Twin Bolt - Crack a pack MTG DTK

Crack a pack MTG DTK and draft report with Bruce #25

By Bruce Gray – Casual Encounters 

Hey MTGers.  I’m back and going to open up a pack of Dragons of Tarkir  and have a look at what might be first pick in this pack if I was going to be sitting down to draft.  I will also be including a brief tournament report of my most recent draft in order to try and glean some further insight from my results.  Let’s get at it!








This pack is very pedestrian and unexciting, but that makes it a good tool to use to help improve card selection and evaluation.  The rare is actually something I rather like in Haven of the Spirit Dragon.  I’m not overly jazzed about taking it first because it isn’t going to scare anyone, but it is an interesting option to pull and just have in case I happen to see a dragon or two later in the draft.  The ability to use this as a Splash land to try and cast a Dragonlord, or even their Fate Reforged variants is very enticing.

The next one that catches my eye is Skywise Teachings.  This is similar to Goblinslide in many ways, except that it is more expensive to cast, pricier to activate and requires a fair bit of build around to make it really good.  With all those drawbacks, if you can build the deck for it you Skywise Teachings can spit out much valuable tokens.  2/2 Fliers are very relevant and can quickly close out a game.  I would entertain this, but I would be very unlikely to select it first because it does require going all in in order to make it work.  If this wheels around the table I might take a stab at it and see if the deck is open or not.

Atarka Pummeler is a very serviceable creature that grants your team a form of quasi evasion one you reach Formidable.  This looks underwhelming, but in the R/G deck it could be very solid. The activation cost is very expensive and that is fundamentally why I wouldn’t be taking this too early.  It’s not a first pick, but it could be a solid pick up.

Deadly Wanderings is just a no.  Not a chance.  5 mana for an enchantment that only works if I have 1 creature on the board is just not interesting.  I can’t conceive of a game state where I would actually want to play this.  By the time I hit 5 mana I had better have more than one creature on the board or I’m likely getting steam rolled pretty hard.  No thanks.  I’ll pass.

Twin Bolt is very solid early removal.  It’s flexible, inexpensive, and in a solid colour.  I’m not sure how happy I would be to first pick this, but I would be pulling it forward to see if other cards were better.

Of the remaining commons, I like Sidisi’s Faithful, but I won’t be picking it first. The rest is almost entirely filler and not the least bit interesting until you are in a clearly defined colour pair and looking to fill out your deck.


Top 5 cards

  1. Haven of the Spirit Dragon
  2. Twin Bolt
  3. Skywise Teachings
  4. Atarka Pummeler
  5. Sidisi’s Faithful


First Pick

It only really comes down to Haven vs Twin Bolt.  Spike-y players might just grab the removal spell and move on, but there is part of me that is prepared to speculate a little with my first pick and roll the dice with the Dragon land.  It is colourless, fits in any deck, and generally could be used to cast big beefy fliers (even the less exciting 6 mana ones from Fate Reforged).  I think my first choice here is Haven, but this is something that could be debated very easily and even as I sit here typing I am not 100% convinced.


Dragons of Tarkir Draft report

I got my second chance to have a go at Dragons in a draft the other night and wanted to share a few of my experiences that I would like to help take into lessons moving forward.

I ended up going a very disappointing 0-3 in my draft, but I wasn’t disheartened.  Do you ever have those nights where you draft a solid deck, but you struggle to finish people off?  That was me.  I had a very solid R/G deck that had suitable amounts of removal, sizeable creatures and some fun combat tricks.  However, what the deck was lacking was a genuine bomb.  All the packs I opened had very poor bulk rare cards and I didn’t see any super powerful bombs that I could punch into this deck to close the deal.  The best I could do was a Myth Realized (that I splashed but was largely ineffective) and a Frontier Siege that I opted to pass in favour of a Temur Sabretooth. As a result, the most common result was for me to stall out my opponent only to run out of answers and not have something to deal with their bomb in response.


R/G splash W DTK/DTK/FRF Draft deck




Match 1– Played a player showing Jund colours.  He had pulled Den Protector and I saw Flatten a number of times.  Game 1 was very grindy and lasted 25 minutes but eventually my defenses caved. In game 2 I got back in the game and had my Lightning Berserker deal an astonishing 11 points of damage.  I finally burned him out with Sarkhan’s Rage to even the match 1-1.  In game 3 I had to mulligan down to 5.  At 5 cards I was looking at 2 lands and decided that a mediocre 5 was better than dropping to 4 cards, so I kept.  However, I didn’t draw another land at all and was crushed under a wave of creatures.  Boo…I was 0-1 but feeling good about my chances.

Match 2– Played an opponent showing Bant colours and got blown out in game one by a well-timed Dromoka’s Command and a bunch of fliers.  Game 2 was more of the same and was dead in short order.  Yuck.  0-2 and not really enthused.

Match 3– Opponent was playing Esper.  I got out to a good start but a couple of quick removal spells took care of most of my pressure.  We both stalled a bit and built out our boards for a bit and were in a stalemate.  This is where the lack of a bomb hurt me because he cast Dragonlord Silumgar, took my Temur Sabretooth, and the rest was academic.  Game 2 was very similar and we stalled out pretty good.  I was likely slightly ahead, but I had a tough time gaining any advantage profitably without taking a pile of damage on the crack back.  Temur Sabretooth was on board and playing good D.  I was eyeing up casting Pinion Feast on his Abzan Skycaptain thinking that I could handle the counters landing on his Jeskai Sage, but I’m glad I held off.  The next turn he cast Silumgar again and I immediately Feasted it.  Thank goodness. It still didn’t help me much as I got pecked at by some fliers and eventually couldn’t answer the flying creatures.

0-3 and a little disappointed, but I didn’t feel like I mis-played my cards. Sometimes mistakes cost you games.  Sometimes your opponents have better decks.  However, there are a few things I’ve learned from this.

  1. Myth Realized is exactly that…a Myth.  I wanted to try and make it work and I wasn’t impressed.
  2. Press the Advantage:  This was not a good combat trick for me and was almost always sided out.  The story might have been different if I hadn’t been on my back foot so frequently, but this is not a high priority for me going forward.
  3. Pinion Feast is not a sideboard card.  It is main deckable, particularly if you are in colours that struggle with fliers.
  4. Draft more Creatures.


Like I said, I felt the deck was solid.  I knew I was a little light on creatures, but with a pair of Formless Nurturing I figured I was ok on that front. I liked my removal package and felt it was quite solid considering my colours.  The only problem was the lack of a genuine bomb to seal a game.  Sigh.  Oh well. Next time I end up drafting this sort of deck I will need to be sure to pack more creatures and fewer spells to give this sort of underpowered deck a better fighting chance.

Thanks for stopping by to read.  I hope you guys have a great MTG day and stop by for some more Casual Encounters soon!


By Bruce Gray – Casual Encounters

@bgray8791 on Twitter