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Dragons of Tarkir Spoiler Limited Review for March 3

Dragons of Tarkir spoilers are heating up with nine new spoilers revealed. This should be an exciting one since all nine are rare or mythic rare and a six of them are Dragons!

This is my second day of posting reviews for this spoiler season in which I evaluate the new cards from a Limited perspective. I introduced this in the original article, but let's start by mentioning the grading scale again.

Grading Scale

A: This card will often be the best card in one's deck. I'd consider splashing it where possible. (Duneblast, Citadel Siege)
B: This card is rarely cut from a deck that can cast it. In draft, it signals that a color or archetype is open. (Icefeather Aven, Abzan Beastmaster)
C: Cards like this make up the majority of limited decks. You're neither excited nor embarrassed to have them in your deck. (Sagu Archer, Soul Summons)
D: I'm not putting this in my main deck unless I have a specific reason or I'm low on playables. (Firehoof Cavalry, Abzan Advantage)
F: This card will have little or no impact on the game if I draw it or is strictly sideboard-material. If I cast this card, please stage an intervention for me. (Lens of Clarity, Crucible of the Spirit Dragon)

Intro Pack Dragons

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Flyers are a lot better here than in the Khans timeline where Venerable Lammasu ruled the skies. While seven mana is expensive, the ability to draw and recast this Dragon upon death means it can't be removed easily. I hope that some non-destroy removal will be printed in this set since the only Fate Reforged spells that permanently deal with Arashin Sovereign are Reality Shift and Shifting Loyalties (your opponent will control the death trigger and can put the creature on the bottom of your deck when it dies). Remember that Arashin Sovereign doesn't keep you totally safe as a bounce or kill spell will make you spend your whole turn recasting it while leaving you vulnerable to attacks for a turn.

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The aforementioned Sovereign requires less fancy footwork to keep it safe, but this tricky Dragon is a lot better at evading blockers and making combat a nightmare for your opponent. With Pristine Skywise on the field, even a lowly Abzan Advantage will allow you to crack in for six unblocked damage through any number of your opponent's would-be blockers (that share a color). You could also ambush one of your opponent's creatures if they find themselves brave or desperate enough to attack.

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Air Elemental with upside is never a bad card in Limited. This creature also has pseudo-vigilance in that if you can hit your opponent, you can make a Zombie token that can block for you. Of course if your opponent isn't putting the pressure on, you can also just build up an undead army to take over should Necromancer Dragon be shot down. The mill isn't fast enough to deck your opponent so it will serve mainly to fuel their delve cards; however, this is less of a downside now that only one booster pack out of three in the draft will feature delve cards at all, and even then, only in two colors.

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The most competitively costed creature so far at five mana for five power, Boltwing Marauder packs a massive punch that grows every time you successfully cast a creature. In the event that your opponent has a chump blocker, you can just pump a different creature, forcing your opponent into as many tough blocks as possible. Although this card doesn't need help to be powerful, it would be nice to see some cards that make multiple creature tokens show up in Dragons of Tarkir to trigger Boltwing Marauder multiple times in a turn. This also has the upside of having incredible art; Raymond Swanland is my favorite.

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As a board wipe stapled to a creature, Harbinger of the Hunt is set up to be one of the best cards to open in Dragons of Tarkir draft. After you get to six mana (just one more than what is needed to cast the Dragon itself), you can clean up most of the ground forces to ensure that it's as difficult as possible for your opponent to race against five damage in the air each turn. In the event that your opponent has flying blockers, you can burn them right out of the sky unless their toughness is three or greater. Harbinger of the Hunt won't beat other Dragons in combat often, but it should be able to at least trade.

Rares and Mythics

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There are going to be a number of multi-colored bombs in the set. According to Wizards of the Coast, we'll be getting one uncommon cycle (which we haven't seen yet), one rare cycle (just previewed), and one mythic rare cycle of multi-color Dragons (the Elder Dragons, of which we've only seen Dragonlord Silumgar). And that's only counting Dragons in Dragons of Tarkir! However, as popular and powerful Dragons are bound to be, I would want to see some common and additional uncommon multi-colored creatures or enchantments before considering putting this in my main deck. For that reason it gets an F, keeping in mind the fact that it will be a great sideboard card at the very least.

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Like most other Dragons reviewed so far, if Sunscorch Regent isn't killed immediately, it will generate a nigh unbeatable advantage as the game progresses. Each spell your opponent casts makes removing Sunscorch Regent more difficult. Even if they have a removal spell in hand, it has to be capable of killing a 5/4 since the trigger will resolve first. The lifegain clause is not incredible, but it will incrementally add to the difficulty of ignoring this huge creature.

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Ramp this strong often costs more: Frontier Siege costs 4 and can't enter combat and Whisperer of the Wilds is a 0/2 that doesn't always produce two mana. This is for good reason since facing a 6-drop on turn 4 is difficult for limited decks to handle. The Formidable ability can be ignored 99% of the time since it requires getting to a ridiculous 11-mana with a board state that favors you activating this over attacking. Additionally, Shaman of Forgotten Ways doesn't do much if you draw it in the late game which keeps it out of the A range. 

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Exclude is a great effect for Limited and that's only one of the six modes that this card offers. Counterspells can be awkward since you have the potential to waste your turn if your opponent doesn't play something to counter, but Ojutai's Command fixes this by giving you three options to choose from that aren't dependent on your opponent. While I wouldn't run this card just for the gain life and draw a card option, I'm sure there will be enough cheap valuable creatures in the graveyard to bring back, or just threatening to counter creature spells will generate good value.


I'm not sure that the rares of Dragons of Tarkir will continue to be as powerful as those of Fate Reforged, but so far the plan definitely seems to be "Pick the Dragon"! We're still less than 10% of the way through all the Dragons of Tarkir cards and only two days into spoiler season, so tune in tomorrow for the next round of spoilers and reviews. Tell me in the comments where you think I'm right or wrong in my analysis or reach out to me on Twitter @JakeStilesMTG

Note: I am waiting on official English language spoilers of cards before reviewing them so that the exact wording is known. If something is missing, this is probably why.

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