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Drafting Alara Reborn Part 1 May 6, 2009

Posted by James in : all, reviews, strategy, tips, limited, draft, sealed , trackback

What colors should you play? Considering Alara Reborn, Naya is still the best shard, and Grixis has got the short end of the stick.

Although you will probably already know what colors you will play before opening the Alara Reborn pack, the colors you choose to play can be influenced based on what you hope to get in Alara Reborn. The most notable influence is probably Loxodon Warhammer. I mean Behemoth Sledge, which is a green-white uncommon. This is relatively easy to splash, so that alone isn’t going to make you want to play a green white deck. (But it can help you decide to play green or white.)

Note: When considering what shard is best, I will restrict the conversation to uncommons and commons. Some rares can be quite powerful, but that only adds an unreliable random element to drafting the set.

Considering the top 8 first picks that I have already mentioned, there are 4 cards you can use while playing jund, 3 for Grixis, 3 for Bant, 4 for Naya, and 2 for Esper. At this point Naya and Jund sound best. The fact that Behemoth Sledge can be used in Naya is a bonus, so Naya sounds like it is still the best deck in general. It should be noted that Grixis has the biggest shortcoming with the top 8 first picks because Jund can use all of the cards that the Grixis deck can use and more. Grixis loses.
What about when we expand the first picks to include 12 more cards? (These are the cards I called “second picks” here. Naya gets 8 more cards, Jund gets 4, Bant gets 7, Grixis gets 2, and Esper gets 4. Naya clearly wins here, and Bant isn’t far behind. Grixis still loses out.
Here are the current total first picks in each color combination:

Naya: 12
Jund: 8
Bant: 10
Esper: 6
Grixis: 5

My favorite colors from Shards of Alara and Conflux were already red and white. (Go here for more information.) Naya can use both red and white, so Naya is the best color in draft and sealed for the entire Shards of Alara block. (So much so that it is often “overdrafted.” Too many people often play it.)

If you aren’t going to play Naya, then a shard that uses red or white is recommended. If you are playing white, Bant is a good choice considering its main color is white, and Alara Reborn favors Bant. If you are playing red, then Jund is a good idea considering that its main color is red, and Alara Reborn favors Jund and that should be a good choice.


1. Erez - May 7, 2009

I don’t know if this is to much but could you do a draft walkthrough some time?

2. James - May 7, 2009

I could look into it. You just want to know what I would pick given each choice in a draft?

3. Erez - May 7, 2009


4. michael - May 8, 2009

That is done much easier through MTGO since it has a draft recorder and you can label all your picks and then discuss why you made each pick.