Beta Pre-amble I’ve been working on this article for a number of months, and with parenthood pending shortly, I’d rather get it out there now and let the community put on the finishing touches. Most of the article is complete, however there are decklists missing, which I’d much rather get from the active community rather than theorycube them all or trawl threads looking for the perfect fit. All assistance and feedback is appreciated.
One of the joys of building your own peasant cube is creating a limited environment that uses some of the greatest commons and uncommons in the history of the game. While it is possible for a cube to just be a collection of individually good cards, a design approach adopted by most cube designers is building their cube to make it possible to draft specific archetypes; a collection of cards that synergise with other so that the sum is better than its parts.
This article is an attempt to document and explore the various archetypes available to us. If you’ve ever thought “could that work in peasant cube?” the goal is to explore it here.
Every cube is (and should be) different. The various rankings or explanations given should always be considered within the context of your own cube. It isn’t the intention to tell cube designers which archetypes are bad and should not be supported. The intention is to give cube designers all the information they need to determine what they will need to do if they want to support an archetype, and what other archetypes it can work well with.
I'd also like to thank squirrely and n00b1n8tr for their feedback and contributions.
Last Set Update: Ixalan (artifact section still needs a major update)
The following assumptions have been made when assessing the archetypes; All Magic sets – It’s assumed we are drawing from all of the available Magic sets. If you have a restriction on which sets you use (e.g. Modern only) it may impact on whether you have access to a critical mass of the right cards for some archetypes. Use your judgment for your environment to determine what adjustments you may need to make, or whether key cards are missing. Gatherer rarities used – Commons or uncommons as defined in Gatherer are used for this article. This includes cards that are common/uncommon in online versions, but have only seen physical print at rare. While it’s unlikely to affect the ability to support most archetypes, it’s worth pointing out. General balance – Generally, this means that each colour is equally represented, and there is no bucking of traditional cube design tenets such as having cards all along the curve. Unbound to a theme – Some cube designers have specific themes in mind when developing their cube. Maybe you choose cards because they help you tell a story, have a favourite artist, or want to recreate Legions with a creature-only cube. This article is likely to have limited use for those cube designers; it is aimed at cube designers who are interested in pushing particular archetypes regardless of theme. Mix of staples plus archetype specific cards – Some cards are just going to be good no matter what deck they are in. While this article is about archetypes, it’s assumed you play a reasonable number of those staples. This allows decks of various archetypes to be able to draw from the same pool of good cards, instead of needing to dedicate too many slots to cards that only apply to specific archetypes. Hybrid, gold and other classifications – Each cube owner may have a different opinion about how they categorise multi-colour cards. This article doesn’t presume a particular approach. Archetype first, power second – This article is all about exploring ‘could that work in peasant cube?’ If it supports the archetype in some fashion, it is probably listed. I guarantee you will see some weak cards here; some you would never consider for your cube. They are listed for the sake of completeness for those that want to go extra deep, or find that hidden gem that makes perfect sense for their specific environment. There may be some caveats about how powerful the cards or the archetype are, but generally I leave it to you and your own cube design methodology to determine what level of power or speed you want your cube to be.
So how are the archetypes presented?
This article is divided into three main sections.
Section 1 : Archetypes
The first is for specific archetypes. For the purpose of this article, an archetype is talking about a deck which is trying to win a certain type of way. Some of them have varying degrees of granularity; some cover a broad spectrum of cards, some are very dedicated decks, while others are subthemes that could fit into a number of other decks.
They are divided into a couple of areas: Description – What the deck does, and how it intends to win or contribute to the game plan. The description may include some sub-types, or how the decks might differ between colours. Cross-pollination – The easiest way to support as many archetypes as possible is to use cards that are useful in multiple archetypes. This section will include other archetypes that it shares cards with, or that might mesh well together when it comes time to build a deck. This is closely related to depth and power; the deeper you go on a particular archetype, the more powerful it will be, but the less likely it will blend into other archetypes.
The second section is on tribal, as considered in the context of a cube supporting more general archetypes (i.e. not dedicated tribal cubes).
Section 3: Combos
The final section are some specific card combos that exist at peasant. Some might be janky, and some individual cards might make little sense outside the combo, but maybe that is the kind of cube that suits you or your playgroup.
Sample Decks & Caveats
I’ve certainly not tried to support every one of the included archetypes in my cube, and some are just theorycubing as we explore what could happen in peasant cube, as well as what has been tried and tested.
Where possible, each archetype will have 1 to 3 sample decks, to give an example of what a drafted deck would look like. In order of preference, sample decks may be;
• From actual drafts directly from the community, with commentary from the owner on how it came together or how it performed
• Cubetutor drafts, as examples of what could be drafted from the cube
• Theorycube; what a deck might look like if you seeded the right cards. Take these with a pinch of salt, but these might be used for offbeat archetypes which may be possible but haven’t been tried / documented by the community.
The community are encouraged to submit sample decks for inclusion if there are less than 3, or they are higher in the order of preference than existing sample decks.
Sample decks should also include what latest set was added to the cube in question. Over time, sample decks may be updated to a more current representation of the environment.
Description – This deck cares about gaining synergies or interactions between artifacts, which can include two of the higher profile mechanics, affinity and metalcraft. As many of those synergies have different directions, the challenge lies in choosing the right mix of cards that create a synergistic whole. It’s also worth noting that some cards that care about artifacts have analogues that have similar effects without needing you to jump through hoops; there are plenty of cards that do almost the same job as Mirran Mettle for example.
While artifact lands are a key part of these types of decks in the constructed world, it’s more difficult to put them together in a cube environment. Depending on your stance, you may keep artifact lands out of your cube and allow your players to choose a limited number of them when it comes to deck construction. Purists will consider it unfair (and that is a reasonable stance to take), but at the end of the day it us up to each cube owner whether they want to support this archetype and what lengths they will take to make it work.
Artifact Matters is more or less parasitic in nature. You need a critical mass of artifacts to make both affinity and metalcraft, and individual cards like Shrapnel Blast, Trinket Mage, Cranial Plating, work. On top of that, peasant doesn’t have quite the density of playable artifacts that rare cubes have. What this means for cube design is that Artifact Matters – more than most archetypes – is something that doesn’t inherently fall into place like certain other archetypes.
Like other dedicated synergistic archetypes, Artifact Matters can be quite powerful when it comes together. Cranial Plating gives a power boost unlike any other equipment and cards like Thoughtcast, Shrapnel Blast and Court Homunculus are better than their non-archetype equivalents. That said, this increase in power is mitigated somewhat by sometimes having to play slightly worse cards to consistently enable the Artifact Matters cards.
Cross-pollination – Depending on the direction you take this archetype in, it can overlap with different other archetypes. For example, equipment goes well with a Voltron archetype, there are plenty of artifact creatures with +1/+1 counters and you can cross-pollinate with token and sacrifice decks as well. Battle for Zendikar also brings the ‘Colorless Matters’ ability, which obviously benefits from having more artifacts in the cube (refer to that entry for more information).
Description – There are many creatures that come into play with or generate +1/+1 counters, spells that provide counters, or cards that care about or interact with these counters. There are several mechanics that utilise +1/+1 counters in some way, including evolve, graft, outlast, bolster, megamorph, modular, bloodthirst, unleash, scavenge, undying, tribute, monstrosity, devour, renown and support.
If you want to manipulate +1/+1 counters, you are probably looking at a midrange deck that is looking to build an overwhelming board presence. For cards that care about +1/+1 counters, you are primarily looking at green, white and blue. Every colour has access to +1/+1 counters, though black and red don’t interact with them as much. However your inclusion of this archetype might give more weight to cards with counters in those colours, such as unleash cards to support aggro, to add more variety to the potential +1/+1 themed decks you might draft.
Only a few cards that inherently have or could have +1/+1 counters are listed below; there are a few hundred such cards, so you may want to consider which of those would fit in well with your other archetypes. Outside of the inherently good cards, you need cards that actually care about those counters being on things; otherwise you have a ‘good stuffs’ deck with cards that just happen to give/have counters. So let’s focus on those.
Blues gives you Novijen Sages and Helium Squirter, as a way to draw cards and potentially finish the opponent with your ground troops. Beyond that, blue becomes a bit thin with Cloudfin Raptor being the most playable card with +1/+1 counters.
White has Cenn’s Tactician at the cheap end that cares about counters, but the ability to multi-block is not particularly exciting. At the higher end, it brings Patron of the Valiant, further boosting your already boosted creatures. What White does bring is number of decent cards that give +1/+1 counters, including repeatable effects like Echoes of the Kin-Tree.
White/blue doesn’t really give you anything you don’t just get from the two colours individually; you get Ephara’s Enlightment, which is pretty durdly.
The full list of cards below that care about counters usually interact with other cards, but also includes some cards that are greedy and need or want more counters themselves to be effective.
Cross-pollination - +1/+1 counters can come on any number of creatures that are useful in other archetypes, such as unleash creatures in aggro, undying creatures in sacrifice decks. This archetype also has inherent synergy with persist creatures if you can add or redistribute +1/+1 counters to them.
Description – At their basest, blinking or bouncing effects can be used to block and then save a creature, remove an attacker for a turn, or be used in response to removal. This archetype is generally about getting extra advantage out of those effects, usually from enter the battlefield triggers (and sometimes leaves the battlefield triggers).
This decks primary colours are white and blue, with Crystal Shard being the poster child for the deck. Blink effects have the benefit of being cheap and not needing to spend mana to recast the creature; bounce gives you some more flexibility as to what you do with it once it is back in your hand (e.g. where playing something between the bounce and replay is beneficial, or being able to discard for an effect). The archetype also extends to gating creatures; those that bounce another creature when they come into play.
