The transition from Khans of Tarkir to Dragons of Tarkir puts Fate Reforged in a unique position among sets in Magic. Never before has set moved from being drafting exclusive with one set to exclusively with another. It took work from R&D to both separate Limited environments as well as a set that would share between.
What has Fate Reforged laid down for us? How do things change moving from the first pack opened to the last? We caught up with several players to understand their thoughts on the unique change.
The first was the twenty fourth-ranked Josh Utter-Leyton.
“The big defining quality of Fate Reforged is how much better some of the cards are,” Utter-Leyton said, referring to the commons in Limited. “Khans of Tarkir had a flat power level across a lot of the commons – the cards are all fairly comparable. In Fate Reforged the good commons are just as good but they drop off right after that, and the rares are even better.”
Josh Utter-Leyton looked to the context for evaluating many cards in Fate Reforged to change with the introduction of Dragons of Tarkir.
Does that perception of power affect how players should approach hitting Fate Reforged as the third pack? “That’s not different with the new set, but it has this quality to it,” Utter-Leyton said. However, he continued with an example of how perception of some cards will change rapidly. “One thing I’m expecting to move is Return to the Earth, to go from almost unplayable to one you actively want in your deck. In the new set there are lots of good enchantments and, obviously, lots of Dragons to kill.”
Another player taking a hard look at how the Dragons of Tarkir/Fate Reforged dynamic will differ was the number nine-ranked Jacob Wilson.
“I think it’s going to be closer to regular Limited – a two color deck every time,” Wilson said, comparing the many allied cycles of cards of Dragons of Tarkir to the enemy and wedge-colored options in Khans of Tarkir. “You’re only going to get one nonbasic land, from Fate Reforged.”
Jacob Wilson felt some mechanics present in just Fate Reforged would feel different coming in the last pack rather than first.
While Utter-Leyton keyed in on a specific card that will change with context of the new set coming in, Wilson looked at how some mechanics will shift. “Any card with delve on it, when you’re picking them in the first pack you don’t know how many you can support,” Wilson explained. “When it comes at the end you’ll be able to tell if you have any synergies that fill up your graveyard, and how many delve cards you can afford to take.”
Of course, there’s always just generally exciting cards that will mix well with what Fate Reforged put in place. Wilson looked at the density of removal coming next. “There are a lot limited cards I like,” Wilson said look at Dragons of Tarkir. “Twin Bolt is a Forked Bolt that costs two mana is one. It just in general it seems like there’s a lot of good removal. It’s a pretty big change from recent formats: Throttle was one of the best in Khans of Tarkir and there’s Flatten at one mana less for the same effect in Dragons of Tarkir. There’s also Pacifism, and Sarkhan’s Rage that deals 5 damage to a creature or player. That’s really good.”
How does that impact the Limited format, having plenty of removal to go around? “When there’s so much good removal occasionally you’ll want to take a good creature over removal,” Wilson explained, “and that’s not always the case. In recent sets you’ve always taken the good removal.”
There were plenty of more pro players we checked in with, but many were hesitant to say much without experiencing Dragons of Tarkir first. While Fate Reforged is going to continue making its impact on Limited, it won’t be until Dragons of Tarkir land that the changes feel real. What are you excited to see coming next?