Drafting Rivals of Ixalan with Pros #4

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

Dire Fleet DaredevilArterial FlowPride of ConquerorsStorm Fleet SwashbucklerFathom Fleet Boarder Luminous BondsOrazca RelicDusk Legion ZealotVoracious VampireSoul of the Rapids Sanguine GlorifierHardy VeteranBuccaneer's BravadoGrasping ScoundrelPlains

Yuta Takahashi

Pick
Luminous Bonds

This is a tough pack to pick from. 2 excellent red 2 drops which are both strong. In general, excellent 2 drops are picked over removals, but it seems that this pack has some vampire parts that will go around the table. I will pick 《Luminous Bonds》, wishing to be able to pick these parts for our ninth pick, or at the least we can splash this card inwer our deck.

Martin Muller

Pick
Dire Fleet Daredevil

A 2/1 two drop having first strike is already pretty good. The effect in the late game makes it a great card.

Yoshihiko Ikawa

Pick
Luminous Bonds

I pick 《Luminous Bonds》which is an utility and efficient removal. It was hard to decide between《Dire Fleet Daredevil》, though there are lots of cards that support pirates in this pack and lots of players might be fighting for the same B/R which we do not want to take that risk.

Pierre Dagen

Pick
Dire Fleet Daredevil

The pick is between 《Dire Fleet Daredevil》 and 《Luminous Bonds》 here, even though the pack is filled with solid cards (mostly black). I like white better than red, but 《Daredevil》 is a stronger card that shines in aggro and control deck and can be splashed easily. Having it as a first pick makes me more likely to pick things like recover in the draft, and in the end I expect the pirate to just be more powerful.

Player’s choice:

PICK 2

mtgReaver AmbushForerunner of the EmpireDire Fleet NeckbreakerCrashing Tide Squire's DevotionSecrets of the Golden CityNaturalizeSworn GuardianVoracious Vampire MutinyGleaming BarrierSwaggering CorsairSoul of the RapidsForest

Yuta Takahashi

Pick
Dire Fleet Neckbreaker

We have strong red uncommons, 《Forerunner of the Empire》 and 《Dire Fleet Neckbreaker》. As I regretting passing on 《Dire Fleet Daredevil》 we have some possibilities to go into B/R pirates so we pick the lord. The faster your decision to pick the multi-color uncommons or the 3 lords, the stronger the deck will be. If the flow of the cards is not good, we will quit the plan.

Martin Muller

Pick
Dire Fleet Neckbreaker

It’s pretty clear that the pick is between the 3 uncommons. I don’t love picking a multi-colored card this early, but it’s the best card in the pack and goes well with our first pick.

Yoshihiko Ikawa

Pick
Reaver Ambush

If we picked《Dire Fleet Daredevil》in our first pack, I would’ve picked《Dire Fleet Neckbreaker》. To avoid fighting over colors, I choose to pick《Reaver Ambush》. Since we picked 2 removals in a row, I predict that we will be on the midrange or control plan.

Pierre Dagen

Pick
Dire Fleet Neckbreaker

This pick is not as easy as it looks. 《Dire Fleet Neckbreaker》 is only good if you manager to draft an aggressive curve, and even then, it is a fragile 4-drop. Still, it goes exceptionally well with my first pick and I’m now thinking that any 《Forerunner of the Coalition》 I get will be a bomb. The other option would be 《Reaver Ambush》 anyway (《Mutiny》 is bad), so if I go into black I might as well pick the card with the higher ceiling.

Player’s choice:

PICK 3

mtgOathsworn VampireHighland LakeMausoleum HarpyStampeding Horncrest Moment of TriumphOvergrown ArmasaurVampire RevenantSwaggering CorsairDivine Verdict Sailor of MeansDinosaur HunterJade BearermtgSwamp

Yuta Takahashi

Pick
Mausoleum Harpy

It’s a Harpie and a simple effect If we ascend, this may win the game.

Martin Muller

Pick
Dinosaur Hunter

This pack is super bad. I’m picking the 2 drop creature because if we end up R/B, we need a lot of two drops and they aren’t easy to come by in R/B.

