I've been playing Magic: The Gathering for some time, and today I want to share my tricks.
Adventures in the Forgotten Realms: An MTG and Dungeons & Dragons Crossover Set
D&D: Adventures in the Forgotten Realms (a.k.a. AFR) is the 88th Magic expansion and is a Dungeons & Dragons and Magic: The Gathering crossover set.
Dungeons & Dragons has always been considered one of the major sources of inspiration for Magic: The Gathering, so much so that the game itself was commissioned by Richard Garfield as an interlude between one campaign and another or as a pastime to be able to wait for the latest players or a Late Dungeon Master.
Until recently, however, these two prestigious IPs have never entered into a contract, and each has maintained its own separate identity.
The first seeds for the collaboration between the IPs were sown through the creation of thematic books for D&D campaigns in Magic: The Gathering-themed settings such as Innistrad, Ravnica, or many others. Now is the time to return the favor, and MTG will visit the world of D&D.
AFR takes the place of Core Set 2022 and goes further by proposing a slightly more complex set than the norm.
In fact, by the same admission of Mark Rosewater, AFR can be considered as a "Core Set +" a bit like Magic Origins, where the usual elements of the core set have been combined with elements of greater complexity in order to further elevate the gameplay.
|Color Combination||Main Theme|
Venture into the Dungeon
Roll a d20!
Complete a dungeon
Sacrifice / Death matters
The best cards for the GW Lifegain archetype are “Trelasarra, Moon Dancer,” “Cleric Class,” and “Celestial Unicorn,” which provide great rewards for playing the archetype.
Together with them, we can use cards like “Prosperous Innkeeper” as a repeated source of life points, ”Priest of Ancient Lore” can help with a one-shot life gain and drawing a card, and “Dawnbringer Cleric” can help both with the gain of life points and removing annoying enchantments.
The archetypes related to the WU and WB color pairs are very similar, as they are both based on venturing into the dungeon but with one notable difference—WU focuses on visiting as many rooms as possible and doubling their effects with cards like "Hama Pashar, Ruin Seeker" as a control deck. WB focuses more on the midrange and offers additional effects when a dungeon has been completed, as in the case of "Barrowin of Clan Undurr."
Therefore, it will be possible that these two archetypes can share some of the fundamental cards and try to make any splashes of color if we manage to get our hands on excellent cards of both combinations.
The white color will be the one that will have the greatest number of triggers to venture into the dungeon due to the attack of creatures, while the other two colors will have more triggers related to entering the battlefield or damage to the opponent. Among the most important cards of the white color, we can find "Planar Ally" or "Delver's Torch," while for the other colors, we can mention "Displacer Beast" or "Shortcut Seeker" for blue and "Yuan-Ti Fang-Blade" or "Zombie Ogre" for black.
The UB Archetype is mainly an Aggro-Control type approach and is primarily based on the ability to inflict direct damage to the opponent with their creatures and accumulate advantage through small effects that are activated from time to time, depending on the creature that deals damage to the opponent.
In itself, it's not a bad mechanic, but the key here is to be able to deal damage consistently. The best cards to do this are cards that grant evasion, such as "Fly," "Krydle of Baldur's Gate," or "Thieves' Tools."
In some cases, it is possible to venture into the dungeon very quickly (“Fly” + “Shortcut Seeker”) or inflict a lot of damage (“Guild Thief” + “Reaper's Talisman”); the best way to win depends on the availability of these effects and adapting it to the game situation.
The RB archetype is based on the accumulation and use of treasure tokens to obtain additional effects, such as empowering your creatures with "Kalain, Reclusive Painter" or threatening a devastating attack with "Rust Monster."
Another opportunity for this archetype is to use treasure tokens as a temporary ramp and cast large creatures such as "Red Dragon"/"Earth-Cult Elemental" or "Black Dragon"/"Baleful Beholder" or to use temporary color fixing to add other colors to your deck such as with a splash of green and improve your pack tactics.
Generally, the best aspect is to aim for an Aggro-Midrange approach and bet heavily on haste cards or "Boots of Speed" to keep pressure on the opponent.
