Welcome to my first Adventures in the Forgotten Realms Limited Set Review! I’ll be going over each and every card for Limited, giving them not only a numerical grade, but also talking about how they are best used. I’m actually going to be adding a few new elements this time around, so let’s chat about those first:
- Reviews sorted by cost:
- I’m taking a page from the Lords of Limited here, and going by cost order instead of alphabetical. I think that makes more sense in looking at the set, and seems like a better way to organize things.
- Dungeons and Dragon flavor ratings:
- This is one of the most flavorful sets we’ve ever seen, and they have gone a long way to try and evoke the source material. As a result, I’m going to be grading each card on how well I think it lines up with the concept, as I am an avid D&D fan (though not an expert-level loremaster).
Let’s start with the grading scale, now updated to include Strixhaven cards as benchmarks. As a reminder, the ratings are a guide, and I highly recommend reading the comments as well.
- 5.0: The best of the best. (Mascot Exhibition. Professor Onyx. Blot Out the Sky.)
- 4.5: Incredible bomb, but not unbeatable. (Multiple Choice. Sedgemoor Witch. Tempted by the Oriq.)
- 4.0: Good rare or top-tier uncommon. (Igneous Inspiration. Elite Spellbinder. Dramatic Finale.)
- 3.5: Top-tier common or solid uncommon. (Bury in Books. Expressive Iteration. Environmental Sciences.)
- 3.0: Good playable that basically always makes the cut. (Pop Quiz. Eyetwitch. Field Trip.)
- 2.5: Solid playable that rarely gets cut. (Pilgrim of the Ages. Leech Fanatic. Cram Session.)
- 2.0: Good filler, but sometimes gets cut. (Pillardrop Warden. Expel. Crushing Disappointment.)
- 1.5: Filler. Gets cut about half the time. (Arrogant Poet. Curate. Stonerise Spirit.)
- 1.0: Bad filler. Gets cut most of the time. (Soothsayer Adept. Tome Shredder. Springmane Cervin.)
- 0.5: Very low-end playables and sideboard material. (Tangletrap.)
- 0.0: Completely unplayable. (Strixhaven Stadium. One with Nothing.)
Before we dig into the cards, let’s take a look at the mechanics, since these will come up multiple times.
This is the most complicated mechanic in the set, and will cast a huge shadow over how the games play out. I wrote about the mechanic when it was first revealed here, but there’s a lot more to discuss when it comes to venture in Limited.
The three dungeons each offer different rewards, and which you want to venture into will vary by deck and by the circumstances of each game. Here are the three dungeons, for reference:
While the circumstances of an individual game are the biggest factor in which dungeon/rooms you choose, here are some rules of thumb:
- If your deck has a ton of rewards for completing a Dungeon, you should pick Lost Mine of Phandelver or Tomb of Annihilation. Tomb in particular is one you can speedrun if you’re willing to pay the price, and some cards reward you enough for doing so.
- If you anticipate doing a lot of dungeon crawling, Dungeon of the Mad Mage is the highest payoff. It’s risky, because it takes a long time to get through, but if you do, it gives you a big edge. Dedicated Dungeon decks are the most likely to venture into this one.
- Lost Mine is the Dungeon with the most immediate payoff. If the game is going to end soon, or you need value sooner rather than later, Lost Mine is your best bet.
Overall, lone instances of venture are worth a bit less than a card, and they get pretty good once you stack them. They also gain value if you’re building around the mechanic, as the payoffs for completing Dungeons can be pretty good. Overall, I’m positive on the cards that venture, especially ones that give it to you at low cost, and think this mechanic will be valued and impactful over the course of the set. It also looks like a ton of fun to play with.
Classes are enchantments that give you an ability immediately and let you pay mana to level up and gain access to new abilities. They all play out differently and tend to be fairly strong. These don’t play in any one way, as they all have unique abilities, so I’m mostly just noting them here for completeness’ sake.
This is a controversial one, but I’ll stick to the impact on Limited (with a brief admission that while die-rolling and drawing a random card each turn may be effectively the same, they certainly do feel different).
A ton of cards follow the template of:
- 1-9: Do something mediocre.
- 10-19 or 10-20: Do something good.
- 20: Do something very good.
In general, these cards are good enough to play even if you get mediocre half the time and good half the time, with the rare 20 being a nice bonus. Some cards specifically reward you for rolling dice, or making rolling dice better (by giving you an extra one and dropping the lowest, which is straight-up the advantage mechanic from D&D). The dice payoff cards seem fine if you get enough ways to trigger them, though I’m not as impressed with the dice advantage cards, since you aren’t going to get that much extra value from most dice cards.
The most important takeaway I have for you on the dice rolling cards is to get your body ready to roll dice, and that you’ll both win and lose as a result of a die roll. With that said, let’s get to the cards!
*Note that the Gold/Artifacts are sorted alphabetically, because the curve doesn’t matter as much once it’s not all the same color*