Limited Resources 276 – Dragons of Tarkir Set Review: Commons and Uncommons

This week on Limited Resources Marshall and Luis dive deep into the world of Dragons of Tarkir! It’s time for the set review show, where your hosts dissect every single common and uncommon card in the set in an attempt to help you prepare for your prerelease, release, and subsequent Limited events. 

Color Breakdown:

Blue: 00:13:20 

Black: 01:24:02

Red: 02:11:24

Green: 02:56:15

White: 03:34:32

Mulicolored/Colorless/Land: 04:16:35


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Your Hosts: Marshall Sutcliffe and Luis Scott-Vargas

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23 thoughts on “Limited Resources 276 – Dragons of Tarkir Set Review: Commons and Uncommons

  1. Waiting all week for this 🙂

    thanks Marshall

    “today I don’t feel like doing anything
    I just want to listen my favorite Podcast”

  2. Sight Beyond Sight seems like it’s comparable in power level to Bitter Revelation. You trade the delve fuel for an additional prowess trigger, but it does something very similar. I guess the card selection is worse because the two cards you’d want might be next to each other, but I think, like Bitter Rev, I’ll be playing one of them in a lot of my decks.

    • I came here to say the same thing! Bitter Revelation was a card that was essential to the BGx control decks and was assuredly a ‘C’ or better in that format.

      Now they aren’t exactly the same, to be sure. Bitter Revelation’s ability to give you both card advantage and food to feed your Delve spells may make it better than Sight Beyond Sight, but I think they are far closer than Marshall is thinking.

  3. Pingback: Dragons of Tarkir Limited Set Review – Red + LR review | Quiet Speculation - Learn. Trade. Profit.

  4. You mentioned with encase in ice that it’s 40% chance to be relevant, but that’s not true. If your opponent is playing 2 colors, then only 3 color combinations (BW, WU, and UB for encase in ice) out of 10 where it’s useless, so it’s relevant 70% of the time. And of course if your opponent is playing more than 2 colors, which I imagine will happen pretty frequently, the chance goes up considerably.

    I still probably don’t want to maindeck these, but they really do have a very high chance to be relevant.

    • No its 60% of matches that it is relevant in. except against GW and UB it is only relevant half the time so it is only relevant 40% of the time.
      20% for UW
      10% for UB
      10% for GW
      0% for BR
      0% for GR
      total 40%
      LSV is right.

      • You’re assuming that being relevant requires that it can hit anything in their deck. For a 2-mana removal spell, I’m quite happy if it can hit basically anything, even if you’re just taking out their 2 or 3 drop that seems totally fine, especially the white one since it gives you an added bonus. The black one is especially interesting since, in some respects, it can be BETTER when they’re only in 1 of the colors since it restricts which of their creatures they can sacrifice. Unless it looks like they’re playing, for example, RB with the vast majority of their creatures are black, I’ll be happy to play encase in ice or the others (except the god-awful green one).

        You could argue it’s only relevant 60% of the time since most 2-color decks will be a friendly pair, but there are still the enemy-pair cards from frf, and the strong likelihood that they’re playing 3 colors means that it’s got a solid 70-80% chance of relevance imo. I’ll be quite happy to pick up these for my sideboard.

        • Yes the black one could well be better if they are only in one of the colours BUT it has an equal chance of being worse if what you want to kill is in the other colour. Thus it is not better as the times it is better is cancelled out by the times that it is worse.
          Do not fall victim to best case scenario mentality!

          It is half as effective against decks with only one colour that the spell hits because, allot of the time people end up with one main colour and one colour that is more of a splash or a support. This means that the spell does not effect a sizeable proportion of decks that include the colour the spell can hit. If their deck is about 50/50 the spell only affects half their creatures so it is only half as effective.

          Assuming everyone is playing an friendly colour pair it is only effective 40% of the time which is quite bad and so it is unplayable…However there will be enemy colour pairs and the occasional 3 colour deck. But these will not be as common as the allied colour pairs. This is because the format will be DTK DTK FRF people will pick up friendly colour dragons in packs one and two which pulls them into those colour pairs before the fate reforged pack is opened. And the dragons, in many cases, will incentivise people to play their colours more than the commons in fate reforged. And againsted in the enemy colour pairs it cannot be more than 50% effective (on average) for the same reasons that it is only half as good against the other friendly colour pairs. As for 3 colour decks i doubt there will be that many of them as the fixing is little different from that of M15, and there when not that many three color decks then.
          when facing a three colour deck there is:

          – A 3/10 chance that the deck has both colour that are affected by the card and so the card is 66% effective.

