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Forgotten Realms Draft Guide

Hello and welcome to a very special article! Today it’s time for the Adventures in the Forgotten Realms draft guide. This DND themed Magic set looks really fun to draft, and in this article we’ll try to get you up to speed on everything that’s going on in this format.

If you’ve read our draft guides before, you know what to expect. If you’re new (Welcome!), here’s what we’ll talk about:

  • Forgotten Realms mechanics and how they affect the format.
  • Best commons for each color.
  • Forgotten Realms draft archetypes, and what they’re trying to do.
  • Finally, we’ll rank all colors and archetypes.

With that said, let’s start with the mechanics.

UPDATE: If you’re looking forward to drafting the newest set, you can find Midnight Hunt Draft Guide here.

Forgotten Realms Mechanics

Forgotten Realms has three actual mechanics + one that doesn’t affect gameplay:

  • Dungeons
  • Dice rolling
  • Class
  • Flavor words

Dungeons

Dungeons are perhaps the most unique mechanic. Some cards let you venture into the dungeon (with triggered or activated abilities).

Cloister Gargoyle

Take Cloister Gargoyle, for example. When it enters the battlefield, you can venture into the dungeon. What does this mean?

Whenever you’d venture into a dungeon, and you aren’t in a dungeon already, you pick one of the three dungeons, and move into the first room. Its ability triggers. If you’re already in a dungeon, you go to the next room of your choice and its effect triggers.

Some cards reward you if you’ve completed a dungeon.

There are three dungeons to choose from, and we’ll examine all of them, so you’ll know which dungeon to pick in the Forgotten Realms Draft.

Lost Mine of Phandelver

Lost Mine of Phandelver MTG Dungeon Rules Explained

Lost Mine is the safest and most basic Dungeon. You can complete it relatively quickly – with four venture triggers. The first three rewards are all worth around half a card. When you’ll be figuring out how good cards that venture are, it’s a fine idea to value one venture trigger as half a card worth of value.

Anyway, you should pick Lost Mine the vast majority of the time. It is a safe choice, as almost every room gives you a relevant effect. Dungeon of the Mad Mage might look enticing, but it takes more venture triggers to get to a better deal than from this one.

Tomb of Annihilation

Tomb of Annihilation Which Dungeon to Pick in Forgotten Realms Draft

This is the fastest dungeon to complete, as the right path takes only three venture triggers. However, the cost is steep, because you have to discard a card, sacrifice an artifact, a creature and a land (if you have any of them).

The reward is nice, as you get a 4/4 deathtouch token. We wouldn’t recommend going on the right path, unless it’s late in the game and the Oubliette room won’t hurt you much, and you’ll get the token quickly.

The left path is a fine choice for an aggressive deck. Your opponents probably care more about their life total than you about yours. Plus, you can quickly add The Atropal to the battlefield, and you’ll complete the dungeon quickly.

Dungeon of the Mad Mage

Dungeon of the Mad Mage MTG DND

This is, on the other hand, a long dungeon, as it takes 7 venture triggers to complete. Naturally, it isn’t a great choice if you need a completed dungeon.

However, if you have a ton of venture cards, and don’t might spend some time completing the dungeon, this provides you with the most consistently good payoffs. Over the progression, you’ll scry, draw cards and finally, getting a big payoff of drawing three cards and casting one for free.

The cool thing about this one is that all that scrying will enable you to find more venture cards, so you’ll keep exploring the dungeon. So, if you have a lot of venture cards (7+ or some that you can use multiple times), this is the dungeon you should pick.

Dungeons – Overview

Dungeons will certainly be a skill testing mechanic. You’ll have to evaluate venture cards properly and pick your dungeon carefully. A wrong choice might even lose you the game in the long run. You can learn more about the MTG Dungeon mechanic here.

One more thing to note. There are some creatures that can venture multiple times during the course of the game. Such creatures can quickly run away with the game if they are unanswered. That’s why removal spells might be even more important, than they usually are.

Dice Rolling

Another mechanic coming from DND is rolling 20-sided dice (d20). Some cards make you roll a single d20, and they have a special table, which tells you what happens for different results.

