Hi everyone, Marcio Carvalho here with another Limited article.
After 2 weeks in Atlanta and a respectful 10-6 finish at the Pro Tour Guilds of Ravnica I’m back home in Portugal jamming MTG Arena matches everyday, eating Sushi and taking my dogs out.
In this article I’m going to try to give you my personal insight about this Limited format, similar to the thoughts I shared with Hareruya Latin in our preparation for the Pro Tour.
One of the most important things in this format is to quickly find out which Guilds are open to you (Revolutionary right?). At the PT I knew that most people were not willing to draft green, so I decided to quick move to one of the green Guilds if I felt that was the case. It ended up working well as I drafted both Golgari (3-0) and a very busted Selesnya deck (2-1) that only lost a match because I mulliganed both games and drew very poorly.
Strategies and Key Cards for Each Guilds
Let’s talk about each Guilds:
People tend to avoid Golgari, mostly because they don’t know how to draft it. Don’t be afraid of our graveyard friends, at first I didn’t understand it but now it is one of my favorite archetypes. With Golgari, you want to trade whenever you can, as well as putting creatures in your graveyard. Your plan is to grind them out, so keep an eye on not be overrun in the early game.
Key Cards for Golgari:
《Burglar Rat》 and 《Generous Stray》 are the kind of creatures you want because they replace themselves and they let you can fill your graveyard without losing value. 《Severed Strands》 is a big part why 《Burglar Rat》 and 《Generous Stray》 are key, as they serve as sacrifice for this awesome removal spell. If you are in Golgari, you want to take it very highly.
Deathtouch creatures like 《Hired Poisoner》 and 《Pitiless Gorgon》 are always fine because they trade up easily and advance your game plan. 《Rhizome Lurcher》 is the finisher Golgari deserves: This guy will be huge if you follow the game plan and it finishes games instantly if unanswered.
If you are as fortunate as my friend Bernardo Santos you will always have the premium rares: 《Find // Finality》, 《Izoni, Thousand-Eyed》, 《Vraska, Golgari Queen》, but not everyone lives in Bernardo’s world so lower your expectations.
Let’s start by saying this: Forget about Convoke. Selesnya is a tempo Guild. 《Siege Wurm》 is passable but not premium. You will not be unhappy with one but don’t go out of your way to pick them up. On the other hand, 《Rosemane Centaur》 is very important, you should pick it without fear.
If you follow this advice and don’t fall in the Convoke trap your winrate with Selesnya will skyrocket.
Key Cards for Selesnya:
There’s no secret to Boros: It’s one of the easiest Guilds to draft as you only want to curve out and play a bunch of Mentors, some removal and smash them.
One of the cards that was a sleeper at the beginning is 《Cosmotronic Wave》: This card is busted in Boros and sometimes even kill 2 or 3 creatures. I’m always happy playing one maindeck and sometimes 2. Another card that is at its best here is 《Healer's Hawk》: Playing it early and growing it with Mentor shifts any race on your favor and it’s almost impossible to lose.
Key Cards for Boros:
Everyone is in love with Dimir. Surveil is so much fun, you always have 6 cards in hand, 3 removal spells, while your opponent is scrambling with one card in hand and no creatures in play (At least that’s how Bernardo Santos feels everytime he drafts Dimir).
But in the real world, Dimir also has its problems. The biggest one is that if you are not careful you will be decking yourself, so be prepared for that and also prioritize ways to kill your opponent. Sometimes that means playing 2 《Douser of Lights》! Stop being fancy and don’t be afraid to play a 4/5 vanilla! Of course, 《Watcher in the Mist》 is way better: but it’s much harder to come by.
《Devious Cover-Up》 is another nice card to have. You Surveil so much that you get to see most of your best cards. Shuffling them back or just saving you from decking is awesome.
Jokes aside, I agree that Dimir is one of the most powerful Guilds (if not the best), but in reality, everybody knows I’m #TeamBoros in my heart.
Key Cards for Dimir:
In my opinion Izzet is very polarized: Either I have a busted deck that most likely will 3-0, or I have a pile that don’t do much and probably will crash and burn.
You have to be very careful about your ratio of creatures and spells because the right mix will make your deck busted or unplayable. There are 2 type of Izzet decks: Control and Aggro/Tempo. I tend to prefer the Aggro ones better (who would have guessed) that can tempo out my opponents with cards like 《Piston-Fist Cyclops》, 《Sonic Assault》, 《Goblin Electromancer》 and 《Direct Current》.
Key Cards for Izzet:
Conclusion and Bonus Topic
That’s how I see the Guilds and how you should draft them. As a bonus topic, I will post an average Izzet deck by Bernardo Santos:
3 《Izzet Guildgate》
-Land (17)- 4 《Goblin Electromancer》
2 《League Guildmage》
2 《Piston-Fist Cyclops》
1 《Wee Dragonauts》
1 《Wojek Bodyguard》
2 《Crackling Drake》
1 《Wishcoin Crab》
1 《Niv-Mizzet, Parun》
2 《Beacon Bolt》
1 《Sonic Assault》
1 《Direct Current》
1 《Expansion // Explosion》
1 《Ral, Izzet Viceroy》
I know what you guys are thinking: He got a little unlucky to play 《Wishcoin Crab》 on his maindeck but don’t be fooled, the creature is actually ok by normal people standards.
I hope you guys enjoyed this article! If you have any questions just leave a comment and I will respond as soon as possible.
See you next time!