Yesterday when I drafted my Rogue Arena run, I was faced with a difficult last pick: Master of Ceremonies, Cogmaster’s Wrench, and Murloc Warleader. All three of these options are pretty bad choices that typically aren’t first, second, or third options that come to mind. While I had to make a choice to get on and start playing, my final decision ultimately paid off big time and helped me get to 9 wins. Here’s a virtual checklist I played through my head when deciding.
- Synergy – I believe having synergy is the best decider between bad cards. My deck had no spellpower, so the Master of Ceremonies as a 4/2 for 3 mana was not really compelling. The Murloc Warleader is a 3/3 for 3, which isn’t the worst, but has no synergy with no murlocs. Further, this pick had anti-synergy, given the presence of an enemy Murloc Knight or any other Murloc. As for mechs, I had Harvest Golem, 2 Mechanical Yetis and Fel Reaver. 4 mechs in a deck of 30 is not too many, but all 4 of the mechs drafted are all fairly sticky. The Wrench also has synergy with Deadly Poison and Blade Flurry in the deck.
- Value – While the definition of a bad arena pick is having poor value, sometimes it really depends. The Murloc is probably the “best” value as a 3/3 for 3. I play 3/3 for 3 all the time in constructed with SI: 7 Agent. Cogmaster’s Wrench has the poorest value with no mechs, as the 1/3 weapon is worst than Light’s Justice. Though with a Mech, it has decent value, hitting up to 9 damage.
- Normalizing the Mana Curve – My mana curve was fine for this draft. But sometimes you just don’t have enough early game 2-drops, or your deck is too small for your playstyle. That could make the difference between 3 bad picks. Mogor’s Champion is an example of a bad pick, but could fit the big guy role.
- Class Synergy – Certain bad cards work better for some classes than others. Grim Patron could work with Mage for some poor man’s Inspire mechanic. Cheap cards work well with Rogue so they can act as combo enablers. Timber Wolf isn’t the worst card in the world for a deck of beasts in a Hunter. Bad taunts like Frostwolf Grunt work better for Warlock.
- Something is Missing – Sometimes one of three bad picks can fill a missing element in your deck. If you’re lacking reach, you can go for something like Reckless Rocketeer. If you have no card draw at all, you can go for something like Coldlight Oracle. If you want a heal, Priestess of Elune can provide some use.
- Upside – I also sprung for the Cogmaster’s Wrench in this pick, because it had the 9 damage upside, along with the weapon synergy. The other cards in my draft offered no upside. When you’re picking between three bad cards, the upside pick could help you eke out a game where the odds are against you. Some examples of upside picks you may encounter include Hungry Crab, Mana Addict and Thrallmar Farseer.
One of the things I enjoy most about the arena is that you will likely get to play every card at some point in your arena experience. And when confronted with three bad picks, the chances improve that you are trying out something new. The Cogmaster’s Wrench was definitely the right pick for my arena yesterday. The pleasant surprises you get from a bad card will likely outweigh having to draft it.