I'm new to Magic so apologies in advance if this is an obvious question: Are expansion sets designed to accommodate any/all deck archetypes?

For example, my current play style gravitates towards red aggro and I'd like to continue building decks that align with that strategy. I'm wondering if the latest set, Journey Into Nyx, is slanted towards other play styles. How can I tell?

  • Journey hardly changed the current meta-game at all (although Mana Confluence did allow people to squash cards that were already good in their respective decks into one deck). We still have two more sets to go before we see a fresh meta. Will Red Aggro still be viable at that point? The answer is purely speculation. MTG Salvation welcomes speculation, and I'm sure you would have a more enjoyable back and forth in that setting. I also recommend TappedOut for getting feedback on a particular deck.
    – Rainbolt
    Commented Jun 13, 2014 at 13:38
  • Pointing you to all of these other places is my way of helping you before I vote to close your question as Primarily opinion-based.
    – Rainbolt
    Commented Jun 13, 2014 at 13:41
  • 4
    @Rusher It sounds like you may be misreading his question a bit. He's not asking "will my red aggro deck still be competitive when the next set is released?" He's asking if different MTG sets tend to be designed to favor some deck types over others; which is a question that can be objectively answered.
    – GendoIkari
    Commented Jun 13, 2014 at 13:50
  • 2
    @Rusher If you haven't already, I would encourage you to read Good Subjective, Bad Subjective. Beyond that, the OP definitely asked a question with both a general form and a specific example form, and is probably in the best position to clarify his intent, rather than letting us second-guess.
    – Cascabel
    Commented Jun 13, 2014 at 16:24
  • 2
    @Rusher I am not trying to make a definitive statement about this question. I am trying to (1) stop people from saying that questions are off-topic purely because they're subjective (the community here is plagued by people who do that), and (2) stop people from putting words in the OP's mouth.
    – Cascabel
    Commented Jun 13, 2014 at 17:47

1 Answer 1


Most sets of Magic feature a certain kind of game mechanics, and favor some archetypes more than other.

For instance the previous set (Return to Ravnica, Gatecrash, Maze I don't remember) favored multicolored decks, even 3 colored ones, featured lots of multicolored creatures, whereas the beginning of the current set (Theros, Born of the gods) favored mono colored decks. Some capacity are absent from different sets, and some sets really favor some kind of build (eg Theros set gave the opportunity to create really powerful blue aggro, Innistrad set allowed very efficient graveyard oriented decks...).

Nevertheless, some archetypes are always valids, and even if some blocks don't favor them, you will still find useful cards and maybe the next set will favor it again. Some archetypes are also more common and nearly always efficient, "red deck wins", a mono red archetype is among them.

If you don't care about having a deck in the current set, you shouldn't mind about this, if you seek competitive T2 game (last two blocks), you will change deck every block to have the more favored (and fun) archetype. An easy way to see toward what a set is slanted is to have a look at the top 10 tournament decks, you can also guess that by yourself after gaining some more experience by just looking at the cards featured.

To finish, if you play drafts (which I advise you, it's really funny), the favored archetypes will be different from built decks.


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