M20 Limited: Picking The Top Rares and MythicsPaolo
Last time (Picking The Top Common and Uncommons) we have reviewed commons and un-commons of the incoming core set 2020 while today we will focus in rares and mythics which are usually the top end of our limited decks. Every color has one mythic planeswalker and a cycle of cavaliers in the 5 mana slot, all coming down with triple mana of their color which will make them hard to cast on curve in a multicolor deck (so take care of this aspect when you will build your manabase…). Let’s breakdown the most powerful cards of this set!
Ajani, Strength of the Pride is the cherry on top of a WG go-wide deck: upticking him will most probably gains you tons of life so that with his ultimate you have a free wrath effect that will punish only your opponent. It is also a very good inclusion in Orzhov life-matter decks. Cavalier of Dawn will allows you to get rid of any problematic permanent giving in exchange a medium body to your opponent; the alternative triggered ability is very situational so I’m not that high on this card even if a 4/6 vigilance is no joke.
Regarding the rares there are 2 limited bombs in the form of Sephara, Sky’s Blade and Brought Back.The Angel is huge and is a perfect fit for the UW flyer archetype. The impressive body supported by flying evasion and lifelink will ends every game quickly if left unchecked. The static ability is also very strong protecting your flyers threat from almost everything. The WW instant instead allows you to recover after a bloody combat step giving you a really big edge on your opponent. Don’t forget that you can also bring back a cracked Evolving Wilds !
Mu Yanling, Sky Dancer is probably my favorite planeswalker of the set: it comes down with 4 loyalties for just 1UU protecting himself downgrading your opponent’s creature (if he has any when you curve it out on the play…). Downthicking him will gives a huge flying threat as early as turn 4 and the ultimate is really strong giving you infinite card advantage throughout the game. Cavalier of Gales is a huge flying menace to the health points of your opponent, gives you a Brainstorm effect when enters the battlefield and when it dies you will have a small chance to draw it immediately back thanks to its secondary triggered ability. Is a card I’m already in love with!
Blue rares are not that much outstanding with the best being by far Leyline of Anticipation : giving flash to ALL of your spells will be a nightmare for your opponents allowing you to play the typical land-go game of a controller mage even when you have a pure aggro deck: your opponent will always blindly attack when the Leyline is by your side: good luck mate!!! This card is really a bomb and it’s worthy a splash even if you are not playing Blue at all. Dungeon Geists is a good flyer for its cost with a built in removal that will oblige your opponent to get rid of it quickly. Drawn from Dreams lets you dig through 7 cards of your deck so basically you can find whatever you need. Atemsis, All-Seeing is another late game card draw engine even if it has a prohibitive casting cost (3UUU)
Sorin, Imperious Bloodlord would be at its best in a vampire deck but there are only 6 vampires in this set (3 commons, 2 un-commons and 1 rare) so this circumstance downgrade him a lot. I’m not that high on Sorin unless I open in my first pack and build all my draft around him or it happens to a have multiples copies of vampires in my sealed pool which sounds unlikely anyway. Cavalier of Night instead is quite strong allowing you to exchange some fodder for your opponent best creature and giving you back on the battlefield another body when it dies.
Black rares are medium overall: Leyline of the Void (might be a playable sideboard card against BG decks that want to abuse graveyard synergies) and Scheming Symmetry (are you sure you want to give your opponents the chance to dig for their bomb and drawing it before you ? No thanks!) aren’t main deck playables as well as Legion’s End (how many 2 drops there are in M20 limited that you want to get rid of? Not that many). Embodiment of Agonies is a great card for the late game (it will always be an undercosted flying threat) but is really unplayable in the early stages. Dread Presence instead is an absurd bomb in every 2 color deck playing at least 10 swamps. Rotting Regisaur is no joke but the downside is too big in limited and there are so many answers to him that I’m not that high. Vilis, Broker of Blood is a real powerhouse end will end the game quickly if you succeed to cast it and your opponent doesn’t have a quick answer. Finally we have the best 1 mana drop of the set represented by Knight of the Ebon Legion : It is a 4/5 deathtouch attacking creature as early as turn 3 that oblige your opponent to chumpblock every turn if he doesn’t want to let him grow further. This is the typical creature I’m scared to see early in my opponent board.
Chandra, Awakened Inferno is an absolute bomb comimg down with the absurd amount of 8 loyalties that will set a clock over the health point of your opponent no matter what. Downticking her risks to be a wrath of god saving your elementals from her fury while the –X ability will kill and exile almost everything you want. This the typical “I win” card that you will always be happy to pull out. Cavalier of Flame on the opposite is not that impressive at all. The activated ability is quite good but the triggered ones are medium: how many lands or useless spell you want to discard by turn 5 in order to loot? If the answer is more than 1 then you are not in a good spot and is not granted that you will improve. Last one is good in a UR looting deck that abuses the “draw a card, then discard a card” ability with some evolving wilds to add some juice
Chandra, Acolyte of Flame is great in RG elemental archetype providing (potentially) buffed creatures every turn; if you then cope her with Chandra Regulator you have a real powerhouse. Drakuseth, Maw of Flames is a bomb, killing potentially 3 of your opponent’s creatures or dealing 4 damage direct to the dome on top of his 7 points of flying damage: good luck dealing with this powerful dragon!
Vivien, Arkbow Ranger is a really strong planeswalker despite the casting cost will make it hard to cast on curve in a 3 color Limited deck. All the abilities are really powerful and check out the last one because will give you access to sideboard cards to eventually deal with specific threat. Cavalier of Thorns has great stats compared to the casting cost, shutting down all the flyers included in common and un-common slots. It also ramps you up of one land and gives you back whatever you want from your graveyard when it dies: Is a card I will always be happy to play!
Talking about green rares we have a good 1 drop like Elvish Reclaimer which synergies very well with Blue and red looting cards (plenty of them in M20). Nightpack Ambusher can be a downgraded Biogenic Ooze and if it happens to open it in your first pack of the draft you should then grab all the Ferocious Pup and Wolfkin Bond you will find later (they are good playables anyway). Shifting Ceratops will be a nightmare for every Blue mage and has really good stats. Even Voracious Hydra is a bomb giving you a 8/9 trumpling body for just 6 mana or a built in removal.
Gold, Colorless, Lands
All the gold Mythic creatures are impressive with exception of Kethis, the Hidden Hand (you won’t have so many lengends in your deck to justify it so it risks to be a 3/4 that doesn’t do nothing), the best being probably Omnath, Locus of the Roil (great finisher for RG Elemental archetype, which can easly splash Blue) and Yarok, the Desecrated (which is a living Panharmonicon). Wtch out also Kaalia, Zenith Seeker that can draws you a couple of additional bodies with a bit of luck.
In the rare slot we have Bag of Holding as a nice looting factory, Golos, Tireless Pilgrim that fix your mana and ramps you up towards high ceiling 6 mana slot and Icon of Ancestry which is an absolute must have for RG elemental deck. All the scry lands are very good balancing the downside of coming down tapped with their scry1 ability which can be crucial avoiding mana flood/screw issues. Field of the Dead is a really strong land in the mid / late game providing you a body for every land entering the battlefield on your side after the sixth one
We hope this exhaustive guide will helps you in the deck building process of your pre-release.