Posted in NEWS on March 16, 2014

By Adam Styborski

Stybs has played Magic the world over, writing and drafting as part of the event coverage team and slinging Commander everywhere his decks will fit.

Born of the Gods Draft has been out for well over a month at our local stores, and almost as long on Magic Online. With a Pro Tour to its name in the books, the environment has had a chance to mature among the game's elite players.

That's why we caught up with Matt Costa, Grand Prix Baltimore 2012 winner and Pro Tour Dark Ascension Top 8 competitor – among his other premier Magic highlights. We asked a seemingly simple question that cut to the heart of the format: What is the ideal Born of the Gods Draft deck?

Is Born of the Gods Draft as aggressive as we've been told? Matt Costa believes so.


"An aggressive, heroic deck slanted towards white – playing eleven or twelve Plains – that's ideally white-blue," Costa answered after thinking a moment. "White is simply the deepest and most powerful color, particularly in Born of the Gods: it has the best commons. It's aggressive, but it's capable of building big creatures to punch through in the late game. At the same time you have to contend with others' ability to make big creatures. Aggressive decks can take advantage of blue cards like Sudden Storm and Griptide. Blue has the best bestow creatures: Nyxborn Triton and Nimbus Naiad."




Do you think that's what most players think? "I think it's a common perception," Costa said. "Certainly that's the way it felt at the Pro Tour and I imagine the world has already caught up to that."



Does that affect how drafts bear out? "I think it does to an extent," Costa explained, "but one of the weird things about Born of the Gods is that the overall card quality is low, so the presence of signaling and some of the decision-making isn't there because you run out of playable cards really quick. A lot of the time your draft will actually be determined by what you open with your second pack –Theros."

"That said I don't think blue's a very good main color in any deck," Costa continued. "I think blue wants to be the lesser of two colors in a deck that's predominantly another color. In general in this format you want your mana to look like ten-seven or eleven-six," Costa said, referring to the distribution of basic lands. "When you're closer to even I think it's representative of a draft that didn't work out right, or was unfocused about the direction you were headed."

What does Costa mean? "The reason is because hitting your curve is so important. If your mana is split more evenly it's harder to guarantee that you curve out. You want the majority of your creatures in a single color so you can maximize the amount of sources of that color to ensure hitting your curve.

Why is hitting your curve so important? "It's pretty hard to interact overall," said Costa. "It's really race-oriented format. One of the best way to beat a draw you can't beat is to be faster."

Coming from a player who loves to cast copies of Jace, Costa's call to curves and aggression shouldn't go unheeded.