Swedish Nationals are coming up this weekend, and as part of my tournament preparation I’ve been drafting a lot of Hour of Devastation on Magic Online. Today I’m going to walk through a draft I did a few days ago and explain the reasoning behind the picks I made.

Pack 1, pick 1

The cards that stick out to me here are Unquenchable Thirst, Farm // Market, and Sifter Wurm. While I do like the removal, Sifter Wurm simply wins more games than the other options, and I’m happy to first pick it here.

Pack 1, pick 2

This pack has a lot of strong removal in it. I think Sifter Wurm is good enough that I’d rather take an Ambuscade here over one of the other cards, even if those are slightly stronger. Note that the card missing from the pack is a rare, so we can’t guess what color the person passing to us is in yet.

Pack 1, pick 3

Ominous Sphinx is the best card in the pack. I could take it here, but I think Blue Green wants to be aggressive and none of our cards really fit description. Rampaging Hippo is quite good, but I haven’t had too much of a problem picking up those later in drafts, and prefer taking the Tenacious Hunter here. You could argue that it’s a little worse in ramp decks because we’ll want to pick up many copies of Oasis Ritualist later on, so the four drop slot could get a bit clogged, but I don’t think that is a strong enough argument for staying away from the better card.

Pack 1, pick 4

Torment of Venom is by far the best card in the pack, and there’s nothing playable in our colors. Torment of Venom also has some nice synergy with Tenacious Hunter, and I think the -1/-1 counters theme makes Green Black an appealing color combination.

Pack 1, pick 5

Once again we see no good green cards. The three black cards are all playable, but none of them really fit what we’re trying to do very well. I didn’t pick Vile Manifestation because Green Black already has a lot of good defensive two drops, and I don’t expect to be cycling much in a Green Black ramp deck (although there are definitely good cycling cards in that color combination as well). Marauding Boneslasher not being able to block consistently makes it a rather poor choice for our deck, and Lurching Rotbeast is just a mediocre four drop. I’d rather speculate on another color and keep my options open. Traveler’s Amulet does help with splashing, but I’d never take it this highly. Sandblast is the pick here in my opinion, as the removal is quite good, and we can easily splash for it in our green deck.

Pack 1, pick 6

I’m fine with taking a second Sandblast here, for the same reasons I picked it in the previous pack. The second copy is perhaps even better, as even if we don’t end up Green White we could splash them both, and making my mana base a little bit worse feels more okay if I’m splashing for two copies rather than one.

Pack 1, pick 7

Hope Tender is an excellent two drop that fits our strategy quite well. I don’t need a third Sandblast here.

Pack 1, pick 8

The pick here for me is between Bitterbow Sharpshooters and Feral Prowler. The cat is a good defensive two drop that can help us survive the early game; but Bitterbow Sharpshooters can dominate a lot of boards, and is in my opinion the better card here. Note that if I was sure that we were going to end up in Green Black with multiple cards like Ornery Kudu and Lethal Sting I might take the Prowler here.

Pack 1, pick 9

The Naga fills out our three drop slot nicely, and is a fine pick up this late in the pack.

Pack 2, pick 1

We open an Angel of Condemnation, so that was pretty sweet! If the Angel wasn’t in the pack I would speculate on Abrade rather than taking Devotee of Strength.

Pack 2, pick 2

Vizier of the True and Dauntless Aven are very good in Red White aggressive decks, but both would be pretty bad in our deck. Torment of Hailfire is somewhat of a bomb, but it didn’t look like black was open in pack one and I’m not too excited about it anyway. I tend to value Gideon’s Defeat quite highly, but Desert of the Indomitable is the clear pick here in my opinion. As a general rule of thumb, if it looks like I’m going to get enough playables and don’t need to fill a certain spot in my curve I’ll pick lands over mediocre cards.

Pack 2, pick 3

Oasis Ritualist is exactly what our deck wants. I’m happy to pick it up here.

Pack 2, pick 4

Steadfast Sentinel is the best card in our colors, and none of the other cards are enough better that I’d consider taking one of them instead. Manalith could help us splash in case we open something really good later on, but just as with the Traveler’s Amulet earlier I have no interest in taking it this early.

Pack 2, pick 5

Removal that exiles is really good in this format, and I’ll happily pick Gideon’s Defeat here over both Harrier Naga and Sandblast.

Pack 2, pick 6

None of the cards in the pack are appealing to us. Appeal // Authority is in our colors but doesn’t fit our strategy at all. At least Chandra’s Defeat is a good sideboard card if we end up splashing red.

Pack 2, pick 7

Feral Prowler is a fine card that I’m happy to play in slower decks. I could see taking another Sandblast here, but I feel like it’s better to prioritize our curve here.

Pack 2, pick 8

Preferably I want to have at least three deserts in all my decks that care about deserts. If it wasn’t for Desert of the Indomitable, I’d take Rampaging Hippo over Sandblast here, but that’s only because we’re the kind of deck that Hippo is at its best in, and because we already have multiple copies of Sandblast.

Pack 2, pick 9

The Sidewinder Naga makes me happy I took the desert. A 4/2 is much better against opposing eternalize creatures than a 3/2.

Pack 2, pick 10

Gideon’s Defeat came back, and it looks like white is quite open.

Pack 3, pick 1

Sandwurm Convergence is perhaps the best finisher a ramp deck could wish for. I kinda wish we had seen more Oasis Ritualists in the previous packs to help us cast these expensive cards, but am certainly not going to complain about opening one of the best cards for our deck.

Pack 3, pick 2

Glory-Bound Initiate is among the best two drops in the format, and I’m very happy to have it passed to me. This deck doesn’t want Trial of Solidarity, much like I passed Appeal // Authority in the previous pack.

Pack 3, pick 3

Our deck doesn’t have enough small creatures to make me want to splash Bontu the Glorified. I don’t think Oketra’s Monument is at its best in our deck, but I still take it over Bitterblade Warrior mainly to try the card.

Pack 3, pick 4

Tah-Crop Elite is still a decent card even if it would be much better in an aggressive tempo deck. I took Stinging Shot over it here because I thought we would have enough playable cards and would rather have access to a strong sideboard card to help deal with opposing fliers that can otherwise be difficult for us to beat other than with Sandwurm Convergence.

Pack 3, pick 5

I take the two drop over one of the combat tricks. I’m not excited about it, but we do need to fill out our curve.

Pack 3, pick 6

Oracle’s Vault seems like a bomb in the late game and I’m a bit surprised to see it go this late. I’m happy to take it here and see if my assessment of the card was correct or not.

Pack 3, pick 7

I would play the cycling land even if it was only in one of our colors, and don’t mind missing out on a Winged Shepherd.

Pack 3, pick 8

Either of the combat tricks are probably fine here. I ended up taking Djeru’s Resolve because it does have some nice synergy with our Angel of Condemnation, and we can always cycle it if we’d rather have something else.

Pack 3, pick 9

I took Ornery Kudu here because I wanted a three drop and it’s normally quite good. In retrospect however I think this was a mistake as Start // Finish is also a three drop and we can pretty easily splash for the black half.

Pack 3, pick 10

Rhet-Crop Spearmaster is a good three drop that I’m happy to get this late in the pack.


Overall, I’m happy with this Green White control deck. I have plenty of removal, big attackers, must-kill threats, and Sandwurm Convergence for inevitability.

Sandro is a Magic player from Stockholm, Sweden. He’s been playing Goblins in Legacy for years. Follow him on Twitter @SandroRajalin

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