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 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.
- 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.
|Nadaar, Selfless Paladin||5|
|Monk of the Open Hand||12|
|Icingdeath, Frost Tyrant||4|
|Guardian of Faith||8|
|Grand Master of Flowers||5|
|The Book of Exalted Deeds||10|
|Potion of Healing||12|
|Priest of Ancient Lore||6|
|You Hear Something on Watch||9|
|You’re Ambushed on the Road||12|
|Adult Gold Dragon||3|
|Barrowin of Clan Undurr||7|
|Farideh, Devil's Chosen||5|
|Hama Pashar, Ruin Seeker||6|
|Kalain, Reclusive Painter||8|
|Krydle of Baldur's Gate||7|
|Minsc, Beloved Ranger||9|
|Orcus, Prince of Undeath||2|
|Shessra, Death's Whisper||9|
|Targ Nar, Demon-Fang Gnoll||7|
|Trelasarra, Moon Dancer||6|
|Volo, Guide to Monsters||4|
|Xanathar, Guild Kingpin||1|
|Iymrith, Desert Doom||1|
|Grazilaxx, Illithid Scholar||6|
|Contact Other Plane||9|
|The Blackstaff of Waterdeep||13|
|Bar the Gate||10|
|Aberrant Mind Sorcerer||8|
|Power of Persuasion||11|
|Ray of Frost||9|
|Rimeshield Frost Giant||10|
|Scion of Stygia||10|
|Split the Party||9|
|Tasha’s Hideous Laughter||14|
|You Come to a River||9|
|You Find the Villains’ Lair||11|
|You See a Guard Approach||13|
|Bag of Holding||9|
|The Deck of Many Things||7|
|Eye of Vecna||12|
|Fifty Feet of Rope||12|
|Hand of Vecna||7|
|Spiked Pit Trap||9|
|Eyes of the Beholder||11|
|Death-Priest of Myrkul||7|
|Check for Traps||11|
|The Book of Vile Darkness||14|
|Asmodeus the Archfiend||8|
|Acererak the Archlich||4|
|Herald of Hadar||11|
|Lolth, Spider Queen||2|
|Power Word Kill||6|
|Ray of Enfeeblement||8|
|Sphere of Annihilation||6|
|Cave of the Frost Dragon||6|
|Den of the Bugbear||7|
|Hall of Storm Giants||7|
|Hive of the Eye Tyrant||8|
|Lair of the Hydra||7|
|Temple of the Dragon Queen||8|
|Battle Cry Goblin||7|
|Boots of Speed||13|
|Delina, Wild Mage||6|
|Hobgoblin Bandit Lord||7|
|Inferno of the Star Mounts||2|
|Kick in the Door||12|
|Minion of the Mighty||14|
|Orb of Dragonkind||13|
|Price of Loyalty||11|
|You Come to the Gnoll Camp||12|
|You Find Some Prisoners||11|
|You See a Pair of Goblins||9|
|Zalto, Fire Giant Duke||9|
|Zariel, Archduke of Avernus||4|
|Choose Your Weapon||11|
|Circle of Dreams Druid||11|
|Circle of the Moon Druid||9|
|Dire Wolf Prowler||12|
|Find the Path||9|
|Hill Giant Herdgorger||9|
|Instrument of the Bards||14|
|Spoils of the Hunt||8|
|Varis, Silverymoon Ranger||5|
|Werewolf Pack Leader||6|
|You Find a Cursed Idol||11|
|You Happen On a Glade||8|
|You Meet in a Tavern||11|
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!
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 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.
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!
The changelog will be added to when written updates are posted!
- July 13, 2021: First version posted, after the release day of AFR.