Top AVR Commons By Color

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Since I've read over the full decklist of commons now, I thought it might be fun to make a list of the top 5 draft commons for each color, to see how the list changes after I've actually drafted the set.

White
Seraph of Dawn
Moonlight Geist  
Defang
Righteous Blow
Cloudshift

Green
Trusted Forcemage
Pathbreaker Wurm  
Nightshade Peddler
Geist Trappers
Borderland Ranger
 
Blue
Mist Raven
Wingcrafter
Gryff Vanguard
Elgaud Shieldmate
Amass The Components
 
Red
Hanweir Lancer
Heirs of Stromkirk
Pillar of Flame
Thunderbolt
Mad Prophet

Black
Death Wind
Searchlight Geist
Driver of the Dead  
Soulcage Fiend
Undead Executioner

Overall I was very impressed with blue and green's commons, and underwhelmed with white's (with the exception of Seraph of Dawn, which sounds exceptional. It looks like green/blue tempo/soulbond will be a viable play in this format.

At this time I feel the overall strength of the common pools are:
Green>Blue~Red>Black~White

If color were not an issue (if all commons were colorless, and it didn't matter the depth of the pools to say which was best) My overall list would be

Overall
Death Wind
Seraph of Dawn
Trusted Forcemage
Mist Raven
Hanweir Lancer

Seraph of Dawn now has the best ADP out of all commons, and it is certainly the strongest creature. While I initially had it in the top slot, I think Death Wind narrowly edges it out due it's lower color requirement and ability to kill pretty much any creature in the late game.

This is also the first set that I've rated where at least 3 of my top 5 commons weren't removal.
On the red, I think Somberwald Vigilante would be a great pick. That one damage takes effect before first strike. So great early game blocker.. Human nonetheless. I would gladly pick this card instead of Mad Prophet in the list (not saying Prophet is a bad choice, just 4 mana)
no trusted forcemage?

Also, driver is generally not that good, unless your deck favors him.  Lots of the time you won't have a 2 cmcer in the bin and he's a warpath ghoul.  Sure, if you've picked up 5 1-2 drops, he's a nice card, and at worse he swings 3 for 4 mana, but I've been generally disappointed with him.

Then, I don't see how ghostly flicker is so good.  I mean, it's nice with some cute shennanigans, but it's 3 mana for a combat trick.  Is that really worth it?

Finally, I'd just like to say that you can't really rank the commons objectively.  In a high-curved stompy deck, pathbreaker wurm is the nuts.  In an R/g aggro deck, it's a pretty low pick.



I had so many great green commons in my top 5 I stopped reading them! I will add in the Trusted Forcemage now. Of course a Centaur Courser+ makes the list.

The ghostly flicker has the ability to do quite a lot for 3 mana. It can re-pair soulbonded creatures on the fly, activate ETB effects, like the ones on Mist Raven and Gryff. It can short-circut targeted removal, get creatures out from under debilitating enchantments, flash in tapped creatures into combat, flash out chump blockers to save them. The list just goes on and on. And if you flicker the lands you can get two of those mana back.

I believe you can rank all of the commons objectively. In the cases where the utility of a card varies depending on the overall theme of the deck, you'll have to take the average utility. Still, you have to love a Yamigava Wurm+, it's just amazing how much soulbond contributes to power creep, particularly in a format where there is only one common removal for the majority of soulbonded creatures.
disclaimer: this is from the perspective of someone who probably won't draft this set an awful lot. 

white
seraph of dawn
righteous blow
cloudshift
defang
moonlight geist

blue
ghostly flicker
gryff vanguard
mist raven
wingcrafter
amass the components / crippling chill

black
bone splinters
death wind
undead executioner
soulcage demon
driver of the dead

red
hanweir lancer
mad prophet
pillar of flame
thatcher revolt
fervent cathar / heirs of stromkirk /  kruin striker / riot ringleader / thunderbolt

green
borderland ranger
nightshade peddler
pathbreaker wurm
trusted forcemage
timberland guide 


i think thatcher revolt, seraph of dawn, pillar of flame, death wind and cloudshift are the top 5 commons. seems like a really good limited format anyway, and red is the deepest colour imo.
disclaimer: this is from the perspective of someone who probably won't draft this set an awful lot. 

white
seraph of dawn
righteous blow
cloudshift
defang
moonlight geist

blue
ghostly flicker
gryff vanguard
mist raven
wingcrafter
amass the components / crippling chill

black
bone splinters
death wind
undead executioner
soulcage demon
driver of the dead

red
hanweir lancer
mad prophet
pillar of flame
thatcher revolt
fervent cathar / heirs of stromkirk /  kruin striker / riot ringleader / thunderbolt

green
borderland ranger
nightshade peddler
pathbreaker wurm
trusted forcemage
timberland guide 


i think thatcher revolt, seraph of dawn, pillar of flame, death wind and cloudshift are the top 5 commons. seems like a really good limited format anyway, and red is the deepest colour imo.



