Top 5 Over and Underrated Commons in New Capenna Limited

The 17lands website provides an abundance of sweet Limited data. One thing that is always interesting to look at is how highly cards are being picked by 17Lands drafters (“Average Taken At”) versus the win rate of games where a certain card was drawn (“Drawn in Game Win Rate”). By comparing these two metrics on a plot, we can get a sense for which cards are overrated and which cards are underrated, at least in the first two weeks of New Capenna Premier Draft.



Cards that are above the linear regression line have a higher win rate than you would expect for how highly they are taken. Cards that are below the linear regression line perform worse than you would expect based on their average pick number. The further they are removed from the line, the more underrated or overrated they are.


For example, Murder or Strangle are below the line. They are still excellent commons that should make your deck – indeed, their “Improvement When Drawn” value cf. another table is decidedly positive – but they’ve been getting picked more highly than they deserve in this format. The two main reasons behind that are (i) Murder and Strangle are in colors that are performing relatively poorly and (ii) the abundance of enters-the-battlefield abilities and shield counters has made hard creature removal less valuable than normal.

Yet there are cards whose distance to the regression line is even larger. I ran the numbers on all commons that have been played for at least 3,000 games and determined their difference between their observed win rates minus their predicted win rates (given their Average Taken At value and the linear regression model). By sorting based on these differences, I obtained the five most overrated and five most underrated commons based on the data.



Header - Most Overrated Commons

Midnight AssassinGlittermongerMasked BanditsGoldhoundJetmir's Fixer

All of these cards are red, black or green, and that’s not a coincidence. Based on 17land’s color rankings, red-green has the worst win rate out of all allied color pairs and Riveteers has the worst win rate out of all three-color families. Unless these colors are clearly open, you’re often better off by leaving Masked Bandits in the pack and drafting white and/or blue cards instead.

Glittermonger, Goldhound and Jetmir’s Fixer all fit the Treasure theme that is present in red-green, but there simply aren’t enough payoffs for drafting around Treasures. As a result, these cards have been underwhelming, and they don’t warrant getting picked as highly as they have been.

Assassin is not unplayable, but it doesn’t synergize with anything, doesn’t block two-drops, doesn’t pressure the opponent, doesn’t provide value and runs into the same problems as creature removal spells. It has been getting picked near the middle of the pack, more highly than many other three-drops, but based on its win rate it’s actually one of the worst three-drops. It should be going later.


Header - Most Underrated Commons

Revelation of PowerFor the FamilyRun Out of TownDisdainful StrokeMake Disappear

All of these cards are in the Brokers colors, and once again that’s not a coincidence. Based on 17land’s color rankings, white-blue and white-green have the highest win rate out of all allied color pairs and Brokers has the best win rate out of all three-color families. And while most of the press goes to creatures like Inspiring Overseer or Jewel Thief, there are various underrated instants in these colors.

The counterspells, Disdainful Stroke and Make Disappear, are more valuable than normal in this format because you can see exile fixers like Spara’s Adjudicators coming from a mile and because so many creatures have enters-the-battlefield abilities or shield counters. If your opponent casts Dapper Shieldmate or blitzes Girder Goons and you were keeping up mana for Murder, then you’re not getting a good exchange. A counterspell, however, deals with them cleanly.

Run Out of Town overperforms in this format, for several reasons. First, if you cast it in response to a fetchland like Brokers Hideout, the creature will be shuffled into their library. Second, blue is tempo-based in this format, with evasive creatures and temporary effects like Rooftop Nuisance, which means that taking out a creature for a turn may already be enough. Finally, Run Out of Town gets around shield counters, so sometimes it’s actually better than Murder.

The pump spells, Revelation of Power and For the Family, have also been better than expected, and they still go a bit too late in most drafts. There are not that many instant-speed removal spells to break them up – the red burn spells are all sorcery speed – and the creature sizes in this format are often close together. That is, you are regularly attacking with a 3/3 or 3/2 into a 3/4, and then a +2/+2 trick is perfect. Finally, +4/+4 or flying and lifelink are massive boosts that come up regularly. As long as you have a good mana curve and are in colors where hard removal spells are hard to come by, you’re happy to run a few pump spells in your deck. The sixth and seven most underrated commons, by the way, are Fake Your Own Death and Majestic Metamorphosis, which further supports the notion that combat tricks are not getting the love they deserve in this Limited format.


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