Pro Tour Guilds of Ravnica Day Two Opening and Draft

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Published: 1 month ago
Day Two of Pro Tour Guilds of Ravnica starts off with Jérémy Dezani, as we watch his how second draft of the weekend goes.

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BOARos deck

3 weeks ago

He's not hate drafting, so to speak

4 weeks ago

The packs weren't even that bad. They weren't great, but it was mostly that Boros was very much not open. I think Golgari was probably the best place to be with these packs, although it's of course not the best guild.

1 month ago

Gentlemen, excellent job of dealing with the human element if someone not feeling well! Great commentary also! Thank you for doing it.

1 month ago

"There hasn't been any power in these packs..." - WOTC; these are the experts you hire to do commentary and pretty much every time we get these draft videos (which I appreciate, by the way), they say the same thing. Over and over again.
Take these comments to heart. Put more fun into your packs... stop overcosting cards... and you'll find some success.

If I open a pack with no limited (R) or (M) bomb, and no constructed worthy card for any format... that really, really sucks. It sucks on camera. It sucks in draft. It sucks when I buy a pack "just for fun."

1 month ago

Re: Pacifism - You like that someone took a (C) card that saw no standard constructed play and added a mana to it? Really? Why? What goal, exactly, does that satisfy? How does this better limited, better constructed, or respect players?

If Pacifism is good in the format... PRINT IT! It's a mediocre, removable, removal spell that doesn't stop abilities and is simple enough for (C). If it - GASP - sees play over (U) with 5 times the text because it only costs 1W... GOOD!

Printing Luminous Bonds is an admission that they're too lazy to balance removal for limited and constructed, so they'll put in some filler removal, rather than give players choice. Compare this to, say, Naturalize. How many Naturalize variants do we have now, and how many see play? No one said "let's add 1 mana to Naturalize to force people to play Thrashing Brontodon..."

1 month ago

​+J Steve Bergquist GRN: Pacifism gives GW a leg up against WR and RU aggro decks. Would it be good for RW? Sure? But on turn 3 you're just as happy to burn a Direct Current or combat trick on their blocker, the latter of which lets you double spell anyway.
I think Boros is the strongest guild, with maybe Dimir next. So make no mistake - I'm cautious about proposals that would make it much better. However, I think other guilds needed better 2 drops at (C) and (U), and GB needed Dredge (used responsibly, Dredge 1-2, only on "overcosted" commander cards at (C) or on vanilla creatures... a 2/2 Dredge 2 for 1G at (U) would really help that deck stand up against Boros... which will still fly over or burn you, but might have to think twice about attacking with a 3/1... combat trick or not... as the dredge guy will come back...).

Re: Efficient removal: Pacifism is a sorcery speed (disenchantable) aura that lets the creature use it's activated and triggered abilities. It's better than Luminous Bonds, but "too good" and "color pie breaking" seem like poor descriptors.

Perhaps more to the point, Pacifism feels like a great (C) piece of removal to me. At (C), new players could put this in their deck if they don't have Oblivion Ring (or variants) yet and not feel like they're running a bad card. Pacifism is (and should be) the best there is at what it does ... but what it does is not always what you want in your deck. Not every green deck runs Llanowar Elves, but many do. Not every red deck runs Viashano Pyromancer, but it's an option to consider. In contrast, NO deck will run Luminous Bonds. But they might counterfactually consider Pacifism.

Consider the following case:
You're playing against an opposing white aggro deck. Turn 4 they play Pacifism on your guy, attack, and then play Healer's Hawk. This line of play makes sense and tells you nothing about them, as a player, or their deck.
Now substitute "Pacifism" with "Luminous Bonds"... now you know you're dealing with an amateur who has built their deck with bad cards - "draft chaff" designed not to see constructed play. This lessens the experience for them and you...

1 month ago

No, it wouldn't totally break the format, but it would make white aggro decks even better since it would be easier to cast both a removal spell and a creature on turn 3 or 4. I'm not sure Boros needs the help, haha.

I guess I disagree that Wizards should never nerf cards that already weren't constructed playable. White isn't supposed to have efficient, strong creature removal like black and red - it's supposed to have more answerable but more broad permanent removal ala Oblivion Ring and Conclave Tribunal (which is arguably easier to cast than Pacifism in some decks and is seeing plenty of constructed play). If the card is never gonna see constructed play anyway, why not make it costed appropriately for limited and adhering more closely to the color pie than past versions of the card?

Bottom line - creatures are stronger than they used to be and removal is worse - I personally enjoy that gameplay more than older formats where the reverse was true.

