Full Force drafting is a series dedicated to forcing archetypes in draft formats. Join me every Thursday as we learn the ins and outs of the most recent Magic draft formats.
Eldritch Moon is upon us and with a lot of new mechanics to add to Shadows Over Innistrad it’s fair to say the draft format is going to look very different going forward. Clues and Werewolves as we knew them are gone, replaced with things like Escalate and Emerge. To properly cover the changes, I wanted to make a few small changes to the Full Force format going forward.
When I first envisioned doing this as a series I wanted specifically to cover newer formats and try to break ground as the format evolved from the beginning. With that in mind, I am cutting back to one draft this week and for each of the following weeks as we go over introductory material, learning how the new archetype works and which cards are good and which aren’t. After I’ve done the major archetypes I’m going to do a revisit episode on each of the old archetypes, updating my predictions with what I’ve learned on stream and here.
This week the requested deck type was Red-White aggro. In Shadows, I wasn’t particularly impressed with this deck. It felt a little too inconsistent; it was heavily reliant on cards like Nahiri’s Machinations or curving out perfectly. One good blocker like Solitary Hunter or Silent Observer felt like it put the deck back ages. I felt like our build this week had a few of the same problems, but that the deck was overall a little stronger than it might have been before. Cards like Brazen Wolves, Smoldering Werewolf, Faith Unbroken, and Subjugator Angel feel very strong (although some are fragile; God save you if you play your Faith Unbroken into a removal spell). There’s also the fantastic cheap removal that was added like Sigardian Priest, Savage Alliance, Incendiary Flow, Galvanic Bombardment, and Choking Restraints.
So what should you look for to see if the deck is open? Here is my list for the top 5 commons in the archetype. When we revisit in a few weeks, it’ll be interesting to see if the rankings shift at all:
The removal is definitely the best addition to the archetype from what I’ve seen so far, with three great common removal spells all topping my list. Brazen Wolves has surprised me, just being undercosted enough to make life very painful for your opponents. Borrowed Hostility was the hardest choice for the list. I like the flexibility and how cheap it is. It can easily be a blow out but there are a few cards I can see replacing it in this slot, especially Thermo-Alchemist. The alchemist seems like a stronger card overall, but I feel like the RW deck isn’t as big on spells and that makes it slightly weaker. It’s very possible that after more testing I come around and change my mind as it gives the deck a lot of reach through a board stall and that might just put it over the top, so keep an eye on it when you’re playing.
Leave a comment on what archetype you want me to try for the next episode below, or on Twitter @IlyonMTG!