There are a handful of permanents that force bouncing a permanent each upkeep. This can be good because the effect is free, but offers less flexibility in regards to timing, and the abilities aren’t optional.
While the deck will commonly be about abusing ETB creatures, some creatures have blink or bounce as a native ability. These creatures, on top of the others that are coming in and out of play, can get more use out of other permanents that trigger from creatures coming into play.
The deck is often controlling in nature, building up resources before overwhelming the opponent, but can also be used aggressively in the right strategies. Given that all creatures with positive ETB triggers get benefit from being in this deck, it’s not practical to list them all. Your all-star ETB creatures are going to be all-stars here by default. Instead, here is an outline of what different sub-types there are of the deck.
Black gives plenty of opportunity to be very controlling in nature, holding on to blink and bounce effects until the opponent presents a threat that needs to be suppressed. This can be re-using the effects of Nekrataal, Shriekmaw, or Liliana’s Specter, and can extend to getting extra uses out of Raksasha Gravecaller. Evoking a Shriekmaw and activating your Crystal Shard while the evoke trigger is on the stack has a certain inevitability to it.
Blue can get more value, particularly in the card drawing and filtering arena. Mulldrifter is the all-star here.
Green can offer infinite blink recursion with Eternal Witness. With the dual effect of Ghostly Flicker, you can recurse the Ghostly Flicker while also picking up another card. If you are already white for blink effects, Trostani’s Summoner is a value powerhouse when it comes to blink effects.
Cross-pollination – Because there are many great creatures with ETB effects, you don’t have to spend too many slots to have some level of support for this archetype. Specific to the bounce/gating aspect, it has some synergies with an Extort deck by being able to replay creatures and extort your opponent further. The forced bounce spells require a bit more work to build a deck around, so lend themselves less to synergy with other decks.
Description – The aim of this deck is simple. Ignore whatever the opponent is doing and throw direct damage at their face. By design, this necessitates mono-red (unless you count Psionic Blast and a few other oddballs). There are few cards that support the deck specifically, but some of reds card filtering can do some work to smooth the deck. The burn you want is a mix of maximum damage per card as well as efficiency in mana cost.
Burn is a deep field to draw from, but due to the singleton nature of peasant you are going to have to deal with some drop-off in quality. The primary problem with littering your cube with good burn spells is that other decks will want them. You can put 20+ burn spells into your red section, but the likelihood of drafting them all to yourself are slim to none. Packing your cube full of burn is likely to lead to making other red/X decks better, not support this archetype. In a larger cube, you might be able to include enough burn to make a deck, but actually drafting it (or being advisable as a draft strategy to shoot for) are pretty slim.
Cross-pollination – As stated above, (most) burn spells are just generally good. Going all in on supporting this deck is using up lots of slots that aren’t really helping define or adding synergy to other red-based archetypes.
Description - The title is pretty straightforward; a deck that includes cards that care about things being colorless, alongside other playable colorless cards. As of the last update, Oath of the Gatewatch has just been released, and the Battle For Zendikar block is the first to have colorless as a strong theme, and as such is largely untested by the peasant cube community.
You can forget the ingestors and processors; there isn’t enough depth and it’s simply too parasitic to explore. Then there are the cards that require colorless to cast, not just generic mana. The easiest way to think of these cards is as a sixth colour, and in this respect there simply isn’t enough depth. Including enough colorless sources in other 2+ decks is likely a trap. Warping Wail and Spatial Contortion are the best options if you really want to push these.
The other problem is that the colorless noncreature spells (including the colored ones with devoid) are simply not that great, and putting them in the colorless matters deck doesn’t make them much better than other cards you could have been playing instead. You’d rather have Honden of Infinite Rage over Molten Nursery, and Titan’s Presence is just bad removal.
You may get a bit more mileage with devoid creatures with colored mana costs; a few of them are above the curve once you get access to colorless mana, but as stated above getting the colorless mana can be tricky. Red / black can offer an aggro route, while blue / red can offer a more value driven route. A Dimir build is also possible (not listed below). Rough outlines are listed below, with many of the red cards being interchangeable in each list. However, focusing on pure colorless / devoid can’t compete at the same power level as many other archetypes.
On the plus side, Magic is laden with a history of colorless spells; artifacts. The conclusion is that the best way to support colorless matters is for it to simply be an extension of an artifact matters deck. Synergy doesn’t cross back the other way (Chief of the Foundry won’t support any of your devoid creatures), but it’s probably going to be negligible. After all that, it might only be worth playing Tide Drifter and Ruination Guide for their boosting abilities. Normally I’d suggest a mana rock is better than a cost reducer, but the 2/4 body on Herald of Kozilek might be worth it if you want to support the colorless / artifact deck in Izzet and want a clear signal card. Vile Aggregate also scales reasonably well with a few other colorless creatures lying around.
It’s also worth noting that morph or manifest may play well with some of these cards if you have some of these cards in your cube, and may also have some synergies with manlands. Anything that creates Eldrazi Scion or Eldrazi Spawn tokens can also help support it by adding more colorless creatures to your board and creating ways to generate colorless mana. These token makers aren’t listed below unless they fit other criteria; I’ll leave it to you to review these tokens makers as required and pick ones that may have crossover to other archetypes in your cube.
Cross-pollination – As stated above, artifact matters themes usually have a lot of colorless cards, and is the best way to get overlap. If you are pushing Eldrazi Spawn or Scion tokens as part of this theme, token / go wide strategies may want those cards too.
Description – This deck does just what it says on the box. It holds up mana to counter the opponent’s spells. And if they don’t cast anything or you have mana left over, cast instant speed burn and throw it at the opponents dome. At its most pure, this deck is not interested in playing out permanents, and is just counterspells and burn. In reality, that is rarely going to happen and you are going to have some permanents in your deck. Usually it plays control first and then unloads with both permanents and a flurry of burn spells.
There is no list of cards for this deck, just select your favourite counterspells and burn. However, if you want to make drafting this deck possible (or as close to pure as possible), you will need to include enough counterspells across the curve for this deck to draft (including some 2 for 1’s) and preferably mostly instant speed burn, perhaps with a smattering of X spells.
Cross-pollination – With the right collection of cards, this can be quite powerful. However with cards that are generally useful in a lot of decks, the chance of putting them all together is low. The deck may falter and not have counterspells when it needs them, or not draw into the critical mass of burn before the opponent breaks through the counterspell wall.
Description – This deck is purely about gaining incremental value, and getting multiple creatures back from the graveyard, somewhat akin to ‘The Rock’ style of deck. Most of these decks play a lot of ‘good stuff’, but you can dig deeper to maximise the value gains. The deck is happy to trade 1 for 1 on the board in the knowledge that the recursion effects are going to bring value to the late game, whether by true 2 for 1’s, or just an upgrade in card quality.
By virtue of the effects required, this deck is usually black and green. All-stars of this archetype are Eternal Witness, Deadwood Treefolk and Baloth Null. The deck doesn’t rely on it, but played in conjunction they can create an infinite recursion loop, with some other redundancies or protection available to boot.
This deck doesn’t take many cards from this category to be good because the best cards that support this deck are usually already cards that are good in any deck of those colours; they just get better with the right synergies.
Cross-pollination – This archetype is defined by maximising graveyard retrieval without taking extra effort to get stuff in the graveyard, but can still benefit from those elements of the graveyard matters themes. The recursive abilities of the deck also make it tie in nicely with some sacrifice effects.
Description – This is a narrow archetype, but is possible to seed it in your cube. There are only 2 cards that care about cycling that are really worth worrying about; Astral Slide and Lightning Rift. Of course, to include those, you then need to play sufficient cards that actually cycle. We’ll leave it up to you to sort through the cycling cards that suit your cube. Generally you will want to look for cycling versions of cards your other archetypes want to play. You may want to play some unexciting but functional cards like cycling lands.
This deck relies on getting at least 1 of the key cards online, and even then the impact is not immediately felt. The singleton nature of peasant makes this deck unreliable at best, and is probably not worth pursuing in most cubes unless the quality of the rest of the cube is also reduced.
Cross-pollination – Using Astral Slide almost necessitates using the same sort of creatures that bounce / flicker decks want. Apart from that, this is a linear deck that doesn’t share a lot of its cards specifically with any other archetype. This deck probably wants the enchantment tutoring and retrieval that the ‘enchantment matters’ archetype wants; refer to this archetype for those cards if pursuing this archetype.
Description – The idea of this deck is to hunker down and block everything while taking advantage of specific synergies or abilities of defenders and walls. This is more of a subtheme than a full deck archetype. While there are a couple of potential win conditions within the realm of defenders, you’ll probably need to move outside of them for more win conditions. Vent Sentinel is probably the biggest opportunity. Wakestone Gargoyle can allow you to attack, but that is only useful if you have defenders with power.
The best chance for this deck to stay primarily as the defender deck is to have other non-combat win conditions that can support it; if Vent Sentinel is stumped by removal or a counterspell, you need something else. Red remains the most likely candidate for extra pieces, with Kyren Negotiations being able to tap all of your defenders at the end of your opponents turn to whittle their life total. Using Extort can be another way for the deck to win.
Cross-pollination – If you focus on high toughness defenders, sweeper decks can benefit from their inclusion in your cube. Outside of that, there isn’t much in the way of synergies with other decks.
Description – 5 colour baby! The aim of the deck is to play cards that push having the full spectrum of basic lands or coloured permanents. A problem with this deck in peasant cube is you don’t get some splashy 5 colour rares as incentive. People will draft 4-5 colour decks from time to time by just drafting the best cards in each colour, without a need to really push them there.
