Quick Question #2: What Card's Changed the Most in Your Evaluation?

Posted in GRAND PRIX LYON 2015 on October 31, 2015

By Frank Karsten

Initial evaluations are rarely spot-on. After doing a bunch of drafts you learn how the format works, which cards are the real stars and which cards failed to deliver. I asked some of the pros in attendance here today for a card that they initially overrated or underrated.

No. 13 Ondřej Stráský: "I initially thought Dampening Pulse was bad, but it is actually quite good. The non-white Retreats are playable, too. I'm playing Retreat to Hagra in my Sealed Deck today, for instance. Another card that I thought would be good but wasn't is Lifespring Druid: it often turns out to be too small, too slow, and not very good at all."

Hall of Famer Olivier Ruel, whose brother Antoine is having his birthday today: "In Sealed, I've found Plummet to be a maindeckable card because most players have fliers and green has trouble dealing with them otherwise. In draft, I initially underrated Territorial Baloth and Wave-Wing Elemental. Usually, if I'm not playing control, then I'm not that interested in 5-6 drops, but you have to consider the late game in this format. A group of cards that I overrated is the white nonflying aggressive creatures. You can get amazing curves in this format with lots of 2-drops, but they get stopped so easily."

Pro Tour Battle for Zendikar 6-0 drafter Don van Ravenzwaaij: "When I started with the format, I thought Outnumber was good, but now I think it's even better and it may be the best red common in the set. The ability to play a creature and a removal spell in the same turn is great. Adverse Conditions is also a lot better than I gave it credit for because it forces through so much damage and the fact that it leaves a 1/1 behind means that you can sometimes cast it for value."

Grand Prix Madison champion Raphaël Lévy:" Encircling Fissure. I thought it was good, but it's actually very good. Unlike Safe Passage, which was a little narrow, you can use it in so many more situations. When you attack, you can save your attackers. When you block, you can save your blockers and not take any damage. And the awaken 2 is a bonus that makes the card even better. Infuse the Elements also surprised me in how good it was."

Pro Tour Magic Origins champion Joel Larsson:" "I think Swarm Surge is better than I initially thought. It took me a while to figure out how to draft the synergistic green-black or red-black devoid archetypes, but once I did, I found that Swarm Surge is one of the better cards. Green-black, by the way, is an underdrafted archetype—even though it's all built around bad commons, they work so well together."