Welcome back to the final day of our Dragons of Tarkir set review here on TCGplayer.com. All week long we have been breaking down each color and card from the newest set and we will be wrapping that up today with the rest of the multicolored cards as well as black. I have been rather impressed with Dragons of Tarkir thus far and hope that black will keep that momentum going! Afterward, we will be taking a quick look at what I feel are the Top 8 Constructed cards from Dragons of Tarkir, so stick around!

For each card we will be looking at its merits for both Constructed and Limited, with Limited being broken down further into Draft and Sealed ratings. Those ratings are derived from the following pair of scales, though remember that relative ratings to other cards are the best indicator of a card's strength.


Constructed

5: Fives are ever-present cards that heavily warp a format or see heavy play across multiple formats. Jace, the Mind Sculptor, Deathrite Shaman, and Tarmogoyf are good examples of fives.

4: These cards tend to have support roles across multiple formats or be tier one cards in at least one. Spell Pierce is an example of the former while Thragtusk is an example of the latter. I expect to rate a lot of things as fours that are actually fives and vice versa, but in both cases these are going to be highly desired cards.

3: These are the bread and butter cards of a set, usually doing all of the essential things needed for a format, but doing them at a good rate. Cards like Oblivion Ring, Izzet Charm, or Diregraf Ghoul would be found here.

2: These cards are generally much more restrictive in use and application than a three, but they serve a similar purpose. You will see more sideboard or niche cards like Skullcrack, Heartless Summoning, or Gladecover Scout.

1: These are not going to see much play, but they have an outside chance. These tend to be weak or narrow sideboard options or extremely narrow main deck cards. Most ones will not ever make it into a winning list, but they have potential to do so.

0: These are unplayable in Constructed regardless of context. These tend to be the cards designed to balance Limited, like Grizzly Bears or Siege Mastodon or are narrow with a poor output, like Artificer's Hex.

*Any card that gets an X.5 rating just means I can see it falling to either side of the equation given the right metagame or environment.


Limited

The Limited scale used language such as "I draft this over..." but it applies to Sealed in a very similar manner. Essentially, for Sealed you would read it as "I play this over..." instead. So for a 5 in Sealed, you would play that card in your deck 100% of the time.

5: I will take and play this card over everything. Always. Examples: Umezawa's Jitte, Library of Alexandria.

4.: I will take and play this over everything in its same colors and will heavily consider splashing it or switching colors as a result of drafting this or having it in my pool. Incredibly powerful cards that are more difficult to cast will generally get a four or 4.5. Examples: Fireball, Gideon Jura.

3: I will first pick this and take it over most commons/uncommons in its color. These are generally the baseline best commons in a set for each color, like removal, looters, and efficient creatures. Examples: Lightning Strike, Merfolk Looter.

2: I will draft and play these but do not value them highly. These are the typical 5th - 8th picks that generally are the backbone of decks but do not do anything fancy. Inefficient removal and combat tricks tend to hover in the 2.5 area as well. Examples: Hill Giant, Divine Verdict.

1: I generally do not want to pick these highly or play them in my maindeck. These cards are either bad or very niche and only go in specific strategies. In either case, there is a good chance these cards wheel when seen anywhere near the front end of a pack and very little value should be placed on these cards early. Reasonable sideboard cards can be found here, so you should not discount these entirely Examples: Demolish, Merfolk Spy.

0: These are cards that have no value and should not be played in 99.9% of situations. If you take one of these, you had better know what you are getting yourself into. Examples: Progenitus, Sway of the Stars.

With that, on to the cards!


Black

Acid-Spewer Dragon

Constructed: 0

While I think that Typhoid Rats is a cool card, adding five mana on to it for flying is not the best deal in the world. This gets bigger of course, but not big enough to matter really, so its deathtouch is still required as its primary combat stat.

Draft: 2-2.5
Sealed: 3

This dragon at least gets to take down its bigger 4/4 cousins that we have been discussing, so deathtouch has some real value. Still, offering up your six-drop as sacrifice is not the most exciting concept in the world.

