Innistrad: Midnight Hunt releases on Magic Online and Magic Arena today, and I couldn’t be more excited. Adventures of the Forgotten Realms wasn’t my cup of tea, so I’m hoping this new set is refreshing. Like any Limited format, the experience is defined by the commons.
The above Tweet was my first pass at the Top 10 commons in the set, and the thread presents the top commons by color. The first thing to notice is that there are zero green cards in the Top 10. That might be a mistake on my part as Shadowbeast Sighting and Eccentric Farmer are both relatively efficient value creatures. The second thing to notice when looking at this list, and the corresponding top commons by color, is that two-drops are mostly absent. With Werewolves as a key part to the format, two-drops will still be extremely important. Make sure to prioritize them, as there are only so many good ones.
Overall, I can’t wait to update this list after playing with and against the cards today. Take a minute to go over the thread above, and then let’s jump into a draft!
Pack 1, Pick 1
Corpse Cobble and Arcane Infusion are powerful gold cards, but they require very specific decks, which makes me less inclined to first-pick them. Dimir and Izzet decks that end up being piles of good cards rather than synergy can still play these cards, but they won’t be first-pick-quality in those decks.
Falkenrath Pit Fighter is a solid rare for aggressively slanted decks, and it’s probably playable in any red deck. However, it seems more on the “really good two-drop” tier than “really good rare” tier. I think if red decks end up some of the strongest decks in the format, and they’re particularly aggressive, then first-picking a card like the Pit Fighter becomes an option (although it’s hard to imagine a world where I would take this card over Moonrager’s Slash).
Covert Cutpurse and Dryad’s Revival are great sources of card advantage. The Cutpurse works very nicely with a lot of cards in the format, and even has a flying body built in thanks to disturb. Dryad’s Revival to double Regrowth your best card is extremely powerful, but I’m hesitant to prioritize it before I have a bomb. If this were Pack 1, Pick 2, and I started the draft with a powerful rare, I would be more into taking Revival here. As far as black cards go, I think Cutpurse versus Olivia’s Midnight Ambush is close. For now, I’m leaning towards the Cutpurse as it’s a less consistent and less efficient interactive spell, but it’s also more powerful and card advantage.
Therefore, I believe this pick is between Moonrager’s Slash and Covert Cutpurse, and it’s really hard to know what is correct prior to playing the format. As is, I’m taking Moonrager’s Slash as the most efficient form of interaction in the format with the ability to provide reach to red aggressive decks, which I currently believe will be some of the best decks in the format.
Pack 1, Pick 2
The Picks So Far:
Fleshtaker is a really good uncommon for the Orzhov archetype, but given that I can’t play it alongside my Moonrager’s Slash, it has a high bar to clear. And I don’t think it clears that bar. A better gold uncommon like Devoted Grafkeeper would be my pick, but Fleshtaker isn’t good enough in my opinion.
Vivisection is an awesome card to pair with disposable bodies like decayed tokens. I really wish it was an instant in order to be an actual three-for-one in the face of removal. As is, I view it more as a Dimir card than a blue card, and hence don’t want to take it when I think I have a better red card in my pool.
Olivia’s Midnight Ambush is a fantastic removal spell, and it pairs nicely with Moonrager’s Slash since both removal spells get a boost when it’s night. It’s a great card to pick here; the question is if it’s better than just taking another red card. I think the answer is no. Spellrune Painter seems like a playable card in some red decks, and an absolute house in Izzet. I think this pick is close, but Spellrune Painter takes the nod for me.
Pack 1, Pick 3
The Picks So Far:
Don’t take Delver of Secrets. The power of this card lies in Constructed, not Limited. Even the best spell decks aren’t going to be interested in playing a 1/1 that has a 40% probability each turn to become a 3/2 flyer. The Izzet decks should be playing value creatures like Ardent Elementalist and explosive creatures like Spellrune Painter and Festival Crasher that are also solid blockers on their floor. I know Delver is a fan favorite, and there will be some Limited decks that are actually interested in it, but those decks are few and far between.
Bladestitched Skaab is the best card in this pack. While I’m a bit skeptical of the Dimir Decayed archetype, a two-mana 2/3 is already above rate, and bolstering the power of Zombies is a potent ability. My opinion on this pick is that, if Corpse Cobble wheels, then Bladestitched Skaab is the best pick, but if it doesn’t, that puts me in a bad spot because I don’t want to fight over Dimir. The general discourse I’ve seen surrounding Dimir is positive, hence I think it’s unlikely for Corpse Cobble to wheel. It’s possible that, if the archetype underperforms, in a couple of weeks the correct pick out of this pack is Bladestitched Skaab because, generally speaking, an underperforming archetype can still be good if it’s open. As is, I don’t think it’s correct to speculate on Dimir here with an already good red start.
Bloodtithe Collector is slightly below rate if the discard ability doesn’t trigger, and above rate if it does. That leads to a good card, but not a card I want to slam early. Part of this is because this format seems to have a high density of strong four-drops and five-drops, which leads me to lower my prioritization of all of them. It’s a good card, but I think staying in the same lane makes more sense here.
Ultimately, I’m taking Ardent Elementalist. It’s best in Izzet, which my current pool pushes me towards already. And, with Moonrager’s Slash already in my pool, Ardent Elementalist can become good in any red archetype if I can get some more red removal spells to make it a reliable Flametongue Kavu variant.