Hi! I just got back from Brussels and playing in Pro Tour Dragons of Tarkir. As always, the highlight of the testing process was hanging out and drafting with my friends and teammates on the Pantheon. Over the two weeks of testing, we developed a lot of ideas and opinions on the new Limited format. I’d like to share with you how we broke down the set and our strategy going into the Pro Tour.
When dealing with the “best cards” in a Limited format, it is often best to identify what the best common or uncommon is in the set. This will give you a cutoff for which cards you want to put in tier 1. There are some instances in history where the best common is so good that it has to be tier 1, like Sparksmith or Pestilence.
In Dragons of Tarkir, the best common or uncommon card is Ultimate Price. For the sake of defining tier 1, I’ll make a list of all the cards that I’d pick first-pick-first-pack over Ultimate Price. Note that in a gold set, sometimes if a card is slightly better than another but multiple colors, it can be in your best interest to take the mono-colored card. This is especially notable for some of the Commands.
For tier 2, these are cards that are roughly as good as Ultimate Price, albeit all a bit worse. I put them in the order I’d take them first-pick-first-pack.
Tier 4 starts with Silumgar Butcher. It’s worth noting that my team and I wildly disagreed about Profaner of the Dead. I don’t like it much at all. A few people agreed and a few disagreed, and we never really came to a consensus. What do you think?
Personally, I’d hope to not have to first-pick any cards in tier 4, and would be very unhappy to first-pick anything worse than that.
Pick Order by Color
There’s some wiggle room when comparing rares and mythic rares as we were not and don’t plan to ever be faced with those decisions outside of the double-rare pack due to a foil, which doesn’t happen in competitive-level events. Also keep in mind that many of these decisions are going to need to be made in a given context, with much more information. For example, certain decks would greatly prefer a card like Lightwalker to Student of Ojutai, and other decks are the complete opposite. I am using my best judgement for what is, in general, the better card in those situations.
For what its worth, our color rankings of the set were:
2. Red (This was more like 1a, we thought black and red were very close)
5. Green (Distant 5)
That’s a lot of cards and a lot of rankings, and clearly some are very close. This is a good approximation of what my team’s thoughts were, albeit influenced by my own opinions. I hope you all enjoyed the article and I’ll see you next week for some Pack 1, Pick 2 with Dragons of Tarkir.