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Drafting Rise of Eldrazi Part 1: Bombs April 25, 2010

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

The first step in drafting is to choose your first card, which could end up committing you to a color or deck strategy. Here are my top 10 favorite cards for Rise of Eldrazi drafts:

1. Disaster Radius

disaster radius

Disaster Radius is potentially the perfect sort of removal: One that could kill all the opponent’s creatures. You just have to make sure to have some big creatures in your deck. It’s probably best in green-red, so that you can play mana acceleration and big creatures, but it’s still perfectly good with four casting cost creatures.

2. Sarkhan the Mad

sarkhan the mad

Sarkhan the Mad is best used in a token generating deck. Red and black are pretty good at doing that.

3. Gideon Jura

gideon  jura

Gideon Jura isn’t my favorite planeswalker, but it’s one of the hardest ones to kill ever made.

4. Sphinx of Magosi

sphinx of magosi

Sphinx of Magosi is a great card, and it is best used with green for mana acceleration.

5. Domestication


Domestication is the only uncommon to make the list. Stealing creatures is the best way to deal with them.

6. Drana, Kalastria Bloodchief

drana kalastria bloodchief

Drana is one of the best Vampires ever made for limited events. You can pretty much use it to kill all the opponents creatures. Also best used with green for mana acceleration.

7. Lord of Shatterskull Pass

lord of shatterskull pass

Lord of Shatterstorm pass is decent starting at level one, but his ability to destroy the opponent’s army on level 6 is what qualified him to make the top 10 list.

8. Kargan Dragonlord

kargan dragonlord

Kargan Dragonlord is a little too red intensive to get first place, but it is still quite good.

9. Pestilence Demon

pestilence demon

Pestilence demon is probably too expensive to play without mana acceleration, so it is best used with green. Black/red can also play it as long as you are careful enough to take a lot of Eldrazi Spawn generating cards.

10. Dawnglare Invoker

dawnglare invoker

Dawnglare Invoker is the only common to make the list. It is too easily killed to get first place, but it’s a decent card that can win the game almost as soon as you hit 8 mana. (Again, it’s best used with green for mana acceleration.) People don’t seem to realize how good it is right now for some reason.


Many of the bombs are best used with green for mana acceleration, but red can also get quite a bit. White has the only common bomb, so it will usually be the correct choice of color based on the bombs. Blue has the only uncommon bomb, so it will also have an advantage based on this top 10 list.


1. 神の一手 - April 26, 2010

Just draft Gideon for the money. He would pay for a sealed tournament.


2. James - April 26, 2010

If your choice is between a foil Vengevine or a Gideon, you take the Vengevine. Otherwise Gideon is almost always the right choice in a “run of the mill” draft despite the fact that you might have a Domestication in that pack.

3. Alex - April 29, 2010

I don’t think Domestication is close to being on the same level as the two Planeswalkers. Domestication is an amazing first pick, no doubt, and I think it’s really amazing. But it does not automatically win you the game, it just gives you an advantage. It is very very hard to lose the game if you can land either of the Planeswalkers. Any situation where you lose after playing them, you probably would have lost anyway. Sarkhan turns all of your creatures into 5/5 flying dragons, and Gideon prevents all of your opponent’s creatures from attacking you and then picks them off one by one, while also attacking as a 6/6 near-indestructable. Repeatable 5/5 flying dragons and repeatable removal are both better than a 1-shot, weakened version of control magic.

4. James - April 29, 2010


Good point. I’ll fix that issue.

5. Playa1 - May 6, 2010

Dawnglare is too easy to remove in limited play. It is a 3 mana investment that can’t really do anything for you until turn 8 or 9. It is probably the best invoker, but they all are good for what RoE is designed to do: stalemate. In my only RoE draft, I only had one stalemate, but it was a big one. We each had about 12 creatures on the board and if either one of us attacked, it was all over. My black invoker won me the game, since I was able to use my 8 mana ability to trade 3 life for 3 consecutive turns, forcing him to attack me with only 3 life left.

I haven’t seen the planeswalkers in action. I don’t really like them, but I wouldn’t pass them up in a draft.

You seem to be creature biased here. In my last draft, I found my sorcery cards and instants to be the deciding factor. Contaminated Swamp was a game winner one round (believe it or not). It paralyzed my opponent in the early game and gave me a huge advantage by mid-game. That may not sound game-winning, but in RoE limited an early advantage makes a huge difference because it forces your opponent to keep their huge monsters on the defense since I can absorb one turn of damage and win the game.
I can’t recall the name of the card (the white one that rebounds and puts 1/1 soldiers on the field) won me at least 2 rounds, maybe 3. It gave me a creature advantage which really coordinates well with other cards. And allows my Annihalators to attack w/o giving up defense. Finally, Shrivel is an awesome blow to any elrazi building deck (except blue which can often counter by sacrificing a couple spawn).

6. James - May 6, 2010


These are “bombs” meaning they can pretty much win the game by themselves. This “invoker” doesn’t just stop a stalemate. You can tap the opponent’s creatures whenever they would attack. You will probably never be attacked again. You will be pretty much invincible. It’s won me the game against 7/7 and 8/8 trample creatures and I was clearly going to lose without it. I agree that it is easy to kill, but if a card is going to win the game by itself “unless killed” then it is still incredibly powerful.
You are correct that 8 mana is a lot, which is an important factor, but I don’t see anything else that should replace it on my top 10 list. I don’t know how good Shrivel is, but I tend not to play it and I have never regretted not playing it. It might be great against Eldrazi mana ramp decks, but that is just one theme among others, so it might not be good enough against the majority of decks you play against.

Contaminated Swamp and many other cards can indeed win the game, but I don’t think they are better than anything on this list. Contaminated Swamp can’t really win the game by itself. You will need to find another way to kill the opponent. If the opponent keeps tapping that land until they are dead, that is their fault.

If you think I am creature biased, then I think Rise of Eldrazi is creature biased because I really do think these are the 10 best cards in the set. That’s not unusual. Most sets are centered around creatures. If you can’t stop a creature, then you will lose the game.

It is possible to pass a card on this list if you have a strong theme of some sort, but you probably should take anything on this list possible for your first two or three picks.

7. 神の一手 - May 7, 2010

you also have to remember that this set has relatively low removal, so cards like Dawnglare Invoker have a chance to be very relevant. People want to save their removal for the big creatures.

8. James - May 7, 2010

And removal like Narcolepsy, Puncturing Light, and Smite can be worthless against an invoker ability.