Hey everyone! We’re a few days into some crazy adventures into Baldur’s Gate and I’m here to drop some knowledge on you so you can crush the competition. This is my zoomed out, big ideas look at the format and you should check out some of my other stuff for a more granular approach. I could put a bunch more catch phrase type stuff, but without further ado I present to you my Alchemy Horizons: Baldur’s Gate Draft Guide.
I’ll be updating this throughout the format so bookmark this bad boy along with the tier list and keep checking back.
Key Ideas of Alchemy Horizons: Baldur’s Gate Limited
The best color is… Drumroll please… White. I know everyone was expecting Black, but White has a lot of powerful cards including Blessed Hippogriff which for just one mana absolutely destroys any attempt at a trade. A good one mana trick that comes back as a solid creature later is absurd in any format, but especially busted in a tempo-based format.
White is also packed with Double Team which is a broken limited mechanic. Some people will debate with you whether it is actually the best color, but that has been my experience so far.
I know I’ve been talking about this card a lot, but Patriar's Humiliation is disgusting for a common. If you are curving out, it is a much better Swords to Plowshares because it doesn’t even give your opponent the life. Permanently removing all abilities is actually really relevant due to reanimation or even if you’re in a pinch because you NEED to shut down a creature down.
Black is the next best color. It just has so many premium cards across all rarities. Deadly Dispute, Guildsworn Prowler, Grim Bounty, Sepulcher Ghoul, Shambling Ghast, and Vampire Spawn are all high end, premium commons that roxxer some boxers. It even has debatably the best rare in The Hourglass Coven (Lae’Zel would like to have a chat) which is going to have its own rant.
Seriously… Did anyone play test The Hourglass Coven in limited? A card that’s says “Pay six mana, win the game” in a color that can ramp it out with treasure. Just switch the rarity of this and Blood Money and it’s a huge improvement on the format. If WotC would like to start sending me these before they get printed, I will gladly advise them on these matters.
Next up, I have Green and Red pretty close in my color rankings. They are both a small step below Black, but multiple steps above Blue. It could go back and forth depending on if you are building an aggressive deck or a slower, go slightly over the top deck.
What about Blue? We don’t talk about Blue. Seriously though, it’s actually not as unplayable as it’s being made out to be and it’s almost always going to be open. It is still a good amount below the other colors, but if you’re cut on one of them you should be able to make it work with this.
The only card that I’m willing to chase the blue dragon for early is Snowborn Simulacra because it reads pay 7 mana, win the game. Thayan Evokers is also pretty great, but it’s secretly just a red card being played off of treasure.
Where does that leave us on color combinations? It’s Mardu’s world and we’re just living in it. Any combination of these three colors is solid, just try to establish the proper tone for each one.
Boros is super aggressive and that leads to some pretty odd things happening. Iron Golem was complete garbage in AFR, but it’s doing fine here. The trick is that you are always attacking or blocking anyways so it doesn’t have a drawback. It’s just a 5/3 Vigilance for four mana. While the golem has a high win rate now, I suspect it will drop once it catches on in the mainstream because it will start to be played in decks it shouldn’t be in. It will also stop being there pick twelve which is one of the best things about it.
Another card that is being drafted too late still is Genasi Rabble-Rouser with a current ALSA of 5.38. I’m expecting that to rise up to the four range over the next couple weeks. It’s secretly one of the top commons in the set.
Since the format is so fast and tempo based, Kobold Warcaller is actually a good card. It enables some surprise Double Team action or keeps the pressure on. Your opponent has to account for it or risk getting blitzed out in the middle of nowhere.
Double Team is fabulous because it completely ignores the usual decision between being aggressive vs building card advantage. Why not just have both by refilling your hand while beating face. This makes it impossible to play a normal attrition-based plan against it.
Adventure is another amazing ability. Also, alliteration is awesome. Even in a format dictated by tempo, this is a great way to gain value without falling too far behind. Stalling with Sword Coast Serpent is sweet. (Editors Note: Josh is a giant Jerk)
Removal is premium in Baldur’s Gate. You need a way to deal with Double Team and Specialize before they have a chance to get value. There’s also a lot of large creatures that pose a serious problem if you don’t handle the situation. I know we’ve had a bit of as shift away from removal over the years, but IT’S BACK BABY!!! Take removal, Profit.
Five color is a viable option. WHAT?!? We can all pick our jaws off the floor. Just play busted cards and fixing. There are amazing common fixers in Undercellar Myconid and Pilgrim's Eye that even provide some speed bumps to slow down the aggro train. Even Shambling Ghast gets in on some fixer action while providing a huge deterrent to Boros decks.
If you are playing the multicolor cracked cards deck, make sure you have a viable plan to get to the late game. I would also recommend trying it in Bo3 over Bo1.
You should check out my instants guide for a full run down, but I want to highlight the three that matter the most.
Blessed Hippogriff is very adept at just tossing someone into the dumpster. Its so cheap that it is hard to play around this, mostly just look out for trades that are too good to be true.
Deadly Dispute is a straight clobbering if they have it in response to removal. If it seems like they have it, try to bait them into using it on a chump block before trying to kill the creature.
Dread Linnorm is a huge blowout if you walk into it. You end up down a creature while they suddenly have a much bigger monster. If your green opponent suspiciously holds up four mana and you don’t have a way to interrupt it, you probably don’t want to attack. If you do have an instant speed way to interrupt it, then try to walk them right into it so you get to take away their big snake dragon too.
These are the Pack One Pick One (p1p1) no doubt, windmill slam, just take them rares of the set. These are not in rank order, just take these over any uncommon or common.
- Chaos Balor
- Klement, Novice Acolyte
- Lae'zel, Githyanki Warrior
Minsc & Boo, Timeless Heroes
- Prosper, Tome-Bound
- Raphael, Fiendish Savior
- Tasha, Unholy Archmage
- The Hourglass Coven
- Wrathful Red Dragon
These might be uncommons, but they sure don’t play like they are.
Do Not Draft List
These are the ones that some people talk themselves into, but you should always pass.
What did we learn here? This format is crazier than… Actually, let’s just say it is nuttier than squirrel poop. It makes a nice change up from the normal draft sets, but would be terrible if every set was like this. So, enjoy your adventures into the asylum that is Alchemy Horizons: Baldur’s Gate and I’ll be back soon with my next article.
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