That is a bit internally inconsistant, since you listed bone splinters above death wind in the black section, unless you didn't mean for your lists to be ordered.

My guess is that 5 of the top 10 commons will turn out to be the 5 green commons that I listed, in the sense that the top commons are often heavily weighted towards the top color, which looks like it should be green on the strength of soulbonding. Soulbonding seems like it shoud be the easy way to win in this format... all of the benefits of equipment and none of the drawbacks. It almost feels broken in limited, like they should have included a bonding cost.

Reading the common list I think green is the strongest common pool, followed by blue, red, black and white. Finally a set where blue and green can be paired, and might even be the strongest pair. I've gotten so used to sets with strong white, red and black. 
to be honest, i feel like borderland ranger is far better than geist trappers.
Soulbonding seems like it shoud be the easy way to win in this format... all of the benefits of equipment and none of the drawbacks. It almost feels broken in limited, like they should have included a bonding cost.



I agree that Soulbond is very likely broken in limited. Thinking about it earlier today, I realized that Wizards left out a card that really should have been in the set:

Creeping Doom
2BB (or whatever casting cost seems appropriate)
Destroy target paired creatures.
 
These are my initial impressions: Looking at what didn't make it into top 5, Green, Blue and Red all look very strong, and Black definitely has some merit as well. White seems to be the weakest in terms of commons.
White
Seraph of Dawn 
Defang
Righteous Blow
Cloudshift
Moorland Inquisitor

Green
Trusted Forcemage
Borderland Ranger
Wandering Wolf
Pathbreaker Wurm 
Timberland Guide
 
Blue
Mist Raven
Gryff Vanguard
Elgaud Shieldmate
Scrapskin Drake
Amass the Components
 
Red
Pillar of Flame
Hanweir Lancer
Fervent Cathar
Heirs of Stromkirk
Riot Ringleader

Black
Death Wind
Bone Splinters
Driver of the Dead 
Undead Executioner
Grave Exchange

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to be honest, i feel like borderland ranger is far better than geist trappers.



Geist trappers makes the list because it solves the problem of playing mono-green, I will probably re-rank it lower than I did, but I think it'll still be in the top 5 commons. Borderland Ranger is my 6th best green common.
No crippling chill bob?

Seeing how blue has no removal, this card is a top pick.

I'd almost put spectral prison in there. It's bad by most standards, but if you main blue, you don,t have much choice. If you don't pick it up someone else will.
No crippling chill bob?

Seeing how blue has no removal, this card is a top pick.

I'd almost put spectral prison in there. It's bad by most standards, but if you main blue, you don,t have much choice. If you don't pick it up someone else will.



Once again you've made the fundemental mistake of drafting removal high simply because there isn't a lot of it. Considering that Crippling Chill Cantrips and can take an attacker out for 2 turns I might try it out, but I doubt it will make my top 5 list. The two blue soulbonders are quite good, as are the two blue flyers. That only leaves one spot left.

If the only removal in the set was a 1 daamge for 1 instant, would removal still be PLATINUM? How obvious does it have to be that Wizards was intending for us to play this format without a significant removal component. Soulbond decks should run roughshod over everything else as it is the defining mechanic of this format.
if the only removal in the set was half of a geistflame, it would still depend on the environment. if there were buttloads of x/1s then it would be good.

your vendetta against removal in avr is also making me wonder why in hell you're valuing elgaud shieldmate so highly. what are you even protecting your dudes from, if it's not removal?
if the only removal in the set was half of a geistflame, it would still depend on the environment. if there were buttloads of x/1s then it would be good.

your vendetta against removal in avr is also making me wonder why in hell you're valuing elgaud shieldmate so highly. what are you even protecting your dudes from, if it's not removal?



Vendetta! Another card I would take over every piece of removal in this set!

