-dary. Legendary. So, I’m a fan of this new set, and I am going to talk more about it in a moment, but first I wanted to express my disappointment with the asymmetrical reveal of the legendary creatures. I was really hoping that it would wind up being a full cycle of all of the different color combinations, and I will admit it may have been a little greedy to demand so many shiny things. But… I think they may have made a mistake in not making some legendary BW Council of Something-or-Other card to reflect the Will of the Council voting cards.


This is the closest thing to a good multiplayer general that BW has, and a vigilant unblockable general is an aggro magnet!

Yes, I know that blue got one of them too, so it would make more sense to make it the full Esper, but Esper has fine generals and Grixis would have been too much of an overlap as it stands. But Orzhov has a desire for a multiplayer-friendly general. Right now, it is lacking one. And a four mana “Council of Worth” that read something like, “if a spell requires a player to choose modes, instead all the players vote on modes and majority rules,” that would be neat. It’d be a way to make Grudge Keeper and Brago’s Emissary, both of which are definitely cool multiplayer cards, matter a bit more.


But that’s not what Wizards decided to do. And, to be completely fair, Conspiracy is not a bad set to draft. It rewards drafting ability, since most of the strongest strategies are synergy based, and the conspiracies and “draft choices matter” cards make the draft itself a lot more fun than usual. They even have their own slot in the pack, to make sure that every pack includes a conspiracy or one of those artifact creatures you reveal when drafting to have some potentially powerful effect.


Like Lore Seeker. I drafted Conspiracy twice this weekend, and while the first draft was fun, the second draft was amazing. See, I had the interesting experience of not running a 40-card deck in either draft. In round one I had a Advantageous Proclamation deck with the Reito Lantern support that deck needs to avoid getting milled out, and in round two I lived the dream and drafted the closest thing to the ideal Worldknit deck that I can imagine.


In the first draft I was BW, but I splashed two (2!) copies of this dude off Unexpected Potential, which happens to have Brago on the art. Achievement unlocked!

I chose Worldknit pack one, pick one, and my exclamation of delight was mirrored by one from Dana, two seats to my right. Somehow we had both managed to first pick Worldknit (although hers was foil), and we took two different paths on our way to living that dream. I tried to stay open for a while, sticking with green because I figured the best way to counter the disadvantage of having a much larger pool, with all the extra lands that would entail, would be to use land-cyclers and Sakura-Tribe Elder to thin out my deck. Things were going well for me pack one, with nothing obviously unplayable ending up in my pool, but pack two delivered. I pulled Lore Seeker, and then critically failed my pack choice, grabbing a wrinkled pack of Mirrodin Beseiged that I had hoped was an older pack of Invasion. Still, I opened Black Sun’s Zenith in that pack, which is about as close to an ideal multiplayer card as you could hope to draft from that set, not that I ever saw it.


Speaking of cards I never saw, I never got around to seeing this card despite playing it in a 35-card deck!

And then two picks later someone passed me Clockwork Grinder, and my deck was set. Here’s the nasty piece of business I ended up with:


Worldknit.Jess.dek (55 + 4)


Creatures (24): 1x Lore Seeker; 1x Grenzo’s Cutthroat; 3x Sakura-Tribe Elder; 4x Gnarlid Pack; 2x Sporecap Spider; 1x Silent Arbiter; 2x Custodi Soulbinders; 1x Selvala’s Enforcer; 1x Gamekeeper; 3x Howling Wolf; 1x Custodi Squire; 1x Charging Rhino; 1x Cogwork Grinder (x=9); 2x Elvish Aberration

Spells (8): 1x Nature’s Claim; 1x Wrap in Vigor; 1x Plummet; 1x Echoing Courge; 1x Lead the Stampede; 1x Predator’s Howl; 1x Relic Crush; 1x Black Sun’s Zenith

Lands (23): 1x Reflecting Pool; 10x Plains; 2x Mountain; 10x Forest

Conspiracies (4): Worldknit; Brago’s Favor (Sakura-Tribe Elder); Brago’s Favor (Howling Wolf); Secret Summoning (Gnarlid Pack)


It was very good. Custodi Soulbinders may be the best one of that cycle (although Realm Seekers was pretty reliably nasty as well). I lost round one because of that card; my opponent had a Stronghold Discipline and I had basically forgotten he had revealed it in a parley, so I was waiting him out and amassing an army of fliers when he hit me for 16. Round two worked out a lot better, though, although it lead to an amusing fight between the two Worldknit decks at the end, where I kept trying to kill off my own Silent Arbiter on my turn so I could swing in with all my fliers, and Dana kept saving the thing. It was amusing, and her deck was pretty strong. I put myself in the position where I could be personally satisfied of my skill, and then I conceded to her for domestic harmony reasons.


