it to the BW deck, we are only giving up a mediocre pirate, but I like being a little more open in this pick, the reward could be big.

Player’s choice:

Ixalli's DivinerAnointed DeaconRanging RaptorsAnointed Deacon

PICK 5

Spell SwindlemtgmtgStorm Fleet Arsonistmtg
mtgBlight KeeperPounceDesperate CastawaysOpt
Grazing WhiptailFathom Fleet CutthroatLegion's JudgmentSwashbucklingPlains

Kenji Tsumura

《Grazing Whiptail》

Tough choice between 《Pounce》. It seems to me if you’re on green, the more《Grazing Whiptail》 you have, the more wins come along.

Tomoharu Saito

《Fathom Fleet Cutthroat》 .

Going BW. This card plays well with lifelink vampires tokens.

Riku Kumagai

《Grazing Whiptail》

Sebastian Pozzo

《Fathom Fleet Cutthroat》

Nothing I’m really excited about. I could see arguments for the other 2 black cards, but they go better with cutlass, not with the auras I have so far. So, I’d go with the black pirate which also is ok if we end up BW vampires, since you can throw your little lifelinkers to your opponent with no problem.

Player’s choice:

Grazing WhiptailFathom Fleet CutthroatGrazing WhiptailFathom Fleet Cutthroat

PICK 6

Deeproot Championmtgmtgmtgmtg
mtgRaptor CompanionStorm SculptorStorm Fleet PyromancerHierophant's Chalice
Ravenous DaggertoothDire Fleet HoarderSlash of TalonsSpell PierceForest

Kenji Tsumura

《Ravenous Daggertooth》

I don’t want to decide my second color yet so I pick the green card.

Tomoharu Saito

《Raptor Companion》 .

This pack has barely nothing so I am thankful that I at least have this pick. It seems like not a lot of players are running white so let’s decide the colors now. BW is good for vampires and also good stuff too. In this format, I have drafted in to BW 14 times and my win percentage is 74.19% which is very high.

Riku Kumagai

《Deeproot Champion》

2 drops are cards you will want to pick early.

Sebastian Pozzo

《Dire Fleet Hoarder》

I’m super happy to see a good black 2 drop here.

Player’s choice:

Ravenous DaggertoothRaptor CompanionDeeproot ChampionDire Fleet Hoarder

PICK 7

mtgmtgmtgDire Fleet Captainmtg
mtgmtgDepths of DesireCrushing CanopyKinjalli's Caller
Dire Fleet InterloperThrash of RaptorsPterodon KnightNew HorizonsIsland

Kenji Tsumura

《Thrash of Raptors》

If we can go into the RG dinosaurs, I will be very happy to have this.

Tomoharu Saito

《Pterodon Knight》

We don’t know if this will be in our deck but taking the white is what counts. Going after red from now may end up with racing someone for the same 2 colors so I will give you the red dinosaur.

Riku Kumagai

《New Horizons》

It could be《Thrash of Raptors》, but I pick 《New Horizons》since I want to be certain to have the fixing for an additional color.

Sebastian Pozzo

《Dire Fleet Captain》

This might seem a bit confusing since I have other acceptable choices in form of《Depths of Desire》 and 《Dire Fleet Interloper》. However, it’s a premium 2 drop and it’s something to consider in this format. Also, with《Fathom Fleet Cutthroat》 we have a better BR than UB (but the mark of the vampire goes worse). I’m not a big fan of the bounce spells since I want my non-creature spells to be tricks, auras/equipment or removal if possible.

Player’s choice:

Thrash of RaptorsPterodon KnightNew HorizonsDire Fleet Captain

PICK 8

mtgmtgmtgmtgmtg
mtgmtgQueen's AgentHeadwater SentriesNew Horizons
Nest RobberQueen's Bay SoldierLegion ConquistadorProsperous PiratesMountain

Kenji Tsumura

《Nest Robber》

It’s not a happy card to pick but the it is a precious 2 drop. Looking at the flow of the draft, it seems like 《New Horizons》 can be picked at any time, so thought that I can lower my priority to pick it.

Tomoharu Saito

《Legion Conquistador》

Same as above. We did not have great commons to pick from all packs. We will take the strong color and hope we get a bomb in our next packs.

Riku Kumagai

《New Horizons》

《New Horizons》 came around again. I don’t mind to have multiples of this card so let’s pick it. It will be very interesting to see what rares we will encounter in the future.

Sebastian Pozzo

《Queen's Bay Soldier》

Well, nothing special, but 2 drops are necessary and it’s good not to be desperate about them in the last pack. Also, if we end up playing the 《Anointed Deacon》 we have an upside there, maybe we can take a 《Skymarch Bloodletter》 later on and have them doing some work even out of BW. Watching pack one again, makes me think that maybe 《Skittering Heartstopper》 comes back. If it doesn’t maybe 《Storm Fleet Pyromancer》 does. That pirate would be a sign we might want to go RB. I think that in the dark the best 7 cards other than the one we took are the 5 on the first line, the 《Jade Guardian》 and 《Pious Interdiction》. So, both could come and I’d be happy with any of them.

Player’s choice:

Nest RobberLegion ConquistadorNew HorizonsQueen's Bay Soldier

The 8 Picks together

Kenji Tsumura

Pious InterdictionRaging SwordtoothWildgrowth WalkerIxalli's Diviner
Grazing WhiptailRavenous DaggertoothThrash of RaptorsNest Robber

Tomoharu Saito

Pious InterdictionSkulduggerySkyblade of the LegionAnointed Deacon
Fathom Fleet CutthroatRaptor CompanionPterodon KnightLegion Conquistador

Riku Kumagai

One With the WindRaging SwordtoothWildgrowth WalkerRanging Raptors
Grazing WhiptailDeeproot ChampionNew HorizonsNew Horizons

Sebastian Pozzo

One With the WindSkulduggeryMark of the VampireAnointed Deacon
Fathom Fleet CutthroatDire Fleet HoarderDire Fleet CaptainQueen's Bay Soldier

Conclusion

Pick one, players had the choice between 2 commons that are 《Pious Interdiction》and 《One With the Wind》.

Pious InterdictionOne With the Wind

These two cards are great and it is definitely more about the deck they will end with than the card itself who decide this pick.

After 2 months of Ixalan practice, the game style and the experience become more important that the powerlevel of the card.

I hope you like the article and learn about Ixalan draft.

Thank you for reading,

Jeremy Dezani

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