Friday, October 21, 2011

Theory: ISD Creatures by the Numbers

When a graph represents playability this is a rating I have given to the card between zero and one to represent its value in limited. My ratings are heavily influenced by those of, but differ in many ways to represent my personal evaluation of the format after ten drafts. I've included a few of my own conclusions from this analysis below the graphs.

Feel free to download the spreadsheet which contains my ratings and the graphs pictured here. If you wish to change the ratings of the cards to reflect your own opinions the graphs will update automatically as you do so.

For power/toughness of double-faced cards I simply approximated effect by averaging the sides. For [card]Lumberknot[/card] I think I just said it was a 3/3.

My thoughts:

1) Wow, Black creatures really suck.
2) Red and Blue often feel like a natural pairing in draft, but drafting them together will leave you dangerously short of two-drops. Other than make me not want to draft UR this makes me do two things. Firstly, this makes me value [card]Deranged Assistant[/card] and [card]Stitcher's Apprentice[/card] even higher than I was before. Secondly, it makes me less excited about cards like [card]Harvest Pyre[/card] and [card]Brimstone Volley[/card] in this color combination, as they fail to help your curve and I feel will often need to be directed at a two drop after already taking a swing or two from it.
3) I guess mostly it looks like I don't want to draft UR.
4) Green and White come out of the gates smashing face, and Green has an impressive late-game as well. I've found Green to be a very solid pairing with Blue, and the graphs support this hypothesis as the Green and Blue complement each other, each filling out weak spots in the others' curve. I've also found Blue and White to work well together in a more aggressive role; again this makes sense looking at the graphs. Green and White put together will also complement each other very well, you have a choice between drafting a very aggressive low-curve deck, and drafting a full curve filling in Green's 3-slot with White cards and repairing White's top-end with Green cards.
5) [card]Gallows Warden[/card] seems like he will almost never have a deck I want to put him in. As far as what each color wants Blue and White would be well-served if they got to do a little switcheroo and White got [card]Battleground Geist[/card] instead to complement its beaters and first strike spirit.
6) There is really close to no support for a [card]Bloodcrazed Neonate[/card] deck. This makes me sad. Maybe if you get insane depth in Green or White you could pair it with a little Red and play a slith or two. The problem is that almost all of the quality creatures in red are so expensive.
7) The graphs should've stopped at six on the x-axis. My thoughts probably should have stopped at six too.

Overall I think the most sensible archetypes based on creature-support in the format are GW aggro, GR midrange, GU control, and WU aggro. Also, while I don't have a whole lot of desire to be playing Black cards here, it should be noted that the color's mediocre creatures actually fill a fairly good curve on their own, and as such if it's open mono-Black may be the easiest monocolored deck to build a good curve for while drafting.

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