Hey everyone welcome back to Limited Concepts! Great to be back since I have been drafting a lot of M19 and while it has been a tough format to crack I have enjoyed the challenge. I thought that I could come and share some of the experience that I have had with the format after getting quite a few drafts under my belt. I will say I have had a lot of fun with the format and while it’s nothing too simple this is definitely an appetizer for Ravnica looming on the horizon. So lets get into some points about the format.
Core Set 2019 is a pretty medium speed format and plays out in a very match up oriented way. There does seem to clearly be a “best deck” which is B/W life gain but a lot of the archetypes do seem to have a more rock paper scissors feeling to them since each deck is focused on a specific plan making it better against one strategy but worse against another. RW aggro has been another powerful deck out of the format built mostly on commons but even that deck isn’t particularly fast but at the same time this is definitely not a durdle fest like Dominaria.
There are not a ton of good two drops in M19 but at the same time things are not so slow that you aren’t going to want to have 2 drops. Sometimes you need to play a Highland Game or Walking Corpse to fill out your curve a little better. That being said there are a few premium 2 drops in the format that I would be picking highly and others that I still hold above most in the format. The best card here is Dryad Greenseeker and it is a card that I have often first picked since I value it so highly. There are not a lot of things to be doing on turn 2 and Dryad Greenseeker is probably the best of them. Druid of the Cowl is another 2 drop that is a good pick that is probably the second best thing to being doing in the format on turn 2. Druid also just lines up so nicely against a decent number of creatures that I have had many instances where an untapped Druid just held 2 of my opponent’s creatures back afraid of a big crack back. A couple other high pick are Ajani’s Pridemate though an uncommon which can get just out of control when paired with another great 2 drop Daybreak Chaplain. Thorn Lieutenant is another rare 2 drop you can play that I would 1st pick. Omenspeaker is also another common 2 drop that I value highly. I would keep an eye out for these higher power level 2 drops but if you don’t manage to get any then I still recommend playing some of the lower power cards just to smooth out your draws a little more. this is not Dominaria and 2 drops are a little more important here even though they may not necessarily be good.
Drafting Mono Colored
When drafting in M19 I highly recommend you attempt to stay mono color through the first pack. You will be rewarded by finding what color pair is truly open and honing in on it. Yes it is important to use your first couple picks to pick the most powerful card in the pack but at pick 5 or 6 you should be deciding what your primary color is and sticking with it through the first pack and seeing what you open in pack 2 and what options you have for a secondary color and can start to fill out your archetype. It is very important to draft with a plan here and waffling through the first pack often does not pay off as the draft goes on and you will not have a very cohesive deck. It will be one that can play games of magic but the truly best decks are going to abuse these synergies inherent in the format and you don’t do that by picking your color pair halfway through the draft.
As I was saying before this draft format is highly synergy driven and the best decks will be the ones that make the best use of their particular synergy. Since this is a core set it seems like each color pair is more cemented and very obvious as to what it is trying to accomplish other than a couple pairs. Here is a quick archetype breakdown:
U/R Spells matter
B/W Life gain
G/B Life Drain/Recursion
R/G Dragon Ramp
This format has a lot of cards that may be one color but are basically secretly gold cards. For example Aviation Pioneer is a blue card but I don’t really want it in my UR Spells deck, it is better suited in UW Auras. In these synergy driven decks you want to have a critical mass of synergy in your deck and I think that it is important to understand what archetype is open in your seat and draft accordingly. Once you know what archetype you are in you want to be picking cards that will truly fit within your archetype where in RW Aggro you might want some more Goblin Instigators to enact your go wide game plan whereas in UR You might want the shock in the same pack instead. It’s important to hedge through the first pack while staying mono colored to keep your options open as to what archetype you may be in as you draft just your first color but once you have found your archetype really try to hone in on what makes that archetype good and look for the signals to what archetype is open and you will find the cards flowing. All that said splashing is not as rewarded in this format since most of the cards really fit into what a specific color pair is trying to do so splashing cards other than maybe a removal spell will most likely not make your deck that much better at the cost of reducing your consistency and I would even recommend trying to not splash removal either. There is not a lot of fixing and you will waste your picks and slots in your deck trying to play a card that ultimately belongs in another archetype.
Top 5 Commons
- Lich’s Caress
- Star Crown Stag
- Druid of the Cowl
- Pegasus Courser
- Luminous Bonds
I hope this helped to paint a better picture of what you should be looking to do when drafting M19 and hopefully you can pull a couple trophies on MTGO or 7 wins on Arena. Wherever you are drafting have fun and I’ll see you next time. If you want to get in contact with me you can reach me on my twitter below and for more content check out my Instagram and our Twitch and YouTube.
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