(Metagame Archive) Draft Clinic: Scott Hunstad

Alex Brown

Welcome to this week’s installment of The Draft Clinic! This week, we follow Scott Hunstad through the wringer. Scott managed to get an interesting seat with the option of what is probably the most talked-about strategy in X-Men Draft—the Blackbird Blue deck. Read on and find out how Scott built his deck.

Pack 1, Pick 1

Chrome; Hellfire Club Mercenary; X-Men United; Callisto; Mutant Massacre; Homo- Superior; X-Corp: Hong Kong; Jetstream; Neutralized; Psylocke, Armored Empath; Colossus, Organic Steel; Morlock Justice; Kang, Scarlet Centurion; Subterranean Sanctuary

This is probably as clear-cut a choice as you are going to get in a first pack. I usually like to start by picking characters; part of that reasoning is that you don’t want to be stuck with cards that can’t make your deck later on. Mutant Massacre will always make your deck in this format, and there would have to be an almost archetypal card in the pack for you not to take it first pick first pack.

Scott’s pick: Mutant Massacre

My pick: Mutant Massacre

Pack 1, Pick 2

Psionic Storm; Sunder; Turnabout; Blackbird Blue; Destiny; The Hellfire Club; Selene; Mutopia; Leech; Immovable; Bishop; Shake, Rattle, and Roll; Hellfire Club Initiate

There are some very powerful cards in this pack, but one is definitely more powerful than the others. Turnabout, Destiny, Psionic Storm, The Hellfire Club, Immovable, and Leech are all picks normally worthy of consideration, but Blackbird Blue is more powerful than any of them, particularly given how early it is in the draft (which means that there is time to get all the pieces we need to make the deck work).

I have been asked whether or not I like taking narrow but archetypal cards early in a draft. I think that once you get experience in a format, you can become aware of which of the more common archetypes tend to do better more often. If I think the direction a certain card dictates is one of the top two or three strategies in the format, I will take the card, but if it is an extremely powerful card that often leads to a somewhat mediocre or difficult-to-draft deck, I will often pass it on.

Blackbird Blue facilitates one of the more powerful archetypes in X-Men Draft: an X-Men–based weenie deck. I am very happy to see a Blackbird Blue early and will take it almost without question. Scott seemed to think similarly.

Scott’s pick: Blackbird Blue

My pick: Blackbird Blue

Pack 1, Pick 3

Wolverine, The Best at What He Does; Havok, Critical Mass; Henrietta Hunter; ; Beef; Rebirth; Juggernaut; Empath; Spiral; Image Inducer; Harry Delgado; X-Corp: Paris

Hmmm. I am of the opinion that, pound-for-pound, Image Inducer is the best card in this pack. However, Wolverine is also a strong pick, giving us a character and an optimal finisher for any deck focused on Blackbird Blue. Harry Delgado lurks as a possibility in the pack, as well. At this stage, I think it is worth sticking to the Blackbird plan; I would have gone with Wolverine, as Scott did, because there isn’t enough of a discrepancy between the power level of the cards to make you want to change plans yet.

Scott’s pick: Wolverine

My pick: Wolverine

Pack 1, Pick 4

X-Treme Maneuver; X-Corp: Paris; Jetstream, Freedom Force; Mysterium; Genis-Vell ◊ Photon; Colossus, Organic Steel; Mastermind; Hellfire Club Mercenary; Donald Pierce; Evil Alliance

This pack seems a little underpowered. Jetstream is a fine card, but Scott just picked a 5-drop and his cards seem to be heading in a different direction. There are plenty of mediocre 6-drops and a Mastermind to pique our interest. Still, Scott decides that X-Treme Maneuver is the pick. Now, I haven’t had that much experience with this card, but I wouldn’t have picked it this highly.

Perhaps surprisingly, probably shockingly, I would have gone with what I consider the most underrated card in the entire set: Hellfire Club Mercenary. Here is a 2 ATK / 1 DEF for 1—perfect for Blackbird Blue if we can team-up. There is an Evil Alliance in the pack that is unlikely to be taken, as Hellfire curve decks tend to be mono. Hellfire Mercenary has the additional benefit of being playable for free if you find yourself with excess cards in hand. Overall, I think that if we are going to go down the Blackbird Blue path, we are going to want at least six 1-drops, and because of that, we probably want them in a team that isn’t as popular as X-Men or Morlocks for weenies. It doesn’t hurt either that this guy is Army, which allows us to take as many as we want when, for uniqueness reasons, 1-drops are usually limited to two.

