We’ve finally reached the multicolored near the end of our D&D: Adventures in the Forgotten Realms rainbow: archetype payoffs and enablers. Here, you’ll find an uncommon and a rare/mythic rare for each color pair that (ostensibly) aids you in reaching the goal of each.
Again: the grading rubric, where your absolute bombs are rated 5.0 and the unplayable, Constructed-only cards are a sad 0.0. A 2.5 is a card you’re almost always playing, a card with two grades reflects that it’s great when it’s in the correct deck, and Sideboard indicates that a card is worthy of consideration in Best-of-Three matches.
Adult Gold Dragon
Old Goldie Clocks here is a must-answer threat that should at least get one hasty hit in. In a set built to deal with flyers, the three toughness hurts, so be ready to strap up as much stray Equipment as possible and reap the rewards. Adult Gold Dragon is also splashable in Selesnya Lifegain, giving you a desperately needed repeating trigger.
For a set that isn’t crawling with legends, Bard Class is a baffling card. Often, you’ll just be getting a single mana worth of cost reduction but will be paying four for the pleasure. Is that worth a +1/+1 counter? Level 3 feels like the definition of win-more. Cast a legend? It comes with two free cards that you still need to cast this turn! Have fun in constructed with this one.
Barrowin of Clan Undurr
Completing a dungeon is no small feat, one that will often give your opponent enough time to create a profitable block on Barrowin of Clan Undurr, leaving you with a shiny three-mana value or less card to show for it. So, ideally, I’m venturing for a way to keep him attacking profitably.
Adventures in the Forgotten Realms lacks that singular, world-ending piece of Equipment where Bruenor would feel genuinely devastating, but I can’t knock his hustle. This turns several defensive pieces into well-balanced and cheap beaters, all while coming on a 5/3 body. Throwing a Greataxe on a Ranger’s Hawk and attacking for seven on Turn 4 will feel bonkers.
I may be a little low on Drizzt Do’Urden with the number of trample-enablers, but he still needs a tad bit of work to grow into a true terror for your opponents to deal with. Fortunately, your 4/1 Cat is destined to die quickly, and it’s not a struggle to find more power in this set.
Farideh, Devil’s Chosen
There’s so much that has to go right for Farideh, Devil’s Chosen to shine. Can you roll consistently? Can you roll twice to help ensure card draw? There’s a lot of upside here, but I don’t think she sticks around long enough to be as impactful as I expected.
Searching up the exact Equipment you need in the mid-game is where I see Fighter Class shining brightest, leaving the reduction in activation costs more of a moot point. Forcing blocks is infinitely less exciting than tapping blockers, but sometimes you’ll get bored with all that mana and give Level 3 a shot.
First, four toughness feels like the real deal in Adventures in the Forgotten Realms. I can’t blame you for being hesitant to block, but she does have solid defensive stats. Second, now that we have that out of the way, being able to Growth Spiral at will is bonkers and should get you to double activations in no time fast. I’m a huge fan, especially with this feeling like an 18-land format for Simic decks that need to reliably double-land when all-in on land strategies.
Hama Pashar, Ruin Seeker
Even if Azorious isn’t the most dungeon-focused pairing, double venturing feels like Wolf of Wall Street levels of value. Halfway through the Dungeon of the Mad Mage, you’re scrying four? I’m doing everything I can to keep Hama Pashar, Ruin Seeker alive and well.
Kalain, Reclusive Painter
Getting a Treasure on Turn 2 is a big deal, and Kalain, Reclusive Painter will lead to some obscene starts, even if there’s only a 1/2 body left for your troubles. Color me intrigued. Curving into a Hoarding Ogre, for example, gives you a solid attack and even more Treasures for your pleasure. Keep an eye on Kalain early in the format.
Krydle of Baldur’s Gate
Connecting for damage is key for so many Dimir creatures and repeatable venture triggers that I’m giddy it only costs 2 to give a creature a fast pass to the face. Occasionally, you’ll want to attack with Krydle of Baldur’s Gate, and that’s okay but not the plan.
