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April 19, 2017

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Daily Dose of Amonkhet – Limited Archetypes for Amonkhet Prerelease – Part 1

Welcome all to the Daily Dose of Amonkhet, where today I’m going to be going over three of the best archetypes to be playing in Amonkhet Limited.

An archetype in Magic is a strategy, usually involving a set of colours you can build your deck within. When Wizards of the Coast make a larger set such as Amonkhet, they can put multiple archetypes in one set, making it so you have many options to choose from. What I’ll do today is look at some of the Commons and Uncommons from those archetypes that you’ll want to keep an eye out for to help build your deck.

Blue/Black Cycling

Rares/Mythics for this Archetype

shadow ofthe grave drake haven archfiendofifnir

Uncommons to Look for

censor lay claim viziertumblingsands

zenithseeker faithofthedevoted stirthesans

ruthlesssniper shadowstormvizier embalmerstools

Commons to Look for

hieroglyphic illumination riverserpent baleful ammit

horrorofthebrokenlands pitilessvizier wanderindeath

wasteland scorpion hekma sentinels

This blue and black cycling deck is all about taking advantage of those sweet cards in your deck that have the cycling ability. Blue and Black give us a ton of spells and creatures that are quite useful on their own, but can also be cycled if necessary. Instead of just getting a replacement card from cycling, this deck gives you even more bonuses by pumping up creatures, spitting out creatures, or damaging your opponent’s creatures.

If you get either Drake Haven or Archfiend of Ifnir, these cards can really help you take over any game and are considered Limited bombs in a blue-black cycling deck like this. Cycling just allows you to have moderate quality level spells, as you have creatures that can take advantage of its cycling ability. The key is to find a nice balance between cards that give you bonuses when you cycle, and actual cycling cards.

Red/White Exert

Best Rares/Mythics

gloryboundinnitiate combatcelebrant glorybringer

Uncommons to Look for

trialofsolidarity battlefieldscavenger truehearttwins

honoredcropcaptain ahncropcrasher

Commons to Look for

nefcropentangler gustwaker djerresolve

rhetcropspearmaster sparringmummy tahcropelite

pathmakerinitiate

Exert is a very powerful ability, as seen by some of the creatures above. I think the key to making this deck successful is making sure you have enough exerted creatures that will have a strong impact on the game. Thanks to white being in the deck, look for spells that allow you to untap your creatures with exert, so that you can not only surprise them on defense, but also attack the following turn with exert as well. There are many more exert creatures than there are spells that allow you to untap them, so be careful to mix in some non-exert creatures as well so that you aren’t left with zero blockers all the time.

Exert is an aggressive mechanic, so make sure you tune your deck to win fast. Glorybringer and Glory-Bound Initiate are your Limited bombs in this deck. They can take over a game fast. Having a 4/4 lifelink two-drop creature could be too much for your opponent to handle. Glorybringer will not only deal damage quickly in the air, but it will also be able to eliminate your opponent’s threats.

Black/Green -1/1 Counters

Rares/Mythics for this Archetype

plaguebelcher channelerinitiate hapatravizierofpoisions

Uncommons to Look for

baleful ammit nestofscarabs crocodileofthecrossing

defiantgreatmaw exemplarofstrength hapatrasmark

decimatorbeetle

Commons to Look for

cartoucheofambition splendidagony soulstinger

ornery kudu quarryhauler shedweakness

This is a unique deck archetype, as you’ll be playing a lot of cards that will be damaging your own creatures with -1/-1 counters. A key to getting some big creatures out is also having some smaller one or two-drop creatures that you wouldn’t mind sacrificing to the -1/-1 counters you must place on your own creatures. This allows you to get some large creatures early in the game.

Some of the keys to this deck are in its combat tricks. If you can get some Shed Weakness or Hapatra’s Mark it can really make a difference. If you can get some of the creatures that can take advantage of having -1/-1 counters on them like Exemplar of Strength, it will go a long way to making this deck more successful. Hapatra, Vizier of Poisons and Channeler Initiate are the Limited Bombs for this archetype. Being able to mana ramp thanks to Channeler Initiate is huge, and it’s nice to have an outlet to put all your -1/-1 counters on. Hapatra, Vizier of Poisons will help you take over the game by creating tons of 1/1 Snake tokens with deathtouch. This deck could be dangerous to navigate, but if done correctly, could be the most powerful.

There are some more archetypes that you can use within the set, but hopefully this will give you a guide into some of the ones that will have the best synergy during your prerelease this weekend. Going in with some knowledge of what to expect will help you be a better deck builder in Limited. Information is key to success in Limited. Not only knowing what’s in your deck, but what other decks players might be building as well. Thanks for reading another Daily Dose of Amonkhet during prerelease weekend and I look forward to seeing you tomorrow as I discuss three more archetypes that you’ll want to be playing in Amonkhet Limited.