One of my absolute favorite parts of Magic is getting a first look at a new set once all the cards have been previewed. During preview season, hints of what the new Limited environment will look like sneak through, but until you’re able to see every card, it’s difficult to fully grasp the big picture. Lucky for us, we’ve got the full set on our hands, so let’s look at Dominaria United Limited’s big picture with a breakdown of what to expect for your first few drafts!
At the dawn of a new Limited format, I’m often asked questions along the lines of “what’s the best way to prepare for a new format?” or “what’s your approach for breaking down a new set?” The place where I’d recommend players start, and the place I start myself, is understanding the architecture of the set.
Architecture in this case isn’t just referring to the themes, mechanics and archetypes of the set, but also how the themes, mechanics and archetypes are woven into the set, their quantities and the tools the set designers used to implement them. To put it in fewer words, I try to reverse engineer how the set designers chose to build the set from the ground up so that I can best approximate what I think decks in a format should look like. Understanding the design intentions of a set is a huge boon to your early drafts in a format since if gives you a lens to contextualize cards through.