Ambuscade Shaman

Constructed: 0

These dash lords are cool in theory, but they feel awful clunky to actually wield as you need them sitting in play which is something you are looking to avoid with dash.

Draft: 3
Sealed: 2.5

I actually had this in my Sealed deck at the prerelease and was quite impressed. Drawing this late just means you have a 4/4 dasher, which is fine, and early on the triggers really added up. I had six total dash guys and it felt like I usually had one to pair with this, so all worked out.

Blood-Chin Fanatic

Constructed: 1.5

I wish this could sacrifice itself, but even without that, I can definitely see this at the top end of a warrior curve. You really want to untap with this and throw two warriors for lethal, but this being a sitting 3/3 does make that tough. The fact that this doesn't help much against sweepers could mean it is a sideboard card for aggressive mirrors where it does a lot.

Draft: 3.5
Sealed: 3.5

If you have even a handful of warriors in your deck (and there are a lot of them, trust me) then this can just finish a game out of nowhere. I saw someone activate this three times in a turn to deal 11 to the opponent. Ouch.

Blood-Chin Rager

Constructed: 1

I totally saw this guy at EDC last year... (crickets). Anyway, while there is not a great deal of places for this guy to go, The Warrior deck might play a few of them as a warrior-fied version of Mogis Marauder, sort of.

Draft: 1.5
Sealed: 1.5

Basically the same thing that was just said about this for Constructed. I will always want this in my warrior heavy decks and basically never want it elsewhere, so draft accordingly.

Butcher's Glee

Constructed: 0

I like all of the text found on this card but the mana cost is the concerning part. We saw Boon of Erebos played quite a bit but that was due to costing only a single mana.

Draft: 2.5
Sealed: 2.5

A great combat trick overall as you are almost always going to trade this with another creature or removal spell. Lifelink helps you to stabilize a bit as well and this enables like half of the wedge keywords in one way or another.

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Coat with Venom

Constructed: 0.5

Like here for example, I feel this is a worse overall output than Butcher's Glee (significantly), but saving two mana means it has more of a chance as some sort of black heroic enabler. That chance is low, but exists.

Draft: 1.5
Sealed: 1.5

This can be a devastating trick when it works, but finding the right spot to get this to work can be tough. If you are rocking a bunch of big walls, then you should be fine, but in normal creature battle, +1/+2 is an odd set of stats to work with. I do like that this counters more red removal for cheap though.

Corpseweft

Constructed: 2

This card actually looks rather powerful to me. It is important to note that the ability is instant speed, meaning this is an actual beating against control. Making a 2/2 for two mana over and over again would have been fine as well, but this even allows you to scale like crazy and possibly make a 10/10 for that same investment. Also works well with Tasigur's ability.

Draft: 4
Sealed: 4

I can't really imagine losing any sort of long game in which I have access to this card. Just be sure to manage your delves correctly, even early on, as you don't want to lose creatures from your yard if you don't have to.

Damnable Pact

Constructed: 2.5

When I first read this I did so as an instant and thought this card was absurd. As is, I still find it to be very good and could give black-but-nonblue control decks some life (while taking it away of course). Note that you can also use this as a Blaze to kill the opponent.

Draft: 4
Sealed: 4

Drawing a bunch of cards is a good way to win a Limited game of Magic. Making someone lose a bunch of life is a good way to win a Limited game of Magic. Damnable Pact is a good way to win a game of Limited Magic.

Deadly Wanderings

Constructed: 1

I thought Homicidal Seclusion was a card that could have easily saw Constructed play but never really pushed through. This basically offers the same chances. Trading out +1/+1 for deathtouch is likely worse overall, but certainly not useless.

Draft: 4
Sealed: 4

Assuming this is anywhere as powerful as Homicidal Seclusion was, this will be a slam first pick that takes over games. There is not a theme of single creature buffs, so going in on the strategy is riskier, but this card is so difficult to beat once it gets online.

Death Wind

Constructed: 0

This asks you to almost always spend more mana than the cost of the creature you are killing and that is not a good recipe for how to gain an edge in Constructed.

