M14: W/U skies

Yesterday, I drafted a W/U skies deck for the first time in M14. It had only 11 creatures (including 8 flyers and an Angelic Wall), but I still went 3-1, at least in part because Path of Bravery swung some races in my favor. The deck is not that different from W/U skies decks in other draft formats and relies on having some good defensive creatures and then winning in the air with flyers. This post will do an overview of the cards that go in this archetype.

Most of the defensive creatures are 2-3 mana. Some of them have flying and can double as attackers in the late game.

  • common: Angelic Wall (converted mana cost = 2), Seacoast Drake (2), Griffin Sentinel (3). Coral Merfolk (2) and Scroll Thief (3) are reasonable, especially if you have Trained Condors, and Scroll Thief often keeps 2 of your opponent’s creatures at bay since people are more scared of it than they probably should be. Capashen Knight (2) is great against X/1’s but should usually start out in your sideboard.
  • uncommon: Wall of Frost (3), Wall of Swords (4)

There are a lot of good evasion creatures in white and blue, but most cost 3-5 mana, so you should prioritize defensive creatures that cost 2 mana. Seraph of the Sword is also excellent on defense against large creatures, lifelink, and deathtouch.

  • common: Suntail Hawk (1), Trained Condor (3), Charging Griffin (4), Nephalia Seakite (4), Messenger Drake (5)
  • uncommon: Warden of Evos Isle (3), Phantom Warrior (3), Air Servant (5), Serra Angel (5)
  • rare: Galerider Sliver (1), Seraph of the Sword (4), Jace’s Mindseeker (6)
  • mythic: Windreader Sphinx (7)

Much of the permanent removal is in the form of enchantments, so I ran an Auramancer maindeck, but moved it to the sideboard after a couple of games since most of my Auras remained on the creatures they were enchanting. The temporary removal and counterspells work well with Archaeomancer, but its higher casting cost (which includes double blue) and smaller body make the interaction less exciting.

  • common: Claustrophobia, Pacifism, Sensory Deprivation (best against ground creatures that your defensive creatures can’t handle, or against Deadly Recluse and Deathgaze Cockatrice), Disperse, Time Ebb, Frost Breath, countermagic
  • uncommon: Rod of Ruin, Spell Blast
  • rare: Planar Cleansing, Rachet Bomb, Domestication

Of the creature enhancements, Divine Favor and Accorder’s Shield were both very good. Path of Bravery was amazing, giving my creatures +1/+1 if I’d managed to set up an early defense; even when I didn’t, the lifegain still shifted races in my favor whenever the board state allowed me to attack with multiple flyers. Illusionary Armor seems like it could be quite powerful since it takes the opponent out of the game very quickly if they don’t have an answer. It can usually be put on your smallest flyer, which can force your opponent to direct their removal at it instead of another threat, and it gets better if you have an Auramancer. Although I didn’t get to try it out, Fortify seems like it has a lot of potential in this deck since most of your attackers are likely to go unblocked. Furthermore, Fortify allows your Seacoast Drakes and Griffin Sentinel to switch from defense to offense for an alpha strike.

  • common: Divine Favor, Show of Valor, Fortify
  • uncommon: Accorder’s Shield, Fireshrieker, Illusionary Armor
  • rare: Haunted Plate Mail, Path of Bravery

My deck also had 2 Divinations and 2 Opportunities. I wasn’t particularly impressed by the former since they were at the same mana cost as a lot of my 3-drops. Opportunity was better and let me refuel my hand in the late game, but would probably have been better as a singleton.

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