War of the Spark Limited Guide (Part 2)
Welcome to Part 2 of my WAR Guide! Now that we have established the format, its archetypes, and which Bomb rares you should always take, you are likely wondering which cards to prioritize in draft. So let’s get right into it. I am going to select the six best commons and uncommons for each color, and will discuss which colors are more thin or run deeper in my explanations.
Gideon’s Triumph, Prison Realm, and Sunblade Angel are all universally good and splashable. Notice that Gideon’s Triumph doesn’t have to be played during combat, so you can use it creatively at times to make sure it kills their best creature. Don’t let the 3/3 fool you, Sunblade Angel is a bomb uncommon and does a great job stabilizing and swinging games in your favor. Grateful Apparition can be one of your best cards in the right deck, but make sure Proliferate matters. I am conflicted on The Wanderer, but when it is good its REALLY good. Teyo is pretty meh but is an interesting build-around and I said I would choose six for each color.
Law-Rune Enforcer and Trusted Pegasus are both fantastic cards and good early picks. Rising Populace can be very good in a creature deck and I have seen them get very big. Divine Arrow and Battlefield Promotion are great tricks, and I love that Promotion provides a counter to proliferate. Wanderer’s Strike is better than it looks in this slower format, and the proliferate is a solid bonus in a lot of deck. Overall I think white is pretty thin, but there are some standout cards that make it worth playing/splashing.
Eternal Skylord and Kasmina both came up in Part 1 because they are absolute Bombs and often play like rares. Divination… I mean Jace’s Triumph is always good in Limited, but the other three are more situational. Bond of Insight is very good in the Izzet Spells deck, while Flux Channeler is very good in decks that can benefit from Proliferate. I think Channeler is very underrated because noncreature decks tend to be bad in Limited, but in this format it is not unusual to have 9-10 potential triggers. I think Narset is underrated for the same reason. A lot of Blue decks are going to have enough targets to reliably draw extra cards, often having a choice in them. The ability has been relevant in a few games for me as well. In some decks Rescuer Sphinx is going to be better, though.
Blue is pretty stacked. Aven Eternal is the best common, followed by Callous Dismissal, Thunder Drake, and Tamiyo’s Epiphany. You can think of Dismissal as a 2 mana proliferatable 1/1 that bounces a permanent. Thunder Drake is easy to trigger at least once, so a 3/4 proliferatable flyer for 4 mana is a great deal. Contentious Plan is a staple in Blue decks that want extra Proliferate triggers. Erratic Visionary is kind of boring but gets the job done, blocking well and looting when needed.
Black has some solid uncommons for sure. None of these are exceptional but they are all strong playables. Dreadmalkin is probably the most controversial one here, but I have played it in several decks and deem the zombie cat worthy. Menace is so great in this format due to opponents often trying to protect important Planeswalkers with few creatures. It is the type of creature that your opponents don’t want to waste removal on but punishes them if they don’t. Ob Nixilis can be awkward depending on the board state, but it has such a high upside that it deserves being here.
Black was gifted some premium commons. Spark Harvest and Ob Nixilis’s Cruelty are both great reasons to be running the color. Herald and Lazotep Reaver are your staple common creatures. Spark Reaper and Toll of the Invasion are a little lower in power, but both are good playables in my opinion. Some people are pretty low on Spark Reaper but I have found that games tend to go long enough to cash in on him.
Jaya and Tibalt are my favorites here. If you can make a deck Red enough Jaya in particular really shines. The Rager and the Twins are strongly playable creatures, and Chandra’s Triumph is the best Red removal spell. Electromancer is the most questionable card here, but I think it is a strong addition to the Izzet Spells deck.
Jaya’s Greeting and Spellgorger Weird are my favorites here. Raging Kronch and Ahn-Crop Invader are solid third turn threats, but both require friends. Burning Prophet has suprised me with its utility. It can work in aggressive decks but also as a blocker/scryer in spell-bases ones. Heartfire isn’t as good as it looks because of the additional cost, but I still think it edges out Chandra’s Pyrohelix (another decent removal spell) for a spot here due to its ability to finish off a player.
Last but certainly not least, we have Green. All of these uncommons are excellent. I absolutely love playing Green in this format, and hopefully it is obvious why. Evolution Sage and Mowu are my favorites at Uncommon, but both Planeswalkers are awesome and Paradise Druid and Challenger Troll both contribute a lot to your deck. I was surprised how often Troll’s ability has been relevant, as it often forces opponents to chump instead of stack blocking and actually killing your troll/bloom hulks/whatever else.
Just assembling all of these cards makes me want to draft Green. Band Together is an incredibly good removal spell that is hardly ever seen in Green. Usually you need to fight, but Band Together is a double sucker-punch. Even if you don’t need two creatures to remove something it can be an insurance policy against your opponent removing your creature, and sometimes teaming up is necessary to take down something big. The fact that it is instant speed makes it actually ridiculous. Bloom Hulk is also ridiculous for a common, and you want to draft as many of them as you can if you are in Green. Kronch Wrangler is a perfect two drop to play Bloom Hulk after, as that combo makes your Wrangler a 4/3 trample that can further proliferate. Pollenbright Druid and Courage in Crisis are both better than they look due to the plethora of Proliferating you are often able to pull off in Green decks. New Horizons isn’t necessary in every deck, but it is worth mentioning because it is a key way to run a third color comfortably in this format.
I am most excited about drafting Green, Black, Blue, or the Izzet Spell deck in this format. There are a ton of interesting card interactions and ways to maximize synergy throughout the set. I hope you found my guides valuable in guiding your drafts and deck building. Good luck playing the set and I hope you have as much fun with it as I have had so far!