Welcome to What’s The Pick? Dragons of Tarkir Pack 1, Pick 1. This is the last edition of pack 1, pick 1 that I plan to do for a little while. After the Pro Tour in Brussels I am going to move the series along and do pack 1, pick 2. Here are our five packs for today:
The downside of not being able to target your opponent in Limited is exceptionally small. The upside is occasionally doing 3 damage to your opponent if you control or reveal a Dragon is also small, but still, it’s a very real upside. 3 damage for 2 mana is great, and occasionally doing 6 damage for 2 mana is a home run.
Honorable Mention: Flatten.
The second-best removal spell here, Flatten is just simply not as efficient as Draconic Roar is. That being said, Flatten is a great card, can deal with many of the format’s big threats, and I would never cut it from any black deck.
If Anafenza comes out on turn two and doesn’t get promptly removed, the game practically ends on the spot. It can be tough to cast on turn two due to the double-white mana requirement, but that’s not going to stop me from trying. Another major upside of first-picking Anafenza is that you can prioritize cards that interact positively with +1/+1 counters, such as Lightwalker. I’d imagine Anafenza is better than any non-rare card, but I haven’t played enough with it yet to be 100% certain.
Honorable Mention: Rakshasa Gravecaller.
I’m still a big fan of this card. A 5-mana 3/6 is okay, and being able to trade off a mediocre early-game creature that’s still sitting around in order to get two 2/2s is just a great bonus. If you’re ever able to assemble an interaction with something like Palace Familiar or Shambling Goblin, it’s a complete blowout.
I’m sure it comes as no surprise that this is the pick. This card will get very big very quickly. If your opponents are relying on cards like Flatten or spells that deal damage as their removal, the Regent will get out of range in time. It makes life very tough on your opponent. If they have no way to kill it immediately, even creatures they cast will put you further ahead in the race by gaining life and pumping your large flier.
Honorable Mention: Dragon-Scarred Bear.
I’m actually not sure of the pick here between Dragon-Scarred Bear and Youthful Scholar. Youthful Scholar is a great set-up card to draft an exploit-focused deck. Also, it’s a decent card to just throw out there and hold off your opponent’s 2-toughness guys. However, regeneration is extremely powerful in Limited. Although Dragon-Scarred Bear doesn’t regenerate all the time, he does provide 3 of the requisite 8 power to gain regeneration, and in a green deck, finding some more high-power creatures won’t be hard. I think the upside on a 3/2 regenerator is too high, and out of this admittedly weak pack, I’d go with the Bear.
Even though Silkwrap can only remove creatures that cost 3 or less, it does so for only 2 mana. It does have the downside of sitting in play and potentially getting blown up by any sort of enchantment removal, but that won’t be common. This card is also good at taking care of some of the uncommon Dragons if your opponent plays them as morphs. (It is worth noting that the downside of your opponent having an enchantment removal spell is even higher in this case,—the creature will come back unmorphed)
Honorable Mention: Flatten.
There’s not much left to say about Flatten. Great, efficient removal spell, happy to take it.
6-mana 3/5 flier that can take control of your opponent’s best creature (or planeswalker) when it comes into play? Yes, please. This card is, of course, an absolute bomb, I’d never pass it.
Honorable Mention: Misthoof Kirin.
I don’t think this card will be one of the two best cards in the pack very often, but here, I think I’d take it. A 3-mana 2/1 flier is okay, and with megamorph you can slot it into your curve on turn 5 as a 3/2 flier if that’s what you need to do. Flying creatures are pretty good in Limited, and I’m fine paying a small premium on this one for the versatility.
Thanks everyone for checking out all my first picks. As always, let me know in the comments what you agree or disagree with. I’m looking forward to getting more in-depth soon, when we’ll start looking at pick two and potentially beyond. Until next time!