Core Set 2019 First Picks

Posted in How to Play Limited on July 10, 2018

By Luis Scott-Vargas

Luis Scott-Vargas plays, writes, and makes videos about Magic. He has played on the Pro Tour for almost a decade, and between that and producing content for ChannelFireball, often has his hands full (of cards).

Soon, we will all be cracking open our first packs of Core Set 2019. What are we hoping to open? What are we willing to take early? What will we be excited about, or happy with, or begrudgingly take? I've made some lists that may help answer all of those questions, so let's dive in.

The Best of the Best

These are the top cards of the set. If you open one of these, you're in luck! They are universally powerful, worth building around, and in some cases, worth constructing a three-color mana base. They mostly fly, though Banefire snuck in as a removal spell that can also finish off players.

The Best of the Rest

These cards are cards you're very happy to open and will gladly take if you have the option to. There are some uncommons on the list, though mostly gold ones that are powerful enough to be worth committing to two colors right away. If you open one of these cards, you should be thrilled, even if they aren't at the tippity-top of the power rankings.

Solid First Picks

Next up we've got the cards that will disappear out of the pack quite rapidly, even if there are two categories ahead of them. You can never be unhappy first-picking something like Lightning Strike or Murder, even if they aren't game-enders like some of the rares we have already seen. A common or two snuck on to this list, but most of those will be in the next two categories.

Good Early Picks

This category is pretty large, and all of these cards are cards I'd be satisfied taking early. Maybe you aren't dreaming of opening Sift (even though I am), but there's nothing wrong with taking one of these cards and having it give you a direction. The top commons and good uncommons all live here, alongside some decent but not spectacular rares.

Solid Playables

Lastly, we have cards that will always make your deck but you hope not to take in the first couple picks. Sometimes you'll have to, but ideally, you'll take these out of the pack on or after your fourth pick, after grabbing a few cards from the above lists. Plenty of cards fit into this category, and these shouldn't steer you too far in any direction, so feel free to abandon them if you see better cards in a different color later.

Not every card made the cut. In an ideal world, you aren't picking many of the cards that weren't on these lists early, though drafts don't always go according to plan. Still, these will give you a good place to start and can steer you in the right direction (mostly toward sweet Elder Dragons).

Good luck drafting!

LSV

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