The problem with using cards that push domain or 5 colour is three-fold; those cards are usually only good in a deck playing all 5 colours (meaning no other archetypes will want them), they often have analogues that are just as good without imposing restrictions, and you have to have 5 lands of different types in play to maximise them. Particularly for the actual domain cards that count basic lands, using nonbasics to help fix your colours doesn’t help with this goal.
The most powerful card is probably Worldheart Phoenix, giving you some recursion once you hit your colours. Etched Oracle can trigger an Ancestral Recall, but dies in the process unless you have some other ways to give it +1/+1 counters. Fusion Elemental’s stats are good value for 5 mana, but it lacks evasion and there is no guarantee you will be able to cast it earlier than a ‘fair’ turn due to the colour restrictions.
Other cards you may want to consider are converge cards to push people into more colours.
Cross-pollination – Cards that specifically push someone into 5 colour have no synergies with other archetypes. Outside of a few specific cards, this deck also wants ramp cards. To that end, it is recommended that if you want to include this archetype, stick to only a couple of signal cards, and let the already strong cards in each colour and your mana fixing do the rest.
Description – This deck is a control deck that wants to play land on its turn, and then pass the turn. It seeks to play mainly counterspells or other answers to its opponents spells when they are played. It uses the opponents’ end of turn step to cast instant card draw to maintain control, or flash creatures into play that it will be able to protect.
The deck virtually has to be blue for counterspells and instant speed card draw. Green is the most likely secondary colour with creatures with flash that would be playable outside the archetype.
You don’t need to go very far out of your way to support this archetype, you just need to go a bit deeper on the counterspells and include a few more flash creatures.
You need the right mix of counterspells, card draw and flash creatures in your cube, but if you do, you have the capability of drafting quite a powerful deck. However because many of the cards are just generally good, it might not quite come together if you are fighting with other drafters.
Cross-pollination – This deck doesn’t have a lot of specific cross-pollination, simply because many of the cards it wants are generally good and included in a lot of cubes (counterspells and instant draw spells). This deck shares a similar principle to Counter-Burn, and the two can be effectively melded together without any difficulty. Fleetfeather Cockatrice and Havenwood Wurm can both fit into ramp decks.
Description – Enchantment Matters can cover a number of subthemes, but the general path to victory is gaining advantage from using synergies of enchantments or enchantment creatures. Each colour can bring slightly different things to the enchantment matters theme, with green and white offering the most depth.
White has plenty of cards that can tutor for or retrieve enchantments from the graveyard, as well as some good support with good enchantments. If you are looking to go long, Mesa Enchantress could draw you a bunch of cards. You can swap out other removal for enchantment based removal, like Banishing Light. White also has Blessed Spirits, which is solid even if your other enchantments are disrupted. The combo of green and white can give you Sterling Grove, serving to protect enchantment creatures from normal removal, and being able to tutor for what you need.
Forgeborn Oreads offers a decent board control and kill condition with the right support cards in red, but there is little else to draw you into this archetype for that colour.
Blue doesn’t have a lot of exceptional options, but with a developed board, dropping Archetype of Imagination could be game winning.
It will depend on the exact cards seeded, but anecdotally this deck seems viable but has fragile pieces. Yavimaya Enchantress and Strength From the Fallen could be powerhouses, but if they are your primary ways of winning, a piece of removal could cut your gameplan short. A focus on getting incremental advantage from multiple constellation triggers requires a critical mass of permanents on the board, which could leave you vulnerable to mass removal. You can add some incidental support by looking at enchantments that double as creatures, whether that is actual enchantment creatures, or aura’s with manifest.
Cross-pollination – The enchantment theme can get parasitic very quickly, but there can be some crossover with some other themes if cards are selected carefully. Cards like Yavimaya Enchantress can be an extension of a Voltron archetype. Blink and bounce effects work nicely with constellation creatures.
Description – This is more of a synergy than an archetype, but can add a particular flavour to certain decks. While energy only appears in Kaladesh / Aether Revolt, being from a fairly recent set (at the time of this writing)and the inevitability of power creep means some of the individual cards can still hold their own in a peasant cube, or you can swap out some staple effects for an energy version.
The most obvious deck to support is Gruul aggro / midrange, as most of the abilities promote attacking to get the best effect of the energy. Most of the energy creatures listed below fit into a generic version of a Gruul midrange deck, and if you get multiples you can maximise the synergy.
There isn’t a huge reason to branch out, but you can add blue for a few gold cards that are decent without other energy support (Whirler Virtuoso and Rogue Refiner), and Glimmer of Genius is a fine card draw / filtering spell in its own right.
Cross-pollination – Any cross pollination is really the result of swapping out other cards for energy version of that effect. Servant of the Conduit will go in ramp decks, and Scrapper Champion is a fine enough aggro / midrange card while also supporting pants. A reasonable number of the creatures also use energy to place +1/+1 counters, so if you support +1/+1 counters in your cube you get that cross-synergy as well.
Description – There are a subset of cards that care specifically about equipment, which is more a subtheme than an archetype. For the most part, these cards existed in sets that had a higher prevalence of equipment. Thus, some of them are below the curve without equipment, are often not too far above the curve even if you do have it, or just flatout have better options without having to jump through hoops.
The above notwithstanding, there are a few cards worth considering, as long as you support them with enough pieces of equipment in your cube. The problem is that if they are decent pieces of equipment, other drafters are going to want them anyway. Steelshaper’s Gift can find you the piece of equipment you need, and Weapons Trainer has decent stats for the cost. It’s a shame there aren’t playable white or red pieces of equipment to throw this deck a bone if you really want to support it, narrow as that may be. If you want to go deep and include some of the lower end cards, you will probably need to have a lower powered environment.
Cross-pollination – Equipment can fit into a broader artifact matters theme. While it’s loose, a pants theme that relies on double strikers will be happy to play Steelshaper’s Gift and Weapons Trainer alongside power boosting equipment. Deadeye Quartermaster can find the few vehicles you might have in your cube, giving it a slightly wider range of targets than some of the other options.
Description – This deck can win without ever entering the red zone, but it can certainly play an aggro role. The backbone of the deck are the various extort or drain creatures. A defensive version can be supported by various defensive walls, with some specifically in-theme. The primary colours also have draining creature removal.
Extort isn’t just a win condition because it drains your opponents life, the life gain can also help race against aggro decks if required, and give the deck time to drain those final points. A more aggressive version of the deck can be achieved with support from other aggro creatures plus removal. The deck is much more likely able to afford the life loss from value removal such as Reckless Spite, Ashes to Ashes and Slaughter, or other cards where the deck can aggressively pay life costs to gain other advantages.
Cross-Pollination – A single extort creature can provide value to any deck of the appropriate speed. It has some crossover with sacrifice decks that use the support of Blood Artist and Falkenrath Noble for additional draining. It has some minor synergy with bounce or gating creatures, allowing cards to be replayed for more extort triggers. Something like Whitemane Lion can bounce itself, giving you plenty of extort opportunities at instant speed. ‘Life gain matters’ also benefit from this archetype.
Description – The aim of this deck is to use cards to look at the top of opponent’s deck, and control what they see for the rest of the game. This can be by removing or milling one of them, or sometimes even shuffling their deck to prevent them from getting a bomb you can’t otherwise remove.
By doing this, you should be setting them up to draw mostly lands or non-critical spells for the rest of the game, giving them no gas. Once you’ve set up your soft-lock, you can start playing finishers or other threats to take over the game.
It shares some similarities with milling and may play some of the same cards, but it really is a different beast. The mill decks wants the game to end when the opponent needs to draw from an empty library; fateseal decks want to shut the opponent out of meaningful plays and end the game with traditional damage. Mill decks want to get rid of as many cards from the top of the library with no consideration for what’s next; fateseal is a surgical strike maximising the chances the next card they draw is not threatening.
The soft lock may be difficult to pull off, both because you need to draft the right amount, and then have them early enough in the game to be able to start the lock. The creature pieces are also easy to disrupt. It’s not likely to be consistent on this basis, but you may also wish to consider whether it is likely to be fun when on the receiving end of such a deck. To be consistent, you would have to invest a number of cards that are likely to be useless outside of this archetype.
Cross-pollination – There is little cross pollination with other archetypes. There is some minor crossover will a milling theme. Thoughtpicker Witch specifically synergises with some sacrifice strategies, and some of the cards can help you selectively put creatures into your opponent’s graveyard for reanimation. However most of the cards that give this deck a chance won’t see play anywhere else and you need the critical mass together to make it work.
Description – Named after Fires of Yavimaya, this deck doesn’t need the namesake, just mimic the Fires deck that included it. Primarily, you want to give solid guys or fatties haste, so your opponent never knows what you might top deck that will be swinging in sideways. If you give non-haste creatures haste, you get an extra attack that they weren’t costed for. The original Fires deck included Blastoderm, giving it one more attack before it fades (which you can replicate in peasant cube if you want!).
Ideally, you want to play an efficient creature on curve, give it haste, and swing. As such you aren’t forced to stick to any particular colours for this strategy, but red and green are the primary colours for a couple of reasons. Outside of Lightning Greaves, there are some other haste-enabling equipment, but they cost mana to equip. This means not giving your creatures haste on curve. Red opens up some other haste enablers. Heading from red into green, gives the namesake Fires of Yavimaya. Green also makes sense for the deck, because it’s the colour that gives you the most mana efficient creatures, and if you can give them haste your opponent is less likely to have a profitable blocker on the other side of the board.
As a key feature of the deck is to keep the opponent on their toes and not have a turn to think about how to respond, the deck can be supported by other creatures with haste even when you haven’t drawn your enabler. Another option is to include creatures that you can cast pre-combat that will boost your damage output that turn while still building board presence, like Stonewright and Druid Familiar.
