How Good Is Dovin Baan In Kaladesh Remastered Draft?

Ryan Saxe serves up more Kaladesh Remastered Draft picks. Would you make the same choices after first-picking Dovin Baan?

Dovin Baan, illustrated by Tyler Jacobson

Historically, planeswalkers are almost unbeatable in Limited. They simply provide too much repeatable value. If you can wait until the right moment to deploy the threat such that it cannot be easily answered, the game ends.

Dovin Baan is one of the first planeswalkers I remember as “not a bomb, but solid.” There have been planeswalkers like Tibalt, the Fiend-Blooded, which are just bad, and War of the Spark opened the door for a variety of different planeswalker power-levels, but I specifically remember Dovin Baan being eye-opening.

And this draft starts with Dovin Baan. Unlike in my last article, I am more likely to deviate from the starting path because Rashmi is better than Dovin Baan. However, Dovin Baan is still good enough to facilitate a small bias towards Azorius.

Pack 1, Pick 3

The Picks So Far:

Dovin Baan Filigree Familiar

The Pack:

Aether Meltdown Winding Constrictor Audacious Infiltrator Implement of Examination Malfunction Tezzeret's Ambition Maulfist Squad Destructive Tampering Frontline Rebel Peema Outrider Woodweaver's Puzzleknot Inventor's Goggles

The Pick:

My Take!

While Inventor’s Goggles isn’t good enough to be in the discussion here, I wanted to bring it up because it is significantly better than it looks. Equipment cards that only provide a small boost historically underperform, but the auto-equip helps make Inventor’s Goggles mana efficient. The real reason this card is good though is improvise. Curving Goggles into Aether Chaser is a very potent curve and it provides two artifacts for any artifact synergies.

Peema Outrider is a good card but it tends to be overrated. Thriving Rhino and Attune with Aether are better green commons. Outrider is a very good body for the cost, and is occasionally a good value play, but it doesn’t do much more than that. Green decks are often about energy and hence energy cards are more valuable. If this card were Thriving Rhino, it would probably be my pick out of this pack.

Winding Constrictor is one of the most powerful gold cards in the format and it’s significantly better than Dovin Baan. However, is it better than the combination of Dovin Baan and Aether Meltdown? This pick is very close in my eyes and I wouldn’t fault anybody for going either direction. I went with Aether Meltdown, as it’s a more flexible option than Winding Constrictor, and I’m willing to sacrifice a little power for that flexibility (especially since I’m such a big fan of the energy decks).

Pack 1, Pick 6

The Picks So Far:

Dovin Baan Filigree Familiar Arborback Stomper Aether Meltdown Era of Innovation

The Pack:

Built to Last Glint-Sleeve Artisan Dukhara Peafowl Metallic Rebuke Thriving Turtle Alley Strangler Die Young Chandra's Pyrohelix Hunt the Weak

The Pick:

My Take!

Thriving Turtle is unassuming but it’s better than it looks. To contextualize this, think about the value of a one-mana 1/4; that card actually isn’t so bad since it’s a great blocker and can still get in for some damage if played early. Thieving Turtle is better than that. With the proper curve, it’s a 2/5 on Turn 3 and even a 3/6 on Turn 4. That’s actually impressive and all for the cost of a single blue mana. And that doesn’t even consider how the energy can be used for other things too.

I think most people would consider Metallic Rebuke as a better card to take than Thriving Turtle here but I’d rather take the blue energy card given that this start supports a blue energy deck. That being said, I think both Hunt the Weak and Glint-Sleeve Artisan are better pickups here.

Glint-Sleeve Artisan can be a great curve-out play, but it also helps with artifact and go-wide synergies, and is just a good value play. It’s a rock-solid white common in a similar way to how Hunt the Weak is a rock-solid green common. My gut says that Hunt the Weak is better for green than Glint-Sleeve Artisan is for white, but the delta isn’t huge. Hence the correct pick will simply be whether this pool is most likely to support a green deck or a white deck.

I think Dovin Baan and Arborback Stomper are on a similar power level, but the blue energy cards lend themselves best to a Simic deck. Furthermore, Simic can easily Splash Dovin Baan off of Unbridled Growth, Renegade Map, Wild Wanderer, or Attune with Aether. Given this, I believe Hunt the Weak is the correct pick.

I ended up with a pretty bad Simic Energy deck. I simply got a large number of ways to produce energy and not many ways to consume it. I won every game where I cast Aetherworks Marvel and lost every game I did not. Unfortunately, I didn’t save a picture of the deck, but you aren’t missing much by not seeing it. The draft still hopefully had some interesting points though!