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By: MarcosPMA, Marcos Rodriguez
Jan 13 2015 12:00pm
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Hello and welcome to another edition of Sealed Success!  This week is the Fate Reforged Set Review, and that means Fate Reforged is almost upon us.  Khans of Tarkir has been a great set and while I'm sad that it will go away (somewhat), I am glad about new cards and getting to learn a new format.

Personally, doing this set review gives me a better insight into what I feel will be Fate/Khans Limited in anticipation of a Limited PPTQ I have coming up in a few weeks.  I imagine the PPTQ will be Fate/Khans, although I wouldn't mind it if it was just Khans.  There is a PPTQ coming up this Sunday that will almost assuredly be Khans Sealed/Draft, although that tournament is up in the air as it is in Austin, not San Antonio.  I do have my thoughts on what Fate/Khans will look like, but I'll save those thoughts until after the set review.

Last week I mentioned I didn't want to talk about Hybrid Mana as a mechanic because I wasn't sure if it would be a major mechanic, or if it would be hybrid CMC or activated abilities.  Now that the set has been spoiled, I've learned that hybrid is a small mechanic and only sees play in rare/mythic rarities, so for the most part it won't be a factor in Limited.  As far as hybrid mana goes, you can "splash" for the activated abilities if you want to, but I see the abilities as upside if you're in those colors, not something that makes the card.  So you could play Alesha, Who Smiles at Death in your Temur deck and be fine with it and not lose too much power by not being able to activate her.

Before I get on with the set review, I want to talk about how I look at the cards and what my thought process is as I evaluate them.  For the purposes of this column, I'm looking at the cards through a "Sealed" lens.  What I mean by that is I ask: "Would I play this card in my sealed deck?".  This is a far different question than: "What is this card from 1-10?" or "How highly would I pick this card?"  While thinking in terms of sealed doesn't change a whole lot from draft, it is an important factor to consider.  For example, a card like Rakshasa's Secret and other Mind Rot variants aren't that great in draft because the games are faster, everybody is generally going to curve out and you need to be affecting the board on turn 3.  In sealed, games are slower and not everybody will curve out on you.  Knowing the games will go longer than you expect means that you can do something like Mind Rot on turn 3 and not be punished by it, but more importantly you deny your opponent resources and give yourself an edge in the late game.

Because of these factors, I grade the cards as such: Bomb, Playable, Unplayable, Sideboard.  This gives me a general frame to work with when dealing with each individual card.  This tends to follow how I sort out my sealed pool, I take note of any bombs I have when I start as to give me a direction of where I want my deck to go, then I break down the pool separating the playable from the unplayables.  In Sealed we're not so much interested in how good a card is, but rather if it's good at all.  Of course, this is just a starting point.  Once we dive deeper into the format, we can change our evaluations and definitely determine which cards are good and which ones aren't.

Which all that said, let's look at Fate Reforged!

Fate Reforged Set Review - White

Fate Reforged Set Review - Blue

Fate Reforged Set Review - Black

Fate Reforged Set Review - Red

Fate Reforged Set Review - Green, Artifact, Multicolored, Lands


I think we can safely say that this set is much much better than Born of the Gods was!  This means that I won't be as miserable when drafting/doing sealed, and that in turn will hopefully lead to better results than when I was doing Born/Theros.  There are only 10 gold cards in the set; 5 are the dragon cycle and the other 5 are at common.  This means our decks will be less focused on playing gold cards, and quite possibly be 2 colors splash the third.  The amount of mana fixing we'll have will be down compared to Khans only, so it'll be more difficult to properly build 3+ color decks.  Having half of your pool be Fate Reforged makes it more likely that decks will be base 2 colors instead of 3, which in turn might speed up the format.  Fate Reforged is not a wedge set, but rather a set that plays well with another wedge set.  I believe that the best decks in Fate/Khans will be decks that are consistent and limit their colors to 2-3, but also have powerful gold cards to complement their good early game.  Something akin to the BW Warrior deck might become the norm in Fate/Khans Sealed.  

As far as draft is concerned, I do believe starting out with a enemy colored "guild" is the best option (BW, RW, UG, GB, UR), this way you're able to choose between two clans in packs 2/3.  That said, if a allied colored "guild" is open, then it's more than likely that the clan it fits into will be open as well, so I would take note of that.  I don't know if we'll be choosing a seeded pack for the Prerelease, but even if that's the case I wouldn't worry about trying to pick the "best" color.  You don't have to play the color you pick and it's possible you open a bad rare and move in a different direction.  Play the deepest/best colors you find in your pool and don't worry about picking a clan.

If you have any comments, questions, or concerns please leave them in the comments section below!  Next week I'll be back with my Prerelease report and give my first impressions of Fate/Khans Limited.

Thank you for reading/watching!

P.S. - Enjoy this extra draft video, found here!