Swarming Goblins D20 Forgotten Realms Draft

When Swarming Goblin enter the battlefield, you roll a d20. You’ll usually get one or two Goblin tokens, but you might even get three.

These cards are mostly designed so that they are playable even if you roll low, and aren’t game-breaking if you roll high. There are some additional payoffs for rolling dice, but more about that, when we’ll talk about the red-blue archetype.

D20 Odds

Before we move to the next mechanic, we only wanted to quickly mention odds and how you can improve them. That not by using weighted dice, obviously, but with cards like Pixie Guide.

Pixie Guide

In the following table you can see the odds of rolling a specific result with zero, one or two Guides.

ResultOne RoleTwo rollsThree rolls
1-945%20.25%9.1%
10-1950%70%76.6%
205%9.75%14.3%

So with Swarming Goblin, you’re getting 1.6 Goblins on average, and around 1.9, if you have Pixie Guide in play. With two Guides, the average goes up to slightly higher than 2 Goblins.

Some cards also have different tables, but most of them have the 1-9 / 10-19 / 20 splits.

Class

Class is an enchantment subtype. These cards are pretty straightforward.

Their effect is separated into three levels. You pay the card’s mana cost, it comes into play, and you get access to the first level (the top square) right away.

If you want to get to level 2 you have to pay the appropriate cost at sorcery speed. In case of Warlock Class that would be 2 mana. Once you’re at level 2, you can advance to level 3 by paying 7 mana.

While Class cards are pretty simple, they enable some interesting gameplay decisions. They are also good mana sinks, which is always useful. (For newer players: Mana sink is something that you can spend mana on later in the game. This mitigates the effect of having too many lands and not much to do with them.)

Additionally, you can find more information about MTG Class cards here.

Flavor Words / Choose One Cards

Finally, there’s a “mechanic”, which functions only as a flavor.

Black Dragon Win Forgotten Realms Draft MTGA

What does Acid Breath mean here? Absolutely nothing. Its function is the same as that of a flavor text. Sometimes, similar effects will have similar words, and sometimes not. If you aren’t a big fan of flavor, just ignore this, as it adds nothing to the game play.

Choose One Cards

Before we wrap up, let’s talk briefly about the Choose one card, all of which have the flavor words as well.

You're Ambushed on the Road

All of them are better than they look. If you combine two mediocre effects, you often get a playable card. If we take a look at Ambush on the road. Both bouncing your own creature and +1/+3 combat trick are very situational. But when you have access to both, you just might play the card in your deck, and it’ll be useful.

With that out of the way, it’s time for the best commons in Forgotten Realms draft.

Best Commons for Forgotten Realms Draft

Commons are the bread and butter of every draft format. Your deck will mostly consist of them. That’s why we’ll discuss the best ones for each color. We’ll still talk about the cards of higher rarities – in the Archetype section.

The commons you’ll see here are some that are good in any archetype. Although, if there’s some that are even better in specific archetypes, we’ll make sure to mention it. Anyway, let’s start with white.

White

1. Priest of Ancient Lore

Priest of Ancient Lore Best Commons Forgotten Realms Draft

Priest of the Ancient Lore marks the return of cantrips in white. For three mana you get 1 life, a 2/1 and a card. While the body isn’t amazing for a three drop, the fact that you get a card back is just amazing.

You can never have too many of these in your white decks, and you’ll play as many as you’ll draft. They become even better if you have some lifegain synergies, which are also present in this format.

2. You Hear Something on Watch

You Hear Something on Watch

You Hear Something on Watch is a strong removal spell. For 2 mana, you get to deal 5 damage to an attacker. The problems with cards like this is that they usually don’t help you on offense. This is not the case here, as you can use the first option to give your team +1/+1.

3. Veteran Dungeoneer

Veteran Dungeoneer

Veteran Dungeoneer is a fine card as well. Four mana for 3/4 is okay, but when it enters the battlefield, you venture into the dungeon. Naturally, it gets better the more you care about dungeons, but it’s playable on its own.

Honorable Mentions

White has a nice number of good commons, so prepare for a lot of honorable mentions.