That's funny, because I was thinking exactly the same thing, and have since removed it from the top spot! There's so few pieces of removal, it's rarely worth a soul-bond pairing to do it. I guess I was just thinking about Latch Seeker when I was rating it, but he'd rather pair with Tandem Lookout
Elgaud Shieldmate is a boss and I don't care if you think that the relative scarcity of removal makes it worse, it's still excellent.
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THE COALITION WAR GAME -Phyrexian Chief Praetor
Round 1: (4-1-2, 1 kill)
Round 2: (16-8-2, 4 kills)
Round 3: (18-9-2, 1 kill)
Round 4: (22-10-0, 2 kills)
Round 5: (56-16-3, 9 kills)
Round 6: (8-7-1)

Last Edited by Ralph on blank, 1920

Everyone, try making up a top 5 overall list as well. I did mine up without regard to the overall G>R~U>B~W order, since my top two were black and white.
GRAND TOP 5 (In order)
1) Death Wind
2) Elgaud Shieldmate
3) Soulcage Fiend
4) Seraph of Dawn
5) Trusted Forcemage

2-4 are all VERY close, and frankly I could put them in any order since even beyond mere color it depends on the deck.  Deathwind is a step ahead and Forcemage a step behind.  If I extended it to a top 10, you'd see the red removal, Peddler, Raven, and Wurm in some order most likely.

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THE COALITION WAR GAME -Phyrexian Chief Praetor
Round 1: (4-1-2, 1 kill)
Round 2: (16-8-2, 4 kills)
Round 3: (18-9-2, 1 kill)
Round 4: (22-10-0, 2 kills)
Round 5: (56-16-3, 9 kills)
Round 6: (8-7-1)

Last Edited by Ralph on blank, 1920

I disagree with the Fiend being a top 5 overall.  Why not Bone Splitters, Pillar of Flame, Mist Raven or Defang instead?  All of those are much better in my opinion.
No crippling chill bob?

Seeing how blue has no removal, this card is a top pick.

I'd almost put spectral prison in there. It's bad by most standards, but if you main blue, you don,t have much choice. If you don't pick it up someone else will.



Once again you've made the fundemental mistake of drafting removal high simply because there isn't a lot of it. Considering that Crippling Chill Cantrips and can take an attacker out for 2 turns I might try it out, but I doubt it will make my top 5 list. The two blue soulbonders are quite good, as are the two blue flyers. That only leaves one spot left.

If the only removal in the set was a 1 daamge for 1 instant, would removal still be PLATINUM? How obvious does it have to be that Wizards was intending for us to play this format without a significant removal component. Soulbond decks should run roughshod over everything else as it is the defining mechanic of this format.



Once again?, when was the first time?

Since we agree that removal is minimal, why is hexproof so important? 
No crippling chill bob?

Seeing how blue has no removal, this card is a top pick.

I'd almost put spectral prison in there. It's bad by most standards, but if you main blue, you don,t have much choice. If you don't pick it up someone else will.



Once again you've made the fundemental mistake of drafting removal high simply because there isn't a lot of it. Considering that Crippling Chill Cantrips and can take an attacker out for 2 turns I might try it out, but I doubt it will make my top 5 list. The two blue soulbonders are quite good, as are the two blue flyers. That only leaves one spot left.

If the only removal in the set was a 1 daamge for 1 instant, would removal still be PLATINUM? How obvious does it have to be that Wizards was intending for us to play this format without a significant removal component. Soulbond decks should run roughshod over everything else as it is the defining mechanic of this format.



Once again?, when was the first time?

Since we agree that removal is minimal, why is hexproof so important? 



It's something that I mention often. I dislike people taking low tier removal when they have better options. I'm all for drafting Terminates and Journeys to Nowhere and Doom Blade, but people go after shock like its on the same level. It isn't.

I agree that hex-proof is not as important due to the lack of removal. When I rated the Shieldmate highly it was based on the removal in the set being a bit better than I thought it was. Aside from Death Wind there's no tier 1 removal at common. 
No crippling chill bob?

Seeing how blue has no removal, this card is a top pick.

I'd almost put spectral prison in there. It's bad by most standards, but if you main blue, you don,t have much choice. If you don't pick it up someone else will.



Once again you've made the fundemental mistake of drafting removal high simply because there isn't a lot of it. Considering that Crippling Chill Cantrips and can take an attacker out for 2 turns I might try it out, but I doubt it will make my top 5 list. The two blue soulbonders are quite good, as are the two blue flyers. That only leaves one spot left.

If the only removal in the set was a 1 daamge for 1 instant, would removal still be PLATINUM? How obvious does it have to be that Wizards was intending for us to play this format without a significant removal component. Soulbond decks should run roughshod over everything else as it is the defining mechanic of this format.



Once again?, when was the first time?

Since we agree that removal is minimal, why is hexproof so important? 



It's something that I mention often. I dislike people taking low tier removal when they have better options. I'm all for drafting Terminates and Journeys to Nowhere and Doom Blade, but people go after shock like its on the same level. It isn't.

