Draft Report: Amonkhet Temur Midrange (5-28-2017)

Amonkhet Paper Draft 5-28-2017 URG Temur Midrange

One of the frustrations of drafting a set frequently is experiencing the same interactions over and over again. The online Magic: the Gathering community is larger than ever, and even marginally well-informed players have likely seen what the pros – or by proxy, content creators – have to say about a set within the first month of release.

Angler Drake

Staple two Man-o’-War together, and I guess they gain flying.

As time goes by, you stop going into a draft with hopes to build a cool deck (and hopefully win), but rather with hopes to play your seat well and build the best version of a known archetype (and hopefully win). With a month and a half yet before the release of Hour of Devastation, I have already heard some regular drafters at the local stores I attend hint that they’re growing tired of Amonkhet limited.

I’m not bored with the format quite yet. While everyone wants to win, I think Magic is at its best when you’re having fun. I still want to constantly improve, of course, but not at the expense of no longer enjoying the game.

For these reasons, I’ve been actively seeking out opportunities for more casual drafting in addition to my regular routine. I was pleasantly surprised, then, to find a weekly cheap-and-casual draft at a local store a short 10-minute drive away. No prizes, low stakes and an even mix of regulars and newcomers. It’s been a great place to try out new things and maybe force cool cards with little consequence.

In today’s Draft Report, I want to share a sick midrange Temur deck I put together during this week’s casual draft.

Amonkhet Draft List: Temur Midrange (5-28-2017)

Planeswalkers (1)
 Nissa, Steward of Elements

Creatures (13)
Aven Initiate
Shimmerscale Drake
Angler Drake
Ahn-Crop Crasher
Thresher Lizard
Emberhorn Minotaur
Exemplar of Strength
Hooded Brawler
Watchful Naga
Shefet Monitor

Spells (4)
Magma Spray
Sweltering Suns
Heaven / Earth

Enchantments (5)
Trial of Zeal
Gift of Paradise
Cartouche of Strength
Trial of Strength
Lands (17)
Fetid Pools
Evolving Wilds

On-Color Sideboard (13)
Seeker of Insight
Combat Celebrant
Manticore of the Gauntlet
Consuming Fervor
Brute Strength
Giant Spider
Greater Sandwurm
Stinging Shot
Spidery Grasp


Deck Tech

Evolving Wilds

Sometimes I forget this is in Amonkhet.

The only thing this deck wants to do is remove my opponent’s creatures and play my own. I don’t care if it’s blue or red or green – if it beats, it gets in there. For the most part, we’ve got a suite of seven removal spells (counting double Cartouche of Strength) and fourteen creatures (counting Trial of Strength). This includes the fortunate picks of both Sweltering Suns and Heaven / Earth to wipe the board.

Pack 1 Pick 1 was Nissa, Steward of Elements. Since this was a casual draft and my first ever Planeswalker in limited, I knew I wanted to shove her in the deck if at all possible. For that reason, I valued taking two Evolving Wilds and a Gift of Paradise rather highly.

Stewarding Elements

Despite the scatterbrained mish-mash of pieces in this deck, it absolutely slayed. I had a similar experience during my last Sunday casual draft, putting together a crazy Jund deck with both Hapatra, Vizier of Poisons and Samut, Voice of Dissent.

This is exactly the reason I wanted to share my Temur abomination. By easing off and separating myself from the known archetypes a bit, I found new options that could still win, and I had more fun actually playing the game. Without these casual drafts, I never would have noticed powerful combinations like Decimator Beetle + Consuming Fervor. And I likely never would have wiped the board with Sweltering Suns and animated two of my lands with Nissa, Steward of Elements on the same turn to close out the game.

Decimator Beetle + Consuming Fervor

As an added bonus, decks like this can feature a diversified set of threats and answers, making it harder for your opponent to sideboard effectively. For that matter, it can be difficult for them to even have enough picks in the board to begin with.

In a more competitive environment, I’m sure this deck would have some difficulties. Having two board wipes helps a lot, but I could certainly envision matchups where I would need to dig myself out of a pretty deep hole after stabilizing. That said, the deck performed very well, even against more experienced players at the event.

More importantly, I enjoyed serving as its pilot, and I left the store this afternoon with a greater appreciation for the broader design of Amonkhet. If you are in the camp of trying to draft the most competitive deck available, I hope you, too, will take an opportunity – if only occasionally – to relax and branch out. I think you’ll enjoy it.