- White/Blue/Black: Flicker Value
- Blue/Black/Red: Graveyard Midrange
- Black/Red/Green: Jund Midrange
- Red/Green/White: Heroic Aggro
- Green/White/Blue: Big Ramp
- Red/White/Black: Sacrifice/Aristocrats
- Green/Blue/Red: Midrange Ramp
- White/Black/Green: +1/+1 Counters
- Blue/White/Red: Prowess
- Black/Green/Blue: Graveyard Growth
Magic: The Gathering’s Double Masters 2022 might feature loads of cards perfect for constructed formats like Modern, Commander, and Pauper, but it’s also its own, self-contained limited format. With double the rares in each pack and double the number of cards for your first pick when drafting, this high-power set offers a complexity level we haven’t seen in quite a while.
Double Masters 2022 is a three-colour-matters set, just like Streets of New Capenna, Ikoria, or Tarkir. However, it is unique in that it is the first time we’ll be able to draft both shards (three allied colours, like Shards of Alara and New Capenna) and wedges (two allied, one enemy, like Tarkir and Ikoria) colour trios in the same set. With so many colours going in so many combinations, how the heck are you meant to draft this monster of a set? Quite easily, as it happens.
White/Blue/Black: Flicker Value
“Flickering” is slang for exiling a permanent and returning it to the battlefield. Often used synonymously with “blink”, flickering is a powerful way to retrigger enters-the-battlefield (ETB) effects multiple times to build up value.
The goal with this archetype is to use cards like Flickerwisp, Emiel The Blessed, and Restoration Angel to repeatedly flicker big-impact permanents. For example, you could flicker Mulldrifter to repeatedly draw cards and gain an advantage that way, or Vampire Sovereign to gain life and drain your opponent’s. Reveillark is an incredible card here, as you can keep flickering it to return creatures to the battlefield, such as Mulldrifter or Leonin Arbiter to lock your opponents out of tutoring.
Alternatively, flickering can be used to help control the board. If an opponent is popping off and has large creatures ready to smash down on you, Flickerwisp can also exile them until the end of the turn. You could even prevent your opponent from running away with lifegain by repeatedly flickering Magister Sphinx to lock their life total at ten.
Make sure to keep an eye out for Panharmonicon, an artifact that doubles ETB triggers. While this set manages to just about avoid the usual infinite flicker combos thanks to the exclusion of Karmic Guide and Felidar Guardian, you’ll still be getting twice as much value from your gameplan when Panharmonicon is out.
Blue/Black/Red: Graveyard Midrange
Midrange decks try to interfere with the usual control and aggro paradigm by beginning the game with heavy control elements until they have the chance to swing out with big creatures to win the game.
This is the first of two graveyard archetypes in Double Masters 2022, but the two play very differently. Rather than going all-in on filling your graveyard and using it to your advantage, this deck combines control and graveyard recursion strategies to generate value.
Anything that pulls cards out of your graveyard, such as Unearth, Unburial Rites, Surreal Memoir, and Backdraft Hellkite, will be great here. To get your tools into your graveyard ready to reuse, you’ll need some cards that can either discard, like Gifts Ungiven, Izzet Charm and Pirate’s Pillage, or mill effects like Deranged Assistant and Thought Scour.
As to what you actually want in your graveyard, there are tons of ways to get ahead of your opponent. Continuously recurring a Dockside Extortionist, for example, will generate tons of Treasure tokens. Seekers’ Squire will let you explore, potentially either giving you lands in your hand, or putting counters on it and throwing even more stuff into your graveyard.
Your goal here isn’t to have big, flashy, finishing moves. Instead, you’re trying to keep your opponent at pay with control as you whittle them down with smaller creatures. By using things like Advanced Stitchwing and Kederekt Leviathan, you’ll be able to stall your opponent long enough to take the win.
Black/Red/Green: Jund Midrange
This archetype is as ‘Jund Does What Jund Does’ as it gets. As the black/red/green archetype, Jund is all about big creatures, direct damage, and to-the-face strategies. After all, you don’t need control when your opponent’s already at zero life.
Throwing damage out constantly is Jund’s whole thing, and so cards like Anger the Gods, Lava Coil, Fiery Fall, Rift Bolt, Lavalanche, and Staggershock all fit nicely into the strategy. Back them up with big creatures like Ulasht, the Hate Seed; Hellkite Overlord, and Ruric Thar, the Unbowed to ensure your opponents are always either losing permanents or life.
