by Steve ‘DDT’ Giannopoulos
In the last few weeks a lot of you have probably played some M13 limited format, be it Draft or Sealed. I believe it’s probably the best limited experience for a Core Set in a long time. Ok, ok…since foreeeeeeevvvvveeeeerrrr!
They got rid of a few things that people did not enjoy. One thing I noticed was there are no more creatures that tap other creatures. I think this is definitely a step in the right direction as these little guys were a little too good last Core Set.
The set feels a little more dynamic, but then again that’s normal as it is fairly fresh. Here are a few of the ‘combos’ I have observed while playing M13 Limited:
Intrepid Hero is already a really decent creature in this format and it becomes much much better with these 3 effects that allow you to give an offensive boost to opposing creatures and blow them up. Even outside of this combo, all cards involved are fully playable on their own as well.
All Shock Land returning to Return to Ravnica aside, these land-dependant creatures are all very decent in M13 limited. A lot of people will notice you are trying to pull a fast one on them when making a sketchy block/attack but all you need to do is fool just a couple and it would have all been worth it.
Things is, a lot more people will overlook the uncracked Evolving Wilds than you think. A lot of players will not even pay attention to what mana you have open most of them time as well. It might just be worth leaving it open unless of course, it’s preventing you from casting other necessary cards.
This guy was very criticized when he was spoiled and I remember people saying that he would be horrible in limited and so forth.
Are you kidding me?
He provides a constant recycling of all your enter the battlefield creatures, my favorite 2 being Elvish Visionary and Mwonvuli Beast Tracker . He gives your green deck that extra value or oomph! It oftentimes needs.
There is the unfortunate event that he is your only creature in play at the beginning of your upkeep and you have to return him to hand. That’s probable, but wouldn’t you still be in trouble if it was any other green creature (save maybe Elderscale Wurm).
Not an exciting one I know. Think of it as an ever-recurring blocker or regenerating blocker for 5 mana. It’s sometimes necessary to do, cute and nice to know it’s an available option.
Also, it’s already regrowthing an unsummon that was used on something relevant. So it’s already a good bonus. He can also block pesky 1/1 tokens all day and not die. For the cost, I think Archaeomancer is a pretty neat card overall.
Unsummon is has not been too great for me, but it gains a lot of value if your opponent is playing a few Auras and/or Removal. It will either make your opponent lose a card trying to buff his guy or destroy yours.
Arms Dealer is always one of my favorite reasons to play Red in limited. If I ever get 2 in my draft pool or sealed pool, I try really hard to play them.
Obviously, Arms Dealer is always good with just about any goblin. You can just do neater things if you sacrifice a Golbin Aronist since it will split 4 and 1 damage respectively. This in turn allows you to kill a 5/5 or a 1/1 and something else.
For those of you who are not aware, Arms Dealer is actually a reprint from Mercadian Masques. Weird huh? At the time, there were very few goblins to even use his ability with. In M13 draft, you should have no problem picking some up. A lot of my draft decks with him have had about 8-10 goblins or goblin token producers.
Battle of Wits + 200 or so lands
– Don’t do it!!!
– No, not even for a few laughs
– Just say NO!
I think it’s tough enough to actually have a proper constructed deck with this, what with all the shuffling and all. Are you really going to waste your time sleeving 200+ cards? Even without the sleeves, you better hope your shop and the other players don’t mind you grabbing up all the lands at the Land Station.
This is a classic limited combo as of late. It’s simple and pretty efficient and can provide some 2 for 1’s if you steal something like an opposing Nefarox, attack alone and make them sacrifice a creature and then sacrifice Nefarox to Bloodthrone Vampire.
Bloodthrone Vampire is actually pretty decent on her own sometimes to dissuade an opponent from attacking with more creatures than he should.
Putting an enchantment on a creature is not really a combo per se. However, being able to consistently attack for 4 damage as of turn 2 on top of the possibility of putting your opponent on a 5 turn clock … Now that, that’s a combo!
I rarely recommend playing Auras in limited or otherwise, but this one is too good to pass up. Tormented Soul for those who haven’t played much M13 limited yet, is actually also pretty awesome with the exalted mechanic. Send him over to beat down your opponent while your exalted dudes hold down the fort.
I am aware that this one involves 2 Rare cards so it’s a bit more difficult to have in your Draft/Sealed pool. It’s not a complicated one, but it’s chock full of awesome! Sac the Thragtusk to gain 5 more life on top of the 5 you gained when it entered the battlefield. You net 5 cards and a 3/3 beast in the process.
These 2 cards are really good on their own as well, but I don’t think I have to tell you guys that.
It’s a rather obvious one, I know. Also great with some Mind Sculpts.
A draft/sealed deck is only 40 cards, minus the initial 7 card handsize + whatever amounts of cards were drawn. 3 Jace Mills should always do it. If not (Elixir of Immortality) , it’s nice to know you can have a hefty 5/5 flyer for 1 mana finish the job.
Kindled Fury is probably the best ‘bluff’ card red has too. If you keep one red mana up, most people will just think ‘Shock’ then think ‘wait, there is no Shock in M13’. This can often times allow you to down one of their slightly bigger guys and save yours. Not a flashy card, but it gets the job done.
Probably a must if you drafted a mill strategy. Pretty self-explanatory. Deadly efficient.
There are no other ways to give flying to an opposing creature. If you are in a situation where you would have to take out a non-flyer, by all means give this combo a shot.
Again, as with the Intrepid Hero combo earlier on, both card are decent enough to be use separately.
What? An offensive use of Archaeomancer? Surely this is a joke? Nope, it’s pretty legit. Even scarier with the next card.
Talrand is seeing some Standard play and it’s not totally unsurprising. With the amount of phyrexian mana costs from New Phyrexia (some costing 0 if you opt to pay the 2 life), this little merfolk can generate an army all by himself. His value in your deck definitely goes up if you managed to also draft a Talrand’s Invocation.
‘Grizzly Bears’ with an upside. Ok,ok, most Grizzlies get an upside these days. It’s not too hard to get 3+ sometimes while drafting. Obviosuly the value of each wolf increases each time you play another, giving you a better reason to ‘swarm’ the field with them.
Is there anything Trading Post can’t do? Well, actually, a few things.
Generate enough tokens and give this little guy some value as you sac them to retrieve lost artifacts. You can even have a draw-discard-regrowth engine going with Rummaging Goblin.
Ah yes, the ‘dream’ than one must try to live at least once. If you can envision a situation where you will get to the 9-mana range and you happen to be playing red, give it a shot.
There’s also the small fact that it doesn’t have to be YOUR Oblivion Ring. Say you have a Chandra or whatever that you know your opponent is going to Oblivion Ring, try it out. The game might go long and this might be the ‘I win’ card. Everything will go bye bye, including the Oblivion Ring, thus bringing back your creature or planeswalker to win you the game on the following turn.
Until next time, have fun drafting M13 at your local hobby store !