Two-Color Limited Archetypes In Wilds Of Eldraine

Andy “Icky” Ferguson covers the two-color Limited archetypes of Wilds of Eldraine, just in time for your Prerelease!

Unruly Catapult
Unruly Catapult, illustrated by Vincent Chritiaens

Wilds of Eldraine Prerelease weekend is upon us! I’m extremely excited about this new set, and a big fan of the mechanics for Limited, outlined in my previous article. I wanted to break out the ten two-color archetypes to help you prepare for the weekend. Let’s take a look (it’s in a book)!


Sharae of Numbing Depths Threadbind Clique

Frostbridge Guard Freeze in Place

Azorius has a stun counter theme, hoping to play out either as a tempo or control deck. The deck will look to push damage when and where it can while controlling your opponent’s creatures. The payoffs for the tapping creatures theme come in the form of Solitary Sanctuary, Icewrought Sentry, Threadbind Clique, and Sharae of Numbing Depths. Enablers are Frostbridge Guard, Plunge into Winter, Rimefur Reindeer, Freeze in Place, Snaremaster Sprite, Succumb to the Cold, and Vantress Transmuter. Some of the tap spells won’t be worth running without the aforementioned payoffs, but they do pair nicely with the abundance of flyers within the color pair. 


Obyra, Dreaming Duelist Spellscorn Coven

Spell Stutter Barrow Naughty

Dimir is a control deck with a Faerie sub-theme. The “Faeries matter” deck can be an aggressive, tempo-based deck, while the more common control version will want to play at instant speed. Cards that care specifically about Faeries are Picklock Prankster, Spell Stutter, Barrow Naughty, Ego Drain, Faerie Fencing, and Obyra, Dreaming Duelist. The control deck features plenty of good tools between kill and draw spells, like Disdainful Stroke, Ice Out, Spell Stutter, Misleading Motes, Quick Study, Feed the Cauldron, Rowan’s Grim Search, Stingblade Assassin, Taken by Nightmares, Spellscorn Coven, and Dream Spoilers. Dimir looks like one of the more powerful decks at first glance.


Totentanz, Swarm Piper Callous Sell-Sword

Voracious Vermin Ratcatcher Trainee

Rakdos is an aggro deck, looking to leverage 1/1 Rat tokens to attack and bargain with. Some key cards for the Rat deck are Lord Skitter’s Butcher, Twisted Sewer-Witch, Voracious Vermin, Gnawing Crescendo, Tattered Ratter, and Totentanz, Swarm Piper. Rakdos cards also make celebration easy to trigger, making Bespoke Battlegarb and Belligerent of the Ball great additions to the deck.

While Candy Grapple and Torch the Tower are already strong on their own, knowing you will have tokens for bargain bumps them up in the deck. Pumping up your creatures (or Rat tokens) with Wicked Roles will be a good way to close out games via Shatter the Oath, Cut In, Twisted Sewer-Witch, Monstrous Rage, and Witch’s Mark, with Sugar Rush being a good tool to help them trade up or push damage. This will also be a great home for Twisted Fealty, as it’s an aggressive deck with plenty of bargain cards.


Ruby, Daring Tracker Picnic Ruiner

Bellowing Bruiser Ferocious Werefox

Gruul has a small supported theme of ferocious, though the existing keyword isn’t present, and reads as “If/while you control a creature with power four or greater.” The few cards that care about the size of your creatures are Boundary Lands Ranger, Territorial Witchstalker, Picnic Ruiner, and Ruby, Daring Tracker. Beyond those cards, the deck will look to do typical Gruul stuff, with large creatures, trample, and burn spells.

Some of the best creatures for the deck are Minecart Daredevil, Two-Headed Hunter, Agatha’s Champion, Ferocious Werefox, Hamlet Glutton, Howling Galefang, Stormkeld Vanguard, Territorial Witchstalker, and Verdant Outrider. While Curse of the Werefox is a great spell for the deck, I think the best trick will be Monstrous Rage, which will allow your biggest creature to trample at instant speed. Pair that with Twice the Rage from Two-Headed Hunter, and you’ve built an Embercleave! The deck will be very draw-dependent, so I would encourage the use of Witch’s Mark to fix or refill your hand.


Syr Armont, the Redeemer Woodland Acolyte

Slumbering Keepguard Redtooth Genealogist

Big surprise here, but Selesnya cares about enchantments! While that’s par for the course, with the addition of the Role mechanic, there’s potential for some very strong midrange decks. Some of the enchantment payoffs include Dutiful Griffin, Knight of Doves, Savior of the Sleeping, Slumbering Keepguard, Tanglespan Lookout, and Redtooth Vanguard. Cooped Up will be a premier removal spell here, and pairs nicely with cards that can bargain at instant speed, like Archon’s Glory, by putting the exile activation on the stack and then sacrificing it to bargain. Hopeful Vigil will be another great addition to the deck, fulfilling requirements for enchantments, celebration, and bargain.


