Japanese Language Sideboard
Archives Table of Contents Event Coverage Question Mark Facts Book Fantasy Pro Tour Links

Mercadian Masques Booster Draft Part Eight

Gary Wise

Continuing my series on Mercadian Masques booster draft, the following are a few reflections on red's uncommons.

A few thoughts

Well, this is where red really becomes worth playing. While the "lack of depth" theme continues with 5 absolutely unplayable cards, only white's top uncommons are comparable, and even then it's a very favorable comparison for Red. Unfortunately, what this means is that if you're going to draft red heavily, you really have to rely on luck to provide you the cards you really want.


Volcanic Winds - This card is in a class by itself. When discussing the set's uncommons, there's Volcanic Winds and only then do we think about the others. In my opinion, this is the fourth best card in the set behind Crooked Scales, Power Matrix and Thrashing Wumpus, and I've heard some players say that it's better than the Wampus. Look out for the Ramosian Rally when casting it.

Kyren Negotiations - Another power card that makes Red worth playing, all you need to do is establish some kind of parity and the game is yours. It's the Negotiations that deals the damage, so any creatures that have been incapacitated by Muzzle, Arrest and the like can still be useful.

Cinder Elemental - So lets get this straight...this is virtually a 2/2 X spell, and yet it ranks only third. Not as good as an X spell due to your need to clear summoning sickness, this guy is nonetheless amazing, more often used to kill two creatures or one important one than to burn an opponent out. Becomes a lot of fun with Undertaker or Haunted Crossroads.

Arms Dealer - Can you imagine how sick this guy would have been if there were a few more good goblins in the set? That said, even if this is the only Goblin in your deck, it's still really strong, killing Stinging Barrier and Silverglade Elemental while offering the potential for card advantage. If you get this guy going with Squee, the game doesn't last much longer.

War Cadence - Like Lure, this is an aggressive card that can break a game wide open, but unlike Lure there are no huge drawbacks. The Cadence allows you to get ultra aggressive, forcing your opponent to race because they aren't going to do much in terms of blocking. Alan Comer loves this card in tandem with Deadly Insects.

Warmonger - This guy just looks SO good, but for some reason he never helps me that much. I always have Kris Mages or Kyren Snipers, or I get into a situation where I have a Snorting Gahr in my hand that I can't play for fear of having my board wiped clean by the Monger's ability. That said, this is obviously a powerful card that is once again difficult to play well. Always making the game interesting, know your sixth edition rules before putting it into play.

Ogre Taskmaster - If aggression is good then so is this guy. While not as good as a Wild Jhovall, there are times where that one extra point of damage makes a huge difference, smashing through Vine Trellis, Stinging Barrier and the like. A good card in the aggressive deck.

Rock Badger - This one isn't brain surgery: against red he's a bomb that can still be killed by Thunderbolt, against non-red he provides a large if not overcosted body. Definitely good enough to run main deck.

Hired Giant - You'd think 4/4 for 4 mana would be amazing, but while this card is certainly playable, its side effect is a huge detriment in the early game. That said, 4/4 is huge in this environment so if you pick it, put it main deck. The smart player will only cast this once their opponent already has all of the mana they need.

Magistrates Veto - It may seem strange that in an environment where everyone is going to play two colors that this card would rank this high, but UW is probably the most popular color combination in Masques draft and as a result, the Veto is a solid pick. Allowing you to get aggressive, the one problem with this card is that it's boarded in against a color combo that is likely to be running Disenchant main deck. Be very careful.

Close Quarters - Another aggressive card, the quarters is pretty insignificant when you're racing, but its strong vs., control based decks.

Word of Blasting - Another excellent sideboard card, there's no better feeling than killing a freshly cast Stinging Barrier than doing four points of damage while doing so. I'll teach YOU to open power cards!

Hammer Mage - A viable sideboard card against powerful artifacts, Crash is better, Pulverize is worse.

Warpath - Many is the time that I've held this card waiting for a good situation in which to play it, and it just never seems to come for me. I have heard other players like Brian Kibler refer to it as good. Pretty strong with Lure.

Robber Fly - Um, ok, I'll take 1, congrats.

Uphill Battle - If this cost 1, it might be playable. As it is, maybe your aggressive RG deck could sideboard this against the Outrigger/Darting Merfolk deck.

Flailing Ogre - On your opponent's turn, after you've cast this guy, they'll have too much mana.

Kyren Legate - White's the best color in the environment, but this guy is such a beast...

Mercadian Downfall - Maybe they'll reprint dual lands in Nemesis.

© 1995-2003 Wizards of the Coast, Inc., a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Wizards is headquartered in Renton, Washington, PO Box 707, Renton, WA 98057.