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Rough Drafts: Triple Ravnica


Hello everyone! It's time for another edition of Rough Drafts! This week, after two months of toiling through mediocre and downright bad draft formats, we finally get a chance to play not only a good format, but a format widely held to be among the greatest of all time, Ravnica. First up: triple Ravnica!

One of the unique aspects of the original Ravnica block, as opposed to Return to Ravnica, is that the guilds are broken up between the sets. In Ravnica we'll be working with just four guilds: Dimir, Selesnya, Boros and Golgari. As a result, the main idea of the format is to get into a main guild early in the draft and then splash a second, connected guild. For example, splashing Golgari with Dimir gives you two guilds to work with. What we will be looking to avoid is ending up in three colors, but with only one guild. Since nearly all of the best cards in the set are multicolor, ending up in Esper or Mardu is usually a bad idea since we only have one guild's worth of gold cards to use to our advantage. 

Let's get to the videos, then we'll talk about my impressions of triple Ravnica 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.

Triple Ravnica: Drafting

Triple Ravnica: Round 1

Triple Ravnica: Round 2

Triple Ravnica: Round 3 (Finals)

 

Triple Ravnica

  • Blue-Black mill is a legitimate draft archetype in Triple Ravnica, and our deck wasn't even the best example of what the deck can do. We did end up short on removal and only had a single Vedalken Entrancer, but otherwise we had a lot of the key cards for the deck. 
  • As our round one opponent showed, you should not, ever, in a million years play the Hunted cycle. The only one I can see an argument for is Hunted Dragon, and the only time I would ever want to cast it is if my opponent was tapped out and at six or less life. Otherwise, don't even think about it; the risk is way too high for the potential reward.
  • Judging by the packs, Red is by far the worst color in Triple Ravnica. It isn't at all uncommon for four of the last five cards in the pack to be Red. While it's possible to draft a sweet, aggressive Boros deck, it's probably best to steer clear of Red unless you are familiar with the format and good at drafting aggressive strategies.
  • Selesnya Tokens/Convoke is one of the best archetypes in Triple Ravnica. Unfortunately it's also very over-drafted, so be careful about jumping into Green-White unless you are sure it's open. There are some key Commons like Selesnya Evangel, Fists of Ironwood, and Scatter the Seeds that the deck needs to function efficiently, and if someone near you is snapping them up, you are likely to end up with a bunch of uncastable Siege Wurms. 
  • Overall, Triple Ravnica is a huge relief after spending three weeks on Kamigawa. There are a ton of powerful cards, the format is fun, and there are some interesting fringe decks. 
  • If you could only pick a single block to draft for the entire first half of 2016, Ravnica is clearly the correct choice. If you've never played the format, do yourself a favor and set aside some time to try it out. It's definitely near the top of the all-time best limited formats. 

Money Cards

The only real downside to drafting Ravnica is that it's not a high value format. It use to be, but its value has been greatly diminished by the reprintings of shock lands, Dark ConfidantRemand, and Birds of Paradise. Last time I ran the numbers, you could expect to lose an average of 25 play points per draft, which puts Triple Ravnica in the bottom third of all the Modern flashbacks so far. 

Resources

  • Drafting All the Colors. More great limited advice from one of the greatest limited players of all time, Rich Hoaen. He follows up this introductory piece with a draft walk through taking players step-by-step though his Triple Ravnica draft philosophy.
  • Drafting Ravnica. Wizards official event coverage from back in 2005 breaks down the major archetypes.
  • Uncommons in Limited Play. Jeff Zandi talks about some of the best Uncommons in Triple Ravnica Limited.
  • Ravnica: Draft Primer. The Limited Resources subreddit chimes in with their thoughts on the format.

Conclusion

Anyways, that's all for today. Leave your thoughts, ideas, opinions, and suggestions in the comments. You can reach me on Twitter at @SaffronOlive, or at my new email SaffronOlive@MTGGoldfish.com.


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