Cross-pollination – This deck is mostly just a specific playstyle of a midrange deck, and most of the pieces can be played in other decks, so it doesn’t cost much to support.
Description – This deck is all about punishing your opponent for attacking you. Attacking you is something your opponent is probably already going to do, but you can always provoke them once your defences are set up.
The key to making this viable is to have sufficient support so that not only is attacking not profitable, but is quite negative. You want to punish them, not just blank their attack.
This type of deck is quite slow, and even if pushed isn’t likely to be in the top tier of decks. Some of the elements alone are weak; Nettling Imp does nothing if he is on the board alone, and Pelakka Wurm laughs at Hissing Miasma. Ramp and big monster decks will trump this type of deck unless it saves removal for what its blockers can’t deal with.
Cross-pollination – If it can’t get the actual punishing cards, this deck will play big defenders that the defender deck wants, or more generic control decks.
Description – You could possibly break this down into multiple sub-types, as there are a lot of mechanics that either deal with the graveyard or benefit in some way from it being full. For this purpose, it’s seen as one broad archetype, and you can tailor your cube to a specific leaning towards certain mechanics. Broadly, the archetype is about balancing 2 things; getting cards into your graveyard that like being there, and playing cards that care about things being in the graveyard.
This archetype is almost exclusively supported in black and green, with blue supplying secondary support. Dredge is a great mechanic to dump cards in your graveyard, but being singleton there are only a limited number you want to play that are good outside of this archetype. Green jumps in to provide search cards like Commune With the Gods that dump things in the graveyard. Gather the Pack puts stuff in the graveyard, and if you’ve already got a couple of spells in the yard also generates card advantage. Cycling and looting effects are other ways of getting more cards into your graveyard, with blue offering some ways to self-mill.
There are plenty of cards that like being in the graveyard. Flashback, retrace, scavenge, and unearth all support the theme.
There are lots of cards or mechanics that like there to be things in the graveyard, but it’s worth noting that not all of these play well together. Delve cards for example will undermine your ability to reach threshold or delirium. These have been separated in the lists below, as you probably don’t want to mix them, or at least be conscious of what decks they are there to support. There are many other effects ranging from token generators (Necrogenesis) to creatures that get bigger the more cards are in the graveyard (Revenant, Psychatog).
You may want to lean more towards cards that like being in your graveyard; dredging Revenant into your graveyard isn’t going to help it. Effects that retrieve cards from the graveyard have more value in this archetype for this reason (though of course, you can end up dumping all of them into your graveyard too). This archetype can be powerful by generating a lot of value over time, but deck building, and the cube that generates it, need to balance all of the elements to be effective.
Cross-pollination – This archetype has synergies with sacrifice decks to populate the graveyard, reanimator for getting things into the graveyard (and this deck will happily use the reanimation spells), and creature recursion decks.
Description – The purpose of an Infect deck is to put down creatures with Infect, play pump spells, and give the opponent 10 poison counters as quickly as possible. The biggest problem with this deck is that it is very parasitic and has issues with power and consistency; you want all of your cards to be playing towards your plan. You don’t want half your creatures getting your opponent down to 8 life and the other half with infect giving them 6 poison counters before your opponent kills you.
For the above reasons, an Infect deck does not seem viable in cube. You simply lack the redundancy of a constructed environment. If you do want to attempt an Infect deck, you want the cheapest Infect creatures, and plenty of cheap pump spells.
Cross-pollination – Infect creatures may be able to do some blocking duties in control decks to dwindle down your opponent’s forces, but apart from that there is little synergy with other decks.
Description – Land destruction is not something every cube owner will want to support, but the option is there. Red is the obvious choice for straight out land destruction, with green a second choice. Both offer cards that give you choice of other card types to destroy, which you may want to explore so you don’t have to force land destruction in particular. Black has a couple of options if you want to push that colour.
Green also gives you several options for turn 1 mana acceleration, so you can start casting your land destruction as early as turn 2 to lock your opponent out of casting spells sooner.
Once you’ve seeded the land destruction, creatures should take care of themselves; any number of midrange creatures will get the job done if your opponent can’t cast anything bigger than a 2 drop.
If you include enough land destruction at the 3 mana slot and have the green mana accelerators, this deck can conquer most control decks easily if you get a couple of land destruction cards in your opening hand, but may struggle against aggro decks with low curves.
Cross-pollination – The best way to include cards that other decks will want is to include the cards that target multiple types of permanents. This can be counter to making the deck powerful, as with few exceptions those cards cost at least 4. Even a small smattering of land destruction can help more generic aggro decks, putting a few threats on the board and then locking the opponent out of their more expensive plays long enough to seal the game away.
Description –For the purpose of this collection of cards, the central theme is using Land Tax to get lands into hand and then use cards that synergise with it. There are a couple of alternative cards, but if you want to support any of them, you are going to include Land Tax. There are a couple of variations, and different combinations will generate different deck opportunities, but all are discussed here.
There is nothing quite like Land Tax, but there are some other cards that can repeatedly get lands into your hand or play. Hermit Druid is your next best effect. After that, there is a drop-off in quality for repeatable effects. Elfhame Sanctuary ensures you get a land every turn, but you need to have another way to draw cards or already have your win condition in play/hand. Gift of Estates is probably the best 1-shot effect. While narrow, Groundskeeper can be another way to get discarded or sacrificed lands back for repeat use.
You don’t really get the ‘turbo’ in Turbo Fog in peasant cube to keep drawing into Fog effects. What you can do instead is use Land Tax and friends to keep fuelling a Constant Mists to shut down your opponent’s attacks, perhaps with a backup of Momentary Peace or another Fog effect for some added redundancy if you want to try and replicate it. You can always complement your land searching effects with traditional card draw to have a better chance of keeping land flowing even without the specific archetype cards. Of course, you still need to be able to win. Evasive creatures is probably the best way to achieve this, but you can also seed Cenn’s Enlistment or Pegasus Stampede as a way to slow build an army.
Moving into red gives you Goblin Trenches, allowing you another way to build up an army, with Land Tax and friends replacing all of your sacrificed lands.
Cross-pollination – Land Tax, Constant Mists and Goblin Trenches are all solid on their own in a variety of control decks. You can make the archetype more powerful by including some of the other cards as well, but push you into cards that few other decks are going to want. Ramp spells that this deck might also want are obviously good in ramp decks. Hermit Druid can assist graveyard matters themes. Other cards are likely to only be wanted by this deck.
Description – Life gain itself is nothing to write home about. The focus here is not on the life gain cards themselves (which are plentiful), but other cards that care about life gain. Once you strip away the rares, you aren’t left with a lot of options. This makes this one of the shallowest pools of cards, and may be more akin to a subtheme as opposed to an archetype. There are likely to be enough staples in cube that have incidental life gain that you don’t need to dedicate a lot of slots with this theme if it fits into what else your cube is doing.
Depending on your choices, you might be able to support a more aggressive build, or a slower build that builds up big threats over time.
Cross-pollination – Outside of working with incidental life gain, they also work with extort / drain decks. However most of these cards are subpar without some of life gain to boost them, so you do have to have enough life gain in your cube to make them matter.
Description – It’s probably obvious this refers to the madness mechanic. It seems simple; combine discard enablers with madness cards, profit. While you can support madness in cube, the following need to happen during a game:
You need to have a discard enabler, whether it is a permanent or a spell (so probably up to half a dozen in the deck to be reliable)
You have to have the mana to cast the madness spell at that exact moment
If the above doesn’t happen, most madness cards are overcosted spells you wouldn’t consider playing if you didn’t have the enablers
To contrast, the same discard enablers usually work just as well to dump various ‘graveyard matters’ cards into your graveyard, where you have far more flexible timing to play them or get them back several turns later.
It doesn’t mean you can’t make madness work; you just need to provide a bit more specific support and know what you want to achieve, and be prepared for some of the madness cards not to get drafted more than some other cards. Historically, aggro madness relies on getting creatures or effects out cheaply to run over the opponent quickly, usually using early drops that have free discard options for power boosts or other one-off effects for the card disadvantage. If you don’t get the discard outlets, you are probably playing a poor aggro deck that is slower than the rest of the cube. If you are sticking to singleton, there probably isn’t enough payoff to make this consistent or competitive unless you are lowering the power of your environment.
The other option is to focus on getting value. This usually involves looters or card filtering effects to turn your madness cards into pseudo-cantrips; getting the effect as well as part of a card draw effect. This plays more like a grindy midrange deck to turn multiple advantages into an overwhelming presence.
You’ll want to try and include discard effects that are free to maximise the effectiveness of your madness cards; it might be difficult to fire off a Thirst For Knowledge and still cast your madness card compared to activating the Merfolk Looter you cast last turn. Some more specific enablers are things like Pour Over the Pages which untaps lands. Undertaker is not exceptional outside of madness, but can work specifically with madness creatures to generate advantage.
Cross-pollination – Discard enablers for madness are just as good or better in decks that care about the graveyard. The madness cards themselves are not as flexible at fitting into other archetypes.
Description – There are two types of mill decks in Magic; aggressive decks that start milling the opponent from as early as turn 1 that completely ignore what the opponent is doing, or control decks that answer everything the opponent has before firing off a few key mill spells.
In peasant cube, the aggro version of the deck just doesn’t cut it. The singleton nature of cube means there simply isn’t the critical mass of spells that have a big enough impact to make a solid deck. Even if you throw in some of the more marginal cards into your cube, it doesn’t mean you will be able to actually draft all of them and appropriate support cards.
Which adds up to supporting a control version if you want to mill. In this fashion, it doesn’t take too many of these cards if you are just adding them to a basic control skeleton that wants to set up roadblocks and prevent the opponent from doing anything. Just be conscious that if you want to support some of these mill cards, make sure you can draft the type of control deck that can make use of them.
