Earlier this week, I touched on the fact that while red is probably the weakest color in Fate Reforged, players are overcompensating for that fact and leaving it wide open in drafts. But that article really only touched on the best red cards, and I think that aggro in general is better in FKK Draft. A large part of that is that there are a number of two-drops in each color that have sped up the format significantly. Today, let’s touch on some of the best two-drop beaters from the new set.
In a format where players often aren’t sticking a creature until turn three, a three-power two-drop with upside is pretty darn good at getting the clock going. Soul Summons is effectively just a marginally better Travelling Philosopher, but it attacks for two on turn three, which is what’s most important here.
While not a two-drop, Sandsteppe Outcast is another big tool for white aggro decks. I do not believe I have chosen the +1/+1 counter even once, and that’s because two bodies, including one flyer, are so much better with Trumpet Blast, Rush of Battle, and War Flare in the format.
One last two-drop to discuss in white: Arashin Cleric. This should most decidedly not be making it into your aggro decks, despite being a two-drop. The life gain doesn’t matter and the one power is just plain bad. That said, because aggro is better, this card becomes a powerful sideboard card for control decks. Keep that in mind if you’re going the slow route.
Like white, blue has a couple two-drops I quite like.
I won a draft with a two-Frost Walker deck recently. It never once hit my opponents, even when played on turn two, but it traded up for morphs like Abzan Guide every time I played it. This thing takes 20 percent of an opponent’s life total, so you can expect opponents to trade off when possible. If they get stuck on mana, this is going to end the game quickly. If not, it will trade with something as good or better than it. I will note that I prefer to trade this off as soon as possible—I don’t want to give my opponents a chance to Aven Surveyor for value.
Jeskai Sage is not the most insane in an aggro deck, although with manifest running around, blue decks have a much easier time both hitting prowess triggers and creatures. Write Into Being is my favorite follow-up play after a turn-two Sage. Sultai Skullkeeper is fine, especially if you have lots of delve in your deck, but I find Fate Reforged to be deep enough that I tend to end up with more Wetland Sambars in my deck.
Black is not the most aggressive color in Fate Reforged, but it does pack one of the most powerful two-drops:
If you can play this on turn two and follow up with a red or white permanent on turn three, most opponents are going to have a hard time winning from that point. I’m glad this is an uncommon, because facing three or four of these would be a nightmare.
Sultai Emissary is a fine two-drop, but I prefer it as a speed bump in control decks.
I covered red earlier, so you know my favorite twos here:
It’s also worth pointing out Smoldering Efreet, which is not by any means an early pick but is fine filler, especially if you’re light on two-drops. It’s a slightly worse Traveling Philosopher, but the downside hardly matters if you’re playing it in the right decks.
One last card I want to discuss from Khans of Tarkir:
I am quite sure I never once cast this card in triple Khans, but in this new format, I think it’s much improved. Playing this on turn two is a great way to get the beats started quickly, and if you draw it late, you can hold it until you’re ready for a surprise alpha strike. Don’t get me wrong: I don’t think it’s a high pick by any means, but it’s way more playable and should be kept in mind if you’re dedicated to aggro.
Green is by far the least aggressive color in Fate Reforged, with only one new two-drop you might want to play in aggro, and not necessarily a good one at that:
This card appears to offer options, but it is such a feel-bad to use its search function. Obviously the card would be insane if the land went to your hand, but talk about strictly better than Sylvan Ranger, right?
You’re the Beatdown
It’s amazing how much a single pack can change a draft format, but I’m sensing that the FKK is a turn or two faster than triple Khans. Have you been having success with aggro with Fate Reforged added to the mix? Are you drafting with aggro in mind, picking up low drops for your sideboard? Let me know what you think of the format and how best to win in it.