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Rough Drafts: Oath of the Gatewatch

Hello everyone! It's time for another edition of Rough Drafts! As you know, we are on flashback hiatus for the release of Oath of the Gatewatch on Magic Online, which is a good thing. This week, instead of playing a sweet old format, we get to play a sweet new format in Oath/Oath/Battle for Zendikar! In fact, our videos today feature my first ever Oath of the Gatewatch draft. We'll get to explore the new format together!

Let's get to the videos,then we'll talk a little bit about my impression of Oath of the Gatewatch limited. A quick reminder. If you enjoy the Rough Drafts series and the other video content on MTGGoldfish, make sure to subscribe to the MTGGoldfish Youtube Channel to keep up on all the latest and greatest.

Oath of the Gatewatch: Drafting

Oath of the Gatewatch: Round 1

Oath of the Gatewatch: Round 2

Oath of the Gatewatch: Round 3 (Finals)

Oath of the Gatewatch

  • First off, I've played a couple more Oath drafts since this one, and the BW Ally deck seems insane, which is weird because individually all of the cards suck. But because of the Ally synergy the deck ends up being really powerful. This power was on full display in our last match, where our opponent played a string of one-powered Allies, and we literally couldn't win the game. It was miserable, and if we played the matchup 100 times I bet we would only win 20 of them. That match was even more impressive considering that our deck had a lot of the good White Allies. Yet, we still ran into a second deck playing BW Allies in Round Two. 
  • I was particularly impressed with Spawnbinder Mage. While the cohort mechanic is horrible for constructed, it is actually pretty strong in limited. It isn't that hard to have an extra Ally around, if only because a lot of White creatures happen to be Allies. In a deck built around the tribe the Mage really shines.
  • We had a ton of Rares in our deck, but most of them played like Commons. Oath of Gideon is on par with Raise the Alarm if you have some Ally synergies. If you don't care about Allies it's strictly worse than the Common. Stone Haven Outfitter is a Grizzly Bears, which is fine, but it also tempts you to play underpowered cards like Bone Saw. Angelic Captain was reasonable, but not really much different than an Air Elemental. We rarely had the ability to attack with a bunch of Allies, even though our deck was full of them. 
  • Linvala, the Preserver is insane, even though our build wasn't the best at taking advantage of her abilities. I don't think you can pass her Pack 1 Pick 1. We had some trouble getting behind on creatures, so we had to play this odd "suicide our stuff into our opponent's stuff" game to try to get full value from Linvala, the Preserver. Most of our opponent's figured it out and didn't oblige us by killing our 1/1's, instead just choosing to take the damage. 
  • While the format as a whole seems slow and grindy, our deck showed that you can have success by building a deck with combat tricks and a strong curve. Apart from Linvala, the Preserver and maybe Angelic Captain, our deck was lacking in power and was completely devoid of premium removal, but we managed to make it to the finals by curving out and having some evasion. 

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While she looks like a bad tapper, Spawnbinder Mage proved to be really, really good in our deck. Having a Giant Spider body makes it hard for our opponent to get through on the ground. Most of the time we leave her back as a blocker, then use her to tap down something at the end of our opponent's turn. Over the course of the game, this offense/defense combo was enough to win us a lot of games. Plus, she seems like a reasonable way to shut down some of the big Eldrazi that would otherwise be difficult to deal with. 


Anyway, that's all for today. Have you gotten a change to draft Oath yet? What are your impressions of the format? Is BW Allies clearly the best deck at the moment, or am I overrating the archetype? As always, leave your thoughts, ideas, opinions, and suggestion in the comments. You can reach me on Twitter (or MTGO) @SaffronOlive. 



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