Draft: 3
Sealed: 3

An instant speed removal spell that can take out anything given enough mana. This is not the best in the early game where you often cannot kill what you want to, but remember that you can pair this with normal combat damage to use it as a combat trick and take down fatties.

Deathbringer Regent

Constructed: 1

The cast it from your hand clause is always a lame one to me as it is so clearly just a nerf to the card. Because of that, not nearly as many decks are going to be interested in this, although some black control decks might use it as sweepers five and six.

Draft: 4.5
Sealed: 4.5

A Wrath attached to a 5/6 flying dragon? You should probably pick that up. Even at seven mana, this turns any game around and is worth first picking every time in my opinion.

Defeat

Constructed: 1

I don't imagine this will see a ton of play just because it is so restricted in what it can hit and when it can be cast. Still, this kills Courser of Kruphix, Goblin Rabblemaster, and Seeker of the Way all in one card, so I can see it popping up from time to time.

Draft: 2.5
Sealed: 2.5

This is highly Limited in scope but thanks to morphs being in the format, that is more acceptable than would usually be the case. You don't want too many of these as they run the risk of being dead in high numbers, but taking one or two in the middle of the pack should be good for you.

Duress

Constructed: 3

Duress has been hurt quite a bit over the years by the printing of better discard such as Thoughtseize and Inquisition of Kozilek, but it still remains on a short list of options for basically every single format. Standard might actually be the format where it is weakest, but once Thoughtseize rotates in a few months, expect the play of Duress to pick up.

Draft: 1.5-2
Sealed: 2.5

I am usually happy with playing a single copy of Duress, especially in this format where the information has extra value. Snagging a removal spell or bomb is very good but getting knowledge of incoming morphs is also nice. Good out of the sideboard as well.

Dutiful Attendant

Constructed: 0

Outside of looping two of these in some way, I don't see a three mana 1/2 being all too popular. Maybe if Birthing Pod were still around this would at least have a shot.

Draft: 2
Sealed: 2.5

Raise Dead is a fine thing to tag on to my exploit fodder, if I do say so myself. This is not really a factor in combat though, which is disappointing. At least you don't feel bad for getting your chump block on. Note it's a warrior!

Flatten

Constructed: 0

Too expensive to see play over something like Bile Blight and too narrow to see play over something like Silence the Believers. Cool name though!

Draft: 3
Sealed: 3

It is worth talking about instant speed removal and exploit here for a second, since we have a reasonable example here. If someone plays an exploit creature, the exploit trigger goes on to the stack and you can kill that unit with the trigger on the stack to basically disrupt any output. The player will still be allowed to sacrifice a creature, but because the creature that contained the exploit payoff is in the graveyard, doing that will gain you nothing.

Foul Renewal

Constructed: 1.5

This is an interesting card in that it is kind of Kolaghan's Command in monoblack, with your modes locked in. Getting a two-for-one off of this is a real thing that black decks, specifically Jund and Mardu, could really utilize. I am not sure if there is an obvious shell for this, but it should be a fun one to brew with.

Draft: 4
Sealed: 4

Kill their best thing and get yours back. This is weak early when you have an empty graveyard but as the game goes on this is going to just keep getting stronger. Also another instant piece of removal, which we can never have too little of!

Foul-Tongue Invocation

Constructed: 1.5-2

An edict is going to be a highly desired thing with multiple hexproof win conditions floating around in this set, even at three mana. This has a big upside of gaining you four life if you have a dragon. The beauty in this is that four life does not define the card so you will cast it sometimes without the kicker, but it also gets way more powerful when you do kick it.

Draft: 1.5-2
Sealed: 2

Edicts in a world with morph are much worse, in my opinion. If you can get a lonely creature with this, then it will do what you want it to, but often you are working without perfect information and especially with small creatures being around for exploit, I feel this too often comes up weak.

Foul-Tongue Shriek

Constructed: 1

This could be a real tool for warrior decks or just black aggro decks in general as it provides both reach and some life against an opposing aggressive deck. Obviously there are many fail cases with this, but the potential is there!

