Ok, I'm curious as to what everyone else's impressions of odd. where from their PR?
Green is the strongest colour. It has some of the best early common-drops (Werebear and wild mongrel, possibly the best common in the block) and also the majority of fat in the block. It also has the spectacularly good flashback-instant guys.
in a sealed environment, creatures in general seemed to be at a bit of a premium (making green's fat even better).
The removal is thinner on the ground than before, and mostly burn. Note the lack of goodness in the burn vs fat ratio.
That all aside, however, I think the strongest single card would have to be Aboshan. Aboshan is a one-card win condition if you can deal with flyers.
White and blue have a lot of flyers. Red and black have a number of decent two drops which seem to be the key to beating some of those green decks mentioned previously.
Or course, we may have just all been missing the obvious. Opinions?
I wasnt at the prereleases, but remember that green alway looks stronger at the prereleases than it really is.
It is helped by generally low amounts ow removal in the block, meaning it's fatties are strong.
As always however, a lack of evasion ability means that green cant go it alone. From what little I've seen of the set, White seems very strong, having some strong commons, some AMAZING defense to keep you in it (and hopelessly lock up green mages), then great finishers like that 2/4 threshold dude.
Black's best asset appears to be the ability to deny an opponent threshold. Also, it's common threshold creatures seem to gain a lot less than other colours', so it can use it's graveyard for all it's activated ability creatures.
I havent seen much of red and blue yet, but red has not overly impressed me. I'm sure blue will be solid in draft. It almost always is.
I've also done a draft w/ some boosters some of my friends won, and am doing another tommorrow night. (I went 1/2 due to idiocy).
The problem, we all agreed after a while, is that green has the best card advantage in the set - the instant flashback dudes. Your opponent attacks, you smack down one of his guys with a beast attack and have another next turn. It really, really hurts.
Odyssey has a lot of overcosted cards. A lot. Green, however, has good early drops plus instant creatures in addition to the usual giant growth and fog tricks.
I went 6-2 (13th out of about 250) at the pre-release with a G/U/w deck. At first I though it was mediocre because of limited removal. But a pair of Wild Mongrels, a Werebear, Nimble Mongoose, and Chatter of the Squirrel would come out strong and quickly put my opponents on the defensive. 4 Sac lands helped me to reach threshold. In several games I was able to discard a Roar of the Wurm to a Wild Mongrel and then flashback it into play. A 6/6 on turn 4 wins games!
In the later rounds, G was very common on the upper boards, with G/U being the most popular.
I went 6-1 with W/U. Lots of evasion, protection, and two of the healers. No removal--which actually helped since my opponents had trouble getting to threshhold. No counters, no bounce, just some card drawing (Concentrate--the fixed Ancestral--is "ok"). My one loss was to U/W/G with counters, bounce and fat.
In the box I won i noticed there are a lot of chaff rares. Ugh
First, I hate this set. Not fun!
Lack of removal makes this set... different. Red gets, what, 7 different removal spells, and black basicly gets... 1!? And its a 4cc enchantment that's about equal to maggot therapy? Some of the "assasins" are pretty good though, but they use up resources pretty fast. In the games I played with them, they can go the distance, however. Even the red removal isn't stellar.
Green has some amazing cards, no arguement. The token generators are excelent.
White got some amazing cards too, including the mystics and so forth.
Blue got some passable cards, but seems weaker than before by quite a margin. The lack of support cards (counters, pseudo-removal) seems to hurt it. It definately can support itself with its tricks, but I wouldn't be likely to draft it like I did.
Red is amazing. The 3 for 1 removal, along with the fact it actually HAS removal, makes it quite good. Its creatures have some severe limitations, which makes green the most likely to work with it...
Black is bad. I can't believe it! No banishings, almost no tricks. It has all these neat cards that just... don't... do anything. It gets zombie infestation. Green gets holistic wisdom or bearscape! Blue has more removal than black for crying out loud! White gets a semi-exile that's a cantrip! Least it got crypt keeper...
Ok, done that rant. No real rares of note, except that I when I played, the game went on to whoever brought out their broken card first. Every time. 13 rounds (2 drafts and pre-release), I died to angel, dragon, 8/8 guys. Every game I won, I won because of my Basilisk.
Black has a couple removal spells you didnt mention ,but 2 are conditional and one is expensive (a fixed cost soul burn with threshold). Still, black isnt that bad and it's ability to deny threshold and fill its grave also helps. It s not the strongest colour, but it's one of three colours to have enough common creatures.
Red has amazing removal. Its creatures are more pathetic than usual. My favourite choice for 2nd colour. It would take Kamahl or equivalent to make this my first colour.
Blue's tempo cards are reliant on threshold not to suck, which isnt good, and only 3 solid common creatures. You get the right stuff and it could be good but overall I think its actually the weakest limited colour for once.
Green got what it always does: beef. Here it got some cool cards and even some card advantage. Still no removal. Still little evasion. In other words, it's stock will drop but it's a solid base colour (pair it with red in draft and you've got something).
White has everything. Fat Asses. Evasion. Tricks. A very deep run of quality common creatures. And better removal than black (sadly). THe best overall colour, but a guaranteed fight in draft (as far as I've seen).
Right, I forgot about the soul burn for three... And the terror that requires cards in your graveyard.
Aether burst cards aren't bad, really, but its no repulse. Blue is pretty weak in this set, unfortunately.
White is so good. You almost HAVE to play it.
