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Alara Reborn Review Part 4: Limited Second Picks April 29, 2009

Posted by James in : all, reviews, previews, strategy, tips, limited, draft, sealed , trackback

If you can’t get one of the best bombs or first picks mentioned in my previous articles, you could still get something nearly as powerful. These I call “second picks.” Here are my favorite 12 second picks:

Twelfth place: Zealous Persecution

zealous persecution

Zealous Persecution is great removal against some decks, and it can be like giving your creatures +2/+2 as a combat trick.

Eleventh place: Bant Sureblade

bant sureblade

The second best of the common “blades.” An almost-Watchwolf that can get first place that is easier to play than Watchwolf.

Tenth place: Esper Stormblade

esper stormblade

A very powerful common creature. The best of the common “blades.” An almost-Watchwolf that can get flying and is easier to play than Watchwolf.

Nineth place: Winged Coatl

wingled coatl

Winged Coatl isn’t the best creature removal spell, but it can kill just about anything. On the downside, it is hard to use except when playing Bant.

Eighth place: Ethersworn Shieldmage

ethersworn shieldmage

In esper this card can be devastating. Still worth playing outside of esper to get an invincible blocker.

Seventh place: Sangrite Backlash

sangrite backlash

Sangrite Backlash is pretty good removal and it can make a creature deal more damage in rare situations.

Sixth place: Vithian Renegades

vithian renegades

This is usually a two for one, and is very powerful against Esper.

Fifth place: Enlisted Wurm

enlisted wurm

A two for one creature that would be playable without getting a two for one. Best big uncommon creature in all of Alara block. Enlisted Wurm and “better” second picks are all in a gray area because they could easily be seen as first picks. If you need big creatures still, Enlisted Wurm might be the best choice for a first pick.

Fourth place: Marisi’s Twinclaws

marisi's twinclaws

One of the best creatures and very powerful in an exalted deck. One of the best double strike creatures ever made.

Third place: Qasali Pridemage

qasali pridemage

Qasali Pathmage is an almost-watchwolf that can often give you a two for one. (Block, stack damage, then sacrifice it to destroy an artifact.)

Second place: Stun Sniper

stun sniper

Pingers are great, and pingers that tap creatures are even better. The only reason this isn’t a first pick is because it is hard to use unless you are in Naya.

First place: Bloodbraid Elf

bloodbraid elf

The best uncommon creature of Alara Reborn. You get a two for one with a creature that would be good anyway. If you need creatures in your deck still, this might be better than removal.


1. Recoculous.com: Magic the Gathering Articles » Drafting Alara Reborn Part 1 - May 6, 2009

[…] Although you will probably already know what colors you will play before opening the Alara Reborn pack, the colors you choose to play can be influenced based on what you hope to get in Alara Reborn. The most notable influence is probably Loxodon Warhammer. I mean Behemoth Sledge, which is a green-white uncommon. This is relatively easy to splash, so that alone isn’t going to make you want to play a green white deck. (But it can help you decide to play green or white.) Considering the top 8 first picks that I have already mentioned, there are 4 cards you can use while playing jund, 3 for Grixis, 3 for Bant, 4 for Naya, and 2 for Esper. At this point Naya and Jund sound best. The fact that Behemoth Sledge can be usd in Naya is a bonus, so Naya sounds like it is still the best deck in general. It should be noted that Grixis has the biggest shortcoming with the top 8 first picks because Jund can use all of the cards that the Grixis deck can use and more. Grixis loses. What about when we expand the first picks to include 12 more cards? (These are the cards I called “second picks” here. Naya gets 8 more cards, Jund gets 4, Bant gets 7, Grixis gets 2, and Esper gets 4. Naya clearly wins here, and Bant isn’t far behind. Grixis still loses out. Here are the current total first picks in each color combination: […]

2. Recoculous.com: Magic the Gathering Articles » Drafting Alara Reborn Part 2: Naya - May 23, 2009

[…] The cards you want for your Naya deck when playing in Alara Reborn. You might want to read about Alara Reborn’s bombs, first picks, and second picks. This article discusses Reborn’s mentionable cards for Naya. […]