Drafting Digest: Core Set 2019 Begins!

New set means new Drafting Digests! Let the packs, picks, and debates begin! Core Set 2019 Limited is coming!

It’s almost one of the most exciting times of the Magic season: the beginning of a new set! Now that the entirety of Core Set 2019 has been previewed, we can start to explore the Limited format. There’ll be no dilly-dallying today, so let’s just jump into it!

Pack 1, Pick 1

The Pack:

The Pick:

There are two interesting flying threats in this pack, and a good flying threat can be premium, depending on the format. While Pegasus Courser and Ravenous Harpy are cards likely to be set-dependent, both have quite the high ceiling. Courser can clock your opponents very fast, and Harpy can combo with a variety of other types of cards. I think if I were to decide between the two (and technically, Skymarch Bloodletter as well), I would start off with the Ravenous Harpy purely to explore potential archetypes in a new format. However, my guess is that Pegasus Courser is more likely to be the better card.

Between the two removal spells, I think Rabid Bite is clearly better than Fiery Finish. Even though Rabid Bite requires another creature and can’t kill the biggest things, the difference between a two-mana splashable removal spell and a six-mana double-costed removal spell is unbelievably large. Fiery Finish seems extremely clunky to me as I’m not looking to spend six of my precious mana to kill a creature.

Overall, fight spells haven’t been great, while the versions that don’t deal damage to the fighting creature have been historically good. Rabid Bite is the safe pick, but Ravenous Harpy is the card that I am most interested to learn about. That being said, I think the delta between the Harpy and the Bite is simply too good, and I would take Rabid Bite.

Pack 1, Pick 3

The Picks So Far:

The Pack:

The Pick:

First off, I think this pick is quite the easy Regal Bloodlord. Not only is this card a threat on its own, but it churns out an abundance of additional evasive threats. Seems like quite the recipe for success to me on a splashable card when ten dual lands are at common. Additionally, I think Gravedigger is better than Rabid Bite, so I’m not necessarily leaning towards splashing the card over simply playing something like W/B.
However, I think a lot of rationale can get you down the wrong path here, and I wanted to bring this up. While both Centaur Courser and Skymarch Bloodletter are above-par creatures that are one-color as well as on-color, they just don’t have the same upside that makes them worth prioritizing here.

And finally, I think plenty of players may fall in the camp of remembering a past format too fondly if they want to take Divination here. Remember: In most Limited formats, Divination is a sub-par card. It happened to be crucial to the texture of Dominaria, but it’s important to reset back to defaults and begin evaluating from pseudo-scratch again.

Anyways, I would take the Regal Bloodlord here. I don’t think I would be extremely happy with the start of this draft, but I definitely can’t complain.