THE MANA DORK—Pick A Pack Of Pickled Commons: Oath of the Gatewatch—Jesse’s Picks

It is time to channel the leylines, align our hedrons, and make our picks for the Oath of the Gatewatch edition of Pick a Pack of Pickled Commons!

In part 1 of the OGW PPPC (acronyms FTW!), your piles looked like this:




Yup, that there’s a planeswalker. But is it a pack-1 pick-1?

Ben Fleisher sends in the following picks:

Nissa, Birthing Hulk into Seed Guardian.

OGW green is good. BFZ green is bad.

You want to pick up your main colour, which will probably be Green in OGW, and whatever splash cards you can. Then solidify that in BFZ, where Black and White and Blue are all top notch.

Green/Red is usually a trap though.”

(To explain a term briefly: “splashing” is when you add a third or fourth colour to your deck in small amounts. It’s typically done when you pick up a really bomb-y card that’s not in your colours.)

Looking back at the piece on the BREAD acronym I wrote last year, Ben’s grabbing the biggest bomb in pack 1 and then staying in-colour for picks 2 and 3. He’s steering clear of some of the removal in the packs, grabbing the two most difficult-to-remove threats instead.

And I don’t think he’s wrong to do so. Sure, Birthing Hulk and Seed Guardian are semi-pricey mana-wise, but there’s a chunk of good colourless mana production in both Oath of the Gatewatch and Battle for Zendikar, so it’s more than likely that you’ll be able to sculpt a deck around getting out these big beaters and telling them to go knock some hedrons out of alignment.

Also, again looking at BREAD, there’s nothing really bombier than those picks, and the removal isn’t there—Oblivion Strike, perhaps the best removal card in the set, doesn’t show up at all, and it’s about the only card I might pick over Ben’s selections.

As a possible alternative, we could talk about grabbing Hedron Crawler in pile 3 – it helps you ramp into both Nissa and Birthing Hulk, doesn’t mind +1/+1 counters, and can be used as a blocker in a pinch. But it’s really tough picking that over another resilient threat in Seed Guardian. This is Limited. Faces need to be hit, but good.

That’s it for the OGW PPPC! Come back in two weeks, where I’ll talk about an amazingly foolish decision and whether or not it paid off.

Jesse Mackenzie is a regular contributor to A Muse N Games. Join us every two weeks for The Mana Dork, his column on getting back into Magic.