Drafting Rivals of Ixalan with Pros #1

Jeremy Dezani

Jeremy Dezani

Today, we will draft with the new set: Rivals of Ixalan!

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

Induced AmnesiaCacophodonJungle CreeperForerunner of the EmpireEvolving Wilds Legion ConquistadorRiver DarterDeadeye Rig-HaulerVampire RevenantDark Inquiry Brazen FreebooterJungleborn PioneerMutinyRaptor CompanionMountain

Kenta Harane

《Deadeye Rig-Hauler》 .

This is my first draft experience with Rivals of Ixalan. I do not know what kind of synergy we have inside the sets and what color are strong. My plan for now is to pick a card that looks easy to use. A beat down plan with tempo using the blue can be played fairly well in any environment, and also a strategy that I like to take.

Thiago Saporito

《Jungle Creeper》 .

This pack seems really weak. I don’t like picking a gold card but it seems the most powerful card here.

Grzegorz Kawalski

《Jungle Creeper》 .

It’s worth to note, that I didn’t play a single draft of this set and only barely looked through the spoiler, so I might miss some obvious picks or overrate bad cards. It’s more about how I would draft my first draft ever with this set, than how it should be drafted properly. 《Jungle Creeper》 is my pick. Card seems strong, 3/3 for 3 is a good rate, and ability seems to be relevant in long games (and that’s usually goal for BG decks).

Javier Dominguez

《Deadeye Rig-Hauler》

If you can use the Raid this card is a great tempo play.

Player’s choice:

Deadeye Rig-HaulerJungle CreeperJungle CreeperDeadeye Rig-Hauler

PICK 2

Storm the VaultFoul OrchardResplendent GriffinDeadeye BrawlerVoracious Vampire Divine VerdictStampeding HorncrestDusk ChargerKitesail CorsairHardy Veteran Overgrown ArmasaurLegion ConquistadorSun-Crested PterodonmtgMountain

Kenta Harane

《Kitesail Corsair》 .

It looks good with my first pick《Deadeye Rig-Hauler》as a two drop so this is my pick. Creatures with flying can attack with ease and goes along with raid. Making sure that having two drops first on a tempo based deck is not a bad strategy to start with.

Thiago Saporito

《Hardy Veteran》.

This seems like a fine 2 drop and I will try to stick to BG because of my first pick, even the gold uncommon cards being stronger than the Veteran.

Grzegorz Kawalski

《Kitesail Corsair》 .

Nothing really exciting for BG, and I love 《Vaporkin》.

Javier Dominguez

《Kitesail Corsair》

A two mana flyer is going to play really well with the Raid cards, and the ratio is quite good anyway even if we don’t get many Pirates.

Player’s choice:

Kitesail CorsairHardy VeteranKitesail CorsairKitesail Corsair

PICK 3

mtgResplendent GriffinHornswoggleSadistic SkymarcherCleansing Ray Deadeye Rig-HaulerMoment of TriumphStrider HarnessTilonalli's CrownSoul of the Rapids Secrets of the Golden CityStampeding HorncrestGiltgrove StalkermtgForest

Kenta Harane

《Sadistic Skymarcher》 .

It’s only the early stages of the draft so we will be picking a stronger card than picking a second《Deadeye Rig-Hauler》. Flying and lifelink goes along with our main plan that we are focusing on.

Thiago Saporito

《Sadistic Skymarcher》 .

I can have some vampires even playing BG and it’s reasonable as a 4 mana 2/2 flying life link. Sad that it’s the second Griffin, this deck will probably be a train wreck.

Grzegorz Kawalski

《Deadeye Rig-Hauler》 .

Another weak pack for BG, so it’s time to follow my second pick. Pirate seems to be a huge tempo swinger, good for aggressive pirates deck.

Javier Dominguez

《Deadeye Rig-Hauler》 .

Multiples copies of this card should stack well.

