Deep Analyzing Throne of Eldraine Limited

Marcio Carvalho

Marcio Carvalho

Introduction

Hello everyone, Márcio Carvalho here freshly back from Mythic Championship V!

After playing a lot of Standard for that event in the last few weeks, I’m really happy to be back at my element and dive a little bit more into Throne of Eldraine Draft.

This format is a little trickier and deeper than I initially thought, so let me share with you a few things I’ve learned since we last talked:

Drafting Mono Color Decks is Real

In most Limited formats I try my best to stay open most of pack 1 to identify which colors are open and draft from there. By doing this, it’s really rare to find yourself in a position where you are sticking with only one color throughout the whole draft, as you are taking the best cards of the pack on the first picks no matter what color they are. Also, not every set has high incentives for you to stay mono color, but that is not the case for Throne of Eldraine.

On my first article I said that I was not very impressed by Adamant, but I have to admit that I might have been wrong: Some Adamant “bonuses” are very powerful and fits their color strategy perfectly.

OutmuscleSearing BarrageLocthwain Paladin
Slaying FireGarenbrig Paladin

The hybrid mana cards were also a pleasant surprise: Not only they are above the curve in terms of power, but they give you exactly the kind of effect you are looking for on those colors. That said, I value playing them exactly on turn 4 every time, so If I’m not on that exact color, it is a lot harder to do!

Rampart SmasherLoch DragonFireborn Knight
Arcanist's OwlOakhame Ranger

As you can see there are a lot of incentives for staying in one color in this format, but for me the most important information to look for is how deep those colors are. Let me tell you, most of them are very deep and have enough playables to assure you are not just adding bad cards to your deck in the end. I would be a little bit cautious with white though, as I don’t think a table can support a lot of white drafters because of the lower power level of the white commons.

So, when do you know it might be a good strategy to try and stick to one color? The top commons and uncommons of each color should not go very late, so if you see them it might be a very good indication. Strong hybrid cards are also a very good sign!

There is no need to be afraid of drafting a mono colored deck! If you see these signs go for it!

Unconventional Strategies

《Trail of Crumbs》

Trail of Crumbs

When I first saw this card, I thought it was a really good card for sealed but not so much for draft. That was until a friend told me about how Michael Jacob won a MOCS Open by first picking this card, generating so much value that his opponents could not keep up with his deck. I went back to watch it myself and it was really impressive! Something I learned is that when you go that route you want to value removal that are also permanents you can find with 《Trail of Crumbs》. You also want ways to generate Food, so pick those high.

Trapped in the TowerCharmed SleepSo TinyFrogify
Kenrith's TransformationScalding CauldronGolden Egg

The 2 Card Combo

Witch's OvenCauldron Familiar

You probably have seen these two cards together by now in several Standard decks, so imagine being able to do that in Limited too! Not only you can win just by draining your opponent in the course of several turns (You probably also want to have a couple of 《Tempting Witch》 to burn them faster) you are also able to have infinite blockers for their biggest attacker every single turn! I’m a huge fan of this duo, and I always try to pick these cards high when I’m leaning towards black.

The 1 Card Combo

Sorcerer's Broom

I have to confess that I might have drafted this one a little bit too much, but when you get it you will eventually win any ground race with your opponent. It happens a lot in this format that neither player can make a move or attack, so having this card in your deck coupled with a few sacrifice effects is definitely worth! 2 drops in black and green (the 2 colors with most of the sacrifice effects) are not that important, so you can easily prioritize the Broom over the other ones.

《All That Glitters》

All That Glitters

I underestimated this card a lot when I first saw, but it can win games out of nowhere. I think this card shines the most in mono white, but it also has a home in both UW and GW: There are a lot of enchantments and artifacts that you want in aggressive strategies, so this enchantment is a lot better than it looks. Nobody else is going to take them high, so you can always find a couple in the last few picks and see if they fit your deck.

Mill

Merfolk SecretkeeperLucky CloverDidn't Say Please
Run Away TogetherTurn into a Pumpkin

If you have drafted in Arena on the first weeks you probably got sick of losing to this one. It was happened because the bots were not taking 《Merfolk Secretkeeper》 high enough (or AT ALL), so it leads up to some absurd decks with 5-6 of them. With a couple of 《Lucky Clover》s and 《Didn’t Say Please》 it is not hard to win the game by milling your opponent. Another way to rebuy your Secretkeepers is by bouncing them with cards like 《Run Away Together》 and 《Turn into a Pumpkin》.

Although I don’t think it is easy to reproduce this strategy in a normal 8 player draft, the deck is real and you should be aware of it. So, don’t let those Secretkeepers run around at the end of the packs!

《Gingerbrute》 Bogles

Gingerbrute

This is another card that surprised me quite a lot. If you follow me you know that I’m not a fan of 1 mana 1/1s, but this one is an exception. There are not a lot of haste creatures in the format, so a lot of the time 《Gingerbrute》 will go in for a lot of damage. Couple it with a few auras/equipments and it will run away with the game. This is one of my favorite creatures to put 《All That Glitters》 on. Be aware of 《Crashing Drawbridge》 though, as it can give your opponent’s creatures haste during your turn too, meaning they can block the 《Gingerbrute》.

All That GlittersMantle of TidesRosethorn Halberd
Tall as a BeanstalkTuinvale Treefolk

Conclusion

After all of this, I’m under the impression that I still have a lot to learn, so congratulations to Wizards of the Coast for making such an interesting and deep format! If you found other interesting and out of the box strategies please let me know so I can also explore them!

That’s going to be all for today, I’m going back to practicing for the next Mythic Championship, so wish me luck in Richmond!

Márcio A Carvalho (Twitter / Twitch)

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Marcio Carvalho

Marcio Carvalho Portugal’s top pro player. And he is a member of Hareruya Latin. He owns the title Draft Master of season 2015-2016. As shown in his results, he is a limited format specialist. His daily effort toward Magic earned this result, with an episode that he has picked 287 copies of Clutch of Currents in the Battle for Zendikar draft. Read more articles by Marcio Carvalho