Hello and welcome to a new installment of Drafting with the Stars! I have recently went through my draft card ratings list and updated a lot of things there – be sure to check it out!

I know already did a piece about opening a so-called quintuplet legendary from Dark Frontier, but opening one of these is always a very exciting thing and you just want to make it work out, right? RIGHT?

Pack 1 Pick 1

Oh, yes, dear Tasbu. The title and excerpt probably gave you away as the star of the line-up and You, Dear Viewer know ahead of time what I will pick. That is why, instead of mulling over the remaining contents of this pack (okay, Death Ripple and Eviscerate are the only other good cards here, both Shadow as well – there, I said it!) I will try and tell you what I am looking for in the rest of the packs.

Opening a quintuplet legendary leads to some hard deckbuilding choices – maybe not as hard as getting an Evenhanded Golem to work, but there are some things you have to look out for. While Justice is the deepest color and opening Sediti might lead you to playing a mono-Justice deck, the other colors are not as fortunate. Fire and Time are other potential mono treatments, but Primal and Shadow are just too shallow, you will usually not be able to build one color decks with these.

You need to look for the second color and get a lot of color fixing, for sure. These are the bombs you will win your games with, but you need to play them first in order to achieve the promised victory. In my Draft Guide, with the help from the Shiftstoned web calculator, I have mathed out the probabilities of playing cards from this cycle depending on the number of colored power sources in your deck. To sum up – you usually need at least twelve to stand a chance. Crests and Seats help a lot. The second color should just be a splash, or contain cards with just a single influence requirement. As for the color itself, let us see what will be presented.

Caleb’s choice: Tasbu, the Forbidden

Pack 1 Pick 2

Before choosing a second color it is good to stay in the one with the legendary for as long as possible. Within the four Shadow choices, Stonescar Outfitter is the best card, hands down. Splashing options would include Impatient Pyromage or Devotee of the Sands, but none of these cards are worth risking going for the second color now.

Please remember that this draft is kind of a forced one, where I want to be heavy in Shadow. Usually you should not get attached to not splashable good cards – even legendaries – and just look for signals in picks five through eight.

Caleb’s choice: Stonescar Outfitter

Pack 1 Pick 3

Neither Darkweave Enchantress not Gorgon Cutthroat is a strong option in this pack. This just means I have to look for a second color. Unseen Ghostblade is by far the best card out of this pack. Two other facts help me with this pick – Argenport armory is a decent and deep archetype and the relic weapon has just a single Justice influence requirement. This one is a keeper.

Caleb’s choice: Unseen Ghostblade

Pack 1 Pick 4

No Shadow, no Fire. Staying in this splash color would mean picking Tauride Test Pilot over Twin Sai, both because of card quality and influence requirement. One might also think about venturing into Time and picking up Horn of Plenty, as Xenan Twist is also a very solid archetype. In a non-forced draft that could also mean forsaking The Forbidden and going for Combrei, but spoiler alert the goal here is to have a deck that plays Tasbu. I opted to stay with my current color combo.

Caleb’s choice: Tauride Test Pilot

Pack 1 Pick 5

The Shadow cards presented here are mediocre at best. Justice splash for Spellstrike Sorceress is not necessarily the best option. If I switched into time with the Horn of Plenty in the previous pack, Quicksilver Ooze would have been the pick here, for sure. Primal and Fire cards are mediocre here, nothing really swerveable. I need to choose between three mediocre cards then and it is not something I like doing this early in a draft – but it sometimes just happens.

Caleb’s choice: Darkweave Enchantress

Pack 1 Pick 6

The missing colors keep changing. At one point during this draft a pack was missing Shadow and Fire. Now it is missing Primal. Given that you can have between one and six (I think) cards of a single color in a pack, signal reading might be quite difficult at times.

On another, more relevant note, Time cards are once again better than the ones representing Argenport. All three Time cards are good. Enchantress, Missionary and Shortsword are mediocre at best. Enchantress is very slow and costly, I am not sure I will be playing the first one, let alone the second. I am going for one of the defensive cards then.

