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Worldwake Review Part 2: First Picks (Limited) January 28, 2010

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

In order to prepare for the pre-release, it might help to consider which commons and uncommons you want. When you see these it can help you decide what colors to play. I call the best commons and uncommons “first picks” because they will tend to be the first cards you take during a draft. Here are my favorite 8 commons and uncommons:

1. Vapor Snare

Vapor Snare 4U (U)
Enchantment - Aura
Enchant creature
You control enchanted creature.
At the beginning of your upkeep, sacrifice Vapor Snare unless you return a land you control to its owner’s hand.

Vapor Snare is a splashable Mind Control that helps you go crazy with landfall. This could end up being better than some of the bombs. Why? Because it’s basically a two for one. A bomb is often a creature that’s killed easily. Mind Control can steal an opponent’s creature that he or she will have to kill.

2. Smother

Smother 1B (U)
Destroy target creature with converted mana cost 3 or less. It can’t be regenerated.

Smother is quick and cheap. That’s my favorite kind of removal.

3. Tomb Hex

Tomb Hex 2B (C)
Target creature gets -2/-2 until end of turn.
Landfall - If a land entered the battlefield under your control this turn, that creature gets -4/-4 until end of turn instead.

Tomb Hex can kill just about anything and it’s just a little bit harder to cast than Smother.

4. Searing Blaze

Searing Blaze RR (C)
Searing Blaze deals 1 damage to target player and 1 damage to target creature that player controls.
Landfall - If you had a land enter the battlefield under your control this turn, Searing Blaze deals 3 damage to that player and 3 damage to that creature instead.

Searing Blaze will usually function as a double lightning bolt. It’s perfect in mono-red. The only reason it’s not #1 on the list is because it requires two red mana to cast.

5. Urge to Feed

Urge to Feed BB (U)
Target creature gets -3/-3 until end of turn. You may tap any number of untapped Vampire creatures you control. If you do, put a +1/+1 counter on each of those Vampires.

A decent removal spell, but I don’t like having to spend double black mana. A very high pick, but best in mono black.

6. Permafrost Trap

Permafrost Trap 2UU (U)
Instant - Trap
If an opponent had a green creature enter the battlefield under his or her control this turn, you may pay U rather than pay Permafrost Trap’s mana cost.
Tap up to two target creatures. Those creatures don’t untap during their controller’s next untap step.

Permafrost Trap is pretty much what I wanted Sleep to be. It’s an instant, so you can tap the opponent’s creatures before declaring an attack and the creatures will still be unusable for his or her next turn. Best used in aggro decks.

7. Quicksand

Quicksand (C)
T: Add 1 to your mana pool.
T, Sacrifice Quicksand: Target attacking creature without flying gets -1/-2 until end of turn.

It’s a land and it’s removal. It might not be quite as good as I think, but I like it quite a bit.

8. Dead Reckoning

Dead Reckoning 1BB (C)
You may put target creature card from your graveyard on top of your library.
If you do, Dead Reckoning deals damage equal to that card’s power to target creature.

Dead Reckoning might be better than I think, but needing a creature to be in your graveyard is a significant drawback. I really want to put the creature in my hand instead of just on top of the library.


Based on the first picks, black continues to dominate. Black has half of the top 8 commons and uncommons, just like in Zendikar.  Blue will become more powerful thanks to Worldwake considering the new first picks. (Living Tsunami was the only first pick blue common/uncommon in Zendikar.)


1. Alex - January 28, 2010

I think Tideforce Elemental and Cunning Sparkmage should be on here over Dead Reckoning (too conditionnal to be a first pick, as you your self implied), Quicksand (you often don’t want to lose a land drop to kill a creature early game - this is worse than magma rift because it doesn’t do much late game).

I also think Bestial Menace deserves an honorable mention, and it / voyager drake would go on my list if I could make it 10 cards long.

2. James - January 28, 2010


Good ideas. I’m not sure what to think about all that yet. I like that you can play quicksand just for the mana. Sometimes late game you get beaten down by a little creature and this would solve that issue.