Card: Eriette of the Charmed Apple | Art: Magali Villenueve

Wilds of Eldraine Ultimate Draft and Limited Archetype Guide

Wilds of Eldraine Ultimate Draft and Limited Archetype Guide

Do you hear that? The raucous sounds of gingerbread knights mixed with the soft snoring of a plane deep in magical slumber. No elk this time around, though! Wilds of Eldraine is almost here and the Limited environment is shaping up to be an exciting one. With the return of adventures and the introduction of new key mechanics like Bargain and Role tokens, the set promises complex, creature-focused gameplay. Plus, thanks to the Enchanting Tales bonus sheet brimming with powerful enchantment cards, there’s always a surprise waiting around the corner. In our Wilds of Eldraine limited guide, we’ll cover the key archetypes you need to know about and introduce you to the new mechanics of this fairytale-inspired set.

Without further ado, let’s dive in!

Wilds of Eldraine Limited Set Mechanics

As noted, Wilds of Eldraine’s Limited environment has several mechanics to utilize. This set looks incredibly fun and will surely lead to games with many important decisions happening every turn. So let’s look at the Wilds of Eldraine mechanics you need to know for your first draft!


No one will forget when Standard was dominated by powerful adventure cards led by the mechanic’s poster child, Bonecrusher Giant. Well, in Wilds of Eldraine, adventure is back. But it looks a bit different this time. The mechanic is now featured on a wider variety of cards, so you can send enchantments on an adventure—not just your creatures.

We also have multi-color adventures where the creature half of the card is one color and the spell half is another. This adds a new wrinkle to deckbuilding and makes picking these cards in a draft less of a snap decision. It should help spice up the format, though, by encouraging players to splash into a third color more regularly, even if fixing in this set isn’t fantastic. Adventure cards simply offer so much value that they’re hard to pass up.


Every mechanic is just kicker, right? That’s certainly true of Bargain, which lets you sacrifice a token, artifact, or enchantment when you cast it to reap extra benefits from your spell. This works incredibly with the new Role tokens we’ll touch on momentarily as well as the abundance of tokens available in this set. You’ll find food tokens, treasures, creature tokens, and Roles are perfect bargaining chips for extracting the most value from your spells. All five colors have access to commons with Bargain and there are also several uncommons and higher featuring it. Bargain shapes up to be one of the most impactful mechanics for Wilds of Eldraine Limited and will add an interesting layer to gameplay and decision-making.

Role Tokens

The most complex (and neat) mechanic coming in Wilds of Eldraine is Role tokens. These token enchantment auras come attached to spells, creature ETB effects, and more. There are six unique Roles, each granting the enchanted creature a different ability. The six Roles in Wilds of Eldraine include:

  • Cursed – Enchanted creature has base power and toughness 1/1.
  • Monster – Enchanted creature gets +1/+1 and has trample.
  • Royal – Enchanted creature gets +1/+1 and has ward {1}.
  • Sorcerer – Enchanted creature gets +1/+1 and has “Whenever this creature attacks, scry 1.”
  • Wicked – Enchanted creature gets +1/+1 and “When this Aura is put into a graveyard from the battlefield, each opponent loses 1 life.”
  • Young Hero – Enchanted creature has “Whenever this creature attacks, if its toughness is 3 or less, put a +1/+1 counter on it.”

Remember, a creature can only have one role you control attached to it at a time. So if you attach a new Role to it, the old one falls off. Since it’s a token, it does briefly hit the graveyard, which is particularly important for the Wicked Role token and several cards in the black/white archetype. Note, Roles also count as enchantments (and auras) for creatures that care about this type. Keep in mind your opponent can put a Role on your creature (typically only the Cursed Role) alongside a Role you control.


