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58K Games of Magic Origins Limited Analyzed


Today we get a look at a huge source of objective information in the form of Magic Origins draft statistics provided by our good friend Rolle. You can see the full statistics page for Magic Origins here and the individual card win percentages here. Today we'll go over some of the more interesting data points from the data.

Format Speed

Firefiend Elemental [ORI]Sprinting Warbrute [DTK]

There are on average, 9.1 turns and 6.2 lands played per player at the end of a game of Magic Origins limited. This pegs this environment as being a bit faster than the previous draft format of Dragons of Tarkir x 2, Fate Reforged. If you look at win% on the play, it's as fast as Theros. This speed is highly influenced by the presence of Renown creatures. Aggressive starts are made more punishing by these "free" +1/+1 counters, and that means playing a creature on turn two is very important whether you're attacking or blocking. This is similar to the Dash creatures of Dragons of Tarkir that sped up the entire draft format.

Top Colors

Asking what color is "best" in a format is a loaded question. Are you trying to determine which color has the best cards, or which color has the highest win percentage? These are actually two distinct questions.

The color that has the highest win percentage is Red. Decks with Red in them won 51.4% of the games they played. But that's not the full picture. Are Red decks winning because Red is underdrafted or because Red cards are strong in Origins? Let's look at the play percentage and win percentage of the five colors in Magic Origins.

Color Play % Win %
White 43.5 50.2
Blue 35.7 50.6
Black 38.8 50.1
Red 42.7 51.4
Green 39.3 50.7

We see that Red is played more than Blue, Black, and Green. So despite being drafted more (what some may call "overdrafted") relative to these three colors, it still ends up with a higher win rate. This indicates that Red is a deep color in the format; its cards are strong enough to support more drafters while still maintaining a healthy win rate. While Red is currently overdrafted, it could probably stand to be a bit more overdrafted.

Viewing the win percentages in comparison to play percentages, Red and White are the clear front runners, Green is somewhere in the middle, while Blue and Black bring up the rear.

Top Archetypes

Looking at the ten 2-color archetypes, we see that Black/Red, Blue/Green, and White/Red have the highest win percentages. Black/Red and White/Red managed this while being played more on average, while Blue/Green is played less than any other 2-color archetype. This indicates UG is being underdrafted compared to how many wins it puts out; it is also an indication of the color pair being shallow — Blue and Green's top commons drop off in value sharply after the first few in each color.

The fact that many players view Blue and/or Green as the worst colors in Magic Origins, combined with the fact that the Blue/Green archetype doesn't have a clear direction like "Artifacts" or "Elves", has apparently led people to avoid the color combination despite its success.

At the opposite end of the spectrum, look at Black/Green. It is the second most popular 2-color combination in Origins by play percentage, but the third worst in terms of actual win percentage. This indicates that the color is probably being overdrafted by a fair margin.

The colors and archetypes in this set are quite close in power level. It's more important to find out what's open for the position that you're drafting and to read the pod correctly than it is to force a specific color combination.

Individual Cards

Here are some cards that stood out to me:

General Observations

  • There are only two color “raw” power categories. Red and White (with Red slightly ahead) and everything else. Green is not the worst, it is equal to blue and black.
  • Splashing is generally very poor.
  • The most important factor of ORI draft is identifying the open colours for your seat. Every colour pair is viable, and the gold uncommons really are very strong.
  • Draft a curve. Win % for playing a 2-drop on turn 2 (excluding 1-drops) is 56% (vs 44% for no 2-drops). Play vs Draw this is even worse.
  • Mill may actually be viable. At least the pieces of it don't have straight up appalling win %'s
  • This set is the opposite of Fate Reforged. I have never seen a set with such low impact rares and particularly mythics. This is the set in which the good uncommons really do outshine the mythics!

Conclusion

Explore the data on the statistics page and see if you find any interesting anomalies for yourself. If you're interested in similar analysis but for Constructed instead of Limited, see these excellent articles:

Reach out to me in the comments below or on Twitter @JakeStilesMTG if you have any questions or comments about the data or the collection methodology, or if you discover any insights to share.


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