Player’s choice:

Sadistic SkymarcherSadistic SkymarcherDeadeye Rig-HaulerDeadeye Rig-Hauler

PICK 4

Path of DiscoveryMajestic HeliopterusPitiless PlundererCacophodonSoul of the Rapids Canal MonitorFathom Fleet BoarderMist-Cloaked HeraldColossal DreadmawMutiny Gruesome FatemtgmtgmtgIsland

Kenta Harane

《Fathom Fleet Boarder》 .

We have other options such as 《Majestic Heliopterus》or《Colossal Dreadmaw》but both do not go along with our picks. Especially 《Majestic Heliopterus》because we have passed on 2 copies of《Resplendent Griffin》around the table. If we aim our deck to a blue white flying deck, the second pack going the other way around the table can be having issues with the cards that will be passed to us. 《Colossal Dreadmaw》 is a card that goes the opposite strategy for a tempo beatdown.

We can see a possibility in the blue-black pirate deck, and we could’ve picked better but we will pick《Fathom Fleet Boarder》.

Thiago Saporito

《Path of Discovery》 .

Probably not a powerful card but I like to try these kinds of cards because it’s the release of the new set. Since the pack is not good again I pick this which might just be very bad.

Grzegorz Kawalski

《Fathom Fleet Boarder》 .

Random aggressor for UB pirates.

Javier Dominguez

《Fathom Fleet Boarder》 .

With already three aggressive creatures on our pile, here I want to keep the aggression with the 3/3.

Player’s choice:

Fathom Fleet BoarderPath of DiscoveryFathom Fleet BoarderFathom Fleet Boarder

PICK 5

mtgEnter the UnknownArterial FlowmtgStrider Harness Fathom Fleet BoarderTraveler's AmuletGruesome FateKitesail CorsairJadecraft Artisan NaturalizeFanatical FirebrandmtgmtgPlains

Kenta Harane

《Kitesail Corsair》 .

The best pick for our plan at the moment, so we are happy to pick this.

Thiago Saporito

《Jadecraft Artisan》 .

Again, a bad pack. I assume this card can be okay if the deck has lots of life link creatures.

Grzegorz Kawalski

《Kitesail Corsair》 .

Maybe I’m overrating it, but I feel it’s great card for tempo deck.

Javier Dominguez

《Kitesail Corsair》 .

Blue looks like it’s going to be our main color, and I think this card should be quite good at attacking.

Player’s choice:

Kitesail CorsairJadecraft ArtisanKitesail CorsairKitesail Corsair

PICK 6

mtgDaring BuccaneermtgForerunner of the CoalitionTilonalli's Crown NegateFathom Fleet BoarderDusk Legion ZealotLegion ConquistadorSecrets of the Golden City Overgrown ArmasaurmtgmtgmtgForest

Kenta Harane

《Fathom Fleet Boarder》 .

There is a possibility that《Forerunner of the Coalition》could be the better pick but I don’t know how to make the most value off of this card yet. You can bring《Deadeye Rig-Hauler》with this effect, but also a theory to use a high stats creature for《Deadeye Rig-Hauler》. I like this theory better.

Thiago Saporito

《Dusk Legion Zealot》 .

A fine two drop that can help 《Sadistic Skymarcher》.

Grzegorz Kawalski

《Daring Buccaneer》 .

I have 3 blue pirates and only one black already, so I don’t mind switching into UR. Premium one drop is worth taking a risk.

Javier Dominguez

《Forerunner of the Coalition》 .

Going for U/B pirates. Forerunner is going to make sure we have a 《Deadeye Rig-Hauler》 for turn 4 if we need it.

Player’s choice:

Fathom Fleet BoarderDusk Legion ZealotDaring BuccaneerForerunner of the Coalition

PICK 7

mtgForerunner of the HeraldsSlippery ScoundrelmtgJade Bearer Tilonalli's CrownJungleborn PioneerSworn GuardianDinosaur HunterOvergrown Armasaur mtgmtgmtgmtgIsland

Kenta Harane

《Dinosaur Hunter》 .