Another interesting new mechanic in Wilds of Eldraine is Celebration. This asks you to put multiple nonland permanents onto the field in a single turn. When you do, you’ll get a bonus effect for your creature. Note that this mechanic is limited to red and white cards in the set. You’ll also need to pay close attention to your timing as you likely won’t be able to turn on Celebration every turn. But by carefully picking your spots, this mechanic can lead to some big swings. It’s best to prioritize cards that put two objects into play by themselves, such as Hopeful Vigil, which counts itself (the enchantment) and a creature token.

Wilds of Eldraine Limited Archetypes Overview

If you plan on drafting Wilds of Eldraine or playing Sealed, you’ll need to get familiar with this set’s two-color archetypes. There are ten to discuss, with many themes consistent with what we usually see from the color pairing (looking at you, Izzet Spells). However, there are also a few interesting deviations that take advantage of the set’s new mechanics, such as RW Celebration Aggro and BR Rat Token Aggro. Let’s take a look at each of these archetypes!

White/Blue: Tapping Creatures

One of the most intriguing archetypes in this set is white/blue, which encourages you to tap down your opponent’s creatures. The signpost uncommon, Sharae of Numbing Depths, rewards this heavily and makes a strong case for being the best two-colored uncommon in the set. With this merfolk wizard, you’ll tap a creature and put a Stun counter when Sharae ETBs and draw a card every time you tap an opponent’s creature (including when you play this). That’s a ton of value for four mana.

You also have access to plenty of enablers in these colors with powerful tap and Stun effects at common and uncommon. We’ve seen Stun counters play a huge role in Limited in the past, so I’m looking forward to exploring this archetype. Keep an eye out for Solitary Sancutary, Frostbridge Guard, Succumb to the Cold, and Blind Obedience off the bonus sheet.

Green/Blue: Big Mana Ramp

If you like ramping and casting big creatures, green/blue in Wilds of Eldraine Limited will be a joy to play. Troyan, Gutsy Explorer serves as a colored Sol Ring for spells that cost five or more and helps you filter your hand to find them. Another heater in the signpost uncommon slot. There are lots of big dumb creatures to play in green and blue alongside powerful spells to keep the gas flowing. Look out for Up the Beanstalk, Beanstalk Wurm, and Stormkeld Prowler.

Blue/Black: Faerie Control

Eldraine leans heavily into the faerie creature type this time around. Obyra, Dreaming Duelist is a solid body for two mana as a 2/2 flier with flash. You also have the upside of draining your opponent for a life each time a faerie ETBs under your control. There are plenty of faeries to go around in these colors, so you should be able to build a deck full of fliers.

Plus, with several instant and sorcery spells that check for whether you control a faerie to grant a more powerful effect, you have options to control your opponent’s board as well. Look out for synergistic cards like Spellscorn Coven, Spell Stutter, and yes, Bitterblossom. Who could ask for a better two-mana play in Draft?

Red/White: Celebration Aggro

We’ve already touched on Celebration. This mechanic is exclusive to red/white, so unsurprisingly, the archetype is built around it. You have a powerful hasty two-drop in Ash, Party Crasher, who gets bigger each time you celebrate. With several creatures also benefitting from Celebration, you’re incentivized to build a large board, party, and swing for loads of damage.

We’ve seen similar archetypes struggle in the face of removal in the past, but Celebration gives this one explosive capability in the early and late game. Keep your eyes open for payoffs like Gallant Pie-Wielder and Belligerent of the Ball while also snagging enablers like Hopeful Vigil, Discerning Financier, and anything that makes Role tokens cheaply.

Black/Red: Rat Token Aggro

Rats!!! This archetype has brought plenty of skittering 1/1s along in both red and black. Here, you’re incentivized to find payoffs for rat creatures and plenty of ways to make them. Totentanz, Swarm Piper is a weaker signpost uncommon but lets you make a rat whenever a non-token creature dies and can give your attacking rats Deathtouch to push through damage.

