I hadn’t realized Kaladesh was so close to release until my timeline got flooded with spoilers. Kaladesh looks pretty cool to me, with a vibrancy that’s been missing from the last several sets. But it’s a distraction from Conspiracy 2, which is still a relatively new set, and which I’ve only had one opportunity to draft. This is somewhat in line with my experience playing the original Conspiracy; it turns out it’s hard to get a set number of casuals together to draft a “fun” set.


But, being the incorrigible lucksack that I can be at times, despite a low number of experiences drafting Conspiracy sets, in both the original and New Coke versions I’ve managed to live the dream: I have drafted both Worldknit and Sovereign’s Realm decks. And they’re experiences I think more people should have.


I didn’t go into the draft intending to draft a Sovereign’s Realm deck, and it wasn’t until the draft was over that I realized how close I had cut it. The thing about Sovereign’s Realm decks are that you have only four slots for other conspiracies and miscellany, since you can’t pad out your deck with basic lands. If you only have 39 non-conspiracy cards in your pool, you can’t live the dream. My four cut cards ended up being Evolving Wilds, Traumatic Visions, Sylvan Bounty, and some other card that may have been Reviving Dose or Lay of the Land. Had I gone in on other conspiracies, I would have been stuck running that chaff or I would have had to skip out on an amazing draft experience.


My deck was tighter for getting Sovereign’s Realm in pack two; since I hadn’t started on that path to begin with, my pack one picks started from Horn of Greed and then tried (unsuccessfully) to keep me open. I was only really committed to white at the end of pack one, with red or blue looking to be my secondary color. And I kept to that plan even after I had pulled the uber-conspiracy, both because I wasn’t sure how it would turn out and because I had luck with Worldknit by drafting a tight deck that happened to also be a Worldknit deck. With Sovereign’s Realm minimizing my opening hand size, it seemed like prioritizing a decent curve and reasonable interaction would let me end up where I wanted to be.


I ended up with a pretty sweet deck, all in all:


Sovereign's Realm

Creatures (26)
Doomed Traveler
Bronze Sable
Runed Servitor
Wings of the Guard
Jeering Homunculus
Merfolk Looter
Skittering Crustacean
Akroan Hoplite
Opaline Unicorn
Goblin Racketeer
Ascended Lawmage
Stormchaser Chimera
Noble Banneret
Merfolk Skyscout
Spire Phantasm
Guardian of the Gateless
Lieutenants of the Guard
Messenger Jays
Entourage of Trest
Canal Courier

Spells (15)
Gods Willing
Fleeting Distraction
Flame Slash
Ghostly Prison
Into the Void
Horn of Greed
Windborne Charge
Throne of the High City


Look at that curve! Four one-drops, ten two-drops, nine three-drops, nine four-drops, six five-drops, and a six-drop Canal Courier to round out the deck. Oh, and I also had a Throne of the High City, which made it through at least three other people before making it to me. 26 creatures also helped, ensuring that I would have plenty of action to gum up the ground.


In multiplayer situations, mere endurance is often the key.


Seeing Horn of Greed in my opening hand sure helped me to snap keep. It turns out Horn of Greed is perfect for Sovereign’s Realm, letting you basically play a land for free every turn. I assumed the power of the card would keep me alive, since it was providing a benefit to the table, but things got dicey at a couple of points. I was super glad for my Divinations, though, since they helped me build up my hand size again… something further assisted by the monarchy, a mechanic that is a lot of fun in multiplayer.


In the end, I came in second, killing myself via decking to avoid giving my opponent the satisfaction of killing me with all his three-butts and Weight Advantage. That also seemed like a pretty cool deck to build and play. But with Sovereign’s Realm being a mythic conspiracy that you can find yourself unable to play after even a single pack’s worth of conspiracy gobbling, I fear most will miss out on this great experience. That’s a shame, it’s a memory I’ll enjoy.


I’ve been idly musing about whether or not there’s a way to adapt the conspiracies for Commander, with some sort of point system governing how many you could play. If I crack that nut, I’ll let you know; the conspiracies are a lot of fun, and it’s a shame that once opened the only chance they have at seeing play again is in someone’s cube.


Jess Stirba is a wistful wanderer.

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