Draft: 1.5
Sealed: 1.5

You need to have quite the aggressive and creature heavy deck for this to be worth it, but I can see games ending by two of these being put on to the stack for four a piece. Definitely a good "bad" card, if you will.

Gravepurge

Constructed: 1

Gravepurge is a unique card and I always feel it could make a deck given the right conditions. Stacking your deck in any way is doing something that you generally do not get to do and I would love to see someone abuse that.

Draft: 1.5
Sealed: 2.5

This wins most long games as you can either deck your opponent or simply draw more gas than they do due to a stacked deck. You will very rarely want more than one of these, so don't value it too highly.

Hand of Silumgar

Constructed: 1

I always feel that cheap deathtouch creatures tend to not get enough lovin' as reasonable answers to bigger creatures while still supplying some offense on occasion. This picks up the bonus of being a warrior, so it has a better shot than most. Give it a chance!

Draft: 2.5
Sealed: 2.5

This creates some early pressure and works well in The Warrior tribal deck. Beyond that though, this is mostly a Typhoid Rats waiting for the right sized creature to come barking up its tree.

Hedonist's Trove

Constructed: 1.5

I am a huge fan of this card. Back in the day, I used Colfenor's Plans to Top 8 a State Championship and Hedonist's Trove takes me back there. At the time, I was jumping through all sorts of hoops to get around all of the drawbacks that Colfenor's Plans came with but with Trove, the drawbacks have mostly just been funneled into a mana cost of seven and the randomness of an opponent's graveyard, but those feel like things you can work around.

Draft: 2
Sealed: 3

If you can get to seven mana and can successfully untap with this, it should be pretty strong. Unlike a seven mana dragon though, this has no immediate impact on the board, so you need to usually be at least even for this to be a safe play.

Kolaghan Skirmisher

Constructed: 0

A bear by any other name... Dash is neat, but not particularly strong in this case. Moving on!

Draft: 1.5
Sealed: 1

Not my favorite bear in the world as its dash ability is almost as useless in the late game as the bear itself. Fine to play if you are short on cards or need something early, but I would look elsewhere.

Marang River Skeleton

Constructed: 0

If you have any Drudge Skeletons left in your decks, it's time to upgrade 'em, my friends!

Draft: 2
Sealed: 2.5

Mostly a defensive creature here but the megamorph clause does give it a little reach. I like to combo this with any Bolster effects I might have though as the regenerate clause comes up big after that.

Marsh Hulk

Constructed: 5

As far as Constructed Resources go, this is one of the best in the business! (But for anyone that doesn't get this joke, don't play this card please).

Draft: 1
Sealed: 1.5

This thing is rather slow and clunky and not my favorite late game card. Flipping it up for seven mana does net you a 5/7, but that is worse than most of the other colors' fatties in that same slot and when played fairly, a 4/6 just feels like it is going to bounce off of the important stuff.

Mind Rot

Constructed: 1-1.5

Mind Rot seems to be in every set these days, but I actually feel it is fine in Constructed and it seems like the Standard world is realizing that. We will see if Waste Not rotating will change things.

Draft: 1.5-2
Sealed: 2.5-3

I love Mind Rot in Sealed where you get to snag bombs and removal that the opponent is holding either because they cannot cast it or because they haven't wanted to as of yet. In draft that happens less often, but maindecking a Mind Rot is usually fine.

Minister of Pain

Constructed: 1.5

This feels like a nice effect for black to have alongside Drown in Sorrow. While no deck is likely to use both, this gives the creature decks the effect in a more appealing package for them.

Draft: 2.5
Sealed: 2.5

This can be a very difficult card to use because -1/-1 may not be killing things without some assistance from combat damage. When the setup works properly, this can be a blowout, but in either case, it's nice to have access to this somewhere in your deck.

Pitiless Horde

Constructed: 2

Three toughness is concerning on this as even though it is undercosted for its size, it still has the same toughness that a normal three-drop would have, making it weak to Bile Blight and Lightning Strike. Dash adds some power back as you get a hasty five damage later on and when not dealt with, this hits hard, so I would expect it to see some play.

