Battle for Zendikar Limited Deck Archetypes by Eric Harrell

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Battle for Zendikar Limited Deck Archetypes by Eric Harrell

Battle for Zendikar Limited Deck Archetypes by Eric Harrell

You can find all my articles in this series here.

Have you wanted to improve at Draft and Sealed? Do you want to scale the MTG league and play amongst the likes of Jon Finkel or Shuhei Nakamura? Well I can’t promise you the latter but I guarantee that this series will make you a more successful player in the Limited Format. Yes, that is quite a bold statement.

Good afternoon, night or early morning! I’ve been recently acquired by Manaleak as a writer. I primarily play the Limited & Standard format. Nice to virtually meet each and every one of you.

If you are competitive, this series will provide a quick assessment for cards in the set in regards to Draft and Sealed. At the same time, this series is great for newcomers to the BFZ (Battle for Zendikar) set and the limited format. I try to explain all terms us MTG sage’s might take for granted so that a beginner can quickly grasp what is meant by a bear. No, not that kind of bear, this kind of bear.

This series grades each card in BFZ for the limited format and provides several archetypes that can help orient your deck building. I try to keep my puns to a minimum as LSV reigns that dark realm, but I do have quite a bit of references and links to ensure this’ll be one entertaining read. One final thing: never be shy of your opinion – yours matters.

Identified Deck Archetypes for Limited:

Catacomb Sifter

Catacomb Sifter

BG (Black-green) Sacrifice archetype = Makes use creatures like Blisterpod and the 1/1 eldrazi scion tokens with strong sacrifice engines (such as Vampiric Rites) and spells (such as Bone Splinters) to reap powerful effects.

Grove Rumber

Grove Rumber

Landfall Archetype = Usually an aggressive deck that is composed of permanents with the Landfall keyword. Usually incorporating green for use of green’s land tutoring and ramp spells. GR (Green-red) is the preferred colour.

Tajuru Warcaller

Tajuru Warcaller

Ally Archetype = RW (Red-white) allies leans on aggressive side, and seeks to put more allies onto field, quickly gaining board advantage through the Rally triggered ability. GW (Green-white) allies leans on midrange side, and seeks to put more allies onto field, slowly gaining board advantage through the Rally triggered ability and landing big creatures one after another. There are also variations with Black that revolve around Kalastria Healer or Blue.

Bane of Bala Ged

Bane of Bala Ged

Eldrazi Ramp/Control Archetype = Requires 4+ pieces of removal in order to eliminate early threats, ramp up mana and play big Eldrazi cards that take over the game. Alternatively, this deck can employ a lot of counters with spot removal. Typically only has three 2-drops and lots of Eldrazi scions.

Nettle Drone

Nettle Drone

Devoid Combo = Uses mostly devoid cards that synergize with each other. Think Nettle Drone or Smothering Abomination with Catacomb Sifter.

Forerunner of Slaughter

Forerunner of Slaughter

BR Devoid Aggro = Championed by Forerunner of Slaughter, the deck makes use of devoid creatures for quick beat-downs and strong aggressive effects like Swarm Surge

Drana’s Emissary

Drana’s Emissary

Life-gain Archetype = Either an aggressive weenie deck with life-gain to mitigate retaliatory strikes or a methodical deck that prefers to gain incremental advantage through life-gain to triggers effects or even as a win condition.  BW (Black-white) is the preferred colour.

Swarm Surge

Swarm Surge

Swarm Archetype = A hyper-aggressive composed of weenie creatures or Eldrazi Scions, typically 3+ 1-drops and mostly composed of 2-3 drops. Wins with anthem affects that form top of the mana curve.

Windrider Patrol

Windrider Patrol

Flier Archetype = a traditional archetype that typically has solid ground blockers and aggressive flying creatures. This archetype seems strong against Eldrazi ramp/control. Most effective with the blue fliers in the set.

Skyrider Elf

Skyrider Elf

Converge Archetype = This archetype is primarily green for mana fixing and has a minimum of 3 colours to get large value out of otherwise sub-par cards (4 colours is ideal).

Halimar Tidecaller

Halimar Tidecaller

UW (Blue-white) Awaken Archetype = Utilizes the strong Awaken ability on cards primarily from blue and white colours. This deck can afford to be low on creatures and  has powerful late game tempo swings. For this reason it never really has a problem with card advantage. Championed and strongly supported by Halimar Tidecaller

Herald of Kozilek

Herald of Kozilek

UB (Blue-red) /UR (Blue-red) Devoid Variants = Given that these colours have the most devoid creatures, it is possible to craft a deck full of Devoid creatures that synergize well together. A Grixis (Blue-Black-Red) deck can be made as well.

Ulamog’s Nulifier 

Ulamog’s Nulifier

UB Ingest/Processor = Exemplifies ‘Exile Matters’ creatures; Ingest creatures exile enemy cards and the powerful Processor effects use those cards in exile as costs for powerful effects that can take over the game. Championed by powerful rares like Wasteland Strangler, Drowner of Hope and Fathom Feeder.

 

Eric Harrell

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