Today is part 2 of my initial impressions on the 10 color pairs for Magic Origins, and this time I’ll look at the enemy color pairs. If you missed the allied colors you can find it here.

WB

 

This color combination does have an enchantment matters theme but it really revolves around good solid early creatures in white followed by removal and heavy hitters in black. The main enchantment rewards are Blightcaster, Auramancer, and Blood-Cursed Knight, but only Blightcaster wants a critical mass of enchantments. I do like that Auramancer lets you get around the downside of Auras, since if the creature that you’ve suited up dies, you can just re-buy the Aura and try again. The presence of Suppression Bonds and Claustrophobia do make that a bit worse, but I like trying Grasp of the Hieromancer and other higher risk Auras in this type of shell. The other route of course is to just play more removal-based Auras like Suppression Bonds and Weight of the Underworld, but this plan doesn’t work all that well with Auramancer since Suppression Bonds won’t fall off all that often, and with Weight of the Underworld you are working hard to make two mediocre cards into a slightly better package, which is okay but unexciting.

Card I’m most excited about:

Despite talking about the limitations of Auramancer, I’m excited to see how far I can push the enchantment theme in WB and this card falls right into the grindy archetypes I typically enjoy. Finding the right balance of aggression and card advantage will be key, but I think WB is a very good home for that type of strategy.

GB

 

Elves! Sadly the Elf payoff cards are more marginal bonuses than entire buildarounds. The best ones are Shaman of the Pack which is just very efficient, and Eyeblight Massacre which is better with Elves but can really go in any black deck. If you’re able to assemble a very large number of Elves—say 10+—then I can see Sylvan Messenger being quite good, but that looks pretty difficult, so I’ll wait to see that deck before diving in myself. I think GB will work best when it focuses on winning the midrange fight, in which it has proven itself again and again. Giant green monsters backed by removal spells are the keys to this archetype. In the late game, Read the Bones and Macabre Waltz will help mitigate flood while also providing a stream of 4/4 tramples and 5/6s which should be good enough to win.

Card I’m most excited about:

The Spider helps shore up one of GBs traditional weaknesses to fliers while also pushing the theme of giant creatures that will eventually win the game. It looks to be green’s premier uncommon and exceedingly hard to beat without a hard removal spell.

UG

 

This color combination always seems to be the most disconnected, mostly because the colors have very little overlap between their plans. Often UG is the “good stuff” archetype and here it’s not very different. The plan is to play some creatures, which will often be a bit bigger since they’re green, backed by tempo spells in blue. My problem with this plan is that it has to line up perfectly, since there’s very little actual interaction in this color combination. You do have more than usual with a fight spell and Claustrophobia but I think you’ll only end up in UG if both the colors are very open for your seat. Bounding Krasis is textbook good-stuff, and with a couple of those the deck actually becomes quite powerful, but again lacks a cohesive plan.

Card I’m most excited about:

It can be difficult to get a big creature through a line of chump blockers but Stratus Walk helps alleviate this problem. It also combines quite nicely with Valeron Wardens, and could end up being a lynchpin of the UG archetype.

UR

 

Here we have the Thopter colors but I doubt that the “Thopter deck” will come together all that often since many of its best cards are just high picks on their own. Reclusive Artificer is also an unexciting payoff unless you have many enablers, or are playing a bunch of bad common artifacts just to turn it on. Outside of Thopters, UR looks to play a few early threats and then play bounce and burn spells to push damage through. This means Jhessian Thief will be even more absurd in this color combination. The deck lacks any real means of defense since its creature are all very tiny, so I expect Deep-Sea Terror to be a bit better here than in other archetypes. One final thing you’ll want to keep in mind is balancing creatures versus spells, since it’s very easy to have way too many of one and too few of the other. My estimation is you’ll usually want about 12-14 creatures in this deck, but time will tell as we play the format more.

Card I’m most excited about:

I realize this card is just absurdly powerful, but it also does a lot of neat things in UR, and one thing I can’t wait to do is make my Cobblebrute unblockable. The rate on the Rogue is unbelievable and I’m going to feel pretty good every time I put it on the stack.

WR

 

This color combination is just a ton of low-curve creatures backed by combat tricks and burn spells. Chandra’s Fury can help the small creatures trade up while also dealing a ton of damage. Act of Treason lacks much of the synergy it has in RB but can definitely steal games, though it looks like it will be tougher to make work in this format since your opponent will already be incentivized to hold back against your renown creatures. Kytheon’s Tactics seems like a good way to push through if the board stalls, and if Infectious Bloodlust has a home this could be it. I’m usually not a fan of RW because it’s too all-in but this time it just looks to have many efficient threats on 2 and 3 mana, so I’m hard pressed to say anything other than good things about this archetype based on my initial impression.

Card I’m most excited about:

The Falter effect looks particularly effective to me in RW and a 4/4 is a giant body. I like the looks of this as a curve topper, and in games it doesn’t outright win it should push through enough damage to make you a massive favorite.

Magic Origins looks to be an exciting core set with a lot of interesting card choices. I think there will be quite a bit of debate about many of the cards moving forward which should keep it interesting. If you disagreed with any of my assessments let me know in the comments!

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