Monday, July 29, 2013

The Commons of M14 - White

This is the first of a series of posts about drafting our brand new set, Magic 2014. I'll discuss each of the five colors, and rank each common card from that color as I would expect to take them in a limited format. I'll arrange them in tiers, for your organizational viewing pleasure.

Normally I'd be all about ranking the colorless cards as well, but seeing as how there's all of one common-level colorless card, it might not be all that interesting an article. Sliver Construct is a fine card, though.

White

Tier 1 - Potential pack one, pick one:
1. Celestial Flare
2. Pacifism
3. Dawnstrike Paladin

Celestial Flare is one of the stronger pieces of removal in the set, right up there with Doom Blade. I like that it's a very white card in flavor, and I like that it pierces hexproof and indestructible. Pacifism is classic; no discussion necessary. I know I'm going to rate Dawnstrike Paladin higher than most people, but I can't help it. I've always been a fan of vigilance, and after the number of times I've gotten rolled by Mark of the Vampire in M13, I've got a newfound appreciation for lifelink. The cost is high, but spells cost mana, that's how it goes.

Tier 2 - Potential pick one in pack two or three, after my colors are established:
4. Charging Griffin
5. Master of Diversion
6. Auramancer

Charging Griffin is fine, works really well if you have some defenses back to cover. Master of Diversion is a 2/2 body with a useful effect. Same goes for Auramancer. The set seems to almost demand that you play at least a couple of enchantments, so I'd expect that you're getting full value out of Auramancer around 40% of the time.

Tier 3 - Solid cards to fill out the color:
7. Sentinel Sliver
8. Suntail Hawk
9. Divine Favor
10. Hive Stirrings
11. Solemn Offering
12. Capashen Knight
13. Pay No Heed

I like Sentinel Sliver a lot, but vigilance on a 2/2 doesn't do a ton; by the time you can attack with a 2/2, it's usually at risk of being traded for another 2/2, which means half the time your Sentinel Sliver is just another Silvercoat Lion. In a slivers deck, obviously it's more useful. Suntail is fine, a one mana flyer in an enchantment-heavy set should be useful. Divine Favor isn't a phenomenal, but it makes any creature a problem to deal with. Hive Stirrings I'm rating a little higher than I might normally rate a sorcery-speed token spell, simply because the set favors slivers. Solemn Offering is going to be a damn useful card in this set, I promise. I initially had nothing positive to say about Capashen Knight, but really, it's a two-drop that you don't hate pulling in turn 8, so that has value. Pay No Heed seems just okay, but it can unmake a lot of red decks' plans, and also has a narrow fog effect.

Tier 4 - Not exciting, but playable cards in color:
14. Show of Valor
15. Fortify
16. Siege Mastadon
17. Pillarfield Ox

Show of Valor was a deck-filler at best in M13; I expect it to be the same in M14. Fortify is a tough card to judge, but I could see it moving up my list a bit as we see more of the set. Siege Mastadon and Pillarfield Ox are cards, but that's all they are.

Tier 5 - Cards I'd have a hard time seeing myself play:
18. Griffin Sentinel
19. Angelic Wall
20. Soulmender

Griffin Sentinel has to exist, but I don't ever want to play it. Getting just one power on a three-drop creature never feels good. Angelic Wall is what it is; Fog Bank is infinitely better. Soulmender might fit into lifegain decks, but until I see him getting work done, I'm wary of any 1/1 without evasion.

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