Kaldheim Draft: The format's evolution

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Kaldheim Draft: The format's evolution

Today we'll analyze Kaldheim's draft metagame and what points to explore one month after the release.

By Luiz, 02/28/21, translated by Humberto

Greetings, After a break to the Sealed format, looking forward to the Arena Open, it's time to go back to my favourite format. In today's article I intend to address how the format is doing and what has changed in the meantime in relation to our first analysis, and how I have been playing on this metagame.
Snow
One of the features I like most about Draft is the fact that it corrects itself. When players identify some powerful mechanics as Snow, what happens is that it starts to get more and more prioritized when choosing cards.

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If only one of the eight at the table knows that Snow is good, he'll end up with all the mechanic cards that were opened for him, and consequently will have a great deck. If four people know this, they are willing to fight for the deck and do not drop the bone, what is the result? Four people will have a bad deck, as they will not have enough reward density for the Snow mechanic to work well in their deck. And when you end up with a mediocre Snow deck, you'll lose both to good Snow decks that have higher card quality than yours, and to aggressive decks that are too fast and resilient. My impression is that people in general are correctly evaluating the cards in this case, and we are closer to the second scenario. Personally I have avoided starting with cards that need a lot of snow, prioritizing only the “splashable snow” cards (examples below) that pass, or even not getting involved with the theme in any way - building Selesnya or Boros Aggro.

Heavy Snow

Splashable Snow

Starting with powerful cards that require little snow allows you to move out to a solid two-color deck during the draft, grab some lands in timely picks and still enjoy the cards.

Berg Strider

in particular is fantastic and even better in multiples and it is worth the effort to secure 3 or 4 snow sources. Do not forget that even if Snow is being "overdrafted" by the rest of the world, every now and then this deck will be the right option for your place at the table. A lot of attention at this time: it is not because the archetype is not as open as in the early days of the format that it should be disregarded.
The Black Color
Speaking of things I have avoided, the black color in this format is one of them. There are some strong rares in this color, but when we look at the commons, what is really good after

Feed the Serpent

?

Golgari

Elves tribal may work, but you depend on rare payoffs. A deck that is just commons and uncommons doesn't get very far as the cards don't do much on their own.

Dimir

Want to play Control in Draft? You need to have a very strong bomb that is worth all the effort to respond to your opponent's threats and stabilize the board. If you're not starting with this bomb - and realizing that these two colors are open enough to have the tools you need - this archetype is a trap. Controlling the game is not enough, you need something that effectively ends it.

Orzhov

There are good Orzhov decks with a white base - you take advantage of the synergy in white and complement it with black when the color is open. However, the "doublespell" deck is much more fragile and slower than it looked, and it doesn't work if you don't draw your cards at the right time and sequence. If you want to play in white, Boros and Selesnya are still the best options.

Rakdos

The best archetype in the color, is basically what happens when you already have the aggressive red base and Black appears as a secondary color option. It's not unlike Boros Aggro, you want cheap creatures, equipment and combat tricks. Perhaps your deck is slightly slower - black creatures are worse than white ones in aggression, but they generate some value otherwise.

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Happily, it seems the rest of the world haven't realized it yet. Following this page on the 17 Lands website, we see that

Feed the Serpent

is still highly prioritized by players; I would say that this card may look good but starting a draft with it is a trap when we look at the context of the edition. Today I say that I would enter black only by a very insane bomb - depending on the option, not really - or if it appears in the middle of pack 1 that the color is completely open, with cards like

Poison the Cup

being passed later than they should.
The Red Color
On the good stuff side of things, I think it's safe to assume that red is the best color of the format and the most flexible as well.
These are basicly the best common removals of the format, and

Demon Bolt

is the second best common of the format. No other colors has interactions with such mana efficiency.
These are the staples when we look at aggression on a red base, but the fact is that they fit well in any strategy in the color. Cavalry allows you to turn games very quickly. Firewalker produces card advantage with each attack. Hulk has the “big creature” mechanic and forces the opponent to a double block, which allows to maximize the star

Run Amok

- as explained in the Aggro guide. Starting a draft with some red cards in a row makes me very comfortable in that format. While "planting our flag" in red - which is not difficult since the quality of the cards is high - we can identify what our secondary color will be from what is going through the table and end up with a great deck. Starting from the more aggressive combinations like Boros and Rakdos, to the slightly larger Gruul, to the Izzet that works very well as both midrange and control.
(The Other Colors
Considering red at the top and black at the bottom, my conclusion is that the other colors are very close together and there is no clear ranking. Personally, I have favored White because it is a very synergistic color to itself and it works very well with the Equipment plan that we have already discussed in this article.
Blue is also a very flexible color like Red, supporting aggressive decks with

Berg Strider

who often puts the coffin lid on the opponent, or

Mistwalker

who holds the game and then turns it around quickly. It only sins on removals that are somewhat conditional and often disappointing.
And green, despite leading naturally to the Snow plan, still has tools suitable for aggressive decks such as good removal, in addition to the best common of the format. Seriously, don't pass

Sarulf’s Packmate

. And lately

Jaspera Sentinel

is a card that has only risen in my concept, shining every time it enters the deck.
Best Commons, Uncommons and Rares by context
A small heuristic: in the first pick of the draft you always get the best card. From pick 2, try to identify which is the best booster card out of context, and which card best matches what you have already taken. Are the two answers the same card? Great, an easy pick! If they are not, you have to weigh what you will lose and win with each of the options. As the late poet Chorão would say, “for each choice a renounce, this is the Draft”.

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We will present which are the best uncommons of the set and what their priority over the best common ones -

Sarulf’s Packmate

,

Demon Bolt

,

Behold the Multiverse

. They are not in an exact order within each "tier"; it is a point that yields interesting discussions and in which the decision will often depend on its own biases.

Better uncommons than Packmate

Uncommons comparable to Packmate, better than Bolt

Uncommons comparable to Bolt, better than Behold

Uncommons comparable to Behold, better than other commons

Commons that complete my top 10

Rares and Mythics better than Svella, in no particular order

And that's all, folks! I hope that these ideas can clarify your beginnings of Drafts in this dangerous and super complex land that is Kaldheim. If you have questions about the format or suggestions for topics to address in the next articles, please don't hesitate to leave them in the comments! You can find me on Twitch, YouTube or Twitter.
Bonus: Example deck
Our classic Fatal Plow deck, in green version.

King Harald's Revenge

is even better than

Run Amok

in some situations. The weakest card in the deck, believe it or not, was Vorinclex.
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Demonstrating the power of fixing in this format, a Selesnya filled with bombs without having to get involved in the Snow themes to allow splashes.
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Thank you very much for your attention and see you next time! Good luck opening your boosters, and have good drafts!

Grade

0

Kaldheim Draft Limited
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Luiz

30 years old and father, plays Magic in his spare time. Booster Draft enthusiast, he met the game in 2000.

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