Caleb’s choice: Silver Shortsword

Pack 1 Pick 7

Now suddenly Time has run out! Mixed signals indeed. Seek Answers is a card that is playable in almost any deck, but that does not make it a great card. Between High Alert and Bandit’s Flail I tend to treat the Justice trick as a much better card – it is usually much more impactful than the relic weapon.

Caleb’s choice: High Alert

Pack 1 Pick 8

An empty pack with a filler trick to take. I do not mean that Flash Grenade is a bad card, just that once you play over fifty drafts in this format it is much easier to play around this one.

Caleb’s choice: Flash Grenade

Pack 1 Pick 9

I could have picked Heist and tried playing it as a filler card that I need to warp at all times. On the other hand two Grenades is still a decent amount. Just do not try this at home.

Caleb’s choice: Flash Grenade

Pack 1 Pick 10

Three would be too many.

Caleb’s choice: Amethyst Coin

Pack 1 Pick 11

Caleb’s choice: Snowmass Jotun

Pack 1 Pick 12

Caleb’s choice: Brenn’s Scrying

Pack 2 Pick 1

There is just one (bad) Shadow card at the start of the second pack and one (double influence) Justice one. A bad start to say the least. I mean, this is a very bad pack overall. The best card here is probably Wurmstone, even despite the fact that it I keep rating it lower and lower as the format goes by. It is easy to splash, though. Once again I wish I swerved into Time with Horn of Plenty back in the pack one.

Caleb’s choice: Wurmstone

Pack 2 Pick 2

If there was a Shadow version of Lingering Influence I would pick it on the spot, but as it stands I do not want to play cards with a double Justice requirement, and that is usually what the spell allows to do. Mithril Mace falls into the second part of the above-mentioned problem. There is a good way out of this pack, though. The Seats! In this particular situation, given that I want as much Shadow influence as possible (for Tasbu), going for Seat of Mystery is a good option. If I get two more of these I can splash Wurmstone without much bother.

Caleb’s choice: Seat of Mystery

Pack 2 Pick 3

Finally something good comes my way. Dark Return is one of those cards that are good in most decks. Killed my Tasbu? Sure, Radiants do like coming back for seconds!

Caleb’s choice: Dark Return

Pack 2 Pick 4

Aaaaaaand curated packs are back in their full, lackluster glory. This is like raiding a trash bin, at least I do not need to wash my hands (three times) afterwards. Okay, I said a lot about not wanting to pick double Justice cards, but this is what it has come to, it seems.

Caleb’s choice: Rampant Arbalest

Pack 2 Pick 5

No Justice and two bad Shadow cards. Maybe going Xenan should have been the option? I do have that Seat of Mystery though and one Wurmstone already. I should continue down this sandy path.

Caleb’s choice: Wurmstone

Pack 2 Pick 6

What I need is good cards, especially units. At least half is true for this pack. At least I know to pick Scavenging Vulture over Curated Spear.

Caleb’s choice: Scavenging Vulture

Pack 2 Pick 7

Ooh, a good Shadow unit! Finally!

Caleb’s choice: Cabal Cutthroat

Pack 2 Pick 8

I am not playing a draw two cards effect for six, even if it Scouts on turn one. I should have salvaged the draft and picked shiftstone i.e. the rare, but I think I was too optimistic and went with a weak trick / removal.

Caleb’s choice: Lock Horns

Pack 2 Pick 9

Yeah, shiftstone all the way.

Caleb’s choice: Citywide Ban

Pack 2 Pick 10

Probably a bad unit over a bad spell is better in this situation.

Caleb’s choice: Cabal Scavenger

Pack 2 Pick 11

Okay, we got ourselves a playable card. I like using one of these in more controlling decks.

Caleb’s choice: Improvised Club

Pack 2 Pick 12

Caleb’s lack of choice: Grit

Pack 3 Pick 1

I have managed to open a good unit. Throne Warden does it all – decent stats, protected by Aegiscorp and helping your life total / relic weapons. It would be a great addition to my deck! On the other hand there is also a fully on-color Crest of Vengeance here. And boy, dual power does shine in decks with heavy requirements. Just have to remember to always play it over a Justice Sigil.