1 month ago

​+J Steve Bergquist I think Lightning Bolt is core-set (U) printable - (U) for limited balance. I think Cancel is core set (C) Printable, and should not be obsoleted in the same set, but I am okay with Sinister Sabotage and Hinder being (U) Printable in a different set, for complexity reasons (IE, it's counterspell + effect) or balance reasons. However, I think
Admiral's Order at (R) is disappointing, as it's an (U) level complexity card moved to (R) seemingly for financial reasons... I don't see it as an (U) warping limited.
However, I think it's a fair claim to say: WOTC should never print cards strictly worse than printed cards that don't see constructed play (except, perhaps, Cancel-style simplicity cards for teaching). MAYBE we could put our heads together to find a counter-example to this principle... but as a rule of thumb, it seems fairly clear.

You've no doubt played magic for some time. So let me ask you this:
(1) Do you think Pacifism (+ relevant other changes) would have significantly harmed GRN limited?
(2) Do you think Pacifism would be an auto-include in white decks, or do you think one would have to think about it first?

Even if you err on the side of caution and think WOTC is probably right about most things, I think you'll conclude Pacifism wouldn't "break" a format like GRN (which, despite some glaring issues, is pretty good - much better than IXA and RIX, where Luminous Bonds came from), and I think you'll admit that Pacifism wouldn't see extraordinary standard play.

Finally - let me say this: I can imagine a situation where I'm playing constructed and with my monowhite it's strategically correct to put pacifism on his Phoenix, despite knowing that any burn spell they draw might "disenchant" it. That's interesting. And that's an option I don't have in the current standard, as it's never correct to run Luminous Bonds in standard.

1 month ago

So you agree that Wizards has printed cards at common that were too powerful and has correctly nerfed Lightning Bolt and Counterspell, but you are also disgusted that they would ever weaken the average power level of a common card? I'm not following what you're saying then. I get that those cards define constructed formats whereas Pacifism does not, but the principle is the same since strong constructed cards aren't necessarily strong limited cards and vice versa. Pacifism isn't broken by any stretch but it is really strong, and for the color that's probably supposed to be third best at creature removal, a strong three mana removal spell at common seems perfectly reasonable over a two mana one.

1 month ago

​+J Steve BergquistAh, but that's the point. These cards aren't printed in isolation; Luminous Bonds and Shock and Cancel are underpowered compared to what came before, while Dead Weight, District Guide, and Goblin Cratermaker are all far better than their Alpha equivalents. However, the case for Shock and Cancel are clear - WOTC reasoned publicly that Lightning Bolt and Cancel were too good. Later, they decided they were wrong about Lightning Bolt, reprinting it at (C) and (U) for a variety of sets (both standard and masters sets). But Counterspell has never been printed in a Modern Level set because they really think it is too powerful and format warping.
Months before llanowar elves was spoiled for Dominaria, we were being consistently told llanowar elves was too good to see print anymore. This was a lie (whether you think they're justified in lying or not is up to you). But there has never been a public discussion as to whether or not Pacifism is "fair" for it's cost; notably because of it's lack of standard play demonstrating it is not "too strong" for it's cost.
So yes, power level is relative; but relative to a set standard of actually printed cards (as well as, no-doubt, hypothetical cards used to weigh balance in design). Pacifism is certainly "fair" by any measure we've seen.
Re: Pestilence - This is a good example; let's run with it. Would you be okay with WOTC printing Pestilence for 3BB? (The answer, of course, is "no" because good limited design shouldn't have complicated cards at (C) and shouldn't have board sweepers at (C). But we do have Luminous Bonds at (C), as "premium (C) removal" is a category necessary to make draft flow. So there is an important dis-analogy between Pestilence and Pacifism; I think you'll agree. And please let's not have this discussion about Lightning Bolt, as "oops I win" on a removal spell is something they've decided to print at (U) now for gameplay balance. But yes, I'd prefer Lightning Bolt or LIghtning Helix to Inescapable Blaze and
Integrity // Intervention.)

1 month ago

WTOC, Pay attention: Your expert commentators are noting how many of these packs are weak packs overall for everyone early on! Maybe make less garbage cards in a set? This is bad optics, and unfun to draft when you open 15 cards and almost none are remotely limited playable.

1 month ago

+freehopper nz They're saying it's a weak pack because there are no cards that you'd want in your deck. Yes, there are much better cards in the set at (C), but relatively few. Compare this to sets like Modern Masters (for example), where there are no weak packs. One doesn't open a pack of Modern Masters and say "Well, I don't want to play any of these cards no matter what," but how often does that happen with this set? (less often than RIX, IXA... but too often).
PS - Let's not play the "relativist", because we can draft homelands if you want a first-hand experience of how magic relativism doesn't yield a good draft.

1 month ago

They're saying that they're weak relative to an average pack from the set, not that the set is weak.

1 month ago

Thank you for reuploading these with good audio. Nice work.

1 month ago

Jon Finkel playing?

1 month ago