M14: Essence Scatter vs. Negate

Which is better in M14 draft: Essence Scatter or Negate? This spreadsheet breaks down the creatures and non-creatures in M14 by color and quality, using the updated evaluations from my last post. The tables list the average number of cards of that color and quality per player. Looking at the totals, it is immediately clear that M14 has more creatures than non-creatures that are bombs, exceptional, good, or even situational/filler. So Essence Scatter is superior to Negate, although you may prefer the latter if your deck already has enough creature removal. Essence Scatter is also more likely to have targets since limited decks tend to run more creatures than non-creatures.

Are there any color pairs against which Negate is better? B/R is the only color pair with more bomb/exceptional non-creatures than creatures. Of course, your sideboarding decisions also have to factor in what you’ve seen of your opponent’s deck and what colors you’re playing; if you’re in G/U and lack hard creature removal, you may want to run Essence Scatter over Negate even against B/R decks.

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