          – A 6/10 chance that the deck has one of the two colours that the card effects so it would be 33% effective.

          – A 1/10 chance that the card does not affect any of the colours that they are playing so the card does nothing!

          This means that the card is about 40% effective against three colour decks. Therefore three colour decks do not increase the percentage of the time that the card is effective.

          The only factor that i can think of that would make the cards more than 40% effective is that they are 60% effective against the multi colour dragons. Though This does not affect the overall effectiveness of the card much and so the cards are about somewhere in between 40% and 45% effective (closer to 40 than 45).
          I have no idea how you arrived at 70-80%; that just seems mathematically impossible to me. If you want a “solid” percentage i would say it is 40% effective. I hope this clarifies why.

          • I’m not sure what I can say that’s not just repeating myself.

            Valorous stance can only hit a little over 1/3 of creatures in the format naturally, significantly less if you weight by rarity. Does that make it 33% effective? Does that make it a bad removal spell? Of course not. Removal doesn’t need to hit EVERYTHING in their deck to be effective. It needs to hit enough targets that you will reliably hit SOMETHING, and ideally will sometimes get something crucial – and the less it costs, the more restrictive it can be and still be strong.. If they’re playing one of the two colors, a 2-mana removal spell that can kill 1/2 their creatures definitely fits that bill. By contrast, something like rite of the serpent is “100% relevant” by your bizarre rating, but it costs a ton, so it’s not so good. Will these color-hate spells always be able to hit exactly what you want? no. But they’re so cheap that they only need to hit something in the deck to be worth running. And if they’re worth running, they’re relevant.

            Small aside – you’re dead wrong about the black one. If they’re white and green, they’ll ALWAYS be able to sac their worst creature. Only hitting one of their colors (Gx or Wx) is only a downside if none of their creatures on the battlefield is that color. Worst case scenario is that their worst creature is G or W, but that wouldn’t be any better if all their creatures were G or W, they’re still sacing their worst one. So it’s probably best if they’re green or white but not both.

            • I want removal to…
              – fill a role you can not otherwise fill but you need to fill (or there is little point having the card) eg valorous stance kills creature that are harder to kill in combat.
              – It has to do its job, it must remove the creature (or neutralize the threat it poses in the case of a card like pacifism).
              – efficiency (normally only relevant in the early game) does the card give you a tempo loss or advantage.

              I am not using a “bizarre rating” (i am not rating the cards at all) i am just explaining why lsv said 40%.
              The point is that the spell will only target (i know they don’t all target) the creature that you want it to kill 40% of the time. I am not saying how good or bad the card is. this is just seeing how often it fulfills the second point (see above) that i listed for removal to be good.
              If you are correct that 1/3 of creatures have toughness 4 or more then valorous stance is only effective against 33% (1/3) of creatures.
              valorous stance is a bad example seeing as it has 2 options so if the removal has no targets it can protect one of your creatures. Removal like valorous stance is good, despite its limitations, because it is the bigger more threatening creatures that you want to kill anyway (so the limitation/down side does not matter as much), and it is easier to kill creatures with less than 4 toughness in creature combat. rite of the serpent is bad because like the anti allied colour it has a condition that is not met a frequently as you would like. The difference is that the condition is you must have 4BB mana instead of only hits two colours of creatures. so the percentage of the time rite of the serpent is effective (by that I mean it kills the creature you want it to) is the percentage of the time you have 4BB mana. The new removal cycle also has a mana cost condition that must be met. However because they have cmc of 2 and only one colored mana that condition is very easily met and so it can be ignored. it can be ignored because we are assuming you are in the right colour to cast it and most of the time you can get 2 mana.
              Side points:
              – I am not “dead wrong” about the black one and I AGREE with you to some degree it can be better. I am just trying to balance what you said about it being better because half the time they will still just sac there worst creature and sometimes their best creature(s) will be in another colour anyway.
              – “And if they’re worth running, they’re relevant.”
              it is worth running because it is relevant not the other way around.
              For example a 1/1 flier for one mana is (normally) not worth putting in your deck BECAUSE it is often irrelevant.

              • A 1/1 flyer is rarely completely irrelevant, it’s just not relevant enough to be worth a card. Most creatures are relevant to some degree but that doesn’t make them worth running. That 6/5 for 6 from ktk is certainly relevant but it’s not efficient or flexible enough to be worth running most of the time. Being worth running is a higher barrier than simply being relevant, so being relevant doesn’t imply being worth running. Just semantics really, but you brought it up.

