Designer Draft: Lumeria Draft Archetypes

Adam Klesh CK Exclusives

Lumeria is the first in Card Kingdom’s new Designer Draft product line: a group of unique draft products I’m creating with the help of Chris VanMeter. I’m an amateur Magic designer and veteran drafter, and I brought up the idea of making our own Card Kingdom-exclusive set. It would use cards that were previously printed in other Magic sets, but in a new combination that would make interesting and rarely-seen archetypes available to draft.

Today, I want to go over our thought process for choosing the cards and archetypes for Lumeria.

Red/Green Enchantment-Ramp

I’ve always been a sucker for the “Enchantress” deck. I love playing a ton of enchantments, drawing cards, and gaining incremental value. In most sets, you’ll find this theme in Green/White or White/Black, if it exists at all. We wanted to push the boundaries with Lumeria, so we dug deep and found some great cards to make a version of this archetype work in Red/Green.

Top Common Picks:

Cartouche of Zeal + Cartouche of Strength (to go along with the respective Trials at Uncommon)
Fertile Ground
Zhur-Taa Druid
Nyxborn Rollicker
Arachnus Web
Yavimaya Enchantress

Top Uncommons:

Forgeborn Oreads
Vow of Wildness
Mogis’s Warhound

Marquee Rares:

Meteor Storm
Enchantress’s Presence

Blue/Red Artifacts

In most sets, the Blue/Red draft archetype is “Spells Matter,” but we wanted to do something different. Luckily, Blue/Red rarely has an “Artifacts Matter” theme, so we ran with that. There are several ways to create thopters and treasure tokens, as well as ways to get more value out of them. The signpost common card for this archetype is Maverick Thopterist, and we’ve also included a ton of common artifacts to help cast him early!

Top Common Picks:

Maverick Thopterist
Sailor of Means
Rusted Relic
Scrapyard Mongrel
Prophetic Prism

Top Uncommons:

Thopter Engineer
Makeshift Munitions
Sage of Lat-Nam

Marquee Rares:

Hammer of Purphoros
Thopter Spy Network

Black/Red Sacrifice

For Black/Red, we took the classic theme of “Steal and Sacrifice” and pumped it up. We have two commons that can steal opponent’s creatures, and cards at each rarity that can take advantage of  controlling those creatures.

Top Common Picks:

Hammer Helper (oh yeah, we have silver bordered cards in here too…)
Keldon Overseer
Fling
Bloodthrone Vampire
Severed Strands

Top Uncommons:

Thallid Soothsayer
Makeshift Munitions (also cool in U/R)
Brawl-Bash Ogre

Marquee Rares:

Captivating Crew
Phyrexian Plaguelord

Red/White Go Big

 

For Red/White, we had one of two options: go wide or go tall. We opted for going tall with equipment and auras, since red can share equipment with blue and share auras with green. We’ve added tons of support for splashing, so you could feasibly build a Jeskai (White/Blue/Red) or Naya (Red/Green/White) deck that supports both themes! Boros decks have always been lightning-fast, and this set is no exception; we’ve added a nice dose of double strike to tip the scales in your favor.

Top Common Picks:

Skyknight Legionnaire
Cartouche of Zeal
Knight’s Pledge
Fencing Ace
Healer’s Hawk

Top Uncommons:

Boros Swiftbade
Champion of the Flame
Heirloom Blade

Marquee Rares:

Heavenly Blademaster
Empyrial Plate

Black/White Tokens

Black/White was a tough one for us. We scrapped our original idea after a few playtests, but I really like where we ended up: Tokens. Triplicate Spirits, Call to the Feast, and Spectral Procession really show your opponents you mean business after you cast Earth-Origin Yak or Kongming, “Sleeping Dragon.” There is also a small amount of Convoke to take advantage of with your horde of 1/1s, and some of the black cards that are good in the Black/Red deck also shine here, such as Bloodthrone Vampire.

Top Common Picks:

Triplicate Spirits
Doomed Traveler
Doomed Dissenter (mirrored pair! Sorry, my design brain gets excited over this sort of thing)
Fungal Infection
Earth-Origin Yak

Top Uncommons:

Call to the Feast
Spectral Procession
Endless Obedience

Marquee Rares:

Utter End
Dawn of Hope

Blue/Green Ramp or +1/+1 Counters

Blue/Green is probably the best color combination to expand into other colors. There is a five-color “gates-matter” deck built into the set, and U/G is the best starting point for that. (Did I mention that there’s a Guildgate in every pack?) There is also a secondary +1/+1 counter theme in Blue/Green if that’s what you’re into, but I think the four-or-five color gate deck is where it’s at.

Top Common Picks:

Gatecreeper Vine
Cloudfin Raptor
Vigean Graftmage
Fertile Ground
Saddleback Lagac

Top Uncommons:

Circuitous Route
Tatyova, Benthic Druid
Guild Summit

Marquee Rares:

Curse of Predation
Herald of Secret Streams

Black/Green Dice-Rolling

Black/Green might be my favorite archetype in Lumeria. It rolls dice – a lot of them. We borrowed several of the dice-rolling cards from Unstable, and Black/Green is where they mostly show up. I’ve drafted this deck more than any other and it’s not hard to see why: dice rolling is fun.

Top Common Picks:

Ground Pounder
Willing Test Subject
Murder
Mad Science Fair Project
Fertile Ground

Top Uncommons:

Chittering Doom
Squirrel-Powered Scheme
Krark’s Other Thumb

Marquee Rares:

Hydradoodle
Reaper of the Wilds

Blue/White Flyers

Blue/White flyers is a classic. It’s often powerful and can usually keep up with other draft archetypes. Blue’s ability to make thopters and White’s ability to make spirits both help here, especially when you add Thunderclap Wyvern. Don’t underestimate the U/W deck – it won’t give you a chance to.

Top Common Picks:

Talon Trooper
Healer’s Hawk
Luminous Bonds
Triplicate Spirits
Aviation Pioneer

Top Uncommons:

Thunderclap Wyvern
Cyclone Sire
Exclusion Mage

Marquee Rares:

Djinn of Wishes
Oddly Uneven

Green/White ETB Effects

Another archetype that we turned on its head is Green/White. We wanted something cool, so we went with green’s awesome “enter the battlefield” abilities along with white’s blinking to make something unique. It turns out blinking Acidic Slime a few times really puts a damper on your opponent’s plans. Who’d’a thunk it?

Top Common Picks:

Cloudshift
Intrusive Packbeast
Kor Skyfisher
Saddleback Lagac
Skittering Surveyor

Top Uncommons:

Flickerwisp
Acidic Slime
Crested Herdcaller

Marquee Rares:

Pelakka Wurm
Restoration Angel

Epic Mythic Rare for W/G:

Armada Wurm

Blue/Black Control

Blue/Black is the quintessential control archetype in draft. Getting great removal, counterspells, and awesome top-end creatures to finish out the game is what this color pair is all about. If that’s the archetype you want to build, Lumeria’s got you covered. There is a small cycling theme in these colors, as well as a few delve cards to get some use out of your cycled cards.

Top Common Picks:

Murder
Artful Takedown
Devious Cover-Up
Treasure Cruise
Sultai Scavenger

Top Uncommons:

Lay Claim
Shadowmage Infiltrator
Dead Drop

Marquee Rares:

Insidious Will
Crux of Fate

I hope you’ve seen an archetype that interests you here. We put a lot of hard work into making a draft experience that people will enjoy, and I hope to hear about what you drafted and how it went! Send me an email at aklesh@cardkingdom.com or tweet at me at @madolaf.