D&D: Adventures in the Forgotten Realms (AFR) Limited Tier List

MTG Arena Zone’s Limited Tier Lists rank every in the set, to provide a guideline you can use to pick cards for your draft deck or to build your sealed deck. Full written updates will be noted in the changelog at the bottom, but Drifter regularly makes minor grade changes as he rethinks some cards, so the Tier List will be up to date for as long as AFR is the current set. Make sure to bookmark this page to come back to later!

Legend

Who is rating?

Legend examples are from the last set/s, so you have a recent reference point.

  • S: Ridiculous bomb: has a huge immediate impact on the game and threatens to dominate it if unanswered. Often hard to answer. (Professor Onyx, Kaya the Inexorable, Emeria’s Call)
  • A: Bomb or one of the best cards in your deck, pulls you strongly into its colour. (A+: Tanazir Quandrix, A: Sparring Regimen, A-: Swords to Plowshares)
  • B: Great playable: happy to pick early, pulls you into its colour or archetype. (B+: Igneous Inspiration, B: Returned Pastcaller B-: Frost Trickster)
  • C+: Good playable that rarely gets cut, or very good in the right deck. (Pigment Storm, Karok Wrangler, Divide by Zero)
  • C: Fine playable, sometimes gets cut. (Snow Day, Leech Fanatic, Fortifying Draught)
  • C-: Mediocre playable or decent filler, gets cut around half the time. (Sudden Breakthrough, Arcane Subtraction, Vortex Runner)
  • D: Medium to bad filler, gets cut a lot. (D+: Springmane Cervin, D: Hall Monitor, D-: Detention Vortex)
  • F: Cards that are unplayable in the vast majority of decks. (Dragon’s Approach, Secret Rendezvous, Fracture since it’s a sideboard card in most sets)

Grades are based on maindeck power level; if a card is good in the sideboard, I will mention it in the review. Every grade can have a sub-grade within it, but the differences are most pronounced in the C-Category, so they have their own description. Beyond that, a B+ means it’s almost an A, but not quite.

