The defining feature of Alara Reborn is that every single card is multicolor. Multicolor cards are known for their high power level and efficiency, and accordingly, this set is the most impressive of the block, containing a wealth of efficient removal, powerful threats, and card advantage. It brings the Shards of Alara full circle, cementing the five Shards but also demanding that players be open to splashing colors if they are to make the most of what the set offers. Playing just two colors will severely restrict options available in pack three, while playing four or more opens up a world of opportunity. For this reason, my preferred strategy when drafting the full Shards of Alara block is to embrace all five colors and gain access to the highest-quality cards available. My strategy is to spend the first pack selecting all of the high-quality mana-fixing available, and spend the third pack reaping the benefits by selecting an excellent card, no matter the color, each and every pick. My draft today shows how I do it:
Alara Reborn cards of note:
There is a cycle of landcycling creatures for each allied color pair (Valley Rannett, Sanctum Plowbeast, Pale Recluse, Igneous Pouncer, Jhessian Zombies) that can find two different types of land. They are fantastic fixing, particularly because they cycle for colorless mana, and they double as relevant pieces of board presence later in the game.
There's a cycle of two-color Borderposts for each allied color pair (Fieldmist Borderpost, et al) that can replace a land drop or be cast like a tapped Obelisk. They are strong fixing, but should typically be counted as a land spot in deckbuilding. They are particularly valuable because they satisfy the requirement of being a colored permanent, which is critical to take advantage of various cards, like Sedraxis Alchemist and Parasitic Strix in Conflux, and an Alara Reborn cycle, the two-mana "blade" creatures.
Jund Hackblade, Grixis Grimblade, Esper Stormblade, Bant Sureblade, and Naya Hushblade are efficient two-mana creatures, and their hybrid mana costs make them highly accessible and easy to cast. Their abilities differ in value, but they are all excellent creatures in any deck with access.
Alara Reborn introduces cascade, which offers an effect and then a chance at another spell for even more value. The uncommon offerings, Bituminous Blast, Bloodbraid Elf, and Enlisted Wurm, are among the best cards in the set, while commons like Violent Outburst, Deny Reality, and Captured Sunlight are great role players.
Some people consider Behemoth Sledge to be the single best limited card in the set, so if one comes your way, do your best to play it! What's your favorite card in Alara Reborn? What about in the full block? How do you like to draft the format? In my first draft this week I got absolutely wrecked round one by a two-color R/G Aggro deck loaded with haste creatures like Rip-Clan Crasher, Jund Hackblade, and even Bloodbraid Elf, so I know my way isn't the only way. Share your thoughts in the comments, and I'll answer any questions!