Drafting Rivals of Ixalan with Pros #2

Jeremy Dezani

Jeremy Dezani

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

I simulate the first 8 picks 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:

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

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

PICK 1

Zetalpa, Primal DawnRavenous ChupacabraSwift WardenForerunner of the EmpireJungleborn Pioneer
Jadecraft ArtisanCanal MonitorBombardDusk ChargerSun Sentinel
River DarterSun-Crested PterodonEvolving WildsSanguine GlorifierMountain

Luis Salvatto

Pick
Ravenous Chupacabra

《Swift Warden》 is a really strong pick for strong archetype and 《Bombard》 is a super good removal. I think 《Ravenous Chupacabra》 is the best uncommon in the set and I am happy to start with it in my picks.

Tomoharu Saito

Pick
Ravenous Chupacabra

This is my first draft in this meta. Looks like a cheap cost removal, and looks like it can make card advantage and tempo which is a first pick with no complains! We don’t have a strategy or a vision for your deck, so this looks like the most simple and best pick.

Marc Tobiasch

Pick
Ravenous Chupacabra

It is likely the best uncommon in the set by a decent margin. The Rare will probably win the game when it resolves, but it costs 8 mana so thats high risk.

Christian Calcano

Pick
Ravenous Chupacabra

《Ravenous Chupacabra》 for sure. At this point it’s probably the “Mythic Uncommon” for this draft format. 《Zetalpa, Primal Dawn》 is just too expensive at 8 mana.

Player’s Choice

Ravenous ChupacabraRavenous ChupacabraRavenous ChupacabraRavenous Chupacabra

PICK 2

mtgSilvergill AdeptEnter the UnknownStrength of the PackGrasping Scoundrel
BombardRecoverCanal MonitorSoul of the RapidsMutiny
Sworn GuardianLegion ConquistadorGoblin TrailblazerAggressive UrgeMountain

Luis Salvatto

Pick
Bombard

I can’t pick Merfolks after my pick 1. If I have a strong pick here, and 《Bombard》 is.

Tomoharu Saito

Pick
Bombard

Probably the top pick for the red commons. Rivals of Ixalan has lots of small and middle size creatures and auras that supports looks very valuable. So, I pick this. The mana support looks good in this meta, and I think this card will be seen often as a splash to their deck.

Marc Tobiasch

Pick
Bombard

Very efficient removal at instant speed, happy to pick this up. Pack seems mediocre otherwise.

Christian Calcano

Pick
Bombard

I think it’s the most powerful card in the pack and being that it’s single red. It can easily be splashed if we don’t end up in red.

Player’s Choice

BombardBombardBombardBombard

PICK 3

mtgGolden DemiseDeadeye BrawlermtgMist-Cloaked Herald
Fanatical FirebrandMartyr of DuskGiltgrove StalkerDusk Legion ZealotTilonalli's Crown
RecoverShatterFathom Fleet BoarderJadecraft ArtisanForest

Luis Salvatto

Pick
Deadeye Brawler

I don’t know yet how good is the 《Golden Demise》 is, and a 2/4 deathtouch with an upside with 4cc I like.

Tomoharu Saito

Pick
Deadeye Brawler

It’s still the beginning of the draft so I prioritize card power and I pick this. When played, looks like your opponent will have a hard time dealing with it. Its strong to small creatures and will trade off with huge creatures as a great blocker. When you are in a grindy match up, it will survive the battle or can be a magnificent top deck.

Marc Tobiasch

Pick
Deadeye Brawler

Strong card even without ascend and once that is on, it becomes a nightmare.

Christian Calcano

Pick
Golden Demise

With as good as aggro has looked so far, this is a huge pickup as there are a lot of good 1 and 2 drops in this set.

Player’s Choice

Deadeye BrawlerDeadeye BrawlerDeadeye BrawlerGolden Demise

PICK 4

mtgSlippery ScoundrelStrength of the PackmtgGruesome Fate
Secrets of the Golden CityVoracious VampireOrazca RelicSanguine GlorifierGoblin Trailblazer
Divine VerdictKnight of the StampedeRecovermtgIsland

Luis Salvatto

Pick
Slippery Scoundrel

Is a little expensive for a 2/2, but I think UB with a few treasures can reach 10 permanents and a 《Phantom Warrior》 is always good. The other card is the 2/1 menace which is a good 2 drop but I think blue is more open from the right.

Tomoharu Saito

Pick
Slippery Scoundrel

I feel like using an uncommon now. Looking at our picks, we are aiming to a mid to slow speed deck so perfect to have it as a blocker and a finisher. In our Ixalan pick, if we can pick《Mark of the Vampire》, we would be lucky!

Marc Tobiasch

Pick
Goblin Trailblazer

Unexciting pack for any color, strong 2 drop if we want to go RB Pirates.

Christian Calcano

Pick
Recover

This might be a bit high of a pick here, but I’m always a fan of a 《Raise Dead》 that draws a card as well. This deck is looking more like a midrange/control type deck so not super interested in 《Voracious Vampire》 or 《Goblin Trailblazer》.