Scott’s pick: X-Treme Maneuver

My pick: Hellfire Club Mercenary

Pack 1, Pick 5

Plague; Firestar, Hellion; Kleinstock Brothers; Join the Club; Wundagore Citadel; Emma Frost, White Queen; Brave New World; Go Down Fighting; Wolverine, Patch; Pack Tactics

I don’t have much regard for tricks that ensure stuns while defending, like Pack Tactics, so I think this pick is really a choice between Plague and Brave New World. I like both of these cards a lot. Brave New World is a fantastically flexible card that works just as well in a weenie deck as any other because it is, I think, the only Team-Up that teams-up two generic teams. On the other hand, you have Plague, who is a 2-drop who naturally swings up the curve and fits right into an aggressive deck regardless of teams. I think that at this stage, we are going to be looking to a strong X-Men presence to support Blackbird, so we probably aren’t as interested in a generic Team-Up right now as a premier 2-drop, particularly since we don’t need the trait Team-Up right now either.

Scott’s pick: Plague

My pick: Plague

Pack 1, Pick 6

Multiple Man ◊ Jamie Madrox; Magnetic Force; Julia Carpenter; Krakoa; Phase Shift; Boot to the Head; Storm, Gold Leader; Hellfire Club Mercenary; Lying in Wait

Well, these packs have been wildly uninteresting so far. Boot to the Head probably symbolizes something, and the player who picked up Harry Delgado (who should be on your left) will be happy. Apart from that, there is Phase Shift, Lying in Wait, and another Mercenary. For the same reasons as above, I would have taken the Mercenary, but Scott went with the Phase Shift.

Scott’s pick: Phase Shift

My pick: Hellfire Club Mercenary

Pack 1, Pick 7

Feral; Black Panther, King of Wakanda; Subterranean Sanctuary; Selene; The Beautiful Dreamer; Toad, Hopalong; Hellfire Club Mercenary; X-Corp: Amsterdam

Lo and behold, another Mercenary! However, there is a clear pick in this pack: Black Panther, or more accurately, who there is to go get Blackbird Blue. Scott admitted to not thinking of this at the time; he took The Beautiful Dreamer, which I think is a strange pick considering that Feral is in the pack as well. Still, Scott might have the right of it, as Feral is still really a 5-drop and he already has Wolverine. Scott said later that he didn’t want to be too hard into off-curve if it didn’t pay off in later packs. If he had the Mercenaries, this might not have been as big a problem, but we both agreed that Black Panther was the clear pick here regardless.

Scott’s pick: The Beautiful Dreamer

My Pick: Black Panther

Pack 1, Pick 8

Nightcrawler, Swashbuckler; Piper; Mutopia; Rogue, Anna Marie; Blow Hard; Power Play; Cardinal Law

It’s a pretty easy pick for Scott here; he tries to stay flexible with Nightcrawler. I consider Power Play a better pick, but many people see turn 7 as irrelevant in this format.

Scott’s pick: Nightcrawler

My pick: Nightcrawler

Pack 1, Pick 9

Subterranean Sanctuary; X-Corp: Hong Kong; X-Men United; Jetstream; Hellfire Club Mercenary; Kang, Scarlet Centurion

Man, I love it when no one respects the Mercenary. Still, Scott would love to have seen the X-Men Team-Up here. Jetstream and the X-Corp could also slot into the deck.

Scott’s pick: X-Men United

My pick: X-Men United

Pack 1, Pick 10

Immovable; Selene; The Hellfire Club; Hellfire Club Initiate; Shake, Rattle and Roll

The Hellfire Club and Immovable are the best cards here, though we could take the Initiate if desperate for 1-drops. Scott hedges his bets and goes with the card that still might make his deck.

Scott’s pick: Immovable

My pick: Immovable

Pack 1, Pick 11

Henrietta Hunter, Rebirth, X-Corp: Amsterdam, The Forsaken

As Scott doesn’t know how many X-Men he is going to have, he goes with The Forsaken instead of the pseudo-Team-Up. I think I would have gone with the location.

Scott’s pick: The Forsaken

My pick: X-Corp Amsterdam

Pack 1, Pick 12

Freedom Force, Mysterium, Evil Alliance

The archetypal Freedom Force is still here, but the Team-Up is always going to be more relevant.

Scott’s pick: Evil Alliance

My pick: Evil Alliance

Pack 1, Pick 13

Emma Frost, White Queen; Wundagore Citadel

Scott takes the 7-drop, although it doesn’t really matter here. I guess there is more chance of him playing it.