Yoshihiko Ikawa

Pick
Mausoleum Harpy

Let’s pick a good flying creature now. I think the guy picking after us is going to pick 《Dinosaur Hunter》and building a B/R pirates deck.

Pierre Dagen

Pick
Dinosaur Hunter

That is weak pack, with nothing that makes me want to go in another colour. I’ll stick to pirates for now, but still pick the flexible 2-drop (I can play it in U/B control as well) over the more specific 《Swaggering Corsair》.

Player’s choice:

PICK 4

mtgStorm Fleet SprinterAquatic IncursionmtgFanatical Firebrand Overgrown ArmasaurWaterknotMartyr of DuskDivine VerdictDark Inquiry Sun-Collared RaptorShatterOrazca FrillbackmtgIsland

Yuta Takahashi

Pick
Martyr of Dusk

Since we are able to pick top commons in these order, this might be a sign and hope that white is open. Second option is 《Storm Fleet Sprinter》.

Martin Muller

Pick
Waterknot

《Storm Fleet Sprinter》is probably the only other decent option but I’m taking 《Waterknot》 here.

Yoshihiko Ikawa

Pick
Martyr of Dusk

I am very happy that we are able to pick a very good defending 2 drop at this point. Let’s go for the W/B plan.

Pierre Dagen

Pick
Waterknot

One of the top blue commons is left and there is nothing I really want to pick in red or black anyways, so I’ll try to stay open.

Player’s choice:

PICK 5

mtgCrested HerdcallermtgmtgRaptor Companion Evolving WildsBrazen FreebooterExultant SkymarcherSquire's DevotionHardy Veteran Giltgrove StalkerAggressive UrgeFathom Fleet BoardermtgForest

Yuta Takahashi

Pick
Exultant Skymarcher

This is a great fifth pick. 《Squire's Devotion》is still in the pack, and it seems that white and green is open.

Martin Muller

Pick
Crested Herdcaller

I’m pretty happy to pick a great card up even though it’s in a completely different color. I think it would be a mistake to pass it for the “safe” option in 《Fathom Fleet Boarder》.

Yoshihiko Ikawa

Pick
Exultant Skymarcher

We can see that a very strong uncommon, 《Crested Herdcaller》 just came bytelling us that green is wide open. Hold your feelings that make you want to pick green and we pick 《Duskborne Skymarcher》. It fits our deck plan also.

Pierre Dagen

Pick
Fathom Fleet Boarder

Toughest pick so far. Green is clearly open, and red possibly not…I’d like to pick 《Crested Herdcaller》 here, but 《Fathom Fleet Boarder》 is a solid common that I am almost guaranteed to play. I will stick to black pirates as the backbone for my deck to make sure I keep picking playables, and then decide if I want to complete with red or blue and possibly use treasures to splash the rest.

Player’s choice:

PICK 6

mtgStorm Fleet SwashbucklermtgmtgVoracious Vampire Sanguine GlorifierGoblin TrailblazerSworn GuardianBrazen FreebooterSun-Crested Pterodon Fanatical FirebrandDusk Legion ZealotmtgmtgMountain

Yuta Takahashi

Pick
Sun-Crested Pterodon

This “Chicken” has the possibility to win the game on its own but I believe it is an under rated card. There are so little cards that can over run this creature in commons. We decide to go into white. There are 2 red 2 drops in this pack and the player picking after will be picking red, so it seems like going into red will be difficult.

Martin Muller

Pick
Goblin Trailblazer

Great 2 drop. I kind of regretting the last pick now. Though after seeing pack 3 and 4, I didn’t feel confident in just moving in on R/B.

Yoshihiko Ikawa

Pick
Sun-Crested Pterodon

Red looks wide open which I start to regret the 1st pick of the first pack. However, the W/B plan still not that bad. If we plan for a complete vampire deck, 《Sanguine Glorifier》 would be the pick. For now, the deck is not at that position, and to be wide open to any option, we pick《Sun-Crested Pterodon》.

