Preamble: This article is based on the emotional impressions gained from 3 rounds of prerelease sealed deck.
M14. No, not the famous battle rifle. It’s the latest set to come out of WotC’s Magic department. The prerelease was just over, so here’s what I learnt about it when it comes to Limited formats.
1) Mono colours will rule Limited
For whatever reason, WotC decided to go almost entirely mono coloured with this set. With tons of double coloured mana requirements and only what, 5 cards that fix mana (3 of them are green), you would do well to keep to as few colours as possible. This is a departure from almost 2 years of multicoloured drafting that started with Innistrad’s easy mana costs and ended with Dragon’s Maze’s typical 4 colour madness.
That and WotC decided to make each colour able to stand on their own.
Blue’s tempo game is ridiculously good with three counterspells, disperse, and time ebb. Then recur them with Archaeomancer and end with the Colossal Whale. In the meantime, beat with Phantom Warrior and assorted flying creatures. One of the rounds I played blue splashed with 3 white cards for hard removal. It was surprisingly good.
Red is all about the Chandra’s Outrage and Flames of the Firebrand. Shock is okay, but does not carry enough value per card. Windmill slam Chandra and watch as her 0 ability wins you the game single handedly (remember to activate before you drop land). Also, Wild Guess is another awesome card in limited just because of land pitching. And of course, Legacy’s new Will it? Won’t it? card: Young Pyromancer. This guy is good because he enables removal heavy builds. The ginormous amount of value he brings to a typical red deck in Limited cannot be overstated. Kill/bounce/draw and make a new guy. He’s like Chandra 4.0’s best friend.
Then green has large efficient bombs, not one but two(!) value bears, surprise buttsecks, and an enchantment that makes everything you do create xxtra value. Black has Sengir “Perennial” Vampire, Doomblade, and irritating flyers with deathtouch. And white has Got Counterspell? in addition to all its usual efficient spot removals and tappers and Serra Angel.
All that’s good and all. What this means is that you have to pay a lot more attention to what you are drafting. Perhaps this would be a good time to learn the “how to tell who is drafting what colour” skill.
2. Beware of Scavenging Oozes. On the other hand, if you are using one, don’t cast it on the second turn.
3. Disperse and Time Ebb are some of the best removals in the game now that Auras are so powerful. Also: Elite Arcanist. Nothing sucks more than getting your Elite Arcanist Time Ebbed. Also also: Scavenging Oozes. Also also also: Key sliver creatures. The list goes on.
4. Second pick Trollhide. Seriously. Or first pick if there’s no bomb in the pack.