Until I can figure out how to get people other than the Phoenix players with Ashiok - pilots of Izzet Phoenix decks; not a subset of players living in urban Arizona - I'm done with Standard. This is one of the best Standard formats I've ever seen, and I can't stop drafting long enough to play it anymore.
If you're like me, you spend hours on Arena drafting. It's quick, it's easy, and best of all, it has as few Magic games as possible so we can get back to the best part: drafting again!
Anyway, if you're tardy to the party and want some quick and easy wins in best-of-one, these are some of the best ways to steal some dubs without the usual prerequisite practice:
Stealth Mission looks pretty okay on a Sky Theater Strix, but it has flying so nobody was blocking it anyway. Tibalt's Rager does get blocked, though. It's one of the few mana sinks in this format, and you can often reach a point in the game where you wait for the Stealth Mission to show and then just blow them out. It's a lot cooler than getting Devil's Play'd twice in back to back turns, so it makes you feel good inside, though your opponent will mostly feel the same.
People I trust say Blue is the best in traditional paper two out of three drafting, and I'm inclined to agree for the Arena sphere. Narset is an advantage machine in the best kinds of Blue decks, and Teferi's Lime with a Twist is the most reliable way to reset her. It often involves an opponent getting blown out of a combat step as well. The card is indistinguishable from Time Walk is what I'm saying.
This deck is most definitely not my style, but it is "a thing you can do." Lightshields are all over the place with the draft bots right now, so you can assemble it without effort. I don't think it's good enough for a lot of seven-win runs, but Teyo's Lightshield is going to make a lot of your decks anyway. Adjust payoff expectations or forever be disappointed: swimming, nay, drowning in toughness - and yet...you'll feel so powerless.
Just take the damn thing. This is removal like people used to get. They could take it away tomorrow. Let's just try to enjoy this while we can, like a family.
Law-Rune Enforcer is everything you'd expect anyway, but when the thing doubles up as machine gun ammo it's a real attitude adjuster. Nahiri has underwhelmed me in general because of how little I tend to like the decks that most make use of her static ability; however, there's no denying the Jordan + Pippen situation that goes on here when the stars align.
Eternal Taskmaster fans, beware: that is a bad, bad topdeck to experience in this scenario.
This is never the first place I go, but here it is. Dreadmalkin overachieves in virtually every game - including ones I expect it to overachieve in! - so it doesn't take much incentive anyway. The biggest challenge of something like this in War of the Spark Limited (and perhaps the biggest challenge of the format, at large) is that there's an abundance of non-creature spells that are significantly tempting but that severely weaken your deck if too many total creatures are cut for them.
At any rate, is the color combination that seems to have less trouble with this. Between critical masses of amass and serviceable players like Duskmantle Operative, this is a combo that makes some sense to me. Or you could say screw it and play Modern Bogles using Spellgorger Weird and the Red instants. I wouldn't recommend any of this over playing Blue cards, as I find that the format most often rewards those that want longer games over those that want shorter ones, but between the removal, the relevant Planeswalkers - Angrath is something else, and Tibalt is (finally) no slouch - and a timely Devouring Hellion, you can roll this way.
In some ways, this isn't even a combo so much as it is the defining sequence of the format. Callous Dismissal is already in a league of its own when it spends most of its time not only being a Swords to Plowshares but a Swords to Plowshares that gives you a 1/1 in return. I've propped up Toll of the Invasion before as an excellent space between Thoughtseize misery and Nightsnare uselessness, but when paired here with Callous Dismissal, it's often good enough to survive the format's most pushed bombs.
Yes, yes, Grateful Apparition and a card that uses counters is about as clever a combo as an Island and a Flying Men, but I'm speaking in reference to a very specific scenario: turn one on the play. This format is quite low on 1-drops, and it is totally reasonable to cast the Conjurant for one, cast the Spirit on two, find any way in the world to get a counter on the Spirit - Teyo's Lightshield, Courage in Crisis, and New Horizons are readily available - and then beat them senseless. I never have the Bloom Hulk the turn after, but who knows, maybe your life is better than mine.
Other Important Words of Wisdom
This is a format about making one big token rather than a bunch of small ones. Turning this into Overrun is rare if not impossible. I wouldn't bother.
I've never seen this card do anything.
Wardscale Crocodile killed your wife. Don't believe his lies.
I'm not convinced this card is actually in packs. If seen, please contact me. Also congrats on your deck.
These kinds of cards are quickly becoming my favorite new design tradition. Especially because best-of-one currently deals with bot drafting, there are all kinds of ways to think about cards like this.
And yes, you can do this. I don't know the optimal way, so I'm not going to give any kind of rundown, but as of the current patch, the alleys are crawling with em. Nevertheless, it doesn't seem to be worth a draft or a deck, so nobody is doing it at the moment. Are you the catwoman we've been waiting for?
While not really a combo, these two are the team making the most consistent best-of-one draft decks as of now. They both want the same kinds of cards, and Blue is already so generally ahead of the other colors that it really doesn't take much effort. Remember what I said earlier about the spell quality making it difficult to play a sufficient number of creatures without causing building tensions? Yeah these two don't care. I've gone as low as five creatures - two Strix, three Drake, for the historians among you - and it was my easiest seven wins to this point.
For all the great War of the Spark has done for Constructed, it is a marvel of a Limited format. 5000 coins gets you in! Draft with me, friends!