Draft: 3.5
Sealed: 3.5

If this is your turn three play and your opponent plays a morph, you are dramatically far ahead. This will end up trading for most four-drops and up though, so it's not quite a true bomb, but I will still gladly first pick this. The loss of life isn't too relevant in evaluating this, for what that is worth.

Qarsi Sadist

Constructed: 0

Even when sacrificing a 1/1, you aren't necessarily upgrading anything with this trigger. And if you were looking for sacrifice outlets, there are much better options probably within the same page scroll as this!

Draft: 1
Sealed: 1

If you need some early defense, this is fine, but it doesn't hit the magical toughness of four and it only bounces off of morphs. All of that would be whatever if the exploit trigger were good, but instead it's just a small Drain Life. Useful at times, but not highly desirable.

Rakshasa Gravecaller

Constructed: 0.5

This design is interesting due to it making more bodies than it took away. There might be something there with recursion, but the five mana price tag might be too high and the output too low to actually want to cheat out.

Draft: 2.5-3
Sealed: 3


When you actually get to cast this thing and exploit something, the feeling is incredible. Seven power and ten toughness is a lot to get out of your five mana. While none of the bodies are particularly great at attacking, they stabilize a board state for you in an instant.

Reckless Imp

Constructed: 0

So we have a Wind Drake with a drawback. Well, it also has an upside. Ahh, we will just say that balances out and leaves us with a Wind Drake. Is Wind Drake a Constructed quality card? Survey says...

Draft: 2.5
Sealed: 2.5

Cheap fliers are pretty nice in this set as they can sneak in damage before the big dragons come down. Dashing this as a late game option is nice as well but in general, you just want to play this out early and beat down!

Risen Executioner

Constructed: 2

I think this card offers a couple of cool lines of play. It can be the only creature in your deck, giving you a recursive win condition. It can be a true zombie lord, pumping up your droves of the undead. Or, you can pair this with delve and Corpseweft from above to meet somewhere in the middle!

Draft: 3.5
Sealed: 3.5

The fact that you cannot keep this down is a big deal in Limited where a 4/3 is quite relevant in combat. You will also tend to have a random zombie lying around or two that benefits from this. Feel free to draft "around" it to some extent, but the card is strong on its own too.

Self-Inflicted Wound

Constructed: 2

This cycle of color hosers is just really strong. The fact that this answers Courser of Kruphix along with Siege Rhino, Whisperwood Elemental, and Ojutai Exemplars in a single card means it should be widely played in sideboards. The loss of life is a nice bonus for aggro decks like warriors as well.

Draft: 1.5
Sealed: 1.5

This actually requires the creature be of a certain color so even though this is an Edict, an opponent might have no options other than to sacrifice what you are aiming for. Still a sideboard card almost always, but a strong one at that.

Shambling Goblin

Constructed: 1

So when a Raging Goblin and a Shambling Goblin mate, do we get a Ramblin' Goblin? For real though, this offers some early defense against token decks as it can trade for Raise the Alarm or Dragon Fodder for less mana, which is something.

Draft: 1
Sealed: 1.5

Depending on the number of sacrifice outlets I have, I can be convinced to run this. It does trade up with two toughness things on defense, but is basically never a threat on offense.

Sibsig Icebreakers

Constructed: 0.5

There is not really any other effect like this in the format, so I could see someone turning to this because of that lack of options. That said, the effect is rather weak so you really need a good reason.

Draft: 2,5
Sealed: 2.5

Another 2/3 that holds off those annoying face down creatures. The discard effect on this is pretty neat as it enables delve and stuff and you get to make sure you're always discarding something bad or maybe nothing at all.

Sidisi, Undead Vizier

Constructed: 2

Before I realized that you could counter Sidisi with an Ultimate Price or Abzan Charm, I liked her a lot more. This card is good and has stats that are acceptable, but it also needs some help or else it is just an overpriced tutor that has more counterplay against it. I am curious to see what decks choose to use this card.

