Alara Reborn in Limited - Part 1 -

Uploaded by MovieGameLord on 16.05.2009

Hey, my name is Artur Cnotalski, also known as Artus or Ben Ani.
I'd like to introduce you to what hopefully will become a new series called "A few bad plays".
Despite the name i will focus on good plays,
particularly about Shards of Alara block draft
what's changed, what's worth playing and what's not.
In the beginning there was... Alara.
Five distinct lands called shards,
which translated into magic terms spawned
five archetypes composed of three colors
with on of them being the dominant one.
At this point each of the archetypes seemed
equally playable depending on our preferences
whether you wanted to play control or aggro,
you could be sure that you would find something to suit you.
Then came Conflux and everything's changed.
suddenly the number of playable archetypes shrunk to three-four,
and even those that remained playable changed a lot.
Grixis went south, Bant went... the other south.
Naya was still able to maintain pressure with large creatures,
Jund was able to sneak his way to winning the drafts,
but Esper suddenly became huge,
due to the large amounts of evasion, tricks and removal,
that allowed it not to care about
the large beasts on opponent's side of the table.
Then, when the world was old, came Reborn,
which again, changed a lot.
The creature average which Lorwyn and early shards
set to about 15-18 suddenly came down
to what we knew before those sets
suddenly, playing 13-15 regained sense.
Alara gave us taplands and panoramas,
Conflux enriched mana fixing with Rupture Spire
which ecouraged running five colors.
Alara reborn gave us five allied-color borderposts
and their little friend, the new incarnation of Fertile Ground.
Their importance for the format is huge
borderposts can take up land slots
replacing two lands with borderposts shouldn't in any way hamper our game,
while fixing our manabase.
Obviously, the number of keepable hands declined by a small bit,
but looking at the percentages
this shouldn't be that much of a problem.
This point may however discourage inexperienced players
from playing borderposts,
as they are often reluctant to mulligan bad hands.
Borderposts also force us to make decisions early in the draft
whether we want to draft taplands and rupture spires early,
or whether we want to look only
for the best cards in the first two packs
and take a more loose approach to manabase
and try to pick one or two borderposts
only to make our 2-4 color manabase more consistent.
If we don't want bother ourselves with complex manabases
composed of nonbasic lands and borderposts
we might just want to reach for Trace of Abundance
and the new cycle of basicland cyclers,
each of which finds us two basic lands,
tied to spell's colors.
Those creatures however,
should usually be considered fillers
which work best if you're running five colors.
If you want to make your manabase as solid as possible,
you should keep your eye out for those cards.
While the thoughts of manabase still linger in your heads
I would like to mention
this little half-hybrid warrrior and his five buddies
as they are really friendly with your borderposts
and pretty much every card from this expansion.
Those guys get bigger
if there's another multicolored permanent under your control,
giving you access to such abilities as
flying, first strike, haste, shroud and deathtouch
and enable more aggressive styles of gameplay.