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. With the advent of Eldritch Moon, a lot of people have told me that UR Spells has become a force to be reckoned with. This week, we’re going to put that to the test.
The UR Spells list we talked about in Shadows Over Innistrad really focused on the fact that there were two decks, one that was more tempo based and one that was more control and all-in on spells like Rise from the Tides. With Eldritch Moon, I feel that the deck has eschewed the tougher mostly spells version to create a tighter tempo package, to it’s advantage. Replacing a slower common like Stitched Mangler (that I liked) with Ingenious Skaab (that I love) is a step in the right direction and Thermo-Alchemist is the real deal; It gives an absurd amount of reach while brick walling a lot of smaller creatures and feeling like a bad card to use removal on. The fact that some of the best rares work with the deck is icing on the cake (Docent of Perfection and Niblis of Frost)
As you can tell with all the praise I’m heaping on this deck, I went into the drafts this week with high hopes, the hype from people telling me to play the deck and my own cursory look at it made me feel very optimistic. Thermo-Alchemist in particular has given me fits every time I’ve had to play against it and the thought of putting it through it’s paces in the deck specifically designed to use it to it’s full advantage was exciting. You may be surprised to learn that it’s not actually the top common I’d look for to start moving in on this archetype:
1. Galvanic Bombardment
3. Ingenious Skaab
4. Drag Under
5. Brazen Wolves
Despite singing the praises of Thermo-Alchemist, I still have to recognize that the real heavy-lifter here is Galvanic Bombardment. It’s efficient removal that gets better the more you have and has great synergy with all of your cards that care about spells. The only downside is it’s unlikely you get many since people will value them so high.
The deck this week didn’t do as well as I had hoped, with a few hiccups in the opening hands and some lackluster draws, but I liked what the deck looked like and I think this archetype is still well-positioned. I’m excited to do the revisit and see if I change my opinion.
That’s the end of the initial archetype impressions! Next week, we start revisiting the archetypes, starting with RW aggro and ending with a full breakdown of all the archetypes and my personal favorites!