This was also in my 35-card deck. It was solid, but my use of Reito Lantern to stay alive meant “grace” wasn’t a very live option for me.

Anyway, Dana’s Worldknit deck went the other direction from mine. I had drafted with consistency and synergy in mind, and afterwards Dana mocked me lightly for, as she put it, “drafting the only Worldknit deck that didn’t actually need Worldknit.” Which, hey, I like me some perfect mana. You don’t NEED to turn that into a five-color monstrosity. Still, I did snag the Clockwork Grinder, so her deck had to rely more on power since variance was going to be more of an influence on her games.


Worldknit.Dana.dek (74 + 2)


Creatures (20): 1x Plagued Rusalka; 1x Skitter of Lizards; 1x Agent of Acquisitions; 1x Silverchase Fox; 1x Wind Dancer; 1x Reckless Scholar; 1x Mirran Spy; 1x Lilliana’s Specter; 1x Crookclaw Transmuter; 1x Lizard Warrior; 3x Selvala’s Enforcer; 1x Glimmerpoint Stag; 1x Howling Wolf; 1x Spiritmonger; 1x Nested Ghoul; 1x Woodvine Elemental; 1x Realm Seekers; 1x Ignition Team

Spells (24): 1x Stave Off; 1x Valor Made Real; 1x Tragic Slip; 1x Nature’s Claim; 1x Intangible Virtue; 1x Favorable Wind; 1x Altar’s Reap; 1x Provoke; 1x Wrap in Vigor; 2x Respite; 1x Spectral Searchlight; 1x Compulsive Research; 1x Fires of Yavimaya; 1x Dream Fracture; 1x Aether Tradewinds; 1x Trumpet Blast; 1x Assasinate; 2x Rousing of Souls; 1x Orcish Cannonade; 1x Fact or Fiction; 1x Deathreap Ritual; 1x Selvala’s Charge

Lands (30): 30 Basics

Conspiracies (2): Worldknit; Secret Summoning (Selvala’s Enforcer)


While Dana didn’t do anything as ridiculous as running a Reflecting Pool in a deck with perfect mana (which was purely for stylistic purposes, I’m sure, and not because I rare draft), she did make one minor mistake when constructing her land base. She ran 10 Swamps with the rest of her lands, which is something that should be avoided thanks to the presence of Quag Vampires in the set. Between them and the Enclave Elite, Worldknit decks should try to avoid running Islands or Swamps. You’re still open to getting sniped by Traveler’s Cloak, but there are no natural plainswalkers, forestwalkers, or mountainwalkers in the set. So unless you have a really good reason, you should probably stick to a Naya colored manabase when you’re living the dream.


And if I learned anything from my 35-card draft deck, it’s that having Rout in your opener and then holding off on casting it until you absolutely have to is a strong strategy.

All in all it was a lot of fun, but there are a few notes about how to maximize the social element of this set. First, consider drafting it with your friends, and not at a store. This isn’t a sanctioned draft format, probably because of the secret information, but stores are still taking it seriously as a draft. This is good in many ways, but it means that you might end up in a series of games with strangers, instead of being able to play with the friends you wanted. I got my friend Clayton into one of the drafts as a birthday present, and he ended up being in different pods from me the entire time. It was less than ideal, and I wish that I had just been able to play in the game with him as I had originally planned. Also, avoid nine-person or six-person draft pods. Conspiracy is way better in a four-person game than it is in a three-person game. All the parley cards get a little less powerful with one less person, and the voting gets to be completely annoying when there isn’t the prospect of a tie. I think, having played in four-person and three-person pods, that I’d rather play in a five-person pod than a three-person pod. It’d take a little longer, but I am certain it would be more entertaining.


But these are minor concerns. The truth is it’s a fun set to play, even with strangers. I’m excited about the prospect of doing weird things like Group Game Drafting it, but in the meantime I’ll settle for whatever games of it I can play. Oh, but one final note? Conspiracy packs are underwhelming prize packs. Cracking a pack of Conspiracy outside a draft environment just feels like a wasted opportunity, and that’s always a shame.


Jess Stirba is a monster.

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