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Tribal Cards in Eldritch Moon Draft

Eldritch Moon draft has a number of tribal effects for the five major tribes in the block (Humans, Spirits, Wolves/Werewolves, Vampires, and Zombies). I have often had a tribal subtheme in my draft decks in this format. On one occasion, I drafted a white/blue deck with Nebelgast Herald, two Spectral Shepherd, and no non-Spirit creatures. On another, I had a Humans deck with Heron's Grace Champion, Courageous Outrider, and Hamlet Captain. I've never had a deck with more than three tribal effects, though, and it doesn't feel like the format has enough such effects to support a dedicated tribal deck. 

Let's crunch some numbers!

Counting Tribal Effects

Let's start by enumerating all the tribal effects in Eldritch Moon and Shadows over Innistrad, since that will allow us to determine which tribe has the most tribal effects in Eldritch Moon draft. I'm going to count Wolves and Werewolves as one tribe since all the Wolf tribal effects also affect Werewolves (although the reverse is not true). In this tribe, I've also included some cards that get better if you have creatures that transform, since this tribe has the most such creatures.  Double-Faced Cards are called out as "DFC."

Tribe Eldritch Moon Shadows over Innistrad
Angel Bruna, the Fading Light (Rare DFC) Archangel Avacyn (Mythic DFC)
Eldrazi Emrakul's Influence (Uncommon)  
  Foul Emissary (Uncommon)  
Horror   Thing in the Ice (Rare DFC)
Human Bruna, the Fading Light (Rare DFC) Hope Against Hope (Uncommon)
  Courageous Outrider (Uncommon) Thalia's Lieutenant (Rare)
  Repel the Abominable (Uncommon) Equestrian Skill (Common)
  Crossroads Consecrator (Common) Intrepid Provisioner (Common)
  Hamlet Captain (Uncommon) Veteran Cathar (Uncommon)
  Heron's Grace Champion (Rare) Sigarda, Heron's Grace (Mythic)
    Harvest Hand (Uncommon DFC)
    Slayer's Plate (Rare)
    True-Faith Censer (Common)
Spider Ishkanah, Grafwidow (Mythic)  
Spirit Mausoleum Wanderer (Rare) Apothecary Geist (Common)
  Nebelgast Herald (Uncommon) Drogskol Cavalry (Rare)
    Spectral Shepherd (Uncommon)
    Essence Flux (Uncommon)
    Rattlechains (Rare)
Vampire Markov Crusader (Uncommon) Indulgent Aristocrat (Uncommon)
  Stromkirk Condemned (Rare) Olivia's Bloodsworn (Uncommon)
  Stensia Banquet (Common) Stromkirk Mentor (Common)
    Falkenrath Gorger (Rare)
    Stensia Masquerade (Uncommon)
Wizard Docent of Perfection (Rare DFC)  
Wolf/Werewolf Spirit of the Hunt (Rare) Geier Reach Bandit (Rare DFC)
  Waxing Moon (Common) Howlpack Wolf (Common)
    Ulrich's Kindred (Uncommon)
    Cult of the Waxing Moon (Uncommon)
    Howlpack Resurgence (Uncommon)
    Moonlight Hunt (Uncommon)
    Silverfur Partisan (Rare)
    Neglected Heirloom (Uncommon DFC)
Zombie Cemetery Recruitment (Common) Compelling Deterrence (Uncommon)
  Cryptbreaker (Rare) Drunau Corpse Trawler (Uncommon)
  Dark Salvation (Rare) Lamplighter of Selhoff (Common)
  Graf Harvest (Uncommon) Diregraf Colossus (Rare)
  Liliana, the Last Hope (Mythic) Relentless Dead (Mythic)
  Gisa and Geralf (Mythic)  

Now let's use the expected number of cards at each rarity to compute the expected number of tribal effects for each tribe in an eight-person Eldritch Moon draft

Tribe Eldritch Moon
(total for both packs)
Shadows over Innistrad
(one pack)
Angel 0.33 0.07 0.40
Eldrazi 1.60 0.00 1.60
Horror 0.00 0.13 0.13
Human 5.10 2.91 8.00
Spider 0.17 0.00 0.17
Spirit 1.13 1.57 2.70
Vampire 3.16 1.74 4.90
Wizard 0.33 0.00 0.33
Wolf/Werewolf 2.77 2.04 4.80
Zombie 3.83 1.50 5.33

An eight-person Eldritch Moon draft has eight Human tribal effects, about five each of Vampire, Wolf/Werewolf, and Zombie tribal effects, and 2.7 Spirit tribal effects. There are sufficiently fewer Spirits and 58% of the Spirit tribal effects are in the Shadows over Innistrad pack, so you're unlikely to want to prioritize Spirits much when drafting the Eldritch Moon packs. The other tribal effects are more evenly distributed across the three packs, but Vampires and Wolves/Werewolves only have about 1.5 tribal effects in each of the Eldritch Moon packs, and about two tribal effects in the last pack, so you won't usually want to focus on that subtheme unless you get a lot of tribal effects in the first pack.

While Zombies also have about five tribal effects in an eight-person Eldritch Moon draft, each of the first two packs have about two tribal effects, including the common Cemetery Recruitment that people playing other archetypes are unlikely to want. Therefore, Zombies is a somewhat more promising subtheme for Eldritch Moon draft decks. Humans are the most promising of the five major tribes, with 60% more tribal effects than any of the other tribes. They have 2.5 tribal effects in each of the first two packs, and almost three in the third pack.

It's also worth noting the color distribution of the tribal effects in Eldritch Moon. While the tribal effects in Shadows over Innistrad are spread roughly evenly across the two colors in which the tribe occurs, this is not true in Eldritch Moon. All the Spirit tribal effects are blue, all the Wolf/Werewolf tribal effects are green, and all the Zombie tribal effects are black or blue/black.

The Strongest Tribal Effects

Next, let's look at which tribes have the most powerful tribal effects. The list below includes those cards that increase most in value if you have more creatures from the tribe. These are the cards that cause me to start prioritizing creatures from the tribe and looking for other tribal effects.

This analysis yields a very unpromising view of the tribal effects in the format. Humans have about three tribal effects that cause me to actively want to draft more Humans, Wolves/Werewolves have about two such effects, and Zombies have about 1.5 such effects.


There are relatively few tribal effects in Eldritch Moon draft. In an eight-person draft, Humans have the most with about eight. Vampires, Wolves/Werewolves, and Zombies have about five each. Spirits have only 2.7. Based on the distribution of these cards across the three packs, Humans and Zombies seem like the only tribes that you can actually try to get more than a couple of cards for. Relatively few of these tribal effects are strong enough that they cause you to want to actively draft more creatures from that tribe. In an eight-person draft there are three such Humans, two such Wolves/Werewolves, and 1.5 such Zombies. 

Finally, in Eldritch Moon, all the Spirit tribal effects are blue, all the Wolf/Werewolf tribal effects are green, and all the Zombie tribal effects are black or blue/black.

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