Posted in Event Coverage on March 15, 2015

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.

With Khans of Tarkir making its Premier Play exit this weekend, all eyes on what Fate Reforged will carry forward into the introduction of Dragons of Tarkir. With three Grand Prix Top 8s under his belt in just the past few months, Pascal Maynard is eager to see a shift in the format.

Pascal Maynard had been on a Grand Prix tear, racking up three Top 8s in just the past few months.

What are his picks for the top commons from Fate Reforged. “Goblin Heel Cutter, Bathe in Dragonfire, and Sandsteppe Outcast – that’s probably the best one,” Maynard said. What makes them rank so high to Maynard, however, is based on what we know. “Khans of Tarkir makes these good. With Khans you want to be base blue, red, or white – those are the three best colors I think. Sandsteppe Outcast just works well most strategies – it’s a Warrior, it’s a flier, it’s two creatures – for all the same reasons Hordechief was so good in Khans.”

In Draft today, Fate Reforged is first. What does that mean for the higher rarities you’ll see? “I don’t want to start my draft in Fate Reforged with green or black – though sometimes you will by picking the rare,” Maynard explained. “My favorite card in the set is Mistfire Adept. I don’t think it’s the best; that’s probably Elite Scaleguard, with Pyrotechnics third. Temur Sabertooth is good too but I don’t want to start green.”

The situation changes when Dragons of Tarkir kicks on. “I’m very grateful Fate Reforged will be last,” Maynard said about looking forward. “If itwas first you wouldn’t know the archetypes in Dragons of Tarkir. If it’s last you’ll know if you’re green or not., and if you’re green Temur Sabertooth is always great. The grade on a lot of cards changes if it’s in the first or last pack. There aren’t that many great cards in Fate Reforged, but the ones that are good are really good. There’s a chance that Sandsteppe Outcast may not even that good with the next set.”

Another player we caught up with was number ten-ranked Sam Black, also fighting for a shot at Top 8 in Day 1.

10th-ranked Sam Black shared similar thoughts to Maynard’s.

What are Black’s top commons from Fate Reforged? “Sandsteppe Outcast, Bathe in Dragonfire, and Reach of Shadows – especially with the next set,” he said with a grin. “I want to kill Dragons. It seems pretty important.”

“It’s possible Sandsteppe Outcast will not be one of the best with the next set. It was great in this format but it’s not very different in power level from Seller of Songbirds which wasn’t the best in it’s format,” Black continued. “I’ll have to see how it plays with Dragons of Tarkir, but Goblin Heelcutter may be better. It’s possible Sandblast will be even better when there’s Dragons you need to kill.”


Black turned his attention to higher rarities next. The best uncommons in Fate Reforged are “Elite Scaleguard, Temur Saberthooth, then Pyrotechnics, but Pyrotechnics may be better than Sabertooth,” he said. “If you don’t have a board, Scaleguard is a 4/5 with a relevant ability. But with other creatures it has semi-haste since it pumps a guy and taps a guy right away. It’s a giant blowout if you have other +1/+1 counters already.”

“Temur Sabertooth is great because it’s great rate,” Black said, referring to the power and toughness you get for the total mana cost of the creature, “that invalidates removal spells for the rest of the game. Pryotechnics is a removal spell that usually kills more than one of their cards and can kill them.”

How does Black see the format changes as Fate Reforged shifted from being opened as the first pack to the last pack in Draft? “You won’t always get to play the rare you open since you won’t always be that color,” he said. “It will be swingy since you can be passed a rare and end up with two or three – there may be some very unreasonable decks if you get luck with what’s opened with where you sit.”

The Dragons are coming, whether we’re ready or not. How will you prepare for the new future of Limited?

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