Steadfast Paladin How to Win Forgotten Realms Draft

Steadfast Paladin is just a 2 mana 2/2 lifelinker. However, card like this are usually underrated, but they preform very well, so don’t forget to pick up a couple for your white decks – especially if you have equipments or lifelink synergies.

Minimus Containment is an unusual removal spell. It has some downsides, but they can be mitigated. It remove anything from big creatures to planeswalkers and anything in between. This kind of versatility is very powerful, especially at three mana.

Planar Ally is a powerful must-deal-with threat. The problem is that it costs five mana and has only 3 toughness, which can lead to a tempo loss, if your opponent has a removal spell. On the other hand, if they don’t have it, you’ll quickly take over the game.

Ranger’s Hawk is a nice mana sink. Early, you can pinch in for some damage with your 1/1 flyer. It also wears equipment quite well. In the late game, you can start using it to venture through the dungeon. The fact that you can only use it as a sorcery makes it quite worse, though.

You’re Ambushed on the Road does a lot of work for just a single white mana. You can often get a full card of value out of it, and it can be a nice tempo play, if you time it correctly.

Arborea Pegasus has an okay body and a strong enter-the-battlefield effect.

Blue

1. Djinni Windseer

Djinni Windseer  Forgotten Realms Draft Guide

Four mana 3/3 flyer is fine. Once you add scry 1.6 (on average) it becomes actively good, as that’s pretty close to drawing a card.

This Djinn will develop your board, while smoothing your next draw step. It will always be a nice option to have, and you won’t mind playing multiples.

2. Air-Cult Elemental

Air-Cult Elemental Best Commons Forgotten Realms Draft

Six mana isn’t cheap. Nevertheless, Air-Cult Elemental is worth it. You get a very relevant body, and you get to bounce any other creature to its owner’s hand. Its whirlwind can even wake up your creature from Charmed Sleep.

The problem with expensive cards is that while you’re waiting to cast them, your opponents might beat you down and just finish you off once you finally cast it. However, that’s not the case here, as you can bounce their best attacker and add a 5 toughness flyer to the battlefield.

Still, you don’t want too many Elementals. Two is probably the optimal number, while three is already pushing it.

3. Charmed Sleep

Charmed Sleep

A reprint from Throne of Eldraine. We’ve seen variations of this card numerous times, and they are almost always solid. It’s a blue removal spell, and it does its job quite well. The cost of two blue is a bit unfortunate, since you sometimes won’t be able to cast it on turn 3.

Honorable Mentions

You Come to a River Forgotten Realms Draft Guide

You Come to a River and underrate a bounce spell. Don’t do that. Two mana instants that can bounce any nonland permanent are always better than they look. This also has another option to make your creature unblockable. Occasionally, this will simply end the game on the spot.

Bar the Gate is a fine counterspell. You can counter a creature or planeswalker spell and venture into the dungeon. Since draft is mostly about creatures, this is a good addition to most blue decks.

Black

1. Grim Bounty

Grim Bounty Forgotten Realms Draft Guide

Four mana, sorcery speed, destroy target creature. Unexciting, but does the job, and you need cards as this one, especially since there are quite a lot of snowball creatures in the Forgotten Realms draft.

The Treasure token is a nice addition. You can use it for splashing, synergies or for double spelling of later turns.

2. Precipitous Drop

Precipitous Drop Adventures in the Forgotten Realms Draft Archetypes

Not the most efficient removal out there, but it takes care of the small stuff, and also has some dungeon value. This makes it a quite strong common, and it gets even better, if you manage to complete a dungeon.

3. Vampire Spawn

Vampire Spawn Forgotten Realms Draft Guide

Vampire Spawn looked quite unimpressive at the start of the format, but it preformed surprisingly well. Its stats are serviceable, and its ability makes it one of the best black commons.

It makes a total of a four life difference, which easily swings the race in your favor. It works well in multiples, as the damage quickly adds up. You should never cut them from your black decks.

Honorable Mentions

Feign Death

We’ve seen cards like Feign Death before. However, this time around it’s quite useful. It’s easy to hold one mana up and get a lot of value from it – thanks to your creature coming back bigger. It’s especially useful with creatures that have enter-the-battlefield effects.