If you want a colour, you want blue. Sphinx’s Tutelage may be the best card of the bunch, turning the rest of your card draw or cantrips into mill cards; it even comes with built in triggers as a bonus if you’ve got nothing better to do with your mana. Once you’ve locked down the game, Psychic Spiral can also be a finisher. You can move into Dimir if you want to match this archetype to a colour pair, with Mind Funeral being the best bang for buck as a one-off. But you can also support the theme with just a few artifacts if you want control decks of any colour to be able to play this type of deck. If you take that route it might mean playing Cellar Door which is expensive and slow, but at least gives you the chance to get some occasional blockers.
Cross-pollination – There isn’t a lot of cross-pollination, but you don’t need to provide it a whole lot of specific support if you are just providing a few cards for a control shell. If you play Hedron Crab, it can play into graveyard matters, creature recursion or reanimator decks.
Description – The moniker of ‘miracle grow’ has been bastardised somewhat for this entry. For the purpose of peasant cube, we are looking at aggro control decks that play cheap early creatures that slowly grow over time, and then protect those threats with counterspells and suppressing the opponents threats.
Of course, we don’t have Quirion Dryad at peasant, so we have to look for analogues. Unfortunately, we don’t get many that are terribly effective or sufficient redundancy. You really want them to be cheap, but more expensive options have been listed below for thoroughness.
Green provides a similar effect in the Forced Adaptation, but it takes two cards to get the effect going, is slow, and unless you put it on something hexproof is prone to getting 2 for 1’d by removal. Its best growth cards are the more expensive Algae Gharial and Lumberknot, but their cost puts them outside the intended play style of this deck.
A counterspell and removal heavy black/blue version of the deck can benefit from Wight of Precinct Six. Disowned Ancestor can act as a possible stand-in, but the 2 mana activation can be costly if you need mana open for counterspells to protect it. Sadistic Glee mimics the effect of the Wight, but once again relies on two cards to get you the effect you want.
Chronomaton is perhaps the best of the bunch; prone to artifact removal, but not reliant on other cards to work, and can activate end of turn instead of sorcery speed if you elect to use any Outlast creatures. With all levelling creatures at peasant requiring at least 2 mana to level up, they are not worth considering.
If you want to pursue a Miracle Growth deck, there are enough cards to somewhat mimic the deck; it just won’t be powerful until there are better cheap growth cards at common/uncommon.
Cross-pollination – This isn’t too far from a regular aggro control deck that seeks to put down an early threat and protect it, so many of the cards will work in most control decks.
Description – This deck revolves around the interactions of Underworld Coinsmith and Grim Guardian to drain the opponent with enchantment interactions. While similar to the extort deck, this deck doesn’t need to commit any resources each time it casts something.
One Thousand Lashes and Pillory of the Sleepless already fit the drain theme, and there are any number of staple enchantments and auras. There are also a few sorcery or instant effects that you can replace with enchantment versions, and white has many options for retrieving enchantments from the graveyard.
Cross-pollination – This deck has some overlap with the Extort / Drain deck, and ‘Life Gain Matters’ cards. It does also have some minor overlap with more general enchantment matters themes.
Description – This decks path to victory is to drop multiple permanents (primarily creatures) that can deal direct damage to creatures. With enough of these effects on the board, it can create a soft-lock, where you are able to take out most creatures that your opponent will be able to play. Good companions are creatures with first strike, and a couple of larger finishers. Blue can contribute by being able to counter or bounce what the pingers can’t take care of, or using high toughness creatures to keep them at bay. Including ways to grant your creatures deathtouch can also turn them into killing machines.
The best form of the deck uses all of the cheapest options, but in doing so the deck becomes vulnerable and probably loses to divisible burn and sweepers. It needs a few pingers on the board to get going, so even just some 1 for 1 removal on a few of them can be enough to lose the potential to lock down the game and get overrun by opposing creatures.
Cross-Pollination – This deck is likely to be inconsistent due to some of its vulnerabilities, but if it can maintain board presence it can take over the game. Once you get up to 3 points of repeatable damage on the board, you can shut down a reasonable number of creatures in most cubes. Some of the pingers also work in the Spells Matters deck. You could play Pinger Control without a single spell, but you could also add more pingers to a Spells Matters deck. Red aggro decks will be happy to see things like Fireslinger, and Granite Shard might see play in a red sweeper deck, but the harder you push this deck the more parasitic it becomes.
bacchus2 says - This theoretical deck would be possible in my cube if I threw in a few more of the pingers. A couple on the board can help control small creatures, and there are a number of other synergies. Tandem Lookout can become a draw engine with a pinger, and the burn spells combined with pingers can help take down larger creatures. A Splatter Thug holding down the fort plus pingers can make it hard to attack into. If your pingers are maintaining board control, Murder of Crows is going to help your card quality and support threshold for Shower of Coals. Large creatures hitting the board is probably going to be a problem for this deck, but Repulse can help hold it back if you just need to buy time for your pingers to go to the face, or Ray of Command to just swing in with what you can’t kill. Serrated Arrows can also help take down larger threats.
Description – This deck seeks to lock down the opponent and prevent them from doing anything or tying down their resources and slowing them down significantly. Once a soft lock is in place, the deck can lay down a finisher to get the job done. The deck is almost invariably blue and white, but you can throw the deck a few bones in other colours.
This is another deck that cube owners may choose to avoid for ‘fun’ reasons (or lack thereof). Many of the cards in the archetype may be considered oppressive when paired. Ghostly Prison + Propaganda, Ghostly Prison + Dream Tides, Cumber Stone and Thunderstaff; throw in some of the other cards and some decks can’t respond. A single Ghostly Prison/Propaganda can have a huge impact on aggro/token decks.
Cross-pollination – Many of the cards are playable in more generic tempo / control decks without being full-on prison decks, though most also don’t contribute specifically to other more specific archetypes.
Description – At Peasant, red and black dominate the sweepers. While there aren’t any bombs like Wrath of God, the effects in red and black are good enough at killing multiple creatures. Both colours are also good at spot removal; reds burn can take smaller creatures, while black can usually deal with the larger creatures.
Once you’ve cleared the board, you can lay down a finisher and keep the board clear with spot removal, with Havoc Demon potentially serving both roles. If you are loaded up on sweepers or removal and only a few finishers, your opponent might be holding onto removal waiting for it to hit the board; black can offer some targeted discard to proactively protect it.
With most of the sweepers clearing away all creatures, not just your opponents, you can get savvy with other ways to get creatures on the board. Namely by making them only be creatures on your turn. This can be by way of manlands, artifacts that can animate, or enchantments like Genjus. You can also supplement this with any token generator that can survive the sweepers; your opponent will have to respond by playing more threats, and you can punish them with more sweepers, and then rebuild.
The effectiveness of sweepers at uncommon are often dependent on creature toughness, so throwing in some high toughness creatures can help you survive early assaults; relatively low power won’t matter if you can keep sweeping away opposing creatures anyway.
Cross-pollination – There isn’t much in the way of cross-synergies for this archetype. This type of deck will happily play a number of high toughness defenders from the defender deck to force your opponent to commit creatures to the board and play into your next sweeper. While they are mostly off-colour, permanent token generators that survive the sweepers are also welcome.
Description – Ramp is a pretty broad archetype, with its primary aim to spend early turns investing in mana acceleration, and throwing out powerful threats or mana sinks in the mid-game. Green is the primary colour for this deck, with its many mana accelerating creatures and land search spells. Due to the effectiveness of those land search spells, it isn’t difficult for ramp decks to splash multiple other colours and obtain the best big targets from any of the other colours. Red can also offer a few acceleration options, and can also offer a win condition with an X direct damage spell.
With some relative redundancy with functional reprints or close neighbours, it isn’t uncommon for this type of deck to lay down a turn 1 mana accelerator, into a turn 2 spell to search your library for land and have 5 mana available turn 3. Magical Christmas Land might look like this; turn 1, Forest, Arbor Elf. Turn 2, Forest, Wild Growth on other Forest, tap Forest for 2 mana, untap with Arbor Elf, tap again for total 4 mana, play Worn Powerstone and Elvish Mystic. With another land in hand, you have 9 mana on turn 3.
One challenge of this deck is getting the right mix of mana accelerators and threats. You can empty your hand of mana accelerating spells and have a boatload of mana, but nothing to spend it on. If you keep a hand with too many threats and not enough accelerators, it might take you too long to draw into your accelerants before your opponent overwhelms you. It’s a good idea for this deck to have some form of card draw; Harmonize in green, or splashing into blue for any number of spells, with River Hoopoe being a decent mana sink to keep you alive and draw spells in the mid game.
Description – Reanimation spells can be used ‘fairly’ to bring back creatures you have already cast and have died, but for this purpose we are talking about getting a creature with a high casting cost into the graveyard, and then putting it from the graveyard into play on the cheap long before we could actually hard cast it. There are 3 main cards you need to support this archetype; fatty creatures, ways to get those creatures from your hand or deck into your graveyard, and reanimation cards to get those creatures from the graveyard into play.
When it comes to fatties, peasant is much more limited than regular cubes. This is simply because high impact cards that also protect themselves are hard to come by in peasant. With the exception of Plated Crusher and Scaled Behemoth, you can get big creatures, but they still die to the good 2 mana removal. The stuff that protects itself is often too small. It can make reanimation risky, but can be a blast when it works. Fatties can come from anywhere in the colour spectrum. Creatures that have high impact ETB triggers are among the better reanimation targets, as its effect can’t be undone with a single kill spell (e.g. Trostani’s Summoner). The list below includes some targets at 7+ mana; there are some targets you might want below this, but they should be driven by other archetypes.
