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Magic Origins Limited Archetypes, Enemy Pairs


Reviewing individual cards and how good they are in Limited is extremely important, but it's also useful to know what types of decks exist in the format. In this article, I'll be going over the second half of the ten two-color archetypes in the set, the enemy color pairs: White/Black, Blue/Red, Black/Green, Red/White, and Green/Blue. You can check out the Ally Color Archetypes if you missed Part One.

When I provide examples of cards in each section, I will limit myself to talking about Commons and Uncommons. Rares and Mythics show up too infrequently to be available every draft. I will, however, mention which Rares and which Mythics match up well with which two-color archetypes.

White/Black - Enchantress

Enchantments

$ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00

$ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00

While there are a number of enchantments to choose from, some of them (Grasp of the Hieromancer and Infernal Scarring at least) work much better in aggressive decks than in controlling builds like White/Black tends toward. There's also Valor in Akros not pictured here, but I think the card is generally not worth consideration in this archetype.

Enchantment Synergy

$ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00

$ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00

As with some of the archetypes discussed in the previous article, the payoff cards for White/Black are more impressive than the enablers. Blessed Spirits is good as a vanilla flyer and they each get fairly impressive if you can trigger them once. Keep in mind that each of these creatures care about any type of enchantment, except for Totem-Guide Hartebeest which can only tutor for Auras.

The only Rare/Mythic Rare that pairs well with this archetype specifically is Sigil of the Empty Throne, and even that takes some work. If you're especially daring, you could try Helm of the GodsDemonic Pact, Tainted Remedy or Starfield of Nyx. While I still want to try out Helm and the Pact (maybe with a main deck Enlightened Ascetic to turn it off), I don't think Remedy or Starfield are ever worth running.

Here's an example White/Blue deck I've drafted. I'd rate it 5/10. It has six good payoff cards, but Starfield of Nyx didn't turn out to be worth running and Sigil of the Empty Throne may have even been a little greedy. Replace each of those with a Weight of the Underworld and this deck becomes a lot more consistent.

Blue/Red - Artifacts

Artifacts

$ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00

$ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00

$ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00

In addition to the good artifact sources above, they are plenty more not good enough to picture. At the mediocre level, we have Alchemist's VialGuardians of Meletis, Sigil of Valor, Veteran's Sidearm, and War Horn. At the nigh-unplayable level are Angel's TombJayemdae Tome, and Prism Ring.

Artifact Synergy

$ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00

$ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00

Take note that Ghirapur Aether Grid is missing from this list — that's because it's usually a bad card.

The payoff cards for this archetype are not actually that exciting. Instant-speed Divination isn't something I'd be willing to work very hard for and Whirler Rogue is good without needing other artifacts around. The real power is with Reclusive Artificer and Chief of the Foundry. Getting a Flametongue Kavu or Glorious Anthem on a stick is something worth building your deck around.

Rares and Mythics that combo with artifacts or are themselves artifacts are Hangarback Walker, Mage-Ring Responder, Pia and Kiran Nalaar, and Thopter Spy Network. I especially look forward to the day when I use a Thopter Engineer to give a Mage-Ring Responder haste. A good rule of thumb is to ignore the 5-mana Rare artifacts: Alhammarret's Archive, Orbs of Warding, and Pyromancer's Goggles. I don't plan to follow my own advice with Goggles (I hope to combo them with Chandra's Fury), but the first two mentioned are truly terrible.

Below is a Blue/Red deck I drafted and I rate it at 7/10. It only has two payoff cards in two Chief of the Foundry, but they were quite strong. Hangarback Walker is an extremely good card and is even better than usual in this deck.

Black/Green - Elves

Elves

$ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00

$ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00

Similar to the high quality of the Renown creatures, all of these Elves (barring Thornbow Archer) are cards I'd be happy to play in non-Elf decks. When an archetype only asks that you draft high-quality creatures, it's hard to refuse.

Elf Synergy

$ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00

$ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00

In addition to the seven normal Elves, four of the payoff cards in this archetype are also Elves. This archetype really is about going wide with a lot of smaller creatures. As a rule of thumb, I would not recommend putting Sylvan Messenger in your deck with fewer than five targets.

