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Mercadian Masques Booster Draft Part Four

Gary Wise

The following is the fourth segment in my analysis of the Mercadian Masques booster draft environment, this time looking at white's commons.

A few thoughts...

The general consensus amongst students of the game is that White is the strongest color in Mercadian Masques booster. The students of the game are correct, but White isn't dominant like the black in Urza's Saga or the red in Tempest, and as a result, there are some problems to drafting it.

If there are only three white players at any given table, it is more likely than not that two of them will meet in the final. The problem with booster draft though is that we often don't know who is playing what color, and with white relying so heavily on the synergy of the rebel hoard, when there are too many players fighting for white, one ends up with a deck full of mediocrity.

White, when things go well, is the strongest base color in the set. It combines well with all of the other colors, but rebels have problems with Green's fat, so it's probably best to combine it with either Black's efficient kill or Blue's Outrigger and Darting Merfolk defense.

The Commons

Nightwind Glider - The first pick here is a really close one. The Glider, a main deck hate card that is also useful against non-black decks gets the nod over the Lieutenant due to stability. The Glider without the Lieutenant is great; the same can not be said the other way around.

Thermal Glider - A close second for two reasons: a) Black is the more popular color, so there are likely to be more black players, and b) White's damage prevention can protect the Nightwind from red kill, but not the Thermal from Black kill.

Ramosian Lieutenant - If you're in a situation where you NEED to go 3-0 and feel taking a risk is warranted this is number 1. If you have 2 Gliders for your deck this guy is nuts, more than two he's ballistic. Makes cards like Task Force very playable and gets the rebel chain up to the Captain.

Cho-Manno's Blessing - When the environment was first being played, some were referring to this trick as the best common in the set. While the hype has calmed down a bit, it is still the best trick in the environment. Possibly the most versatile card in the set, the Blessing kills opposing enchantments, prevents creature kill, makes your creature unblockable and often wins the game

Alabaster Wall - The second best wall in the set, this card is very efficient for the mana involved. Especially strong in a deck with fliers as it often leads to a creature stall.

Ramosian Sergeant - Don't be fooled into thinking this card is only meant to fetch the Lieutenant, I've seen this one wreak havoc. With Steadfast Guard and Fresh Volunteers often going late, the card advantage this card gains is often ridiculous.

Devout Witness - A Staple card, White players should try to get one of these in their deck. Not only does it protect from artifact/enchantment power cards, but it also destroys many UW decks.

Steadfast Guard - A very efficient card for the mana involved, this guy's stock raises with the number of rebel searchers you've drafted. A great target for Cho-Manno's Blessing

Fresh Volunteers - Not quite as good as the Guard, this guy is easier on the mana. Even without rebel searchers, fills the 2-slot in your mana curve admirably.

Disenchant - You all know what it does, stock rises as the draft moves into the later packs if you haven't already drafted enchantment/artifact removal

Muzzle - Not great in creature combat, this card's main purpose is protection from Stinging Barrier, Kris Mage and Ballista Squad, but is good enough to leave in your deck regardless of those cards.

Ramosian Rally - A great trick, aided by the alternate casting cost, often gains huge card advantage, while protecting your many rebels from the best non-rare in the set, Volcanic Winds.

Orim's Cure - Gets nudged by the Rally because it is more defensive in nature, the Cure is none the less a very strong card, especially in RW where is combines especially well with Gerrard's Irregulars, i.e. Busty Johnson (Dave Price, circa 1999)

Task Force - With Lieutenant it's a free blocker, with Alabaster Wall it's an impenetrable fortress

Charm Peddler - wreaks havoc against red, especially RG

Inviolability - I've never lost to a RG deck when having cast this. Should probably start in the sideboard.

Revered Elder - You do NOT want this in your deck

Soothing Balm - This card is da Balm, but it isn't worth having in your deck (sorry, bad pun, had to do it)

Moment of Silence - the fact I had to waste 10 seconds thinking about what to type for this saddens me.



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