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Wizards Asks: 3/8/2011

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Which do you take pack 1, pick 1 in a Mirrodin Besieged / Scars of Mirrodin draft: Corrupted Conscience or Red Sun's Zenith?

Tom LaPille: I first encountered this pick in this video from the Pro Tour Paris coverage, where Pro Tour San Juan winner Paulo Vitor Damo da Rosa opened it in a pack and was put on the spot.

He took Red Sun's Zenith, but I disagree. I'd pick Corrupted Conscience, and for me the pick isn't close.

Red X Mana spells have been famously powerful in limited since the beginning of Magic. They're great for ending games out of nowhere, and they're also fine removal spells. For me, though, the stock of red X Mana spells in draft has been going nothing but down since around the time of Ravnica. We've been more willing to make creatures with significant bodies at low rarities in recent sets, which has made the removal aspect of red X Mana spells worse. When I'm facing down a Fangren Marauder, I'm willing to pay six mana to kill it, but that sounds less appealing than using a Go for the Throat or a Journey to Nowhere. Although the shuffle-in clause makes the card significantly better than other red X Mana spells when I draw it in the early game, it's still not a particularly efficient way to kill creatures much of the time. Overall, I'm happy to first pick Red Sun's Zenith, but it's not exciting enough for me to slam.

Now let's talk about Corrupted Conscience. Mind Control effects are awesome in draft because they lose a guy, you get a guy, and then you get to trade their guy for another one of their guys. I don't like blue infect decks, so the infect rider on Corrupted Conscience doesn't usually help me kill my opponent, but the -1/-1 counters infect leaves behind in combat makes sure that I can trade a stolen creature for most of one of my opponent's creatures even if I can't trade it for a whole creature. I find that Mirrodin Besieged slows down the draft format, so games come down to attrition more often than they did before. That means that this kind of card is even better than it would have been before.

The only reason I can see choosing Red Sun's Zenith over Corrupted Conscience is hating the idea of committing to blue. Blue isn't my favorite color in Besieged-Scars-Scars draft, but I like it enough that I'm willing to commit to it for a Mind Control!


Which do you take pack 1, pick 1 in a Mirrodin Besieged / Scars of Mirrodin draft: Corrupted Conscience or Red Sun's Zenith? Click the Discuss link below to tell us your story and then see what everybody else has to say!

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