For many players, draft is one of the most enjoyable formats available. Limited play requires no previous deck construction, so you don’t have to worry about investing into a specific deck. Each set presents a unique draft environment with a multitude of different archetypes to move into. It can be fun to try to try to read signals and draft what’s open.
Of course, not all cards in any draft environment are created equal. While it can be fun to open and play with a powerful Planeswalker or mythic rare, some cards are so powerful that they can feel rather unbeatable at times, even if you have a strong deck overall. One of the worst feelings in draft is when you are playing a fun, interactive game, but your opponent drops an absurd bomb that you can’t remove and the game ends soon after.
In general, these cards are of high rarity and are still very much beatable in the right scenarios. Still, losing in a similar fashion can leave a sour taste in your mouth. Today, we are going to focus on the best Limited bombs of 2023. Particularly, ones that felt the most egregious and led to the most unfun play patterns. To help showcase the absurd win rates of some of these cards on MTG Arena, we will be using data from 17lands.com.
Notably, though, while many of the cards on this list may have the highest or close to the highest win rates within their associated sets, we will be trying to focus on the biggest bombs that were the most harmful to their respective Limited formats. With this in mind, here are the top five MTG Most Harmful Limited Bombs of 2023.
Right off the bat, we have one of the most frustrating cards to try to play around in recent memory. Board wipes for four and five mana are naturally pretty strong in Limited. This is because you have a lot of agency over how to utilize them. You can often bait your opponent to overextend as they try to apply pressure. Still, pure board wipes like Wrath of God aren’t always reliable.
Sometimes, your opponent won’t extend too far to the board in anticipation of the Wrath effect, purposefully sandbagging Creatures. This may force you to fire off the Wrath sooner than you might want, and then your opponent gets the first crack at rebuilding. What sets Sunfall apart is that you also get an enormous threat out of the deal. Even if your opponent can rebuild, if you got to exile a decent number of Creatures with Sunfall in the first place, your opponent will likely need a removal spell on top of everything to push through.
As an Incubator token, though, you can even play around Sorcery speed removal by waiting to animate your token until you intend to attack or block with it. Sunfall has a whopping 68.3% win rate when drawn turn one or later, showcasing how good it is at bailing you out of otherwise unwinnable situations. As a board wipe and a win condition in one, it can be very hard to play against, and quite infuriating to lose to.
#4 Bonehoard Dracosaur
Next, we have Bonehoard Dracosaur, which is a completely different animal. The Lost Caverns of Ixalan has a lot of very powerful cards at the five-mana slot, including Aclazotz, Deepest Betrayal and Palani’s Hatcher. All three of these cards have extremely high win rates of at least 67% both when drawn turn one or later or when in your opening hand. They even have relatively close win rates simply when played in the main deck, ranging from 59.1% to 60.7%. So what sets Bonehoard Dracosaur apart in this list?
Beyond simply having the highest win rate in all three categories listed above, what earns Bonehoard Dracosaur the fourth spot in this ranking is the play patterns associated with it. The card essentially gives your opponent a one-turn window to kill the card before getting buried in card advantage and board presence.
Best case scenario, you answer the card in a one-for-one manner and the game progresses. Even a single upkeep trigger from Dracosuar, though, will result in your opponent pulling exceptionally far ahead. This play pattern of “kill Dracosaur immediately or lose” feels very unpleasant in a draft environment.
#3 Gruff Triplets
Similar to Bonehoard Dracosaur, Gruff Triplets from Wilds of Eldraine has the highest win rate in its associated set, whether in the main deck, opening hand, or drawn during the game. The difference, though, is that removing Gruff Triplets in a one-for-one manner is nearly impossible. The only saving grace for this card is that it costs six mana. Once on the table, though, it is a nightmare to fight through.
Removal spells aren’t very effective against it, as it generates two additional token copies of itself when it enters the battlefield. If that weren’t enough, if any copies die, the remaining copies grow significantly larger. Given that they all have Trample, blocking your way out of this mess is extremely difficult, as is attacking into it. Gruff Triplets is in a rare category of card that can instantly stabilize the board for you even if behind, hence why it is high up on this list.
#2 Horn of Gondor
At a 60.1% win rate when in the main deck, Horn of Gondor is only the card with the third-highest win rate from LOTR in this category. Yet, it comes in at number two on this list for a few reasons. First of all, as a colorless rare, basically any deck can and will utilize it. As an Artifact, it is nearly impossible to interact with, especially in game one. As a three-drop, it comes down early and threatens to take over the game individually.
All of these things collectively give it a spot high up on this list. Every turn, your opponent is going to activate Horn of Gondor, growing their army exponentially. The rest of their hand of cards don’t matter, as they only need to continue to sink mana into the Horn to win. While it is possible to kill their only Humans on board to delay Horn activations, this is easier said than done, and the engine can get rolling again once your opponent plays more Humans from hand. The ability for this hard to interact with three-mana card to completely warp the game is rather unhealthy, earning it a spot on this list.
#1 Orcish Bowmasters
Coming in at number one, we have Orcish Bowmasters. This card is absolutely insane on rate, and is seeing tons of Constructed play for this reason. This card has a 62% win rate when in the main deck and an insane 72.7% win rate when in your opening hand, both of which are significantly higher than the win rates of any other card on this list. There’s a good reason for that, too.
Orcish Bowmasters is simply a card that is always going to be amazing in every scenario. It costs two mana, so unlike Gruff Triplets, you don’t have to worry about not drawing enough Lands to cast it. Right off the bat, you get two Creatures and can ping a small Creature from the opponent. This is already fantastic, but there’s a lot more utility here.
With Flash, you can often mess up your opponent’s attacks by blocking a big Creature with a smaller Creature, then finishing it off with Orcish Bowmaster’s enters-the-battlefield effect. If your opponent ever tries to draw a card outside of the first card they draw during their draw step, not only do you get to distribute additional damage to any targets of your choice, but your Army token will grow larger, making it a threat on its own. Considering how massive the ‘Ring Tempt’ mechanic is in Lord of the Rings Limited, it is very common for players to be looting on attack.
Whether you are playing a deck with lots of Creatures or a deck with some card advantage built in, Bowmasters can ruin your day regardless for only two mana. This sheer combination of power, versatility, and efficiency make Orcish Bowmasters a clear top pick on this list.
Read More: The Most Controversial MTG Cards of 2023