M14: Door of Destinies

Okay, let’s figure out if Door of Destinies is worth drafting early, and if so, what tribes it should be drafted with. First, let’s figure out how tribal a deck needs to be in order for this card to be playable. If you play Door of Destinies on turn 4, play a creature of the named creaure type on turn 5, and never have any other creatures of that type in play, you give a creature +1/+1, which is not worth 4 mana and a card. If you had played another creature of that type previously or if you play a card that generates a token creature of that type, you give 2 creatures +1/+1 which is still not worth it. If you are able to get 3 creatures +1/+1 or 2 creatures +2/+2, the card is reasonable, but you’d really like to get a bit more to compensate for the risk of topdecking the card late or getting blown out by an instant-speed artifact removal spell.

For this analysis, I determined the number of cards of each creature type at each rarity, and used that to compute the expected number of each creature type in an 8-person draft. I also compiled a separate list of all cards that produce creature tokens. Token creatures do not add a charge counter to Door of Destinies, but the tokens do receive a bonus if they are of the chosen creature type. This list is a bit more complicated since several cards only produce tokens under certain conditions, e.g., Angelic Accord. However, some conditions are relatively easy to meet, e.g., Devout Invocation only requires that you have a creature in play. Cards that produce a token without conditions or with a condition that’s easy to meet are listed normally, otherwise I use a “c” to indicate that a card does not reliably produce token(s) of that type. (Dragon Egg is not included since it produces a token of the same creature type when the original creature dies.)

The results are in this spreadsheet. Summarizing:

  • An average 8-person draft will have 27 Humans, 20 Slivers, and fewer than 10 of each other creature type. (While a particular draft may have more than the expected number, you won’t know this if you’re picking Door of Destinies early in the draft, and the purpose of this analysis is to determine whether it’s worth picking this card early.) A Humans deck will usually be W/B, and a Slivers deck will usually be G/R, G/W, or R/W.
  • Even if you get all 9 Warriors in a draft, you will only draw about 3 in a typical game unless you have card draw or tutoring, and you may not draw Door of Destinies, or you may draw it after you have already cast some of the creatures. You also have to consider whether these 9 Warriors are playable on their own (in case you don’t draw Door of Destinies), whether they are spread across too many colors, and whether they are are sufficiently spread across the mana curve. That doesn’t seem promising. However, it may still be possible to use Door of Destinies with creature types other than Humans and Slivers if most of your creatures fall into 2-3 races/classes.
  • Most token producers are rare/mythic or conditional and so don’t make Door of Destinies more playable, even when they produce multiple tokens. The only potential exceptions are Zombies (Vile Rebirth, Xathrid Necromancer, and Liliana’s Reaver can complement the expected 7 Zombies/draft) and Elementals (Young Pyromancer and Molten Birth can complement the expected 6 Elementals/draft). Note that Door of Destinies does not work with Saprolings or Goats; while Sporemound and Trading Post allow you to produce tokens of these types, there are no Saproling or Goat (or Changeling) creature cards in M14, so Door of Destinies would never accumulate any charge counters.
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