Scott’s pick: Emma Frost

My Pick: Emma Frost

Pack 1, Pick 14

Krakoa  

Pack 2, Pick 1

Plague; Go Down Fighting; Harry’s Hideaway; Bum’s Rush; ; Piper; X-Corp: Paris; Amelia Voght; Army of One; Stonewall; Silver Sable; Hellhound; Cardinal Law; Wolverine, The Best at What He Does

This is an interesting pack in that it contains a number of staples that would demand that Scott give more direction to his deck if he took them. Bum’s Rush is a very powerful card, but Scott only has two Morlocks at this stage and decent enough blue to want to look for a character (he considered Harry’s Hideaway and left it for the same reason, I’m guessing). Storm and Wolverine could be decent in his deck, but the Plague definitely seems like the right card to keep his options open a little longer.

Scott’s pick: Plague

My pick: Plague

Pack 2, Pick 2

Image Inducer; Blackbird Blue; Evil Alliance; Blob, Freedom Force; Archangel, Angel; X-Corp: Hong Kong; Thornn, Lucia Callasantos; Genis-Vell ◊ Photon; Colossus, Organic Steel; Empath; Sunder; Alter Density; Psionic Storm

Dejà vu. There are several picks Scott could take from this pack that are negated by the presence of the Blackbird Blue. Really, Scott has to decide whether or not the second Blue is worth it. Scott said later that he didn’t think it was because his deck wasn’t strictly a weenie deck yet and the card had a better chance of tabling in the second pack where people are more settled. So, given that he passed on the most powerful card in the pack to pull together the rest of his deck, what are his options?

Immediately, we should be thinking characters, because if we are going to let Blackbird go here, it would seem incredibly risky to take a non-character card like Image Inducer or Psionic Storm. Really, the picks then are Thornn or Archangel. This is a choice of direction for Scott; if he wants to make the most of the Blackbird Blue he already has, he is going to need some 1-drops. Alternatively, he could let that plan go and try to build a short curve deck with heavy hitters like Thornn in the middle. In the end, Scott decided to go for the weenie plan, as I would have; there is still time to pick up 3-drops, but if he wants 1-drops, he needs to start getting them now (particularly when they are X-Men).

Scott’s pick: Archangel

My pick: Archangel

Pack 2, Pick 3

Neutralized; Angel Dust; Shadowcat, Katya; Gambit, Ragin’ Cajun; Freedom Force; Jetstream; Psylocke, Armored Empath; The Hellfire Club; Callisto; Planet X; Inner Circle; Special Delivery

Several picks here are worth considering, but again, cards like Neutralized and Special Delivery are just not worth it at this stage because Scott has not yet secured himself a curve. As Scott has decided to pursue the weenie route for a while, this pick is probably only between Shadowcat and Angel Dust. Gambit could be okay, but again, the emphasis on 5-drops here is not as strong. Shadowcat is an X-Men character, which should count for something because Scott has been diluting the power of his Blackbird Blue by picking up a lot of Morlocks characters. Still, this pick could go either way, and the need for quality 1-drops probably surpasses the need for another 2-drop at the moment.

Scott’s pick: Angel Dust

My pick: Angel Dust

Pack 2, Pick 4

Archangel, Angel; Wundagore Citadel; Pyro, Freedom Force; The Forsaken; Absolute Power; Mind Control; Emma Frost, Friend or Foe; Friedrich Von Roehm; Kill the Flatscans; Kidney Punch; Emma Frost, White Queen

Someone is going to be very happy to get such a late Emma Frost, Friend or Foe, but it won’t be us. Really, our choices are between Archangel, Friedrich, and Kidney Punch. Scott is lacking in the pumps department at the moment, but I was surprised that he went with the Kidney Punch. I would definitely have gone with the second Archangel here. There is always the chance of wheeling an X-Corp: Hong Kong (it happened in the first pack), but more than that, Archangel is just a fantastic 1-drop that really does everything we want it to do. Friedrich is great, too, and if I had the Mercenaries, maybe I’d be tempted, but the 1-drop situation is always precarious and should be dealt with first. We particularly still need weenie X-men.

