Monday, February 10, 2014

Gatecrash Draft Toss-Up: Kingpin's Pet vs. Skyknight Legionnaire

Gatecrash was an interesting set that played very differently from RTR-RTR-RTR and DGM-GTC-RTR. Mostly, it was considerably faster, so it was important to either set yourself up with a fast deck, or find a way to counter fast decks. Today, we'll look at two cards that do one or the other extremely well.

http://draft.bestiaire.org/images/gtc/Kingpins_Pet.jpg  vs.  http://draft.bestiaire.org/images/gtc/Skyknight_Legionnaire.jpg


The Numbers (courtesy of Bestiaire.org)
Kingpin's Pet - #2 common, #78 overall
Skyknight Legionnaire - #4 common, #80 overall

The Analysis
One thing that stands out to me right away is how these two commons rate so low overall, despite being a couple of the top-drafted commons in the set. It could be that the data is getting skewed because it's so late in the life of Gatecrash, but still, it doesn't feel like there are 75 cards you'd want to take over these two.

Anyways, on to the cards. They're both 1[C][C], fitting into their respective guilds' curves quite nicely. They also both exemplify their guilds. Kingpin's Pet boasts the new Orzhov mechanic Extort, and does so on an already useful 2/2 flyer. Skyknight Legionnaire helps you activate your Battalion mechanics by having both evasion and haste. A turn 3 Legionnaire is a sad thing for most of your opponents to see from you.

If you're already in either guild, the cards are, in my opinion, identically useful. So the only way to solve this decision is to figure out what you'd do in a vacuum, without other cards already in your deck. In that circumstance, I'd take Kingpin's Pet. The reason is, Kingpin's Pet can do plenty of work even if you're just splashing white or black into a Dimir or Boros deck (respectively). Skyknight Legionnaire, while still useful in an Orzhov deck, doesn't quite fit the mentality (it's great in a Gruul deck though, obviously). So, because of that limited possibility, I'd take the Pet just a sliver ahead of Skyknight. Very tough decision, though.

The Verdict
Kingpin's Pet

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