Draft: 4
Sealed: 4

Go grab your removal and then sit behind the 4/6 deathtouch wall that you have created for yourself. You should almost never sacrifice Sidisi to herself by the way, as the body is probably just better than whatever you want to trade it in for.

Silumgar Assassin

Constructed: 2.5

I really like this card as a means to slay things like Courser of Kruphix and then sneak under the follow up. From a design perspective though, I will say I dislike that there is a small amount of pain in megamorphing your guy as it can now be blocked by more things. Awkward, at the very least.

Draft: 3.5
Sealed: 3.5

Removal plus a body that might just sneak under the opposition. That is actually a difficult task as they can find a morph and then block this, but at least you got to cast your Swat first!

Silumgar Butcher

Constructed: 0

Neither a five mana 3/3 nor a five mana -3/-3 sorcery are even blipping on the radar of Constructed and while pairing them up is nice, we are still a few mana off from having a legitimate conversation here.

Draft: 3
Sealed: 3

Meanwhile in the land of the Limited, we are looking at a Flametongue Kavu. Granted, this is not the best FTK ever and it does demand sacrifice, but killing an opposing dude and leaving behind a relevant body has been one of the secrets to success in Limited since the dawning of mankind (or maybe just booster packs).

Ukud Cobra

Constructed: 0

Ukud play this in Constructed, but I don't really know why. If you want cheap deathtouchers, look above at the two-drop we covered. And if you want badass late-game deathtouchers, go check out Sidisi right above!

Draft: 3
Sealed: 3

Have you ever fought through five toughness with deathtouch? It can be quite the task. Luckily this is uncommon so you won't be seeing it in every black deck, because if you did, you would just never be able to attack, with anything, ever! (Ok, maybe a flier or two.)

Ultimate Price

Constructed: 3

This has become the best Doom Blade we have seen since Doom Blade itself and it should remain strong during this reprinting. While we lose the ability to kill Siege Rhino or Butcher of the Horde, many threats are just a single color and having a two mana answer to them can be crucial.

Draft: 3.5
Sealed: 3.5

This cannot take down the rare and uncommon multicolor dragon cycles, which is a real drawback considering you want to kill all of those, but for the majority of creatures in this format who aren't face down, this is about most efficient removal spell you are going to find.

Virulent Plague

Constructed: 2.5

I imagine this will be a big sideboard card for multiple formats so long as that format has a token deck in it. This beats Splinter Twin, for example, which is something you might not realize right away. In Standard, this single-handedly beats an entire archetype, if not two of them considering this keeps Sidisi tokens down as well.

Draft: 0.5
Sealed: 0.5

A powerful sideboard card but one that is not at its best in Limited. If you see some token generation from your opponent, then please, bring this in, but you can basically never start this in your main.

Vulturous Aven

Constructed: 0

We have Sign in Blood still and were just given Damnable Pact, so I don't think people will turn to this option which is just slow and clunky with a body that isn't even good.

Draft: 2.5-3
Sealed: 3

I love this guy in Limited because I love drawing cards. A 2/3 flier is a pretty nice pairs of legs to possess though, so try to be sacrificing other creatures to this. Also remember that exploit is a may, in case you are at a low life.

Wandering Tombshell

Constructed: 0

Zombie turtle? Really? From the color that brought you Dross Crocodile comes...Boss Turtle!

Draft: 2
Sealed: 2.5

This is intended to play defense and it does a very good job at that with six toughness. This works great with all of the toughness matters stuff, so pay attention during the draft!


Multicolor

Harbinger of the Hunt

Constructed: 2

This thing is fairly weak to most removal due to a back end of only three toughness, but he also answers a lot of problems that Standard presents right now, like Hornet Queen and Hordeling Outburst. This might be a sideboard card against decks with low removal counts or maybe it just goes in Jund so you can protect it with Thoughtseize et al.

Draft: 4.5
Sealed: 4.5

The old kill it or it kills you and everything you own scenario. Luckily, three toughness is relatively easy to handle but you need to have saved a removal spell or else your board is likely gone the following turn(s).