Fates’ Reversal pairs nicely with creatures that venture into the dungeon. Get them back from the graveyard, and get your venture triggers. Solid card if you’re planning on utilizing your dungeon, or if you might want to rebuy your bomb.

Clattering Skeletons and Yuan-Ti Fang-Blade are solid creatures that you can use alongside it.

Red

1. Dragon’s Fire

Dragon's Fire

Ignore the Dragon text for a moment. Three damage to a creature at instant speed will always be good in a draft. Forgotten Realms draft is no different at that, as this kills 104 out of 142 creatures (73.2%).

Additionally, you can improve it, as there are some Dragons in this set – Jaded Sell-Sword is even available as a common. Amazing card, even if you have 0 Dragons in your deck. It’s one of the best commons in the format, and you won’t regret picking it highly.

2. Swarming Goblins

Swarming Goblins D20 Forgotten Realms Draft

Players often underrate cards that make multiple bodies. If you get just one token from Swarming Goblins, it’s an okay card. Sometimes you’ll get multiples, and you’ll be really happy with it.

It’s a fine card to top your curve with, and you can happily play even three copies of it.

3. Hobgoblin Captain

Hobgoblin Captain Quick Draft Forgotten Realms Guide

Hobgoblin Captain is a premium two drop. It can pressure your opponent early, while also being a very real deal later in the game, thanks to first strike. If you manage to equip it with anything, it becomes really hard to block profitably.

Honorable Mentions

Improvised Weaponry Adventures in the Forgotten Realms Draft Guide

Improvised Weaponry is an interesting removal spell. Three mana for 2 damage is inefficient, but it still kills 59 creatures in the format (41.5%). Plus, you get a Treasure out of it. You can destroy their two drop on turn 3, then play a five drop on the following turn. Useful, but you don’t want too many copies of it.

Farideh’s Fireball kills 133 out of 142 creatures, or 93.7% of them. Sometimes it might even kill your opponent – or you, if you’re unlucky. Bot that’s mostly an upside, if you’re more aggressive and have some die-rolling synergies. The only downside is the five mana cost, but you’ll still want to have a copy or two in your red decks.

Valor Singer is a fine three drop for your red drops. It enables some attacks that you wouldn’t be able to make otherwise, and is all around a solid card.

Green

1. Owlbear

Owlbear Adventures in the Forgotten Realms Draft Guide

Remember Sarulf’s Packmate? This is him now. Feel old yet?

Jokes asides, while this isn’t as versatile as Packmate was, it’s still a very solid card. 4/4 body is almost always relevant, and getting your card back is impressive. While you usually don’t want to play too many five drops, this one might be an exception. Especially, since you’re playing green and should have some ways to play it a turn earlier.

2. Spoils of the Hunt

Spoils of the Hunt Adventures in the Forgotten Realms Draft Archetypes

Almost every set nowadays has a green fight spell at common, and we’re getting one in the Forgotten Realms draft too. Your creature won’t get any buffs, unless you’re spending mana from Treasures.

Nevertheless, even without the buff, you’re still getting the effect at instant speed, which is always useful. Furthermore, it’s a punch, not a fight – your creature won’t take any damage in the process.

3. Hill Giant Herdgorger

Hill Giant Herdgorger Forgotten Realms Draft Guide Updated

If you didn’t get enough Owlbears, you can pay one mana more to get this big guy. (You can probably play it even when you have lots of Owlbears, to be honest.) It gains you some life, and it’s really hard to deal with. It’s a brutal top deck, and it often makes the game all about itself.

Still you have to get to six mana, so you don’t want to play a ton of them, but having two copies is usually a nice spot to be in.

Honorable Mentions

Elturgard Ranger Forgotten Realms Draft Guide

We talked before how cards that make multiple bodies can be very strong. Elturgard Ranger is a perfect example. It’s another green creature that’s more on the expensive side, but it plays very nicely.

