Pure Epic – First DDF Draft

DDF released on MTGO this week, and it happened to come out in the middle of Spring Break for my school district, so I got to stay home and just draft. I decided to jump in a prerelease just to get some early practice with the format. I know that written draft walkthroughs aren’t as much in vogue as video walkthroughs, but one of the things that I love about the written form is that I get a chance to go back and look at the draft with a lot of hindsight. It allows me to be more analytical and distanced from my own picks, so that the reader can get a better idea of how to improve and so that I can see where I made mistakes.

My preferred mode of discussing drafts is by way of Rare Draft. You can find the link to my draft here. Rare Draft is a great resource, but it also frequently crashes when a format first comes out, so hopefully that link works when you head there. If not, you can at least see the first pick and the decklist. One of the other downsides is that Rare Draft requires you to sign in with a Google ID, so you might have to come back and click the link again once you’ve logged in:

It really seems like we sat down at the right table between the right people. We ended up with a very strong green deck, basically mono-green. Being that tightly focused on color comes with a lot of benefits, since you just don’t have to worry about mana problems nearly as much. It makes it easier to build a tight mana base, and it also means that you get to keep a higher percentage of hands, and having this tight of a mana base often means winning one or two games just on the strength of that focus alone. I usually think of tight mana as being worth a bomb rare in my deck, and you can tell that I valued this highly throughout the draft.

Here is the final decklist for the draft:

I posted this deck on twitter, and most of the questions were about Orc Sureshot and Dromoka’s Gift.

I decided to play the Feral Krushok over the Orc Sureshot mainly out of mana considerations. Sureshot is a strong card objectively, but it would require me to play one or two more black mana sources. This is because Sureshot really needs to come down on turn 4 to get its full value. It just isn’t as useful if it comes down later in the game. Also, Feral Krushok seems pretty useful with three Epic Confrontations and a Hunt the Weak.

I ended up going 3-0.

Round one was easily the toughest match of the draft. My opponent played UB, and played out a T1 Typhoid Rats then a T4 Ukud Cobra. Just looking at my deck, you can see that Ukud Cobra is basically the nut against me. I managed to fight through the Cobra game one, but lost so much value that I ended up losing. In games two and three, I also faced the Cobra, but I was able to beat it by trading a Krotiq for it in one game and two Quartermaster tokens plus a Glade Watcher in another game. Rakshasa Gravecaller was key in this deck, by just providing me with enough power spread out on the board to squeeze through the last few damage.

Round two was easy. My opponent was playing UR, and just couldn’t handle all of my gigantic creatures. I curved out and smashed face, and used Epic Confrontation to punch through the last bit of damage.

Round three I faced a WU deck playing Skywise Teachings. My opponent basically stabilized against me by playing a pacifism on my 4/4 Wildcall creature, but I immediately drew Gravecaller the next turn, powered out an extra seven damage the next turn, and won the game. In game two, I faced down a T4 Ojutai’s Exemplars. My opponent used Ojutai’s Breath to power through a ton of damage, and I was looking to be in pretty bad shape, but I landed a Feral Krushok, my opponent tapped out, and then I drew Epic Confrontation exactly on time to kill the Exemplars. I stabilized at 5 life with my opponent at 41, but three Segmented Krotiqs and an Aerie Bowmasters later, and I had beaten my opponent into submission.

The draft was fun and going 3-0 always feels awesome. It’s definitely an example of getting into the perfect deck just because people haven’t learned how to evaluate the cards correctly.

Epic Confrontation is really strong. It might be the best common in the set. Green is just strong in general, and very deep. I know a lot of people are high on Silumgar right now, and I really want that to be the best deck because I’m a huge UB fan in general. I mean, I was the guy that pushed hard on Dimir back in Gatecrash when everyone said it was unplayable. But green seems really strong and deep in this set, and red also has a few powerful uncommons, and I’m leaning towards those colors right now. We’ll see how the format shapes up in the next few weeks, but I’m keeping my eye on Atarka right now.



  1. Marcus Hensing · April 5, 2015

    Interesting draft 🙂 I agree with your deckbuilding choices when it comes to keeping the Black to a minimum. Comments to the draft as I was looking through it:
    P1P3: Interesting. Did you consider one of the Black cards (Imp, Skeleton)?

    P1P4: Do you think Ambushers are better than Epic Confrontation? I think I’d take the Epic here.

    P1P7: I think I like Glade Watcher over Shield-Bearer in the dark – thoughts? Does the fact that you have the Ambushers change this?

    P1P10: I like this pick – but I think the Scavenger looks good too. Did you consider it here?

    P1P11: Okay, Green is just wide open here, right?

    P1P12: See above.

    P1P13: Is the Yearling just too much worse than your morphs here? I’d consider it.

    P2P1: I have Gift pinned as powerful but also an effect you don’t want a lot of. You uninterested in 3-drops like the Bear because of the amount you already have?

    P2P4: At this point, you look almost mono-G, so I think I like the Wilds to splash the Gravecaller and the Flatten. Good pick.

    P2P12: Maximum disrespect for the Bear! But I think it’s a good pick. And Green is SO open.

    P3P2: Pretty easy value 🙂

    P3P3: Wow… With a Monument and a Twinbolt already, I’d be tempted by the Pyrotechnics here. But Sureshot’s not much worse and on-color, I guess…


  2. oraymw · April 5, 2015

    Hey, Marcus! Thanks for the comment.

    P1P3 – I didn’t consider any of the black cards. I think that Bowmasters and Beastbreaker are just on another power level tier from those cards. I honestly don’t think Reckless Imp is all that good, and I Think that Marang River Skeleton is just okay. But Bowmasters is definitely one of the ten best commons in the set, and quite possibly the best common creature. Beastbreaker is also a fabulous card that I want as many of as I can get. I would easily take those over any of the black cards.

    P1P4 – I think that Epic Confrontation is probably better, but I wanted to give Salt Road Ambushers a try. It might be better than Epic Confrontation, though it is probably worse, but I will have plenty of chances to play with Epic Confrontation, while I’ll have fewer early opportunities to learn about the Salt Road Ambushers.

    P1P7 – After this draft, I agree.

    P1P10 – I honestly don’t think the Scavenger is very good. On top of that, this green deck will probably be very creature dense, so Press the Advantage is a very welcome combat trick.

    P1P13 – I would normally pick the Yearling, but I’m so certain I’ll end up with enough playables considering that I’m at 11 playables by this pick that I decide to take the Atarka Monument on the off chance that I get a red bomb that I want to play. Like Atarka, or something.

    P2P1 – Bear might be better, but I just don’t know how good Gift is, so I wanted to get more experience. In the end, neither of these cards would have made the deck.

    P2P12 – I actually really like the bear. But I have so many playables that it can’t really make the deck, so I might as well prioritize the sideboard card that will be situationally amazing.

    P3P3 – I think that Pyrotechnics is for sure the pick. I think I just somehow didn’t see it in the pack, but this pick was surely a mistake.


    • Marcus Hensing · April 5, 2015

      P1P3: I agree that the Green cards are better than the Black ones, but you already have a Gravecaller and a card from another color you’d have to abandon to move into Green. Perhaps my knee-jerk reaction is committing too fast. You obviously got rewarded for going into Green. And without having actually tried playing with the set myself, I think Bowmasters look obviously very powerful. I could see them being the best common, yeah.

      I understand and agree with all your other comments 🙂


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