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Mercadian Masques Booster Draft Part Seven

Gary Wise

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

A few thoughts...

Here is where Green's reputation for weakness is earned. With only four upper echelon cards, less than half of Green's uncommons are considered to be optimal. With a couple of very weak color hosers and an even weaker solitary piece of artifact destruction, where uncommons are usually good at providing ones main deck and sideboard with utility, this collection of cards generally fails in both regards.

Uncommons

Squallmonger - One of the few gems in this generally weak selection, Squallmonger is the strongest of the Mongers, taking care of Green's biggest problem (flyers), while providing the only source of green direct damage in the set and a fat 3/3 body to boot. Incredibly strong on its own, the monger can be a lot of fun with certain cards that give opposing creatures flying like Balloon Peddler and Sailmonger. Like all the Mongers, you have to wait until the right moment to play this card; otherwise you could die to it.

Hunted Wumpus - Wow this guy is big. This 6/6 hits as hard as any creature in the set, serving for 6 points on turn 5. Occasionally, once again, its drawback will come back to haunt you, so you have to calculate the odds of your ability to deal with whatever they play, or the odds that they have anything worth playing. From mid-game on, the drawback isn't even a consideration.

Desert Twister - 6 mana is a lot for what usually amounts to creature kill, but the utility the Twister provides makes it worth it. This is Green's one way to deal with a number of power cards in the set, so while it isn't as strong a card as Lure, it's probably a better pick. That said, any of the top four cards here are interchangeable, so you'll have to decide which one is best for your deck.

Lure - My long time drafting compadre Gary Krakower insists that when playing R/G, if faced with the choice of Lure or a red kill spell, take the Lure and don't look back, and I'm not sure that he's wrong. This game-altering card can be dominant, but when they have a means to remove it during combat, the results can be disastrous. That said, there aren't too many non-white means of removing it in the set, so unless they can kill the creature you put it on, you should be in good shape.

Groundskeeper - A bit of a drop-off here, 'Groundskeeper Willie' is a seemingly insignificant little guy whose ability can wreak absolute havoc with spellshapers. Not as good as Squee due to vulnerability and mana requirements, if you pair Willie with Waterfront Bouncer, Notorious Assassin, Undertaker etc, the result is usually a win. Once in a while you'll see this guy go in the last five cards in the pack, so if you think he might come back, take the fatty.

Sustenance - Another card that often goes extraordinarily late, Sustenance is a card that, to paraphrase Mike Turian, has '1st pick potential'. Just like spellshapers, this card makes every card in your deck useful, turning each land into a potential creature kill card.

Silverglade Pathfinder - I'm 6-0-1 lifetime on the pro tour using 3CGreen decks with multi-color mana producers, so you know I like this card. The Pathfinder allows you to splash a third color comfortably, regardless of the mana requirements of that splash. It also makes Rushwood Elemental a very viable card, all the while clearing one's deck of land.

Boa Constrictor - the first of two unspectacular 5 cc 'fatties', the attitude behind this guy is all wrong, as you want your big guys to improve when they beat down, not when they sit on defense. When you pay 5 mana for a creature, you don't want it dying to Thunderbolt after it attacks.

Lumbering Satyr - An excellent sideboard card against other green decks, playing the Satyr against a non-green deck results in a loss more often than a win. There are just too many ways to deal with this beast. That said, if you have a lot of spellshapers and need a 23rd card, this isn't a horrible one, becoming a main deck color hoser vs. Green and providing a large body in times of desperation.

Revive - Because of the lack of true bombs in Green, this card usually allows you to play any fatty you've already played for two more mana. In other words, don't get excited about it. If you aren't playing two-thirds Green, you don't want this main deck.

Deepwood Tantive - When I pay 5 mana, I want to do more than 2 points of damage. What a waste of an attack minded ability.

Briar Patch - I've never lost when having this played against me, but I've heard decent players swear by it. Pretty good vs. rebels, if you get two on the table it could cause big problems for a lot of decks.

Stamina - Getting into the low levels here, this is a card you generally don't want in your deck. If you get desperate for enchantments to play in your Ancestral Mask deck, this isn't a terrible one. I once did 20 points of damage with a Buoyancyed, Staminaed and Masked Groundskeeper.

Rushwood Legate - the second worst legate, this card is worth sideboarding in for a Rushwood Dryad, but really doesn't do much.

Caustic Wasps - What's that? You're playing the Glider/power artifact deck? Man do I have a good sideboard against you...

Snake Pit - Don't side it in unless they're playing both colors unless the only thing they have to stop your fatties are Darting Merfolk.

Ley Line - makes a lovely bookmark.



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