It is possible to build a generic Black/Green midrange deck that ignores Elf synergies, but I think they will be less common than their tribal counterpart.

Rares and Mythic Rare Elves that serve as great starting points for an Elf deck are Dwynen, Gilt-Leaf Daen, Gilt-Leaf Winnower, and Nissa, Vastwood Seer. Keep in mind that these are all first-pickable cards so you won't often get these cards passed to you even if you're the only dedicated Elf drafter at the table. I mentioned liking Joraga Invocation in the Green/White Renown archetype, but I also like it paired with Green/Black due to the prevalence of Elvish Visionary and Leaf Gilder.

Here's a great Black/Green deck I drafted. I'd rate it 8/10. It's a little light on targeted removal, but it's great at quickly pumping out Elves and attacking with them. While Thornbow Archer is normally a card I don't prefer, it enabled me to play one of my Dwynen's Elite turn two so I considered it worth it. It's also worth pointing out that Eyeblight Massacre can kill nothing in my deck.

Red/White - Aggro

Mark Rosewater wrote that Red/White's archetype is "Go wide" in Magic Origins. Much like Red/Green ended up as a generic midrange archetype, Red/White feels like a generic aggro archetype with only a minor focus on tokens and flooding the board with creatures.

Aggressive Creatures/Multiple Creatures

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$ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00

Both Red and White are gifted with multiple strong aggressive creatures at Common in the set. Pair that with Red's removal and White's pump effects and you have a color combination that can be explosively powerful.

Team Buffs/Aggressive Spells

$ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00

These are some of my favorite effects to include in my Origins Red/White decks. Act of Treason and Seismic Elemental let you sneak large amounts of damage in out of nowhere while Ampryn Tactician and Kytheon's Tactics work best in this archetype when you have many cheap creatures on your side of the battlefield.

Rares and Mythics that go well with this archetype consist of any cheap aggressive cards such as Exquisite Firecraft, Knight of the White Orchid, Kytheon, Hero of Akros, or Scab-Clan Berserker.

Below is one of my Red/White draft decks. I give it a 7/10. The Mage-Ring Bullys are certainly a liability that I'd consider sideboarding out against certain decks, but I do have quite a few ways to trigger them to turn them into 3/3s. Combining Rogue's Passage or Subterranean Scout with Iroas's Champion followed by a Titan's Strength is a combo that never transpired in game.

Green/Blue - Tempo

 

Tempo creatures

$ 0.00$ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00

$ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00

The concept of "tempo" is a hard one to pin down, but luckily Reid Duke recently polished up an article on tempo which we can refer to. The nuts and bolts of it is that being ahead on tempo means that you utilize your resources to keep your board presence and speed in the game well matched against the opponent's forces.

Tempo Spells

$ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00

 

Send to Sleep is not a card I think is particularly good, but I still believe it will be underrated. Will of the Naga had a good effect when you could cast it and Send to Sleep can do the same thing for just two flat mana. It does have a setup cost, but usually by the time that you want to cast this card you should have Spell mastery triggered.

Rares and Mythics might pull me toward Green/Blue include Harbinger of the Tides, Mizzium Meddler, and Soulblade Djinn.

Here's a pretty mediocre Green/Blue deck I drafted. I'd rate it at only 6/10. It's more a collection of Green and Blue cards than it is a Green/Blue deck, but that's something that I expect to happen a lot with this archetype. The more expensive creatures were great, but the lone Timberpack Wolf and the Scrapskin Drake could certainly have been better. Meteorite was definitely above average in this deck due to having four good 6-drops.

Conclusion

Based on what I've seen so far there is no runaway best color in the set, but Blue seems pretty soundly to be the worst. As for the archetypes, here are the tiers of how good they are according to my prediction.

Top Tier: Green/White Renown, Blue/Red Artifacts, Black/Green Elves, Red/White Aggro

Mid Tier: White/Blue Skies, Black/Red Sacrifice, Red/Green Midrange, White/Black Enchantress

Low Tier: Blue/Black Graveyard, Green/Blue Tempo

I'm looking forward to drafting the set on Magic Online and I hope these archetype articles help you get excited too. If you have feedback or different predictions for the best archetypes, let me know below in the comments or find me on Twitter @JakeStilesMTG.


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