《Slippery Scoundrel》performs very well when ascend is achieved, though we are imaging an aggressive blue-black deck and achieving to ascend is not something we are aiming for. Since we have picked two copies of《Fathom Fleet Boarder》, we are concentrating to pick two drop pirates.

Thiago Saporito

《Jungleborn Pioneer》 .

Solid 3 drop that can go along with 《Path of Discovery》.

Grzegorz Kawalski

《Slippery Scoundrel》 .

Not sure how easy is to get Ascend, but this one seems to be a good way to win late game if something goes wrong. 《Dinosaur Hunter》 is another card that I’m considering, but I’m not sure if I finish in UR or UB so I prefer to take blue card over it.

Javier Dominguez

《Dinosaur Hunter》 .

Two drops are very important for aggressive decks. It’s also a Pirate anyway.

Player’s choice:

Dinosaur HunterJungleborn PioneerSlippery ScoundrelDinosaur Hunter

PICK 8

Brass's BountyFlood of RecollectionmtgmtgSun-Crested Pterodon Sailor of MeansRiver DarterCleansing RayMist-Cloaked Heraldmtg mtgmtgmtgmtgMountain

Kenta Harane

《Sailor of Means》 .

There are no cards that pleases us. We are aiming for an aggressive deck so this pick is not something we are looking for. The problem is, if we pass this 《Sailor of Means》 around, some player after us in our table might start building their deck with blue included in their multi-color. This pick will prevent someone to build a blue included deck. Not letting this card around has meanings. In the early stages of this draft, we have passed on lots of multi-color cards, so in this case this problem has a high chance to happen.

Also, if these cards come back around, or if we pull a powerful rare in our second pack and end up playing a multi color deck with blue, it would be very useful to have this card. I believe picking 《Sailor of Means》rather than《River Darter》or《Mist-Cloaked Herald》just to make it look aggressive is a far better strategy.

Thiago Saporito

《Sailor of Means》 .

No green or black cards, but this can happen when you stick to your 1st pick and you choose to not abandon the colors even if you are not seeing good cards from those colors. We could’ve have drafted a little better here, but honestly, I don’t think we had any easy picks in this draft.

Grzegorz Kawalski

《Sailor of Means》 .

Nothing special. Holds the ground while our 《Vaporkin》 smash.

Javier Dominguez

《Sailor of Means》 .

I don’t really think 《Mist-Cloaked Herald》 is good without playing Merfolk cards, so I prefer to pick the Pirate. The treasure could help us splashing a bomb.

Player’s choice:

Sailor of MeansSailor of MeansSailor of MeansSailor of Means

The 8 Picks Together

Kenta Harane

Deadeye Rig-HaulerKitesail CorsairSadistic SkymarcherFathom Fleet Boarder
Kitesail CorsairFathom Fleet BoarderDinosaur HunterSailor of Means

Thiago Saporito

Jungle CreeperHardy VeteranSadistic SkymarcherPath of Discovery
Jadecraft ArtisanDusk Legion ZealotJungleborn PioneerSailor of Means

Grzegorz Kowalski

Jungle CreeperKitesail CorsairDeadeye Rig-HaulerFathom Fleet Boarder
Kitesail CorsairDaring BuccaneerSlippery ScoundrelSailor of Means

Javier Dominguez

Deadeye Rig-HaulerKitesail CorsairDeadeye Rig-HaulerFathom Fleet Boarder
Kitesail CorsairForerunner of the CoalitionDinosaur HunterSailor of Means

Conclusion

Pick one, players had the choice between a single color common or a 2 colors uncommon. Questions you have to ask yourself in this situation are:

“how good are this 2 Cards?”,

“Is the gold card enough strong and relevant to be commit on multiple colors at the first pick?”

“Is the single color card very underpower compare to the gold card?”

Answer to these questions will make the choice easy, but you need practice and knowledge to be able to rate cards. It would be interesting to ask these players few drafts later if they would change their mind.

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

Thank you for reading,

Jeremy Dezani

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