I think everybody is finally catching on about blue.
If you’ve read some of my previous articles or watched my stream, you’ll know that I bias towards blue in Dominaria Draft. This is because blue is not only deep at common, but it provides velocity on generically good cards (e.g. Divination, Blink of an Eye, Cloudreader Sphinx) that help you draw your best cards. And there are a lot of great cards in this format, so a great recipe to win the game is to plan on seeing your best cards more frequently than your opponents. However, in my last couple of drafts, I’ve found that the blue cards that used to wheel (Opt, Vodalian Arcanist, and even sometimes Divination) just don’t anymore. It seems the cat may be out of the bag on this one.
Remember those couple of weeks during Hour of Devastation where everyone was drafting multi-color green? We may be moving towards that in terms of blue. I don’t think it’s happening yet, but I wouldn’t be surprised if I start avoiding blue because of this soon. Luckily, this draft won’t likely take me down this route, as the first pack doesn’t have any good blue cards. Or maybe that’s unlucky?
Pack 1, Pick 1
Threats and removal make up a large portion of the best cards in many Limited formats, so deciding between the two can be difficult. In general, the best threats, often bombs, are better than removal. In this format, think about cards like Tatyova, Benthic Druid that can completely run away with the game. That’s a card I take over Cast Down or Eviscerate without a second thought. But Serra Angel is no bomb, just a very potent threat.
So which is it? A two-mana removal spell or the five-mana flying creature?
Honestly, I could buy an argument for either, and I’m pretty torn here. I think that I’m going to take the Serra Angel, as fliers are not only great, but vigilance really changes how the game plays out. The logic that almost got me to take Cast Down is the fact that it’s splashable and hence is more likely to make my deck, but there are enough important cards it doesn’t kill that I think Serra Angel is just a smidge better.
Pack 1, Pick 2
The Picks So Far:
Before figuring out what the best card to take is, let’s make the problem simpler. One of the best tools to have in your problem-solving arsenal is a set of heuristics for approaching problems from different angles. Here, we’ve started with a white card and there are good options that are white and non-white. Rather than looking at all the options individually, I think it’s best to discern the answers to the following questions:
1. “If I were to disregard the white cards in the pack, what would I take?”
2. “If I were to take a white card, what would it be?”
This removes considering the color-bias of Serra Angel (except for archetype preferences such as an aversion to W/R) until deciding between the two cards that really matter for the pick. So, going down this route, I would take Gideon’s Reproach over Dauntless Bodyguard, a pick I wouldn’t have made at the beginning of this Limited format. The Bodyguard just doesn’t do anything relevant in too many games unless you’re an aggressive deck, and even then, there are just too many 1/3s running around.
Disregarding the white cards, the pick is between Shivan Fire and Slimefoot, the Stowaway. Slimefoot is definitely a more powerful card, but it’s multicolored. That said, W/G is a token deck and I would happily splash for Slimefoot, which leads me to believe that taking Slimefoot over Shivan Fire, which is a good card, is the right decision.
However, when comparing Slimefoot with Gideon’s Reproach, I think it’s just better to stay the course. Serra Angel and Slimefoot aren’t all that far apart in power level (Slimefoot is better, but both can run away with the game if left unchecked). There’s a chance that you’ll get to play both, but it’s unlikely, so I think it’s best to just take Gideon’s Reproach.