Tim Rivera: Overall this is a very good pack, but I have never met an [Ice Barrier] that I did not like. I think you can put your opponent in between a rock and a hard place with [Ice Barrier]. I would not be worried about moving into a class first pick because you are getting a bomb and Mage has gained the most powerful cards with the release of Crown of the Heavens. I would slam this card down and take every playable Mage card, forcing my fellow drafters out of the class.
Tim Rivera's Pick: [Ice Barrier]
Todd Derbyshire: This pick is between [Ice Barrier] or [Keeper Balos]. I really don't see anything else in this pack first pick that even reaches the level of these two cards. While I do love my two drop Harmonize and I stood up on the pedestal and advocated that [Keeper Balos] was the second coming of sliced bread...[Ice Barrier] is just one of those bomb rares. If you can keep the field clear and drop an [Ice Barrier], you win the game. It is also early in the draft so you can get some [Flame Lance]s and [Glacial Tomb]s and then you got yourself a deck.
Todd Derbyshire's Pick: [Ice Barrier]
Scott Landis: Somehow I am not surprised Tim gave me this one hahaha...[Ice Barrier] would be my pick. Chances are you will not be playing this ability out on turn 3, but it seems to have such a swing on the game once it is in play, it is pretty ridiculous. Very few cards cause a shift in how your opponent is playing their game, and if you are suddenly forcing them into a position to "waste" attacks for zero against your hero by running into the barrier, then your allies should be free to roam about the battlefield untouched. It also makes your allies better, since again, you are putting your opponent in a "damned if you do, damned if you don't" type of position. [Ice Barrier] is a bomb in any format and Limited is no exception.
Scott Landis's Pick: [Ice Barrier]
Tim Rivera: This pack is very deep and could lead to a lot of different draft strategies. For class abilities stamped cards I like [Mandokir's Tribute], [Frost Blast], and [Shaafun]. For allies I like both the [Jadefire Scout] and [Jadefire Trickster]. I think all three of these classes are about the same power level, but if I am going to take a class card first I would want to take the weapon. There are decks that cannot deal with a Long-Range weapon eating their allies turn after turn. If I was going to down a class path I would take the [Mandokir's Tribute].
For an ally I would take the [Jadefire Trickster]. In my gameplay experience I have found [Jadefire Scout] to be a very good early aggressive ally, but he always trades one for one with one of their allies. I prefer my allies to be able to trade two-for-one which can be the case with the [Jadefire Trickster]. There are only so many attacks your opponent can take before he has to deal with the Trickster. The big body leads them down the option to trade one of their four drop allies, or to trade two little allies with it, both of which I am happy with. For my overall pick, I think it would depend on what my situation is. I change my draft strategies based on my current position in a tournament. If I need to go 3-0 to make Top 16, I am willing to go with the riskier option of a class stamped card over a neutral ally first pick. For the sake of this argument, I would go with the safe pick a large percent of the time, but would be willing to gamble on [Mandokir's Tribute] depending on the stakes.
Tim Rivera's Pick: [Jadefire Trickster]
David Jaques: Is my rare good? No? Okay, moving on. The only class option(s) I'd consider are the bow and the Pet, but they don't tempt me into their classes yet. I've had good experiences with [Shaafun] but I hate the feeling of being class/faction locked by a first pick, unless it's solid removal or bomb. So onto the allies. There isn't any Alliance. Interesting. On the Horde side, there's [Tor Earthwalker] which seems poor, and [Grak Foulblade] which is in the same pack as a better statted (minus the keyword) [Trag'ush]. In most drafts, I try to take Monsters early to keep my options open, and the factions aren't convincing me with these meek offerings.
In evaluating the four Monster options, three keep my attention: [Jadefire Scout], [Jadefire Trickster], and [Grak Foulblade]. Trickster seems fair, but I'd prefer to play an ally to threaten more than just their hero on turn 3. He's cool when you're ahead, but your opponent can simply ignore him and slaughter your board. [Grak Foulblade] is noteworthy because of his beefy 6 ATK, but his keyword slightly holds him back. The pick that I would move towards is [Jadefire Scout]. He's a great one drop that pressures your opponent early, and is a great start to any deck.