Kolaghan's Command

Constructed: 3

I believe this card should see some Modern play and will be the reason to go black/red in Standard. While none of its modes are insane, they all are worth a card of value making this thing always a two-for-one in some way with all sorts of customizability. Plus an instant speed discard spell is always fun to have around.

Draft: 3.5
Sealed: 3.5

You are going to always want this card but it isn't unbeatable by any means. Usually you are looking at a Raise Dead plus Shock but if the opponent has a dragon monument then this could get even better. Having access to maindeckable artifact removal is quite clutch actually.

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Narset Transcendent

Constructed: 3

Part of me wanted to put a four there but in reality, a 'walker without a way to actually impact the board is going to have a tough time being that good. Narset is good and will be featured in many decks, I am sure, but drawing her off the top when you're facing down two or three creatures is really rough. I do love me some rebounding though...

Draft: 2.5
Sealed: 2.5

This is actually one of the weaker Limited walkers we have seen I feel. Her first ability will miss way more often than not with both lands and creatures being blanks. Her middle ability is strong but needs the assistance of another card. Also, using her middle ability the turn you play her is tough. And finally her ultimate happens so late in the game that it stops maybe 10 to 20% of your opponent's top decks and that's it. Play her, of course, but don't go out of your way to do so.

Necromaster Dragon

Constructed: 0

I have to give this one a big zero despite finding most of the rare dragons kind of neat. This is basically just an Air Elemental and that is not exciting. Making a 2/2 when it connects is fine, but the whole reason I am playing this 4/4 flyer is because I didn't feel a dang 2/2 was gonna cut it! And yes, your Treasure Cruise is two cheaper, so take that!!!!

Draft: 4
Sealed: 4

Connect with this a single time and you are already pretty happy. Any Air Elemental is good in my book and this one comes with some bells and whistles on it that just make me love it more. Also, since I didn't get to gripe enough in the Constructed section, why does this trigger cost me mana? It's a rare! Grr...

Ojutai's Command

Constructed: 3

Let us get one thing straight right away: this is not Cryptic Command. Cryptic Command could do anything because while it had four modes, most of the modes had modes and some of those modes also had modes. Any spell and any permanent could be touched by Cryptic Command. Ojutai's Command has many powerful modes, but the versatility is way down. Gaining four life is always that. Drawing a card is always just that. And the other two modes have narrow subsets of cards that they can touch. All in all, I like this and it will see plenty of play, but it is not the catch-all that Cryptic Command was and you really should have a plan for this before putting it into your deck.

Draft: 3
Sealed: 3

You really just want this to be a Dismiss most of the time in Limited, but occasionally you will have a two-drop worth getting back or will need a few extra life.

Pristine Skywise

Constructed: 1

This has a huge front end and takes over the skies shortly after its arrival, but you do need to play this with mana up to protect it. AEtherling showed us that is certainly possible, but now we are also playing cheap instants in our deck. Not out of the question, but a tough one to maximize is all.

Draft: 4
Sealed: 4

If this could more reliably protect itself, it would probably be worth another half point. As is, you aren't going to have a ton of instants that you can just cast at will to save this in response to some removal spell.

Ruthless Deathfang

Constructed: 0

I can appreciate what is going on here, but if you want the opponent to start sacrificing creatures, waiting until turn six at the earliest seems pretty poor. Dictate of Erebos is in the format right now and seeing basically no play.

Draft: 3
Sealed: 3

This is mostly just a 4/4 flyer for six mana as you are not incredibly likely to still be packing exploit creatures this late unless you knew this dragon was coming. If you do get value from this, that is more than a card's worth, so enjoy it!

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Sarkhan Unbroken

Constructed: 3.5

I think that on power level alone, this could easily deserve a four, but we won't see as much of it as say Sarkhan or Elspeth just because it has such a steep mana cost that most decks will not be able to achieve. This protects itself, makes real threats, and has card advantage all built right in. The ultimate is a little lackluster as many times you won't want to play dragons with this, but you can just keep going for the second ability to win a game anyway.