Bull’s Strength is probably the pump spell in the Forgotten Realms draft. +2/+2 is enough to make it at least playable. Untap effect can help you ambush some blockers, and giving trample to your Hill Giant Herdgorger often ends the game on the spot.

Both Inspiring Bard and Circle of the Moon Druid look mediocre, but they play better than they look, and can be useful in all kinds of green draft decks.

Forgotten Realms Draft Archetypes

The time has come to take a look at all 10 color pairs and their respective archetypes. Most of the archetypes have their own gimmick. But keep in mind that you don’t have to go all in on it. You can simply build a deck with efficient cards and a nice curve, with maybe a couple of synergies, and you should do just fine.

However, these synergies give you a great direction in which to build your deck.

Black – Green: Creatures Dying

This is your classic midrange deck with a small twist. It cares about creatures dying (mostly during your turn). In a regular game of Magic, creatures are dying all the time. You don’t even have to try hard to enable these synergies.

Simply trade creatures in combat and use removal spells. You know, the stuff you’d be doing anyway. If you want, you can even use some sacrifice outlets. A couple of nice options in black are Deadly Dispute and Skullport Merchant

Payoffs

Death-Priest of Myrkul

Your payoffs include the three cards you see above, all of which are quite powerful. Another useful couple are Death-Priest of Myrkul and Zombie Ogre.

Since many payoff cards trigger at your end step, you can attack first, trade off your creature, and then play your payoff in the second main phase. This way, your opponent might not see it coming, and they’ll make the trade more willingly. You should already be playing most of your spells in your second main phase, but this is another reason to do so.

So play your regular midrange deck, and you’ll do fine. Maybe you’ll even get a sweet rare, like Skeletal Swarming, which can really turn the game in your favor.

Blue – White: Dungeon

If you want to explore the dungeons, then you can draft Blue-White. This color pair has a lot of cards that let you venture into the dungeon (followed by Black and Green).

With so many opportunities for exploring the dungeon, you might prefer Dungeon of the Mad Mage, as it will reward you the most for consistently venturing. Especially with Hama Pashar, Ruin Seeker, which doubles all of your room abilities.

Venturing into the Dungeon

How will you venture into the dungeon? You can do so with cards with enter-the-battlefield effects, like the ones you see above. However, you’d probably like some effects that can trigger multiple times through the game.

Most of this trigger on attacks, like:

So you’ll want them to survive combat. You can do so by giving them evasion with various blue cards, such as Fly or You Come to a River.

Arborea-Pegasus

Arborea Pegasus will also enable a safe attack the turn it’s played.

At first sight this deck looked like it could both pressure opponents and out-value them at the same time, thanks to the dungeon mechanic. In practice, this archetype preforms a bit worse than one would expect.

Black – White: Dungeon

There’s not much to say about this archetype that wasn’t said about the previous one. Instead of blue evasive creatures and bounce spells, you get removal and payoffs for creatures dying. (Similar to the Black-Green archetype.) This combination usually preforms better than its Blue-White counterpart.

Of course, you can also use Treasures from various black cards to splash powerful blue venture cards. This way, you’ll get access to the best of the both worlds.

Blue – Black: Sneaking Damage

Blue-Black is especially sneaky this time around. You have creatures reward you when they deal combat damage to the opponent. Thankfully, you also have various ways to help them get through. There’s a dungeon subtheme present as well.

Cards like Fly and Krydle of Baldur’s Gate actually do both – provide evasion and rewards you for dealing combat damage to the oppoent. But what are some other options?

Getting Creatures Through

To get creatures through, you can use cards like Thieves’ Tools and You Come to a River. The first one is nice since it’s repeatable, and the second can double as a bounce spell.

Rewards

Soulknife-Spy

Creatures that you’ll want to get through with are (sorted from best to worse):

  1. Yuan-Ti Fang-Blade
  2. Soulknife Spy
  3. Drider
  4. Shortcut Seeker
  5. Guild Thief

That’s not even counting rare cards like Grazilaxx, Illithid Scholar, Yuan-Ti Malison and Iymrith, Desert Doom. This kind of rares are cards that pull you into this archetype. As you can see, some cards also offer dungeon support, similarly to the previous two archetypes.

