Limited Power Rankings – BFZ Week Four

Welcome back again to the Weekly Limited Power Rankings. This week I have been sort of swarmed with an intense amount of work from my job, which is going to continue through at least next week, since I’m coming to the end of a quarter of school. However, I still wanted to get out a power rankings, especially since I’ve learned a lot more about the format in the past week. I’ve gotten several drafts in on top of jumping into several friends drafts. It’s been strange because I had a slump where I went 2-1 in four drafts in a row, but I was able to knock off three draft wins after that, as well as two draft wins Skyping in with Zach Orts, so it feels like the format is in a pretty good place. On top of this, there was also the Pro Tour this weekend, which allowed me to get a lot more insight into the format. There are a lot of changes this week, in every category. You can check out last week’s power ratings here.

This hurts. It really really hurts. Green is absolutely my favorite color in Magic, and I tend to value it more highly than the Magic community at large. A big part of that is that the pro community tends to have a very strong anti-green bias. For example, I remember watching coverage for both Rise of the Eldrazi and Khans of Tarkir Pro Tours, and the players kept mention at those PTs that green was the worst color and basically unplayable. I think that history has gone on to show that those opinions could not have been more wrong. Green tends to be underrated by a large swath of the Magic community, and when people starting spouting “green is bad” at me, I tend to just ignore them. But in this set, green really is bad. The first thing I did to start improving my drafting in the format was to start avoiding green.

Last week I got some criticism about putting white so far down on the list, basically that white should be among the top colors. WotC ran the numbers at the PT and white came in with the lowest number of 3-0 decks at the PT. This is especially important because white tends to be more overdrafted than green on the PT level, and I do not doubt that that was the case at this PT as well, but it still put out the worst results. Now, part of that is that white was probably overdrafted relative to green, while green was probably underdrafted, but making the contention that white is even close to the top three colors is just silly.

The biggest question mark is whether black should move higher. Black had a fantastic performance at the PT, and I’ve been having some success with it as well, and it’s possible that it could edge out red, but I do still think that red is better overall. We’ll see if that shifts around at all in the coming weeks. Blue remains rock solid at the top of the ratings, and it is the color that I want to draft the most. The best part about blue is that people still draft it terribly, so you can often get the great cards even when people are fighting you for it.

The archetypes list saw the biggest change this week. I shifted around the nomenclature a little bit, and I also made some big changes to the rankings on the list. The biggest change was that I cut out both UG and WG from the list, and basically threw them both under Green Converge/Allies. Essentially, these are green decks that are based around Lifespring Druid and Tajuru Stalwarts and play three to five colors, usually in Bant or Naya (or both). I think this is by far the best way to draft green, though the BG deck is also real when it works.

The other major changes were shifting UB up to second place in the ratings. Blue based devoid strategies are just the best thing that you can do in the format, and you want to do that as much as you possibly clan. The best part about the UB devoid deck is that it plays very differently from the UR based decks. The UB deck is much more ingest and processor focused. You still want to prioritize the top three blue commons, but cards like Mist Intruder and Murk Strider get a lot better in the UB deck.

The other major change was shifting WU up to the third best deck. I had looked at the WU deck as an Awaken based strategy that just didn’t have enough synergy, but I was then taught by Marshall Sutcliffe about how the WU flyers deck works in the format, and I’ve found a lot of success with that deck as well. Again, this is a situation where you want different blue cards than you do in the other decks. Tightening Coils and Cloud Manta get a lot better in the white deck, and this is also the best home for Sheer Drop, which actually makes the card look good.

This is the week where we’ve seen the smallest change in the rares list. I’m mostly comfortable on where this list is ending up. The biggest change is Greenwarden of Murasa dropping three places, and that is mostly due to green dropping so far in the colors rankings. It’s still a fantastic card, but it’s harder to justify moving in to green. The other card that is on the watchlist is From Beyond, which might fall off of the top 10 list next week depending on how green performs.

There was also some pushback against Rolling Thunder being up so high on the list. Those complaints were just wrong. Rolling Thunder is absurdly good in this format, and performs similarly to Quarantine Field, which is clearly the best rare. Rolling Thunder is basically a split card with 5RR Sorcery Win the game next turn and 6RR win the game this turn, along with 4RR don’t lose the game. It is an absurd card that does absurd things, and however high you are valuing it, you should probably value it higher.

There are three key changes to the uncommon rankings.

First, Grip of Desolation moved up a slot. That card just does insane things, and is often worth 1.5 creatures at instant speed. It’s possible that Grip of Desolation should move up above Coastal Discovery, but the splashability of Discovery paired with its awaken synergy and being in the best color keeps it above Grip of Desolation for this week’s list, but I’m keeping my eye on these cards because they might switch.

The next key addition is the return of Roil Spout to the list. I had moved Roil Spout off of the list because it felt like WU just wasn’t coming together, but now that I’ve learned how to draft WU correctly, Roil Spout has moved back up onto the list as one of the best reasons to move into that color combination.

The other major change is that Deathless Behemoth fell off the list. That isn’t a problem with that card, but it just doesn’t really fit into any specific synergy, and you want to take the synergy cards like Herald, Roil Spout, and Emissary higher than the Deathless Behemoth.

There are two big changes to this list and one minor change. The major changes are that Bone Splinters made it onto the common rankings in the place of Unnatural Aggression. As I’ve been moving farther away from wanting to play green, I’ve especially moved off of Aggression. The biggest problem with the card, and with green in general, is that there aren’t enough green creatures with high toughness. It is hard to block the more aggressive decks and it is hard to leverage Aggression into a high value card. On the flip side, I’ve found the downside of Bone Splinters to almost always be completely negligible in this format on account of Eldrazi scion and other tokens, but it takes out key synergy creatures and even Eldrazi for only one mana. Trading off your scion for their Tajuru Warcaller or Vile Aggregate is such a huge game that Bone Splinters has moved up to my second favorite black common (with Kalastria Healer coming in at a close third).

The other change was shifting Complete Disregard up above Touch of the Void. This reflects my improving opinion of black, but also just the difference between instant and sorcery. I do think the two cads are very comparable, but they are a tier below Skyspawner and Clutch of Currents.

Thanks so much for reading, and I’ll see you next week!

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2 comments

  1. davekay · October 23, 2015

    Thanks for doing these, I find them very interesting. I’d be interested in your thoughts on Nettle Drone.

    Like

    • oraymw · October 23, 2015

      Nettle Drone is fabulous. I tried to make the commons list about cards that are very good in multiple archetypes. The exceptions are Lifespring Druid and Bone Splinters. The druid is absolutely key to it’s archetype, while Bone Splinters is just very strong in BG and UB. In those decks, it shoots up higher on the pick order, since you almost always have scions to throw away. Nettle Drone is very good in the devoid decks, and just mediocre in others, but it’s still not Bone Splinters good in it’s good decks.

      Liked by 1 person

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