I agree that hex-proof is not as important due to the lack of removal. When I rated the Shieldmate highly it was based on the removal in the set being a bit better than I thought it was. Aside from Death Wind there's no tier 1 removal at common. 




Well in this case, there really are no better options. Some formats have innefficient removal, some have a low amount of it. AVR has both situations at the same time. This pushes its value through the roof.
The scarcity of tier 1 removal pushes up the value of tier 1 removal in the set, it does nothing for tier 2 and 3 removal. The value of any card is relative to the card it would replace in the deck. If creatures are very strong in a set, and removal is weak and scarce... load up on creatures!
Thatcher revolt over kruin striker? 



More like, Anything over Pillar or Ringleader? Lancer is good, sure, but Ringleader is awesome in aggressive Humans decks.
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Thatcher revolt over kruin striker? 



Thatcher Revolt makes the list because there are so many good combos off of it. Goldnight Commander, for example, could make Thatcher Revolt a turn 5 win.
I just played a deck in a draft with triple Riot Ringleader, triple Thatcher Revolt and triple Banners Raised (all main deck). It was ridiculous...

I ended 2-1, by the way, but that happens. The deck worked. I love aggro.
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Heh... I'm currently playing a triple Riot Ringleader deck. I only saw one Thatcher Revolt early on, which I passed, but I've got one Banners Raised and a Kessig Malcontents which I just casted onto a board with 5 other humans to win my first match. My two wins weren't even close games.

My previous draft I went with Wu with 2 Emancipation Angels, a Goldnight Redeemer, Cathar's Crusade and all of the cards to try to stall out the game to get my big guys out - Cathedral Sanctifier, 2xDefang, Spectral Prison, the 2/1 first strike artifact creature, plus a Vessel of Endless Rest to accelerate a bit... I lost in my first match. The first game my opponent got out a Wildwood Geist followed by a Howlgeist and when I Defanged/Spectral Prisoned them he just used Ghostly Flicker and freed them both. Claustrophobia in this set sucks. I got out my Cathar's Crusade, but when I started to get guys big enough to successfully block he just used Peel from Reality or his Mist Raven on them. Those big angels look nice until you have to cast them 2 or 3 times while your opponent is hitting you each turn.

In the second game he got out a turn 3 Champion of Lambholt followed by a Nettle Swine and a string of other creatures, but it really didn't matter as I had already mulliganned to 5 and was stuck on 2 lands the whole game.

My suspicion is that I'm going to get bored with AVR drafting very quickly as the number of archetypes that have any real chance of success are very limited and others are quickly figuring that out - which means that they are going to be overdrafted. At that point you'll either be one of the lucky few who gets the cards needed for the best 2 or 3 archetypes, or you'll end up in one of those archetypes but with a weak deck for it, or you'll end up having to settle for a tier 2 archetype and hope that you don't have to face one of the good decks until the finals.

Maybe I'll be proven wrong, but I just don't see the depth that INS or even DII had.
I've found LSV top commons so I will post them here:

White
1. Seraph of Dawn
2. Defang
3. Voice of the Provinces
4. Righteous Blow
5. Thraben Valiant
    
Green
1. Trusty Forcemage  
2. Borderland Ranger
3. Nettle Swine
4. Timberland Guide
5. Wandering Wolf
    
Blue
1. Mist Raven
2. Gryff Vanguard  
3. Amass the Components
4. Scrapskin Drake  
5. Crippling Chill

Red
1. Thunderous Wrath
2. Mad Prophet
3. Pillar of Flame
4. Thunderbolt
5. Heirs of Stromkirk  
    
Black
1. Death Wind
2. Grave Exchange
3. Searchlight Geist  
4. Ghoulflesh
5. Undead Executioner  

I agree with these picks for the most part, and have even reconsidered some of my own positions. With the exception of the Italicized entries, those seem off to me. (Thunderous Wrath I like, but it is not techincally a common)
I think he did most of these before playing with the set. It seems kind of strange not to include Moorland Inquisitor, for example, once you know the importance of two-drops (although the Voice has impressed me, I have to say). I also think I like Chill better than Amass and might even like Wingcrafter better than Scrappy the Drake. The Ringleader is obviously missing from the Red list (and Wrath isn't common, as you say). In black I think the Exchange shouldn't be on the list at all, neither should the Geist. Ghoulflesh is good, as is Executioner and (obviously) Death Wind, but I'd put Butcher Ghoul and Connoisseur up there.
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Pacifism is already meh so how is Defang good!

