Thanks to the early release of Amonkhet on Magic Online, I’ve gotten to jam a lot more Drafts than I normally would by this time. As such, I feel comfortable putting together some observations of cards that I feel are overrated and underrated. I don’t mean by me specifically (though I’m clearly guilty of some of these myself), but in general, based on what I’ve been playing with and against. Even if it’s not always clear what exactly “underrated” and “overrated” mean, my experiences with each card should be useful (even if just so Draft scientists can mock me).
You can find the overrated cards later this week, so check back for that.
On to the cards!
Approach of the Second Sun
This is a legit win condition. I’ve been very impressed with how it plays, and have found it to be worth building around, both in blue-white and Bant. Approach plus ramp and card draw or cycling is a real deck, and it has special synergy with Naga Oracle and Compelling Argument to mill yourself once you’ve cast Approach.
I’ve been happy with Essence Scatter in all my blue decks. It’s particularly good in the U/R Spells deck, but even in U/G Ramp, U/W Flyers, or U/B Cycling, it’s cheap enough to be worth a slot. Good early game interaction that is relevant in the late game is something you should want, and this gets passed extremely late.
Wander in Death // Unburden
Both these cards are nice little 2-for-1s that cycle when the conditions aren’t right. I’ve found them to be very good at winning the mid-/late-game in black attrition decks, while not being overly risky to play. They are slow, so you don’t want a ton of them, but I want at least one of each in all my decks.
It’s with great reluctance that I upgrade this from “stone unplayable” to “okay in fast aggro.” While I still wouldn’t second-pick it (which happened at GP Richmond), it can help your red beatdown decks curve out, and is pretty sick with exert creatures like Tah-Crop Elite. I just know that people are going to jam this in decks where it doesn’t belong, but it is truly underrated (at least I know I’m guilty).
I disliked this at first, but it’s been solid. Not insane, but definitely solid. Cartouche of Strength and Cartouche of Knowledge both pair well with it, and it fills a spot on the curve where there isn’t tons of competition. Throw in some Naga Vitalists and you will be riding this Insect to victory in no time.
I like this less than Approach of the Second Sun, but I still like it. It legit wins the game by itself, and building a deck to survive until you have 8 mana is doable. Plus, it opens the door for so many truly great Dune references, and that by itself is worth something.
Edifice of Authority
Maybe this isn’t straight-up Icy Manipulator, but it’s close. In defensive decks it’s better, and even though it’s not the best in aggro, it’s still a powerful card. Plus, it’s colorless, and I’ve seen too many 4th-pick Edifices in pack 1 to call it anything but underrated.
That’s my first pass of underrated cards. What did I miss (or get heinously wrong, even the second time around)?