Minsc, Beloved Ranger
Well, isn’t that cute? With red hyper-focused on Treasure, Minsc, Beloved Ranger shouldn’t be that difficult to get into play without having to focus too much on a third color and can elevate even the most cowardly of Hamster into a game-ending threat. The more Goblins I have running around, the better.
I love this design. Most of the time, you’re making land drops and bouncing an annoying threat to set yourself up to double spell for the rest of the game. Exiling one of your bombs is the cost of doing business if they can deal with Monk Class early, but the cost reduction is real. You won’t get to cast both every turn, making this just a Howling Fine.
Orcus, Prince of Undeath
I’m always up for a frampler, especially with the low-toughness reach creatures tasked with answering his highness. These colors also have a number of viable early creatures, leading to an army of the undead stealing games out of nowhere. Remain vigilant against Rakdos as Orcus, Prince of Undeath is the ultimate top deck while still being fine to cast on curve.
Dimir’s straightforward game plan is one that I’m having a lot of fun with so far, as you generate so much card advantage that it’s hard to run out of threats or answers. Rogue Class gives you a solid enabler in menace with a reasonably priced payoff. The real trouble is finding time to invest in your future with so many options in the present.
Shessra, Death’s Whisper
The weakest in the uncommon cycle of guild legends, Shessra’s value is predicated on you having an early deathtouch play or being ahead on the battlefield to truly go off with Bewitching Whispers. When it comes to Whispers of the Grave, two life adds up to a death sentence pretty quickly if your draws are even a little off. It feels like she could have easily been a 2/4 to make up for everything.
Hopefully, you’re finding something relevant to do with these Skeletons other than sending them to their somewhat certain doom. Creating a pair of 2/1 tramplers that must attack each turn isn’t what an endgame looks like, so hunt out other Skellies to round this out.
There is not a storm deck to draft. Do not try to draft storm.
Targ Nar, Demon-Fang Gnoll
So I need to Bard Class and cast Targ Nar, Demon-Fang Gnoll for free, eh? Still a nope on the former, but I’m fine Targing the Nar all day long. The doubling cost here isn’t too egregious but makes it difficult enough to throw a combat trick out there first and truly go off. As for the +1/+0 from Pack tactics, I’m curious to see how the Goblin-generators pair with Gruul for massive combats aided by You Meet in a Tavern.
Collecting a pair of Treasures before Turn 5 in a base three-color deck (ideally Jund) isn’t as hard as you’d think in this format. The real challenge is accruing enough Dragons to make Tiamat’s ability pay off if they kill it on the spot. This is a true build-around and a lane I’m not trying to switch into.
Trelasarra, Moon Dancer
Again, I sincerely need better access to cards that gain life without being aggressively mediocre on their own before a few +1/+1 counters move me into this deck. You should be seeing Trelasarra, Moon Dancer around Pick 6 or later when you’ve already picked up a Priest of Ancient Lore or two as a sign this is wide open before moving in.
How annoying, right? Deathtouch and first strike are a neverending pain to deal with, especially when double blocking comes with the risk of a massive blowout with any buff to Triumphant Adventurer. Slapping on a Delver’s Torch and double-venturing seems busted. Go forth and plunder.
Volo, Guide to Monsters
It’s no surprise that creature types are all over the place in a D&D set, but this will feel much more like Clone Wars if Volo sticks around. Sometimes you’ll attack for free damage with a creature type you’re hoping dies. If it does, you get a free copy of something ostensibly better. As the French say, Vous Only Live Once!
Xanathar, Guild Kingpin
Big fan of Xanathar. I love his gum work, both in the world of pudding and in that grill. Shoot, that’s Xanthan. I clearly don’t have much to say about this guy. He slaps. You should splash him if you’re in either blue or black. He’s a capital B Bomb.
Preseason Color Pair Rankings
If venturing is the bee’s knees, then lets cut them out from under them and go as aggressive as possible, right? I think fast starts and early interaction will be key to surviving until we start finding the hidden decks in the format. Silver Raven Aggro? Four-Color Treasures? I’ll be on the ladder hunting for them.
Tomorrow, we’ll be wrapping this whole enterprise up with a look at the artifacts. colorless cards, and lands of Adventures in the Forgotten Realms, including some of the spiciest die rolls you can ask for.