Keep in mind, the 1/1 rat tokens in Wilds of Eldraine can’t block, so this archetype encourages you to be aggressive. Look out for cards like Gnawing Crescendo, Tattered Ratter, and Twisted Sewer-Witch to make your dinky 1/1s serious threats. In addition, keep an eye out for sacrifice outlets that let you get value out of incidental rats, like Rankle’s Prank at rare, Vampiric Rites from the bonus sheet, and cards with Bargain.

Black/Green: Food Midrange

Food was a huge theme in Eldraine last time, and the archetype returns this time in black/green. Headlined by Greta, Sweettooth Scourge who gives you two ways to gain value from your food tokens, this deck is hungry. You’ll have plenty of things to do with your food tokens besides gaining life. Food tokens are great for bargaining and work synergistically with multiple cards in this archetype that allow you to sacrifice them for extra value.

To make food, look for cards like Scream Puff and Gingerbread Hunter. Then look for Bargain cards like Candy Grapple along with Greta and Thunderous Debut to get to value town. Don’t underestimate the importance of simply gaining three life with your food tokens either. This can make a big difference in the later stages of many Limited games.

Red/Green: Big Creatures

Red/green wants you to have a creature with power four or greater on the battlefield at all times. The signpost uncommon, Ruby, Daring Tracker, gets pumped when you do. She also acts as a two-colored mana dork that can ramp you into those big threats.

There are 17 creatures in red and green with the necessary four-power-or-greater stats so you shouldn’t have a shortage of ways to turn this archetype on. Some of the more impressive include Agatha’s Champion, Beanstalk Wurm, and Ferocious Werefox. Remember, though, pump spells also count and let you temporarily make a creature big enough to meet the four-power requirement. Effects like Titanic Growth and Monstrous Rage are great in this archetype.

Blue/Red: Spells

Can you believe it? The blue/red archetype wants you to cast spells… This time around we get a nice signpost uncommon in Johann, Apprentice Sorcerer, who boasts impressive 2/5 stats for just four mana. Johann lets you look at the top of your library and cast an instant or sorcery from it once per turn. This is pretty powerful and can be equal to drawing an extra card every turn or two in the right deck.

Look to build your blue/red deck with plenty of spells then surround them with payoff creatures like Frolicking Familiar, Chancellor of Tales, and Unruly Catapault. The latter at common is an important piece of this archetype and can greatly increase your ability to close out games.

Green/White: Enchantments and Tokens

Remember those Role tokens? Here’s where they’re at their strongest. Green/white wants you to build up a board full of creatures and enchantments. Syr Armont, the Redeemer, gives you a Monster Role token when she ETBs and then buffs each of your enchanted creatures by +1/+1. This is a nice anthem effect for a 4/4 creature at five-mana considering there are a ton of ways to make Role tokens in this archetype. This is an interesting combination of several of green/white’s traditional archetypes and gives you multiple ways to build your deck. Look for other payoffs like Archon of the Wild Rose and A Tale for the Ages as well as enablers that make Role tokens such as Besotted Knight.

White/Black: Sacrifice (Enchantment Sub-theme)

Here we have the sacrifice theme that’s usually found in black/red. In Wilds of Eldraine Limited, you’ll have plenty of sacrifice fodder thanks to Role tokens and enchantments that want to end up in the graveyard. Then, Neva, Stalked by Nightmares gets them back when she ETBs.

This is a solid effect at four mana, especially considering that Neva also gets bigger and scrys when you put an enchantment into the graveyard. Look out for sac engines like Ligh-Knights’ Conquest and Vampiric Rites to pair with your token generators like Protective Parents, Hopeful Vigil, and Hopeless Nightmare. Ashiok’s Reaper is another great piece for this archetype.


Wilds of Eldraine promises to be a fun set for Limited players to dive into. You can start drafting this set online when it drops on MTGO and MTG Arena on September 5th, 2023. Or, you can hop into a pre-release this weekend at your Local Game Store to start playing paper right away. Whatever your preferred method, let us know what you think of the latest version of Eldraine and how this Limited format shapes up. If you’d like to support Bolt the Bird, consider subscribing to our Patreon with the button below.

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