With Shattered Destiny just around the corner and many months of drafting Shards of Fate soon to be behind us, I found it interesting to go into the client and sort my common cards by quantity—you know, just to see what I drafted the most of. The first thing I noticed is that I must have under-drafted ruby considerably, as I had to scroll down through around forty other commons before I got to the first ruby card. That little piece of information set me to thinking about all the cards I did draft, though. I figured I’d put those thoughts out there just for fun, especially since we’re only thirteen days away from losing our ability to draft three packs of Shards of Fate.
Before I go any farther in, I should make it very clear that these are by no means my favourite commons in their shards. These are purely the cards I own the most of, which is partially influenced by 13-15th picks, forcing archetypes, and lack of availability of other better picks.
Alright. I have a guilty confession: I love drafting Shin’Hare, and I probably won’t ever stop loving it. Blood Cauldron Ritualist is my favourite common far and away, and as such it finds itself as my most owned card. Sure, he’s a 1/1 for three resources and he’s susceptible to the old killer of fun, Zared… But if find yourself in a position to use his ability to sacrifice another troop and become a 5/5 for the turn, he can really explode onto the board. Yes, you need to have troops that you want to sacrifice to really put him to work, but with Concubunny and Shroomshaw usually going pretty late its very possible to get the Blood Cauldron stewing, and your opponent is likely going to have trouble dealing with such a big troop. My favourite part about this card is its ability to remove a blocker from your side of the board with his sacrifice effect to nullify enemy lifedrain or other on-hit effects. He also synergises very well with most buff effects and can avoid damage based removal fairly easily so long as that damage isn’t permanent. Pretty good for a three-drop!
My least favourite part of this card is how he relies so heavily on other troops to activate himself. Blood Cauldron Ritualist on his own is just a 1/1 for three resources and, even if you have the right cards in your deck you might not see all the pieces fall together.
Good ol’ Deevo. This 4/3 for four resources comes with the ‘negative’ side effect of having to send back a troop from your board to your hand. Often times the target of this negative side effect ends up being something you want to play again, thus making it more of a bonus than a downside. You can easily find good troops to combo with this card—anything from Moon’ariu Sensei, Researcher Adept, Briar Legion, and even Scrap Welder, works really well when they get to use their already powerful enter-play effects twice. Probably my favourite part about this card is how he offers a big body to sapphire in addition to his utililty, Sapphire has probably the hardest time of all shards getting out a damage threat, and this guy can deliver. My least favourite part is that he’s useless without a friend on the board to bounce, naturally. Unless you want to just bring him back to hand?
[Captain of the Dragon Guard]
Okay. The Captain weighs in at 4/4 for six, and in Shards of Fate that kind of troop power is actually pretty strong as only five troops come close in relative power level where commons are concerned. That’s not the reason I love the card so much though, and it’s got little to do with why I pick it. The best part of this card is the attached ability to put a troop from your graveyard onto the top of your deck and grant it a permanent +1/+1. This allows you to bring back troops from your graveyard, which is already pretty awesome it is, but the small buff it grants them can easily turn a good troop into a great troop. Easily my favourite part of this is the fact that you can bring back a troop that’s been inspired or otherwise granted permanent buffs, meaning you’re essentially getting two cards back. Bringing back my Forgotten Lord with Blood Aura on it? Yes please! My least favourite part of the card is the heavy cost of six, and the fact that it can really drag your curve up quickly.
This card is unsurprising if you consider the fact that I value Blood Cauldron so highly. Moon’ariu plays well in the sacrificial Shin’Hare deck as well as in pretty much any deck where you have wild. It’s a pretty simple 1/1 for two that draws you an extra card when it comes into play, and one of the few two-drop commons in the game that can fit into pretty much any archetype that its shard is playing at the time. It also makes your opening hands feel a bit better; it’s a lot easier to keep a two-shard hand if you have one or two Moon’ariu sitting alongside, waiting to help dig you into your third and fourth shard drops. My favourite part of the card is its Troop Type of Shin’Hare, which helps it power up Concubunnies, Shin’hare Eulogists, and makes it an okay body if you have a Bucktooth Commander handy. My least favourite part of the card is that it’s difficult to find a lot of, as it’s a fairly high pick in limited. (Is that really a BAD aspect to a card?)
As I’ve mentioned, Ruby is without a doubt my least picked shard. Oftentimes I end up with it as a splash or as a weak secondary shard; it just doesn’t have the same appeal to me in Shards of Fate as the other Shards. Cards like Ruby Pyromancer, Burn, and Ruby Aura are all reasonable picks that you might expect here, but unfortunately those are cards that you rarely manage to see more than two of in your pool. So here we are with Bloodcrazed Zealot, a vanilla 5/4 for five who provides a very reasonable body… and that’s about it. As far as troop size goes in Shards of Fate, he’s one of the biggest commons and he pairs well with any sort of enhancements you can give him. A flying 5/4 is very powerful indeed. I’m not saying this card is FANTASTIC, but he can do some work and I’d happily run two or three if my top end needs some big troops. My favourite part with Bloidcrazed Zealot is how powerful he gets if you can give him any permanent buff or ability. My least favourite part is… being in Ruby to begin with.
So are my most-common commons the best cards? Not really. I promise you that there are better picks in each shard; removal or evasive cards in each slot would definitely be better and none of these are bombs. These are just the cards that I ended up with the most of—maybe because I cut them more often than not, maybe because I force Shin’Hare too hard, or maybe they just work in enough different decks within their shards. This is just a short look into how I deal with draft, and what’s usually available when I’m at the table.
What are your top five most commons after months of drafting? What do you WISH were your top five? Thanks for reading, and Stay Lucky!