Neva, Stalked by Nightmares Shrouded Shepherd

Archon's Glory Candy Grapple

Orzhov is advertised as the bargain deck, with cards like Archon’s Glory, Kellan’s Lightblades, Back for Seconds, Candy Grapple, Rowan’s Grim Search, and High Fae Negotiator. The deck has lots of different payoffs when things hit the graveyard, like Knight of Doves, Savior of the Sleeping, Ashiok’s Reaper, Warehouse Tabby, Wicked Visitor, and Neva, Stalked by Nightmares. Both Hopeful Vigil and Hopeless Nightmare are great bargain fodder, and both The Princess Takes Flight and The Witch’s Vanity seem like good on-rate enchantments for the deck. Assuming you have plenty of ways to sacrifice (or other Roles), Cursed Courtier will have a happy home in this deck.


Johann, Apprentice Sorcerer Frolicking Familiar

Aquatic Alchemist Frantic Firebolt

Izzet being a spells deck is really a tale as old as time, so no need to rewrite history fairy tales here. The payoffs for spells are Aquatic Alchemist, Frolicking Familiar, Gadwick’s First Duel, Splashy Spellcaster, Hearth Elemental, and Unruly Catapult. Notable enablers are Mocking Sprite, Picklock Prankster, Sleight of Hand, Tenacious Tomeseeker, Flick a Coin, Frantic Firebolt, and Johann, Apprentice Sorcerer.

While there is plenty of value in the deck, it’s important to keep a battlefield presence. Creatures like Living Lectern, Merfolk Coralsmith, Redcap Thief, and Unruly Catapult will be important “speed bumps” to assure you don’t get overrun.


Greta, Sweettooth Scourge Gingerbread Hunter

Sweettooth Witch Hollow Scavenger

Revisited from Throne of Eldraine, Golgari Food gets another chapter. There are plenty of cards that create incidental Food, like Feed the Cauldron, Mintstrosity, Scream Puff, Hollow Scavenger, Gingerbread Hunter, and Return from the Wilds. Unlike Throne of Eldraine, there is some serious finishing power with cards like Sweettooth Witch (a big upgrade from Tempting Witch in Throne), Night of the Sweets’ Revenge, Tough Cookie, Welcome to Sweettooth, and Greta, Sweettooth Scourge. There isn’t a ton of Food creation within the set, so it’s hard to say how powerful the payoffs will be.


Ash, Party Crasher Imodane's Recruiter

Armory Mice Bespoke Battlegarb

Boros just wants to celebrate (come on!) via the new celebration mechanic, looking to flood the battlefield with aggressive creatures. The cards that like to have a good time are Armory Mice, Gallant Pie-Wielder, Tuinvale Guide, Belligerent of the Ball, Bespoke Battlegarb, Grand Ball Guest, and Ash, Party Crasher. There are plenty of ways to enable celebration, but some of the stand-outs include Charmed Clothier, Hopeful Vigil, Unassuming Sage, Edgewall Pack, Imodane’s Recruiter, Merry Bards, Ratcatcher Trainee, and Redcap Thief.

Cheap creatures like Cheeky House-Mouse, Embereth Veteran, and Harried Spearguard are great ways to get on the battlefield as soon as possible. Cards that create the Young Hero Role help your smaller creatures scale into the mid-game, like Protective Parents, Return Triumphant, Cut In, Embereth Veteran, and Merry Bards. Bellowing Bruiser, Gnawing Crescendo, Archon’s Glory, Frostbridge Guard, and Plunge into Winter can act as finishers to close out games.


Troyan, Gutsy Explorer Tempest Hart

Stormkeld Prowler Skybeast Tracker

Simic is a ramp deck, with certain payoffs that care about casting spells with mana value five or greater. The payoffs for casting big spells come in the form of Galvanic Giant, Stormkeld Prowler, Skybeast Tracker, Tempest Hart, Up the Beanstalk, and Troyan, Gutsy Explorer. Big spells like Archive Dragon, Beluna’s Gatekeeper, Obyra’s Attendants, Agatha’s Champion, Beanstalk Wurm, Hamlet Glutton, and Stormkeld Vanguard are what you’ll be looking for.

Rootrider Faun, Return from the Wilds, Beanstalk Wurm, and Troyan, Gutsy Explorer will be the go-to ramp cards for the deck. Simic also has plenty of Adventure cards, with payoffs in Chancellor of Tales and Howling Galefang. Simic looks to be one of the weaker archetypes at first glance. Historically, relying on late-game synergy is a luxury not often afforded by your opponents.

Hopefully this will help you during Prerelease weekend! I know that I’m going to my local game store this weekend, and I hope you have the opportunity to do so as well!

Lose and Learn, Learn and Win!