Last updated on July 30, 2021
You know, building the perfect Limited deck is kind of like assembling the perfect D&D party. You want to make sure you put together a great team with a bunch of different skills and abilities, ready to handle any situation. Some of your members are bruisers, ready to smash your opponents in the face the second they show up. Some are tricky, perhaps looking to counter a key spell in an unexpected situation.
But whatever you bring to the table, you have to make sure that a character or card has enough going on to be a strong contributor.
For this exclusive Dungeons & Dragons: Adventures in the Forgotten Realms card preview, I thought it would be really fun to judge our card on its attributes, just like a D&D character, to see if we should invite it into our party.
By the way, thank you to Wizards of the Coast for providing the free card. Let’s do this!
World, allow me to introduce you to Djinni Windseer:
What a sweet card. As an old school Magic player, I’m still impressed at how much commons do these days. Take a good look, because we’re going to analyze every piece of this card in great detail!
Okay, let’s see just how worthy Djinni Windseer is to make the cut.
Well, we can’t exactly evaluate a piece of cardboard on its Strength and Dexterity, can we? Not directly, but we can get close if we’re a little figurative.
We’ve created some Magic-specific ability scores for a Limited card. These are going to give us a complete picture of the card once we look at it from each of these different angles.
- Raw Power (Strength): How good is this card in a vacuum compared to other cards? Can it win the game on its own?
- Flexibility (Dexterity): Can it be used in a lot of different board states and situations?
- Mana Efficiency (Constitution): Are we getting a good deal for the price we’re paying?
- Synergy Potential (Charisma): Is this card going to synergize with the themes and archetypes in this set?
All right, now we’re ready to rate the card (out of 20) based on these factors! How many points will it get?
Strength (Raw Power)
I think this card is pretty darn good for a common. It does a whole lot of things.
It’s a creature, and a threat at that. As a 3-powered flier, it can close the game out fairly quickly, especially with some support or protection. Think about how quickly you were clocking people with Combat Professor in Strixhaven.
But what if it gets Lightning Bolted to oblivion? The good news is that you’ve gotten some value immediately after dropping the card because of its enter the battlefield ability. If your opponent simply trades 1-for-1 with a removal spell, you’re already up on the exchange.
On average, the expected value of the scry ability when you play this card is scry 1.6. That is, of course, unless you have some way to manipulate die rolls. And I wouldn’t worry too much about getting the “natural 20” scry 3 ability. While an extra scry is nice, there are some pretty big diminishing returns between scry 2 and scry 3 anyway.
I’m going to give Windseer a slight knock for being a 4-drop, since you don’t want to draft too many of them. And I’d rather have a conditional draw effect than a scry, but whatever.
All in all, the power level is pretty high for a common.
Score: 13 / 20
On boards where you’re ahead, Windseer helps you push your advantage. Fliers do a great job at breaking board stalls, too. Unfortunately, as a 3/3, it’s probably not going to brick wall too many of your opponent’s attackers. And you’ll probably be disinclined to block with your nice 3/3 threat after you tap out to play it on turn 4.
When you’re behind, you’ll likely have to trade it off with an opposing 3-drop. If your opponent lets you. But who wants to do that?
The scry ability adds a ton of extra flexibility to the card. Think about it: if you’re digging to hit your fifth land drop, a scry 1 or 2 will greatly increase your chances of getting it. If you’re a little land-heavy and want to make sure you keep drawing gas, you’ll have enough info on turn 4 to confidently bottom more lands. So this ability is definitely good in the early game.
Windseer is also a great topdeck later in the game, too. It allows you to quickly bottom any extra lands you see coming up which helps you find more of your action cards and take over the game.
I think this is a good card, and all but the most controlling of decks are going to be happy to include a copy or two.
Score: 13 / 20
Constitution (Mana Efficiency)
But supplement that with some extra value and an ETB? I think that’s a great deal. We’re not in Sarulf’s Packmate territory (I’d be surprised if this were the best blue common), but sign me up anyway!
Score: 14 / 20
Charisma (Synergy Potential)
Now this is the fun part. We get to speculate about what’s going to be in this set.
Core sets very, very frequently have a blue/white “skies” or “flying matters” archetype in them. You can usually draft a pile of fliers, some walls as ground blockers, mix in some tempo spells, and just call it a deck. If Adventures in the Forgotten Realms is no exception, then you’ll definitely want to get your hands on as many Windseers as you can for a strategy like that.
As you can tell by the day this article is coming out, though, there’s actually going to be a D20 theme in AFR! So that random “rider” clause on the card actually matters for synergy, too? Amazing!
I’m not privy to all the cards that use this mechanic, but its existence makes me strongly suspect you’re going to want this to enable “whenever you roll a D20” effects. And I’m sure the payoff will be worth it since this is already an effective Limited card without any extra synergy bonuses.
There’s some small chance that a card or two could care about scry mattering, too, which would probably also make this a huge synergy glue piece. But this is all just a complete guess since we haven’t seen the full set yet.
Score: 10 / 20
Now we need to translate these ability scores to come up with a final score for the card. I’ve given each ability score a weight based on how important I think they are for the overall assessment of a card in a pack 1 pick 1 situation for draft.
Kind of the opposite function of D&D’s iconic ability modifiers, but we work with what we have.
|Strength (Raw Power)||.5|
|Constitution (Mana Efficiency)||.2|
|Charisma (Synergy Potential)||.1|
So with these modifiers applied, we get:
|Strength (Raw Power)||13 * .5||6.5|
|Dexterity (Flexibility)||13 * .2||2.6|
|Constitution (Mana Efficiency)||14 * .2||2.8|
|Charisma (Synergy Potential)||10 * .1||1.0|
The Final Score
That gives us a final score of 12.9 out of a possible 20. Not bad for a common!
If we look at the cards in terms of Draftsim’s Limited ratings, which are typically out of 5, I think this card is going to be picked around a 2.7 in the “Above Average Cards” tier.
I doubt you’re going to really be picking this card first, but after you grab your bombs, premium uncommons, and super-efficient removal, I have a feeling you’re going to be happy taking some Windseers for your deck.
Welcome to our party, Djinni Windseer!
Dungeons & Dragons: Adventures in the Forgotten Realms comes to MTG Arena on July 8. If you’re looking for a little extra help with draft and sealed, be sure to check out our free app Arena Tutor. It gives you AI-powered hints while you draft and build your decks!
Finally, if you just can’t wait for Adventures in the Forgotten Realms to be released, you’re in luck. You can practice drafting for free early next week on our draft simulator so that you’re ready to go once the set comes out on MTGA.
See you next time!
Update: We’ve now got an incredible AFR draft guide that breaks down literally everything you’ll ever need to know about the format. Be sure to check it out.