Limited Power Rankings – BFZ Week Three

The weekly power ratings are a day late today. I had the option to either write the power ratings yesterday or do another draft, so I did another draft. My thinking was that it would be better to put this together after getting one more draft in. With that said, I ended up doing five individual drafts this weekend, and video chatted in for three other drafts, for a total of eight drafts over three days. This is the part of the format that I find most exciting; the time when we can start to throw the limited format against the grinder and see what comes out. A link to the previous week’s power ratings can be found here.

White has been impressing me more, but I have three of the bottom three color combinations as white, and it doesn’t feel right to move white out of the bottom slot while that is true. It is strange because many players are still drafting white pretty highly, and I think that is still because of the natural pro-White bias that most limited players have when they approach the format. But white can definitely be a strong supplementary color when paired with red or black, so it’s hard to tell exactly where these colors are going to shake out in the end. I’m confident that blue and red are the best two colors, but the other three colors could basically shake out in any order. I have found green based ramp decks to be fairly strong in the format; they can flood out the board with Eldrazi scions and then they have enough fixing to play the best cards from every other deck, and it turns into a pretty decent fallback strategy when you move in on another color combination and it gets cut off.

This is the week where we start to see huge changes in the archetype ratings. I still think that UR is the best archetype, and I’ve seen a lot of people coalescing around that deck as a power and aggressive way to approach the format. There are a couple of other big movers in the list, specifically with RW and WB. It seems that people are sort of figuring out how to draft the WB deck, and Kalastria Healer is a much better card than I anticipated, and it is the card that makes the WB deck work. I’ve also found RW to be one of the very good aggressive decks that exerts a ton of pressure on the format, and just drafting a ton of allies is a solid strategy. The deck that probably stands out the most here is UG, and I’ve seen a lot of people saying that they haven’t really seen UG come together as a strategy. Basically, UG is focused on two strategies, ramping into Eldrazi and picking up fixing for the best cards from the other colors. Typically you have enough fixing that you can easily run five colors, and then you flood the board with Eldrazi scion tokens. As you hold the board, you start deploying bigger and more powerful threats than your opponent can produce using either Eldrazi or multicolored cards. You can also lean on Tajuru Warcaller and Tajuru Beastmaster to leverage the Scion tokens into a win. It’s sort of a misnomer to call it a UG deck, since it’s usually a base green deck that uses blue cards for board control and then just runs all five colors, but that’s one of my pet decks in the format.

There are two major changes to this list. First, Quarantine Field moves up into the number one slot. And second, Rolling Thunder moves up into the number two slot. These are both displacing Ob Nixilis Reignited. Both of these cards are simply absurd in the format. I thought that Rolling Thunder would be less absurd here than it used to be, but I was dead wrong. The biggest difference is that this format is full of Eldrazi scions that can power out truly tremendous X spells, and it’s not a coincidence that I moved both of these X spells to the top of the list. And as good as Rolling Thunder is, Quarantine Field is even better. Nabbing two creatures is trivially easy, but hitting three or four is also completely reasonable with the help of scions, and the effect is incredibly backbreaking. At least it’s mythic rare. Rolling Thunder definitely gets the vote as the more oppressive card since it is an uncommon. The other biggest change here is Drana shifting up the ranks. It’s possible that Drana makes it all the way up to slot four or five, but I need to get a better view of her in action before I make such a dramatic change.

There were two major changes to the uncommon list. The first is dropping Turn Against off the list. It is a fine card, but costing five mana is a pretty big deal, and enough of the creatures in this format have strange power and toughness combos that make it difficult to get a two for one off of it. Getting one card is still great, but not enough to make the top ten slot. On top of that, it’s definitely possible to play around Turn Against and mitigate the potential damage that it will do. In its place we have Drana’s Emissary. It is a multicolor card, which puts it in stiff competition, but it is also the key to the WB lifegain deck. When the deck has Emissary, it is good, and when it doesn’t it is bad, and there isn’t much room in between. It’s an evasive creature that makes a four point swing every turn for 3 mana, and it is even an ally to boot.

The biggest change here is a precipitous fall of Sheer Drop to tenth place. The more I see of Sheer Drop, the more it falls off the list. It just doesn’t fit well into white’s strategy of attacking with creatures. I’ve found myself stuck with the card in hand and wishing that I had a creature that could just attack simply because my opponent was leaving their creatures on defense. You’ll also notice that I have an unabashed love for Incubator Drone and it keeps going up and up my rankings. I doubt that it cracks the top five, I feel very good about that list in particular, though there might be some shifting between 2-5, but moving it above Gideon’s Reproach feels very good considering how badly Gideon’s Reproach fits into the white strategy.

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