Nine out of ten times the correct pick here is Throne Warden. It is probably even the correct pick in this draft. What I went for, though, is the requirement fixing, given that I want to play Tasbu and I have picked up a ton of Justice cards.

Caleb’s choice: Crest of Vengeance

Pack 3 Pick 2

Ceremonial Mask is quite the reach. Not only does it deal four damage as a relic weapon – a thing that none of the common Argenport relic weapons do – it also buffs an attacker for a turn. Yes, the potential swing is real! Removing a blocker and dealing four additional damage to the opponent via an unblocked unit can win games out of nowhere. There is also the fact that other cards in my colors are lackluster here.

Caleb’s choice: Ceremonial Mask

Pack 3 Pick 3

No Justice, one Shadow. At this point I think I just have to pick any and all cards in my colors and try to salvage the operation. If I had some Rakano and / or Stonescar power sources I might have considered getting the Smuggler, as it would open a way to get a decent Market going, but it was not to be. Dear Ooze, I hope you will win some games and not … do the other thing.

Caleb’s choice: Sewer Sludge

Pack 3 Pick 4

A second Crest of Vengeance is a true sight for sore eyes. This is the moment when I thought that everything would turn out all right and I would win this draft! No, seriously. This is the second most-hyped pick for me throughout this whole draft after opening up a Tasbu. Must mean it is a bad draft, right?

Caleb’s choice: Crest of Vengeance

Pack 3 Pick 5

One Club is enough. Venomfang Dagger needs some Belligerent Yetis and / or Stormcallers to be good. Tinker is bad. Inspire Obediance is overcosted … but it is still removal!

Caleb’s choice: Inspire Obedience

Pack 3 Pick 6

Did I mention that I am very light on units? I know … everybody knows that Direwood Rampager is just a non-exciting unit. It is still a unit, though, and if it deals enough damage to the opponent for me to win, that is all I need.

Caleb’s choice: Direwood Rampager

Pack 3 Pick 7

The emptiness of this curated pack … is nothing new.

Caleb’s choice: Cabal Scavenger

Pack 3 Pick 8

I picked a unit, should have gone for shiftstone instead.

Caleb’s choice: Spire Spellsword

Pack 3 Pick 9

Ah, an interesting choice to be made. In a relic weapon-based deck, the obvious choice would be Valkyrie Militant. This deck, while it has a couple of those, is not what I would consider a relic weapon-based deck. Copperhall Recruit has a more defensive statline and, to be honest, bad decks with expensive cards are usually more controlling decks. The Minotaur is a more control-deck-oriented card.

Caleb’s choice: Copperhall Recruit

Pack 3 Pick 10

Not something I would want to play.

Caleb’s choice: Betray the Cause

Pack 3 Pick 11

A strange occurrence, getting a Learned Herbalist so late. If I were to splash for Wurmstones this one also created a spell to wake the wurms up.

Caleb’s choice: Learned Herbalist

Pack 3 Pick 12

Caleb’s choice: Sorrow’s Shroud

Pack 4 Pick 1

Back to the land of plenty, good cards and opening legendaries in my color. I have not played Inevitable Horror in a draft yet, but all the signs point to it being a bomb. Even on its own, a 5/5 flier for six is nothing to sneeze at. If you are able to kill potentially unkillable units, more glory to this one. You just have to remember that this is a double-edged … nightmare and be wary not to waste your own units, like Stonescar Outfitter. In any other Argenport deck this would have still been the pick over Steel Legion, and that is saying a lot! Finally rewarded for keeping to the Shadows.

Caleb’s choice: Inevitable Horror

Pack 4 Pick 2

There is another chance for Steel Legion here and this time I am going to take it. If I had this choice back in pack one I could have wavered (but probably would not have wavered) because the influence requirement and picked up Razorquill. Given that this draft has been shot up already and I do have some double Justice cards, picking the Angel Valkyrie is one of the easier choices to be made.

