Here is the 11th Epic Dark Draft Decisions. I did a fun analysis of the packs 1-10 here: http://amazingspidertank.blogspot.com/2016/12/epic-dark-draft-results-after-10-packs.html
For the new readers, here is what I'm doing:
I use a random card generator to generate a hand of 5 cards from a complete singleton set of Epic, which includes the Core, the Tyrants, and new Uprising sets. I will then analyze the hand and decide what I would tend to pick if I were to draw that hand in the Dark Draft format of play. I will decide which card to pick if I got that pack, as well as which 2 cards I'd pick if I got the remaining 4. For the sake of consistency, I will assume this is the first pack I open.
For your information and as a reminder, here are the Dark Draft rules from the official website:
So what do we have?
Hellion's Fury doesn't see very much play in my group. I think it's mainly because Sage has so many good 1-cost events, that this one gets overshadowed. You can only use the 2nd ability on your own turn, and it is only bounce, which can be useful on offense, and at least you get to draw a card, but there are other cards that remove stuff and/or draw cards better in my opinion. However, in Limited, that is less likely to be so. This card can give you some much needed temporary removal and is a great trick to try and finish off an opponent. It also helps with your Sage loyalty triggers and is a Sage card denied to your opponent for their's.
Pyromancer has always been a very solid card. Decent health with Ambush, with some direct damage and the threat of continued direct damage unless dealt with. This is always a solid pick
Savage Uprising sports one of the best examples of Epic art in the game. It is just so, well, epic! I don't like the eyes on the T-Rex as they look off, but it's very cool looking nonetheless (and makes for a great playmat!). That being said, the card is fairly decent too. I would say that Wild has better direct damage cards but this really isn't too bad, especially when it replaces itself which is something that direct burn has trouble with. The board sweep is also quite good if you happen to be running a lot of tokens or 0-cost champions. It serves a variety of roles and would be a fine addition to a deck.
Smash and Burn used to lie in my box and not get played....until I used it in a Limited tournament and saw how good it was. The +5/5 wasn't really something I cared that much about, it was just icing on the cake to drawing 2 cards, but it definitely came in handy every game I played it. It allowed me to do more damage, it allowed my champion to stay alive and maybe kill an opponent's. And then, the thing I always kept forgetting, it becomes a very decent removal card even after it's discarded. 6 damage destroys a lot of stuff, and this card allows you to play other removal along with it. Now that Hurricane wipes the board of small stuff and allows you to remove that Kong as well. It allows you to deal 8 damage to the face while also removing an attacking Avenging Angel. There are just so many ways it can be used. You do have to have more Wild in your deck to make it worth it though, so it makes for a tougher choice in the first pack, but given how good Wild is in Limited, you are usually fine with taking it.
I have not played Village Protector very much. I'm not sure if people just haven't had this card come up during drafting, or they are purposefully not drafting it, but it rarely hits the table. It's a very odd one. It seems like it could be good in theory. It can't be broken as long as human tokens are on the board. There are a lot of cards that add tokens and at the very least, 2 need to be removed before you can do anything. 10 damage is a lot if it goes through, but it doesn't have Breakthrough and can easily be chump blocked. It also doesn't have Blitz so it will be sitting around for a while. In Limited not having more token cards makes this worse, and human token cards in general are very weak in Limited, so this guy is even more a liability.
I think that this debate comes down to the Wild cards. No matter what I choose, I think there is a strong possibility that my opponent will pick the remaining Wild cards. I think Smash and Burn is the riskiest of the Wild cards, since it needs more of them to be really good, so that means it's down to Pyromancer and Savage Uprising. I do think that there are lots of mass removal in Epic now, so I can feel pretty confident I will see more, and there are better direct damage cards as well. I know that Pyromancer is a solid performer and a great closer. I have more experience playing with it and it's a body that stays around and can keep doing things rather than a one-time thing. So I will be going for Pyromancer. I would feel confident in assuming that my opponent would be taking the 2 Wild cards so I could maybe draft around that hunch, and try to screw them over.
If I was given this pack I still think I would go for Savage Uprising and Smash and Burn. They are both still very decent cards and as I said Wild is very good in Limited. I would be putting myself more in Wild and unfortunately unknown to me my opponent might be doing the same since they picked Pyromancer, but such is life.
I hope you enjoyed this one. Happy gaming!