Draft: 4
Sealed: 4

Mana cost once again is the limiting factor here. If you can splash for one of these three colors and actually cast this, you should be doing so as he is extremely powerful.

Savage Ventmaw

Constructed: 0

I wish this trigger were on like a four-drop (and made four mana) because it looks like a really interesting one for Constructed brewing, but at six mana and the need to attack, I am afraid this guy will not be doing much unless it is in some degenerate Goryo's Vengeance / Sneak Attack way.

Draft: 3
Sealed: 3

It will be tough to always make use of this mana as the game is already in its later stages, but perhaps flipping up morphs or some Firebreathing is around for you to come up with a use. Otherwise, just another solid 4/4 flying dragon.

Silumgar's Command

Constructed: 2.5

Despite this Command being a little more expensive than the rest, it is also the most versatile, which hopefully is something you realize I value after that Cryptic Command speech! This gets to bounce anything, counter many things, and kill many things. There is basically never a situation where you are not getting a two-for-one or better. I don't know if you can safely run four of these because it is five mana, but a pair of these at the top of your curve is probably going to be the norm.

Draft: 4
Sealed: 4

You are getting removal out of this most of the time plus some more removal on top of that. I would pretty happily splash this if I was either blue or black and I do feel this is worth an early pick, despite the color commitment.

Swift Warkite

Constructed: 1

This is actually a fairly unique ability that I could see being useful in some sort of tutor engine, similar to Birthing Pod or Fauna Shaman. Used straight up, this is too expensive to really be a consideration, but luckily there are plenty of ways to cheat these days!

Draft: 3.5
Sealed: 4

Even if this is just a Raise Dead for something cheap attached to a 4/4 flying monster, that is a deal I will gladly take. The fact that I can attack with the cheap guy is a nice touch as well. Nothing too crazy going on here, just card advantage on a dragon, that's all.


Wrap Up

Black has a lot of good cards being printed in Dragons of Tarkir, but it seems like most of those are answers and tools. Hand disruption, removal, and sideboard cards are represented pretty hard here, which is certainly not a bad thing. Of course the second half of our multicolored review had some strong ones in it as well, which should help pave the way for an exciting new Standard season.


Constructed Top 8

I will be honest and say that this was one of the hardest Top 8 lists for me to ever do. I always go through and jot down the cards that I think can make the list. During this, I ignore whatever I rated the card the first time around as I don't want to be hard locked in at the end when I rated something 0.5 lower than something else mistakenly. When I did that pass for this set, I wrote down 20 total cards that could make the list. Sometimes I struggle to come up with eight and most of the time getting to about 10 is expected. I then go back and cut a couple and throw out some honorable mentions.

This time around, the list is so extensive that I cannot just simply do that. Plus, the ordering on the cards that actually made my Top 8 list was insanely close for me. Some cards would start out at number three and then fall down to number eight, or possibly off the list altogether. Eventually, I arrived at this Top 8 for Dragons of Tarkir.

8- Sarkhan Unbroken
7- Collected Company
6- Dragonlord Ojutai
5- Dragonlord's Prerogative
4- Kolaghan's Command
3- Anticipate
2- Ojutai Exemplars
1- Zurgo Bellstriker

If you don't see something you feel should be on this list, chances are very strong that it came in ninth place and rightfully could deserve a spot here. Dragons of Tarkir is legitimately one of the stronger sets I have ever seen and it should go a long way toward shaking up Standard. I expect we will see every single card above being played heavily in the coming months and that excites the brewer in me.

Zurgo Bellstriker just seemed like a safe choice that should see play in three or more formats. Anticipate could easily switch him places as a safe choice as well. In reality, you almost can't go wrong with any of it though because the set just has so much gas! I'm excited!

Next week we return to our regularly scheduled writing. I will be back with a brew or two using the new cards so be sure to come back then. Thank you to everyone who stuck through the week and journeyed through Dragons with me. Until next week, thanks for reading!

--Conley Woods--