Caleb’s choice: Steel Legion

Pack 4 Pick 3

Another potentially splashable Time card in Corrupted Behemoth. Great!

Survivor’s notes: Should have gone for Kosul Curator.

Caleb’s choice: Corrupted Behemoth

Pack 4 Pick 4

A lot of bad cards and a great removal. Retribution is another sight for sore eyes.

Caleb’s choice: Retribution

Pack 4 Pick 5

Bad packs are back, baby! Whoooooo! Wait, why am I cheering? There is nothing playable for me here. Oh well, maybe I will win this draft now with the card I am going to pick.

Caleb’s choice: Winnow

Pack 4 Pick 6

Yes! A unit!

Caleb’s choice: Auric Lookout

Pack 4 Pick 7

Okay, Crooked Alleyguide was good as a 3/2. Having this one as a 3/3 is just amazing, especially this late and with me lacking units a bit.

Caleb’s choice: Crooked Alleyguide

Pack 4 Pick 8

In retrospect, I should have picked the correct form of currency (i.e. Emerald Coin).

Caleb’s choice: Amethyst Coin

Pack 4 Pick 9

A unit to fill out my mandatory fifteen unit slots. Between Sorceress and Bladebarrier … I have some semblance of semi-going into both of these synergies, with a couple of relic weapons and a Tauride Test Pilot for Bladebarrier and a decent number of spells for the Sorceress. This is a coin toss.

Caleb’s choice: Spellstrike Sorceress

Pack 4 Pick 10

Another Alleyguide is another hype pickup!

Caleb’s choice: Crooked Alleyguide

Pack 4 Pick 11

I wonder if I will play this. Usually not, but with this many bad picks from bad packs – who knows?

Caleb’s choice: Twin Sai

Pack 4 Pick 12

Caleb’s choice: Kosul Bladebarrier

Draft Pool

A (potentially) Tasbu deck with more Justice cards than Shadow ones. This spells disaster. Thirty five cards altogether, with four splashable Time cards – three of them being strong contenders (sorry, Herbalist) – and just one source for splashing them. After some consideration I opted to take them out and try to go for a 100% Argenport deck (no pulp).

After getting rid of the third color I am still left with thirty one cards, meaning four more have to get the axe. In control decks it is usually the 1-drops that are not necessary, unless they are premium ones or very defensive ones. Neither Sludge nor Spellsword are it. Bye. I am down to fifteen units and that is usually my minimum. Let me look at other cards.

I do have a lot of relic weapons for sure. I do not need six, for sure. The weakest ones are Rampant Arbalest and Silver Shortsword. Goodbye. Now let me look thorough spells. Ooh, there are a couple of rough ones here as well. Two Flash Grenades, Winnow and Inspire Obedience. I would gladly get rid of two or three of those. The thing is, I am at the correct card amount right now. After some deliberation I opted to still get rid of Winnow as the least impactful card of the bunch and play a whopping nineteen (!) power. I mean, it is a control deck with a double Justice and quintuple Shadow requirements. The power base makes me want to have as much Shadow sources as possible without compromising the playability of Justice cards. With two Crests of Vengeance I can get away with thirteen Shadow sources and eight Justice sources. The end result can be seen below.

Draft Deck

Draft Summary

Deck does look like a disaster. A high curve, nineteen power, suboptimal cards. On the other hand, if you look closer, I do have two 1-drop shifts, two additional cards can be shifted on two and I do have bombs in this deck – Tasbu, Inevitable Horrow, Steel Legion, followed up by Ceremonial Mask, Unseen Ghostblade and Retribution.

The results were very surprising to me. I won the first four games … maybe not handily, but I did win them. Then the tide turned and I started drawing the bad half of the deck and lost the next three. This result is still much better than what I anticipated after starting on this trainwreck journey.

As a bonus track for this episode, I have uploaded a special episode of Epic Starlights to the Team Rankstar YouTube channel, with a highlight from one of the games from this draft. Enjoy. Also, remember to give the channel a free sub.

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