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.
During the original article on the Black White deck I ended unsure if I liked the deck or not. Going into the recordings this week I was still very much on the fence. The deck has a lot of synergies and touches on most of themes of Shadows Block draft archetypes but it doesn’t have one that it adheres to strongly. I thought that might be a weakness of the deck; now I believe it is a strength.
The decks we played really highlighted what I’m talking about. The first video showcased an aggressive build focusing on two-drop humans and cards like Campaign of Vengeance. It played excellent as a aggro deck with decent removal backup and some extra reach because of cards like Campaign. The second deck was a mid-range removal deck, focusing on getting two-for-ones in the mid-game to keep the opponent on the back foot, like the Midnight Scavengers, Ironclad Slayer, and Boon of Emrakul synergies. Both decks performed admirably despite the differences in style.
The advantage the Black White archetype had is this flexibility. Blue Green Emerge is a very powerful deck, but it’s confined by its need for big Emerge creatures. Black White might not be the strongest deck in the format, but from the experiences I’ve had recording these videos it is an easier deck to build once you’re committed to those colors as you have the chance to mold your picks and strategy in ways the other archetypes won’t allow. If two drops are coming, you can take combat tricks and cheap removal and be aggressive. If you’re getting the slower “value” cards like Scavengers or Sigardian Priest, you can make a slower value build.
The only changes I would make to this list now would be to swap Sigardian Priest with Boon of Emrakul. I mentioned that Ironclad Slayer was the card to watch for the archetype as its performance would indicate how viable the deck was and it has been very good for me. You won’t always get there with Boons and Dead Weights, but it’s viable even in the worst case scenario and the upside of being a human is very real. Cards like True-Faith Censer and Courageous Outrider slot well into the archetypes sub-theme of Humans and Slayer works well with both of these, giving it a real edge even in decks with few enchantments.
Normally I would go over each card choice and why it’s on the list, but with my experience with the Black White deck and the flexibility of it, I think it is important not to get too focused on what cards are the “best” without context of the rest of your deck. If you’re an aggressive build focusing on Dawn Gryffs, Steadfast Cathars and tricks, you might not need a Midnight Scavenger as much as another aggressive two-drop.
Next episode we will do our final revisit of Eldritch Moon, reviewing the UR spells deck before move on to Legacy Cube and then Kaladesh! I’ll include the winner of last week’s contest from my GP Louisville rundown article, so you only have a few days left to enter!