It’s all thriller no filler this week in my article about tips and tricks with Dragons of Tarkir in Limited. I’m going to start out with the card that’s probably the easiest to play around and will generate the most value for the player who correctly plays around it:
It’s a bit more flexible than a Kill Shot because it can kill blocking creatures, but what it gains in flexibility is loses in overall cost. 5 is a high price to pay. The reason this is the first card I thought of when I wanted to write about new tricks in the format is the way it differs from a card like Kill Shot—the added bolster 1. Bolster 1 makes it so this card is capable of being a 2-for-1, which is rare for a common. You attack with a Hill Giant and a Grizzly Bears into their Grizzly Bears, they Enduring Victory the Hill Giant and block with their newly bolstered creature. It won’t happen naturally very often—and it’ll happen even less often when the warning bells go off in your head as they play their fifth land and pass. This card is only mediocre, but if you fail to recognize it you can make it one of the best cards in their deck.
This card isn’t super high impact, but it’s worth considering when you’re playing against a red-based aggressive deck. I cast this card at my local prerelease to counter a Defeat, so keep that interaction in mind against black.
Coat with Venom
Whenever I see a card that grants deathtouch, the first thing I do is look for pingers to set up a combo that kills creatures out of nowhere. I look forward to attempting to resolve Coat with Venom on my Shockmaw Dragon to create a Plague Wind. It’s also quite nice with Kolaghan Aspirant and Atarka Efreet.
This card is substantially worse than Feat of Resistance for many reasons. Putting a +1/+1 counter on one of your creatures is remarkably similar to putting a 1/1 token into play. Sometimes it’s better, as you can turn a medium-sized creature into one that can profitably attack; and sometimes it’s worse, since they can kill that one creature and you don’t have a 1/1 left behind. In general I’ve found the two to be roughly equal.
So in that way, Feat of Resistance provides a sort of card advantage since you can trade it for a spell or creature and get that little bit of extra value. It’s very hard for Center Soul to get that extra value, and at 2 mana it’s a trick that won’t let a smaller creature kill a bigger creature. The way I envision Center Soul being an all-star is when you see someone with multiple Pacifisms or Encase in Ice and you can use it in combat to trade for a creature then destroy an enchantment on the rebound. That’s how you get the full 2-for-1.
Not the most obvious trick but surely the one with the highest impact on the game should be Dromoka’s Gift. FOUR +1/+1 counters is huge and if that’s all it did it would be a slam-dunk first-pick card, the drawback here is that it’s bolster 4 so you have little control over which creature receives the benefit. It’s also going to be painfully obvious when you have this card in hand when you attack with your smallest creature only and have five mana available. This is a card I think you should always play in a green aggressive deck but probably not prioritize highly in a draft.
That’s it for my brief look at the best tricks in Dragons of Tarkir Limited, which ones do you like that you think I missed?
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