Pierre Dagen

Pick
Goblin Trailblazer

Very comforting pack, red pirates are open after all (even tough red is probably not). This is the turning point, I feel validated into black-red aggro which will make my first picks work to their full potential. Since I have a clear direction now, I’ll pick 《Goblin Trailblazer》 over the more powerful but less dedicated 《Storm Fleet Swashbuckler》.

Player’s choice:

PICK 7

mtgImperial CeratopsmtgmtgOrazca Relic Sworn GuardianTraveler's AmuletRecoverGleaming BarrierTilonalli's Crown Cleansing RaymtgmtgmtgForest

Yuta Takahashi

Pick
Cleansing Ray

The pack is very weak so I will be picking this as a sideboard card. It is a very useful side board. If you know there is more than 2 copies of《Profane Procession》or《Hadana's Climb》in your table, put this in the main deck.

Martin Muller

Pick
Tilonalli's Crown

Not the best card in the pack. It can be really good combined with 《Buccaneer's Bravado》 and there is a decent amount of x/1 you can kill with it.

Yoshihiko Ikawa

Pick
Recover

It seems to be a control build, so we are happy to pick 《Recover》.

Pierre Dagen

Pick
Recover

Following the initial plan, 《Recover》 along with my first two picks will give me staying power. A fine pick-up in an otherwise bad pack.

Player’s choice:

PICK 8

Awakened AmalgamJungle CreeperPitiless PlunderermtgMoment of Triumph Swaggering CorsairDark InquirySea LegsNaturalizemtg mtgmtgmtgmtgSwamp

Yuta Takahashi

Pick
Swaggering Corsair

If your opponent has《Tetzimoc, Primal Death》, we will want 《Dark Inquiry》 but I believe we are able to pick this any time. So,《Swaggering Corsair》 or 《Jungle Creeper》 will be our choice, though we will not go into a B/G build, and giving red too much is too kind to do, which is why I will pick《Swaggering Corsair》. So our ninth pick comes along, and if we are not able to pick some vampire parts, we might be in a bad position.

Martin Muller

Pick
Swaggering Corsair

Pretty clear cut here. The pack is pretty bad other than the 《Swaggering Corsair》. We are pretty glad to pick up a decent creature for our mana curve.

Yoshihiko Ikawa

Pick
Swaggering Corsair

Tough decision to make picking《Dark Inquiry》 for the sideboard. One thing we do not want is our guy on the left getting too strong. I would pick 《Swaggering Corsair》to cut this card off from his deck.

Pierre Dagen

Pick
Swaggering Corsair

《Jungle Creeper》 gives me second thought about not picking 《Crested Herdcaller》 earlier on, but that ship has sailed. 《Swaggering Corsair》 is a fine playable in my strategy, and there is nothing in the pack that would make me want to switch plans.

Player’s choice:

The 8 Picks Together

Yuta Takahashi

Luminous BondsDire Fleet NeckbreakerMausoleum HarpyMartyr of Dusk Exultant SkymarcherSun-Crested PterodonCleansing RaySwaggering Corsair

Martin Muller

Dire Fleet DaredevilDire Fleet NeckbreakerDinosaur HunterWaterknot Crested HerdcallerGoblin TrailblazerTilonalli's CrownSwaggering Corsair

Yoshihiko Ikawa

Luminous BondsReaver AmbushMausoleum HarpyMartyr of Dusk Exultant SkymarcherSun-Crested PterodonRecoverSwaggering Corsair

Pierre Dagen

Dire Fleet DaredevilDire Fleet NeckbreakerDinosaur HunterWaterknot Fathom Fleet BoarderGoblin TrailblazerRecoverSwaggering Corsair

Conclusion

Like I said in a previous article, it is sometimes hard to evaluate rares and mythics because of the small experience you have with them. Here, we know that 《Dire Fleet Daredevil》is a decent card. Though the question is, is it better to pick a greater common like 《Luminous Bonds》?

Dire Fleet DaredevilLuminous Bonds

It looks like our Pros and people in general, have different advice about it.

Thank you for reading,

Jeremy Dezani

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