The trickiest part is getting your chosen fatty into the graveyard. In black, there is some explicit support in Buried Alive. Ways to discard cards are available in all of the colours. Black offers discard cards that can target any player (i.e. including yourself) and other discard outlets. The cheapest among them are Putrid Imp and Raven’s Crime for the possibility of setting up a second turn reanimation spell. Blue offers plenty of card filtering spells and effects that allow you to draw into your target as well as discard it. Green has several similar options that allow you to dig into your deck for your target and discard what you don’t like; Commune With The Gods and Kruphix’s Insight can dig for something like Animate Dead while also dumping a fatty in the graveyard. Red has a couple of card filtering options, but Bloodrage Brawler is a good card for developing your board while filling your yard; facing down a 4/3 plus some other large creature on turn 3 or 4 is going to be daunting. White is the leanest of the bunch, with few ways outside of spellshapers to discard cards into your yard. Some cards can also cycle themselves into the graveyard, cutting out this middleman.
The final step is getting the creature from the graveyard into play. For this purpose, black has the most number of options when it comes to reanimation spells, and they are also the cheapest. The bigger the gap between getting the creature in play and when you could actually cast it, the bigger the advantage you get. White and green have a handful of reanimation spells if you want to provide some quirky support or push it in those colours, but due to their cost lean more towards general advantage as opposed to getting a creature out much earlier than usual.
Reanimation decks carry a lot of risk due to the lack of targets that can protect themselves from common removal. But with the right build and opening hand, it can be devastating, but inconsistent. Turn 1 Raven’s Crime into turn 2 Animate Dead on Trostani’s Summoner is going to be pretty difficult to come back from. The challenge can lie in putting together sufficient reanimation spells; they are good in almost any black-based midrange or control deck, so other players are also likely to want them.
Cross-pollination – The high cost creatures that you want to reanimate are probably also the same creatures that ramp decks want to get into play early. Dredge and self-mill decks also want to get targets in the graveyard, and some of those cards are effective in reanimator and vice versa. The reanimation spells are also generally good in many midrange and control decks.
Description – Every colour has ways of generating tokens. When pushing tokens as an archetype, you are generally looking for effects with built in advantage, such as creatures that bring tokens with them or can generate tokens every turn, and then using other support for a ‘go wide’ strategy. There are plenty of effects or cards that can boost the stats of all of your creatures that get even better with an array of tokens on the board, like creatures with Battlecry, or Gaea's Anthem.
Token decks can play an aggro role if they primarily include spells that put token directly onto the battlefield, or can play a control role with permanent token generators.
There are many more token creating cards than are listed here, but these are generally the higher profile ones, or those that could have some cross-pollination with other archetypes.
Illness in the Ranks is an explicit hate on this archetype. Red and blacks suite of sweepers (Pyroclasm, Infest) will also wipe out a lot of token strategies, so you may want to monitor their effectiveness against this archetype.
Cross-Pollination – Token decks often have a lot of crossover depending on the choice of token creators. Token creating spells can give the spells matters deck board presence while still triggering their spells matters cards. Plenty of tokens also gives more fuel for sacrifice strategies, and you can support this further with creatures that leave tokens behind when they die; cube owners may identify ‘token sacrifice’ as a supported archetype in a colour pair instead of two separate archetypes. A number of creature cards bring token friends with them, which can have use in blink / bounce strategies. Empty the Warrens has specific synergy with Storm. Many white cards that create tokens are flyers, giving support for Skies decks.
Description - Saboteurs generally refers to creatures that provide you some sort of bonus when they deal damage (often conditional on it being combat damage) to an opponent. For the purpose of this archetype, we are talking about cards that can repeatedly generate card advantage or have a strong impact on the board (The likes of Flamespeaker’s Will and Merfolk Spy are not invited to this party. I’ve also excluded creatures that give themselves +1/+1 counters from the list).
Blue is a common staple colour for this type of deck, with card draw perhaps being the thing most players think of when they think about saboteurs. The challenge is that to offset the repeat advantages they can gain, their stats compared to cost are not usually examples of efficiency; this means they are more likely to trade or just lose in combat.
The trick is to support them by providing them the means to ensure they don’t get blocked, with each color usually able to contribute something depending on how you want to build your cube. Blue can provide straight up unblockability, white can tap down or detain creatures, red has a variety of Falter effects, and black has removal. Green doesn’t provide any obvious support, but you can provide subtle support by changing up any pump spells you have for versions that have trample, like Predator’s Strike. With the right support, the card draw saboteurs can keep drawing you into spells like Undo or Stitched Mangler to keep your saboteurs getting through. It is outside the scope of this article to list cards that can help your saboteurs get through; just find whatever works that suits other elements of your cube.
While it is a less common approach, you can swap around the ways to support it; instead of creatures with saboteur abilities and spells that give them some form of evasion, you can play spells that grant the saboteur abilities and throw them on evasive creatures.
In a few cases, the effect doesn’t have the ‘combat’ condition, so if the creature can deal combat in some other way, you still get the trigger. A good example is Sigil of Sleep on something like Cunning Sparkmage to keep bouncing their best creature without threat of getting into combat.
Cross-pollination – Most of the cards you would look at including are not ‘all-in’ and can seamlessly be played in a number of other decks by just being good cards that get better with additional support. A traditional blue-based control deck will be happy to play a single Jhessian Thief while holding a counterspell wall to protect it or prevent threats from hitting the board. Tandem Lookout is fine in a Skies deck to start that Welkin Tern drawing cards on turn 3, or being paired with Gelectrode in a spells matter deck.
You get an extra reward here for getting saboteurs through, but all of the effects to help your team not be blocked are going to be wanted in other decks also.
Description – Sacrifice decks combine sacrifice effects with cards that like to be sacrificed. They are usually midrange or control decks that gain value over a period of time by maximising these effects. Cards classified as ‘Mulldrifters’ (cards whose majority of impact ends once they’ve hit the battlefield) can also make for good sacrifice targets.
Additional elements are other permanents that trigger when things go to the graveyard, which are good signal cards for the archetype.
Morbid cards also make good friends as they are often easier to trigger.
Decks are primarily black because it has options in most of the different elements; there are lots of options depending on how you want to push the archetype. Red can give you Goblin Bombardment, Hissing Iguanar, and Blazing Hellhound to finish off the opponent after an aggro introduction. Red also has temporary steal effects which get a little better in this deck; it’s a slap in the face to take an opponent’s creature, swing with it, and then sac it for some benefit before you have to give it back.
If your base is black, going white gives you Maw of the Obzedat in a colour full of tokens.
Cross-pollination – The different elements that make this deck work give it plenty of scope, and therefore easy to support some version of this deck without taking much away from your other archetypes. Has great synergy with any token strategies; cube owners may identify ‘token sacrifice’ as a supported archetype in a colour pair instead of two separate archetypes.
Description – The Shrines deck is more a loose synergy based on the cycle of Honden enchantments from Champions of Kamigawa than an archetype. By nature of the cards involved, this deck will generally be a control deck looking to stall the game long enough to find and play the shrines, and then generate an overwhelming advantage by virtue of the combined synergies. Most are average on their own, but sometimes just 2 on the board can become hard for opponents to manage.
You don’t need to include all 5 shrines, but players unfamiliar with your cube will probably expect it once they see their first one. Black is probably the worst, as once your opponents hand is empty it doesn’t really scale like the rest, although it can be ok on its own if it sticks in a control mirror.
Because players will probably be looking to play 4 or 5 of these, your cube needs to support fixing either in your green section or your land section.
If you want to add tutor / graveyard retrieval support, refer to the enchantment matters section.
Because none of the shrines have an impact the turn they hit play, a deck dedicated to playing them needs to be able to survive an aggro assault. The ability to do so will rely on the rest of your cube. It can make a shrine deck difficult to get off the ground, but once it does a win can become inevitable if the opponent doesn’t have enchantment removal. The prevalence of enchantment removal generally in your cube will also impact its viability.
Players might not draft a worthwhile shrine deck if more than 1 player are fighting for them. Similarly, if don’t draft your whole cube each draft, it is probably not worth supporting this archetype as it is less likely to come together.
Cross-pollination - The deck has synergy with enchantment matters themes, so you may want to include the ones in those colours, or only those that support other archetypes you are including in some way. Single shrines might have lower impact than similar effect, but might still have some worth in other decks; Cleansing Fire in life gain matters decks, Infinite Rage in pinger control, and Life’s Web in token decks. If you can survive taking a turn off to cast it, Seeing Winds can provide inevitability in control decks.
Description – The objective of this deck is about as simple as you can get; draft lots of flyers so your opponent can’t block anything you cast. Blue and white are the primary colours for this deck, with black also being an option. Aside from the critical mass of playable fliers, there are also cards that synergise with other flyers. Favorable Winds and Thunderclap Wyvern are the most prominent signal cards for the archetype.
Most builds of this deck are aggro/control in nature by curving out with flying creatures and racing the opponent, possibly putting out blockers on the ground or otherwise answering threats once your evasive creatures are in full swing. If you choose to embrace black for this archetype, you get a couple of discard options to support the aggro/control route. Seraph of Dawn and Vampire Nighthawk are also excellent in a racing situation.
Cross-pollination – Flying creatures are always playable outside of this specific archetype, so you may only need a couple of archetype specific cards. White also has a lot of ways to generate flying tokens, and this deck can share a lot of cards with the token deck.
Description – There is a lot of depth in the spells matte theme, which manifests itself in two main ways; cards that care about instants and sorceries being cast, or cards that care about any noncreature spells being cast. The first is really a subclass of the second, but making the distinction opens up different avenues to explore. For the sake of this archetype, it doesn’t include cards that care about only artifacts or enchantments being cast.