All in all, this looks like a super fun archetype to play, and sometimes the damage simply adds up, and you win the game, all the while you’re generating value. Don’t forget to pack enough removal spells and/or some quality blockers, so you won’t die on the backswings.

Green – White: Lifegain

Green-White has a lifegain theme. This kind of themes are usually quite good in draft, as the incidental lifegain quickly turns races into your favor.

Your best three payoffs are pictured above. You get access to Lurking Roper – a three mana 4/5. If you have consistent ways of gaining life, you can attack without worries. Otherwise, you have a 4/5 on defense, which is also nice.

Trelasarra, Moon Dancer is the signpost uncommon for this archetype. It’s basically a legendary Ajani’s Pridemate that also lets you scry 1, whenever it triggers. Celestial Unicorn is a weaker version, but it’s a common, and you’ll happily play them in this archetype.

Finally, there’s Cleric Class. It looks like a key card for the archetype. You’ll want to go to level 3 quickly, so you’ll get a bunch of +1/+1 counters from your lifegain stuff. Afterwards, you get a really powerful effect at Level 3: reanimation and lifegain.

Enablers

There are various cards that gain you life in the set. We’ve already talked about Priest of Ancient Lore, as one of the best white commons. It’ll really shine in this archetype.

Druid Class Forgotten Realms Draft Guide MTG Arena

Here are some other enablers you could use:

These are by no means all the lifegain cards. There are over 10 of them just at the common and uncommon slot in white and green. Finally, don’t forget that Dungeon of The Mad Mage has an awesome first room for this portal. It’s called Yawning Portal, and it gets you 1 life, which will trigger your payoffs.

All this means that you can pick up payoffs early and expect to get enablers later on. Green-White is definitely a well-supported archetype.

Red – White: Equipment

Red-White archetype cares about equipment. There’s quite a lot of equipment in this set to be honest. Which makes perfect sense, since you’d always want to be armed on your DND adventure.

This archetype wants to be aggressive, and you have two amazing two drops to support this game plan. Armory Veteran becomes a 2/2 menace, while Dwarfhold Champion is a 3/3. That’s without counting whatever buff the equipment is granting.

Another amazing two drop is Steadfast Paladin. With the right equipment, it can quickly swing the game in your favor, thanks to the lifelink ability.

Bruenor Battlehammer is the signpost uncommon, and it works really nicely with equipments. It makes them stronger and reduces the first equip cost to zero. What’s not to like?

Which Equipment to Choose

Which equipment should you use? That really depends, as each one of them has their uses.

Paladin’s Shield can be used as a combat trick, similarly as Dueling Rapier.

Paladin's Shield AFR Draft Guide

Goblin Morningstar comes with a token, while Boots of Speed make a creature hasty. Plate Armor is very solid, especially if you have some other equipments as well. Delver’s Torch provides you with venture effects.

You really have a bunch of choices, and it’s really hard to say which ones to prefer. You probably want the ones of higher rarities and a mix of various different ones.

It’s important not to overload on equipment cards, as you still need to have some removal spells and such. It can quickly happen that you’re playing a deck with a bunch of equipment and under 12 creatures, which isn’t ideal. What happens if they kill your only creature, and you’re left with a bunch of useless equipment? Spoiler alert: you probably lose.

So try and have at least 14 creatures, if you’re playing lots of equipment. Cards that make multiple bodies, such as Swarming Goblin, are always useful in archetypes like this one. Even a measly 1/1 Goblin can become a real threat, if you put enough equipment on it.

Blue – Red: Dice Rolling

This is most certainly a fresh archetype – it cares about dice rolling! So, how many cards that let you roll dice are there in red and blue? As it turns out, there are 18 (including artifacts):

  • 10 commons
  • 4 uncommons
  • 3 rares
  • 1 mythic rare

Some of these are one time enter-the-battlefield effects, while others are repetitive, like attack trigger on Chaos Channeler or activated ability of Arcane Investigator.

Arcane Investigator

Anyway, that’s quite a lot of support for the fans of dice rolling, and you should have enough enablers. What about the payoffs, though?