Scott’s pick: Kidney Punch

My pick: Archangel

Pack 2, Pick 5

Joanna Cargill; Thornn, Lucia Callasantos; Lockheed; Alter Density; ; Empath; Crimson Commando; Blob, Freedom Force; Hemingway; Planet X

The Brotherhood is really underappreciated in this draft; there are several amazing picks left for them here. Still, we are far enough in that we can avoid all that and settle on Thornn or Lockheed. Joanna Cargill is fantastic, but our Team-Up situation means that she will likely always be suboptimal. Here, Scott and I differ again, but I think that is has more to do with opposing philosophies than anything strictly wrong. Scott took Thornn, explaining later that he though he didn’t always need to be so aggressive with the 1-drops, even with Blackbird Blue. I disagree; the 1-drops are the cornerstone of the deck, and I would have taken Lockheed.

Scott’s pick: Thornn

My pick: Lockheed

Pack 2, Pick 6

Krakoa, Above and Below, Friedrich Von Roehm, Harry Delgado, Rem-Ram, Fabian Cortez, Psychic Armor, Army of One, Memory Probe

The Brotherhood keeps on piling through, but there are only two picks here for us: Above and Below and Friedrich Von Roehm. Again, Scott and I disagree, with him stressing the need for Team-Ups and me worried about the 2-drop situation. I am not a huge fan of Above and Below, preferring to rely on a late The Forsaken than lose a pick just for the drawing of a card. Still, this is another murky pick to mull over.

Scott’s pick: Above and Below

My pick: Friedrich Von Roehm

Pack 2, Pick 7

Viper; Homo Superior; Sage, Xavier’s Secret Weapon; Piper; Masque; Erg; Firestar, Hellion; Acolyte Body Armor

Hmmm. A good pack. Homo Superior would definitely be good in our deck, but Viper is routinely insane. It’s strange to see a card of this caliber still here, but at least we are taking it.

Scott’s pick: Viper

My Pick: Viper

Pack 2, Pick 8

X-Treme Maneuver; Raising Hell; Masque; Friedrich Von Roehm; Iceman, Deep Freeze; Emma Frost, White Queen; Acolyte Body Armor

Given that Scott picked up a very early X-Treme Maneuver, Friedrich is the only real pick for him. A gift, almost.

Scott’s pick: Friedrich Von Roehm

My pick: Friedrich Von Roehm

Pack 2, Pick 9

Piper, Stonewall, Cardinal Law, Go Down Fighting, Hellhound, Harry’s Hideaway

Well, there you have it. Getting the Harry’s Hideaway this late must have really surprised Scott, in a pleasant way of course, as he had considered it first pick. I think this is a good example of why characters are better picks earlier on. Characters are much more splashable and therefore harder to wheel, but sometimes there might be only one other person at the table who could take your team-stamped blue and green, so they will just wheel all the way.

Scott’s pick: Harry’s Hideaway

My pick: Harry’s Hideaway

Pack 2, Pick 10

Blackbird Blue, Sunder, Alter Density, Evil Alliance, X-Corp: Hong Kong

Heh, there’s the X-Corp we wanted back, but clearly there is another card we are going to take. That a Blackbird wheels should not be so shocking in the second pack. The table will invariably only support one such deck, so after the first pack, I don’t think people would be willing to take the risk. Still, you’d think someone would have drafted it defensively.  

In Vs. System, you need to play so many of your cards that taking a card to deprive someone else should only be done rarely. The types of cards you want to take are archetypal cards, like Blackbird Blue, that simply win games by themselves. Many people say that you shouldn’t hate draft because the chances of you playing against that card are so low, but this logic doesn’t go far enough. If you do play against that card, you have to ask yourself how much it is going to improve your opponent’s chances of winning. Archetypal cards can often take a mediocre deck and give it amazing draws. For that reason, when it doesn’t hurt too much, you should hate draft a card like the Blackbird so that you don’t turn a 1-2 deck into a deck that could get good draws and 3-0.

Scott’s pick: Blackbird Blue

My pick: Blackbird Blue

Pack 2, Pick 11

Planet X; Neutralized; Psylocke, Armored Empath; Inner Circle

I don’t know what the Planet X was still doing there, but Scott decided that he needed the character more than the Neutralized, and I agree. He isn’t completely off-curve at this stage, so it is better to shore up his options.

Scott’s pick: Psylocke

My pick: Psylocke

Pack 2, Pick 12

The Forsaken, Wundagore Citadel, Absolute Power

This was an easy pick, as you would expect this late.

Scott’s pick: The Forsaken

My pick: The Forsaken

Pack 2, Pick 13

Alter Density, Acolyte Body Armor

Okay, this is ridiculous. Clearly, no one is reservist or there is only one player being overwhelmed with amazing picks. We’ll make a typical defensive pick.

