Recently, Eternal announced their 2019 World Championship, which definitely sparked my interest. It would be pretty cool to be the first world champion of a game, and it happens to be created by many of my friends. I am going to give an overview of five decks across the spectrum of aggro, control, and combo. Given that you have experience playing or watching competitive Magic, these decks and archetypes should be familiar to you. All five of the decks utilize the powerful cycle of merchants and their markets. Merchants allow you to switch a card in your hand for a card in your five-card market, kind of like the cycle of Wishes in Magic (Living, Burning, Cunning, Death, Golden).
This is a two-color, fire and primal aggressive deck that resembles a mono-red deck that is ever present in all Magic metagames. This deck takes advantage of the most powerful 1-cost spells and units in existence to overwhelm the opponent. Skycrag Aggro is 72% fire and only splashes primal because of the existence of good power sources. Primal provides one of the best removal spells in the game, Permafrost, and a few great units. Snowcrust Yeti is a 1-cost 2/1 with aegis, and the Yeti combines well with the ten weapons to ensure that you will not lose card advantage to a potential removal spell. Personally, I could see a benefit to putting a Torch in the market so that you have virtually seven copies of the best spell in the game, but I will defer to people who have more experience than me for now. It is a common strategy to put situationally powerful spells in the market that are not powerful enough to see main deck play, such as Mindfire, which exhausts two units for the turn, similar to a Falter.
From Eternal’s new set, Defiance, I’m trying out Phoenix Stone and Chunk Chunk. Phoenix Stone is a relic—they’re similar to artifacts—that can transform into a flying 4/4 but be safely tucked away as a relic during the opponent’s turn. Chunk Chunk has the new pledge mechanic that allows you to play it as an untapped power of either color on turn 1. More options to smooth your draws strikes me as potentially quite powerful.
Combrei has the most efficiently costed units in Eternal. There are 3/3s for 2, 5/6s for 4, and 6/7s for 5. This deck puts out several powerful units and then enhances them with both Stand Together and Sword of Unity. Empower is a mechanic similar to landfall in Magic, but most of the units maintain the bonus forever rather than benefiting from a temporary effect. Worldbearer Behemoth is the Primeval Titan of Eternal, Mystic Ascendant is the Tatyova, Benthic Druid. Knight-Chancellor Siraf is a good defensive unit early as a 3/4 for 3 and then a power sink late in the game that will likely give you inevitability. Knight-Chancellor Siraf, in addition to being strong, is fun to play with and reminds me of playing Momir-Vig.
The new set has two exciting new empower options for you to try. Hojan, Crownbreaker has renown, which is an ability you use by playing a spell or weapon on it. In this case, he’ll ramp you while hitting for a ton of lifesteal damage. Ravid, Insect Master can grab any power from your deck, even ones with special abilities like a Crest (think scrylands in Magic). His empower ability will help give you some flying threats that will be great in spot-removal matchups, like Lingering Souls in an Abzan Mirror.
This fire, justice, shadow midrange deck achieved number one in ranked. Cauldron Cookbook is what this deck is built upon. Jayemdae Tome was at one point a defining card in Magic’s history and Eternal’s version of the book costs only 2 to deploy and 3 to use each turn, with the drawback of being about two percent to take 5 damage each draw step. To back up the card advantage of the book there are the best removal spells in each faction, along with legendary creatures Vara, Statuary Maiden, and Rizahn, which can each generate card advantage, block well, and potentially gain health. In general, if a unit has a comma in its name it is going to demand an immediate answer. These powerful creatures are reminiscent of Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet, Olivia Voldaren, and Akroma, Angel of Wrath.
From the new set, we get a whole new card type to play with: Sites. Sites are like planeswalkers—they give you a free spell each turn and if you keep them around for three turns you get a free legend. Here I’m trying out Regent’s Tomb and Dizo’s Office.
If you like cheating expensive fatties into play, R/G a.k.a. Rakano Ramp is where it’s at. Here we take advantage of temporary ramp effects like Yushkov and Bulletshaper to cheat fatties like Telut, Queen’s Hand and Rizahn into play. The crazy combo with Bulletshaper is Privilege of Rank, which has an ability like madness that lets you play it for free and draw two basics when discarded. The fatty from the new set I’ve added is Xo of the Endless Hoard, a Dragon that gives you a “treasure trove,” basically a Magic Clue when you draw it. When it attacks, you can spend all your mana incinerating the opponent’s board and drawing tons more cards. It’s like a mashup of Dragonlord Atarka and Tireless Tracker.
West-Wind Herald is a 5-cost flying unit that allows you to play a spell from your void when it deals damage to the opponent, Mirror Image is a 3-cost spell that clones one of your creatures, and Iceberg Scattershot is a 4-cost unit that makes each creature ping the opponent for 1 damage when it is played. These three cards combine to combo-kill the opponent. The nice thing about these cards is that they are all acceptable cards on their own and you can try to win a normal game of attrition without a true combo-kill. This particular version is three colors: fire, primal, and shadow, which gives the deck access to all of the best removal spells, card draw, discard, and reanimation.
I hope that I have provided you with at least one appealing archetype to give Constructed in Eternal a chance, whether you are a Timmy, Johnny, or Spike. You can also research for yourself on Dire Wolf’s website or Eternal Warcry. Let me know which decks caught your eye and which decks in Magic they remind you of.
Special thanks to Andrew Baeckstrom for his help on writing this piece.
Disclaimer: This article appears as part of a paid promotional campaign from Dire Wolf Digital. Further, our Vice President, Luis Scott-Vargas, works as a senior designer on Eternal.