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Top 10 First Picks for Magic 2013 Draft (Review, Strategy, & Tips) July 6, 2012

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

When drafting we should keep an eye out for the best cards. You should generally take the best cards in your color, you should generally pick your colors based on the best cards being passed to you, and you should keep in mind that the person you are drafting to will probably choose their cards in this way as well. You can often know what colors the person you are passing cards to is in based on the best cards you’re passing.

I will discuss my top 10 common and uncommon cards for Magic 2013 (M13) draft here because these are the cards you should expect to see:

1. Serra Angel

serra angel

Mind Control and Overrun weren’t brought back, which usually would make the top of the list. Now Serra Angel is the best non-rare left.

2. Vampire Nighthawk

vampire nighthawk

Vampire Nighthawk is a 4-point swing, so it races just as well as Serra Angel for a couple less mana. However, I still like Serra Angel a little more because it’s big and has vigilance.

3. Arctic Aven

actic aven

Arctic Aven can be great as long as you are playing white/blue. Lifelink can make it very difficult for an aggro deck to race you.

4. Volcanic Geyser

volcanic geyser

I’m glad that Fireball was taken out because it’s too easy to splash. Now red gets an X spell that other people won’t take. It’s not quite as good as Fireball, but it’s very close. Being an instant is important.

5. Oblivion Ring

oblivion ring

Oblivion Ring is still the best removal. It takes care of just about any problem you can face.

6. Murder


Murder is the first black removal that stops any creature we’ve had since Arabian Nights. The two black mana makes this significantly worse than Go for the Throat, but it’s still better than Doom Blade.

7. Talrand’s Invocation

talrand's invocation

This is what replaced Air Elemental. I think Air Elemental might be a little better, but it’s still very good.

8. Garruk’s Packleader

garruk's packleader

Garruk’s Pack leader can be game-winning in the right deck, but it’s only mediocre if you don’t have the right cards for it.

9. Searing Spear

searing spear

Searing Spear replaced Lighning Bolt and Incinerate. It’s not as good as either, so it’s a bit disappointing. I’d rather have a Sorcery-speed version of Lightning Bolt. I doubt this will be used in Standard, but it’s still quite good in draft.

10. Griffin Protector

griffin protector

Griffin Protector is a great flier — it is almost a 3/4 considering that you can build around it and keep casting creatures. Additionally, there are a lot of ways to make token creatures in this set.



1. Daniel - July 30, 2012

Considering the number of cards involving regenerate in M13 Limited (2 creatures and a conditional artifact), I’d quite rather have Spear at instant than Incinerate at sorcery.

Also, a sorcery speed Incinerate would see even less play in constructed than Spear will.

2. James - July 30, 2012


Yes, a sorcery speed Incinerate would be terrible. I want a sorcery speed Lightning Bolt. That would be great. I expect Spear to see zero play in standard, but who knows.

3. Rodney - October 6, 2012

Murder from this set then Cremate from Return…? Idk lol