Blue could actually be a steal (with green or white) just beacuse it is low priority enough to get you multiple bursts. And multiple bursts make for a very annoying deck to try to beat.
I'll agree there. I got a scivner and 3 burst in one of my drafts... Boy, that for some annoying crap! (Bounce my own and... two of yours! every turn!)
I played 2 tournaments. The first I went 5-1 with WUr (note how easy it is to splash read for 3 burn spells). The second I went 3-0-1 with BRW. Note that I didn't play green either time.
I think green is all about creatures (this much is obvoius). Look at it though...there are 2 non creature cards that are good in green: Muscle Burst and the Flashback fog. Green has a lot of fat, yes, but any of the other colors have many ways of dealing with it.
White gets Kitar's Desire, a lot of ground stall, and then flyers. Blue gets some bounce, some playable counter magic (fervent denial isn't that bad), and some flyers too. Black has graveyard manipulation, some underrated removal (patriachs desire, morbid hunger, ghastly demise are goooood), and some regenerators (dirty wirecat 4L). Red gets an insane amount of common burn (5 common burns spells! 2 common creatures that 187 other creatures!) and not to mention insane uncommons such as Shower of Coals.
Nonetheless, green is good, but I would almost dismiss it if it weren't for Wild Mongrel and Beast Attack. If you get stuck without those (or in my case nothing good but those), don't be afraid to go other colors. I went every color but green and did just fine.
Also, in draft, Green will get overdrafted at first until people realise this, so live it up and get some great UWB cards!
There is some good red, enough to make it playable. It's almost the only removal in the set, and there are a lot of common burn cards. Shower of Coals might as well be wrath of god, especially if you're running a burn heavy deck. I ran red blue, with careful study and such, and threshold was not an issue. Shower of Coals won me every game it popped up in. It's a HUGE card
Exactly what I was going to post, spike. Red blue seem quite good at this stage.
I won a draft on friday night, playing red blue. The key seemed to be to draft red hard early (It was, iirc, the second picked colour) and then go for a back colour later - in this case blue. You must get the 1 and 2 drops to be the tempo player: You simply MUST have dealt a bunch of damage to green by turn 4.
But, given enough burn to deal with early threats and a few flamebursts and kittycats to deal with fatter stuff, I think it is quite doable.
Oh, and draft a few though niblers in this decktype - they are significantly better than they look - sure, you don't drop 'em first turn, but the biggest weakness of green is flyers - one guy I beat by virtue of the fact that he neglected to block my thought nibbler with his centaur-dude for about 7 turns while we had a bit of a ground stall. I was just trying to get threshold initially! (Oh, and when I say 'ground stall' I mean he had massive advantage and didn't want to use it for some dumbass reason.)
BTW, spike - are you from canberra? 'cause the guy I played in the finals of the draft ran R/U with careful study and peak etc, and had a shower of coals as his strongest card, along with recursion for it. Didn't use it on me (phew!)
I don't care for drafting red blue, mainly because :
a) blue excels at reaching threshold, while red benefits more from flashback so cant take advantage.
b) red and blue have the thinnest runs of common creatures (red only really has a few and they are are glutted at the same mana area)
c) with all that removal, you tend to want a colour which can apply early pressure better than blue.
Red does have a ridiculous common run of removal, making it a good for a booster draft 2nd colour as it cant really be kept from you and your red neighbour may never know you took it. It can easily start squablles in rochester, however.
I consider red and blue the two support colours of the format (unless you open and/or are past their gamebreakers such as the cephalid emperor), because they can both provide game-breakers and clear a path, but neither is particularly deep in creatures, so you often need another colour to 'drive'. They are also often the most splashable colours.
Colour combinations to shoot for:
G/U: Here is where your green threshold creatures shine.
G/R: Here is where the pure aggresion of these two colours and the silly removal of red often make this combination seem unfair.
B/R: Black's creatures arent great, but it can deny threshold and has a solid base and curve of playable common creatures. If white or green are a fight, black is the way to go, and it just works best with red.
W/U: White blue is always playable, but usually defensive. Mystic Zealot is a key card here. Second thoughts and kirtar's desire will also help a lot. A little more defensive than I am usually comfortable with when the opponent can have overrun or other similar breakers, this is still very viable with strong symmetry.
W/R: This barely makes this list, and does so only because white is deep and red has amazing removal. There isnt much symmetry here, so you will be trying to win with card quality.
W/G: Similar to W/R in that you do it mainly because the common run is so deep that fights are nearly irrelevant. Tons of power here, and strong early and late game, but not necessarily overwhelming in either.
Mediocre colour combinations:
G/B: Two colours that both want to drive (double coloured mana), and while back has a couple cards which feed the grave, it has many more which 'eat ' it, making your green threshold worse. Added to that, black is no longer the premium removal colour, and green wants removal help.
B/W: Deep, and fine as long as you can pick which colour wears the pants. If you try for best of both worlds, your mana will be rough. Again this has a lack of symmetry however, so there is usually a better option.
B/U: Some symmetry between filling then using the grave, but the common creatures are ineffient and prone to get overwhelmed by the green machine, and needs too many tricks to really compete. Also very mana hungry.
U/R: As I said at the start here, this will leave you constantly passing quality removal in packs two or three in order to desperately fill out your creature complement. Only really good if blue is underdrafted enough to be the strong primary colour (you'll need no blue directly to either side, and no blue to spaces right of you most likely to make ths work).