Payoffs

The best ones are the three uncommons you see above. Feywild Trickster is spectacular, as it gives you 1/1 flying tokens, whenever you roll dice.

Barbarian Class first improves your odds, then makes your creatures harder to block. The signpost uncommon Farideh, Devil’s Chosen can also be hard to block. When you roll 10 or higher, you even get to draw a card!

There are also some minor payoffs like Brazen Dwarf and Pixie Guide.

The good thing about this archetype is that most of the dice rolling cards are at least playable. So you don’t have to worry about not having enough good enablers. However, it’s not recommended to just jam every dice rolling card in your deck just because you have some payoffs. You still have to pay attention to your mana curve, in order to have a functional deck.

Blue – Green: Ramp

This archetype isn’t so in-your-face like some others. However, there are a bunch of powerful, but expensive blue and green cards at lower rarities. We already talked about some of them in the commons section:

There’s also Blue Dragon, which provides some really nice stabilization.

Ramp

Getting to these cards ahead of schedule looks like a very strong game plan. There isn’t that much ramp in the format, but you do have some options. You can use Find the Path and Gretchen Titchwillow, which you saw above. Scaled Herbalist is also an option, but it preforms poorly.

You also have access to Dungeon Map, which slots nicely into this archetype. First it ramps you, and afterwards it acts as a mana sink.

One of the best ramp options, which isn’t so obvious, is Clever Conjurer. You can tap your land, untap it and tap it again, so it essentially ramps you. It also has passable stats and can give your big attacker pseudo-vigilance.

Clever Conjurer Forgotten Realms DND MTG Draft Guide

When you’re building this deck, don’t forget to pick up some cheap interaction. You can also ramp and hope for the best, but you’ll get better results if you can interact with your opponent’s early plays.

Black – Red: Treasures / Price of Loyalty

Forgotten Realms draft brings us a fresh take on Black-Red, which is now utilizing Treasure tokens. There really are a lot of Treasure makers, such as Hoarding Ogre and Deadly Dispute.

However, there aren’t that many good payoffs. The best ones, besides the three you see above, is probably Hired Hexblade. Nevertheless, that’s not all you can do with Treasures.

Splashing

If you have lots of Treasure makers, you can easily splash bombs in other colors. Maybe even without off-color basic lands. (Although we’d usually still recommend having at least one splash land in your deck.)

Xanathar, Guild Kingpin Forgotten Realms Draft Guide

Something strong like Xanathar would really make you happy in the third pack, when you’re drafting Black-Red.

Price of Loyalty Combo

However, the true power of Red-Black is not about all the Treasure shenanigans. It’s about this unassuming common:

Price of Loyalty Combo Forgotten Realms Draft

It’s not so powerful by itself. You have to combine it with some sacrifice outlets like:

Once you do so, you get a really strong tempo play and removal spell. You steal their thing, hit them with it and sacrifice it for value, so they don’t get it back. Besides, you still get the occasional free win by stealing their only relevant blocker.

We had the similar combo in various draft formats before, but for some reason it’s incredibly strong in the Forgotten Realms draft.

Red – Green: 6+ Attacking Power

Red-Green once again cares about big creatures. The flavor word you should pay attention to is Pack Tactics. Whenever a creature with Pack tactics attacks, you’ll get a bonus, if the total power of attacking creatures is 6 or greater.

As this only works on attacking, you’ll want to be a very aggressive deck, when you’re playing this color combination. You’ll want your cheap two drops, and there are a lot of them with Pack tactics. Besides the two you see above, there are also:

With enough cheap creatures, you’ll be able to get to six attacking power quickly.

Combat Tricks

When you’re the aggressor, combat tricks become better, as your opponent is often forced to block. You can also use a combat trick in your first main phase, if you really want to get to 6 power.

AFR Draft Guide Bull's Strength

As we discussed before, Bull’s Strength is the strongest one, as it provides you with many small benefits.

So, remember to be aggressive, when playing Red-Green decks. This was the last archetype, so let’s move on to the power rankings.

