Demonic Tutor

Magic: the Gathering in the UK

Recently, I’ve been loving grading the online drafts on (it’s a great site – good work Ben!), but something keeps happening which is making me question
the way I approach drafting. There have now been quite a few occasions on which
a Vampire Nighthawk has come up in pack two without the drafter having much of
a Black commitment. Now I don’t, by any means, claim to be a drafting expert,
but I don’t see that it can be right to take a card that requires a reasonably
heavy commitment to Black when you have no guarantee you’ll find enough Black
playables before the end of the draft. It seems to me that, instead of adding
value to your deck by taking the best card, you’re actually hurting your deck
by being forced to fight for a colour that others at your table are already in,
and that you'll end up playing sub-optimal cards from as a result. The thing is, most of
the time the drafter has taken the Nighthawks (to general approval) and then gone
on to win the draft – often citing the Nighthawk as a game-winning card. So I’d
like to get people’s opinions on this. Should you try and force your way into a
colour if you get an amazing card in that colour in pack two? Is having the
best card worth sacrificing consitency for? Am I an idiot for even questioning
this? Let us know where you stand.

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If your not in black at all then obviously it's a bad pick. Sometimes you are almost mono colured with 1 or 2 picks in other colours, here is where you want a powerful card like nighthawk to send you down a definate path. You don't need to see much black to make this worthwhile as you have your other colour to be making picks in.

You don't need that many lands to hit double casting costs.
Guessing at least 2 of the drafts u talking about are mine, and in second pack if u got enough playables in one colour and then there is a Nighthawk early pack 2 and u want to go into black why not take it. The formats all about races and Nighthawk loves that. Also Black is quite deep, which allows one or two people ahead of u being black not wreck your draft.

My question is why do most people in my draft's and other's pick the tern over the card I pick, which I believe are better than playing the 2/1 which loses a lot of appeal if its in a X/u deck and not guaranteed to hit play t2. One mr chapin agree's about the tern not being a high pick, just look at him take the drake over it in first draft of the PT. Draft viewer. But this could be because its zzw.
Is that Mr. Chapin who went 8-1-1 in Standard and 3-3 in draft?

Tern is good. If this format is all about racing then a 2-power evasive guy on turn 2 is good, no?
He did 2-1 that draft where he made that pick. The format is all about racing, but all 2 drops race as well as each other because there is a lack of blocking around. I can think of at least 2 times where i saw a tern pick when also there was an eel in the same pack. So, is tern better than eel?
tern is definately better tan eel in ZZZ - might be different now. i think eel looked better but is just a little too slow in ZZZ. tern is better than other two doprs coz it flys - everyone takes scorpion or kracken hatchling etc which is why cards like lacerator dropped down in popularity very quickly.

i terms of kierans question - i think it is wrong to take it if you are not black and happy with where your deck is going. i have taken it if - there really isn't a good card for my deck in the pack i open, i havn't been passed and therefore havn't passd any good black, so can expect to see at least a little in pack 2.
I can see why people want it - especially if you are strongly in one colour already, so you can still play that. It just seems a bit risky to move in on the colour everyone wants. Guess I'm just too cautious in my drafting style!

The reason Tern is just better than other 2-drops in Zendikar is because it has consistent evasion. The other 2-drops can be stopped if your opponent drops one of the early defensive creatures, whilst Tern just continues the beatdown. Eeel is certainly better in U/G, where triggering landfall will be more consistent, but without landfall it's just a Tern for twice the price.
Great to see submityourdraft provoking this kind of discussion already. It's going to be good to get some opinions from the wider magic community once I start publicising the site.

I agree with most of whats been said so far. It is a bomb, and like any bomb you can only really take it late in the draft if your deck can support it or you are in a position to hate draft. Not taking any black cards pack 1, then first picking it pack 2 and looking to move into black is just a recipe for disaster.
I think Paul's main point is that if you are only splashing blue, its not that likely to be played on turn two regularly (i.e. low amount of islands due to splash, no blue sources available until turn 4 or 5 for example). If you can't guarantee to play a tern on turn two, but would have a good chance of getting a blue source turn 4 or 5, would you rather play a tern turn 4, or windrider eel turn 4?

If you're heavily into blue, I can see why it would be a good pick (i.e. racing, cheap cost, evasion etc., although if you already have 3 or 4 terns, something a big bigger might be nicer).

Thomas David Baker said:
Tern is good. If this format is all about racing then a 2-power evasive guy on turn 2 is good, no?

With a Nighthawk on pack two, even if you are heavily into another colour, taking it will mean that you have 29 additional cards left to pick to get more black to go with it. Even if you're looking at two colours at the end of pack one, at most you're going to have 7 of one colour and 8 of another (if you're really lucky), which might not be enough to start to base an entire deck around, so adding a third colour (even if it means abandoning one of the other two) means you;re only going to be down be out 7 cards (if you were really lucky pack one).
i cant see why i'm splashing blue for windrider eel. how many isalnds do i need for a trun 2 tern? 7? 6? leaves plenty of land for my other colour.
Agree with Ross:
If you're X/u with lands split 11/7:

P(no island by turn 2)=(33/40)*(32/39)*(31/38)*(30/37)*(29/36)*(28/35)*(27/34)*(26/33) = 0.1805
That's perfectly acceptable.

Tern > eel.

ross miles said:
i cant see why i'm splashing blue for windrider eel. how many isalnds do i need for a trun 2 tern? 7? 6? leaves plenty of land for my other colour.
Does that still work in the case of a two colour deck with a small blue splash?
no, but i dont want to build a deck with blue splash.

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