Earlier this week, I counted down my picks for the 10 most underrated cards in Ravnica Allegiance Limited. Today, I’ve got the other side of the coin—the 10 most overrated cards.
10) Windstorm Drake
Don’t let this trick you because it is an uncommon. This will pump a flyer or two occasionally under prime conditions but this card is substantially worse than Chillbringer. I cut this card from my deck fairly often. I’ve seen people advocate for taking this card over Trollbred Guardian because the Esper colors are the best. I wouldn’t even take this over Rampaging Rendhorn, let alone Trollbred Guardian. Rant over.
9) Dovin’s Acuity
I like Dovin’s Acuity. I just don’t like first picking it and moving into a controlling strategy focused on specifically instants. This is an excellent payoff when my deck is heading in that specific direction, but it’s not something I want to work too hard for as I think it’s better to stay flexible early in Drafts and take what’s coming. Influencing my early picks in this direction has not often worked out for me, so I’m a bit lower on Dovin’s Acuity than what I’ve seen recently.
8) Flames of the Raze-Boar
This was initially overrated by, well, me. I thought this card was incredibly good and one of the better uncommons in the set. While I usually always play it in Gruul decks, it’s generally mediocre. It has some games with huge upside where you blow up a board full of Spirit tokens and other low-toughness creatures against Orzhov, but it’s too difficult to setup, and at 6 mana often doesn’t kill what you actually want it to. I was train wrecking my own Drafts taking this early and now I’m starting to see it wheel.
7) Azorius Skyguard
Azorius Skyguard is a solid creature, but it’s a 6-drop that dies easily to most common removal. It can lead to ill-advised combats where it dies and creates bad attacks or blocks. I was first-picking Azorius Skyguard a lot because it’s so impressive in games it stays on the battlefield, but its fragility has had me come down on the card recently. I’m no longer choosing this over the best commons.
6) Imperious Oligarch
At first I thought this was the best common 2-drop in the format. How was anyone ever going to attack through it? It’s true, it does shut down a lot of the weaker early ground creatures while also attacking through them, but Imperious Oligarch has just gone irrelevant far too quickly for me in this format. I still think it’s a way above average common 2-drop, but it’s not as good as some people still think it is. This is not a strong signal or a reason to move into Orzhov, in my opinion. It’s more of a fifth or sixth pick that I’m happy to fill my curve out with.
5) Ministrant of Obligation
Second verse, same as the first. While Ministrant of Obligation is a solid card it’s got the same problem as Imperious Oligarch. It shuts off some creatures early then quickly goes into chump block mode to make a pair of flyers that are often easily bricked off by the large amount of flying and reach creatures in this format. I was taking this card over every good common but I’m now taking all the premium commons over it.
4) Verity Circle
This is mostly on the list because of how good I thought it was versus how good it actually is. Having the tension of advancing your board or tapping a creature to draw a card has made Verity Circle underperform. There are already plenty of mana sinks in this format with adapt, so having a card this expensive to activate will often lead to it not doing much in games, while taking over others. I thought this card was a bomb rare, but now it’s mostly only a card I sideboard in against slow decks with various big ground creatures, or ones that are weak to a card drawing engine.
3) Summary Judgment
Summary Judgment is by far and away the best white common. That isn’t saying much. If you haven’t, go look at how mediocre the white commons are in this set. There’s a lot of good gold commons picking up the slack for white guilds, but the commons are quite bad.
Summary Judgment is often compared to Grotesque Demise, Skewer the Critics, and other premium common removal. I haven’t been as impressed with Summary Judgment as the others. There’s a common narrative about cards like Gideon’s Reproach and how they’re not good in aggressive decks because your opponent can block with the creature you’re killing before it dies. Summary Judgment has the same issue, but worse for aggressive strategies since you’re not able to use it while attacking at all. It also allows good players to play around it by adapting their huge creatures before playing into it, making that Sauroform Hybrid impossible to kill. I like Summary Judgment plenty, but I’m not looking to first pick it to stay open like I would with Skewer the Critics or Grotesque Demise.
2) Ill-Gotten Inheritance
This card is on my list because I see it played in way too many decks. This card is excellent in aggressive decks with low curves that need a way to finish the game. Alternatively, this card is a solid but not spectacular finisher in grindier Orzhov decks that don’t have enough ways to push through. If your deck has a great end game, this card won’t bridge you to it. It can’t block, and it gets out-raced by giant green creatures.
I see Ill-Gotten Inheritance in decks with Carrion Imps in the sideboard far more often than I believe is correct in Draft decks. If your deck is going to win long games anyways, consider how you’re going to get there, and what a 4-mana card needs to do for you to not get run over. It deals a lot of damage and it often wins games. Players remember only that, and not the games they lost when their opponent cast a Frenzied Arynx and they followed up with a 4-mana enchantment that gained 1 life a turn.
1) Gates Ablaze
Gate strategies are much better than they were in Guilds of Ravnica. The payoffs are off-the-charts good with Gate Colossus, Gatebreaker Ram, and to a much lesser extent, Archway Angel. Gates Ablaze, however, requires a ton of Gates to be a high impact card. With four or five Gates in a deck Gatebreaker Ram is still awesome, Gate Colossus is still a great finisher, and Archway Angel is still a solid 6-drop.
I like to imagine these cards when I have two Gates in play, not when I have seven. Gates Ablaze is going to create serious tension in my draft between taking Gates to make this card be as good as it can be as opposed to high value commons. Otherwise, it’s going to be doing a Cry of the Carnarium impression, and the word is already out that that’s a sideboard card at best. I’m now taking the best commons over Gates Ablaze as I think Gates Ablaze influences your later picks too much. While I love to pick up Gates Ablaze when I’m already drafting a Gate-heavy strategy because of Gate Colossus or Gatebreaker Ram, I’m not going to be drafting around it too often.
That’s my list of cards I’ve been thinking about or have seen through various social media posts. I’ve heard a lot of strong opinions in this format as to what are the best archetypes, and what you should be looking to draft. While I think Rakdos is the guild I’m least enamored with, finding the open guild in this format is the secret to success, and no guild stands out to me as one I’d want to avoid at all costs like Selesnya did to me during Guilds of Ravnica. What cards do you think are over or underrated in Ravnica Allegiance Limited?