Forgotten Realms Draft Guide: Power Rankings

As always, take these rankings with a grain of salt, especially early in the format. Most of the sets lately have been quite balanced. Rarely has a color felt completely useless. We’d suggest using these rankings only as a tiebreaker when you’re deciding between two cards of a similar power level.

Best Colors

  1. Red
  2. White
  3. Green
  4. Black
  5. Blue

White, Red and Green are all incredibly deep and have many good playables across all rarities. Black is very closely behind, but at its best when paired with Red. Blue is the weakest color, but it can still hold its own.

Best Archetypes in Forgotten Realms Draft

  1. Black-Red: Treasures / Price of Loyalty
  2. Green-White: Lifegain
  3. Red-Green: 6+ Attacking Power
  4. Red-White: Equipment
  5. Blue-Black: Sneaking Damage
  6. Black-White: Dungeon
  7. Black-Green: Creatures Dying
  8. Blue-Green: Ramp
  9. Blue-Red: Dice Rolling
  10. Blue-White: Dungeon

Black-red really outperforms all other archetypes. It has a ton of efficient removal and creatures, and both colors pair really well with one another.

The three following archetypes all contain the top three colors (Red, White, Green) and are pretty closely bundled together by power level.

Archetypes from 5-8 would belong in the next tier. A bit worse than the previous ones, but still perfectly playable.

The last two, Blue-Red and Blue-White are really hard to put together successfully. You can still do it, but less often than with previously mentioned archetypes.

Explore More Forgotten Realms!

This marks the end of our Forgotten Realms Draft Guide. But if you want more Forgotten Realms content, we have some content that might interest you.

First up, great news for Commander players. This set is bringing us four new Commander decks. You can find all information about the Forgotten Realms Commander decks here.

Maybe you’re planning on organizing a draft at home? In that case, you’ll want to get a Forgotten Realms Draft Booster Box.

Adventures in the Forgotten Realms Draft Booster Box

On the other hand, if you’re a collector, or if you just like nice art, you might prefer Collector Boosters. You can get full information about Forgotten Realms Collector Booster contents here.

If you’re playing on Arena, you’ll want to check out MTG Arena codes. This way, you can get various free stuff, including cosmetics, and free packs.

Maybe you like the DND theme? Would you like to try the game yourself? In that case, take a look at our DND Beginner’s Guide.

Don’t want to miss another draft guide? Follow us on Facebook or Instagram. Besides reminders for articles, you’ll also find some Magic memes over there. Finally, we’d like to shout out 17lands.com, a website with draft data, which we used to compare our own experienced with.

Until next time, have fun, and may you reach the seven wins in Forgotten Realms draft on your very first try.

15 thoughts on “Forgotten Realms Draft Guide”

  1. This guide encouraged me to play my 1º forgotten realms draft and I had tons of fun!

    Love the mechanics and the flavor, I really really like this expansion.

    Thank you for the guide!

    Reply
  2. My experience here is a little bit different.
    Red and black are the best colors is this set for draft.
    6+ power is only nice addition in red for other tricks like treasures and k20 dice roll.
    Rust Monster can be really The Monster because there is no first strike creatures in this set and an ability to pump for treasures and artifacts makes him impossible to kill in combat.
    The best thing in RB is you have best synergy between cards besides archetypes, for example you can use Price Of Loyalty and sac creature in a few ways (most of them are commons)…
    I cannot agree that lifegain is 2nd best archetype, because all these enablers don’t do much without payoffs and it’s very hard to get payoffs (only 1 common and 3 uncommons)

    Reply
    • Thanks for the comment, you bring up some really good points. I agree with most of what you’re saying.
      I’ll do a big update to the guide in a week or so, and I’ll add everything I’ve learnt about the format, so make sure to check back then.

      Reply
  3. Hey, guide is really cool, but it would be perfect if you corrected spell mistakes in some of card names. We can’t see the card picture if its name is misspelled.

    Reply
  4. Thank you very much for this Draft Guide. It has been awhile since I have drafted and this gave me the perfect intro to getting back into it. It was very well thought out, and how you know all this stuff, I have no idea. But I appreciate it and you very much for putting it together. Thanks!!

    Reply

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