The monster GR archetype is based on pack tactics, so you will have to focus a lot on attacking with at least an overall strength of 6 or higher; it doesn't matter if it will be 6 creatures or just one—the important thing is to attack with strength and consistency.
You can focus on playing a few very strong creatures like "Owlbear," "Purple Worm," or "Tiger-Tribe Hunter," as well as playing many very small creatures and then powering them up in attack with cards like "You See a Pair of Goblins" or "You Meet in a Tavern."
The Pair of RW colors, as usual, prefers a gameplay focused on the theme of equipment, with various rewards such as the reduction of the costs of equipment such as "Plate Armor" or "Bruenor Battlehammer." The equipment can also be useful for obtaining the pack tactics effects of the red cards we play by enhancing their strength values.
Some equipment can also be played at instant speed (such as "Dueling Rapier" or "Paladin's Shield") as if they were combat tricks complicating the opponent's defense. If we manage to get "Bruenor Battlehammer" and/or "Iron Golem" in our card pool, we could also approach a "Voltron" strategy with all the equipment on a single creature.
GB is the combination of death matters mechanics, especially from a midrange point of view, the one that exploits the death of one's creatures as a way to obtain various advantages, such as venturing into the dungeon or as a way to draw additional cards.
Therefore, the best cards for this type of strategy are cards like "Shessra, Death's Whisper," "Skullport Merchant," and "Sepulcher Ghoul." Among the other possible payoffs for this strategy, we can find cards like "Zombie Ogre," "Bulette," or "Grim Wanderer." "Death-Priest of Myrkul" can also help us cycle creature tokens to easily activate the abilities we need in each of our turns.
GU is the pair of colors focused on the management of "Tempo"; in fact, many of the cards at our disposal will have to do with the possibility of slowing down the opponent or speeding up the collection of the lands that we will need to be able to play the most powerful spells.
"Gretchen Titchwillow" is one of the emblematic cards of the strategy; it allows us to absorb damage from opposing creatures and use the excess mana to draw other cards and ramps for even more lands.
In this case, we will be able to use both the "druid class" and the "wizard class" to get advantages; we can gain some life points from the lands we play, and we can use those lands to draw new cards and feed our game.
Cards like "Split the Party," "You Come to a River," and "Scion of Stygia" can slow down your opponent's play, while our flying creatures or big green creatures can turn the game to our advantage.
Nothing in D&D is more emblematic than the 20-sided die roll, and the UR archetype is based on exactly this principle. The UR color combination is the one related to creativity, and in this case, creativity has been exploited in finding new ways to cheat!
In fact, many cards will allow us to roll a die again and only share the most favorable results. Cards like "Barbarian Class" or "Pixie Guide" are low-cost solutions that can be played early in the game to significantly improve all subsequent rolls.
"Farideh, Devil's Chosen" is an extremely important piece of this strategy, as it can provide a significant card advantage as well as being a solid hitter.
Cards like "Feywild Trickster" or "Brazen Dwarf" provide additional benefits if we want to use this strategy.
AFR introduces a new type of enchantment called Class, which refers to the character classes present in D&D. The player can own several at the same time (becoming a "multiclass" player) and can gain levels by paying the cost at sorcery speed.
These Classes are present above all at the level of uncommon and rare and offer interesting rewards to those who manage to use them in the best possible way by integrating them into their Draft decks. For example, you can use the Druid and Cleric classes together to support the strategies of your life gain deck, or you can add them to any green or white-based deck, respectively, for a slightly lesser effect.
Another very useful effect of the classes is to be excellent manasinks in the later stages of the game and to be able to provide new cards or new effects in order to close the game.
For the sake of balance, AFR has a slightly higher than normal content of enchantment removal, so they aren't too powerful in draft. This means that the other enchantments you play may also be slightly less strong than usual.
In conclusion, the classes are an excellent enhancement for the deck and therefore could be good picks in draft, but beware of the possible setbacks due to the payment of excessive resources in Classes that are promptly destroyed by the opponent.
© 2021 Christian Allasia