David Jaques' pick: [Jadefire Scout]
Norvic Santos: After the first pass , I'm down to six cards.
Three neutral allies and three class cards. All the neutral allies have good stats for their cost and do not stick you to a class or faction. However, the class cards are from the decent classes of this set, so I decided to go with the class cards since I think they are strong enough to pick early.
[Shaafun] has the potential to two for one, specially, if you are going the Warlock monster route. It also costs four which works with Harmonize.
[Frost Blast] is one of the best tricks Mage has in their arsenal, especially with [Drazul the Molten]. This card is so flexible: offensive, defensive, early game, late game.
[Mandokor's Tribute], showing that one of the factors why Hunter is good in Limited is they have access to Long-Range weapons. And this one is not that bad. By itself, it is a constant source of 2 damage. With access to five pets in the set you will likely to get one. Also looking back, among the cards, [Vicious Grell] will more likely to table since the pack contains decent picks.
In the end, because there is less equipment answers in the format, I will go with [Mandokir's Tribute].
Norvic Santos' Pick: [Mandokir's Tribute]
Tim Rivera: Another pack with an easy pick. The abilities are all lackluster, the faction based allies are okay, but none compare to the power of the Monster allies. Out of the Monster allies [Prince Xavalis] is the clear pick. Good stats is the first thing going for him, but what really sells me is his power. I really like cards that are going to impact cards in the middle to late game. This guy is awesome as a top deck late in the game when you are both playing card for card off the top of your deck. His power of making an ally every turn makes him my choice.
Tim Rivera's Pick: [Prince Xavalis]
Wil Oats: When Tim says, 'Hey' you say, 'yes'. Then you ask what you've agreed to. In this case it was draft picks. Little does he know my draft strategy goes something like this, "Purple? Take it. Blue? Take it. Neither? Oh, what a pretty picture..."
I don't like pushing towards Horde or Alliance in the first couple of picks without a bomb which makes [Prince Xavalis] a decent, safe first pick. [Prince Xavalis] is aggressively stat'd and has a bonus late game effect. He also fits in well with my draft strategy.
There's several cards that jump out other than [Prince Xavalis]. [Skullstealer Greataxe], [Thespius Bloodblaze], [Andrews the Just] are all decent cards. [Skullstealer Greataxe] is usable by three Monster heroes which makes the weapon ready to shine and there are few ways to destroy it. [Thespius Bloodblaze] is a solid two drop that can carry you quite a distance with his Elusive status. [Andrews the Just] offers late game card advantage on a slightly behind-curve body.
One of the bonuses to picking [Thespius Bloodblaze] though is he's the only Horde ally in the pack. If you can continue to pull most of the Horde you'll have a pretty good selection being passed to you in pack 2. This is very risky and not something I'm liable to do.
Wil Oats' Pick: [Prince Xavalis].
Michael Barnes: This pack is easier to read than one of Wil Oats' TCGTactics.org tournament reports. The quests are all marginal; there aren't any standout faction allies; and none of the class cards really necessitate a first pick. I'm definitely picking a Monster ally here. [Jadefire Satyr] and [Grag'tok] are both good choices; and I wouldn't have any problem picking one of them here. However, the MVP is clearly [Prince Xavalis]. As a neutral 4/3 three drop, he's already got a lot going for him. Once you throw in his effect, though, there isn't a card that I would ever pick over him. I would probably try to pick aggressive allies for my subsequent picks in hopes of pushing my opponent to 15 damage as soon as possible. Additionally, I might even look to draft copies of [Sira'kess Tide Priestess] to recur [Prince Xavalis] over and over again.
Michael Barnes' Pick: [Prince Xavalis]
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