How’s everyone enjoying Journey into Nyx drafting? Anyone else experiencing “Hind fatigue” like me? Green is such a deep color in all three packs. It’s so easy to first (or second or third) pick a Golden Hind every draft and end up with a solid green deck. BORING! That can be fun for a while but limited is about the unexpected. If we wanted to play the same deck every tournament, we’d play with sixty- or 100-card decks.

Many of you may be coping with Hind fatigue by drafting Vintage Masters, which is an excellent cure for Hind fatigue. But I wanted something different, something experimental, something that didn’t cost 25 tickets. So I’ve stuck with the Theros block draft queues and stopped picking so many green cards. This week I have three draft decks from Magic Online and cut out the green!

Deck the First

First up is the ever-popular Boros Midrange deck with virtual twenty creature spells. What, you don’t think that’s a popular archetype? It helps to have the god of victory on your side.

WR Iroas

This deck ended up being a pile of creatures. Fabled Hero and Akroan Skyguard want a lot more enablers than this deck offers. I never did get to put Mogis’s Warhound on either. But it turns out that overwhelming the board with attacking creatures is enough to take down a draft.

Flurry of Horns was a real all star. Having two copies meant I could rely on casting one almost every game. Throwing out two extra attackers, with real power and toughness, puts incredible pressure on the opponent. Journey draft revolves around manipulating the board state in your favor, and flurry does an amazing job at that. Negating the value of opposing cards is a great source of card advantage in the format. Attacking with five two-power creatures makes a solitary defending Nessian Asp almost irrelevant.

Iroas, God of Victory was absolutely fantastic. Talk about negating opposing cards! Try blocking with Iroas on the other side. Every time I got Iroas on board, I won. It wasn’t that hard to turn him into a creature either, since you never lose attackers. The biggest impediment to activating Iroas turned out to be keeping the opponent alive long enough to put four creatures on board.

Overall, I was impressed with the resiliency of the deck. The five drops—two Flurry of Horns and two Supply-Line Cranes—really gave the deck the ability to win a longer game. I think this build of red-white is a sensible archetype. Iroas obviously helps it tick, but replace him with a Hopeful Eidolon and the deck would still be powerful. Try it out!

Deck the Second

Next up we have good old blue-black control. The archetype is nowhere as strong as it was during triple-Theros, but it can still come together. You need defense, removal, and win conditions. The following deck has plenty of all three.

UB control

Abhorrent Overlord and two Gray Merchants? Yes please. The Theros pack was very kind to me in this draft. My first five picks were Overlord, Gary, Keepsake Gorgon, Gary, and Erebos’s Emissary. Pretty good.

Sigiled Starfish was my first pick, over a Golden Hind, and it truly shined in this deck. Dig to lands, bombs, or the proper removal spell, all while blocking with three toughness when necessary. Exactly what blue-black control needs in the early and mid game.

I chose to cut the double-blue cards, specifically Nullify and Sphinx’s Disciple, as well blue-demanding Vortex Elemental, so that I could keep the deck mostly black. This worked well for the most part. I ended up losing the finals, 2-1 to a red-white aggro deck, when I drew only swamps in two games but had useful blue cards in hand. So it goes. The deck was a ton of fun to play. You have to get a little lucky in the Theros pack, but if you do the deck really comes together.

Deck the Third

Finally, we have an endangered species—blue-white heroic. The archetype has lost a lot of consistency in the full block format, and consistency is extremely important for what is basically an aggro-combo deck. The right pieces need to come together. Fortunately for me, the draft went very well.

UW heroic

My second pick in Born of the Gods had both Hero of Iroas and Ephara’s Enlightenment. Obviously I took the hero, and was lucky enough to wheel the fantastic aura. Picking up four bestow creatures was also crucial.

Once again a pair of Supply-Line Cranes headline the five drop slot. White is a weaker color in the full block format, but the cranes are the best white common. It’s nice to be able to pick them up later than most top pick commons, if you end up playing white. Here, I picked them up on pure value (along with the excellent Ajani’s Presence) and ended up playing them once I got strong white cards in the later packs.

I ended up splitting the finals with this deck, but it was dominant in the two rounds I played. Battlewise Hoplite was the biggest star, mostly because Hero of Iroas stayed hidden in my library.

The deck played out like an old-time heroic deck, and a fairly consistent one at that. It’s not a reliable strategy, but once again you can get it if the draft works out well for you. If you find yourself trying to draft the deck but not getting the bestow creatures in pack two, you can shift over into a more creature-centric build with as many blue fliers as possible. Once again, creatures are very important in the format because board position is the most important battlefield in Theros block draft.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this tour through the non-green decks I’ve been drafting lately. If you start experiencing Hind fatigue, I recommend trying to avoid green as well. Thanks for reading!

Brendan McNamara (MTGO: eestlinc, Twitter: @brendanistan) used to play Magic in the old days. His favorite combo was Armageddon plus Zuran Orb. After running out of money to buy cards and friends who were willing to put up with that combo, he left the game. But like disco, he was bound to come back eventually. Now he’s a lawyer by day and a Dimir agent by night.

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