This is a midrange deck, though, so some elements of control are needed on top of the no-thoughts-just-damage element. Again, Ruric Thar is excellent for this, as six damage in a 20-life format like draft can be devastating. Also make liberal use of removal from cards like Eyeblight’s Ending, Go For The Throat, Inquisition of Kozilek, and Damnation to keep the board calm enough until you have the resources to bring out the big guns.
Red/Green/White: Heroic Aggro
Debuting in the original Theros, heroic is a long-absent mechanic that rewards you for targeting your own creatures with spells. In Double Masters 2022, this archetype aims to combine your creatures with many enchantments and combat trick spells to buff them up, before you swing in with explosive combat phases.
As this is an aggro deck, you’re trying to crash into your opponent before they even have a chance to set up a defence. Your first task is to fill the board with creatures that either have the heroic keyword, or have heroic-like effects. This means creatures like Wingsteed Rider, Hero of the Games, Centaur Battlemaster, Gnarlback Rhino, and Gloryscale Viashino.
From there, you want to cast as many low-cost spells that target your own creatures as possible. Fortunately, Double Masters 2022 has a load of them, and so stock up on Hyena Umbra, Titan’s Strength, Twinflame, Rancor, and Thrive to ensure you always have ways of triggering heroic.
Although it can easily backfire, don’t forget that you can also target your own creatures with negative spells. Maybe targeting a Gnarlback Rhino with a Lightning Bolt is all you need to draw the card that secures your victory.
Green/White/Blue: Big Ramp
This isn’t a particularly clever archetype. If you like getting a ton of mana to cast big spells, Big Ramp lets you do just that. In Magic, ‘ramp’ means gaining access to more mana than the one land per turn you’re allowed to play, whether it be through making a lot of Treasure tokens or, more traditionally, playing extra lands each turn. If you can charge ahead in the resource game, your opponent won’t have any way of stopping you from casting nine- or ten-mana spells way ahead of them.
Ramp is very much a green mechanic, so you will use lots of green cards to set up your board. Elvish Rejuvenator, Rampant Growth, Oracle of Mul Daya, Summer Bloom all let you gain access to extra lands, while Smothering Tithe can produce Treasure tokens, and As Foretold lets you play a spell for free each turn – not quite ramp, but close enough for what you need.
With so much mana flowing, you only need to play the big-hitters and go smash. Aethersnipe will help you get potential blockers out of the way, before you swing in with Annoyed Altisaur, Impervious Greatwurm, and, of course, the three Eldrazi Titans: Kozilek, The Butcher; Ulamog, The Infinite Gyre; Emrakul, the Aeons Torn.
With three colours for each archetype, Double Masters 2022 is able to combine the usual Rakdos (black/red) Sacrifice strategy with the more traditionally Orzhov (white/black) Aristocrats. Your goal here is to sacrifice as many things as possible, be it for the death triggers or to gain further value elsewhere.
To sacrifice things, you’ll want tokens to serve as fodder. Fortunately, this set includes cards like Bitterblossom, Call to the Feast, Heroic Reinforcements, Seasoned Pyromancer, and Elenda, the Dusk Rose, who can all easily give you the sacrificial lambs you need to get the deck going.
On the sacrifice side of things, you can use cards like Cartel Aristocrat, Dark-Dweller Oracle, Fireblade Artist, Dreamshaper Shaman, Greater Gargodon, Yahenni, Undying Partisan; and Bloodflow Connoisseur to kill off your own creatures for effects. Of course, this set also includes Phyrexian Altar, an instant-speed sacrifice outlet that powers many combos.
To win the game, you have a lot of options. Judith, The Scourge Diva can throw damage out for all your nontoken creatures that die, while Blood Artist punishes your opponents for any death anywhere on the battlefield. Bloodflow Connoisseur is an incredible common that can sacrifice any creatures at instant speed and collect those +1/+1 counters for a devastating smash later on in the game.
Green/Blue/Red: Midrange Ramp
The second ramping archetype doesn’t want to go to quite as extreme lengths as green/white/blue. Instead, it tries to stall opponents early on by rushing out reasonably (but not monstrously) big creatures, and using the rest of the mana to build value and control the board.
Many of the ramping tools for this are the same as Big Ramp, such as Cultivate, Coiling Oracle, Oracle of Mul Daya, and Rampant Growth. However, the loss of white and the addition of red means we need to swap Smothering Tithe for a Dockside Extortionist. You also gain access to Burning-Tree Emissary, a creature who immediately pays for itself as soon as it enters the battlefield.
