Welcome back to Limited Power Rankings! Over the past couple of weeks I’ve drafted a handful of times, winning half of my drafts, and getting in some truly good decks. Battle of Zendikar used to be one of my least favorite draft formats, but I’m liking it more and more as the format progresses. It’ll be very interesting to see what remains the same after the rotation to Oath of the Gatewatch. Losing two BFZ boosters in exchange for two Oath boosters guarantees that the format will change dramatically.
Over the past two weeks, I’ve rethought a few things on Limited Power Rankings. First, I decided that just ranking the colors from 1 to 5 doesn’t really say what I want to say with them. I really want to get across a picture of how good I think the colors are relative to each other, instead of with just a strict ordinal ranking. So, this week you’ll see each of the colors rated on a scale of one to ten. Ten is the highest rating and one is the lowest rating. I also did some major rethinking on one of the categories, so you’ll see one of the more volatile changes to ranking lists this week.
Here you can see the change to rating the colors on a scale from 1 to 10. I think that it gives a better idea of how the colors relate with each other and how they relate with other format, so hopefully we’ll get a better idea of things going forward.
Firstly, I moved blue back on top after a brief stint in the number two slot. I had moved blue down on account of it being overdrafted, but it feels like we’ve moved into the experimental stage of the format, where people are trying wackadoo stuff simply because they aren’t feeling anything from the draft format any more. Blue hasn’t seemed quite as closed off in the past couple of weeks, so it makes sense to move it back to the top. Note: I would not rate blue as a 7.5 in the format in general, but in this particular metagame. I would probably give blue an 8.5 or 9 in a vacuum, but it loses quite a bit to people knowing that it is the best color.
I also hope that this gives a sense of how far green falls down on the scale. It is significantly below all the other colors, and far enough that I would recommend staying far away from it unless no one else in the draft is taking the cards. You’ll see on the Rare and Uncommon list that I’ve moved the green cards even farther down the list this week.
Only a few small changes to the top tier of this list. I shifted around some of the decks but only slightly, and the biggest change was moving UB all the way to the top, a place that I haven’t yet had it in this format. I still find black easier to get into than red, mostly because people still really like drafting both Nettle Drones and red Allies, so black tends to be more open, and is still a fabulous color to pair up with blue.
Again, not too many changes in the rare list. I got a lot of push back from people last week about Rolling Thunder, again, including one person telling me that they hope I die! I think that this is a classic case of Price Value Bias – People are rating Rolling Thunder lower than they would if it had a Gold or Orange rarity symbol. I really think that if Rolling Thunder had been printed in this set as a rare, that people would rate it in easily in the top five of the limited cards in this set.
The other changes to the rare list this week are shifting the green cards down near the bottom. It’s possible that I should just drop Greenwarden off the list entirely, but I’m still not convinced that the card isn’t just that powerful. If I were dropping it from the list, it would be for Wasteland Strangler, so don’t be too surprised if that change ends up happening next week.
The more I thought about the ratings for this week, the more I realized that I didn’t like having Eldrazi Skyspawner under Drana’s Emissary. I had that pick in P1P1 this week, and I easily took the Skyspanwer, and I realized that it was silly not to have that card in a place on the Uncommon list. Once I made that jump, it ended up making me rethink the way I would rate all of the uncommons on the list, and so I made some big changes. I moved Coastal Discovery several slots, I moved Ruination Guide up a little bit, and I shifted each of the blue cards into the place that I would take it relative to Skyspawner. This led to a massive shift in many of the other cards on this list, including moving Warcaller, Emissary, and Roil Spout down to the bottom of the list. Part of that is to make room for Clutch of Currents as well. As long as I’m including commons where I would take them, I might as well extend the exception to Clutch of Currents. I like that this new list accurately expresses the strength of these two commons, and it just goes to show why blue is so much stronger than the other colors in this set.
The only change on this list was dropping off Bone Splinters from the list. I’ve found a lot of utility in Bone Splinters in UB lists with Incubator Drone and in WB with various token makers. It’s also the one thing that can make a BG list competitive. But it did feel like Nettle Drone is just more consistently good, and so I moved it into slot number ten. Note: I think that people overrate Nettle Drone by quite a lot, and they also misplay it horribly. Nettle Drone isn’t a good card because it can be a 1.5/1 unblockable for 2R. If you aren’t making use of the 3/1 body, then it isn’t even close to the top ten commons. It is only as high as it is because it can attack and block as a 3/1 and make a significant impact on the board on top of also being a potent way to close out games.
That’s it for this week. Let me know what you think in the comments