                In the case of the removal cycle, the very low cost, and the upside on the black and white one, mean that (imo) they’re worth running in nearly any match where your opponent has a decent number of creatures of that color (5-6, probably?), which is probably going to be true for any 2-color deck with one of those colors. Even if you assume that everyone is playing 2 color friendly-pair decks, that still means I’m running it 60% of the time post-board. And sure, some decks will be heavily weighted towards the other color, but I think that’s going to happen a lot less frequently than decks running 3 colors or enemy pairs. Imo the minimum % of games I want one of these is 60%, but I think realistically it’ll be higher since I expect there will be a decent number of 3-color decks around – hence 70-80%. That might be a bit high, but it’s definitely 60%+, not 40%.

                • going to the original quote:

                  LSV: “No, so the rule of thumb is that if most people are 2 colors, that you’re 40% to see them be one of these 2 colors assuming an even distribution…”

                  That’s patently untrue. Well, it’s literally true – 40% that will be ONE of those colors, but an additional 20% you’ll see them be both colors, and 40% neither color. So, 60% was the correct number in that sentence. Whether you think it’s worth playing in 60% of games is your decision, but imo it is.

                  • ugh, they need an editing system.

                    Above is true for friendly-pair only (most likely in this format). If you include enemy pair, it’s 70% that they’ll have at least 1 color.

                    And for the record, I think a decent number of people will play enemy pair. There aren’t many multicolor cards at lower rarities pushing people into friendly pairings, so enemy pairs are totally an option if you don’t crack a bomb multicolor rare.

                    • They definitely need an editing system we are running out of space.

                      I know there will be plenty of enemy color pairs. But there will be less of them than the allied colour pairs because their is not a big incentive to do so.
                      enemy colour pairs do not make a difference anyway. the point is not ‘are they running at least one color that spell targets’ in which case you would be right at 70%. no , the idea is ‘if they play a creature how often can i kill it’ that is 40%.

                      6/10 colour pairs have one of the colour in them. However it only kills the creature 50% of the time so you only get 50% of the 60% available (which is 30%)

                      1/10 colour pairs has both affected colours. You get 100% of the 10% available as the card will always remove the creature.

                      3/10 colour pairs have no affected colors. you get 0% of the 30% available.

                      40% of the time it will kill the creature. i know the card could still do something but this is from the spikes perspective of ‘this is a removal spell how often will it do what i need it to do?’

                • I know that a 1/1 flier rarely has NO effect. By “irrelevant” i meant it does not do enough to be worth a card, i wasn’t being very clear about that sorry.

  5. With how enthusiastic you guys were about Youthful Scholar and especially Zephyr Scribe, I’m surprised that they only got B ratings. Such great value toward card advantage, I expected them both to get B+ from you two. Could you explain a little what holds them back from that?

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  7. The huge pyramid dialogue above about the relevance of Encase in Ice in any given match up is hilarious when you realize the two people arguing actually agree that the 30+% chance the card is completely dead in game 1 means you don’t ever main deck it.
    Just show’s Marshall’s right and Magic players will argue about anything even when they both agree on the thing that actually matters (whether the card is maindeckable, which it’s not).

  8. I think Dance of the Skywise might deserve a slightly better rating than it was given. Consider the fact that making the creature a 4/4 base does not eliminate modifier effects, such as +1/+1. What’s the most common +1/+1 modifier effect in U? Why, prowess, which is triggered by the casting of Dance of the Skywise. So, if you cast Dance of the Skywise on a creature with prowess, it actually becomes a 5/5 flyer, which is not too bad for only 1U at instant speed.

    Also, the fact that it’s an instant means that you can do some really crafty things. Let’s say I attack with a pretty innocent-looking Dragon Bell Monk. Vigilance doesn’t cause it to tap. Then, at my declare attackers step, I cast Dance of the Skywise, prowess triggers, all of a sudden I’ve got a 5/5 flying dragon attacking that’s available for blocking as a 2/2 next turn.

    Finally, there’s a lot of non-flyer hate in this format for which Dance of the Skywise can provide evasion in a pinch. Opponent hits my best creature with a Roast, I cast Dance of the Skywise to give it flying in response, and Roast is countered because it no longer has a valid target.

    I think Dance of the Skywise is a great addition to any U draft deck with even a few prowess creatures.

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