Scott’s pick: Alter Density

My pick: Alter Density

Pack 2, Pick 14

Memory Probe  

Pack 3, Pick 1

Pyro, Freedom Force; Sage, Tessa; X-Corp: Amsterdam; Mutopia; Piper; 2x Feral; Catseye; Toxin; Join the Club; Trevor Fitzroy; Freedom Force; Shinobi Shaw; Nightcrawler, Swashbuckler

This was probably not the pack Scott really wanted to open. There was the impressive Sage, Tessa, but it wouldn’t really be much more than a solid 2-drop in his deck. Nightcrawler was a possibility, but Scott was more tempted by one of the Ferals (one was foil). Feral has the ability to end games extremely quickly, even if it is probably best as a 5-drop. There isn’t much else to pick here; even if we were interested in Catseye, it would probably come back. I would have picked up the 2-drop, but really, Scott was looking for a good pump or something better from the character department.

Scott’s pick: Feral

My pick: Sage, Tessa

Pack 3, Pick 2

Tarot; Havok, Critical Mass; Toad, Hopalong; Mind Control; X-Corp: Hong Kong; Blob, Freedom Force; Hellfire Club Mercenary; Joanna Cargill; Evil Alliance; Neutralized; X-Treme Maneuver; Masque; Mikhail Rasputin

This was another average pack for Scott’s needs—a lot of solid cards with nothing that really stood out for him. He went for Havok, which would have been disappointing, but there wasn’t much else to take.

Scott’s pick: Havok

My pick: Havok

Pack 3, Pick 3

Jetstream; Pack Tactics; Longshot, Hero of Mojoworld; District X; Emma Frost, White Queen; Evil Alliance; Black Panther, King of Wakanda Iceman, Deep Freeze; Beef; Psionic Storm; Image Inducer; Psychic Armor

Scott again missed the synergy with Black Panther, going for Longshot, a card he likes much more than me. There are many options in this pack; Image Inducer, Psionic Storm, District X, and Jetstream could all be viable if we already had a Black Panther. Without it, the pick is clear (a fact that Scott would note later).

Scott’s pick: Longshot

My pick: Black Panther

Pack 3, Pick 4

Trevor Fitzroy; Blackbird Blue; Hemingway; Marrow; Psychic Armor; Bloodhound; Iceman, Deep Freeze; Roberta De Costa; Toad, Hopalong; Senyaka; Memory Probe

Hah! Another Blackbird Blue! Two will generally be enough, but this says something about the draft. Scott decides to let it go here and I agree with him. Clearly, if the second one tabled, no one else is remotely close to a similar deck and this one is likely to come back as well. The rest of the pack is pretty average, so Scott decides to go with Marrow, which I cannot fault him on. The pickings are slim.

Scott’s pick: Marrow

My pick: Marrow

Pack 3, Pick 5

Piper; Mysterium; Shinobi Shaw; Lying in Wait; The Evil Eye; Feral; Krakoa; Beef; Kang, Scarlet Centurion; Angel of Mercy

Well clearly, Feral isn’t as highly in demand as Scott would have liked. Fortunately, he gets the fantastic Angel of Mercy, which fits perfectly into his deck.

Scott’s pick: Angel of Mercy

My pick: Angel of Mercy

Pack 3, Pick 6

The Forsaken; X-Corp: Amsterdam; Black Panther, King of Wakanda; Selene; District X; Image Inducer; James Proudstar ◊ Thunderbird, Hellion; Memory Probe; The Evil Eye

Well, third time’s a charm for Scott. He shakes his head at himself and picks up Black Panther, having to pass another Image Inducer.

Scott’s pick: Black Panther

My pick: Black Panther

Pack 3, Pick 7

Erg; Homo Superior; Mutopia; Psychic Struggle; Mindtap Mechanism; Sage, Xavier’s Secret Weapon; The Hellfire Club; Sub-Mariner, Namor

I know that Scott likes Homo Superior, but he lets it go for Sage. I would have picked the Homo Superior, banking on getting another 3-drop or just hitting a 1-drop and a 2-drop otherwise (or equipping a Blackbird Blue). I think he needs the pumps more at this stage, but it could be a matter of preference.

Scott’s pick: Sage

My pick: Homo Superior

Pack 3, Pick 8

Donald Pierce, X-Corp: Paris, Crimson Commando, Superhero Showdown, Bloodhound, Good Samaritan, Cardinal Law

Bleh. Scott really isn’t getting too many freebies on the fringes of the packs. He picks up another 2-drop out of a weak (but stock eighth) pack.

