Drafting Throne Of Eldraine On Magic Arena

Andy “Icky” Ferguson catches you up on Throne of Eldraine Limited so that you can enjoy its week of Premier Draft on Magic Arena!

Clockwork Servant
Clockwork Servant, illustrated by David Palumbo

Throne of Eldraine (ELD) Premier Draft is back on MTG Arena this week, so I wanted to provide a quick archetype guide for those unfamiliar. ELD is not a kind format for midrange-based strategies, and you should either choose a highly aggressive path or have a set plan for how to win in the late-game.  

Mono-Color Decks

Clockwork Servant

One of the more unusual things about Throne of Eldraine is the support for mono-color decks.  You should aim for one when starting your draft, and they are much easier to put together compared to other formats.

Idyllic Grange Mystic Sanctuary Witch's Cottage Dwarven Mine Gingerbread Cabin

In addition, there is a cycle of common lands that favors mono-color decks. Mystic Sanctuary and Dwarven Mine are by far the most powerful amongst these lands.  The other three lands are fine to include in any mono-color deck, but in multicolor decks, the drawback of entering tapped is often not worth the small payoff, particularly in aggressive decks.

The mono-color decks are more powerful than any color pair, except for mono-black, regarded as the worst color in the set. I’m not going to break these out as part of the color pairs for the archetype tier list, as they are pretty straightforward, but here is how I rank them.

  1. Mono-Red
  2. Mono-Blue
  3. Mono-Green
  4. Mono-White

Tier 1


Improbable Alliance Loch Dragon

Izzet is my favorite two-color deck in the format. Not only is it powerful, it’s also one of the more fun decks to play. Izzet is very versatile, with multiple options depending on what cards you see, but most commonly using the “draw two” mechanic; Faerie Vandal, Mad Ratter, and Improbable Alliance often act as the deck’s win conditions. The deck can be a great aggro deck, with blue providing evasive threats like Hypnotic Sprite or Tome Raider, pairing nicely with Rimrock Knight. Red often provides the creatures, with blue supporting with cards like Didn’t Say Please and Unexplained Vision.


Grumgully, the Generous Rampart Smasher

Gruul is a traditional beatdown deck, with a non-Human creature type sub-theme, supported by cards like Wildwood Tracker, Barge In, Redcap Raiders, and Keeper of Fables. The deck is pretty straightforward, playing out like an aggro deck that drives the speed limit. You will want to keep your creature count as high as possible, and the only common spells you should be grabbing are Barge In, Outmuscle, and Scorching Dragonfire. Fling can be a solid finisher if you need one, but it can be a liability as well.

Tier 2


Inspiring Veteran Fireborn Knight

Boros is the best of the Knights archetypes, with white providing the very aggressive Ardenvale Tactician and Faerie Guidemother. It is the fastest two-color archetype in the format, looking to cast one-drops like Venerable Knight, Weaselback Redcap, and Gingerbrute to apply pressure as early as possible. Barge In is a fantastic trick for the deck, allowing you to attack each turn and follow up with another creature.


Maraleaf Pixie Thunderous Snapper

Simic is pretty unassuming, because on paper it doesn’t look like it has any cohesive gameplan. In practice, you will find that between the two colors, you will start to bury your opponents in resources. With green providing ramp and Food with cards like Rosethorn Acolyte and Trail of Crumbs, alongside strong on-rate cards like Fierce Witchstalker, blue can help control the battlefield and draw cards. The main weakness of the deck is falling behind early. Merfolk Secretkeeper and Wishful Merfolk can be wise inclusions to give you some breathing room while you set up.

Tier 3


Drown in the Loch Covetous Urge

Dimir is the classic control deck of the format, most often looking to win via Merfolk Secretkeeper, Didn’t Say Please, and Overwhelmed Apprentice. Black adds Revenge of the Ravens into the mix, a fantastic control card. Reaper of Night performs best in this deck, taking your opponent’s last cards before becoming a giant flying threat. Card draw is important, with Unexplained Vision and Into the Story amongst the best.


Savvy Hunter Deathless Knight

Golgari looks to use Food to generate value with cards like Cauldron Familiar, Witch’s Oven, Bog Naughty, and Trail of Crumbs. The deck can often stave off early aggression effectively with things like Reave Soul and Curious Pair, as is a formidable late-game deck. You often end up with plenty of Food on the battlefield, which can turn Tempting Witch into your win condition. Sorcerer’s Broom is also a good card for the deck, though you will need plenty of mana to sweep the game.

Tier 4


Steelclaw Lance Elite Headhunter

Rakdos is another Knights deck, and Steelclaw Lance is no joke. The deck doesn’t have the same speed potential as its Boros counterpart, but offers better removal. The deck often hinges on if you get the good red creatures, like Weaselback Redcap, Rimrock Knight, or Redcap Raiders, as most black common creatures leave much to be desired. Black does offer some great uncommon creatures, however, with Belle of the Brawl, Foulmare Knight, and Syr Konrad, the Grim helping to support the deck.


Shinechaser Arcanist's Owl

Azorius is an evasive deck that cares about artifacts and enchantments. Payoffs include Flutterfox, All That Glitters, and Shambling Suit. Animating Faerie will further encourage picking up Golden Egg and Witching Well to assemble an army. Trapped in the Tower, Charmed Sleep, and So Tiny are the premier removal spells you’ll be looking for. I don’t normally reference rares, but Dance of the Manse is one that comes around tables quite often, and will likely win you the game when you cast it. 


Wintermoor Commander Resolute Rider

Orzhov is the last of the Knights color parings, as well as the weakest. In a perfect world, your deck would be full of Knight creatures, enabling cards like Belle of the Brawl; Syr Alin, the Lion’s Claw; and Smitten Swordmaster. The reality is that the dream scenario is exactly that, a dream. The good Knight creatures are good in almost every deck, leaving you with a rag-tag team of Foxes, Faeries, and Griffins (oh my). Orzhov decks tend to end up as midrange that doesn’t do anything particularly well, though the color pair does have access to some solid removal like Glass Casket and Reave Soul.


Wandermare Oakhame Ranger

Selesnya is a mid-range creature deck focused on the adventure mechanic. The deck can do some powerful things with Edgewall Innkeeper and Lucky Clover, which are the main incentives to play the deck. Past those synergies, the deck doesn’t do anything particularly well, with the majority of builds leaning on green’s stronger creatures, like Fierce Witchstalker and Garenbrig Paladin, paired with white’s Adventures like Faerie Guidemother, Ardenvale Tactician, and Silverflame Squire.

Throne of Eldraine is an awesome set, and I hope you get some games in before it lives happily ever after August 21.

Lose and Learn, Learn and Win!