Mafia Game Slots:

1. Open

2. Hundred Acres (Dead Town)

3. Open

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I'll say this in case I didn't say it already in another thread... Bloodflow Connoisseur is almost an essential card for playing black as a main color. I've found that having two in a deck is good and even three is not a bad thing. You often want to be able to sacrifice creatures and being able to do it at instant speed while also getting additional value is excellent. It's pretty horrible to have a Homicidal Seclusion out with one of your creatures Defanged and no way to sac him.
Pacifism is already meh so how is Defang good!



I consider Pacifism top tier removal, Defang is closer to Guard Duty, but is close to strictly better. It is useful in the same type of deck that Guard Duty was originally helpful in.
I think he did most of these before playing with the set. It seems kind of strange not to include Moorland Inquisitor, for example, once you know the importance of two-drops (although the Voice has impressed me, I have to say). I also think I like Chill better than Amass and might even like Wingcrafter better than Scrappy the Drake. The Ringleader is obviously missing from the Red list (and Wrath isn't common, as you say). In black I think the Exchange shouldn't be on the list at all, neither should the Geist. Ghoulflesh is good, as is Executioner and (obviously) Death Wind, but I'd put Butcher Ghoul and Connoisseur up there.



The Butcher's Ghoul couldn't make his top 5 list, because he rated it 1.5 overall. The cards that made the top 5 black list were in the 3.5-3.0 range. I agree that the Moreland Inquisitor should have been included on his list, at the very least it is better than the Valient that did make the list.

However, Searchlight Geist should absolutely make the black top 5 list. It's a 2 power flyer for 3, with a lategame upside.

As for Ghoulflesh... this strikes me as a poor version of Weakness or Dead Weight, and the opponents who've played it against me have treated it either like a 1 point sorcery shock (to kill off a creature that had one toughness left after it blocked) or used two of them to make it a dead weight.

I liked Dead Weight well enough to target it in drafts, but Weakness fell into the "get it if it tables" category. Now I'm looking at a card that is worse than Weakness, why should I be excited about it?
You can't just compare cards across sets, this is Limited!

Sure, you can try to table all the ghoulfleshes you want, but unless your opponents make just as uninformed choices, you're not getting them back. And the ability to kill 1-toughness creatures is very relevant in a format with Marrow Bats, Tandem Lookouts, Stonewrights, Wingcrafters, Neatheath Pilgrims, Nightshade Peddlers, Wandering Wolves and Haunted Guardians, all cards that can give most decks problems if left unchecked. If you think 1-toughness creatures are insignificant, try drafting a couple of Lightning Prowess in your next red draft (if they're available, of course) and notice how important they are.
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You can't just compare cards across sets, this is Limited!

Sure, you can try to table all the ghoulfleshes you want, but unless your opponents make just as uninformed choices, you're not getting them back. And the ability to kill 1-toughness creatures is very relevant in a format with Marrow Bats, Tandem Lookouts, Stonewrights, Wingcrafters, Neatheath Pilgrims, Nightshade Peddlers, Wandering Wolves and Haunted Guardians, all cards that can give most decks problems if left unchecked. If you think 1-toughness creatures are insignificant, try drafting a couple of Lightning Prowess in your next red draft (if they're available, of course) and notice how important they are.



Certainly I would like to give Lignting Prowess a shot, but I do not expect to take Ghoulflesh anytime soon. I would want it mainly as a sideboard card against the cards that you mentioned, but in the current form it is dangerously close to a sorcery speed 1 point shock.

And yes, you can certainly compare cards across formats, it's a good way to establish baseline usefulness. For example, if I remember Terror being useful from Revised, I can extrapolate that Doom Blade with be at least as useful in M10. 
That's core sets. We have mechanic themes here that change evaluations much more drastically.

Yes, Ghoulflesh looks like a Weakness, and that's not half bad. Yes, Death Wind (and probably Bone Splinters) are better, but Ghoulflesh is still fine. You're never sad to have one or two.

If the average amount of playables were higher in this set, I might not be arguing this vividly, but in a set where you'll find yourself playing other "mediocre-looking" cards, a one-mana removal spell even of limited capability is good.

Also, it randomly hoses Heirs of Stromkirk, and I love that
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Guys, I'd like to say that one common has been steadily increasing in my opinion of it:  farbog explorer.  There are a good number of 2/1s and 2/2s going around, and this brave little explorer stops them cold.  She is also unblockable about 1/3-1/2 of the time, which is also good.



I agree. She looks unassuming but can be quite bad to go up against. Pretty glad my U/B deck had a bounce spell for her that one time where she received some Blessings of Nature or it would have been extremely ugly.
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