This archetype is dominated by red and blue, with red generally offering aggressive cards while blue gives you control oriented cards. Of course, there is no need to draft just red-blue for this archetype. The best way to provide fringe support in other colours is with buyback spells. Constant Mists with a Guttersnipe on the board can be a slow-rolling death machine; Sprout Swarm with a Young Pyromancer on the board will give you a massive army in no time. Rebound spells also give you two activations for each of your spells matters cards.
The various options can lead to many different types of decks, even switching speeds depending on the opening draw and how the game is unfolding. Turn 2 Young Pyromancer, Turn 3 Guttersnipe followed by a flurry of burn/removal can quickly end games. Or an early Augur of Bolas followed by a Quiet Contemplation could gum up the board until you draw into a critical mass of spells matter cards that will cripple your opponent each time you cast a spell.
There are some other cards that can support the theme, like cards that copy spells. Copied spells don’t trigger most of the spells matter cards (depending on whether they are cast or played), but something like Izzet Guildmage, get more value simply as a result of more spells being in the deck.
Cross-pollination - Some cards retrieve instants or sorceries from the graveyard, giving you some overlap with graveyard matters themes. Those graveyard themes can also put flashback cards into your graveyard, giving your spells matters permanents some fuel. The deck just wants good instants or sorceries, so wherever they exist in any other archetypes, they are likely to support this archetype also. Blends nicely into Pinger Control. Has good synergy with token generating spells, as it gives the deck board presence while also triggering its spells matter cards.
Description – Storm is a combo deck named after the mechanic. The idea is to plan for a ‘critical turn’ where you play as many spells as you can, finishing with a Storm spell. Commonly this is Empty the Warrens as the finisher. It doesn’t have to be lethal, just more than the opponent can deal with.
Cross-pollination – The deck likes to play a lot of spells, so there is a fair amount of overlap with the spells matters archetype. Comboing out with a Guttersnipe on the board may just end the game. Many of the spells here are also happy to be in that deck, and a hybrid deck will work just as well.
Description – Essentially, this deck tries to make the biggest baddest creature by throwing a bunch of auras or equipment at it to make it difficult to defeat in combat. So ‘Voltron’ because you are putting a whole bunch of cards together to make an unstoppable threat (like the robot from the cartoon), ‘pants’ because you are making the creature wear stuff, and hexproof because this is a key ability for creatures in the deck.
A common issue with auras is that it is easy to be on the receiving end of a 2 for 1. One of the primary ways of avoiding this is to put them on creatures with hexproof. You can still be on the receiving end of a 2 for 1 from combat damage, but the majority of auras or equipment you put on your creatures also makes that difficult. While hexproof is preferred, there are some other options that have other upside that can make the risk of the 2 for 1 worth taking; mainly unblockable or shadow creatures, or double strikers. The deck is usually aggro in nature, dropping down cheap creatures and building a creature to a size not possible if you just played creatures on curve, forcing awkward combat decisions for your opponent.
Green and white is a common colour combination for this archetype, with both colours providing solid pants for creatures to wear, with some all-stars in multi-colour with Behemoth Sledge and Armadillo Cloak. White also has the double strikers for the deck. Blue gives you a few unblockable creatures, though its auras don’t offer a lot for this archetype. Blue gives you a few choice creatures with horsemanship that can also be useful in the archetype (not listed here).
It’s worth noting that you want your auras to be increasing the power of your Voltron creation, but you want to pay attention to the toughness too. If you focus more on double strikers or unblockable creatures this can be less of an issue, but for your hexproof creatures, you don’t want them to be wearing a handful of power boosting auras and still die if you run it into a 2-drop. Preferably, you want your auras to do something in addition to power or toughness; if you can’t play Akroma at peasant, why not build one?
Preface about Tribal
For the purpose of this article, it is assumed you are NOT building an all-tribal cube. You won’t find something like Slivers listed here, because there will be zero synergy with other archetypes and no other decks will want those cards. When considering tribal support in a regular peasant cube, it is assumed this will be secondary to already established archetypes in your cube. You will probably find you’ve already got a bunch of cards for some tribes without even realising it. In those cases, it might be worth throwing them a lord or support card or two. It gives people another subtheme to draft around without diluting the other themes of your cube.
The below includes lists of creatures that you might consider playing in that tribe, and you may consider swapping out creatures for cards that serve the same function that align with a tribe. Generally, you should only do this if you aren’t sacrificing any power of the original card, or the power shift is marginal.
As most creatures have both a race and a class, they may fit more than one tribe that can be supported, opening up some cross-pollination across tribes. Drogskol Captain boosts spirits, but is also a soldier that can benefit from Daru Warchief for example. You probably shouldn’t force these interactions, but if doing so doesn’t undermine anything else you are trying to achieve, why not?
Cards are broken down into the following categories (if they apply) for all tribes; Already Playable Lords/Support – Cards that are already good in their own right even if you don’t include other tribe cards in your cube. Sometimes this might be all you need. E.g. Imperious Perfect. Playable Creatures – Stuff you might already be playing that fits the tribe. Cards in brackets are other stuff you might be playing that is almost identical but not in the tribe and you could make a swap. Other Lords/Support– Cards that aren’t good in their own right, but can be ‘draft around’ cards if you have enough other cards of that tribe already in your cube. Marginal Creatures – Stuff that might just be not good enough to make it into your cube, but might be worth considering if you have some support.
It probably bears pointing out that even if there are several lords or support listed that might look good, you probably only want one or two. An honourable mention also goes to Clone, which can copy the best creature on the battlefield, and occasionally that might be a tribal lord. Shapeshifters aren’t really worth investigating; they are all a bit lackluster if they are not being boosted, and +1/+1 doesn’t turn any of them into powerhouses.
Description – In the original Zendikar block, all of the Allies were parasitic and only good in a deck completely full of Allies, such that none of them were worth including in cube (except maybe Kazandu Blademaster). Battle For Zendikar included the rally mechanic, letting your allies boost the rest of your team, while also including a number of creatures that don’t care about allies, but are just decent creatures that have ally as a creature type. For the purpose of the list below, ‘lord’ includes any ally who gets better when there are more allies around, even if they may not be very good (like most of the cohort creatures).
You may be able to get allies to blend into a +1/+1 counter theme due to a number of them getting +1/+1 counters when they come into play, even without any other allies. There are also a few allies that support the life gain matters theme for some loose cross-pollination. There a few spells that create Ally tokens to trigger your allies, with Allied Reinforcements the most playable of those outside of Ally support.
Description – Clerics is an unassuming tribe, but you probably have a few floating around in your cube, nearly all in white. None of the support cards are especially exciting, with Starlit Sanctum probably the best of the bunch. If you have a few Clerics in your deck, splashing a little black to turn them into life loss machines might be worthwhile. Cabal Archon requires a bit of depth to your Clerics, but could be a decent finisher, and can always sac himself.
Description – Elves already gets Imperious Perfect as a power booster for Elves while being good as a token generator, and there are plenty of other Elves that are playable. Most of the other tribal cards scale based on the number of Elves in play, so their use is limited. They work very well alongside Imperious Perfect, but if you only draft a couple of mana dorks, something like Timberwatch Elf isn’t going to make the cut if it turns up in the last pack. Consider how frequently drafters will want them before inclusion.
Priest of Titania is not efficient when played alone but not terrible. With 1 other Elf it becomes good, and ramp decks will be happy to have them work together.
Description – Goblins are perhaps the premier tribe of Magic. There are a lot of cards that care about goblins, which has led to many different Constructed decks that play up those synergies. However, in peasant cube the aim is to ensure we don’t include cards that force a particular deck with cards that are useless outside of it. A constructed deck built around Goblin Lackey can be explosive; in peasant cube it is probably going to be a vanilla 1/1 more often than not.
Due to the parasitic nature of Goblins, not all possible Lord/Support cards are listed; only permanents or spells that still do something if you don’t have any other goblins.
Given that most of the playable goblins are in red, it’s a shame Mad Auntie is black; if it was red it would probably be the pick of the bunch. Goblin General is probably your next best anthem effect, though terrible on its own as a 2/2 attacker for 3 mana. Sparksmith is probably the best creature that cares about goblins, because it is good enough on its own and can become a powerhouse if you have more goblins. Goblin Taskmaster might be another consideration; it isn’t setting any records for efficiency, but gets a little better once other goblins join the fray.
Description – Humans is the most prolific tribe in Magic. As such, you’ll find mostly staples listed in the playable section, with marginal cards excluded from this listing. There are plenty of other Humans that are also playable.
At peasant, very few of the cards that care about humans are worth considering. Innistrad brings equipment that cares if it was equipped to a human, but you’d rather just have better equipment.
Most of the other options just have better alternatives that care about everything, not just Humans. Village Cannibals may as well just be Scavenging Drake for example. If you want to give humans any support, Hamlet Captain is probably your best option, Courageous Outrider doesn't have a bad fail case, and Kessig Malcontents is a runner up. Hamlet Captain on its own is just a bear, but the anthem effect may be worth it. Kessig’s baseline is not great, but has good potential upside. Before their inclusion, check your cube and make sure you have enough humans available in at least that colour, and it would slot into at least one deck that you are supporting that includes that colour.
It's probably also worth noting that a lot of older cards have errata for creature types, so you may want to consider which version of cards you are playing and what their current errata is. Cards listed below are as per errata.
Description – There isn’t a lot of support for snakes. You can throw Sachi out the window, as she doesn’t do enough for her cost. On his own, Sosuke is below par for his cost though not terrible. As a single casting, Sosuke’s Summons is likewise subpar.
