Take The Crown

Play the Ten Drop – Conspiracy: Take the Throne Draft Archetypes

Part 1: Enemy Colors

Ever since Brago got stabbed in the neck, I know you’ve been excited to play this set. All the weird draft mechanics and fun multiplayer action from the first set are back and better than ever.

Though this format is deep enough to support more than one archetypes per color pair, we’ll be looking at the most prominent ones for the enemy color pairs today. In Part 2, we’ll look at the allies.

Without further ado, let’s get archetyping!


Red-White Melee

Key Commons: Wings of the Guard, Deputized Protestor, Goblin Tunneler

Key Uncommons: Custodi Soulcaller, Grenzo’s Ruffians, Akroan Hoplite

Sweet Bomb You Want to Open: Adriana, Captain of the Guard

Attacking is red-white’s bread and butter, so it’s no surprise to see that again here. Melee is the new twist—it’s a keyword which buffs your attackers based on the number of people you’re attacking.

I won’t deny that attacking three people at once sounds fun… until all three of them attack you back. This has always been red-white’s Achilles heel in multiplayer. Aggro is effective in one-on-one, but struggles when more people join the table.

My suggestion is to leave one player unattacked each game and do your best to form an alliance with that player. If you’re at a four player table, taking on two players is certainly more doable than taking on three—especially if that third player helps you out every now and then.


Red-Blue Spells

Key Commons: Kiln Fiend, Garbage Fire, Repulse

Key Uncommons: Guttersnipe, Into the Void, Besmirch

Sweet Bomb You Want to Open: Charmbreaker Devils

Though there’s a decent amount of goad cards in this color combo, the spells path has the bigger payoff. Expect to have a lower creature count with this deck. In game, my guess is you’ll lay back until someone seems vulnerable, then blow them out with three or four spells in one turn. Sounds pretty sweet.

However, the funny thing about multiplayer is, people’s imaginations scare them even more than what’s actually on the board. So if you sit there doing nothing and playing no creatures, there’s a fair chance your opponents might attack you out of fear of what you might have.

My suggestion is to leave everyone alone—unless they attack you. When that happens, drop a Garbage Fire on their dude. Do that a few times and people will probably stop attacking you. And then you can go back to building for your big turn.

And remember those goad cards I mentioned? You’ll want to prioritize them. Since you won’t have many creatures, cards that divert attackers to other players are going to be lifesavers.


Green-Black Value

Key Commons: Assemble the Rank and Vile, Borderland Explorer, Orchard Elemental

Key Uncommons: Pharika’s Mender, Smuggler Captain, Keepsake Gorgon

Sweet Bomb You Want to Open: Assemble the Rank and Vile

Of all the color pairs, I find this one the most difficult to nail down. There’s not a lot of synergy here, but that’s made up for in raw card advantage. Assemble the Rank and Vile replaces anyone who dies, Pharika’s Mender revives both creatures and enchantments, and Smuggler Captain functions as a nifty tutor.

In general, look for creatures which serve dual roles. Squeaking out added value whenever you can is a big deal in multiplayer, so I expect this color combo to be pretty strong, even without big synergies.


Blue-Green Ramp

Key Commons: Voyaging Satyr, Opaline Unicorn, Lay of the Land

Key Uncommons: Explosive Vegetation, Manaplasm, Coiling Oracle

Sweet Bomb You Want to Open: Expropriate

This one’s pretty simple: search up some lands, tap ’em, play big stuff. There’s a good number of monstrosity creatures in green just waiting to munch on some delicious mana, plus a few more in blue.

I like this color combo because there’s enough mana fixing to get you into a third color for a big bomb. If you’re lucky enough to open Birds of Paradise, for example, you have access to any color. If not, Opaline Unicorn is a serviceable substitute. Look out for bombs with high costs or unusual mana requirements such as Subterranean Tremors, Protector of the Crown, or Leovold, Emissary of Trest. While other drafters might fear these cards and pass them, you can snag them and smile. Just don’t look too smug.


Black-White Monarch

Key Commons: Throne Warden, Thorn of the Black Rose, Garrulous Sycophant

Key Uncommons: Knights of the Black Rose, Palace Jailer, Ghostly Prison

Sweet Bomb You Want to Open: Queen Marchesa

Purely from a fun standpoint, this might be the best archetype in the whole set. I love the game-within-the-game aspect the monarch token presents. Plus, now we finally have an excuse to wear a crown during a game of Magic. Thanks, Wizards!

Why would you want to play this archetype? So you can say “Garrulous Sycophant” repeatedly, of course. Also, being the monarch produces a tremendous amount of card advantage; at the beginning of your end step, if you’re the monarch, you draw a card. Though any player can become the monarch, you’ll benefit most from it thanks to cards such as Throne Warden and the aforementioned Sycophant. Plus, if you’re lucky enough to draft Ghostly Prison, it’ll be extra hard for your opponents to steal your crown.

But let us not forget the dangers of being a monarch (just ask King Joffrey). Everyone likes drawing cards, so players won’t hesitate to steal your monarch token. Therefore, be conservative with your attacks and leverage those extra cards for a late-game win.


Which archetype are you most excited to draft? Let us know in the comments below. And don’t forget to come back when we take a look at the ally color pairs.

Until then, watch your back. There’s a conspiracy afoot!

By Kyle A. Massa – Play the Ten Drop
You can reach Kyle at @mindofkyleam on Twitter or through his site www.kyleamassa.com