Notes

  • This tier list tries to capture “overall power level”. For more details, check out the introduction and mission statement.
  • To check out what I thought about each card and read a description of the circumstances in which they’re good or bad, check out the Limited Set Reviews linked near the bottom.
  • This tier list is primarily intended for Draft, but should still be useful for Sealed, with some adjustments. For more info, check out my General Sealed Strategy Guide.
  • Two colour gold cards should be taken lower early on – you won’t be able to play them unless you’re specifically in those colours. The amount lower varies set by set, so here’s a guideline for this one.
  • Colourless cards should be taken about a grade higher early on, because they can go in any deck.
  • Sideboard-only cards are rated as though they would go in the maindeck i.e. they usually receive bad ratings. Make sure to check out the sideboarding guide if you’re playing best-of-three.
White
Oswald Fiddlebender9
Nadaar, Selfless Paladin5
Moon-Blessed Cleric9
Monk of the Open Hand12
Minimus Containment8
Loyal Warhound8
Keen-Eared Sentry12
Ingenious Smith8
Icingdeath, Frost Tyrant4
Half-Elf Monk9
Guardian of Faith8
Grand Master of Flowers5
Gloom Stalker11
Flumph13
Dwarfhold Champion9
Dragon’s Disciple11
Divine Smite14
Devoted Paladin10
Delver’s Torch11
Dawnbringer Cleric9
Dancing Sword6
Cloister Gargoyle8
Cleric Class8
Celestial Unicorn8
The Book of Exalted Deeds10
Blink Dog11
Arborea Pegasus9
+2 Mace9
Paladin Class3
Paladin’s Shield12
Planar Ally8
Plate Armor6
Portable Hole9
Potion of Healing12
Priest of Ancient Lore6
Rally Maneuver9
Ranger’s Hawk11
Steadfast Paladin8
Teleportation Circle6
Veteran Dungeoneer9
White Dragon7
You Hear Something on Watch9
You’re Ambushed on the Road12
Multicolored
Adult Gold Dragon3
Bard Class14
Barrowin of Clan Undurr7
Bruenor Battlehammer6
Drizzt Do'Urden4
Farideh, Devil's Chosen5
Fighter Class6
Gretchen Titchwillow5
Hama Pashar, Ruin Seeker6
Kalain, Reclusive Painter8
Krydle of Baldur's Gate7
Minsc, Beloved Ranger9
Monk Class4
Orcus, Prince of Undeath2
Rogue Class8
Shessra, Death's Whisper9
Skeletal Swarming5
Sorcerer Class13
Targ Nar, Demon-Fang Gnoll7
Tiamat13
Trelasarra, Moon Dancer6
Triumphant Adventurer5
Volo, Guide to Monsters4
Xanathar, Guild Kingpin1
Blue
Mind Flayer3
Iymrith, Desert Doom1
Guild Thief12
Grazilaxx, Illithid Scholar6
Fly9
Feywild Trickster7
Eccentric Apprentice7
Dragon Turtle7
Djinni Windseer7
Displacer Beast8
Demilich8
Contact Other Plane9
Clever Conjurer8
Charmed Sleep8
Blue Dragon10
The Blackstaff of Waterdeep13
Bar the Gate10
Arcane Investigator9
Air-Cult Elemental7
Aberrant Mind Sorcerer8
Mordenkainen1
Mordenkainen’s Polymorph12
Pixie Guide8
Power of Persuasion11
Ray of Frost9
Rimeshield Frost Giant10
Scion of Stygia10
Secret Door10
Shocking Grasp11
Shortcut Seeker11
Silver Raven12
Soulknife Spy8
Split the Party9
Sudden Insight10
Tasha’s Hideous Laughter14
Trickster’s Talisman10
True Polymorph9
Wizard Class7
Wizard’s Spellbook11
You Come to a River9
You Find the Villains’ Lair11
You See a Guard Approach13
Yuan-Ti Malison5
Colorless
Bag of Holding9
The Deck of Many Things7
Dungeon Map9
Eye of Vecna12
Fifty Feet of Rope12
Greataxe13
Hand of Vecna7
Iron Golem12
Leather Armor14
Mimic13
Spare Dagger12
Spiked Pit Trap9
Treasure Chest13
Black
Grim Bounty6
Gelatinous Cube4
Forsworn Paladin7
Feign Death11
Fates’ Reversal11
Eyes of the Beholder11
Ebondeath, Dracolich3
Dungeon Crawler11
Drider11
Devour Intellect13
Demogorgon’s Clutches11
Death-Priest of Myrkul7
Deadly Dispute9
Clattering Skeletons9
Check for Traps11
The Book of Vile Darkness14
Black Dragon9
Baleful Beholder10
Asmodeus the Archfiend8
Acererak the Archlich4
Grim Wanderer8
Herald of Hadar11
Hired Hexblade10
Hoard Robber11
Lightfoot Rogue10
Lolth, Spider Queen2
Manticore9
Power Word Kill6
Precipitous Drop8
Ray of Enfeeblement8
Reaper’s Talisman5
Sepulcher Ghoul8
Shambling Ghast10
Skullport Merchant6
Sphere of Annihilation6
Thieves’ Tools10
Vampire Spawn10
Vorpal Sword7
Warlock Class10
Westgate Regent4
Wight7
Yuan-Ti Fang-Blade8
Zombie Ogre8
Lands
Cave of the Frost Dragon6
Den of the Bugbear7
Dungeon Descent13
Evolving Wilds8
Hall of Storm Giants7
Hive of the Eye Tyrant8
Lair of the Hydra7
Temple of the Dragon Queen8
Treasure Vault12
Red
Armory Veteran9
Barbarian Class8
Battle Cry Goblin7
Boots of Speed13
Brazen Dwarf11
Burning Hands8
Chaos Channeler6
Critical Hit12
Delina, Wild Mage6
Dragon’s Fire6
Dueling Rapier11
Earth-Cult Elemental10
Farideh’s Fireball9
Flameskull8
Goblin Javelineer11
Goblin Morningstar8
Hoarding Ogre10
Hobgoblin Bandit Lord7
Hobgoblin Captain7
Hulking Bugbear8
Improvised Weaponry9
Inferno of the Star Mounts2
Jaded Sell-Sword10
Kick in the Door12
Magic Missile6
Meteor Swarm3
Minion of the Mighty14
Orb of Dragonkind13
Plundering Barbarian8
Price of Loyalty11
Red Dragon7
Rust Monster8
Swarming Goblins8
Tiger-Tribe Hunter9
Unexpected Windfall11
Valor Singer9
Wish12
Xorn9
You Come to the Gnoll Camp12
You Find Some Prisoners11
You See a Pair of Goblins9
Zalto, Fire Giant Duke9
Zariel, Archduke of Avernus4
Green
Bulette10
Bull’s Strength10
Choose Your Weapon11
Circle of Dreams Druid11
Circle of the Moon Druid9
Compelled Duel12
Dire Wolf Prowler12
Druid Class9
Ellywick Tumblestrum6
Elturgard Ranger8
Find the Path9
Froghemoth6
Gnoll Hunter9
Green Dragon9
Hill Giant Herdgorger9
Hunter’s Mark8
Inspiring Bard9
Instrument of the Bards14
Intrepid Outlander7
Loathsome Troll9
Long Rest9
Lurking Roper8
Neverwinter Dryad9
Ochre Jelly5
Old Gnawbone6
Owlbear6
Plummet14
Prosperous Innkeeper8
Purple Worm7
Ranger Class3
Ranger’s Longbow12
Scaled Herbalist12
Spoils of the Hunt8
Sylvan Shepherd10
The Tarrasque10
Underdark Basilisk10
Varis, Silverymoon Ranger5
Wandering Troubadour6
Werewolf Pack Leader6
Wild Shape11
You Find a Cursed Idol11
You Happen On a Glade8
You Meet in a Tavern11
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Drifter

