Playing Colorless in Oath of the Gatewatch Draft

First: This is speculation. Not many cards are out, so I can’t really say how many sources for colorless mana you’ll have, but I’m basing this on the idea that we only have the Wastes as a source.

We know this isn’t true, however. For example, Scions and Hedron Archive produce colorless mana and both Evolving Wilds and Pilgrim’s Eye can find Wastes. Still, I’m going with the aforementioned assumption.

If you don’t have a clue on what I’m talking about, I’m talking about the new “sixth” color in Magic, which isn’t actually a color at all. Colorless mana is finally getting a symbol

In an eight player pod, each player opens three boosters, two of which are from Oath of the Gatewatch, so a total of 16 OGW boosters are opened. Each booster has ten commons, so there are OGW commons opened in a pod (little less actually, because of foils). There are 70 different commons in the set, with Wastes appearing twice. So, the number of Wastes you can expect to see in a pod is 1 / 35 * 160 = 160 / 35 = 4.6.

Supposing you happen to open a Kozilek, the Great Distortion, can you play it?

kozilekthegreatdistortion

wastes

Would you splash for a card with a double requirement for mana? Maybe, if its really good. Kozilek could very well be that good, if your deck can support ten drops. On the other hand, if you can expect 4.6 sources on average, supposing no one else in the pod is interested (and I bet people will hate pick these), it might not be worth it.

Based on this number, its not.

Of course, as I said before, there are other sources of mana you can use, but I don’t think first picking Kozilek will be very exciting, especially if there are cards at lower rarities which require colorless mana.

So, I think taking these cards highly is going to be a risky proposition. This is probably somewhat mitigated if these cards are in the higher rarities, but there’s already at least one uncommon spoiled and they have a design philosophy of having the theme (and thus the mechanic) at common, so that people will see it when opening boosters. (Although they somewhat broke this rule with Dragons of Tarkir, but placed enough dragons on the uncommon spots to make them easily available.)

We’ll have to see. It might be that colorless is going to have so little support that it can’t support more than one player in a pod, but I doubt that. There’s going to be enough for two, probably three players on the table. None of whom are totally colorless, of course. I think you’ll still have to pick those lands and other sources quite highly, if you want to go that route.

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