Player’s Choice

Slippery ScoundrelSlippery ScoundrelGoblin TrailblazerRecover

PICK 5

mtgWoodland StreamFlood of RecollectionDire Fleet NeckbreakerSworn Guardian
Cleansing RaySwaggering CorsairOvergrown ArmasaurSoul of the RapidsRaptor Companion
Dusk ChargermtgmtgmtgPlains

Luis Salvatto

Pick
Dire Fleet Neckbreaker

Here we regret 《Goblin Trailblazer》, but I think 《Dire Fleet Neckbreaker》 is incredibly good in a RB Pirates aggro deck with 6-7 two drops and 5-6 three drops.

Tomoharu Saito

Pick
Dusk Charger

If you are not on the aggro plan, looks decent. Blue Black ascend midrange-control looks like the deck we are aiming. We want to pick 《Sailor of Means》 which will make 2 permanents and they are in both packs which we can wish it comes around.

Marc Tobiasch

Pick
Dire Fleet Neckbreaker

Very strong card for RB Pirates, with another good red Pirates in the pack.

Christian Calcano

Pick
Dire Fleet Neckbreaker

OK I know I just said this is more of a midrange/control deck, but this is the best card to take out of this pack I feel. I don’t want to be in BR and pass a RB gold card this late perhaps making my neighbors to the left think it’s open.

Player’s Choice

Dire Fleet NeckbreakerDusk ChargerDire Fleet NeckbreakerDire Fleet Neckbreaker

PICK 6

mtgDaring BuccaneermtgmtgKnight of the Stampede
Colossal DreadmawGrasping ScoundrelNegateGruesome FateDusk Charger
Sworn GuardianOrazca RaptormtgmtgForest

Luis Salvatto

Pick
Daring Buccaneer

Missing more 《Goblin Trailblazer》 pick 4.

Tomoharu Saito

Pick
Dusk Charger

We pick him again. It might be an issue that it is our 4th four mana creature but this will definitely go in our deck and it can give us advantage so I think it’s OK!

Marc Tobiasch

Pick
Daring Buccaneer

Not the best card, but with enough Pirates it can be good.

Christian Calcano

Pick
Daring Buccaneer

Perhaps we can now move towards drafting a RB Pirates deck.

Player’s Choice

Daring BuccaneerDusk ChargerDaring BuccaneerDaring Buccaneer

PICK 7

mtgHighland LakemtgmtgOrazca Raptor
River DarterSnubhorn SentrySpire WinderOvergrown ArmasaurTilonalli's Crown
Dusk ChargermtgmtgmtgIsland

Luis Salvatto

Pick
Orazca Raptor

I don’t like the card but maybe if we are short in playable can fill in the deck.

Tomoharu Saito

Pick
Spire Winder

Comparing with the 3rd horse, flying is better(probably better in the first place).

Marc Tobiasch

Pick
Highland Lake

Nothing we really want here and splashing the complimentary Pirates color can have its advantages, especially since we already have a card to splash.

Christian Calcano

Pick
Highland Lake

There were a couple of RB cards to choose from, but I feel there’s more upside in taking a UR dual here. Opens us up to splashing or maybe even moving into UR if we get cut-off black.

Player’s Choice

Orazca RaptorSpire WinderHighland LakeHighland Lake

PICK 8

mtgCacophodonmtgmtgSea Legs
Sworn GuardianKitesail CorsairJungleborn PioneerOrazca RaptorKnight of the Stampede
mtgmtgmtgmtgMountain

Luis Salvatto

Pick
Kitesail Corsair

At this point we are “open” to any combination of Pirates.

Tomoharu Saito

Pick
Kitesail Corsair

Very happy about this pick. High offence with a decent defence also. We can trade him with your opponent in the beginning and after we can make lots of him and recover as we progress the board.

Marc Tobiasch

Pick
Kitesail Corsair

4 mana 3/4 is very anemic while we could still be UR/b or straight UR depending and 2/1 flying essentially is decent.

Christian Calcano

Pick
Kitesail Corsair

A 《Welkin Tern》 that can block ground creatures! Huge fan of this card and pretty happy to get it 8th pick. Looks to me like blue may very well be open.

Player’s Choice

Kitesail CorsairKitesail CorsairKitesail CorsairKitesail Corsair

The 8 Picks Together

Luis Salvatto

Ravenous ChupacabraBombardDeadeye BrawlerSlippery Scoundrel
Dire Fleet NeckbreakerDaring BuccaneerOrazca RaptorKitesail Corsair

Tomoharu Saito

Ravenous ChupacabraBombardDeadeye BrawlerSlippery Scoundrel
Dusk ChargerDusk ChargerSpire WinderKitesail Corsair

Marc Tobiasch

Ravenous ChupacabraBombardDeadeye BrawlerGoblin Trailblazer
Dire Fleet NeckbreakerDaring BuccaneerHighland LakeKitesail Corsair

Christian Calcano

Ravenous ChupacabraBombardGolden DemiseRecover
Dire Fleet NeckbreakerDaring BuccaneerHighland LakeKitesail Corsair

Conclusion

Players picked the same cards during the 2 first picks. After, they started to make some different choices, but they all chose to stay open for any Pirates combination in Grixis colors.

When you draft this way, it’s important to make a decision during pack 2 about the 2 colors you will play. Otherwise, you could finish with 33% of each color. In this case you may miss playable cards, have no building options, and a mana curve problem.

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

Thank you for reading,

Jeremy Dezani

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