I’ve been enthralled by Limited ever since I began playing Magic a decade ago. With a particular fondness for flashback and cube, I’ve drafted more sets than I can count on every platform through wildly different eras. On Arena I draft infinitely, having profited more than 50k gems with a winrate that is usually mid-70%s, and have made top 100 mythic many times. I’ve developed a solid approach and mindset through practice and reflecting on my mistakes, and I feature the techniques I use in my writing and in each session of the Limited coaching service I provide. Consider booking a session today if you’d like to learn in a more hands-on way, with feedback tailored to your strengths and weaknesses!

Check out all my articles here and follow me on Twitter for regular updates, or to ask about coaching!

Limited Set Reviews

This tier list is derived from our in-depth limited set reviews. Find written explanations for all the grades there, though they might be a little out of date as set release gets further and further away!

Splashing

Splashing is when you play cards outside your main colours, and adjust your mana base to account for them – such as playing two red cards in your Blue-Green deck. Should I splash? The two cardinal rules:

  • Is my fixing good enough? The better your fixing, the more you can splash – if you can splash two colours relatively freely, then go nuts – this usually means three or four sources for 1-2 cards; four is better if your main sources aren’t that demanding but you can get away with three. If you have as many as 5 or 6 sources, you can even splash earlier game cards i.e. I would not splash Lightning Strike often on three sources but I would on five. If your mana base is better, then the risk is lesser so you can afford to do greedier things (but remember that playing too many taplands has its own costs, especially for more tempo-oriented decks…). You can only really splash cards with a single cost outside your main colours e.g. it’s impossible to splash 3BB in a Simic deck, but you can splash 3BG, because needing two sources of mana at the same time is incredibly hard while splashing – the number of sources you need on average soars from 3-4 to 6-7 (7-8 in Draft, but Sealed is slower so you can incorporate a little more risk).
  • Is the card actually worth splashing? Remember that cards you splash likely won’t be played on curve, so they need to be good in the late game and they need to be good enough to incur some risk to your mana base. Is the card you’re splashing significantly better than the card you would be putting in instead? It needs to be, or it needs to fill a hole in your deck i.e. if your Simic deck isn’t good at removing stuff, that makes splashing Secure the Scene, usually just an okay card, a lot more appealing.

Sideboarding

Generally, if you’re playing best-of-three, you should take sideboard cards over D-tier cards, assuming their good case is pretty common and you’re not low on playables. Sideboard cards tend to get worse in multiples, unless the “good case” for them is quite common. You might be surprised at how much can constitute a sideboard card – a 1/3 can be a useful sideboard card against a deck full of 2/1s, for example. Remember that after each game, you can click the top right button to view the board again, and check their graveyard and field for what cards they’ve played.

Drifter has written a whole article on this subject, so for more details or to check out his Limited Spotlight series, click this link!

AFR Tips

The full tips article is under construction, please check back in a few days! Until then, you can find small tips sections at the bottom of the Limited Set Reviews.

Changelog

The changelog will be added to when written updates are posted!

  • July 13, 2021: First version posted, after the release day of AFR.

Drifter

Drifter is a draft and strategy specialist, with hundreds of articles under his belt! Of special mention are his Limited Reviews and draft coaching service.

8 Responses

  1. Nutlaw says:

    Looks like some Strixhaven black cards landed on the list.

    Thanks for the articles! Very helpful!

  2. Bryan says:

    F for leather armor? Have you played with that card??

  3. TerryHintz says:

    Tiger-Tribe Hunter at C- is just disrespectful

    • Drifter says:

      I’m going to raise that to C – it has been overperforming some in my games. Nevertheless, I still think it’s too understatted and there’s too much competition from better 5 drops to warrant a grade higher than that, at least for now.

  4. Chrysologus says:

    I swept a pre-release with Grand Master of Flowers and would give him an A at least!

  5. Friedl says:

    Hi!
    First of all, thanks for your effort, i really like to read through all the card and strategic explanations.
    One minor question: When the grade of a card in the overview table and the colour description differ, i think you have updated your grading. Which one is the actual one? The one in the table, right?
    cheers, Friedl

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