As I mentioned in my Boros Deck Wins (Zendikar Constructed) write-up, I have recently come back to Magic via Arena.
One of my goals is to build up my collection in order to enjoy Standard, in particular now that Omnath is gone. So glad I avoided that meta. I’m a relatively good drafter: no one is going to mistake me for a pro, but I could reasonably draft my way to a decent collection on Magic Online with relatively little investment 5-6 years ago. I’m attempting to do the same in Magic Arena.
Unfortunately, I know nothing about recent sets. And Wizards of the Coast is rotating through Standard-eligible sets as draft events, which is a siren’s call for someone like me who enjoys Limited and wants to build a collection.
I wish I had done a better job of documenting, but so far I’ve drafted 25-35 times and am only down around 4,000 gems. I did pick up a mastery pass, so there has been some offsetting of gem cost via that. At this point, I have managed to obtain Mythic (currently fluctuating 95-98%) within the last two weeks.
I say all of this to provide some context that I’m pretty good, but not great, at drafting.
I plan to do some recapping of interesting drafts, and figured my two recent back-to-back 7-x Thrones of Eldraine drafts were a good place to start.
Mono Blue, splash Black/White
This is a classic Thrones of Eldraine mill deck, consisting of:
With these main pieces, the deck was able to successfully hold off opponents in order to set up a mill win. Except for two-games where 2x Moonlit Scavengers were enough to force through damage.
For some people, these may be obvious. But here are some key takeaways (e.g., tricks and tips) for this deck.
Merfolk Secretkeeper + Run Away Together
You can get a lot of mileage towards the milling goal with just these two cards. Mill, Play, Block/Bounce, Mill, Play. This sequence occupies your opponent’s resources and lets you take extra cards out of their library.
The beauty of this deck is that there are several good targets for the Run Away Together depending on the situation: Giant Killer, Queen of Ice, Tome Raider, Moonlit Scavengers.
Turn into a Pumpkin + Moonlit Scavengers
Several games relied on me having Turn into a Pumpkin to generate a Food token in order to turn on Moonlit Scavengers. Honorable mention goes to Charmed Sleep which can serve as both removal and Scavengers activator.
Giant Killer was clutch throughout the 7-win run.
Forever Young not so much. I only drew it in 3 games, and never had the opportunity to use it (including once when I could not get my Merfolk Secretkeeper killed in order to bring back.
One last note: I would rarely (if ever) attempt a double splash like this in non-green decks without Fabled Passage.
Mono Blue, splash Black
This deck is blue stall/quality + black-based bombs. Black presented itself in pack 2 (back-to-back Serpent and Rankle) as a bomby second color. But, ultimately, black dried up throughout the draft. So I ended up with this black splash that sometimes required drawing most of the deck to find a real win condition.
3 out of 7 games were ended by Lochmere Serpent, though sometimes it took quite a while to get to it. Same with Rankle, except it took only 2 out of 7 games by itself.
There really isn’t anything too interesting to talk about with this deck. Making it to 7 wins required proper threat assessment and board management. The big-butt turtle (Mistford River Turtle) and merfolk walls (Wishful Merfolk) put in a lot of work stalling out the game. Or enabling favorable trades.
And Run Away Together is one of my favorite spells in this format. The little spell seems to always get me out of a bad situation, except for those times where my opponent runs me out of creatures. But generally, it’s accruing some serious value for a 2-CMC card. In particular with the value creatures blue has available. And this + Covetous Urge made one opponent quite sad.