ORI: Evaluations

This is an initial set of evaluations of the cards in Magic Origins. The main purpose is not to share deep insights into the new cards, but to figure out which cards need further analysis and to help evaluate those cards. For instance, artifact removal spells were very good in Mirrodin block, but are less relevant in Magic Origins.

Here’re what my various evaluations mean:

  • Bomb (B): Will usually win the game if not dealt with and also difficult to deal with or play around, e.g., large flyers or mass removal.
  • Exceptional (+): A superior card that will turn the tide in your favor, e.g., cheap unconditional removal or a 3/3 flyer for 4 mana.
  • Good (/): The bread and butter of most decks, e.g., a 2/2 flyer or a vanilla 3/3 for 3 mana.
  • Situational/Filler (~): Good in the right deck, filler in most others, e.g., a vanilla 2/2.
  • Sideboard (S): Useful to have in your sideboard, but not usually playable maindeck, e.g., artifact/enchantment removal or color hosers.
  • Unplayable (x): Should not be played except in the right deck or under exceptional circumstances, e.g., a vanilla 1/1. Some unplayable creatures can be sided in against the right deck, e.g., a vanilla 1/3 for 3 mana might still be sided in against an aggressive deck.
  • TBD (?): Requires more analysis or more experience with the format to evaluate, e.g., a card that depends on how many +1/+1 counters there are in the format.

The spreadsheet also has explanations for many of my evaluations in the Notes column. Here are some evaluations that might not be obvious at first glance.

  • Cleric of the Forward Order (~), Faerie Miscreant (S), Undead Servant (~), Infectious Bloodlust (x), Timberpack Wolf (/): there will be an average of only 2.4 of each of these in an 8-person ORI/ORI/ORI draft
  • Hallowed Moonlight (S): good against tokens and reanimation
  • Valor in Akros (x): worse than Ampryn Tactician since it doesn’t give the bonus immediately, and doesn’t come with a 3/3 body
  • Mizzium Meddler (+): can also move enhancing Auras spells to itself
  • Consecrated by Blood (~): difficult for B/R, B/G, or R/G to deal with
  • Graveblade Marauder (/): good even as a 1/4 deathtouch for 3 mana
  • Evolutionary Leap (x): note that the creature goes in your hand, not into play

Here are the cards that need additional analysis to fully evaluate, and what the evaluation will depend on. Some of these cards have an initial assessment based on a standalone evaluation, but that may change after further analysis.

  • Blessed Spirits, Sigil of the Empty Throne, Blightcaster, Herald of the Pantheon (/), Blood-Cursed Knight (~), Helm of the Gods: #/quality of enchantments
  • Totem-Guide Hartebeest: #/quality of auras
  • Auramancer, Starfield of Nyx (x): #/quality of removal auras that go to the graveyard
  • Enlightened Ascetic (S), Demolish (S), Smash to Smithereens (S), Caustic Caterpillar (S), Conclave Naturalists (+): #/quality of artifacts/enchantments
  • Eyeblight Massacre (+), Dwynen Gilt-Leaf Daen (+), Sylvan Messenger: #/quality of Elves
  • Nantuko Husk (/), Fiery Conclusion (~), Blazing Hellhound (/): #/quality of borrow effects, tokens, and creatures with leaves-the-battlefield triggers
  • Act of Treason: #/quality of sacrifice effects
  • Dreadwaters (x), Sphinx’s Tutelage: #/quality of mill cards
  • Chief of the Foundry: #/quality of artifact creatures
  • Goblin Piledriver: #/quality of Goblins
  • Orbs of Warding, Grasp of the Hieromancer: experience with the card/format
  • Reave Soul (/), Eyeblight Assassin (/), Gilt-Leaf Winnower (+): power/toughness distributions
  • Aerial Volley (S): #/quality of flyers

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