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By: MarcosPMA, Marcos Rodriguez
Apr 28 2015 11:00am
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Hello and welcome to another edition of Sealed Success!  This week's article is dedicated to Tempest Remastered!  Next week will see the release of Tempest Remastered on Magic Online and I'd like to spend the majority of today talking about my experience in analyzing the set as a whole and the challenge of addressing older card design.

I started playing Magic right around Dark Ascension, which means I never drafted the original Tempest block (officially called Rath block), nor do I know how the Standard/Limited environment was like at the time.  As such, it's a little harder for me to understand the interactions that are going on in the set, not to mention realize how good some of the cards are.  Magic design of today makes it more likely that you know which cards are bad and which are good, as well as knowing how the cards should interact with each other.  Not only that, Limited is more often going to be based around combat and board presence; you're not going to find a lot of Counterspell and Doom Blade in drafts today.

Something to realize and/or remember is that creatures weren't as good then as they are now.  Tempest came out in October of 1997, a mere 4 years after the printing of Alpha, and it's only the 3rd block in Magic history (Ice Age and Mirage being the first 2).  4 years might seem like a lot, but you're not that far removed from Power 9 being staple cards everybody had.  The spells were much better than the creatures, after all why play with a Spined Wurm or something when you could play Swords to Plowshares?  Of course, that isn't to say that all creatures were bad, it's just that they weren't strong as they are now.

Ideally Tempest Remastered has the best of the best in terms of creatures so we're not stuck with horribly inefficient creatures when compared to modern standards.  Even then, you still have some subpar creatures.  There's only so much you can do with older creatures, right?  Not to mention it's hard for a creature to be good when Mana Leak, Counterspell, Pacifism, Aftershock, Lightning Blast, and Dark Banishing are in the format. You kinda start to wonder if creatures were an afterthought back then and less important than the spells themselves.

So if the spells are good and the creatures are a little subpar (when compared to today), how does one go about analyzing them?  Well, I decided the best I could do was to throw most of my preconceived notions about cards out the window and just look at the cards themselves and see if you're getting a good rate for the mana cost.  I can't compare these cards to cards I play with now so there isn't any use in me trying to do so.  I also looked at the set a couple of times before analyzing the cards just to get a sense of what was going on in each color.  I looked at what the spells were like, how the creatures interacted with one another and how big/small the average creature was going to look like.  For the most part, it's not that dissimilar to how I would approach a normal set review aside from the fact that this is geared more towards draft than sealed.

Having said all that first, let's talk about how I'm going to be grading the cards.  I'm going to be using an A-F scale (A, B, C, D, F), where A is a bomb and F is unplayable.  B is good, C is okay/average, and D is poor.  Obviously, card evaluations aren't set in stone and can move up or down given where you are in the draft and what you need.  Something like Dauthi Horror is normally around a C and isn't first pickable in the abstract, but if you're in pack 3 and need a 2 drop badly in your BW deck, then you might rate it higher than you would otherwise.  And of course, as the format evolves you might find yourself rating a color higher/lower than before and that change how you view other cards as opposed to now.  That's normal and I find myself doing that more often than not and there's nothing wrong with that.  With all that said, let's look at Tempest Remastered!

Tempest Remastered Set Review

DTK 8-4 Draft

Conclusion

  • I won't say that I got all the ratings right, and I'm probably wrong with a few of them, so please let me know if you think I over/underestimated some of the cards.
  • As far as draft archetypes are concerned, these are my initial thoughts on how the two color pairs will work: BW Shadow, UW Skies, UB Control, UG Tempo, RG Beatdown, GB Graveyard/Reanimator, GW Beatdown, WR Aggro, UR Control, and RB Aggro.  Next week I'll talk a little more in depth about them, but if you feel like there are other ways to draft some of these 2 color pairs, let me know!
  • I don't know if there's going to be a viable GOOD Sliver deck in the format, but I'm sure that some people will try it out.
  • After the draft finished I felt bad about it.  I had this nagging feeling that I missed something and perhaps I could have done better.  I don't know if the packs were bad or I was in the wrong colors.  There was a spot where I could have gone green early pack 2 but green wasn't open in that pack.  Blue could have been an out but after the Ojutai Summons/Monastery Loremaster pick the blue dried up.
  • I'm not thrilled with how the first round played out, but I think I'm a huge underdog to win any match given how underpowered my deck was.

Next week I'll be back to offer my initial thoughts on how to draft the 2 color pairs in Tempest Remastered and I'll go over 2 Sealed DE's with Dragons of Tarkir.

Thanks for reading/watching!