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What my grades mean:
I use a letter grade system, and my grades usually fall into a bell curve (Very few A’s and F’s, lots of C’s.)
A – Straight bombs that are always your first pick, they completely warp the game in your favor, and they easily pull you into their color(s). You always first pick these. These are cards you are ecstatic to have in your deck. Tend to mostly be Mythics or Rares, though sometimes there are a couple of Uncommons that get there (Vivien, Monster’s Advocate, Winona, Joiner of Forces, Auspicious Starrix)
B – Premium removal spells, highly efficient creatures, often worth first picking. Still strong enough to pull you into their colors, but not quite as game or draft warping as A’s are. These are cards you feel good about having in your deck, and you would play several copies of most of them. Mostly Uncommons and higher, but there are usually 5-10 commons that get here. (Pacifism, Grimdancer, Dreamtail Heron)
C – Filler. These are cards you neither feel good or bad about having in your deck. You play them if you’re in their colors, but they don’t tempt you to go into their color at all. (Dark Bargain, Honey Mammoth, Wingfold Pteron)
D – Playable sometimes. These are cards that you don’t feel so good about playing, but in a pinch, sometimes you just have to play them. These are often vanilla creatures or overly narrow cards (Crystacean, Dranith Magistrate,, Keep Safe)
F – Unplayable. These are cards that you should never play. These occur at all rarities, with the most usually appearing at Rare and Common. These are cards whose effects are pretty much useless or overly narrow. (Because Ikoria put cycling on basically every card that would be an F, I’m using some older examples here: Inspire Awe, Fruit of Tizerus, Field of Ruin)
Build-Around: For some cards, I will give two grades. These are cards that need special synergy to be at their best – synergy that won’t just come naturally. For these cards, I give one grade indicating how I think the card will perform in a typical deck of that color, and another grade if you manage to get there on synergy.
Sideboard Grades: I also give two grades for sideboard cards. These are generally cards that are Ds or Fs in your mainboard, but can perform much better out of the sideboard – at least as a C or higher.
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Animations by Mike from Mythic Tales. Find his channel filled with awesome MTG animation here: https://www.youtube.com/user/RadioCommand
I Can Feel it Coming Kevin MacLeod (http://incompetech.com )
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