Instead of simply going smash, this archetype uses the powerful enter the battlefield effects of green and red with the flickering potential of blue. For example, bouncing and recasting Dockside Extortionist with Venser, Shaper Savant or Nephalia Smuggler is an excellent way to amass a huge number of Treasure tokens. Alternatively, flood the board with Bear’s Companion triggers to make a ton of 4/4 Bears before your opponent has time to mount a defence.
Flickering is only part of the strategy, though. You’re using ramp to cast spells before your opponent, which makes anything reasonably costed with good ETB effects important. Keep an eye out for things like Eternal Witness, Elvish Rejuvenator, Webweaver Changeling and Aethersnipe. Animar, Soul of Elements is such a great inclusion, as it’ll keep getting bigger with each other creature you play to ensure you can have an explosive finish.
White/Black/Green: +1/+1 Counters
In true Abzan fashion, the white/black/green archetype of Double Masters 2022 is all about amassing as many +1/+1 counters as you possibly can. This is the set’s go-wide strategy, as you seek to get many creatures into play, buff them up with counters, and then use abilities like trample to push for the win.
The winners of this archetype are easily Hardened Scales and Conclave Mentor, which both increase the number of counters you get to put on things. However, they don’t put counters on anything alone, which is why you’ll need things like Abzan Ascendancy, Biogenic Upgrade, Thrive, Travel Preparations, and Scale Blessing to do the job for you.
Once you’ve got a large force of creatures loaded up with +1/+1 counters, Double Masters 2022 is full of cards that support counters strategies. Azan Falconer gives creatures with +1/+1 counters flying for an easy win, Ainok Bond-Kin gives them first strike, and Tuskguard Captain trample. You could use Rishkar, Peema Renegade to turn them into mana dorks that help cast bigger spells, or you could use Ghave, Guru of Spores to make more creature tokens to swing with.
Prowess was the mechanic of the blue, white, and red Jeskai back in Khans of Tarkir, and it’s back in full force here with a combination of aggro and spellslinging that’s sure to get spicy very quickly. The strategy for prowess decks is to get creatures with the prowess keyword (which gain +1/+1 for each noncreature spell you cast that turn) into play, and then follow them up with lots of cheap spells. The primary difference between it and the white/blue/green heroic archetype is that heroic requires you to target your own creatures, whereas prowess triggers on any cast.
This set is full of creatures with prowess, like Monastery Mentor, Jeskai Elder, Abbot of Keral Keep, Bloodwater Entity, and Elsha of the Infinite. An incredible card downgraded to common rarity is Monastery Swiftspear, who combines prowess with haste to give you early-turn plays that pack a punch. You’re going to want to focus almost exclusively on creatures with prowess, but you can also use Body Double to copy any creature you already have in play.
From there, simply cast as many noncreature spells as you can, the cheaper the better. Path to Exile, Gods Willing, Hyena Umbra, Eel Umbra, Mana Drain, Thought Scout, Lightning Bolt, Sparkmage’s Gambit, Titan’s Strength, Izzet Charm, Jeskai Charm; the list goes on of anything you can throw out for cheap to get those prowess triggers.
Don’t forget about the non-prowess legendary creatures who’d fit nicely into this. Firesong and Sunspeaker will give you some lifegain. Grand Arbiter Augustin IV reduces the cost of anything you cast by up to two mana, and, of course, Aurelia the Warleader gives you an entire second combat phase.
Black/Green/Blue: Graveyard Growth
The final archetype of Double Masters 2022 is also its second graveyard strategy. Compared to Graveyard Midrange, this is a much more traditional graveyard deck. With less of the control elements, this deck is free to have more of the big, rotting monsters crushing your opponent’s face.
Like Graveyard Midrange, you’re going to want to find ways to dump cards into your graveyard. Breakthrough, Deranged Assistant, Gifts Ungiven, Balustrade Spy, and even Lotleth Troll and Oona’s Prowler are great tools for this, but perhaps the best is Glimpse the Unthinkable’s whopping ten-card mill. As we’re not really all that focused on putting specific cards into the graveyard, as long as they’re there they’ll be put to good use.
Look for cards that don’t so much pull things out of your graveyard, but more use its size to your advantage. For instance, Necrotic Ooze is a terrifying combo piece that copies the activated abilities of all creatures in your graveyard, while Spider Spawning can spew out a load of Spider tokens. Webweaver Changeling can help you gain life too, but your biggest beater is likely going to be Splinterfright.
This colour also gives you access to two of the set’s best graveyard-matters legendries: The Mimeoplasm, which can exile cards from either your own or your opponent’s graveyards to buff itself, and Muldrotha, the Gravetide, for an added big of recursion if you need it.
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