It’s more likely that Sosuke would make the cut on the basis of his ability to support Warriors, and that any benefit he gives to snakes is just a happy coincidence.
Description – Cenn’s Tactician is ok in a vacuum, allowing it to pump itself as needed. Of the other lords, Daru Warchief is likely to be the best choice to signal that drafters should pay attention to creature types if they take this card. Veteran Weaponsmith is probably next in line. It’s worth noting that when it comes to Veteran Armorsmith, you may as well be playing the easier to cast Veteran Armorer and pump all your creatures, not just soldiers.
Description – A lot of cards that care about spirits trigger from either spirit spells being played, or arcane spells from the Kamigawa block. Due to their prevalence and that those benefits are often incremental, only noteworthy effects are included here. Unfortunately, those triggers only happen when you cast a spirit spell; putting tokens into play or flickering a spirit isn’t going to get you those triggers.
Cards with soulshift are also costed for an environment full of cards you can get back, and are not efficient in a peasant cube environment.
Of the options available, the most promising is Drogskol Captain. In a vacuum there are more efficient creatures, but a 2/2 flyer for 3 mana is ‘fair’. Alongside some of the token producers which many cubes include, it can produce a formidable air assault, and potentially augment a ‘Skies’ archetype if you have it.
Description – On its own, Blood-Chin Rager is a good aggressive card that gives itself a mild form of evasion. There are a decent number of other playable warriors, mainly in red, white and black, and most of those also play into the aggressive nature that Blood-Chin Rager wants (they are Warriors, after all).
Chief of the Edge and Chief of the Scale have at least ok stats when they stand alone, but can be an option if you want to go deeper on supporting this tribe. As they are gold cards, if you include them it is a clear signal your players should be able to draft a decent Warrior subtheme in black and white, so make sure you have enough Warriors in those colours across the curve. Luckily most of those cards already support an aggro approach, so they work towards the same goal.
Description – Zombies are prevalent in most peasant cubes. There are a few cards that may be worth throwing in to support the tribe. Undead Warchief is the bluntest instrument, with the 2 power bonus being very attractive; paired with Curse of Shallow Graves is going to cause a world of hurt to your opponent. Lord of the Accursed is another similar option. There are only a few playable zombies in blue, which makes Diregraf Captain a harder sell. His base abilities are passable, so you might be willing to include him if you are willing to spread into blue without much other support. Zombie Master is less appealing, but does make your zombies much harder to kill. For something less subtle, Noxious Ghoul can work as a skill testing card, given it can take out your own non-zombie creatures. Being able to impact your opponent’s team when you cast any future zombies is upside, but the stats are bad if you aren’t taking advantage of the triggered ability.
Description – With the release of Shadows over Innistrad, pushing Vampires as a tribe becomes possible, but still requires the right cube set up to consider some of the lords for a few reasons. First, none of the lords or support cards are really playable in a vacuum. Second, most of the already playable vampires are in black, with very few in red. Third, the best support cards are red.
It doesn’t mean you can’t support vampire tribal, but you may need to make some conscious decisions to include more marginal vampires in red. The likely candidates for lords are Rakish Heir and Stromkirk Captain, offering the biggest payoffs.
Tribes Not Worth Supporting
The following tribes are not currently considered viable to spend effort supporting in the context of a standard cube.
Slivers – They all work well together, but you are either all in or not. The deck is too parasitic for inclusion in a regular peasant cube looking for cross-synergies. Faeries – There isn’t the critical mass of playable Faeries to worry about, and the cards that care about Faeries (e.g. Faerie Noble) are too weak to consider. Shaman – Sachi, Daughter of Seshiro and Bosk Banneret are the only notables here, and don’t do enough to warrant inclusion. Merfolk – Merfolk is almost an all or nothing deal. Many of the abilities that care about merfolk need to exist altogether to get the critical mass to make them work for you. Possible exception is Summon the School, but you still need to find the critical mass of just playable merfolk to make it work. Cats – Nothing to see here folks. Minotaurs – There are a number of playable minotaurs, but there is neither the critical mass, nor sufficiently good tribal cards to matter. Rebels – There aren’t enough good rebels to find with the rebels that tutor. Knights – No lords at Peasant. Dwarves – Only 2 cards that care about Dwarves at peasant, and very few playable Dwarves. Rogues – There are some playable Rogues scattered in cubes, but only marginal support that is not worth pursuing.
Consider this a bonus section; this is not about full on combo decks, but a collection of 2-3 cards that have significant synergy such that they either win immediately, provide the caster a massive board advantage that will be extremely difficult for the opponent to overcome, or provide a close to unbreakable lock if you are already in front.
It isn’t suggested to go out of your way to push these combos, but if you have parts of the combo already in your cube, or they will be playable outside of the specific combo, then they might be worth investigating.
Familiar’s Ruse + Eternal Witness – Eternal Witness is already a staple. As a baseline, Familiar’s Ruse has a reasonable drawback as a counterspell, but you can bounce Eternal Witness, replay it to get back Familiar’s Ruse, repeat. It can be disrupted, but without an answer you will quickly overwhelm your opponent, Familiar’s Ruse can still be ok in a bounce deck without Witness. Adding Aether Vial helps make this soft lock more efficient.
Presence of Gond + Midnight Guard – Enchant Midnight Guard with Presence of Gond. Tap Midnight Guard to put an Elf onto the battlefield, his untap ability will trigger, repeat for infinite Elves. Can be disrupted with removal while you are waiting for the untap trigger to resolve or a board sweeper, but without an answer, you win the next turn. Probably the biggest issue with the combo is that neither piece is particularly good on its own.
Mind Crank + Duskmantle Guildmage – With both of these on the board, it costs 3 mana to get the combo going if you have another damage source, or 7 mana if you rely on just the two combo cards. Once the first ability of the Guildmage is activated, damage dealt or life loss to the opponent will trigger the Mindcrank; when it resolves, it will trigger the Guildmages ability, repeat until opponent is either decked or reaches 0. This combo suffers from the Mindcrank generally being useless outside of this combo, and the Guildmage is a pretty inefficient form of life loss on its own.
Thopter Foundry + Sword of the Meek – It isn’t an infinite combo, but being able to pay 1 mana for a 1/1 flying creature while gaining life is probably going to be hard for an opponent to break through.
Spitemare + Fire Covenant - As long as you have more life than your opponent, this is an instant win (barring your opponent burning you for the last few points before the Spitemare trigger resolves). Mogg Maniac does the same, but there is little sense in playing a poor version when Spitemare is available.
Devoted Druid + Quillspike - It can be disrupted while triggers are on the stack, but you get an infinitely large creature. It forces blocking or they die, and you can kill anything it runs into (or runs into it should you be on defense). Add some trample or evasion and you are laughing. Quillspike on its own isn't very good, though it does some good work with persist creatures.
Juniper Order Ranger + Persist creature - The two cards on their own are a grindy recursion engine while also building a large Ranger. If you add a sacrifice outlet, preferably free, then things can get silly. With a Goblin Bombardment on the board Murderous Redcap becomes an instant kill, and Kitchen Finks becomes an infinite life total plus an infinitely large Ranger.
Cytoplast Root-Kin + Ashnod's Altar + Undying Creature - Sacrifice undying creature to Ashnod's Altar, it comes back with a +1/+1 counter. Use the 2 mana to move the counter on to the Cytoplast. Repeat for infinitely large Root-Kin.
Eternal Witness + Ghostly Flicker - On their own, these two are more synergy than combo, allowing you to flicker out Eternal Witness and then get Ghostly Flicker back with its trigger. But if you combine with Peregrine Drake, it also creates infinite mana (which may let you repeatedly flicker other value creatures).
Become Immense + Temur Battle Rage - It's not so much a combo as excellent synergy together. If you've taken several points of your opponents life total already, casting these on even small creatures can potentially be lethal.
There are sure to be a few errors, so feel free to let me know. Of course if any archetypes appear to be missing, let me know. Some of the entries may require a little more attention; if something doesn't appear to be explained well enough, feel free to submit some recommended edits.
Also, submit decklists! Preferably with a paragraph explaining what the deck does and how it all comes together.
Squirrely, I've added most of those, do you want add a paragraph about each as well? I could, but they are your decks and it would be my interpretation.
I didn't add UB Tempo, UW Control, or White Weenie as I didn't have those as archetypes. The initial intention was to include the generic theaters, but it didn't work out. If we want to add them, I feel like they'd have to be listed as colour pairs and would add a lot of extra 'archetypes'. I'll leave it to the community to sound off on whether this might provide value.
Edit: Not really a lord just a support card I guess.
For the 'already playable' I went with stuff you would play with zero other support. Blood-Chin Rager is a good example that fits this criteria. I don't think I'd play Bramblewood Paragon with zero warrior support, but maybe it could make it into some cubes as a +1/+1 card anyway. It's probably worth considering for cubes that have a little bit of warrior support and a few +1/+1 creatures / effects.
I don't have much to add right now, but wanted to say thank you. A great resource, just like your 'Evaluate Everything' work in progress. Maybe you could add Pawn of Ulamog to the 'sacrifice' section (under 'other support').
Thanks guitarspider! I do have that in the Orzhov enchantment deck, though maybe they should be grouped with the more general enchantment matters themes.
I'm just starting to update with the last couple of sets. Just reworked the colorless matters entry, and added Allies to the tribal section. Most of the rest is just adding a few cards to the list, but I also need to rework the artifact section.
I also think it might be worth adding a saboteurs section.
I missed that you had it in the Orzhov section, but I do think Grim Guardian is the kind of card that would probably be "niche" in Evaluate Everything, so yeah, makes sense to list it. Even in the other enchantment decks it buys you a bit of time to get going if you need it.