Limited Power Rankings – Battle for Zendikar Week Zero

One of the biggest problems that I deal with in limited Magic is that the community is very inefficient at spreading generalized limited information. We usually have a few key people on the limited scene that are dispensing information, but they tend to do so only sporadically and almost never comprehensively. It’s hard to find consistent places where players will post their evolving thoughts on limited formats in succinct and easily grokkable packages of information. When someone does sit down and explain their thoughts, it is usually in a long form article that only comes out at the beginning of the format, and sometimes in the middle, though hardly ever at the end.

I realized that something I really wanted was for players to start putting up their limited power rankings; to give a brief overview of where they think colors/archetypes/cards are at in the format. Something that is easily to look at in a glance, but that can provide good discussion points for the community. I also wanted something that would happen on a regular basis to show how player’s thoughts about limited were evolving.

Whenever I want something, and I don’t see it being made, I usually just tell myself to start doing it, and so here we are. I’m going to try to put up weekly limited power rankings for whatever we have as the current draft format. Please leave comments to discuss what you think about the format. These will just be my current thoughts and feelings on the format, so they are guaranteed not to be highly curated. Instead, they merely offer a glimpse into where I’m currently at in the format.

Hopefully this is useful. Hopefully it gives people some enjoyment. Hopefully I can consistently put this up, but it doesn’t seem to be an incredibly difficult process.

I’m going to split this up into two categories: Colors and Archetypes, and Cards. For Colors and Archetypes, I’ll talk about individual colors, and then the 10 two color archetypes. For cards, I’ll list the top 10 Rares/Mythics, the top 10 Uncommons, the top 10 Commons, and the top 3 commons in each color. This format will almost certainly change as I better figure out how I want to address this from week to week.

Battle for Zendikar – Week Zero Power Rankings

Colors and Archetypes


  1. Red
  2. Blue
  3. Green
  4. Black
  5. White


  1. Izzet – UR Devoid
  2. Simic – UG Eldrazi Ramp
  3. Rakdos – RB Devoid
  4. Dimir – UB Ingest
  5. Boros – RW Aggro Allies
  6. Gruul – RG Landfall
  7. Azorius- WU Awaken
  8. Orzhov – WB Vampires
  9. Golgari – BG Eldrazi Sacrifice
  10. Selesnya – WG Midrange Allies


Rares and Mythics

  1. Ob Nixilis Reignited
  2. Quarantine Field
  3. Greenwarden of Murasa
  4. Ruinous Path
  5. Rolling Thunder*
  6. Gideon, Ally of Zendikar
  7. Omnath, Locus of Rage
  8. Guardian of Tazeem
  9. Munda, Ambush Leader
  10. Drana, Liberator of Malakir

Honorable Mention – From Beyond

*I’m aware that Rolling Thunder is an uncommon. I think that it is better than the vast majority of the rares, but you get an honorable mention to make up for including an uncommon on that list.


  1. Rolling Thunder
  2. Coastal Discovery
  3. Turn Against
  4. Stasis Snare
  5. Roil Spout
  6. Grip of Desolation
  7. Deathless Behemoth
  8. Vile Aggregate
  9. Void Attendant
  10. Catacomb Sifter


  1. Clutch of Currents
  2. Touch of the Void
  3. Complete Disregard
  4. Eldrazi Skyspawner
  5. Sheer Drop
  6. Stonefury
  7. Gideon’s Reproach
  8. Kozilek’s Sentinel
  9. Snapping Gnarlid
  10. Lifespring Druid


  1. DrChrisBakerDC · September 21, 2015

    I assume these evals are for draft? You could have two sets of power rankings, one for sealed, too. Not sure how drastically different they would be – what do you think?

    Utilization for the splashed 3rd and 4th or even 5th color will be common to enable some converge cards. Not to say this is a defined archetype, but I think a 5-Color green, splash every removal spell + ramp/fixing + 7+ mana win cons will be real.

    My addendums to your rankings are:

    Rares: Seems good?

    Turn Against up to #2
    Brood Monitor @ #8
    Bane of Bala Ged @ #9
    Tajuru Warcaller @ #10


    Rolling Thunder
    Turn Against
    Coastal Discovery
    Stasis Snare
    Roil Spout
    Grip of Desolation
    Deathless Behemoth
    Brood Monitor
    Bane of Bala Ged
    Tajuru Warcaller

    Bone Splinters @ #5
    Benthic Infiltrator @ #9
    Outnumber @ #10


    Clutch of Currents
    Touch of the Void
    Complete Disregard
    Eldrazi Skyspawner
    Bone Splinters
    Sheer Drop
    Gideon’s Reproach
    Benthic Inflitrator


    • oraymw · September 21, 2015

      1. I don’t think they would be so drastically different that it would be worth doing.

      2. 5 Color Green could definitely be real, but I didn’t want to rank it yet.

      3. Uncommons – Tajuru Warcaller probably should be rated higher. I saw it do some absurd things on the weekend, and I probably underestimated it. Bane of Bala Ged… I’m not convinced that it is easy enough to ramp these out to rank it as top ten, but if it’s easy to cast it, I’ll move it up.

      4. I might have underrated Bone Splinters, but it’s the kind of card that I would rather underrate until I see it in context. Same thing with Outnumber.


      • DrChrisBakerDC · September 21, 2015

        Yeah it’s clear that synergy-based decks like allies will be more streamlined in draft than sealed, so that might make evaluations different but not by enough to merit a different list. Let’s keep it simple here 😀

        I think the list is a great start and it’ll be fun to re-evaluate over time. I usually get a few drafts in the week between the prerelease and release so hopefully we can learn more before the PPTQs the following weekend!

        Thanks for making this. We should get CFB to add it to their lists, they have standard, modern, and legacy, might as well add Limited.


  2. Lobster667 · September 21, 2015

    I think I agree that White is bad, but I’m not sure about Black. You could definitely be right.

    I seem a lot more lukewarm on the blue Awaken spells than most people. I think the Divination is great, but the two tempo spells seem much less good to me than where you have them. Perhaps I’m wrong, though – I could definitely buy the argument that locking down/bouncing a single creature has more value in this format than most others.

    On the other hand, you seem down on other aggressive cards/archetypes. I often find combat tricks to be at their best early in a format, and W/G/R Allies Aggro seems to be a solid archetype to take advantage of those.

    I’m also intrigued as to the possibility of multi-color decks being viable/good. Thoughts?


    • oraymw · September 21, 2015

      I’m pretty sure that blue and red are the best two colors, but I was torn between black and green. I tend to rate green higher than other people, especially in the beginning of formats. But my point is that I think the two colors are basically tied. Black has more top end but green seems to be deeper. We’ll see.

      I think that you are definitely underrating the Awaken spells. Clutch of Currents can be an Unsummon, but it can also be a Man-‘o’-War or a hasty Man-‘o’-War. That flexibility is fabulous. But on top of it, this format has a lot of juicy targets for the ability. Bouncing an awakened land is like a common Skinrender, and bouncing an Eldrazi often means that you are eating up Scion value as well.

      Re: Aggressive cards/archetypes – UR, RB, and RW seem to all be aggressive archetypes to me, and they are in the top half of my ratings. That’s 60%. The two remaining aggressive archetypes make up tow of the next three. I actually think that’s a spectacularly strong showing for aggressive decks.

      Re: Multicolor decks. They are probably good, but I don’t know enough about them to rate them as an archetype. Four and five color decks almost always just don’t get played enough to compete with the archetypes in percentages, so it feels disingenuous to rate them as a top archetype.


  3. Pingback: Limited Power Rankings: Battle for Zendikar Week One |

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