You opened Yorion, Sky Nomad in your draft. Now what? Should you go for it and build a 60 card deck? Is it even possible to do this and still have a coherent deck? All of your questions will be answered in this Yorion Draft Guide. The focus will be on the March of the Machine draft, but the concepts should be applicable in most draft formats with companions.
Anyway, let’s get right to it – It’s Yorion time!
If you’re a newer player, and don’t know exactly how the companions works, here’s a quick recap. If you’re a more experienced player, simply jump to the next section.
There are 10 different companions, all of which are creatures. Companions all come with their own deckbuilding restriction. (For example, Yorion essentially requires that you play at least 20 cards over the minimum deck’s size. So, at least 60 cards in your draft deck.) If your deck meets that condition, then you can use that creature as your companion.
This means that you put it in your sideboard, and you reveal it at the start of the game. At any point you could cast a sorcery, you can pay three mana and put your companion in your hand. Then it works just as any other card in your hand would.
Of course, you can also just ignore all that, and put the companion in your deck, as a regular card.
Is Drafting Yorion Worth It?
In the vast majority of cases, the answer is yes. Sure, you’ll lose some consistency, when you’ll add 20 cards to your draft deck. On the other hand, you quickly recoup that loss, as you’ll always have access to a very powerful creature.
Just a 4/5 guaranteed flyer for 5 (+3 mana) is already good enough. But there’s more upside to it. You can also get your enter-the-battlefield effects again, and you can save your creatures from enchantment-based removal, like Realmbreaker’s Grasp for example.
Yorion Draft Tips
When you open Yorion at the start of the draft, you should likely try to build a 60 card deck. However, if you get it in your second or third pack, it depends on how many playable cards you have.
You really want at least 10 playable cards at the beginning of your second booster and 20 at the start of the third one.
How Many Lands to Play in a Yorion Draft Deck?
So, what’s the correct number of lands for a Yorion draft deck? Well, the usual number is 17 lands in a 40 card deck. In this scenario, lands represent 42.5% of your deck.
If we take that same ratio and apply it to a 60 card deck, you’d end up with 25.5 lands. This would suggest that you decide whether to play 25 or 26 cards. However, you have two major incentives to play even more lands.
The first one is that you have an amazing guaranteed mana sink in Yorion. (Mana sinks are cards that let you spend your mana in the late game.) Over the course of the game, you’ll be able to invest a total of eight mana into it. That’s why you’ll want to hit your land drops consistently, so you can cast in a timely manner.
The second incentive is the quality of your cards. If you were to add an 18th land to your 40 card deck, you’re replacing your 23rd best card. When you add a 27th land to your 60 card deck, you’re replacing your 34th best card. So, in a Yorion deck, the added land is replacing a much worse card, which is another argument for playing more lands.
That means you should aim for 26–28 lands in your average Yorion deck.
More Cards are Playable
Let’s say you’re playing 27 lands. Now you still need 33 non-land cards (without counting Yorion). That’s 10 more than what you’d usually play. Therefore, you have to expand your definition of what constitutes a playable card.
First, some cards that often don’t make your deck, now deserve a main deck inclusion. For example, something like Furtive Analyst might typically be deemed just a bit too weak, but it is totally serviceable in a 60-card deck.
Back when companions first appeared, in Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths, one of the things that made Yorion decks easier to build were cards with cycling, some of which you were able to replace for a single mana (example Memory Leak). They were very helpful when you were looking for 33 playables.
In March of the Machine draft, there’s only one non-rare card with regular cycling – Crystal Carapace, which isn’t that great as you’ll have to pay two mana to cycle it. However, it can still be used in a pinch.
The more exciting cards are perhaps the cards with basic land cycling. There’s one for each color, and you can play the ones that are in your colors, and perhaps even cut a land when you do so.
One thing that is important when you draft Yorion is that you commit to your colors early. If you’re trying to stay open, and you’re picking cards in multiple colors, you won’t end up with enough playables. Thus, you won’t be able to use Yorion as a companion – at least not very successfully.
That’s why it can be hard to put a Yorion deck together, if you get it later in draft. If you get it in pack 2, or pack 3, you’ll obviously still pick it, if you’re in these colors’re playing either white or blue. It can be a great card as a part of your regular 40-card deck. However, if you already drafted cards in 3+ colors, you probably won’t be able to use it as your companion, as you won’t scrap enough playable cards in two colors together.
Note that you don’t necessarily need to be white-blue, but you do want to be heavily in at least one of those colors.
Abuse the Ability
You want to make full use of Yorion’s ability. You can do so in different ways, but the most common one is to use permanents with enter-the-battlefield effects.
Thankfully, there are a lot of them in the March of the Machine draft. You have the classic stuff, such as Phyrexian Awakening, Preening Champion, and so on. Additionally, battles and creatures with the backup ability, are also nice options to blink.
All battles have enter-the-battlefield effects, and you can get them again. (Perhaps not, if the siege is already transformed). The backup creatures will allow you to redistribute their +/+ counters.
There’s one neat trick with auras like Realmbreaker’s Grasp and Stasis Field. Typically, you don’t want to waste them on random two drops early. However, with Yorion as your companion, you can afford to do so. Once your opponent plays something better, you play Yorion and blink auras, and move them to bigger creatures.
Don’t forget that you can also blink your creatures that are locked down by such auras. The aura falls off, and your creature is ready to rumble once again.
Yorion Draft Tips – Recap
Here’s a quick recap of what you need in order to successfully draft a Yorion deck:
- Play 26-28 lands.
- Expand your definition of a playable card.
- Commit to your colors early.
- Try to get some enter-the-battlefield effects.
That’s all about drafting Yorion. Do you want to learn more about drafting? Check our March of the Machine Draft Guide.
Yorion, and the other nine companions, can appear in a special slot, where you can get an iconic legend from all Magic’s past. You can find all of these cards in the Multiverse Legends Gallery.
Until next time, have fun, and may your Yorion deck always have enough playable cards.