Over prerelease weekend, I was lucky enough to also get three drafts in. Boringly, my two Sealed Decks were aggressive white/red, which isn’t the best prerelease experience in terms of having fun, but at least it was winning games.
I won’t go over my drafts in full, but I played white many times, so my selections will definitely reflect that.
1. Gryff’s Boon
People want to compare this card with predecessors like Angelic Gift, but it isn’t the same thing at all. First, you don’t risk getting 2-for-1’d because Gryff’s Boon can always come back, and second, it costs a single mana and gives an extra power!
When drawing it, you are basically always threatening evasion no matter how many removal spells your opponent has. Be aware of Bound by Moonsilver and Sleep Paralysis—don’t forget that you can use Angelic Purge or Pious Evangel to sacrifice the frozen creature and get the Aura into your graveyard to return.
Gryff’s Boon might just be one of white’s best cards.
2. Ulvenwald Mysteries
People tend to think this would only be good in a Clue-themed deck, but don’t be fooled! The card is an engine itself and can be used in any deck that is creature-heavy and able to trade them off.
I’m super impressed with this card.
3. Thraben Inspector
When I evaluated the set in a Limited environment, I thought Clues would be close to irrelevant since spending 2 mana seemed like a lot. After playing with the set, between instants, and Werewolves, I found it easy to sacrifice Clues at basically no cost to tempo.
For that reason, I evaluate Thraben Inspector as a better Elvish Visionary—it costs 1 less and the card drawing costs 2 more, but, as I said, those 2 mana seem like 0 mana when you would otherwise have nothing else to do with it.
4. Town Gossipmonger // Incited Rabble
Any creature that reads “attacks each combat if able” better be very good to see play since, in regular Draft formats, the creatures scale quickly and the one that has to attack every turn eventually bites the dust.
In this particular format, I found the creatures to be small. Even if they were big, a flipped Town Gossipmonger has firebreathing—worst-case scenario, you’ll trade your mana and Incited Rabble for their blocker.
This an excellent aggressive card.
5. Accursed Witch // Infectious Curse
Accursed Witch is amazing—it trades for most mid-curve creatures and then transforms into inevitability. It is also a great card to sacrifice if you are into that theme. I don’t understand why people don’t think this card is great.
6. Nahiri’s Machinations
When I first read this card I thought wow, it really looks like they randomly picked words and put them on a card. It is unusual in terms of its abilities, but that doesn’t mean it’s bad. Nahiri’s Machinations punishes any deck that’s on the backfoot and of course, rewards aggressive decks.
If you want the simplified version of the card, it basically reads: “all of your creatures are unblockable.”
7. Skin Invasion // Skin Shedder
This is another never-before-seen type of card that leads people to think it’s mediocre. Skin Invasion is a situational card, but for its cost, it is worth the risk of not having the right setup. The ceiling here is that you’ll destroy an attacking creature and get a 3/4 for a single mana.
In an aggressive deck it might not be easy to keep a good blocker home to ambush the enchanted creature—still, you can use the card to force them to swing with their good blocker and then crack back.
8. Spiteful Motives
I initially thought this would be an underwhelming trick, yet, as it turns out, there aren’t many instant-speed removal spells that punish Spiteful Motives. Eat your blocker, then they have to deal with your creature.
It is especially nice as a way to pass the turn, flip your Werewolves, then cast the card at the end of your turn or during your opponent’s turn.
9. Confront the Unknown
I’ll start by confessing that I’m a sucker for any 1-mana combat trick. I may be biased, but +1/+1 or +2/+2 and draw a card sounds very playable. If you end up being the blue/green Clue themed deck, this could be a Fireball.
People don’t like Confront the Unknown because +1/+1 isn’t much, but don’t forget that most creatures are small in this set and, at 1 mana, you’ll find a way to make good use of it.
10. Wicker Witch
Okay, don’t get me wrong—this isn’t incredible, but don’t underestimate Wicker Witch’s ability to give you delirium. In my latest draft, I played it over Devilthorn Fox, a 3/1 for 2 mana. I could see situations where the casting cost wasn’t too much of an issue, and this was the case—I had enough 2-drops and 2 good delirium cards (Obsessive Skinner) that I wanted to turn on.
Bonus: A Note on White/Black in Draft
I understand what each color combinations is supposed to be doing so far—except for white/black.
I thought it would be a sacrifice theme, but there are only 4 sacrifice outlets, 2 of which are uncommon and Indulgent Aristocrat is awful in a white deck.
If anyone has any insight into what this color combination is supposed to be doing, help me out and comment!