Scott’s pick: Crimson Commando

My pick: Crimson Commando

Pack 3, Pick 9

Feral; Nightcrawler, Swashbuckler; Sage, Tessa; Catseye; Shinobi Shaw; Piper

To have the Feral wheel after taking it first pick is amusing, but my choice, the Sage, is still (incredibly) there too. There are some other interesting picks, including a Catseye that Scott takes and a Mindtap Mechanism that would be great except for the fact that we will always get Blackbird with the Panther. I would have gone for the 3-drop if we’d taken the Homo Superior earlier, but I guess I would do what Scott did here because the deck doesn’t have enough of a late game to forget its early one.

Scott’s pick: Catseye

My pick: Catseye

Pack 3, Pick 10

Mind Control; Masque; Blob, Freedom Force; Mikhail Rasputin; Evil Alliance

The Team-Up seems unnecessary, so Scott picks up the random 6-drop to plug his deck.

Scott’s pick: Blob

My pick: Blob

Pack 3, Pick 11

Beef, Jetstream, The Evil Alliance, District X

I don’t know how a District X manages to go this far, but I guess it is the mad rush of pack three, where card values seem to get thrown away. Jetstream gives Scott’s deck the most potential to deal endurance loss in the late game, so he picks it up.

Scott’s pick: Jetstream

My pick: Jetstream

Pack 3, Pick 12

Blackbird Blue, Hemingway, Memory Probe

Scott’s pick: Blackbird Blue

My pick: Blackbird Blue

Pack 3, Pick 13

Krakoa, Mysterium

Scott’s pick: Krakoa

My pick: Krakoa

Pack 3, Pick 14

James Proudstar

This is the deck Scott ended up playing:

Characters (19)

Archangel, Angel

Angel Dust

Catseye

Plague

Longshot, Hero of Mojoworld

Friedrich Von Roehm

Crimson Commando

Viper

Sage, Xavier’s Secret Weapon

Nightcrawler, Swashbuckler

Black Panther, King of Wakanda

The Beautiful Dreamer

Havok, Critical Mass

Feral

Psylocke, Armored Empath

Thornn, Lucia Callasantos

Wolverine, The Best at What He Does

Jetstream

James Proudstar ◊ Thunderbird, Hellion

Plot Twists (9)

2 The Forsaken

Above and Below

X-Men United

Angel of Mercy

Phase Shift

Kidney Punch

Mutant Massacre

Harry’s Hideaway

Equipment (2)

2 Blackbird Blue

Scott was happy with running only the two Blackbirds, leaving the third in his board. He also noted that while Immovable was a great card, this was clearly not the deck for it. Scott spent a lot of time going back and forth between the second Forsaken and X-Treme Maneuver. Eventually, he went with the fourth Team-Up, citing that this sort of deck lives or dies by its ability to team-up.

In his first match, Scott was able to counter a crucial Drain Essence in recovery (his opponent was playing around The Alley) by teaming-up and using Angel of Mercy. Even though he had missed his 2-drop, he was able to equip Archangel with Blackbird Blue on turn 2, and he hit a good curve after that, topping off turn 6 with Thornn and Sage, Xavier’s Secret Weapon pumped through for the win.

In the second match, Scott’s opponent missed his 3-drop altogether and then could only muster a 2-drop on turn 4! Scott hit a decent curve, rounding out with a Blackbird Blue again to ensure that the game didn’t go any longer than the fifth turn.

The final was a little more difficult for Scott. He hit a fantastic curve from turn 1, and his opponent needed to peel his 4-drop. But in the end, Scott was facing a fully loaded Hellfire Club deck with Shaw Industries, triple Army of One, and an optimal late curve. Even a Black Panther–fuelled Blackbird assault wasn’t enough, and Scott got brick-walled on turn 6 and had to settle for second place.

Overall, the draft went reasonably well for Scott. I feel that he missed a golden opportunity to go hard at making the Blackbird ridiculous by picking up the Hellfire guys earlier, though I will concede that it is a personal preference to play six or more 1-drops in the sort of deck I like with Blackbird. Unlike James last week, who got stuck with very specific requirements early, Scott kept his options open long after getting a very strong archetypal pick. You can be the judge of whether he should have gone one way or the other earlier.

So there ends another Draft clinic. Thanks for reading!

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