Hey guys. Tell me what card you'd take in a draft, I'd like to hear your opinions.
1. Volcano Imp or Nightscape Familiar?
2. Terminate or Magma Burst?
3. Terminate or Flametounge Kavu?
4. Confound or Bog Down?
5. Cavern Harpy or Magma Burst?
6. Samite Pilgrim or Confound?
I don't want to voice my opinions until after everybody else does! Let me know what you would take.
Ignoring whatever else I had drafted up to this point, I would go with
uncertain (leaning towards confound)
The confound versus bog down is tough. I really can't say which I would rather have. Besides that and number six, I think all of the choices were quite obvious, but that just reflects what I would rather have, not the best card.
i agree with Joe on those that he answered.
Magma Burst and flametongue kavu are usually top priorities. The volcano imp/familiar question is interesting, but volcano imp gives R/B evasion without having to splash blue (only other option being a dragon legend or phyrexian slayer), and there are two other cheap regenerators you may already have (metathran zombie and urborg skeleton). I could see myself taking a familiar over an imp, but it depends on how high my curve is thus far (when you have a few too many late drops, familiars are gold), and what I expect to face (in roch only), and how much evasion I have. If have multiple blue flyers already, I would probably rather have the familiar.
Terminate is amazing, but magma burst fits easily into more decks, and will probably win you more games. Flametongue Kavu is card advantage, and gives you a body which swings for 4.
Cavern Harpy is good, but you need a low curve and early B/U to support it. Also, while it can stall wonderfully and play some amazing tricks, magma burst needs few other card interactions to win you the game.
Confound vs Bog Down: I am a big fan of both cards, so it really depends. I would say confound mainly of it's surprise value. While bog down will occasionally get something amazing, confound almost always neutralizes a top card of the opponent's, and turns it into a card for you. More importantly, it causes him to miscalculate things like damage and so can swing a game in your favour. If you are base R/B though, I would rather have bog down than a splash of a third colour. Joe is right, this is tough.
Confound also probably edges out samite pilgrim. Samite Pilgrim can swing the game and change the odds in your favour, but it is not a surprise. Furthermore, as a creature he is purely defensive and needs other creatures to be good. As a trick, confound is excellent.
Joe is right that those two decisions are very tough and by no means set in stone.
I disagree with most pick.
Considering all those cards as first picks, I'd go like this:
1. Nightscape Familiar
3. Flametongue Kavu
5. Cavern Harpy
But I don't think this question has much value for most of those picks. It always depends on what you've got in the Invasion packs and in your first Planeshift picks.
For the first one, I think both are good. They are usefull in B/R decks. The familiar would be better if you have few fatties, cause it can hold the ground vs. Kavus. The Imp is better if you're low in Flying (it can happen if you don't have much Blue) and removal.
For the 2nd, I'd go with Terminate in all cases. It's the best removal ever. Even if you didn't play black up to this point, it's worth splashing.
For the 3rd, I'm not sure. I'd feel very bad getting a pack with those 2 cards, cause they're my 2 favorite Planeshift cards. But I think the Kavu is superior, cause it has a similar removal effect (being useless almost only against Dragon), adding a 4/2 creature to your army. This kind of dilemma reminds me of a pack I opened last week; it had Urza's Rage and Breath of Darigaaz.
4th choice depends really if you're aiming at a discard strategy or not. If you already have 3 or 4 rats with a couple Probe, it can be worth trying a discard deck, but I think most of the time it won't be possible. Bog Down will end up being a 20-23rd card in your deck, while Confound is pure card advantage (stopping your opponent removal or enchant creature and netting you 1 card for your effort).
5th choice is a bit hard. Harpy is strong creature. It can't be killed, and is the engine of many combo. I think my choice would be dicted by the number of Flying I have up to this point, and the number of combo I can do with it. If you have a couple Rats, or the Blue Battlemage, go for the Harpy. Otherwise, take the Burst.
6th: On the last one, I'd go with Confound again, except if my deck was missing on early drop. But in those colors, it's hard to have few 1-2 drops (Tidal Visionary, Acolyte, Galina's Knight, Dream Thrush, etc...).
Magma Burst is not quite as unconditional a removal spell as terminate, but a red mage can always play it without splashig black, and it will win you MANY more games than terminate ever will. He didnt ask what was a better card overall, and in most games, I would rather have something that can take out 2 blockers, or clear the path while sending to the dome.
I also think you underrate bog down a little. It is on the perfect spot of the mana curve (especially after a rats) to whipe out important lands or high cost cards from the opponents hand. I think it should generally be the same level of pick as confound, but I chose confound because there are more situtations where I'd like it.
I also think the only ways I would ever take harpy over burst are if I was mainly black/blue and maybe already had some good white splash cards, or if I was desperate for creatures but still had several early drops. The burst is amazing, and is has won more games that I've watched than any other planeshift common. The harpy is great, but is often dependant on how many low drops and/or combo cards you have to go with it.
Magma Burst wins more games than any other Planeshift common, yes. I'll go so far as to say that only two RARES in the set are stronger, maybe three. I'm thinking of Tahngarth and Questing Phelddagrif, and Scuta can be pretty nuts. Really, though, I've played Burst-on-Burst matchups -- they tend to happen in the upper brackets of a Swiss -- and they're all about who plays Magma Burst more often. The last common this good was probably Field Surgeon.
By the way, I know that Winky's comparing Terminate with Magma Burst and Flametongue Kavu separately, but that does give rise to the question, which of the two amazing red cards is better? I think the Burst is stronger on its own, but with two or more gating creatures in my deck, or a couple of Nightscape Apprentices in B/r/u, I prefer the Flametongue. Also, once I have two or more Bursts, the Kavu is more appropriate -- it doesn't compete for the same lands.
1. Volcano Imp or Nightscape Familiar? Imp
2. Terminate or Magma Burst? Terminate
3. Terminate or Flametounge Kavu? Kavu
4. Confound or Bog Down? Bog down
5. Cavern Harpy or Magma Burst? Burst
6. Samite Pilgrim or Confound? Pilgrim(try draftin5)
Burst is hands down better than terminate. Terminate can net you a big fattie that you can't burn, but terminate cannot kill your opponent, nor can terminate net two of your opponents creatures. The Kavu or Burst is the toughest, but knowing the Planeshift environment, he is easy to bounce and reuse. And he swings for 4 damage each turn.